Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Battle for the Soul Excerpt: The Gift of the Alpha Course

The Gift of Gentleness
-an article for the North Shore News ‘Spiritually Speaking’ column
One of the great gifts of the world-renowned Alpha Course is its gentleness. Canadians do not like to be pressurized or have the gospel shoved down their throat. Some have a great fear that somehow religious people will brainwash them and force them to do something that they do not want to do. The Alpha Course goes back to Paul’s teaching to his protege Timothy that sharing our faith needs to be gentle, kind and gracious (2 Timothy 2:25). As the past Chair/President for Alpha Canada, and the current National Alpha Chaplain, I know from first-hand experience what a gift the Alpha Course has been to so many.

Having just visited Newfoundland & the Maritimes to attend the largest Christian Ashram retreat in the world with over 800 participants, I was privileged to hear hundreds of stories from Eastern Canadians whose lives have been deeply impacted by the Alpha Course. Over the past two years, I have spoken at Christian Ashrams in Alberta and Saskatchewan , and once again I heard remarkable stories of Canadians whose lives have been decisively changed by taking an Alpha Course.

Nicky Gumbel has been strongly linked in many Canadian minds with Alpha. Nicky Gumbel was a successful lawyer in London who was convinced that the Christian faith had nothing to offer him. His impression of Christianity was that it was dreary and uninspiring. His impression of many clergy was that they reminded him of undertakers. Nicky thought that Christianity was also totally irrelevant. He couldn’t see how something that happened two thousand years ago and so many thousands of miles away could have any relevance to him in modern life.

Nicky was also convinced that the Christian faith was intellectually indefensible. At age 14, he wrote an essay in which he tried to destroy the whole of Christianity and disprove the existence of God. Nicky went through a phase when he enjoyed arguing with Christians, just for the pleasure of exposing their falsity.

Life is full of strange and unexpected turn-of-events. One of those turn-of-events was that Nicky Gumbel became so convinced of the relevance and truth of Christianity that he even became an Anglican priest. A few years before, the idea of becoming a pastor would have been the farthest thing from his mind, almost laughable. And yet it happened. A number of years later, millions of people all around the world are finding that Nicky Gumbel’s Alpha Course presentation is helping them live a more meaningful life.

All around the world, on every continent, people are taking the Alpha Course. Many are saying that this course has answered a lot of their deepest questions about life. The symbol of the Alpha Course is a person carrying a very large and heavy question mark. So often the questions of life can really weigh us down.

Josh Wilton our Newcomer Pastor recently led our 26th Alpha Course at a Deep Cove home. Seekers and unchurched people really love this safe opportunity to explore the meaning of life. Part of what makes Alpha tick is the wonderful fellowship over eleven weeks as people eat delicious meals together every Thursday night. No question is taboo at Alpha. No one is put down or criticized. Nicky Gumbel’s video presentations every week are thought-provoking and challenging. The discussion that follows after is free-wheeling and very engaging. The Holy Spirit weekend in the middle of the course is the lynchpin that holds it all together. I so much value the gentle freedom in the Spirit modeled by the Alpha Course. Conservatively, I would estimate that over 370 people so far have attended our St. Simon’s North Vancouver Alpha courses. Many other congregations on the North Shore will also be hosting an Alpha Course this coming fall. I commend Alpha http://www.alphacanada.org/ to you as a gentle gift to the people of the North Shore. For more info, you are invited to phone 778-772-5464, or e-mail stsimonsministry@gmail.com

The Rev. Ed Hird
Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver
Anglican Coalition in Canada

p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.

Endorsements by Canadian and Global Leaders

For an unbaptized, non-practising non-Christian, but with strong sympathy for and even envy of devout Christians, Rev. Hird's book strikes me as original, provocative and appealing, with interesting details about his own path to faith.

-Trevor Lautens, Columnist, North Shore News.

Ed Hird writes out of first hand experience on the Battle for the Soul of Canada. His passion for God's Truth, and for this nation to come fully into her God-given destiny, shines through every page. I was encouraged by the stories of those who have gone before us and personally challenged afresh to do my part to raise up this generation's Timothys and Timotheas.

-Sally Start, National Director, Alpha Canada

Battle for the Soul of Canada is both contemporary church history and uplifting Scriptural commentary. The Revd Ed Hird tells the personal story that forms one great chapter of the renewal of orthodox Anglican witness in Canada at the beginning of the 21st century.

-The Right Reverend Bob Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and Chair of the Common Cause Partnership

Ed Hird brings wonderful narrative skills to bear on the crisis in the culture and the Anglican Church in Canada with faithfulness and keen analysis. Cultural leaders, as well as those who care about Gospel work, would do well to read this work and learn from it.

-Dr. Bill Atwood, General Secretary, Ekklesia

I appreciate Ed's tender heart, and his prayerful and thoughtful processing of the impact that the liberal agenda in the church is having in North America. Not only does he clearly lay out what has happened; he offers principles that can help restore Gospel faithfulness. That is what postmodern culture needs at its heart.

-Archbishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone

Battle for the Soul of Canada is born out of great pain, deep grief, and real love for the Lord and His Church. It is a timely book that is unlocking precious jewels of wisdom from 1 & 2 Timothy for this generation and beyond. It is insightful, inspiring, instructive, invaluable, and indispensable for all who are building the future generations. We warmly endorse it for reading and study by all faithful people of God.

