Sunteți pe pagina 1din 24

Evangelical Presbyterian

Nov-Dec 2003 75p

Evangelical Presbyterian
Editor:

is published by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.


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

Subscriptions: Annual subscription (six issues) Surface post: UK: Rep. of Ireland and Overseas Subscriptions enquiries to: Evangelical Book Shop 15 College Square East Belfast, BT1 6DD

5.70 8.10

Donations: If any of the Lords people wish to help in the work of the Church, please send donations to the Honorary General Treasurer Mr. J. R. McCormick 6 Eileen Gardens Belfast, BT9 6FW GiftAid: Under the GiftAid scheme the Church can benefit by Income Tax return on any donation from someone who pays tax. Contact the Honorary General Treasurer for further details. Internet: Visit the EPC Home Page on www.epc.org.uk

CONTENTS
Editorial: Lessons from Lee On the Cennick Road H. Gibson The Regions Beyond: Dumisani Update New Bible College in Uganda P. Austin Old Light for New Paths: The Conclusion (Eccles. 12) S. Atkinson Books etc. Making Progress with Pilgrim (12) - Thrown into Hell S. Atkinson 1 4 7 10 11 16 21

Cover Photo

Reflections - The river Lagan at Dromore. (Harold Gibson)

LESSONS FROM LEE


- Warfaring Wisdom for Spiritual Soldiers ROBERT E LEE was Commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia from 1862-1865, during some of the most critical battles of the American Civil War.

deemed foolish. Of course, the best of men are but men, at best. That is a lesson we all need to learn. But I want us to look briefly at some of the military wisdom he had, and some he I am conscious that volumes have lacked, and see if there is something to been written on the man, and who am be learned in our fighting the good I to give my inexperienced comment? fight of faith. My purpose here is not so much to write on his religion, except to say that 1. Lee was a man who inspired it was clear and consistent. I hold back others. from writing on Christianity in the He had a rare ability to arouse in his field of battle in the Civil War, except men a determination to perform their to say that it was pervasive and duty against incredible odds. The deserves our serious study. Instead I Confederates were greatly want to take up a few lessons from his outnumbered, and greatly leadership abilities, and apply these underfinanced. The Union states had things to our spiritual fight of faith. three times the population and eleven times the industrial strength. The fact Lee was a man of immense strategic that the American Civil War lasted so capability, and yet one who some long is due in no small measure to the consider to have made the most foolish of blunders to the detriment of small and weak being inspired by the Southern cause. He is at the same General Lee to be brave and strong time a hero and a failure; brilliant, yet against the odds.
page 1

Stonewall Jackson, on the other hand, was more defensive in his Christian leaders are to be policies. The Battle of Gettysburg, and inspirers of others to perform in particular Picketts Charge, was one against the odds. of those foolish moments, when three brigades were commanded to rush In worldly terms the church is up against it. We do not have the numbers straight across open fields, facing a or money to take on the world. But as barrage of artillery fire. The losses were immense. After the retreat, when Robert E Lee inspired the men General Picket was told by Lee to rally concerning their cause, so too his men for any counterattack from the Christian leaders are to inspire concerning our cause; and to inspire Union forces, his reply cut to Lees heart: I have no division, sir. It was to live out our life, and fight the fight of faith against the world, the flesh, and arguably the beginning of the end for the South. the devil. The odds do not look good! But remember, Alexander the Greats Macedonia was puny compared to the Persian Empire it destroyed. Hannibals army was small yet defeated Rome for 17 years. The brilliance of the generals transformed modest forces into conquering armies. Shall the church learn from this? Does the Scripture not give us a list of such inspiring leaders - Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David. Did they have large armies? Did our Lord? 2. Lee was a man who recognised his mistakes. It has to be said though, that this was more on hindsight, rather than at the time. Lees problem lay in the fact that he was an offensive military leader. He always wished for the head on fight.
page 2

After Gettysburg Lee recognised that the major part of the blame for the losses of that battle, (and maybe even the loss of the war), lay with him. He wrote to Southern President Davis The general remedy for the want of success in a military commander is his removal... I... propose... selecting another commander... Davis replied saying that no other greater commander existed. Christian leaders are fallible. It seems too simple to say, and yet some in leadership in the church forget it! And some within congregations seem to forget it too, and dont allow ministers and elders the liberty of making some mistakes. We all need a generosity of spirit towards each other. I repeat, the best of men are but men at best.

