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OurOurOur GreatestGreatestGreatest NeedNeedNeed TodayTodayToday TheTheThe SmallSmallSmall andandand SteadySteadySteady ChurchChurchChurch TheTheThe HealingHealingHealing ofofof thethethe Nobleman’sNobleman’sNobleman’s SonSonSon JohnJohnJohn GrierGrierGrier RetiresRetiresRetires

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is published bi-monthly by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Please visit: www.epcni.org.uk Follow us on

Church. Please visit: www.epcni.org.uk Follow us on Policy Policy The views expressed are those of the

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The views expressed are those of the Editor and Contributors which are understood to reflect the theological position of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church

EditorEditor

Harold Gibson ‘Stockbridge’ 2 Barronstown Court DROMORE BT25 1FB

hgibson@barronstown.force9.net

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CoverCover PhotographPhotograph

Crinan, Argylla small picturesque village between Lochgilphead and Oban. It is situated at the head of the famous 15-lock Crinan Canal and has a spectacular view over Loch Crinan. Photo: H Gibson

TakeTake NoteNote

WhereWhereWhere areareare wewewe going?going?going?

The important thing, according to Prime Minister Cameron at the recent Conserva- tive Party Conference in Birmingham, is not where we came from but where we are go- ing. Such words had an almost evangelistic ring to them but given the man who spoke them we can dismiss that thought immedi- ately. His thoughts were not centred on the after life, rather more on life without any thought that it might one day end.

When we think of our land, our church and our individual lives perhaps it is a good time to reflect as another year will soon con- clude, and ask, “Where are we going?”

As a nation we are in serious moral decline, there is change and decay all around us, God’s law is flouted and despised. Same- sex marriage, changes to the abortion law and the ongoing campaign against Chris- tians witnessing in certain professions and careers. Our land is ripe for judgement.

As a church we too know decline, (numerical rather than moral thankfully), but there are signs of encouragement in some of our congregations. For this we must be thankful in these days of ‘small things’. Our need for ministers is a pressing issue and one we must pray about faithfully and daily.

As individuals we need to take stock of our own spiritual lives and ask, “Am I growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord? Is my walk with God closer at the end of 2012 than it was at the beginning of the year? Am I on the way to heaven?”

TakeTake NoteNote: we “nightly pitch our moving tent a day’s march nearer home.”

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OurOur GreatestGreatest NeedNeed TodayToday

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What is the greatest need of the church today? The answer to that question may well produce a variety of answers. Some might say more people attending, others may think the need is more finance or being more in step with the age in which we live so that it will be more effective. For the majority in our country today the

church is largely irrelevant. Man looks to the world and all that it offers to satisfy and to numb the mind from the real issues of life. Just recently we came across the writings of a faithful servant of God in a past generation. He described the present ineffectiveness of the church in his day as being due to the absence of

A generation earlier Horatius Bonar was to write, “Truth is not the feeble

truth.

thing which men often think they can afford to disparage. Truth is power; let it be treated and trusted as such.”

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SoundSound BiblicalBiblical TeachingTeaching We live in days when the palates of many professing Christians are satisfied with entertaining worship rather than that which feeds the soul and satisfies the long- ing heart. The fact that the Waterfront arena in Belfast can be filled to capacity for three consecutive nights for a Getty/Townend concert (good as though their hymns and songs of praise are) while most churches in Northern Ireland struggle to get 100 to Sunday evening worship says much.

It is the calling of the church to proclaim the word of God and to proclaim the glorious doctrines of grace. Preaching must be central in the life of the church, the apostle Paul writing to the Corinthian church said “we preach Christ Crucified,” further reminding them that he “decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”. Walter Chantry says “When truth is silent, false views seem plausible.” Biblical preaching has always been the means by which God blesses his church. So often today there is a low view of preaching in the Chris- tian church yet history teaches us and the Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom 10.17). Preaching leads to hear- ing and hearing to believing. Paul impressed upon the early church the impor- tance of preaching the whole counsel of God.

Some years ago J I Packer spoke of “much non-preaching in our pulpits”. He was pointing out that not all 20-30 minute discourses heard in public worship is actual preaching. He defined preaching as ‘essentially teaching plus application (invitation, direction, summons). Many in the church, he continued, have never experienced preaching in this full biblical sense of the word. The primary need of our day is the recovery of sound Biblical teaching.

SeriousSerious ChristianChristian LivingLiving The result of sound Biblical teaching will always produce men and women of faith. Doctrinal preaching should bring forth true Christian character and Godliness in the lives of God’s people. Sadly today Christian ‘worldliness’ marks our genera- tion as the church conforms more and more to the spirit of the age. Christian life-

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style is hard to define today, there is a casual approach to the Lord’s Day, there is little discernment in what Christians do and the places they attend, the books they read and films they view. A W Tozer comes to mind when he said, “Spiritual Christians look upon the world not as a playground but as a battleground”. Much

of the language of the New Testament speaks of Christian warfare and the battles

that the followers of Jesus encounter.

Engaging with the world on its terms results in ineffective Christian witness and an inconsistent lifestyle that will deny the very faith that we are trying to uphold. Sinclair Ferguson reminds us “Do not merely speak the truth, but live truthfully, openly and honestly with one another.” Christian living in today’s world is a chal- lenge. We are faced with many pressures on every side, materialism, idolatry and securalism to mention just a few. We live in a consumer driven society bombarded with advertising that is always telling us that we cannot really exist without the latest gadget. Yet as Christian people the apostle Paul gives instruction for Chris- tian living. We are to be imitators of God, walking in love, walking as children of light and walking wisely, making the best use of time because the days are evil.

When we are known to be Christians the world is always watching, seeking to trip us up and looking for the inconsistencies in our lives. Some words from an anonymous poet sums up for us the need to be displaying a consistent and seri- ous Christian life style,

I am my neighbour’s Bible, he reads me when we meet; Today he reads me in my home, tomorrow in the street. He may be relative or friend, or slight acquaintance be; He may not even know my name, but he is reading me.

ServingServing thethe LordLord FaithfullyFaithfully God’s call to his church is one of faithfulness and service. In every generation God raises up men and women, calling them out of darkness and “from idols to serve the living God.” The great commission given to the disciples was “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We are called to serve God where he has placed

us. Each of our congregations is situated in a particular neighbourhood. There is

a mission field on all of our doorsteps and our responsibility in evangelism must

be to the people who live there. The strategy for our evangelism must be worked out in response to our location; it may be an inner city situation, a rural one or one

in a run down deprived area. Whatever our situation, the call is the same to all

serve the Lord with faithfulness. Local church evangelism, according to John Stott, “can claim to be the most normal, natural and productive method of spread- ing the gospel today. If all churches had been faithful, the world would long ago have been evangelized.”

