You are on page 1of 32

Evangelical Presbyterian

Jul-Aug 2003 75p

Evangelical Presbyterian
Editor:

is published by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.


Rev. Stephen Atkinson 1 Lord Wardens Dr Bangor, Co Down BT19 1YF (E-mail: sgt.atkinson@ukonline.co.uk)

Subscriptions: Annual subscription (six issues) Surface post: UK: Rep. of Ireland and Overseas Subscriptions enquiries to: Evangelical Book Shop 15 College Square East Belfast, BT1 6DD

5.70 8.10

Donations: If any of the Lords people wish to help in the work of the Church, please send donations to the Honorary General Treasurer Mr. J. R. McCormick 6 Eileen Gardens Belfast, BT9 6FW GiftAid: Under the GiftAid scheme the Church can benefit by Income Tax return on any donation from someone who pays tax. Contact the Honorary General Treasurer for further details. Internet: Visit the EPC Home Page on www.epc.org.uk

CONTENTS
Editorial Obituaries (inc. C.H. Garland) Declaring our Distinctives: Consistently Confessional Training of the Ministry and Admissions (2002 Report) The Regions Beyond (compiled by) EPC Pulpit: Acts 2:42 - Doctrine and Authority Old Light for New Paths: How to live well (Ecclesiastes 9) Books etc. Making Progress with Pilgrim (10) - Crossing the River Cover Photo 1 2 7 11 13 17 21 25 29

J. Ballantine A. Woolsey E. Brown B. Magee S. Atkinson S. Atkinson

by Harold Gibson

Talking Tactics
One of my hobby interests concerns wargames either in a computer simulation or with model miniatures. While admitting limitations to my time given to such vanities I also find battle plans, both historic and imaginary, an interesting challenge to the mind. In the American Civil War the tactic of Robert E Lee at Gettysburg seemed a fine tactic but it failed miserably and he considered himself personally to blame. His full frontal attack to break the enemy centre line had too far to travel from wooded cover out into open fields facing Union cannons. Though it nearly succeeded, the barrage of artillery was simply too much and the target too easy. On hindsight the tacticians would have argued for a flank approach, or a multifronted attack. Our US brethren debate ad infinitum the war tactics of the Civil War. In the spiritual realm we are also engaged in a battle, and the tactic of the enemy is something we need to study, and attempt, by divine strength, to engage. But I fear we have tended to either engage in minor skirmishes, or else go for a full frontal attack that receives a diabolical barrage of shellfire, and leaves us devastated. I have a perverse admiration, as well as an appalling disgust for the tactic of the terror regime we have lived under from my childhood. By bomb and bullet, by lawyer and literature, by public relations and private recriminations, wicked murderers and their supporters have achieved concessions and been elevated to power undreamt of two or three decades ago. The tactics have been superb, multi-fronted, through direct engagement, and also by out-flanking law-abiding democracy. Furthermore, a similar war is being waged by other pressure groups, both religious and secular, locally and nationally. On the mainland the tactic of Islam presenting itself as a peaceful religion is coupled with an acceptance that some fanatics may engage in terror practices. Have we in Northern Ireland seen something similar? The homosexual lobbyists are most vocal in making flanking manoeuvres against any protest on a moral front. A recent word has been added to our vocabulary - homophobia. Such activities of consenting adults must not be condemned for that is discrimination. People want to march in Belfast to parade their homosexuality with pride. And dare anyone stop them? As I write we wait and see whether permission will be
page 1

granted. In such days of swift litigation we find political correctness has gone mad, and many run scared of the battle tactic of the moral, or should we say, immoral liberal. We could repeat instance after instance of how morality and ethics are now at the whim of the people who are doing what is right in their own eyes. The morality presented by admirable battle tactics of law and literature, through public relations and private recriminations is for us, blatantly immoral. Lawlessness has been legalised. Ethics are unethical, and on all fronts the standards of truth and righteousness are being eroded, attacked, bombarded, and we are being outflanked. So what has my hobby taught me? simply to admire the enemy? I think any battle historian would speak of the

importance of a battle plan, but most wars are won and lost by the command, by the skill, tactical and otherwise, of the commanding officer. Our general, the Lord Jesus Christ has not been, nor ever shall be tactically outflanked. The host of heaven has not been nor ever shall be militarily outnumbered. The battle plan was surrender, and victory achieved by sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. This is not the normal battle plan. Rather it is divine, to the rescuing of Adams fallen race. Human tactics fail us in winning this battle; it took a grander design, and superior law. Similarly our calling, while not being unaware of the devils schemes and keeping ourselves aware of the many-fronted attacks, is not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

page 2

OBITUARIES
Rev. Charles Haddon Garland 1907-2003
On the 27th March 2003 the Evangelical Presbyterian Church lost one of the last of its founding members and the last of its first generation of ministers with the passing into glory of Rev. C. H. Garland at the ripe old age of 95 years.

C.H. Garland ordained 1942

A full church gathered together in Crumlin on the morning of Saturday 29th March, representative of all the congregations of the EPC and Christian friends further afield. It was a testimony to the great esteem with which he had been held and the many lives he had touched during a long and active ministry. He had been formally involved with pastoral charges for 39 years until finally retiring at the age of 72 years in 1979. He continued preaching until the 1990s and until a few weeks before his death was involved in a monthly missionary prayer group held in his own home. Charles Haddon Garland was born in Armagh City on 5th December 1907 into a godly Christian home, where as his Christian names suggest, his parents named him after the famous London preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. As a young lad he attended his local Presbyterian church and Killyleagh Public Elementary School. He left school at age 14 and at 16 years came to Belfast to serve his apprenticeship in the grocery trade. It was there at the age of 17 years he was converted to Christ under the ministry of W.P. Nicholson in a mission in the Presbyterian Assembly Buildings. He was zealous for the truth of Gods Word and was unhappy with the decision in 1927 of The Presbyterian General Assembly to approve of the heretical teachings of Professor Ernest Davey. He was one of the first to help found the congregation beginning at Botanic Avenue (now Stranmillis). He was encouraged by Rev W. J. Grier to consider ministerial training, a daunting prospect for one who had left school at 14. He began to attend evening classes to further his education and to learn the elements of Greek and Hebrew before entering the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh in 1934. In 1940 he was called to, ordained and installed as minister of Crosscollyer Street church in North Belfast and in 1942 he also
page 3

