Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Time for a rest...

Well it's been a busy and enjoyable year selling some wonderful Sovereign Grace books to customers old and new.  From lunchtime on Christmas Eve we will be taking a break. The shop will not reopen until Monday 5th January, but we will be monitoring emails so if you need anything urgently please drop us a line.

Here are some of our newest titles and recommendations that should keep you going well into the New Year...

The first classically reformed
KJV Study Bible
A discussion on the missing
emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit
 in today's Christianity

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Christmas at the Christian Bookshop

This Saturday is our Christmas event in the shop.  Lots of bargains, lots of mince-pies and plenty of Christmas crafting to keep the children amused...
We are planning a FLASH sale on the day so that our customers further afield won't miss out on the bargains.  Full details are yet to be confirmed, but I can let you into the secret that children's books will be on a 3 for 2 offer.  Keep an eye on our facebook page for more details, or if you get our emails make sure you are reading them!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Pre-order your Carine Mackenzie signed books...

For all of you out there who aren't going to make it to our author event, don't think that you are going to miss out.  Order any Carine Mackenzie title before she comes and we can arrange for her to sign it with an inscription of your choice. We will despatch the signed books to you in the week beginning Nov 23rd.  Don't delay because we want to make sure we have the books you want in stock.

Don't forget that these three titles are being sold at special prices just for this event...

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Wow, time is really flying this month.  And so are the Christmas cards & calendars.  We are selling Christmas Cards in aid of Savannah Education Trust again this year.  Please have a look at their website and find out about the work that is going on in the Christian schools they have set up in Ghana.
Follow these links to browse our Christmas cards & Calendars...
Charity Christmas Cards
All Christmas Cards
2015 Calendars & Diaries
Printable PDF of all Christmas cards and calendars

To keep up to date with all our news regularly please subscribe to our monthly eBulletin.  At this time of year there is always lots going on and we would hate you to miss out!  Have a read of our October eBulletin - we have a great deal on the wonderful Christian Biographies for Young Readers series plus advance notice of some events going on at the shop during November...

We also have bookstalls planned in various places so keep an eye on our Events details on Facebook (you don't have to log in to Facebook to access our page, just scroll down the page and the events are shown on the left).
Keep in touch!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Parenting Against the Tide by Ann Benton

Oh yes! Another parenting book!  But it's a great read I promise.  Ann Benton writes in her inimitable down to earth style with a good dose of common sense and wry humour.  In other words, without wishing to offend, it is very English.  Ann takes a refreshing look at the often nonsensical way of the world on many issues: the self esteem myth, the muddle of relativism, obedience, correction, gender distinctives, screens, affluence and more.  I was reassured that it is not just me that thinks the world has gone mad!  However, this book is not a negative look at changes in society and the treatment of children, but gives a positive view of how a Biblical model for parenting makes so much sense and is always relevant to our current situation, regardless of the latest secularist trends. We know our children were 'born in sin and shapen in iniquity', we know that not everything they produce is fantastic and that with enough positive encouragement they will be child prodigies, we also know that some disappointment and criticism is essential to developing well rounded characters.  Most importantly we know that we have a God who sovereignly rules over all things, children and parents included.  This book is an excellent reminder that the Bible is our guide, not the current theories in child psychology; that our treasure is in heaven, not here on earth and that is where our aims in parenting should be too.

Parenting Against the Tide - A Handbook for 21st Century Parenting by Ann Benton, published by EPBooks, £7.60 from us although I have a damaged copy that can go for £6.50 to the first person who mentions this blog post when ordering.

Monday, 15 September 2014

AV Block Calendar 2015

Showing both sides of the calendar back (these are NOT two separate calendars)

We have taken delivery of our daily tear-off block calendar for 2015.  As ever it has personally chosen texts from the Authorised (KJV) Version of the Bible.  These are clear and bold for easy reading at a distance and/or for the partially sighted and elderly.  The block can be attached to whichever side of the calendar back is preferred, and then it has a hanging ribbon for placement in the most eye catching location.  Price is £7.25 plus £2.50 postage, as it was last year.  There were occasional printing errors in a small batch of the calendars last year, for which we apologise and have made every effort to make sure does not recur this time around.

