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R. Bailey "www.biblebase.com" (Reading, UK)
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A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
Price: £9.49

5.0 out of 5 stars You need to read this book; if not today, you will certainly need it in one of your tomorrows., 22 Aug. 2013
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In many ways Joni Eareckson's book serves as an extended illustration to the theology of Henry Frost whose book, "Miraculous Healing", she constantly recommends. Frost was a friend and contemporary of Hudson Taylor and his book comes highly recommended by a broad spectrum of evangelical response to the mystery of healing and the gospel. (M Lloyd Jones being one of that number). "Miraculous Healing", by Henry W Frost, provides the patient theology of issues of healing and Joni's "A Place of Healing" works out the hypothesis, but thrillingly. Joni Eareckson is not "under siege" in her testimony but boldly embraces the current will of God as she perceives it.

The perspective of each of these books comes from writers who believe that "God still heals today" and so avoids the extreme position of the cessationists. But at the same time both books avoid the dogmatic theology of the "God's will is that you be healed now" theology.

There is a beautiful and sane balance in this testimony, and 'testimony' is what we encounter in Joni's book. This testimony does not come from the ivory tower of a study but from the fog of war experienced in the midst of the battle. You need to read this book; if not today, you will certainly need it in one of your tomorrows. Buy it and share it and enjoy the thrilling testimony of a woman who has found the grace to say "though he slay me, yet will I trust him."


The Christian's Compass
The Christian's Compass
Price: £3.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parts of the Christian Compass should be read on our knees, 17 Dec. 2011
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Les Wheeldon's book was written in response to a request for basic systematic teaching that would provide a foundation for leaders. It hits that target dead centre but it does more, it provides a solid basis for all young Christians, Sunday School teachers and any others who are looking for clear and simple explanations of the foundations of faith. Les' wide experience at home and abroad shows in the ease with which he tackles his subjects and the aptness of his illustrations, but the simplicity is not shallowness. Parts of the Christian Compass should be read on our knees with a heart that transposes these teachings into prayer and thankfulness for God's meticulous planning and care for our lives. This book is a valuable contribution and a fine introduction to the wonders of Christian truth. Make sure your Sunday School teachers, youth leaders and the like have their own copy. Heartily recommended.


Book of Fire: William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible
Book of Fire: William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible
by Brian Moynahan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars that rarest of books... a historical page turner., 28 Mar. 2011
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ISBN-13: 978-0349123226 Kindle Edition. 5 stars

Brain Moynahan's book is subtitled `William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible' and I read it in the Kindle version. As far I can see the book is now `out of print' other than for Kindle readers but second hand copies are available.

William Tyndale is my hero and David Daniell's book `William Tyndale: a biography' might have thought to have been the definitive work. Moynahan's book relies heavily on Daniell but brings a thrilling pace to the personal conflict between Thomas More and William Tyndale. Moynahan is more than sympathetic to Tyndale and clearly hostile to More but the dynamic between the two men, who never met, is brought out in a very vivid manner.

I am very familiar with the storyline of these events but Moynahan really seems to get into the character of the two men who provide a fascinating contrast to each other. This book also reveals how a `committee' of the King James Version were able to produce such masterpiece of style and accuracy; they lifted over 80% of Tyndale's New Testament for their new translation!

Moynahan's writing has been described as being, "mercifully free of the sludge that often clogs academic treatises". This book however is not a novel but a carefully researched and documented history written with the skill of an accomplished communicator. He has produced that rarest of books... a historical page turner. The book captures the continual threat of arrest and execution that was the background to the whole translation process and makes the reader conscious of the enormous debt of gratitude that we owe to such men as William Tyndale.

Warmly recommended and a `must read' for anyone interested in the romance of Bible translation. 5 stars.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2014 12:45 PM GMT


William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner
William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner
by William Hague
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the definitive Wilberforce biography, 14 Jun. 2010
William Hague, once leader of the Conservative Party and now Foreign Secretary, has provided us with a wonderful biography of this great Englishman. There have been several biographies of William Wilberforce but this is written by a politician who sets Wilberforce's achievements within the political structures and struggles of his day. This makes the read a little laborious at times but surely William Hague has provided the definitive Wilberforce biography.

