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The Christadelphian | October 2014

In the magazine this month:

  • Editorial The compassion of God
  • The Christadelphian Pricing and subscriptions for 2015
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Sunday morning The Son of Man | David Blacklock
  • Studies in Matthew’s Gospel 10 – The emphatic Gospel | John Benson
  • Archaeology in focus 10 – “The unknown god” | James Andrews
  • Enhancing our worship Suggestions for October | John Botten
  • Bible Companion | John Hingley
  • The prayers of Daniel | Trevor A. Pritchard
  • Let us reason together The Association of Australian Christadelphian Ecclesias | Geoff Henstock
  • The Christadelphian Support Network UK | The CSN Committee
  • First Vacational Campaign
  • Faith Alive! Longer cords & stronger stakes | Paul Dredge
  • Signs of the times Babel rising – technology’s role in our Creator’s plan | Jim Dillingham
  • Israel and their Land European anti-Semitic feelings run deeper than Gaza | Stephen Whitehouse
  • Epilogue “Is not this Bathsheba?” | David Caudery
  • The brotherhood near and far

A sample article from this edition:

Epilogue

“Is not this Bathsheba?”

WE are familiar with the very sad and disturbing account of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. He asked who she was and was plainly told, “Is not this Bathsheba … the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” (2 Samuel 11:3). Attempting to cover up his adultery, he uses his authority to arrange the death of Uriah.

We ask ourselves, how could David have been so blind to commit such a dreadful sin? He committed two sins really, the second was murder to try to cover up the first, adultery. It is enlightening to realise the circumstances that led to David’s temptation. When someone has total power and is answerable to no other human, then the potential to misuse that power becomes very much greater. The only human being to succeed in overcoming all forms of temptation was Jesus, and it is very much to the point to perceive that his temptations revolved around the misuse of his special powers.

David appears to have achieved in his life everything that was humanly possible, except that God did not permit him to fulfil his vision of building a magnificent temple to his God. It is clear he had a very committed and energetic mind; this was additionally illustrated in the way he set about assembling much of the material that would be needed to build the temple. We notice how there is a strange lull in his activity at the time of his sin. The chapter starts by indicating that when winter is over it is customary for “kings [to] go out to battle” (verse 1). The purpose of this would be to reassert their control over their dominions; there were no set and constantly manned borders between countries in those days, apart from a natural barrier such as the Jordan. However for once and probably the first time, David decided not to go himself but “remained at Jerusalem” and “sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel”.

There is a valuable lesson for us here: there is never a time when we can take life easy, that we can relax when there is work to be done in service to our Lord, especially while we have energy of mind and body. It is spiritually healthy that we take or ‘make’ opportunities to use our talents to serve our Lord; even in our declining years there are things most can do. Indeed retirement is a great time to search out new opportunities.

If we procrastinate, we start on a downward path. Is this what happened to David? Honest self-examination is needed here. Yes, it is true we need a break from time to time, but how many, how often? This generation is spoilt: how many holidays did our grandparents have? I can remember my father’s delight that his annual leave was increased from one to two weeks in 1947. And as for retirement and pensions, what a contrast to today! Let us never entertain the thought, “my Lord delays his coming” – thinking that his return will not happen for a few years yet! Such an attitude adds to the inclination, maybe subconscious, to give opportunity for distractions and attractions to lodge in our minds, and our drifting off course begins. There is an increasing sense of urgency in the air this year. Are time and ‘normal’ conditions of living, as we know them, really nearing an end?

Many of the parables of Jesus have a particular target audience. The ones that should most arrest our attention at the moment are those directed at the disciples, for we too are disciples. Do we clearly see ourselves in that most responsible position? Our Master spoke of a servant who said, “My master is delayed”, and then “eats and drinks with the drunkards” (Matthew 24:48,49); he ends up “in that place [where] there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verse 51).

Mercifully the Lord “put away” David’s sin. He nevertheless suffered the consequences for the rest of his life; his authority was undermined, especially with Joab, and he lost confidence in himself. Again, the lesson for us is plain: we should never ‘take time off’ when there is work for the Lord to be done. If we do, there can be serious consequences.

David Caudery

 

The Christadelphian

Pricing and subscriptions for 2015

IT has been our pleasure to prepare and distribute The Christadelphian throughout 2014, and we have appreciated the support of our readers. It is now time to consider subscriptions for next year, and enclosed with this month’s issue of The Christadelphian are invoices inviting renewal for 2015. Please look out for this and give it your early attention, as this helps with our production planning. Here is a short guide to renewing and subscribing.

The invoice contained with your magazine reflects a simple renewal of your order for next year. Please do not feel tied to this. There is plenty of opportunity to change your order, either by amending the invoice and making an adjusted payment, or by contacting the Office’s Customer Service and Sales team directly.

Cover prices & postal costs

During 2014 we have worked hard to operate more efficiently and to reduce our production costs. As a result we are able to keep the annual subscription price for the printed magazine unchanged at £30.00 (or foreign currency equivalent). Similarly the price for the electronic version is held at £24.00 for twelve issues.

Although postage has risen, in some cases quite dramatically, we have been able to maintain this at 80p per magazine in the UK and at £1.50 for overseas. The total subscription price for 2015 therefore is £39.60 for the UK.

For 2015 we are able to reintroduce some reductions for bulk purchases, something which has not been available for several years. Therefore, for UK ecclesial parcels containing five or more magazines, the post cost reduces to 50p per magazine, making the annual subscription only £36.00; for overseas parcels containing fifteen magazines or more, the post costs reduce from £1.50 each to 90p each. Ecclesial librarians and magazine agents especially are encouraged to consider these bulk options. If subscriptions can be aggregated, a bulk order of five or fifteen brings sizeable reductions.

With the introduction of an electronic version, The Christadelphian is now easily distributed to many parts of the world, without problems of access or transport costs. We are working with CBM representatives to produce magazines for readers in lesser-developed countries at subsidised prices. If you would like to take advantage of this please contact us for further information.

Other points

  • The prices of young peoples’ magazines (age 25 years or younger) are unchanged for 2015 at £1 for both the printed or electronic version.
  • Anyone subscribing for a paper magazine is entitled to a subscription for the electronic version at half price.
  • Prices for non-UK readers are converted to local currency at the prevailing exchange rates. If you are paying by cheque or by bank transfer we will hold these prices until December 31, 2014, but may have to vary them thereafter. If you pay by card online unfortunately we have no control over the exchange rate used by the card issuing companies, and you may be charged different amounts to those quoted on your invoice.
  • Occasionally readers like to purchase The Christadelphian magazine individually rather than by subscription. The price for individual copies in 2015 is £3.00 per magazine (plus postage).
  • For some countries we are able to offer other special arrangements and prices; these will be highlighted on your invoice.

Thanks to the generosity of subscribers over the years we are able to make the Hage Fund available to those who would like to read The Christadelphian but cannot afford to subscribe. Please speak to the Office in confidence if this applies to you.

Once again we are grateful to all our readers for their kind and generous support. Comments, suggestions and ideas are always welcomed, not just at the time of subscription renewal, and should be sent to the Editor.

 

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