Buy it now!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Mission Matters

Kieran Beville deserves thanks for the vigour with which he distinguishes between mission and evangelism. It is all too little understood today. I quote from his new book:
Mission Matters
Some Christians want to define mission as evangelism because this is their limited theological understanding of mission.  Others are in situations that are geared toward evangelism and 'change' is just too much to think about.  Many feel that evangelism will be diluted in a wider mission agenda.  Largely, in the West (though not exclusively so) the evangelical church is oriented toward evangelism, and mission in broader terms is just too daunting to contemplate.  It is difficult to get these kind of churches to consider mission because as far as they are concerned their members already have enough commitments in attending church on Sundays, the mid-week prayer meeting and Bible study, teaching in Sunday school, leading worship, preaching and outreach (usually defined as sharing the message of the gospel and distributing literature that shows the way of salvation). This is essential and vital work and must be continued but it must not be either evangelism or mission rather it must be mission with evangelism at its core ... In a sense it is not only about doing mission but being mission.  Mission is not the raison d'etre of the church.  But the church is a community that bears witness to God's glorious grace made manifest in a new order.  Mission, in this sense, demonstrates what it means in practice to be a people of integrity, peace and hope in a world that is corrupt, distressed and despairing. Part of the church's mission is to bear testimony to the practical reality of God's unmerited grace by being a people who exercise forgiveness and looking out for the needs of others in the family of God by sharing the resources God has given. (pp 150 - 151).
NB. This does not amount to an enthusiastic endorsement of the book as a whole - it is a very mixed bag - but it just landed on my desk today.
'Mission Matters. Essays on the Theory, Practice and Contexts of Mission.' Published by EP Books p/b £10.99.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Hostage Lands - Douglas Bond

Oops, we haven't blogged for a month - sorry folks! Just thought I would sneak a post into August by mentioning a book I re-read last week.
A couple of weeks ago we spent a weekend staying up in Northumberland near Hadrian's Wall and it reminded me of a fab book I read a few years ago. Hostage Lands is a historical fiction book written by Douglas Bond about a schoolboy in modern day England who struggles with his Latin lessons at school. Living alongside Hadrian's Wall does nothing to encourage his interest in the language that would once have been used in the area. Until that is, he finds a set of Roman tablets detailing (in Latin) a story of treachery, betrayal and warring allegiances between a Roman Centurion, an Auxiliary and a Celtic tribe.  So much can be learnt from the book about the ways of the Romans, the Celts and the area, plus most importantly the Christian faith of the Auxiliary which shines through in his walk and character.  I highly recommend visiting the area too - it makes it all so much more real when the places you visit like Haltwhistle or Vindolanda are mentioned in the book.
You can find out more about the book on Douglas Bond's website http://www.bondbooks.net/hostagelands.htm and even read a sample chapter.
In this Heroes & History series Douglas Bond has also written Hand of Vengeance an Anglo-Saxon story every bit as engaging as Hostage Lands.
Hostage Lands by Douglas Bond, £7.99, published by P & R

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

How Can I Know For Sure?

