Alec Motyer (1924-2016)

Alec Motyer

Alec Motyer – Renowned Old Testament pastor-scholar, Christian Focus Publications author and dear friend – has passed away at the age of 91.

Born John Alexander Motyer in Dublin, he graduated with a BD (1949) and MA (1951) from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland, and did further studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

He was ordained in the Church of England in 1947 as a deacon, and then in 1948 as a priest, serving as a curate in Penn Fields, Wolverhampton (1947-1950), and at Holy Trinity Church in Bristol (1950-1954). In Bristol, he also served as Tutor, and then Vice Principal, of Clifton College (1950-1965).

From there, he became Vicar of St Luke’s, West Hampstead (1965-1970), but returned to Bristol as Deputy Principal of Tyndale Hall (1970-1971), and then became the Principal of the reconstituted Trinity College (1971-1981).

His final decade of active parish ministry was as the Minister at Westbourne (Bournemouth) (1981-1989).

Alec Motyer’s gift for writing was matched by his humility, passion for the Gospel and witty personality. Alec Motyer’s letters were a source of encouragement and uplifting to people all around the world, not least in the Christian Focus office. Below is an extract from a personal correspondence to William Mackenzie, Managing Director at CFP, which best illustrates Alec’s warm heart, humility and wit:

Dear William

Since I am writing to Small W, I thought i should include a brief note to you – why should Christian fellowship become a bonanza for the Post Office?

May I thank you and herself for for such kindly and understanding love reaching out to me in these strange and odd days. Life without Beryl, after loving each other for 67 years, is an unwelcome and unusual experience … No I don’t want her back – she is having a high old time – ‘galavanting round heaven’. And NO, I am not in a rush to join her. As long as the Lord so wills, I am totally content to amble on in His sweet fellowship and in the increasing joy He allows me to have in His Holy Word. But there is a sort of underlying numbness, life lived in a gap. I am surrounded by oceans of TLC from family and church – and the ‘wall to wall’ cottage pies, soups and cakes continue.

Your kindness is rebounding on your head in terms of these over-long letters from me. You should not be so nice to me. Of course, were you to visit me, I would not plague you with letters.

Under the Sheltering wings

Alec Motyer

Mark Dever, in the foreword of Alec’s most recent CFP title Psalms by the Day: A New Devotional Translation describes his lasting influence:

One of the first – and still perhaps the best – summaries of the Bible in just a few messages that I have heard was given by Alec Motyer about twenty-five years ago. I was a student, speaking to students at the same conference. But when I saw Motyer was speaking on this topic, I could not resist attending all his lectures. And the view of God’s Word he gave me has been a lasting gift ever since.

Alec Motyer 2

William Mackenzie talks about his recent visit to Alec’s home, where they shared fellowship:

On the 16th of April my wife and I visited Alec at his home in Poynton – a wonderful welcome, a lovely morning thinking about the glory of Christ and His work for us.  Alec was his usual cheerful, humorous self but was a lot frailer when compared to our previous visit.  Towards the end of our time together that morning, we prayed together.  On finishing our prayer, Alec then said, “I would like to pray again”.  He prayed most beautifully and personally for another mutual friend who we knew was approaching the end of life.  In that prayer Alec anticipated with joy going home to be with the Lord.  It was clear to me that his affection was set on things above and his desire was to depart and to be with Christ which is far better.

We then left and went to the front door of their house where we took a picture and said farewell.  That was one of the precious memories we have of Alec and we are thankful for his interest in us and our work.  Alec knew the individual names of the people and team at Christian Focus and was really interested in their welfare.  Isn’t it wonderful to remember that we have not lost someone when we know where they are?

Proverbs 10:7  – The memory of the just is blessed

Books by Alec Motyer

Psalms by the Day by Alec Motyer Isaiah By the Day:  A New Devotional Translation by Alec Motyer A Christian's Pocket Guide to Loving The Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story by Alec Motyer Preaching?: Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer Roots:  Let the Old Testament Speak by Alec Motyer Life2 The Sequel: What happens when you die? by Alec Motyer

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Christian Focus Author Presented Golden Scroll Award

Pat Ennis 1God is my Strength 

Christian Focus Publications congratulates Patricia Ennis, recipient of a Golden Scroll Merit Award for Nonfiction from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) for her book God Is My Strength: Fifty Biblical Responses to Issues Facing Women Today.

