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Evangelical Presbyterian

Jul-Aug 2004 75p

New EPC Building at Groomsport

Evangelical Presbyterian
Editor:

is published by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.


Rev. Stephen Atkinson 1 Lord Wardens Dr Bangor, Co Down BT19 1YF (E-mail: sgt.atkinson@ukonline.co.uk)

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CONTENTS
Editorial: Exile is Good for the Soul (for a while) New Moderators Sermon - 1Peter 5:5 The Regions Beyond: The Moodys Farewell & First Letter Pamelainnigeria@hotmail.com A New Day Dawning: The Citys Dimensions and Distinctions Apologies (4): The Person of Christ Obituary Church News: The Story of Groomsport EPC Books etc. Heavenly Wisdom for Earthly Use On Course with Christiana (4) - Fruit Trees Cover Photo: New Building for Bangor EPC 1 Jeff Ballantine 3 11 S. Atkinson M. Trimble 13 15 19 22 23 25 28 29

S. Atkinson

Editorial: Exile is good for the soul (for a while).


The dictionary definition of exile speaks of a period abroad; a forced expulsion from ones native land. Scripture informs us of many such expulsions, beginning with our first parents banishment from the Garden of Eden. While this was as a result of their sin yet there was a divine good purpose promised in their future return to a heavenly garden. The Garden City of Revelation is something Adams offspring must long for. Our exile in this pilgrim land is good inasmuch as it promotes that longing, desiring to be with Christ; which is better by far. voluntarily in exile, away from home, in a far off land, that he then came to his senses and repented. The apostle Paul learned much in his time in Spain, and declared and wrote much in his exiled times in prison. The beloved John saw the revelation of Jesus Christ while in exile on Patmos. During these next couple of months many folks will take opportunity to get away. They will have a period abroad, however local, or international that might be. How we use our summer exile is important.

Joseph, Jeremiah, Jesus and John We could further comment on the utilised such times for the Lord and his divine good purpose in many other people. We too can reflect on divine exiles, such as the banishment of providence and the ordering of our Joseph by his brothers wickedness, the footsteps (Joseph); we can lament and children of Israels desert wanderings consider our short-comings, personal (and murmurings), Davids refugee life and national (Jeremiah); we can benefit and learning obedience, the exile after others by our coming into their world the destruction of Jerusalem, causing (Jesus), and in personal quietness we lamentation and the awaiting the Lord may find summer holidays a time when coming suddenly to his temple. the heavens are opened to us (John). While not a banishment as such, the incarnation - the Lords condescension from glory - was a divine expulsion to come down to such a world as this, and suffer exile on the cross. Furthermore, the Lord would teach that it was when the prodigal son was Wherever we may be exiled to this summer, may it be a profitable experience from which to learn that here we have no abiding city, and so may we be drawn ever more to long for the sudden appearance of the Lord which shall bring us, strangers and pilgrims, unto our heavenly home.
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Sunday School Project 2003/4


Well done boys and girls! 54 projects of excellent quality were submitted on the lives of John Bunyan and John G Paton. Well done too, to mums and dads for all the help given and a word of thanks to the many Sunday School teachers who provided scrap books, folders, hand outs etc. It was VERY difficult to select out prize winners - a big problem for the Sunday School Project Committee. I was very glad that all I had to do was gather in the projects and organise the prizes. Don't be disappointed if you're not listed below because you put in a super project and next year you'll have another opportunity to study the life of one of God's people who has faithfully served the Lord in the past. Indeed next years people sound really interesting - Amy Carmichael, Augustine or the Burnhams. We'll look forward to seeing your project. Prizewinners: Under 5: 1st - Lauryn Owens Omagh 2nd - Jonathan Orr Omagh 3rd - Samuel Thomson Bangor

Timmy Kelso Ballyclare

5 - 7:

1st - Samuel Hamilton Omagh Joint 2nd - Andrew Lynas Bangor Jamie Orr Omagh Joint 3rd - Rebecca McKenna Omagh Amy Adams Omagh

8 - 10:

1st - Kirsty Burke Stranmillis Joint 2nd - Debbie Lynas Bangor Alison Lynas Bangor Joint 3rd - Abigail Crawford Stranmillis Matthew Scott Bangor

11 - 13:

Joint 1st - Mark Scott Bangor Jenny Monroe Crumlin Joint 2nd - Arron Ladds Lisburn Road Elspeth Woolsey Crumlin 3rd - Abigail Ballantine Bangor 1st - Cherith Montgomery Crumlin Gareth Burke Sunday School Project Committee

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Moderators Sermon 2004 Rev Jeff Ballantine


be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble
Some months ago Rev Iain Murray was billed to preach a sermon in Albert Bridge Road Congregational Church on the subject What splits churches? I was especially intrigued when I heard that he was going to answer the question in one word. I wondered what that one word would be. Was he speaking about the minister? Ministers can be stubborn, cant they? Ask my wife! Was he speaking about elders? They are not any more free from indwelling sin than ministers, are they? Was he speaking about the deacons? Remember Spurgeons words - Resist the devil and he will flee from you, resist a deacon and he will fly at you! Or could he have been thinking about the members? His answer, however, was much more general, and so obvious when you think about it. He was speaking about pride. Is pride not at the root of all sins? Was it not pride that prompted the devil to usurp the throne of God (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28)? Was it not pride that lay behind the fall of our first parents Ye shall be as gods (Genesis 3:5)? Well brethren, have we really made so much progress in grace that this sin no longer bothers us, or could it be that pride still splits churches? Youve probably heard the story about little Jimmy who joined the army. His parents were watching him on television when he took part in the changing of the guard for the first time. His mother piped up Look, there he is, and theyre all out of step except for our little Jimmy! Then there is that other story about two people talking and one said Theyre all queer except for me and thee, and come to think of it, Im not even sure about thee! Do Christians not act like that sometimes with the result that the church is by schisms rent asunder? When we always think that someone else is wrong we have unwittingly succumbed to pride. Peter speaks about the importance of humility in 1 Peter 5:5-6. He exhorts us to be clothed with humility, to put it on like a coat, so that people cannot but take note of our demeanour. I want this evening to consider several important motives in this passage which I trust will help us cultivate this grace. One thing is certain, if we all act humbly, we
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are much less likely to split churches than if we proudly go our own way.