David B Garner out of the Westminster Theological Seminary stable has written a little gem of an Apologetic. It is short and sweet. Step by step it progresses from the uncertainty associated with human reason to the certainty of God's revelation. He concludes that the answer to life's big questions must not come from us, but come to us. Philosophy proves nothing and, searchingly, 'at the end of the day there is the end of the day.' Garner touches on the place and importance of the general revelation of God in creation before coming onto the Bible, with God as its source. He briefly sets out its unique claims and internal evidences as the source of truth, but immediately and boldly asserts that this will never be capable of convincing anyone, not because it is not persuasive, but because man is blind - unable to accept divine truth. The work of the Holy Spirit in us, shining, and applying scripture powerfully is dwelt upon in a profitable and pleasing way by Garner at this point. He shows that God's purposes in revealing himself are sovereign and gracious. There are apposite quotes from Calvin and Zwingli.
I dare to think this to be a better booklet to read on ultimate questions than 'Ultimate Questions'! Blanchard's booklet may be said to aim for a response from people, but this is more faithful to their souls and doesn't deceptively 'leave the ball in their court.'
This is the latest in the 'Christian Answers to Hard Questions' series, by P & R Publishing and costs £3.99.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hannah Dunnett

'Christian' greetings cards - some people love them, some hate them.  We sell lots of greetings cards and because we are a Christian Bookshop they all have scripture texts in them.  Amazingly, although we don't showcase our greetings cards on our website, we still manage to sell a lot of them by mail order (mainly older folk who can't get to a shop and know we are willing to sit on the phone describing cards in detail and reading out the contents so they can make an informed choice!)
Last year we took on a new range of cards painted by artist Hannah Dunnett and these have been so popular I just had to get some pictures on here so a wider audience can see them... (click on each picture to be able to read the words clearly)

People buy these for all occasions, as gifts to go in a frame, or they order the poster sized prints from us. We can also get journals with these fantastic designs on.  Have a look at Hannah's website to see the full range.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Afterwards I Knew by Christine Farenhorst #ChristianFocus

With the centenary of World War 1 there has been a lot of renewed interest in books on the war.  Here is a short review I wrote back in 2010 when this particular book first came out...

I enjoyed this book. A collection of short stories, fictional but based around historical events and facts, they are gripping and each carry a subtle spiritual message. Often the stories finish abruptly or on a cliffhanger leaving you to contemplate what might have been and leading you to reflect on the underlying spiritual implications. The book is aimed at 13+yr olds - I think I come into that category!
Afterwards I Knew: Short Stories from the First and Second World Wars by Christine Farenhorst, published by Christian Focus Publications, £5.99.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

None But Jesus #Flavel

It is as hard for some to look upon other men's gifts without envy, as it is to look upon their own without pride.
How soon would faith freeze without a cross? Bear your cross therefore with joy.
Oh when will you  learn the vanity of self-dependence?
How complete and perfect a cure is Christ!

Just a few quotes from the new None But Jesus in the Pocket Puritans series.  This little book is full of rich and thought-provoking quotes from the writings of John Flavel. Published by Banner of Truth, £3.25.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Patrick of Ireland

Of the Early Church Fathers perhaps none is so remembered in the secular world than (St) Patrick, and few so neglected by evangelical Christians!  It is therefore a joy to discover anew this beacon of Celtic Christianity, reclaimed from outrageous legend and Romish gloss by Michael Haykin.  Whilst it would be going too far to claim the true Patrick (died c. AD 460) as an evangelical - indeed anachronistic - yet his faith seems sound, and certainly orthodox.
Haykin treats as suspect almost all historical data apart from the two different documents definitely ascribed to Patrick - his 'confessions' and a letter to a British chief.  From these we learn that although Ireland was the backdrop for the most significant features of Patrick's spiritual life, he was in fact from Britain.  He was carried captive to Ireland by pirates while a youth, converted during this time, and then managed to escape back to his homeland.  Later he made the momentous and courageous decision to go back to Ireland, now freely as a missionary to bring the gospel of Christ to those who had once been his captors.
Patrick was not some superstitious monk, but a humbly educated man with an intense devotion to his Old Latin Bible.  Haykin provides an assessment of Patrick's belief in the inerrancy of scripture and of its place in the development of his thinking about ministry, mission and doctrine.  Another chapter helpfully discusses Patrick's theology, particularly his Trinitarian creed.  Today's evangelical, who perhaps assumes the Trinity and gives scant thought to it, would be shamed by the fervent commitment of Patrick to the correct understanding of God's nature and being.  Celtic Christians like him were certainly not primitive or doctrinally flabby!  This is recommended reading.  One criticism would be that there is some repetition of material due to the way in which the book is arranged, with Patrick's life and times followed by more detailed specific studies of his thought.
This is the first in a new series edited by Michael A G Haykin called 'Early Church Fathers'.
'Patrick of Ireland. His Life and Impact' p/b £7.99. Christian Focus Publications.
NB. Also available in this series is 'Basil of Caesarea. His Life and Impact'.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Missing Post

