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Everything in October 2016 issue

News

October 2016
News

Mission – Christian Heritage Centre

The Christian Heritage Centre, Rowley Regis, Birmingham, now in its fifth year, held its popular annual cream tea and second-hand book sale on the second Saturday in August. More than 100 visitors passed through the centre. A body of interested supporters have been regular at these special events, which is encouraging and helpful for…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

The progress of Christianity in Finland

As a Protestant Christian from Finland, I trace my spiritual heritage back to the Finnish Reformation, when the country turned from Roman Catholicism to Protestant Lutheranism. Although not a Lutheran myself, I am thankful for how God used this period to bless my home country with the Word of God in the Finnish language,…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Guest column

The printed word

A woman went to her local Christian bookshop and purchased a copy of a book called Ten girls who changed the world. She bought this book for her nine-year-old daughter. When the girl finished the book, she said, ‘I think God is calling me to be a missionary, but I don’t need to wait…

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News

October 2016
News

Induction – Glasgow City Free Church

Rev. Allan Shearer was ordained and inducted to the role of assistant minister of Glasgow City Free Church, part of the Free Church of Scotland, at a service earlier this summer. This follows the retirement of Rev. Finlay Mackenzie six months earlier. Around 150 people attended the service, which was led by Glasgow and…

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Mission: North Africa – New Bible translation

News

October 2016
News

Mission: North Africa – New Bible translation

It has taken 30 years to translate the New Testament into the West African Tawallammat language, but that is just the first step in spreading the gospel among the Tamajaq people who speak it. As translator Andrawes [name changed] admits, there is still a huge task to share the good news of Jesus with…

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News

October 2016
News

Politics – Free speech

Anjem Choudary’s conviction has proved new counter-extremism powers are unnecessary, free speech campaigners have said. The Defend Free Speech (DFS) campaign, supported, among others, by the Christian Institute was launched in Parliament last year. It claims existing legislation is sufficient to target genuine extremists, and further hard-line laws are not needed. The campaigners are…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Egypt – Coptic Christians targeted

Christians in Egypt are going through unprecedented attacks, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK has claimed. Bishop Angaelos said, having emerged from uprisings and changes in government, resulting pressures on the economy and infrastructure, and the loss of foreign investment and tourism, Egypt has become more vulnerable to a…

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News

October 2016
News

Church – Anglican rifts widen

Christian Concern (CC) has warned of a schism in the Church of England (CofE) over the issue of same-sex marriage. This comes as the Bishop of Grantham announced he was a homosexual and has a partnership with another man. According to CC, several parishes are preparing for the beginnings of what could be a…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Religious decline halted

Religious decline seen in the UK over the past few years appears to have halted, according to pollster NatCen Social Research’s latest British social attitudes survey. Although the proportion of people saying they have no religion increased gradually from 31 per cent in 1983 up to 51 per cent in 2009, there has been…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – A unique book

Author Gareth Crossley has released a second edition of his unique, Christ-centred survey of the Old Testament. Entitled The Old Testament explained and applied, and aimed at the global English-speaking market, the first edition (2002) has been highly acclaimed and has helped pastors and preachers ministering in first- to third-world contexts. The Old Testament…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Extremist literature

Five books branded as extremist by the prison service remained in prison libraries in England and Wales for seven months after a review called for their removal, it has been revealed. According to a report from the BBC, the books, which promote hard-line Islam, were discovered during Home Office official Ian Acheson’s prison review and…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

The Republic of Finland

Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917. During World War II, it defended its independence through cooperation with Germany and resisted subsequent invasions by the Soviet Union. In the late twentieth century, Finland transformed from a farm/forest economy to a diversified industrial economy. It has been a member of the EU since 1995. Neighbours: Norway,…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Merthyr Tydfil

A Welsh sex entertainment company has had its application for a venue in a rural Welsh town turned down by the council’s licensing committee.  Supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), a number of objectors urged the committee in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, not to grant a license for the venue in such close…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

A tale of two wives: Priscilla

The Bible tells us tantalisingly little about Priscilla: just enough to piece together about 17 years of the life of an amazing woman (see Acts 18; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19), but leaving plenty to ask her when we meet in heaven! Her real name was Prisca, Priscilla being the diminutive — ‘little Priscilla’;…

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News

October 2016
News

Ethics – Pornography influence

Teenagers and young people in the UK are becoming more addicted to pornography, leading to polluted sexual relationships with each other, a BBC documentary has found. BBC Newsbeat’s ‘Brought up on porn’ documentary has revealed how women are being forced to spend money to be the idealised ‘perfect version’ of a woman, because their…

