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Everything in July 2015 issue

News

July 2015
News

Liverpool Bible Convention 2015

The annual Liverpool Bible Convention was held from 5-8 May, and was hosted this year by Dovecot Evangelical Church. These evening meetings provide an opportunity for local Christians to share fellowship centred on the ministry of the Word of God. The preachers choose their passages and topics, as the Lord leads, and it is…

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News

July 2015
News

Death clinic

A British father-of-three who feared he would be paralysed by an inoperable tumour has died at the Dignitas centre in Switzerland. Despite not being terminally ill, businessman Jeffrey Spector, 54, of St Annes, Lancashire, died surrounded by friends and family at the death clinic. In a statement, the family said, ‘While we are now…

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Christian Prison Resourcing open day 2015

News

July 2015
News

Christian Prison Resourcing open day 2015

When considering those in prison it can be tempting to think of them as being ‘beyond redemption; and they are, after all, where they belong!’ If that describes your thoughts, then this may be a timely reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work in prisons and the gospel flourishing behind lock and key.…

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News

July 2015
News

Persecution in India

Hindu radicals have been rampaging through Christian areas, destroying churches and religious buildings. Most recently, a gang attacked three churches in Indore, in the Madhya Pradesh state, shattering windows and destroying the interiors of the buildings. On the same night in another part of the state, Hindu radicals threw bricks at a Christian centre…

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News

July 2015
News

Gay pride and UKIP

Political party UKIP has been banned from joining a gay pride parade, due to be held at the end of June, amid concerns for the safety of those taking part. In a report from the South Wales Guardian, organisers at the event in London said they had to ‘wrestle with a difficult issue’, when…

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News

July 2015
News

Church attendance

Declining attendance at the Church of England has accelerated over the past ten years, data from the NatCen Social Research has revealed. According to the figures, the Church of England (CofE) has been in decline for the past 30 years. And, over the past decade, this has sped up considerably, with far fewer people…

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News

July 2015
News

Hebrew boot camp

Tyndale House, Cambridge, has reinstated its ‘Hebrew boot camp’, hosting several Cuban students for an advanced, intensive visit to study the Word of God in Hebrew. According to a statement from the centre, Tyndale House is an ‘ideal environment’, because it allows students to concentrate fully on Hebrew for about 10 hours a day,…

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News

July 2015
News > Youth Features

Sunday schools are making a comeback!

On 16 May, shop owners and residents in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, came to the streets to view a historic scene. A Sunday school parade, made up of nearly 250 adults and children from the local area and throughout England, converged on Blackheath. The day’s events began with a service of thanksgiving at 11.30am…

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Article

July 2015
Obituaries

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot went to be with the Lord on Monday 15 June after suffering for 10 years with dementia. She was born in Belgium to missionary parents. The family moved to the U.S. when she was just a few months old. She met the man who was to be her husband at Wheaton College…

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Article

July 2015
Islam

Arab youth seek Christ online

Every evening for many years, short Arabic gospel programmes have been aired over a popular commercial medium wave radio station.  Then, with the advance of technology, hundreds of postal responses were replaced by many more SMS mobile cell phone text messages. But these are now outnumbered by many thousands of interactions over the internet.…

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News

July 2015
News

Croydon united!

The last time Croydon featured in the national press was during the 2011 riots. Since then, some Croydonites are changing London’s largest borough. Resident and co-founder of Croydon Tech City (CTC), Jonny Rose talks with Sheila Marshall about how his work has been helping to heal Croydon’s hurt. CTC is ‘a community of software developers, creatives,…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Fishing and farming

I have done some fishing — not as much as I would like, but I do plan to do more in years to come. And I’ve done some farming — only in the back yard, yet it is has been a dream of mine. Maybe a plot of land with a trout creek winding…

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News

July 2015
News

Wales Evangelical School of Theology thanksgiving

Saturday 16 May was a full day for staff and students at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST). In the morning there was an Open Day for prospective students. After a hearty lunch, at 2.30pm the end-of-term thanksgiving service was held. This brought along more staff and students, with supporters, friends and relatives…

