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Evangelical Presbyterian

Jan-Feb 2002 50p

Evangelical Presbyterian
Convenor of the Editorial Committee:

is published by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Rev. Stephen Atkinson 1 Lord Wardens Dr Bangor, Co Down BT19 1YF (E-mail: UK: Rep. of Ireland and Overseas Evangelical Book Shop 15 College Square East, Belfast, BT1 6DD Honorary General Treasurer Mr. J. R. McCormick 6 Eileen Gardens, Belfast, BT9 6FW. 4.20 6.50

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Editorial Obituaries The Tower to which the Righteous Run The Regions Beyond Across the Pond Books etc. Distinguishing Things which Differ Happy Birthday Bookshop Making Progress with Pilgrim T. Trumper E. C. Brown W. J. Grier S. Atkinson 1 2 3 7 11 13 17 24 25

Front Cover

Westminster Abbey, London. (Photograph by S. Tracey)

Lest we forget.
2002 is a year of remembrance for our denomination. We look back at 75 years of Gods faithfulness and remind ourselves of a small band of serious concerned believers who took their stand, faced much ridicule, and began a fresh work of building an evangelical denomination. There are plans for services of thanksgiving and celebrations; historical displays, and the printing of historical documents to come later in the year. We already have had the 75th anniversary of the opening of our Bookshop (see p.24). This magazine itself celebrates 75 years in 2003, but we thought it appropriate in these pages even now to join those celebrations and thanksgiving in conjunction with the denomination. Included in the magazine is an article reprinted from the very first issue of The Irish Evangelical, giving us a flavour of the early battles - which we must admit remain with us, though perhaps in more subtle guise. We live in a day, and even in an age, where things older than a few years are considered of little importance. The rapid advancement of computer technology, and the consequent obsolescence of any computer over a few years old gives forth the impression that we are constantly moving forward, and we must ignore, neglect, and even decry the past. Unfortunately we can succumb to this mentality in the church. The Scriptures however summon us again and again to Remember; the institution of the Passover meal, Joshuas stones of remembrance, and the constant command of God to remember him should have been enough for the Israelites, but the prophets constantly complain of a people forgetting their past, and Gods past blessing. It is important therefore that the Evangelical Presbyterian Church remembers her past; and important too that others who read this magazine remember with her some reasons for her secession, how she came into existence, and give thanks to God for his faithfulness to a small band of insignificant believers, who were but fools for Christ, of whom the world was not worthy.

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Mrs Joyce Ferguson Knock Joyce Ferguson passed into the immediate presence of her Lord on Monday 29th October 2001. As a faithful member of Christs church she served in the congregation of Knock for over 35 years, working in the background, with untrumpeted acts of hospitality and taxiing shut-ins to and from church. Faithful and energetic she exhibited that all too rare quality of practical quiet godliness. She epitomised the role of helpmeet to Eddie, to whom we convey our deepest sympathy, and assure him of our continued care and prayerful concern. As the godly mother to John, and devoted grandmother to Jemma and Owen, she is irreplaceable. As a faithful member and prayer warrior she never failed to be present at her husbands side both on the Lords Day and Prayer Meeting. One of the tasks that were simply left to her was the weekly beautifying of the church with flowers. Two days before she died she came across a problem. The florist she had used for years was closing down. Where would she get next weeks flowers? Little did she know that she would not need to worry. Her work on earth was done. Her homecall was to a greater service. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8) S. Atkinson Mr James Gray Stranmillis

On the evening of Lord's Day 21st October Mr James Gray, a faithful member of the Stranmillis congregation, passed into the immediate presence of the Saviour in whom he had trusted many years ago. For several months Mr Gray had been a patient in the Royal Victoria Hospital during which time he had known considerable pain and discomfort and whilst, as a congregation, we were saddened by his passing we know that he is now experiencing the bliss of glory where there is no more suffering and pain. Mr Gray was of a kindly and gentle disposition and although the closing weeks of his life were not easy for him yet the things of Christ remained precious to him throughout his trials. Our thoughts at this time are especially with his devoted wife, Florrie, and with his sons Benny and Jim. It is our prayer that the Lord will give both comfort and help to those who mourn. G. Burke
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The Tower to which the Righteous Run

- Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by Tim Trumper
No matter where in the sane world we live, the events of September 11, 2001, will linger long in the memory. Outside of living in Washington or New York City, Pennsylvanians could not get any closer to the dark atrocities of that sunny day. Here at Westminster Seminary we are just 90 miles south of the Big Apple, 150 miles north of D.C. and in the same state as the crash of the fourth hijacked plane. Suddenly our ready talk of divine sovereignty in ST113 (Doctrine of God) has been put to the most public terrestrial, cable, digital, and satellite test the world over. Was God, as we surmise in our most devil-inspired moments, genuinely ruling that morning?
One of the many things that Lloyd-Jones taught us was to counter depression by garrisoning all we know from Scripture. Yes, that means a doctrinal response to what has been a diabolical tragedy. Far from starving us of hope, doctrine is the very feeding tube that keeps it alive. As John Calvin put it: The theologians task is not to divert the ears with chatter, but to strengthen consciences by teaching things true, sure and profitable (Inst. I:xiv:4). Thus, we go to Scripture for the affirmation that what we saw with our human eyes coalesces through spiritual eyes with what we have read of God in His Word. There we find numerous ways in which God is portrayed as sovereign. First, God is sovereign in preventing suffering. While the potential for innuendo against our Maker has been muted by the blatant wickedness of the act, the world that has looked on traumatized is a humanity that is fallen and condemned. In all our analysing, then, we resist the temptation to set God in the dock. Rather, we call to mind, whether as Christians or not, the many days in which we have gone without the oppressive pain that
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suffering is. Prolonged have been the periods that most have spent in health and happiness. Truly, God makes his sun rise on the evil and sends rain on the unjust (Matt. 5:45)1. This is a fact for which he is to be praised and worshipped. But the divine prevention of suffering is also a matter of intervention. Whether by instrumental use of angels charged with the protection of Gods people (Ps. 91:10-11), by the perforation of the natural sequence through miraculous expressions of divine power and grace, or by the proliferation of ordinary providences, eternity alone will tell how much suffering each of us has escaped because of the often unseen and unrecognised intervention of God. Secondly, God is sovereign in ordaining suffering. Within the range of macro events (the rising and falling of nations) and micro events (my hair loss and yours) the no risk2 nature of providence informs us that the details of 9/11, to use local slang, must be within the orbit of divine ordination. Nothing is outwith Gods control, not even the imploding of what were once two of the worlds highest towers. Even so, why the ordaining of this exceptional glimpse of hell? (WCF 3:1) While we await eternitys definitive explanation of this phase of the divine plan, it is not hard to envisage the longterm benefits for the gospel of a dismantling of the conspiracy of silence surrounding death, the current western societal taboo. Nonetheless, can Gods
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integrity fully escape unscathed in the face of such carnage? We understand that in the run-up to the events of that fateful morning God so released his gracious hand that the usual restraint against sin was taken away, with the result that the depraved culprits flew towards sin in a manner completely natural to them. Accordingly, while the ordaining of these atrocities lies in the realm of Gods ultimate responsibility (he removed his hand), an appreciation of the battle in the unseen realm causes us to discriminate a proximate responsibility borne by the devil (he stirred their hearts), and an immediate responsibility that belongs to the hijackers (they personally committed the horrific acts). This is what we mean when we say that Gods ordaining of the current war does not implicate him in its guilt. He remains free from the heinous sins that have wreaked the havoc, while still remaining enthroned. Thirdly, God is sovereign in sharing in suffering. To think of the foreordination of suffering is to consider the transcendence of God. Yet God was not aloof or remote from the crashing of the towers. Would a God who commands us to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15), not also suffer with those who suffer? But even such a moderate view of divine passibility requires careful formulation. Because omniscience is not surprised by suffering, or omnipotence inwardly overcome by it, God is neither

