The book is not dead nor does it sleep

Anybody who says the book is dead hasn't been keeping up with current events. Truth is, more books are being published now than ever before. Way more.

More than a million book titles were published in 2009--a quarter of those by "traditional" publishers and the rest by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers--including five titles by ConversantLife writers published by Conversant Media Group and Harvest House:

  • Apologetics for a New Generation by Sean McDowell: Helping you effectively share the answers to life's big questions with a new generation.
  • I Can't See God Because I'm in the Way by Stan Jantz and Bruce Bickel: Showing that a fresh view of God is more accessible than you think.
  • The Last TV Evangelist by Phil Cooke: Knowing why the next generation couldn't care less about religious media, and why it matters.
  • The God Question by J.P. Moreland: An invitation to honestly explore an entirely new way of living--the way of Jesus.
  • The Forecast by Caroline Ferdinandsen: A counterfeit memoir the lets the author lie the entire time and still tell you the absolute truth.
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Christian Music Artists Unite to Raise Money for Haiti Relief Efforts

More than a dozen award-winning artists are combining their musical talents to help make sure desperately needed relief supplies continue flowing into Haiti, where the struggle for survival continues for hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims.    

Healing 4 Haiti is a collection of 15 songs from Christian music’s leading artists and worship leaders and includes the anthem “Come Together Now (Music City Unites For Haiti),” penned by Michael W. Smith, Cindy Morgan and David Mullen. The song list also includes tracks from Israel Houghton, DecembeRadio, Kari Jobe, The Afters, Hawk Nelson and many more plus an exclusive version of Jared Anderson’s new song, “Carry Me.”

Healing 4 Haiti will be released by Integrity Music at iTunes on Tuesday, March 2 with a retail release slated for March 16. A minimum of $5.00 per copy of the album sold will be donated to Haiti earthquake relief. The donations will be used to provide clean water, shelter, medical care and other critical aid from Samaritan's Purse. It will also support the work of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Rapid Response Team, which had chaplains on the ground within 24 hours of the earthquake providing emotional and spiritual comfort to survivors. Additionally, proceeds from “Come Together Now (Music City Unites for Haiti)” will go to the Haiti relief efforts of Samaritan’s Purse and the American Red Cross.

“Every artist and every individual who can use their talent and ability to shed light on those in need, when it’s all added together, it makes a huge difference,” says Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association/Samaritan’s Purse. “My prayer is that God will use Healing 4 Haiti to touch the hearts of this nation to give generously to the suffering people of Haiti.”
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"Touched by an Angel" DVD Giveaway

Every once in a while, we have the opportunity to give away some free stuff, and this is one of those times.  Thanks to our friends at Grace Hill Media, we have a few DVDs of the groundbreaking television program, Touched by an Angel. This top-rated show, starring Roma Downey and Della Reese as angels who brought messages from God to ordinary people, was the first prime-time show to successfully and skillfully integrate themes of faith into everyday life in a prime-time television show. Basically, it was a program that made God look good!

Now there is a new special edition DVD series called "Touched by an Angel: Inspiration Collection"  Each of these "Faith and Love" editions feature four thematic episodes specially selected by executive producer Martha Williamson. These special DVDs will be available January 26 at your local Christian store, or they can be ordered online.

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Zach Hunter, abolitionist and activist

Zach Hunter is a teenage abolitionist and activist, spending much of his time working to end modern-day slavery around the world and fighting other problems in the world. When he was 12, he started a campaign called Loose Change to Loosen Chains to raise awareness and money to free people from slavery. The author of Be the Change, Zach speaks to hundreds of thousands of people each year, inspiring them to find their passion and make a change in the world.

ConversantLife: We were very excited to hear about the release of your latest book.  What is ‘Lose Your Cool’ all about?

ZH: It’s my attempt to help readers discover a life of passion.

Francesca Battistelli: behind My Paper Heart

ConversantLife: Hi Francesca, thanks for taking some time to talk with us about your album My Paper Heart. Can you tell us a little bit about the story within this record, what it’s been like to write it?

FB - It was a blast writing this record. There's nothing like the creative process, especially when it's the first time around. I loved every second of it!

ConversantLife: It seems like you’ve had some great exposure and success with the record so far. You’ve been played on MTV’s The Hills, NBC’s The Biggest Looser, and Diet Tribe, as well as some other shows. What has it been like to see your music take off on some mainstream outlets?

