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Everything in March 2014 issue

News

March 2014
News

Charitable status

The Charity Commission has done a u-turn and will now allow a Brethren church to register for charitable status, after it turned the group down in 2012. The volte-face came after months of intense scrutiny, including members of the Charity Commission being called on by the House of Commons Select Committee to demand answers…

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News

March 2014
News

Two cheers !

A victory in the House of Lords and a welcome change to the free speech laws should give greater liberty to those proclaiming the gospel. The UK government has made two decisions that will help maintain the right to freedom of speech in England and Wales. In January, crossbench peer Lord Dear, a former…

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News

March 2014
News

Criminal tendencies

People who regularly visit a place of worship are less likely to be involved in low level crime and delinquency, research from the University of Manchester has found. Led by PhD student Mark Littler, the research analysed survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews with young members of the UK’s major faiths, to ascertain whether…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

God’s only Son

The Apostles’ Creed dates from the end of the second century. It confesses Jesus Christ to be God’s ‘only Son’. Scripture, however, affirms that God has many sons (Hebrews 1:10). So in what sense is Christ God’s only Son? The rise of heresies resulted in the Nicene Creed of AD 325, universally accepted by…

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News

March 2014
News

Social engagement

Churches and believers should attempt to embody the transformative gospel of Jesus Christ and bear witness to it, Jonathan Chaplin, director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE), has said. He sets out steps for churches and individuals to consider, to help them make a new start in 2014, in the fellowship…

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News

March 2014
News

Hudson Taylor Ministries

A UK branch of the Hudson Taylor Ministries (HTM) has been formed, following the launch of Hudson Taylor Stichting (HTS), Netherlands, and Hudson Taylor Ministries, USA. During a recent visit to the Scottish Highlands, the director of HTM projects approached a Presbyterian minister and shared his vision of forming a UK branch. From that…

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Article

March 2014
Uganda

A week in the life…

So what is life like for the Kinsellas, a missionary couple at African Bible University? Let’s look at a typical week. Sundays Sundays are a great blessing. We begin our week with worship of God. We worship at New City Bible Church, in the centre of Kampala. Services start at 10.40am and finish at…

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News

March 2014
News

Flint Evangelical Church

On Saturday 11 January, more than 200 people gathered at Flint Evangelical Church for the induction service of Rev. Montaz Ali as the church’s new pastor. The service was led by Chris Thomas, the church’s elder and secretary, who gave an outline of the history of the church’s decision to call Mr Ali. A…

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News

March 2014
News

Gay to straight

Suggesting that homosexual people are forced into changing to become straight is a ‘distortion of the truth’, Dr Mike Davidson has said. Speaking at charity Core Issues Trust’s conference in London in January, called Setting Love in Order, Counsellor Dr Davidson said that the debate on therapeutic help to move away from unwanted same-sex…

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News

March 2014
News

Chorlton Evangelical Church

On 18 January, a recognition service was held at Chorlton Evangelical Church, Manchester, giving thanks for the call of Mike Judge as pastor.  More than 120 people were present, many from other churches in the Greater Manchester area and further afield. This included a number from Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church, where Mr Judge had been previously a member. Those present were united in joyful praise and thanksgiving for God’s goodness. The service was led by Matthew Cox and Richard Clark, both elders at Chorlton. The preachers were Dan Peters, pastor…

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News

March 2014
News

Iranian pastor

Christian advocacy group Release International has called on the Iranian government to show mercy to a pastor jailed three years ago for leading a house church. Pastor Behnam Irani, aged 43, was arrested and put on trial for national security charges. The father of two was sentenced and has been held as a political…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Guest column

What’s missing?

‘The fear of God’ is not a term heard often. It once was. Exactly when it fell out of popular use, no one can be sure. What seems more certain is that it no longer occupies a central place, even in the thinking of professing Christians! That is strange. Why? Because it should have…

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News

March 2014
News

Child brides

Child development charity Compassion has partnered with local churches to raise awareness about the under-reported phenomenon of bride kidnapping, known as ‘marriage by abduction’. The practice is a cultural tradition in certain countries, where young girls are captured for the purpose of marriage, and often raped and potentially made pregnant in order to legitimatise…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Abortion on demand

Abortion is back in the headlines. According to a recent front page in the Daily Telegraph, ‘women wanting abortions will not have to see a doctor’ (16 January 2014). The Telegraph’s article confirms that almost 190,000 babies a year are aborted in England and Wales, under the 1967 Act. Around 96,000 women are signed…

