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10 questions with: George Bryant September 19, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, 4. Castle Distributed Books, George Bryant, New Zealand Without God.
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At Castle we assisted prolific author George Bryant with publishing his latest book – New Zealand Without God? George has a vast amount of experience in public life, providing experience and credentials for this insightful and crucial new book. We asked George a few questions about his life, his new book and New Zealand…

George Bryant

I know you’re not one to let the grass grow under your feet – what are some of things you’ve done in your adult life so far?

I’ve taught and administered the teaching of teenagers for 37 years, involving the Principalship of a high school for 15 years. Also been a school chaplain and pastored a couple of churches. Have written some 20 non-fiction books and booklets. Involved in numerous community groups, played squash, tennis and golf, and watched too many movies!

What are you most passionate about?

Seeing individuals and societies reformed. We don’t have to put up with negative, bad things that happen to us or go on around us. I’m keen on seeing people healed – in the widest sense.

You’ve written a number of books, what is the most rewarding part of that process?

Actually seeing the final, printed product, after countless hours of work – just as an artist gains great satisfaction on viewing his or her finished masterpiece.

Tell us how New Zealand Without God came into being…

I got the idea standing in a cathedral in Southern Ireland. A great deal of money had been spent on renovating it. It did look great,  but only 60 worshipped there on a Sunday and they were mostly over 70 years old! Then I saw many abandoned or converted churches around Britain. The same thing was happening in NZ. So I set to wondering what NZ would be like without the influence of Christianity.

How would you summarise the message of New Zealand Without God?

NZ society has major, worsening social problems. The good influence of Christianity is slowly but surely disappearing. What is replacing it? If we want a better society we need to follow some basic core values. I analyse six of them.

How do you think people will be challenged by and respond to New Zealand Without God?

I hope readers will be personally challenged to do something constructive about the declining social, moral and spiritual values around them.

Is controversy a bad thing for a book to stir up?

No. It is good to get people thinking. Awareness of any situation is necessary before effective action can take place.

What do you see as the best possible outcome from people reading this book?

The best outcome would be for readers to accept the challenge of promoting peace instead of violence, replacing hate with love, arrogance with humility and commit themselves to working with others to improve the communities they live in.

What are the best things about New Zealand?

I would like to say ‘people’ but can’t. Although there are some really nice, caring people around so many are selfish, disrespectul, uncaring and violent.  The best thing about NZ is its beautiful God-given scenery and clean air.

Tell us about other book projects you’re working on…

I’m presently researching and interviewing people who have struggled against the odds through disability of some sort (physical, poverty, abuse, business failure…) – and not only survived but gone on to help their community. What motivates people to work through their pain and be ‘successful’?

To enquire about New Zealand Without God?, or to order copies, please contact us.

New books September 11, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 36 Questions, 4. Castle Distributed Books, 5. News, New Zealand Without God.
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It gives me great pleasure to announce the release of some great new books distributed by Castle…

NZ Without God cover

New Zealand Without God? by George Bryant is an insightful and unflinching examination of what New Zealand would lose if Christianity disappeared from the culture. It is written as a challenge to all New Zealanders – both Christian and non-Christian – and gives practical suggestions for negotiating New Zealand’s future.

George is a prolific author, uniquely qualified to write this book. Look out for an author interview with him to be posted on the blog in the next few days.

ISBN 978-0-473-13952-0. Only NZ$27.95 (recommended retail price). For enquiries and orders contact us, or contact one of these great bookshops to obtain a copy.

36 Questions cover36 Questions by Rawiri Love and Geoff Vause is a brand new marriage preparation resource designed to help couples engage with the big issues. The book comes in two versions – ‘For Him’ and ‘For Her’ – intended to be used together. The books ask 36 Questions and give space for the reader to think about and write their response, sparking discussion and providing a solid groundwork for marriage.

An essential and useful resource for Christians and non-Christians.

ISBNs 978-0-473-13934-6 (36 Questions for Him) 978-0-473-13933-9 (36 Questions for Her). Only NZ$14.50 each (recommended retail price). For enquiries and orders contact us, or contact one of these great bookshops to obtain a copy.