our actions! If we say we are imperfect while acting as if we are beyond reproach people will scoff at us and say 1) Consider the context. as Job said to his friends No doubt ye are the people and wisdom shall die with Peter is speaking about the danger of elders ruling in a worldly manner rather you (Job 12:2). Let us seek to do justly, than in a Christlike manner. In verse 3 love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8) because none of us, he warns about the danger of tyrannizing the flock,neither as lords over no matter how holy we are, are beyond succumbing to pride. Gods heritage. Brethren, its easier to lord it over the flock than we might 2) Consider yourself. think because there is a little pope in all our hearts. All we need to do is to Im sure that Peter wrote these words speak our mind, act according to with a certain shame and consciousness our feelings, and were already doing of his own failings because even as one it! If we refuse to take advice from of the foremost of the apostles he other spiritual folk; if we insist on succumbed to pride on at least one introducing change at a rate which occasion. He was absolutely convinced upsets older members; if we absolutely that it was a bad thing for our Lord to refuse to change in areas where there is go to Calvary, was he not? When our no biblical principle involved; if we Lord spoke about the necessity of intimidate others through force of suffering, his rejection by the chief personality - then pride has already priests and the scribes, his being killed begun to grip us. and rising again, Peter wouldnt have it. He was absolutely horrified. He began The context here demands that elders to rebuke his Lord, using the same in particular need to humble language as our Lord used to rebuke themselves. We must never forget the demons on another occasion (cf Mark apostolic injunction let him that thinketh 8:32 with Matthew 17:18). He fully he standeth take heed lest he fall (1 believed that he was doing the right Corinthians 10:12). It is possible for us thing, yet he was gravely mistaken! to condemn the error of perfectionism Here was a man who unwittingly while acting as if we are perfect. It is succumbed to pride and was later one thing to quote a text of scripture proven to be seriously wrong. such as not as though I had already attained, either were already a) He was sincere but mistaken. Noperfect (Philippians 3:12), but another one could doubt Peters love for the thing to admit that we may have got it Lord. He was as zealous as anyone for wrong! Theologically we can believe Christ but on this occasion his love was that perfectionism is impossible, while misdirected. Consider it possible that in sending out just the opposite signal by the midst of an argument with your
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brethren, your love for the Lord in defending the cause, as you see it, may be misdirected. We need to be particularly careful about taking a stand on an issue if other outstanding Christians have a very different perspective from ourselves. b) He also lacked knowledge. Peter had obviously misunderstood the prophecies of the Old Testament, otherwise he wouldnt have spoken the way he did. They spoke clearly about a crucified Messiah (Isaiah 53) but he didnt see it that way. His understanding was not as clever as he thought it was and time revealed that he was mistaken. Consider it possible, my friends, that your knowledge on some issue upon which you stand with great vehemence may be mistaken. What the Bible actually teaches and what you believe the Bible teaches are not necessarily the same thing. Weve all heard about dispensational truth, to be distinguished from biblical truth. There may be a difference between standing four-square on Gods Word and standing on a particular interpretation of some disputed passage. Some Christians lack knowledge and simply cannot tell the difference between essentials and nonessentials. Paul was a rock in essentials (refusing to circumcise Titus), but he was a reed in nonessentials (submitting to Timothys circumcision). Some Christians are full of the former but they know very little about the latter. The problem is that

they lack knowledge. To use Pauls words there is not in every man that knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:7). Time can prove us wrong so we need to be humble. We must consider it possible that our knowledge is not as complete as we think it is - if any man thinks that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know (1 Corinthians 8:2). c) He was governed by prejudice. Why did Peter think the way he did? He had embraced the prevailing view of the Messiah which was very different from that taught in scripture. The Jews wanted a great military leader who would deliver them from the tyranny of the Romans, not one crucified on a Roman gibbet. That is why they tried to make him king by force on one occasion (John 6), but our Lord wouldnt have it because his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). This notion was deeply rooted in the Jewish mindset. Even after Christs death the disciples had still no true spiritual understanding of this matter: we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel (Luke 24:21). They believed that Christs death marked the end of their hopes. Their thinking was still carnal, rather than spiritual. Amazingly, even on the day of the Ascension, they were still thinking of their own sort of kingdom Lord, wilt thou not at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6). Fond notions arent given up easily! Prejudice can mar the best of men. Consider it possible that when youre at the centre of a potential row in the
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church you may be prejudiced without knowing it. You may be prejudiced by your make-up, your culture, or the particular evangelical constituency which you have come from. If Peter got it wrong, so can you. 3) Consider others. In verse 5 Peter exhorts us to be subject one to another. John Brown says of this phrase While it is the duty of church officers to exercise the rule with which Christ has invested them, and for church members to yield the obedience which Christ has enjoined on them, there is a kind of mutual subjection which all church members owe to church members; which all church officers owe to all church officers, which all church officers owe to church members. In other words members may have something important to say to elders and it behoves us to listen otherwise the peace of the church may be threatened. Thats humility in action! Paul spoke on the same subject on at least two occasions Let nothing be done through strife and vainglory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:3,4), Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another (Romans 12:9). This demands a radical change in outlook from that which comes naturally to us. By nature we have a high opinion of ourselves, trust our own judgment and are suspicious of
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others motives. God demands that we have a low opinion of ourselves, distrust our own hearts and put the best possible construction on the motives of others! Maybe there is something in the psyche of Ulster folk that makes it difficult for us to think like this! Have you ever thought of the possibility that we may suffer from certain cultural sins? Paul could say, among other things that The Cretians are always liars (Titus 1:12). Maybe one of our besetting sins as a nation is that we adopt the same attitude towards religious matters as politics! We are in many ways a beleaguered people as a result of the troubles and politically we tend to have a not-an-inch mentality and what we have we hold. When this infiltrates the church and we become intransigent in secondary matters we are in trouble. There is no place for a me, myself, I mentality in the church, otherwise we will wreck havoc. Maybe were more selfish than we think! 4) Consider the devil. In verse 8 Peter says Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. When Peter penned these words he must have been cut to the bone because they would have brought to mind his own failings. In the aforementioned incident when Peter attempted to rebuke our Lord, Christ rebuked him with the words get thee behind me Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that

be of men (Mark 8:33). Peter, the great apostle, was a for a time the lackey of the devil! He had been deceived. Satan had been far cleverer than Peter ever realised and when he thought he was doing Gods work he was in fact doing the devils work!

