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JAN-FEB 2013 £1.50 The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

JAN-FEB 2013

£1.50

JAN-FEB 2013 £1.50 The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013
JAN-FEB 2013 £1.50 The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

In thIs Issue

First Word

 

Page 3

the 7 Churches Letters

 

Page 4

Page 5

Whose Faith Follow the Return of Christ Mission

Page 6

Page 8

Page 10

Church news Book Reviews Dear Rev

 

Page 12

 

Page 13

Page 16

The Evangelical Presbyterian is published bimonthly by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Website For more information on the Evangelical Presbyterian Church including details of our various congregations please visit our denominational website at www.epcni.org.uk

Policy The views expressed are those of the editor and contributors of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, unless otherwise stated. Unsigned articles are by the Editor

Articles The Editor is willing to accept articles for publication on the understanding that the submission of an article does not guarantee its publication. Contributors should recognise that all articles are also liable to editing and alteration without consultation. No material can be published unless the full name and postal address of the contributor is supplied. The preferred method of submission is electronically as a Word document.

strapline ‘Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda est’ – the Reformed Church is always reforming

editor

est’ – the Reformed Church is always reforming editor Gareth Burke 33, Onslow Gardens, BELFAST, BT6

Gareth Burke 33, Onslow Gardens, BELFAST, BT6 0AQ

Phone: 07803 28248 Email: gnburke@yahoo.co.uk

Book Reviews

Colin Campbell Manager The Evangelical Book Shop BELFAST BT1 6DD

Colin Campbell Manager The Evangelical Book Shop BELFAST BT1 6DD

Phone 028 9032 0529 Email: info@evangelicalbookshop.co.uk Website: www.evangelicalbookshop.co.uk

subscriptions 2013 Collected £9.00 By post within the UK £11.50 By post outside the UK £16.00

Enquiries to the Evangelical Book Shop

Finance Anyone wishing to help the Church’s work may send their gift to the Finance Committee C/O:

Rev J S Roger 16 Huntingdale BALLYCLARE BT39 9XB

donations. Please ask for details.

Printed by JC Print Ltd. Email info@jcprint.net Design and Layout by Derek Johnston

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The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

F1RST WORD
F1RST WORD

All change.

You will have immediately noticed that there are some changes to the EP magazine. It’s a different size and

magazine during Harold’s editorship. Few people realise the time and energy that Ernest put into the preparation

‘I am the Lord: I do not change’
‘I am the Lord: I do not change’

The The Evangelical Evangelical Presbyterian Presbyterian JAN-FEB JAN-FEB 2013 2013

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the 7 churches - Jesus speaks to his church today

Revelation 3: 14 – 22 Laodicea - The lukewarm church

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It’s a shocking statement but Jesus said it -

‘You make me sick’

(Rev. 3:16)

These are the startling words which Jesus speaks to the church in Laodicea. The Saviour is not here addressing those who are in the world. He’s not speaking to those who are hardened in their sins and openly rebelling against His authority. No, He’s speaking to His people in the congregation of Laodicea.

What has gone wrong? How did a church ever end up in such a pitiful condition as to be addressed by the Saviour in this way? These are the issues that we must probe together.

the CItY

Laodicea was situated about 160 kilometres east of Ephesus and a little south-east of Philadelphia. It was a prosperous city whose people were considered to be somewhat proud. In AD 60 they had suffered a great earthquake but had work. This attitude is summed up in the words of verse 17:

‘I have need of nothing’.

medical centre and it seems to have had a reputation as the place where a famous eye salve had been developed. Commentators also make the point that there were many black sheep found grazing around the city, and that a black wool clothing industry had grown up within the city which had considerably added to its prosperity.

Laodicea was also a renowned

As such, a picture is developing of the kind of place Laodicea

Their medical school was world renowned

us are moulded and shaped by the society around us to a greater degree than we ever realise. We underestimate the extent to which the place in which we live is impacting and eroding our spiritual lives. It is evident from the whole tone of this letter that the believers in Laodicea were men and women who had become too dependent on themselves and their resources and their own abilities rather than casting themselves in humble dependence on the Lord Himself.

Beware! All of

the ChuRCh

The Church was ‘neither cold nor hot….lukewarm’ (Rev 3: 15 and 16). Here we see Jesus, the preacher, at His very best. His analysis of the situation in Laodicea in verses 15 and 16, and His counsel to them in verse 18 demonstrate to us that in our preaching we are to be relevant, and that our application

is to ‘ring bells’ with our hearers. Laodicea was renowned for water that tasted bad and which could make one sick. So when Jesus describes their condition as ‘lukewarm’ they knew exactly what He was saying. And when He said: ‘I will vomit you out of my mouth’ (verse 16) they could identify very well with what He meant. God’s people in the congregation of Laodicea had become half -hearted, complacent and much too dependent on themselves rather than the Lord. Such a situation must not continue. They were in a bad way. Indeed of all the letters to the various churches this is the only one in which can be found no word of commendation at all!

the ReMeDY

But all is not lost. The Saviour, who rebukes and chastens His people (verse 19), continues to love them. He counsels them to do three things. They must repent (verse 19). They must recognise their lamentable spiritual poverty. With remarkable insight into their situation and with a wonderful appreciation of what ‘makes them tick’, Jesus encourages them in verse 18 to acknowledge that they are spiritually poor, naked and blind. From this position of brokenness they need to cry out to the Lord.

