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All articles & reviews tagged with Historical

Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

John Newton (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)

Christian Biographies for Young Readers seek to introduce seven-to twelve-year-olds to some important characters from church history. This addition to the series is well researched and documented. The author takes care to set John Newton in his historical setting, explaining events and customs likely to be unfamiliar to modern readers. Illustrations are used on almost every page. Some are scenes from Newton’s life, such as you might expect to find in a child’s story book. Others are pertinent contemporary illustrations which help bring the eighteenth century to life. Maps and modern photographs of places associated with the story can also be found. In a work...

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Review

January 2019
Reviews > Book

Emil Brunner: A Reappraisal

Alister McGrath has written a masterly biography of the distinguished and influential Swiss theologian and professor, Emil Brunner (1889-1966). If you studied theology in the 1970s or 80s, Brunner’s name would have soon come up. Who then, was Emil Brunner? He was the dominant writer for the revolutionary new currents of German theology that began flowing after World War I. Karl Barth was another key figure and the revolution is often called ‘Neo-orthodoxy’. This label is rejected by McGrath — rightly, in my view (it does no justice to the sheer complexity of what was taking place in German theology). Brunner, although connected with Barth,...

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Review

January 2019
Reviews > Book

The Ark of Safety: Is There Salvation Outside of the Church?

Tucked away in Chapter 25 of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) is a reference to ‘the visible Church… out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation’. To lovers of Protestant theology, this statement may sound a little, well, Roman Catholic. However, The Ark of Safety demonstrates persuasively that, when understood correctly, it is true and biblical. Ryan McGraw goes on to provide that correct understanding, albeit taking a rather circuitous route to get there. He begins this little volume by delving into the subject of the church’s invisible and visible natures. His survey of the writings of various Reformers reveals a consensus...

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Review

January 2019
Reviews > Book

Scripture Reading to the end

Most of us will be familiar with the ministry of the Army Scripture Readers working under the auspices of SASRA (Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association). They have been faithfully witnessing for Christ for almost 200 years. Scripture Reading to the End is one of three books published in the 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War, recording the ministry of the Scripture Readers during those dreadful years (the other titles being Rough Journal and SASRA at the Somme). Soon after the outbreak of World War I, SASRA was given permission to post Scripture Readers to army bases set behind the...

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Review

December 2018
Reviews > Book

In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City

Until the publication of In the footsteps of King David, the prevailing approach to biblical archaeology has often been denial of the factuality of biblical texts. From 2007 to 2013, a team of archaeologists (led by the authors of this fascinating volume) excavated Khirbet Qeiyafa. This is located in the Elah Valley on the border of ancient Judea and Philistia, close to the location of David’s battle with Goliath. They concluded that they had uncovered the biblical city of ‘Shaarim’ (Joshua 15:36; 1 Samuel 17:52; 1 Chronicles 4:31). Garfinkel, Ganor and Hasel utilised cutting-edge cyber tools, aerial photography and 3D-imaging during the excavation at Khirbet...

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Review

November 2018
Reviews > Book

The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ’n’ Roll

In pacey style, The Devil’s Music traces the turbulent relationship between pop music and American evangelicalism from the 1950s to the present day. The story begins in the revivalist meetings of Pentecostal churches in the southern states, characterised by shouting, foot stamping, ‘holy dancing’ and flamboyant showman preachers. This is the world in which Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Little Richard developed their love of music and from which they went on to develop and popularise the phenomenon that was dubbed ‘rock ’n’ roll’. Through extensive research, Randall J. Stephens shows how the new music was seen almost universally as antithetical to...

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Review

October 2018
Reviews > Book

What are We Doing Here?

The distinguished American author of these essays was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama and has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She is widely respected among conservative evangelical figures on both sides of the Atlantic. The fifteen essays in this collection are mainly edited versions of lectures delivered at universities in the US and elsewhere. They vary considerably in length, and though some are more academic than others, the entirety remains engaging and accessible to general readers. Robinson writes from the perspective of one thoroughly immersed in Puritan history and literature. She aims to refute the hopelessly shallow and pejorative manner in...

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