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IN THIS ISSUE

Uniformity and

unity

Page 3

Man as God made

him

Page 4

Whose Faith

Follow

Page 6

The Return of

Christ

Page 8

Meditation in the digital age

Page 9

Time for a new chapter

Page 10

Church

news

Page 11

The 5

Solas

Page 12

A student worker in

Munster

Page 12

Book

Dear Rev

reviews Page 13

Page 16

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

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Editor

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

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Book Reviews

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The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

F1RST WORD
F1RST WORD

Isn’t the web a remarkable thing? You can sort of remember something from an article or sermon long ago, tap in a few words to Google and the next thing you’ve found what you’re looking for. That happened to me the other day. I was thinking about an address that John Nicholls of London City Mission had given to the London Presbyterian Conference in 1987. I thought it was entitled ‘Holy Moderation’ and when I typed these words into the Google word search up it popped:

‘Holy Moderation: Towards a Presbyterian Mind’.

What a super article it is especially the section in it dealing with the whole issue of uniformity and unity. The ‘in thing’ at the present time in a number of Presbyterian churches seems to be to get all the congregations within the denomination to look alike, act alike, speak alike. This is a trend from which we are not entirely immune. Of course we have core issues that are non-negotiable. We hold to the Bible, the Word of God, as the sole rule of faith and practice. We are committed to the regulative principle of worship and we adhere to the Westminster Standards. But holding tenaciously to these truths does not mean that we have to be identical in all that we do. Indeed I believe that it is one of the core principles of Presbyterianism that we are united together in common testimony to the Gospel and the Reformed Faith but we are free to cultivate within our congregations our own emphasis and ethos according to the location where we have been called to witness. As such, the ‘feel’ to church life will be somewhat different in Richhill in comparison to Crosscollyer Street. We must be careful not to confuse unity with uniformity. John Nicholls expresses this well when he writes:

‘The third aspect of holy moderation is a concern for unity but not an attempt to press all believers into the same mould’.

It is unity, not uniformity, that we want to cultivate in the EPC. We want to work together as those of like mind. We rejoice in those opportunities that we have to come together for teaching and worship such as the recent Presbytery Day Conference with Iain D Campbell. We are greatly blessed by the work of the church camps and the outreach teams where gifted people from the different congregations come together to serve and witness. But we must guard against the mentality that suggests we must do everything in the same way. Indeed, as one looks out across the globe and observes the work of different presbyterian churches one becomes more attracted to those denominations that are sometimes unkindly described as being ‘Presbyterian Lite’. What are the features of such a denomination? The elders meet together in Presbytery and Synod to discuss matters of a doctrinal left very much to the local congregation. There is unity in essentials but considerable freedom is given to local elders to work it out on the ground where their church is located. Minimal direction and oversight is coming from the ‘central body.’ Strikes me that this is a New Testament model. When we take Acts 15 and the Pastoral Epistles together we’re really looking at a presbyterian model with a small ‘p’. The Council of Jerusalem makes a declaration on a doctrinal issue but the local elders lead, guide and develop the work of their church in conjunction with the deacons. Presbyterian Lite.

UNIFORMITY AND UNITY
UNIFORMITY AND UNITY

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

3

Man in his four-fold state

1. Man as God made him - Genesis 1 v26-27

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Thomas Boston has written a book called “Human nature in its four-fold state”. As the title suggests he describes man in a state four on these various states. The full titles of all four are as follows:

“man has God made him“, “Man as sin marred him“, “Man as grace transforms him” and “Man as glory perfects him“. Genesis 1:27 informs us that “God made man in his own image”, language that is used exclusively to describe the creation of man. However, in addition to the use of this exclusive language, scripture also provides several other hints that man is to be distinguished from everything else that God created. It’s interesting to note that man was created last. This meant that when he arrived on the scene everything he needed to survive was already present - plants to eat, cattle to provide milk and oxen for labour etc. In other words the world was made for man, not man for the world. Another point of difference is the special “executive divine counsel” which preceded the creation of man. There is no mention of a discussion between the members of the triune Godhead prior to the activities of the other days, but we read that on the sixth day the Father, Son and Holy Spirit held a counsel meeting - “let us make man in our image”. This implies that God had a special interest in the creation of man. Yet another distinction is found in the language that God used to express His satisfaction over everything that He had made. After the creation of the plants and the animals He pronounced everything “good“, but after the creation of man He pronounced everything “very good“. All these statements imply that man is superior to the rest of created man. In the case of the plants and the animals He spoke the word and created everything “after their kind”, but when creating man He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life“. This marks him out as the pinnacle of God’s creation, but the fullest description of man’s uniqueness is found in these words “God made man in his own image”.

1) What constitutes the image of God in man?

There is obviously something godlike about man, hence the use of these two phrases to describe him - “in our image” and “according to our likeness“. The former phrase comes from a Hebrew root which means to carve or to cut. Think of the carving of an animal for instance - it’s obviously patterned after the original. So man images God in the same way as a carving images an animal. The term “likeness” comes from a word which means “to be like“, so taking these two phrases together we can say that man in some senses represents God and in certain respects is like Him. In other words

condition (James 3:9, 1 Corinthians 11:7). Sin may have greatly marred us but we are still in “the image of God“ and not even the fall has managed to eradicate every remnant of our original glory. Think damage was done but even amongst the charred remains you could still see some evidence of its original beauty. This is also true of fallen man, hence “Rabbi“ Duncan’s comment: “man is a ruin, but he

is a noble ruin“. We can learn what this image of God in man is like

from two sources - nature and the bible.

