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Everything in October 2014 issue

Article

October 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Husband and wife co-pastors?

It was once a rising trend. It’s now a model for ministry for significant numbers of churches and pastors. It simultaneously offers itself as an example of deep partnership between husbands and wives, and yet dismisses biblical instruction. What am I talking about? The widespread approach to pastoral ministry, where a husband and a…

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News

October 2014
News

Iran

A pastor in Iran has been charged with ‘waging war on God’, a crime that is punishable by death in the Muslim country. According to a newsletter from Barnabas Fund, Pastor Matthius Haghnejad was arrested at his home in Bander-e-Anzali on 5 July, charged with enmity against God. Two other converts from Islam, Mohammed Roghangir…

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News

October 2014
News

Primary school sex education

The Liberal Democrats have unveiled plans to deliver lessons on sex and relationships to children as young as seven, the Christian Institute (CI) has warned. According to Colin Hart, CI director, there are concerns that making sex education compulsory would lead to greater sexualisation of children. At present, only secondary schools are required to…

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Encouragement in Cromer

News

October 2014
News

Encouragement in Cromer

Tuesday 19 August dawned with torrential rain in Cromer. Plans had been made for the church to be open from 10.30am, with invitations given for refreshments throughout the morning and afternoon. During carnival week, Cromer is packed with visitors. Contact with local folk has always been difficult to establish, but this year we are glad…

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News

October 2014
News

Dreadnoughtus

The world’s largest ever dinosaur, discovered in Argentina, has been named Dreadnoughtus because of its enormous size, scientists have said. A science report from the BBC claimed that the fossils discovered contained nearly 70 per cent of the key bones needed to describe the Dreadnoughtus schrani, which, at 26m from head to tail, is…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > World Mission

‘Innocent fun’? Think again!

Extensive research has discovered that the evils of pornography exist in every sector of society. How many people purchase the daily newspaper containing pictures of a less than scantily clad female and do not even hesitate, because over the years this behaviour has become normalised? Pornography is a largely invisible empire, catering to the…

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News

October 2014
News

Syria’s humanitarian crisis

More than three million people have left Syria because life is too bad, creating a huge humanitarian crisis, Tearfund has warned. According to the latest UN reports, the number of people leaving the country to seek refuge reached three million in August, with more than six million made homeless and 200,000 people killed as…

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News

October 2014
News

YouTube rating

The British Board of Classification will rate online music videos shown on YouTube, as part of a pilot scheme to protect children from graphic content. According to a news report from the Guardian, Prime Minister David Cameron said the rules for online videos should be brought into line with content bought offline. He admitted…

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News

October 2014
News

Voting tactics

The Evangelical Alliance’s (EA) recent survey aims to ascertain how evangelical Christians will be voting in the next general election, and why. As part of the survey, which invited an estimated two million evangelicals across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to participate, respondents were tested as to the extent of their involvement in…

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News

October 2014
News

Argyll Convention

Scotland’s West Highlands were at their beautiful best when the town of Oban hosted the second Argyll Convention in August. Hector Morrison (Highland Theological College) and Richard Bewes complemented one another as they opened the Scriptures: Mr Morrison showed us Christ redeeming, rising, and reigning, from Isaiah 52 and 53; Mr Bewes reminded us…

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News

October 2014
News

United Beach Missions

‘I am one of those who opposed UBM coming’, said a local man in Lyme Regis, at the start of a long and helpful conversation with the beach team leader. At Lyme Regis, not only was this man reached with the gospel but, in just one week, the team met with many others. They…

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News

October 2014
News

Greek New Testament

Tyndale House has undertaken a major work in bringing out an edition of the Greek New Testament, Dr Dirk Jongkind has said. The New Testament research fellow at Tyndale House, and Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, said it was important to produce a new edition of the Greek New Testament, despite the fact…

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News

October 2014
News

Travelodge

Guests staying in UK Travelodge hotels will no longer find a Bible next to their beds, after the chain removed the Bible from all its guest rooms. According to the Daily Mail, the hotel chain, which has more than 500 properties in the UK, made the decision because a Christian book in rooms did…

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News

October 2014
News

Newtownbreda outreach

This summer, Newtownbreda Church hosted a special evangelistic night in the Ramada Hotel at Shaw’s Bridge, Northern Ireland. The ballroom, which holds 900 people, was already full, with hundreds queuing to get in — prompting the police to arrive and sort out the traffic chaos. In the end, roughly 1100 people were packed in,…