The great need of our day is the recovery of true Biblical preaching, pointing men and women to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of sinners, seeing lives transformed through faith in Christ and serving him faithfully and diligently making the most of every opportunity.

1 Diary of Kenneth MacRae, edited by Iain H Murray, Banner of Truth, 1980.

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If you had paid a visit to the church in Philadelphia you might not have been all that impressed with what you saw. It appears that the congregation was quite small and somewhat struggling (verse 8) and certainly they knew considerable opposition from the Jews of the city (verse 9). However they were a faithful peo- ple who despite all the difficulties were faithfully serving the Lord in trying circum- stances (verse 8).

Mind you, it’s very unlikely that you’d have gone to Philadelphia at all. Similar to modern day Christchurch it was a city which had been damaged on a number of occasions by earthquakes. Indeed the earthquake of AD 17 was so severe that the Emperor Tiberius had given the city five years of relief from taxes to help them rebuild. Philadelphia was located about twenty kilometres east of Ephesus and was situated in an area of fertile volcanic soilexcellent for vineyards.

As we consider the way in which the Lord Jesus Christ addresses this church we will especially take note of the building terminology which the Saviour uses as he brings what is essentially a word of commendation and encouragement to a struggling people.

AA KeyKey In verse 7 Jesus describes Himself as the One who has ‘the key of David’. This term is taken from Isaiah 22.19-22 where we are told that Eliakim the steward has authority to control entry to the king’s household. So Jesus is the One who has authority in terms of admission into the kingdom of God. Indeed there is no other way of entrance into God’s kingdom apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whilst this is obvious to those of us who are Christians and who are seeking to lead our lives according to the teaching of Scripture such a statement seriously irritates modern man. Surrounded, as we are, by those who believe that all roads lead to heaven and all that matters to God is that you are sincere about your creed or belief, we need to stress the exclusiveness of our Christian faith and of our Saviour.

AA DoorDoor In verse 8 the Saviour reminds them that he has “set before them an open door and no one can shut it”. Various opinions exist as to how we are to understand this “open door” but the most likely interpretation is to see it as being similar to the open door of which Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 16.8-9 and 2 Corinthians 2.12 that is, an open door of Gospel opportunity. Even though they were weak and struggling the believers in the congregation of Philadelphia were not to neglect their evangelistic responsibilities. They were to grasp the opportunities before them for ‘gossiping the Gospel’ and for making known the good news that “Jesus saves” to those around them.

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Sometimes within our churches we are too prone to throw ‘pity parties’. We can’t be doing much evangelism we argue, because the cause is weak and all our en- ergy and strength needs to be channelled into ‘keeping the existing work going’. But evangelism is not an optional extra for the church of Christ. Weakness and smallness are not legitimate excuses for our failure to reach out with the Gospel. Jesus has commanded us to go (Matt 28.18-20) and he expects us to make use of the open door He has set before us.

AA BuildingBuilding In verse 12 Jesus speaks about “a pillar in the temple of My God”. He’s not speaking here about a physical structure as such but rather he is depicting and setting before his readers something of the glory and stability of the New Jerusa- lem heaven itself. Indeed the picture that Jesus gives to them here is not of the intermediate state but rather the finality and absolute security of the new heavens and the new earth (Rev 21). His essential message to the Philadelphians is ‘keep going, don’t give up. I’m with you and look – perfection and glory lies ahead.’ You will be there with me in this glorious place “safe and secure from all alarms”.

However before they enter into this new earth certain things had to happen.

TheThe hourhour ofof trialtrialThis hour of trial that is spoken about in verse 10 could simply be a reference to a time of persecution that was being experienced not just by the Philadelphians but by other churches in Asia Minor. However it may also be an allusion to the great hour of trail that will be experienced by the people of God prior to Christ’s return. This great tribulation according to Matthew 24 will be a time of unprecedented affliction for Christians when the Antichrist and all his hellish emissaries will throw everything they can against the Church.

“I“I amam comingcoming soon”soon” Following on from the hour of trial there will be the Second Advent itselfJesus will return. It is interesting to note that in verse 11 Jesus describes this event as happening soon. To us 2000 years might seem like a long time but not to God.

“Your“Your enemiesenemies willwill fallfall downdown beforebefore you”you” When Jesus returns one of the great things that he will do is vindicate his own people in the presence of their enemies. He reminds the Philadelphians of this in verse 9. Now they are experiencing great trial at the hands of persecuting Jews but on the great day of Christ’s return these enemies will fall down before them and they will come to see, sadly too late, that Jesus and His cause has triumphed.

So stand up those who think the Bible isn’t relevant today. Here is a word that is for us at the present time most encouraging and helpful. The cause is weak, the enemies are many and often we are cast down. But many are the opportunities that the Saviour has given to us to share the Gospel. Let’s grasp them. Let’s keep working faithfully until he comes. Then we’ll enter in to the glory of the new heav- ens and the new earth. Then we’ll be in a place of safety and security for ever.

Press on until that day.

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This incident occurs after Jesus and his disciples return to Galilee from their first visit together to Jerusalem for the Passover. It had been an eventful time: Jesus had cleansed the temple, performed miracles that impressed many people in a superficial way, spoken with a prominent Jewish leader (Nicodemus), and used the woman of Sychar to bring spiritual blessing to her small community (John 2-4). Now Jesus had returned to Galilee, but he did not go to Nazareth (he left there because of the hostile rejection of his teaching by the villagers [Luke 4:16-31]) or to Capernaum (to where the family had moved [John 2:12; Matt. 4:13]). Instead he and his disciples went to Cana. Jesus previously had helped, in a miraculous way, a couple in Cana whose wedding was threatened by disgrace when the wine ran out. Probably they were related to his family, and there may have been other relations there, so Jesus may have gone to the village for a rest after his journey to Jerusalem. Jesus also may have wanted to see what influence his miracle of turning the water into wine had enjoyed in the community. His words in verse 48 are very striking: 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.' The 'you' is plu- ral and therefore refers to more persons than the official. Perhaps Jesus was re- ferring to a discussion that the official may have had with his family before he left home to try and meet with the Saviour. Yet his words seem harsh towards a des- perate parent. I suspect, therefore, that they were said primarily to curious onlookers, although there was a lesson for the official in them. The onlookers were the inhabitants of Cana and they would have been aware of the previous miracle, perhaps even had been guests at the wedding. Although Jesus had performed that miracle in a low-key manner, the servants did know what had taken place and they would have spread the account. Sadly, that mira- cle was not sufficient for them to continue having faith in Jesus as the Messiah. They would only believe in him if he continued to perform miracles. In their faith, there was not a personal relationship with Jesus. They were the forerunners of all the others who professed faith in Christ but who abandoned him when he did not come up to their expectations.