a) NATURE. “Does not nature itself teach you…”? (1 Corinthians

11:14). This text implies that we are warranted in making certain deductions from nature about the image of God in man. 1) Man is physically different. Of all the beings in animate creation man alone can stand upright. Even his posture seems to emphasize his superiority over other created beings. Furthermore, he has the ability to vary his facial expressions. A dog may be able to send out

a signal that it’s angry by snarling or barking, but it can‘t cry, laugh, smile or frown the way we can. Another feature which distinguishes man from the animals is that man alone can speak. Communication with an animal is very limited. It may learn certain things by rote but it can never think or communicate the way we can. Yet another

difference is that man can also blush. Mark Twain was observant enough to note that: “man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to“. 2) He also has a sense of morality. He instinctively knows that certain things are wrong and other things are right. The bible explains this by speaking of ”the work of the law” written in our hearts (Romans 2:15). This produces a sense of “ought” or “ought not” which intrudes into our consciousness through the working of conscience. And this religiosity is present everywhere and at all times. Animals have instinct which determines their behaviour but they have no sense of morality. That’s why monkeys don’t hold meeting to discuss the behaviour of other monkeys, but human beings do. 3) He can exercise the powers of reason. Blaise Paschal once said that “man is only a reed, but he is a thinking reed”. We can all think, absorb certain pieces of information, come to conclusions about that information and then impart our opinions to others, although a former teacher once suggested that perhaps I didn’t fall into that category. He informed me that “my head was for thinking, not for keeping my ears apart!” Nothing remotely resembling this exists in the animal kingdom. Most children can write a letter to granny thanking her for a birthday present, or they can read a post card received from someone on holiday. Even such basic activities as these have never been observed in animals. 4) He has a unique creative ability. Birds can build nests, rabbits can dig burrows, but man has designed equipment which has enabled As a little boy I used to get excited every time Ford introduced a new car. My father was a Ford dealer and the introduction of a new model was a big event. No animal has ever experienced anything but men do. John Benton put it like this: “Beavers may build dams, the moon. To say that animals are the same is like saying coal and diamonds are the same”. Closely related to this creative ability is man’s “aesthetic sense”.

He appreciates beauty in a way that animals do not. We all know what it is to take delight in the sight of a setting sun, or the beauty of

a mountain range. A piece of music can also reduce us to tears, or

even a particular rugby match can remain so etched on our memory that we get excited just thinking about it. All of us know something

noises.

Apartheid is a stench in God’s nostrils

b) SCRIPTURE. Not surprisingly both nature and scripture agree as

to what it means to be made in the image of God. That’s because

God reveals Himself in both spheres. However, scripture expands considerably on some aspects of God‘s image that nature only hints at. Here are a few pointers.

1) Man’s natural religiosity. “God is a Spirit…” (John 4:24). Only man

is an uniquely spiritual being, hence the fact that he is instinctively

religious. He has a sense of deity which is part of his mannishness and he can no more deny this than he can deny himself. So when Catechism this was their main emphasis. “How did God create man? God created man, male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures“. Notice that the image of God in man is described here along the lines of “knowledge, righteousness and holiness“. “restored” in the image of God, so man must have originally informs us that the new man is ”renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him“. So if our renewal in the image of

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

God consists of a renewal in knowledge, then knowledge must have been part of the image of God in Adam. He wasn’t a primitive being who one day found himself in Eden without a clue as to his identity or whereabouts. On the contrary he knew that he was made by God, answerable to God and in possession of a knowledge of God’s law, as well as having a highly developed intelligence with regard to his

surroundings. Perhaps the clearest illustration of this is his naming

of the animals with names appropriate to their make-up (Genesis

2:19-20). Fallen man also possesses amazing knowledge and his incredible achievements prove that to be the case. He has managed he also knows that God exists (Psalm 19:1). However, the presence of sin means that he doesn’t know God in a personal sense. This knowledge of God can only come about through the new birth and belief of the truth (John 17:3). Man’s original righteousness and holiness are referred to in Ephesians 4:24. Once again this helps us to understand what it

If the “new man” is renewed in righteousness and holiness after the

image of God, then these characteristics must have been part of Adam’s original make-up. Therefore, when God made Adam he wasn’t morally neutral with an equal desire to do good or evil, rather he was positively righteous and holy. In other words as he came from his Creator’s hand he had a positive love for the Lord. He was capable of falling of course, but he had no excuse for falling because God made him positively

upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Tragically the fall has marred us terribly

in this area. We no longer possess righteousness and holiness - we

can recognize it in others and in our hearts of hearts we know our need of it, but we have no desire for it. Only God can re-create us in His image in this sense and once again this renewal is a product of the new birth.

2) His physical appearance. Our text doesn’t say that God only made man’s soul in His image, it says that he made man in His image. This implies that there is something even about man’s body which

is in his soul, but the fact that man in his totality is said to be in the

our Maker. That immediately creates a problem because “God is concept off as nonsense listen to some of the experts. John Murray:

“it is man in his unity and integrity who is made in the image of God”. John Calvin: “There was no part of man, not even the body itself, in which some sparks of the image did not glow”. John Frame: “There are ways in which a body can picture a spirit. Psalm 94:10 asks “does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see?“ God does not have literal ears or eyes, but our ears and eyes image His ability to hear and see”. Perhaps this helps us to understand the incarnation a little bit better. Because man as a totality is made in the image of God, there is something about the human body which made it even appropriate for Christ to take one (Colossians 2:9). 3) His desire for fellowship. “Let us make man in our own image…. male and female he created them“. Notice the close juxtaposition here between the “us” within the godhead and the “male and female“ within the human race. This implies that both the man and woman as

a plurality mirror God’s image in some sense of the word.

We are reminded here of what happens within the Trinity itself.

God is a “plurality within unity” and there is a sense in which human for community and fellowship. Anthony Hoekema comments: “What

is being said in this verse is that the human person is not an isolated

being who is complete in himself or herself, but that he or she is a being who needs the fellowship of others, who is not complete apart from others”. that God made man in His image, Moses went on to speak of man’s dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28). We call this the “cultural mandate“. The animal kingdom and creation itself are to be subservient to man within certain bounds. This is part of man’s uniqueness as a being made in the image of God. To deny that

man has such a role and to treat all creation alike is to have “a zeal not according to knowledge“. In fact such a philosophy constitutes rebellion against God because it denies that man is a unique being who is made in His image. In practice this means that it is the duty of scientists to explore God’s universe in order to improve our comfort and welfare. It also means that it is right for man to make use of the animals and his environment so as to enable him to live to the glory of God. Men, animals and inanimate creation are not on the same level (Matthew 10:31, 12v:2). But does this mean that we can pillage the earth and use animals in whatever way we please? Not at all. God cares for them too (Deuteronomy 20:19, Jonah 4:11). So be careful how you respond to animal rights and environmental groups. Accept the scriptural elements of their teachings, but don’t have an unscriptural zeal by swallowing everything they say.

The image of God in man has been badly marred but not eradicated.

2) What does this mean for us in practical terms?

a) It means that God can hold us accountable for our deeds.

