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All articles in category Guest column

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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May 2015
Articles > Guest column

The day the church forgot

The past 30 years have witnessed huge moral and spiritual changes, not just in the life of our nation but also of the church. Much of that change is a reflection of the cultural revolution that started to sweep through the Western world when the so-called Baby Boomers of the late 1940s and 1950s began to come of age in the 1960s. The church, despite its valiant efforts to resist what was happening, in many ways could do little to stem the tide. However, arguably, it unintentionally played a part in this seismic moral and spiritual shift. Through its own complacency, it assumed its position...

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