I am currently writing  God’s Word of Truth: Believing, Understanding, and Responding to the Bible.


“Brother Boatman” A Man of Conviction Who Led by Serving details the life and ministry of Don Earl Boatman, long-time president of Ozark Bible College (now Ozark Christian College) in Joplin, Missouri.

Strong convictions and servant leadership guided Don Earl Boatman as he led Ozark Bible College (now Ozark Christian College) in Joplin, Missouri, from 86 students to a peak enrollment of 803 in his twenty-seven-year presidency. The college emphasized biblical studies, preaching, evangelism, missions, and Christian service.

Learn of Don Earl and Gail Boatman’s early lives, his ministries and education, his career as a Bible college professor and president, and his priorities and principles for a Bible college. Why did he step aside from the presidency? Learn about the transition to Ken Idleman, his successor. What role did Mrs. Boatman take in his ministry and the life of the college? You will be inspired and challenged to live by your convictions and to serve others.

Books may be ordered from:

Ozark Christian College Bookstore, 1111 N. Main St., Joplin, MO 64801. The price of the book is $15.00. Shipping would be an additional charge.

What readers are saying:

“I read it from cover to cover with deep appreciation for your format and wonderful stories it contains capturing his values and spirit.” Roger Boatman, son of Don Earl and Gail Boatman

“After reading this book, people should be able to say, Now I feel like I know Brother Boatman.'” Sam E. Stone

“What an enjoyable, nostalgic read! Having known he Boatmans since 1952, we are thrilled to see them honored in this way.” James and Marje Taylor

“Dr. Lynn Gardner has done us a great service by documenting and articulating the convictions and servant leadership of Brother Boatman–the essence of his legacy.” Ken Idleman

“Theology is at its best as biography, when we see God’s truth lived. Dr. Gardner has shown us the the life of Brother Boatman what Christlike service looks like.” Matt Proctor

“What an interesting book about a fascinating life!” Dr. Garland Bare

“What a beautiful book of memories! It means so much to me. I’ll never forget the influence that man had on my life. his spirit was certainly the Spirit of Christ. Nell was a freshman at OBC the year he came, so we’ve known him for a long, long time.”  Bob Stacy

Commending & Defending Christian Faith: An Introduction to Christian Apologetics (College Press, 2010).

This how-to-think about apologetics is designed to prepare the reader to:

  •  Be prepared to deal with doubt and unbelief.
  •  Be acquainted with the role of thinking, knowing, truth, and faith in    apologetics.
  •  Know why we should defend the faith and how the faith can  be      defended.
  • Learn from defenders of the faith in the New Testament and church history.
  • Gain practical suggestions and guidelines for giving a defense of your faith.
“. . . an excellent introduction to apologetics.” Norman L. Geisler, Veritas Evangelical Seminary
“. . . specifically crafted for convenient use as a college textbook. . . . can be required along with a second text of Christian evidences to create a well-rounded approach to this subject.” Gary R. Habermas, Liberty University
“His handling of the introductory and background issues . . . is thorough, sound, and much needed.” Jack Cottrell, Cincinnati Christian University
“. . . contemporary and timeless introduction to the field that is both scholarly and devotional.” David Peters, Florida Christian College
“. . . strong defense of the concept of objective truth from God.” Johnny Pressley, Cincinnati Christian University
“. . . mandatory reading for preachers, youth ministers, campus ministers, youth workers of all sorts, and anyone else who seek to direct others’ spiritual journey.” David Embree, Missouri State University
Where Is God When We Suffer? What the Bible Says About Suffering (College Press, 2007).

” Where is God?” may be an unbeliever’s taunt of believers or a justification for one unbelief or an anguished cry for understanding. The problem of evil and suffering presents a challenge to belief in good and sovereign God.

This book intends to help persons think biblically about the issues related to suffering. The book is organized into four parts:

  1. A Biblical Approach to Suffering
  2. Facing Suffering with Faith, Joy, and Hope
  3. The Problem of Evil and Suffering
  4. Helping the Hurting


“Scholarly, sensitive and practical. Born of years of biblical research, tempered by personal crises and tested in the crucible of life. The best I’ve read on this topic. A welcome addition to every Christian library.” Wayne Bigelow, medical doctor and minister, Rocklin, CA

“A transparent and inspirational perspective from one who has maintained a strong faith through horrible experiences . . . acknowledges that much suffering occurs because we live in a fallen, painful world.” Bob Russell, minister, Louisville, KY

“A long-time Bible professor, Gardener shares out of his own experience, then does a good joy of surveying biblical insights about suffering. This will be a useful tool as we preach and teach on this subject.” PreachingNOW, Feb. 5, 2008.

“A valuable overview of the biblical teaching on suffering. Many lessons are illustrated from the writer’s own life as he face the death of a son, pulmonary fibrosis in both of his lungs and his wife’s cancer.” Sam E. Stone, editor and minister, Cincinnati, OH


“Brother Wilson” The Life and Work of Seth Wilson (College Press, 2007).

Seth Wilson, founding dean, shaped Ozark Bible College, now Ozark Christian College, more than any other person in the more than fifty years he served with the college. The reader will learn his ideas and principles on teaching and leadership.

Catch glimpses of his childhood, his conversion, and his student days, the early days of the college in Arkansas, and its move to Joplin. Observe his leadership in the college’s history.

See him as a teacher and learn his ideas about the mission, curriculum, faculty, and spirit of the Bible college. Read his quotable sayings and tributes from co-workers and students.


