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All articles in category General

June 2010
General

Satan’s army

Satan’s army     The Lord’s Resistance Army terrorises southern Sudan, northern Congo, the eastern Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda.      In 1986 a Catholic, self-proclaimed ‘prophetess’ named Alice Lakwena founded an ethnic, Acholi militia in northern Uganda in response to what she believed was the voice of the Holy Spirit ordering her to overthrow the government of Uganda.      By 1987 Lakwena’s ‘Holy Spirit Movement’ was finished: Lakwena had fled (she died in Kenya in 2007) and some 5000 of her soldiers lay dead.   Child abduction   Under the leadership of Joseph Kony, a spirit-medium and former Catholic altar-boy, the survivors regrouped,...

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August 2009
General

Engaging with mission

Engaging with mission   In this article on the church and mission, Daniel Grimwade takes a final look at being so missionary-minded that we are of great earthly use.   In previous articles, we have examined five principles about mission taught in Scripture: mission begins with God, who has chosen to save sinners; conscious faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation; we seek to reach nations and not just individuals; the local church has been given the responsibility for mission; and mission requires people prepared to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. From these principles flow ten important conclusions.   Missionary work challenges...

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Christian literature
August 2009
General

Christian literature

Christian literature   Christians should love literature because God loves literature. He used literature to reveal himself to us. His holy counsel came in written form. He is the most important author of the most important book — the Book of books!   Consider what past servants of the Lord said about books. C. H. Spurgeon, preaching on 2 Timothy 4:13, said: ‘Paul was inspired by the Spirit, but he still wants books! He had been preaching for at least 30 years, and yet he wanted books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wanted books! He had had a wider experience than most...

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Willing to suffer for Christ
May 2009
General

Willing to suffer for Christ

Willing to suffer for Christ   In this series examining the great subject of mission, we have so far looked at four principles: (1) mission begins with the God who has chosen to save sinners; (2) conscious faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation; (3) we seek to reach nations and not just people; and (4) the local church has been given this great responsibility.   The final question we must consider is this; who should the church send? God’s agency for mission is the local church, but churches send out missionaries who are people. What type of people does the missionary cause need?...

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The local church – God’s agent for mission
April 2009
General

The local church – God’s agent for mission

The local church – God’s agent for mission   The task of mission is a great one and we all need to understand it in order to be focused and responsible in the way we encourage or take part in it. We need biblical principles to guide us.   In previous articles, I set out three principles which build on one another – first, the fact that God is a missionary God is the great foundation on which everything else rests. Then the way God has chosen to save people is through conscious faith in his Son. Finally, in order to have this faith people...

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Missionary Spotlight – Discharged
April 2009
General

Missionary Spotlight – Discharged

Discharged   Gerard Chrispin has recently retired as General Director of DAYLIGHT Christian Prison Trust – but not from sharing the gospel! Here he challenges his ‘fellow dinosaurs’ to use their retirement to serve the Master.   How easy it is to get institutionalised! It is sad to see men and women who were once dynamic and innovative reduced to creatures of unimaginative habit. We know one man who manages to get himself back into prison soon after every release because he has grown so accustomed to being there.      Inside, he didn’t need to think for himself. He had worked in the City before...

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Missionary Spotlight – The unexpected happens on MV Doulos
March 2009
General

Missionary Spotlight – The unexpected happens on MV Doulos

The unexpected happens on MV Doulos   ‘Can you organise some Bible studies to train us for the ministry?’ This was the request of two young Americans serving on the OM mission ship MV Doulos (http://www.mvdoulos.org/) in summer 2004.   As we discussed possibilities, it was decided to use our family’s cabin for a study through the Book of Romans for any young person on the ship who might be interested. It would be on Sunday nights, and attendance would be voluntary.       Our family had chosen to serve for two years on Doulos – from January 2004 to February 2006. With my Dutch wife...

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Baptists in the modern era
March 2009
General

Baptists in the modern era

Baptists in the modern era   Erroll Hulse reviews volume 3 of Tom Nettles’ Baptist history — The Baptists; key people in forming a Baptist identity.   In this third volume, which completes his magisterial history of the Baptists, Tom Nettles continues to focus on the issue of Baptist identity. In other words, how would we describe Baptists? What do Baptists believe? What are their distinctive features?  And how do they do church?       Biography is the chariot which Nettles employs to drive the reader through Baptist history — a story adorned with gifted pastors, leaders and missionaries. Human interest abounds. The main characters for...

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To reach all nations
February 2009
General

To reach all nations

To reach all nations   In this series of articles we are seeking to establish principles of mission from the Bible, to govern how we go about this work. So far we have seen, firstly, that any thinking about mission must begin with the fact that God is a missionary God and he is the author, definer and finisher of mission.   Secondly, we saw that conscious faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation. The way that God has chosen to save sinners from the hell they deserve is by faith in the person and work of the Saviour of sinners. The normal way...

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Sorting out priorities
February 2009
General

Sorting out priorities

Sorting out priorities   When the risen Lord Jesus commissioned his followers to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19) he set in motion a great movement that continues to gather momentum today.   As we know from the book of Acts, it took time for the new church to appreciate the full implications of that commission. But it wasn’t long before congregations throughout the eastern Mediterranean were sending out men to preach the gospel and plant churches in regions where the Bible was previously unknown.      Today, the Holy Spirit continues to equip and lead missionaries to cross social, political and cultural...

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A mission policy for a local church
January 2009
General

A mission policy for a local church

A mission policy for a local church   In last September’s ET we saw that ‘God is a missionary God’. This is the first and fundamental idea we must grasp if we want to establish biblical principles of mission and ensure that our practice as churches has clear purpose and direction.   We saw that the Bible reveals God’s purpose to ‘seek and save that which was lost’ (Matthew 18:11) and noted three implications: (a) Mission work is important; (b) God determines the principles and practices of mission; and (c) the missionary task will be successful.      Having established that God does save the lost,...

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Missionary Spotlight – Learning Spanish
October 2008
General

Missionary Spotlight – Learning Spanish

Learning Spanish   Sometimes the most routine job has eternal consequences. Just ask Julie Chamberlain. She is the director of the Spanish Language Institute in San José, a school that has taught Spanish to between 13,000 and 14,000 evangelical missionaries since it was founded in 1942.   ‘People who have graduated from here have gone all over Latin America, to Spain and eventually to other parts of the world, to plant churches, start seminaries, develop radio stations, establish church ministries, initiate health clinics and begin other types of ministries’, she reflected.      And, she said, many have gone on to distinguished careers as mission presidents,...

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