Why will God judge man and not animals? He will do so because man is unique among His created beings. He alone possesses the knows God exists. It is for reasons such as these that God can even describe Gentiles as ‘without excuse’ (Romans 1:20). That’s why

(Isaiah 53:6).

b) It means that we dare not esteem lightly the dignity of other

human beings. Murder is a heinous crime demanding the forfeiture

of the person’s life precisely because men are made in the image

of God (Genesis 9:6). Apartheid is also a stench in God’s nostrils for the same reason. Because of sin we tend to despise certain folk who have strange personalities, little intelligence or idiosyncrasies which annoy us. God demands we love them for this reason - they are made in his image. Anthony Hoekema once again reminds us of our duty: “Even a person who is living a disreputable life, who has become an outcast from society, who has not a friend in the world - even such a person still bears God’s image, and that image we must honour. Because everyone we meet is an image-bearer of God, we may not curse him or her but we must love that person and do him or her good“.

c) It means that we have the potential of being renewed in the image

of God. The image of God in man has been badly marred but not eradicated. However, praise God it can be renewed. That’s because God has sent One in His own image for us men and our salvation (Hebrews 1:3). Through Him we can be renewed. By looking to Him with the eyes of faith you too can be renewed in the image of God in your soul. And while that image of God is not renewed entirely at the point of conversion, nevertheless, it can be further renewed looking to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Then one day your renewal in God’s image will be complete when you catch a glimpse of Him at His return (1 John 3:2). All through Christ. Where do you stand in relation to these great truths?

Jeff Ballantine, a native of Co. Tyrone, has been a minister of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church for almost 25 years. He is currently ministering in Groomsport, Co. Down having previously served in the Lisburn Road congregation.

25 years. He is currently ministering in Groomsport, Co. Down having previously served in the Lisburn

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

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Whose faith follow

A short series on the founding fathers of the EPC

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follow A short series on the founding fathers of the EPC 6 John Richard Gillespie I

John Richard Gillespie

I am indebted to John Grier for the family information in night a few years ago and talked it into a recorder.

Three families, the Hunters, Gillespies and Griers, played

a key part in the establishment of the Irish Evangelical

Church. The Gillespies of Newry, were a business family

- William Gillespie was an independent banker before

the day of modern banks. John Gillespie was born, 29 December 1871, in Newry where he had his early education. He was converted in his own bedroom when he was about 13 through John 6.37: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”. He studied chemistry at Queen’s College Belfast, funded by scholarships and later graduated in medicine also by scholarship. He was a talented tennis player.

Marriage, Missions and Medicine

The Gillespies attended First Newry where James Hunter ministered 1888-89 but the short period had Gillespie to Catherine Hunter, James Hunter’s sister, in 1900. The day after their wedding they sailed for Liverpool and the following day to China, at the height of the Boxer Rebellion. John’s brother, William, and sister, Annie, had

gone to the Church’s Manchuria mission before him. Annie died of fever just six months after her arrival in 1897, and although she had advised John not to go because of theological liberalism in the mission, her death was murdered by bandits in 1920. John Gillespie had become Principal of the Presbyterian College at Mukden. When a theological liberal was appointed to cover his year of furlough, 1907, and to remain as his colleague, it brought existing tensions to a head. For John, evangelicalism and liberalism could not coexist so he resigned and resisted a succession of requests to return. He applied to the China Inland Mission and they sent a representative to Belfast, but for some reason he decided not to proceed with the interview. in Hampshire until 1914 when the family returned to Belfast. From 1914 until his retirement in 1947 he was He published an MD thesis on the subject and in the period 1911-1935 saw the TB death rate fall from 2.25 per 1000 to 1.06. He was President of the Ulster Medical Society in 1946.

Family Life

James Hunter was born to John and Catherine in Manchuria in 1906, and Catherine on 13 July 1913 in England. On return to Belfast in 1914 the family attended Knock Presbyterian Church. When James Hunter retired in 1924 Catherine and the children left with him but John remained for a time to teach his Bible Class. The new venue became Ravenhill Presbyterian where they enjoyed a reformed ministry. The family had musical gifts. James, was an organist and Catherine a trained mezzo- soprano. And sport? When Catherine felt it was somehow inappropriate for her daughter to play hockey, James Hunter, brother, uncle and minister, arrived with a hockey stick for her next birthday! Heartbreak came in 1934 when James was killed in a motor accident in London. He had just equipped his Consultant Radiologist rooms in Queen’s Elms, Belfast. The way the news broke to the family was harrowing. Dr John Gillespie was receiving in-patient treatment and his daughter Catherine was at home alone when reporters called for an account of her brother’s life. When Jim Grier came to see her later that day she said: “Don’t

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

cry, Mr Grier, ‘The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away.’” John Gillespie received the

cry, Mr Grier, ‘The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away.’” John Gillespie received the news similarly, with another quotation from scripture. Dr James’s leadership gifts made him the heir apparent of his uncle and his death was a stunning setback for the church. For Jim Grier it was the loss of his only personal companion with whom he had become bonded in the work of the church, and had Dr Machen about his friend: “he looks forward to some day being one of your students if the Lord will.” It was not the Lord’s will, and that is the explanation of this inscrutable providence. The Catherine Gillespie Junior diaries record that Jim Grier visited for tea most Saturdays from 1926-1943. Grier was of trying to haul him off her brother as they with his future wife was that she was “only a schoolgirl”. Catherine, senior, died in 1930, in her sixtieth year, and when daughter Catherine married Jim Grier in 1943, they went to live with Dr Gillespie at 28 Knockdene Park South, Knock, east Belfast, an address where hospitality to

The Irish Evangelical: It began in 1928 with Dr Gillespie and W J Grier the joint editors and although it was W J Grier who undertook the work, Dr Gillespie provided the initial support. He was not a frequent contributor to the magazine, but his nine articles, Studies in the First Epistle of John, 1931-32, are an example. Preachers: In the early years Council felt the need to approve preachers and in 1932 Dr Gillespie produced a “schedule of speakers” which became Council’s ‘pool’. Ministers took over the responsibility in 1960. Inter-Church Relations: In September 1936 Dr Gillespie drafted the Council’s greeting to the General Assembly of the newly-formed Presbyterian Church of America (later Orthodox Presbyterian Church), of which Dr Machen was had sent to another body whose beginnings had parallels with our own. Dr Gillespie was 88 when he died quite suddenly in 1960. The memorial minute recorded his generosity in the service of Christ’s Kingdom, home and abroad. He was also one of the original Trustees of the Evangelical Book Shop, serving until his death. He “fell asleep”, “after a long life of devotion to the kingdom of God”.

