Saturday, 7 January 2017

Why the Reformation Still Matters

What is the legacy of the Reformation? The contention of this book is that, although it left its mark on history, the real impact of the Reformation was upon doctrine. And this is precisely the aspect of it which is in greatest danger of being overlooked as we enter upon 2017 - exactly 500 years since Martin Luther nailed up the 95 theses. In successive chapters, with a historian's analysis and a pastor's application, doctrines hammered out during that remarkable period of history such as on sin and justification, the church and the sacraments, as well as the Holy Spirit and everyday life are revisited. The Reformers' insights into scripture teaching prove invaluable to today's Christian, and as the authors sum up: 'The only way the Reformation could possibly not still matter would be if beauty, goodness, truth, joy and human flourishing no longer mattered. We have been made to enjoy God, but without the great truths the Reformers fought for that display him as glorious and enjoyable we shall not do so. Seeing less of him, we shall be lesser and sadder. Seeing more of him, we shall be fuller and happier.'
Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves & Tim Chester, published by IVP, £9.99

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox

We can often feel like pygmys in comparison to 'the measure of the stature of Christ' that some in the past attained to. But a good thing about 'A Long Line of Godly Men Profile' series from Reformation Trust (attached to Ligonier Ministries) is that it is designed to inspire. It is not eulogy disguised as biography. The lives of men like John Knox are studied to see the grace that was with them, and to point to their God - the ever living God. Douglas Bond has chosen to focus helpfully upon what he terms 'the mighty weakness' of Knox. That is, he was not a man who left sins and infirmities behind when he was born again, proceeding from strength to strength in a victorious life. No, out of fear he at first even refused to preach; he endured frail health all his days (although once spending months as a French galley slave!); and he had low views of himself and did not seek prominence. However, he fervently desired that Christ might be magnified among his fellow countrymen, and in prayer and preaching he laboured to that end. 'Out of weakness he was made strong.' He resembled the apostle Paul: 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' Bond turns the spotlight upon Knox's power in a series of chapters on his submission to Christ and his word, prayer, preaching, writing, keynote doctrine (predestination), and pastoral care. But a glimpse into the greatness of Knox's spirit is seen in his attribution of the wonderful success of the Scottish Reformation: 'God gave his Holy Spirit in great abundance to simple men.' Oh for more such men!

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox published by Reformation Trust is a £12.99 quality hardback with dustjacket.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Big Bible Answers

Who remembers A Catechism for Boys & Girls? This was one of its covers, but I think it is now out of print, (although I am double checking on that - anyone with any info please let me know).  It has been a popular catechism amongst Baptist churches over the years. Interestingly it has been used as the basis for a new series from Christian Focus Publications (although notably the questions on Baptism have been edited out - with permission!). 
 Big Bible Answers is a series that aims to bring doctrine and theology to children.  Using the questions from the catechism, Bible and real-life stories demonstrate each doctrinal truth. Scripture references and 'Talking it over' points are added at the end of each story. For example, we learn about Galileo's astronomical discoveries in considering God the creator, we hear about the prophets of Baal and Elijah in learning about the one true God and Patrick of Ireland is used to teach us about prayer.

This looks like it could be a useful series and I particularly like the foreword:

As parents one of our greatest concerns is the spiritual condition of the hearts of our children...
...What parents need most is a deep realization that salvation is a supernatural work of God through the hearing and application of the Word, not a work of us as parents per se. For this reason, the salvation of our children must not be the goal of parenting but rather our desire given over to the will and purposes of God. What parents need next is to fix their hearts on the goal of faithfulness to God, for the glory of God. The chief end of parenting is to glorify God by doing what He has asked us to do as parents: be faithful to bring to our children His love and care, our changed lives, and above all, His Truth, both taught and practically applied

Saturday, 8 October 2016

New Titles, Christmas Cards & 2017 Calendars

For anyone who hasn't received our recent eBulletin, you can have a read of it here.  Check out our newest titles, browse our Christmas cards & find out about out how to sponsor a calendar for free distribution in Zambia. It's all happening!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Reading Together - our virtual reading club

Our virtual reading club has now been running for six years! Wow! I trust it has encouraged some ladies to read books they wouldn't otherwise have stuck with - it certainly has me. That was the original aim, not to have a light read, but a serious look at some authors we would otherwise find difficult to get through.  We've read Luther, Owen, Watson, Krummacher and more.  We are just about to start a new title and anyone who wants to join us would be very welcome to get in touch.
Alexander Whyte is probably best known for his series of books on Bible Characters, but Lord, Teach us to Pray is a study of the prayers of various Bible characters and also a look at the subject of prayer itself.  We will be starting this book in a couple of weeks.
The book club is for ladies only and runs via a members only blog so all discussions are private.  Please email if you would like more info.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

From Fear to Faith

These studies in the prophecy of Habakkuk were originally given in the 1950s, when the chief objects of fear and foreboding in national life were Communism and Atomic Warfare. Against this backdrop, and occupying a prominent position among evangelicals as minister of Westminster Chapel at the heart of London, Martyn Lloyd-Jones pointed his congregation to the same place as Habakkuk was brought to look to - the God of the Bible. This is no less our need in 2016, when Brexit and International Terrorism fill the news. But Lloyd-Jones was also careful to point out that this applies equally to all sources of fear and concern in the individual Christian's life.
After setting out the structure of the prophecy, Lloyd-Jones expounds the theme of Habakkuk's experience: his distress at Israel's sin, his perplexity at God's plans, his agonising over God's justice, his fears for the future, and then the triumph of his faith. How did Habakkuk overcome his concerns such that he finishes the book with confident praise? The answer is by not focussing on the immediate problem, but by fixing his eyes on God. He reminds himself of what he does know for sure - God's nature and character. He knows then that all is under God's control, all sin will be judged sooner or later, Israelite or Assyrian, and yet that in wrath he will remember mercy to sinners. Lloyd-Jones states that when it boils down to it there are only two ways in which to be, the way of reason or the way of faith, and that Habakkuk exemplifies the latter amid his turmoils. 
Lloyd-Jones goes on to make a study of the elements of true prayer - humility, adoration and petition, which are seen in Habakkuk. Incidentally, in his remarks on reverence in prayer, I feel that many of today's evangelicals would do well to heed Lloyd-Jones as he decries the attitude of 'easy familiarity'.
This slim book is easily read, but packs a punch. Pack it with your holiday things and you will find it a great help. I did.

From Fear to Faith by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by IVP, paperback £4.99.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Summer Holiday Reading Challenge

Summer has arrived!  Don't get too excited - here in England we don't necessarily expect the sun to last too long, but as we all know, that doesn't have to spoil the summer.  Especially if you have a book by your side...
Intended for children, but with plenty for adults to enjoy too, we are running our Summer Holiday Reading Challenge again.  The idea is simple - get some great books at great discounts, and if you complete the challenge your final book is free!

So this just leaves you to pick your first book...

Give us a call or email to discuss your first book.