Christian leaders are to humbly complete self confidence. Labour on in recognise mistakes. the Lord. While fallible, and sometimes making mistakes, it may be that no It is too simple a thing to say that the other better commander exists. Indeed, Civil War was simply a matter of maybe someone needs to tell you that; fighting for the removal of slavery. or you need to tell that to someone Christian leaders on both sides were else. vexed by the matter. After signing the surrender at Appomattox Lee spoke 3. Lee was a mighty statesman. openly concerning the evil of slavery. In effect he thereby removed from the In actual fact after the surrender of the conflict one of the most fundamental South, Lee told his people to return to their homes and be as good citizens of differences between the North and a united nation as they had been good South. His eloquence and respect led soldiers in war. He turned his peoples to the uniting of the northern and thoughts from struggle to peaceful southern states of America. unity. In actual fact, humanly speaking, Lee realised that he had the trust of the Robert E Lee changed the course of South and he was able to bring them history. with him in acknowledging past Says one of the many biographers, mistakes. It is hard to be angry with Bevin Alexander, More than any other someone who is truly sorry. Humble American, he made it possible for the recognition of shortcomings is sadly North and South together to create the quite rare, but lovely to find. greatest and most prosperous nation in Furthermore, whatever your history. Surely this is a finer legacy than shortcomings, Lees example inspires to be remembered as a great general. us to work on, because maybe no other better commander exists! If you begin Live for the united Kingdom of to see yourself as mistaken, Satan can Christ. quickly use your humility to completely The greatest legacy for any Christian demoralise you. You might be led to soldier, or Christian general is to think you are mistaken in everything. work for the spiritual prosperity of the You might have difficulty having any kingdom of God; that good soldiers of self confidence at all. Lee realised his Christ live also as good citizens in the mistakes, but also knew he had gifts; church. God help us so to do. gifts like no other. It did however take another person to tell him so. He was (First printed in Knock News in September 2000) not simply full of himself; others Photo of Lee on Traveller: quickly reminded him of his abilities. http://tennessee-scv.org/Camp1513/ We all need to be careful not to lose
page 3

On The Cennick Road


John Cennick, Preacher and Hymn Writer By Harold Gibson

Near to Gracehill, a small Moravian village close to Ballymena in County Antrim, you will find Cennick Road. Perhaps many today who travel that road do not realise the significance of the name and are unaware of the spiritual history that gave the road its name.

and settled peace from this time. These were days of great spiritual awakening in Britain when the preaching of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley was causing much interest in the country.

Whitefield and the Wesleys were preaching to large crowds at this time John Cennick was born in Reading in and John Cennick heard that England on 12th December, 1718. He Whitefield was to preach in London. was brought up within the Church of He walked all night to get there so that England in a family that adhered to he could meet him and hear him Biblical and Evangelical truth. preach. From that time a friendship developed between the two men and Early in life the death of a relative Whitefield sought to help John by caused him much distress and it was getting him a teaching appointment in something which was to have a lasting the school at Kingswood, Bristol under influence on his mind. The scene of his the care of John Wesley. great aunt facing death with much Christian triumph and assurance was Soon after his arrival in Bristol John used of God in years to come to bring Cennick was called upon to preach as him to faith in Christ. the person who was to preach failed to turn up at the gathering. He preached It was on 6 September 1737 that he with great earnestness and power. On was brought to true saving faith in the following Sunday he preached to a Christ and he speaks of having a great
page 4

gathering of over 4,000 and tears fell from many eyes. It was evident that Cennick was a man gifted for the work of the Gospel Ministry. From that day on he preached every day having been convinced of his call to preach and power and blessing was upon his ministry till his dying day. He became one of Whitefields closest friends and for a time his chief assistant. His visit to Ireland Cennick was later to join the Moravians and leave the Whitefield work. This in turn led to an invitation to Dublin to preach. He went there in June 1746. Here the work prospered greatly under his ministry. Several invitations from groups in the North of Ireland were received and he eventually left the work in Dublin in the capable hands of a young man called Benjamin La Trobe. Cennick was to spend the rest of his days ministering in the North. He preached in barns, in fields and in houses forming Moravian Societies. Life was not easy for him as he was often beaten by gangs and attacked by mobs. Dogs were set upon him and he was arrested and fined for disturbing the peace. He and his wife lived in poverty and with great hardship yet people were to see in him a Christianity that was real and beautiful.

denominations. At Moneymore the Presbyterians asked him to stop and be their minister. At Ballynahone the Roman Catholics said if he would only settle there they would never go to Mass again. The first time he went to Glenavy the road was lined with people for two miles If money was plentiful he used a horse; if not he would walk twenty miles to preach.1 During his time in Ireland he established 40 Societies and built some ten churches in the North. Although only in his early thirties the workload began to take its toll and his health began to decline. From 1750 onward he was unwell yet his zeal for the gospel did not abate and he continued to preach as much as 20 times a week. It was a joy to him to preach at the opening of a new church in Dublin in April 1755 and in many ways that event was to mark the close of his ministry. Following invitations to conduct an evangelistic tour of Wales he set out on that journey. Arriving in England he was too sick to travel to Wales and he made his way to the Moravian Meeting House in Fetter Lane, London. On Friday July 4th he breathed his last and passed into the presence of his Lord and Master at the age of 36 years.