emotionally disturbed from within nor lacking composure without. Furthermore, he is not affected bodily. He has no corpus. Nonetheless, while not irrational, the one who is infinite, eternal and unchangeable (Shorter Catechism 4) as well as superlatively holy in every pro-action and reaction (Ps. 11:6-7) does not stand by inert to our pain. He has already gone towards it at the cross, so defeating suffering through the death of his Son. Thus, in the midst of the present chaos we preach a gospel of hope in which the penitent may follow their Father by grace, counting it all joy in the face of various trials or calamities (peirasmoi).

therefore embrace the training he puts us through, because, fourthly, it prepares us to meet him. All in all, then, the filial training we undergo is for our sakes, not Gods. He is not the divine vivisectionist at work in his cosmic laboratory conducting trials merely for the thrill of the experiment ( la C S Lewis in Shadowlands). Rather, we are tested so that we may be found to the praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:7). Thus, our light and momentary affliction works for us a far more exceeding wait of glory.

Not so the unbeliever. Suffering is deployed as a wake-up call (Dan. 4:28 Fourthly, God is sovereign in deploying -37). Who can deny that the sound of suffering. Nowhere is this more so than the divine megaphone reverberated in the lives of his people. For us, throughout the world on 9/11? Despite suffering is not only the curse of the the shock value, the closure of the fallen world it is also part of the airports, the mass of funerals and solution. First, it connects us to Christ. communal grief, how many will have Whereas Christ suffered for us, we the wisdom to seriously consider their suffer in Christ.3 As such, the pain takes latter end? (Deut. 32:29) on meaning, not least because it helps This leads us to one final aspect. God is us to empathize for the slain Lamb of sovereign in terminating suffering. That said, God. Not only so. It serves as a for those outside the safety of Christ testimony to him. Our sufferings display his (2 Cor. 4:8-12). Furthermore, there is no termination. The earthly our pain represents the discipline of the suffering intended to bring them back to God is, according to C S Lewis, Father. Our heavenly Father, we ratified and, we may add, intensified as remember, is also our holy Father. Accordingly, his is the right to chastise they lock themselves in hell. The us (Heb. 12:5-12) and to beat us for our Reformed, however, do not regard this faults (1 Pet. 2:20). Far better, however, finality so anthropocentrically. to be chastised than ignored. The very Ultimately, it is God who, being impeccably just, will finally turn the lock attention that is implied in discipline 4 comforts us with the assurance that we and dispose of the key. really are the Fathers children. We
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How contrasting are the prospects for each child of God! The Day of Judgment awaits us, too, but for our greater consolation in adversity (WCF 33:3). Ripened by the sanctifying of the trials of life, we await a painless eternity. Once our eyes have closed for the last time we shall await the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:2223; Larger Catechism 86), when, with the coming of Christ, we shall pass from the intermediate to the final state, the ethereal heaven to paradise relocated to a regenerated earth: no more death, crying, sorrow, or pain. The former things will have passed away (Rev. 21:4). What tears our ducts will let shall be solely for the venting of joy in Christ

our Saviour. In the meantime, it is our hope in the not yet that helps us to garrison strength for the now. Thus we sing in resolute faith with John Ryland of old: Plagues and deaths around me fly, Till he bids, I cannot die; Not a single shaft can hit, Till the God of love sees fit.5 In summary: the towers are gone, but the Tower remains. Let us find safety in Him (Prov. 18:10).
Rev. Tim J. R. Trumper is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at

Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and a minister of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales. This article is a shorter adaptation of a lecture entitled Suffering and the Sovereignty of God which is available for purchase from Westminster Media, 2960 Church Road, Glenside, PA 19038. U.S.A. Readers are recommended Professor Dan G McCartneys book Why Does It Have to Hurt? The Meaning of Christian Suffering . P & R Publishing: Philipsburg, NJ, 1998. 1 References are drawn from the New King James Version. 2 Paul Helm, The Providence of God. Contours of Christian Theology. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1993, 39ff. 3 Thomas Watson: Christs sufferings were satisfactory [to make satisfaction for sin], ours are only castigatory [by way of chastisement] (All Things for Good. First published 1663 as A Divine Cordial. Edinburgh and Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1986, 29). 4 Letters of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier, 1881, 71. 5 Cited by A W Pink, The Sovereignty of God. First published, 1928. Revised 1961 and reprinted; Edinburgh and Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1986, 145.

