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All articles by Roger Fay

Roger Fay is co-editor of Evangelical Times, a director of Evangelical Press Missionary Trust (Russian and French) and an elder of Zion Evangelical Baptist Church, Ripon

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July 2018
Articles > Historical

Patrick Hamilton: first Scottish martyr of the Reformation (2)

The trial of Patrick Hamilton for ‘heresy’ took place in St Andrews Cathedral in Scotland on 29 February 1528. For an eye-witness description of the occasion, we are indebted to one Alexander Alane (Alesius) (1500-1565). Alane had previously spoken out against Lutheran teaching and consequently been sent by Archbishop Beaton to convince Hamilton of his errors. But it ended up with Hamilton converting Alane! Alane wrote: ‘I was myself an eye-witness of the tragedy, and heard him answering for his life to the charges of heresy which were laid against him: and he was so far from disowning them, that he defended and established them by...

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June 2018
Articles > Historical

Patrick Hamilton: first Scottish Reformation martyr (1)

St Andrews in Scotland is today famous for its golf course and the magnificent beach that featured in the film Chariots of Fire. Its university is famous as the place where Prince William and Kate Middleton met. In the sixteenth century, St Andrews was the seat of power for the Catholic church in Scotland and boasted the supposed relics of its patron saint, namely an arm, three fingers, a kneecap and a tooth! On the cobblestones near St Salvator’s College the initials ‘PH’ are engraved, and not far away the initials ‘GW’. These stand for Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart, and mark the places of...

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September 2017
Articles > Historical

John Wesley and music

It comes as almost a shock to read in John Wesley’s Journal that this earnest minister was not above very occasionally attending a concert or, rather more often, looking over large estates of the kind you find in today’s National Trust. Clearly, Wesley not only regarded all the world as his parish, but saw the created order as God’s providential gift to mankind. Yet, after his conversion to Christ, he never obsessed about culture in the way that some modern evangelicals have. Although aware of the sacred oratorios of his own day and acknowledging God might, on occasion, use such to convey biblical truth to...

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August 2017
Articles > Historical

‘Things that go bump in the night’

From 2 December 1716 onwards for several weeks, Rev. Samuel and Susanna Wesley, their seven daughters and household servants — their three sons were in London — experienced a series of unusual phenomena at the rectory home in Epworth, Lincolnshire. Today such happenings would readily be associated with ‘poltergeist’ activity. They included inexplicable groans, knockings, door-bangings, latch-liftings, turkey-gobbling noises, bed-levitations, and much more besides. ‘Old Jeffery’ Samuel was initially reluctant to accept a supernatural explanation. It was put down to pranks by the servants, or the children (Hetty was suspected), or ill-disposed parishioners. But eventually the whole family was convinced that it was a haunting....

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March 2017
Articles > Historical

Britain’s decline and fall (4)

Continued from Britain’s decline and fall (3) The word ‘decadence’ (as with ‘decay’) implies decline from a previously held high moral standard. In the first three articles, we have seen how the high moral tone of nineteenth century Britain, set by evangelicalism, had sharply deteriorated by the middle of the twentieth century. This trend has continued, with marital unfaithfulness, selfishness, homosexuality — and its nasty by-product, gender fluidity — deeply impacting institutions and communities. Key factor We have also seen that a key, though by no means only, factor in this deterioration has been the influence of an elite circle called the Bloomsbury Sect, working hand-in-hand...

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February 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Britain’s decline and fall (3)

Continued from Britain’s decline and fall (2) Paul Johnson, a perceptive though rather waspish Catholic author and journalist, has pointed out there was something supine and indolent about the Bloomsbury set. He draws attention to their relatively low work rate and their tendency to be critics rather than creators.Certainly, unlike the Clapham Sect, Bloomsbury was not noted for unselfish civic involvement. Its ‘guru’, the eminent Cambridge philosophy professor G. E. Moore (1873-1958) (see also ET, January 2017), once wrote: ‘It is only for the sake of [the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objects] … that anyone can be justified in performing...

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January 2017
Articles > Historical

Britain’s decline and fall (2)

Continued from Britain’s decline and fall (1) In summer 2015, BBC TV fictionalised part of the Bloomsbury Group’s history in a drama series entitled ‘Life in squares’. The title was an echo of an early witticism about the group being a ‘circle composed of [sexual] triangles who lived in squares’. There were certainly other ‘circles with triangles’ in the early twentieth century, some of them in palaces. There was the womanising and reputedly bisexual Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902–1942), whose friends included Noel Coward; and there was the recklessly womanising Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII). Even Louis Mountbatten, and his wife Edwina especially,...

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