Lord took a towel, some water and a basin, and washed his disciples feet, including those of Judas! When everyone else was sitting around waiting to be served Christ himself set an example for us (John 13:15). The Chief Shepherd doesnt rule tyrannically; on the contrary his yoke is In the middle of a church row we need easy and his burden is light (Matthew to consider it possible that unwittingly 11:30). we may be the devils lackey. It may be the case that he is not always behind Christs entire life was one of the other party. We need to remember unparalleled humility. It is interesting to his great knowledge gained from note that in Philippians chapter 2 Paul studying human nature for generations. used Christs humility to promote our We need to remember that we are no humility! The context of that great better than Peter. We need to Christological passage was one of remember that we may not be so disunity. While overall the situation in discerning as we think we are. We need that church delighted Pauls heart to remember that we can underestimate (Philippians 1:4) there was some strife the tinder of our own hearts. If what and vainglory which saddened him we do in the name of God results in (Philippians 2:3). Furthermore, Euodias destruction rather than edification then and Syntyche were at loggerheads with we must consider it possible that we one another (Philippians 4:2). Pride might be under the influence of him was rearing its ugly head. Certain who has come to steal, and to kill and to people were standing on their rights. destroy (John 10:10). It is possible to be They were insisting that their dignity be very biblical in talking about the devil acknowledged and Paul counteracted while being very gullible in resisting this leaven by asking them to reflect him! upon the most profound doctrine imaginable. 5) Consider Christ. He reminded them of the great dignity In verse 4 Peter spoke of when the chief that Christ possessed and the voluntary Shepherd shall appear. The contrast with humiliation he undertook. He spoke of the under-shepherds mentioned in Christ, Who being in the form of God, verse 3 who lord it over the sheep is thought it not robbery to be equal with God: striking! Here is the greatest example of but made himself of no reputation, and took all of what it means to be clothed with upon him the form of a servant, and was made humility. Doubtless Peter had our Lord in the likeness of men: And being found in in mind when he used this imagery, fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and particularly that moment when our became obedient unto death, even the death of
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the cross (Philippians 2:7-8). Our Lord came from the highest position imaginable to the abyss itself - for sinners. Thats humility! Professor John Murray described it as Humiliation inimitable, humiliation unrepeated, humiliation unrepeatable. Rabbi Duncan said He faced hell and damnation and bore it lovingly. The only one who had the right to stand on his rights refused to do so. And Paul spoke these words to promote humility! Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus... (Philippians 2:5)

(The lady is not for turning), God can turn us! If we become incorrigible God can correct us! Perhaps this is something that can sneak up on us subtly, particularly if weve been involved in Christian work for some time. With the increasing respect of the people there can be a corresponding confidence in our own judgment! Its possible for us to become so accustomed to ruling that we begin to think were never wrong. We may even unwittingly begin to treat those who question us with contempt. Pride can creep in so that gray hairs are here We are to have the mind of Christ. Paul and there upon him, yet he knoweth took all their petty disputes and not (Hosea 7:9). wranglings and set them in the light of Christs humiliation saying: How can Is that not what happened to Uzziah you act like that in the light of what when after a long prosperous reign he your Saviour has done for you? A ended up becoming a law unto himself? good dose of Philippians chapter 2 After fifty-two years of God-glorifying would solve most arguments in the rule when he was strong, his heart was lifted church! Sometimes Christians defend up to his destruction (2 Chronicles 26:16), the cause of Christ in a way which is with the result that he usurped the role contrary to the example of Christ. of a priest, bringing Gods judgment Theyve lost the plot. If we arrogantly upon his head. Likewise with Asa, at stand on our rights, insisting that we the end of another God-glorifying must have our own way, were very reign, he refused to listen to Gods unlike the Saviour we profess to follow. prophet and put him in prison for his faithfulness. God judged him with 6) Consider God. diseased feet (2 Chronicles 16:10-13). God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to In his usual quaint manner Matthew the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under Henry said He had put the prophet in the mighty hand of God, that he my exalt you stocks, and now God put him in stocks; so his in due time (1 Peter 5:6). A proud look punishment answered his sin. These things are written for our admonition is one of the seven things the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:11) so that we too hates (Proverbs 6:17). Friends, if we ever get to the place where we refuse to might not become puffed up with pride and cause confusion at a time of life listen to the counsel of other godly when we ought to know better. How men, and have a Thatcherite spirit different things are when we remain
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humble and distrustful of our own hearts. God gives grace to such (1 Peter 5:5) and it is to the humble that he has particular regard (Isaiah 66:2). 7) Consider Babylon. Peter wrote these words from the church that is at Babylon (chapter 5:13). Its a reminder that Christians live in a real world with real onlookers who are watching their every move. Humility is not something the world is noted for. The Spirit of the world is to go for it, get what you want, dog eat dog. We have an opportunity to exhibit a different spirit - the grace of Christian humility. If we do that we will enjoy a unity that the world knows nothing about. It is our duty to pursue that because our Lord prayed that they all may be one.. that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:21). He didnt pray for uniformity, thats cultish, but he did pray for unity. He prayed that all of Gods people, with all of their peculiarities and diversities, be of the same mind. That means that we have to work out our salvation together with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12,13). It means that we will accept that God alone is Lord of the conscience and we will not lord it over others (WCF chap 20: par 2). It means that we will not be selfish and insist on our own rights. What an impact we would make on a watching world if we all lived like that! The onlooking world can respond to the people of God in one of two ways.

They can marvel at the way we dwell together in unity because that is only possible by divine grace, or they can scoff and mock because we are no better than the world. We can either be a goad to their conscience or an excuse for them not to believe. To a greater or lesser degree our humility will determine the response. 8) Consider the judgment. when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Peter 5:4). Consideration of the judgment to come should keep us humble. None of Gods people will ever be condemned (Romans 8:1). Our salvation is not in doubt because we have passed from death unto life (John 5:24). However, we can never take the question of rewards lightly. Does Paul not teach clearly that among those who have built on the right foundation, Jesus Christ, there will be some who will see their work for the Lord go up in smoke? It will be revealed on that day as wood, hay and stubble rather than gold, silver and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). That should make us think before we act in a way which might wreck a church! There are many actions which we may justify down here in the name of defending the faith, but if were proud and intolerant and insist on having our own way in areas which are biblically indefensible we will answer for our folly one day. Those who act like that risk seeing a fireworks display which will not be to their liking. We all
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must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). It is possible for Christs little children to be ashamed before him at his coming (1 John 2:28)! Its interesting to note that in the middle of a passage about things indifferent Paul reminds us that every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). In other words, if we dont exhibit Pauls flexibility in non-essentials and inflexibility in essentials we will answer to God for our confusion of categories.

as far as scripture and public order permitted very attractive. On one occasion he wrote these well-known words to a minister of the Scottish church: Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the word of God, all that you say? I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken. In any church situation where there is a row brewing which involves you, then think it possible you may be mistaken!