accepted the additional charge of Crumlin congregation. In 1957 he resigned from Crosscollyer Street to accept a call to Somerton Road Church. He retired from Crumlin in 1976 after 34 years of faithful ministry there, but continued on in Somerton Road until 1979. He served as Chairman of the Council (which preceded the Presbytery) on 5 occasions and regularly contributed articles to the church magazine. In 1951 he married Maisie Reid the organist at Clintyfallow Congregation in Co Tyrone who proved to be an ideal partner in the work of the Lord for over 50 years. As his longevity confirms, C. H. Garland had a strong constitution, vital (in his early days before he had a car) for riding his bicycle 12 miles each way, over the mountain which separates Crumlin from Belfast. He had a clear, strong voice which needed no amplification as he preached Gods Word regularly and faithfully. His plan was to speak at each charge once each Sunday and to alternate morning and evening locations as well as speaking at both Prayer Meetings. In 34 years travelling from his home in Belfast to Crumlin he never had a puncture or breakdown. He excelled in pastoral visitation particularly among the elderly and infirm and many a patient in a neighbouring bed also expressed their appreciation for his hospital visits to his flock. His whole countenance radiated love and honesty and he was a kind, caring and faithful shepherd. He had a great memory for names and faces, a genuine interest in people and a practical concern for every aspect of their welfare. When he visited a home everyone had to gather as he read the scriptures and kneeled to pray for each family member by name. While strongly opposed to all false ecumenism he exercised a broad Biblical ecumenicity with all those who were true servants of the Lord and provided they were faithful preachers of the Word they were welcome in his pulpits. He never fully retired from gospel ministry, just gradually cut-back as mobility and energy levels declined with advancing years. He maintained a keen interest in church affairs until his death and was a faithful daily prayer warrior who will be much missed. He retained a wonderfully clear mind until the end and enjoyed reading Christian books and biographies.

Mr Garland on the 50th anniversary of his ordination in 1992


page 4

It was a great personal joy when his only child Sidney entered the EPC Ministry and after retirement he moved to S. Belfast to be near him. Even though it resulted in geographical separation he counted it a privilege for Sidney in 1987 to move to missionary work with Qua Iboe Fellowship (now Mission Africa) in Nigeria. The advancement of Christs kingdom on earth was his all-consuming desire. He enjoyed a visit to Nigeria in 1992 to see the mission work for himself and God in his sovereign providence arranged for Sidney to be home with his parents for 3 weeks before his passing. One of his favourite expressions in his latter days was Praise the Lord and a nurse in attendance in his final hours remarked This man knows where he is going. At his funeral service Rev Gareth Burke, who succeeded him at Somerton Road, preached from Lk. 24:43 on Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise reminding his listeners that a Christian enters into heaven as soon as he dies and is immediately ushered into the presence of his Saviour. He was laid to rest in Crumlin New Cemetery surrounded by the graves of many of his former congregation, prompting one Christian brother to remark that when Christ returns well all rise together to meet him in the air. There followed a sumptuous lunch in Crumlin Church Hall and an opportunity to reflect on the life and witness of a lovely man of God. The family have been encouraged by the many testimonies of blessing and souls saved under his ministry. They would also like to thank all those who sent memorial gifts in lieu of flowers to Mission Africa. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife Maisie, who supported him so faithfully during his ministry and looked after him so well during his last years of declining health, his only son Sidney, wife Jean and grandchildren Peter, Debbie, and Anna. May they be comforted by the assurance that the one they loved has fought the good fight, has finished his course and is now in heaven where the Lamb is all the Glory in Immanuels land. Robert C. Beckett

Mr & Mrs Garland with David Beckett on the day of his baptism (29.7.90).

page 5

Mr Edward (Eddie) Ferguson

Knock

On the 28th April 2003 the Knock congregation lost one of their most faithful prayer warriors in the passing to glory of Eddie Ferguson. Within the Knock family for over forty years, Eddie was exemplary in witness and life, most faithfully an inspiration at the prayer meeting. His wife Joyce pre-deceased him by 18 months, and it was ever his desire from then on to receive his home-call and be re-united with his beloved help-meet. His desire has now been granted in the Lords perfect time. Whether in the shipyard, or in his home, or in church, Eddie was consistently a Christian man, prayerful, urgent to all about salvation, and a man of one book. After his wifes death he lived on his own for a time, until he realised the rightness of moving in with his son John. Thus he moved to Banbridge last year to spend his closing months close to, and under the watchful care of, his loving family. Deeply missed by grand-children, Jemma and Owen; mourned by John and wife Pauline, the Knock congregation records its sadness and gospel joy over the precious and blessed event of the death of one of the Lords saints. Stephen Atkinson Mrs Elizabeth Boal Somerton Road

On Thursday 24th April 2003 Somerton Road congregation lost another of its faithful members with the passing of Mrs. Elizabeth Boal at the age of 90 years. Mrs. Boal had lived all her life in Fortwilliam Parade, beside the church, but only began attending in middle age. She professed her personal faith in Christ as her Saviour and came into communicant membership only in recent years. While remaining conscious of her imperfections she resolutely expressed her dependence on the Lord. In life she had undergone many severe trials, losing her husband 35 years earlier and seeing her beloved daughter Jean struck down and confined to a wheelchair for several years before her untimely death. Yet she displayed marvellous courage, determination and responsibility in providing leadership for her family in difficult times. She was faithful and regular in church attendance as long as health permitted and retained her independence in her own home until shortly before her death. God graciously permitted her son Rev William Boal to be home from Australia and to be at her bedside at her home call. Our prayerful sympathy is extended to him and his sister Margaret and their families and to the family of the late Jean. We also commend to Gods grace her sisters Jean and Violet and her brother Billy in Scotland, as well as the many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Robert Beckett
page 6

4. Consistently
Confessional
It is our purpose in this series to identify some areas of distinction within our denomination, and positively point out to ourselves and to others their importance. In 2002 we enjoyed a blessed anniversary year, in which there was much looking back with thankfulness. In 2003 we must also look ahead, refreshing our mind as to our particular calling as a denomination, and our distinct concerns faced with the wider church scene. On June 12th 1643 an act of Parliament was passed requiring a group of learned, godly, and judicious divines to settle the doctrine and government of the Church of England, vindicating it from false aspersions and interpretations. The assembly comprised 121 clergy and 30 lay members, including many well known Puritans such as William Gouge, Stephen Marshall, Thomas Goodwin and Jeremiah Burroughs. There were also 8 non-voting, but highly influential, commissioners from Scotland involved in the debates, including Samuel Rutherford, George Gillespie, Alexander Henderson and Robert Baillie. These men met over a period of 5 years, 6 months and 22 days, in 1163 sessions, to carry out their duties. The fruit of their labours included the compiling of a Confession of Faith and a Larger and Shorter Catechism. The framing of the Confession of Faith alone took 27 months. B.B. Warfield described this latter document as the most complete, the most fully elaborated and carefully guarded, the most perfect, and the most vital expression that has ever been framed by the hand of man, of all that enters into what we call evangelical religion, and of all that must be safeguarded if evangelical religion is to persist in the world. Richard Baxter said of the Assembly that the Christian world, since the days of the apostles, had never a synod of more excellent Divines (taking one thing with another) than this Synod and the Synod of Dort.
page 7

Every time an officebearer in our church is ordained he must declare, in the first place, his acceptance of the Scriptures as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Secondly, he must subscribe to this Confession of Faith and Catechisms as his subordinate standard. The precise formula of subscription reads as follows: I believe the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as accepted by this church, to be founded on and agreeable to the word of God, and as such I subscribe them as the confession of my faith; and this I do without any reservation (EPC code, B2.1). Members of Presbytery renew this subscription every year. Why does a document almost four centuries old play such an important part in the life of our church? This article provides a brief answer to that question.