This is a very sympathetic record of Wilberforce's labours and Hague really seems to have a true sense of the powerful motivating force of Wilberforce's personal evangelical faith. It is a fascinating glimpse into an age which is almost unimaginable today. Wilberforce's commitment to abolishing the slave trade and then slavery itself was the abiding passion of his life. His patience and tenacity in fulfilling what he believed to be his God-given task bore testimony to his personal faith. The delays and reversals would surely have deterred most other men. While bloody revolution and madame guillotine reigned in France and many expected similar events in Britain, through the Napoleanic wars and turbulent times Wilberforce patiently and carefully steered his path through to a solid foundation for abolition of slavery as an acceptable part of `civilised' life.

I would have liked to hear more about the `Clapham Sect', a community of evangelical leaders in society and the political world. This company of like minded believers had an enormous impact on Bible translation and publication, with the Bible Society and with the founding of several mission societies.

A long and sometimes laborious read but heartily recommended.


Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
by Michael Ward
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Digging deeper in Narnia and Perelandra, 30 Jun. 2009
Michael Ward is an Anglican minister who has caused a lot of excitement among his fellow academics and others by his claim to have 'found the key'to C S Lewis' fiction writings. The books he has in mind are the Narnia Chronicles (which he calls 'the Narniad' and the Ransom Trilogy of science fiction books. Many have enjoyed Lewis' works without ever concerning themselves with the search for a 'key' but academics have frequently criticised Lewis for the 'hotch potch' of conflicting ideas and the lack of apparent order in the Narniad in particular. Even friends of Lewis criticised his entry into 'children's fiction' and thought that, as a writer, he had missed his mark.

Michael Ward suggests, in what was original a doctoral thesis, that there are unspoken themes to Lewis' works of fiction. Others have also made this claim and suggested various linking themes but none have received wide support as Ward. Lewis was known to be 'a man who liked his secrets' and Ward claims that this is why they were hidden for so long.

Lewis' chosen field of expertise was medieval literature and Ward claims that Lewis has used a medieval philosophical framework for this fiction even though the apparent stories are set in a fairy-tale world or in interplanetary space. Lewis has used the medieval mind-set to create a subliminal mood or atmosphere that was, in a sense the real story, and which was more important than any of the apparent allegorical details. Lewis, says Ward, was creating an atmosphere which in its overall effect cannot be examined too closely without losing its essence. The 'hidden key' to these subliminal moods is the medieval concept of the seven kingdom of the seven planets.

These planetary influences are not the planets of or spheres of Copernican astronomy but the Ptolemaic and 'astrological' influences of the medieval world. Lewis found a beauty and order in the pre-Copernican cosmos which he preferred to the factual order of the Copernican cosmos. The wise man, he said, does not only think in categories of factual truth but also of beauty. In this sense the Narnia Chronicles are a literary equivalent of Holst's Planets Suite, each of the seven 'heavens' giving its own key to a different Narnia chronicle.

Ward coins the word 'donegality' which he describes as a work of art in which a spiritual essence is intended by the artist but inhabited unconsciously by the reader. The author is consciously trying to create an atmosphere that he wants the reader to experience sub-consciously. It was designed by the author to remain 'implicit' in the text itself and not intended to be 'visible', nevertheless it was intended to impact the reader and to awaken sub-conscious truths that are common to mankind. For example, says Ward, Lewis attempts to awaken the sense of 'Jupiter/Jove', the kingly, magnanimous, festive, full-blooded, enjoyable aspect of God. This is the mood, expressed in the adjective 'Jovial'. A survivor of the Great War Lewis saw life and culture and having become dominated but the 'Saturnine' influences and sought to awaken 'Jupiter' in the hearts of his readers.

This is a book intended for academics but not restricted to such. Lewis described himself as reading 'as a native, texts that his students read as foreigners'. Lewis' personal world and mind-set, says Ward, was medieval. His stories consequently have a level at which they are complex frenzy of 'puns' and quotations from the world of medieval literature. To fully appreciate what Lewis is doing the reader would need more than a passing knowledge of Classical literature, Shakespeare and Dante! In his 'Preface to Paradise Lost' Lewis had written 'an influence which cannot evade our consciousness will not go very deep'. Ward contends that the Narniad and the Ransom Trilogy are Lewis attempt to create such a deep influence; to reawaken forgotten concepts of God and his ways. Ward's theory is not complicated but his elaborate proof of his theses is very comprehensive and thereby not a book to be read by the pool on a hot summer's day!

Does Ward carry his case? I believe he does. If you are prepared for your mind to be stretched... gently by a very readable writer this book will fascinate and enlarge your next reading of Lewis' world of fiction.

