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All articles in category Guest column

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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January 2017
Articles > Guest column

Make it plain and simple!

As a young Christian I became frustrated with preachers who assumed that I knew the Bible. I was converted at college, without any biblical or Sunday school background. I was ignorant of the Bible. When a preacher said, ‘Well, you know about when Moses…’, I wanted to stand up and scream, ‘No, I don’t know. Please tell me!’ It was a sad reflection of a subconscious thinking that no outsider was expected to be part of the congregation. The preacher was addressing the faithful, knowledgeable few. Yet the prayers of the midweek meeting were for the gospel to be heard by many, and that the...

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December 2016
Articles > Guest column

Who is in control?

Over the years, I have heard people express views that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. As a young Christian, it was difficult to match such clear supposed insights with Jesus’ teaching, about only the Father knowing the appointed time.  I now receive a state pension and I find myself doing a lot of reflecting. When I recall those who made those predictions, they were folk in their older years, a vulnerable age when one does not manage life as proficiently as one used to. It is a time when Satan, our spiritual enemy, shows no mercy and pounces to take advantage of our physical and...

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Some danger signs
November 2016
Articles > Guest column

Some danger signs

A Yale professor said, ‘A void has opened in the heart of western Christianity. Where the cross once stood, there is now a vacuum’. Cross Did you hear Christ and the cross exalted last Sunday in public worship? If not, the preacher needs to examine what his duty is. Paul said, ‘For I decided to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2). You also need to consider what you’re hearing. Sometimes people ask me my favourite text. I’m never sure how best to answer, but it calls to mind the answer a much respected friend gave....

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October 2016
Articles > Guest column

The printed word

A woman went to her local Christian bookshop and purchased a copy of a book called Ten girls who changed the world. She bought this book for her nine-year-old daughter. When the girl finished the book, she said, ‘I think God is calling me to be a missionary, but I don’t need to wait until I’m grown up to do that. I will tell my friends about Jesus’. She now meets with a group from her school each week to pray. God speaks to us in creation and providence, but mostly by words, be they on stone, vellum, parchment, scrolls, papyrus or the screen. Conversions...

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