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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Best Christian Websites – John Mark Ministries

Where do you go when you want to find commentary and resource material on church renewal, on problems of contemporary worship, on the 100 best Christian books, or, for that matter, on whether the early church believed in a flat earth?

For me, it’s John Mark Ministries. By any reckoning this has got be one of the best Christian websites around. With some 12,000 articles – and more added each day – it also has to be one of the largest.

John Mark Ministries was founded in 1991 by Melbourne Baptist pastor Dr Rowland Croucher, to provide a consulting/counselling ministry to pastors, ex-pastors, church leaders and their spouses. The website grew out of this ministry. And grew. And grew. It’s amazing to find that so much of the material on the site is written by Rowland himself. (I struggle to write two commentaries a week for my site, and I’m a professional writer.)

He introduces the site as follows:

This website is a resource for thoughtful Christians and non-Christians - pastors, leaders and others. There are many points of view expressed here….For example, there are some articles by and about John Stott (with whom I substantially agree on most issues) but also a critique of Stott by Bishop Spong (about whose beliefs I have severe reservations). Enjoy browsing with an open mind (then close it on some important basic convictions :-)!

And that statement possibly illustrates the main attraction of the site – it is all so personal. As far as I can tell, Rowland is a brilliantly well-read man with a great depth of hands-on pastoral experience in the real world. He seems to have a worthwhile opinion on everything.

The home page classifies articles into two dozen categories, such as missions and evangelism, lifestyle, apologetics and social issues, humour, books and ideas, family and relationships, poetry and the internet. There is also an alphabetical and a keyword index.

Nevertheless, the problem for any new visitor will be where to start.

Go to the Most Popular Articles section, which includes the following: Is Gandhi in Heaven?, Homosexuality: an Interview with Jesus, Masturbation, Was Jesus a Christian? and “the two best articles I've written”, Living with Ambiguity and Accepting Diversity.

Then I would recommend the Your Church Can Come Alive and the Spirituality sections as especially rich. Beyond that, you’re on your own.

I’ll leave you with some words from Rowland, in an email to me:

Many pastors and thoughtful Christians - and others - log in daily. Some begin their day with devotions from the Sunrise Sunset or Devotions sections; others read one of the 1,800 funny stories; still others pray for persecuted Christians around the world from our daily news updates. Visit and enjoy!

Shalom!

October 18th, 2002

 

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