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Everything in April 2014 issue

News

April 2014
News

Page 3 campaign

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has joined more than 135,000 people and organisations in the ‘No more page 3’ campaign, which aims to remove nude images from The Sun newspaper. The newspaper, which since November 1970 has featured a topless woman on what is usually the second most important page in any news publication, recently…

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News

April 2014
News

Persecution in Algeria

A Christian convert in Algeria has been threatened with death for his faith, a report from Morning Star News has claimed. Ali Touahir, 52, from the northern Algerian city of Tizi Ouzou, became a Christian in 2012 after a friend introduced him to the gospel, and was baptised on 29 December that year. In…

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News

April 2014
News > Youth Features

Snakes – designed to kill?

Snakes today not only move about in various ways, but they have diversified into numerous species over the several thousand years since the Great Flood. All are complex creatures, with specialised bodies and mouths well suited to their particular niches and diets — all are carnivores. Some of the different ways in which snakes…

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Christian Institute

News

April 2014
News

Christian Institute

God’s common grace was one of the themes of ‘Issues facing Christians today’ — a Christian Institute (CI) roadshow, held at Witard Road Baptist Church, Norwich, in late January. Three members of the CI’s team presented the biblical principles of common grace, set against examples of the different kinds of work they are involved with. Updates…

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News

April 2014
News

Reach Beyond

HCJB Global has changed its name to Reach Beyond, as it celebrates more than 80 years of ministry and its 100th radio station. According to the charity, which started life in 1931 when Clarence Jones set up a 200-watt table-top, radio station in Ecuador, it is now ‘maximising increasing technology in media and healthcare…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Latimer’s Sermon of the plough

The late fifteenth century was a desperately dark time of spiritual ignorance dominated by Roman Catholicism. There were probably only a few pockets of true Christian believers, in particular among the Lollards and those who followed John Wycliffe. It was into this religious context that Hugh Latimer was born, around 1485, in the county…

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News

April 2014
News

Tunisia

The Tunisian government has adopted a new constitution that will guarantee freedom of worship and enshrine male and female equality. According to a statement from advocacy group and charity Barnabas Fund, the document, which was agreed on 26 January, should give hope to Tunisia’s tiny Christian minority. Barnabas Fund claimed the text was finalised,…

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News

April 2014
News

‘Massive cultural change’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Church of England (CofE) synod that there has to be ‘massive cultural change’ over attitudes to sexuality and women bishops. Archbishop Justin Welby spoke of his recent trips to the Anglican Communion in various African countries and said, if those churches could flourish without fear, then so…

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News

April 2014
News

‘Operation Trojan Horse’

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is investigating a suspected Islamist plot to oust head teachers at schools in Birmingham and replace them with Muslims, the BBC has revealed. A letter leaked to the BBC, which details a plan called ‘Operation Trojan Horse’, was allegedly sent from someone in Birmingham to a contact…

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News

April 2014
News

Passages

What comes to mind when you look at your Bible? Is it a gift from someone special, a family heirloom, or a daily source of inspiration? For Christians the Bible is God-breathed and the final authority on matters of life and godliness. When I think of my Bible lying on my desk, next to…

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News

April 2014
News

Gideons

Two university-run hotels in the US have been persuaded by an atheist group to remove Gideon Bibles from guest rooms. Following complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), hotel rooms run by Iowa State University and the University of Wisconsin will no longer feature Gideon Bibles. The FFRF had been pressurising the University…

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News

April 2014
News

Ukrainian flash-point

Christians around the world are watching to see what a Baptist preacher will now do, as the Ukrainian crisis intensifies after Russia’s de facto annexation of Crimea. On Twitter, Facebook, blogs and web forums, Christians from all denominations and all countries have been expressing their support and prayers for Oleksandr Turchynov, the politician and…

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News

April 2014
News

India persecution

Some 4000 people have died in India in 2013 as a result of anti-Christian violence, a report has said. According to a report by the Catholic Christian Secular Forum (CSF), in association with the Evangelical Fellowship of India, Global Council of Indian Christians and All India Christian Council, there were 200 major incidents including…