SomeSome LessonsLessons fromfrom thethe StoryStory The first feature of this account is that Jesus returned to an obscure place, Cana. I suppose in this there is a reminder that Jesus liked to return to places where he had been welcomed formerly. The obvious village of which this was true was Beth -any, where Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived. There is a picture here of how Jesus acts in grace by returning to a place where he has displayed his glory previously. Another detail to note is the intense prayer of the official, which is a picture of the earnestness that should mark each of us when we pray on behalf of uncon- verted family members. The official did not take ostensible disinterest by Jesus, when he seemed initially to refuse the request for help, as a reason to cease pray -ing with great vigour. If anything, the denial made him intercede more earnestly. One usual question that arises from this incident concerns why God allows trouble to come into one's life. When his child's illness began, the official may have imagined that it would soon clear up. Yet eventually he realised that his

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young son would not get better. How little he realised as he began his walk from Capernaum to Cana that the trouble he so dreaded would become the means by which great blessing would come into his family! Often physical troubles are sent to us to bring us to our spiritual senses. C.S. Lewis says somewhere that God whispers to us in our pleasures but shouts to us in our pain. If any of us are going through a period of trouble, remember that it may yet be the cause of great bless- ing for the whole household. It is also clear from this story that troubles can come to any person. The official had a secure career and the comfortable lifestyle that went with it. Probably he had good prospects for the future. Prior to the illness of his child, he was probably very satisfied with life. Now a large shadow loomed over it arid the future was dark. He discovered that there are things that status and riches cannot provide. The story also reminds us that Jesus saves people from every kind of background. This man worked for the family whose ancestor, Herod, had tried to destroy Jesus when he was born; indeed, he worked for the man who would soon put John the Baptist to death. In other words, he was deeply involved with those who were opposed to the extension of God's kingdom. Yet when he came to Jesus for help, he received it.

SomeSome detailsdetails aboutabout JesusJesus John highlights several details about Jesus. First, he points out that Jesus is om- niscient. He knew all about the needs of the man, as well as knowing the hearts of the observers who only wanted to see signs and wonders. Second, John dis- plays the omnipotence of Jesus, who is able to cure with a word a life-threatening illness. Third, John stresses the kindness of Jesus in that he cured the ill child. Thankfully, we can meet the kind Jesus today and experience forgiveness of our sins, compassion in our troubles, aid on our journey through life, and heaven at the end. All we have to do is come and ask him for his help. We will receive his grace even although he knows all about our sins; and despite our sins, he will display his great power on our behalf. John mentions a fourth detail for his readers to notice, and it is that Jesus does not have to be physically present with the needy person in order to provide the cure. This seems to have been the nobleman's initial expectation, but he dis- covered that Jesus could far exceed such estimations. We are not to limit Jesus according to our expectations. Maybe we think that he will work for us in a man- ner similar to how he worked in our parents' lives or in the lives of our friends, We have to get beyond such limiting of Jesus and let him decide in what way he will respond to our plea for help.

TheThe FaithFaith ofof thethe OfficialOfficial The details of this man’s experience have long been recognised as illustrating crucial steps on the journey of faith. To begin with, the man discovered he had a problem concerning which he had no remedy elsewhere. No-one, as far as he knew, could help his child. In this state of desperation, he is a picture of a person who has experienced a measure of conviction of sin. Such a person eventually discovers that nothing can help him with his problem. Next we can say that his faith was kindled by the report of others. He had heard from them that there was a man called Jesus who was able to perform miracles, including healings. Therefore he resolved to try to find Jesus. On the spiritual level, the experience of others is often what causes a person to begin thinking about Jesus as the remedy for his cure.

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Further, the official made an effort to see Jesus. Somehow he discovered where the Saviour was (this was probably not that difficult, since the fame of Je- sus was spreading), so he went to Cana which was about twenty miles away. The official did not mind that it was an insignificant village; all he wanted was to meet the One who could deal with his problem. This has its parallel in spiritual seeking as well. The person with the burden and who has heard of Jesus will go to where he is most likely to meet Jesus. That place is a church where the gospel is preached. Moreover, the official discovers that, when he meets Jesus, the Saviour does not seem initially to listen to him. Instead he hears Jesus criticising those who followed him for wrong reasons. At the same time, this rebuke was a word of test- ing for the official. Would he continue to ask Jesus for help? Thankfully, the offi- cial did. This can happen to seekers as well. They come to church and discover that the Saviour seems to be addressing the situations of others and does not say anything that seems to be for them. They are being tested to see if they will con- tinue asking him for help. Additionally, the official discovers that he has to plead for help. I suppose, in his case, there was the possibility that he would try to order Jesus to help him. His position in society gave him some authority/. Yet he realises that he has no power over Jesus. Instead the man has to implore Jesus, and implore him ur- gently. Again, we have to come to the point where we will implore the Saviour urgently. Such a manner of request indicates the genuineness of our desire. Finally, the nobleman heard from Jesus that his prayer had been answered. Since he was not with his son, he could only take the word of Jesus for it. This is what faith does; it takes God at his word and accepts his promise of eternal life to all who will believe. This attitude does not mean a leap in the dark. Rather, it is an expression of confidence in a reliable Saviour. It has been noticed that the official seems to have taken a long time to get home, which has led some to assume that he was so sure of the cure he made a leisurely journey home. Yet I think such a suggestion borders on the absurd, be- cause surely he would want to see as soon as possible what had happened to his son. There may have been other reasons for the time taken, which John saw no need to tell us about. Others entered into the blessing that the official had been given by Jesus. His family also became followers of the Saviour. Again, this involvement of others can happen in the spiritual life, as family and friends of a new convert are affected by his new life and become believers as well.

OnOn thethe WordWord ofof GodGod

the study of prolonged thought and meditation by which

our hearts and minds may become soaked with the truth of the Bible and by which the deepest springs of thought, feeling and action may be stirred and directed; the study by which the Word of God will grip us, bind us, hold us, pull us, drive us, raise us up from the dunghill, bring us down from our high conceits and make us its bondservants in all of thought, life and conduct. John Murray, Study of the Bible

What I am going to stress is

Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much be-cause it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of

passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.

