Clear Winter Nights    -     By: Trevin Wax
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Clear Winter Nights

Multnomah Books / 2013 / Hardcover

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What happens when a young Christian dealing with disillusionment and doubt spends a weekend with an elderly retired pastor? They talk. And no subject is off limits. Clear Winter Nights is a stirring story about faith, forgiveness, and the distinctiveness of Christianity. Through a powerful narrative and engaging dialogue, Trevin Wax shows the relevance of unchanging truth in an ever-changing world.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 1601424949
ISBN-13: 9781601424945
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Searching for Real Faith - or No Faith at All
 
What happens when a young Christian dealing with disillusionment and doubt spends a weekend with an elderly, retired pastor? They talk. And no subject is off limits. Clear Winter Nights is a stirring story about faith, forgiveness, and the distinctiveness of Christianity. Through a powerful narrative and engaging dialogue, Trevin Wax shows the relevance of unchanging truth in an ever-changing world.
 
Quotes from Clear Winter Nights:
 
"Truth is not a formula… Truth is a Person."
 
"No Christian who truly understands grace can feel superior to anyone else. Grace shatters any sense of superiority."
 
"A Christian is not defined by the sins of the past or the struggles of the present but by the vision of the future."
 
"The world says, ’Be true to yourself.’ King Jesus says, ’Be true to your future self.’"
 
"The true rebellion is in the heart of the Christian who follows King Jesus by swimming upstream against the current of the world."
 
"Don’t trust in your strength, because there is such a thing as pride. Don’t despair in your weakness, because there is such a thing as forgiveness."
 
"Authenticity isn’t accepting your sins. It’s admitting your sins and then being true to the person King Jesus has declared you to be."
 
When his life comes apart, will the center hold?
 
Chris Walker has everything. A career, a beautiful fiancée, a promising ministry opportunity, and a faith instilled in him from a young age. But when a revelation about his family comes to light at his grandmother’s funeral, Chris finds himself facing questions he didn’t even know he had about…well, everything.
 
Fighting a battle within and without from those that don’t understand his sudden doubts, Chris seeks refuge in a weekend with his grandfather to ask the tough questions and sort through the issues where faith meets life and disillusionment collides with truth.
 
For those searching for the historic Christian faith that is relevant to life today, or for those who believe that a completely new faith is called for, this stirring tale is a deep and powerful exploration of what being Christian has meant and still means today.

Author Bio

TREVIN WAX is managing editor of The Gospel Project, an all-ages small-group curriculum developed by LifeWay Christian Resources. A former missionary and pastor, Wax is a popular blogger (Kingdom People) and a contributor to Christianity Today. He is also the author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion. He and his wife, Corina, reside in middle Tennessee with their children.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Clear Winter Nights

"Trevin Wax’s Clear Winter Nights is an engaging story about something fresh and vital—the old kind of Christian, transformed by Christ, doing battle with sin, relying on Jesus day after day. The book raises honest questions and offers honest answers based on what’s rock solid, not on our culture’s ever-shifting worldview. I enjoyed the moving
relationship between a young man and an old one, with history, heritage, mentoring, and friendship. I found Clear Winter Nights to be warm, compelling, and thought provoking."
—Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven, Deception, and If God Is Good

"The best novels leave you wanting more. As I read Clear Winter Nights, I wanted to join the characters’ conversations and felt the pain of separation from them when I finished. Trevin Wax has given us the gift of a compelling story about family, doubt, faith, and the biggest questions of life."
—Collin Hansen, editorial director for The Gospel Coalition and co-author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

"Trevin Wax takes you on an honest intellectual and emotional journey as he explores the exclusive claims of Christ that everyone has struggled with at some time or another. His characters draw the reader into the conversation and leave you feeling satisfied about where they end up, bringing in a whole new dynamic to how we typically approach
theological study."
—Matt Carter, co-author of The Real Win

"’Tell all the truth, but tell it slant,’ said Emily Dickinson. This book does exactly that. This book goes to the guts of the gospel, and it shares the good news story straight by telling it slant. Thank you, Trevin Wax, for putting your imagination as well as your theology in service to Christ."
—Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Chris is struggling with his faith in God, his relationships are falling apart, and he doesn’t know where to turn. He doesn’t have to go far to find a faithful friend in his grandfather. Trevin Wax’s Clear Winter Nights tackles faith, doubt, theology, the person of Christ, evangelism, and our struggle with sin. Clear and insightful; the pages pour out God’s amazing grace to sinners and His unfailing love to those who’ve wandered away. A perfect book for anyone with questions about faith in the one true God."
—Trillia Newbell, author and writer, and editor of Women of God Magazine

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 24
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  1. pastor les
    Williamston,MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Young man struggling with his faith.
    January 20, 2014
    pastor les
    Williamston,MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is one of the better written books that I have read recently. Altho it is fiction,the book is true to Biblical principles and communicates very well the struggles of a young man and his faith. It was heart warming to go thru the journey with Chris and his wise, seasoned and Godly grandfather Gil.

