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All articles from issue October 2018

October 2018
Reviews > Book

Adam: The First and the Last. Responding to modern attacks on Adam and Christ

This book was written in order to present histories of some of the Cambridge University Reformation martyrs. It provides varied portraits of men who grew into outstanding Christians. Some of them are well known, such as Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer. Others include John Frith, Thomas Bilney, Robert Ferrar and Thomas Gusgate. The book is very informative, hiding nothing about the men concerned. Cranmer’s inability to take a stand against Henry VIII over several issues (including the way Anne Boleyn was treated) puts into even greater contrast his later witness and the superb Prayer Book which he left us. Ferrar’s unquenchable goodness of...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

Jesus Through the Old Testament: Transform your Bible understanding

The whole Bible presents Jesus, but do we always perceive him? Graeme sets out to help Christians see the centrality of Jesus to the Old Testament (OT). The book is in two halves, the first covering how to see Jesus in Scripture’s bigger picture, while the second provides more practical application. The first few chapters are spent setting out the plan of the Bible, assuring readers that the Old and New Testaments form one book, not two. We are reminded how Jesus and the apostles viewed the Scriptures. It is good to remember that the whole Bible is profitable and that Jesus can be seen...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

What are We Doing Here?

The distinguished American author of these essays was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama and has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She is widely respected among conservative evangelical figures on both sides of the Atlantic. The fifteen essays in this collection are mainly edited versions of lectures delivered at universities in the US and elsewhere. They vary considerably in length, and though some are more academic than others, the entirety remains engaging and accessible to general readers. Robinson writes from the perspective of one thoroughly immersed in Puritan history and literature. She aims to refute the hopelessly shallow and pejorative manner in...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

Universe – Time, Space, Life, God

Everyone has questions on big issues. This title provides fascinating insights into four common areas of such questions: time, space, life and God. The four areas are addressed separately, each section giving scientific details (where relevant) as well as quotations from great scientists, thinkers, writers and theologians. The reader’s thinking is challenged and the light of biblical teaching is shed along the way. In terms of layout, each topic is split into many small sections with subheadings and illustrations. For example, when a person is quoted there is usually a picture of them or a picture/diagram of something else relevant. This can make the book...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

The Long Night: A True Story

This book is Bornstein’s account of his experience of the Holocaust. He was first incarcerated in September 1938 (aged 15) and was finally liberated by American soldiers in April 1945. It is a harrowing account of suffering, opening with a family tree revealing just five survivors from over 60 original members. Bornstein shows the idyllic, loving closeness of a family life centred on regular family worship shattered when Germany invaded Poland. From then on, life would never be the same. Like me, you may be unfamiliar with names like Grunheide, Markstadt, Funfteichen, Grossrosen, Flossenburg, Leonberg and Muhldorf. But, as you read the accounts of these...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

The Fear of God

In days when any true understanding of the fear of God is in short supply, this challenging book calls us to wonder again at the character and glory of God and rebukes our careless and sloppy attitudes to his holiness and mercy. The Fear of God is the title of the fifth of John Bunyan’s lesser-known writings published as separate books by the Banner of Truth. It deals with a subject that springs directly from Bunyan’s own experience during his long and painful search for assurance of faith recorded in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. So afraid was he of God and his...

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October 2018
Reviews > Book

The Gospel-Shaped Life

Some readers may be familiar with Ian Hamilton’s earlier work, The Faith-Shaped Life — a series of 43 short pieces examining dimensions of our faith as believers in Jesus. The Gospel-Shaped Life follows the same pattern. It aims ‘to explore the multi-faceted character of the gospel and to show how the gospel comes to shape every aspect and detail of our lives’ (p.xi). The author is concerned that our understanding of the gospel should not begin and end with John 3:16. ‘The gospel,’ he says, ‘is not one iota less than John 3:16; but it is very much more’ (p.xi). It is this ‘more’ to...

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September 2018
Reviews > Book

The Doctor Who Became a Preacher: Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Banner Board Books)

This is a cracking little board book for reading to very young children. It shows how doctors help people who are sick, before relating how Martyn Lloyd-Jones chose to preach the good news instead, with many people coming to hear him. Blair Bailie’s bright and attractive illustrations cover eight double pages, including a brilliant cartoon version of ‘the Doctor’! The book concludes, ‘Most preachers do not become well known … But when God keeps them faithful, preachers help people wherever they are’. Matthew Cox Bethersden, Kent

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