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Everything in November 2015 issue

News

November 2015
News

New faith school

A new faith school has been set up in Birmingham with a Christian ethos. According to Michelle Newman, principal of the King Solomon International Business School, the foundation is one of the Woodard family of free schools, one of which has recently received an ‘outstanding’ from Ofsted. The school, which caters for 4-year-olds right…

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News

November 2015
News

Tyndale House study groups

Tyndale Fellowship study groups had another successful year. According to a newsletter from Tyndale House, the study groups offered people an excellent opportunity to meet with other scholars from across the world. They also allowed them to enjoy a programme of scholarly papers and lectures in various subject areas: Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical…

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News

November 2015
News

New Isle of Skye minister

Last year’s Free Church of Scotland moderator has accepted a call to minister on the Isle of Skye. The induction welcoming Rev. David Miller to Duirinish Free Church — which covers Glendale, Lonemore and Waternish — was scheduled to take place at the end of October. The Dunvegan congregation has been vacant since Rev.…

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News

November 2015
News

Limes Avenue Baptist Church – Induction

‘In Christ alone’, sung with great acclamation, set the theme of a welcome and induction service, led by Pastor Alan Harvey, at Limes Avenue Baptist Church (LABC), Aylesbury, on Saturday 12 September. It was to be a special occasion of commitment and thanksgiving, for not one but two appointments. Matt Benton and his wife…

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News

November 2015
News

WEST dedication service

Students, staff and supporters gathered on 12 September for the Wales Evangelical School of Theology’s dedication service to mark the beginning of the new academic year. Principal Jonathan Stephen explained the values underlying the work of WEST and Union, in four themes. The first was ‘Delighting in God’: we desire to know, love and…

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News

November 2015
News

Help for pastoral trainees

More than £1 million has now been raised to help men and women from Independent church backgrounds train for gospel ministry. In a statement, the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) said it has been able to use its training fund to offer financial support to more than 30 churches and nearly 40 individuals…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

What is marriage?

The opening paragraphs of Chapter 24 in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) describe the biblical parameters for marriage. ‘Gay marriage’ doesn’t feature, because homosexual desire and behaviour are both forbidden by Scripture (Romans 1:18-32). The WCF opens: ‘1. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A plea for the tender lambs

It might seem a bit strange to be pleading for a gentler, more compassionate element in preaching, at a time when ‘love’, ‘grace’ and warm, fuzzy notions of ‘community’ appear to be emphasised, above all else, in many contemporary pulpits. Indeed, the doctrines of sin, judgement, and the necessity for repentance, are often excluded…

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News

November 2015
News

Freedom of religion

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief has published a resolution calling on ways to advance freedom of religion or belief for all. In a statement issued in New York, following a summit of parliamentarians from nearly 50 countries, the meeting held in September culminated in advocacy letters being issued…

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Ten things on assurance of salvation

Article

November 2015
Articles > Comment

Ten things on assurance of salvation

1. Every believer should aim for full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22). 2. Assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. One may truly believe and yet lack assurance. 3. True Christians may sometimes doubt the truth of the gospel. Genuine believers may question whether they are truly saved. 4. The objective basis…

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News

November 2015
News

Teen abortions

Teenagers should make sure they have ‘an effective contraception plan in place’ after pregnancy, academic studies have claimed. Three academics at the University of East Anglia claimed that, over the past 20 years, the number of teenagers in England and Wales having an abortion after a second unplanned pregnancy has risen by 33 per…

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News

November 2015
News

Involving faith groups

Faith groups must unite to help create a world where governments and citizens alike implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which are aimed at ending poverty, hunger and creating better sustainability. This call was made by think-tank the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), which called for real partnership with faith groups, not tokenism, from…

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Historical

November 2015
Articles > Historical

Catherine Parr (1512–1548)

Catherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII, played an important role in the lives of many key figures in the English Reformation. She was born in c.1512 into a minor aristocratic family, some three years after Henry VIII had married his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her father died when she…

