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.