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All articles in category General

October 2008
General

How shall they hear?

How shall they hear?   Good question. The apostle Paul asked it in Romans 10:14 and we should still be asking. Exactly how will they hear — those folk in the shopping mall; those teenagers hanging round the town square; those tower-block residents round the corner; those mums at the school gate waiting for their kids to come out of school?   Paul tells us that they need a preacher, someone to bring them the gospel message. But most won’t come to church because its neither ‘cool’ nor cost-effective (they have better ways to ‘waste’ their time!).      Open-air preaching can reach some of the...

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God is a missionary God
September 2008
General

God is a missionary God

God is a missionary God   In his last letter to Timothy, Paul writes: ‘You … have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness’ (2 Timothy 3:10). The apostle Paul clearly knew what he was trying to achieve – hence he can write ‘my aim in life’.   As Paul neared the end of his life he wrote to Timothy, now a pastor in Ephesus, to encourage him to follow the policy – the blueprint for ministry and church life – that flows out of the gospel. Paul was passing on the battle plan to...

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Mission Trilogy – Mission – evangelism or church planting?
August 2008
General

Mission Trilogy – Mission – evangelism or church planting?

Mission — evangelism or church planting?   God is the author of all missionary work. As David Livingstone said, ‘God had an only Son and he made him a missionary’. The incredible thing is that God chooses to use us in the great missionary task.      Who do we mean when we say he uses ‘us’? It is quite clear from the New Testament that God’s agency for mission is the local church. The church in Antioch was called by the Holy Spirit to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the great missionary task of reaching the Gentiles (Acts 13:1-3), and it is to that...

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Mission Trilogy – Mission – independence or co-operation?
August 2008
General

Mission Trilogy – Mission – independence or co-operation?

Mission — independence or co-operation?   It seems to me that the model for missionary work clearly set out in Scripture is one of ‘church based mission’. Acts 13:1-3 is the key text and establishes the following principles:      (1) mission is the concern of a well-ordered church; (2) God uses godly leadership to identify and separate missionaries for the work; (3) the church as a whole sets aside those separated to this work and commits to caring for them; and (4) the missionaries report back to the whole church (Acts 14:27). This pattern is repeated elsewhere.   Is there room for outside organisations?  ...

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Mission Trilogy – Biblical strategy for gospel MISSIONS
August 2008
General

Mission Trilogy – Biblical strategy for gospel MISSIONS

Biblical strategy for gospel MISSIONS   Why should we be concerned with the subject of missions or with the mandate for the work of mission as recorded in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20? And how exactly should we go about carrying out the tasks outlined by this commission? Let us consider these matters.   Church history reveals that during the Middle Ages the task of mission was undertaken primarily by celibate monks who travelled about preaching an increasingly corrupted gospel.      But in the 16th century the Protestant Reformation cast off the entire monkish institution with its unbiblical asceticism, and created a resurgent biblical...

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Missionary Spotlight – Fifty years of Grace Baptist Mission radio
June 2008
General

Missionary Spotlight – Fifty years of Grace Baptist Mission radio

Fifty years of Grace Baptist Mission radio   Radio was anathema to some Strict Baptists of the 1950-60s. The pastor of one church I visited in 1963 told me in no uncertain terms that he hoped I wasn’t intending to speak about my radio ministry because, ‘Radio is the devil’s instrument’.   Looking back to 1958, it was perhaps amazing that the SBM Council unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed the India Conference’s recommendation that we should become involved in radio evangelism to the Tamil people of South India and beyond. They readily recognised it as a legitimate means for the spread of the gospel. After all,...

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Appreciating ET International
April 2008
General

Appreciating ET International

Appreciating ET International ET International (ETI) is the 16 page airmail edition ofEvangelical Times that is sent overseas to anyone who is willing to distribute five or more copies in their locality. The paper itself is free of charge but the distributors (or agents) pay for the airmail postage. Some agents have UK ‘sponsors’ who pay the postage on their behalf. The idea behind ETI is that affordable reformed literature is often unavailable in third-world countries and this paper is one way to fill this gap. However, ETI also circulates in places like USA and Australia where there is nothing quite like Evangelical Times available....

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Handling Jewish issues
January 2008
General

Handling Jewish issues

Handling Jewish issues Richard Gibson and James Mendelsohn make some suggestions for biblically-faithful and Jewish-sensitive preaching. In recent years many British Messianic Jews have been hurt by the negative attitudes towards the Jewish people they have encountered in churches, Christian Unions, books and the Christian press — including thoughtless comments about Jewishness and hostility to the state of Israel. This is happening against the backdrop of a Britain where recorded incidents of anti-Semitism are at their highest levels since World War II. Consequently, many British Messianic Jews are beginning to feel disenfranchised from the wider church. Today, more Jewish people than ever before believe in...

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