Principally, however, Jesus encourages them to come to Him for fellowship. In what must be the most misunderstood text in the whole of the New Testament Jesus in verse 20 addresses, not unbelievers, but His people. Despite Holman Hunt’s famous painting based upon this verse we are not looking here at a pathetic and weak Christ trying to break into the lives of sinners but unable to do so unless they ‘open the door’ of their hearts. No, what we have here is a tender appeal from Jesus to a half-hearted people who are serving Him on automatic pilot to stop, wait upon Him and draw strength and help from communion with Him. The imagery is that of a meal. This meal is not a quick snack – ‘a sandwich in the hand’ – but a supper where the participants will not only eat together but will spend time lingering in one another’s presence enjoying conversation and appreciating one another’ s company. ‘Come to Me’, says Jesus. ‘Stop doing everything in the church in such a mechanical, automatic, detached way’. ‘Recognise that you can do nothing unless I am with you and at work in you’. ‘Depend not on yourself but on Me’.

That’s the challenge for us. What kind of worker are you in Christ’s Church? Have you been teaching Sunday school or preaching for so long that it’s just become second nature to you? Are you casting yourself on God before you go out to the children’s meeting or just ‘winging it’?

‘Come to Me’, says Jesus. ‘Spend time with me. It’s you, it’s your heart, not your work that I want.’

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

development has been made known we obviously have no letters in this issue! As such

development has been made known we obviously have no letters in this issue!

As such I want to use this page in the Jan/Feb issue to do two things –

1. Set out the thinking behind the letters page

2. Set out my own personal understanding of what the

magazine is all about.

LetteRs POLICY

The purpose of the letters page is to give readers an opportunity to express their views on any of the material that has appeared in the pages of the Evangelical Presbyterian. You may well read an article and

fundamentally disagree with what it is saying – well, send

a letter expressing your views. Then we can engage in

a reasonable discussion on the particular issue that is

troubling you. Alternatively you might read something with which you wholeheartedly agree. Do write adding your

Letters do not need to be restricted to material that has appeared on the pages of the EP. Feel free to comment on other issues which are currently affecting the life of the EPC or the wider church scene.

There are a few rules! Letters must always be courteous and gracious in their tone. There is absolutely no guarantee that I’ll publish your letter and I may take the

liberty of altering or editing it without consultation. (The same applies to articles.) I will give you a guarantee that

if it is edited or altered I will be careful not to alter the sense of what you’re saying or present your view in an unbalanced way.

Please attach your full name and address and contact phone number with any letter sent in. Anonymous letters will be ignored. I will only publish your name and location but not your contact details. Your name will appear in the following format – John Calvin, Geneva or Bob Jones, South Carolina.

Feel free to send an ordinary letter or else e-mail me at gnburke@yahoo.co.uk

MAGAZIne POLICY

Why do we have a magazine? What is its purpose? Can I share with you my own thoughts on this matter? At least the points listed below could be considered the ‘undergirding philosophy’ which will be my guide in the work of the magazine:

1. To instruct readers in the Word of God and to provide

EPC and beyond.

2. To be a focal point for members and adherents of

the EPC - a place where we can share news and details of various activities in our different congregations and within the wider denomination. To provide information concerning mission work in which we are involved together as a church. This information can then be turned into prayer both at our prayer meetings and at home.

3. To promote the distinctive witness of the EPC to the

Reformed Faith and to inform members and adherents of the EPC concerning the origins of our church.

4. To inform the readership of current trends within

evangelicalism and the wider Church.

5. To challenge the EPC to think biblically and to

encourage our leadership to be a reformed church that is always reforming. In the words of our strapline -

‘Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda est’. The Reformed Church is always reforming

for the edi cation of the Lord’s people

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The The Evangelical Evangelical Presbyterian Presbyterian JAN-FEB JAN-FEB 2013 2013

The The Evangelical Evangelical Presbyterian Presbyterian JAN-FEB JAN-FEB 2013 2013

Whose faith follow

A short series on the founding fathers of the EPC

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Family and education

James Hunter, the third son of a family of three boys and two girls, was born 14 April 1863 and grew up in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone, where his parents, Chares and Catherine, owned a large shop in Main Street. They lived above it and ran the Liberal Party’s local constituency from it too. When Charles Hunter died the family moved to College Gardens, Belfast, and James transferred from Strabane Grammar School to ‘Inst’. He studied at Queen’s College, which became Queen’s University in 1908, and graduated with First Class Honours in Classics at the Royal University of Ireland - BA in 1883 and MA in 1886. His whole academic career was exceptional. He was regularly top of his year and won a gold medal with his MA. His scholarships, exhibitions and prizes totalled £250, a considerable sum then.

the newry and Dundela-Knock Years

He entered Assembly’s College in 1883. Matthew Leitch, the orthodox Professor of New Testament, 1879-1922, was one of Princeton, Professor of Theology, 1886-1895. He set the tone in April 1888 at his ordination in ‘First Newry’: “Novelty of thought or of diction, commanding power of speech, I cannot promise, but only such attractiveness as comes from the plain statement of the plain truth of God.” The Gillespies attended First Newry and, like the Hunters, were a business family. The families met and in 1900 John Gillespie married Catherine, the youngest Hunter. Two days after their wedding they sailed as missionaries to Manchuria where the Gillespie family were already involved. In 1897 Dr Annie Gillespie had

joined her eldest brother, Rev William Gillespie, in Manchuria, but six months later she died of fever. This sad event may account for James Hunter’s remaining a bachelor. John and Catherine’s daughter, Catherine, was to marry W J Grier in

1943.

