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Everything in 1998 issue

Review

October 1998
Reviews > Book

Speaking of Women: Interpreting Paul

Andrew Perriman’s book seeks to provide biblical justification for the ordination of women as ministers of the gospel. On the rear cover Dr R. T. France, formerly principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, claims that the volume ‘offers the best hope I have seen for a fresh start to what is in danger of becoming…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

God with us

The wonder of the Incarnation Sometimes we say a thing 'seems too good to be true', though we are not really doubting its truth. Sometimes we say that 'fact is stranger than fiction', because that is just how it can seem. Sometimes a thing is so unexpected, so unbelievable, that we say it cannot…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Out of Darkness

As a young boy in a large family of six, I had known a good upbringing in a caring and close-knit family. My parents had been devoted to us and gave us much moral direction. I was brought up to attend the local Anglican church, where I became a server or altar boy. I…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Disaster

Imagine living in a quiet mountain valley in Nicaragua, at the foot of the Casita volcano. Hurricane Mitch sweeps across the mountains, depositing inches of rain. The mountainside collapses in a river of mud. Your village is buried, its homes destroyed, and 1500 people die. Imagine living near a quiet beach in Papua New…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

A closed door in boom-town Bethlehem

'And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn' (Luke 2:7). Bethlehem was experiencing boom times. Caesar Augustus had decreed that a census be carried out, and the city was overflowing with those involved…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Sri Lanka

God’s grace in an island of graves

Sri Lanka has a multi-ethnic society, comprised of Sinhalese, Tamils, Burghers and Malays. Protestant evangelical Christians amount to less than 1% of the total population. Serious ethnic conflict between the (mainly Buddhist) Sinhalese and (mainly Hindu) Tamil communities has continued for the past fifteen years. It has affected all areas of life. The continuing…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

A startling discovery

My parents were Jewish, and my earliest memories of childhood in our pleasant North-East London home were quite happy ones. My father and mother did not strictly follow the Jewish faith, but I can recall observing the festivals and going to synagogue with them from time to time. The reason we did that was…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Peace at last

Until I reached fifty-seven, my visits to church had been few and far between. I always said I believed in God and thought I was a Christian, trying to lead a good life, but in fact I never really had time for God - I was always too busy. My life was wrapped up…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Death sentence at 50

1989 and 1990 were very significant years in world history. This period saw the virtual collapse of communism in Europe, and apartheid in South Africa. The infamous Berlin Wall was demolished, and Nelson Mandela was released from prison. For me personally, 1990 brought the shattering news that I had a primary brain tumour. A…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Guest column

True Religion

In the early years of my ministry in Cardiff I read a book which had been recommended to me, and in my opinion it would leave a lasting impression on anyone who read it. It is the sort of book that, as you lay it aside, causes you to become very thoughtful, because you…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Philippines

Compassion in the Philippines

Cindy sat in the church service, weeping. She is only ten years old and life, it seems, has been very hard on her. Her father and mother were separated when she was only about six or seven, and she then lived with her father and younger brother in the streets. Her father made a…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > India

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Andhra Pradesh

We have been visiting Southern India for the past six years. The province we go to is called Andra Pradesh, which has a population of approximately 65 million. As in all of India, the major religion is Hinduism. We have been working with a group called the India Rural Evangelical Fellowship. This ministry has…

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News

December 1998
News > International > China

House churches in China

Leaders of major house-church movements in China have issued a ‘united appeal’ calling on the Chinese Government to recognise the legitimacy of Christian groups outside the government-approved ‘Three Self Patriotic Movement’. The seven-point statement, issued from an unidentified location in Henan province and dated 22 August 1998, was reportedly drafted by twelve house church…

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Historical

December 1998
Articles > Historical

Dr Barnardo – the children’s champion

Two-year-old Tom Barnardo lay critically ill. Frail from birth, the child had battled constantly against ill health. But now, as his anxious parents watched over their sick boy, it seemed that this time they must lose him. With heavy hearts they recognised that the child's life was slipping away. And at last the doctor…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > General > World Mission > Americas > South America > Brazil

Forgotten children

Every morning around the world, 100 million children wake up with nowhere to call home except the streets of the world’s cities. They are the ‘Forgotten Children’. Can you remember how loving hands touched you as a child? The gentle stroking of a fevered brow; the careful bandaging after scrapes and bruises; the hand-in-hand…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Can prophecy be true?

