I’m so excited, this just arrived from ICMBooks Direct who trade on Amazon and with their own website (Their Amazon store is often slightly cheaper).

“The Gospel According to John” by D.A. Carson is the definitive commentary on John. I’m looking forward to spending the first half of next year digging into John at The Gateway Church – it’s all about Jesus! Along the way we’ll get to dig into prayer, grace, heaven, the Church, the Spirit, the trinity to name a few highlights. Can’t wait!

ICMBooks is a gem of bookshop in Northern Ireland. It’s based in a purpose built warehouse on a farm in the middle of nowhere! Last time I was across the water, a friend took me down there. It’s piled high with quality Christian books and cheap prices.

They have over 10,000 books in stock and are open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm with late night opening until 8.00 pm on Thursday evening. It’s well worth a visit!

Their address is ICM Books,115 Dunkirk Road, Lurgan, Craigavon, BT66 7AR. Northern Ireland.

If you can’t get therr in the flesh, please use them on Amazon when you buy Christian books to support an outstanding Christian run bookshop and enjoy the best price (usually!)

Intriguing changes to the new NIV #4

Here’s number 4 in the list of the most intriguing changes in the new edition of the NIV (from Bible Gateway)

Death valley Dunes by John Bruckman on flikr

Psalm 23 is a majestic Psalm of beautiful language and comfort ever since it was penned!

Older versions conveyed its’ beauty with lyrical, rhythmic phrasing like the “valley of the shadow of death,” which the original NIV kept and my current favourite word for word translation, the ESV, uses.

The new NIV has gone with other modern dynamic equivalents and gone for “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
In doing so it widens our comprehension (by doing some interpreting as well as translating) and has used a simpler more modern phrase – darkest valley.

The beauty of Psalm 23 is that no matter who dark it gets – God is with us. We don’t have to fear evil because He is with us and will comfort us!

Next time we’ll look at how the new NIV is translating sarx – flesh/sinful nature!

Five most intriguing changes in the new NIV

There’s a fascinating artice at Bible Gateway about the five most intriguing changes in the latest edition of the NIV. They look good and I am in the main pleased!
Here’s number 5…

By Umpqua

5.) Philippians 4:13
1984 NIV: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
2010 NIV: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Phil 4:13 is the fourth most popular verse in the Bible by internet search and learned by lots of people! It is one of those power packed verses that can be taken out of context and used to say God will strengthen us to do what we want! The new version will make it less of a “grab a nice verse out of context to learn” and forces us to check the context – The “all things” that Paul could do in God’s strength was being content in any circumstance. God promises us peace that transcends all understanding – so He promises us strength and peace in our circumstances, not necessarily to change the circumstances.


Now an absolutely literal translation would be “All I am being strong in the one enabling me Christ” – which is a bit of a mouth full! The New NIV is a thought for thought translation, but in forcing us to look at the context for what we are being strengethened in Christ, it is being pretty helpful, even if it won’t sell too many posters with cuddly cats on! That has to be another bonus…

Chile Mine Rescue is a Parable

For the past 77 days 33 miners have been trapped 640m underground in a mine with no hope of self rescue. Meanwhile above, there has been a relentless mission to rescue them, involving complex drilling machines and an army of people. A few days ago, the drills broke through and the rescue started using a tiny capsule to haul them out one by one. At last overnight, the last of the 33 miners is free and in the light. The sixth to be rescued, Mario Sepulveda, said “I think I had extraordinary luck. I was with God and with the Devil – and I reached out for God. It’s incredible they saved us from 700metres below. But I never doubted we would get out alive.”

Some of them are carrying some medical baggage and one has some consequences still to face as he meets both his mistress and wife in the light!

What a modern day parable, we had no hope in our situation, in the darkness, with many as Thoreau put it living lives of quiet desperation. God started the rescue mission, pulled out all the stops, sending Jesus to be the one who would rescue us, by dying for our sin. God was relentless in his pursuit of us, because of His love for us. Like the Chilean rescues, he used many people to get to you, different lines of drilling down to woo you with His love and mercy. And once you stepped into the rescue capsule by trusting in him, He brought you permanently into the light – no going back!

There may be things from the past we will have to deal with – consequences for sin that will last on earth, though forgiven in heaven. And it can take a while to adjust to the light and learn to use faith muscles that haven’t had any use in the dark. But what joy, what hope, what an adventure and second chance awaits!

(Thanks to Duncan Le Roux for bringing something close to that as an exhortation at our Sunday gathering!)