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All articles in category Guest column

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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November 2015
Articles > Guest column

The historical Adam: The contemporary debate

A debate is currently raging within the theological community and much ink being spilt on a topic that evangelicals would once have regarded as settled and unquestionable: whether Adam was a real, historical individual, ancestral to the whole human race 1. Belief in an historical Adam was mainstream for the first eighteen centuries of church history 2. But that traditional position is now being assailed in a steady stream of books, conference papers and magazine articles. In truth, this assault did not arise from the ether; it is the logical outworking of well-meaning but ultimately devastating attempts to harmonise traditional Christian teaching with the theory...

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October 2015
Articles > Guest column

Looking forward

The world has changed a lot in 20 years. No. It has changed a lot in five years. Courtesy of ‘the father of lies’, it will keep on changing too. Social media will continue to be a big part of this. And besure that the law in the UK that brought ‘gay marriage’ on to our statute books has changed everything. Young people who have their hearts set on serving the Lord are bearing the brunt of it. In our schools, there is some pretty straightforward math being done in what used to be the Religious Education lesson, now prosaically named PRS (Philosophical and Religious...

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September 2015
Articles > Guest column

Follow-my-leader?

Hopefully, the sales of Evangelical Times have not dipped calamitously since last month’s Guest Column! If you are still there, I want to pursue a couple of lines of inquiry.  Last month I described something of my journey to date. Since moving from the world of the Reformed Charismatic, I have been honoured to become friends with others who have trodden a similar path; or with those who, while not having been there themselves, understand the steps I’ve taken. I’m sorry if people like myself seem too picky or critical; or maybe a tad obsessive and over the top, but there are a few things...

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August 2015
Articles > Guest column

Once upon a time!

I have a confession to make. There was a time in my Christian life when I did not read Evangelical Times!  I know this is a shocking admission. But please don’t turn the page in horror, or send a strongly worded letter to the editor. As you can see, things have changed. My ‘pre-enlightenment’ period was some 20 or more years ago. There have been some big changes since then. Some of you know about them. For those of you who don’t know me, I follow a strict ‘no spoilers’ policy: you will have to read on a bit further to find out what happened. First...

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July 2015
Articles > Guest column

The Lord’s Day and the day of the Lord

We have been exploring the Bible’s teaching on the Sabbath as the special day of rest God has given his people. We have seen how the church has largely forgotten it, in our day, but also why it needs to be rediscovered.  One of the reasons many Christians have abandoned the idea of such a day continuing for the church is, they say, because the idea of a Sabbath day belongs to the Old Testament and is not replicated in the New. Those who disagree would say that it is replicated in the New Testament — and offer significant arguments by way of support. Clearly,...

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June 2015
Articles > Guest column

Rest and restoration

A recurring error of evangelical Christianity is to dislocate itself from the evangel, the gospel. That is, despite its claim to be gospel- and grace-centred, it slips all too easily into being law-centred, and grace becomes the casualty.  To say this is in no way to imply that God’s law is not important or does not have a place in the life of the church. Rather, it is to say that the relationship between law and grace is reversed often without realising it. Grace relationship We are never the recipients of God’s grace because of our efforts to obey God’s law; but we are enabled...

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