R C Sproul

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AllAll LandsLands toto God!God! GraceGrace Gardens:Gardens: RescuingRescuing DesperateDesperate LivesLives AngieAngie
AllAll LandsLands toto God!God!
GraceGrace Gardens:Gardens: RescuingRescuing DesperateDesperate LivesLives
AngieAngie FitzsimmonsFitzsimmons writes about her ministry in Jos, Nigeria
writes about her ministry in Jos, Nigeria In Nigeria, women are often considered second class citi-

In Nigeria, women are often considered second class citi- zens. And if they work as prostitutes or end up in prison, they are looked down upon even more. Because of the shame and stigma, their families often abandon them. Even the church sometimes chooses to ignore them. How- ever, these are exactly the people Jesus came to die for, and exactly the people whom Grace Gardens strives to reach with the Good News.

Many of the women we meet in this ministry have be- lieved Satan's liesthey are convinced that they are filthy and worthless, and that there is no other option open to them to provide for their families, except by selling their bodies.

But the Bible teaches us that these women are valued by the Creator. Jesus died for them, so that they could become daughters of the Most High God! When women accept these truths, Satan loses all power over them, and lives begin to change.

The ministry of Grace Gardens is twofold - one is outreach and the other is the provision of a residential facility. Each week, several Christian women visit women inmates in prison, while another group of women missionaries and local believers visit five brothels to share the love of Christ with those working there.

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Sometimes, the girls receive us well; sometimes, we're ignored and some- times, the women can be hostile towards us. We offer each of these girls the choice to come with us to our residential facility if they want to turn their lives around. We have an outreach centre close to the brothels, where the team meet to pray before going out on a Wednesday morning. At the outreach centre we have also begun to offer English classes on a Friday morning and we hope that this will increase as more girls become interested.

Women who enter the pro- gramme at Grace Gardens often have children, so we are commit- ted to helping the women and children receive an education and training in a skill that could, one day, support them and their family. Most importantly, we pro- vide Biblical education and disci-

a skill that could, one day, support them and their family. Most importantly, we pro- vide

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pleship. Our dream is to see these women become successful, God-honouring businesswomen, women who are able to share the Truth with the world around them. We want to see God use the pain of their past as a testimony of victory in the future.

What we didn't expect when we began this ministry was how God was going to expand it. We have been able to rescue four children from the brothels and believe that this number will continue to grow. We didn't anticipate looking after abandoned children, but this is where God has led us. We are now officially rec- ognized as an orphanage by the Nigerian Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs. This has provided us with the protection we need to continue to take chil- dren out of the brothels.

We have also been able to take in women who have either been working as prostitutes from their own home, or have been the victim of some sort of sexual violence. We currently house eight women and as many children, and are in the process of placing two other young children in adoptive homes.

We have been blessed with great staff at Grace Gardens. Nigerian couple, Sunday and Ruth Mi- chael, are the house parents. They are an every- day testimony to the women of a healthy Christian marriage and they both have such a heart to see these women turn their lives around.

such a heart to see these women turn their lives around. We currently rent a five

We currently rent a five bedroom house in which to house the women and children, but we are rapidly running out of space. We only have two more beds available. Because of this we are in the process of finding land on which to con- struct a purpose-built centre. We have been in contact with the Nigerian govern- ment who are interested in what we are doing and we are hopeful that they may help us in some way The SIM couple who lead this ministry are currently on home assignment in the US, and are hoping to raise support for these plans.

John Grier with his brother Hunter are due to leave for Chad, 22 November 2012, to visit John and Julia’s daughter Catherine who works as a doctor at the Bebalem Hospital in the SW of the country. (Nigeria has a NE border with Chadthe shallow Lake Chad separates the two countries.)

We assure John and Hunter of our prayers and very best wishes for their final preparations, the journeys there and back, and for their programme in Chad itself. It will be quite an experience and we trust that its benefits to the work there will be enduring ones. We look forward to hearing from John on his return.

ChadChad
ChadChad

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The The Evangelical Evangelical Presbyterian Presbyterian CONNIE and PHILIP “What’s up with you two?” asked

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CONNIE and PHILIP

“What’s up with you two?” asked Mum, as the children burst through the back door with glum faces. “Harry and Ben keep messing up our game,” muttered Philip. “And now they’ve taken the ball so we can’t play.” “And Ben hit me with a stick,” added Connie tearfully, pulling up her sleeve to show the red mark on her arm. “Why did they come to live on our street?” “There, there,” soothed Mum. “Your arm doesn’t look too bad, and as for that old tennis ballit had no bounce left in it anyway. Now, look at the time. Go and get cleaned up before Kids’ Club.” It was true that Harry and Ben had not been popular with the other children on the street since they moved in, always taking charge of the games and bossing the younger ones around. But, by the time Philip and Connie arrived home from Kids’ Club, they had forgotten about their earlier upset and were keen to tell Mum about the Bring a Buddy evening. “It’s next week,” announced Connie. “Look! We made invitations to give to our friends. There’ll be special games, special food and a special speaker. Do you like the way I decorated mine with stickers?” “Stickers?” teased Dad, joining the conversation. “I thought you went to Kids’ Club to learn about the Bible.” “We did that too, Dad,” smiled Philip. “We learned that God is gracious.” “That means he is kind to people who don’t deserve it,” interrupted Connie. “Like when he forgave the wicked people of Ninevah in the Jonah story.”

forgave the wicked people of Ninevah in the Jonah story.” Saturday morning was too wet to

Saturday morning was too wet to play outside, so Philip and Connie made gingerbread men with the new cutter Granny had sent them.

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LEARN TO BE GRACIOUS

“Pretty good!” declared Philip, munching one, warm from the oven. “Delicious!” agreed Connie. “Especially the chocolate buttons Look!” she added, pointing out the window. “Harry and Ben have no one to play with. Serves them right!” Mum turned round from the sink. “That’s not a very gracious attitude, Connie. Do you remember what gracious means?” “Kind to those who don’t deserve it,” mumbled Connie. “Well, I don’t care. They don’t deserve to have any friends after what they did to me.” Connie buried her head in a book, but Philip looked more thoughtful. After a moment, he put on his coat, picked up two gingerbread men and went out.

Later that day, brother and sister were alone in Philip’s bedroom. “Why did you do that?” demanded Connie. “You shouldn’t have wasted our good baking on those boys.”

“They were really pleased,” answered Philip. “Ben even said he was sorry that he hit you. And, Connie, didn’t God forgive the people in Ninevah who were much worse than Ben and Harry?” Connie knew he was right. A few months ago, she had asked Jesus to forgive her for all the wrong things in her heart and she remembered the Bible said something about not expecting God to forgive you if you weren’t prepared to forgive

other people. She felt ashamed now, but there was something she wanted to do before she could tell God she was sorry.

