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All articles in category Cultural and Ethical

September 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The men who would not bow, budge or burn (2)

The Judeo-Christian heritage, which gave us the freedoms that we have enjoyed for many decades, has now, for the most part, gone. Consecutive governments have worked at eroding the foundations and the Ten Commandments that laid those foundations. We may not yet be experiencing persecution, but the pressure on Christians is mounting. We are going back to ‘normal’ Christianity. Certainly, if we are looking for an easy life as Christians, we have been born in the wrong era! Conservative evangelicals have been booed and heckled at the Church of England’s synod; open-air preachers are feeling the effect of daring to speak in public about traditional...

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September 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Responding to the attack on the family

It’s some months now since I read a headline in The Daily Telegraph.  “We should applaud the end of the nuclear family, says top judge”.  I read the story with interest and a growing sense of anger and then checked to see what other newspapers were saying about it. The story concerns Sir James Munby, the President of the High Court’s Family Division and Head of Family Justice.  Munby oversees the operating of Family Courts in England.  As the papers put it, he is our ‘top family judge’. Sir James had just given a public lecture at the University of Liverpool.  It was offered as...

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June 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

God’s Word in a Wikipedia World

I was taken aback by a conversation I had recently following a Sunday service. In the course of the sermon I had made reference to the Great Fire of Rome.  I quoted a Roman historian by the name of Tacitus. Tacitus wrote about the Emperor Nero’s attempts to blame Christians for the fire and detailed the persecutions Nero unleashed against them.  And in passing, Tacitus mentioned that these Christians derived their name from Christ, a criminal who was executed by Pontius Pilate, governor of Judaea during the reign of Tiberius. After the service a visitor approached me. He had found my reference to Tacitus interesting,...

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April 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Who is perverting education?

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector of schools, in a speech to a Church of England foundation (quoting Psalm 119), commended educationalists who made the focus of their schools the teaching of ‘knowledge and good judgment’. She also said, ‘Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education’. Since Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God, one might assume Amanda Spielman was targeting those who try to remove or twist God’s Word. But no, her target was those who ‘actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law’.1 She went on to identify the Christian Institute...

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March 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > Uncategorised

On worship as entertainment and ‘Evangelicoolism’

As one animated sitcom in America wryly pointed out, Christian rock music doesn’t make Christianity better, it just makes rock and roll worse. It’s a fair summary of pretty much anything we try to do as Christians in the name of marrying Christianity to whatever passes as ‘wicked’ or ‘wizard’ among the youth these days. Trying to make Evangelicalism cool is something of a hiding to nothing. As Dick Lucas once averred, ‘Christians are weird, so don’t be weirder than you have to be’. Given the inherent peculiarity of being a Christian, whilst we shouldn’t be stranger than the gospel inevitably makes us, it does...

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January 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The rainbow flag20

There was a time when the world was overwhelmed with wickedness and the evil of man spread across the face of the globe. The wickedness was so great that God determined to wipe out mankind, together with animals, birds and everything that moved on the ground. His chosen method of judgment then was a catastrophic flood that covered the whole earth. However, there was one man on earth who still trusted God and strove to be holy, preaching righteousness to an unheeding world. God determined to save him and his family, and in addition representatives of all created kinds of creatures; and he did just...

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November 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > News > Ethics > Society

50 years of shame

Anniversaries are how we mark out our history. Some are welcome, others are not; some are humdrum, others are special. This year, two are extra special: a 500th and a 50th. Both changed our world. The first ushered in the wonderful gospel freedoms of the Protestant Reformation. The second is the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, which ushered in the hideous practice of legally killing unborn children in England, Scotland and Wales. The story of the Augustinian friar has been retold many times; the slaughter of the defenceless pre-born is a more veiled story. The history of UK abortion law is long but simple....

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July 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘He shines in all that’s fair’

Psalm 24:1 proclaims, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it’. Our world was made by God and belongs to him. The evidence of our Creator is all around us. As Romans 1:20 says, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse’. So, we can say of God that, ‘He shines in all that’s fair’. This line comes from a hymn penned over 100 years ago by the American pastor, Maltbie D. Babcock: ‘This is my Father’s...

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May 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Britain’s moral mess

The wrath of God against sin results not only in occasional catastrophic punishments, but sometimes in unrepentant communities being given over to vile and outrageous immoralities. The widespread push in the UK for ‘gender-fluidity’ exemplifies the latter type of judgment. It is a sign, if ever we needed it, of God’s displeasure with our nation for its atheism and contempt for the gospel. A freedom of information request from the Christian Institute has now revealed that, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as many as 11.5 per cent of BBC bosses and 10.6 per cent of BBC staff are lesbian, gay, bisexual or...

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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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September 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

PERSONAL VIEW: Brexit reflection

‘Vote leave’ supporters seemed as surprised as everyone else that Britons decided to exit the EU on 23 June 2016. At the time of writing this article no asteroid strike had taken place. Even the rumbling Icelandic volcano failed to erupt in disgust.  And there was no earthquake. Or was there an earthquake? In Revelation 11:13, we read, ‘And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven’. There has been no geological earthquake in...

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July 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What do we really think?

On 13 April, Channel 4 took a deep breath, risked the inevitable charge of being ‘Islamophobic’ and aired on screen its study of UK Muslim attitudes, What British Muslims really think. The broadcaster’s choice of person to front the programme was Trevor Phillips, erstwhile Chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. He had jumped at the chance to be involved. Shocks And what were his conclusions? The programme made the frankly uncontroversial point that many Muslims in the UK do not share the values of their ‘progressive’ neighbours. But Trevor Phillips and co, expected their audience would be shocked by this revelation. How curious!...

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