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All articles in category Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Article

March 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘It takes all sorts!’

‘It takes all sorts!’ This expression was sometimes heard in the railway office in which I once worked. We were an exceedingly diverse work force. I used to sit opposite a Muslim lady, and we got on quite well. One or two of the work force weren’t long out of college, yet there was…

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Article

February 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Personal view: Should there be a dress code for Christian meetings?

Does how we dress matter? Dress obviously mattered to the recently elected executive chairman of Barclays Bank. On assuming control, he banished flip-flops and T-shirts from their Canary Wharf head office because, ‘It’s important that we present the right image’. Apparently flip-flops and high powered banking just do not mix! Dress also mattered to…

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Article

February 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘On this rock’ (2)

A fourth reason (continued from ET, January 2016) for not taking the Roman Catholic view that Peter was the first pope of Rome, is the rejection of this idea by a majority of the early Church Fathers. It is demonstrably not the case that everyone used to believe in the Roman view of Peter and…

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Article

February 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Remember the prisoners

The writer of the New Testament letter to the Hebrews exhorts Christians to ‘remember those in prison’ (13:3). But how easy is it for UK Christians to do this? How can we possibly understand the suffering that so many of our fellow-Christians are experiencing? I believe it means firstly understanding what the ‘church’ is.…

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Article

January 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Mindless ‘mindfulness’

On 21 September 2015, during his visit to Britain, the Dalai Lama met with Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist representatives. This multi-faith occasion was sponsored by an organisation called ‘Action for Happiness’ of which the Dalai Lama is patron. Action for Happiness’s website claims it ‘has helped over 100,000 people take practical action…

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Article

January 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Sad departures

The Banner of Truth Trust has just published A sad departure — why we could not stay in the Church of Scotland, by David J. Randall (216 pages, £7.50; ISBN: 9781848716612), on recent upheavals in the Church of Scotland. Its foreword, by Sinclair B. Ferguson, is edited and used here with permission. If you…

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The greatest of the great is come

Article

December 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The greatest of the great is come

In Nazareth, Mary was told that the child to be born to her would be a great person. He would have a great birth — the highest of all stooping to such a humble entry into the world. He would be great in his life, wholly free from selfishness, lust and greed. He would…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A plea for the tender lambs

It might seem a bit strange to be pleading for a gentler, more compassionate element in preaching, at a time when ‘love’, ‘grace’ and warm, fuzzy notions of ‘community’ appear to be emphasised, above all else, in many contemporary pulpits. Indeed, the doctrines of sin, judgement, and the necessity for repentance, are often excluded…

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Article

November 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Visitors to the service

The church service had already started and the first hymn was more than half way through. Two young women appeared at the church door and the deacon, standing there for any latecomers and visitors, showed them to two seats on the back row. There was nothing unusual in this for a church situated in…

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Article

October 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Personal view: What we wear for public meetings

I’m a leader of a church. Last Sunday I wore a suit and tie. The Sunday before that I wore cords and cardigan. I often change what I wear, because I think the Bible teaches that Christians should dress a bit for God, but mainly out of concern for people. And having a range…

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Raising teenagers

Article

October 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Raising teenagers

‘My son, if you accept my words … then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God’ (Proverbs 2:1-5). My wife and I, by the grace of God alone, have raised four children. We are now convinced that the teenage years are among the most difficult ones to…

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The heart of prayer

Article

October 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The heart of prayer

The Lord’s Prayer or family prayer, which our Saviour taught his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, goes straight to what the heart of prayer is. Calling upon God as ‘Our Father’ shows us that prayer to the Christian is never a cold, abstract form, but an intimate encounter with our father God.…

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