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All articles in category Cultural and Ethical

November 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

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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March 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The tribunal

John Fairbrother, a retired primary school teacher who taught in inner Birmingham during the 1970s-90s, recalls a ‘run-in’ with the political correctness of his day. A new head teacher was appointed to the school. She was an advisor to the city education committee on multi-faith and multi-culturism, and picked up the fact that, when I took school assembly, I always did a Bible story or spoke on a Bible theme — like ‘the use of the tongue’ — beginning by quoting words of Jesus from the Bible. At Christmas, I told the story of Christ’s birth, using slides from the Jesus of Nazareth film. With...

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March 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Struck off!

Missioning recently in Oxford, I paused at the spot on Broad Street where Hugh Ridley, Bishop Latimer and Archbishop Cranmer were burned at the stake in 1555. Just a few yards away, Martyrs Memorial, which towers imposingly over shoppers, silently testifies as a permanent reminder of their courageous stand for truth. They refused to be intimidated by the ‘powers that be’ or their employers in the ecclesiastical system. Royalty itself proved impotent when pressurising these faithful men to be silent about their biblical beliefs. Obedience cost them their blood. And yet, a little later, I heard a fine Christian GP say that she never spoke...

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