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Article

January 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The search for assurance

Over the years Christian friends have come to me with all sorts of questions and problems. Of all the personal problems they share with me, perhaps the one that comes up most often is the problem of assurance. And it’s also one of the most difficult problems to address. The problem of assurance What…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Veganuary

I’m not sure when it all began, but a recent trend has been to link months with lifestyle improvements and diseases. Thus we have had Stoptober for some years, an attempt to encourage people to stop smoking each October, and Movember, in which men have been encouraged to grow moustaches and raise money for…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Guest column

Covid-19 and worship

‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ according to the popular proverb. While this is often true, so is the opposite – ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ In response to the Covid-19 pandemic churches cancelled in person worship services. Many have only recently begun to meet in person again. Some have yet to do…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Comment

Living in love and faith? What irony!

A Christian produced a video in which he voiced his opinions against transgenderism. For that, he was reported to – and was investigated by – North Yorkshire Police for a ‘hate crime’. I sincerely hope by the time you’re reading this, the police have dropped the troubling case. But we are hearing of these…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Westminster School of Theology

‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Leaving the Church of England: When going was necessary for growing

In August 2020 a new Anglican network of churches was formed out of St John, Newland in Hull. Within two weeks of its announcement, over 550 folk (including children) signed up to join Christ Church Newland, Christ Church Riverside, and Christ Church Orchard Park. This was the result of two years of prayer and…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cults and other religions

Knowing the times: Issues parents are having to face

Parenting has never been easy – far from it – but I want to make readers aware of various reasons why, in my view as a teacher and a parent, it is getting more difficult. Smartphones When I began teaching in 2007, the first iPhone had only just been released. It was very noticeable…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Covid decisions: a dress rehearsal

Every church leader has a view on lockdown. Many hiring buildings have been spared a potentially divisive decision. Churches with buildings have had to decide whether and how to open. It seems that the way churches have been treated owes more to the powers that be viewing us as irrelevant than deliberate persecution. However,…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

Beginning at the right place

Ephesus was a dreadful place. It was a city full of evil spirits where people used books of magic. In particular, it was in Ephesus that the great goddess Diana was worshipped in the temple built for her. It was also a city in which many listened to the apostle Paul preach. The sick…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What is the state of Christianity and creationism in the UK today?

Core Academy – a creation ministry in the USA – recently asked me to address the question above for an online conference. I decided to do so by interviewing my colleague Dr Stephen Lloyd, who, as well as being a speaker and researcher with Biblical Creation Trust, is also the pastor of Hope Church,…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The positive case for Christian education

In a recent edition of ET, Andrew Rowell wrote an article, ‘Have we lost our vision for Christian education?’ He ended with this: ‘Tragically, our national education system is fast becoming a vast machine for the promotion of liberalism, atheism, agnosticism, and godlessness.’ Nevertheless, Christian education remains a divisive issue, sadly among Christians just…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The well-dressed Christian

Most of us are concerned with our appearance. We like to look as nice as possible, at least around others. But how concerned are we about our dress or appearance in spiritual terms? This question is presented in Scripture. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve felt no shame in their nakedness. However,…

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