POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
Finding God In Hard Places
By Ian Coffey
IVP. 135 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978 1 783 592 050
The words we write ‘from the edge’ can often be the most insightful and profound, encapsulating what really matters when our journey is dark and challenging.
The rubbish is cleared away and the values that are lasting come to the fore. With warm transparency, a strong degree of emotional intelligence and a big pastoral heart, Ian Coffey explores the depths that many of us can experience when circumstances are desperate and we need to discover the God who walks with us during our most difficult times.
Characters in crisis
Each chapter deals with a biblical character facing crisis, but begins and ends with a contemporary story, or a personal illustration from the author himself. This adds to the book’s authenticity, making the applications real and giving a tone of relevance and integrity. The tough issues are addressed, the doubts and fears are explored and there is a refreshing absence of simplistic clichés and trite platitudes. The content is both substantial and accessible, an effective and helpful combination.
Postcards from the Edge could very easily be used as a study guide in a group context… (to read more click here)
PREPARED FOR A PURPOSE
By Antoinette Tuff with Alex Tresniowski
Bethany House Publishers. 232 pages. £9.99
ISBN 978 0 764 212 635
How do you prepare for a crisis? Can you ever be mentally, physically and spiritually ready if a disaster, or another devastation, occurred to you or to those you care for? In the material comfort of our Western culture we can be lulled into a false sense of security. How then can we prepare ourselves so that we are ready when the need arises?
Prepared for a Purpose relates the story of Antoinette Tuff, who found herself on 20 August 2013 as the last line of defence between 840 school children and a masked gunman in a school in Georgia…. (to read more click here)
Christian, wife, mum, pastor’s wife,
Great Whyte Baptist Church, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire
Pastor’s wife, Tracey Richards, shares her story
We had known much excitement in the week and a half of moving to Marlow.
It was October 1998. We had been married for three years and we were excited by the new opportunity to minister to God’s people in our first pastorate. All these joys and prospects were magnified by the fact that I was pregnant with our first child. We both wanted children very much.
Before leaving for our first church meeting I felt a sudden sharp pain in my abdomen. Hoping that the pain would pass I continued to get ready to leave, but the pain only became worse and more intense.
My husband, Evan, went alone to the meeting, which left us both feeling disappointed and sad.
On arriving home and discovering my worsening condition… (to read more click here)
Paul Mallard tells us how to avoid making our ministry into an idol
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the glorious honour of preaching Christ.
Indeed, preachers should worry if they don’t enjoy it. However, they must never allow it to take the place of Christ.
A few decades ago my wife became seriously ill with a neurological condition, which could have resulted in the end of public ministry for both of us.1 I remember having to face this as a very real possibility. Amidst the tempest of painful and confusing thoughts that roared through my mind at the time, one of the greatest challenges was the realisation that I might never preach again.
It felt like a bereavement.
The Lord challenged me about my love for him. What was first in my affection? What did I love more: the proclamation of Christ or the Christ I proclaimed? I knew the right answer. I also knew my own heart. After a fierce battle, I remember sitting on a bench and then getting down onto my knees and praying something like this: ‘OK, Lord, I surrender. I want to love you more than my ministry. If you are going to take it from me, then I accept your will. Help me to delight in Jesus.
My ministry did not end. In fact, my wife and I discovered that we were able to minister out of the pain that we felt. And that’s another story. But the battle to keep Christ central has never gone away. It is a daily battle. Something in my heart always wants to replace the love of Jesus with the love of the things that I do for him.
What is the secret of victory?
It is to be utterly
This article is an edited extract from Staying Fresh: Serving with Joy by Paul Mallard, recently published by IVP and is used with permission.
Paul Copan and Kenneth D Litwak critique Naturalism and Scientism from the Christian point of view
Most children read Dr Seuss at some stage.
In Dr Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who, a mean-spirited kangaroo opposes the elephant Horton’s conviction that small persons can exist in an invisible world on a flower Horton found. Despite Horton’s conviction about what he clearly heard, the kangaroo announces, ‘If you can’t see, hear, or feel something, it doesn’t exist!’
This pretty well summarises the view of many scientifically-minded academics on campuses today. They are opposed to the postmodern mood embraced by many of their peers, but they venture into another form of academic dogmatism.
During the Protestant Reformation, renewed emphasis was give to certain doctrines that had been diminished over the centuries: sola scriptura (‘Scripture alone’ is ultimately authoritative and, when push comes to shove, trumps church tradition) solus Christus (‘Christ alone’ is the basis of our salvation), sola gratia (God’s ‘grace alone’ is the source of our salvation) and sola ﬁde (the means of salvation is ‘by faith alone’ rather than human effort). Well, in the academy, we regularly encounter the quasi-religious dogma of sola scientia, that ‘science alone’ can give us … (to read more click here)
This article is an edited extract from The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas by Copan and Litwak, published by IVP, ISBN 978 1 783 591 282, and is used with permission.