Date: February 6, 2007
Andrews University Press announced the release of a new book with timely and powerful implications for Sabbath evangelism -- In Granite or Ingrained? What the Old and New Covenants Reveal about the Gospel, the Law, and the Sabbath -- by Skip MacCarty, long-time associate pastor for evangelism at Pioneer Memorial Church. The book was officially unveiled on Sunday, January 21 at the annual winter workers' meeting of Michigan Conference pastors at Camp Au Sable in Grayling, Mich.
"We deliberately chose to launch the book at a pastors' meeting because Dr. MacCarty is, first and foremost, a pastor," explained Ronald Knott, director of the Press. "He has written this book with a pastor's heart. He's seen people leave the Adventist Church over confusion about the covenants. So even though his book is a serious, in-depth work of careful scholarship, and is published by an academic press, its bottom-line value to the church will be found in how practicing pastors and informed lay people use it to advance a complete gospel message, particularly in reference to the Sabbath truth."
"Adventist pastors and members across the country will find MacCarty's book particularly timely in light of questions their fellow members may be asking," Knott said. In December, an organization of former Adventists sponsored a large mailing of a special issue of its magazine to church members in many parts of the United States. According to MacCarty, most of the group's long-standing attacks on the Sabbath, sometimes echoed by other evangelicals, are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what the New Testament means in its presentation of the old and new covenants.
MacCarty's work addresses the basic issue of the covenants as the foundation for a proper understanding of the relationship of the gospel and the Sabbath. And on this understanding of the unity of the two covenants, he has received strong support from other evangelical quarters.
"Skip MacCarty has caught the spirit and the intent of the covenants and their relationship as well as anyone I know," writes Daniel I. Block in a back-cover recommendation. Block, a well-known evangelical scholar, is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Ill., and previously held the same position at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ken.
"MacCarty offers a brilliant defense of the fundamental unity of the Scriptures," Block continues. "After helpfully distinguishing between the historical and experiential old and new covenants, he invites his readers to celebrate with him the glorious fact that in the old covenant, as much as in the new covenant, God offers a 'grace-based, gospel-bearing, and mission-directed' covenantal relationship with Himself. Until Christians grasp this message, the Old Testament will remain a dead book to the church."
The book also received back-cover endorsements from Norman Gulley, professor of systematic theology at Southern Adventist University, and Richard Davidson, professor of Old Testament, and George Knight, professor of church history, both from Andrews.
"In Granite or Ingrained? is just the kind of book Andrews University Press is well-positioned to publish," said Knott. "The Press is the only established academic publishing house serving the entire world church. In Granite or Ingrained? is a landmark book because it is the first serious, book-length work dealing substantially with Sabbath issues that the Adventist Church has published in more than 20 years. Our church's historic emphasis on higher education means we have an educated membership who appreciates serious books - books that mine scripture and at the same time have powerful practical application for advancing the remnant message. That's just what Dr. MacCarty's new book does, and we're proud to be the publisher."
The 344-page book makes its case in twelve chapters, sequentially addressing such topics as the core truths of the covenants, how God defined the new covenant, the new covenant DNA in the old covenant, history and experience in the two covenants, understanding difficult texts, and the practical, spiritual ramifications of living the covenants. In addition, the book includes several appendices containing practical tables and charts that allow for easy grasp of key concepts. The Press anticipates releasing a companion study guide for individuals and small groups later in the spring.
Skip MacCarty has been a pastor for 38 years, serving in Utah and Michigan. For more than 20 years he has pastored at Pioneer Memorial Church (PMC) on the Andrews campus, working closely with Dwight K. Nelson, senior pastor, in organizing PMC's major public and media-based evangelistic initiatives. He holds a doctor of ministry degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and is a recognized authority and seminar presenter on the relationship between stress and spiritual life.
Editorial work on the book was supervised by Deborah Everhart, editor of the Press. The book's cover and inside text were designed by Robert Mason, chair of the department of art and design. Tom Toews, production manager and seminary doctoral student, did the page-layout. Erno Gyeresi, customer service and business manager at the Press, is handling sales and marketing. The book was printed by Patterson Printing Company in Benton Harbor. In Granite or Ingrained? sells for $19.99 and is available at the Andrews University Bookstore, through Adventist Book Centers, and on-line at www.universitypress.andrews.edu.