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News

April 2014
News

Prostitution

The purchasing of sexual services should be made a criminal offence, charity CARE has said. Speaking as a group of MPs published cross-party recommendations, as part of the anti-trafficking debates in parliament, Noala Leach, chief executive of CARE, said it was important to enshrine these recommendations in law, in order to help vulnerable women…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

What did the Reformers believe about the age of the earth? (1)

All Christians believe that God the Father Almighty is the maker of heaven and earth. This belief is like a great river that runs through Christian history. It distinguishes Christianity from other forms of spirituality. Yet within this river there have been two streams of thought about how to understand Genesis: the allegorical reading…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘I thirst’ (John 19:28)

It is surely understandable why the Lord Jesus experienced terrible, raging thirst while he hung on the cross. He had suffered much blood loss; and also, before the unusual noontime darkness when ‘the sun’s light failed’ (Luke 23:45) (or ‘was eclipsed’, margin), he had been hanging in the fierce heat, as the sun beat…

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Article

April 2014
Interviews

The big interview – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

  Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was the 106th bishop of Rochester, until his resignation in 2009. He is now president of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD). Before Sheila Marshall’s interview, for ET, of Bishop Michael, he casually remarked how four trees had just fallen in his garden, barely missing his…

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Article

April 2014
Cults and other religions

Esoteric evolution – an overview (2)

Barbara Marx Hubbard, a New Age leader, wrote prolifically on the evolution of a unified human consciousness and Carl Jung envisioned psychotherapy as a means of facilitating it. During the twentieth century, some sought this goal through altered states of consciousness achieved by meditation (contemplation), drugs or even contact with the spirit world. And,…

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News

April 2014
News

Watford arson attack

Derby Road Baptist Church, Watford, has been the subject of an arson attack, although it is not yet clear if it was religiously motivated. Pastor Tom Forryan was the one to discover it. In his words: ‘I discovered it myself at 9.30am on Saturday 1 February. As I was walking past, a member of…

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News

April 2014
News

OAC Streetwise

With the colder months, one ambitious Christian group looked forward to the prospect of getting out on the streets. Motivated to preach the gospel, they were participants of a practical course, ‘Streetwise’, conducted by OAC Ministries (Open Air Campaigners). Streetwise aims to equip anyone who wants to share their faith individually or as part…

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Hayes ladies’ day

News

April 2014
News

Hayes ladies’ day

This years’ ladies conference at Hayes Town Chapel was on the subject of personal evangelism, and our guest speaker was Daphne Ross from Farnham Baptist Church. She divided the day into three parts. She talked first on preparing ourselves to evangelise. She based this on 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, saying that all believers are called…

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News

April 2014
News

SALT in Scotland

‘And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers’(Acts 2:42). At the SALT youth conference this February we dissected this text, piece by piece, looking at the theme of devotion. Josh Williamson’s ‘Devoted to doctrine’ session was a challenge to see that doctrine has…

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News

April 2014
News

North Korea

An Australian missionary in his 70s has been released by North Korean officials after signing a declaration of guilt. According to reports from international advocacy group Barnabas Fund, John Short, who lives in China, was arrested in February this year for distributing Christian leaflets at a Buddhist temple. He was freed on 3 March…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

The anointing! (1)

‘The anointing! This is the whole thing, isn’t it?’ That is what I heard Paul Cain say some ten years ago at a nearby Pentecostal church. Rev. Paul Cain is a big name among the so-called Kansas City Prophets, along with a number of others like Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, John Paul…

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News

April 2014
News

Child Bill

Scotland has approved controversial plans to create state-appointed guardians for all children in the country, despite strong opposition from family groups and other organisations. The new rules were brought in to create more protection for children in vulnerable situations, with the aim of preventing suffering in abusive families. According to proponents of the laws,…