-The Most Reverend Moses (& Cynthia) Tay, Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia (Rtd.)

I want to recommend this book to all who care about the vital and essential matters of life-the reality of the SOUL in every individual, society and nation. Ed speaks from his own inner spiritual journey and the reality of peace, joy and life in Jesus Christ. He has sounds the triumphed call to all Christian leaders to face the reality of our time and to join in the urgent God given task of saving the Soul of Canada. Battle for the Soul of Canada is the deep cry of a convicted Canadian Christian to the spiritual reality of the beloved country he lives and minister as an Anglican Priest. It is a very moving story.Raising up the Emerging Generations of Leaders is the only effective weapon God has given the church to defeat the destruction of the enemy. Out of his own deep study of the Word of God, Ed makes this the life calling of his ministry and work. All of us need to learn this lesson well. May God bless this book at a time like this.-The Most Reverend Yong Ping Chung, Retired Archbishop of South East Asia.

Churches rot away when good men keep silent. Thank goodness for Ed Hird's courage and clarity in contending for historic Anglicanism amidst a Canadian Anglican Church which has lost its way.

-The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green,[i] former Advisor for Evangelism to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

I expected Battle for the Soul of Canada to be a political book -- a book about the battles of plucky little St. Simon's Church in North Vancouver to adhere to a Biblically-inspired faith in the face of an increasing secular (and hostile) church hierarchy. Instead, I discovered a wonderful primer on keeping faith in an increasing secular (and hostile) world, filled with inspiring, joyful and practical examples from the lives of spiritual people.

-Lorne Gunter, Columnist, National Post

Rev. Ed Hird is one of the most unique individuals I have ever met.

He is more Baptist than the Baptists…more Pentecostal than the Pentecostals and more Mennonite than the Mennonites. He is a true Christian statesman. God has raised him up to be a voice for truth in this generation. I wholeheartedly recommend this man and this book to you. Ed Hird writes with the mind of a historian and the heart of a pastor.

-Pastor Owen Scott, Lynn Valley Full Gospel Church, North Vancouver, B.C.

Ed Hird's outstanding analysis of the present day situation which he conveys so sensitively in Battle for the Soul of Canada gives us a glimpse that we have been (and continue to be) in the throes of a major decline in faith and morals in the Christian witness in our land, and in particular in the Anglican Church of Canada, However, unlike many of the Jeremiads we hear so often today, Ed fulfills the role of the true prophet, calling our land back from apostasy and reminding us of the way forward, especially as expressed in St. Paul's Letters to Timothy. It truly is a call for a new REFORMATION in our day.

This is a book meant to stir us from the complacency of our constantly encroaching materialistic secularism and should be on the reading list of every concerned seeker of truth. Certainly, it should be required reading in our seminaries, where much of the confusion Ed describes has been spawned in the last thirty years, and from where sound leadership to correct this malaise ultimately has to come.

-The Right Reverend Donald F Harvey
3rd Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (Rtd.)
Moderator - Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC)

Ed Hird is a faithful Christian, who loves the Anglican tradition, but make no mistake about it, he is centered on Scriptures rather than structures. My favourite image of him is watching him entering a conference hall with his arms filled with a large Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament, together with several Bible Commentaries.

He is also a Canadian with a love for this nation. He believes that our country has a destiny in the healing of the nations. This provocative book Battle For The Soul of Canada describes the leadership crisis in Canada, especially in the churches. The author uses St. Paul’s protege, Timothy, as the model for a new generation of leaders. He contends this type of leadership is needed to save the soul of the nation and to preserve its destined role to be an influence for good on the international scene. If you are concerned for the future role of the Christian Church in Canada, and for the future significance of the Canadian nation, this is a book you should not miss.

-The Right Reverend Eddie Marsh, Bishop of Central Newfoundland (Rtd.)

Ed Hird and his faithful flock know first hand the soul searching price of standing in solidarity and being rooted in orthodoxy as third-millennium followers of Jesus. I have been privileged to know Ed as a brother in Christ for many years. He is a servant of deep spiritual conviction, firmly rooted in the Anglican Orthodox Tradition. His challenging book Battle for the Soul of Canada will, I am sure, be an irritant for some, but a real ray of hope for so many others. I heartily commend this work written by one who indeed knows the ever deeper spirituality embodied in those challenging words of that old renewal song--"I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back". May those inspiring words and all that Ed has written serve as a real challenge to the raising up of more and more "Timothy's" in God's church.

-The Rt. Rev. Malcolm Harding, Bishop of Brandon (Rtd.)
Ambassador, Anglican Renewal Ministries, Canada

Ed Hird's book is a commendable example of a sensitive blending of solid biblical exposition and an analysis of the contemporary situation. He speaks out of love for Christ, His church, Canada, and the Anglican Church. He is one of the most interesting Christian writers in Canada today. Ed is well known and highly respected for his ministry in and around Vancouver, British Columbia; and those who have read his regular contributions in the local press and his insightful contributions in the electronic media will welcome the appearance of his thoughts in a more permanent and traditional form. I trust that this is but the first of a long series of books from his pen (or, shall we say, computer?)

