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Not Peace But a Sword
An Old-fashioned Novel of a Young Minister's Struggles
Author: Vance Havner
Category: Literature, Fiction

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The evangelical spirit and deep personal faith of the author permeate this absorbing story of a young minister's struggles with his first pastorate. Here is the newly appointed Reverend, proud of his assignment to Riverby's most prestigious church with its congregation of lawyers, doctors, merchants and politicians. Why then does he feel vaguely uneasy, and dissatisfied with the type of Christianity he dispenses, troubled by the lack of response among his members?

How this youthful man of the cloth meets his adversaries, and begins to preach and practice New Testament Christianity is what this book is all about. The author knows, from his own experience, what price a real Christian must pay. Turning his back on the smug Establishment and opening his heart to sound doctrine and dedicated living meant estrangement from his comfortable world, meant giving up ideas and people he had held dear. But the Word and Way of God are far more dear than these, and the young minister makes his choice wisely.

About the Author

Vance Houston Havner was born October 17, 1901, in the Western North Carolina locality of Jugtown. Though his ministry eventually took him to major cities throughout America, Dr. Havner maintained a love for the quiet and simple ways of his more rural past. His academic experience began at Hog Hill, Jugtown's schoolhouse. Later, he attended schools such as South Fork Institution, and Boiling Springs High School, which later became Garner-Webb College. He also attended Catawba College, Wake Forest University, and Moody Bible Institute.

Dr. Havner's first pastorate was at the Salem Baptist Church in Weeksville, North Carolina. While serving at Salem Baptist Church, the first of his 38 books was published, By the Still Waters. In 1934, Havner went to Charleston, SC to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church. Later, he was called to an itinerant ministry of evangelism and conference speaking, and it was in this capacity that his greatest contributions were made.

His influence extended to a national level, but Dr. Havner's approach was always to minister where God directed, regardless of the size of the church. His appeal and influence transcended denominational lines, and he spoke to many different groups of people. In addition to preaching in many of America's most influential churches, Dr. Havner was a highly sought speaker for conferences at places such as Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He frequently spoke at both state and national meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In 1973, he was named "Preacher of the Year," by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Protestant leaders from many denominations called Havner, "The Dean of America's Revival Preachers." His unique sense of humor endeared him to many, and Havner could choose the right words to express a truth like no other communicator. He was truly gifted with an ability to phrase a thought in such a way, as to drive home a point with absolute effectiveness. Though Dr. Havner died in 1986, his influence for Christ continues.

Endorsements

Vance Havner was the most quotable preacher I have ever heard.
Warren Wiersbe, author/pastor
No one has done more to stir the fires of revival than Vance Havner.
Billy Graham, American Evangelist
Vance Havner was a prophet of righteousness and revival. His diagnosis of the world and church conditions revealed a supernatural discernment that astounded audiences.
Dr. Stephen Olford(1918-2004), pastor
Vance Havner is one I believe that everyone should read. I doubt that I've preached many messages where I haven't quoted him. His books are hard to find, but worth the search. Wordsearch has all of Havner's books on their computer Bible study program, so no you have no excuse.