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News

November 2015
News

More gender nonsense

Gender theory must not be pushed onto school children, Antonia Tully, national co-ordinator of ‘Safe at School’, has rightly warned. She claimed there had been a misuse of science by the sex education lobby resulting in the pushing of gender theory onto children. Ms Tully said the Sex Education Forum (SEF) had taken a…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > World Mission

The Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures

This year, 2015, the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures celebrates its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1940 — probably the worst year possible of the last century — the Lord’s work through the Society began and continues to this day. The Second World War had begun and 1940 saw the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of…

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News

November 2015
News

Sunday trading

Christian campaigners have lent their support to secular groups and trade unions attempting to lobby against the government’s plans to relax Sunday trading laws. A consultation, which ended in September, proposed extending trading hours on Sundays, although there has been no legislation yet to give effect to the proposals. However, according to USDAW, the…

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News

November 2015
News

Christian teacher shortage

There is an acute shortage of Christian teachers to fill even Church of England (CofE) positions, a report from the CofE has said. According to the 49-page document, Training and development partnerships project: needs analysis report, many schools face practical difficulties in finding staff who share the same exclusive practices as does the school.…

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News

November 2015
News

Northern Ireland crisis

Christian charity CARE has urged prayer for the government of Northern Ireland, as continuing political tensions escalate since September. On 10 September, professing Christian Peter Robinson stepped down from his position as First Minister, and other DUP ministers in Northern Ireland also resigned after the DUP was unable to adjourn the Assembly.  According to…

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News

November 2015
News

Troll abuse

A pro-‘Planned Parenthood’ campaigner has been attacked by online ‘trolls’ after she launched a #ShoutYourAbortion campaign on Twitter. Lindy West, co-founder of the campaign, said she was aiming to de-stigmatise the discussion of the procedure, but found herself targeted by fake Twitter accounts impersonating her dead father. According to the Huffington Post, Ms West,…

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News

November 2015
News

More CAR killings

A new wave of killings has shattered the fragile peace in the troubled Central African Republic (CAR), Amnesty International has warned. In a report, the international human rights group said a ‘new wave of violence’ had left dozens of civilians dead and at least 100 injured, and the violence ‘highlights the fragility of the…

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News

November 2015
News

Answering the sceptics

There was a huge blessing at the Answers in Genesis (AiG) Mega-conference from 3-5 September in Northern Ireland, as around 300-400 gathered at Whitewell Tabernacle in Belfast. There was much interest in the resources, and people listened well to a wide range of talks, including Ken Ham dealing with the relevance of Genesis and…

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How I got involved in Penan pre-schools

Article

November 2015
Malaysia

How I got involved in Penan pre-schools

‘What do you want me to do, Lord?’ I wept, as I knelt before the Lord. I had just read the front page report, for 11 September 2009, in The Star, a Malaysian newspaper. It was about the rape of Penan schoolgirls and women by timber company workers in the Baram District of Sarawak.…

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News

November 2015
News

Australian PM quotes Christian pioneer

The former Australian Prime Minister has told the Weekend Australian that his downfall was a result of infighting, the media and a feckless senate. Tony Abbott, who was forced to step down after a political struggle within the coalition, said he stood by the policies set in place by the Coalition under his leadership.…

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News

November 2015
News

Doncaster Evangelical Church – Induction

The induction of Gareth James to Doncaster Evangelical Church came two years and two weeks since we bade farewell to retiring pastor George Mills. We were able to look back over the years he had faithfully guided his flock and say the Lord had been good to us. During the interregnum, our pulpit was…

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Article

November 2015
United Kingdom

Keep calm and think biblically!