-Dr. W. Ward Gasque
Co-founder, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ed Hird, like others he describes in this book, is a warrior in Christ's fight for the salvation of Canadians. As with all true veterans, he has the scars to prove it. Like his Lord, it is through sharing his personal journey of pain and sacrifice, joy and peace, that he communicates best his love for others. This book will encourage, prepare and challenge all those soldiers who may be fearful and overwhelmed at the prospect of serving in God's army in its daunting mission. It is not so much about how bad things are spiritually in Canada, as it is about how God has proven His faithfulness and will, through prayerful, committed men and women, continue His quest to spread grace to this land.

-Robert G. Kuhn, Founding Partner of the law firm Kuhn & Co.

It is my pleasure and privilege to commend Ed Hird's ground-breaking volume Battle for the Soul of Canada. Canada is a nation with a vast influence across the world. All the more reason why it should not come adrift from its moral and spiritual moorings in the Judaeo-Christian ethic. The nation needs a godly ethical consensus if it is not to lose its way in the world or forfeit the right to give moral leadership. Ed Hird's deeply researched volume with its penetrating thinking will contribute to Canada's inner strength and moral vitality

-Michael Cassidy, Founder and Team Leader, African Enterprise[ii]

I am very encouraged that you have ploughed through the hard work of writing a book about the battle that you all have had up in Canada for the Orthodox faith. I am encouraged that the true record of God’s servants will be chronicled. I believe that the story of how God has used you all to stand firm for the Lord in the midst of the attempt to snuff out the light of the gospel in Canada is crucial and must get out. I believe that one day this book which details the struggle to preserve a people alive in the word of God in Canada will be celebrated as hundreds of churches worship our great God and continue in the embrace of the faith once delivered for the saints.

-Dr. Gil Stieglitz, Western District Superintendent, Evangelical Free Church, http://www.ptlb.com/

In reading any piece of literature, trust in the author is paramount. You can trust Ed Hird. He tells it like it is and you can implicitly believe in what he writes !!! In Battle For The Soul Of Canada, he speaks to Canadians, and for that matter, to all of us who read these pages, about basic life principles which are potent, powerful, and life changing. You will never be the same after reading this compelling and forceful book.

-Lee Buck, Anglican Evangelist

The Rev'd Ed Hird has fought the good fight for truth in the Anglican Church of Canada and in the Communion worldwide. He has done so armed with humility, a sharp intelligence, a gracious sense of humor and the Spirit of the Living God. He is a man I want at my side when I go to battle for God's Word in this fallen world.

-The Right Reverend Sandy Greene, Denver, Colorado, Rwandan Bishop, AMiA

So very often our Latin American Anglican church has been helped and enlightened by Ed Hird’s tireless work. We rejoice that now through this book, Ed will be able to strengthen many other fellow Anglicans who, like himself and us, wish only to see our churches walking only in the fullness of the Word and the Spirit. God will uphold his truth.

-The Venerable Canon Alfred Cooper (Santiago, Chile)

In the midst of the Battle for the Soul of Brazil, we can understand better and feel close to those like the Revd. Ed Hird who is committed in a Battle for the Soul of Canada, keeping the faith and the hope in spite of the turbulences of liberalism and post-modernity. This is an important and relevant book for all Christians - Anglicans in particular - who wants to fight the good fight.

-The Rt. Revd Robinson Cavalcanti
Diocese of Recife – Brazil

Ed Hird is a pioneer, a modern-day Timothy, who believes that he can make a difference even when adversity is looking him in the face. His book is a rollicking, fast-paced read through Canadian church and secular history, narratively written, with one eye on how it impacts 'the faith once delivered to the saints' and how it should translate into contemporary Canada. Canada’s moral and spiritual crisis is strongly paralleled in the crisis of the Ephesian Church two millennium ago, he writes. If Hird's book can stem that tide, then it will have been a major contribution to its much needed renewal.

-David W. Virtue DD, Virtue Online http://www.virtueonline.org/

Ed Hird's book responds to the crisis and injustice in the Canadian Anglican Church, part of the global fever gripping the whole Anglican Communion, with this robust summons to renewal based on the New Testament figure of Timothy. Hird continues in Christian trust and hope, pointing to many fascinating figures in Canadian history as illustrations of extraordinary victory over dark circumstances. One of those who has not bowed the knee to Baal, Hird calls for a Christian resourcefulness from his fellow Canadians and Anglicans in the face of the worst of 'cultural christianity'.

-The Revd. Dr. Tim Bradshaw, Regent Park’s College, Oxford, UK

A remarkable man has written a remarkable book. Ed Hird takes the reader through the major themes of Paul's letters to Timothy, illustrating them with vignettes from Canadian and Christian history. His patriotism and love for Canada is a refreshing and invigorating. Many of the names and episodes cited by Fr. Hird will be unknown to an American audience, but the infectious pride and exuberance with which he writes, brings these people and places to life. For those whose knowledge of Canada, its culture--people--history is shrouded in a Trudeauean fog of ignorance and pc drivel, this book is a breath of fresh air. It lightly, but forcefully, fleshes out the Christian soul of America's neighbor to the North.

But it is as a work of Christian apologetics that this book excels. I came away from this book with the sense of Fr. Ed Hird's joy---a joy founded upon the love of God.