    The book was true to Biblical priciples and written in a way that grabbed ones attention. It addressed real issues of doubt with real answers,not just platitudes. I hight recommened the book to ALL readers. Don't often do this. Thanks Trevin Wax
  2. dyand
    Lancaster, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Clear Winter Nights
    November 14, 2013
    dyand
    Lancaster, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Clear Winter Nights, by Trevin Wax, is a story about a young man (Chris) who is struggling with his Christianity. He comes to a point in his life where he is not sure what he believes. He is easily influenced by those around him and is not able to defend his own beliefs. This allows him to consider taking the easy out and conforming to those around him and their beliefs. His grandfather (Gil) was a pastor for many years and is recovering from a stroke. Chris spends the weekend with Gil, supposedly to help his grandfather out, but as the story progresses, I can't help but wonder if Chris's mother set the whole weekend up more for Chris's benefit, than Gil's.

    Gil realizes that Chris is experiencing some doubt and inner turmoil - he doesn't actually confront Chris, but through their conversations, he is able to help Chris to see where his doubt might be coming from and share with him his years of wisdom and personal experiences, so Chris can make his own educated decisions about what he actually knows and believes. They cover quite a variety of topics: what is the truth, how a Christian is defined, going against "the norm", not trusting your own strength _ many feelings or situations each of us may experience at one time or another as well as topics the world is trying to justify as "normal". It is good for reinforcing your own beliefs and could definitely help you if you yourself have some questions or are confused with regard to certain ideas.

    I received this book for free from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but that, in no way, affects the honesty of my review.
  3. pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    great mix of theology and easy reading
    September 29, 2013
    pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Clear Winter Nights: A Journey into Truth, Doubt, and what Comes after (Multnomah Books, 2013) by Trevin Wax is a fun read, with lots of "WOW" moments. You're reading along, enjoying the story, and suddenly theological truth is staring you in the face.

    This is the story of a 22 year old college student, active in his church, who everyone assumes is going to enter the ministry, following in the footsteps of his grandfather. Then life happens to him, skeletons in his family are revealed, and the resulting crisis of faith leaves him wondering if his faith is real.

    Admittedly the plot is a little hokey at times, a little too pat, but even when the scene is predictable, Wax manages to get his points across. Young Chris ends up helping care for Grampa after a stroke leaves him needing assistance. A snowstorm ensures that they have time alone for some catching up, and as is often the case, those who know us well can see right through our attempts to mask the pain. Pastoral care at its finest ensues, and along the way Chris has to examine his beliefs, his attitudes and values, and ultimately his faith.

    Every time we adapt to the notion that we're reading a novel, we discover that we're holding a volume of theology. Sexuality, substance abuse, relationships, death, and so many of the ‘big questions' are addressed in ways that don't require a degree in theology to understand.

    I'm torn as I try to rate this book: is it great literature? Probably not. Is it a complete theology? No. Did I enjoy reading it? Definitely yes. If I was in the t-shirt or bumper sticker business, this book would provide whole seasons worth of material. And one of the things I liked best about the ending is that enough of Chris' questions weren't answered. Either so the reader can use the attached study questions to help him draw his own conclusions, or hopefully because in the not so different future we'll be reading about another season in the life of Chris, a young Christian man who struggles with the same issues as most of us.

    When Clear Winter Nights first appeared on the list of books available for me to review I passed on it, since I tend to be drawn to different types of reading material, but something prompted me to request the book, and I'm glad I did. Just when you think you're curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book, King Jesus appears and shares another of His eternal truths.