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The Regions Beyond

Ernest and Shona Brown were part of a delegation to visit the South African Church in November 2001. The following is their report.

South Africa Today

Religious Sector Commission saw among the specific roles of the religious sector as South Africa is a beautiful country with resuscitating African spirituality, paying tremendous potential, and very many special attention to the forgotten African delightful people, but it is in the grip of values and disseminating these through moral degeneration, an Aids epidemic and education, the liturgy and the media crime. This is well documented in the July and the lessening of guilt preaching. 2000 Report on the Moral Regeneration Workshops I & II, held in February and It was reported at the meeting of Transkei May 2000. The workshops described the Presbytery we attended, that the nation as Sitting on a moral time-bomb; Government was planning legislation to Unless we make a proactive move now, outlaw religious identity in schools. there is little hope for future generations. Teachers must teach world religions and Common manifestations of how the must be re-trained to do so. Only those moral crisis manifest itself are listed as teachers who are confirmed as nonmurder, robbery and theft, rape, women committed regarding religious beliefs can and child abuse, domestic violence, drug teach it. Professional clergy would be trafficking, fraud and embezzlement of denied access to all schools during school public funds, and crooked business hours. dealings, corruption of police and other civil services and lack of moral guidance The AmaXhosa and role models in the teaching The AmaXhosa, or Xhosa speaking profession. Many people live behind high people, come mainly from the Eastern walls, electric fences, gates, razor wire, Cape Province and comprise 18% of the and grills across doors and windows. nations population. Their language, Armed response within 2 Minutes signs IsiXhosa, is a tone language characterized appear on many houses. by clicks. Ubuntu (humanity) is a firmly There are principles in this report that we established concept in their culture. It can gladly support, but there are ominous finds expression in greetings, in concern signs. Participants criticized the religious with clan names, and the tracing of ancestral lineage. Interest in ancestors and sector for exchanging the African contact with them is a powerful cultural spirituality for a foreign one. The force. Some say that witchcraft is a
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phobia among the AmaXhosa, but it is not confined to them. Witchcraft is believed to be practiced through evil spirits or familiars that take the form of small hairy beings, male or female, who inhabit rivers, birds, snakes, baboons, and the spirits of the dead. This is the South Africa and the culture in which the Xhosa church lives and seeks to witness. The Free Church in Southern Africa The Delegates had a four phase visit to the FCSAfirst to Churches in the Transkei Presbytery to the north and west, then to Dumisani Theological Institute in King Williams Town, followed by churches in the Southern Presbytery comprising the Ciskei and the two cities to the west, Somerset East and Port Elizabeth, and finally to the Cape Town township churches of Kyelitsha and Guguletu. Ciskei and Transkei became two parts of the Independent Homelands set up by the South African government for the AmaXhosa in the apartheid era Transkei in 1976 and Ciskei in 1981. Transkei is about half the size of Scotland and the much smaller Ciskei, about two-thirds the size of Northern Ireland. Since Homelands no longer exist as political entities their names are less in vogue than they once were, especially Ciskei, but their usage will be slow to fade.

Presbyteries. Two-thirds of them are within the Southern Presbytery and one third in Transkei. Churches are grouped into local Districts, with four in the Transkei Presbytery and eight in the Southern. The church has in excess of 2000 members, giving an average of 3035 members per congregation. There are a number of urban or township locations, but a great deal of the church exists in a village structure, with scattered congregations, often separated by difficult terrain. Village roads are dirt tracks with mud in wet weather and thick dust when it is dry; surfaces are rocky, bedded with sharp stones and in places full of ruts.

The church has an oral, not a reading tradition, but there are some signs of change as young people become better educated. The people are generally poor. In addition to two District missionaries, 11 African Ministers serve the church, including one active-retired, one without a charge and one Assistant. Elders do much of the preaching and their names, along with Ministers and others, appear on Preaching Plans that cover a period of six months. There are substantially more women than men in the church and the Womens Christian Association is generally quite well organised and disciplined. There is a promising Young Peoples organisation, again with a lot more young women than young men. The church is very partial to Conventions, the main one being the Womens Easter Convention, but the The FCSA is a Presbyterian, reformed men and the young people have their church with 62 congregations in the two occasions too, making three or four in
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the annual calendar. The people love to sing and often their singing is uplifting and memorable.

Joan live in Umtata and serve the Tabase and Umtata district of Transkei with its eight congregations; Ken is also Interim Moderator of Embo with its nine Dumisani Theological Institute where Rev Ian Wylie and Maryanne The Institute is in extremely good heart. were located until their retirement. The The number of students has now risen other District couple are Rev Douglas to 56 and the projections are for further Campbell and Julia who live in King increases. Additional spacious premises Williams Town and minister to the nearby Knox district of Ciskei in the almost opposite the existing main Southern Presbytery. Douglas and Julia building have been secured and this third site in Leopold Street will make a have adopted a little Xhosa girl, Ovaya, who recently had her first birthday and huge difference to the Institutes was baptised 2 December 2001. Both facilities. these missionary couples are due It was gratifying to find in the college a furlough in 2002. pronounced spiritual, devotional ethos along with an evident spirit of harmony The Dumisani missionaries are Rev between members of staff, and staff and Ronald Christie and Morag, Rev David students. It was also encouraging to see Miller and Meg who have three boys, the prayerful vision for expansion of the Andrew, Ben and John, and Rev Norman Reid and Angela. The men work and this vision being realised in terms of premises, courses and teaching share the teaching at the Institute, materials. The orderliness of the College Ronald Christie taking mainly Old and premises and functions also did it credit. New Testaments, David Miller specialising in Church History, and The Institute runs three Learning Norman Reid in Systematic Theology. Programmes: a one year Certificate in Biblical Studies (two years part-time); a Julia Campbell teaches English on a part two year Diploma in Theological Studies -time basis. (four years part-time); and a four year Mrs Helen McCracken, now 91, joins Bachelor of Theology. The Board and Norman and Angela in sending her staff are to be congratulated on their greetings. Her mind is still as clear as success in having their degree course crystal and it is wonderful to hear her recognised by Potchefstroom University reflect on the early days from 1944 and their Diploma accepted as counting onwards when she and her husband and towards the degree. baby daughter arrived in South Africa. The Missionaries