"God surprises us with joy!", he writes at the beginning of his book, and this theme is captured again and again in the 64 short essays that make up the book.

In many ways this is an old fashioned book. A throw back to the muscular confident Christianity of a now bygone age. To this I say, 'thank goodness'---and may we have more of it.

-The Rev. Canon George Conger of the Diocese of Central Florida, journalist, The Living Church; Church of England Newspaper

Battle for the Soul of Canada is a beautiful tapestry of stories of past Canadian spiritual heroes interwoven with the personal experiences of the writer who is dynamically living the faith of which he writes. The reader will also be blessed by Ed’s carefully uncovering of the deep spiritual foundations of our past without which future generations are left aimless. While it is somewhat focused on the Anglican situation, its appeal and value is to the entire Body of Christ.

-Albert Zehr, Pastor, and Partner with Watchmen for the Nations

Anyone doubting that the Bible accurately describes the reality of life needs to read this book. The author, the Reverend Ed Hird, has opened his mind and heart and invited us into the account and the cost of standing firm in "the Faith once delivered to the Saints", despite the price and despite the foolishness of ecclesiastical dignitaries. The author concludes on a note of hope and well he might. He has every right to do so because the power, purpose and presence of the Lord is evident in his story and this set of reflections all through. "If God be for us, who can be against us!" I commend this book to the reader most highly.

-The Right Reverend John H. Rodgers Jr. ThD
Anglican Mission in America

Thank you also for producing a book about a 'people of memory' (Judges 2:10); for reminding Canadians that this country was once made great through God-motivated people who were convicted in the Truth and who were willing to pay a price for their convictions. I was thoroughly impressed with the way you have riveted us to contemporary truths found in Timothy, and which are present in the lives of our Canadian pioneers.

-The Rev. Charles Alexander, Former Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada; Director, Timothy Institute of Ministry; Author of Power to Serve (ABC Book Centre)

The passion of the great Apostle Paul for the next generation is the passion of our dear brother Ed Hird for the next generation of Canadians. The days of ear-tickling have already come when people demand preaching that satisfies our lusts and causes us to turn from the truth. We need to hear the message of 1 and 2 Timothy come alive again, now. This is our time. We need to tell our
generation and the next the truth of the Bible, found in the Lord Jesus Christ, before the day of His coming. This is a great read to help us do just that.

-The Right Reverend Thad Barnum, Rwandan Anglican Bishop (AMiA)

Rev. Ed Hird's book represents a remarkable personal amalgam of spiritual autobiography, memoirs, sermons, reflections, history, and wise Christian counsel. It is written with clarity and charity by a seasoned Anglican priest who speaks with sure Christian discernment to the issues which trouble the Anglican Church of Canada and, more broadly, a Canadian culture which has lost the compass of its Christian heritage. Rev. Hird's book combines the personal and the political in ways that only powerful spiritual autobiography and memoir can accomplish. The book is particularly moving when he recalls the struggle of his ministry within the drifting structure of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the renewed ministry he and his congregation found within the Anglican Coalition in Canada under godly international Bishops and leaders. His message and stories will appeal to Anglicans, and other Christian believers, and many Canadians who love their country. It merits a wide readership.

-Dr. George Egerton, Associate Professor, UBC History Department; Editor, Anglican Essentials

I applaud your effort to offer a practical manual for a crucial issue in the Church. It is much needed.

-The Rev. Dr. John Roddam, Rector, St. Luke’s Seattle

Ed Hird is a biblical, evangelical, charismatic, reformed, orthodox, ecumenical Anglican pastor, priest, prophet and scholar. He is an inspiring man to be with - and this book is an inspiring read. It gives us an inside look at the battle for the soul of Anglicanism in Canada.

-The Rev. Dr. Don Faris, Author of The Trojan Horse[iii]

It became apparent to us that you are very much like the Timothy that St. Paul encouraged and guided. Step by step you have overcome personal obstacles (your voice), false teaching and apostasy from leaders of the church you loved, ridicule because of your stand for God, and courage in leading your flock into new pastures to maintain integrity of God’s word and continual proclamation of the gospel. In all of this, you have done it with grace and love and have never wavered from your deep love of Jesus. I believe that you truly deserve God’s words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

From pioneers, explorers, judges and politicians, you have brought out our rich Canadian Christian heritage in an easy-to-read and enjoyable way...it was like a banquet with a wide assortment of rich food for the soul.

-Dr. George & Elaine Puritch, Wholeness Through Christ Canada leaders

A devotional commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy that’s as Canadian as it is devotional. I enjoyed reading through much of it, and learned a lot about my Canadian heritage.

-Pastor Brian Buhler, North Shore Alliance Church, BC

Practical, readable, knowledgeable, self disclosing, Canada-glad and user-friendly devotional commentary on Biblical mentoring from a Christian leader who has been tested by fire. A worthy read for equippers and influencers.

-Dr. Paddy Ducklow, Pastor & Psychologist, Cap Church, North Shore

Ed Hird is a man of deep passion and commitment. I am grateful to him for raising up Timothy’s through the ministry of St Simon’s North Vancouver. He is a valued member of our ACiC team of clergy and we stand shoulder to shoulder with him in the fight. My hope is that this book will inspire many more Canadians to reflect on our heritage and the sacrifices made by Christians of former generations, but not leave it there. This is a battle that must not be lost in our country.