Most attempts to prophesy the future end in failure. Those who claim to be prophets are usually charlatans. But the writers of the Old Testament were different. They forecast the future with uncanny accuracy. The Old Testament is a library of thirty-nine books, which makes up more than three-quarters of the Bible. It was…

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Historical

December 1998
Articles > Historical > Ireland

Ireland and the Second Reformation

In earlier articles we visited Lutterworth, Prague and Leicester to learn more of the work of John Wycliffe and the Lollards. This time we recall a movement of the Spirit in the west of Ireland in the nineteenth century. The focal point was Achill Island in Co. Mayo, which many visit for the scenery…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Angry with God

I grew up in North-West London with my parents and brother. As a child I was sent to a Methodist Sunday school although my parents were not churchgoers. At the age of fifteen, I left school and started work, and all contact with anything religious ceased. My father died at a very early age,…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Now I am trusting Christ

I have godly parents who have taught me the Scriptures from an early age, sent me to Sunday school, and taken me to two services in the local chapel at Stanton Lees every Sunday. I am fourteen years old and enjoy life to the full. But, until recently, I never really thought about my…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Turkey

A summer holiday- with a difference

One summer’s morning, in the early hours, a small group of us arrived, bleary-eyed and a little bewildered, at the airport in Turkey. Our Bible studies during our stay in Turkey were to be in the book of Esther, when, morning by morning, we were reminded of God’s hand of providence in the lives…

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Article

December 1998
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Can a scientist believe the Bible?

The simple answer to the question is 'yes'. Otherwise I would not be writing this article. I know that today science is often presented by the media as something that makes God redundant. But in my forty-five years as a professional scientist I have met very few atheists among my fellow scientists, and many…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

History of the Indonesian Church

The Dutch East India Company Church received some thousands of ‘converts’ into its fold after its arrival in Indonesia in 1605, but these had largely converted for social purposes. The Bible was, however, translated into Malay, the trade language, by 1733. Earnest Protestant missionary efforts did not commence until the nineteenth century, when numbers…

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Historical

November 1998
Articles > Historical

The Big Bang

A generation that does not know the Lord The 5 November celebration in Lewes, East Sussex, has been a Big Bang for generations. Evidence points to it having begun shortly after the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Over the years it grew into the biggest 5 November celebration on earth. This is not surprising for…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

Factfile: Republic of Indonesia

​Area: 740,000 square miles. Description: The world’s largest island chain, it stretches 3,200 miles east to west — from Iryan Jaya (west of New Guinea) to Sumatra (west of Malaysia) —and 1,200 miles north to south. Indonesia comprises 13,700 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited. The largest are Kalimantan, Iryan Jaya, Sumatra, Java and…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

Missionary Spotlight – Republic of Indonesia

The influence of Christian students Students have been instrumental in shaping Indonesia’s history, ever since the first stirrings of the independence movement against the Dutch colonial regime. During the upheavals leading to Suharto’s downfall last May, students were in the forefront of the struggle. In the eyes of the public, they alone stand free…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

More nature study

Nature serves to illustrate many spiritual truths. Wanting to illustrate the value of hard work and planning, Solomon said, ‘Go to the ant you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise!’ (Proverbs 6:6). References to nature can be found throughout Solomon’s proverbs. Consider some verses in Proverbs chapter 27. Verse 7 states: ‘He who…

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News

November 1998
News

Sierra Club

John Muir founded the Sierra Club, a powerful force for ecological concern. While many see the beauty of nature as an accident of evolution, to John Muir it revealed the very hand of God. Once he was standing with a friend at a high point of the Yosemite Valley. Filled with wonder and emotion,…

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Historical

November 1998
Articles > Historical

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1843-1892) and the Down-Grade Controversy

In October 1889 a young man by the name of D. C. Davidson left his home in Michigan to go abroad to do post-graduate work in theology. His mother had wanted him to study at Yale, but he was determined to come into vital contact with what he called ‘the leading minds of Europe’.…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Republic of Indonesia

Look at the harvest-fields Indonesia has experienced much church growth, but there is a corresponding lack of pastors, especially those with an evangelistic and missionary burden. In statistical terms this means there are about 900 church members for every pastor. In practice (to take the example of Pastor Lewi and his wife, who worked…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jesus, my friend