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News

October 2016
News

Event – 200th anniversary

Salem Chapel at Martin Top, near Clitheroe, Lancashire, celebrated its 200th anniversary last month. Roger Carswell preached about the fundamentals of the faith that inspired those early Georgian founders: the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The chapel was packed out by more than 170 people, some of whom were sitting on the floor…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – Church planting

London Theological Seminary (LTS) has been receiving plenty of applications for the Plant! course for 2016-17, which started in September. Plant! is a one year, part-time course for those interested or involved in church planting. According to a newsletter from LTS, it involves seven day-long sessions over the course of the year, each session…

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Article

October 2016
Obituaries

Roger Cook (1941-2016)

Christian radio is often an unsung ministry in the UK and yet it has a huge impact across the developing world. Roger Cook’s great contribution in his many years of service for the Lord was developing radio ministry in both France and Francophone Africa. Roger Cook will be known widely among Grace Baptist churches…

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News

October 2016
News

Mission – Grace Baptist Partnership news

Scotland has seen extensive mission work during the summer, with the Grace Baptist Partnership (GBP) organising a week-long evangelistic outreach in major Scottish cities. According to a GBP newsletter, West Edinburgh saw its ‘best week of evangelism ever, with nearly 40 people participating, reaching 6,000 homes with gospel influence’. The team had a number…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Ampleforth College

Catholic School Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, has been at the centre of an inquiry into alleged sex abuse. Earlier this year, there was an investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy there. The teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term, while…

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Conference – Aber Conference 2016

News

October 2016
News

Conference – Aber Conference 2016

The long journey westwards on a busy weekend in August is well worthwhile, not just because of the beautiful drive over the Cambrian Mountains as you approach Aberystwyth, but far more because of the wonderful Aber Conference when you arrive. Nearly 1,200 people of all ages attend, but the sight of so many eager…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Syria – Aleppo appeal

Christians and other ordinary citizens in Aleppo, Syria, are struggling daily after being surrounded and besieged on all sides, either by government forces, rebel forces or foreign military intervention. In an email to advocacy agency Barnabas Fund, sent by its ministry partner in Aleppo during August, the problems were outlined dramatically: ‘The enemy has…

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The Trinitarian benediction

Article

October 2016
Articles > Comment

The Trinitarian benediction

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen’ (2 Corinthians 13:11-14). I once heard a pastor say, ‘I don’t care what doctrine people believe, as long as they love Jesus’. Does it really matter what you believe? Can…

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Jonah for today’s church (2)

Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (2)

‘Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and he answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice’ (Jonah 2:1-2). Prayer is a sacred act. It is not meant to be a…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Contending for the faith (2)

Continued from Contending for the faith (1) The church in the eighteenth century suffered from the attack of atheistic philosophers, but in the nineteenth century there was an even more subtle attack that came from within. Higher Criticism and the theory of evolution cast doubt upon the accuracy of the Bible. So-called Christian scholars,…

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‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

The immediate context of this promise is the threat Israel faced when the Assyrian king Sennacherib mounted a siege against the nation (c.700 BC). The people had seen king Hezekiah in mourning, with sackcloth on his head because of the danger they were in. God assured them that the time would come when the…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Julius Köbner (1)

Julius Köbner, Johann Gerhardt Oncken and Gottfrid Wilhelm Lehmann were three great German Baptist pioneers in the European continent. They became known as the Baptist cloverleaf. Köbner became Oncken’s right-hand man and his closest friend in the Baptist church in Hamburg. The story begins in Odense, Denmark. Köbner’s parents were immigrants from Poland and…

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News

October 2016
News

Ethics – Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes clinics have had surgical abortions suspended after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found significant safety breaches. The CQC discovered there were problems surrounding the levels of training and competence in anaesthesia and sedation, issues of consent, and the instigation of this course of action by Marie Stopes. In a statement, campaign group…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Pakistan – Forced conversions

Forced conversions are still being carried out across Pakistan, reports from the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) have claimed. If any girl reconverts to Christianity, she is accused of apostasy, and while the state does not prohibit any citizen from converting or reconverting to any religion, the reality in Pakistani society…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – Religious education

Religious education GCSE courses have seen the highest number of entries since 2002, a report has claimed. Data from the RE for real report shows the number of pupils in England and Wales taking the GCSE Religious Studies full course is at its highest since 2002. There were 284,057 entries, up 0.1 per cent…