He was loved and revered, not by one John Cennick was one of the foremost class only, but by all classes and all preachers of the 18th Century Revival

page 5

and yet his life has been sadly overlooked. His influence in Ireland and Ulster in particular ought to be remembered and cherished by evangelicals today. Cennick was also a poet and wrote many hymns which are still in use today. Children of the Heavenly King and Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending, are perhaps the best known of his lines. For John the most important road would not have been the Cennick Road but the road that Cennick walked, the way of Christ. This is the road that he constantly pointed his hearers to follow and the message that he preached is perhaps best summed up in the lines of

one of his hymns, Now will I tell to sinners round What a dear Saviour I have found; Ill point to Thy redeeming blood, And say, Behold the way to God. ______________________________ John Cennick: A Sketch, J E Hutton, cited by Arnold Dallimore, in George Whitefield, Vol 2, p378, Banner of Truth Trust, 1990. Further reading: Lives Turned Upside Down, by Faith Cook. p101, Evangelical Press, 2003.
1

Cennicks works include: Sacred Hymns, for the Children of God in the Days of Their Pilgrimage, 1741 Sacred Hymns for the Use of Religious Societies, 1743 A Collection of Sacred Hymns, 1749 Hymns to the Honour of Jesus Christ, Composed for Such Little Children as Desire to be Saved, 1749 Additional Hymns appeared posthumously in J Swertners Moravian Hymn Book, 1789: Be Present at Our Table, Lord Brethren, Let Us Join to Bless Children of the Heavenly King Ere I Sleep, for Every Favour Jesus, My All, to Heaven is Gone Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending Lo, He Cometh, Countless Trumpets Saviour and Regenerator We Sing to Thee, Thou Son of God We Thank Thee, Lord. www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/c/e/cennick_j.htm
page 6

Dumisani Update

To breaking point We have just reached the mid-semester break. It has been a loooong session, with ten solid weeks of teaching. Students are getting wearied; there are the usual numbers of bereavements, church conventions, family problems and assorted aches and pains which keep students from attending classes. Sometimes recently our attendances have been very poor indeed. But we have survived and trust that good work has been done. Helpers Jan has given some typing help in the Library a job normally done by We are very grateful for the presence Morag, who has moved on to teaching with us for this semester of Rev. Adrian two hours of English per week to the de Bruyn and his wife Jan, who are students. filling in while Norman and Angela Reid are on furlough in Ireland (and Future Developments elsewhere). Adrian is an early-retired At the meeting of the Board of minister of the Australia Reformed Governors on 12th September, I Churches. Besides doing his allotted teaching programme, he has advised us presented a report regarding the future on the organisation of our computers. of the Institute. Indeed, he is personally seeing to the Government direction of educational installation of additional computer institutes is on the increase. We have, equipment and, hopefully, by the time for example, just presented a 100 page he leaves, we will have a computer document to the Council for Higher system both in the office and for the use Education and another major piece of of students which will be far superior to work is required for the Department of what we have had and which will greatly Education. enhance the facilities which Dumisani To remain in operation as an offers its students.
page 7

independent unit Dumisani will have to keep abreast of educational developments in the country. We are therefore looking to the time when, at the head of the Institute, we will have someone who will be thoroughly conversant with current educational philosophy and with the way it is being applied in the South African setting.

administrative tasks, but we envisage that, gradually, if we find the right person, all basic administration will be in his hands and the teaching staff can give more time and energy to the development of others aspects of the work.

In the next few weeks, we will be preparing exact programmes of work for our new staff, drawing up job Strengthening the Administration descriptions and issuing these to the churches which support us, hoping that With our increase in student numbers in we can get the right persons for the jobs recent years, administrative demands from amongst them. It is essential that have also increased. We are no longer a we get the right people and train them small Institute where the administrative well for their tasks. Unfortunately, work can be conveniently shared out training someone else to do a task takes amongst the academic staff. It has been longer than doing it oneself. So until agreed therefore that for next year, we these folks settle in we will be under a should have significant additional fair bit of pressure. Ultimately, we hope administrative help. that being released from administrative This will include full-time assistants for burdens will enable us to undertake other work. the Library. Up till now, we have operated the Library on the basis of Finding the Funds trust: students sign out books for themselves. But it is just not feasible to We will also be drawing up a operate like this any longer. It is the best significantly increased budget for next books that disappear, so even if we year and we will be seeking funding for haven't taught all the students the it. meaning of the eighth commandment, Up to now we have had no financial we at least seem to have taught them problems. We have made our needs what the best books are! known to our supporters in the More important than that is that we will Gereformeerde Kerke here and be looking for a suitable administrative especially in Scotland, Ireland and assistant to the Principal. On him would Australia and our needs have been fall eventually overall administrative more than fully met. However, this year responsibility for the various there has been a marked falling away in programmes which we operate. We private donations from Scotland and, don't envisage that the teaching staff given the envisaged additional financial will suddenly be able to shed all our needs of the Institute, the Board of
page 8

Governors decided that we should seek the financial support of other churches besides those which have been our partners up till now. So we will be in touch with churches in the United States, The Netherlands and Australia to seek a broader basis of financial support. Immediate Prospects In the immediate future, we have a break from teaching until 7th October.

years ago. This time he comes to help Dumisani, especially attending to our publishing programme first of all the final editing of the Sunday School Teachers' Notes for next year and the Daily Bible Reading Notes, then the formatting of other publications which we have been computerising little by little over the years. No doubt we will find many other tasks for him to do in his two-months' stay with us.