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News

March 2014
News

Inequality

The world’s wealthiest have so much power and influence that 85 per cent of the richest people on earth owns the wealth of half the world’s population, research claims. In a 32-page report, Working for the few: political capture and economic equality, Oxfam states that widening inequality is having a ‘pernicious effect’ on developed and developing…

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News

March 2014
News

Church planting

Grace Baptist Partnership Scotland has been distributing leaflets and hosting evangelical efforts in Edinburgh and Perth, Pastor Ali McLachlan has said. In his latest newsletter, Mr McLachlan said several calls and texts had been received as a result of the Edinburgh literature distribution, while a good number attended an evangelistic evening, in Perth, with…

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Historical

March 2014
Articles > Historical

Elkanah Wales of Pudsey (2)

In the 1650s, the Puritan, Elkanah Wales, wrote a book on the atonement entitled Mount Ebal levell’d or redemption from the curse. In this treatise he draws three conclusions. The first conclusion is that all men are under the curse of the law (see ET, February 2014). The second is that Christ was made…

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Article

March 2014
Uganda

Some interesting, internet ‘facts’ about Uganda!

Around 50 per cent of Uganda’s population survives on less than one dollar a day. The main transportation vehicle in Uganda is the bicycle. Uganda’s famous motorcycle taxis are dubbed boda-bodas, as they were used to transport people across the ‘no-man’s land’ between the Kenya/Uganda border posts (‘border-border’). Uganda is one of the top…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Comment

A global vision

It has been good to see that the ‘Concert of Prayer’ for revival across the UK, now into its fourth year, has generally maintained a wider, global vision. Prayers have not focussed merely on our own needs in this country, and that is right and proper. Let’s never forget that our concern should be…

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The ministry of African Bible University

Article

March 2014
Articles > World Mission > Africa

The ministry of African Bible University

As the old saying goes, ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating!’ In our case, the proof of the Lord’s graciously using our teaching finds manifestation in the fruitful ministries of our graduates. A sample will give you some idea of this. One graduate serves as language programme coordinator for SIL; another…

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Article

March 2014
Scientific (including creation)

Esoteric evolution – an overview (1)

This article is an abstract of a thesis. It provides an overview of evolution as a cosmological and metaphysical paradigm that seamlessly unites science with ‘spirituality’, in a manner that corrupts the truth. Evolution is more than an alternative to the creation story. Evolution is not just a scientific concept; it is a spiritual…

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News

March 2014
News

School assemblies

The Humanist Society of Scotland and the Church of Scotland have made a joint submission calling for the law on religious observance in schools to be changed. The joint submission calls for the government to create instead an ‘inclusive’ time for reflection instead of a religious element to school assemblies, to make it more…

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News

March 2014
News

Bloggers in Cambodia

This March, Tearfund is taking three UK bloggers to Cambodia to visit communities living in poverty that are being transformed through the local church. The three bloggers were chosen by a panel of judges, including Krish Kandiah, executive director of the Evangelical Alliance, and Baptist minister Richard Littledale. The trio — designer Rich Wells,…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The importance of Christian schooling

The Bible commands parents to train their children in accordance with God’s Word. In particular, it places the responsibility on fathers: ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4). This training is to be ongoing: ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God,…

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Article

March 2014
Uganda

The gospel in Africa – the African Bible University of Uganda

According to a statement by Dr Kisamba Mugerwa, chairperson of the National Planning Authority of Uganda, to the United Nations in 2012, ‘The population of Uganda is … estimated to be 33 million. About 57 per cent of the Ugandan population is between 0 and 18 years and 78 per cent is under 30…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > World Mission > Africa

Meet two of the students!