John Stocker’s hymn, ‘Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song’, is a simple yet profound testimony to a believer’s experience of the grace of God in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The fourth verse includes the phrase, ‘Jesus, my friend’. If ever a few words contained deep truth, these…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Waco and the Branch Davidians

It was 19 April 1993 and the first week of our college summer term. At the end of one class, a little before 11.00 a.m., I walked down the corridor towards my room only to be greeted with the news that there was an urgent telephone call waiting for me in the main office.…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Guest column

Impressions

In today’s world of haste and stress there seems very little opportunity to stay awhile and recall the past. Yet it is a good thing to do occasionally, and just bring to mind past acquaintances and events. For me, many folk that have been a help to me on life’s journey are like milestones…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Republic of Indonesia

What kind of reformation? People are crying out for reformasi — reformation. It was the slogan of the students who brought about the downfall of President Suharto after more than thirty years in power. In their hearts, many people feel that there must be something better than what has been. They cry out against…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Before the Lord

Note in Scripture how many times the blood is said to be ‘before the Lord’. Whether any man saw it or not was of small account, for it was offered ‘before the Lord’. When the Passover lamb was slain in Egypt, where was the blood placed? It was on the outside of the door,…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Disability awareness for churches

There are an estimated 6.5 million disabled people in Britain, most of whom have acquired some form of impairment as adults and also happen to be elderly. They include people with various forms of arthritis, paralysis following disease or injury, and varying degrees of hearing or visual impairment. If the entire world’s population of…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

To Seek or Not

The ‘Seeker Church’ is state-of-the-art for Californian churches. Everything is calculated to get the unchurched into the pew. Television programming is the standard, the guiding principle being ‘what works for the networks will work for the church’. Getting on board Seeker churches are successful; therefore, traditional churches are changing to get on board. A…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > South Eastern Asia > Indonesia

Indonesia – Theological training and conferences

There are a number of theological seminaries in Indonesia, but one recently started is the Amanat Agung Theological Seminary, located in Jakarta. It was established in 1997. In its first year it had sixty students, who were eager to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. One member of staff graduated from the Evangelical Theological College…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Temptations of Jesus (2)

We cannot discuss the temptations of Jesus without dealing with those he experienced in the wilderness, as described in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. These temptations focused specially on matters that were fundamental to his whole mission on earth. If he had failed here, his whole work would have been undermined. What do we…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

WWJD?

In the United States many young Christians are wearing wristbands bearing the letters ‘WWJD’. The same bands have now become available in Christian bookshops in the United Kingdom. What do the letters WWJD mean, and what is the purpose of these wristbands? WWJD stands for ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ and the wrist-bands remind wearers…

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Historical

November 1998
Articles > Historical

Indulgences for the Millennium

On 29 November 1998, Pope John Paul II issued a papal bull entitled Incarnationis Mysterium, or The Mystery of the Incarnation, bearing the subtitle Bull of Indiction of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. A bull is an official edict, so called because it has affixed to it the pontiff’s official seal (Latin…

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Historical

November 1998
Articles > Historical

Of this and other worlds?

C.S. Lewis was born one hundred years ago Ask 100 Christians which writer has most influenced them, and one name will recur again and again: C.S. Lewis. Even those who disagree with him on some important points have been influenced for the good by his writings. Search for joy Clive Staples Lewis was born…

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Historical

November 1998
Articles > Historical

Fathers of the Early Church 4. Two issues for today

So far in this series we have looked at specific works by three of the early fathers, namely, Ignatius, the unknown writer to Diognetus, and Eusebius. There are three issues, present in all three of these texts, that are still relevant to the church today. We shall look more closely at the first two…

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Article

November 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The body of Christ

For we, being many, are one bread and one body’ (1 Corinthians 10:17) No Christian is called to be a religious ‘lone ranger’. True communion with Christ carries with it a desire to commune with fellow believers in the church, which is the ‘body of Christ’. There is a transition from the bread as…

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News

November 1998
News

Trafalgar revisited

The Gospel Ministries team was out in full force in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, 10 October, in a second opportunity this year to speak a word in season to needy souls. Once again, it was the seasoned open-air preachers who gained the ear of the public passing through or relaxing in this famous square…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > World Mission > Turkey > Western Asia