In 1889 James Hunter accepted a call to Dundela, Belfast, which reverted to its original name of Knock in 1921. Presented with a pulpit gown and Bible at his December installation, he said that the gown reminded him of the duty to be the same person with the gown on that he was with it off, and he pledged himself with God’s help to speak the truth “as well in the pulpit as out of it.” The Bible reminded him that “they did not expect him to be an original investigator, nor to forge for them a new creed out of the fragments of the old, but rather to present entire the old faith once delivered to the

rather to present entire the old faith once delivered to the “I love a ‘Bonnie’ Covenanters

“I love a ‘Bonnie’ Covenanters called Mr Rutherford”

saints. … It would be for him then to walk in the old paths.”

Some stories belong to the Dundela-Knock years.

The girls did not appreciate him placing them back to back with the young men in the Bible Class! The Knock Historian, Nelson Brown, informs us that: “Mr. Hunter was a pioneer of instrumental music and a small American organ was to be

found in the Church as early as 1892

Church music at Knock became the envy of many other

Congregations

service became impatient long before the whistle of the

Thanks to Mr Hunter,

many young worshippers at the evening

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

8.21 train from Knock to Donaghadee on the old B.C.D.R. He is reputed to have

8.21 train from Knock to Donaghadee on the old B.C.D.R. He is reputed to have worn a monocle in the pulpit. When his

sister Catherine felt that it was somehow inappropriate for her daughter to play hockey, brother-uncle-Minister arrived with a hockey stick for her birthday! He offered to serve in the Colonial Mission but Presbytery advised him to continue his good work at home - Knock church was enlarged twice during his 35 year ministry. He built a house, ‘Moyle’, on the rural side of Upper Knockbreda Road, near the Castlereagh junction and his sister Maria kept house. He travelled, and

in the early 1900s went via Moscow and the trans-Siberian

railway to Manchuria to visit John and Catherine Gillespie.

He visited Palestine in 1899, New York in 1910 and at other times Greece, Italy and Germany. He regularly attended the Keswick Convention.

Defending the Faith

James Hunter is best known for his life-long defence of the faith and in July 1924 he retired to devote himself to it. For the previous 25 years he had opposed renewed doctrinal broadening in the church, but a crisis came in 1925-26: the church was debating a change to its Formula of Subscription, and evidence questioning the orthodoxy of a Professor at its college had come into his hands. He felt an imperative

duty to respond and the revival through the Nicholson missions 1921-23 and 1924-26, persuaded him that the time was right. In May 1926 he set up the Presbyterian Bible Standards League to lead the campaign against Liberalism. He held public meetings and published SOS pamphlets. The League’s Bookshop later became

a letter from Sydney in October 1926, Nicholson said: “I love

In December 1926 Hunter indicted Rev J E Davey, Professor of Church History at Assembly’s College on charges related the Trinity. The Heresy Trial and Appeal of 1927 is a story

for another place, but in summary the Belfast Presbytery acquitted Professor Davey on each charge by 90%

majorities. Hunter appealed to the General Assembly of June revival, but the vote of the crowded Assembly was again 90%

in favour of the professor.

the Irish evangelical Church

Hunter viewed this verdict as a declaration of the church’s institutional unorthodoxy and he felt his freedom to continue the battle curtailed. So he resigned from the Presbyterian Church in July 1927 and led the formation of IEC in October. From 1928 until his death he was Minister of Knock IEC where membership reached 101.

He contributed 165 articles to the Irish Evangelical - doctrinal, devotional and polemical, with applications from history, his person, causing a reader to think personally, but in Favour with God (IE May 1942) we have a strong hint of his own myself a citizen of a country where the Christian religion has been known for centuries—I did nothing to bring me this advantage. If I came into membership of a home where all the ordinances of God were revered—this privilege was not found by me nor sought by myself. If my heart warmed to the word of God, and the love of God drew me like a magnet— some others were not drawn; and what made the difference? “It was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me.” That is how it all happened— through the strange favour of God.”

James Hunter died on Lord’s Day 20 September 1942, aged 79. The October 1942 IE reviewed his life under the title, “Whose Faith Follow”. (Heb 13.7)

he contributed 165 articles to the Irish evangelical

Ernest Brown of Knock is well known throughout the EPC. For many years he represented the church on the International Missions Board of the Free Church of Scotland. Ernest is also the historian of the EPC and is a recognised authority on the 1927 Heresy Trial. Here he begins a six part series on the founding fathers of our church.

a recognised authority on the 1927 Heresy Trial. Here he begins a six part series on

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

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‘The Return of Christ’

The editor begins a 12 part study considering the Bible’s teaching on the Second Coming

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HOW?

