Voice in the Wilderness
 
February 2002
 
Introduction
 
This is the first issue of a newsletter I hope to send out 3 times a year. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Alan Marshall. The purpose of these emails is to draw attention to new material published on my personal web site, www.alanmarshall.org.
 
This site shares some of the conclusions I have come to in seeking to answer for myself some difficult questions that have divided the church. It seeks to encourage, not to condemn. It welcomes feedback as we learn from each other. I believe that Jesus is serious about the unity he prayed for, and is faithful to bring it about in our time. Therefore, I am seeking to take visitors beyond the narrow perspective of their particular denomination, examining the scriptures afresh, and gaining insights into their meaning from the early church, the reformers, revival preachers and contemporary writers.
 
Complementing the above, I am also developing an evangelistic site, www.jesusisreal.org. The aim is to present high quality evidence, both historical and contemporary, for embracing the christian faith. There is a focus on seeking to understand what God is doing in this day.
 
Subscribing
 
If you would like to be on the mailing list, send me an email with "Subscribe" in the subject line,or if you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, send me an email with subject "Unsubscribe".I invite you to scroll through these few pages below. If you find this material interesting, I encourage you to share it with one or more friends. Just click the "Forward" button on your email toolbar.
 
Essays
 
Understanding Romans 7 and 8 
 
This chapters are for me the heart of Romans, yet their is much confusion over their interpretation. If we are to avoid confusion, we must ask the right questions. The essay is a passage-by-passage commentary that I hope you will enjoy. You will need to read the scripture passages before each section of comment. I think it contains some fresh insights, and it has received encouraging feedback.
 
Paul's Teaching About the Sabbath
 
A plea to churches who are dogmatic about worshipping on Saturday (or Sunday for that matter), to see the bigger picture. Compelling evidence of Sunday worship in Paul's letters and among the disciples of the apostle John, while understanding that in the earliest days of the church, every day was a day of worship!
 
Jesus is Real in History!
 
The Crossing of the Red Sea
 
During the last century, professional archaeologists searched the Gulf of Suez for evidence of Moses' crossing of the Red Sea, and found nothing. Finally in 1984, Ron Wyatt, an amateur archaeologist with a passion for the bible, was led by God to search in the Gulf of Aquaba (the eastern branch of the Red Sea). This gulf is very deep, generally around 5000 feet, but at this point there is a point, still quite deep at around 1000 feet in the middle. It was not just freak weather that allowed the Israelites to cross. The parting of the waters, the most awesome display of God's saving power in the Old Testament, was intended to be etched into the minds of the Hebrews for all time. Click above to see the photographic evidence for yourself. What Ron and his divers found is nothing less than the remains of Pharaoh's army! I believe it is God's intention that this evidence is etched into our minds as well. 
 
photo of chariot wheel
 
One of the photos shows a 4-spoked chariot wheel covered in gold leaf. It must have belonged to someone of great importance - a high priest, a nobleman, perhaps Pharaoh himself.
 
 Jesus is Real Today!
 
Transformations II : Inuit Pentecost
 
The original Transformations video was released a few years ago, and told of whole communities transformed by the gospel Colombia, California, Kenya and Guatemala. This sequel premiered in Australia last October in the auditorium of Daystream Christian Fellowship. 
 
One of the accounts in the Transformations II video tells of the coming of the gospel to Canada's Arctic islands in the first half of the 1900's. As the century drew to a close, however, the early impact of the gospel had waned. Deep social problems such as alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual abuse and youth suicide became endemic. In addition to this, the land and fisheries had become degraded. The turning point came when pastors united in prayer. The result was a deep repentance in these communities, and renewed worship. The climax was an extraordinary event at the Anglican church at Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, on 28 February 1999. A group of young were expressing their love for the Lord in worship when the sound of a roaring wind, like that described in Acts 2:2, filled the building. Their was no wind outside, but inside this sound grew louder and louder, drowning out the worship! Incredibly, the whole worship service, including this manifestation of the Spirit, was recorded on tape and is replayed on the video. Since that time there has been a dramatic improvement in all the above social problems.
 
See the video for yourself, and here the testimonies of lives changed by Jesus! Both videos are available from Koorong. Click here for their review.
 
Book Reviews
 
"Empowered Evangelicals"; Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson; Servant Publications
 
This book, if read as widely as I hope, will help break down decades of predjudice between evangelicals and pentecostal / charismatics, taking the best of both traditions into the one church that Jesus calls us to (John 17:20-23). The authors are pastors of Vineyard churches, where pentecostal experiences are understood in an evangelical, Christ-centered theology that sees the kingdom of God has come, but is still to come in its fullness. The tone of the book is positive and honest. Readers of all backgrounds wil be encouraged.
 
"I am excited about Empowered Evangelicals because I believe it will enrich the soul and intellect of those who know God, and yet are hungry for more. My only regret is that it was not available sooner." - John Wimber 
 
Currently out of stock at Koorong. Click here for their review. You can purchase a copy immediately for $A14 from Alan Marshall. 
 
"Future Grace"; John Piper; Multnomah Books
 
For christians to regain the unity that Christ prayed, a willingness to acknowledge that they may have drifted from the purity of the New Testament gospel is necessary. Though Martin Luther was used powerfully by God to restore to us a clear understanding of God's grace, we cannot complacently conclude that the process of reformation finished with him. One wake-up call for both Protestants and Catholics is the now readily accessible, and digitally searchable, writings of the early church fathers. Other wake-up calls are coming from contemporary writers like John Piper. He does not question the reformation understanding of how we become christians, but he challenges us to think about our the dynamics of our walk with God.

"John Piper's purpose in writing is to revitalise a decadent Western Christianity that knows only cheap grace and cheap faith. Bible-soaked, God-intoxicated, deeply evangelical, and passionately humane, Piper fills the forgotten dimensions of faith - hope and contentment, stability and sanctity, prizing and praising God - with a master hand. This is a rich and wise book, one to treasure and re-read." - J. I. Packer
 
This book is currently stocked by Koorong. Click here for their review.
  
God Bless You! Send feedback to osoft@bigpond.net.au
 

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