God is

gracious

“Mum, is it okay if I pop round to Ben and Harry’s house for a minute?” called Connie, as she passed through the kitchen. “I want to invite them to the Bring a Buddy night at Kids’ Club.” “Sure,” replied Mum. “That’s a really kind thing to do.” “Not really,” answered Connie. “Not as kind as God is to me.”

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ChurchChurch NewsNews

It’sIt’s TimeTime toto saysay Goodbye!Goodbye!

There comes a time in all our lives when we move on though in this case it is more one of moving over. Another task, that of Clerk of Presbytery awaits in January. Having served as editor of The Evangelical Presbyterian magazine for the past 8 years the time has come to pass the baton on. It has been my privilege to serve the church in this way and I am grateful to our Presbytery for the opportunity and also for their confi- dence in appointing me as Editor. To follow in the footsteps of our previous four edi- tors is a humbling experience! It was with a great sense of inadequacy that I ap- proached the task but with the help of a great team of contributors and helpers the editorship became much more pleasant. Thanks are due to all who over the past 8 years have taken time to prepare and write articles that has helped our walk with God. There are two names I want to single out, Heather Watson and Ernest Brown. Heather has been in from the start contribut- ing the Children's Pages and Ernest has been responsible for the design and layout of each issue. Thanks also to my wife Patricia for her diligent proof reading and attention to detail. Thanks to all who contributed book reviews and items of congregational news, also the crossword and puzzle entrants and not forgetting the Evangelical Book Shop who helped with distribution and subscriptions. Thanks is also due to our printers, Edenderry Print, for their efficiency and punctuality in meeting the publication dates. I was always amazed to learn where the magazine was read. Over the years contact was made from readers in Australia, India, America, Canada and in various locations throughout the United Kingdom and of course within our own congregations. I really appreciated those kind letters and words of encouragement from many of you. We wish the new Editor, Rev Gareth Burke, every blessing in the years ahead and pray that our magazine will continue to be a source of blessing and spiritual help to all who read it.

ObituaryObituaryMissMiss MayMay Ginn,Ginn, KnockKnock

On Tuesday 4 September 2012, Miss May Ginn, was called home into the immediate presence of her Saviour. May was born 13 February 1910, and one of her earliest memories was sitting on her mother’s knee, as she read to her. The church bells started to ring, and her mother said “The war is over!” That was the first world war! May was saved in 1934 when she was 24, and her faith in Christ was evident to all who met her. She was a wonderful saint who loved her Bible and excelled in prayer. She prayed in private, with her sisters, with friends from the church. She knew that prayer was God’s way of working in the world and she knew that God was more than willing to answer her prayers. Her prayer life remains a challenge to every Christian. Even more challenging was her fearless witnessing. To her daily carers she would say: “The most important thing is to be saved” or “Give your life to the Lord.” She would challenge them about where they were going to spend eternity. In the mercy of God her mind remained sharp, and she enjoyed full confidence in her Saviour. “Christ has done eve- rything necessary” she said. “His timing is always right.” On hearing the news of Lilah’s death she remarked “So I am the last, I hope the Lord takes me soon to meet up with them.” Even facing death she had wonderful confidence in the LORD:

She knew that her two younger sisters Vera and Lilah had gone

to heaven before her, and she would be reunited with them, moreover she knew she would see Jesus face to face. RJJ

Vera. May and Lilah on holiday in Ballywalter
Vera. May and Lilah
on holiday in Ballywalter

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NovNov--DecDec 20122012

EPC

85th Anniversary Lecture

Monday 19 November, 2012,8.00 pm

Lisburn Road EPC

Dr Darryl G Hart

Orthodox Presbyterian Church, USA

Principled Presbyterianism

Book Stall by Evangelical Book Shop

Darryl G Hart is a religious and so- cial historian and Visiting Professor of History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. He has served as dean of academic affairs at West- minster Seminary California, taught church history and served as librar- ian at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, directed the Institute for the Study of Ameri- can Evangelicals at Wheaton Col- lege, and was Director of Partnered Projects, Academic Programs, and Faculty Development at the Intercol- legiate Studies Institute in Wilming- ton, Delaware. He is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Stephen J Nichols states that, like many other theologians, Hart is of the opinion that "theology, like nature, abhors a vacuum," in that theologiz- ing is influenced by culture. Hart fol- lows in the tradition of J. Gresham Machen (to whom he dedicated his book Secular Faith) in espousing an approach to politics that engages at the level of the individual rather than that of the church. Hart makes the observation that efforts “to use Chris- tianity for public or political ends fun- damentally distort the Christian relig- ion." In Secular Faith Hart argues for the church to follow its mission by standing apart as a witness, suggest- ing that the nature of Christianity is "otherwordly", and criticizing those who "have tried to use their faith for political engagement".

NovNov 2012:2012: PrayPray forfor

Thursday 1- Saturday 10 Evangelical Book Shop

Good business activity during November and Decembertwo key months

The staff as they make constant contact with customers to witness and to give advice on reading options

Those who will receive Bibles and books that they will study them with profit

Ongoing progress with our online sales

Sunday 11- Saturday 17

Current Events

The Commissioning Service for Colin Campbell, 7 November (See page 16)

EPC 85th Anniversary Lecture (See left)

The visit of John and Hunter Grier to Chad starting 22 November (See page 11)

Ongoing fruitfulness from the God’s De- sign for Women Belfast Conference held on 20 October.

Sunday 18- Saturday 24

Various

The Christian Institute, in its defence of various cases and the Sanctity of Marriage

The government, national and local, that they will have the courage to govern ac- cording to the principles of Scripture

The Word spoken at many Care Homes

The work of the Gospel in our prisons

Ministers’ invitations to school assemblies

Sunday 25Friday 30 The Church

Presbytery and the Church Development Committee as they continue their delib- erations on our way ahead

The Ministers, Elders and Deacons, Or- ganisation Leaders, Members of each congregation that they will see progress and conversions as they work together

Each ‘Week of Prayer’ in January.

that they will see progress and conversions as they work together  Each ‘Week of Prayer’

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DecDec 2012:2012: PrayPray forfor

Saturday 1- Saturday 8 The Evangelical Presbyterian

The new Editor, Rev Gareth Burke, who takes up the work from January 2013

Increased circulation of the Magazine beyond our own borders

Increased recognition of the Magazine as an important means of our spiritual devel- opment and of informing us of matters concerning the Kingdom of God.

Sunday 9- Saturday 15 Christmas and its Outreach

Evangelistic services and events through- out our congregations during the Christ- mas period.

Such events that are connected with youth work and the opportunities they provide with parents and friends

Real focus among us on the incarnation so that our understanding of it will increase

Sunday 16- Saturday 22

Missions

All missionaries who are away from home and family over Christmas and New Year

Grace Gardens, Jos, Nigeria. (Pages 10-11)

The persecuted church in various parts of the world today.