Review provided by Biblebase Book Reviews.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2010 11:32 AM GMT


Defending Christian Zionism
Defending Christian Zionism
by David Pawson
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very patchy defense of Christian Zionism., 9 Jun. 2008
I have long appreciated David Pawson's (DP) work, have read most of his books, attended his lectures and met him a couple of times. I appreciate his rigorous way of examining the scriptures and the issues and, in many areas of controversy, have a large measure of agreement with him. However, in this controversy, I suspect he would regard me as somewhere in his Replacement/Fulfillment categories of Christian anti-Zionists although I don't fit his criteria for either.

His book serves a valuable purpose in removing the dispensational element from the discussion. Stephen Sizer's (SS) book right targets the dispensationalists but as DP points out there is a brand of Christian Zionism which utterly rejects the dispensationalism of Darby, Lindsay and LaHaye. It is useful to clear that ground and to see that in terms of the Mosaic Covenant David Pawson himself is a `Replacement Theologian'. However it was the Mosaic Covenant which established Israel as a nation with a destiny and the Commandments and Judgements served partly as a tenancy agreement for the land. Where does this leave a right to the land for those who whose constitutional covenant giving them the lease, never the right, to the land was `replaced' by the New Covenant?

Clearly DP feels strongly about these issues but I think this book does not maintain his usual standards of patient reason and fairness. I was saddened to note one or two places where he adopted the `guilty by association' brand of reasoning and surprised at his association of several UK politicians with `Christian Zionsim'. I would scarcely regard Churchill or some of his other `Christian Zionists' as `Christian' in any sense.

DP's book is only the beginning of a response to SS's position. His handling of the topic was inevitably reactive but it suffers as a result of this. It left me with more questions than solutions. I still think that in agreeing with Stephen Sizer's demolition of dispensationalism DP has served his readers well, now we can get onto the real issues of interpretation.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2008 2:33 PM BST


The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine
by Alister McGrath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

48 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific totalitarianism refuted, 15 Mar. 2007
At its level this is an excellent introduction to the philosophy of scientism and its totalitarian demands. McGrath is happy for Dawkins to have his opinions but skillfully opposes the doctrinaire hysterics of scientific fundamentalism. Dawkins obsession with religion has become more and more marked over the years and in The God Delusion his embittered rhetoric has found its natural peak. McGrath is a much more calm and measured response. The few quotations from Dawkins' scientific peers show how extreme Dawkins position has become.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2013 3:48 PM GMT


Original Sin: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible (New Studies in Biblical Theology)
Original Sin: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible (New Studies in Biblical Theology)
by Henri Blocher
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a steep climb but some interesting views, 22 Feb. 2005
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subtitled 'illuminating the riddle' is not an easy read; Blocher is a high flying theologian writing from a Calvinistic conviction but willing to think 'outside the box'. Unless you have done some solid theological thinking this book is probably not for you, but if you have this will stretch you a bit and give an you a good idea of the scope of the topic. He examines several different aspects and comes up with his own 'best fit' thesis.


I, Patrick, a Sinner...: A Tale Worth Telling
I, Patrick, a Sinner...: A Tale Worth Telling
by Stephaine Lavenia Swinnea
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars An atmospheric landscape with a flawed pilgrim's tale., 6 April 2001
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This is a excellent 'page turner' and the reader will find it difficult to put down, but my overall reaction was one of disappointment. The book is unapologetic fiction, and the author takes pains to emphasise this. The background atmosphere of the day, chilling as it is, is developed creatively and with an authentic grip on the moods of Celtic Ireland but the obsession with Patrick's sexual activities and temptations is prurient.. This is all the more disappointing as Patrick's personal spiritual pilgrimage is sensitively developed in a way which is both fascinating and credible. The book creates a very readable and believable landscape, but Patrick's journey through it is spoiled by salacious speculation. Still worth reading. My wife loved it, frequently with tears!


Rediscovering the Celts
Rediscovering the Celts
by Martin Robinson
Edition: Paperback

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Celts' contribution to Christianity in the British Isles, 20 Mar. 2000
A balanced and informative comment on the distinctive contribution of Celtic Christianity in the British Isles. The book has a solid historical base and draws widely from authorities ancient and modern. Robinson avoids the ethereal mysticism of new age celtic consciousness and clearly identifies the subtle differences between Roman Catholic and Celtic Christianity. The final chapter 'Learning from the Celts' is a valuable contemporary challenge.


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