The Irish Evangelical Church

Dr Gillespie was one of the 10% minority who voted to uphold the heresy charges against Prof J E Davey at the 1927 Assembly. He attended the founding meetings of the IEC in Fountain Street, Belfast, 1927-28. He and his wife were on the committee which drew up the eight Articles of General Treasurer: The Fountain Street Forum, which met until the IEC Council had taken up the responsibilities, appointed Dr Gillespie as treasurer of the denomination, an appointment he held until his death in 1960. The increase in our number of ministers in the 1930s produced escalating demands on the Central Fund. In October 1938 Dr Gillespie commended Central Fund Gift Days to the congregations, a practice which is still among us today. At our 30th Anniversary meeting, 1957, Council presented him with an easy-chair in appreciation of his thirty years service as treasurer. His thanks to Council contained a note of disavowal which drew from Rev Stuart Law the lovely expression: “they would have all been deprived of very real pleasure had the presentation not been made”.

The day after their wedding they sailed for Liverpool and the following day to China, at the height of the Boxer Rebellion.

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 continues his series on the founding fathers of our church.

is a recognised authority on the 1927 Heresy Trial. Here he continues his series on the

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

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‘The Return of Christ’

Part 3 - The Future of the Jews

(In the last article we were considering the Signs of His Coming. In this article we continue to consider ‘the signs’ by looking at the

Although it is almost seventy years since the Second World War drew to a close it is very striking to note the amount of literature that is still being produced relating to the events of those six terrible years. This is clearly seen in relation to the ongoing interest in the events of the Holocaust. It doesn’t make for good reading - the brutal annihilation of some six million Jews in Nazi concentration camps. One cannot help asking the question why? Why did Hitler have such a hatred for the Jews? Why, throughout the centuries, have the Jewish people so often been persecuted? How have they managed to survive as a people? Has God particularly preserved glorious future for them?

The Bible’s teaching on this vital subject is found principally in Romans chapters nine to eleven. Here Paul is arguing that although the Jews have rejected Christ and are essentially unbelieving today to the return of Christ.

Paul’s optimism concerning his own people is summed up in Romans 11:1 –

‘I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not!’

As we consider the future of the Jews in relation to the return of Christ, and seek to unpack Paul’s teaching in these chapters, we

1. What is the present spiritual state of the Jewish people?

Sadly the vast majority of the Jews today have no interest in the Gospel and are clearly hardened as far as spiritual things are

concerned.

among Jewish people at the present time. Indeed the Christian Focus publication ‘The Unusual Suspects’(1) makes for encouraging reading as different men and women converted from Judaism share their testimonies. However the vast majority of Jewish men and women are unbelieving. Paul details this for us in Romans

11. In verse 12 he speaks about their ‘fall’ whilst in verse 15 he

speaks about them being ‘cast away’.

us to the illustration and the imagery of the olive tree. The olive

tree represents the people of God.

the Jews whilst the Gentiles are represented as branches of a wild olive tee that have been grafted in. We need to notice that some of these natural branches have been ‘broken off’ (verse 17 & 19). The current unbelief of the Jews is represented by the natural branches

that ‘God did not spare’ (verse 21).

Now that is not to say that there are no conversions

In verse 17 he introduces

The cultivated branches are

2. Will the Jews remain in this poor state spiritually until Christ returns?

Paul asserts in Roman 11: 23 – 26 that once the fullness of the Gentiles is gathered in there will be a movement spiritually among the Jews. His use of the term ‘Israel’ has generated considerable discussion among Bible scholars over the years. It seems clear, however, that Paul is referring to his own people, the Jews. Everywhere else in Romans 9 to 11 where Paul uses this expression it is used in reference to ‘his brethren, his countrymen according Romans 11: 23 to 26 he is now using Israel to refer to the Israel of God – all the elect from among both the Jews and the Gentiles. No, Paul is declaring that the natural branches –the Jews – will be grafted in (verse 24). When will this happen? Verses 25 and 26a provide the answer:

‘ …blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved’.

Once the elect among the Gentiles have been gathered in then God will be pleased to work mightily among the Jews so that ‘all Israel will be saved’. It is wrong to suggest that this means that every single living Jews is going to be saved when God begins to work among them. We use the word ‘all’ in various ways. When President Clinton came to Belfast the papers declared that ‘all of Belfast went out to see him’. Of course every last citizen of the city didn’t go out to view the president. There were those who stayed indoors, but, ‘all’ could legitimately be used in the sense that the vast majority of people, a huge proportion of the population, were involved in presidential sightseeing. So, when God begins to work among the Jews, having gathered in his people from among the Gentiles, the vast majority of the Jewish people alive on the face of the earth at that time will be gathered in to the kingdom of God.

Some within the Christian church seem to feel that this salvation of the Jews is going to be different from the salvation of the Gentiles. Nowhere does the Bible support such a view. The Jews will be saved by looking unto Jesus Christ in faith. There is no distinction to be made between the way in which a Jew or a Gentile is converted to Christ.

Most Christians with reformed convictions are agreed that the formation of the present state of Israel is not to be understood and Zechariah and elsewhere in the Old Testament scriptures – prophecies that speak about the children of Israel returning to their homeland eg Ezekiel 37:21. If space permitted we could pursue this theme and demonstrate that these prophecies found their establishment and growth of the present state of Israel? R C Sproul in an interesting footnote in his commentary on Romans 11 says:

is. But I will tell you this: we should be watching very carefully. It is a remarkable event in history that the city of Jerusalem is now back in Jewish hands, under Jewish control’.

Surely we can say that in the general providence of God there is If the Lord is going to work mightily in salvation among the Jews just prior to the return of Christ could we suggest that their gathering together in one geographical location is in a sense a preparation for the day when the fullness of the Gentiles will be gathered in and all Israel will be saved?

