Wednesday, July 5, 2017

5 July 2017

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week Headlines


New Christian Observer articles for July 2017 include:

-- The Head of the Church? – by Christian Observer Contributing Editor David Brand – Matthew 16:18, the apostle Peter, and the head of the church;

-- The Snowflake Identity Crisis in Education – by Christian Observer Contributing Editor Dr. Joe Renfro – Progressive Snowflakes asserting “rights” vs. the righteousness of Christ;

Plus, links to ReVision devotionals on the Fellowship of Ailbe website by Christian Observer Contributing Editor T.M. Moore.

The proportion of people in Scotland who describe themselves as having no religion at all has reached its highest ever level, according to ScotCen’s latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey.

The new findings from Scotland’s most authoritative survey of public attitudes show that nearly six in ten (fifty-eight percent) now say that they have no religion, up eighteen points on 1999 when the figure stood at four in ten (forty percent).

Young Least Religious

Young people are least likely to be religious; three quarters of young people (seventy-four percent of 18-34s) say they have no religion compared with thirty-four percent of those over 65.

There has been a fall in religious identity across all age groups, however it has been slowest among those over 65. There has been an eleven percentage point increase in the proportion of over 65s who say they have no religion between 1999 and 2016 (from twenty-three percent to thirty-four percent) but in comparison the increase among those aged 50-64 has been twenty-four percentage points (from thirty-three percent to fifty-seven percent).

Church of Scotland Losing Faithful

Most of the decline in religious affiliation over this seventeen year period has been felt by the Church of Scotland. Around half as many people (eighteen percent) now say they belong to the Church of Scotland as did in 1999 (thirty-five percent).

The proportion of Roman Catholics (ten percent), other Christian affiliations (eleven percent) and non-Christian religious people (two percent) in the Scottish population has remained relatively stable over the same period.

Ian Montagu, Researcher at ScotCen said “The decline in religious identity in Scotland has been most keenly felt by the Kirk as fewer and fewer people choose to describe themselves as Church of Scotland by default. As each generation coming through is consistently less religious than the last, it is hard to imagine this trend coming to a halt in the near future. However, if the Kirk is able to push through liberalising measures such as allowing ministers to oversee same-sex marriage ceremonies, it is possible that its appeal may broaden somewhat to younger, more socially liberal Scots.”

+ ScotCen, 6 Scotiabank House, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AW, Scotland, 0131-240-0210,

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722

Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience
Ash, Christopher

Conscience is a neglected word that not many of us take seriously. But have you ever considered examining your conscience as part of daily life? What if doing this were the only way to know the joy of feeling clean inside?
Is such joy possible without self- righteousness or even self-deception? Christopher Ash argues that it is, wonderfully possible, through the good news of Jesus Christ. Here is an invitation to rediscover your conscience and what the Bible has to say about it. Ash examines what the conscience is, what a guilty conscience tells us, the choice our conscience presents us, and the conscience's role as a guide, to offer us the pure joy of a clear conscience day after day.

"How refreshing to see a thoughtful and richly biblical book on the conscience. Christopher Ash performs a vital service for the church by opening up God’s truth about this neglected and, therefore, misunderstood area of biblical truth. The conscience shines light into the darkest corners of the heart thus facilitating God’s people to "guard the heart with diligence.'" (Proverbs 4:23)


You Can Pray
Finding Grace to Pray Every Day
Chester, Tim

“This book is not about the steps you can take to become a great pray-er. The message of this book is that you already are a great pray-er in Christ. Through Christ, you can pray.”

Tim Chester shows us how we become great pray-ers who pray great prayers simply through knowing three foundational truths about God:
God the Father loves to hear us pray God the Son makes every prayer pleasing God the Holy Spirit helps us as we pray When these truths are in place, we discover why prayer is easy, why prayer is difficult, and the arguments and priorities of prayer.

Prayer is like a child’s asking her father for help—and that’s not beyond any of us. Here you will find the grace and encouragement to talk with your heavenly Father every day.


Intimate Marriage
Gift Edition
Sproul, R.C.

From communication to sex, from divorce to the sanctity of marriage, Sproul leads you past potential problems into joyous communion with your spouse in Christ. This attractive hardcover edition of Sproul's work on marriage is great as a gift to newlyweds, on anniversaries, or anytime someone wants to improve their marriage.

+ Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service, 133 North Hanover Street,
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013, 717-249-0231,