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Behind the Book

Author - Arnie Cole

Dr. Arnie Cole, CEO of Back to the Bible and Director of Research and Development for the Center for Bible Engagement (CBE), took an unlikely path to ministry.

“Despite growing up in a Christian home, from ages 20 to 47 I cared more about money and pleasure than people,” Arnie says. “I was somewhat of a success by our culture’s standards, but spiritually lost.”

Arnie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University. Prior to joining Back to the Bible, he made a good living as a researcher, having founded and run three California-based organizations that specialized in behavioral and social training for people with severe disabilities and violent behaviors.

In 1997, at the age of 47, Arnie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and told by doctors that if he was lucky, he had three good years left. He retired from the corporate world and devoted himself to his passion—boating.

Soon after, a life-threatening storm off the coast of Alaska changed the course of Arnie’s life. “At that horrifying time, all I could do was cry out to Jesus, trust that He hadn’t given up on me, and then hold on for dear life,” he says.

The storm died down, and Arnie’s life began to change. His doctors gave him a clean bill of health—the Alzheimer’s was gone—and he and his wife started going to church and asking what God had in store for them.

Arnie joined Back to the Bible in 2002. As a researcher, he participated in groundbreaking work at CBE, the ministry’s division addressing Bible illiteracy and engagement. Through CBE, Arnie has provided valuable research and evaluation to assist churches and parachurch organizations in re-evaluating their approach to ministry to be more effective and impactful.

Arnie is utilizing his research findings to lead Back to the Bible in a new direction. Incorporating emerging technology, the organization has shifted its approach from operating almost exclusively as a radio ministry to offering personalized discipleship through mobile tools.

Back to the Bible’s innovative, proprietary goTandem and MoBible systems are tools to reach spiritually lost individuals—particularly young people—and an increasing number of people leaving the Church by encouraging daily Bible reading and engagement.

Arnie is coauthor of two books: UNSTUCK—Your Life. God’s Design. Real Change and TEMPTED, TESTED, TRUE—A Proven Path to Overcoming Soul-Robbing Choices. Both books are based on the analysis of survey research (more than 100,000 to date) and arm readers with tools to revitalize their faith.

Arnie and his wife, Char, live near Lincoln, Neb., and operate Still Waters Ranch, an equestrian center that serves as a community outreach.

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