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Article

May 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

THINKING IT THROUGH: Christians facing exams

Over a twelve-month period, we have invited Stephen Rees — an experienced pastor — to share his thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his views are his own and may not necessarily reflect positions held by the Evangelical Times. It’s exam time. Over the next few weeks most of the youngsters who attend the church I pastor will be sitting exams of one sort or another. SATs, GCSEs, A levels, university assessments, music exams: from early childhood into our twenties we face one daunting educational hurdle after another. And some of us then go back...

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Article

May 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A SHRINK THINKS… God’s gift of time

Time is egalitarian. On each new day we are all allocated the same amount of this precious gift from God. We receive our 24 hours. And we are all responsible every day for how we use this gift in his service. Of course, from a lifetime perspective we are allotted different amounts in this world since God ordains our days and gives each of us our own special portion of time. But the same truth applies. We are given our allocation of this ‘talent’ and are accountable to God for our use of it. We are taught to use our time wisely (Psalm 90; Colossians...

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Article

May 2019
Articles > Guest column

Christian liberty

In different ways the Christian has been set free. Supremely, we are free in relation to sin. Sin made us debtors to divine justice, but Christ has paid the price. Sin made us incapable of godly behaviour, but Christ has renewed our hearts. This liberation from sin is the heart of the gospel. But there is another type of liberty that belongs to the Christian. John Calvin wrote of ‘The liberty of the consciences of believers, which ought to be laid under no obligation in things that are not necessary’ (Institutes, III.xix.3). Of course, this liberty of conscience is not absolute. We are under Christ’s...

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Article

May 2019
Comment

A sacking on the other side of the world that should trouble us all

Unless you follow international rugby, you may not have heard of Israel Folau. He’s a super-star Australian rugby player who is also a Christian. But it looks like his career as a rugby player may be over. Why? He committed the ‘crime’ of expressing his biblical beliefs on social media, and the politically-correct elite were outraged. We should all be troubled by this development. But first, some disclaimers. I accept that his postings were rather blunt. I also accept that social media may not be the best forum for these things – I myself keep my own posting mostly to family news. And I accept...

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Article

May 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Dr Lloyd-Jones was well equipped to write on spiritual depression: Part 2

Last month Geoff Thomas began looking at why Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was so well equipped to preach, counsel and write on the subject of spiritual depression. He said that Dr Lloyd-Jones was such a well-rounded, intelligent, and tender personality; he was also utterly committed to the faith of the Scriptures; and he was a man who maintained the disciplines of private devotion. Here is the concluding part. He was a man to whom people went for spiritual help. At the end of his services he retired to his room behind the pulpit, was taken a cup of tea and soon a line of people...

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Historical

April 2019
Articles > Historical

Dr Lloyd-Jones was well equipped to write on spiritual depression: Part 1

There was no one in the twentieth century more suited to preach, counsel and write on this subject of spiritual depression than Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This subject has always been addressed by pastors, but particularly so from the time of the Reformation when the wrappings of human traditions were removed from biblical Christianity. The Puritan period especially excelled as an age when sermons were life and power, and many kinds of men and women were drawn to faith in the Lord Christ. They brought their past with them into the kingdom of God and were troubled with doubts and periods of darkness. Their pastors...

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Article

April 2019
Articles > Comment

Society only has itself to blame for sexualising our children

The government’s rationale for making ‘relationships’ education compulsory in all schools from September 2020 is that children are bombarded with sexual information and they need help to navigate these difficult issues. Well whose fault is that? Successive governments have continuously side-lined parents and dismantled the family. Divorce reform and the legalisation of abortion in the 60s got the ball rolling. Other social institutions accelerated the trend. The media constantly push the myth of consequence-free recreational sex. And radicals within the education system have long seen ‘sex education’ as a vehicle for pushing their agenda. Whenever parents raise concerns they are pilloried as backward and out...

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Article

April 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A shrink thinks: Unconscious sin

As you pray, you have finished your adoration of God, thanked him for his amazingly gracious love for us in Jesus Christ and praised him for all his blessings day after day. Then you come to your confession of sin….and grind to a halt. Of course you haven’t physically broken any of the commandments, you haven’t committed obvious outward sins and even the words of your mouth don’t seem to have involved you transgressing against God and man. So what sins do you now confess to God? You search your heart for those inward sins, those desires for what is wrong. Again you find it...

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Article

April 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Thinking it through: Obeying God rather than men

Over a twelve-month period, we have invited Stephen Rees — an experienced pastor — to share his thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his views are his own and may not necessarily reflect positions held by the Evangelical Times. Some time ago I attended a conference held to consider a very important subject.  According to the programme the theme for the whole conference was ‘Obeying God rather than men’.  That was an obvious reference to the words of the apostles in Acts 5:29: ‘We must obey God rather than men’. The authorities in Jerusalem had...

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Article

April 2019
Articles > World Mission

What in the world is happening to Missions? Volunteerism and finances

In a series of four articles starting this month, experienced missionary Will Niven asks some searching and important questions about the current evangelical approach to missions. Countless millions are passing into eternity without Christ. Over four billion people on this planet do not know Christ. They are standing under the wrath of God and one day, if they do not turn to him, will face the terror of the fullness of that wrath. The most urgent matter facing the church today therefore is fulfilling the Great Commission. The question is however, how is the church responding to this task? Is the modern missionary movement among...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

Indonesia: blessed by courage and wisdom

Indonesia is often called the largest Muslim nation, but this gives a wrong impression. While a large majority identify as Muslim, most of these barely know enough about Islam to be considered true Muslims. Indonesian folkways prevail, despite the saturation of the country with mosques of different sizes. These are built by generous gifts of oil wealth from the Arabian Gulf. The same wealth finances Indonesian clergymen, but their influence is largely limited to poor, uneducated village communities and remote areas. Attacks against Christians and church meeting places can happen in these areas. From time to time, there is discrimination and even occasional violence from...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

THINKING IT THROUGH: Celebrating mothers

Over a twelve-month period, we have invited Stephen Rees — an experienced pastor — to share his thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his views are his own and may not necessarily reflect positions held by the Evangelical Times. Yes it’s coming up again. That Sunday, dreaded by fathers all over the UK, Mothering Sunday. It is the 31st of March this year. No doubt it will be no different from last year or the year before: countless panic-stricken men queuing down at the late-night Tesco on Saturday night to buy last moment flowers, chocolates,...

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