When we start classes again, we have only a four week teaching period. By We are going for three days break to then our eyes will be fixed on next year: Port Alfred a nice coastal resort distributing our Prospectus, advertising about 100 miles away from King. We our Courses and our Daily Bible are having to hasten back from our break to attend the funeral of an elder Reading Notes and Sunday School of the Free Church in Southern Africa, materials and of course our ongoing dealings with government departments. Mr S.S. Mpulampula, whose sudden passing will be of great loss to the To conclude church. We have not listed our prayer requests. The Lourens are not going away for the But they are there in the body of the break, partly because, during her school letter for all who want to support us in holiday, Emilie is helping in a scheme this way. We hope folks will keep this to bring under-trained teachers up to letter by them, go over it from time to standard. time and use it in a prayerful way. The de Bruyns have been in If you would like an electronic copy of Potchefstroom, representing Dumisani Update you can consult our web-site at the annual conference of Bible www.dumisani.co.za. This web-site is Institute there. They are now spending still in course of preparation but we are a few days of holiday seeing something grateful to Ernest Brown and Richard of the country. Beattie, for setting up this web-site for Then on 1st October we look forward us. to welcoming Mr Ernest Brown, and We thank you all for your ongoing later on his wife Shona, from Northern support of us. Ireland. Ernest is a member of the International Missions Board and in that capacity he visited us a couple of

page 9

NEW AFRICAN BIBLE COLLEGE IN UGANDA


Dr. O. Palmer Robertson, who has taught at the African Bible College in Malawi for the past ten years, has been asked to serve as Director and Principal of a new college in Uganda. This will be a degree-granting college offering a four-year course at university level in which all students will major in Bible and theology. Additional courses will range across a variety of subjects, including history, church history, English literature, education, business ethics, and communications. Students who minor in education may qualify as certified teachers. The first African Bible College was founded twenty-five years ago in Liberia, West Africa, but was unable to continue in that troubled country. The second college began in Malawi twelve years ago and is flourishing there. Incentive to establish the third college came from enthusiastic students from Uganda studying at African Bible College in Malawi. The new college, already under construction, is located on a twentyacre campus just outside the capital city of Kampala. It is committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith, but is interdenominational in that it seeks to serve a variety of church communities.
page 10

Classes are expected to begin in September 2005. The college will need to have a comprehensive library in place when the first students enrol. To this end a start has already been made both in Britain and in the US on building up a good collection of books. In addition to obtaining new books, an appeal is being made for any duplicate or surplus books of sound quality that might be unnecessarily occupying shelves, and that readers of this magazine would be prepared to donate. Books are required in all branches of theology as well as in the areas of mathematics, science, basic medicine, history, English literature, education and communications. Contact Paul Austin at strathpaul@yahoo.co.uk (or phone Brian Norton +44 191 384 0504) for information and to discuss offers of books. For further information about the work of the college, contact the Registrar at info@abcuganda.org; or write to African Bible College: P. O. Box 817, Waterbeach, Cambridge, England CB5 9XW; or P.O. Box 71242, Clocktower, Kampala, Uganda; or P. O. Box 103, Clinton, MS, 39060, USA.

The wisdom of Ecclesiastes is supremely relevant for our day. Though 3,000 years have passed, there is nothing new under the sun. We identify some contemporary issues and bring, Old Light for New Paths.

The Conclusion of the Matter


(Ecclesiastes Chapter 12)
by

Rev Stephen Atkinson


In any situation of life, when you face a problem, the first thing to do is identify it. When you see what's wrong, you are on your way to putting it right. Now, there's something wrong with the world! There is a problem. The solution begins by identifying that this world is an awful place. This, Solomon has done, and in his walkthrough through life in the book of Ecclesiastes, he has identified the crookedness, the vanity, the emptiness, and the triviality of life under the sun. Now as we come to the final chapter and our final brief study we find he sums up. He gives his conclusion. Moving from his wisdom gained by bitter experience and contemplation, he uses applied wisdom and it draws forth a command to worship. Solomons conclusion is that real wisdom will lead in the path of real worship. Furthermore, the life of worship is life. This is the whole (duty) of man. The Importance of Wisdom. Solomon has already pointed out that the fool multiplies words. Now in his concluding remarks he also comments that much study is wearisome. Is study then important? Is wisdom important? Yes, indeed. But how many scholars of various disciplines spend their lives in studying, writing up theses, filling library shelves with their books, but those books will gather dust for years, even centuries. And how much has any real value?
page 11

We live in a day of information overload with the World Wide Web. How much information, and words there are of any use? And how much is of lasting value? Solomon engaged his mind on many things; he had the wherewithal to do it. But at the end of his days he saw much was vanity and ultimately, there is no limit to the making of many books and adding comment upon comment to various things. What wisdom then does Solomon direct us to as truly important? - the wisdom of the Shepherd. The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well driven nails, given by one shepherd. (Ecclesiastes 12:11). Solomon's father David had spoken about a shepherd, remember? True, lasting wisdom comes from the Shepherd; the Word of the Living God. In stressing the importance of wisdom Solomon is saying, Follow the Maker's instructions.

as your personal Saviour then the words from this Shepherd are your life. So read it; hear it preached; read books about it; live in it; live by it. It is the book that brings progress. Remember Pilgrim carried it with him all his journey, apart from once setting it down, dozing off, and losing it. But when he found it he treasured it all the more, and resolved not to make the same mistake again. So treasure it. Don't set it down. Take every opportunity to learn from it. The Imparting of Wisdom. Suppose that you've discovered the cure for some rare and deadly disease. Would you simply keep the formula to yourself? You would tell it forth. If real wisdom, Bible wisdom, is absolutely vital, then it is important not just to see it as important, but see to it being imparted!