-The Rev. Paul Carter, ACiC Network Leader

Battle for the Soul of Canada is a book of great value and inspiration: value in that it contains a gold mine of documented spiritual history regarding the nation of Canada. In addition, it is a well of pertinent truth filled with information that leads to transformation. Finally, you will be inspired to do exactly what the main mission of the book is about, namely to raise up a generation of Timothys who will bring this nation back to its founding values.

-Rev. Dr. George D. Johnson
Harvest City Church / City Embassy
Vancouver, B.C.

Ed Hird has written a delightful blend of positive personal testimony, redeemed Canadian history and practical pastoral exhortation structured around the apostle Paul's letters to Timothy. If you need encouragement concerning the future of the church in Canada, this would be a good book to read. But be prepared to be challenged to be part of the battle for the soul of Canada.

-Rainer Mittelstaedt, Pastor, Bethel International Church, Vancouver BC

As a man of faith, Ed Hird reminds us all of the godly heritage of this great land of Canada. His call for an army of Timothys is a call for men and women to once again stand tall for the truth handed down to us through the ages. May his witness stir in the hearts of others the faithfulness and courage we have seen in his heart. Ed, I stand with many of your brothers across your border as we say: "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee"

-The Rev. David A. Rich, AMiA, Jackson, Mississippi,
Past Executive Director, Christ Our Healer Ministry, Buffalo, NY

In order for the Timothy's new generation in Canada to become secure and reach their destiny, they need fathers and mothers that will cover them and will walk with them.

-Pastor Jean Claude & Valerie Joyal, Bridgebuilders, Quebec

I’m delighted to recommend this book, not only to Anglicans, but also to all who pray and look for the day when Canada, like all other kingdoms of this world, shall ‘become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.’ Drawing on many years of immersion in Scripture as well as a deep knowledge of Canadian history, Ed Hird outlines a fascinating and compelling agenda for turning this nation back to the Saviour and restoring its own true nature.

-The Rev Canon Dr Robert B Smith, Diocese of Fredericton (Ret). Former Chair
of SOMA Canada, Rose & Thorn Ministries

How refreshing and proper the time is to have a true spiritual book that will appease the thirst in so pure waters of the sacred Scripture and Christian tradition!

Canada now stands at a critical crossroad and forces are constantly at work to undermine the moral fabric of this nation. We – the faithful servants and the gatekeepers – must guard our beliefs and values always.

Reverend Ed Hird is one of those few who consistently seek the moral high ground and I am honoured to work alongside this fellow minister. This book will certainly be an important aid in bolstering and maintaining faith.

-Rev. Msgr. Pedro-Lopez Gallo, St Pius Catholic Church, North Vancouver

Ed Hird has a vision for a renewed Canada through the raising up of a generation of leaders dedicated to the Christian principles of many of its founders. Indeed a great strength of the book is its colourful and inspiring cast of Canadian characters often overlooked by our generation.

-The Rev. George Eves, Author of Two Religions, One Church, Taylor College

Rev. Ed Hird is one of my modern day Canadian heroes. A man of conviction, passion for truth, God and His ways, passion for his nation and a man willing to push against the grain to take a stand for what he knows is truth. In this amazing literary call, Rev. Hird articulates all these elements like a good soldier fighting for generations to come. Battle for the Soul of Canada is more than a book. It is a call and more than a call. It is a trumpet blown at a critical moment in our nation's history.

-Faytene Kryskow, Author of Stand on Guard & Director, 4 MY Canada

Our Canadian church culture has all but neutralized the supernatural life-giving, life-saving power of God. But take heart, a new day has dawned, and Ed Hird has served notice in this book that the Timothys of the hour have awakened and now are rising into their destiny. Canada is poised to reach the nations for Jesus Christ! Only read this book if you want to be part of this call - if you want to be encouraged, challenged, strengthened with vision and purpose for a time such as this."

-Rev. Dr. Alistair P. Petrie, Pastor, Author, and Executive Director of Partnership Ministries, Canada http://www.partnershipministries.org/

Battle for the Soul of Canada is a great reflection of author Ed Hird. From start to finish, it is filled with Canadian Spiritual lore and challenging applications. As a columnist, Ed never seems to tire of treating his readers to fresh perspectives on historical figures and local, even family heroes. As an author he tackles Timothy with that same freshness, cleverly allowing us to see some of Paul’s intention with his young protégé. In an age when our country needs young men to gain fresh insight and passion about and for our nation, this new work makes a timely entrance.

-Lawrence Rae, Senior Pastor, Point Grey Community Church, Vancouver, BC

As a Christian journalist, I have watched and reported for more than four years now as Ed Hird has consistently displayed great boldness, perseverance and joy in upholding biblical orthodoxy against all who would try to co-opt it for their own purposes. He and St. Simon’s North Vancouver have sacrificed much, but in the process have gained much more. This book testifies to that. Yes, there is sadness and sorrow for a country Ed so dearly loves that has gone seriously adrift. But his challenge to the Church to raise up Timothys to reach a nation of Timothys (a brilliant insight into the core character of Canadians!) is hardly wishful thinking; it is prophetic and therefore attainable. As a Baptist, I would encourage Christians of all denominations to read this timely book.

