Friday, 24 August 2007

Making the Right Impression

21 fascinating accounts of British home educating families. Particularly interesting because most books of this type are written by American home educators with the inevitable cultural differences being quite apparent. The stories in this book cover a wide range of families -large & small, single parents, part schooling/part home ed, structured, flexible etc. For anyone interested in the subject of Home Education - whichever side of the fence they feel to be on - I would recommend this as a good starting point.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tobias Crisp

I (amongst others) was quite taken aback to come across this edition of a spiritually valuable book, and most curious to find out its background. We already have the 4 volume Gospel Mission edition, but this is a new production altogether. On getting some in stock, I find that it is published by Diggory Press located in Cornwall. But there the trail becomes difficult to follow. They are a print on demand set up, and do all sorts of book genres, although they do claim to be a Christian Company. The book is a single volume paperback containing all 52 sermons along with the comments by John Gill - hence quite a slab of a book. The text has been completely re-typeset, so it is superior to the GM edition in that respect. I would be extremely interested to know who was behind this little project - how gratifying to think that there is someone out there coming at Crisp from a different direction to ourselves, and wanting to reprint him! Well, whoever wants to spread the true gospel of Christ, 'peace be on them' (Galatians 6 v 16).

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Wedding Bells

It seems to be that time of the year -weddings, weddings, weddings. Some big, some small. Some wet, some dry. Some awkward, some cosy. But always a new beginning.

There are many books to help those getting married to seriously consider the commitment they are making. From the Banner of Truth booklet 'Whom Shall I Marry?' (Andrew Swanson, £1.00), and the easy to read 'Don't they make a lovely couple' (John & Ann Benton, Christian Focus Publications, £4.99) through to useful study guides such as 'No Longer Two' (Brian & Barbara Edwards, Day One Publications, £8.00). 'The Exemplary Husband' (Stuart Scott, Focus Publishing, £10.99) and 'The Excellent Wife' (Martha Peace, Focus Publishing, £9.99) are heavier reading looking in depth at the roles of the husband and wife.
'Marriage, The Mystery of Christ and the Church' (David J Engelsma, RFPA, £18.00) goes further and studies the doctrine of marriage and its reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church.
Don't worry if you have been married a while - it is never too late to improve (or perhaps just to confirm that you really are the perfect spouse!).

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Archbishop Ussher

Do you spell it Usher or Ussher? In any case I'm sure you know who I mean. Archbishop of Armagh in c17th, but most famous of all for dating the Creation at 4004BC. Also the stranger who replied "eleven" when catechised by Samuel Rutherford as to how many divine Commandments there are. His identity being discovered, he was constrained to preach the next day and did so from 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.'
He also produced a valuable little piece on the deity-humanity of Christ, which was published by Zoar Publications in the Apples of Gold series of reprints, called 'Immanuel.' This has already been widely circulated but is still almost exclusively obtainable from us, and we still have a good number in stock. Price £1 plus £1 postage.
As can be seen on our website Ussher's major written work was his 'Body of Divinity.' This has been long out of print, but now is available again. I have seen that paperback versions are being sold, but really this is the sort of book that you consult for a lifetime, as well as being sizeable, so the hardback is best. It has been nicely produced with a dustjacket. Dr Crawford Gribben, who wrote 'James Ussher and the Irish Puritans' an Evangelical Press paperback which we stock, has prepared this edition and given an introduction to it. One notable and very useful feature of this particular body of divinity is that Ussher wrote it in a question and answer style throughout. This makes it more accessible for lesser mortals and anticipates many of the questions which all of us have on doctrine from time to time. Gribben goes as far as to claim for this book that it had the single most influence upon the Westminster Assembly, as it was well established and regarded by then and known to all the members of it. That's a big claim indeed. If your Articles of faith are based on the Westminster Confession then perhaps you need this book, or else you need to tell your pastor that he does and where to get it!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

China and the Climate

I was quite struck by a customer's account of his recent holiday in China. He said that in all the time he was there, visiting the usual tourist resorts across that vast country, the sun was never seen, except in Hong Kong (and that was unusual apparently). It was hot weather all the time. The reason quite simply was air pollution. The constant murky conditions were referred to only this week in the news, with it being one year away from the Olympic Games in Beijing. Despite radical Chinese plans to shut down industry altogether for the period of the Games, the IOC are saying even now that some events may be affected by poor air quality. China is probably the world's largest polluter now - see . However, as this article points out, the West cannot take any moral high ground on the subject because they have gradually moved their manufacturing base to China and the far east because of cheap labour costs. Hence less emissions here and more there. This movement is also noticeable in the book publishing market. I am reliably informed that all children's colour board books are now printed in the far east - things are so far gone that there is no Printer with the kit to do the job in this country now! Generally speaking the Christian publishers have already turned to follow the trend. 'We have to,' is the cry. 'People expect Christian books to be in the same price league with mainstream stuff... Printing costs in the UK are the highest in the world...' etc. I wonder if Christians would be more inclined to pay a little extra for a Christian book that they knew had been produced with the highest ethical and environmental standards. Or in a "World Village" is everyone satisfied to preach 'love thy neighbour', but at the same time flytip in his back garden?
IVP have produced (I trust cleanly!) some interesting books on the subject of Christians and the environment. I don't think I have found one which thinks the subject right through from a Reformed perspective yet, but there are gleanings here and there. Examples are 'When Enough is Enough' and 'The Care of Creation' both edited by R J Berry. Also 'L is for Lifestyle' by Ruth Valerio, although this is a bit wacky in places. However I'm sure we'll find an odd copy from under the counter for you if you ask.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

The Chapel

The slates are on, gutters finished and windows in. Work has now begun on the inside of the Chapel. There may not be a lot of external change from now on.