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News

July 2015
News

Scottish Parliament prayer and politics

A Free Church of Scotland (FCoS) minister from Skye has become the 10th FCoS minister to address Members of the Scottish Parliament. On 2 June, Rev. Donnie MacDonald gave an address at the weekly ‘Time for Reflection’ slot at the Scottish Parliament. Time for Reflection is a brief slot where external speakers from religious…

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News

July 2015
News

Larne church opening

Larne Evangelical Church in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, celebrated the opening of its new place of worship, on Friday 17 April, with a special service of thanksgiving. Previously, the small fellowship met in the Moyle Hospital for about 10 years. Under God, we sought to establish a work which held to Reformed truths. The…

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News

July 2015
News

Ashers bakery – The great British stand-off

Ashers Baking Company is not just rolling over in its fight to defend itself against the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland. Instead, it is determined to protect freedom of conscience. There is much at stake here. Three days after Judge Isobel Brownlie levied a £500 penalty on Northern Ireland’s Ashers Baking Company for refusing…

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News

July 2015
News

Online Safety

An independent peer has made a fifth attempt to change the law to improve online safety, bringing an Online Safety Bill to the House of Lords. Tabled by Baroness Howe, the Bill, which had its first reading in the House at the end of May, aims to improve safety for households with children, put…

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News

July 2015
News

Thriving women

Women who have been set apart by their churches for Christian ministry gathered in Worcestershire in May for a conference called Thrive. Organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), Thrive first took place in 2012 and has now become a yearly event for FIEC, gathering together women working in independent churches. Organised by Elisabeth…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Serving God and multiple sclerosis

Having an active role serving God within the local church or on the mission field is surely the most fulfilling task a Christian can ever be engaged in. Despite the disappointments that Christian service can bring, being involved in building Christ’s kingdom must rate as the most privileged occupation on this earth. When circumstances…

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News

July 2015
News

Scotland rejects assisted suicide

A Bill proposing to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland has been defeated at Holyrood by 82 votes to 36. The Bill, which was taken over by Patrick Harvey, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) following the death of proponent Margo McDonald, had its first stage reading in the Scottish Parliament in May.  Under the…

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News

July 2015
News

Child abuse in churches

Every UK Christian denomination should commission immediate, independent, past case reviews into potential child abuse, the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has said. The call comes after the Methodist Church unveiled the findings of its own independent report, which revealed historic abuse and issued a full and unreserved apology to the survivors of that…

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News

July 2015
News

Glasgow FIEC Conference

Six churches from across Glasgow gathered to hear from John Stevens, national director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), during a special meeting in the city at the end of April. In his message, Mr Stevens explained the parallels between the situation facing the church in Corinth and the condition of our…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Abortion and Christian ethics

Every year there is an anti-abortion ‘pro-life’ march in Zurich, mainly supported by Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Liberal Protestants are noticeably absent and even the large buildings of Swiss Reformed churches in the city centre are refused to the marchers, who want a closing indoor rally. In recent years this march has needed police…

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News

July 2015
News

Christian literature

‘Challenges at Home and Overseas’ was the theme of the Christians in Library and Information Services (CLIS) AGM and annual conference. This was held on Saturday 18 April in the YMCA in East Street, Leicester, and proved an informative and enjoyable occasion. Diana Edmonds, head of libraries at Greenwich Leisure, a social enterprise company which currently runs…

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News

July 2015
News

Christian student stands firm

A professor in a Florida college who failed his student for refusing to condemn her Christian faith has received full backing from the faculty at Polk State College. In May, Lance Russum gave one student a zero on four separate papers because the 16-year-old did not question her own views or conform to what…

