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All articles by Alan Thomas

Professor and Consultant in Psychiatry. Elder at Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church.

Article

February 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Burnout and the minister

Have you heard of the phrase ‘moral injury’? Probably not. It is more likely you have if you are American because moral injury is a medical term used in the United States for what we have long called burnout. This occurs when someone becomes chronically exhausted and forms highly negative views about themselves and…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Veganuary

I’m not sure when it all began, but a recent trend has been to link months with lifestyle improvements and diseases. Thus we have had Stoptober for some years, an attempt to encourage people to stop smoking each October, and Movember, in which men have been encouraged to grow moustaches and raise money for…

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Article

December 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Scrooge’s Christmas conversion: A psychiatrist reflects on its credibility

Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most famous names in English literature. Scrooge has become a synonym for miser as a result of his brilliant characterisation in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, a family film favourite each Christmas. In this short novel Dickens commits many errors about the afterlife, if we take his description…

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Article

November 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The problem of answered prayer

Last month we reflected on the absurd approach of ‘prayer experiments’ which assume a kind of slot machine view of how prayer is supposed to work, with God as the Great Provider, jumping to do our bidding. But let us approach this from a different direction and ask: ‘why should God answer prayer at…

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Article

October 2020
Uncategorised

Slot machine prayer

Some readers may be aware of scientific experiments that have purported to assess the efficacy of prayer. It appears that some Christians decided that they could show that prayer works by such experiments and thus indirectly provide scientific evidence for the existence of God. I suspect most ET readers will be surprised by this…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The ‘Woke’ agenda

I am asleep. I am not awake. Or to use the PC term, I am not ‘Woke’. I fully agree with the excellent articles on transgender by Dr Sharon James in the February and March editions of ET. I am convinced that the Bible teaches that marriage is only for a man and a…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The last enemy: The fight of faith and the pilgrimage

Last month we reflected on death and how our society and our churches have been freshly challenged about its reality and power. We began to think about how we need to learn how to face the challenge of our last enemy. Paul uses this language in 1 Corinthians 15:26 for our Lord Christ’s conquest…

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