A revived spirit of outreach in national churches throughout the world

Our own diligence in prayer for our missions

Sunday 23Monday 31 Old and New

A spirit of reflection and thankfulness among us for all God’s goodness to us during 2012 generally and in particular ways that we should recall.

Confidence in the Lord for his blessing at every level of our service during 2013 and a determined commitment to serve the Lord with greater devotion and sacrifice.

Evangelical Book Shop

Service of Commissioning of

Mr Colin Campbell

New Manager of Evangelical Book Shop

Guest Speaker

Rev Geoff Thomas

Aberystwyth

Stranmillis EPC

Wednesday 7 November 2012, 8.00 pm

Book Stall by Evangelical Book Shop

ReadingReading AccordingAccording toto aa PlanPlan

Christian reading is like Christian giv- ing. As you give to the work of God's kingdom on Sunday morning, you may feel your gifts are small and feeble. But when you give according to plan, you begin to realize, 'In God's providence I have this year in which to give, and I have this proportion of my total income to give to the Lord's work'. It can be quite a surprise to see just how much there is for you to give. The same is true of Christian literature. Unless we read according to plan, we may feel, 'Well, I have so little time to read, there is no point in reading these great books; I will stick to the small, easily- read ones.'

When you make a plan and you read regularly - an hour each day, or time spent on the bus or train, or a section at lunch-time, you will be amazed how much you are able to get through, and how much you learn. You will begin to realize, as you look back on a year, 'Why, I have read the whole of the Institutes; I have read a short work by the great John Owen; I have been challenged by the Life of Henry Martyn'. And as you read according to plan you will begin to discover that your reading is beginning to make you a 'full man', a more spiritually mature woman.

Sinclair Ferguson, Read Any Good Books?

beginning to make you a 'full man', a more spiritually mature woman. Sinclair Ferguson, Read Any

NovNov--DecDec 20122012

StatementsStatements fromfrom EPCEPC PublicPublic MoralsMorals CommitteeCommittee

TheThe MarieMarie StopesStopes CentreCentre The opening of the Marie Stopes centre in Belfast In October is a worrying and alarming development. The privately-run centre, the first of its kind in Ireland, says it will offer abortions and other services within the existing law in Northern Ireland. However, in light of the Marie Stopes agenda, it is very likely that the clinic will seek to push the boundaries of the current law, and its presence in Bel- fast will offer encouragement to those pro-abortion groups who are lobbying for a change in the law here.

We are very aware that abortion is a complex and sensitive matter. and that pregnant women can sometimes find themselves under immense psychological and emotional pressure. That aspect cannot be ignored, but the current legisla- tive arrangements in Northern Ireland recognise and address those pressures while also, vitally, recognising the rights of the unborn child. The Bible has much to say about the child in the womb. In Psalm 139.13 the Psalmist speaks of how God had protected him in his mother's womb, and then in verse 14 he says, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made".

In light of the establishment of this new clinic, it is vital that unborn children are given a voice and that they are protected from those who would seek to destroy them. We would urge all our congregations to pray about this matter. There are many aspects of the whole issue which require prayer, but we would specifically ask for prayer that this new clinic will not be able to remain open for long.

“Human“Human TraffickingTrafficking andand ExploitationExploitation Bill”,Bill”, CONSULTATION,CONSULTATION, OctoberOctober 20122012 The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Northern Ireland seeks, by God's grace, to be faithful to the Bible. Here, we believe, God has spoken. We confess the Bible to be divinely inspired and infallible. In an age when man has so much to say and thinks so highly of his own opinions, we believe that God is the One we need to hear.

From the beginning we understand from Genesis 1.27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He cre- ated them.” This we believe is the foundation of true human dignity. Indeed Psalm 8.5 goes on to say “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honour.” With this in mind we wholeheart- edly support the proposed Bill, in full agreement that there is an urgent case for further legislation to prevent and tackle human trafficking and exploitation (Q1 on the consultation document).

We also believe that the most responsible and caring response to this problem of human trafficking and exploitation should be the maximum response and not the current minimum response. The Bible in Romans 13.9-10 summarises the crimes included in human trafficking as failure to love one’s neighbour:-

“For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not mur- der,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’

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and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Such love to our fellow human beings, surely involves doing as much as we can to eliminate criminal suffering, and not the minimum response to avoid get- ting into trouble with the EU.

We commend Lord Morrow for many positive elements in the proposed Bill such as:

Ensuring no prosecution is brought for a criminal offence committed by a traf- ficking victim as a direct consequence of being trafficked.

The requirement of training and investigative tools to be made available for police and prosecutors.

Clearer assistance and support for victims of trafficking.

The requirement for each child victim to have a legal advocate to support them through the relevant criminal, immigration and compensation procedures and ensur- ing they receive suitable assistance.

The provision of “special measures” for trafficking victims if they act as witnesses.

We believe that the proposed Bill is a most important opportunity to enact ro- bust changes to protect the vulnerable in our society. We commend it in its entirety.

When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to

a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

What it [God-breathed] affirms is that the Scriptures owe their origin to an activity of God the Holy Ghost and are in the highest and truest sense His creation. It is on this foundation of Divine origin that all the high attributes of Scripture are built. B B Warfield

or denying ourselves rich foods as Daniel didcan be used. (At this point it is obligatory to state that those with medical conditions should consult their doctor before considering fasting.) In his Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster suggests that, rather than abstaining from food, we could instead try doing without televi- sion, the newspaper or the telephone.

FeastingFeasting But we are also told to celebrate. The kingdom of God is likened to a banquet. In the Old Testament there are a number of prescribed feastsPassover, Harvest or Pentecost, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atone- ment and, later, also Purim. These were times when God’s good gifts were to be consumed with joy and gratitude in the company of the people of God. Our Sun- day lunch or Christmas dinner should truly be a celebration meal!

God’sGod’s ChosenChosen FastFast Food is a gift from God but like any gift it can be misused. Fasting can help us reset the balance and focus on God who gives us our daily bread. But, as with all the disciplines, we must keep in mind that the goal is to help us become the peo- ple God wants us to be, to live as he would have us live, to help us glorify and enjoy Him. Isaiah 58.6-9 reminds us of God’s chosen fast: to fight injustice and oppression, share food with the hungry, and provide for the poor.