We acknowledge her witness to the Lord in Fairholme through texts on her wall There are five missionary couples on the and by conversation. She is still a great field. Two of these five are District reader and was delighted with the missionaries: Rev Ken Cameron and selection of books we delivered to her.
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Key Issues for Prayer There is no better way of summarising the main memories of our visit than to present them as matters for prayer: Church Leadership: Pray that God will call more Ministers and maintain a supply of Biblically qualified elders. Pray for men who are able, Godly and diligent, who see themselves as servants of Christ and of the churchmen who love the Word of God and apply it incisively in their preaching. Preaching: Most Ministers have six to eight congregations and they preach at them one Lords Day at a time. Elders, available students and evangelists, preach on the other Sundays. Pray that through personal Godliness, diligent preparation, prayer and penetrating application on the part of these preachers, Gods Spirit will give the Word increasing effect. Transport for Ministers: Not all Ministers have transport and it is extremely difficult to get round scattered congregations dependent on poorly scheduled buses and taxis. Pray for resources to supply this need and great wisdom in using them. Church Properties: Many buildings need of repairs, not all of them major. Pray for motivation, planning, funds, and skills to make and keep these things right.

to conform only to the Word of God. Outreach: The church has already taken the Gospel to Townships as far away as Cape Town. Pray for a revival of the missionary spirit. Giving to the Lord: One common element affecting all these matters is the lack of church funds. People are generally very poor with a significant proportion of them unemployed and on low state pensions. However, we need to pray that they will each see that proper church funding is vital and that they will accept their own responsibility for it by giving to the Lord to their utmost ability. Pray for a realisation throughout the church that all our resources belong to the Lord, that we are to do it with cheerfulness and liberality and that the Lord loves such giving. Pray particularly that like the Macedonian Christians they will first give themselves to the Lord as the only effective basis for stewardship. (2 Cor. 8:5) Men and Women: Women and young women outnumber their male counterparts and often surpass them in commitment. Pray that men will increase in numbers and spiritual quality.

Thankfulness: Prayer is to be characterised by thankfulness. So give thanks for the FCSA, for the lovely Christian men, women and young people who are members of it. Pray that they will grow in grace and knowledge by reading, Culture: The church lives and seeks to prayer, meditation, and obedience to the witness amidst powerful cultural practices and standards. Pray that all the whole counsel of God. And may we Lords people will have increased grace pray the same for ourselves.
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Across the pond

Photo: S. Tracey

to Lakeview Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Rockport, Maine, USA.

(former minister of Omagh EPC, and editor of the Evangelical Presbyterian),

A report of the recent installation of Rev Stephen Tracey,

The OPC Presbytery of New York and New England met on 14th September, 2001 to install Rev Stephen Tracey as Pastor of Lakeview OPC, Rockport, Maine. This was a sad and a happy event. It was sad following the scandalous and appalling terrorist attacks on 11th September. The sympathy of the Presbytery was turned towards the many bereaved and grieving. America was still numb with shocked disbelief. It was also a happy event since it marked the end of Lakeviews vacancy. Rev Gordon H. Cook Jr, (Merrymeeting Bay OPC) - pastoral advisor to the congregation during their vacancy - welcomed the large congregation. Following the call to worship the hymn, "Jesus Shall Reign," was sung and Mr Cook led in prayer. Greetings were read from the

Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Rev John R. Hilbelink (Second Parish OPC, Portland) - Moderator of Presbytery - introduced the Presbytery and constituted the meeting. Rev. Richard Gerber (Associate General Secretary of the OPC Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension) preached from 1 Peter 5:1-11, linking the work of the pastor in shepherding the flock to the demonstration of Gods care for his people. Mr Hilbelink then read the "Instruction on the Nature and Warrant of the Office of Minister, and the Duties of Pastor and Congregation" from the OPC Book of Common Order. The Constitutional Questions to Rev Stephen Tracey were answered in the affirmative.

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The congregation was then asked the following constitutional questions:

1. Do you, the people of this congregation, continue to profess your readiness to receive Rev Stephen Tracey, whom you have called to be Rev. John Galbraith (retired - yet your minister? wonderfully active - OPC minister) who spends his summers in Maine 2. Do you promise to receive the and attends Lakeview, brought the word of truth from his mouth with charge to the minister, exhorting Mr meekness and love, and to submit to Tracey to love the Lord thy God with him in the due exercise of discipline? all thy heart, soul, strength and might. 3. Do you promise to encourage him Elder Paul MacDonald, (Pilgrim OPC, in his arduous labour and to assist his Bangor) had given regular supply to the congregation during the vacancy endeavors for your instruction and and brought an apt charge to the spiritual edification? congregation. 4. And do you promise to continue to The service was concluded by the him, while he is your pastor, that worldly maintenance which you have singing of "Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, promised, and whatever else you may O My Soul Jehovah Praise". The see needful for the honor of religion pronouncement of the benediction was given by Mr Tracey. and his comfort among you?
A Christian is not merely a nice man, a good man, a man who likes to be a member of a Christian Church, a man who is vaguely interested in moral uplift and idealism. Certain men are described today as outstanding Christians who only really believe in what is called "reverence for life"; but that is not according to the New Testament teaching. A Christian is one who believes certain specific truths: and the essence of his belief centres on the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian, the saint, is "full of faith". In whom, in what? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! He believes that Jesus of Nazareth was the only begotten Son of God. He is full of faith in the Incarnation, he believes that the Eternal " Word was made flesh and dwelt among us", that the Eternal Son came in human nature into this world; he believes in the Virgin Birth, and that Jesus manifested that He was the Son of God by His miracles.

These questions were answered in the affirmative by the raising of the right hand. Mr Tracey was declared duly installed and given the right hand of fellowship.

from God's Ultimate Purpose, by D M Lloyd Jones (Banner of Truth).