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Article

October 2014
Obituaries

Rev. Ian Paisley (1926–2014)

The death of Rev. Dr Ian Paisley, statesman, politician and Free Presbyterian minister, at the age of 88, was announced on 12 September. Dr Paisley, the ‘big man’ of Northern Irish politics and Protestantism, co-founded the Free Presbyterian Church in 1951. He was re-elected moderator of this denomination virtually every year for 57 years.…

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What God hears

Article

October 2014
Articles > Comment

What God hears

During my childhood, the natural reaction of most parents who heard their children using bad language was to say, ‘Wash your mouth out!’ These days, if an adult has the temerity to complain to a parent about a child’s bad language, the likely outcome is a mouthful of bad language from the parent as…

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News

October 2014
News

Lochaber encouragement

More than 200 people gathered in Lochaber in August for the induction of David Kirk as assistant minister to Kilmallie and Ardnamurchan Free Church. Inverness minister Rev. David Meredith took the conversion of Saul from Acts 9 as his text, before Fortrose’s Rev. Sandy Sutherland gave a word of encouragement to Mr Kirk and…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Personal view: Can evangelism hinder conversion?

Over the past years I have re-read The diary of Kenneth MacRae (Banner of Truth), a Free Church of Scotland minister who ministered in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for the last 35 years in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. MacRae was a man of tremendous energy, who faithfully demonstrated the marks of…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > World Mission

‘More people, more active, more often’

This is the slogan of the Trafford sports centres. I have been visiting my local gym now for a number of years. One thing is certain, the gym is not working to anywhere near full capacity. This reminds me of many churches, and I think this would also make a great slogan for any…

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News

October 2014
News

ACTS in Nigeria

On Thursday 1 August, books ordered by Africa Christian Textbooks (ACTS) were loaded onto containers in Chicago and Northern Ireland, heading for Nigeria. According to an ACTS newsletter, there are more orders and shipments following close behind. In its newsletter, the Christian charity said, ‘It is not always easy to find sufficient funds to…

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News

October 2014
News

Charming!

A tiny papyrus fragment discovered in the University of Manchester’s John Rylands library has been identified as one the world’s earliest surviving Christian charms. The 1500-year-old document uniquely contains some of the earliest documented references to the Last Supper and is believed to have been used as a protective charm. Dr Roberta Mazza, research…

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News

October 2014
News

ISIS beheadings

Showing graphic images of beheadings carried out by the terrorist group Islamic State could encourage copycats, a criminology specialist has warned. Dr Liz Yardley, deputy director of the Centre for Applied Criminology, said the media needed to limit the availability of ISIS videos, to prevent other people from following this lead. On 5 September,…

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News

October 2014
News

Rotherham’s scandal

The scandal of Rotherham’s 1400 children, abused for years by a Muslim gang, has caused wider damage to the whole community. According to reports from local papers, the ramifications of investigations into how the South Yorkshire town’s council and police force failed to act to protect children in its care have been significant. One…

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Article

October 2014
Madagascar

Training in Madagascar

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Situated off the east coast of South Africa, it is shaped like a large left foot, roughly 900 miles long and 350 miles at its widest. Carey Outreach Ministries has been assisting with the work of training ministers on the island of Madagascar for the…

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News

October 2014
News

Home for Good

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has turned its Home for Good campaign into a full-blown charity to encourage Christians to adopt and foster. Exactly 75 years after Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s government activated Operation Pied Piper, to whisk children out of harm’s way as World War Two loomed, another rescue mission is being launched for…

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News

October 2014
News

Registrar’s victory

A senior registrar from Bedford who was pushed out by employers for saying she would be unwilling to conduct same-sex marriages has been reinstated. Margaret Jones, aged 54, had been a senior deputy registrar at the Bedford register office for several years. Despite having a clean slate for performance, she said she had been…

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News

October 2014
News

Mitochondrial gene manipulation

The UK cannot ‘afford to cut corners when it comes to public safety’, Fiona Bruce MP has warned.  Earlier this year, the UK government published draft regulations to allow the mitochondrial donation technique. However, many MPs, lobbyists and medical professionals have expressed worries over the development of such replacement techniques, which aim to create…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

