Heroes and Heroines of the Scottish Covenanters by J. Meldrum Dryerre; published 2012 by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 160 pages. Price £7.99. (9781907731501)
This is the first title in the Classic Biography Series.
The Scottish Covenanters signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the claim of the Stuart kings that the king was Head of the Church. They firmly believed that Christ was Head of the church and no one could usurp the place that belonged to Him alone. This Scriptural principle was so precious to them that they were willing to die for their faith.
This book records "not only what the men did, but what the women suffered".
Names such as Hugh McKail, Alexander Peden, Richard Cameron, Lady Caldwell and the Wigton martyrs are considered.
One of the brightest stars shining in the inky sky of that period which became known as "the killing times" was young Hugh McKail.
A sprightly mind, and unacquaint with guile,
Which with no baseness did itself defile.
In a sermon he said, "The Church has been persecuted by an Ahab on the Throne, a Haman in the State, and a Judas in the Church". It did not take the country long to identify the men referred to! McKails leg was crushed with the cruel instrument of torture known as "the boot". Condemned to die He exclaimed, "Oh, how good news, to be within four days journey of enjoying the sight of Jesus Christ!"
There were also godly women such as Margaret Wilson. At just eighteen years old, and famed for her nobleness of life, kindness of heart and sympathetic generosity, she, along with Margaret McLauchlan, were tied to stakes in the sand and drowned by the incoming tide near Wigton. The young Margaret encouraged her older friend with the words, "This day shall we behold Him in the glory of His risen power".
There are relevant illustrations throughout this inspiring book which challenges the reader and exalts the Saviour.
The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile; published 2010 by Moody Publishers and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 176 pages. Price £7.99. (9780802471116)
As a former Muslim, Thabiti Anyabwile knows, through personal experience, the transforming power of the gospel. He dedicates the book "To a faithful street preacher whose name I do not know, who heard all of my anti-Christian arguments and responded with gospel clarity and love".
In a world full of methods and techniques, Thabiti spells out clearly that the most important foundation for proclaiming the gospel to Muslims is to know the gospel through and through. He challenges the reader to trust that the gospel is "the power of God unto salvation".
The book is divided into two parts. In Part 1 the author focuses on the gospel itself, considering the Person of Christ, sin, repentance and faith. At the end of each chapter there is a "Things to Remember" section helping to embed relevant points firmly in the mind of the reader.
In the chapter entitled "Mans Sin" the point is made that sin is significantly less serious in the Muslim view than in that of the Christian because "Muslims view sin primarily as weakness not wickedness". The author realises that although the gospel is good news it is also demanding news. "They must be shaken awake to realise the true horrors of sin, wrath, judgment, and eternal torment. Only then will they see how necessary and amazing the grace of God in Jesus Christ really is."
In Part 2, "As You Witness", there are practical suggestions on talking to Muslims about the Saviour. Thabiti urges the reader to rely on the Holy Spirit, trust the Bible and be hospitable.
In the "Afterword" of this insightful book, Thabiti is thankful that God saved him, but wants to reach others also. He states, "Dont stop with my story".