He that is down need fear no fall; He Let me illustrate from Oliver Cromwell, that is low no pride; the father of toleration. It is one of the He that is humble ever shall have God great tragedies of church history that to be his guide. Cromwell and the Presbyterians with whom he had so much in common had disputes and Im not always sure the Presbyterians were right! I find Cromwells policy of promoting liberty

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The Moodys Farewell

Picture of Andrew & Eun Hee

Approximately 100 were present at the Farewell and Commissioning Service held in Knock EPC on Friday 16th April for Andrew & Eun Hee Moody as they readied themselves for departure for missionary labours in Goli, Uganda, under the auspices of Korean World Mission. Kind words and counsel were given by Mr Tony Wallace (Irish Secretary AIM), prayer was led by Mr Gordon McCullough (Prayer Co-ordinator of AIM) and personal testimony came from Andrew himself. Rev Stephen Atkinson (Andrews minister in Knock EPC) made pastoral comment on the Moodys providential delays and personal development and preached the Word from Romans 1:11-15 on The Missonarys Vision. Andrews ministry will be to strengthen the Ugandan church through literature projects similar to the Misson Africa ACTs project in Nigeria. Indeed contact has been made with the Garlands in the hope that their experience and publishing contacts can be shared. Eunice is to be involved in health education in a part-time capacity in Goli Health Centre.
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Our house is almost empty. We have ordered our bed and will have to get other furniture made for the house; fortunately it is not expensive to get furniture made here. We also need other household items. This will take time, but we are not in a hurry. We are Today is our second Sunday in Goli. It staying in Sr. Kims house until ours is seems only a few days ago that we were ready for us. One important piece of leaving UK. Much has happened since work has already been done to our house. It had two squat toilets, but now then. one has been converted to a Western We arrived in Kampala on Wed. 28th at type with a real toilet seat. It is outside, 5.30am! We were met by our good but we are in Africa! friend Sr. Kim. She took us to the place where we would stay in Kampala. We We have been meeting several people. arrived in time for breakfast. We stayed Bishop Alphonse officially welcomed in Kampala for a week. We spent this us to Goli. We explained to him what we hoped to do, and he prayed for us. time buying various things that we would need in Goli. We also visited the Andrew is going to start a photocopy Archbishop; he is the one who business in Goli; there isnt one in the originally asked us to come to Goli area at the moment. He will use the when he was Bishop of Nebbi. profits to help fund his book project.

Letter from Goli:

house.

Just arrived in Uganda.

Andrew Moody

Our freight arrived the day before we did and was cleared by Friday. We packed Sr. Kims 4-wheel drive on the following Wednesday evening with as much as we could. We had to leave five boxes in Kampala; this was not too bad since we had four barrels, eight boxes, and all our luggage with us.

Joy had a good journey from UK to here; she slept most of the way! She is adjusting well to life in Uganda. She does not seem to mind the heat, or all the black faces! She is also eating local food., is now able to sit up and is trying to stand up.

Thanks for your prayers. God is The drive from Kampala to Goli took 7 answering them! 1/2 hours. We left at around 5am and arrived in time for lunch. We have been Love from Uganda given a large house near to the church Andrew, Eunice, & Joy Moody. offices and health centre. This will be our home for the next year. After that we will be expected to build our own
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PAMELA IN NIGERIA @HOTMAIL.COM


Change? Yes and No! We all face changes in our lives. Some can be big changes and some small. Some people cope with change better than others. For me, I know this is one of my weaknesses; Im not good with change. Over these past few months in Nigeria Ive found that in the middle of change it is good to remind myself that GOD NEVER CHANGES. He is immutable; He always loves and cares for me; He has a plan and purpose for my life; he can be trusted at all times; He will always keep his promises. Pauls words to the Philippians give us this confidence: I am sure that God, who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again (Philippians 1:6). Some Seasonal Changes Weve had a change in the weather recently. The rains have come now and people are going to their farms to plant their crops. Were asked yaya ruwa? how is the rain? The answer is ruwa ya yi gyara - the rain is repairing (the ground). It certainly is and the place is looking lovely and green again. Its mango season and the trees are

heavy with fruit. Everywhere you look you see mangoes for sale - at a good price too! Hillcrest School has now finished until August. The hostel is quiet next door with the boarders having gone to their homes. Many missionary families travel to the US or the UK during the school holidays. Its good to be reunited with loved ones. Even now Im thinking of that change which is ahead of me. Itll be good to see my dear family and friends again, and to meet my new niece for the first time! Change at Church There has been a change of pastor in our Plateau Church (a congregation of the denomination known as ECWA, the Evangelical Church of West Africa). Pray for Rev Benjamin Nasara as he faces many changes. Pray for our Associate Pastor, Charles Dah, as he helps Rev Nasara settle in.
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My Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class has closed for the summer months. Ive found this class to be so profitable spiritually. We have learned a lot in our studies of Israel and the Minor Prophets. Many times I have sat in my class or the main lecture and thought this message is for me today. Isnt it encouraging to know that God continues to speak to his people? He lovingly teaches and instructs us in his Word and Ive been blessed as Ive been reminded not to despise small beginnings, the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10). As Ive looked back over this my first tour of service here in Nigeria Im aware that my beginning seems small and insignificant but Im thankful that the Lord rejoices to see it.

warehouse which will also incorporate a shop and offices. Safety and Security In all these changes I have been aware of God's call to take courage and work, for I am with you, says the Lord Almighty (Haggai 2:4).

Recently a State of Emergency was proclaimed in our Plateau State. There are now a lot more police and military vehicles passing through Jos and we are more aware of our need of prayer for peace locally. Many lives have been lost in recent ethnic clashes between Christians and Muslims in southern Plateau State. Pray that this trouble will not spread to Jos and Bukuru. Even the number of mission compounds that armed robbers have targeted has ACTs increased recently. Pray with us that we The Lord also continues to be faithful will know the Lords peace ruling our hearts and minds and that we will be in the changing / growing work and ministry of Africa Christian Textbooks confident that nothing you do for Him is a (ACTs). We have seen a fourth ACTs waste of time or effort (1 Cor 15:58). bookshop open in Ogbomosho; had The words of this hymn have often our ACTs website revamped; produced gone through my mind and Ive been and printed 6,000 copies of our new challenged to make them into a prayer: catalogue; rejoiced as the dispute over Through all the changing scenes of life, in our land came to an end and as the trouble and in joy; surrounding wall and front entrance The praises of my God shall still my heart and have been completed; continued our library staff training programme; started tongue employ. to make available a free library book set Thank you for your continued love and for theological colleges and other prayers. I look forward to renewing ministry/mission institutions; and worked to get 11 new publications into fellowship with you during my furlough print since the New Year. We continue (home assignment) this autumn. Love & prayers - Pamela to look to the Lord to supply our needs as we prepare drawings for the new
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The closing chapters of Scripture with all their mystery reveal to us some of the most glorious themes concerning the believers future, and yet also some of the most awful matters concerning those who remain without Christ. In these articles we turn our attention to that - New Day Dawning.