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News

July 2015
News

Cruelty in Libya

Amnesty International has highlighted the ‘extreme dangers’ facing Christian migrants and refugees in Libya, in the light of the rising threat of violence from armed Islamist groups. Concerned specifically about attacks from Islamic State (IS), the 31-page report from Amnesty, called Libya is full of cruelty, said, ‘Abducted, tortured, unlawfully killed and harassed because…

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Historical

July 2015
Articles > Historical

John Hus (1372–1415)

Protestants have generally looked to the Englishman, John Wyclif (1330?–1384), and the Bohemian, John Hus (1372–1415) (spellings vary, e.g. Wycliffe, Huss), as the two most significant reformers before the Reformation. Occasionally it has even been suggested that they are the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3. Hus has been owned by many who are hardly…

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News

July 2015
News

Child Care Bill

Measures proposed by the UK government to protect children and vulnerable young people will not go far enough, Christian children’s charity Spurgeons has warned. In a statement, Ross Hendry, chief executive of Spurgeons, called on churches to step up to the challenges raised by proposed changes to the Child Care Bill and to the…

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News

July 2015
News

Muslim converts in Britain

Young people from Muslim backgrounds who have left Islam claim that they are a minority within a minority in Britain. A charity called Safe Haven, set up by Christians to help men and women who have left Islam, said many of these young people were living under the shadow of extreme threat from their…

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Article

July 2015
Moldova

Ministry in Moldova (2)

The following report (begun in ET, June 2015) was sent by Donald J. Morrison, a Free Church (Continuing) evangelist based in Inverness, following a recent 10-day missionary trip to Moldova in Eastern Europe. Nearly four years ago, one large Moldavian family was dealt a tragic blow, when the head of the home passed away,…

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News

July 2015
News

Global same-sex marriage?

In May, voters in the Republic of Ireland came out strongly in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a national referendum. Sixty-two per cent of the population voted in favour of changing the constitution to allow same-sex marriage, with the result being hailed as ‘the will of the people’. Despite the celebrations portrayed on…

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News

July 2015
News

Fossil find in Alberta, Canada

Some ‘60-million-year-old’ fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada, by a creationist called Edgar Nernberg. According to BBC reports, Mr Nernberg, who has a long-standing interest in Creation Science, was digging a basement for his home in Calgary, Alberta, when he came across five fish fossils, found in rocks allegedly 60 million years old. Mr…

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News

July 2015
News

Scottish Reformed conference

Is the teaching and example of Jesus seen in our lives and heard in our words? That was one of the main issues raised at this year’s Scottish Reformed Conference (SRC), held on 9 May at Hamilton College. About 500 people of all ages gathered to praise God and hear his Word being expounded…

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News

July 2015
News

Dealing with mental illness in Cameroon

Mental illness still remains a taboo subject in many African countries, a situation that Pioneers UK missionaries are trying to overcome. In the latest newsletter from the mission organisation, Pioneers highlighted the lifestyle of those in Cameroon suffering from mental illnesses and lack of medication. According to one missionary, one woman, called Ita, had…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Are there apostles today?

This is a vital question, since, in our own day, extraordinary claims are sometimes made and extraordinary practices undertaken on the basis that a contemporary ministry is supposed to be ‘apostolic’. To answer the question, we must first look carefully at the teaching of Scripture, to see what the biblical qualifications of New Testament…

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Historical

July 2015
Articles > Historical

Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson (1824–1863)

There are many heroes of the faith or soldiers of the cross that we can call to memory, who have made a great impact on us and stood out as examples of faith. When I lived in England, I read about the Reformers and Puritans, whose godly lives were a great encouragement to me.…

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News

July 2015
News

Emmanuel Marlborough – church plant

A new church has started meeting in Marlborough, planted by a group of FIEC churches in north Wiltshire. Marlborough is home to members of Calne Free Church and Freshbrook Church, Swindon, who were commuting a long way for Sunday fellowship. That has all changed since Emmanuel Marlborough began meeting at the end of April. Pastored by…

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Article

July 2015
Scientific (including creation)

