But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Exiled Preacher - Apologetic Report
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Crossway, 126pp 
Evangelism. It's about programmes, right? Special meetings, Christianity Explored, Life Explored. Centrally organised by the church. Partly, yes. Those things have value. But Mack Stiles' book is not about getting churches to buy the latest off the shelf programme. Results...

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 Banner of Truth Trust, 2016, 277pp 
Back in the early 1990's I heard Sinclair Ferguson speak on sanctification at the Banner Ministers' Conference. The addresses made a lasting impression upon me. I remember being struck by the awesome fact that God calls believers to be holy as he is...

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 23:53

Churchill

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We went to see this the other Saturday. In my last film review I noted that when we go to the cinema most of the other movie-goers tend to be getting on a bit. Possibly due to our film choices  these days. Well, for this one it was my good wife, me, another (older) couple, and that...

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On Saturday we attended the London Seminary's 40th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service. I attended the seminary from 1988-1990. Former principal Philip Eveson chaired the meeting and gave a potted history of the college. It was encouraging to hear that around 400 men have been trained for the...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 21:20

Democracy, the worst form of Government

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For years to come pundits and political historians will discuss why the predicted Conservative landslide failed to materialise. Was it the unpopular Tory manifesto? The Brexit factor? The youth vote? Who knows? One thing’s for sure, you can never be sure what the Great British...

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Thursday, 08 June 2017 00:16

Voted

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Given a choice between the unelectable and the uninspiring the latter got my vote. Not so much 'things can only get better' as, 'could be worse'. Much worse. 'Red Tory' has it. 
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Authors: Guy Davies...

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I don't know. In my political convictions I'm stuck somewhere between Red Tory and Blue Labour. Progressive when it comes to the state using its powers to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get on in life. But a social conservative when it comes to traditional marriage and the family,...

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Monday, 05 June 2017 17:56

Voting Intentions

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No, I'm not going to try and suggest who you should vote for on 8 June. 'That's a relief' you might respond, 'I wouldn't have taken any notice anyway.'  Fair enough. It isn't really the job of church leaders to meddle in party politics.
Elections, eh? Some people cast their votes tribally...

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Thursday, 04 May 2017 00:00

Selma

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We wanted to see this in the cinema, but it wasn't mainstream enough for our local Odeon, so we had to wait until it was on the telly. A powerful film on the civil rights movement in 1960's America. At that time blacks were denied their constitutional right to vote in the Deep South by an...

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Tuesday, 02 May 2017 00:54

Banner Ministers' Conference 2017 report

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There was something special about this year's Banner. Can't quite put my finger on it. Was it the new venue, Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Staffs, rather than Leicester Uni? It proved a fine place for the conference, but it wasn't that. Was it waking up on the Tuesday morning to an unexpectedly...

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 17:00

Their Finest

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Time was when we'd take our two to the cinema to see the latest Disney release, surrounded by other youngish parents and their brood. Additional soundtrack: sweets loudly unwrapped and chomped, some brat having a tantrum because the popcorn's run out, etc. Quite liked the Toy Story series and...

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Sunday, 23 April 2017 17:00

Banner Ministers' Conference

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Off to this later. Looking forward to what promises to be a good time of ministry and fellowship. Will hopefully post a report when I get back. 

Authors: Guy Davies...

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EP Books, 2016, 128pp 
I was a student at the London Theological Seminary (now London Seminary) from 1988-90. During the summer of 1989 I did a summer pastorate alongside Basil Howlett when he was pastor of Copse Road Evangelical Church, Clevedon. I was only there for a month or so, but during...

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John Catt Education Ltd, 2016, 309pp
This was a, 'what's all the fuss about?' read. And there's sure been a lot of fuss about this book. Cheerleaders gonna cheer and haters gonna hate. Not being especially biased either way, I wanted to give the book a decent hearing. You'll have to judge for...

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Friday, 14 April 2017 04:26

Easter: bad news/good news?

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People sometimes give us a choice over whether we want to receive bad news or good news first. Bad news to get it out of the way, followed by good news to cheer me up a bit is my preferred order.
 
At first glance the Christian message of Easter seems like bad news. Jesus, a man renowned for...

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We devoted last Wednesday's Bradford on Avon Ministers' Fraternal to reviewing and discussing this title. Robert Oliver gave a review paper and then we weighed up the strengths and weaknesses of the book together. Here are my impressions of the book for what they are worth. ...

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Affinity/Mentor, 2016, 283pp 
This volume gathers together the papers presented at the 2015 Affinity Theological Studies Conference. I was present for that event and very much appreciated reading the various papers and discussing the issues raised by them with fellow conference members. 
The...

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Brazos Press, 2016, 269pp 
As promised, we continue with this review series by considering what Vanhoozer has to say on the relationship between sola fide and biblical authority. At the Diet of Worms Martin Luther is famously reputed to have said, 
Unless I am convinced by the...

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Brazos Press, 2016, 269pp 
With 2017 marking the 500th anniversary of beginning the Protestant Reformation now is a good time to reflect on that disruptive event in church history. Many view the Reformation as nothing less than a tragedy that rent Christendom asunder, leading to the...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 00:20

Affinity Theological Study Conference 2017

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imageThe 'Magnificent Seven' speakers'  panel
 
The theme of this year's conference was, 'The Christian Church: Its Mission in a Post-Christian Culture'.Timely, what with the church in the UK struggling to adjust its mission to a more secular climate. 
As is the practice with these events, the...

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Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:00

Like?

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Some communities try to cut themselves off from the modern world. They prefer horse drawn carriages to cars, candles to light bulbs and opt for good old buttons in place of newfangled zips. Fair enough. Takes all sorts. The modern world can be a bewildering place. But we can't choose our times...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 06:25

Hacksaw Ridge

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"I can't hear you" prays Desmond Doss. The last time Andrew Garfield payed a character struggling with God's silence, the heavens remained silent. But now God's voice is heard. "What do you want me to do?" persisted Doss. The heavens answered in the form of a wounded soldier crying for help....

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The Christian Church: 
Its Mission in a Post-Christian Culture 
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Looking forward to this. A hugely relevant theme. The conference format includes opportunities for in-depth discussion of papers that are circulated beforehand. See here for full conference details and booking information. ...

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Monday, 16 January 2017 14:26

La La Land

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Think that was a chick flick. Boy meets girl. Singing and dancing. Be true to yourself. Pursue your dreams. No especially theological thoughts generated. One line hit home though, 'People love what other people are passionate about.' Can use that somehow. Are we passionate about the gospel? ...

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Friday, 13 January 2017 08:37

Christ and the Decree by Richard A. Muller

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Baker Academic, 2008, 240pp 
Why should a busy pastor give time to studying a work of historical theology like this? Surely we'd be better off reading a how-to manual on sermon illustrations, counselling, leadership, or what have you. If we must read theology, let it be an entry level work,...

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