- Frank Stirk, B.C. correspondent for ChristianWeek and a frequent contributor to B.C. Christian News, the Baptist Horizon (CCSB) and Focus on the Family Canada.

For awhile I had to wonder if Ed had secured a Krazy Glue component to the cover of his book, as it became increasingly difficult to put down! Ed is a marvelous tour guide on this walk through Paul's letters to Timothy. The many historical references throughout serve as icing on what is already a rich gift and challenge to the Church in Canada. Timely? -without question. Risky? -there is such transparency concerning his own heart and faith. He longs for a leadership-awakening which must come in Canada.

-Captain Bruce Smith, National Director, Church Army, Canada

Ed Hird has skillfully woven together great truths from first and second Timothy, profound insights from inspired leaders drawn from Canadian and British Columbian history, and lessons learned as a leader of a church under persecution. This timely book recalls us to the God who is able to keep us from falling.

-The Rev. Robin Guinness, Associate Rector of Little Trinity Church, Toronto, BAM Chair Co-signer of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials

There is a long tradition of lamentations and hand-wringing in Canadian literature over the future prospects of this great land. Ed Hird's book does not belong to this alarmist trend. He seeks to identify the work and the promise of God where others might only surmise crisis. Indeed, he discerns great new things God is doing even in the most militantly secular part of the country. Through the trials and tribulations of the orthodox Anglican community in Vancouver, he offers a unique perspective on the emergent generation of the faithful in the new millennium.

-The Rev. Dr. Timothy Cooke, Swiss Reformed Church; former Rector of St. Martin’s Anglican Church, North Vancouver

With his life and his writing, Rev. Ed Hird demonstrates clearly how to battle evil by living an alternative lifestyle of justice, love and humility. In his focused effort to encourage all of us to "raise upTimothy's", Rev. Hird has brought forward the lives of many who demonstrate with their lives, as well as with their words, what it means to struggle for justice and the Godly way of living for which we are created. Each of the vignettes in Rev. Ed's book call us forward to be a Timothy in our towns and cities and to live in a way that calls others to be the same. I commend this book to all who want to make a difference in their generation for justice, love, and humility before God.

-Elsie Quick, Executive Director, Partners in Hope, Vancouver, BC

[i] The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green, http://www.htc-r.org/clergy-staff.htm “...one of the most influential evangelists and Christian writers living today...author of over 50 books”
[ii] Michael Cassidy’s recent books include The Passing Summer, Bursting the Wineskins, A Witness Forever, Window on the Word http://www.africanenterprise.org/db/member/cassidy.html
[iii] “Church changes blasted; NorthVan minister speaks out” By Anna Marie D'Angelo, North Shore News Reporter, Nov 8th 1999, http://www.nsnews.com/issues99/w110899/11059901.html ; Abandoning the Faith: Ten Points in response to the New Statement” by Dr. Don Faris,

p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Foreword by Dr J.I. Packer

Foreword by the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer

What my friend Ed Hird has written in the pages that follow is a forthright tract for the times. Ed is a bible-believer, a converted Christian, an Anglican clergyman, a charismatic, a sufferer, a soldier of Christ, a man of God, a shepherd of souls and a nurturer of vocations, a visionary, a pioneer, a Canadian patriot, a journalist and lively author.

These notes on leadership, as Paul’s letter to Timothy profile it, come hot out of his heart. He sees the hope of God’s church in Canada as rooted in the finding and forming of Timothys who, like their namesake, will become leaders under the authority of Jesus Christ and the apostolic Scriptures for the gathering, guiding and guarding of the faithful. He appears as just such a Timothy himself, as his battling for the gospel in a ruinously off-course segment of the Anglican Church of Canada has fully shown. His book is a real page-turner, hard to put down once you have gotten into it.

To be sure, it will not please everybody. Over and above the revisionists who maraud in the ACC like the great white shark in Jaws, there are still many who have no sense that the church is currently at risk from the deadening effect of the liberalism that for two generations has been the Canadian Anglican stock-in-trade, and who cannot see that the pan-Anglican furore that has sprung up from a dire policy decision in the New Westminster diocese has anything to do with them.

For such people, Anglicanism means being nice to everybody during the week, being regular at church on Sunday, backing the rector and the bishop in whatever they favour and direct, and nothing more. Questions of doctrine, true or false, and of biblical faithfulness, maintained or abandoned, they see as none of their business, and so they leave them to the professionals. Anglicans were like that in the England of my youth, and seem largely so still in the Canada of which I am now part. Not all who adhere to the Anglican church system, therefore, can be expected to warm to Ed Hird’s passionate pleas.

As an evangelical clergyman in the Church of England, I and many like me were constantly told by our Free Church opposite numbers that our church was too dead and corrupt for honest ministers to be part of. Our regular reply was that we valued our heritage (the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, and the track record of pastoral idealism and recurring revivals); we were working for reform and renewal of life at every level, raising our voices to challenge and counter doctrinal drift, and to evangelize and nurture the needy; and so we would continue till the institution either denied the gospel, legislating in a way that undercut and destroyed our credibility, or threw us out. When I became a Canadian, I no more expected either outcome in the ACC than I had done in the C of E.