We sent a very desirable secondhand set of Samuel Eyles Pierce 'Letters on Spiritual Subjects' out to the US about 6 weeks ago.  They should have taken no more than 2 weeks to arrive, but by the end of last week were nowhere to be seen.  We were gutted to think they might be lost in the post but our customer had more faith - he emailed over the weekend to say ...

With a great deal of thankfulness to the Lord for His great mercy, the books arrived today. I had a hard time believing that the Lord would allow such a treasure to be lost, so for some reason I was granted a strong conviction in the last few days  that they would arrive. Today, Saturday, I was delighted to open the mailbox and find them. What a spiritual treasure they appear to be.
What wonderful news! the Lord's timing is always right and we pray that He will bless the reading of these books.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Bruised Reed

Subtitled 'One Christian's Journey Through Depression', this is an honest account of the depths that can be plumbed in the suffering of depression.  A quick read at only 72 pages this book really packs a punch in informing the reader about some of the thoughts and feelings of one who is suffering from depression, and the ways in which they can be supported and encouraged during this difficult time. Continually the author points us to Scripture, he suggests scriptures that are helpful to the sufferer, some to uplift, others to admonish wrong thinking.  He addresses the issues of self-preoccupation, pride, guilt, anxiety, thankfulness, accountability, worship, love and more. My feeling is that this book will be particularly helpful to carers and friends of the sufferer as it gives a powerful insight into depression from the point of view of one who has suffered. I especially liked the emphasis on the support of the Church family towards a depressed fellow believer.
Practical and biblical, as well as short and snappy, this book comes highly recommended.
A Bruised Reed by Phil Cottrell, published by Evangelical Press, £4.99

Monday, 7 April 2014

April offers

 Our April eBulletin has gone out with offers too good to miss on some popular CDs.  Have a read of the bulletin by clicking on the link below the picture, or go straight to our CD listings on our website.
April eBulletin
You can always keep up to date with our latest offers via our facebook page or our twitter feed. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Reading Together - A Glorious High Throne

We are almost halfway through the current book of the online reading club 'Reading Together'.  There are some rich pickings here from Edgar Andrews on the book of Hebrews.
On the subject of eternal intercession (Hebrews 7:25) he says...
Christ saves finally, completely, perfectly and utterly.  Here is no partial salvation, as many teach, leaving man to complete a work that Christ began.  Here is no temporary salvation that can be lost through neglect or inadvertence.  There would be no point in Christ's everlasting intercession if it did not secure an equally complete and durable salvation.  A perfect Saviour must provide a perfect salvation for all 'who come to God through him'.  But let us be sure that we do come through Christ, for he alone is 'the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through him'.
Quoted from Chapter 21 'A Perfect Saviour' in A Glorious High Throne - Hebrews Simply Explained by Edgar Andrews (Welwyn Commentary Series).
If the sound of an online reading club (ladies only) is tempting, drop me a line and I can get you signed up.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Food for thought...

I read this excerpt after I heard the concerning news that this week Belgium has legalised euthanasia for children as well as adults...

