Monthly Archives: February 2014

Christian Focus Across the Web – February 28, 2014

This week’s highlights are below:

David Robertson on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley – The past two weekends David Robertson has been debating with Matt Dillahunty on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley. In part one, David shares about why he’s not an atheist and in part two Matt shares about why he’s not a Christian. You can listen to the discussion via the links below:

Carl Trueman Offers Reflections on “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” – Recently on the 9Mark s blog, Carl Trueman talked about his surprise at the ongoing responses to his little essay “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?.” Read the article at 9Marks.org.

You can read “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” in The Wages Of Spin: Critical Writings on Historical and Contemporary Evangelicalism (Christian Focus, 2005).

A Neglected Grace reviewed on The Artistic Theologian – We recently came across Scott Aniol’s review of Jason Helopoulos’ book A Neglected Grace on The Artistic Theologian. Here’s a bit of what Scott had to say in his review:

A Neglected Grace is a welcome and useful tool to encourage families in their worship, not only because of Helopoulos’s extremely helpful tips and resources, but also because of his deeply uplifting and understanding tone.”

Read the full review at ArtisticTheologian.com.

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February Apologetics Book Giveaway Winners

Apologetics GiveawayCongratulations to Timothy Harris (activedidactic.wordpress.com) and Persis Lorenti (triedbyfire.blogspot.com), who each won a copy of Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson and Why I Am Not An Atheist by David Randall  in the February Apologetics Book Giveaway here on the Christian Focus Booknotes blog.

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New From Richard Bewes: Equipped To Serve

Equipped To Serve by Richard BewesEquipped to Serve is the cream of Richard Bewes’ wisdom after a lifetime of service. Let this book be your guide to making your life a ministry to others and to sharing your faith with the gifts that God has given you.

Praise for Equipped To Serve:

“Richard Bewes has produced another treasure-a masterpiece of practical Christianity… A special gift.”
-Timothy George ~ Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

“I find myself renewed in appreciation and understanding of the Cross… more equipped – and more aware of Jesus. A truly great and effective piece of writing!”
-Alec Motyer ~ Well-known Bible expositor and commentary writer, Poynton, England

“Richard Bewes is a long-distance runner and a true soldier of the Lord… We can learn so much from the passing on of this valuable legacy.”
-George Verwer ~ Founder of Operation Mobilisation, Kent, England

About the Author:
Richard Bewes is the author of several beloved books of faith including Talking About Prayer, 150 Pocket Thoughts, and The Goodnight Book. Bewes was the rector of All Souls Church in the centre of London from 1983 until his retirement in 2004. In 2005 he was awarded an OBE for his services to the Church of England.

Where to Buy:
Equipped To Serve  by Richard Bewes 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:

Equipped To Serve by Richard Bewes Buy Now:

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David Robertson on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley – Part 2

David Robertson

David Robertson

Tune in for part two of David Robertson’s and Matt Dillahunty’s exchange on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley. Matt has the floor this time and he explains why following the person of Christ doesn’t make sense to him. David responds as they engage on whether Jesus was good, by what standard we judge, and whether we can trust what he said. Listen to this discussion here:  LINK.

If you missed part one of this debate, you can find it here:  LINK.

Where to Buy:
Why I Am Not An Atheist: Facing the Inadequacies of Unbelief  by David J. Randall (editor) 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:

Why I Am Not An Atheist by David J. Randall Buy Now:

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Monday Meditations: Delight in God’s Commands

