Thursday, 26 May 2011

God's Names

I like this book.  It is written along the same lines as the 'God's Mighty Acts...' series (see ). With an easy style of writing it focuses on one biblical name of God in each short chapter (no more than 3 or 4 pages). Difficult theological concepts are not shied away from and the characteristics of God are reverently described and explained with plenty of application. Interaction is encouraged with suggestions for further reading and activities at the end of the chapters. An introduction for parents explains the aims of the book and gives suggestions for how it could be used.  I think it would be helpful and profitable whether it was used as an individual devotional book or a children's group teaching resource. It is attractively produced with colour pages and illustrations and would make a lovely gift or Sunday School prize. Suitable for around 5-10 years.
You can view the contents or a sample chapter on the publishers website here
God's Names by Sally Michael, published by P & R, priced £12.99
N.B. ESV Scripture texts are used throughout.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Wonderful and Unfinished History

I like this title of a little booklet excellently written by Peter Hallihan and issued by the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS).  You should like the price - just 60p!  In fact they are too cheap to bother ordering alone, so we will give one free with each order during this momentous month of May.  Exactly 400 years ago the Authorised Version (AV) of the Bible was issued, and linguistically as well as spiritually we are in its debt.  How good God has been to English speaking peoples!  But how few acknowledge it now, and indicate it by an insatiable appetite for yet another new translation.  Hallihan remarks 'Is it not ironic that where the Gospel went by word of mouth, the immediate hunger was for the independent stability and endurance of the written word of Scripture, whereas today vast sums are spent trying to make the written word look and sound like a short-lived, ever-shifting spoken form!' (p19).
Now here is a rather murky preview of a book hot off the press of Gospel Standard Trust Publications!  'The King James Bible: Its History and Excellence.'  This paperback is also amazing value for money at £3.50.  We have just received it in this week.  It contains articles by former Strict Baptist chairmen of the TBS on reasons for the usefulness of the AV today, and also has a history of the English Bible by John R Broome.  Interestingly the original 'Translators to the Reader' found in the 1611 version is reproduced.  Only some TBS Bibles have this in them nowadays.  It helpfully outlines the principles of translation, and the reason for a new one, and was written by Myles Smith on behalf of the translators.  Colour as well as black and white photos are included.
An indication of the endurance of the AV was brought home to me today.  I have just packed up Matthew Henry Study Bibles for a destination in Zambia, which will be used by pastors and others.  The request insisted on the AV.  By implication also the language of the puritan Matthew Henry (harder to follow than the AV) is acceptable also!  It just shows that where there's a will there's a way.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Reading Together

Do you ever start a book and struggle to finish it?  I certainly do.  This was my motivation for starting a virtual reading club 'Reading Together' nearly a year ago.  We have just come to the end of our second book which was The All-Sufficient God by Lloyd-Jones.  I wouldn't rate it as my favourite book by Lloyd-Jones but this doesn't mean there was nothing to gain by reading it.  Lloyd-Jones is always structured and straightforward to read and there was much to muse over and discuss with other members of the club.  Perhaps not as much detail to discuss as there was in our first book by Thomas Watson.  But then he was a Puritan... I need say no more!
So hopefully then, the group serves to bring together likeminded Christian ladies (sorry, no men allowed) and encourages them to read books they would normally struggle to get through.  I have definitely found it helpful and am looking forward to getting going on the next book, which is...
Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther.  No, don't groan at the thought of some unwieldy tome... together we can read through this book, enjoy it and profit from discussion about it.  This is my sincere hope and prayer.  Please let me know if you are interested in signing up to the virtual reading club - we would love to have you on board!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Christian Warfare

When you meet with a trial, look not to men, but to Jesus.  Pray for patience to bear it, and look up for a blessing upon it.  Then all things shall work together for good (Romans 8:28).  Let every temptation make you more careful, and put you on a closer watching against the enemy.  Cleave to Jesus by faith and prayer, like a child to its parent when it sees an enemy coming towards it.  Behold Him, flee to Him, rest upon Him, and then you will rejoice in Him.
Quoted from 'A Golden Treasury for the Children of God' by Bogatzky published by Gospel Mission.