The story of Classic Christianity is truly miraculous. Since its initial release in 1989, I have seen God use this book in ways I could never have planned, dreamed, or even remotely imagined. Even the way the book came into existence is miraculous.
For years, the staff members of People to People Ministries and I had talked about the need to write a book. We had seen and experienced how the truths of God’s love and grace had changed our lives. And we were seeing how the fullness of the gospel was making a difference in other people’s lives as we spoke these truths on our radio broadcast, People to People. So the desire grew in my heart to one day write down a description of my journey to discover the grace of God. However, with a schedule filled to overflowing, we hardly had time to even think about a book. But we continued to talk about the need, and “we’ve got to get a book out” almost became the ministry byline.
Around 1986, Bob Hawkins Jr., at that time vice president of marketing for Harvest House Publishers, dropped by our office to discuss the possibility of advertising some of their books on our radio program. When he arrived, one of our staff escorted him back to my office and said, “Bob Hawkins, vice president of Harvest House is here to talk about…” And I understood him to say “a book.”
Delighted, I thought, Lord, thank you for this opportunity. This must finally be the time to write that book. So I proceeded to describe the book we wanted to produce. I kept wondering why Bob had such a puzzled look on his face as I went on with my presentation. But he sat patiently and heard me out. And after I had finished, he looked straight at me and declared, “I didn’t come here to talk about a book, but after hearing what you’ve said, that is a book we are going to publish!”
We never envisioned that one day Classic Christianity would be translated into 26 foreign languages. Nor did we even imagine it would sell over 600,000 copies worldwide. In fact, when Bob told me the initial printing was going to be 5000 copies, I wondered how many of those we were going to have to “eat” ourselves! When this book was first released in 1989, my desire was that God would use it to call people back to “Classic Christianity”. Over these past 20 years, Classic Christianity, has found its way into the hands of world leaders, Christian missionaries, churches, pastors, and ministry leaders. Copies are circulating behind prison walls, are being passed around entire congregations, and are finding their way to individuals who are burned out and bogged down by religion.
I believe God is calling people back to the simplicity of the gospel…back to His grace, mercy, and truth…back to the person of Jesus Christ. Respond to His call, and experience the freedom that is yours in Him.