Several times recently I have been asked by concerned Christians questions along the lines of, ‘Will Muslims take over in the UK/the West?’ or, ‘How should we respond to the violence of Islamic State or the influx of refugees?’ My precise answer depends upon the circumstances, but is usually along the lines of, ‘Keep…

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News

November 2015
News

Sharia law

Campaign group ‘Equal and Free’ has launched an informational website highlighting the impact of Sharia law on women in the UK. Islamic law discriminates against women and girls and the site carries narratives of women who have faced such discrimination. The online resource also explains and promotes a Bill introduced by Baroness Cox, which…

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News

November 2015
News

Bibles for walkers

The Gideons have placed nearly 1000 Scriptures in key locations, at places popular with walkers in the British Isles. According to Mohammad Farsi, writing in the autumn issue of Gideon News, on behalf of Gideon’s zone 3 Scripture blitz steering committee, the team undertook an ‘intensive effort’ to place as many Scriptures as possible…

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News

November 2015
News

Exploitation in Yemen

International charity Oxfam has launched a petition calling on the UK government to do more to help bring much needed relief to the people of conflict-ridden Yemen. The petition, which aims to garner 40,000 signatures, already has nearly 38,000 at the time of writing. According to the accompanying statement from Oxfam, the UK government…

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News

November 2015
News

Another US massacre

Christians appeared to have been targeted in an Oregon college shooting carried out by Chris Harper-Mercer in October. According to a report in The Daily Mail, one teenager, Anastasia Boylan, was in a classroom on her fourth day studying at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg when Harper-Mercer entered and shot her professor dead point-blank.…

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News

November 2015
News

Festival of Grace 2015

The 16th Festival of Grace was held at St Peter’s Parish Church, Gaulby, in Leicestershire on Saturday 12 September. Gaulby Reformed Evangelical Anglican Fellowship is one of the remaining Anglican churches in Leicestershire which still upholds the doctrines of the English Reformers, subscribes to the 39 Articles of the Church of England, and uses…

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Article

November 2015
Obituaries

Robin Bird – from poultry farmer to publisher

Frederick Robin Bird, known as Robin, passed away peacefully in Winchester on 31 March 2015, at 85 years of age. He left his wife Margaret, 10 children, 30 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, a sister, a publishing house and a charity. Robin was born on 10 November 1929 in Alderford, Norfolk, into a farming family, and…

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News

November 2015
News

ACTS

Africa Christian Textbooks (ACTS) has called on Christians to pray about a series of difficulties facing some of its bookshops and mobile shop. Without going into details, two of its branches are facing serious operational difficulties through no direct fault of their own. According to its prayer letter, ‘In one case the landlord is…

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News

November 2015
News

New Church Army centre

In September, the Church Army launched a Centre of Mission in North Wales in partnership with the Diocese of St Asaph. The St Asaph Centre of Mission, located at St Mark’s Church within Caia Park in Wrexham, will be near a large estate, where approximately 14,000 people live. Chris Lawton, Church Army evangelist, said…

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News

November 2015
News

Persecution in Pakistan – Christians under threat

Officials in Pakistan have warned that jihadist groups, some with links to Islamic State (IS), are threatening attacks against Christians in churches, schools and hospitals. A report from international advocacy group Barnabas Fund, said mission partners in the majority Muslim country had reported an increase in violence against Christians, and officials had warned Christians…

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News

November 2015
News

Persecution in India – Police take no action

Seven Christian families in India’s Jharkhand state have been ousted from their village because of their Christian faith and told that their tribal certificates would be annulled. According to a report from Barnabas Fund, a tribal certificate grants members of a Scheduled Tribe certain benefits, such as school fee reductions or waivers, quotas in…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Boasting in the cross (2)

Continued from Boasting in the cross (1). ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit’ (Romans 8:1). This tendency in human nature is a major obstacle to someone believing the gospel. The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good…

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News

November 2015
News

World poverty

A billion people globally have been lifted out of poverty, the president of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, has revealed. Speaking at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York City, he welcomed the agreement to adopt the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. He said, ‘The agenda’s goals…

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News

November 2015
News

The Balkan route

A large number of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have been travelling along the ‘Balkan route’ in order to reach western and northern Europe. Already, more than 100,000 such people have passed through Serbia and, at the time of writing, around 3000 people are crossing into Serbia daily. In…

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News

November 2015
News

Persecution in Iran – Pastor Saeed Abedini

Christians around the world have been praying for a Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran, after reports leaked that he has been tortured in jail and could face further fake charges. Pastor Saeed Abedini has been in prison for three years, serving an eight-year sentence for his involvement in Iran’s house church movement. According to…

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News

November 2015
News

Mission – Dyslexic Gospels

The Bible Society has created editions of the Scriptures to help make the Bible accessible to people suffering from dyslexia.Among these editions are included a dyslexia-friendly edition of Mark’s Gospel, EasyEnglish Gospels and large print Bibles. In a statement, the Bible Society highlighted the dyslexia-friendly Gospel according to Mark. This uses the Good News…

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News

November 2015
News

What price democracy?