Himself... Our appeal is to the Bible for truth. That statement was made by the Jehovahs Witnesses! It is one thing to appeal to the Bible, quite another to believe the truth of the Bible. The devil peddles his heresies in an atmosphere of imprecision and ambiguity and the only way this can be avoided is to clarify theological issues along confessional lines. Everyone then knows what the standard of orthodoxy is and individuals can decide for themselves whether or not these things are true (Acts 17:11).

The Bible itself seems to hint at the recognition of an accepted body of truth, received and believed by the apostles. There is a form of sound words which are to be held fast (2 Tim 1:13), a rule of faith which we are to walk by (Galatians 6:16) and a faith once delivered to the saints (Jude1:3). Since the Church is the pillar and A clarifying document ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:5), part The Confession of Faith and associated of its duty is to proclaim this truth Catechisms clarify what we believe. throughout all generations and a Sometimes Ive heard brethren say No Confession of Faith is helpful in creed but Christ, or No creed but the fulfilling this task, as well as separating Bible. When you talk further with the precious from the vile. such people it soon becomes apparent that they have their own creed, usually A unifying document considerably removed from the Westminster Confession of Faith! Such Our Lord prayed that they all may be statements sound highly pious but they one and while this unity is a spiritual unity which transcends organisations are too loose and ambiguous to be of any use to anyone. All evangelicals can and unites all Gods people everywhere, agree with those sentiments, including a nonetheless, it is to take a highly visible form so that the world may believe good few non-evangelicals. One well known group has declared: To arrive that you sent me (John 17:21). Our subscription to the Westminster at the truth we must dismiss religious prejudices... we must let God speak for Standards demonstrates this unity by
page 8

linking us to many of God's greats in the past, including the Puritans, the Princeton theologians and the Westminster Seminary men, as well as hundreds of other like-minded churches throughout the world today. Our Confessional Standards also link us with many Baptistic and Congregational brethren who cannot with good conscience agree with us on matters such as baptism and church government. When the compilers of the 1689 Baptist Confession and the Savoy Declaration of 1658 were framing their standards they did not begin from scratch and re-invent the wheel. They purposefully adhered to the structure, theology and language of the Westminster Standards as far as possible, thereby declaring continuity of faith and practice with other reformed brethren. We have a goodly inheritance, confessionally speaking. We stand in a great biblical tradition and our Confessional Standards help to reinforce our unity with God's people throughout the ages. An edifying document.

theology. Apart from the Bible, I had never read anything quite like it. It clarified many theological issues for me, filled several gaps in my knowledge and helped me to understand the reformed faith better. Before the end of that study I also knew that if I was ever to become a Christian minister, it would be in a church which adhered to this theology! Is there a more majestic summary anywhere of the necessity, perfection, authority, perspicuity, translation and interpretation of Holy Scripture than the first chapter of the Confession? I certainly havent found one. It is also noteworthy that the emphasis of the Confession is firmly fixed on Scripture, not on the Confession! The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture (1:10).

Chapter 3, Of Gods eternal decree (on which the Westminster Ill never forget the first time I studied Divines spent almost an entire month), is worthy of close study too. The precise the Westminster Confession of Faith. With G. I. Williamsons commentary in language is most helpful in distinguishing the various biblical one hand and A. A. Hodges in the nuances in his high mystery of other, I read for hours at a stretch, predestination. The statement on Christ rejoicing in the riches of Westminster our Mediator found in 8:2, is again full theology. The more I read, the more I became persuaded that this was indeed a of precise, God-glorifying language: beautiful summary of "the faith once The Son of God, the second person in the delivered to the saints". I loved the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one precision of the language, the richness substance and equal with the Father, did, when of the themes and the depth of the the fullness of time was come, take upon him
page 9

man's nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.

words and presentation of accurate biblical truth:

The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of That much neglected doctrine of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain adoption also receives special attention in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the from the Westminster Divines and the judgment of the great day. Besides these two content of chapter 12 is worthy of places, for souls separated from their bodies, frequent meditation. Consider this the Scripture acknowledgeth none (32:1). summary of the privileges of Gods Time would fail me to tell about Gods children: covenantal dealings with man (chapter They have his name put upon them, receive 7), justification, the doctrine of a the Spirit of adoption, have access to the throne standing or a falling church (chapter of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry, 11), the threefold nature of our Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided assurance (chapter 18, paragraph 2), for, and chastened by him, as by a Father: yet and many other lofty themes. Youll never cast off, but sealed to the day of just have to study them for yourself! redemption; and inherit the promises, as heirs In an article on the Shorter Catechism of everlasting salvation. B. B. Warfield described the personal And what about that masterful experience of an officer in the United statement on Christian Liberty which States army who was visiting a certain exposes the folly of man-made laws city during a time of national turmoil. and gives Gods law its rightful place? In the midst of intense excitement and violent rioting he went for a walk down God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath a busy street, only to notice a certain left it free from the doctrines and man approaching whose demeanour commandments of men, which are, in anything, seemed to set him apart from others. contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of So impressed was he with this mans faith, or worship (20:2). bearing, amid the surrounding uproar, that after passing him by he turned To quote one last example, the statement on the eternal destiny of all around to look back at him, only to find that the stranger did the same. On men is masterful in its economy of
page 10

observing this the stranger came back to him, touched his chest with his forefinger, and demanded an answer to the question What is the chief end of man? On receiving the answer Mans chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, the stranger said I knew you were a Shorter Catechism boy. Why that is just what I was thinking of you, was the officers reply.

Warfields conclusion is that its worthwhile to be a Shorter Catechism boy. However, that magnificent document is only for catechising such as of weaker capacity! Its even better to be a Westminster Confession man!