Flood theology: why does Noah’s Flood matter? (2)

Continued from Flood theology part 1 Noah’s Flood has a pivotal place in the central themes of the Bible. That it was a universal rather than local flood is demonstrated by its central place in the Bible’s storyline. The second coming of Christ involves final judgement, but it is more than this — it…

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News

July 2015
News

Plymouth opening – Beacon Park Baptist Church

On Saturday 2 May, nearly 150 people gathered in the former Methodist church building in Peverell Park Road, Plymouth, for the 20th anniversary of the Beacon Park Baptist Church. It was also the occasion of the official re-opening of the building for Christian worship. The preacher was Dr Peter Masters of the Metropolitan Tabernacle,…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ, the olive tree

The olive tree is synonymous with the land of the Bible. The ‘promised land’ is described in Deuteronomy 8:8 as ‘a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey’. The olive harvest was integral to the economy in Bible times. At a basic…

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News

July 2015
News

Northern Ireland and trafficking

Paying for sexual services has become a criminal offence in Northern Ireland, under new hardline laws against trafficking. In June, Northern Ireland joined countries such as Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Canada, in making the purchase of sexual services illegal, when its assembly voted in favour of the tough new measures. Lord Morrow, the architect…

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We’re pilgrims

Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

We’re pilgrims

Our gardens are not paradise; our homes are not the Father’s house on high; our comforts are not our heaven; our resting places are not the everlasting rest! We must not rest contented here below. We have not come to that promised land of which God has spoken to us in his covenant. If…

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News

July 2015
News

Church of Scotland – gay ministers allowed

The Church of Scotland (CoS) has voted to allow gay clergy to become ministers and to remain in their same-sex civil partnerships. At its latest General Assembly, which was attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the CoS voted in favour of allowing congregations to ordain practising homosexuals in civil partnerships, with 309 delegates in…

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The new morality

Article

July 2015
Articles > Comment

The new morality

Recent days have seen the citizens of Ireland decide by popular vote to accept ‘same-sex marriage’. The BBC revelled in the outcome and reported it as yet another endorsement of the West’s new social position. What are the implications for our society? Does this new morality undermine the Bible and its revealed position concerning…

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News

July 2015
News

Austerity measures

The former Coalition government’s austerity measures and overall economic policy hurt the poor in the UK, research from the Evangelical Alliance (EA) has shown. In a 13-page report called Good news for the poor, part of the EA’s 21st Century Evangelicals series, nearly four out of five evangelicals thought the last government’s economic policy…

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News

July 2015
News

Spiritual blessing for Egypt

The church in a remote, rural part of Minya, Egypt, has been experiencing great blessing, even as Islamic State attacks Christians in Egypt and across North Africa.  According to a mission organisation working with people in the area, a small gospel outreach project, launched five years ago in the Minya district, has seen strong…

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News

July 2015
News

Vicar stands firm

A vicar who refused to baptise an 11-month-old baby, on the basis that his parents were not yet married, has received stern criticism from the family and from media outlets. According to reports, Rev. Tim Hayes, vicar at St John’s in Dunkinfield, Manchester, for the past 21 years, said that this had always been…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Guest column

The Lord’s Day and the day of the Lord

We have been exploring the Bible’s teaching on the Sabbath as the special day of rest God has given his people. We have seen how the church has largely forgotten it, in our day, but also why it needs to be rediscovered.  One of the reasons many Christians have abandoned the idea of such…

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News

July 2015
News

Street preachers cleared

Two Christian street preachers have been cleared of all charges after they were arrested in Basildon and Hereford respectively. One preacher, Rob Hughes, had been arrested in Basildon on 4 September last year, after a confrontation with a member of the public, who wrongly accused him of using homophobic and offensive language. Despite clear evidence…

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News

July 2015
News

Prostitution adverts ban

A London peer is seeking to ban prostitution adverts from newspapers and online sites across England and Wales.  A Bill published in June by Lord McColl of Dulwich has proposed legislation that would make it illegal to place adverts for sexual services in local and national newspapers, as well as online.  Speaking after the…