There are at least two things we learn Don't accept any alternatives so runs from these concluding verses about the imparting of this wisdom, and this is the advertisement. Get the real thing. Well, here it is: the Scriptures - v12 Be most relevant to maintain reformed, biblical ministry, and engage in biblical admonished by these. outreach. We read in v9 of how My admonishment to you similarly is Solomon set in order his proverbs. that you need to realise the only way Further he comments on how true through this maze of life is to ponder imparting of this important wisdom is and search out Bible wisdom. If you compared to goads and well-driven don't set your heart on becoming a nails (v11). Bible scholar you will wander without (i) Appropriately ordered. real direction and purpose. But if you have set your heart on following Christ When the hostess seeks to serves up a and if you have seen your need of him
page 12

wonderful meal, she wouldnt dare do so in an disorderly manner with uncooked carrots, a piece of meat half on the plate, half off; potatoes covered in muddy skins, or mashed potatoes served sloppy. Solomon states that he pondered and searched to find just the right words. Pray for preachers to serve up the scriptural nourishment, appropriately ordered. The ministry is one of pondering, and seeking out, and setting in order the right words placed in the right form. His thoughts as they are imparted are to be well cooked, clean and clear. There is to be no sloppiness, but served just right, yes even spoon fed where necessary, in digestible lumps. We are not to preach, or evangelise, over the head with words and phrases displaying our great knowledge, but ultimately doing no more good than roast beef being served up to a baby. Nor are we to give Milupa to spiritual teenagers. The writer to the Hebrews lamented the fact that by this time some ought to have been teachers themselves, but they had to be taught the elementary truths all over again.

issue, do so. If the sermon has five, we must make sure each one is a welldriven nail. People are to go home with a well constructed sermon upon their hearts, where the heads of the nails are not so embedded as to be invisible, but driven in and still visible for consideration around the Sunday lunch table. If this wisdom is important, (and we maintain it is vitally important for your life,) preachers, and all engaged in testifying of Christ cannot simply impart this message in a take it or leave it manner. Sometimes it is to be delivered as a verbal punch in the face, or a dig in the side. Drive in those nails - but oh, do so with much grace! According to the Oxford English Dictionary a goad is a spiked stick used for urging cattle forward; anything that torments, incites or stimulates. Anyone who has grasped the importance of this wisdom, and is seeking to impart this wisdom will, yes, must, with penetrating punch, fasten the nails; prod you; prick you; incite; stimulate, even torment. Penetratingly drive in those truth nails!

In our preaching and speaking of Christ, I had someone in a former church, who, there must be order and it must be appropriate for those we wish to eat it. on my last visit to his home, said he wasn't converted, but he would never (ii) Penetratingly Fastened. think of his goodness the same again. Why? - I had preached on how Paul Furthermore we must hammer in those considered his righteousness dung and nails. If the sermon has one point, did so vividly in farming language. Now hammer it home. If, in your evangelism there was a fastened nail in his mind and you are seeking to bring home one
page 13

it was brought to mind each time he what are you planning to do in heaven? went muck spreading; that was wisdom Remember your Creator! Fear God and he wouldn't forget. keep his commandments. Worship him Wisdom is important so impart it with with your whole life; for this is your order and with penetration. Now what's whole life! it all for? - For worship! I cannot understand professing Christians who can look upon their The importance of worship church life as a little part of their life; Let us hear the conclusion of the whole Christians who can think of worship as matter: Fear God and keep his an optional extra; Christians who can commandments, for this is the whole duty of consider the prayer meeting; daily bible man. (v13) study; prayer, and living to grow in the knowledge of God - all these things as Solomon's search has covered many for some, not all. The committed areas. He has pondered. He has engaged himself in many things. Now Christian life, evidenced in these ways, is the only Christian life. he declares his conclusion. While everything under the sun is meaningless What's so important about worship? vanity we must remember that not all Answer - because this is it! - now and things are under the sun! There is for evermore! To know God, more and meaning to life; this is it - this is the more and see his glorious being, and whole of life. In this we have meaning; praise and thank him, and give him our we have it all: Fear God and keep his time, talents, money and energy - this is commandments. it! This is the whole of man. (The I must press upon you then, do you see worship as such an essential? Do you see worship as necessary? Are you a oncer? Is the midweek prayer meeting just for the really committed. Or do you live for worship? Do you worship Him every day? Do you train your children to? Do you train your children in the practice of Biblical worship? I'm hammering in a few nails now; a few prods; to make the sheep go in the right directions. original leaves it as bare as that).
(i) Fear

What is involved in worship? We have seen a great growth in an evangelicalism that has lost the fear of God. But you may say to me - Surely, Perfect love casts out fear. Yes, indeed. And doesn't God love us with a perfect love? Yes, indeed. Well, fear?

