Great Distinctions

do you build a library?" I've often been asked. Well, seldom is it
built by a pre-arranged plan. I've been blessed by being around older
people who have taken an interest in me and given me books that have
been helpful to them. Also, while a bookstore manager, I was given a
number of books for promotional purposes.

contributing factor to uneven growth is that everything I see on
certain subjects is purchased. One of those subjects is the New
Testament Church. Consequently, I have a shelf full of books of
differing value on this subject. But there is one book I very seldom
loan out, for I prize it highly and it has been out of print for some
time. So you can imagine my delight when Kevin Shantz came back from
England with a number of copies of this book and announced that it was
back in print. A gentleman there had it published again, and now
through Gospel Folio Press it is available in North America. Its title
is The Church and the Churches by W. E. Vine.

me explain why I value this book. First of all, it is compact. In his
typical fashion, Mr. Vine is to the point, clear, and always backed by
Scripture. Secondly, it has an excellent discussion of Peter and the
distinction between the Kingdom and the Church. Included is a good
discussion of the distinction between the Kingdom of God and the
Kingdom of Heaven. While everyone may not agree completely with his
conclusions, it is a compelling argument and worth considering. Also it
discusses the clear distinction between the "Lord's table" in 1
Corinthians 10 and the "Lord's Supper" in 1 Corinthians 11--a
distinction not often made. Last, but not least, is the excellent
chapter on reception to the local assembly. In our day this must be
reexamined by many. Mr. Vine offers a sane and scripturally sound
approach to this topic. I cannot recommend this book too highly to
every elder and to all others who seek to understand the proper
functioning of the local church in this day of departure.

conjunction with Mr. Vine's book, the Directory of New Testament
Churches I have found interesting and informative. Mr. John Heading of
Precious Seed Publications has arranged alphabetically all the churches
mentioned in the New Testament. For each one he has given some
pertinent background information as well as each scripture reference to
that particular church. He then gives a brief synopsis of the church as
we find it developed in the New Testament. This is an excellent tool
for reference as you are studying the book of Acts or one of the
epistles addressed to that church. It's one of those handy little tools
I think you will turn to on more than one occasion.

Precious Seed Publication that is now being handled by Gospel Folio
Press is a book entitled The Minor Prophets, edited by Mr. Ivan Steeds.
A different writer has taken up each of the 12 Minor Prophets and has
written a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary. While not reading all of
this book (as of yet), I found it delightful reading. In an easy to
read style, the authors have gotten the heart of the message and
communicated it in a manner that is both clear and practical. The Minor
Prophets is one of those sections of our Bible that seems to be
neglected. Most of us have a hard time to find them in our Bibles, much
less know what they say. But in these books are many good practical
lessons we need to hear again today. They were written to a people that
had drifted from their God and turned to pagan idols. In these last
days we have drifted from our God and have turned to different idols to
be sure, but just as pagan. We need to hear once again the voice of the
prophets calling us to repentance and directing our hearts to the God
who has redeemed us and set us apart for His glory.

Folio Press is happy to bring these good United Kingdom publications to
North America so that readers on this side of the Atlantic can enjoy
some of the superb ministry that has been so readily available to those
in the British Isles.