4. How should we respond to Romans 9 to 11?

Undoubtedly we are to have a burden for the salvation of the Jews. We are not only to be concerned for the future salvation of the Jews but their present rejection of the Messiah should trouble us greatly. We must be careful to have a concern for the Jewish people whether found within the state of Israel or scattered to the ends of the earth. We must support Christian Witness to Israel and similar evangelical agencies which are working among Jewish people. We must increase our praying for the salvation of Israel ever remembering Paul’s great exclamation:

‘Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!’ (Romans 11:1)

(1) ‘The Unusual Suspects’ by Richard Gibson. Christian Focus Publications

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

Meditation In The Digital Age

Today we are blessed with whole libraries of good Biblical aids all indexed and searchable. These tools are available on our computers, tablets and phones so that we can access them anywhere at any time. Never have we had so many ways to “redeem the time” than we do now. However, recent research indicates that our electronic tools actually hinder

Research has shown that reading comprehension is lower for text with hyperlinks than for text without hyperlinks. This is likely due to breaking focus on the text to make the decision of whether or not to click on the link. It appears that the more options we have to get additional information while reading, the worse our focus and ultimate comprehension. Other research has shown the personal computer to be a “distraction machine” that fragments our focus with email, Skype, RSS feeds, multiple browser windows, facebook and twitter feeds as well as the false promise of multitasking. The overwhelming majority of us do not really multitask but rather jump from task fragment to task fragment, often resulting in lower productivity and lower engagement with important tasks. Combined with the massive volume of information we can access at any moment through the Internet, we are generally cognitively “loaded” which gives the impression of being well informed and “full of information” yet we are easily distracted

extended periods of time.

There is a growing consensus that our hyper connected lives are actually rewiring our brains to process the vast amounts of information that is bombarding us. Yet, there is a trade off in the corresponding loss of ability to deeply engage with complex ideas for sustained periods of time. Or, in other words, we are losing our ability to meditate.

Meditation is often encouraged in Scripture and reward is promised to those who will do it. As Scripture comes from the unfathomable mind of God, it deserves and requires all our mind. The current research on how our brains adapt leads to the idea that as we grapple with God’s Word and think His thoughts after Him, we physically develop new neural pathways. It is quite literally, in the most miniscule way, developing the mind of God in us.

How can we encourage that process? I am certainly not a technophobe yet the research suggests to me there are some “old fashioned” methods that, combined with our technology, will give us a better has been shown that we develop deeper and more robust memory from the action of our arm and hand in writing than from typing on a keyboard. Secondly, there is the art and discipline of the personal journal. John Piper has said, “Until you have written your thoughts you have not really thought them”. There is a much deeper level of interaction with a complex idea when we take the time to write. Thirdly, spending time reading physical books dimensional aspects that aid in information processing that have not yet been captured by even the best e-readers. Lastly, devoting time in solitude and silence with no phone, computer, Internet or other distraction gives space to unclutter our minds and focus on a single idea or theme in God’s Word.

His promise to Abraham will be ours. He will be our “exceedingly great reward”.

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.

in the life of Stranmillis EPC. They lead the new UFM Digital Technology Team. The Evangelical

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

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Time for a New Chapter

We were privileged to serve God for 23 years in Nigeria. After God directed us back to N. Ireland in April 2010, I continued to work for Mission Africa, venturing to different churches and speaking about God’s work in Nigeria. But it is time for change. Through my involvement as a board member at Belfast Bible College and as part of the Mission Group at the college, I was introduced to Kairos, a short, condensed, interactive world missions course. The Greek word Kairos means “the time”. Now is God’s time for the gospel to be preached to all nations. Jesus said “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your for harvest!” (John 4:35).

With a variety of articles in a workbook, DVDs, prayer times, group discussions and time for personal personal journey to discover how God is leading us. The Bible tells us God wants us to take the gospel to all peoples. Kairos unpacks this in the light of Scripture, history and what he is doing in the world today.

I have now been trained as one of the facilitators to run Kairos for students, churches, and other interested groups. Mission Agencies Partnership (MAP), an umbrella body for the mission sending agencies in N. Ireland, and IMAP, the equivalent body in the Republic of Ireland, are partnering in making Kairos available.

Originally fashioned in the Philippines and now in its fourth edition, this course is being used in more than 66 countries and has been translated into 30 languages. Kairos (www.kairoscourse.org) is available for the Church in both western and non-western countries, including recently in Jos, Nigeria. The passion of Kairos is that the whole Church be mobilised for mission to the world’s remaining unreached peoples.

William Carey, in his generation, challenged the dominant ‘excuse’ of his day which was that God would save the heathen through some sovereign act without the Church’s involvement. It is reported that when he made a passionate plea to church leaders to engage in world mission, he was reprimanded by a senior pastor

with the words, “Sit down young man. When God decides to save the heathen he will do it without your help or ours”. Undeterred Carey continued to proclaim God’s call to missions with convincing arguments through preaching, writing and dialogue. Carey became a catalyst for the in scores of mission agencies being established and thousands of missionaries being sent to un-evangelised regions of the world.

In our generation, there are still over 6,000 people groups without a viable, indigenous church (www.joshuaproject.net). An estimated 600 million evangelicals on every continent need to be mobilised for mission to the world’s remaining unreached and unsaved.

Some unreached people groups are now close to us. The UK hosts people from at least 30 unreached groups including nearly two million Muslims and half a million Hindus.

Kairos helps change the perception that mission is always about air travel to a distant country and helps churches to realise that cross-cultural training needs to be a standard part of every church’s discipleship programme.

In the months ahead, as well as facilitating Kairos courses I plan to be available to help our son Peter and his family as they pack up and head to North Africa in response to God’s call to mission.

Jean Garland, along with her husband Sid, served in Nigeria with Mission Africa for 23 years. More recently she has been actively involved with the mission in a deputation ministry. In this article Jean shares with us the work into which the Lord has recently called her. She is a member of the Stranmillis congregation.

called her. She is a member of the Stranmillis congregation. Pictured at the Presbytery Day Conference
called her. She is a member of the Stranmillis congregation. Pictured at the Presbytery Day Conference

Pictured at the Presbytery Day Conference held in Belfast Bible College on 27th April are:

David Watson (Outgoing Moderator) Norman Reid (Incoming Moderator) Iain D Campbell (Visiting Speaker).

