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Everything in February 2015 issue

News

February 2015
News

TBS to move

The Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) has secured new premises in Merton, London, just five minutes away from its former premises, Tyndale House. In the October 2014 edition of the TBS Quarterly record, David Broome, resources director for the organisation, said that TBS would be able to occupy the larger of the two units in…

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New Zealand

News

February 2015
News

New Zealand

Every American knows about the Mayflower making landfall in 1620, in what is now called Provincetown, Massachusetts. By contrast, few New Zealanders know what happened in a small inlet in the Northern Bay of Islands 200 years ago. Yet in every sense it was the day that New Zealand came into being. First, a…

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News

February 2015
News

Welsh Assembly chooses life

At the end of last year, the Welsh Assembly rejected Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, by 21 votes to 12, with 20 abstentions.  According to reports, members of the assembly not only rejected the controversial bill, which would pave the way for mercy killing, but even the basic principles of the Bill.  As the…

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News

February 2015
News

OAC Ministries

OAC Ministries (Open Air Campaigners) has begun its course in creative evangelism, called Streetwise, to help people focus on outdoor witness. Meeting together one Saturday monthly, from January to June, in Stratford, London, volunteers will develop their ability to work together as a team on the streets. Personal evangelism, creative illustration on sketchboards, and…

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Article

February 2015
Obituaries

Ray McCabe (1930–2014)

On 28 November 2014, missionary Ray McCabe went to be with the Lord, aged 84, after a battle with cancer. Ray and his wife Nel had been in the Govanhill Free Church of Scotland congregation since he came to Glasgow to work with Christian Witness to Israel (CWI). Mr McCabe had served as Scottish…

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News

February 2015
News

DRC shooting

  A missionary nurse from WEC International has been shot and wounded, just a few days after receiving an OBE for her lifelong service. According to reports, 75-year-old Maud Kells, from Cookstown, County Tyrone, was shot twice in the shoulder by rebels at her home in Mulita, in the north east of the Democratic…

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Article

February 2015
DVD

How to watch a ‘biblical’ movie

With the recent release of Exodus: Gods and Kings following the earlier Noah movie, how should Bible-believing Christians consider engaging a film based on a Bible story? When we watch a normal secular film or TV programme, how do we watch it? For most of us we would make sure the content was appropriate and check…

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Can going to church reduce the risk of dementia?

Article

February 2015
Articles > Comment

Can going to church reduce the risk of dementia?

Simply going to church may be putting off your chance of developing Alzheimer’s. We already know that research shows that ‘people with a faith, who regularly attend a place of worship’ tend to live longer. Commenting on the research, a professor said the evidence was so clear that, although he wasn’t a believer, he…

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News

February 2015
News

Social justice

Churches are providing the moral and spiritual ideas that politics lacks, the head of the Labour party has claimed. During a reception held by Labour leader Ed Miliband, attended by more than 200 church leaders, Mr Miliband said politicians still needed ideas and that is what churches were providing. Organised by Christians on the…

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News

February 2015
News

Lessons from Toronto

Last year, Crich Baptist Church held a conference, called ‘The Toronto Blessing 20 years on: learning lessons from the recent past’. The conference publicity stated, ‘It is 20 years since many churches in the UK experienced a phenomenon that came to be known as “The Toronto Blessing”. ‘Thought by some to be a work…

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News

February 2015
News

Trafficking

Christian charity CARE has welcomed the Northern Ireland Assembly’s unanimous vote to pass a hard-hitting bill to end human trafficking. The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill, brought by Lord Morrow, has been called a ‘truly significant moment in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation in Northern Ireland’. In a statement from CARE, which…

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Assisted dying and Christian hope

Article

February 2015
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Assisted dying and Christian hope

Woody Allen, film director and eccentric, once quipped, ‘It’s not that I’m afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens’. Allen captures the fear of dying that seems to infuse many of the arguments in favour of legalising physician-assisted suicide. I have been a clinical nurse specialist in palliative…