The government may have changed its mind about creating a national register of faith leaders, but there are still concerns about its anti-extremism measures. In October, the government admitted it no longer had plans to create a national watch list of religious leaders as part of its measures to tackle extremism in the UK.…

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News

November 2015
News

Globe Church – Church Plant

After months of prayer, planning and preparation, the Globe Church held its first public meeting in Southwark, London, on Sunday 20 September. Led by Jonty Allcock, the Globe hopes to reach the diverse area of the South Bank. Some 120 people gathered for the first service and Mr Allcock preached from Romans 5:8, explaining…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

A visit to Israel (11-23 May 2015) (3)

Continued from A visit to Israel (2) October 2015 On Monday 18 May, we spent a full day in Jerusalem. We left the hotel by 7.15am and toured the tunnels of the Western Wall, where layers of history can still be seen. Herod’s engineering skills and ambitious projects confirmed his title of Herod the…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Guest column

The historical Adam: The contemporary debate

A debate is currently raging within the theological community and much ink being spilt on a topic that evangelicals would once have regarded as settled and unquestionable: whether Adam was a real, historical individual, ancestral to the whole human race 1. Belief in an historical Adam was mainstream for the first eighteen centuries of…

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Historical

November 2015
Articles > Historical

Richard Baxter of Kidderminster (1)

Richard Baxter was born 400 years ago, on 12 November 1615, at Rowton in Shropshire. He was educated at a number of places — Ludlow Castle, Eton Constantine, Donnington and Great Wroxeter. His father was a member of the Shropshire gentry who in early life gambled away his inheritance, but just before Richard’s birth…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Is there physical healing in the atonement?

Recently, I have come across individuals and websites holding to the view that physical healing is included in the atonement. (Indeed, ‘holding to the view’ is putting it mildly; I have been accused of being a false teacher and liar for not preaching it!) Those advocating this often point to Scriptures like: ‘Bless the…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Visitors to the service

The church service had already started and the first hymn was more than half way through. Two young women appeared at the church door and the deacon, standing there for any latecomers and visitors, showed them to two seats on the back row. There was nothing unusual in this for a church situated in…

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Stanton Lees Bible School

News

November 2015
News

Stanton Lees Bible School

This August’s anniversary and Bible School at Stanton Lees, Derbyshire, took place only a few days after the funeral of former pastor and elder Peter Hulland. While this had a sobering influence, strangely it seemed to enhance, rather than detract, from the impressiveness of the meetings. David Gayton, from Dudley Baptist Church, brought four…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

The place of the Saviour’s birth

Some seven hundred years BC, the prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in a specific place, namely ‘Bethlehem Ephrathah’ (Micah 5:2). In God’s sovereign timing, the prophecy was fulfilled to the letter ‘when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea’ (Matthew 2:1). Bethlehem is first mentioned in the Bible way back…

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News

November 2015
News

Countdown to life

The BBC 2 documentary series, Countdown to life: the extraordinary making of you, has shown how the human foetus is recognisable within a matter of just eight weeks. The documentary, which addresses matters of human biology from an evolutionary perspective, may be causing an own-goal for advocates of abortion, with amazing depictions of babies’…

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News

November 2015
News

Mecca stampede

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the country’s most senior cleric, has angered Muslim communities across the world by claiming that the Saudis were not to blame for the deaths at Mecca in September 2015. News reports of the death of what is now known to be over 1450 people at the annual Muslim…

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News

November 2015
News

New theological training course

The Free Church of Scotland (FCoS) has partnered with the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) to offer a new training course at Edinburgh Theological Seminary (ETS). According to Andy Hunter, Scotland director for the FIEC and co-leader of the course with Ian Shaw, director of Langham Scholars UK, the course will help students…

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Review

November 2015

Authentic Calvinism?