(photo courtesy of Shaun McFall)

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

Knock EPC News On a Monday evening in February, Knock ran a “Parents’ Night” for

Knock EPC News

On a Monday evening in February, Knock ran a “Parents’ Night” for the parents of the children who attend our Friday night clubs and Sunday school. We had prayed for the Lord’s help at every point, and in His goodness and mercy the evening was a wonderful step forward in reaching our surrounding community. Not a giant leap, but a baby-step in the right direction!

We had seven parents attend, and a number of children and quest which many parents understand! Virtually all our leaders and teachers of the various youth groups were there, including those who help us from the Stranmillis and Groomsport congregations.

On arrival we shared some drinks and nibbles, and the chat was open and good. Then we had some introductions, which were brief and somewhat entertaining. This was followed by a quick tour around the church building and some chat about our plans to rebuild. The chat - in ways I didn’t think parents had never been in a church before, never

think parents had never been in a church before, never Come over and help us! mind
think parents had never been in a church before, never Come over and help us! mind

Come over and help us!

mind our own. Some parents had been in the church before as children - but had not been in over the last 25 years! Then a short slide show on India. One of our own members, Ernest Brown, had been there a number of times. It was both colourful and interesting. There was quite a bit of chat about it over supper at the close. Last on the night’s programme was a presentation of the Gospel itself. (Nothing outshines the Gospel!) Our minister spoke on the miraculous deliverance of Samaria from the Syrian army in 2 Kings 7, and focused in on the wonderful phrase in v9 “This day is a day of good news”.

By God’s grace the hall was silent, and the good seed was sown.

grace the hall was silent, and the good seed was sown. The evening ended with a

The evening ended with a great supper, and no one wanted to leave! Each parent left with a Bible and a small gift, and some sweets for the kids. Perhaps our biggest challenge is now to build upon what was a small but worthwhile step forward, and for that we would ask for prayer.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Knock EPC are planning to run a special week of outreach for children and young people in our area from Monday 5th to Friday 9th August, 2013. We plan to follow a similar programme to that which we had last summer. We are once again appealing for some help from our brothers and sisters in the EPC family. We need dedicated Christians who desire to tell others about the Lord. You must be over 16. Please take time to pray about joining the team. We really want the Lord to bless our efforts. We can only begin to speak of Christ when we have spent much time speaking with Him. Contact Robert at knockepc@gmail.com

Finaghy EPC are holding their Holiday Bible Club (HBC) from the 26th-30th August. When is
Finaghy EPC are holding their
Holiday Bible Club (HBC) from the
26th-30th August.
When is yours?
Email the editor with details of your
HBC, summer camp or outreach team
for inclusion in the special summer
prayer diary in the July/August edition.
The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11
The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11
The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11
The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11
The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013 11

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The 5 Solas - an introduction

Large companies spend millions of pounds designing their trademark and brand message. When this goes wrong it can be embarrassing concept can gain widespread recognition and a huge advantage over its rivals. Here we are not dealing with company rivalries but the core ‘brand message’ of the Reformation.

Still going strong

was encapsulated in the 5 Solas. The Solas cover a huge amount of theological ground quickly and in a memorable way. They have stood the test of time, evidenced by the fact that we still know and write about them. Our Reformed forefathers did not use focus groups or marketing strategies to arrive at them – in fact we don’t know is a positive for it means we can focus on substance rather than personalities!

What are the 5 Solas?

The 5 Solas or Alones of the Reformation are Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone and the Glory of God Alone. They show us the foundation of our faith the Bible, God’s Word given to us. They bring us to the means of our salvation “by grace through faith”. We then come to the very centre of our faith, Jesus Christ. Finally we are reminded that whatever we do, we do it to the glory of God alone. This is succinctly summed up in the words “mans chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever”.

Theological, historical or practical?

How we view the 5 Solas probably explains what we do with them. Do we deem them to be theological, historical or practical?

Do we deem them to be theological, historical or practical? historical context, while recognising how succinctly

historical context, while recognising how succinctly they sum up the central themes of theology, and yet are of great practical use to us. The church has been blessed by clear statements of faith summarising what the Bible says, from the Apostles Creed, to the 5 Solas to the Westminster Confession of Faith to name just a few. We cannot simply possess these as ancient and respected documents. How do we handle this treasure chest of Reformed theology?

The next article will focus on ‘Sola Scriptura’/‘Scripture Alone.’

Robert Campbell, who has recently completed his theological studies at the particular interest in Irish Presbyterian and Reformation Church History. Currently residng in Londonderry with his wife and young son, he also ‘heads up’ the Twelve Stones Media Company. Throughout the past year he has preached in a number of EPC congregations.

past year he has preached in a number of EPC congregations. Life from the other end

Life from the other end of the island: a student worker in Munster

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Another Monday morning, as the sun dawns on a sleepy Cork city. As I rush off to meet some local students for a prayer walk round campus (why walking makes prayer more radical for students, I haven’t yet found out), a few heads turn at what someone could be in a rush to do. On my way out, I pass my housemate Seamus, who, far from what I was told up north, is not an ardent Catholic at all, and in fact much like the vast majority here, probably feels more at home with a pint in his hand and having a chuckle (his to do, not mine) at anyone who takes Catholicism too seriously at all. And so, as culture demands (despite my increasing lateness), we sit around for a while drinking tea until both of us feels it suitable to politely excuse ourselves. For here, one of the beautiful things about (post-) Catholic culture

But he’s just one of hundreds I regularly see, as an average week splits in various things:

Bible studies and talks: Sent by the churches, Christian Unions are mission communities on campus. Yet in order for mission to be fuelled, Bibles must be open and applied to our lives in such contexts. Praise God for the marvellous privilege of knowing that many them aren’t even Christians (yet!). Here, I train them to do this with their friends (both Christian and evangelistically).

with their friends (both Christian and evangelistically). Evangelistic events: “Events don’t work in relational

Evangelistic events: “Events don’t work in relational culture” was the cry of many church leaders and students when I arrived in Munster. In fact, we’ve found that events work even better in a very relational culture, because people have friends to bring! Praise God for some of the small CUs who have done an amazing job at trying to break the mould, and have stepped out in faith, seeing great fruit as a result.

Christian Persuaders: Some of my time is spent on national initiatives to drive forward change to make university campus ministry more effective. Christian Persuaders works with church leaders/workers and graduates to train them up to speak engagingly in the public square and help restore proclamation to the heart of our campus mission teams. Praise God for the small beginnings of this, which saw hundreds of students hearing the gospel and several speakers starting training this year.