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Article

April 2014
Kenya

Return to Wasat, Kenya

It was my privilege at the end of 2013 to be able to return to the area known as Pokot North, in the remote north west of Kenya. This region is over 12 hours’ drive away from Nairobi, and many of the roads to it are very poor, with some being little more than…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > World Mission

Facing up to being a missionary

Are missionaries still needed in the world today? Since I was converted in a Chinese church in Singapore during my two years of national service in the army, I have always had an interest in cross-cultural evangelism. As a new Christian, I started witnessing by giving out Chinese tracts in Chinatown at the back…

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News

April 2014
News

India’s widows

Widows in India face poverty, isolation and fear, the Bible Society of India has claimed, as it highlighted their plight, to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. The Hope Givers’ programme, run by the Bible Society of India, aims to help tens of thousands of widows in India each year to lift themselves…

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News

April 2014
News

Heavy-handed tactics

A court has dropped charges against a retired teacher, who had been ordered by a female police constable to stop preaching outside a court house in Banbury. According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), Bill Edwards, 73, had been preaching outside the Banbury Magistrates Court House, but ordered to move on after some people…

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News

April 2014
News

Smacking ban

The Welsh Assembly has rejected calls for a ban on smacking, Simon Calvert has said. The deputy director of public affairs for the Christian Institute (CI) welcomed the move by parliamentarians to reject an amendment that would have criminalised parental smacking. Thirty-nine assembly members voted against the amendment, with 14 in favour and one…

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News

April 2014
News

Persecution in India

Some 4,000 people have died in India in 2013 as a result of anti-Christian violence, a report has said. According to a report by the Catholic Christian Secular Forum (CSF), in association with the  Evangelical Fellowship of India, Global Council of Indian Christians and All India Christian Council, there were 200 major incidents, including…

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News

April 2014
News

Persecution in Egypt

A Christian convert who gained fame after suffering persecution during the previous regime has been arrested and held, Release International has claimed. The Christian charity, which aims to serve persecuted Christians across the world, has urged Egypt to release Mohammed Hegazy, who has been detained for allegedly attempting to report that Christians in the…

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News

April 2014
News

A house divided

Britain believes the situation in Ukraine may escalate ahead of a vital referendum in the Crimea, and has called nationals back to home shores. This week, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned all British citizens in the Crimean peninsula to leave with immediate effect. A warning notice posted on the government website…

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News

April 2014
News

Itinerant Preaching Network

Two inaugural meetings have been held on Saturday mornings in Cardiff and Swansea for men engaged in itinerant preaching. More than 30 men attended these fledgling Itinerant Preachers Network (IPN) gatherings, which are designed to equip, support and connect those engaged in this ministry, and to encourage prayer for each other and Christ’s church…

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News

April 2014
News

Egypt

A Christian convert who gained fame after suffering persecution during the previous regime has been arrested and held, Release International has claimed. The Christian charity, which aims to serve persecuted Christians across the world, has urged Egypt to release Mohammed Hegazy, who has been detained for allegedly attempting to report that Christians in the…

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News

April 2014
News

Needham Holiday Bible Club

The theme for the Holiday Bible Club at Needham Market Evangelical Church during February half-term was the Sower, the Samaritan and the Son. In the first session, the Lord’s parables were introduced as ‘earthly stories with heavenly meanings’. Although great crowds heard them told, they were only explained to the disciples, yet we are blessed today…

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News

April 2014
News

West Park Church, Wolverhampton

On Saturday 18 January, there was a service of thanksgiving at West Park. Church members, accompanied by guests and friends from as far afield as Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Wiltshire, recalled and rejoiced in God’s goodness to the church, particularly during the three-and-a-half years since Ian Harrison, the previous minister, stood down from the ministry.…

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News

April 2014
News

Pastor for Hanney Chapel

A village chapel on the brink of closure 16 years ago has appointed a full-time pastor. Mark Fisher, 27-year-old former assistant minister at Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff, is the first full-time pastor at Hanney Chapel, Oxfordshire, for 60 years. More than 200 people, including a double-decker coach load of 70 from the Heath church,…

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News

April 2014
News

Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been asked to hand over full copies of all emails and other documents relating to his involvement in a ban on a Christian charity’s bus advertisement. This followed a decision in February by Master of the Rolls Sir John Dyson for the High Court to re-investigate, after…

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Historical

April 2014
Articles > Historical

Christ or Hitler?

