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All articles in category Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Article

June 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Thinking it through… the wisdom of withholding judgement

Oh no. I dread phonecalls like this. It’s from a friend. Ian’s ringing to tell me that he and his wife have left the church they’ve been attending for the past twenty-odd years. It’s a sad story. They were pillars in that church, working faithfully, doing the jobs no one else wanted to do, supporting the leadership loyally:  until two years ago when the church called a new pastor. He came in and changed everything. Introduced all sorts of new ways of doing things. Pushed his favourites into the key positions in the church. Suggested to older folk like them that it was time to...

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Article

June 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A shrink thinks… Pastor vs psychiatrist?

Am I in conflict with myself? I am not referring to Romans 7 and wrestling with my sin, but rather to a potential role conflict. As both a serving elder with some pastoral responsibility and a practising consultant psychiatrist, do I experience a tension between these two roles? Do I find that my ‘psychiatrist self’ has a set of views and practices which are in opposition to my ‘eldership self’? I do not. But if you read my recent article on ‘Unconscious sin’ then you might respond that I am not best placed to answer my own question! For I may unconsciously be working as...

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Article

June 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Saviour from sin, not just from hell

Jesus Christ offers himself as the Saviour for sinners. As Christians it is our privilege to proclaim this glorious message to mankind. But it is important that all pastors, evangelists, and Christian workers propose salvation on the terms which Christ himself intended. I have a particular point to make in this article relative to the demands of the gospel. It is this: Christ offers himself not so much as the Saviour from hell as the Saviour from sin. In the first chapter of the New Testament, it was announced, prior to the Saviour’s birth, that he would save his people from their sins (Matthew. 1:21)....

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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 > 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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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

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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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

John Knox on prayer

When John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, was laid to rest in his grave, the Regent of Scotland said of him ‘There lies he who never feared the face of man’. This reminds us of the paraphrase of Psalm 34:9, which reads: Fear Him (that is, God) ye saints and you will then Have nothing else to fear; Make you His service your delight, Your wants shall be His care. I came across the following gem of a quote from John Knox. It concerns John Knox’s view of prayer. John Knox defined true prayer as: ‘An earnest and familiar talking with God, to whom we declare...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The purpose and benefits of lay preaching

This article is dedicated to the brethren in Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Old Hill and Pastor Roland Burrows and Mrs. Anne Burrows, who retired in December 2018. Several men influenced me to pursue my call to lay preaching, my late father-in-law Mr Kenneth Harris, Colonel Don Underwood and Pastor Burrows. It was through the advice and support of Pastor Burrows that I managed to preach in various churches while juggling a young, growing family and a job as a biological science researcher. We know that church attendance is falling, and local churches are closing their doors in the UK. There is a crying need to pray...

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Article

March 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Is congregational singing dying out?

‘And when they had sung a hymn, they went out’ (Matt. 28:30). There is not a lot of information in the New Testament about music, but what there is certainly is very instructive. For example, in the text above we can see that singing was a part of the worship of the church which Jesus established. Pastors and worship leaders need to carefully study the Scriptures, to see how they should lead God’s people in worshipful singing. In the last few years, since I left my pastoral ministry (44 years in the same church), it has been my privilege (I use that term loosely) to...

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