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All articles in category Guest column

September 2016
Articles > Guest column

The hunger for significance

Richard Gere, in a recent film, plays the part of a homeless man who has this line: ‘I’m nobody; I don’t exist’. Andrew Carnegie was asked how much money it took to make a man happy. His answer was, ‘A little more’. The relentless hunger for significance in the human heart cannot be satisfied in or by our culture. The media’s message is, ‘Paradise is the luxury cruise’ and ‘You will find freedom with the new car’. A film about sexual relationships and alternative family types has been given free to many schools across Britain. One of the main characters featured is 10-year-old Emma. She...

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August 2016
Articles > Guest column

The Trinity and Public worship

The Trinity needs to become much more central to public Christian worship and preaching. Each part should be richly infused with the knowledge of Jesus Christ — the mediator of the new covenant and second person of the Trinity — and the Trinity itself. Preaching should draw out a strongly trinitarian understanding, so the church is equipped to evangelise in a multi-faith world. How much emphasis and heat has been expended on the subject of baptism, while overlooking baptism’s core doctrine — that entrance into the church is in the name of the triune God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Fresh appreciation...

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July 2016
Articles > Guest column

The Trinity and Evangelism

Without dispute, Jesus is the name upon which men and women must call in order to be saved. In the very early stages of the church’s development, it is clear that the name of Jesus was the chief stumbling block to those opposed to the gospel. The Jewish religious leaders were ‘greatly annoyed because [the apostles] were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead’ (Acts 4:2). Peter responded by preaching that ‘Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you’, yet they did not listen and ‘charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus’...

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June 2016
Articles > Guest column

The Trinity for the church today

There is so much religious confusion today in the Western world. For the first time in almost 1500 years, Christianity has new religious rivals ‘on the block’, each one claiming its own god. Up until recent decades in the West, the religious question was generally one of choosing the Christian God, or nothing at all. Therefore, the doctrine of the Trinity has not played a prominent role in Christian discussion. However, a fresh articulation of the Trinity for church members and ministers could help solve the riddle (as many see it) of ‘Who is God?’ Name I want you to imagine a scenario. You are...

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April 2016
Articles > Guest column

The preciousness of the local church

In March 2016’s guest column, we considered the prayer burden a number of men had for the success of the gospel, which resulted in their earnest crying to the Lord. Their desire was that the cause of Christ would prosper at home and abroad, for God’s glory.A key factor in that was the reviving, strengthening and, where necessary, planting of local gospel churches. The New Testament teaches that all the redeemed of all ages belong to the church eternal. However, it is also true that the overwhelming majority of New Testament references to the ‘church’refer to local manifestations of that universal body of believers (e.g....

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March 2016
Articles > Guest column

‘I will yet for this be inquired of’ (Ezekiel 36:37).

Britain was involved in a number of conflicts around the world that divided opinion at home. There was widespread concern over the extraction of confessions and information by torture. Europe was pursuing huge trade agreements with China, at unprecedented levels. London was the focus of government attempts to improve security, due to varied threats. In a troubled world, tensions between Russia and Turkey were escalating. All these things were of major concern in the early 1780s! However, it will not have escaped your notice how similar these headlines are to ones we have recently been faced with ourselves. Why do I draw your attention to...

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The historical Adam (3): does it matter?
February 2016
Articles > Guest column

The historical Adam (3): does it matter?

In January’s guest column we considered the scientific data that leads some professing evangelicals to argue Adam cannot have been a real, historical individual; or, at least, not the ancestor of all humans. We pointed out problems with those arguments and highlighted data supporting the Bible’s claim that humans were separately created from the apes. The Bible But why does the historicity of Adam matter? First, it matters because scriptural authority matters. We cannot raise questions about the historicity of Adam without casting serious doubt on the authority of the Bible, and even the authority of Jesus Christ himself. The New Testament writers refer to...

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January 2016
Articles > Guest column

The historical Adam (2): Facing all the arguments

In November’s issue of Evangelical Times we introduced the debate now taking place among professedly evangelical theologians about the historicity of Adam. Debate This debate has been fuelled by scientific advances in the fields of genetics, population studies and palaeontology. But how compelling are the arguments? Genetic data Our knowledge of genomes has expanded rapidly in the last 15 years. Between 2001 and 2004 the human genome was published, and the chimpanzee genome followed in 2005. Publication of these genomes allowed comparisons to be made that revealed a striking degree of similarity between the two species.1 The overall gene sequence similarity is about 95 per cent. Comparison...

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