Jeff Ballantine

TRAINING OF THE MINISTRY & ADMISSIONS


2002 TOMA REPORT
And he said to them, The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). It is with a great measure of concern that we present the annual report for the Training of the Ministry and Admissions Committee for 2002. The reason is that we have so little to report. The Committee met three times during the year, but there have been no students in training for the ministry, and while there were four tentative inquiries concerning ministry none of these proceeded even to the point of making application. We have a vacant congregation in the denomination, which underlines our present need. And some of our ministers are not getting any younger, which reminds us of future needs in the will of God. So how are we to interpret this providence? First, we need to remember that it is not a problem peculiar to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Some of our sister churches are being faced with the same drying up of manpower with a resultant increase in vacant congregations. Another factor to keep
page 11

in mind is that today there appears to be more concentration upon shortterm overseas involvement in Christian work than on serious theological study and lifetime commitment to the ministry of the word. Is God saying something to his people in these situations? We believe he is. And surely part of what he is wanting to teach us again is the meaning of the Masters words quoted above.

few. This is the situation. What are we to do? Hold a moratorium? Set up another committee or special commission to look into the matter? No. Therefore in view of this situation - pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest that he will send out labourers into his harvest. We have to learn again what is the front line of involvement in the work of Christs church. Pray earnestly! If we do, we may discover, as Matthew Henry once Here, our Lord sees his work as a said, that when God intends great harvest. And without doubt his vision blessings for his people the first thing rises beyond the particular mission of he does is to set them a-praying. If we the seventy to whom these words were dont . originally spoken. He is contemplating the gathering of his church from every RECOMMENDATIONS land until the day when he brings the That we give thanks to God for his final harvest home. It is to this end that he sends forth labourers to plough goodness to us in sustaining the work of the ministry in our denomination and sow and nourish and feed until fruits appear and ripen for harvesting. through all the changes of our seventyfive years. But the anomaly is that while the harvest is plentiful the labourers are That we give ourselves to earnest few. Idlers and passengers, observers prayer to the Lord of the harvest that and once-in-a-whilers there are he will send us men of his choice to aplenty, but steady consistent labourers minister the word in all our are scarce. That, it seems, is the way it congregations. always has been. That is the way it still That the Committee will be given is. wisdom in the coming days in all its But why is this? After all, God himself deliberations and responsibilities with is the Lord of the harvest. Ultimately it respect to training for the ministry and belongs to him to chose and to admission to the same. appoint, to direct and to send, to empower and to enable, and eventually TOMA Committee: to bring the harvest to fruition. Why is Messrs: F Harper, K McDonald, this situation permitted to prevail? Is it J Stephenson, Revs: J Ballantine & A Woolsey (Convenor). not to teach us again what is the priority task in the harvest field? The harvest is plentiful. The labourers are
page 12

Transkei, South Africa


Joan Cameron describes the Ordination and Installation of Rev Xolani Damane as Assistant Minister in Embo District, Transkei, South Africa, the former district of Rev Ian Wylie.

In a covering letter the Camerons note that the Easter Convention in Cape Town was very successful but overshadowed by the tragic death of Alson Mfiki, one of the Cape Town Elders, who worked in the financial department of the Groote Schuur Hospital and who succeeded Xolani Ngculu as Chairman of the Youth Organization. He was shot outside his house on the Wednesday before Good Friday after returning from an evening preparing the church for the convention. He died in hospital on the next day. The motive appears to have

been robbery. We value prayers for his widow and two young children. On the 22nd of March 2003 the Transkei Presbytery of the Free Church in Southern Africa met to ordain and induct uMfundisi Xolani Damane. It met in Nozibele Church in the village of Nkanini, Embo district, as Mr Damane has been appointed Assistant Minister for two years to the interim Moderator of Embo District, Rev Kenneth W R Cameron. This appointment is in the hope that Embo District will be able to improve their situation and financially
page 13

support their own minister as well as provide his accommodation. At the moment uMfundisi Damane is living in one of the rondavels in the brand new homestead of one of the Tabase elders, who has generously provided this.

brought up in the high mountain village of Ntwenka where for many years the late beloved and greatly missed elder Alfred Tyekela served the people and had such a godly influence on many, especially young men. The smiling face of Mama Beatrice Tyekela, his widow, 22nd March was a typical rural African said it all as Xolani knelt while several day: bright blue cloudless sky, brown Xhosa hands and two white temperatures over 30 degrees C., village hands rested on his head during the life going on all around the church, with ordination prayer. people walking past, probably unaware of what was going on; hens, geese and Already Mr. Damane had visited all the pigs wandering in and out of the church homes in the village where he is living, grounds, some almost unseen in the so much so that someone said to him, rustling long grass. You are like an evangelist! How appropriate! To quote him, I have a UMfundisi Nelson Mpayipeli presided great vision for Embo to become a over the gathering and preached from great District. Will you join us in 2 Timothy 4:2. Mr Damane had served praying for this new ministry, and that his probationary year with great the vision of this young man may be acceptance under the guidance of realized in the revival and building up uMfundisi Mpayipeli in Centane of the church, the salvation of souls and District, Southern Transkei. UMfundisi great glory being brought in Embo Christie addressed the newly ordained District to the Name and cause of our and inducted minister and uMfundisi Saviour Jesus Christ? Cameron the congregation. UMfundisi Damane is a Transkeian,

Dumisani
Norman and Angela Reid Norman and Angela are due to return home on furlough on 14 June 2003. Please pray for the Lords blessing on their furlough, their time with family, and their deputation visits to the churches. Remember also the work during their absence.
page 14

Dumisani Web Site Please visit the Dumisani web site at: www.Dumisani.co.za We appreciate Richard Beatties work in setting it up.

Medellin
We bring news from Manuel and Patty Reao, and the family. Manuel lectures in the Seminario Biblico de Colombia, in Medellin. To the surprise of many of you, here we are again, with a few prayer requests. Our New House We are still settling in our new house. Finally we managed to rent a house in a part of the city where the children can have access to school transport at decent hours. This change has meant a reduction of 90 minutes everyday in coming and going to school. The house is big and comfortable and has a gorgeous view of the city. It even has a garden and has allowed us to give in and buy a dog for the kids; it's a two-month-old Labrador. Those of you who have dogs can sympathise with us, but the children are happy and have taken seriously their responsibilities to take care of it! The School Scene The school situation seems to be settling too, although new changes loom in the horizon. Catalina finally begged to be taken out of the school where she was, after almost 6 months of expecting it to improve. I had to admit that it was not the proper school for her and started looking for another one. We took her to the Jewish school, and miracles started happening: she was taken to the 7th grade, and immediately got promoted to eighth, with some catching up to do in science and maths. However, although she has not finished her catching up she has managed to get first place in her category in a maths competition organised by a local university among High School students. Cristi and Benji are doing very well at their school but Cristi has started considering changing to the Jewish school too. It looks like the school they go to has a particular kind of student, extremely reluctant to accept whatever or whoever is a bit different - a particular trend of the Medellin culture. To make things worse, our children seem to be showing some of the distinct difficulties of so called Third Culture Children, who can't
page 15