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Article

February 2015
India

Church growth in India

The tenth ABC (Annual Bible Convention) — previously called the ATTI (Annual Theological Training Initiative) — was held at Banga in Punjab, India, from 27-29 November 2014. Relationships One of the struggles for many believers in the Punjab concerns understanding teaching about the Trinity. Hence the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Relationships: in…

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Skye

News

February 2015
News

Skye

Last year, the Bracadale and Portree Free Church congregations in Scotland officially welcomed John Caldwell as their new ministry assistant. A commissioning service was held in Carbost Free Church on Thursday 30 October, and Mr Caldwell preached his first service on Sunday morning in the Bracadale congregation. It is a bi-vocational role, because the…

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News

February 2015
News

Female bishops

Following the appointment of Libby Lane as the Church of England’s (CofE’s) first female bishop, women bishops are set to be fast-tracked to the House of Lords, it has been revealed. There are 26 ‘Lords spiritual’ seats, which are usually allocated to bishops on the basis of seniority or length of service. According to…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > World Mission

Situation vacant in Dewsbury

Working to replace a pastor can be a very difficult time for an evangelical church. So often the church is unaware of their pastor’s intention to move on, and his decision comes as a painful shock. And even if there is a good team of elders to lead the church through the period of…

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News

February 2015
News

Persecution hotspots 2014

Kenya and Tanzania are potential hotspots for persecution against Christians as jihadists seek to extend their reach into East Africa, a report from Release International has warned. The 2015 Hotspot report identifies the worst placed Christians during 2014 and potential problem countries in the year to come. Although Iraq was one of the worst…

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News

February 2015
News

Letter from America

Thanksgiving Having lived within the United Kingdom as an American expat, I have learned about much of the culture around me and participated in quite a few British traditions and holidays. I celebrated Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night with enthusiasm, pulled crackers at Christmas, cheered for England against Australia in rugby — and I…

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News

February 2015
News

Prison ministry

Christian Prison Resources has called on churches to pray for volunteers who are still awaiting clearance to be able to serve inside prisons. According to its latest newsletter, the process can be long and many team members are going through their own battles with health issues and difficult situations. The newsletter added: ‘Praise God…

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News

February 2015
News

Glasgow midwives lose case

Midwives who refuse to take part in abortions could be forced to leave the profession, the head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has warned. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, condemned the decision of the Supreme Court last year against two senior midwives who refused to supervise abortions performed on…

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News

February 2015
News

Responsibility

Christians across the UK have a responsibility to encourage and pray for their young people in this work. But church leaders must also teach about mission and help raise awareness among the young people. Leech says this must be a priority, explaining, ‘Pastors need to demonstrate by their own attitudes and teaching that mission…

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Article

February 2015
DVD

Unbroken

Unbroken Many readers will be aware of the book War and grace by Don Stephens (EP Books), a collection of short biographies of Christians from the two World Wars. Its first story concerns an American of Italian extraction called Louis Zamperini. The new edition of the book reveals that he died on 2 July…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Pursuing holiness

I recently studied The pursuit of holiness by Jerry Bridges for two reasons. First, sanctification was the topic of a British Reformed Fellowship conference in Scotland and, second, because the book has an accompanying study guide which our men’s group will consider using for the next year or so. Jerry Bridges, now aged 84,…

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News

February 2015
News

Changes at Evangelical Press and Evangelical Times

Changes at Evangelical Press and Evangelical Times There is a hymn that includes the phrase ‘and nothing changes here’. If Evangelical Press (EP) were to adopt a hymn to express the life of the company over the last three years, it would not be that one! But perhaps these words would help: ‘Change and…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

The opening verse of the book of books

The first sentence of any book is always crucial, as it sets the tone for all that is to follow. Perhaps this is why many writers say the opening sentence is the most difficult to write. The book, the Bible, opens with the well known words of Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning God created…

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News

February 2015
News

Reckless genetics

The UK government has announced draft regulations that could see the creation of three-parent children as early as October 2015. The proposals, introduced by Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, would mean the UK becomes the first country in the world to allow three-parent embryos, through mitochondrial donation. The hugely controversial proposals were brought in,…