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Books etc.
Heaven and Hell To perish means that you, as a being, will become ever more degraded, more E Donnelly contemptible, more lonely... Everything Banner of Truth good in you will be taken away, and everything bad in you let loose. All your 4.95 127pp evil passions will burn, increasing and Reviewer: S. Atkinson consuming you until you become utterly Once in a while you come across a book foul. (p.36) that has a profound effect upon you. As he moves on to consider heaven he This is such a one. After reading it you rightly points out our neglect of the cannot again think casually about the subject, and further puts his finger on eternal reward of either the wicked or the unconscious Platonism and antithe righteous. A new evangelistic zeal materialism in much of the church, must emerge; a new longing for glory while firmly reminding us of the will come to exist. resurrection of the body. You are immediately gripped by the importance of the subject, being given the sobering statistic that every second three human beings enter hell or heaven. In a legitimate adaptation of scripture he reminds us, ...when an unbeliever dies, he goes to be with Satan, which is far worse. As he passes from this earth, the devil whispers gloatingly, Today you will be with me in hell.(p.22). Describing what hell will be like, with powerful alliteration he hammers home the awful nature of that place: absolute poverty, agonising pain, an angry presence, and an appalling prospect. I can foresee preachers reaching for their sermon notebooks. But this is not simply preaching material. This is real pastoral stuff written by a man who weeps over such words. His picture of heaven will warm the heart of a weary believer struggling through this winter experience, as a holiday brochure delights a stressed employee on a cold winters evening. But for us it is free and forever! Ecstasy will fill our souls as we learn more and more of his being and his ways... Thrilling avenues of service will open up before us... Fascinating vistas will unfold... (p.122-3) How the author would wish us to rush out and get our ticket! The book concludes with an evangelistic summons to the unconverted, and an encouraging solace to the battle bruised believer. This is a book most strongly recommended for reading, prayer, praise and further contemplation.
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Conflict and Triumph The argument of the book of Job unfolded. William Henry Green Banner of Truth 177 pages. 3.95 Reviewer: Jeff Ballantine First published in 1874 and authored by a lecturer who taught at Princeton for nearly 50 years, this volume is not an exegetical commentary on Job, rather it seeks to give a broad overview of the book, focusing attention mainly on the chief protagonists, Job, Satan, the three friends, Elihu and the Lord. The text used is the New King James Version. The book opens with a discussion of Job's happy estate. In our first encounter with the man from Uz we come face to face with his simple faith, a religion entirely devoid of ritual, with a strong emphasis on personal piety and family worship - and God blessed him! Green proves convincingly that, while there are exceptions, godliness and happiness generally go hand in hand, reminding us of the words of the apostle "godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come".

occupation with evil for the sake of it, and this wise pastor of souls not only leads us on to consider the glory of Christ in His defeat of Satan, but also demonstrates that, in spite of all the devil's machinations, he ends up doing the work of God. A further chapter deals with Job's affliction. We are reminded that God's servant knew nothing of Satan's malicious design or the sovereign purpose of God in bringing him through such horrendous circumstances, yet he was sustained and prevented from railing against His Maker. In all of this God's grace is magnified because Job's spiritual privileges were few in comparison to ours. He did not have access to the sympathy of the incarnate Saviour, he had no clear views of eternal blessedness, and knew little about the doctrine of chastisement, yet he persevered. The chapter ends with the prayer that "he whose grace supported Job in all his dreadful trials hitherto might grant like grace to us - grace according to our need".

The next two chapters trace Job's continuing conflict and interaction with his three friends. These "physicians of no value" are mercilessly exposed and their differing attempts at solving Job's problem are helpfully distinguished. The second chapter on Satan gives a The writer demonstrates how they profound insight into the enemy of our torture Job for crimes he has not souls and his efforts to destroy God's committed, make irrelevant people. However, this is no prepage 14

applications to his case, become more obdurate and incorrigible as time progresses and undertake to explain his problem as if they had full knowledge of his case. With friends like these, for whom providence has no enigmas, who needs enemies? Chapter seven, entitled Job's Triumph, deals masterfully with the great utterance "I know that my Redeemer liveth" (Job 19:25-27). It is sufficient to say that after reading Green's comments I ended up preaching on this text! The material is excellent and a joy to read. A further chapter is devoted to Job's refutation of his three friends and this is followed by another one on Elihu. The latter is particularly helpful and clear in discriminating between the sentiments propounded by Elihu and those which had previously been advanced by his three friends. Green maintains, for instance, that whereas Eliphaz understood suffering to be punitive, Elihu understood it to be curative. As a result of Elihu's speech Green concludes that "Job is purified and instructed; his piety is heightened, and his knowledge of divine things is increased by this affliction. So that the doctrine of Elihu, far from conflicting with the rest of the book, finds its ample justification and support" (p.131). The final chapter is on the LORD Himself. Green states that God does not give a definitive answer to Job's

queries and "has no intention of placing himself at the bar of his creatures and elevating them into judges of his conduct" (p.138). However, the Lord's revelation of himself is designed "to bring him to the deepest humiliation and contrition for all his rash and impatient utterances and all the improper reflections he had cast upon God's dealings with him in his providence" (p.140). In all of this "Job's piety is elevated and his welfare and happiness are promoted" (p.141). In the words of the apostle James, "Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord - that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" (James 5:11). The book concludes with two helpful appendices on "The place of Job in the scheme of Holy Scripture" and "The doctrine of immortality in the Old Testament". This is not a volume which will provide precise exegetical insight on the text of Job, but its great strength lies in the author's ability to clarify the main themes in a most helpful manner. If you find the middle section of Job confusing, this book will help you to distinguish the wood from the trees. Thoroughly reformed, warmly pastoral and deeply devotional, this is a book I really enjoyed, and since the price is so readily affordable I can only recommend it highly.