As a college and seminary professor for many years, Ennis has compiled a list of 50 questions that women frequently pose.  It is her passion, she tells the reader, to share responses “that would challenge you to become theologically sound (Titus 2:1-5) as well as a ‘doer of the word’ (James 1:22) in the critical areas of your life: Your God, Yourself, Your Relationships, Your Home, Your World.”

Catherine Mackenzie, editor for Christian Focus, says,

“Pat Ennis is a great addition to our writing team. She has a wealth of experience that consists not only of knowledge but of practical skills and theological expertise. These are gifts you just can’t buy – you can only gain them through life. And here we have someone who knows them, lives them and can write about them!  You often hear the phrase that to prove your knowledge on a subject you have to be able to teach it. Pat has done that, not only in the classroom at Southwestern Seminary, but between the pages of this excellent book: God Is My Strength. It’s a delight to see Pat’s passion for the home, God’s Word and women believers being given the recognition it deserves through AWSA.”

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Owen Strachan Discusses God’s Grand Design for Manhood & Womanhood on In the Market with Janet Parshall

The Grand DesignWhat does it mean to be male? What about female? What are gender roles? Janet Parshall discusses God’s grand design for manhood and womanhood with special guest Owen Strachan. Listen here: Media Link.

About The Book:
The world has gone gray-fuzzy, blurry, gender-neutral gray. In a secularist culture, many people today are confused about what it means to be a man or a woman. Even the church struggles to understand the meaning of manhood and womanhood. In The Grand Design, Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock clear away the confusion and open up the Scriptures. They show that the gospel frees us to behold the unity and distinctiveness of the sexes. In Christ, we have a script for our lives. Doxology, we discover, is in the details.

Praise for The Grand Design:

“We live in an age characterized by confusion on gender and sexuality … Strachan and Peacock have provided a careful and faithful account of Scripture’s vision for sexuality and gender. This book is urgently needed.”
-R. Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“Strachan and Peacock don’t simply defend a view of men and women that is traditional but now counter-cultural. They show it is beautiful.”
-Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Confusion abounds today on what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. Peacock and Strachan put feet on the biblical teaching.”
-Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

About the Authors:

Owen Strachan is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Gavin Peacock played for Chelsea Football Club. He is now Director of International Outreach for the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, and serves as a pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Alberta.

Additional Resources:

  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Sample Pages: PDF

Where to Buy:
The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

The Grand Design Buy Now:

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New From Mez McConnell: God – Is He Out There?

God-Is He Out There?If God exists, prove it then? If God exists, what does it have to do with me? If all this is true, now what?

This is the first in a series of short workbooks from the 9 Marks Urban series, which are designed to help you think through some of life’s big questions. It all starts with the most important question of all: God-Is He Out There? The questions that follow all hinge on our answer to that question. If we answer that there is a God, then how can we get to know Him and how should we now live?

Praise for God – Is He Out There?:

“A life committed to following Jesus isn’t easy, so we need all the help we can get! I’m thankful, then, for a resource like this. In God: Is He Out There?, Mez McConnell tackles the difficult – yet central – questions of Christian theology in a way that is accessible, practical, and personal.”
-Jared C. Wilson, Director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Managing Editor of For The Church, Midwestern’s site for gospel-centered resources.

God – Is He Out There? is such a practical tool for discipling believers in the basics of the Christian faith … My advice: Grab a copy and walk with a few others believers through it.”
-Robby Gallaty, Senior Pastor, Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, Tennessee

Mez McConnellAbout The Author:
Mez McConnell is the pastor for Niddrie Community Church, near Edinburgh. He is also the Director of 20schemes which is dedicated to revitalising and planting gospel churches in Scotland’s poorest communities. Previously he was a missionary with street kids in Brazil. He is married and has two children.

Additional Resources:

  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Sample Pages: PDF
  • Press Releases:  PDF

Where to Buy:
God – Is He Out There? is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

God-Is He Out There? Buy Now:

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Filed under Christian Focus, Mez McConnell, New Release

Ebooks on Sale Through June 29, 2016

Below is our current selection of ebooks on sale through June 29, 2016.

David Brainerd: A Flame for God by Vance Christie Sale Price: $1.99/£1.39

D.L. Moody: One Devoted Man by Nancy Drummond Sale Price: $1.99/£1.39

A Fistful of Heroes Christians at the forefront of Change Sale Price: $2.99/£2.08

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New from John Perritt: Your Days Are Numbered

Your Days are NumberedWasting time might not seem like a big deal to some, except for the fact that our time really isn’t ours, but God’s. Not only that, but it is a limited resource. You can be the richest person in the world and you still can’t buy more time.