National Conferences: 175 students got together for a weekend to think about “why church matters”. Around 60% of the students from this region attending Christian Unions aren’t committed to a local church. Talks on 1 Cor. 12-14 formed the backbone of the conference, with many other things such as seminars from Irish academics and church leaders, prayer times, a bookstall courtesy of the Evangelical Bookshop and great craic! Praise God that the response seems to have been huge, with many confessing their sin and now seeking to get stuck into church life.

Graduate Network: Many come to faith at their time at university (whilst others from Christian backgrounds forsake the church leaders and missionaries. That’s why I’m helping to build up a network of graduates to support the ministry, which tanks to train Christian students to ensure that more and more students get the chance to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus.

get the chance to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus. If you would like

If you would like further stories and prayer news from the campuses where I am working with IFES Ireland: the Christian Unions, then do please get in touch.

Ireland: the Christian Unions, then do please get in touch. Peter Grier, from the Crosscollyer St/Somerton

Peter Grier, from the Crosscollyer St/Somerton Rd congregation, is currently the IFES staff worker in Cork.

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

Grace Transforming RRP: £7-99 Our Price £6-75 Author: Phil Ryken Publisher: IVP Published: 2012 128
Grace Transforming RRP: £7-99 Our Price £6-75 Author: Phil Ryken Publisher: IVP Published: 2012 128

Grace Transforming RRP: £7-99 Our Price £6-75

Author: Phil Ryken Publisher: IVP Published: 2012 128 pages

Paul Tripp once said, “Jesus didn’t just die for my past or my future, he died for my here and now. People don’t understand the present drudgery of everyday life. Ryken opens the book by stating, “grace is not something we leave behind once we decide to follow Jesus. the Christian life”.

Costly Provision’, ‘Grace’s Justifying Righteousness’, ‘Grace’s Sanctifying Power’, ‘Grace’s Clarifying Perspective’, ‘Grace’s Perpetual Abundance’, ‘Grace’s Precious Testimony’, ‘Grace’s Endless Kindness’.

I wanted to speak as often as I could about the grace of God”. At one-hundred and nine pages the book is a short read, but it is one

packed full of life-transforming, biblical truth that I will keep in my library to return to and meditate on. Prior to being president of Wheaton, Ryken was senior minister at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church. This is obvious throughout the book, as in each chapter he unpacks truth from the Bible and explains its application to our everyday lives, with the skill of an experienced expositor and the heart of a pastor.

For example, in ‘Grace’s Humbling Necessity’ Ryken expounds Luke 18:10-14, in which Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, which Ryken describes as “a story for us, if we are too proud to confess our sins”. Verse 13 of this passage contains the phrase, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Ryken explains that when reading this verse he says ‘the’ sinner rather than ‘a’ sinner word are huge! Ryken writes, “As far as the tax collector was concerned, he was the only sinner that mattered. Rather than comparing himself to others, he measured himself against the perfect holiness of God”. We are all prone to making the error of minimizing our own sinfulness by comparing ourselves to other sinners rather than a holy God. To avoid this, Ryken recommends that, like the tax collector, we “identify ourselves as ‘the’ sinner when we pray, as if we were the biggest, most obvious sinner in our congregation, corporation, family, or dormitory” and that we survey the wondrous cross of Jesus Christ, where the atoning blood was sprinkled for our salvation. Only when we pray this way will we be “so humbled by (our) desperate need for God’s life-changing grace that (we) will not look down

on anyone but live instead with the humility, joy, and gratitude that only grace compels”.

I recommend that any sinner in need of grace reads ‘Grace Transforming’ slowly and prayerfully. It is a book that has left me in awe as

I have considered the glorious implications that the grace of God has not only for the future of His children, but also for the here and deeper desire to spread the good news of “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 8:9).

Robbie Jemphrey

of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 8:9). Robbie Jemphrey The Way of the Righteous in

The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life (Psalms 1-12) RRP: £6-99 Our Price: £5-25

Author: Dale Ralph Davis Publisher: Christian Focus Publications Published: 2010 144 pages

The psalms have been the staple diet of Christians from the beginning. Anything that contributes to our understanding and delight in them is to be welcomed. The number of books and sermons on the psalms is legion and regrettably not all of them are useful. In my opinion Calvin’s commentary remains by far the best, however, Dale Ralph Davis has contributed something that will prove very useful indeed for all Christians and ministers. Perhaps the best way to show its usefulness is to pose a series of questions:

Why for example, is Psalm 1, Psalm 1 and not number 2 or 3? For that matter why is Psalm 2, Psalm 2?

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

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What is the relevance of Psalm 2 to everyday life? Why is Psalm 3 where it is and what is so special about it? How can Psalm 4 help when we are in trouble? We all need help with prayer: what can we learn from Psalm 5? Skipping over to Psalm 8 we might ask – how can I delight in the splendour of God so as to make it a soul strengthening experience? What can the righteous do when everything falls apart? See Psalm 11 Finally, what can believers do when the spin doctors win? See Psalm 12.

In 144 pages, Davis gives us clear and concise exposition with easily understood outlines. The only negatives are the range of Bible translations used and the repeated use of ‘Yahweh’ instead of ‘God’. With these caveats, this book is a really useful introduction to the Better still get to the Evangelical Bookshop and buy 4. One for yourself and three as gifts. The recipients will be delighted and blessed.

Trevor Kirkland

recipients will be delighted and blessed. Trevor Kirkland The Good God: Enjoying Father, Son and Spirit

The Good God: Enjoying Father, Son and Spirit RRP: £9-99 Our Price: £7-50

Author: Michael Reeves Publisher: Paternoster Published: 2012 112 pages

In this wonderful little introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity, Reeves shows us just how important it is for the Christian. Unlike some volumes on the Trinity, Reeves does not presume that the reader will be theologically trained, and writes in a style which is clear, succinct and non-technical despite the depth and mystery of the subject.

The book deals sensitively with misconceptions other monotheistic religions have regarding the Trinity, and would be an appropriate book to offer a Muslim friend or neighbour to show them that the Christian Trinity is monotheistic. Reeves has some sound advice for those of us who are reluctant to study the doctrine of the Trinity on the grounds that it is a mystery too great for us to understand. There is, of course, a sense in which that is true, but it is also no longer a mystery in the sense that it has been revealed to us in Scripture. Another facet of the book is that Reeves introduces us to the thought of some of the greatest theologians who have ever considered the doctrine of the Trinity such as Athanasius, Luther, Calvin and Edwards, to name but a few. This is not to say that they were on a higher state of religious evolution that the Bible, but that they “were heralds of the triune God revealed in Scripture”.