The Dimensions and Distinctions of the Holy City


v12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a
jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

(Revelation Chapter 21:12-21 )


by

Rev Stephen Atkinson


We must begin by saying that what is spoken of here is not a physical city as we would know it. It is a community with inter-personal relationships. This is not speaking of where we shall live. Rather the City itself is the Bride, and the Body, and the People of God. What we have is not the dimensions of the home of many mansions. Remember that this is symbol and vision. We can so humanise the picture and inanimate it when we think of pearly gates and streets of gold. That is the symbol but the symbol is not of a heavenly mega-city, it is of the people, the Bride herself. When brought here to consider the dimensions and distinctions, it is not
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that we are having described for us our We have already mentioned the home, but rather our perfected state, in perfections of the Bride. She is a corporate manner. beautifully dressed. Christ died on the cross to pay the price for his people, 1. THE DIMENSIONS and his perfect righteousness clothes Paraphrasing Revelation 21, this City is them. We learn here that his work is shaped as a cube, with three gates on all not only a beautifying but also a perfecting work. four sides. The wall is about 200 feet thick, and the length, breadth, and The Cube symbolises GODS height are of the same dimension; that PRESENCE is, about 1,400 miles. Solomons Temple had an entrance Now there are some who will persist in hall, then the Holy Place, and then, the the literalism of this and speak of it most Holy place. The Holy of Holies having enough space for all the elect, was cube shaped, symbolising that having in their minds eye layer upon perfection. As this vision was brought layer of housing to create a galactic before John he would have in mind the mega city nearly reaching from London Holy of Holies, and the fact that to New York and as tall as broad. because our Lord entered not the cube copy on earth, but entered heaven If we take a symbolic approach the dimensions nonetheless are important, bearing his own blood, the Holy of Holies curtain was torn, and we can though we need not strain them. The number 12 frequently appears. This is a have access to God through our Lord number of perfection and completion, Jesus Christ. particularly organisational perfection. The 12 stars were believed to organise the night sky. 12 had the sense of order and perfect government. We find that this city has 12 gates, 12 foundations, 12,000 stadia cubed, with a wall 12x12 (144) cubits thick. Now what does this mean?
The Cube symbolises

As we consider this vision of the perfected saints in glory, the shekinah glory of God is shining from within. In this cube shaped Holy of Holies City God and his re-creation are in perfect unspoiled communion.
The Cube symbolises

CAPACITY Now I dont want us to have a mental picture of a mega city with level upon level taking the city up 1,400 literal miles. But dont throw out the whole image. This is a picture which speaks of capacity.

PERFECTION In the ancient world, the square and more the cube were considered symbols of perfection. We would still use the phrase four-square implying correctness or perfection.
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Dont think of it showing us the many rooms of John 14, but the truth of John 14 should still be with us. In my fathers house are many dwellings. The city is capacious, as people come from every tribe and nation and tongue. This vision must have struck John as to its expanse. The dimensions would have beggared belief, and certainly John must have found difficulty putting vision into words, - of course, with the verbal help of the Spirit of God. What great dimensions this city has! How great is Zion, City of our God. How grand and great the number of the elect of God, gathered together here, in the symbol of a cube city of mighty proportions. Does this not thrill your heart as we lament our smallness and how ineffectual our words and witness? How small the interest in the things of God these days; how slow the work; how disappointing. But saints, look up at this wonderful sight of a capacious city, beyond imagination, yet each individual is known and precious to God. 2. THE DISTINCTIONS There are several notably distinct images that we are given. There is a great high and thick wall around this city. There are 12 gates. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel are written upon the gates. The wall has great foundations, 12 in fact, and on the foundations are written the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.

The fabric of the wall and gates is also distinct. The wall is made of jasper. The city is of pure gold. The foundations were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The gates were each made of a single pearl. The street was of pure gold. Now let us take these things and endeavour to understand what this means, and what it means for us.
Entering this City

You enter a city through the gate. These gates had names on them. They bore witness to the Old Testament people of God, the tribes of Israel. Indeed the Old Testament scriptures bore witness to the entering of this city. Furthermore we believe that in this city there will be the saints of Old Testament times. So it is good and right for us to see the names of the tribes on the gateways. But what about the way in? How do we get into this city? How do you become a Christian? How do you come to be part of this wonderful vision? Answer, you go through the Gate! In John 10 Jesus said I am the Gate for the sheep. Go to Jesus Christ, desiring your sins forgiven by his blood. He has paid the price. You must enter through him and be saved. I remember someone trying to be clever and point out that there are 12 gates into heaven implying that there are many ways in, through many religions. Not so. These gates are not
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differing ways in, but all are symbolised The Magnificence of this City as a pearl - a single pearl. From staggering dimensions to eyeA pearl can bring to mind many things. catching distinctions, this city is How a pearl is formed? A tiny speck of unsurpassed in its magnificence. Well of course it is, for it is also the Bride, dust irritates the mollusc and layer the Wife of the Lamb, beautiful, upon layer is put over this to cover it until the irritant is completely covered splendid, radiant with the glory of God. and overshadowed by this pearl. Fishermen may seek to find a great The redeemed people of God have pearl, a large pearl, of great price. such a magnificence that is beyond Now what do we have in this picture? - description within our feeble but a magnificent and enormous pearl. vocabulary, and our finite imagination. So we have set before us a magnificent He is the Pearl of great price. The and immense cubed city, bedecked irritant of our sin, he has completely with jewels, and with streets of gold. It covered and in the suffering of his death he has produced a beautiful and is magnificently symmetrical and organised. It is magnificently ornate glorious gate to the kingdom, a pearl which is priceless - Jesus Christ himself and beautified. The words of mortal tongues fail at this point. Here is the and his atoning work. city whose builder is God; the city The Security of this City whose foundations are the apostles and Last time we made mention of the fact prophets with Christ Jesus as the chief corner stone. of the finished, completed, perfected nature of the Bride, the Wife of the What a carefully constructed election! Lamb. So too here, we have in the What a magnificent masterpiece of symbol of the walled city, the symbol divine predestination and purpose! of security. Of course there is no What an stunning exhibit of his will enemy in this picture at all, but and good pleasure! And wonder of nonetheless there is within this picture wonders, what a inconceivable display the assurance that all are safely of grace that the Lord Jesus Christ gathered in and there is also something should call this city, this Bride, the of an exclusion in this vision. This is fullness of him who fills everything in brought out more explicitly in v27 every way. only those whose names are written in the lambs book of life. But also here with the vision of a walled city there is the symbol of not only a secure inclusion Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. but an exclusion.
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Apologies
Part 4 - The PERSON OF CHRIST
Michael Trimble
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets, at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of Gods glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews, Chapter 1: Verses 1-3. In this brief apologetic series we have been considering progressive stages of revelation, from the general revelation of Gods created power seen in the natural world, to the specific verbal revelation of the Bible. Now we consider Gods final and personal revelation of himself in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a unique person, and I hope to discuss this unique nature considering prophecies made about him, his own claims about himself and the acts and miracles he performed. Prophecies
He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah

7:14).
He would minister in Galilee (Isaiah

9:11).
He would enter Jerusalem

triumphantly riding on a donkeys colt (Zechariah 9:9).