However, it happened. The same diocese in which Ed and I served, New Westminster, resolved to class same-sex unions with holy matrimony and bless them accordingly. As 1 Corinthians 6 makes clear, that means negating one main strand of the apostolic doctrine of sin and the gospel requirement of repentance and the sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit, and so pulling the rug from under true pastoral care of the homosexually inclined. Ed and I were among hundreds that walked out of synod, declaring ourselves out of communion with it and the bishop by reason of this decision. And since then, Ed and his congregation have been forced out of their premises, so that now they meet in a school. Readers need to remember that this is the life-situation –the sitz im leben, as scholars would call it – out of which this book has come.

When Beethoven, after several years of compositional struggle, finally produced his Mass in D (Missa Sollenis), he had printed at the head of the score “From the heart it comes. To the heart may it go.” That is my wish, and indeed my prayer, for Ed’s spiritual wake-up-call which it is my pleasure now to commend to the alert Canadian Christian public.

Dr. J.I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College; prolific author, including Knowing God: recently named by TIME magazine as among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

-To purchase a copy of 'Battle for the Soul of Canada' for yourself or others, just send a cheque for $15 (plus $3.50 Shipping and Handling (Canadian S&H*) to the Rev. Ed Hird, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7

* By surface to the USA, the total cost for the book plus S&H would be $20.00 USD. Checks can only be accepted from USA, England and Canada. All others need to send bank drafts.

Book Review by Flyn Ritchie, BC Christian News Editor

Two local Anglicans have important tales to tell
• Ed Hird: Battle for the Soul of Canada, 2006 • Julie H. Ferguson: Sing a New Song, Dundurn, 2006

BOTH of these books focus on Canada, but they are grounded in B.C. - and have international implications.

Ed Hird is a conservative Anglican pastor who has been a key player in the never-ending same-sex debate which has so preoccupied the Diocese of New Westminster.

Hird tells his personal faith journey, and the tale of how he and his congregation made the wrenching decision to leave their building and property with the diocese, and join the Anglican Coalition in Canada.

Lorne Gunter, columnist for the National Post, put it well when he said: "I expected Battle for the Soul of Canada to be a political book - a book about the battles of plucky little St. Simon's Church in North Vancouver to adhere to a biblically-inspired faith in the face of an increasingly secular (and hostile) church hierarchy. Instead, I discovered a wonderful primer on keeping faith in an increasingly secular (and hostile) world, filled with inspiring, joyful and practical examples from the lives of spiritual people."

And so it is. Yet Hird's folksy, upbeat approach incorporates a prophetic message - not strictly political perhaps, but Gunter's is just one of 42 endorsements for the book, many by conservative Anglicans worldwide. These elements are woven together with a study of the Book of Timothy, which provided "the skeleton upon which this book is built."

Hird says that "in many ways, Timothy has the personality profile of Canada: gentle, somewhat insecure and easily rejected. Yet Paul saw that this unlikely individual had the potential to be a great leader . . . We can be God's Timothy's, if we will only humble ourselves before the Lord."
Hird is at his best telling stories. He has discovered some impressive Christians buried in Canadian history.

He offers many anecdotes of faith-filled historical figures such as Colonel Moody, who prevented our province being annexed by the U.S. in B.C.'s first war, then gathered 40 miners and led worship from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Among the others are explorer David Thompson; pioneer settler and writer Catharine Parr Trail; and Frederick Seymour, first governor of the united B.C. colony.

My favourite is William Howland. As a young entrepreneur, he was led to Christ by his Anglican priest - and the change was immediately apparent. "Night after night, Howland visited the slums, going from house to house, and reaching out to the poor, the sick, the alcoholic."
His reputation for good works led to him being chosen mayor of Toronto in 1885. He promptly installed a 12-foot banner which read: "Except the Lord Build the City, the Watchman Wakes but in Vain."

Before long, Toronto was nicknamed 'Toronto the Good' - a sobriquet seldom heard these days(...)

p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.

Indigo Books -Signing (North Shore Outlook Newspaper)

Submitted by aciccom on March 23, 2007 - 4:16pm.
North Shore Outlook Newspaper
March 23rd 2007, Thursday
Battle book: Rev Ed Hird releases his new book on March 24th at Indigo Books
(Photo by Daniel Pi)-An inspirational message -Rev. Ed Hird, holding his new book, Battle for the Soul of Canada, has preached on the North Shore for 20 years
by Alyssa Noel, Staff Reporter

Battle for the Soul of Canada is a carefully woven book that incorporates Canadian history, religion and the personal memoirs of Rev. Ed Hird.

"It's the kind of book you can access in a couple of way," Hird said. "One of my passions behind the book is a love for BC and Canadian history."

He said he hopes that readers will believe there is hope for Canada's future after reading the book.

It's meant to inspire Canadians to believe in the future of our nation," he said. "There are a lot of Canadians who are cynical and depressed about our future."

But Hird believes with such a great national history and freedom-filled future, they should be optimistic.

"If you talk to Canadians, their greatest value is freedom," he said. "Democracy is rooted in this passion for religious freedom. The second greatest value of Canadians is they want relationships. Canadians want more than independence. They also want intimacy and relationship. I believe the key to relationship is at the core of our roots in the love of God and the love of our neighbour."

