Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Audrey Featherstone I presume?

Missionary biographies are always popular and this new one should be no different. The story of Audrey Featherstone, an 'ordinary lady' who was converted from a non-Christian home and went on to spend 25 years in the African Congo teaching and evangelising amongst the Congolese is a fascinating one. Audrey may consider herself 'a nobody' but her story has much to teach us about sacrifice in the work of the Lord and it becomes clear that she was given gifts specifically for this missionary work that may not otherwise have been apparent. I only wish she could have been persuaded to write this book herself. An autobiography is so much more personal than a biography. When I think of the autobiographies of other missionaries in the Congo, Helen Roseveare (Give Me This Mountain, CFP, £6.99) and Margaret Hayes (Missing, Believed Killed, Day One, £8.00) there is more in these of spiritual lessons learnt in the daily trials of missionary life. However, I suspect that Audrey's reticence to tell her own story in itself gives us an insight into her personality and Tim Shenton has done well to gather together the story that he has. He also does well to clearly explain the complex political situation of the time. Well worth reading with some interesting insights into the changes in missionary work over the years.

Audrey Featherstone I presume? by Tim Shenton, published by Evangelical Press, £8.95


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Least Likely Holiday Read?

Is this the least likely book to be read on holiday this year? The thought came to mind whilst scanning the biography section looking for holiday reading to promote. Who wants to read about Van Til? The denseness of his own prose style does not somehow recommend him as an interesting subject for being written about. But in a moment of pity for the underdog, I picked it up there and then and started reading...and I found it hard to stop! One man's meat is another man's poison. First, I found it very informative about the context to Van Til's life. I feel I can now appreciate better the layout of the American evangelical/reformed/fundamentalist scene of the 20th century. Second, his approach to apologetics is noteworthy. The Dutch Reformed heritage was strongly influential on him, not unsurprising as he was born in Holland, and he looked back to Kuyper and Bavinck. So he determined to defend reformed truths by an unvarying method, which he judged to be itself wholly reformed - presuppositional apologetics. Thus 'worldview must be set against worldview', no one is neutral in relation to the truth, let alone autonomous in being able to judge what it is. We must confess God's word, not argue it. I think he has been derided for this 'counsel of despair' approach, but it impressed me, and he successfully exposed the errors of Karl Barth with it.
For more formal blurb on the book, which costs £14.95, go to this link to the publisher's website:
And to think that Lorna has been giving out the impression that I have turned into a mere software developer!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Wet Holidays?

This is getting disgraceful - no new posts for over a week. Sorry. I'd like to say we've been run off our feet, but unfortunately not - at least not with customers. We haven't exactly been putting our feet up either though. Jeremy is working very hard on our new stock control system so that it will be ready for a month of testing during August. This means that his head is currently full of 'queries', 'visual basic' and 'runtime errors' (don't ask, I have learnt not to!) Having said that I have spotted him relaxing with the new biography of Cornelius Van Til, so you may get to hear his opinion on that sometime. Our July Bulletin was emailed this week with some suggestions for holiday reading, you can read this by clicking the link on our homepage. Of course, if you let us have your email address, you could get our monthly bulletin direct to your desktop! One thing we didn't mention on the bulletin was activity books. With holidays looming and the wet weather looking set to stay, it may be worth your while stocking up on some activity books to keep the children busy. The TBS have recently brought out a new range with puzzles, wordsearches and crosswords covering a range of topics. These cost just 65p each. Plus we have sticker books, colouring books, dot-to-dot books and many more - give us a call or check the site for more info.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Caleb's Lamb

Christian fiction for children - I have mixed views on it. Often it incorporates a poor storyline with an 'in your face' Christian message that is doctrinally dubious. Caleb's Lamb is different (as is most of the Christian fiction that we stock I hasten to add!) Truly historical fiction, this book centres around a Hebrew shepherd boy at the time of the Israelite slavery in Egypt. It is reverent and biblically accurate in its detailing of the plagues and the role of Moses in leading them out of Egyptian bondage. But the main thrust of the story is Substitution. The death of one for the life of another. And the storyline is so gripping it cannot fail to move and drive home this principle. The applying of this message to New Testament times and the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ is not mentioned and in my opinion is well omitted. It leaves the stage open then to the adult who can discuss and apply as appropriate for each child.
Caleb's Lamb by Helen Santos published by Reformation Heritage Books