It is a heart-rending thing to reflect on the sin and misery that prevail in this world.  Let us relieve ourselves, in some measure, by this consideration, that God has done all things according to the counsel of his own will.  Is the Almighty disappointed in his work of creation? has Satan prevailed over him because of his strength? or will any real dishonour attach to God by the rebellion of men and angels?  Impossible; away with the accursed thought!  These clouds before my eyes are dark and lowering - I cannot penetrate that gloom - I see nothing but confusion and wretchedness.  The very glory of this world is vanity; its highest enjoyments are unsatisfying.  But though I cannot see through this dreadful darkness, I will look beyond it by the eye of faith.  God reigns; all things therefore must issue in the glory of his name, and the happiness of his people.

Taken from Confidence in God in Times of Danger - A Study of God's Providence in the Book of Esther, by A Carson, currently available both new and secondhand from us.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Seasons of the Heart

It may be nearly the end of February, but this daily devotional is still selling well.  Not only is the book produced as a lovely quality hardback but the content is quality too.  Each daily reading is taken from the writings of godly women of the past.  It is evident that these women lived through a variety of circumstances: singleness, widowhood, chronic illness and persecution being some of their trials.  Throughout all the challenges of their lives, they clung to the Lord their Saviour and spoke often of him.  They did not necessarily write for publication but for personal journals & letters. Some of the ladies you may have heard of, others are not so well known, but helpfully there is included a short biographical sketch of each one. They include, Ruth Bryan, Anne Dutton, Isabella Graham, Elizabeth Julia Hasell, Frances Ridley Havergal, Sarah Hawkes, Susan Huntington, Harriet Newell, Katherine Parr, Susannah Spurgeon, Anne Steele and Mary Winslow.
This is a book that is well worth the £12.99 price tag.  However, if this seems too much to stretch to, then surely the eBook at only £5.49 cannot be passed over.
Seasons of the Heart compiled by Donna Kelderman, published by Reformation Heritage Books. Available as a Hardback £12.99 or an eBook £5.49.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Quote of the Week - True Faith

True faith seeks Christ continually.  This is what we see in Song of Solomon 1 v 7: 'Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turnest aside by the flocks of thy companions?'
True faith is never self-confident and self-sufficient. It continually seeks Christ (Heb 12:1-4, Phil 3:7-14).  Faith is not only an act of life.  Faith is a way of life.  We seek him, not just what we might hope to get from him.  We seek him because we need him, because we know we must have him.  We seek him earnestly, continually, in the place where he has promised he will be found, in his Word, in his house, among his people.  And we seek him with this confidence: All who truly seek him shall find him (Jer 29:10-13).
Let us never seek to grow beyond simple, childlike faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 'As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him' (Col 2:6).  This is the only way we can walk with him.  We must ever seek him and walk with him as sinners needing to be bathed in his blood, robed in his righteousness, and saved by his grace.  May God give us the grace to do so.

Extract from 'Discovering Christ in the Song of Solomon' by Don Fortner, Evangelical Press, £7.99

Thursday, 6 February 2014

John Newton + Barbara Duguid = Extravagant Grace!

I didn't get what I expected when I opened this book to scan its pages! I was pleasantly surprised and found myself being drawn again and again to it. Written by Barbara Duguid and subtitled 'God's Glory Displayed in Our Weakness' it takes a look at John Newton's writings on sin, grace and sanctification. To quote the author's preface, "This eighteenth-century pastor outlined a theology of sinful failure that humbles weak sinners, magnifies the finished work of Jesus Christ, and comforts people who just can't seem to stop sinning by pointing them to Christ in their worst moments of defeat".  Barbara weaves contemporary examples throughout whilst outlining and explaining John Newton's theology. As with most books, there were some parts that I skipped through but many sections of it were excellent: thought provoking and humbling. I have certainly finished it with an appetite to read more of John Newton's works.
To read a full and fair review see the Reformed Reader blog.
Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid, published by P & R, £9.99