Fact File – Turkey

Area: 301, 000 square miles. 3% in Europe, bounded by Bulgaria and Greece; 97% in Asia, bounded by Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Bosphorus and Dardenelles join the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Istanbul controls these sea links, and is Turkey’s chief port and commercial city. Environment: The plateau of Anatolia is…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Turkey

Turkey in perspective

To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia [Minor], and Bithynia … Grace to you and peace be multiplied’ (1 Peter l: l-2). Peter was speaking to first-century Christians inhabiting today’s Turkey. Similarly, the Lord of the Church sent John to minister in Ephesus (in western Turkey), and the Holy Spirit moved the…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Communion with Christ

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the body of Christ...? (1 Corinthians 10:16) It is very striking that whereas the feasts and festivals of the Old Testament period were meticulously described and grandly titled (‘Day of Atonement’, ‘Feast of Tabernacles,’ etc.), the one and only prescribed feast…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Turkey

The Republic of Turkey – where Europe and Asia meet

The gospel and Turkish people Turkish people are characteristically friendly, hospitable, outgoing and religious. The western media and secularism are eroding fundamental Islamic belief, and so most Turks, in an effort to be reconciled to modern thinking and still retain their ‘faith’, have liberalised Koranic teaching much as liberal Christians have done with the…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Temptations of Jesus

We received a little box-shaped package as a seasonal gift from friends before we went out to church. We could not tell exactly what was in the package. However, our dog, with her greater sense of smell, certainly could! As an inveterate opportunist, after we had left her alone to go to the service…

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Historical

October 1998
Articles > Historical

John Murray (1898 – 1975)

In October we reach the centenary of the birth of John Murray, and it is fitting to honour so choice a servant of God who has had pervasive influence over the Christian church this century and continues to do so. Though spending the first third of his life in Scotland, John Murray in America…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > World Mission > Turkey > Western Asia

A summer holiday – with a difference

One summer’s morning, in the early hours, a small group of us arrived, bleary-eyed and a little bewildered, at the airport in Turkey. Our Bible studies during our stay in Turkey were to be in the book of Esther, when, morning by morning, we were reminded of God’s hand of providence in the lives…

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Historical

October 1998
Articles > Historical

George Whitefield and the nature of Christian perfection

An honest evaluation of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival cannot belittle the central rôle played in it by John Wesley (1703-1791). One thinks, for instance, of his fearless and indefatigable preaching of Christ crucified for sinners throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain after his conversion in 1738. Or of the genius he displayed…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > Guest column

Is God sexist?

Since feminism has become a non-negotiable creed, ‘sexism’ is now seen as one of the major sins left in modern society. To call someone a sexist is to accuse him of being a boorish dinosaur who has yet to catch up with the progressive ethics of our day. We have come a long way…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Nature study

Some people love nature instead of loving God. Disciples of Christ love nature because they love God. Loving the Creator ought to lead every Christian to become a naturalist! By this I mean that all Christians should study nature. Well-meaning Christians might react with dismay. To study nature might distract us from concern for…

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Historical

October 1998
Articles > Historical

Spurgeon on Calvinism

The 8th chapter of Romans and the 9th are the very pillars of that gospel which men now call ‘Calvinism’. No man, after having read these chapters attentively and having understood them, can deny that the doctrines of sovereign, distinguishing grace are the sum and substance of the teaching of the Bible. I do…

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Article

October 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults – Worldwide Church of God: 3

A return visit. That is how I describe this month’s article. And it is a return visit to the Worldwide Church of God. The reasons? Well, there has been an encouraging response from several readers concerning my articles on the WCG. Not all have agreed with me, but most comments have been constructive. Secondly,…

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Article

September 1998
South Korea

South Korea (Republic of Korea)

The church in South Korea today The church in South Korea today presents a very mixed picture. Her past history of faithful pioneering by American Presbyterian missionaries; her former, intense sufferings for the faith; and her present, large early-morning prayer meetings: are all well known. The church’s piety, with nights of prayer, fasting and…

