Friday, June 26, 2009

Preaching this Coming Lord's Day

God willing, this coming Lord's Day I shall be preaching at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, Great Park Street, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. England. The services at the Tabernacle are at 10.45 AM and 6.00 PM.
The drawing shows the chapel, which reached its present appearance (more or less) in about 1900, when a wealthy deacon, a local brewer, completely renovated the old chapel, bought the leasehold land on which it had been built, and gave it to the church along with an impressive manse. The result was an argument as to whether or not the church should accept property bought with beer money. A better question would have been whether or not the church should have appointed a brewer as deacon in the first place. Thankfully common sense finally prevailed.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Preaching this coming Lord's Day

God willing, this coming Lord's Day I shall be preaching at the Tabor Baptist Church evening service held in Caerlan Hall, Llantrisant, and not in the building shown above, just to confuse people. Or something like that anyhow. Services at at 11.00 AM and 6.00 PM


Monday, June 08, 2009

Another forthcoming Attraction

Every year sees a number of good books coming out from Christian publishers. In July we have another book coming out that looks worth reading, Revival on the Causeway Coast by Nicholas M. Railton, is a history of the 1859 revival in the district and town of Coleraine in Northern Ireland. As a new contribution to teh study of the 1859 Ulster revival, this will, I hope, be a welcome addition to the literature on revival. On the Christian Focus site, we find this quote from Railton:
“At the centre of the revival message stood Christ, the Eternal Son of God, and His work of redemption on the cross of Calvary. His saving works then, His sanctifying work now, His work of judgement in the future. Jesus is portrayed
not simply as a good teacher or prophet, but as the Lord of history who is coming back soon. He is the One who has conquered death and the devil; His followers are part of a conquering band, marching to a better land.”

This is the message we need today in the Church, of Jesus as who He really is, not what some fashionable preacher thinks we need Him to be!

Revival on the Causeway Coast is priced at £7.99. Full details here, but please buy from a local Christian bookshop if you can.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Preaching next Lord's Day

God willing, this coming Lord's Day I shall be preaching at Hope Baptist Church, Haslemere, Surrey. Hope is an historic church, the present building dates from 1870, and the church still stands on the historic faith once delivered to the saints, as it did when it was founded. Hope Chapel is located on Lower Street, Haslemere. Services are at 10.30 AM and 6.30 PM.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Forthcoming Attraction from Christian Focus publications

Christian Focus Publications has announced the long-awaited third volume of the series The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, edited by Ligon Duncan, will be published in July. The two previous volumes in this series have been extremely intersting and useful to those in a Reformed context. Full details here. With essays on Karl Barth, the New Perspective on Paul, and the nature of the Lord's Supper included among the contents of this book, it looks well worth taking a look at. Unless I am sent a review copy by the magazine that I write book reviews for (which I may well), I shall be buying this book myself, God willing.
The Christian Focus list price is £22.99. Once again my advice to use a local Christian bookshop, and not Amazon or even Christian Focus unless you really have to, stands.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

The History of a Historian - A.R. MacEwen. VII

Having committed himself to stuy for the ministry, MacEwen took himself off to Germany for some study, as had become the custom among Scottish theological students of the period. He spent a month attending lectures at the University of Gottingen in Hanover. While he enjoyed his time in Germany, there is little evidence that he imbibed deeply the sort of German theology that was to work such devastation in the Evangelical Churches of Britain. Still, this was a period in which Germany was greatly in favour in Scotland, and it is rather amusing reading of the Scottish theologians trying to deny their love of all things German as soon as the Great War broke out!

After the semester ended at Gottingen, MacEwen travelled back to Scotland via Denmark, arriving home in time to begin his time at the United Presbyterian Hall in Edinburgh. He took a full part in all the extra-curricular activities of the Hall, the Missionary Society in particular. Church History was a particular love of his even then, and he did not confine himself to Scotland, or to the more recent past. He was excused for some of the lectures when he was asked to take some of Professor Jebb's Greek classes at Glasgow University when the Professor was unwell. In May he took a holiday in the little Borders town of Moffat - a place that would be more important in his life than he knew at that time. He described it in a letter to a friend as "a mot delightful place".
He was kept busy, and an essay of his on Jerome, translator of the Vulgate, was published in the British and Foreign Evangelical Review. More importantly, in March, 1879 the Edinburgh Presbytery of the Church opened a new mission work in Leith Walk. MacEwen was put in temporary charge of the mission, with Principal Cairns as his supervisor. By the 7th of October his labours had been used to gather a congregation of eighty members, and the Colston Street Mission was constituted. This was his first real ministerial post, though at this point he had not yet been ordained. The United Presbyterians had no assistant pastors at the time, so UP students had to get their ministerial experience while still at college.
It has been asked by some "what use is Church History?" MacEwen's response is "much every way". To him the life of the local church has to be set in the larger context of the universal Church, and that is where Church History comes in. It tells us where we come from, and how we got here.
He finished his training in 1880, and was licenced by the Presbytery of Glasgow. The Colston Street Mission sought to call him as their pastor, but he did not see his way to accept the call. A visit to the English Presbterian Church at Cambridge led to his being called to the pastorate of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, London, where he had preached once. The Church at Moffat, where he had been placed by the Church as a probationer, also called him, and finally he received a call from a new Congregation in Pollockshilds, Glasgow. All of which was encouraging, but left him faced with a serious question - which of these places was the one God wanted him to labour in?
God willing, next time we shall see where MacEwen went.