Revenge

Revenge

WHENEVER I look at the shelves of bestsellers I always wonder what the secret ingredient is—what makes these books fly off the shelves? I have to admit, I’ve given this rather a lot of thought over the years, and I think there is an answer. Whether you agree with me or not, it doesn’t matter, just tuck this one away in the back of your mind, and if you are someone who likes to read a novel test it out and see if your book has this magic ingredient. The magic ingredient of all successful novels is revenge. It is the protagonist’s need for revenge that absorbs you and keeps you turning the pages. Think of a book or story you know well, and see whether I’m right! Revenge is something we can’t normally undertake in our everyday lives and it seems to me that this creates a great thirst

Why did Jesus have to Die?

Why did Jesus have to Die?

IF JESUS is the son of God, why did God let him be killed? In fact, why is the death of Jesus central to the Bible’s message? This is a hugely important question, and throughout the Bible there are statements which provide answers to it. Here is one such statement: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NASB).* Now this might leave you with more questions! What do those words mean—‘reconciling’ and ‘trespasses’? Why did the world need to be reconciled to God? How did it involve Jesus Christ? These questions are well worth exploring, as the answers contain the essence of the Gospel message itself. Reconciliation with God First let’s look at the word ‘reconciling’. To be reconciled means to be brought together, for there to be no separation. For example in 1 Corinthians 7:11 the word is

Introduction to the Acts

Introduction to the Acts

This is the first in a series in which we examine this fascinating Bible book. Each article in the series will be printed over the centre pages—you might like to pull them out and keep them together. THE ACTS of the Apostles is the book in the New Testament which tells us what the followers of Jesus did for the next three decades after he was raised from the dead. During this period the Christian community grew from a small group of disciples in Jerusalem to a worldwide movement with congregations in Africa, Asia and Europe. The Mission of the Apostles The small group of Jesus’ closest disciples were called ‘apostles’. After Jesus was raised from the dead there was a period of 40 days in which he taught the apostles and other disciples. At the end of this period he ascended to heaven before their eyes. Shortly before his

Job

Job

JOB (pronounced ‘Jobe’) is thought to have lived around the time of the book of Genesis. The theme of the book is the age-old ‘problem of suffering’. God allowed intense suffering to afflict Job—a ‘good’ man who was well respected by all. But Job’s friends,Eliphaz, Bildad and Zopharwrongly assumed that his sufferings were punishments for hidden sins. “Miserable comforters are you all” (16:2) is Job’s assessment of his friends! A fourth ‘friend’, the younger man Elihu, is introduced in chapter 32. He was angry with Job “because he justified himself rather than God” and with the three friends “because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job”. Many times Job says how he would like to argue, reason or plead with God about his situation. He wishes there was a mediator “who may lay his hand on us both” (9:33). God’s Answer But finally, in chapters 38–41, we

Lists

Lists

ARE YOU a list person? Do you organise yourself with the help of a list? Many of us are, and because we like to plan, we may think about the day ahead and then write a list of jobs to be done, places to visit, people to contact, and so on. If I didn’t have a list I might waste half the day wandering around, wondering what to do and when to do it. It’s just the way some of us are programmed. In this way, we ‘list writers’ can keep control of our lives and the things we need to do and the things we want to do (which may not always be the same thing). I’m sure, if you take a moment to think about it, we all keep a list of some sort or another. For example, you would not go food shopping without first having thought

Message to the Modern World

Message to the Modern World

Message to the Modern World THE FRONT COVER shows a ruined temple, which many people believe to be the most perfect building in the world. It’s the Parthenon in Athens. It’s not very big and it looks quite simple. But one of the secrets of its extraordinary beauty is the highly sophisticated system of ‘optical correction’ which is built into its every part. It’s said that there are no straight lines in the Parthenon. The columns bulge very slightly in the middle, because if they didn’t they’d look too thin. All the 69 columns are leaning very slightly inwards, because if they were absolutely vertical they’d look as though they’re leaning out; the base and the lintels are very slightly bowed, so they look straight. The design of this simple building shows astonishing geometrical expertise. Not to mention the technical brilliance of the stone carving throughout, which matches in quality