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All articles in category Guest column

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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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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