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NovNov--DecDec 20122012

SpiritualSpiritual DisciplinesDisciplinesFood,Food, FeastingFeasting && FastingFasting

MichaelMichaelMichael Trimble,Trimble,Trimble, StranmillisStranmillisStranmillis

We live in age that is confused about food; a society where there is equal concern about obesity and anorexia; and a culture that views cooking as a spectator sport. In an attempt to convey the distortion of healthy sexual attraction that makes striptease an entertainment, CS Lewis compares the appetite for sex with the appetite for food. “Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre simply by bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it con- tained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food?”

What would Lewis have thought of the TV schedules with Masterchef, The Great British Bake-off and other similar programmes? We watch food prepared

and served with no prospect of tasting it. Indeed most of us would have no need

of

any more food in the day as we have already eaten our fill. We have succumbed

to

culinary striptease! Gluttony, once one of the so-called seven deadly sins, no

longer seems to get a mention. And yet food is a gift from God: we need food sim- ply to survive; it is one of life’s most basic pleasures in itself; and eating together fulfills an important social function. What then should be our attitude to food? How can we discipline our appetite? How can awareness of this bring us closer to God?

FastingFasting Whilst only one fast is mandated in the Old Testament, on the Day of Atonement,

a number of instances of fasting are recorded: Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah,

Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah all fasted. In the New Testament we read that John the Baptist and his disciples fasted (as did the Pharisees) and Christ began his ministry with a fast.

In the Greek Orthodox Tradition fasting remains part of the religious life, Wesley urged his followers to fast twice a week, but in the contemporary evan- gelical tradition fasting is uncommon. How is fasting of benefit in the believer’s walk with God? From a biological perspective, recent research has shown that fasting can have potential health benefits. Even with alternate day modified fast- ing, where a normal diet is maintained on other days, reducing calorie intake to a quarter of normal on two non-consecutive days a week can result in a reduction in weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. The appetite adapts, as do the body’s cells, they recalibrate from exposure to excess.

Making a spiritual analogy, if we focus on curbing the body’s cravings in this area it can help us learn discipline in other areas. We can recalibrate our hearts and minds to God. Fasting is often associated with prayer or meditation, but it does not need to be. Our hunger reminds us that we are creatures, dependent on our God who gives us our food, reminds us of those who will not have enough to eat that day and our need to be generous, reminds us to be grateful for what we have. Even partial fastingmissing a meal rather than a whole day without food,

us to be grateful for what we have. Even partial fasting — missing a meal rather

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PsalmPsalm 44CalmCalm AssuranceAssurance

ColinColinColin Moore,Moore,Moore, StranmillisStranmillisStranmillis

Lying down in peace and sleeping amidst the turmoil of life

Psalm 4 describes how in the midst of persecution, David called upon God for relief and even in the midst of this turmoil of life was able to lie down in peace and sleep! Charles Spurgeon said of this Psalm: “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.”

11 David’sDavid’s RequestRequest (1)(1)

David is undergoing a very difficult period in his life but he knows where he can go to for help and we see here in verse 1 his passionate cry for help: “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.” David knows that only God is truly right- eous and therefore looks to him for help out of this trial. How often do we look within for relief trying to help ourselves when all along God is there to help us and bring us comfort if only we would cry out to him to help us.

22 David’sDavid’s RebukeRebuke (2(2--3)3)

Here David speaks out against his enemies for coming against him as he tries to follow the Lord and be obedient to him only. David does not want to compromise with those who are rebuking him instead he encourages himself by knowing that the Lord is with those who obey him and that God will listen to him when he cries out to him. By doing this David is able to turn doubt and worry into trust and as- surance and be content to wait on God’s deliverance. How often do we compro- mise our faith in God with others around us so as to avoid ridicule or to feel more accepted? David was not interested in what people thought of him he was more concerned about bringing glory to God!

33 David’sDavid’s ReliefRelief (4(4--8)8)

David prays for his attackers that they would have a change of heart and consider the God whom he loved and adored, “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.” David knew that ultimately only God could bring this change into their lives. This is true of those we know who do not trust in the Lord. Only God alone can bring them salvation. Our part like David is to constantly bring them before our heavenly Fa- ther in prayer and plead that he might graciously save them and grant them new

life in him.

David’s heart is filled with joy as a result of praying to God. David’s anxiety was transformed into calm assurance in God. His heart was full he found more joy in God than when a farmer enjoys a bountiful harvest; all because he looked to the Lord for help and trusted in him.

Finally, David is able to rest in the Lord and testifies, “I will both lie down in peace and sleep; For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

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NovNov--DecDec 20122012

UnityUnitythatthat ElusiveElusive ImperativeImperative

TheTheThe EditorEditorEditor

Have you ever wondered why Scripture places so much emphasis on unity among the people of God? Take for example Psalm 133 which describes brothers dwelling together in unity as: “good and how pleasant.” The apostle Paul urges the Ephesians to maintain the unity in the bond of peace and Jesus prayed for all who will believe in him that they may be one taking as his example the unity of the Godhead, “just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you.” Yet such unity of which the Bible speaks seems to elude the Christian church and instead the world witnesses a disunited church on a massive scale and sadly this disunity can lead to bitter division. Disunity among Bible believing people is more common in the church today than the unity we are meant to display “so that the world may be- lieve that you have sent me”. (John 17.21)

TheThe BlessingsBlessings ofof UnityUnity The Psalmist tells us that unity is a blessing. It is something that we should pray for and as John Calvin comments: “The Holy Spirit, likewise, exhorts believers today to preserve mutual harmony, for even though we are brothers and sisters through our relationship to God, we cannot be united while animosities divide us and grudges prevail among us.” 1 If the church of Jesus Christ is to know the blessing of God then brotherly unity must prevail amongst its membership. While we cannot seek fellowship with those who deny the fundamentals of the faith and remain in error we must pursue true Christian unity with those who love God and proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified.