Angeline I was born in Busia, Kenya. I have an older sister and two older brothers. I did all my schooling in Kenya. My father is a civil engineer and my mother a teacher. At school, I passed my exams and gained first prize in music at the National Music Festival. I always knew…

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News

March 2014
News

Backdoor abortion

The UK government’s draft regulations on abortions are ‘dangerous and dishonest’, the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) has warned. According to a statement from the organisation, the Department of Health (DoH) ushered through a new document on required standard operating procedures for private abortion providers. The CLC has called it an attempt to further undermine…

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News

March 2014
News

Scotland and state guardians

A leading human rights lawyer has said that Alex Salmond’s proposals for a state guardian for every child in Scotland are unlawful. Aidan O’Neill QC said that the Scottish National Party’s plans to appoint a state guardian was ‘unjustified interference’ and could conflict with families’ basic human rights. Mr O’Neill said that the proposal…

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Concert of prayer

News

March 2014
News

Concert of prayer

At least 26 united prayer gatherings took part in the UK’s Concert of Prayer at the beginning of January, seven in Yorkshire and another 19 around the country (see ET Comment, p.3). Numbers attending ranged from five or six in the smallest meetings to 40 or 50 in a couple of venues. Whether the…

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News

March 2014
News

Lobbying Bill

The Lobbying Bill is set to become law, after the House of Lords approved it in January during its third and final reading. During the Bill’s process, amendments were set in place, including how charities and other groups would be allowed to speak out on key issues during the year before a general election.…

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News

March 2014
News

Sex education

The House of Lords has rejected an amendment to the Children and Families Bill brought by Labour, which would have made sex education compulsory. If passed, the amendment to the Bill would have seen sex education compulsory across all state-funded primary schools in England and Wales, but it was rejected after debate by 209…

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Historical

March 2014
Articles > Historical

Thomas Bilney – the forgotten Reformer

Just before his death in the flames, Hugh Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr Nicholas Ridley with these justly famous words: ‘Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out’.  Latimer was indeed…

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News

March 2014
News

Trafficking

Jenny Marra, Scottish Labour MSP, has called on the Scottish government to pay attention to the 45,000 people who responded to a consultation on plans for new human trafficking proposals. In a statement from charity CARE, the consultation on the proposed Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill received the third-highest number of responses since devolution. The…

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News

March 2014
News

Westminster Faith Debates

The Westminster Faith Debates (WFD) are now online, after a special website was created to host the high-profile discussions on a wide range of religious topics. Students and teachers of religion, ethics, philosophy and politics can read up on topics such as ‘Stem Cell and abortion’ and ‘Sexualisation of society’, thanks to the project,…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Prepare to be an amazing old person!

Like it or not, if you continue to live, you’ll get old. As you look around at all those ancient people in the grocery store, golf course, retirement village and nursing home, don’t be smug — you’ll be there soon enough! It will do you well to prepare to make those years the best…

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News

March 2014
News

Mayor investigated

The second most senior judge in England and Wales, the Master of the Rolls, has ruled that Mayor of London Boris Johnson should be investigated for his part in banning a Christian charity’s bus advert. The controversy began in April 2012, when Christian charity the Core Issues Trust attempted to put its own adverts…

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News

March 2014
News

Matthias Media

Matthias Media’s method of providing biblical resources to the Christian community is undergoing the biggest change in the Australian organisation’s 25-year history, with the launch of their new website GoThereFor.com Launched in October, the website seeks to encourage disciple-making worldwide, with an online platform that provides unlimited access to resources that can assist gospel-minded…

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News

March 2014
News

Middle Eastern onslaught

Christians in the Middle East are suffering from pogroms and increasing persecution, but the West does not seem to care, an e-booklet has claimed. According to a report in The Week, which was reviewing the Kindle-based booklet, Christian communities across Egypt, Syria and other countries in the Middle East are being forced to leave…

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Historical

March 2014
Articles > Historical

William Gadsby – preaching with power

The humour of William Gadsby was unmistakable. When commenting on Acts 20:37: ‘they [the Ephesian church] fell upon Paul’s neck’, he remarked: ‘it did not mean a building of stone, for if it had been our old collegiate church, it would have broken his neck!’ On another occasion he noticed some boys misbehaving in…

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News

March 2014
News

Same-sex marriage becomes law

As same-sex marriage becomes law in England, the College of Bishops has asked the archbishops to commission a group of people to put together materials that can be used for ‘discussions’ about same-sex marriage across the Church of England (CofE). The bishops in the House of Lords — the College of Bishops — had…

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Groomsport presentation

News

March 2014
News

Groomsport presentation

The congregation at Groomsport Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Northern Ireland, have thanked Rev. Jeff Ballantine, who recently reached a milestone in his ministry when he celebrated 25 years of preaching. After the evening service on Sunday 26 January, a monetary gift presentation was made by Dobbin Kelly, senior elder, and treasurer Dougie Glover to Mr…