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Article

September 1998
North Korea

History of the church in North and South Korea

The first known Protestant martyr in Korea was the Welsh missionary, Robert Thomas, who was killed in 1866 while preaching and distributing Scriptures in the north of the country. Protestantism first took root in 1882, when Suh Sang-yun, a Korean convert of Scottish missionaries in Chinese Manchuria, brought Korean Scripture portions into forbidden Korea.…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Eastern Asia > South Korea

Missionary spotlight – South Korea

Area: 38,200 square miles. North Korea forms the northern boundary. Environment: Mainly mountainous, with a steep eastern coastline. The western coast has many islands and natural harbours. Most people live in the southern and western coastal areas. The climate is continental. Population: 45 million (99% Korean); 11 million in Seoul (capital), 4.3 million in…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

Becoming a Christian (2): Seeking God

In last month’s article (Part I) we looked at the common but mistaken idea that becoming a Christian is an easy process which anyone can accomplish if he is so minded. This month we shall turn to some biblical illustrations in order to be positive and give better guidance in this matter. These illustrations…

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News

September 1998
News

Town and Country: the potential mission field at your local agricultural show

Regular readers of this newspaper will agree on one thing: that in this age, as in any other, the only answer to the moral, social and economic ills of a nation and its people lies in the Word of God and the Saviour of whom we read in its pages. However, anyone who thinks…

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News

September 1998
News > International > United States of America

A Letter from America

Written on this side of the Atlantic! For the more widely-read amongst us, the word ‘Greendale’ will conjure up images of Postman Pat, Mrs Goggins, Ted Glen, Peter Fogg and a black and white cat called Jess. For me, it now has a new association — Heritage Baptist Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. The notice outside…

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Historical

September 1998
Articles > Historical

Don Jorge

Who was George Borrow? You would not have asked that question a hundred and fifty years ago, for then the author of The Bible in Spain, Lavengro (Word-Master), The Romany Rye (Gipsy Gentleman), not to mention Romano Lavo-Lil (Gipsy Dictionary), was as famous as Charles Dickens. For generations George Borrow, also known as ‘Don…

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Historical

September 1998
Articles > Historical

The Edict of Nantes

World Cup fever is just about over. Like most of the nation I followed the fortunes of Glen Hoddle’s men with great enthusiasm, but I was also intrigued to know that their base camp for the competition was at Nantes. Perhaps this ancient city had only a passing concern for most fans, but, for…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Eastern Asia > North Korea

Missionary spotlight – North Korea

Area: 46,500 square miles. China forms the northern boundary, and South Korea the southern. Environment: Rugged mountains with narrow valleys, and a western coastal plain. The mountains are covered with coniferous and deciduous forests. The climate tends to be harsh, with long and severe winters. The coastal plain, with its five alluvial rivers, is…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Dying of niceness

We have received the following correspondence from Mr Peter Wick of Cambridge which, while too long for our ‘letters’ columns, we felt was worthy of printing in full. It is not often that I am provoked to write ‘a letter to the editor’. I have only done so on one previous occasion. My usual…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Discerning the Lord’s body

'For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord's body' (1 Corinthians 11: 29) God’s Word shows us the consequences of sin, not to depress us but that, by doing things the right way, we might avoid shipwreck. There are things to learn…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults – The Worldwide Church of God (2)

In this second article we evaluate the changes which have occurred within the WCG. The changes have been extensive and startling, but are they adequate? Have the doctrinal changes filtered through to affect members and leaders at local levels? These important questions will be considered below. Further background For the United Kingdom, Ireland and…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Guest column

How not to raise children

There are a multitude of ways of going wrong in the Christian life, but Eli’s way is particularly sad. Eli was an Old Testament priest who seems to have known God and bowed to his will. When Samuel informed him of God’s judgement upon his household, Eli responded with both grace and realism: ‘It…

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Historical

September 1998
Articles > Historical

Andrew Fuller and the Sandemanians

In December 1967, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave an address to what was then known as the Puritan Conference on the topic of ‘Sandemanianism’. Our initial reaction might be that the topic is esoteric, of little interest or value to modern men and women. But we would not feel this way if we were well-versed…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Lord our Light – A meditation on Psalm 27

The declarations and prayers of Psalm 27 are made against the dark background of a host of enemies: evildoers who slander, do violence and seek the destruction of King David, the author of this psalm. David likens them to ‘wild beasts’ (v. 2) and to a surrounding army (v. 3). Against such odds, the…