TheThe BondBond ofof UnityUnity Paul urges the Christians at Ephesus to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4.3) He reminds us that this is a unity that the Holy Spirit creates and the church is to maintain it in the bond of peace. Dr Lloyd-Jones has written:

“If we believe in God, we must ever feel that our first duty is to guard this unity, to preserve it at all costs, to strain every nerve and be diligent in endeavouring to keep it and manifest it.” 2 How sad that today many strain every nerve and take every opportunity to cause strife and division in the church of Christ. To do so is to attack that unity which God has created and when such behaviour is found in the church of God it is the greatest tragedy of all. Might we, as God’s chosen ones, put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Col 3.12-15)

TheThe BeautyBeauty ofof UnityUnity Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. The Psalmist sees it as beauty, pre- cious oil and the dew of Hermon. A sweet fragrance and refreshing dew speaks of the harmony that should pervade true worship. God is pleased when there is har- mony in his church, for it is then that he “commands his blessing, life for evermore.” 3

1 Commentary on the Psalms, John Calvin, abridged by David C Searle, Banner of Truth, 2009.

2 Christian Unity, D.M.Lloyd-Jones, Banner of Truth, 1980

3 Ibid. Calvin, p. 615

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JohnJohn GrierGrier RetiresRetires

The Trustees of the Evangelical Book Shop, with staff, past and present and representatives of the Church, gathered in the Knockdene Room of the Stormont Hotel on Monday 10 September 2012 to mark the retirement of John Grier after his long service as Manager of the Book Shop (1974-2012). Speakers paid tribute to John’s long service, to his consum- mate knowledge of Christian books and to the immense, en- during influence of his life's work at home and farther afield. Catherine, Rosemary and Chris, and Peter, who were unable to be with us, sent their own family greeting. John surveyed his years of service with their difficulties, many encourage- ments and changes. He thanked all who had shared the work with him, including staff, customers and family. Retirement gifts from Shop and customers were presented to John and Julia with very best wishes for the years ahead. David Wat- son, Moderator of Presbytery, brought the evening to a close with devotions proceeding very appropriately from the fa- mous words that led to Augustine’s conversion, Tolle, lege.

proceeding very appropriately from the fa- mous words that led to Augustine’s conversion, Tolle, lege .
proceeding very appropriately from the fa- mous words that led to Augustine’s conversion, Tolle, lege .

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NovNov--DecDec 20122012

BookBook ReviewsReviews

Faith,Faith, HopeHope andand thethe GlobalGlobal EconomyEconomy

R Higginson, IVP, PB, 226 pages, 2012 This is a rare and excellent book. Some books have tried to produce a Biblical blueprint for economic and social justice but this is one of the few which also engages with real (business) life. The author out- lines five key criteria which will enable economic life to be a power for good; enterprise, poverty reduction, integrity, sustainability and discipleship. He notes that there have been some harmful theologies, eg, prosperity theology, excessive negativity about market capitalism, and a sacred-secular divide. In just over 220 pages a dizzying range of critical subjects are considered, often in a new light: renewable energy relative to fossil fuels, developing alternatives for those working in the ‘vice trade’, bankers should not be treated like NT tax collectors, principles for executive reward and salaries, should the OT ‘ban’ on interest payments still apply, micro-finance and the notion of a ‘just price’. Interestingly, Higginson thinks there is a place for Christians to be involved and hence salt and light in both alternative business models (eg, co-ops and social enterprises) and large companies. Esmond Birnie

£9.99

£7.50

and large companies. Esmond Birnie £9.99 £7.50 How How the the Gospel Gospel Brings Brings Us

HowHow thethe GospelGospel BringsBrings UsUs AllAll thethe wayway HomeHome £11.99 £8.99 Derek W H Thomas, Reformation Trust, HB, 157 pages, 2011 No reader of this volume should be disappointed. This is vintage Thomas! Here we are taken on an exploration of Romans 8, from “no condemnation” to “no separation”. This book takes us on the journey of the Christian life drawing on the exhortations and encour- agements that God’s people find in this chapter. Reminding us of Romans 8: 28-30 he writes, “If you live inside this massive presence, your life is more stable than Mount Everest. Nothing can blow you over when you are inside the walls of Romans 8:28”. This book will be a stimulus to your Christian life and a tonic for your soul. If you don’t have a copy make sure it is on your Christmas wish list! The Editor

make sure it is on your Christmas wish list! The Editor Christ Christ our our Reconciler,

ChristChrist ourour Reconciler,Reconciler, Gospel/Church/WorldGospel/Church/World

Various Contributors, IVP, HB, 224 pages, 2012 This is a collection of addresses delivered at the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, Cape Town, October 2010. The book follows the six-day programme themes, Truth, Recon- ciliation, World Faiths, Priorities, Integrity and Partnership with con- tributions from John Piper, Tim Keller, Vaughan Roberts, Os Guin- ness, David Wells and others. The cover describes it as “probably the widest gathering of evangelical voices in the history of the church”. Some of the addresses will make you think long and hard. Lindsay Brown, in his closing address quotes John Wesley “With God’s help: Do all you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can”, until Christ returns or calls us home. Let us all press on to the end in serving Christ, our King”. The Editor

£12.99 £10.99

or calls us home. Let us all press on to the end in serving Christ, our

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Gospel Truth Paul Barnett

New Atheists often seek to undermine Scripture by attacking the historicity of the New Testament Gospels. New Testament historian, Paul Barnett, seeks to answer the sceptics and by drawing on a lifetime of knowledge sets out an intellectually compel- ling case for the integrity of the Gospels.

£9.99 £7.50

Finish the Mission

A strong line-up of contributors including Michael Ramsden, Ed Stetzer, David Mathis and John Piper, this book aims to breathe fresh missionary fire into a new generation,

as together we seek to reach the unreached and engage the unengaged.

John Piper & David Mathis eds.

£10.99

£8.25

The Creedal Imperative Carl Trueman £11.99 £8.75 Despite an increasing culture of anticonfessionalism, Trueman argues persuasively that creeds are vital to the present and future well-being of the Church. He shows that their use is consistent with Scripture Alone and that they are as much a biblical im- perative as a practical imperative. “This is an engrossing survey, sparklingly contem- porary yet eruditely historical.” Donald MacLeod.

The Hole in Our Holiness Kevin DeYoung £10.99 £8.25 DeYoung, in typically engaging style, offers some much needed reflections on the subject of sanctification. Careful reading and application of this book will give hope to the Christian that a greater degree of personal holiness is possible, and the study questions at the back make it appropriate for group study. “This book is vintage DeY- oung - ruthlessly biblical.” John Piper.

Twelve Unlikely Heroes John MacArthur £9.99 £8.75 MacArthur looks at twelve unlikely heroes of the Bible including Enoch, Jonah, Gideon and John the Baptist, showing how God used them despite their weakness, struggles and failures. He then shows us how they point ultimately to the principal character of Scripture, the 'Author and Finisher of our faith'.

Genesis

This commentary on the first book of the Bible is suitable for pastors and thoughtful

lay people seeking to understand and apply Genesis to their lives. It is well re- searched, discusses most of the main issues and, as Alec Motyer suggests, “every page has its quota of good things, problems solved, and truths illuminated.”

Richard Belcher

£12.99

£9.75

Puritan Portraits J I Packer

In this volume, Packer introduces us to the rich theology and deep spirituality of the Puritans. The writings of the Puritans continue to profoundly reward readers today, and Packer brings them alive to encourage a new generation to experience their delights. “In an age of trendy fluff, here is solid food for the church and for the soul!” Carl Trueman.

£8.99 £6.75