Some years ago while watching a Schools Cup rugby match I was joined by a gentleman who was also viewing the game. I confess to not knowing the gentleman particularly well and being somewhat irritated by his insistence on giving a running commentary on the match. At least it seemed to me to be a commentary on the match before us, but, as the game progressed, I realised that his commentary was interspersed with all kinds of details about matches in which he had played in the days of his youth. Indeed, distinguish between his commentary on the ‘live’ game and his reminiscences of past games. He was ‘jumping’ from one game to another.

There is a sense in which Matthew 24 is a commentary on the last days on two levels. There are verses which refer to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in AD 70 and other portions which refer to the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory. exactly which of these two events Jesus is speaking about, but as we consider this great the Olivet discourse, spoken by our Lord to his disciples, both instructs and challenges us concerning the Day of The Lord. There is no doubt that Jesus is coming again. The angels clearly told the disciples at the ascension of Jesus ‘ This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven , will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ (Acts 1:11) This is the consistent testimony of study we want to consider the question – How? How will Jesus return? What will be the manner of his appearing?

Visibly

‘Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ (Mathew 24: 30) obscurity. Apart from a number of privileged individuals who were, by and large, located around Bethlehem very few people were aware that the Saviour of the World had come. When He comes again His appearing will be altogether different. ‘Every eye will see Him and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’ (Phil. 2: 9-11)

there is no doubt that Jesus is coming again

Audibly

‘And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, form one end of heaven to the other.’ (Matthew 24: 31) Whilst this aspect of the return of Christ is not something we often think about it is clear from Scripture that there will be considerable noise associated with the appearing of the Saviour. In 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 we read:

‘For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.’

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

Gloriously

We have already noticed how our Saviour declared that when He came men and women would see Him coming ‘on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ In what sense will His appearing be glorious? I think that there glimpse of what the appearing of Christ will look like. There, on the mount, Jesus shone with His divine glory. The night sky was illuminated by the radiant appearance of the Son of God, and Peter, James and John were privileged to see Him for a moment not according to his humanity but according to His divinity. The whole experience so impacted Peter that he commented in his second epistle that ‘we…. were eyewitnesses of His majesty.’ (1 Peter 1:16)

But the return of Christ will not only be glorious because of His radiant appearance but also because He will be accompanied by the angels. In Matthew 25: 31 Jesus Himself reminds us that when He comes He will be accompanied by ‘all the holy angels’. In Matthew 24: 31 we are told that the angels will go forth to gather in the elect while in Matthew 13: 41 the angels are given the solemn task of gathering up the ungodly for judgement. Whatever their role may be they will accompany Christ and will add to the sheer glory of this momentous moment.

suddenly

In Mathew 24: 36 – 44 Jesus impresses upon us the suddenness and unexpectedness of His return. The exact moment is known only to God the Father (v 36) but our calling is not to spend endless hours trying to work out the date of His return but instead to live in a state of constant readiness. Jesus speaks about the days of Noah and how, despite years of preaching and warning, the people refused to listen to the One can instantly see the parallels here with our own day. Men and women have been constantly warned of the need to be prepared for the return of Christ but, like in the days of Noah, choose to ignore the preacher.

Jesus also challenges us in verses 45 to 51 to be faithful servants during His absence. Just as the master in the parable returned unexpectedly to the household so He will return suddenly to this earth.

Here is a word for both unbeliever and believer. Jesus is coming again. For this great event you must prepare. You must prepare by turning from your sin and crying out in faith to Jesus Christ for salvation. Nothing else will do.

If you are a Christian then you need to be living in a state of constant readiness for the return of Jesus. Within our reformed tradition we have become rather skilful at subtly ‘dumbing down’ this truth. Ever aware that certain signs must occur before Jesus comes, we relax our vigilance by resting in the knowledge that the Gospel has not yet been preached to all the nations and the Antichrist has not yet appeared. How very foolish! Yes, I know for sure that certain things must happen before Jesus returns but I know also that Jesus said: ‘Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ (Matthew 24:44) I may not be able to adequately reconcile the unexpectedness of His return with the necessity that gives me no excuse to play down the suddenness of His coming. Each day I live I should be looking out for His appearing. Each day I live I should be asking the old question – ‘If Jesus came today would He be pleased to

Our calling is not to spend endless hours trying to work out the date of his return but instead to live in a state of constant readiness

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

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UFM One Hundred Fold

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It was about 40 degrees at 10pm

and the power was off in this part of Ouagadougou as the generators had been over heating. I was walking home in the dark down an unpaved

dusty street. There was only the quiet murmuring of night guards passing the time while sitting in front of the gates to middle class homes and the occasional dog barking in the distance. Then I heard a bizarre set of electronic beeps and trills. It seemed to be blaring in the baking stillness. I looked around in the dark and could

on the face of one of the night guards. Soon I could see clearly looking at the screen of a cell phone. The noise was him playing

a video game on his phone.

Watching a man who made £35 a month as a night guard playing a game on his mobile phone I saw that the world had changed. As I would travel around West Africa helping Bible translators with their computers I would see some of the poorest people in the world using mobile phones. A man might only have one pair

of good trousers and two shirts and no power or indoor toilet but he would do all that he could to have a mobile phone.