FB: What an experience! "It's Your Life" was on the finale of So You Think You Can Dance season 5, and it's one of my favorite shows. I think I screamed when I heard it!
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Tags | Music

Rob Bells talks 'Drops Like Stars'

Hey Rob, thanks for letting us take some time to chat with you about your new book Drops Like Stars. This book is a bit different than your other books, as this is more of a coffee table type book with great pictures, and artistic placement of words. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and how you came to such a different look and feel as opposed to your other publications?

The main idea for the book was birthed several years ago and right away I knew there would be a visual element, because some things have to be seen, trying to describe them just doesn't work. And then I got it in my head that it had to be big and heavy-like you'd get it in your hands and say "whoa, this is a book." and once you have a vision for something you hold on to it with all your might until it
actually exists...and then you celebrate.

This book talks about some very real topics. You discuss honesty, pain, loneliness, and failure. How have these topics impacted your life, and what prompted you to write on these things?

I'm drawn to the edges, to the corners, to the margins, to the places where things aren't clear and clean and straightforward. At the center of the Christian worldview is the cross and the resurrection-the insistence that you find God in the muck, the mire, the blood, the pain, and when you're willing to go there, to go through it and not around it, you find yourself on the other side, experiencing...resurrection. I continue to find life in the strangest, most unexpected people and places and events..

As we mentioned this book is beautiful not only in it’s content, but also in its layout, visual presentation and art. What are you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Perspective. New eyes to see old things. Hope. But not cheap hope. Not hope that says everything's
fine just smile and pose. Hope that can go into all of the dark and frightening places we usually avoid and then comes out the other side. So it's hope, but it's a real hope, a rugged hope. Hope that's got a limp, a bruise-like it's taken a few hits but it's real.

The stories you use to indicate your point in each section are beautiful, poetic and moving. How did you come across these stories and individuals? Was there research involved or was it more of an organic crossing of stories?

Whenever I come across things that strike me, grab me, provoke me, move me, inspire me, trouble me, make me laugh, I write them down. I have notebooks all over the place, full of stories and phrases and things people say and do...and then over time certain connections begin to be made and something arises and says "I'm a book." Haha. From there it's a ton to work to actually go from an idea to a finished work, but I absolutely love it...

The story about sculptor Harriet March and her process of bringing her art to life was particularly moving. Can you tell us a little bit more about her, and a bit of behind the scenes in your writing process of her story?

She's a character in Absolute Truths, a novel by Susan Howatch, a British writer who wrote a series of six novels called the Starbridge Series. Susan is brilliant and her novels are as well. Very powerful and insightful.  So unfortunately, Harriet doesn't exist in real life! But that's the power of great literature.

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ConversantCast Episode 1

The Very First Podcast:

An interview with singer/songwriter Molly Jenson, The American Idol Christianity debate, and a special guest appearance by hipster pastor, Mike Fiscoll.

Why Jesus Matters

It is undeniable and indisputable.  Jesus was the most extraordinary person the world has ever known.  Even atheists and those who are cynical of any spiritual nature in Christ and humanity readily acknowledge the overwhelming impact Jesus has made on our civilization.  The famous historian--and self-professed skeptic--W.E.H. Lecky conceded the importance of the life of Jesus Christ with this statement:

"The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice, and has exerted so deep an influence, that it may truly be said that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists."

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Conversant Bloggers All Over the Place

One of the key features of is our wonderful team of bloggers.  This gifted, passionate group of men and women represent the brightest and the best the faith community has to offer.  Some, like Craig Detweiler and Sean McDowell, are nationally known communicators and media influencers.  Others, such as Crissy Brooks and Mark Meehan, are professionals at the top of their game who bring a deep passion for Christ to their work. 

All of our bloggers are independent thinkers who write on subjects of their own choosing.  We don't "assign" blogs or topics (although sometimes we make suggestions), so what you read is content coming out of their own hearts and minds.

Even though we are delighted that these expert bloggers have become part of the content community, we are also proud of the fact that many of them write for other publications, both online and in print.  For example, three of our bloggers--Christy Tennant, Jeannine Seery, and John Barry--write for Bible Study Magazine, a new publication that focuses entirely on the Bible and Bible study.  

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