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Making the most of your devotional life. Derek Thomas Evangelical Press 224pp pbk, 7.95 Reviewer: Harold Gibson
This is a most helpful and useful book written by the former minister of Stranmillis Evangelical Presbyterian Church. It takes us through the Psalms of Ascent and as the author points out taking a Psalm a day, they provide us with just over two weeks in which to get into shape. This is a book which will help those of us whose daily devotions may have become somewhat disorganised. We are encouraged to read each Psalm carefully, pray about what weve read, make notes on what we think God is teaching us and prepare a journal to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. There are many helpful thoughts that will challenge us. In chapter 1 entitled A godly man in an ungodly world, we are reminded how the Psalmist was away from Jerusalem and how he missed the joy of worshipping God. The author tells us that this is a good sign. People who dont miss spiritual things when they are forcibly kept away for one reason or another are in bad shape. If we can be absent from worship for no good reason and not miss it, we are in a dangerous condition, a hairs breadth away from catastrophe. Chapter 14 deals with Psalm 133, the testimony of a man who is rejoicing in the blessing God bestows upon His people, the blessing of unity. The challenges at the end of this chapter are most searching: Do I encourage true unity or disunity in
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Gods church? Write down four things that are troubling the church you belong to, and pray about each one specifically. This is a good book with which to start the New Year and one that will help us get our daily devotions reshaped and disciplined.

The Unresolved Controversy: unity with non-evangelicals Iain H. Murray The Banner of Truth 32pp (booklet), 1.25 Reviewer: Jeff Ballantine
This important booklet seeks to unravel the reasons behind the present confusion in evangelicalism which has come about over the last fifty years, a situation so serious that many are no longer clear on what it means to be a Christian. It touches on such subjects as the decision of John R.W Stott to ignore Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones call in 1966 to "come out from among them". It traces the influence of the ecumenical movement on Christendom, considers the ramifications of Billy Graham's decision to widen the base of his operations to include liberals and has some insightful comments on the "evangelicalism" of the present Archbishop of Canterbury. If anyone doubts the rightness of the decision of our forefathers to separate from error seventy five years ago then this book is "required reading". For those who want to study the matter further, a more comprehensive book "Evangelicalism Divided", by the same author, is also available from the same publishing house. Highly recommended.

Remembering Former Days

In this anniversary year we wish to bring to mind the former days by reprinting some articles from the very first issues of this magazine. The battle for truth remains. This article was printed in the very first issue of The Irish Evangelical in June 1928.

Distinguishing things which differ.

W J Grier BA
Take heed what ye hear. (Mark iv. 24) Take heed how ye hear. (Luke viii. 18)

These solemn warnings given by the Lord Jesus come to us with renewed force, because of the times in which we live. We hear of God and of Christ, of the Gospel, and of the Atonement from many a pulpit, but then we hear much else from the lips of those who speak which forces us to the conclusion that these words do not mean to them what they mean to the true Christian. The air must be cleared - hence the need of controversy. The church was founded in controversy. We have only to read the Book of Acts and the Epistles to see that this is true. When the apostles preached Jesus and the Resurrection, the religious leaders said: Ye have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this mans blood upon us. The Apostolic

preachers were described as men who turned the world upside down, and men who exceedingly trouble the city. A great part of the New Testament was born in controversy, much of it being written to set someone or other right. Paul was set for the defence of the Gospel. He engaged in controversy and gave place, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you. In every hour of crisis, the truth has been preserved, because of Godraised men who dared to stand alone. Athanasius and Luther were accused of being troublers in Israel, but then the Lords messengers have ever been troublers of sinful men. In our day too there are many who decry controversy. Now, if a burglar
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comes into my house or into the premises where I work, I am forced to take a very personal interest in his operations. Is it true then that I am more interested in my personal property, i.e., in material things, than in things which are eternal, and upon which depend my souls salvation? God forbid! When men who come in sheeps clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves, seek to destroy the things in which I believe, and to lead others astray, I would be a contemptible coward if I kept silent. Yet many sit in silence and in attitude if not in word, by penny in the plate or pew rent, seek peace in their beloved church, where peace means victory for the enemies of Christ. In commenting on the passage: Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you (Mark iv.24), Morison says: There is a warning against hearing what should not be heard. If we hear, concerning others what we should not hear, others will in all likelihood hear concerning us what we would not like them to hear; there will be retribution retribution with a surplus. We will be paid back with interest. Charles Hodge, who strange to say, is quoted on both sides of the ocean just at present, by ecclesiastical politicians in support of views he would have regarded with the utmost abhorrence,
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says; The exhortation in Mark iv.24, may be understood as including an exhortation to be careful as to what we hear. Salvation does not come from hearing error. It is of the last importance, therefore, that we take heed what we hear. Never go where error is taught. This is as foolish as going into places of dissipation and debauchery, or profanity: or as foolish as going into pestiferous regions, unless in either case on errands of mercy. If from curiosity or amusement the result will be evil in the one case or the other. If there is to be retribution when we hear things concerning others which we should not hear, how much greater shall the retribution be for those who hear Lords Day after Lords Day things concerning the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ which they should not hear. Here we arrive at what is the root of the whole matter. Have Christian people of today any clear conception of what is included in the phrase: The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ? In other words, have they any clear conception of what the Gospel really is? It is to be feared that in very many cases they have not. If they had things would not be as they are. Before stating what the Gospel really is, we would speak of what may be called the Pre-suppositions of the Gospel. The first of these is the Holiness of God.

THE HOLINESS OF GOD. In the Old Testament times the inspired Prophets warned the people of Israel that God had punished, and would punish them severely for their sins because He had sworn by His Holiness, and when they refused to return, though warned by the just judgements of the Holy One of Israel, the word of the Lord to them was: Therefore thus will I do unto thee O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel (Amos 4). The warning, Prepare to meet thy God derives its force from the fact that God is a Holy God.

scoffs at the One to whose spirit he professes to be so loyal. I have heard a Professor of Systematic Theology deride the preaching of one now in glory who warned men to flee from the wrath to come, and I have listened to the jeer of the student at the reading of the 20th chapter of Revelation.