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

God-honouring evangelism (2)

Continued from God-honouring evangelism (1) How important it is that the main aim of evangelism is to bring glory and honour to the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ. That aim should be uppermost in our thoughts, whether we are the first link in the chain of seeking to reach a person for the…

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Creation ministry in California

Article

July 2015
United States of America

Creation ministry in California

Professor Andy McIntosh of ACM Creation ministries, recently spent several days in the USA. From 8-14 April, he was in California. He writes: This valuable time in California began with a four-day Alpha Omega conference, where creation themes were presented by Andrew Snelling (Answers in Genesis), myself and Randy Gulliuza of Institute of Creation…

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Article

July 2015
Europe

European Missionary Fellowship

Thirteen students from nine different countries, studying at the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) School of Biblical Studies, gave ample testimony at its Open Day that the course had helped them to ‘know what they believe and why they believe it’. This confirmed ‘very broadly but profoundly what the objectives of the six-month course are’,…

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News

July 2015
News

Truro Evangelical Church – induction of Nick Fuller

On 7 March, Nick Fuller was inducted to the pastorate of Truro Evangelical Church, Cornwall. This marked a new chapter in the life of the church, which was originally planted in 1998. It meets in Tregolls Academy School, and the hall was packed on this occasion. It was encouraging that many from evangelical churches around…

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Review

July 2015

Knowing Jesus in the Old Testament?

The purpose of this book is to revisit and challenge the common evangelical understanding that the visible appearances of God in the Old Testament were in fact appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ.  Malone believes this is an assumption built on shaky exegesis and circular reasoning. While in no way denying the Son’s pre-incarnate activity…

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Review

July 2015

Independent Church

Some would suggest that the Independent view of the church is the product of ‘don’t know any better’ ignorance or of sheer pragmatism that sits loose to biblical principles. But the key conviction of the authors of this book is that Independency is rooted in Scripture and centred on the gospel as the dynamic…

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Review

July 2015
Reviews > Book

The Works of William Perkins Vol 1

Here are the works of the ‘Father of Puritanism’ in a lightly modernised, American format. First, we have ‘A digest or harmony of the books of the Old and New Testaments’. Chronological summaries of the main events of Bible history can be helpful. However, Perkins’s version is of limited usefulness. This is partly because…

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Review

July 2015

The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible runs to over 2200 pages. Its dimensions are 9.5x7x2 inches and it weighs over 3 lbs. Although the notes would be useful for queries on the street, it is probably not for open-air preaching! What is the aim? The ‘Welcome’ explains the aim as follows: ‘What you hold…

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Review

July 2015

Why we pray

William Philip is convinced that ‘we learn most about prayer simply by learning about God’ (p.18). So, rather than providing a ‘how-to’ guide, he concentrates on the glories of God and the gospel, stirring up in believers a greater desire to seek the Lord in prayer. This is the distinctive strength of this book.…

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Review

July 2015

Revival in Wales

This is a little gem. Don’t be put off by the title’s ‘in Wales’; the principles and lessons drawn here are of universal interest and significance. After a valuable introduction to Emyr Roberts’s life and ministry, by the late R. Geraint Gruffydd, the first chapter examines the nature and importance of revival. For the…

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Review

July 2015

Crazy but true

  Both the title and cover of this book give nothing away as to its contents. Natalie Brand has written on the subject of unity with Jesus in a clear and readable fashion, specifically for women. The author bases her approach on a loose study of Colossians, although other biblical references abound. Throughout the…

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Review

July 2015
Reviews > Book

The daring mission of William Tyndale

Stephen Lawson is a gifted writer who has a knack of getting to the heart of the matter. This is a fresh look at the life and work of a truly amazing man, rightly called the father of the English Bible. Indeed, Lawson further argues that Tyndale stands as the father of the modern…

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