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

William Gadsby - Bitesize Biography

William Gadsby represents all that is best in the 'Gospel Standard' wing of High Calvinist Baptists.
In this book historian Dr Ian Shaw outlines the basics of Gadsby's life, but clearly draws upon his fuller study of Gadsby and Manchester to concentrate more on the character of the man and his pastorate in the context of the period of the industrial revolution.  It is a great pity that that previous study of his contained in 'High Calvinists in Action: Calvinism and the City, Manchester and London 1810-1860,' first published by OUP in 2002, now costs a scandalous price new or secondhand.  But at least some of the material is reworked in this bitesize offering. It is recommended reading. As fair an assessment is given of Gadsby as can be expected from an author not of the same theological persuasion.  Many anecdotes are borrowed from B. A. Ramsbottom's major biography, and so we meet and cannot but like Gadsby for his generosity and respect him as a pastor fighting for his people.  He did not set out to be an activist, but when the welfare of his church was at stake he was willing to speak out and engage with the issues of the day.
Notably little is mentioned of Gadsby's writings, which filled two volumes - not bad for a man who could scarcely read his Bible when converted as a young man!  These writings reflect how fiercely he was assaulted by the adopters of Andrew Fuller's duty faith doctrine, and by 'antinomian-sniffers'.  Hopefully his Works will be reprinted in full in due course, but in the meantime CBO Publications have made some important portions available via our bookshop, and Gospel Standard Publications have produced a book of his sermons plus his very useful catechism.  I have blogged on this before.
At the very least this book gives a balance to much of the anti-Gadsby propaganda that has been put out over the years, and a new generation can benefit from an account of this godly man and perhaps come to appreciate his sovereign grace message - still preached today.

William Gadsby by Ian J Shaw is published by EP Books in their 'Bitesize Biography' series.  Cost £6.99. From us £6.

Monday, 6 January 2014

The New Calvinism Considered

To my knowledge this is the first 'critical but friendly' assessment of New Calvinism to appear in book form, and EP Books are once again to be commended for publishing it.  Jeremy Walker is an English Reformed Baptist pastor who has evidently engaged with this movement for some years and is able to provide a mature guide to it.  He recognises that he is dealing with a spectrum (his favourite word!) of views, originating in the USA in the mid-1980's.  These views centre around a fresh emphasis on Jonathan Edwards and Calvinistic theology.  This enthusiastic movement has experienced remarkable growth especially among younger evangelicals, yet has stood up against the 'seeker sensitive' megachurch phenomenon.  So far so good.
However, Walker has concerns over the direction of the movement at this point in time, as the founding Fathers begin to retire from the scene.  He is very respectful of things like evangelical zeal, and the joy of rediscovery of the puritans, for example, but rightly cautious of charismatic influences, modern worship styles, and the idea of the redemption of culture for Christ.  He notes that New Calvinism has no clearly confessional Reformed theology to underpin it and therefore it is amorphous and unpredictable.  I found it very interesting to learn of New Calvinistic influences on British evangelicalism - the FIEC, Affinity and WEST in particular.  It appears to have affected (infected?) a generation within the churches over here also via the effectiveness of modern media.
There is one evaluation which I would differ from on pp 74-83 - the section on holiness.  Walker is (rightly) concerned about the influence of New Covenant Theology, and the (negative) attitude towards the Moral Law.  He carefully argues that the seed of antinomianism is being sown under the guise of grace, and defends himself against the charge of legalism.  But in this latter he is not successful I think.  Being 'Dead to the law that we might be married to another' does not lead to worldliness.  It distinguishes the sheep from the goats: many may shelter under this doctrine in order to live as they like, but those who have truly received the Spirit 'by the hearing of faith' have, and cannot but have, the bent of their life after gospel precepts.
Overall this is a valuable book.  The list of 'Individuals of Note' is very helpful.  It is not exhaustive, but not exhausting either!
The New Calvinism Considered - A Personal and Pastoral Assessment by Jeremy Walker, published by EP Books, p/b, £6.99