United to Christ

The apostle Paul often labours to explain and apply the consequences of a Christian’s identification with Christ in his death and resurrection. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul makes clear that he no longer thinks of Christ as the world does, but as he is in truth: glorified, exalted, triumphant, reigning, saving with power. It…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The ABC of prayer

Do you pray? Do you realize that prayer is important? I’m sure some will respond, ‘Of course we do! We’ve heard that numerous times’. Yes and doubtless you will hear the same thing time and again. The fact is there are many things we need to hear repeatedly. The proof of that is the…

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News

October 2014
News

Polish doctor

Pro-life campaigners have demonstrated outside the Polish embassy in London after a professor was removed from his post at a hospital in Warsaw. The protest, organised by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), aimed to show support for Prof. Bogdan Chazan, who was told to leave his position at Holy Family…

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Historical

October 2014
Articles > Historical

Spurgeon in Wales (2)

Death is no respecter of persons. Many of the miners at the neighbouring Black Vein colliery in Risca, known as the ‘death pit’, would have attended the preaching of C. H. Spurgeon at Abercarn (see ET, August 2014). They were, however, just six months away from a major disaster. Ebenezer Rogers also soon died…

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News

October 2014
News

Edinburgh Theological Seminary

Edinburgh Theological Seminary (ETS) has attracted a record number of new students, with 21 new starters beginning their studies in the Scottish capital. According to a statement from ETS, the increase was partly because of a decision to rebrand what was formerly the Free Church College as the Edinburgh Theological Seminary, coupled with an…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > World Mission > Africa

‘Great is thy faithfulness!’

24 March 2013 — this will always be one of the most memorable dates of my life, for reasons not usually associated with memorable dates. It was Palm Sunday and I was living in Gamboula, a village on the western side of the Central African Republic (CAR). During the previous three months, the peace…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Great Commission

In the wake of Scotland’s decision on independence, we bring an edited version of an address from Donald J. Morrison, home mission worker for the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), to the FCC General Assembly. Christ’s timeless command is summed up in the often neglected words of the Great Commission: ‘Go ye into all…

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News

October 2014
News

Sexting

The recent hacking of celebrity files on the supposedly safe internet ‘cloud’ has raised concerns that the youngest members of society are, once again, most at risk. In a study by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), it found that sending sexually explicit pictures by mobile phone was a part of ‘everyday life’…

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News

October 2014
News

Assisted suicide

Less than 20 per cent of all UK doctors are prepared to help patients die, a survey of medical professionals has found. According to a poll of 600 doctors, carried out by the Medix consultancy, 60 per cent of doctors are strongly opposed to proposals that would allow physicians to assist in suicide. When…

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News

October 2014
News

Isle of Lewis

On Wednesday 27 August, Thomas Davis was inducted as minister of Carloway Free Church on the Isle of Lewis. The service, which began at 7.00pm, was presided over by Rev. Calum Iain Macleod, Lochs, who also preached. The congregation on the west side of Lewis had been without a minister since Rev. Kenny Macleod…

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News

October 2014
News

Education’s battlefield

This September, dozens of free schools opened under the government’s plans to create more primary and secondary facilities across the UK. But at what cost to Christian values? In May 2014, 102 new free schools were approved for funding by the Department for Education (DfE). Most were ‘mainstream’ but others had a more bespoke…

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Historical

October 2014
Articles > Historical

‘The Lord’s gift’: Thomas Charles (1755–1814)

If I were ever to be cast away on a desert island, with only one person from the whole history of Christianity for company, I think I would choose Thomas Charles (although it would be a close call between him and William Williams Pantycelyn). Why Thomas Charles? On the 200th anniversary of his death…

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Article

October 2014
Obituaries

Pastor Harry Waite

Pastor Harry Waite was called into the Lord’s presence on 19 August, aged 91. He was one of those men who came under the influence of Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel during the 1940s and 1950s and embraced Reformed doctrines in a way that characterised his preaching throughout his long ministry. Mr Waite…

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News

October 2014
News

EHRC investigation

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has welcomed a recent call for evidence from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about how religion or belief has affected their life. The consultation was opened after the EHRC said it needed to investigate whether individuals and organisations have found that their religion or belief, or that of…

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News

October 2014
News

Downs’s syndrome

Former university professor Richard Dawkins, the champion of humanism, has been forced to defend himself over comments he made on Twitter about Down’s syndrome. Dr Dawkins took to the social media platform in August, suggesting that it would be ‘immoral’ of parents not to abort a baby with Down’s syndrome. On Twitter, he responded…