It was not just vanity that moved people

to get a mobile phone. It was a means of communication with distant friends and relations, market information, work

opportunities, entertainment and news. That was over ten years ago and now there are 7 billion mobile phones in the world and they are owned by about 5.5 billion of the 7 billion people in the world. Over 1 billion people have internet access on their phone. Three out of every four people in the Middle East have a mobile phone and many of those have two or more phones. Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu the mobile phone has arrived. What if we could turn the mobile phone

to take advantage of mobile phones and other emerging technologies, UFM has started a new digital technology team called One Hundred Fold. It is made up of full time missionary staff as well as volunteers from multiple countries. While highly skilled technologists are very important to the mission of One Hundred Fold, people with administrative, bookkeeping, communications and a range of other skills are also greatly needed. One of the unique things about One Hundred

Fold is that it is a virtual team. We don’t

works from home or from whatever internet connection they have. This makes it possible for people who would like to be directly involved in missions to have a global impact

from their own home. Though the team is new, we are already seeing some fruit and working on some very interesting projects. We are looking to the Lord to provide the key people and resources to take full advantage of the opportunities before us.

What if we could turn the

mobile phone into a

tool for the

Gospel?

into a tool for the Gospel? Over 3 billion of the phones in use today could be used as a Bible. For those who do not read, 3 billion phones could play an audio Bible. Over 1.5 billion phones could play gospel videos and all 7 billion phones could receive a call or a text with gospel content. For many years the church has distributed gospel tracts and paper Bibles all over the world. Now we have the opportunity to use a mobile phone that is already in the pocket of most of the people in the world to deliver the words of life in a very personal and direct way. In order

Scripture in Thousands of Languages - We have built worldbibles. Bibles or Bible-based resources in many languages. So far this year we have connected over 20,000 people with Bible resources in over 400 languages and delivered the Jesus Film to some 10,000 people online and audio Scripture to more than 6,000 people, all of this to more than 100 countries.

Mobile Phone Gospel Tracts - Earlier this year one of our staff went to a central Asian country to teach a workshop to local believers on using web and mobile technologies. One thing that he taught was how to prepare videos to be shared via bluetooth from phone to phone. Since then we have received a report about one of those believers who started sharing a dramatised testimony of a Muslim who came to know Jesus. This video has gone “viral” being shared by one person to another through many villages. These local believers are saying they are excited to have these new ways to share Jesus.

believers are saying they are excited to have these new ways to share Jesus. The Evangelical

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

Mobile phone ownership
Mobile phone ownership
Mobile phone ownership Gospel Phone – We have built a system that can deliver an audio

Gospel Phone – We have built a system that can deliver an audio Gospel message through a local phone call almost anywhere in the world. This allows people to call a local number and hear an audio message in their own language. We are partnering with ministries in France, Canada and India and hope to start using this in France in 2013.

Learning English through Biblical Idioms – We are working with a ministry in Hong Kong that has developed a way to teach English using biblical idioms. They have already seen several students come to faith in Jesus and we are working with them to improve their web and mobile phone efforts. We hope to help them become much more fruitful in the coming year.

Outreach to Arabic Youth - We are building a website for a ministry focused on Arabic speaking young people. They are producing Bible studies, discussing what the Bible has to say about current

topics and other biblical teaching. We plan to launch this site in 2013.

Answers for Muslims - We are partnering with a ministry run by a former Muslim who has produced a number of small books addressing the most common questions Muslims have about the Bible and Christianity. We will help him deliver his content to mobile phones and update his websites.

We have found that the Lord has placed a burden on the heart of many people to use their skills for the Kingdom, but often they have not found a way of to provide such a place of service and to do so in a way that allows them to reach the world from their home, in the evenings and weekends. If you feel the Lord moving you to volunteer, pray or Hundred Fold please contact the UFM we will be happy to talk to you about joining the team.

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

joining the team. The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013 Woman with mobile phone photo – creative commons

Woman with mobile phone photo – creative commons – Gary Knight Young women with phone photo – creative commons – Gary Knight Afghan Phone photo – creative commons – IMTFI World Population with a mobile phone – Ed Underwood

Ed and Kate Underwood with their three young sons are actively involved in the life of Stranmillis EPC. They lead the new UFM Digital Technology Team.

three young sons are actively involved in the life of Stranmillis EPC. They lead the new

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news from Dumisani (Compiled from recent newsletter by norman Reid) The Dumisani family reaches the

news from Dumisani

(Compiled from recent newsletter by norman Reid)

The Dumisani family reaches the end of another successful year in serving the Lord. Together we praise God for his goodness and mercy and for his faithfulness throughout

2012.

students The students at Dumisani have had a challenging and, at the same time, a fruitful year. For the Basic Ministry Studies students to those on the Degree level, 2012 has proved to and similar ailments and even getting to classes has been challenging at times. Nonetheless, the Dumisani students have persevered through these obstacles. On the other hand, our students have generally studied hard and their results have been encouraging. It has also been encouraging to see some of our students attending the workshops which Dumisani has hosted throughout the year, including, Counselling, Sunday School, and pastors’ conferences and workshops. This is an indication of the great opportunities which our students have received, whether in their classes or at such events listed here.