Photo: Manuel Reano

develop a proper sense of belonging, Colombia always feel like the odd one out, and end up behaving in a way that makes it The country is quickly walking into a deep polarisation, and the very difficult for them to fit in. confrontation gets more and more cruel and bloody. The levels of pain Patricia and Manuel and frustration the Colombian society Patricia is extremely busy lecturing in is facing are enormous, and the the seminary, doing lots of counselling, numbers of dead, maimed and and heading the department of displaced mount up. institutional welfare (Bienestar Universitario). On top of that she's So heres a short update from us. Please doing a course on inner healing in a accept our apologies for our long local church, which has turned out to silence, but the multiplicity of fronts in be an incredible opportunity to which we found instability and evangelize and disciple a group of uncertainty in our lives made it almost ladies. impossible to find the proper time and attitude to communicate with our Manuel has just finished a course on friends. Things have started to relax Homiletics at the seminary, preaches now, and we can attempt to reclaim occasionally and is training a group of some level of normality for our lives. lay preachers. In June he'll represent the We know many of you have been seminary at a conference organised by faithfully praying for us regardless of the mission which founded the our silence, and we are very thankful seminary almost 60 years ago. In May for that. he was in Edinburgh for what we think will be the last batch of trials prior to May the Lord bless you all. his ordination. Sadly, no member of the family could be with him on that important day.

Self Catering Accommodation


July to Mid-September
In University area of Belfast. 35 per person per week payable on arrival. No reduction for part week. Apply to: Accommodation Officer 42 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast BT9 6AZ. Tel. 028 9036 5968
page 16

ACTS 2:42
The need for Doctrine and Authority in the Church. Brian Magee
What is the church? There are many different and even bizarre examples of what a church is. If you talk to different people you will get a variety of ideas concerning what a church is supposed to be. To some people a church is a kind of social club; somewhere to go of an evening when there is nothing on the telly. To others it is a branch of the state; that is there to carry out weddings and funerals and lend aid in times of national crisis. Still others consider the church an obsolete monstrosity of a bygone age. Well then what is the church? Where do we go to find out. Strange as it may seem, to find the answer to that question, it is best not to go to church leaders that we see in the media. Neither is it wise to go to the scholars and socalled theologians in many colleges. To really find out what the church is we must go to the word of God. And Acts 2:42 is a perfect text to help us in our quest, because here we have the early church in all its purity and all its simplicity outlined for us. The Makeup of the Church They were people who had just been wondrously saved by the mighty power of God. Many of them would have left home that morning with no thought of becoming a Christian and no desire to know Jesus Christ. But something happened. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that cannot be explained. On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and began to preach. He began to explain to those in Jerusalem that day who it really was that they had crucified. He took the scriptures that many of them knew, he took prophecies that spoke of Christ, and he said this is what Joel said and this is what David said and it has been fulfilled in Christ. The Holy Spirit applied that word so that they were cut to the heart and cried out What shall we do? Of course the only thing they could do is the exact same thing that men and women today must do if they are to be
page 17

saved: Repent and believe. And they did repent and they did believe and they were baptised and added to the church. 3,000 souls were saved that day. God moved in a mighty way and established a church there. And God has continued to build his church in the same way, by the salvation of souls through the preaching of the word of life.

contemplate moving to our new location in Groomsport what will gain us a hearing among those in the village? Will it not be if they see what Christ has actually done in our lives and they are moved to say of us See how they love one another? If we are to have an impact and be effective in the extending of Christs kingdom then we must continue to have the unity and the love The Unity of the Church that God has blessed us with in past days and be on guard against the wiles Now it didnt matter what their of the Devil who would seek to destroy background was. It didnt matter whether they were Jews or Gentiles, old the unity we have. or young, rich or poor. In the church of The Practice of the Church Christ they were all one. Here were people from many different lands, Our text outlines for us a number of many different cultures, people who things these people did but here we were rich landowners and people who wish to concentrate on the first. The were slaves, people of different sexes. sign that they were truly converted was A more contrasting cross-section of the that they continued steadfastly in the community would be impossible to apostles doctrine. find and yet when they were saved they Now today doctrine is not a very all had one desire, one purpose. popular term. I have heard people say When people are bound together like that they do not like doctrine; that this and have a love for each other it is doctrine is divisive. They say that what a beautiful sight it was said of the the church really needs is an experience early church by those outside of it See of God. Set doctrine aside and just how they love one another. A people who enjoy the love of God. Well, are these are living for Christ are an extremely people right? Do we need doctrine? attractive thing. That is why Satan is What is doctrine? Well, doctrine is always keen to sow discord among believers. One of the greatest weapons another word for teaching. The teaching of the apostles was the body of the church in breaking down the apathy and disbelief of the world is the of truth Christ had revealed to them. So while it might sound fine for some to beauty of a true church showing the love and care of Christ for each other. say Lets get rid of doctrine, what these people are actually implying is And dear friends, as we in Bangor that they get rid of the teaching of Evangelical Presbyterian Church Christ and the teaching of the apostles.
page 18

When we say that the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine what we are actually saying is that they had a desire to learn more about God and they sought to do that by listening to the preaching of the word of God. The sense here is that they persevered. The Greek word means attending one, remaining by his side, not leaving or forsaking. The idea here is not so much that they agreed or believed the apostles doctrine although they obviously did believe it, it was more a case of them attending unto the teaching and the instruction of the apostles. These were new converts who had been brought into a new society and it was a society of students, a society of those who wanted to know more. They wanted to know more about the Lord. This is one of the marks of a true believer. Do you have it? Do you have the desire that these people had - an enthusiasm to be taught? The Necessities of the Church: Doctrine Preaching and teaching of doctrine is vital to the life of the church. We need to have an appetite for this. We need a teachable spirit to be instructed in doctrine and a willingness to receive all that the Spirit of God imparts to us. It would be ludicrous in any other sphere of life if someone wanted to do something without learning all that was necessary first. For someone to secure employment in a certain job with the

idea that they didnt need to learn how to carry out the different functions connected to that job would be laughable. If a young lad wanted the experience of working with electricity, but didnt want to learn how to be an electrician he would be a danger to himself and others. Now there are many who take this attitude when it comes to spiritual things. They want the experience but they dont want the teaching. Charles Finney grew up largely ignorant of Christian doctrine. He found the preaching he heard dry and uninteresting. Soon after his conversion he decided to go into the ministry, despite the fact that he was ignorant of the great doctrines of the word of God. Some offered to pay his way through Princeton Seminary but he refused and preferred to formulate his own system of theology that satisfied his own sense of logic. Much of the methodology seen in modern evangelism, such as the inviting of converts to come forward and the using of the term revival for an evangelistic campaign, can be traced to Finney. He has left us a methodology that is popular but fails. And it fails because it leaves out the first and most basic mark of the Christian church doctrine. You cannot leave out the teaching of Christ and expect people to be truly saved. Remember the parable of the sower. There were those who heard the word gladly and seemed to all the
page 19

world like true believers. But they had no root. The real substance of the issue was not in them. When the sun came up they dried up and died.. Let me challenge you - do you have real life within you? And are you growing in grace? Are you becoming more like your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? And are you continuing steadfastly in the apostles doctrine? Is there still that great desire there to know more of Him?

what has happened? There is doubt on every side. This same New Testament scholar was asked who Jesus was and what he was like, said I do not know and do not want to know.