If we want a heart of wisdom, according to the psalmist, we must number our days. Your Days are Numbered takes a biblical look at the way in which we spend our time to cultivate this mind-set of seeing each day as a vital opportunity to live for the glory of God.

Praise for Your Days Are Numbered:

“Of all the gifts God gives to us, few are more precious and few are more fleeting than the gift of time. Your days are numbered and you are responsible to faithfully steward each one of them for the good of others and the glory of God. This book will teach and encourage you to make the most of the time God gives you.”
-Tim Challies, Blogger at www.challies.com


About the Author:

John Perritt is the Youth Director at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He has published articles for The Gospel Coalition and Reformation 21 and occasionally blogs on film and theology at www.reelthinking.us. He and his wife, Ashleigh, have four children.

Additional Resources:

  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Sample Pages: PDF

Where to Buy: Your Days Are Numbered is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Your Days are Numbered Buy Now:

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Filed under Christian Focus, New Release

Ebook Sale: May 25 – June 1

Ebook Sale May 25-June 1
Below is our current selection of ebooks on sale through June 1, 2016.

Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God by Bruce McLennan Sale Price: $2.99/£2.06

John Calvin: Revolutionary, Theologian, Pastor by Williston Walker Sale Price: $2.99/£2.06

Adoniram Judson Devoted for Life Sale Price: $2.99/£2.06

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Filed under E-Books, History Makers, Sale

New From Owen Strachan & Gavin Peacock – The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them

The Grand DesignThe world has gone gray-fuzzy, blurry, gender-neutral gray. In a secularist culture, many people today are confused about what it means to be a man or a woman. Even the church struggles to understand the meaning of manhood and womanhood. In The Grand Design, Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock clear away the confusion and open up the Scriptures. They show that the gospel frees us to behold the unity and distinctiveness of the sexes. In Christ, we have a script for our lives. Doxology, we discover, is in the details.

Praise for The Grand Design:

“We live in an age characterized by confusion on gender and sexuality … Strachan and Peacock have provided a careful and faithful account of Scripture’s vision for sexuality and gender. This book is urgently needed.”
-R. Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“Strachan and Peacock don’t simply defend a view of men and women that is traditional but now counter-cultural. They show it is beautiful.”
-Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Confusion abounds today on what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. Peacock and Strachan put feet on the biblical teaching.”
-Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

About the Authors:

Owen Strachan is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Gavin Peacock played for Chelsea Football Club. He is now Director of International Outreach for the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, and serves as a pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Alberta.

Additional Resources:

  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Sample Pages: PDF

Where to Buy:
The Grand Design: Male and Female He Made Them is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

The Grand Design Buy Now:

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Twila Miles Discusses Whispers of Hope on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio

Listen to a great interview with Christian Focus author Twila Miles on Iron Sharpens Iron RadioCLICK HERE to download the MP3.

About the Book:
Whispers of Hope: Finding Perspective Post Adoption by Twila MilesWhispers of Hope is unique. It does not explain how to adopt a child, nor does it provide a comprehensive method for rearing an adopted child. Instead, this book offers something desperately needed in the adoption community: Hope for adoptive parents who are struggling more than they ever thought possible.

This book gives encouragement, new perspective, and hope through Jesus Christ to the adoptive parents who feel like they are drowning and needing a life-line.

About the Author:
Twila Miles is an adoptive mother, author, and conference speaker. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Raleigh, North Carolina , with their five children. Their oldest child was adopted from Ukraine at the age of twelve. Follow Twila at MilesFamilyFun.blogspot.com and WhisperingGrace.blogspot.com.

Additional Resources:

  • Table of Contents: PDF
  • Sample Pages: PDF

Spread the Word on Social Media:

Facebook/Pinterest:

Twitter:

Where to Buy:
Whispers of Hope: Finding Perspective Post Adoption is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Whispers of Hope: Finding Perspective Post Adoption by Twila Miles Buy Now:

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Ebook Sale – May 11-18

Ebook Sale May 11-18
Below is our current selection of ebooks on sale through May 18, 2016.

Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression by Zack Eswine Sale Price: $1.99/£1.38

John Knox: Fearless Faith by Steven J. Lawson Sale Price: $1.99/£1.38

Unashamed Workmen Sale Price: $3.99/£2.77

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Filed under E-Books, Sale