The annual Westminster Conference maintains a reputation for producing authoritative and penetrating papers that keep Reformed, biblical Christianity in touch with its past. Six papers delivered by six authors over the course of two days are published. This booklet represents last year’s offering. The authors are sometimes historians or academics, but more commonly ordinary…

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Review

November 2015

The Chocolate Club

I’m torn about this novella aimed at 7-13 year olds. On the plus side, the author writes with a warm heart and clearly loves children. She is eager to help and encourage them, both to begin and persevere in the life of faith. The story involves children who join together to help others, learning…

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Review

November 2015

A cobweb covered conspiracy

There is a lot to like about this story for young adults. Written in the first person, from the standpoint of a boy from a disadvantaged family, it shows great compassion in opening readers’ eyes to the problems he faces. A few deft strokes in the opening pages vividly recreate the often grim world…

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Review

November 2015

Facing a task unfinished

In this devotional book Roger Carswell encourages believers to engage in personal evangelism and adopt a mission mindset. Unlike many devotionals, this book has only one thought for each week of the year. The reason is that it is intended to supplement (rather than replace) any devotional currently used by the reader. In the…

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Review

November 2015

To win our neighbors for Christ

Readers will never guess this book’s contents from its title! To the initiated, the subtitle (‘The missiology of the three forms of unity’) might give a clue; the overall title of the series — ‘Explorations in Reformed confessional theology’ — also helps. This is not a contemporary ‘how to’ book on applied theology. Instead,…

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Review

November 2015

Developments in Biblical Counseling

J. Cameron Fraser has provided an interesting introduction to the biblical, or ‘nouthetic’, counselling movement since its inception in the early 1970s. He gives much attention to Jay E. Adams’s influential publication, Competent to counsel, which argued that personal problems should be dealt with through the application of God’s Word and obedience to his…

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Review

November 2015
Reviews > Book

You must read – Books that have shaped our lives

What an unusual title! Think of it as a spur to more serious general reading. This excellent book is an enthusiastic commendation of specific publications and their authors. Over 30 contributors were asked to write about a book that had made a lasting impression on their lives. The result, clearly a labour of love…

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Review

November 2015

Fearless Faith

This book is the third in a series from Union (see www.uniontheology.org for details). The aim of the series is to produce short, accessible theological books, and this offering is no exception. In the words of the author, this little book concentrates ‘upon the conflict as it rages between fear and faith, perhaps the commonest…

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Review

November 2015

Postcards from the Edge

At face value, this book is just a collection of short biographies of Bible characters. However, it is much more than that: it is a book to give someone who thinks life is easy for Christians, because somehow God will prevent them from having problems. True Christian believers know this to be untrue, and…

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Review

November 2015
Reviews > DVD

Knox — the life and legacy of Scotland’s controversial reformer (DVD)

Knox is a documentary produced by Murdo MacLeod, marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of the influential Scots Reformer, John Knox.The documentary is presented in a manner that we have grown used to. Philip Todd, the film’s youthful presenter (in dark jeans, loose narrow tie, etc.), moves from location to location (Edinburgh, Perth,…

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Review

November 2015

The plausibility problem – the church and same-sex attraction

This is a book which pastors and youth leaders should read. It is written by an Anglican pastor who experiences same-sex attraction and who is quite frank about his struggles. Contemporary culture now demands that we face the issue of same-sex attraction fairly and squarely, and with wisdom and seriousness. The main thrust of…

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Review

November 2015

The Reformation Study Bible

This 2015 edition of the RSB is an updated version of the 2005 edition. The 2015 edition has a different layout and includes some new features. The first thing striking the reader is the list of contributors. R. C. Sproul, the editor, has been in ministry for 50 years. Contributors come from a variety…

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