It’s hard to imagine now what the influence of the Gestapo was like … This state police was a giant organisation, which monitored the whole of life in Germany. We often asked ourselves whether the Gestapo were omniscient or not? They liked to spread the aura of ‘We know all’. They knew a lot.…

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News

April 2014
News

Social action

A gathering of Christians involved in community action during February called for a change to the laws governing betting shops and payday loan companies. The gathering in London, called ‘The Summit’, also pledged to increase donations to the Vauxhall Foodbank and to campaign for fairness for Britons living on or below the poverty line.…

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Hiding God’s Word in our hearts

Article

April 2014
Articles > Comment

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts

Most Scripture memory schemes concentrate on individual verses that emphasise certain key truths. But I came across a method some time ago, by Dr Andrew Davis, that has a much bigger vision: to memorise not just a verse here and there, but whole chapters and even books. Can we be motivated to such a…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Does God suffer with us? (and how that question is misunderstood) (1)

The memory of ‘the war supposed to end all wars’ has raised big questions for many theologians over what God is actually like. Christian men and women grappling with the sheer scale of suffering throughout the last 100 years have often searched hard for answers to the horrors of the Somme, Auschwitz, Darfur and…

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Historical

April 2014
Articles > Historical

Henry Havelock – ‘every inch a soldier and every inch a Christian’ (1)

In the south-east corner of Trafalgar Square stands a guano-spattered statue, not long ago the object of the then Mayor of London’s ire, who threatened to remove this relic of empire and replace it with something more ‘relevant’. On its plinth is this stirring declaration: ‘Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your…

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Two Thieves

Article

April 2014
Evangelistic

Two Thieves

‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed [Jesus], saying, If you are the Christ, save yourself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but…

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News

April 2014
News

Gambling

The government has stepped back from banning illegal gambling sites from accessing UK consumers. During a Gambling Bill Report Stage debate in the House of Lords, Baroness Howe’s amendment addressing the need to prevent illegal gambling sites accessing UK consumers was voted down by 185 to 171, although the government will look at ways…

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News

April 2014
News

Thirty pieces

Christians have been challenged to tackle corruption, in all its forms, as part of their preparation for Easter. In booklet called Thirty pieces of silver, written by theologian Dr Paula Gooder for the Bible Society, Christians have been asked to look afresh at Lenten events in relation to ending corruption. Ms Gooder, theologian-in-residence for…

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News

April 2014
News

Sochi

An American Christian skier celebrated a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the men’s freestyle skiing, halfpipe competition, but said he felt called to be a minister. According to a report from the Christian Institute, 23-year-old David Wise, who is married and has a two-year-old daughter, was already the world champion going into…

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Article

April 2014
Articles > Guest column

When he comes – Guest Column

The promise is clear, when the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world. About what? Jesus Christ says, about sin, righteousness and judgement (John 16:8ff). The word translated ‘convict’ points to facts for which there will be ample evidence. What facts? By nature we are in the wrong. In particular we have wrong…

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Article

April 2014
Cyprus

Progress in North Cyprus

Just over 29 years ago, on the first Sunday in February 1965, a little family of six gathered in their sparsely furnished front room and praised God together on their first Lord’s Day in their new country. The words of the hymn that they had sung with all the well-wishers at Darlington station, a…

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News

April 2014
News

Larger churches helping smaller churches.

