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All articles in category Guest column

September 2017
Articles > Guest column

A desire to know Christ

‘It is a wonderful thing to know Jesus!’ We would all agree with that. It is something we sing about and rightly rejoice in. Indeed, it is what God promised his people: ‘No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, Know the Lord, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’ (Jeremiah 31:34). Every believer who has their sins forgiven has a knowledge of the Lord. Jesus confirmed that in John 17:3: ‘This is eternal life: that they may...

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August 2017
Articles > Guest column

Coping with suffering

In responding to suffering, some Christians have wrongly thought that God can only meaningfully comfort us if he suffers with us in his divine nature and experiences our pain (ET Guest Column, July 2017). This is a tempting point of view, but it is the wrong answer to suffering, because God is transcendent and immutable and not acted upon or changed by his creation. He cannot suffer as God. However, his impassibility is good news for men — especially when we consider God’s ultimate answer to sin and suffering is in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Innocent Christ Man’s instinctive question to suffering...

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July 2017
Articles > Guest column

Right and wrong answers to suffering

Suffering is a reality we all experience. Although it is used by some to reject God’s existence, when properly understood, it confirms just how much we need God. But what kind of a God do we need? It is important that we find a thoroughly biblical answer to this question, because many sincere people have proposed wrong answers. Chief among these is the idea of a ‘suffering God’. This is not a new idea. Forms of it arose and were rejected by the early church, for example, patripassianism. New versions became popular in the 20th century with the rise of modern psychology and the tragedy...

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June 2017
Articles > Guest column

Suffering — a real problem

One thing common to all humanity is the perplexing experience of suffering. Notable examples, like wars and earthquakes, make the news headlines, but most suffering is not on the ‘news’. Yet it is known to all as it walks among our friends, family and communities: the loss of a spouse, the death of a child, mental illness, degenerative disease. I sat with a middle-aged woman, her body worn out by long-term drug abuse, recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. She and her partner had decided to marry before she died, but a few days after, he died suddenly beside her at home. She had no...

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May 2017
Articles > Guest column

It’s okay not to be okay

It could be argued that there is something very wrong with the prevailing subculture of much evangelicalism today. We preach the brokenness of life in a messed-up world, but expect our churches to be full of near perfect people. The story is told of a church, outside of which was the following notice: ‘Workshop downstairs; showroom upstairs’. In other words, down here we’re all works-in-progress; in heaven we’ll be the finished products. And workshops are messy places. Yet many people in our churches are struggling massively. The pressure is to keep up appearances. So long as that is achieved, it’s assumed all is well. But,...

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April 2017
Articles > Guest column

Don’t forget that Jesus is alive!

The words of the angel to the two Marys, ‘He is not here; for he is risen’ (Matthew 28:6), changed everything. Despair was vanquished by hope, faith triumphed over doubt, and weakness gave birth to strength. As then, so now. We rightly emphasise the centrality of the cross to our Christian faith. At Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ took our place, paid the penalty for our sins, and reconciled us to God. Having lived our life, he died our death. The empty tomb, however, is perhaps neglected. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus as both historical fact and doctrinal necessity, but subconsciously at least,...

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March 2017
Articles > Guest column

Why every Protestant should be catholic

This year is a big one for Evangelicals. 31 October will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That event sparked what we call the Protestant Reformation. Luther and his friends rediscovered the gospel. At its heart is the glorious reality that ‘the just shall live by faith’ (Romans 1:17). Justification — our being made right with God — is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Add merit to grace and it is no longer biblical grace. Add works to faith and it is no longer gospel faith. Add...

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February 2017
Articles > Guest column

Maciek Stolarski

In an unbelieving world, people still desire miracles to take place. They want an outcome of a given situation to be positive, even when all the indications are negative. Often such emotional expressions come to the fore when someone in the family is gravely ill, especially a child. What they would like is the medic’s prognosis to turn out to be incorrect. Then, when further analysis does not alter the situation, they despair for something extraordinary to happen. It is a ‘miracle on demand’. There are parts of Christendom where individuals claim to have special power to heal people of their ailments. I have seen...

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