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Historical

March 2014
Articles > Historical

Robert Haldane (1764-1842) (2)

Last month we learned about the conversion of Robert Haldane and his transformation from Scottish country gentleman to Continental gospel preacher. His arrival in a spiritually lifeless Geneva was to have an enormous impact for God’s kingdom. And God was going to reward his faithful ministry with revival blessing. Let’s see how the story…

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News

March 2014
News

Baptist exhibition in Guernsey

Saturday 23 November 2013 dawned as a cold winter’s day, but the atmosphere at the Two Centuries of Baptists in Guernsey exhibition was warm and welcoming. More than 130 people passed through the doors of the Sunday school hall of Emmanuel Evangelical Baptist Chapel, Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, to see the exhibition, which…

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News

March 2014
News

Persecution of homosexuals

Regardless of personal opinions on sexuality, the gay community around the globe should not suffer attacks or be punished by death, Sir Richard Branson has said. The entrepreneur was speaking at a fringe event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he revealed that homosexual acts are punishable by death in Mauritania,…

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News

March 2014
News

Online safety

The Children and Families Bill is awaiting Royal Assent after a delay was granted to Baroness Howe of Idlicote to debate her amendment on online safety for children. On 28 January, the House of Lords heard her calls for online adult content to be automatically filtered as a matter of law. In her amendment,…

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News

March 2014
News

Biblical values

The Evangelical Protestant Society in Northern Ireland has called on the region’s politicians to keep biblical values at the heart of political decisions. In a statement the society, which describes itself as an evangelical umbrella organisation that ‘seeks to defend and promote evangelical Protestantism in our changing society’, said it has been concerned for…

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News

March 2014
News

Cumnock

New Cumnock Evangelical Church, Ayrshire, recently celebrated the ordination and induction of its new pastor. Rev. Stephen Walker from Lisburn, Co. Antrim, is a graduate of the Irish Baptist College and was one of the first to graduate through the college’s preparation for ministry degree. Mr Walker was formerly the assistant minister of Ballynahinch Congregational Church,…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia

Shedding Light on Islamic Politics in the Middle East

In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria Islamists tried to hijack the freedom-thirsty uprisings of their people. Being well organized as movements the Muslim Brotherhood branches in these countries outmanoeuvered others and did well in local elections. Their plan, however, was to fanatically impose their narrow Islamic agenda on the rest of their countrymen.  This…

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News

March 2014
News

Nigerian attacks

A group of gunmen opened fire in a church in northern Nigeria, killing at least 99 people, before rampaging through a Christian village. According to a report in Al-Jazeera, the Islamic fighters used explosives and heavy guns in the attacks, which apparently razed hundreds of homes. The attacks in Borno and Adamawa states resulted…

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News

March 2014
News

Prison ministry

Christian Prison Resources Ministries’ (CPR) ‘Mark Time’ studies at Wormwood Scrubs are gradually gaining ground, after the adverse impact of deep funding cuts that have affected how many men are unlocked and free to come. There is a real thirst among the men who come to get to grips with the teaching of Mark’s…

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Article

March 2014
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The Rhondda today

Life-long Rhondda resident Mike Hansen reflects, post-Christmas, on the huge changes that have taken place in the Welsh Valleys. In a rapidly changing Wales and Britain, another Christmas has come and gone. Christmas is a familiar tradition whose cheerfully commercial paganism is as much a part of our way of life as, say, Easter’s…

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News

March 2014
News

Addiction

Addiction charity Living Room Cardiff has received support from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation to run a number of pilot seminars — EstynLlaw — across Wales. The seminars will offer guidance to religious denominations, ministers and individual members of churches and chapels on honing skills to assist those seeking help for addictions of all kinds.…

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The Roots of the Reformation

Review

March 2014

The Roots of the Reformation

The Roots of the ReformationG. R. EvansIVP Academic528, £22.00ISBN: 978-0-8308-3947-6Star rating : 1 This book has received considerable interest among reviewers, creating divergent opinions. The back cover displays a bright array of scholars who heartily endorse the work as a major contribution to Reformation studies. Professor Evans is an able and gifted medieval scholar…

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Created to Praise

Review

March 2014

Created to Praise

Created to praiseDerek PrimeChristian Focus Publications, 128 pages, £7.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-236-2Star rating : 4 This short devotional book contains eight chapters and feels like it began life as a short series of topical sermons. The text is broken up into short easily read sections and this would lend itself well to being used to prepare…

