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

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Little Brown, 2019, 594pp
When Paul arrived in Corinth sometime in the early 50s AD, the apostle was aware of the intellectual pretensions of that great city. The rock stars of the day were not musicians, but orators. Public speakers could command a handsome fee for their highfalutin disquisitions...

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As a child the historian Tom Holland was fascinated by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Holland, who hails from Wiltshire, went on to author several bestselling books on Roman and Greek history, Rubicon, Persian Fireand Dynasty. But the more he got into the ancient world, the more morally repellent...

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The authors of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689 (LBC) were keen to identify themselves with mainstream Puritan theological orthodoxy. That is why their confession of faith was not a freshly minted expression of their beliefs, but a revision of the Independent's Savoy Declaration...

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Monday, 09 December 2019 04:17

Christmas songs

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Whether we like them or not, Christmas songs are pretty much inescapable at this time of year. The top three seasonal songs in the UK are 1. Fairytale Of New York, 2. All I Want For Christmas Is You and 3. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. According to Google, anyway. You might have other...

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 02:53

The Trinity: order, persons, nature and will

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The incarnate Christ has two wills. Each proper to his divine and human natures. If will were a property of persons, he would only have one will, for Christ is not two persons, but one person with two natures. 
Since will is a property of nature, the three persons of the Trinity share one...

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Audible edition 
In Part 1 we looked at what Murray has to say on 'Gay' and 'Women'. Now we come to Race, Trans and some concluding thoughts.
Race 
Martin Luther King looked forward to the time when people would be judged on the content of their character, rather than the colour of their...

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Audible edition
In his previous title, The StrangeDeath of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, the author linked the immigration crisis with the decline of Christianity in Western Europe. The continent was Christian enough to be fueled by a guilt-driven sense of responsibility towards the...

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Monday, 04 November 2019 18:29

A Bridge Too Far?

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I vividly remember being taken to see A Bridge Too Far. We saw it in the old Royal Playhouse cinema in Tenby when on holiday back in 1977. The film boasted a stellar cast including Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins and Lawrence Olivier among the Brits and Gene Hackman, Ryan...

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In a previous post I discussed whether the old covenant was a covenant of works. See here for my review of Shadow and Substanceby Samuel D. Renihan.Speaking of the Abrahamic covenant Particular Baptist pioneer, Nehemiah Coxe wrote that it was, 'a Covenant of Grace and Mercy...yet...

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In his From Shadow to Substance: The Federal Theology of the English Particular Baptists (1642-1704), I believe Samuel D. Renihan has proven his case in terms of historical theology. The Particular Baptists aligned themselves with an important line of thought within Reformed covenant...

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Thursday, 03 October 2019 21:32

Cheer up, it could be worse John Flavel style

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I've been reading John Flavel's The Mystery of Providenceoff and on for some months. I can't recall how the  book came into my possession, but my copy is a 1976 Banner of Truth reprint, cover price 60p. I also have the six volume set of Flavel's Works, bought when I was a student at London...

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Sunday, 29 September 2019 17:00

From Shadow to Substance by Samuel D. Renihan

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From Shadow to Substance: The Federal Theology of the English Particular Baptists (1642-1407)
Samuel D. Renihan, Regent's Park College, 2018. 389pp
Holiday reading #3In the seventeenth century English Particular Baptists (believers in the Calvinistic doctrine of particular redemption or definite...

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Thursday, 26 September 2019 19:57

Thank God for Harvest!

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A big local event is the Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show. We went along the other Saturday. Yes, I know it’s a Somerset thing, but there were no doubt quite a few people from our part of Wiltshire there too. We enjoyed the showcase events including show jumping, falconry, stunt shows...

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The Saturday edition of The Times highlighted an interesting juxtaposition. The News section ran a story on how children are being pulled out of Birmingham schools in protest against LGBT education (here). Apparently, since the row erupted, some 400 children have been withdrawn from...

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Thursday, 19 September 2019 21:42

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Faber & Faber, 2015, 362pp
"I will remember their sins no more"
(Jeremiah 31:34)
Holiday reading #2
As a boy I was fascinated by the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I re-read a version of story time and time again. The Buried Giant is set in the time that followed the...

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019 20:34

Tom Holland on 'Dominion' at Bristol Festival of Ideas

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A few years ago when our children (now twenty somethings) were still children, we holidayed in Carmarthen. We saw Toy Story 3 in the cinema, so it must have been summer 2010. I'd finished my 'holiday reads' and was on the look out for another book. On the shelves of history section at Waterstones I...

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Sunday, 08 September 2019 21:20

Providence Baptist Church Anniversary Weekend

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Over the weekend we celebrated the 209th anniversary of Providence Baptist Church. As has been our custom for the last few years, we had the same speaker for the Saturday afternoon meeting and the Sunday services. This time it was the turn of Gary Brady, who's been pastor of Child's Hill...

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Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018 paperback edition, 371pp
Summer reading #1
I read this on the beaches of Costa Balanca. We holidayed in Alicante, the Spanish coastal resort. The city is dominated by Santa Bárbara Castle, a formidable hilltop fortification. It is so called because on Saint...

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Monday, 19 August 2019 04:38

The Joy of Service by Julian Hardyman

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10Publishing, 2016
I think I was given this at an FIEC Pastors' Network meeting a year or so ago. A freebie. 
The brief chapters glance at themes like, 'Ministry as Service', 'Ministry and Suffering' and 'Ministry and Prayer'.
I guess this is aimed at aspiring and newbie pastors, with a nod to...

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Zondervan, 2011, 1052pp
One of the formative influences on my ministry was reading Preaching and Preachers by Dr. D. M. Lloyd-Jones. In it the preacher urged the importance of ministers keeping up their theological reading. After all, for him preaching was 'theology on fire', and you can't have...

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Monday, 22 July 2019 20:24

The Lion King

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The original animated version of Disney’s The Lion Kingcame out in 1994, a year before the birth of our first child. We bought a copy on video as a gift for our two year old son when his little sister was born. Our children loved the story of Simba, Nala, Pumba and Timon. They watched the...

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019 19:07

Yesterday

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We went to see Yesterday last week. Old married's 'date night'. The trailers looked fun, although reviews were a bit sniffy. You probably know at lest the gist of the plot. The write-up contains spoilers. A global power outage made people forget stuff. Like The Beatles. Mostpeople anyway. A...

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The British Social Attitudes report published this month appears to evidence a sharp decline in Christian belief over the last 35 years. In 1983 66% of the population identified as Christian, while by 2018 the figure had fallen to 38%. The percentage of the population attending religious services...

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Sunday, 07 July 2019 23:32

Leadership worth following

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As I write the Conservative leadership elections are in full swing, with final two candidates having launched their campaigns to be the next Prime Minister. Needless to say, each of the contenders believes they are best placed to lead our great nation through Brexit and beyond. I am no political...

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Monday, 01 July 2019 00:58

C. S. Lewis: A Life by Alister McGrath

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Hodder, 2013, 431pp
When C. S. Lewis died on 22 November 1963 his passing was overshadowed by the assassination on that same day of US President Kennedy. Even the UK media gave scant attention to the life, achievements and death of one of the key Christian voices of the 20th century. By the end of...

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