“Seth Wilson’s philosophy shaped Ozark Christian College. His writings impacted multiplied thousands. Lynn Gardner knew Seth Wilson like few others. In this carefully-researched biography you will get to know the real Seth Wilson through this warm personal look at his influential life.” Sam E. Stone, former editor of Christian Standard (1978-2003)

“For over half a century, Seth Wilson was the heart and soul of Ozark Christian College. His impassioned teaching and convictions left an indelible mark on thousands of Christians.” Matt Proctor, President, Ozark Christian College

“I am honored to be his ‘twice-born brother,’ and commend this biography of his life to you for your edification and inspiration.” John Wilson, retired minister and Seth Wilson’s older brother.

“The principles and convictions of Ozark Christian college . . . fascinating and motivating to read. . . . a very informative biography.” Mark Scott, Academic Dean, Ozark Christian College (1998-2001)


Choosing a Commentary: A Review of New Testament Resources (College Press, 2006)

Commentaries are listed on each book of the New Testament with a brief annotation. Under each New Testament book commentaries are listed under the headings: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

There is no “best” commentary on a given book because no one book can serve the specific needs of every individual. Hopefully, this list will help the reader identify a commentary or commentaries that best fits his or her needs.


“A helpful tool in guiding and helping Bible students discern which commentaries would be the most beneficial for their particular task and context. I highly recommend that one include it in their personal library.” Doug Aldridge, Academic Dean, Ozark Christian College

“Fair, well researched, and indispensable for New Testament preachers. It should help leaders stretch their book budgets by limiting their wish lists to the best resources.” John Hunter, Librarian, Ozark Christian College

“Awesome. . . . forty years of experience and knowledge in one small book. . . . an invaluable resource . . . a must for every Bible teacher.” Robert A. Higgins, Sunday School Teacher, Joplin, MO


Christianity Stands True: A Common Sense Look at the Evidence (College Press, 1994).

A non-technical presentation of evidence supporting the truth of the Christian faith. The book is organized into five parts:

  1. The New Testament Stands True as History
  2. Jesus Stands True as the Son of God
  3. The Bible Stands True as the Word of God
  4. God Stands True in the Universe
  5. Christianity Stands True in Life

The book has appeared in four printings and has been translated into six other languages.


“Christianity Stands True by Gardner is an excellent introduction to Christian apologetics. The book is quick moving…it holds the reader’s attention. Dr. Gardner’s writing style…weaves humor in with some heavy content. He also has researched his topic well as is evidenced by the notes.” James Stambaugh, Librarian, Institute for Creation Research

“In presenting this material Lynn Gardner does a remarkable job of explaining even complex problems with clarity, humor and apt illustrations that add up to a fascinating and convincing case for the truth in Christianity. Pastors, Sunday school teachers and lay persons who are concerned to meet the intellectual challenge of unbelievers will find this book invaluable. We need to be ready to give a reason for the hope within us to all those who deep down inside themselves know they need and, in fact, deeply long for the very message we Christians want to give them.” From the Foreword,  Kenneth Kantzer, Trinity Christian University.

Ozark Christian College: A Vision of teaching the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ (Ozark Christian College, 1992).

Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, has continued its mission of training men and women for Christian service since its beginning as Ozark Bible College in 1942 in Bentonville, Arkansas. This book traces the history of the college in its first fifty years.

The work is organized into six parts:

  1. An Earlier Ozark Christian College, 1938-1942
  2. The Vision Established, 1942-1952
  3. The Vision Developed, 1952-1963
  4. The Vision Expanded, 1963-1979
  5. The Vision Reaffirmed, 1979-1990
  6. The Vision Past, Present and Future


“. . . an excellent, well-documented history. . . . sensitive to both the travail and the joy of the founding and development of the College. The reader will share the exuberance of the author as he races the education and nurturing of so many laborers and messengers of the Word.”   Edwin B. Strong, President, 1946-1951

” . . . a thrilling account of men and women who dreamed of a Christian college and through prayers, trials, sacrifices, hardship, discouragement and opposition eventually saw victory beyond their highest hopes.”     Don  Earl Boatman, President, 1952-1979

” . . . interesting, challenging and even entertaining. I read it in a week-end. My mind was stimulated, my convictions were deepened and my heart was warmed. God’s hand has been on Ozark Christian College through the years, as revealed in this well-documented and well-written work.” Ken Idleman, President, 1979-2006

“in this major work, search for information has been incredibly diligent and thorough. Dr. Gardner has respected all the witnesses and sources of information, and has been entirely fair to let them make the record as clear as possible. Consider well the principles, ideals and goals which the story emphasizes and illustrates.” Seth Wilson, Academic Dean, 1942-1979, Academic Dean Emeritus, 1979-2006.

Books Out of Print:

Twenty-Six Lessons on Luke, Part I (Luke 1-12) (College Press, 1990).

Learning from God’s Word, co-written with Seth Wilson (College Press, 1989).

Books Edited by Lynn Gardner:

The Mind of Christ: A Tribute to Seth Wilson: Spiritual Leadership for New Testament Christianity (College Press, 1987).

Essays offered in appreciation to Seth Wilson including seven essays from the pen of Seth Wilson.

Learning from Jesus by Seth Wilson (College Press, 1977).

Ninety-three essays relating to the Gospels taken from Seth Wilson’s voluminous writings.

Book in Honor of Lynn Gardner:

A Humble Defense: Evidence for the Christian Faith: A Special Tribute Honoring Dr. Lynn Gardner, edited by Mark Scott and Mark Moore (College Press, 2004).

A Humble Defense: Evidence for the Christian Faith

Essays on topics relating to the defense of the Christian faith by former student, colleagues, and others associated with Lynn Gardner.




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