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.
  4. Don Haflich
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great stories can change lives
    September 4, 2013
    Don Haflich
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A good story can change lives. If you combine the right ingredients you can create a narrative to stir emotions, incite revolt, calm fears, and spark romance. Among these outcomes a good narrative can also bring someone to a deeper understanding of who God is and who we are. That's the effect Clear Winter Nights (Multnomah Books, 2013) had on me.

    Trevin Wax brings the characters to life in a way that seems to relate to friends I have seen come and go. He makes his characters doubt and then brings them back again. He makes them feel pain and then causes them to rejoice. He uses the characters emotions and works them out in such a way that it sparks memories and emotions in the reader, which may have been buried or hidden for some time. In short, he connects the readers to the characters of the story in such a way that our doubts and fears are realized in this small narrative.

    The main character of the story, Chris Walker, comes upon the scene as a man with a beautiful fiancée, a bright future, leadership opportunities, and the world at his fingertips, but there is only one kink in the system; Chris has overwhelming doubt as to his direction in life so he let's go of all those things and simply lets them fall to the ground. He then seeks a weekend of refuge with his grandfather who has just had a stroke. A well-known pastor, his grandfather Gil, reaches out to him in ways few would dare to do so, he gives his grandson the clear Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I don't understand how difficult it must be to combine deep theological truths with a good narrative, for I am skilled in neither, but I do grasp the necessity of doing so. Trevin has managed to write a compelling story while intermingling the theological trademarks of Scripture. Wax also incorporates into his writing, broad strokes of apologetics and evangelism, all the while upholding the story so that it does not become one big theology lesson. The following passage makes this point clearly.

    Chris racked his brain, trying to remember the notes he took from Dr. Coleman's lectures on moral behavior in the world religions. He remembered enough of the main themes to get his point across. "Take the spring celebration. Passover comes during springtime. The Jews celebrate their freedom from slavery. It's a celebration of humans breaking the chains of bondage. Inspiring, really. A demonstration of the unbreakable nature of the human spirit and the longing for freedom we all share."

    "Easter's the same thing. the triumph of the human spirit. Just think - here is Jesus standing up against he oppression of the Roman Empire, and after His death, His movement is carried on by His disciples until it outlasts even Caesar's reign.

    Gil cocked an eyebrow and then interrupted. "Am I to suppose you're going to talk about how Islam celebrates the binding of Isaac, and how submission is the path to human greatness, right?"

    Chris didn't respond, but he was thinking to himself, How did he know?

    Gil chucked. "Pious poppycock," he said quietly

    in this passage we see conversations many of us have had, we realize our own doubts about Christianity but Wax wants to take us further than questions. He provides answers and does not leave the reader wondering if the conversations trail off into nowhere. He brings them to a powerful conclusion.

    This book was stirring at least, and life-changing at best. It presents a clear gospel according the Scripture and urges the reader to move beyond mere questions about faith. He urges the reader to action through the lives of the characters. As a fan of non-fiction writing, this is only the second fiction narrative I have read since High School, and that was over ten years ago. I enjoyed the book and will continue to enjoy more fiction if it's written in the same vein. I don't usually like stories but I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story with compelling characters and a strong conclusion. I hope to see some more from Trevin Wax in the future.

    TREVIN WAX is managing editor of The Gospel Project, an all-ages small-group curriculum developed by LifeWay Christian Resources. A former missionary and pastor, Wax is a popular blogger (Kingdom People) and a contributor to Christianity Today. He is also the author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion. He and his wife, Corina, reside in middle Tennessee with their children.
  5. McDawg81
    Flowery Branch, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Theology in Story - maybe
    September 2, 2013
    McDawg81
    Flowery Branch, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 3
    In Clear Winter Nights (A journey into truth, doubt, and what comes after) we have what professes to be "Theology in Story". The main subject of the book is dealing with the faith journey of themain character Chris and compares this journey to the seasons of our natural climate.

    Are you looking for great literature? This ain't it! Metaphors abound in this somewhat clumsy book. Chris comes to see Gil in a blizzard and is snowed in. As Chris starts to ‘thaw' so does the snow. When Chris leaves Gil's having rediscovered his faith, the ‘days are getting warmer now.' It is not very subtle and it seems a bit much.

    But the theology is rich and much more enjoyable to read than many dry texts on theology which somehow robs God of his glory. The conversations in this book are interesting discussions and the discussion questions offered at the back (several questions for each of the eleven chapters) could help inspire many more such conversations in real life.

    I would give this book 3 stars.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Displaying items 1-5 of 24
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