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News

October 2016
News

Ministry – Aberdeen encouragement

The Aberdeen congregation of the Free Church (Continuing) recently agreed to purchase the Stuart Resource Centre, Invercauld Road, Aberdeen, from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Scotland for £291,500. We believe this is a token of God’s continuing mercy towards both the congregation and the denomination. The Lord has provided for us in a most…

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News

October 2016
News

Politics – The politics of madness

Government has rejected recommendations from the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) of MPs to make ‘gender identity’ a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act. In a report from the WEC, although the UK government is ‘committed to a new “trans equality” action plan, and a review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004’, there…

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News

October 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Rural American congregational singing

Over the last few hundred years since the American Revolution, ecclesiastical music and singing in America have not changed as much as one might think. Many of the colonies were founded for religious freedom, especially New England, where the Pilgrim Fathers and Puritans settled. During that time, the foundation for American church music and…

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Article

October 2016
Obituaries

David Wilmshurst (1914-2016)

David Wilmshurst, or ‘O.D.’, as he would become known to generations of Gindiri students, was born on 21 August 1914. He grew up in Croydon, where his parents were members of West Croydon Baptist Church. It was through Isaiah 6:8 — ‘I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

Finishing the Finnish Reformation

Being an international seminary student in America, and studying the Protestant Reformation in Germany, as well as more recent church history in England and America, made me realise how little I know about the Reformation in my own country of Finland. This led me on a quest to study my own Reformation heritage and…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Gideon Ouseley (1)

Who was Gideon Ouseley? He was an early nineteenth century evangelist in Ireland, given a roving commission by the Irish Methodist conference. He had a particular calling to preach the gospel in the Irish Gaelic language, to a predominantly Roman Catholic peasant population. As a Methodist, he was of course Arminian — sometimes belligerently…

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People – Rev. David S. Fraser 

News

October 2016
News

People – Rev. David S. Fraser 

On a sunny summer’s evening, a goodly number of the congregation of Shettleston, part of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (FCC), met in the Redstones Hotel, Uddingston. They gathered to mark the retirement of Rev. David S. Fraser, having been called to Shettleston twelve years previously. After a very pleasant meal, the session clerk, Mr…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Harvest expectations

‘And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart’ (Galatians 6:9) When it comes to Christian service, I wonder what our expectations are. Do we have great expectations? Do we eagerly anticipate a great outpouring of God the Holy Spirit? Do…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Break up your fallow ground’

‘For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns’ (Jeremiah 4:3). Last summer I was walking along a path through two fields near my home. It was during the dry spell at the end of June. In the first field, the…

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News

October 2016
News

Warning to churches

Christians across the UK have been urged to remain vigilant after the threat of Islamic terrorist actions against places of worship. In July, police forces in the UK wrote to churches warning them to step up their vigilance against possible attacks. This followed the Islamic terror attack on a French Catholic church in Normandy,…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Politicians need prayer

A Devon church minister has set up an organisation to help encourage Britons to pray for their local and national politicians. Rev. Mike Davies, who is the senior minister at Okehampton’s Inspiration Church, has just graduated in a course studying ‘Leadership in public life’. The course involved meeting many senior politicians, diplomats, and ambassadors.…

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News

October 2016
News

Ministry – John Newton Project news

Simon Manchester, senior minister at St Thomas’ Anglican Church, North Sydney, led the main Bible studies at the first week of the Keswick convention this year. Mr Manchester spoke from Deuteronomy and encouraged those attending to ‘take a great interest in the wisdom of John Newton’. According to the latest newsletter from the John…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Transgender warning

Transgender’s societal bandwagon is a ‘cult’ which ‘wants to do permanent physical harm to perfectly healthy bodies in the name of “love”, an American author has claimed. Writing on the ‘American Conservative Website’, Rod Dreher cited dozens of letters from readers who are troubled by the ‘nightmare’ of having teens suddenly announce they are…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall? (3)

The ‘subscribers’ — those Nonconformist ministers who had voted in favour of a declaration of faith concerning the Trinity — did not take their defeat (57-53 votes) lying down. They returned to Salters’ Hall on 3 March 1719 and unanimously resolved to adopt the words of the 1st article of the 39 Articles and…

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News

October 2016
News

Media – Police delays

The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has sent an open letter to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), complaining over delays in DBS (child protection) applications. In the letter, the head of CCPAS said the delays in getting such applications processed were ‘causing our members and service users significant concerns in the safer recruitment…

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News

October 2016
News

Olympic testimonies

Many Olympians returning to their countries from Rio this year did so in triumph, but several have publicly declared glory to God for their talent and success. ‘Jesus did it’. This was the comment made by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, after he won gold in the men’s 400m final. According to a…