He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of

silver (Zechariah 11:13). sinners (Isaiah 53:4-5). 22:16).

He would suffer in the place of His hands would be pierced (Psalm

There are many prophecies about Jesus They would cast lots for his clothing found in the bible - for example it is (Psalm 22:18). predicted: He would be buried in a rich mans That Jesus would be born of the tribe grave (Isaiah 53:9). of Judah (Genesis 49:10). He would be raised from the dead He would be of the line of David (Psalm 16:10). (Isaiah 9:7). These are just a few instances of He would be born in Bethlehem fulfilled prophecy in the life of Christ. (Micah 5:2).
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Christs claims for himself.


He claimed to be the Messiah (John

4:36).
The bread of life (John 6:35). The Son of God (John 8:54). The light of the world (John 9:5). The resurrection and the life (John

about him being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us, he did not intend to. The Miracles Consider the uniqueness of Christ on the basis of his miracles. While miracles are so often dismissed nowadays Jesus himself said At least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves(John 14:11). The miracles of Jesus are not the whimsical bizarre miracles of a Greek fable, rather, they demonstrate Jesus character and power as the Son of God. We note here just five episodes from the Gospel of Mark. Mark 1:21-27 showed Jesus power over evil as he drives out an evil spirit from a man at a synagogue on the Sabbath. Mark 1:40-42 We read of Jesus demonstrating his power over illness as he heals a man with leprosy. Mark 4:35-41 Jesus demonstrates his power over the forces of nature as he calms a storm threatening to overwhelm the boat that he and his disciples were travelling in across the Sea of Galilee. Mark 5:22-24 Jesus demonstrates his power over death as he raises the daughter of Jairus, the synagogue ruler from the dead. Mark 6:35-44 In the familiar story of the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus demonstrates his power to provide for the needs for his people.

11:25).

The lord and master of his disciples

(John 13:13).

The way, the truth and life and the

only way to God (John 14:6).


The true vine (John 15:1).

These are claims that cannot be easily dismissed. CS Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes: I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him: I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher but I dont accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God: or else a mad man or else something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense
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The Resurrection

Jewish leaders, what was there to be gained by them? In order to refute the The greatest and most important of claims of the disciples regarding the Jesus miracles is that of his own resurrection they would merely need to resurrection. If Christ has not been raised, produce the body and quash the myth. your faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). Post-Resurrection Appearances The Bible clearly presents the resurrection of Christ as a historical The post-resurrection appearances have fact. The book of Acts begins, In my been explained away as being mere former book Theophilus I wrote about all that hallucinations seen by his bereaved Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he followers but this is not credible when was taken up to heaven after giving instructions we consider that it is recorded that on through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had one such occasion the risen Christ chosen. After his suffering he showed himself to appeared to more than 500 believers at these men and gave many convincing proofs that the same time. It has been said that he was alive. He appeared to them over a post resurrection experiences are a period of 40 days and spoke to them about the fiction put about by the disciples but Kingdom of God. then again why would the perpetrators of such a myth be prepared to die for Many explanations have been given by this cause? Without the resurrection of an unbelieving world for the Christ how can you explain the change phenomenon of the resurrection of in the disciples from the fearful, Jesus from the dead. There has been timorous hiding group described at the the popular swoon theory where it is end of the Gospels to the bold stated that Jesus did not die but merely evangelizing church that we read about fainted on the cross. However, the in Acts? Indeed without the Roman soldiers who executed him resurrection of Christ how can you would have been well familiar with the explain the existence of the Church appearance of a dead body and would today? Without the resurrection of not easily mistake someone who had Christ how can you explain the personal merely collapsed; that was their job. testimony of many believers? Even so, would such a badly beaten and mutilated victim be able to present The topics that we have considered in himself as the Lord triumphant over these articles are often the subject for death? heated debates, and often such debate can degenerate into little more than There is a theory that the body had point scoring. I have written these been stolen - but by whom? If the articles not just as an intellectual disciples had stolen it why would they exercise but because my view of these then be prepared to go on and die for matters concerns their practical their belief in Christ as the risen Lord? importance. It is not just a theoretical If it was the Roman authorities or the
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matter whether there is real right and real wrong. It is not just a theoretical matter whether we are the creation of an almighty God or the product of chance in an empty universe. It is not just of theoretical interest whether the Bible is a collection of myths and legends of questionable historical worth, or the very word of God himself. It is no abstract matter whether Jesus Christ was just an itinerant Jewish preacher or the very Son of God. This is more than just an exercise in philosophy. Our views on these truths will determine the quality of our life not just here and now, but in eternity.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. However, this passage continues later but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son. And later whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life for Gods wrath remains on him (John 3:16, 18, 36). To conclude with a quotation from the world of sport: Its not just a matter of life and death. Its more important that that.

OBITUARY
Mr Archer Scott Lisburn Rd Although he was not a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, we depart from normal practice to include this obituary of Mr Archer Scott, who died on November 14th 2003. A lifelong member of the Church of Ireland he, nevertheless, used his time and talents in other areas of Christian work. At the time of the destruction of the Lisburn Road Church building (of which his late wife had been a member) he gave his support to the work there, leading the Bible Study and Prayer Meetings on many occasions, in addition to much practical help. He was greatly beloved in the congregation which has felt his loss most keenly. For a number of years he helped in the finance department of Belfast Bible College, as well as assisting in the joint Church in Taughmonagh Estate where he ran a men's Bible Class. He supported the N Ireland branch of the Civil Service Christian Union of which he was a Vice-president, and conducted lunch-time Bible Studies as well as contributing articles for their magazine. He was a good man, of strong conviction, who loved his Lord with passion and rendered willing and valuable service to the cause of Christ, at home and abroad, over many years. We miss him on earth, but rejoice that he is with his Saviour in glory. Samuel Watson
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The story of Groomsport Evangelical Presbyterian Church


Vision for the Nineties In November 1988 the EPC Presbytery set up a Strategy Committee with representatives from each congregation, to consider the denominations way ahead, and in March 1990 the Committee reported with a paper entitled Vision for the Nineties. One of its recommendations was that the Church Extension Committee should examine openings for establishing new EPC congregations. After considering three potential locations Presbytery decided to start a work in Bangor, and an Interim Session, consisting of Rev Mark Johnston (Interim Moderator), Dr Andrew Woolsey and Mr Dobbin Kelly, was appointed to oversee the work. The growing population of Bangor and the scarcity of Reformed witness in the area were factors in the decision. Rev Jeff Ballantine was installed as Minister at a meeting on Wednesday 4 January 1995 when Rev N E Reid gave the charge to the Minister, speaking from 2 Peter 1:1-4, and Rev A A Woolsey the Charge to the Congregation, basing his address on Acts 2:41-47. The Ballantine family moved to Bangor in April 1995, and in October the church relocated to the Bangor Gymnasium Hall further along Hamilton Road which remained the venue until the opening of the new church.