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News

February 2015
News

Gillingham, Dorset

Saturday 29 November was a special day for the members and friends of Gillingham Baptist Church, when they celebrated the appointment of Simon Chase to the pastorate. Mr Chase, an elder at the church, succeeded Michael Heather, who retired in 2011. The many visitors came mainly from churches in the Wessex area, but some…

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News

February 2015
News

Jihadist brothers

Four brothers from Sydney, Australia, are believed to have joined Islamic State jihadists in Syria, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported. According to the newspaper report, the four — aged 17, 23, 25 and 28 — are ‘simple boys’ who were so disorganised that they missed their original flight out of Australia and had…

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News

February 2015
News

Grace Magazine closes

We ask for readers’ prayers for managing editor Stan Evers and the editorial team at Grace Magazine — a magazine dedicated to reflecting the beliefs and values of Grace Baptists — as it ceased publication in December 2014. According to Malcolm MacGregor, chairman of the trustees of Grace, Mr Evers has been devoting time…

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News

February 2015
News

Christmas holiday club, Norwich

The Christmas holiday club, held on Saturday 20 December from 1.00-4.00pm at Antingham Gospel Hall, on the Heartsease Estate, Norwich, was an answer to prayer. At the beginning of December, the team had taken a second whole-school assembly at the local primary school, after which 400 fliers were given to pupils to take home. A further 1600 fliers were distributed during four…

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News

February 2015
News > Youth Features

Truth to live by

On Saturday 29 November 2014, a number of 16-25-year-olds gathered for a day conference at Sanderstead Evangelical Church, South Croydon. The event ran from 10.00am-4.00pm and bore the theme ‘Truth to live by’. The main speaker was Brian Edwards, former pastor of Hook Evangelical Church, Surrey. Brian has authored many books and preaches regularly…

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A gospel invasion

Article

February 2015
Articles > Guest column

A gospel invasion

There will be important events during 2015 and, no doubt, significant changes in both state and church. We all know that a general election will take place, and perhaps we may see so-called minor parties receiving a greater influence than could have been imagined a few years ago. The situation in politics that we…

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News

February 2015
News

Gideons

The Gideons’ 2014 Scripture Blitz — which saw thousands of scriptures handed out across the world by hundreds of volunteers — has seen encouragements. According to its latest prayer letter, the International Scripture Blitz in Kenya met with one school principal who welcomed them into the school, saying that he and his family’s lives…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Non-negotiables in gospel ministry

In an era with a torrent of books about ‘ministry’, we need to remind ourselves what a gospel minister’s core values should be. They are prayer, preparation, proclamation, pastoring and purpose. One of the phrases used in the New Testament to describe a minister is ‘man of God’ (1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:17).…

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News

February 2015
News

Changes at Evangelical Press and Evangelical Times

There is a hymn that includes the phrase ‘and nothing changes here’. If Evangelical Press (EP) were to adopt a hymn to express the life of the company over the last three years, it would not be that one! But perhaps these words would help: ‘Change and decay in all around I see: O thou…

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Article

February 2015
DVD

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings is the latest ‘biblical epic’ movie to be released. The emphasis is on the ‘epic’ rather than the ‘biblical’. Director Ridley Scott only broadly follows the Bible story. He is willing to depart from the biblical text to tell the story he wishes to tell. The focus is on spectacle:…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Creation and educational policy

The doctrine of creation is well summarised in The Shorter Catechism: ‘The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good’. ‘God’s making all things of nothing’ involves a great mystery. In Genesis 1:1, ‘God created’ is…

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News

February 2015
News

Authentic Calvinism?