The wisdom that Solomon imparts is Yes, fear. But a fear, not of hell, rather that worship is all - worship is what it's a fear of offending our loving heavenly all about - and if you don't like that father. Yes - fear. A fear of losing that
page 14

close communion we enjoy. Where is the blessedness I knew, when first I saw the Lord. The dearest idol I have known, whatever that idol be; help me to tear it from thy throne and worship only thee. Yes - fear: a fear of sinning. If every time you were tempted you had a fresh sight of the holiness of God, a sight of the wrath of God upon sin, a sight of hell - that caused Felix of old to tremble - if such came to you, would you continue to give way to temptation? God deliver us from that fearlessness which plagues modern Christianity. It has led us into unholy, and unhealthy ways. Praise God we can come trembling before a God of mercy; to One who so loved that the well beloved Son was painfully crucified - for your sin, and mine. Can you sin so casually? We are commanded to no longer conform; to pommel the body; to bring that living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - your acceptable worship! This is your whole. Involved in this is holy fear, and...
(ii) Obedience

scripture not say, be holy. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. The Lord declared that every branch that does not bear fruit he cuts off and throws away. He uses words that scrutinise our obedience - by their fruit you shall know them. Yes, if we are truly in Christ, then there is nothing to fear, for there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ. Yet conversion means - you are converted!!! So go, and sin no more. Obedience! And why? - Judgement! Believers and unbelievers will all stand before that judgement seat and our deeds and thoughts shall all be brought forth. The judgement is a comprehensive one, in that none shall escape. The judgement is an open one, in that nothing shall be hidden. The judgement is a personal one, in that you are on your own. Are you prepared for that? If not, then today, cast yourself totally on the mercy of God in Christ. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him. This truly is the conclusion of the matter. This is the whole of man. This concluding wisdom bring us to our knees.We are to live to worship. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and if you love me, said Christ - keep my commandments. Godly fear, and loving obedience - Is this really the whole of your life?
page 15

Keep his commandments. Why? For God will bring every work into judgment... v14. Modern evangelicalism has led us not to fear the judgement. Modern evangelicalism has led us into a casual approach to obedience. Yet does the

Books etc.
After Darkness, Light
Essays In Honour Of R.C. Sproul

Various Presbyterian & Reformed 224 pages 11.95 Reviewer: Joe Hutton The book has, I think, three main aims outlined in its Foreword and Introduction. These, being, firstly, to honour R.C. Sproul who in his teaching and ministry has sought to bring robust Calvinism back into American evangelism. Secondly, to celebrate the doctrines which define the Reformed Faith. Thirdly, to have the same goal as Calvin, that as we understand the doctrines of grace better, we will worship God better. I believe that all three objectives were admirably met.

accept God as sovereign. He advises that we talk of election as the solution, not the problem, because it glorifies God at every point in salvation and draws us away from ourselves to God. O. Palmer Robertson in his treatment of Definite Atonement is excellent, especially in his remarks on the Death of Christ as a propitiation. The death of Christ was perfectly effective in absorbing the wrath of God for his sheep. From eternity past he has known them by name. The propitiatory nature of his death in effectively removing the wrath of God from sinners means that his life was not offered indiscriminately. Instead, his death removed the wrath of God forever from all those whom the Father had given him.

As I read the book, the phrase Back To Basics came to mind and for me it The book is a collection of essays by was good to be reminded again in such ten eminent Bible scholars who take a God-glorifying and readable manner between them the five points of of the truths of the glorious doctrines Calvinism and the five solas of the of grace. It is well named too, because Reformation. I greatly enjoyed being reminded again of these great truths of it reminds us of the great Protestant Reformation which in these days so the reformed faith. Each subject is excellently treated and there is much in many wish to forget; of the time when God so graciously and gloriously them all to encourage us to rejoice in worked in his people to bring a world our great sovereign God. out of darkness and despair into the I particularly enjoyed some of the marvellous light and glory of the comments by W. Robert Godfrey on gospel. May God grant us such a time Unconditional Election. He says that again in his Sovereign will and purpose. some speak of election as if it were a problem. But he rightly points out the Jay E. Adams makes a comment at the problem is human pride which will not end of his essay The Doctrine of the
page 16

Perseverance of the Saints, which could be applied to the whole book. The precious doctrine of the perseverance of the saints coming down to us from the Reformation must be preserved at all costs. We may neither abandon it or compromise with those who would do so.

leaders. Also we find an account of the contemporary decline of Methodism from its former glory days and we learn some of the reasons for this. I found the book interesting, thoughtprovoking and informative but perhaps more sympathetic to Wesley than I expected. It was not as polemical in nature as I expected it might be, highlighting rather, good things to be applauded and applied, along with bad things to be condemned and avoided.