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News

October 2014
News

Overseas Council

A Christian training organisation has celebrated its 40th anniversary, with more than 150 people gathered from 10 countries at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indianapolis, US. The Overseas Council, which trains more than 58,000 students globally and has approximately 19,000 graduates going out to serve the church, was founded in 1974 to raise money for…

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Article

October 2014
Scientific (including creation)

Back to the beginning

To many professing Christians, the view that the first few chapters of Genesis record true history is akin to believing a fairy tale. Rather than accept the account of creation and human history affirmed by Christ and his apostles, they choose instead to embrace the teaching of atheists and God-haters. For instance, despite the…

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News

October 2014
News

China

A pastor is facing a ten-year prison sentence on what his lawyers are calling a ‘trumped-up charge’, the Telegraph has reported. According to the news report, 40-year-old Huang Yizi, from Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, Eastern China, had been outspoken regarding the demolition of a church. Reports from supporters claim that Pastor Huang was taken…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Guest column

Doctrine and mind-renewal

Countries are not Christian; only people are, and they become Christian by believing biblical truth through the work of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul makes mind-renewal the lynch-pin for Christian living: ‘Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:2). The new birth brings…

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Article

October 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Women elders?

The eligibility of women for ministerial office is one of the most contentious issues in the church today. Is there an answer? The Bible does not leave us without guidance on this important matter. God makes arbitrary choices; for example, his arbitrary choice of the Israelites as a people for his own. They were…

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News

October 2014
News

Date with history

Europe has marked the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two with several commemorative services, including a series of joint events between Germany and those countries which, under Nazi rule, it invaded. On 3 September, the presidents of Germany and Poland met at the Westerplatte peninsula near the city of Gdansk in…

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Historical

October 2014
Articles > Historical

John Knox: Reformer and trumpeter for God (2)

During Knox’s three years’ absence from Scotland (see ET, September 2014) he had been in constant correspondence with the Scottish nobility. He arrived in Perth in May 1559, but then the Queen Regent reneged on her promise of liberty of worship and tried to suppress the Reformation by force. However, her death in June…

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News

October 2014
News > Youth Features

Don’t waste your life – follow God fully!

Along life’s journey, we sometimes find ourselves at a crossroads, from which we may turn in a number of different directions. The teen years are one of those crossroads — perhaps the most major crossroads of all. Are you going to go on to further education? Or are you going to join the workforce?…

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News

October 2014
News

Scotland’s need

God is not a ‘cuddly’ deity and Christians cannot pick and choose their beliefs, David Robertson has said. The minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, Scotland, and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, warned that the church was not there to be a mere comfort blanket. Mr Robertson’s comments came…

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News

October 2014
News

Aggressive secularism

Faith is being pushed out of the public sphere in Britain, Dominic Grieve has warned. Speaking to the Telegraph, the former Attorney General said that an ‘aggressive form of secularism’ was starting to dominate the debate at all levels, creating a ‘sanitisation’ of religion from the workplace. Mr Grieve was quoted as saying people…

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Belief and the Nation

Review

October 2014

Belief and the Nation

Belief and the nation John ScrivenWilberforce Publications, 521 pages, £8.98ISBN: 978-0-9575725-0-8Star rating: 3 All too often the impression is given that the Bible applies primarily, if not exclusively, to areas of personal piety, personal morality and church polity. Any attempt to demonstrate how biblical principles impact every area of thought and life is therefore…

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Bitesize Biography – Adolphe Monod

Review

October 2014

Bitesize Biography – Adolphe Monod

Adolphe MonodConstance WalkerEP Books, 176 pages, £7.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-957-1Star rating: 4 Prior to reading this Bitesize Biography, Adolphe Monod had been merely a name to me, just a French-speaking theological figure. However, Constance Walker’s labour of love brings to life a man of considerable importance. Monod has been described as ‘the voice of the 19th…

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Two Centuries of Baptists in Guernsey

Review

October 2014

Two Centuries of Baptists in Guernsey

Two centuries of Baptists in Guernsey Tim GrassThornhill Media, 192 pages, £13.00ISBN: 978-0-9573190-2-8Star rating: 3 The challenges of conducting church life within a small, tight-knit community may not be what most of us have to grapple with in our fluid society, but for a sizeable number of churches in the UK such puzzles still…