If your car failed to start would you go to someone with novel new ideas about the combustion engine or to someone who is familiar with your car. The answer is obvious. The ordinary man doesnt need someone with speculative notions about the Bible. He needs the authority of the the Word of The Necessities of the Church: God. He needs objective truth that is Authority only to be found in the the inspired Finally I want us to see the great need writings of the prophets and apostles. We need to get back to the authority of in our day for authority. I believe the church has lost her authority with the the scriptures as held by the early man in the street because the church, church. in a general sense, has lost its faith in They wanted to learn more from this the authority of the Word of God. authoritative word so that they could Following the influence of Higher tell others. We need to have the same Criticism many leaders in the church desire. Every true revival has been are at a loss as to what to say about the marked by a return to the authority of scriptures. Liberal theology has robbed the Word of God. We need to many of their foundations. Again and approach the world in which we live again on our TV screens we have with all that authority in hand and with religious leaders on discussion panels the same enthusiasm those early saying they are unsure about the virgin believers possessed. birth, the resurrection of Christ and the existence of heaven and hell. The poor The early church turned the world man in the street watching this upside down and, pray God, we may nonsense is left wondering what is do the same as we believe in the there to believe in. authority of the Scriptures; as we live by this authority, and as we preach this Rudolf Bultmann, one of the most Word authoritatively, desiring that the influential of liberal scholars has said church continue steadfastly in the that The task of theology is to imperil apostles doctrine. souls, to lead men into doubt, to shatter all nave credulity. Is this not
page 20

The wisdom of Ecclesiastes is supremely relevant for our day. Though 3,000 years have passed, there is nothing new under the sun. We identify some contemporary issues and bring, Old Light for New Paths.

How to live well.


(Ecclesiastes Chapter 9)
by

Rev Stephen Atkinson


It is important to listen to the wisdom of mature Christians. Young people often shun or neglect the wise words of their seniors. Young, know-it-all Christians can ignore, or even look down on, the wisdom of their seniors. Solomon is such a senior to us; and his wisdom ever relevant. In earlier chapters of Ecclesiastes he has declared that there are vanities, disappointments and injustices. He has also shown that mans response to this is often to hate life and seek mindless pleasure. But Solomon maintains that there are also beautiful things, even in a broken world. Solomon sees this strange paradox: of the blessedness of being God's creation; and the barbarity of this sin cursed existence. In chapter 9 of Ecclesiastes he teaches us how to live an enjoyable life within this paradox. The Principle - God cares for the existence: the hand of God is upon the Righteous. righteous and spiritually wise. ... the righteous, and the wise and their works What is involved in being in the hand of are in the hand of God... (v1) God? Well, we may say, how much is! God is engaged for us. There is the Yes, we acknowledge the world is in a whole aspect of divine protection. mess and the wicked prosper. They go None shall perish; none shall be to their grave in peace and power is on snatched. Infinite wisdom is working all the side of the oppressor. But here is things for good. It is right to remember the first principle for enjoyable that in him we live and move and have
page 21

our being. The Christian reflects that he is saved by Gods work of grace, and is sanctified by his moulding of us in his hands. When facing the paradox that many biblical writers faced, know first this principle. Certainly the psalmist would teach us that certain things would make us lose our foothold (nearly), but believing friend, you are the apple of his eye; he has bought you; clothed you; cared for you. He has created you, re-created you - for that high and holy purpose. Shall he then neglect you? Fear not though the world forsake you; though the world disappoint you - you are in the hands of God. The Paradox - The Good and Bad both die.

times fall unexpectedly to us all. We agree with Solomon that under the sun all is a wheel of fortune; ending in a common destiny. This is a strange paradox for faith to contend with. There is an hour when I must part with all I hold most dear. And life with its best hopes will then as nothingness appear. There is an hour when I must sink beneath the stroke of death, and yield to him who gave it first my struggling vital breath. We believe in everlasting life - but there is a finality to death. The dead ... have no more reward, nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun. (v5)

Have you ever placed yourself in this sentence? - Never again will I have a part to play in anything that happens. It Everything occurs alike to all: One event is sobering to think that no matter what happens to the righteous and the wicked... This your work; or your achievements; or is an evil in all that is done under the sun: your plans, there comes a time when that one thing happens to all... The race is not your role is finished. to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor In the light of the finality of death; do bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill; but you not think people would stop to consider? But madness is in their hearts time and chance happen to them all. while they live, and after that they go to the (from verses 2,3,11,12) dead (v3). Solomon speaks of the rat Solomon rightly points out that we race.They live sinfully mad - and die, a have a common destiny. This is so for dead lion. Of course, a living dog is better we share a common father in Adam. than a dead lion. (v4) Thus it is that under the sun all appears unfair. Truly the race is not to the swift We must remember that great powerful lions of this world die. You might think - it's to the cheat! We see clearly that of yourself as a dog; as of no wealth is not to the wise but to the footballer (- no comment on the actual importance, but you are alive! You're better off than all those dead kings! intelligence of such personalities!) Time and chance do happen, and evil
page 22

There is a lesson for all here. In this

strange paradoxical life don't run madly after lion-like achievements. You shall die. Make sure you die well - in the Lord. You are better off now, than the dead lion. You are alive in this the time of God's favour. You may repent and believe; though you are a dog - yet, you may have those crumbs of gospel! So we have the principle that God cares for the righteous even though we have the paradox that good and bad both die and it appears that time and chance happen to all. But that is not so. Time is ordered by God, and if you are alive, use it well! Live not under your own rule as a lion but under God's rule, as an undeserving dog. Then you shall live well and die well. The Proclamation - Enjoy Life. Go, eat your bread with joy... Live joyfully with the wife whom you love... and in the labour which you perform under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might... (v7-10)

There are many sorrows in this sincursed world but also many good things, blessings, bearing the imprint of God. There are friendships, acts of kindness. There is all manner of creativity. There is our necessary labour. Talents are given by God; gifts are graced. We have possessions, wealth and are given roles of stewardship. See all these things and enjoy them. C. Bridges says - A sinner has no right to complain, and a Christian has no reason to. Why? - because of our first principle! The living are better in that they have hope. They are alive to enjoy this blessed world which sin has spoiled, yet in which God still is present and his imprint is not completely lost. Enjoy life. Days under the sun are meaningless but not worthless.