This was the title of December’s Westminster Conference, held in the comfortable premises of the Salvation Army’s Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London. This two-day conference is an opportunity for church leaders and others, men and women, to feast heart and mind on material both intellectually stimulating and spiritually edifying. The conference’s six papers are…

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Article

February 2015
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Learning disability shock

The nation was shocked in 2011 when the BBC’s Panorama programme exposed the scandalous, everyday abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View. There was much hand-wringing from the authorities, and promises that people who were inappropriately housed in private care homes and NHS units away from their families would be found more…

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Historical

February 2015
Articles > Historical

William Bedell (1571–1642) (2)

In 1629 William Bedell was made Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh (ET, January 2015). As a bishop, he grappled energetically with all the abuses that weighed down the Church of Ireland, abuses that made it hard to reach the people of Ireland with the gospel. In an article about his work as a Bible…

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Historical

February 2015
Articles > Historical

The forgotten John Wesley (1)

What sort of a person was John Wesley? He was about 5 feet 3 inches tall, slim, with piercing blue eyes, a fresh complexion and (when younger) auburn hair. He was careful about personal neatness and cleanliness. According to contemporary John Hampson, he wore ‘narrow plaited stock, a coat with a small upright collar’,…

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Seeking the Lord

News

February 2015
News

Seeking the Lord

Few conferences seem as unfashionable as the Reformation and Revival Fellowship, and few are as relevant. We believe in prayer and preaching, and that is what we get at this event. The messages at Swanwick in November 2014 can be summarised under a few grace-filled imperatives: look, seek, pray and contend. Graham Hind, managing…

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News

February 2015
News

Youth in mission

Even in these days of relative difficulty for evangelical churches in the UK, young people in our nation are still hearing God calling them to engage in mission work; and it is still the church’s privilege to educate, train and support them as they obey him. Christians have always been missionaries in one form…

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Article

February 2015
Romania

Creation ministry in Romania

In December 2014 I was in Cluj in Transylvania with Traian Todut and Pal Borzasi. I spoke in Manastur Baptist Church to the youth and also at a number of Hungarian Baptist churches. Young people from both communities were keen for the creation literature I brought out and stayed asking questions for a long…

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God Redeeming His Bride

Review

February 2015

God Redeeming His Bride

God redeeming his bride Robert K. CheongChristian Focus Publications336 pages, £11.99ISBN: 978-1-84550-719-0Star rating : 4 This is a book about church discipline, elaborating how churches have a responsibility to remove the impenitent from their midst (e.g. Matthew 18:15-20). It grew out of the author’s experience pastoring a young church in the USA, where he…

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Mission Matters

Review

February 2015

Mission Matters

Mission Matters Kieran Beville EP Books 310, £10.99 ISBN: 978-0-85234-940-3 Star Rating: 2 Mission matters is a two-part collection of essays and reports previously published in magazines and journals over a number of years. In Part 1, Beville covers a number of missiological topics, such as the nature of mission, the role of the…

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Seeing Beauty & Saying Beautifully

Review

February 2015

Seeing Beauty & Saying Beautifully

Seeing beauty and saying beautifullyJohn PiperIVP158 pages, £7.99ISBN: 978-1783591107Star rating : 3 The subtitle of this book is ‘The power of poetic effort: George Herbert, George Whitefield and C. S. Lewis’. The book’s central argument is that ‘poetic effort’, or the effort to say beautifully, is itself a way of seeing more of the…

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Simply God

Review

February 2015

Simply God

Simply God Peter Sanlon IVP 240, £11.99 ISBN: 978-1-78359-104-6 Star Rating: 3 Peter Sanlon wrote this book concerned that the contemporary church has lost touch with its theological roots that are manifested in the profound thinking of earlier generations of Christians. We have become shallow and sentimental in our view of God. The God…

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Why Protestant Truth still matters

Review

February 2015

Why Protestant Truth still matters

Why Protestant truth still mattersGarry Williams, Protestant Truth Society42 pages, £3.95Star rating : 4 The Protestant Truth Society (PTS) was founded by John Kensit in 1889 and this brochure bears the rider, ‘Celebrating 125 years’. We suppose the author was commissioned to write this booklet, although there is no clarification of this, or references…

