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All articles in February 2020

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Personal holiness essential for leaders

I was recently invited to a ministers’ lunch at Grace Baptist Church, Dunstable. The speaker was Rico Tice from All Souls, London. Around forty people had gathered as Rico spoke on the subject of ‘Personal holiness in leaders’. I was reminded of some basic truths: the reason I am a Christian is because the…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Speaking up for God’s name

It’s a dilemma. I’m talking with a non-Christian acquaintance, a neighbour whom I chat with from time to time. We’re not talking about anything in particular – the weather, how the children are doing, whether man-made climate change is a reality, what we make of the election result. He knows that I’m a minister…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Depression: a wimp of a word

William Styron was an award-winning US novelist, who is most well-known for Sophie’s Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner. I haven’t read these. To me, he is the man who wrote lucidly about his depressive illness in his short book Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. Based on an ancient Greek theory of…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Humble yourselves like little children

In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 18 the disciples come to Jesus and Peter asks, ‘Who is the greatest?’ Ever since they had come to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, they had been eager to share in the glory of the kingdom. That is not wrong of itself. The…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Comment

Trump’s mistaken tweet reveals troubling tribalism

For a few hours on the evening of 20 December this newspaper was caught in a bit of a storm because the US President Donald Trump had mistakenly tweeted ‘I won’t be reading ET again’ when he meant to say ‘CT’. As a result, ET staff had to deal with an angry online backlash…

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Historical

February 2020
Articles > Historical

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)

Often described as the greatest Scotsman of his age, Thomas Chalmers was something of a polymath. He became a colossus for evangelical historic Calvinism in Scotland in his day and arguably the most influential instrument used by the Lord in his Church in Scotland since John Knox. It wasn’t like that initially though, for,…

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Historical

February 2020
Articles > Historical

SASRA ‘peace2020’ initiative: Responding to conscription

On 8 May this year, Britain will commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the end of the Second World War in Europe.  SASRA (Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association) is marking this anniversary with the ‘peace2020’ initiative. This includes: a daily devotional (‘40 Days to Peace’); a pack to help churches organise…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Why we should avoid using the term ‘Christophobia’

One of the recommendations of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians was to ‘Name the phenomenon of Christian discrimination and persecution and undertake work to identify its particular character alongside similar definitions for other religions, to better inform and develop tailored FCO policies to…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Outgrowing facts: Inaccuracies in Richard Dawkins’ new book

Richard Dawkins was asked by journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy in an interview recently, ‘If you could change the world, how would you change it?’ His answer was that he would rid us of ‘anything that’s not evidence-based, where factual knowledge is concerned’. Unfortunately for Dawkins, that may mean he needs to start ripping pages from…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Orderly worship as a witness to the world

Walking into an unsupervised toddler nursery is enough to overwhelm most people. It’s chaos. The children might be screaming, fighting, throwing toys, holding their hands over their ears, or doing any number of other things all at once. Children need unstructured play time or ‘free play’ for their development, so it’s not necessarily a…

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Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Look at the birds, are you not of more value than they?

In his wonderful ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Jesus Christ was encouraging his disciples not to worry or fret about materials things, such as what they would wear or eat. I like to think that these men to whom Jesus was speaking were showing signs of concern at that time about how they were to…

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Historical

February 2020
Articles > Historical

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)

Often described as the greatest Scotsman of his age, Thomas Chalmers was something of a polymath. He became a colossus for evangelical historic Calvinism in Scotland in his day and arguably the most influential instrument used by the Lord in His Church in Scotland since John Knox.                 It wasn’t like that initially, though, for,…

Read more