During part of the summer of 1995 the Church took the opportunity to begin an annual Holiday Bible Club for about 20 children each evening at the nearby Groomsport caravan site. This was to be a significant association with Groomsport. The Sunday School was formed in October 1995. Throughout Bangor Mission Church its early years the church engaged in The opening meeting of the new church door-to-door outreach and conducted took place on Sunday 6 March 1994 at services in two residential homes. 3.00 pm in Hamilton House with Rev D A Church Building W H Thomas as the speaker. These Sunday afternoon meetings continued During the first eight years of its life the until 22 October 1994 when regular congregation, conscious of the morning and evening services and a importance of a building for its own weekly Prayer Meeting were introduced. identity, searched diligently for suitable
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premises or a site on which to build. Opportunities arose and the church investigated four different leads, two of which raised strong expectations of a happy conclusion. Then, towards the end of 2000, interest focused on a site in Groomsport on the opposite side of the road from the Caravan Park which had been the venue of the annual Holiday Bible Club. Clearly, it was an ideal, high profile site, and the absence of evangelical witness in Groomsport made it a particularly desirable field of witness. A short time later, Mr David Donnelly, the owner of the site and of the Caravan Park, with whom we had developed a good relationship, most generously made a gift of the new site to the Church. Prayer had led him to the decision.

-appointed Rev Ballantine for another three years, and in September 2001 the congregation elected Mr Dobbin Kelly as its first Ruling Elder. At the evening service of 14 May 2002 Les Fullerton, Brian Magee, Kevin Scott and Alan Thomson were installed as the congregations first deacons. The Groomsport Church is still a Mission Church, but the congregation anticipate achieving full congregational status in the near future according to the good hand of our God. Official Opening

More than 250 people gathered for the official opening on the afternoon of Saturday 8 May 2004. The Minister, Rev Jeff Ballantine, led the meeting, Mr Dobbin Kelly provided the narrative, and Rev Dr A A Woolsey preached So the long, patient and sometimes from 1 Kings 8 on Solomons prayer. disappointing search came to a conclusion. The local Council granted The YPA choir contributed two items planning permission and although there of praise. During the meeting the was yet another twist in the story when Church presented Bibles to Mr David Donnelly, to the architect, and to the some local residents generated a campaign of objection to the Councils builders foreman in sincere consent, the formal document arrived appreciation of their part in providing such an attractive building with so on 14 June 2002 and building work many superlative facilities. After the began in the autumn. The Officemeeting the congregation served bearers of the EPC Crumlin refreshments. congregation liberally supplied the money for building from the Mackey Now unto him that is able to do exceeding Memorial Fund. The Church held its abundantly above all that we ask or think, first Lords Day services in the new according to the power that worketh in us, Church building on 2 May 2004. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Minister and Office-Bearers Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. In the meantime the work consolidated Amen. and grew. In January 2001 Presbytery re
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Books etc.
A Cornish Revival
Life and Times of Samuel Walker

Tim Shenton Evangelical Press 400 pages 16.95 Reviewer: Joe Hutton I found this book a very enjoyable and informative read as well as an encouragement for the believer by showing how God can perform remarkable wonders through his people, even when the tide of evil seems so great.

of God. Rev. Walker laboured faithfully in the Parish of Truro for all of his ministry and his faithful love and care for the people under his care is a shining example to all. Ignoring all care for himself and sometimes to the detriment of his health he loved the Lord and his word and work and dearly loved those in need of Christ with a burning passion.

His life was also a great inspiration to other ministers with whom he came into contact and he made a great and lasting impression on them for their good and the glory of God. The The author, Tim Shenton, begins by presenting the reader with a stark view Wesleys esteemed him so highly that in of the depths of depravity which life in all their travels in Cornwall they did not visit Truro, believing that good man of England and in Cornwall in particular God, Rev. Walker was serving God so had sunk into in Walkers day. His opening chapter, A County of Lawless well in the Gospel they could safely leave the work there to him. Barbarians, paints a grim picture of mid 18th century life in Cornish towns I would heartily commend the book to where petty criminals were flogged all; there is much in it that we can learn openly in the streets and hangings were not least of all by seeing the great regarded as fashionable entertainment. compassion Walker had for dying men Throughout the book he also describes and women to win them for Christ. how much the Established church had forgotten God and its calling, though I feel sadly he mistakenly remained naively faithful to it when perhaps separation (which he strongly opposed) would have been better. He had a true pastors heart with an eye always for the glory and honour of the God he loved and loved to serve. When many around him paid lip-service to Christianity, he lived it out in full and brought honour on King Jesus as a result.

While disagreeing with some of his views of the Methodists, the A good book to take on holiday and to disagreements he had with them and of take time to read thoughtfully. his churchmanship, he was a true Man

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The Rise of Evangelicalism


Mark A Noll IVP (Apollos) 316 pages 16.99 Reviewer: Mervyn Langtry This work is the first of a five volume series charting the history of evangelicalism from the 1730s to the end of the twentieth century. The writer of this first volume, Mark Noll, is Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Illinois.

The God of All Comfort


Evangelical Press 288 pages 8.95 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson My daughter is presently working laboriously through the theories and postulations of scholars for A level R.E. Deutero-Isaiah is the commonly accepted title as one of the portions for her study. We dont find Roger Ellsworth using this title or engaging in such silly controversies. He speaks of the last 27 chapters of Isaiah as a book within a book, not a Second Isaiah, but Isaiahs book of comfort. The author therefore brings before us not theoretical dreams but theological direction from God to his wounded people, who would suffer the judgment of his exile, but who would not suffer his abandonment.

The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and Roger Ellsworth the Wesleys

The book presents a coherent narrative of the origins, development and diffusion of evangelical movements from the 1730s to the 1790s. It focuses on Britain and North America but links to Europe, Africa and Australia as well. In addition, it sets out the definition of evangelicalism which will unite all five volumes. This stresses conversion, reliance on Scripture, activism and the The book is set out as devotional centrality of the cross of Christ. material for 27 days, and would be People, movements, events and ideas most useful for a detailed time in the are covered in an easily digestible Word (perhaps over the summer?). format which many will find both Each day has a planned schedule for challenging and rewarding. Biographical the reader which includes prayer, notesketches of key figures such as gathering, and personal questioning. Jonathan Edwards, the Wesleys, George Whitefield, Selina, Countess of Two quotes will suffice to give us a taster: What a terrible thing sin is! But Huntingdon, John Newton and Hannah More are included along with what a wonderful thing forgiveness is! We cannot erase the handwriting of sin, other less well known characters. but God can (p56). And later in the book he dispels an age old problem A very worthwhile, indeed gripping, book. Chastisement is not God getting even with his people for their sins. He did
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that on the cross. It is God helping them to be what they ought to be for their own well-being (p94).

