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Nativity Sets Children Will Love

By Sue Careless

SMALL CHILDREN often mispronounce Nativity sets as ‘activity’ sets, which is fine in one sense. Those designed for youngsters are meant to be handled and played with. For a hands-on experience, forget ceramic, glass or porcelain and bring on fabric, wood or durable plastic.

We gave a wooden toy creche to William, our two-and-a-half-year-old grandson, when he came to our home for a visit. As we adults were unpacking it from its box, William was as quickly repacking the figures into his backpack. There was almost no time

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Christmas books for children: Long ago and far away – yet here and now 

Reviewed by Sue Careless

HOW MANY STORIES enchant us because they begin “Long ago and far away….”? The birth of our Lord did occur long ago, over two millennia – and, for those of us in the West, far away in the Middle East. Theologically we could take it even further back: Christ’s birth was foretold by the prophets and, pushed further back still, he existed with the Father before all worlds. As for far away, he came down from heaven, from outside our universe, beyond both space

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Cadfael and his Creator 

Edith Pargeter wrote the The Chronicles of Brother

Cadfael series under the pen name ‘Ellis Peters.’ (Supplied Photo)

By Sue Careless

“FICTION, AT ITS BEST, expands our moral imagination,” writes Robert Fulford, and after reading Ellis Peters’ The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, I would add that it expands our spiritual imagination as well. 

Cadfael is the medieval sleuth in a series of murder mysteries by the

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Three Fine Films

(From top) Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Queen of Katwe, the true story of a young girl from rural Uganda whose world changes when she is introduced to the game of chess; Ruth Williams Khama (Rosamund Pike) and Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) in A United Kingdom; and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) meet John Glenn (Glen Powell) in Hidden Figures.

Photo (from top): Edward Echwalu; BBC Films;Fox 2000

Reviewed By Sue Careless

ONE OF THE TRICKIEST challenges when running a Christian camp for teens or a youth group is finding a film for movie night that will be suitable for a wide age range and a variety of maturity

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Is The Shack Truly Christian? 

Aviv Alush, Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Sumire Matsubara in Lionsgate Films’ The Shack (2017). Inset: The original book cover.  (Photo: Lionsgate Films)

By Albert Mohler

THE PUBLISHING WORLD sees very few books reach blockbuster status, but William Paul Young’s The Shack has now exceeded even that. The book, originally self-published by Young and two friends, has now sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. It is one of the best-selling paperback books of all time, and its readers are enthusiastic.

According to Young, the book was originally written for his own children. In essence, it can be described as a narrative theodicy, an attempt to answer the question of evil and the character of God by means of a story. In this story, the main character is grieving the brutal kidnapping and murder

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