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Historical

September 1998
Articles > Historical

Cyril Lucaris (1572-1638)

June 1998 was the 360th anniversary of the death of Cyril Lucaris (Greek: Kyrillos Loukaris), Patriarch of Constantinople. However, there was no celebration regarding his life and contribution to the faith among the three hundred million Orthodox people in the world today. He was, after all, a heretic. Lucaris was born on 13 November…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Eastern Asia > North Korea

The church in North Korea today

The present state of the church in North Korea is not easily gauged. There were about 400,000 professing Christians in the North in 1945, with many living in the capital, Pyongyang. By the end of the Korean War there were 100,000. Many emigrated to the South as a result of the fierce communist persecution.…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Gay rights?

The subject of homosexuality and ‘gay rights’ will continue to fill the headlines over the next few months. We might wish it were otherwise, but there are a number of issues that will be brought forward which will make further public debate inevitable. These issues include lowering the age of consent, repealing Section 28…

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Article

September 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Puritan wisdom for today

Puritan congregations (1558-1662) were led by ministers of theological understanding and missionary vision. Their knowledge of other countries was small, yet they prayed for the earth to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Today the gospel has spread through the world, but the biblical…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults – The Worldwide Church of God

A major U-turn. That is the only way you can describe it. Such U-turns occur often in the world of politics, business, sport and other areas of society. But recently we have witnessed a major U-turn in the cult world. I am referring to the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) which was founded by…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Closer together?

In December 1997 another phase of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together movement unfolded with the publication in the USA of a document entitled Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Gift of Salvation. The 8 December 1997 issue of Christianity Today carried the two-page document in full along with what was somewhat imprecisely called 'An Evangelical…

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Historical

August 1998
Articles > Historical

Colonel James Gardiner

James Gardiner was born near Edinburgh in 1688. His pious mother and aunt instructed him in the Christian faith but no impression was made upon him. He lived for adventure and later for illicit romance. At the age of twelve he joined the army and two years later was fighting in Holland under Marlborough.…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological > World Mission > Americas > Caribbean > Haiti

The gospel of grace in Haiti

Rain on a dry and thirsty land Christopher Columbus discovered Haiti in 1492. It became a French colony in 1677 and gained independence in 1804. During the twentieth century, it has been beset by upheaval and turmoil. Between 1991 and 1992 the US Coastguard intercepted some 35,000 Haitian refugees as they tried to enter…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

A Healthy Heart

In the first nine chapters of Proverbs the sage is seen sitting with his son, counselling him about life. His advice is: 'Fear God, and pursue His wisdom.' This 'wisdom' is related in the 'proverbs' which begin in chapter 10. In Proverbs 4:20-27, the sage speaks of wisdom as a way of life, something…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Eastern Asia > China > Hong Kong

Hong Kong – one year on

It is now just over one year since the return of Hong Kong to China. After the glamorous celebrations of the hand-over on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong has met many challenges. The greatest has been the shock wave from the economic crisis in south-east Asia. Hong Kong is still trying desperately to prevent…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Eastern Europe > Romania

Romania – progress in Oradea

Since 1974 significant changes have occurred in the life of the Baptist church in Oradea. The Lord has showed us the importance of prayer, ridding ourselves of formalism and tradition, and reforming the church’s life according to the teaching of the Bible. As a result, the church has experienced growth and known increasing maturity.…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > World Mission > Americas > Caribbean > Haiti

Missionary spotlight – Haiti in 1998

Haiti has been much in the news in recent years, but not for the best of reasons. It has, for many years, experienced severe political instability following the overthrow of the Duvalier dynasty. At the moment the country is experiencing relative tranquillity, thanks to UN and American troops who occupy strategic points throughout the…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > World Mission > Americas > Caribbean > Haiti

Haiti – the facts

Area: 10,700 square miles. Environment: western part of island of Hispaniola; two-thirds mountainous. Tropical climate, although cooler in the mountains. Population: 7.1 million. 90% are Afro-Caribbean descendants of black African slaves; nearly 10% are mulattos (French and African descent). Language and culture: French (official language); Haitian Creole. 33% are literate. The indigenous culture has…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Loving your neighbour

The first and great commandment, as expressed by Christ in response to a lawyer's question, was 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' Christ did not stop there but added, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself' (Matthew 22:37-38). Christ linked…