Those whom they deride - like Jonathan Edwards and Murray McCheyne - saw men and women trembling on the brink of a lost eternity, and with this vision before them they preached the Word, and cried to God for souls. Jonathan Edwards preached on the subject of The New Testament, too, speaks of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God as One who is a consuming fire. God, and the influence was so great on the congregation that strong men Very different is the God preached and women cried and screamed for from the modern pulpit. He is an easy mercy, and even grabbed the seats for going sort of character. His heaven will fear they would slide into hell that very be full, and His hell empty - if there is moment. hell at all, for with the modern minister the topography of the unseen world is There is little such tone in the pulpit very uncertain. today. The heaven of the modern preacher would be full - but full of sin. He prefers not to mention that dread word - Hell - at all, as it is, he would tell The natural man will, of course, find it you, so bound up with the awful easier to trust in the God whom horrors of the old theology. He scoffs modern men set before him - but then at what he calls the burning hell and the is he worth trusting in? It is only angry God of preachers of generations through the work of the Holy Spirirt past and of some still. He will find it that we come to faith in the God of hard to produce more awful words awful holiness of whom Scripture about hell and future punishment than speaks, but then when we are brought those which fell from the lips of the to trust him, we can go through the Lord himself, and so in scoffing, he waters and through the fire.

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THE SEPARATENESS OF SINFUL MAN The second presupposition of the Gospel is the separateness of sinful man from a Holy God. Today we often hear the appeal made to the latent forces within a man: Be a man, not a mutt or a molly coddle. Hold up your head, throw back your shoulders, look the world straight in the eye, and make your decision for Christ. This advice does not exactly tally with Gods account of man, his fallen state, and inability to remedy that state. It was the close of a service (not in a Presbyterian Church). The speaker had explained to the congregation how much more advanced and enlightened a conception of human nature we now had than that which was drawn by many from these passages he was reading - Isaiah 1 - From head to foot no soundness - full of wounds, bruises, putrefying sores. He greeted the old man at the door, I think, with outstretched hand, and said, How are you brother? There was no response, but, Where did you get that? Get what? said the preacher. That - what you said this morning about the state of man. Why, man, that was just my picture - full of wounds, bruises, putrefying sores, and see here! yere nae brother o mine. Human nature is not so bad after all, saith the modern pulpit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and
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desperately wicked, saith the Word of God. Now in all the foregoing there is not a word of Gospel. Let me repeat that nothing is more amazing than the ignorance among even those whom we believe to be Christians of what the Gospel really is. But there certainly is no Gospel or good-news in the awful holiness of God. It brings but the cry, Woe is me for I am undone. There is no Gospel in the separateness of sinful man from a holy God, for it is not good news to tell a man that he is in a pit and miry clay. A great many people think that if they have heard that little word God and some Scripture verses quoted they have heard the Gospel. They forget that there is no particular virture in the use of the word God, unless you know what conception the individual in question has of God. The speaker may even have said nothing but what was absolutely true, and yet as a setting forth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it was absolutely false. What is the Gospel? It is not of works, for to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. When we speak of faith, someone asks, do we not speak of something that we do and is it not because we exercise faith that we merit salvation? To this we reply that the meritorious ground of our salvation is to be found in the work of Christ on Calvary and in that work alone. We are saved not through merit of our own or anything that we

do, but through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. Faith is simply the hand outstretched to take the gift. There is no merit in stretching forth the hand. The merit lies elsewhere - in the gift, or rather in the giver. The Gospel is not a Gospel of faith plus works for the ox of mercy and the ass of merit cannot be yoked together and the best that we can do will only undo us. The man who speaks of doing and believing in the same mouthful has little inkling of what the Gospel of Christ really is, for if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.

Modernists would be sufficiently candid to say so. Many of them are quite willing to affirm their belief in the Deity of Christ. This affirmation, however, is of small value - though it is of some value as a means of satisfying many who are only too willing to have dust thrown in their eyes. Alongside of their affirmation of the Deity of Christ, we place such things as their emphatic denial: He was not a Deity stalking through life omnipotent, omniscient (Record of Trial p99) and their affirmation that the suffering and agony in Gethsemane and on Calvary was simply the suffering and agony of a human being, save so far as It is not of ourselves. We are told to be God is in all suffering. The Saviour of Christ-like and all shall be well. There whom they speak did not understand is no good-news in such advice to a Himself or His mission to earth even in world of sinners lost and ruined by the closing scenes of His life, and his the fall. It is simply no use bidding views on many questions are not birds with broken wings soar above the acceptable to the modern minds. Can clouds. The only message for a sinner one take such a Saviour to his heart in is that Jesus Christ came into the world that unqualified sense which to save sinners - not to induce or help constitutes the glory of religious trust? or enable them to save themselves, for to prepare a way of salvation for them, Not long since, the teaching of the but to finish the work. Epistles of Paul was the great rock of offense to these men and they cried If the Gospel message is that Christ Not Paul but Jesus. Now they are Jesus came into the world to save forced to acknowledge (the more sinners then the questions Who honest of them, at least) that in the Jesus was and What he did are of consciousness and teaching of Jesus vast importance. there is a solid pre-formation or anticipation, as it were, of Pauline Now there are many who go round doctrine. The question has now today saying that Modernists do not believe in the deity of Christ. That may become which Jesus? - the historical Jesus of the Scriptures or the popular be true, but we confess that we have figure of the man of Galilee who the feeling that it is scarcely wise sometimes to put it that way. Very few appeals to the modern mind.
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How then can a Modernist affirm, as we have heard them do, that there are three Persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory? Observe first, that he bases his faith in these useful conceptions in great part on experience. For ourselves we prefer the solid rock of the teaching of Holy Writ. In a dream of the night the devil affirmed to Dr Henry Cooke, I have more experience than you; I have seen what you never saw; I have heard what you could never hear; I have been in heaven where you never were; and I now affirm on indisputable authority the authority of my own personal knowledge - that Jesus Christ is not God. And I affirm said Cooke, with such vehemence that he awoke from his sleep, I affirm on the infallible testimony of Gods own Word that when the devil speaketh a lie, which this is, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it. The devil is not quite so candid nowadays, but he is still trying to get men away from the Word of God, on to the sinking sands of experience.

definition of terms. A licentiate not long since was honest enough to acknowledge the funadamental difference between us was a difference about God. Exactly - and could you have a more fundamantal difference than a difference about God? But why be so anxious about the Person or Deity of Christ? Why not stop all this argument and unite in simple love to Jesus and the service of humanity? This sounds very nice, but suppose, as Dr Machen puts it, I have a sum of money to invest. A friend tells me that the man with whom I intend to invest the money is not all he claimed to be - is not perfectly trustworthy. I say, Oh, well, there may be a difference of opinion as to this mans character but lets have no unpleasant controversy; lets simply trust him My friend, if he were a wise man, would soon see to it that I was under proper guardianship and control.

