Bill Hull, Talbot Seminary graduate, and Founder and President of
“Choose the Life Ministries.” He is one of America’s premier authors on
“discipleship,” with some nineteen books in print, including his popular
trilogy, Jesus Christ Disciple Maker, The Disciple Making Pastor, and The
Disciple Making Church. Bill pastored in the Evangelical Free Church
of America for 20 years, and spent eight years as the U. S. Director for
the Evangelical Free Church of America. He currently writes, teaches,
and serves as adjunct professor at several leading evangelical seminaries.
It is rare and unique for someone to provide such a treasure trove of
great writing; I am so glad Don Ekstrand has done it. He has taken
years to pour through his mind and soul some of the Church’s greatest
truths. I am sure it has done more for Don than anyone else, but it is
a spiritual feast for all that read it. I recall Eugene Peterson lamenting
after attending a contemporary church leadership conference—“All
the God had been sucked out of him.” Peterson went home and read
Karl Barth for several days and it refreshed his soul. I think Don’s
work can do the same for us when so much of our spiritual diet is fast
food-read, and be nourished.
Ronald Youngblood, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Hebrew,
Bethel Seminary San Diego. Dr. Youngblood has been an author, editor
and pastor-teacher for more than fifty years. He was one of the translators
of the New International Version (NIV), the executive editor of
the New International reader’s Version (NIrV), and the recipient of a
“Gold Medallion Book Award” by the Evangelical Christian Publishers
“Soul Transformation” is a highly commendable painstaking work by
my longtime friend, Don Ekstrand, one of God’s choice servants. In
it he chronicles the encouraging periods of faith and light and joy in
the Lord, as well as those discouraging periods of doubt and darkness
and despair. His story is the experience of every Christian who truly
wants to know and obey our Lord. Scripturally based and experientially
validated, Ekstrand’s latest book is a must read for every believer.
Darryl DelHousaye, President of Phoenix Seminary, and Pastor Emeritus
of Scottsdale Bible Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he pastored
for some 25 years. Darryl is the author of several books and maintains
a rigorous preaching and teaching schedule.
I recommend “Soul Transformation” to any fellow believer who has
a deep desire to become a growing disciple of Jesus Christ. Maturity
comes with an understanding of the Scriptures and Don Ekstrand has
served us well by taking us on a liberating journey of biblical discipleship.
Your faith will be greatly encouraged through this enlightening
work—be prepared to grow!
Sam Talbert, Talbot Seminary & Dallas Seminary graduate, retired pastor
of 36 years. Sam now serves as a missionary and teacher with Walk Th ru
the Bible, Unveiling Glory Ministries, Perspectives on World Missions,
E3 Partners Mission Organization, and Global Media Outreach
When Don invited me to write a paragraph for his book, “Soul
Transformation,” I figured it to be a simple, straight forward task. I
planned to lay it out and examine it by cruising the perimeter making
observations, much like a spectator observing a football game from the
sidelines. I wasn’t at it more than a few minutes before I realized that
standing on the side lines was simply not a possibility. I found myself
in the middle of the offensive line in a major spiritual battle. As I
looked into the eyes of the enemy across the line, his eyes were full of
anger and his muscles were bulging, and I could see that I was going
to get my spiritual butt kicked on every play. I knew I needed help!
What Don has done for us in this book is not only lay out a training
regimen that insures spiritual victory, but he give us an understanding
of those spiritual dynamics whereby we are able to put the adversary
of our soul on his back side. Through this incredible read, you will
learn to be an overcomer yourself, and an encouragement to all those
around you, thus causing the gospel to move forward.
Scott Wilson, Western Seminary graduate, and the Pastor of Calvary
Church in Foristell, Missouri. Scott has been faithfully serving in the
local church for some 30 years, and together with his wife Shari are the
proud parents of six children who love Jesus.
The writer of Hebrews compares the life of faith to a “race.” Every
Christ follower has a unique race to run that is set before him and
marked out by God. The race each has to run is an extremely challenging
one; it is filled with steep uphill climbs, difficult and exhausting
terrain, and long stretches that seem to have no end in sight. Our
goal is to run it well with endurance, and Jesus’ goal through it all is
to perfect us and transform our lives into His image. Learning from
the life experiences of some of the greatest saints in the history of the
church, “Soul Transformation” describes how we partner with God to
run this race. Only you can run the race God has for you. The key is
to keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. This book
by Ekstrand will be a treasurehouse of encouragement to you through
all the ups and downs of life.
Steve Barduson, Dallas Seminary graduate, founder and president of
Barduson Architects in Phoenix, and former pastor at a new contemporary
church-plant in Arizona. Today, Steve is one of America’s leading
architects specializing in houses of worship—his functional designs
facilitate worship and community in significant new ways. Steve serves at
a church he designed from the ground up, “Mountain Park Community
Church,” and together with his wife “Maggie” and their five children
reside in Phoenix.
Having known Don for some 30 years, I can say that this book and
its intense topic is also a product of a man of God who has grappled
with its content with a fervent zeal, second only to his love for his
Savior. He lives these words, believes these words, and loves those in
his flock. This significant work on Sanctification is a new generation’s
“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” and “Knowing God.”
Kent Marshall, Talbot Seminary graduate, and Director of the dynamic
campus ministry “International Students Inc.” (ISI) at Texas A&M
University. Kent and his wife Judy have been serving the international
student community now for more than 35 years.
As my best friend in seminary, Don Ekstrand began his spiritual
encouragement in my life nearly forty years ago, and it continues on
in a powerful way with his latest book, “Soul Transformation.” Your
faith and your life will be significantly enriched as you identify with
the spiritual realities presented in this book. Your heart will be fed, and
your soul will be transformed as you ponder these incredible truths.
Scott Brown, Asbury Seminary graduate, and Lead Pastor of New
Valley Presbyterian Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
In “Soul Transformation,” Don provides a feast for hungry and thirsty
souls by summarizing some of the best writings of current and classic
authors on the subject of sanctification by grace, and the reality that
genuine liberation and sanctification comes through living in light of
our justification. I cannot encourage you too much to read this book
again and again!
Jeff Meyer, Phoenix Seminary graduate, Senior Pastor of Arizona
Community Church, Tempe, Arizona.
“Soul Transformation” provides a valuable resource for every Christian
who truly desires to grow and mature through the toughest challenges
of life. Reading and considering the timeless insights and wisdom of
those who have traveled the road of faith long before we have, and
have experienced those painful spiritual realities that are common to
the most committed believers, Ekstrand’s book provides us with a very
clear picture of what that journey is truly all about.
David Brewer, Jerusalem University and Biblical Theological Seminary
graduate. David has been an adjunct professor of OT Hebrew and NT
Greek at several Christian colleges, universities and seminaries for more
than 20 years, and has been on staff with Life in Messiah International
for the past 22 years.
Don was my college pastor in the early 1980s. I regularly thank the
Lord for the impact his excellent Bible teaching had on me spiritually
during those highly formative years. To this day, Don has continued
to impact my life through his masterful work, “Soul Transformation.”
You will find this book a tremendously liberating study on God’s
transforming work of grace in your life.