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Historical

August 1998
Articles > Historical

Antoine Court and the ‘French Prophets’

In last month's article on notable defenders of the Christian faith, I wrote about the progress of the Reformed faith in France after the time of the Reformation. During the mid-sixteenth century there was great advance, as French evangelists (many of them sent out from John Calvin's academy in Geneva) sought to plant churches…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Guest column

Guest column- Oil and healing

In the epistle of James we read: 'Is anyone sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Self-examination

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup (1 Corinthians 11:28) From all that we have seen so far, it is obvious that only professing Christians are invited to the Lord's Table. Underlying this are three great facts. The first is that Scripture…

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Article

August 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The strong man bound

'How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house' (Matthew 12:29). The onlookers, the ordinary people, were astonished. Christ had cast out a demon from a man whom the demon had rendered blind and dumb. Now…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Faith-healing

The reader's interest in 'faith-healing' may have been revived after the revelation that England manager Glenn Hoddle recently asked Robbie Fowler to visit his faith-healer in an attempt to restore his form. Robbie apparently told reporters, 'I'm a Catholic lad and if I want help I'll go to see the local priest, not a…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Proclaiming the Lord’s death

'For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he comes' (1 Corinthians 11:26). The idea of having memorials for the dead is to keep their memories alive. In USA where I live, Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Memorial, Valley Forge and Mount Rushmore are…

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Article

July 1998
Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults – Two-by-Twos: the Nameless Cult

If you want to understand the 'Two-by-Two' or nameless group, you need to be aware of the following four things. First, several divisions have taken place during their one hundred years history, which we reviewed in the previous article. One splinter-group can be identified as the 'Cooneyites' who followed Edward Cooney when he left…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

A challenge from an obscure place

At the close of the Book of Joshua (19:49-50), we read how this remarkable servant of God finally receives his inheritance. The passage that deals with this event is brief and apparently insignificant. But it speaks powerfully to our day and situation. Magnificent humility It is a very simple and human account. The Israelites…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Eastern Europe > Romania

Report from Timisoara

The gospel came to our area, for the first time, shortly before the Second World War, and the Lord blessed the spread of it greatly. Since then there has been an evangelical witness in many towns, although villages have still to be reached with the gospel. The main religion here is Eastern Orthodox, but…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Living to God’s glory

'Ye are not your own … For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit' (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There must be few verses of Scripture which link such a profound statement with such a stark challenge. Who would be so bold as to claim continual success…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Worried? Who, Me?

You never worry do you? We might as well ask, 'Ducks don't swim do they?' Of course we worry - all of us at some time or another. James says that if a man is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man (James 3:2). We could say the same…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Guest column

Quietness of Soul

There is such a thing as quietness of soul. We don't hear much about it today. This is because many Christians don't experience it. It is not part and parcel of their daily lives. This being so, it is little wonder that so many of the Lord's people, particularly pastors and full-time Christians workers,…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The gospel – a perfect diamond

A child can be saved by the gospel (Mark 10:14), yet the gospel that saves that child is anything but simple. It is a harmonious system of biblical truths, all centring upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is a coherent message from God, 'the glorious gospel of the blessed God' (1…

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Historical

July 1998
Articles > Historical

A Reformed Opponent of Early Arminianism

The marvellous story of the French Calvinists after the time of John Calvin, those men and women known to history as the Huguenots, is barely known today. They include such strong Reformed believers as Admiral Gaspard de Coligny (1519-1572), Jean-Baptiste Morelli, Jean Claude (1619-1687), and Claude Brousson (1647-1698). Their names are rarely heard in…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Eastern Europe > Romania

What is happening in Romania?