I have what is infinitely more precious than the whole world - a never dying soul. As I am brought under conviction of sin, and see the awful holiness of God and my own undone state, how can I ever be brought to say with all my soul of One who is more or less trustworthy, and to Whose person I am Observe second, more or less indifferent: I know whom that from the professors chair we have I have believed and am persuaded that been told that the old distinctions He is able to keep that which I have between the divine and human we no entrusted unto Him against that day? longer hold, and that the human was Then again they tell us There is the from the beginning capable of fact of salvation, but many theories expressing the divine. So we need a
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about it. We believe in the fact of the Atonement. Why quarrel about the theories of the Atonement? A bare fact is something that happened, and the bare fact of history is, that a Jew was lifted up on a cross some 1900 years ago. That bare fact will save noone. But praise the Lord, He has not left us thus in the dark, for He does not love darkness rather than light. He has given us not merely the fact, but the explanation of the fact, for the Word of God teaches us that He died to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God. O how crude an idea this is, we are immediately told. This is the picture of an angry God waiting to be appeased or placated by sacrifice. What a barbarous conception of God! Would that those who say this would read their Bibles a little. There they would see that it was God in the Person of the Father who sent His only begotten Son, it was God in the Person of the Son who gave himself a sacrifice for sin, and it is God in the Person of the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ. Is this a barbarous conception? Nay, it is infinite love - costly love. He died to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God. This is the Gospel, and the curse of God is upon every other.

of God? We ask people to face plain facts - e.g. that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of such teaching, and that such doctrine is taught from many a pulpit today. No pleas of orthodoxy or strokes of policy (such as the abandonment at present to change the formula of subscription) should be allowed to blind the eyes of the Lords people to the facts that those who are supposed to train young men for the ministry - and we testify that which we have seen and know deny the reliability of Gods Word, that some of these same men are convenors of most of the Mission Boards of the Church, and with them in the church courts and in their attitude to the record which God has given us in His Son, are ranged in the great majority of the ministers of the Church. In view of these facts, what is the evident will of God? We refer those content to abide under the unequal yoke in hope of some future landslide to such scriptures as Haggai 2:11-14; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Jn. 10-11; Rev. 18:4.

It has long been our conviction that however wise and useful it may be to remain in a church in the first stages of her declension, after the church has become corrupt there remains but one The differences then being so course in accord with the Word of God fundamental how can the believer abide - to come out of her. under such an unequal yoke with those who are worshippers of another God, preach another Gospel, and have another seat of authority than the Word
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75 YEARS YOUNG The Bookshop marks its Birthday!

On 12th November 2001, The Evangelical Bookshop in Belfast marked its 75th birthday with a public lecture by Rev. Andrew Davies (London Theological Seminary). His title was The Place of Prayer in Revival. In a brief report Mr John Grier, manager since 1974, expressed thanks to God for His goodness and grace through all the years. The shops ministry arose out of a protest movement against unbelieving attitudes to Christ and His Word in the Presbyterian Church. Rev W J Grier became manager in autumn 1926. Working part-time but with the support of dedicated staff members, he saw the stock rapidly extend from a few Bibles, tracts and pamphlets, to make the bookshop a major source of scholarly works defending and advancing an orthodox evangelical alternative to the liberalism then prevalent. This continues by means of local and imported American books offered at discount prices both by shop sale and mail order. The shop is now an incorporated charitable trust that seeks to circulate as many Bibles and Christ-honouring books and resources as possible. It seeks to serve Christians of all ages and in many denominations. It specialises in expository Bible study materials for preachers and Bible Class leaders, and is also well known as a source of: Bible reading aids for groups and individuals Go Teach curriculum Sunday School Materials College Textbooks Bookstalls for local church camps and weekends Bargain and second hand books CD-Rom Christian computer software Puritan Reprints Books of Christian Praise. The building at 15 College Square East was bought in 1946. In the seventies the shop did not escape The Troubles, and suffered greatly from a terrorist bomb blast but was restored in 1975. Looking ahead, the Bookshop has put in place the computer systems essential to serving the Christian public in the 21st century, and expanding its ministry. There are now plans to upgrade the 1810 building to the standards that the public expect today.
Happy Birthday Bookshop! (Ed.)
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making progress with pilgrim

(- for pilgrims of all ages)

- THE GATE John Bunyan presented us with a wonderful picture world of Christian experience in The Pilgrims Progress. When the main character Pilgrim is told to flee from the City of Destruction, he is directed towards the Gate. On his way there he meets a Mr Worldly Wiseman who suggests an easier way to get rid of his burden. Upon taking his advice Pilgrim finds himself climbing a high hill, his burden getting heavier, and himself getting frightened. Evangelist comes to his aid, reproves him and sets him again on the way to the Gate. He makes swift progress there and sees the notice above it - Knock and it shall be opened unto you. This he does, and when the door is opened, he is pulled in by a man named Goodwill who tells him of arrows that the enemy would shoot just before one would go through the Gate. Pilgrim, now renamed Christian, is shown the straight and narrow path he now must travel towards his goal. Sometimes when people realise they are not good enough for heaven, they try to make themselves better. It is good to know that youre a sinner, but the wisdom of the world suggests that we can better ourselves and God will be pleased. It is a high hill, and the burden and sense of sin only gets worse. The Gospel, and Gods evangelical teaching would direct us back to the path leading to the Gate, which is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can deal with your sin, and take your burden away. You must go to the Gate and ask Him to let you in - not because of anything you have done, but because the Gospel invites you to knock, and the door shall be opened. Are you still standing on the outside of the door? There are dangerous arrows sent from Satan to drive you away. Enter in and be saved - and what a wonderful thing it is to be on the inside of that Gate. You have a new name, being called a Christian. But theres a narrow road you still have to travel. Are you making progress with Pilgrim?