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All articles from issue February 2018

March 2018
Reviews > Book

Judged and delivered — spiritual lessons from the times of the Judges

This is an excellent exposition of Judges, written by the pastor of an English-speaking church in Switzerland. Based on a sermon series, it is readable yet comprehensive; warm in tone, yet forthright in exhortation. Judges covers an early period in biblical history. It traces the 350 years between the conquest of Canaan under Joshua and the establishment of a monarchy under King Saul. It was a dark period in Israel’s history, with many bouts of apostasy and foreign oppression. Each of the 30 chapters covers a particular passage from Judges. Introductions usually precede subheadings that are then expounded. For example, a chapter on the Angel...

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

Essentials: the heart of the Christian Faith

This is a very short book, with just 35 pages of text, designed to explain the “Essentials” of Christianity to unbelievers. It’s based on verses from Luke’s gospel. It’s split into 5 parts, entitled Reveal, Reject, Rescue, Relationship, and Response; these cover the main bases of the gospel – who is God, what is sin, how are we saved from it, what does a relationship with God involve, and a call to follow him. It goes into the Trinity, doesn’t shy away from the reality of hell, and there is a clear statement about how Christ’s death is necessary to save us. It finishes with...

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

The Pursuit: The Work of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism

I needed to read this book. So might you, if you feel discouraged about your evangelistic efforts and need extra impetus to say those things you know to be important, yet never get round to saying. Mike Mellor is a man with an evangelist’s heart. This book is his heart and soul. It is infectious, or at least we should find it to be. Written in an appealing and accessible style, the book encourages the timid, stirs up the lethargic, and focuses every one of us on the noble work of winning souls. The language is plain and straightforward. Both recent and long-standing converts will...

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life

Taking a step back from the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of parenting, Harriet Connor explores the bigger picture of what the goal of raising our children is. This is not an instruction manual, but rather an exposition on the Bible’s theology of parenting. Some of the areas the author explores are the purpose of life and parenting; our parenting in relation to the Fall; the values Christianity upholds, and passing those on to our children; and finally, having a look at the Christian family, both the family unit and the wider church family. As a Christian parent, this book didn’t say anything particularly new and revolutionary;...

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

The Truth About Hell

“‘Hell’ may be a very popular word, but hell is a hugely unpopular subject” (p.5). So writes Blanchard in his introduction to this helpful little book. We may not want to think or speak about hell, but we must discover what the Bible says on this serious topic. A clear grasp of the truth about hell will stir us up to pray and to urge hell-bound people to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. John Blanchard has already written a full-length volume about hell, but this brief treatment meets an important need. Its five short chapters are excellently written; they are engaging, concise and thoroughly...

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

The Truth about Hell

This is a lightweight booklet dealing with a heavy subject: hell. The author divides his subject into headings. Hell is: factual, fearful, fair; final. We are then given (in the shortest chapter) the way of escape. This subject should concern all Christians. It naturally stirs concern for those most close to us: family, loved ones and friends. It should, however, also raise concern for the rest of humanity. In the words of one well-known preacher, ‘If we are not concerned for the souls of our family, we are but monsters’. Many preachers have, shamefully, preached hell almost with a sense of joy and delight rather...

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March 2018
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Tackling Mental Illness Together

Geoff Thomas, in his recommendation of this title, writes: ‘This is a unique book, coming from a qualified, experienced and deeply thoughtful man, dealing with a subject demanding much insight, compassion and also plain speaking’. Alan Thomas is a consultant psychiatrist and church elder. He knows that churches find within their congregations all sorts of people and are often perplexed in dealing with them. ‘Is this man mentally ill? Perhaps he’s depressed? Should we tell him that he needs professional help? If he is receiving this, should we back off from trying to help him ourselves?’ This book gives clear biblical guidance on these matters....

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March 2018
Reviews > Book

True Love Interactive Bible Study – Leader’s Book

These booklets are a resource for those leading young people’s Bible study groups. They comprise a leader’s manual and accompanying student handbooks. It is a course based on an earlier book by Chris Richards and Liz Jones, published in 2014 and carrying the same title. The purpose is to provide Christian young people with a biblical foundation for courtship. While the focus is on courtship, the study looks at its context and therefore covers a range of topics. There are studies on singleness, marriage, sex within marriage, honouring God in courtship, sexual temptation and complementarity. Other associated issues are dealt with, but not in the...

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