It is difficult for modern readers to grasp the impact of the first issues of The Banner of Truth magazine, when it was published in a Britain almost bereft of Reformed truth. This anniversary issue assures us of the relevance and value of a magazine that has stood the test of 60 years of publication.
Included is a reissue of an article by Stuart Olyott on church discipline. It was reprinted in response to a number of requests, and is perhaps more relevant now than when it first appeared in April 1977. Although comparatively brief, it is a fine treatment of a subject vital to the glory of God and spiritual health of his church.
Iain Murray’s 28-page article, ‘How Scotland lost its hold of the Bible’, is vintage Murray and alone merits the £3.70 cost for the whole magazine. It highlights the value of learning the lessons of church history, exposes the dangers as well as the blessings of ‘an educated ministry’, and clearly answers the question, ‘What is the controversy over Scripture really about?’
He is equally clear in demanding that a valiant response be made to the dangers thus exposed, with a final, needful plea, ‘Pray for Scotland’.
The remaining article, ‘A voice from Pompeii’, is, in fact, a printed sermon of Archibald G. Brown, which was preached in February 1878. It is a model of fidelity to unpopular truth (his text was 2 Peter 2:6), powerfully illuminated by things seen in a visit to Pompeii. It was a message of love and deep concern, lest any of his hearers wake up to the reality of God’s condemnation too late.
Two briefer contributions by Andrew Bonar and Peter Barnes, two pages of news and comment, and five pages of book reviews, complete the contents of this magazine.
As one who has appreciated similar monthly fare for over 50 years, I would commend this magazine, not only to every minister of the gospel, but to any who wish to deepen their understanding of God’s Word and living the Christian life.