played on Sundays rather than Saturdays. He is stuck between going to church to worship or to continue playing in this team, which has proved This is good comfort for Gods church enjoyable for Ben. He tries to do both is these days of his judgment and but soon realises it wont work. displeasure, and maybe a useful springboard for a few pastors to engage His mum asks him the important in a Comforting series of sermons. question of Who do you love more, God or football? He says he would Growing Up rather do both and blames God for Peter Jeffrey changing the day of the matches. He soon realises that none of his friends Evangelical Press on the team are Christians and after 48 pages 2.95 having an important conversation with Reviewer: Ian Atkinson (aged 14) his dad understands that God loves Growing up is a book all about a boy him far more than he can imagine and called Ben and his experiences in his he willingly goes to church instead of pre-teenage and teenage years. It playing football. includes every day scenarios for people of that age group. Each of the different I think this book offers many chapters are single events in Bens life. important lessons and is easy to understand for young Christians The first chapter is called Ben and his around the age of 13-14. grandfather. It is all about how his grandfather has a heart attack and goes (Editors comment: Please be aware that this booklet is written from a Baptistic perspective, to hospital. It contains many lessons for us to learn about our Christian lives and has two chapters on Baptism.) and what happens at death.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones
(Travel with Series)

I think the main aim of this book is to teach young people such lessons and how to act when these situations approach us. All the chapters in the book have scripture passages along with the newly learned lesson. For example in chapter 3, Ben the sportsman joins a successful football team and receives trophies and medals for taking part in the team, but during the summer he finds out that in the following year all the games are to be

Philip H Eveson Day One Publications 128 pages 9.95 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson In addition to their titles on John Knox, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, William Booth, and the British Museum, Day One continue their excellent series of Travel Guides, and Philip Eveson presents us with a potted
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life of MLJ, overflowing with many beautiful photos and directions for those wishing to tour these sites of interest. All these guides deserve the widest circulation. While we are not in the business of setting up meritorious

Protestant pilgrimages, we have much to thank God for, and stones of remembrance, such as these guides portray, deserve our consideration and meditation, that we may be stirred to imitation.

WHY BELIEVE THE BIBLE John Blanchard 40 pages Evangelical Press 1.50 Practical advice on a contemporary issue. photo of book cover

John Blanchard and Evangelical Press have done us another service in the production of popular, attractive and most useful presentations of truth that connects with Joe Public. In Why Believe the Bible, Blanchard, with his usual style, grips you from page one as he unfolds the story of a person who was set up, caught, imprisoned and killed - and why? He translated a book! The man was William Tyndale; the book was the Bible. Blanchard continues to display the prejudiced hatred against this book, as well as setting forth its divine origin, thereby being the anvil that breaks all human hammers. With clear argument he challenges the common dismissals of the Bible as being irrelevant, corrupt, unscientific and contradictory. Briefly and yet not superficially, he sets out clearly that the Bible is the Word of God and cannot be dismissed easily, nor without serious consequence. He quotes R. C. Sproul, If the Bible is trustworthy, then we must take seriously the claim that it is more than trustworthy (p30). As Tyndale and all the reformers discovered, it is a dangerous process to bring vital truth comprehensibly to the modern world: you may be attacked from within, and without. But nonetheless, we must take the Bible, Gods inerrant revelation to man, and deliver it clearly and perspicuously, leaving men without excuse. Blanchards heavenly wisdom will be of earthly use to those wishing to engage this biblically ignorant age - and does that not mean all of us?
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(John Bunyan presented the world with a wonderful picture of Christian experience in The Pilgrims Progress. Not so well known is Part II concerning Christiana, Pilgrims wife. We plan here to retell some of the main parts of the story.)

PILGRIMS PROGRESS PART II

- (4) Fruit Trees Christiana, her boys, and her neighbour Mercy had all now come through the Gate. As they walked along they noticed a wall running along the side the road. Some fruit trees were growing on the other side of the wall, but some of their branches hung over onto their pathway. Christianas boys ran towards them, started to shake them and got some of the fruit and ate it. Christiana shouted at them but it was too late. You shouldnt have done that. That fruit is not ours, and it might not be safe. Some time later Christianas boy called Matthew fell sick, and they had to send for a doctor called Mr Skill. He asked the usual questions doctors ask: What has he been eating? Christiana answered Good food, nothing but good food. Well, said the doctor I think this lad has been eating some other food also. Then they remembered the fruit trees near the Gate that the boys had eaten from. Christiana began to get worried and asked, Is it serious? Yes, some have died of this, said Mr Skill. But dont worry, I have something here that will make him vomit up the poison. It is made ex carne et sanguine Christi. You know how we doctors like to use strange language. The boy took the medicine, and after much sweating and being sick, he fell asleep, and when he awoke he was much better. ................................................ We are reminded by this incident how careful we need to be, not simply about eating our normal food, but eating spiritual food. We need to feed our souls on good things, and not eat the fruit on the other side of the road; the fruit of the ways of the world. But if we do, Mr Skills advice is to take our sins to Calvary to be cleansed by the blood of Christ (sanguine Christi). It will make us sick - that is, sick of our sin, and we may even sweat in our souls, but we shall soon wake up in good spiritual health. Are you On Course with Christiana?

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Summer Reading
Trailblazers Biographies for 9-14 year olds. 3.99 Amy Carmichael Rescuer by Night Robert Murray McCheyne Life is an Adventure Bill Bright Dare to be different Joni Eareckson Tada Swimming against the Tide 2.99 each

Richard D Phillips A former associate of Dr James Montgomery Boice carries on his rich expository heritage. His titles include:Chosen in Christ Ephesians Chapter One 8.95 6.75 Encounters with Jesus 8.95 6.75 Faith Victorious Hebrews Chapter Eleven 8.95 6.75 Mighty to Save Miracles of Jesus 7.95 5.75 Turning Your World Upside-down Parables of Jesus 7.95 5.95 Peter Brain Going the Distance 10.00 An Australian Evangelical bishop advises how to stay fit for a lifetime of ministry. John Blanchard Don Carson Nick Needham Has Science got rid of God? Basics for Believers (Philippians) 4.99 6.99 3.50 11.50 10.99 1.50 4.99

2000 Years of Christs Power Vol. 3 Renaissance & Reformation 13.95 Previous volumes each only

Derek Thomas Praying the Saviours Way (Lords Prayer) 4.99

Ligon Duncan Westminster Confession into the 21st Century 22.99 17.99 (editor) This is the second volume of essays by a galaxy of Reformed scholars on our Presbyterian creed.

Bargain Bibles
We have recently received hundreds of leather Authorised Version and New King James Bibles at greatly reduced prices.