ss teacher training In September we had another opportunity and privilege of training Sunday School teachers and leaders from various churches in our area. These are always exciting and meaningful events and this time we were able to host some 50 visitors. It was encouraging even to meet teenagers at the workshop who are involved in this vital ministry. Our presenters were Jenny Wilson, Tembani Zani and Wayne and Megan Grätz. The delegates went away from this training course with greater enthusiasm and encouragement and feeling better equipped to handle their task as teachers and leaders in their respective churches. Such events are crucial for Dumisani, as we forge stronger ties with local churches, and as we establish new relationships with those who workshops three times in a year and people who attend are very keen to return for the subsequent ones. The next training day is scheduled for March 2013. Please pray for our presenters and particularly for our participants, that they may continue in their respective roles in building the kingdom of God in this part of the world.

in building the kingdom of God in this part of the world. A Double Celebration The

A Double Celebration

The congregation of Stranmillis EPC gathered after the evening service on Sunday 28th October 2012 to celebrate the ninetieth birthdays of Mrs Annie Blair and Mrs Florrie Gray. We were delighted to be joined on this special occasion by some of the family and friends of our two ‘birthday ladies’. Both ladies have been committed members of the congregation for many years and are now numbered among the small band of faithful people who belonged to the congregation during the days of the ministry of Rev W J Grier in Botanic Avenue.

Following some introductory comments by Rev Gareth Burke suitable tributes were offered by Miss Rose McIlrath, Mrs Patricia Gibson and Miss Irene Brown. After some presentations Mr Mervyn Kelly led in prayer. The congregation then adjourned to the hall for some eats and celebrations continued with a birthday cake and a rendering of the traditional birthday anthem.

We give thanks to God for Mrs Blair and for Mrs Gray and for their example of faithful service to the Lord and to His Church over many years.

GNB

Preaching rally You are warmlY invited to a preaching rallY in StranmilliS epc on FridaY
Preaching rally
You are warmlY invited to a preaching rallY in
StranmilliS epc on FridaY 8th march 2013
preacher dr carl trueman (uSa)

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The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

Jesus the son of God RRP £7-99 Our Price £5-99 Author: D.A. Carson Publisher: IVP,
Jesus the son of God RRP £7-99 Our Price £5-99 Author: D.A. Carson Publisher: IVP,

Jesus the son of God RRP £7-99 Our Price £5-99

Author: D.A. Carson

Publisher: IVP, 2012

109 pages, paperback.

It is seldom that one picks up a book that is a literal answer to prayer, but D.A. Carson’s “Jesus The Son Of God” is indeed that to me. Two years ago I was a Wycliffe member and just becoming cognisant of the translation controversy over Wycliffe’s approach to “Son of God” and “Father” in Bible translations focused on Muslim audiences. Suddenly I was immersed in scores of missiology articles on this issue and spent months trying to untangle the various arguments that stretched back over a decade. The PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) and the AoG (Assemblies of God) have had separate expert committees who have produced detailed studies that refute Wycliffe’s position, yet the vast majority of pastors, laymen and even missionaries are still uninformed about this issue. Therefore, “Jesus The Son Of God” is a much-needed introduction to the topic by an eminent evangelical scholar.

At just over 100 pages and comprised of three chapters, it is deceptively brief, and not a book that can be easily worked through in an uninterrupted afternoon. Please do read all the footnotes. However, it is just too short for its monumental topic. While many useful arguments are outlined and a couple of them worked through in some detail I hope that one day soon a student of Dr. Carson’s will take on the enormous task of a more extensive treatment, as the identity of Christ is one of the great battlegrounds of our era.

used in many ways that has nothing to do with Christ. This can seem like an odd aside but it is really a deconstruction of one of the core arguments that Wycliffe scholars have made about the translation of “Son of God” in Muslim context - that “son of” language is always biological in nature and carries with it an unavoidable concept of sexual union between God and Mary to Muslim audiences. Dr. Carson demonstrates this is simply not so.

In the second chapter, the title “Son of God “ with relation to Jesus is examined in select passages. The argument is clearly the fabric of Scripture. Christ’s unique identity is unfathomable yet inextricably woven into Scripture. No language or culture can readily accommodate it, so it takes work to come to grips with Christ’s claims and this cannot be avoided by nuanced translations. Additionally, it is critical that Christians know the Bible better, as well as the underpinnings of our confessional statements, not just to defend the faith but to not miss out on the wonder and majesty that the angels themselves desire to grasp.

for Muslim audiences. While brief, they are very clear and welcome in a debate that has often been obscured by shifting terminology and not a little posturing. At the very end he makes some personal observations about Wycliffe that one reviewer has called “gentle” but which in essence say that Wycliffe was not unorthodox but just did not know what they were doing and needs workers with better linguistic skills and theological training. A sad commentary indeed of an organisation that has been revered for more than 70 years for its zeal to translate God’s word.

Ed Underwood, Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Ed Underwood, Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church the hole in Our holiness RRP £10-99 Our Price £8-25

the hole in Our holiness RRP £10-99 Our Price £8-25

Kevin DeYoung

Publisher: Crossway, 2012

150 pages, hardback.