Reeves also explains that when we don’t have a biblical understanding of the Trinity we have a faulty understanding of the God we worship. He goes further by suggesting that the God we are worshipping is actually a construct of our imaginations. Therefore, if we

The American edition of the book is entitled, ‘Delighting in the Trinity’. A reading of this book will have us doing precisely that!

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Colin Campbell

NEW TITLES!

The Scriptures Testify About Me

Edited by D.A. Carson

RRP: £9-99 Our Price: £7-50

The Psalter Reclaimed

Gordon Wenham

RRP: £9-99 Our Price: £7-50

Christians in a PC World The Kindness of God

John Benton

RRP:£8-99 Our Price:£6-75

David W. Smith

RRP: £9-99 Our Price: £7-99

NEW TITLES! GREAT PRICES!
NEW
TITLES!
GREAT
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The Evangelical Bookshop 15 College Square East BELFAST BT1 6DD Tel: 028 9032 0529 E

The Evangelical Bookshop

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

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

SPECIAL CHILDREN’S EVENT

Robert Plant, Author of ‘Titanic: Ship of Dreams’, has written a new book: ‘Emerald Isle Adven- tures.’ We are delighted to have Robert with us on May 25th 2013, 2.30pm, when he will read to us from his new book. Robert is an engaging story teller and we hope to see as many children as possible joining with us for what promises to be an exciting event, as we see how stories from the Island of Ireland can teach us about the power and love of God. Check the website: www. evangelicalbookshop.co.uk, for further details. (All children must be accompanied by an adult!)

details. (All children must be accompanied by an adult!) Preschool - P1 1st Elijah Underwood (Stranmillis)
details. (All children must be accompanied by an adult!) Preschool - P1 1st Elijah Underwood (Stranmillis)
Preschool - P1 1st Elijah Underwood (Stranmillis) 2nd Nathan Watson (Ballyclare) Joint 3rd Naomi &
Preschool - P1 1st Elijah Underwood (Stranmillis)
2nd Nathan Watson (Ballyclare)
Joint 3rd Naomi & Caleb Hazley (Stranmillis)
P2 - P4 Joint 1st Murray Birnie (Stranmillis) & Emma Watson (Ballyclare),
2nd Joshua Schmit (Ballyclare)
3rd Sarah McMullan (Ballyclare)
P5-P7
Joint 1st Paulena Birnie (Stranmillis) & Jane Beattie (Groomsport)
Joint 2nd Calvin Birnie (Stranmillis) & John Watson (Ballyclare)
Joint 3rd Lucy Beattie (Groomsport) & Samuel Logan (Ballyclare)

The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013

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Dear Herbert Dear Rev Good to hear form you. Sorry it took me so long
Dear Herbert
Dear Rev
Good to hear form you.
Sorry it took me so
long to reply but I’ve been busy over the past
while. Busy, if I’m being honest with all sorts
I thought I might have heard back from you by now cos it’s
of stuff that is important but not
the kind
four weeks since I e mailed
you but anyway I just wanted to
of work that I really want
to be involved in.
let you know that things are looking
good. Don’t worry about
Minutes, agendas, e mails, planning meetings
writing back to me about the web and dating sites and all of
etc. All important in their own way but not
that because I’ve met someone.
Cynthia
is her name.
the work of the ministry
– ‘Word and prayer’. I’m
to which I feel called
My friend Tony invited me along to an after church Bible rally.
thinking of writing
a book – ‘My call to Administry’. Anyway
It’s a big gathering of about 200 young folks that takes place
enough of my moaning.
I’m not quite seeing
about once a month in his church.
Anyway during the cup
your problem.
Obviously I don’t like the
of tea
I had a slight mishap and managed
to nudge a girl
National Lottery.
The Bible is clear that the
who was holding a hot cup of coffee.
Obviously I apologised
of her jacket but, really,
only
legitimate ways of obtaining money are
and offered to pay for the cleaning
by work, by gift or by inheritance.
And no,
we just got talking.
I introduced myself and found out that
she was called Cynthia.
I noticed that she had a copy of the
I don’t like the idea of a Care Home Group
insisting that there be no acts of worship on
their premises. God is God over all.
He is to
Catechism sticking out of her handbag and she explained
that she was a teacher in the Sunday school associated
be acknowledged in every sphere of life.
As
with
to the wearing of the cross I must confess I’ve
We just got talking and talking and we ‘clicked’.
her church.
never much been in to that whole business of
This was two weeks ago and we’ve managed
to meet up on
badges and symbols and am
not sure that I
six occasions since then. The only difficulty we’re
having is
concerning Cynthia’s work – or lack of it.
would want to take my last great stand
over it.
But if Cynthia is able to get work with these
people
should
to for
gave
You see Cynthia is two years older than me.
She’s already
creation
are go ordinance
the
finished at uni and is qualified
in physiotherapy. For the past
of us Eden.
We
engage
gainful
year she hasn’t been able to get regular
work.
Well she’s had
a few part time jobs but nothing
permanent.
Now she is in the
as she in a the
present
economic
it. God in in climate,
process of applying for a post with one of the big Care Home
work Garden particularly to then
groups.
I’m not at all happy about it. The Group has over the
doing well. Cynthia is
not responsible for the
years received extensive funding from the National Lottery
and has a very restrictive policy when it comes to matters of
company applying for aid from the
Lottery.
Nor is she responsible for their policies
on acts
worship that
or religious symbols. She is always
faith.
They do not permit any services to
be held in any of
of something
their homes and even stopped
one member of staff wearing
is contrary to the law of God
a cross.
How could a Christian work for people like that?
she must honour
God and refuse to
obey the
Possibly you could help me by sending some Bible texts that
highlight the evil of the lottery and the need to live lives of
management. However I don’t have any major
problems with her applying for this post.
Call by some day - with Cynthia! – then we
separation from such secular and godless people.
can chat.
Many thanks
Keep in touch
Herbert
‘The Rev’

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The Evangelical Presbyterian MAY-JUN 2013