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Review

October 2014

God in the Whirlwind

God in the whirlwind David F. WellsIVP, 272 pages, £14.99ISBN: 978-1-78359-033-9Star rating: 5 This book is highly recommended. It is a careful exposition of the basic gospel message, standing firmly in the Reformed tradition, but set against the challenging backdrop of contemporary western culture.     Wells characterises contemporary culture as therapeutic and psychological. Subjective,…

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Growing Up God’s Way for Boys

Review

October 2014

Growing Up God’s Way for Boys

Growing up God’s way: for girls Chris Richards & Liz Jones EP Books, 80 pages, £18.75ISBN: 978-0-85234-999-1 Star rating: 5 The authors are the paediatricians that started ‘Lovewise’, an organisation ‘to help schools and youth groups by providing presentations on the subjects of marriage, sex and relationships from a Christian perspective’. These two works…

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Review

October 2014

Growing up God’s way for Boys (and Girls!)

Growing up God’s way: for boys (and girls) (Note – there are two different books with overlapping content) Chris Richards & Liz JonesEP Books, 80 pages, £18.75ISBN: 978-0-85234-999-1Star rating: 5 The authors are the paediatricians that started ‘Lovewise’, an organisation ‘to help schools and youth groups by providing presentations on the subjects of marriage,…

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Review

October 2014

What do you expect?

What do you expect? Melvin Tinker EP Books 200, £9.99 ISBN: 978-1-78397-006-3 Star Rating: 4 Although I have been preaching for almost 60 years, I confess I have never preached a series on Ecclesiastes. Perhaps others have also neglected this book.     However, Ecclesiastes belongs with the other 65 books of the Bible, and…

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Review

October 2014

Deep magic, dragons & talking mice

Deep magic, dragons & talking mice Alister McGrath Hodder & Stoughton 208 pages, £14.99 ISBN: 978-1-444-75030-0 Star Rating: 4 This book engages with C. S. Lewis’ thinking. It has chapters on the meaning of life, friendship, Narnia and stories, Aslan and the Christian life, apologetics, education, suffering and heaven. The eight-theme format was suggested by…

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Review

October 2014

An able and faithful ministry

An able and faithful ministry: Samuel Miller and the pastoral office James M. GarretsonReformation Heritage Books, 428 pages, £13.62, ISBN: 978-1-60178-298-4Star rating: 5 This is a great book in several senses. It is large and beautifully produced; a pleasure to hold and read. It is partly biographical, its subject being Samuel Miller, the second…

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Review

October 2014

Memorial: The Mystery of Mary of Bethany

Memorial: the mystery of Mary of Bethany Dolores KimballEP Books, 120 pages, £6.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-963-2Star rating: 4 Mary of Bethany, sister to Martha and Lazarus, was one of only four people personally commended by the Lord. In her case, it was for her actions and the understanding and faith behind them.     The book gives…

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Review

October 2014

Big God

Big God Orlando SaerChristian Focus Publications144 pages, £7.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-294-2Star Rating: 3 The subtitle of the book is, ‘How to approach suffering, spread the gospel, make decisions and pray in the light of a God who really is in the driving seat of the world’.   The author’s contention is that the Christian’s view of God…

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Review

October 2014

Catechizing our Children

Catechizing our children Terry L. JohnsonBanner of Truth Trust, 90 pages, £5.50ISBN: 978-1-84871-300-0Star rating: 4 This book’s 87 pages can be read in one hour. The ratio of knowledge acquired to time spent in reading is excellent. The author has a significant grasp of the relevant literature and deploys it to excellent advantage.    …

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Review

October 2014

Pleading for a Reformation Vision

Pleading for a Reformation vision: the life and selected writings of William Childs Robinson (1879-1982)David B. CalhounBanner of Truth Trust309 pages, £15.50ISBN: 978-1-84871-356-7Star rating: 4 Amnesia is one of the great enemies of the gospel. Not only do we too easily forget history’s villains, but also history’s heroes with their warnings and witness. This…

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Gain the whole world?

Review

October 2014

Gain the whole world?

Gain the whole world? C B Martin 10ofthose.com 96 pages, £3.19 ISBN: 978-1-909610175-7 Star Rating: 4  This short book considers the problem of idolatry in today’s society. The author looks helpfully at how idolatry affects and warps our views on sex, relationships, life and money. This is contrasted with holding a true, biblical position,…

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