DeYoung’s motivation in writing this book is that he sees in his own life, and in the lives of other Christians, a lack of urgency in relation to how we seek to cultivate our personal holiness. He suggests that while we respect

In chapter three, Piety’s Pattern, DeYoung shows us what such holiness looks like. He argues that it is the renewal of God’s image in us, a life marked by virtue, a clean conscience, obedience to God’s commands and Christlikeness. In chapter four, he shows us the importance of God’s law and how when it is properly understood, it ceases to be burdensome to us.

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In the next two chapters, DeYoung encourages us to believe that, despite what we often think, holiness is something we can achieve through God’s grace. He shows us that holiness does not come easily and must be worked towards, but is possible.

The last four chapters deal with our union with Christ, fellowship with Christ and particular sins we struggle with, before concluding with an exhortation to progress in maturity and holiness. It is worth mentioning that the book contains discussion questions at the back which make it suitable for group study, and the lively content of the book would make for stimulating conversation within a group setting.

‘The Hole in Our Holiness’ is another important contribution from the pen of Kevin DeYoung. Perhaps as we prepare to enter the New Year, we could do worse than to read this book, take the author’s advice, and grow in holiness!

Colin Campbell

unreached RRP £9-99 Our Price £7-50 Author: tim Chester Pubisher: IVP, 2012 170 pages, paperback.

unreached RRP £9-99 Our Price £7-50

Author: tim Chester

Pubisher: IVP, 2012 170 pages, paperback.

Where are the unreached? Where are there masses of people and few churches? In the housing estates on our doorstep. Surveys show that evangelical churches are by and large middle class, in middle class locations, often on the opposite sides of the city from socially deprived areas.

Unreached’ working group—a team of 16 or so evangelical church leaders and planters, mostly working in deprived areas. Throughout we hear their voices and experiences. This is not just theory, but theology mixed with practice and experience coming from a reformed perspective.

‘Unreached’ seeks to deal with two main issues:

‘Unreached’ succeeds in both areas. Chester usefully analyses the main characteristics, from problem issues such as anti- authoritarianism and entitlement mentality, through to helpful distinctions of mindset such as non-abstract, concrete thinking and non-diary, relational lifestyles. He deals with different attitudes to money, relationships, time etc. and draws out some preliminary applications—ranging from passion and openness to the key theological themes that need applied.

Thought-provoking throughout, ‘Unreached’ concludes with a helpful chapter on ‘Teaching the Word in a non-book culture’— sermons to books, thinking in pictures rather than words, learning in order to do rather than for information. Yet how much of preaching is abstract rather than concrete; and how many of our Bible studies are reminiscent of English comprehension exercises? All of this sends out a signal that Christianity is for a certain sort of person—precisely the sort of signal we don’t want to send.

We can easily assume that our view of the Christian life is simply the Christian life, yet so often there are class and cultural assumptions smuggled in which can become stumbling blocks to others.

This book is an essential read for all Christians living in urban and suburban contexts. Packed full of insight and practical advice, it will give you help and hope for reaching the unreached around you, as well as an increased burden for doing so.

Mark Loughridge Mark is minister of Milford Reformed Presbyterian Church, Co. Donegal

of Milford Reformed Presbyterian Church, Co. Donegal the Fruitful Wife RRP £9-99 Our Price £7-50 hayley

the Fruitful Wife RRP £9-99 Our Price £7-50

hayley DiMarco

Publisher: Crossway, 2012 206 pages, paperback.

There have been many pages written and many words uttered on the subject of the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ as outlined in Galatians 5. However, in The Fruitful Wife, Hayley DiMarco takes a fresh approach to these essential features of believers by discussing how wives can display these characteristics in marriage and the daily grind of life.

Throughout the course of the book Hayley, a wife and mother who has published numerous books for young people, discusses each of the Fruit of the Spirit in turn and applies these to the lives of women. She recognises that the process of looking at our

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pleasure or pleasing self at all, but about denying self and giving all the glory to God.” (p16)

Although the book is entitled ‘The Fruitful Wife’, I feel that this book would be relevant to women at all stages in life, as the illustrations and applications are by no means restricted to marriage. The book would also serve as a useful tool for women preparing for marriage as Hayley frequently highlights the lack of fruit displayed in the early years of her own marriage, and new wives could aspire to be fruitful from the outset by heeding her warning.

In general I would recommend this book. It is beautifully presented and applies Scripture very practically to marriage and womanhood as a whole. Through reading this book you will undoubtedly be left challenged and convicted as to how you are seeking to grow the fruit of the Spirit in your life and how this will in turn bless husbands and children and see families raised which truly seek to glorify God.

Suzanne Kane, Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

A Life of Gospel Peace RRP £22-99 Our Price £16-99 Author: Phillip L. simpson Publisher:

A Life of Gospel Peace RRP £22-99 Our Price £16-99

Author: Phillip L. simpson

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011 298 pages,hardback.

aspects of Burroughs’ life (e.g. his views on Independency). I have, however, a few queries, for example: Why is southern Essex placed in East Anglia (p.1)? Why did it take a least 18 months for him to be baptised (p. 2); something very rare at that time?