Hird is a long-time reverend who has spent 20 years preaching on the North Shore. As a result, the book is rooted in religious overtones and includes the history of his congregation.

While he touches on prominent biblical figures, he also includes the history of many Canadian pioneers, including nine examples of how they made Canada a better place.

"I weave that all in(...), he said. "It's a kind of experiment, but people say that it worked."

Hird will be signing books at Indigo Books in North Vancouver (1025 Marine Drive) from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday March 24th.

p.s. In order to obtain a copy of the book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.

North Shore News: 'Battle for the Soul of Canada' Just Out

Submitted by aciccom on November 10, 2006 - 12:42pm.
Nov 10th Friday 2006
North Shore News ‘Spiritually Speaking’ column
by the Rev Ed Hird+
My goal was to hear God’s still, small voice.

Three and a half years ago I spent a one-month sabbatical in a small cabin on top of Sumas Mountain. I was reluctant to go on this sabbatical, because I was convinced that I was too busy. The truth is that I was ‘too’ busy, and needed to get away to just be with God. I thank God for my fellow clergy who covered for me so that I could have such a mountaintop experience.

During my retreat, I met with Ron Dart, an instructor at the University of Fraser Valley College. Ron said to me that I had several books within me. He then said that it would be a sin if I didn’t write another book.

My first book was written as a social worker on ‘The Needs of Adolescents in a Pediatric Setting’. It was produced by Vancouver General Hospital and sent to over sixty hospitals around North America. Despite having written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles over the past twenty-five years, I was unable to ‘birth' my second book. Even before Ron Dart’s encouragement, I had known for years that I was to write another book.

lmost two years ago, I received another jolt that broke through my literary procrastination. Dr. Gil Stieglitz, in the midst of a helpful coaching session, spoke powerfully about my potential book in a way that deeply connected. From that point on, I stopped waiting, and started writing my book.

The first five thousand words were the hardest part of writing my 176-page book. I carved away at my initial draft of ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ until it felt like there was hardly anything left.

The Good Book encourages people to seek a rebuke. So I began approaching respected colleagues, asking them to ruthlessly critique my book. The feedback was often very painful and most helpful. Nine drafts later, the book really took shape. I became so energized about the book that I once wrote 24 hours straight and did not even feel tired the next day.

To obtain detachment from my book, I put it aside and read thirty books on writing and publishing. Pierre Berton’s book on writing was hilarious and most insightful. Most of the thirty books were so depressing and cynical that I wondered why anyone would ever want to write a book.

Dr. J.I. Packer, who wrote my foreword, was a great encouragement to me during this discouraging phase. I have to say that writing this book drove me to prayer. “Lord, it doesn’t look like there is any way forward. Please help”.

Miraculously God brought along a friend Bill Glasgow who knows the publishing industry. A few months later, Friesens in Winnipeg printed 2,000 copies of my first edition. Over 1,000 have already been sold, and the 2nd printing of 5,000 copies is coming out soon.

‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ is essentially about raising up the emerging generation of leaders in Canada. It tells the story of nine Canadian pioneers, like George Vancouver and David Thompson, who point the way to a healthy future.

Trevor Lautens, a North Shore News columnist, endorsed the book, saying “For an unbaptized, non-practising non-Christian, but with strong sympathy for and even envy of devout Christians, Rev. Hird’s book strikes me as original, provocative and appealing, with interesting details about his own path to faith.”

Other key North Shore leaders have also endorsed the book, including Pastor Brian Buhler of North Shore Alliance, Pastor Owen Scott of Valley Church, Msgr. Pedro Gallo of St. Pius Church, and Pastor Paddy Ducklow of CapChurch.

To order a copy, just send a cheque for $18.50 to Ed Hird, #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7.

The Reverend Ed Hird+ Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver Anglican Coalition in Canada http:/www3.telus.net/st_simons

Dr JI Packer online Interview about the Battle for the Soul

Dr JI Packer Interview Online
Submitted by aciccom on February 20, 2007 - 5:02pm.
Dear friends in Christ
I commend to you the following Dr JI Packer interviews online. In the interviews, Dr. Packer looks at both the battle for the Soul of Canada and for the Soul of the Anglican Communion.
http://www.acl.asn.au/ (Anglican Church League, Australia)
Saturday 17th February 2007Jim Packer endorses “Battle for the Soul of Canada”
Dr J I Packer of Regent College Vancouver recommends Ed Hird’s book, “Battle for the Soul of Canada” in this 11 minute online video (click the bottom video icon on the right of this page).
Dr Packer, who wrote the preface, speaks of his hopes for Canada. For details about the book, see this earlier post.
Both the long and short versions of this interview are at this locationhttp://www.reason-for-hope.com/acic/ YouTube has the short version of the Dr JI Packer interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAFcRAKN2SE
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Video Description
Rev. Ed Hird and Dr. J.I. Packer discuss Rev. Hird's book, Battle for the Soul of Canada
Personal Message
Here is the Ed Hird and J.I. Packer short interview
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p.s. To purchase a personally signed copy of any of our books, just etransfer at ed_hird@telus.net, giving your address. Cheques are also acceptable. 

You can also purchase them on https://amzn.to/3vrwibu (Canada)

or https://amzn.to/3EcQKAg (USA)



Rev Dr Ed and Janice Hird