Wesley and the men who followed


Iain H. Murray Banner of Truth 263 pages 14.95 Reviewer: Billy Elliott

Wesley is revealed as a complex man with a confused theology who should be remembered most not for his flawed theology but as a man of action who Reading the dust jacket of this book did and said much which was to the was a profitable exercise because it helpfully explains how Most books on lasting benefit of many thousands (p.79). Putting words into Wesley have concentrated on his leading role in the Evangelical Revival. Murrays mouth you could sum things Wesley and the Men Who Followed is more up by saying God used him warts and all. concerned with the spiritual explanation of the movement which, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the far from dwindling at his death, Men Who Followed - three men of increased momentum, breadth and dedication, conviction, determination transforming power. Drawing from and stamina; three men who constitute original and often little-known a very real challenge and example to the Methodist sources, Iain Murrays thrilling study leads to conclusions that contemporary church where such characteristics are often conspicuous by are of great relevance for the their absence. contemporary church. Throughout one could see how despite The book has four sections. We are first given, an account of the life, work their obvious theological failings the power of scripture to enlighten and and significance of Wesley himself, followed by three very interesting and save was so important to the older Methodists, who taught that the Bible informative accounts of men who alone was the ground of their faith. Not followed after. We receive a timely surprisingly, then, when analysing the warning concerning blind and reason for the 20th century decline of unquestioning following of religious Methodism, Murray pinpoints the
page 17

denial of the divine inspiration of Scripture, seeing this as a denial of Methodisms own history. Things were turned on their heads, he argues, as the denominations leaders adopted the very kind of thinking that had marked the chief opponents of the eighteenthcentury awakening. Spiritual power and piety could not survive such a situation (p. 261).

to the rest. He stresses that although the Bible is separated testaments, books, chapters and verses it is still all one book with one divine purpose.

The author shows no shame in stating that he is writing the book under the influence of a book by Graeme Goldsworthy Gospel and Kingdom. He uses the same principles, but has put them across in a much Methodism has largely been turned on simpler and more straightforward way. its head and Murray helps us to see how The basic model used by both Roberts far the mighty have fallen and why. Let and Goldsworthy is that of Gods us sit up take notice and strengthen kingdom, which is defined as Gods what remains. people, in Gods place, under Gods rule and therefore enjoying His Gods Big Picture blessing. Roberts simply explains how Tracing the story line of the Bible Gods chosen people have progressed after the Fall, through the children of Vaughan Roberts Israel, and then onto all the nations, IVP finally to be completed at the time of 160 pages 5.99 the creation of the new heavens and Reviewer: Mark Thompson new earth. During my junior school days of Religious Education, I can remember having to memorise every book of the Bible in sequence. OK class, there are sixty-six books in the Bible. Know them all by Monday I can remember the teacher saying. But, she failed to teach us this the Bible is much more than a mere collection of sixty-six separate books. It is one entire book, which has 40 human authors, but one sublime author in the Holy Spirit. Roberts uses eight alliterated chapter headings to help us understand how Gods Kingdom progresses from Adam and Eve to our present day, and then to what we, as Christians, have to look forward to in the perfected kingdom.

This book provides great help in understanding better how each part of the Bible relates to the whole. It is therefore a very helpful study aid which works on one basic principle if we know the context of a certain part of In this short book, Vaughan Roberts the Bible, we can understand it more brings out the overall story line of the fully when we study it in detail, and can Bible with the aim of giving us a greater hence draw more applications from it. understanding of each part in relation
page 18

Be patient God hasnt finished with me yet!

present as different people tell how they met Jesus for the first time. They tell what they thought about him and Learning from the life of Jacob how he changed their lives as the book Roger Ellsworth seeks to show that no one can be Evangelical Press neutral about Jesus. From this point of 118 pages 7.95 view the book is very good and would benefit the non-Christian in that it Reviewer: Wendy Atkinson challenges them to repent and accept This book gives a short synopsis of the Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. life of Jacob. It is based around a series The chapters are very short, usually of 17 sermons delivered by Roger Ellsworth in his church in Illinois. His consisting of one or two pages each, making reading of the book very easy. intention is to draw lessons from the life of Jacob which can be applied in a This also makes it suitable as a gift for unbelievers who perhaps are not used practical way to believers today. to reading the Bible or Christian books. The book should not be read without a Bible beside you. He makes reference It is beneficial for the Christian too, helping the reader imagine you are to various verses, and it is helpful to there watching Jesus in the Temple, read the two in conjunction. The seeing his miracles first hand and, of lessons are certainly valid for todays world, and I certainly found the book course, watching him being abused and ill treated at his Crucifixion. Yet further both challenging and encouraging. I think however that for those serious in you are vividly brought to see the certainty and purpose as he dies on the the endeavour of studying the life of cross and pays the supreme price for Jacob, a volume of more substance would be necessary. But in its place this our sins, fulfilling the Fathers will. The is an all round encouraging read, short last few chapters allow us to view his resurrection through the eyes of and to the point ideal for daily different people. devotional use. Jesus the Life Changer would be useful for daily devotions or for use as a study Simon Robinson book in womens fellowships or a Bible Day One Publications study group. It provides questions to 96 pages 6.99 prompt discussion and study. It could also possibly be used for evangelical Reviewer: Esther Hutton outreach to give to those who are This book takes you back in time to seeking more information about the when the Saviour walked the earth and gospel. I highly recommend it. tries to make the reader feel they are

Jesus the Life Changer

page 19

Singing to the Lord


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Bryntirion Press 92 pages 4.50 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson In this little paperback we have four previously unpublished sermons from the Doctor on Ephesians 5:18-20. Some contemporary thorny issues are tackled with his usual clarity and wisdom. He addresses the subjects of psalms only, church choirs and solo singing. He obviously addresses things relevant to his day, and thus it is not a a volume which will address all present controversies. Nonetheless he is most helpful, practical and relevant, and his wisdom can be used by extension to deal with other matters.