Solomon further calls us to enjoy life with your wife, for this is your portion, or good share. Now Solomon had made many mistakes in this area. He had not delighted in the wife of his youth. He took a thousand trying to find that joy. Life begins with seeing the value of it. Someone who is dying is brought to see He should have seen the good share the value of it. They live each moment God had first given. as singularly precious. Yet we must Is this not also the need of our nation? remember that we are all dying from the And Christian husbands are not exempt! very moment of birth! If you do not enjoy life with your wife; Value life and do so by seeing the hand of God upon the canvas. Yes, we live in a fallen, disappointing world, yet we are to receive everything with gladness and thankfulness. Enjoy! if you break her; or if you run after others your own life will be broken, but husbands loving their wives bears the stamp of God as Christ loved the church. Redeem the time with them! Enjoy the
page 23

good share that God has given you.

It shall end and you shall have no further role. Solomon reminds us that Furthermore you are called upon to in the grave where we are going, there enjoy your work. Sadly for many their is neither working, nor planning, nor work is simply a means to an end, a knowledge, nor wisdom. So work and means of income and putting the bread plan now, using your graced knowledge on the table. But just as Adam was and wisdom. But what for? given a job of work to do so we too are given gifts, abilities, and a job of work Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to do. to ENJOY HIM forever. Work for the well being of society. Work for the well being of the household of faith. Work for the well being of your own family. But all the while remembering that a time is coming when no man can work. So do it now; use your gifts now, use your resources now - for the kingdom of God! The Principle - God cares for the righteous. The Paradox - Good and bad both die. The Proclamation - Enjoy life. It is indeed a broken and barbaric world, but He makes all things beautiful, so learn how to live well.

EPC WOMENS CONFERENCE 2003


DATE: 8th November 2003 VENUE: CRUMLIN EPC TIME: 10.00 AM 4.30 PM SPEAKER: Sharon James CBMW

SUBJECTS: Women Helping Women The Beauty That Lasts The idea for a Womens Conference was first discussed in 2001. After consultation with all the churches and the proposed speaker, Sharon James, the date for the conference was set for 8th November 2003. Bill and Sharon James head the UK Branch of CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood). Sharon will be giving a brief overview of the positive Biblical teaching on womanhood, how we can minister to one another, as well as discussing the beauty that comes from within and lasts forever. We pray that the Lord will use this conference to encourage women to develop and grow spiritually as they fulfil their biblical role.
page 24

Books etc.
The True Christian's love for the unseen Christ Thomas Vincent Soli Deo Gloria 4 CDs / 3 Tapes 11.95 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson Soli Deo Gloria have produced a beautifully read version of Thomas Vincents True Christians love for the Unseen Christ. Talking books have been around for some time, and with new technology comes new formats. (The reviewer chose the CDs). You may not be fond of being read to, but talking books nonetheless have a market and an important function in the church. Thanksgiving: An investigation of a Pauline Theme
(New Studies in Biblical Theology Series)

David A Pao IVP / Apollos 224 pages Reviewer: Allan Thomson

12.99

You learn something new every day. Or should I rather say, you learn something new every time you read a good theological commentary or study!' The author suggests that the first chapter may be skipped by those who are primarily interested in the theological significance of this Pauline theme... However, could I suggest that taking the extra time and mental effort To have a puritan book read to me was does not go unrewarded to the reader a new experience, and, I might add, a of this chapter of the book as it clearly pleasant surprise. I can see it being used shows how thanksgiving should be in the car, or on those long walks comprehended as a theological (complete with Walkman). I can also declaration of the sovereignty of God. think of its usefulness for the elderly and infirm, who would find it hard to The second chapter gives an interesting read, or perhaps hold a book. And then insight into the role of the Old there are those able-bodied who find it Testament saints and the Covenant of God in the development of difficult to read a puritan book - how thanksgiving, as well as showing the about having it read to you? relationship of these elements within There is a downside. Bold titles and the teaching of the Pauline Epistles on headings are not so easily identified the subject at hand. The third chapter when the book is not in front of you. views thanksgiving in relation to what Though the reader helpfully points out God has done in the past for His the chapter heads and other subpoints covenant people while by the end of it might have been better to have a the fourth we recognise that our fuller printed index. thanksgiving ought not to be merely a sign of our appreciation to God but,
page 25

more particularly, a sign of God's lordship over us. In the fifth chapter the author argues that our remembering of past blessings and deliverances will spontaneously lead to thanksgiving for things yet to be as though they were already accomplished. The concluding sixth chapter finally deals with the folly and penalty of failing to give thanks to God as a regular way of life. We do well to follow this study with our Bible in hand to see the intelligent way in which the author develops and applies the examples and doctrines of thanksgiving within the scriptural narrative. This reviewer found the sheer volume of the author's footnotes a little distracting, although the student dealing with this subject in particular would undoubtedly find them a helpful addition. To sum up could I suggest that to read this book and then be able to give thanks to God in a mechanical or formal way should cause alarm bells to start ringing in the soul of any professor of faith! It will certainly revive and possibly redefine the prayer life of all sincere children of God. The fear of Hell restrains men from sin Solomon Stoddard Soli Deo Gloria 20 pages 1.95 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson First published in 1713 this sermon takes us to Job 31:23 Destruction from God was a terror to me and shows us the importance of declaring the reality of
page 26

hell, and the consequences, in church and society, of the loss of that reality. It is interesting that in the early 18th century he should write, Instead of growing better and better the country grows worse and worse. Many seem incorrigible and obstinate in their pride, luxury and profaneness. The reason for it is that they are not afraid of hell. 300 years later there is little fear, and even less restraint. Sadly too, many preachers, and some evangelicals are not sounding forth that ultimate reality as both infinite and eternal punishment. Stoddard rightly declares, It doesnt grow shorter and shorter... If miseries could end there would be an opportunity for comfort afterwards; but eternity cuts off opportunity for comfort. Amen to that. How to Pray
(Lessons from the Lords Prayer)