Monday Meditations - Daily Readings: The Puritans

Delight in God’s Commands

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
Psalm 86:11

There flows from this godly fear a great delight in the holy com- mands of God; that is, a delight to be conformable unto them. “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Ps. 112:1). This confirms that which was said before, namely, that this fear provokes to a holy and reverent use of the means; for that cannot be, when there is not a holy, yea, a great delight in the commandments. Wherefore this fear makes the sinner to abhor that which is sin, because that is contrary to the object of his delight. A man cannot delight himself at the same time in things directly opposite one to another, as sin and the holy commandments are; therefore Christ says of the servant, he “cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24); if he cleaves to the one, he must hate and despise the other: there cannot, at the same time, be service to both, because that they are at enmity one with the other: so are sin and the commandments; therefore, if a man delights him- self in the commandments, he hates that which is opposite, which is sin; how much more when he greatly delights in the command- ments! Now, this holy fear of God takes the heart and affections from sin, and sets them upon the holy commandments; therefore such a man is rightly esteemed blessed. For no profession makes a man blessed, but that which is accompanied with an alienation of the heart from sin; nor does any thing do that when this holy fear is wanting. It is from this fear, then, that love to and delight in the holy commandments flow; and so by that the sinner is kept from those falls and dangers of miscarrying that other professors are so subject to: he greatly delights in the commandments.

*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).

Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) 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:

Daily Readings - the Puritans - Edited by Randall Pederson Buy Now:

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February Apologetics Book Giveaway

*If you are unable to see the contest widget in your RSS Reader or e-mail client, click here to view this post on the Christian Focus Booknotes Blog.

Terms and Conditions:
*Winners from the continental United States and the United Kingdom will be awarded a paperback copy of each book. Winners outside of the US and the UK will be awarded an e-book (.mobi or .epub) copy of each book.

About Magnificent Obsession:
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, was told by the leader of an atheist society: “Okay, I admit that you have destroyed my atheism, but what do you believe?” His answer was “I believe in and because of Jesus.” This book shows us why Jesus is the reason to believe. In response to the shout of God is not Great by the late Christopher Hitchens, David shows us why Jesus is God and is Great.

About Why I Am Not An Atheist:
Eleven different people travelled on eleven diverse paths to faith in Jesus Christ, and this book is the point where they meet. In Why I Am Not an Atheist, these travellers relate their stories and the reasons why they believe. What do a CEO, a psychiatrist, a journalist and a missionary have in common? This book is a good place to find out.

Contributors include Ravi Zacharias, Heather Tomlinson, David Robertson, Donald Bruce, Alistair Donald, Henk Drost, Elaine Duncan, Alex MacDonald, Pablo Martinez, Chris Sinkinson, and David Randall.

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New From A. Donald MacLeod: A Kirk Disrupted

A Kirk Disrupted by A. Donald MacLeodCharles Cowan, advocate of science, art, and social science, spent thirteen years as a Member of Parliament and over thirty years as a founding member and advocate of the Sustention Fund Committee of the newly formed Free Church of Scotland. Within fifty years the fledgling denomination had built 730 new churches, 400 manses, 500 schools and a new theological college, in addition to paying the salaries of all its clergy through its Sustentation Fund. Cowan’s legacy is deeply felt in the country of Scotland and the church today.

Praise For A Kirk Disrupted:

“Readers of biography are in for a treat, and students of church history will see the Disruption for what it was: a church crisis that absorbed and impacted the lives of real people.”
-Iain D. Campbell ~ Minister, Point Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis

“In telling this tale, Macleod has vividly brought to life the story of a man who was gregarious and generous. This book is a splendid example of the best kind of history.”
-Sandy Finlayson ~ Director of Library Services & Professor of Theological Bibliography, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“This book, with its detailed yet highly readable story, sets the pattern for others to follow. It is high-class biography, accurate and broad in scope, yet immensely interesting and informative.”
-Allan Harman ~ Research Professor of Old Testament, Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, Australia

About the Author:
A. Donald MacLeod is Research Professor of Church History at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Toronto, Ontario. He is married to Judith and they have two sons and 5 grandchildren. To learn more about Donald and his writing, visit his website at adonaldmacleod.com.