The Holy War


Thelma Jenkins Evangelical Press 180 pages 5.95 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson This is a modern English version of the Bunyan classic. First published in 1976 this is the third reprint by Evangelical Press.

Though The Holy War often takes second place to Pilgrims Progress it gives us tremendous insight into the assault of the enemy upon the soul of man. The theology is pervasive and the depth and amount of bibline blood continues to stagger this reviewer. There are many more characters for consideration than in the other classics, and their names continue to amuse and alert, since they His arguments will not satisfy all. I identify so clearly specific conditions, could not agree with everything, but I types of people, devilish assaults, and usually dont with any book that I read! personal temptations. Yet he does give us a most helpful This version is extremely readable; piece of advice when we disagree: gripping stuff, you might say. One ... what a wise teacher the great apostle wonders if Tolkien took some of his was... how well he knew the danger of ideas from Bunyan? To have it in this going from one extreme right over to popular format will I trust bring the the other! What a tragedy it is that we truths, the dangers, and the comforts to cannot keep the perfect balance the a wider readership. Having completed New Testament observes! In our fear 33 Childrens Talks on Pilgrims of one danger, we over correct and go Progress, a further 24 on Part 2, too far on the other side. Christianas Journey, I reckon my congregation will soon be hearing Passionate extremity untempered by about The Holy War. Maybe you balance, Lloyd Jones deems dangerous. should prompt your pastor to do the Bryntirion Press have given us a wise same? Give him this to start him and useful addition to our MLJ book thinking! collection!
page 20

making progress with pilgrim


(for pilgrims of all ages)

- (12) Thrown into Hell (John Bunyan presented the world with a wonderful picture of Christian experience in The Pilgrims Progress. We continue to retell some of the main parts of the story.)

We come now to the final part of the story of Pilgrims Progress, and what an important part it is. If you have progressed with us in reading you will have seen Christian come through many dangers, toils and snares, before finally entering the Celestial City. But Christian isnt the only one who comes to the door of heaven. Everyone he has spoken to, passed by, and left behind, must also come before the great King. Our story ends with one such person that Christian met along the way, who was not a true believer, coming to that time of crossing the river. His name is Ignorance. While Christian had some difficulty in crossing the river, Ignorance had no problems. He hired a ferryman called Vain Hope to take him across. But there were no Shining Ones to lead him to the gate of heaven. He came alone. There were no trumpets blasts as he made his final way to meet the Lord. Instead when he arrived at the gate he was sternly questioned. Have you a certificate? When he answered No, they told the King who commanded the two Shining Ones to tie him up. They then took him through the air to the doorway in the side of a hill, a By-Way to Hell, and threw him in, never to be released from torment. Not all stories have happy endings. Bunyans Pilgrims Progress ends with wonderful happiness for children of the King, but for those who are not true pilgrims the story ends in torment. Indeed the story never ends because this story represents reality; what really happens in life, and after death. There are many boys and girls, teenagers, grown ups, who are like Ignorance. They walk like Christians, even talk like Christians, but they have never gone through the Gate and trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Ignorance was like a good moral church-goer. The ferryman took him across the River of Death. He was called Vain Hope. Many, many people hope, just hope, that they might be good enough to get into heaven. But there will be no welcome, no trumpets, only severe questions concerning the certificate Perfect in Christ. And if you are not a true believer in Christ you will taken and thrown into Hell, forever. Will you enter Heaven or be thrown into Hell?

Evangelical Book Shop


15 College Square East, Belfast, BT1 6DD E-mail: shop@evanbooks-belfast.fsnet.co.uk Tel. 028 9032 0529 Fax 028 9043 8330 Manager: John Grier
Reliable Helps for Bible Reading in 2004 Name XTB Snapshots Discover Ichthus Explore Geneva Price per quarter Price per year 4 1.50 2.50 2.50 2.50 3.00 16 6 10 10 10 12 Age group Younger children 7 to 10 years 9 to 14 years teens and students late teens to adult adult

Biographies to read or give as presents Joni Eareckson Tada "The God I Love" 9.99 8.50 A memoir of a remarkable Christian. "Joni's life message of hope allows everyone to see the goodness & mercy of God and is a magnificent tapestry declaring the glory of God." Derick Bingham "The Wild-bird Child" 9.99 This new life of Amy Carmichael from Millisle is well researched by a local author who has a ready pen. Jason Robinson "Finding My Feet" 18.99 The English rugby football star who has become a Christian tells his story. George Marsden "Jonathan Edwards" 25.00 This Yale University Press hardback is acclaimed as the authoritative biography of the great American preacher philosopher and theologian by experts in the field like Rev Iain Murray.

Apology

Many months ago we published a glowing review by Prof. Derek Thomas of Rev Geoff Thomas' lectures on preaching given at Reformed Theological Seminary in 2000. We regret the delay and are now glad to report that they are finally available in UK under the title "Preaching the Man, the Message, the Method" 6.99.