Buy books September 10, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 1. How Castle Works, 8. Buy a Castle Book.
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If you’d like to buy a Castle book you can contact us, or visit the online store of one of the great Christian retailers that stock our titles.

You can find the links to retailer websites here.

Visit the main Castle website to browse the full range of Castle titles.

10 questions with: Nathan Shaw September 4, 2008

Posted by Andrew Killick (Publishing Manager) in 2. Author Interviews, Nathan Shaw, Passion and Fire.
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Here’s a fascinating interview with Nathan Shaw, author of Castle book Passion and Fire.

Nathan Shaw

What do you do when you’re not writing books?

My time is mostly occupied with pastoring the church I oversee in Dunedin. I also do overseas ministry trips during which my main emphasis is teaching churches how to receive and work with the Holy Spirit.

What are you most passionate about?

I love the Holy Spirit. I was privileged to grow up in a charismatic Presbyterian church. However it wasn’t until I was 18 that I became hungry to know God in a deep and intimate way. This started me on a journey during which the Holy Spirit completely revolutionised my life. I love seeing people impacted by the Holy Spirit on a deep level. He is truly indescribable and I want everyone I met to know Him.

Describe the moment when you knew you had to write Passion and Fire…

The first book I wrote was about ministering to widows and the fatherless. God spoke to me clearly about writing the book but it was a completely unexpected topic. It has never been a topic that I emphasise in my public ministry. I was able to draw from my experience of ministering to widows and the fatherless but the most remarkable thing is that revelation flowed from my heart during the year it took me to write the book. It was during this time that I had a growing desire to write a book that was in line with my life message. It grieved me when I saw so many people in the body of Christ who desired intimacy with God but often failed to obtain it. The book grew out of a desire to help these people and to ignite passion for God within His church.

How long did it take you to put the manuscript together?

The original manuscript took about one year to write. However both of the manuscripts I have written have gone through major revisions before they were published. Chosen Books in the United States published my first book. The Editorial Director of the company was very gracious to give me many suggestions and guidelines to improve both of my manuscripts. Even after Castle Publishing agreed to publish Passion and Fire I did a major revision on one section of the book. The original writing took one year but the overall process took several.

In one sentence, what does Passion and Fire tell people about God?

It tells people that God is passionate about us encountering Him and knowing Him as a God of consuming fiery love.

In a media saturated world, what makes the written word and books important?

I think books are God’s idea. Even in heaven books abound. He chose to communicate with humankind through the writings of what we now call the Bible. Books have a permanency about them. God could not find a better way to record His eternal truths. The best books impact the world not only in their generation but also for many more to come. Much communication in today’s media saturated world is frivolous and relevant for only a fleeting moment of time.

What’s special about New Zealand?

New Zealand is an awesome country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. The scenery in our country always stirs within me a deep longing to know our majestic and infinitely beautiful God. We are a nation with a unique and very powerful prophetic call to impact the nations of the world. God has put a pioneering spirit in the very fabric of our nation. As one prophet has said, “Our greatest weakness is apathy. Our greatest strength in zeal.”

Are you planning to write more books in the future?

I am in the process of writing a book called Contending for the Supernatural. God always intended for us to know the supernatural realities of His nature. We can’t say that we truly know Him if we don’t embrace this aspect of who He is. A huge amount of work goes into writing a book. It is a constant battle to find the time and space to write. There are a number of books inside me waiting to be written. At times I find this very frustrating. Writing books is not a good occupation for those who are impatient!

What would you say to someone who might be thinking about reading Passion and Fire, and setting out on the journey of knowing God more?

Go for it! Passion and Fire is a book that can help you overcome some of the things that hinder and stop you with on the journey. It will also help ignite passion and hunger for God. If you do go on this greatest of all journeys you have the privilege of knowing that the Creator of heaven and earth is working on your behalf the whole way – He really wants you to know Him. Get around other people who are on the journey and hungry to know God. They will help ignite the passion and fire in your own heart. I am so grateful to the people who did this for me. It forever changed my life.

To enquire about Passion and Fire, or to order copies, please contact us.