Dr. James Davison, Great Victoria Street Baptist Church

Other recent arrivals at evangelical Bookshop:

Finish the Mission by John Piper & David Mathis eds. RRP £10-99 Our Price £8-25 Publisher: Crossway, 2012

183 pages, paperback.

Let God Be God: songs of hope and Consolation RRP £10-99 Our Price £8-75 Faith Cook Publisher: Evangelical Press, 2012

124 pages, hardback.

Ruth: From Bitter to sweet (Welwyn Commentary Series) RRP £8-99 Our Price £6-75 John Currid Publisher: Evangelical Press, 2012

141 pages, paperback.

the Majesty of Prayer:

encounters With God’s Amazing Grace RRP £11-50 Our Price £8-99 John MacArthur Publisher: Harvest House, 2012 48 pages, hardback (beautifully illustrated/gift edition)

the thunder: A novel on John Knox RRP £9-99 Our Price £7-99 Douglas Bond Publisher: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2012 395 pages, paperback.

GREAT

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15 College Square East BELFAST BT1 6DD Tel: 028 9032 0529 E Mail: info@evangelicalbookshop.co.uk Website: www.evangelicalbookshop.co.uk Manager: Colin Campbell

Website: www.evangelicalbookshop.co.uk Manager: Colin Campbell The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013 15

The Evangelical Presbyterian JAN-FEB 2013

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Just wondering what you think. Whilst you’ve always had very strict

you were very out of

views and sometimes conveyed the impression that touch I always appreciated your thoughts.

to continue?

Is it OK for me and Gertrude

Dad say that her

Please show my letter to Mrs Rev as I once overheard

than yours.

views were a good bit more balanced

‘The Rev’

Please write soon, Herbert

Dear Herbert hear Delighted get your Dear Rev mail. a have I be quick I
Dear Herbert
hear
Delighted
get
your
Dear Rev
mail.
a have I
be
quick
I hope you don’t mind me writing
to you but since you left our church,
as you know, we’ve got no minister and
I need some advice. I’ve recently
I’m
on
annual
trip
over
the
met a very fine young
lady called Gertrude. I’m not sure how to put
Institute
Reformed
– to Theology. ‘born you. likes into
often
about
you
and
have
been
praying
for
the
whole
this but we’ve become good friends
– what your generation would call
relationships
that
might
a
courting.
She’s amazing. I met her at university.
– Brilliant and ‘singing she’s in She’s those I’m associated she’s me area dilemma. I’m e
We just got talking over lunch because she often takes her lunch at the
chaplaincy centre like me and the amount of shared interests we have
is breathtaking. She loves politics, is studying music and just can’t get
intelligent
and
gifted
there
aren’t
that
many
who
your
can’t
on decide form on
from
you’ve
told
enough Bach.
On Wednesdays we meet up at 11.45am
genuine
again’
believer
who’s
and go up to the ‘chill out’ lounge
at the centre to watch Prime Minsters Questions
on the TV. She’s from
fellowship
over
the
and
become
England. Barton by the Steeple is her home town so at weekends she’s
captivated
by
the
music
whether
to noise of had my religious the is I to
all
dignity
frequently in our house for meals.
with
cassocks
and
in you on incense. what as has
to if delighted going
she’s
the
scene
My Mum likes her, especially her manners. Dad’s less vocal
but then
he felt able
dating and all that ‘touchy
feely’ stuff was never something
hate
the
and
to around church and not alarmed Sunday atmosphere years on teaching
with
to speak about easily. All he ever asks me is:’Why does Gertrude
not
was
about
her
or popping the meet think come
come to our church?’
You see, that’s where the problem is.
of not just Starbucks obviously she places.
but
of waiting Fourth goes perhaps and Douglas to to share
much
Gertrude can’t come to our church.
Her Sundays are just packed. At 8am she sings in the choir at the early
morning communion at St Sitwell’s. Then
she dashes off on her moped
Would
she
be
willing
cut
out
to St Asaphs for the 10am service to
help the struggling choir with the
services’
Sunday
morning anthem. After a quick sandwich
and coffee in Starbucks she’s
hear
Word
Sunday
to would the order evening? then that clubbing one scene I the I’m
Does
down to the cathedral for the practice prior to choral evensong.
a shared interest in Bach but
would she be
By the time she’s finished at
6pm she’s simply exhausted. Dad
thinks
interested in studying the Bible?
she should be coming with us to the evening service but all
that singing
really drains you mentally.
Herbert.
this careful. of
a The
wants
make
all whole
in relationship,
you But Now, marriage to with where It’s
Now I know that you’ll want to know if she’s a
Christian because that
unequally
yoked
together
with
unbelievers’.
was always a big thing with you in your sermons. She
doesn’t speak the
vital
that
you
marry
only
the
Lord.
you
same sort of language as we do. Words like “saved” or “born again”
might
a feel mess Be
premature.
wouldn’t be terms that she uses.
and also you would be struggling
But she is so committed to church
to find fault with her. Her language,
do
relationships
is the lead?
bit What’s devil
your
future
demeanour, courtesy and kindness are wonderful. She’s not interested
in any of that clubbing, pubbing scene that some Christian girls get
I’ll show this to my wife. Better still, call and
involved with and in terms of compatibility
– we are perfect.

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