A village chapel on the brink of closure 16 years ago has appointed a full-time pastor. Mark Fisher, 27-year-old former assistant minister at Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff, is the first full-time pastor at Hanney Chapel, Oxfordshire, for 60 years.  More than 200 people, including a double-decker coach load of 70 from the Heath church,…

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14 Words from Jesus

Review

April 2014
Reviews > Book

14 Words from Jesus

14 Words from Jesus J M Boice & P G Ryken Christian Focus Publications 160, £7.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-205-8 Star Rating: 5 When this book first arrived, its unassuming size and presentation meant that I allowed the busy-ness of life to delay my reading. This was a mistake. When I finally did open it, I…

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Rebels Rescued

Review

April 2014

Rebels Rescued

Rebels Rescued Brian Cosby Christian Focus Publications 112, £5.99 ISBN: 978-1-84550-980-4 Star Rating: 3 This book is a foreign buffet, where the restaurant gives you a little taste of everything to introduce you to the palette. Here the strong and simple flavours of Reformed theology are laid out in appetising style and bite-size amount.…

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Safe? How can we be sure of God’s love

Review

April 2014

Safe? How can we be sure of God’s love

Safe? How can we be sure of God’s love Frank Retief Christian Focus Publications 144, £5.99 ISBN: 978-1-84550-970-5 Star Rating: 4 Have you ever felt that you are not good enough for God? Do you live in some fear that he might never accept you, or even reject you? Do you perhaps think that God’s…

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PT Resources – Teaching Numbers

Review

April 2014

PT Resources – Teaching Numbers

PT Resources – Teaching Numbers Adrian Reynolds Christian Focus Publications 304, £8.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-156-3 Star Rating: 4 This is the twelfth book in the ‘From text to message’ series by the Proclamation Trust and a welcome addition. The aim of the series is to give preachers, teachers, Bible study leaders and youth workers much…

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Confessing Jesus as Lord

Review

April 2014

Confessing Jesus as Lord

Confessing Jesus as Lord Terry ChrisopeChristian Focus Publications352 pages, £12.99ISBN: 978-1-84550-962-0Star Rating : 3 This book is a fascinating exploration of the significance of the first and simplest of all Christian statements of faith: ‘Jesus is Lord’. The argument of the book can be stated in three points. First, God is Lord of all.…

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God’s Needle

Review

April 2014

God’s Needle

God’s needle L. Gaynor & J. Butterworth Monarch (Lion Hudson), 208 pages, £8.99 ISBN: 978-0-85721-456-0 Star Rating : 4 This book was published on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade. A biography of one of their missionaries is a good way to mark this important milestone. Convinced from an…

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Ardent Love for Jesus

Review

April 2014

Ardent Love for Jesus

Ardent Love for JesusMichael A G HaykinBryntirion Press160, £0.00ISBN: 978-1-85049-248-1Star Rating: 5 This book is a delight to read. With a rare combination of an American author writing about English Baptists and being inspired by a revival conference in Wales, it has to be good! The subtitle is ‘Learning from the eighteenth-century Baptist revival’,…

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Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism

Review

April 2014

Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism

Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism Brian Stanley IVP 290, £19.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-621-7 Star Rating: 4   This is the fifth volume in the series,‘A history of evangelicalism’, produced under the general editorship of Professors David Bebbington and Mark Noll. The author is well known as a historian of twentieth-century evangelicalism. As anticipated, therefore, Prof. Brian Stanley…

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God’s Greatest Blessing

Review

April 2014

God’s Greatest Blessing

God’s greatest blessing Frank AllredGrace Publications208 pages, £8.99ISBN: 978-0-94646-288-9Star rating : 2 The doctrine of the Christian’s adoption as a child of God has well been described as our highest blessing. Frank Allred suggests that adoption embraces all of the other blessings of the gospel and likens it to the invisible steel framework that…

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Review

April 2014
Reviews > Book

Bitesize Biography – Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer Richard M. Hannula EP Books, 128 pages, £6.99 ISBN: 978-0-85234-304-4 This concise Bitesize Biography of Hugh Latimer is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Its subject was the foremost preacher of the English Reformation. Each chapter summarises a significant section of Latimer’s life, beginning with his conversion at Cambridge University, where, after strongly opposing…

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