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News

October 2016
News

Media – CRE looks for new owner

The Bible Society has started looking for a new owner of the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE). The 12th-13th October 2016 show in Maidstone, in Kent, is the last under Bible Society’s management, and the society is inviting anyone interested in acquiring the exhibition to contact the organisation. Following Bible Society’s acquisition of CRE in…

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Conference – Lewis Christian Conference

News

October 2016
News

Conference – Lewis Christian Conference

This year’s Lewis Christian Conference was held from Friday 24 June to Monday 27 June, in Kenneth Street Free Church, Stornoway. The speaker was Alistair Begg from Cleveland, Ohio, and the theme ‘Looking to Jesus’. Attendances throughout the weekend were encouraging. On Friday evening, Pastor Begg spoke from Mark 1:14-39 on the theme, ‘The…

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Review

October 2016

Preparation for Ministry

A great little book on a vital subject. It comes in two halves. The first contains the author’s own thoughts on the subject, comprising seven pithy but structured chapters covering the basics for an introduction to a life of ministry. The second half has four ‘appendices’, the bulk of which consist of Spurgeon’s ‘The…

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Review

October 2016

Knowing Christ

Shortly after becoming a Christian, Mark Jones read J. I. Packer’s Knowing God. This book made a profound impact on him, and Knowing Christ is something of a follow-up to Packer’s classic. Packer himself writes an enthusiastic foreword to the book. There is no doubting the aim and desire of the author. He makes…

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Review

October 2016

From the Pen of Pastor Paul – 1-2 Thessalonians

I found this book personally helpful. Although accessible to all Christians, it reminded me of what lies at the heart of a pastor’s work. The author explains how its content is taken from sermons preached to his church from Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians. This was just after he declined a call to another…

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Review

October 2016

Opening up Deuteronomy

For someone surveying the books that comprise our Bible, wondering which to read, or for a preacher deciding which to preach, Deuteronomy would not be an immediate choice. But it is in the Bible and, according to Paul, is ‘useful’ for our instruction in the faith. For many, this Old Testament book feels as…

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Review

October 2016

Intentional – Evangelism that takes people to Jesus

This is a short, punchy book about evangelism. The author is vicar of a conservative, evangelical Anglican church. You can quickly tell he isn’t someone holed up in a study who never talks to unbelievers. It is practical, realistic and motivating. At just 10 chapters long, it is also an easy read. Williams aims…

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Review

October 2016

Records of Grace in Sutherland

Sutherland: I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the location. In case you are an exception, Sutherland is a county in the far north of Scotland with, uniquely, eastern, western and northern coastlines. The author of this book, Rev. Donald Munro, was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. He lived from…

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Review

October 2016

Sweetly set on God – piety of David Brainerd

This handy little book is an introduction to David Brainerd (1718-1747), pioneer missionary to the native Americans. It is part of a book series sketching out the lives and ministries of divines in the Puritan tradition, stretching from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. The series’ title is ‘Profiles in Reformed spirituality’, edited overall by…

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Review

October 2016

Portraits of Faith

 It can be difficult to fully comprehend biblical concepts such as ‘grace’, ‘faith’ and ‘hope’. In his student years Dr Beeke had been challenged to consider the meaning of ‘faith’. After 50 hours’ hard work, he still felt his efforts far too abstract. Then, inspired by the ‘hall of the faithful’ in Hebrews 11,…

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Review

October 2016
Reviews > Book

Jewels from John Newton

I feel indebted to Miller Ferrie. You might do too by the end of this review. Why? Because she has carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully compiled a series of daily readings, drawn from the works of that trophy of grace, John Newton. It ranges far and wide across Newton’s letters, thoughts about the nation and…

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Review

October 2016

What the Bible teaches about The Trinity

The Trinity is not a niche subject only for keen Christians; we all need to know what the Bible teaches about the Trinity, because we all need to know God. As Stuart Olyott explains in this helpful little book, ‘A belief in the Trinity is essential to salvation’ (p.87) because the one God in…

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Review

October 2016

What the Bible teaches about The Person of Christ

This book has three main sections, each considering an aspect of the person of Christ and each linked to one title in the Saviour’s name, the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. In the first, he is ‘Lord’. Here the doctrine of Christ’s deity is opened up from eternity, in time, and to eternity. The author offers…

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Review

October 2016

God’s not dead 2

This new release from Pure Flix, directed by Harold Cronk, is a very watchable courtroom drama, with high production values and excellent acting. With great skill, a number of themes have been woven together, in order to provide what is both an enjoyable movie and a thought-provoking piece of Christian apologetics. Reflecting on more…

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