Where to Buy:
A Kirk Disrupted: Charles Cowan MP and the Free Church of Scotland by A. Donald MacLeod 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:

A Kirk Disrupted by A. Donald MacLeod Buy Now:

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David Robertson on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley

David Robertson

David Robertson

This past weekend David Robertson was a guest on Unbelievable with Justin Brierley. He shares about about his chapter in David Randall’s recent book Why I Am Not An Atheist and debates Matt Dillahunty, host of The Atheist Experience. Listen to part one of this discussion here:  LINK.

Where to Buy:
Why I Am Not An Atheist: Facing the Inadequacies of Unbelief  by David J. Randall (editor) 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:

Why I Am Not An Atheist by David J. Randall Buy Now:

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Monday Meditations: God’s Special Love

Monday Meditations - George Whitefield

God’s Special Love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

Here is a dispute between the Arminians and the Calvinists: ask an Arminian what is meant by “beloved of the Lord,” and they will say that there is meant the general redemption, and so the “beloved of the Lord” signifies all the men that were ever born into the world; so, they say, God loves all. That is a good broad bridge to take them in, but broad bridges are not always the strongest bridges in the world. The Arminians will assert Judas was as much beloved of God as Peter, or any of the other apostles. And those who are not Arminians, but are what you call Quakers, and there are a good many, I believe, among them, that have better hearts than heads; they say that we are all alike, that we all come into the world with a seed of grace, and shall be happy according to the improvement of that grace. Hence they talk nothing of a Christ without but only within; happy are they that experience Christ within! God’s mercy is sure, and over all his works; and in one sense our Lord Jesus is the Savior of all men; that is, all sorts of men. Even the wicked are beholden to Jesus, whom they despise, for every worldly comfort they enjoy. In this sense we should learn to love as our Lord loved the young man. But we must go more to what we call Calvinism, which I call Scripture truth. The love Jesus bore for the rich young ruler was quite different from that love which with he loved Martha, Mary, and their brother, Lazarus.

*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings, p. 58 (Christian Heritage, 2010).

Where to Buy:
George Whitefield Daily Readings by Randall J. Pederson (editor) 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:

George Whitefield (Daily Readings) Buy Now:

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Celebrating Singles on Valentine’s Day: Mary Slessor

Women of Faith and Courage

Mary Slessor adopted many children from amongst the abandoned boys and girls of the native tribes that she served. She was referred to by the natives as ‘Ma’ because of her deep love for the people that she worked amongst. She really was like a mother to the people of that land. She was a single woman and some might think that this was due to her dreadful childhood experience of marriage. Mary’s father was a drunkard and she often had to be the barrier to protect her mother from her father’s physical abuse. Some nights as a child she would be thrown out on the Dundee streets until her father slept off his drink induced rage and her mother could bring her back into the ‘safety’ of the home once more.

I think however, rather than putting her off marriage, it was this tough upbringing that gave Mary Slessor her edge as a missionary. What we might think of as a disadvantage and a blight on her life was used by God to bring the gospel to the area of Calabar – in what we now refer to as Nigeria.

Her commitment to the spreading of the gospel, mission work and the defense of the vulnerable women and children of that area was remarkable. One choice that she made shows both her commitment to the Lord’s work and to the fact that she wasn’t against marriage. In 1890 Mary met a new missionary to Calabar Charles Morrison. Quietly and with little fuss the two missionaries began a relationship and Mary agreed to an engagement on the condition that Charles joined her in her missionary work in Calabar. His health however was the barrier to this. Charles left the mission and Mary continued with her work. The engagement was ended. The only evidence that it had ever been – a photograph with Mary wearing an engagement ring and two books where Mary and Charles had both signed their names side by side.

To close this post I’ll just add one of the quotes found in the margin of Mary’s bible: “It were worth while to die, if thereby a soul could be born again.”

Women of Faith and Courage

http://www.christianfocus.com/item/show/1426/-/sr_2

Mary Slessor: Servant to the Slave

http://www.christianfocus.com/item/show/560/-/sr_1

Mary Slessor: What is it Like?

http://www.christianfocus.com/item/show/1488/-/sr_3

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