Timothy Cross Ambassador 59 pages 4.99 Reviewer: Stephen Atkinson This is a helpful little book giving us a simple and straightforward exposition of the Lords Prayer. The writer speaks of the model prayer as the most perfect prayer for imperfect people. (p.8) Though a Welshman, he does not forget his time among us Ulster folk in the mid nineties. His spiritual education shows the benefit of that greater

fullness! He makes a lovely reference to Job (we are told) is about Gods the prayer meetings in Stranmillis - Oh sovereignty over Satan and not just to be able to pray like Mr Sampson. Gods work in Jobs life and so there are greater questions to be answered as Shorter Catechism questions begin each well as the immediate human ones. chapter, and are most appropriate in Cosmic questions like: assisting us in getting to the heart of each petition. The whole exposition is Who is in ultimate control? punctuated by many familiar hymns Can God deliver what He has and sections from the Westminster promised? Confession of Faith, and as such will be Is the grace of God invincible? useful for those preaching on the subject in being able to find suited Buy the book and prayerfully complete praise items and other cross references. the course of study and by the end of day 28 you will be in no doubt that Mining for Wisdom God is in ultimate control, that He can (28 Daily Readings from Job) and will deliver what He has promised Derek Thomas because His grace is invincible. Evangelical Press Helpful suggestions are made for daily 192 pages 7.95 reading and readers are told that: It Reviewer: Billy Elliott would be ideal if (they) would follow this plan and assign some prayer and Excellent, practical, pastoral, meditation before reading the challenging, compassionate and Biblical explanation that follows. (p.11) At the - this book is all of this and so much end of each days study there is also a more. I cannot commend it highly useful For your journal section. enough. It is a real spiritual tonic which Although journal keeping is encouraged is the product of 10 years or more it is not regarded as obligatory. spent prospecting in the deep mine of the book of Job, something that One aim of mining is to find and proved to be a luxury and an extract valuable gold nuggets or obsession for the author, but a precious gems. Derek has done this for tremendous blessing for this reader. us and throughout produces many Derek has certainly not wasted his time, valuable spiritual gold nuggets for indeed he has produced a spiritual gem. example: The book is a 28 day devotional study dealing with the subject of divine wisdom and revealing how even through the darkest providences believers can live for God. The book of The book of Job is about wisdom the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of man. (p.17) There is nothing better than to be subject to the majesty of God. (p.22)
page 27

Satans defeat is certain. (p.29) If God is not in overall control of all things, then He is not God. (p.83) Its truth (the providence of God) may lie hidden but we are to rest assured that it will emerge victorious. (p.103) Reverence! Thats the issue! Whether or not we hold God and His ways in awe, that is what really matters. (p.126) Our view of God is too small. That is the problem and this leads us into trouble. (p.154) We are to live with mystery every day of our lives, just as we will in heaven But there will never be a moment when we shall conclude: This isnt fair. Never! (p.173) When life hurts, the most wise person settles for not knowing, and not trying to guess, the details of Gods intricate plan and purpose. (p.187) It is obvious to me that Derek Thomas time spent prospecting in the book of Job was well spent and if you buy this book and follow his instructions, then that too will be time well spent for the benefit of your soul. This is one of the best books I have ever read! Thanks Derek. Ten Girls who changed the World Irene Howat Christian Focus
page 28

160 pages 3.99 Reviewer: Abigail Ballantine (Aged 11) Ten Girls who changed the World tells the stories of ten female missionaries who helped to spread Gods Word in their own country or in far-off lands. Each chapter explains the amazing life-story of a different Christian who wanted to serve God. The events of Gladys Aylward, Isobel Kuhn and Joni Eareckson Tadas lives are included, along with seven others. The stories are very easy to understand and dont take that long to read. After each chapter there is a fact file which gives information on major events which happened in the lifetime of the person and a short prayer related to the passage. This book is part of a four -book series. The others are: Ten Girls who made a Difference, Ten Boys who changed the World and Ten Boys who made a Difference. It was a little disappointing that the book hadnt been proof-read properly, as there are a number of spelling mistakes on the cover and in the contents. Overall I really enjoyed reading Ten Girls who changed the World and would recommend it to both girls and boys.

making progress with pilgrim


(for pilgrims of all ages)

- (10) Crossing the River (John Bunyan presented the world with a wonderful picture of Christian experience in The Pilgrims Progress. We continue to retell some of the main parts of the story.)

As we carry on the story with our pilgrim friends we find them coming to a river. It is no ordinary river. It is the River of Death, pictured by Bunyan as deep, dark, and cold. For some people the thought of a river crossing might be a fun experience. However, the River of Death was no such pleasant journey. Our two friends, Christian and Hopeful, went down into the waters in great seriousness, and much trembling. Immediately Christian began to sink, and cried out for help. Hopeful then tried to encourage him with some words of Scripture. He also said he could feel the bottom and that the river wasnt quite as deep as Christian thought. There was actually firm ground underneath. But even with Hopefuls encouragement Christian was still anxious and tormented by his past sins. Hopeful further told Christian that he saw the Gate into the City and that he should trust in God alone. Christian then burst out, I see him again, and he is saying, When you pass through the waters I will be with you. Just after that both of them crossed the rest of the river in shallow water. Our crossing the river of death will be a deeper experience than anything we have faced in this life, darker than anything we know, when the coldness of death moves across our mortal bodies. Different people have a different experience of that crossing. Some happily find solid ground most of the way, like Hopeful; others, are tormented by Satans last onslaught and the memory of past sins. Who knows what turbulent water will seek to drown us as we engage the last enemy, death? But if we are trusting in Christ, He will never leave nor forsake, even when we pass through such waters. There may be visions of sin, but also sights of glory. Soon that rough crossing will be forgotten and the trials of life, even of death, will be an eternity away. Are you making progress with Pilgrim?

Evangelical Book Shop


15 College Square East, Belfast, BT1 6DD E-mail: shop@evanbooks-belfast.fsnet.co.uk Tel. 028 9032 0529 Fax 028 9043 8330 Manager: John Grier
Sing Psalms 6.00 As the culmination of 16 years work of the Psalmody Committee of the Free Church of Scotland, a new complete Metrical Psalter has been produced. Their industry, scholarship and literary skill have resulted in a worthy successor to the Scottish (1650) and Irish (1898) metrical psalters. The music edition is anticipated early in 2004. Iain H Murray: Wesley and Men who Followed 14.95 11.95 Rev Murray tells the life story and highlights the lessons from the life of the remarkable church leader John Wesley, the tercentenary of whose birth we celebrate this year. Crawford Gribben: The Irish Puritans
James Ussher and the Reformation of the Church

7.95

5.95

Ussher was Archbishop of Armagh and the leader of the Church of Ireland in the 17th century, whose published works run to many volumes. Dr Gribben is an able guide to this interesting era of history. Maurice Roberts: Great God of Wonders 4.75 3.80 Here we find spiritually helpful articles, which first appeared in the Banner of Truth magazine while Rev Roberts was its editor. Donald Macleod: Priorities for the Church
Rediscovering Leadership and Vision in the Church.

7.99

5.99

The Principal of the Free Church College brings his customary verve to address the current state of the church. He provides helpful guidance on how to rediscover a vision for what the priorities for the Church should be. Donald Macleod: From Glory to Golgotha
Controversial Issues in the Life of Christ

5.99

4.50

Principal Macleod produced one of the finest books on The Person of Christ in IVPs Contour series. Now he has added a popular treatment to give us all brief but ready access to the great doctrines at the centre of our Faith.