Book Review: 666 and All That

666 and All That: The Truth About the Future by John Dickson and Greg Clarke (Sydney: Blue Bottle Books, 2007).

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Reviewed by Katy Annis

What happens in the End? What does the Bible say will happen in the future?

The theological term most often used to describe the end of times is ‘eschatology’. 666 and All That by John Dickson and Greg Clarke addresses the topic of eschatology, a subject that both fascinates and concerns many people.

Dickson and Clarke treat this subject with a clear, concise and ‘no-nonsense’ approach. This book has a simple underlying argument; that is, Scripture itself does not provide a literal ‘play-by-play’ description of what the future will be like, therefore, we have little to gain by attempting to understand it in this way. Rather, they suggest that our focus should be on the promises, the hope and the joy that Christians can anticipate in the future Kingdom.

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Sermon – The Lord Who Delivers (Psalm 31)

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Sermon ‘The Lord Who Delivers’ (Psalm 31) by David Smith is now available to stream or download: http://bit.ly/2aXoIOi

Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2blnGhM

English Support Handout: http://bit.ly/2aWMTwE

Sermon Outline:

1. A Psalm of Lament:

a. Relationship with the Lord who delivers

b. Relationship with the world to be delivered from

c. Relationship with the lamenter who needs deliverance

2. What the deliverance meant:

a. To David

b. To the first readers

c. To Jesus (Luke 23:46)

d. To Stephen (Acts 7:59)

e. To Us (1 Peter 4:19)

3. How to make the most of this Psalm

a. “I trust in you O Lord. I say “You are my God.”

b. What am I learning about God when times are not desperate?

Side by Side – Part 3 (of 3)

The first two posts in this series have offered two observations coming out of 1 Timothy 5:1-16 which may help a church family to further consider what it means to honour and care for those who are most vulnerable.

In the first post, we observed that the widow of 1 Tim 5 was akin to the ‘vulnerable’ today.

In the second post, we observed that when caring for a person in need – everyone is different and everyone can play a part. Five pointers were offered in how to do that.

In this last post, I would like to recommend a good book that works hard to offer principled and practical suggestions for getting alongside a person whom we are trying to love.

Side by Side – Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015).

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Side by Side by Edward Welch is a quick and helpful read, written by a Christian counselor who has practiced and written in the fields of depression, fear and addiction for decades.

The aim of the book is to identify skills that Christians can learn and then use in caring for others. His basic idea is that those who help best are the ones who both need help and give help.

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Side by Side – Part 1 (of 3)

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In 1 Timothy 5:1-16 the Apostle Paul offers advise to Timothy (and those in the church that he leads) for honouring others – ‘Give honour to those widows who are really in need’ (5:3).

As he explains this advise, Paul is quite helpful in offering some suggestion in how to treat each widow differently given their particular situation – to the widow with children or grandchildren allow her family to care; to the godly widow who is alone offer her help; to the widow who has no interest in the things of God, exercise care if you help; to the faithful widow who is over sixty put her on the care list, but to the widow under sixty do not. All very specific!

Why?

The driving principle here  is that the church of Jesus should be a help to those who are in most need (5:16) and if there are others like family members who should bear that responsibility, then allow them to do as such.

I take it that there are limited resources and that the wisdom here is to give priority to those who are most at risk- and at that time, it would have been the widow.

In this and the next post, I want to make two observations that may be helpful for our church family. Then in a third post a want to recommend a helpful book.

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