As the holidays rapidly approach, I can’t help but reflect back on this year. What excites me most is, in spite of everything that has occurred in society, we did what we do best: stand for the truth in a practical yet attractive way. And your generosity made it all possible.
What a challenging year this was for Christians. From gender confusion to same-sex marriage, from attacks on our faith to assaults on our freedoms, we certainly had no shortage of issues hitting us in the face.
That kind of environment, though difficult, creates a backdrop against which the work you and I do is important and valued. And we are making a difference…all over the world. In just a single month earlier this year we had web visits by people from 191 out of 195 countries in the world. That’s incredible reach!
I didn’t even know some of these countries existed, yet they face some of the same challenges we do here at home. “Stand to Reason is having an important influence in countries you probably haven't even heard about,” one person wrote from a little dot on the sea between Iceland and Norway called the Faroe Islands, pop. 50,000.
He then told us they are starting an apologetics school called Sendibod based on STR’s Ambassador model. “I just wanted to thank you,” he wrote, “for the huge influence you’ve had for me personally and for the influence you’ll have in the lives of those people who will attend Sendibod.”
That’s exciting. In fact, the work STR has been doing has inspired a group of our dedicated supporters to pledge $135,100 as a Challenge Gift this year. Their gift expresses their confidence in STR, and is a challenge to you and other friends to match their commitment by giving generously by December 31 to equal or exceed their wonderful gift. Will you send your best gift today?
Even with the issues in our culture, I’m still encouraged by what God is doing in spite of the opposition as we continue to equip not only this generation, but also the next one.
Our commitment to reach the next generation of Christian Ambassadors is resonating. At Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, we hosted our 5th annual Southern California reTHINK youth apologetics conference where over 1,750 excited students, parents, and youth leaders participated. We had a second wonderful youth conference in Dallas with over 700 attending, like last year, and we’ll be breaking ground with a reTHINK event in Birmingham next spring.
That’s a vote of confidence from over 2,500 young people. It’s inspiring to see our future parents and leaders and missionaries learning and growing together.
This was also a year for writing and recording. Alan Shlemon’s new DVD, “The Truth about Homosexuality—A Compassionate Response” is now available. It’s receiving great reviews as a tool to discuss this white-hot issue in a winsome and attractive way.
I’ve also just completed a new book for Zondervan that I think is my most important work yet: The Story of Reality—How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between. It’s a big-picture description of the drama of human history from beginning to end.
The Story of Reality is told in a conversational voice, not a religious one, sort of like C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. And the response from those who’ve already read it has been really encouraging:
“I couldn’t put it down,” J.P. Moreland wrote, “Greg’s best and most important book to date.” Joni Eareckson Tada said it was “thoughtful, provocative, and intellectually stimulating. I highly recommend this stirring book.” Lee Strobel wrote, “a beautifully crafted description of the Christian worldview,” and J. Warner Wallace called it “masterful, measured, intelligent…a modern classic.”
I hope that’s enough to get you as excited as I am. That’s why I want you to have a personally signed copy before it’s released to the public. I’m sending it to you as my gift in response to your Challenge gift to Stand to Reason this December.
2016 is coming rapidly to a close, and December is a critical month for us financially. We typically receive nearly 25% of our annual revenue in this month alone. So please consider the Challenge. Every dollar you give will move STR that much closer to meeting—and hopefully, exceeding—the $135,100 Challenge amount.
I look forward to hearing from you, and to sending you my new book, The Story of Reality, as a thanks for your partnership and for your prayers, both of which we depend on more than you know.
Thank you in advance for your kindness. And on behalf of all of us at STR, may Christ richly dwell in your heart and family this Christmastime.
So grateful for your partnership,
P.S. Be sure to ask for The Story of Reality when you send your gift by December 31. I will send your copy to you—personally signed by me—as I promised.