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Review

March 2014

Bitesize Biography – Renée of France

Renée of FranceSimonetta CarrEP Books128 pages, £6.99ISBN: 978-0852349090Star rating : 4 I must confess that before reading this book I had never heard of its subject, even though I am half French! And yet it is staggering to think that, had she been a man or, if French laws had allowed women to rule…

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Let’s Study Colossians & Philemon

Review

March 2014

Let’s Study Colossians & Philemon

Let’s Study Colossians & Philemon Mark G. Johnston Banner of Truth Trust 188, £7.75 ISBN: 978-1-84871-239-3 Star Rating: 4 This book is in the Banner’s ‘Let’s study…’ series. The aim is to help the reader in the pew, rather than the theologian and preacher, in reading the New Testament. Even so, you will not…

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Review

March 2014

Systematic theology — an introduction to Christian belief

Systematic theology — an introduction to Christian beliefJohn M. FrameP & R Publishing1,220 pages, £39.99, ISBN: 978-1596382176Star rating : 5 John Frame is a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and is known for his four-volume Theology of lordship and an introduction to systematic theology, Salvation belongs to the Lord. The present…

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NSBT – Paul and the Law

Review

March 2014

NSBT – Paul and the Law

Paul and the law Brian S. Rosner Apollos/IVP, 249 pages, £14.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-891-4 Star rating : 5 Anyone interested in understanding Paul’s apparent contradictory statements concerning the Mosaic law will welcome this most helpful contribution to the debate. The book is volume 31 in the New Studies in Biblical Theology monographs, and the series’…

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BST – The Message of Daniel

Review

March 2014

BST – The Message of Daniel

BST – The Message of Daniel Dale Ralph Davis IVP 176, £9.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-801-3 Star Rating: 5  I must confess that when I buy a Bible commentary I tend to skim over the introduction, but I did not do it when reading this one. Although the opening chapter covers all the information needed to…

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True Word for Tough Times

Review

March 2014

True Word for Tough Times

True Word for Tough TimesDale Ralph DavisBryntirion Press/EP books, 96 pages, £6.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-934-2 Star rating : 4 The situation faced by many churches in the UK is a tide of opposition and little tangible fruit, despite much effort in prayer, preaching and evangelism. The temptation is to think the Lord is not with us,…

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John Jones, Talsarn – the people’s preacher

Review

March 2014

John Jones, Talsarn – the people’s preacher

John Jones, Talsarn — the people’s preacher Alan C. Clifford Charenton Reformed Publishing, 300 pages, £9.99 ISBN: 978-0-9555165-8-0 Star rating : 1 The first half of the nineteenth century in Wales was a time of spiritual growth, church planting, dynamic preaching and the beginnings of theological decline. John Jones of Talsarn was one of…

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Review

March 2014

Is God anti-gay?

Is God anti-gay?Sam AllberryThe Good Book Company96 pages, £3.99ISBN: 978-1-90876-231-3Star Rating: 3 stars   The author discovered that he was attracted to people of the same sex at the same time as he first heard the gospel. So he is well placed to write as a Christian about the Bible’s teaching and its application.…

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Review

March 2014

A Neglected Grace

A Neglected Grace Jason Helopoulos Christian Focus Publishing 128, £6.99 ISBN: 978-1781912034 Star Rating: 4 As the title suggests, this book looks at a subject that, in many Christians’ experience, is in danger of extinction, namely family worship. Where once it was the norm that the head of a family led the household in…

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Review

March 2014

Invest your Suffering

Invest your sufferingPaul MallardIVP192 pages, £8.99ISBN: 978-1-78359-006-3Star Rating: 5 stars Paul Mallard will be known to many. Some will be aware that his wife Edrie has been ill for many years. During her pregnancy with their fourth child she developed a chronic neurological illness. Although in some ways the symptoms are similar to multiple…

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Review

March 2014
Reviews > Book

Darwin’s Doubt: The explosive origin of animal life and the case for Intelligent Design

Darwin’s doubt: the explosive origin of animal life and the case for Intelligent Design Stephen C. Meyer Harper Collins, 498 pages, £8.96 for Kindle edition ISBN: 978-006207-148-4 Star rating : 4 Meyer has an impressive pedigree in the philosophy of science and geophysics, but is better known as a prominent spokesperson for the ID…

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