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Songs of a Suffering King

Review

February 2015

Songs of a Suffering King

Songs of a Suffering King J V Fesko Reformation Heritage Books 126, £6.24 ISBN: 978-1-60178-310-3 Star Rating: 3 An associate professor of systematic theology, the author has produced a thought-provoking study of Psalms 1-8 in this little volume. He maintains that the Psalter is not just a collection of sacred songs to be dipped…

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Wholeheartedness (Haggai)

Review

February 2015

Wholeheartedness (Haggai)

Wholeheartedness: a message from Haggai for todayJonathan GriffithsDay One Publications, 96 pages, £6.00, ISBN: 978-1-84625-434-5Star Rating: 4   Don’t let the brevity of this commentary deceive you. It’s a good, brief journey through Haggai, which, I have to say, is one of my favourite Old Testament books.   There is a brief historical introduction,…

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Back Chat

Review

February 2015

Back Chat

Back Chat: Answering Christianity’s Critics  Chris Sinkinson Christian Focus Publications 128, £6.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-406-9 Star Rating: 2 stars   Back chat is a collection of 27 stand-alone articles, which were originally published in Evangelicals Now. Each one is only two or three pages long and convenient to pick up and read while waiting for…

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The Soul Journey

Review

February 2015

The Soul Journey

The Soul JourneyKent & Katie PhilpottEarthen Vessel Publishing220, £8.94ISBN: 978-0-9703296-1-5Star Rating: 4 There is, in contemporary society, a heightened interest in spiritualities of every stripe. This was brought home to me on a recent visit to Los Angeles, where spiritism and mysticism were in the forefront of Venice Beach’s boardwalk. In Malibu there stands…

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A Trinitarian Theology of Religions

Review

February 2015

A Trinitarian Theology of Religions

A Trinitarian Theology of Religions G McDermott & H Netland Oxford University Press 336, £18.60 ISBN: 978-0-19-975183-9 Star Rating: 4   From both an academic and evangelical perspective, this book interacts intelligently with the religious pluralism so prevalent in the western world. The church is indebted for the book’s contribution to this topic. It…

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A Vine-Ripened Life

Review

February 2015

A Vine-Ripened Life

A vine-ripened life Stanley D. GaleReformed Heritage Books70 pages, £7.99ISBN: 978-1-60178-343-1Star rating : 3 This book is a series of sermons based on the first part of John 15 (the vine and its fruit) and Galatians 5:22-23 (the fruit of the Spirit). Its purpose is to encourage believers to be active in cultivating their…

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Review

February 2015

Essential Guide for Helping Refugees

Essential Guide for Helping Refugees Ed. Patrick Sookhdeo Isaac Publishing 128, £12.99 ISBN: 978-0-99161-452-3 Star Rating: 4 We have come to associate the author Patrick Sookhdeo with thoroughness. Although the reviewer cannot speak for the accuracy of the technical content of this manual, he can vouch for it being an excellent starting point regarding…

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America’s Pastor

Review

February 2015

America’s Pastor

America’s PastorGrant WackerHarvard University Press404, £20.00ISBN: 978-0-674-05218-5Star Rating: 1   This book is written by an American academic for American academics. 72 pages of footnotes follow 320 pages of main text. Although a short, simple overview of Billy Graham’s immense influence on American Christian thought might be useful, this is not it. This is…

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Review

February 2015

Autobiography of a Yorkshire Christian

Autobiography of a Yorkshire Christian Douglas Higgins Banner of Truth Trust 96, £6.22 ISBN: 978-1-84871-488-5 Star Rating: 4   In just 87 pages this little book charts the life of a man who reached his 100th year in 2014. It is an absorbing, fascinating and spiritually profitable read. It is also of historical and…

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In Christ: In Him together for the World

Review

February 2015

In Christ: In Him together for the World

In Christ: In Him together for the World S Timmis & C de la Hoyde Christian Focus Publications 96, £5.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-429-8 Star Rating: 3  This tiny book is full of rich gospel truths, told in straightforward terms and with many practical illustrations. Referring to Calvin and John Owen, the authors point out that ‘the…

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