Romania’s central position in Europe has exposed it through the centuries to countless invasions from east and west. The Carpathian Alps divide the country into two unequal portions. The western section, known as Transylvania, was once part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire and was influenced by the Protestant Reformation. It now contains 85% of…

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Article

July 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Eastern Europe > Romania

Profile of Romania

Size: Oval-shaped country; maximum distances: east west 460 miles, north south 300 miles. Neighbours: Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. The eastern border is the Black Sea. Environment: The Carpathian Alps run through the centre of Romania. They are home to many wild animals, including wolves, wild boar and bears. To the west lies…

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Historical

July 1998
Articles > Historical

The faith of George Müller

If you have ever watched the BBC's Casualty series, you have seen George Müller's orphan houses on Ashley Down in Bristol, where the series was filmed. They are impressive buildings, especially as no fund-raising for them was ever undertaken. During the course of his life, George Müller raised around £1,400,000 without ever asking anybody…

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Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

The Significance of Savonarola

Five hundred years after his death, Savonarola remains an enigma. From his early years he felt intensely the sins of society. His ministry was marked by an extraordinary, almost fanatical, zeal. He preached fearlessly against the ungodliness of a church oiled by money and administered by grasping clerics. He was not afraid to identify…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults

A nameless group Who are they? That was the question put to me about five years ago by an anxious Christian. His concern? Well, in his rural area of England a tent-mission had just been held. His concern initially was that the organizers were unwilling to identify themselves. They appeared secretive. Clearly they did…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Northern Europe > United Kingdom

World-views in collision

Reaching Orthodox Jews in Great Britain with the gospel Traditionally, Orthodox Jews have been most hostile to the gospel. With their distinctive black garb, sidelocks and luxuriant facial hair, the Hasidim have become Jewish cultural icons. Tradition and a history of suffering at the hands of the professing church have hardened this conspicuous minority…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Loving God

One day a proud Pharisee, a lawyer by profession, who had seen Christ silence the Sadducees but still believed he could call the Lord's wisdom in question, asked, 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' The Lord replied, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The presence of Christ

The Christian thirsts for the nearness of Christ. This should not be difficult to understand. We know what it is to be close to our loved ones. That is why families gather at festive times of the year and for birthdays and anniversaries. A sense of closeness, and of connection, deepens and strengthens natural…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Southern Europe > Italy

Italy’s good crises

One of the first words a foreigner is taught on arrival in Italy is crisi, which recognisably corresponds to the English word crisis. Routinely, Italian governments are ‘in-and-out’, the currency is ‘up-or-down’, trains, planes and buses are ‘running-or-on-strike’, and the city traffic is always ‘stop-and-go’. Crises seem to occur everywhere and almost daily! However,…

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Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

The Hound of God – Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498)

Domini Canes - the hounds of God - was a Tuscan pun on 'Dominicans', the order to which Girolamo Savonarola belonged. The idea is represented in a fresco painted for the Dominicans by Simone Memmi. Savonarola made it his life's aim to protect the church of Christ from the corruption in the world, as…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Southern Europe > Italy

Italy

Area: 116,332 square miles. Main towns: Rome (capital), Milan, Turin, Florence, Naples, Genoa and Palermo. The Vatican forms an enclave inside the city of Rome. Environment: Alps and Apennine mountains, with valleys and lakes; rivers include the Po, Tiber and Rubicon. Vesuvius and Etna are active volcanoes. Italy’s two largest islands are Sicily and…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Southern Europe > Italy

Missionary Spotlight – Italy

In the early nineteenth century Italy was made up of independent nations, such as Sicily and the Papal States. Unification (Risorgimento) was accomplished in 1870, and a monarchy established. The Fascist regime of Mussolini came to power in 1922 and sided with Nazi Germany, plunging Italy into military defeat towards the end of the…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Southern Europe > Italy

Two university students

Marta and Barbara are friends, law students at the University of Trent in northern Italy. At the end of 1995 they both started attending Bible studies, under the auspices of the Gruppi Biblici Universitari (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students). Although both have Catholic backgrounds and some familiarity with Bible stories, like most Italian students…

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Historical

June 1998
Articles > Historical

John Calvin and the ‘Delusive Pretentions’ of Rome

John Calvin (1509-1564) -or, to give him his French name, Jean Calvin - was the most self-effacing of the Reformers. Yet it was this constitutionally shy man who the Lord saw fit to use to rebut the 'delusive pretensions' of the Roman Church and establish the Reformed faith on a firm foundation in western…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > Guest column

Seeing it for yourself

Countless Christians read their Bible every day without it doing them very much good. Why is this? It is because there is always some distance between the print in the Book and the experience of their souls. The Word on the page does not become the Word in them. This is tragic, because there…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

A Text for all Seasons

'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.' (John 6:37) Some texts of Scripture have been much used by the Lord to bring comfort and assurance to his people. John 6:37 is one notable example. Many of God's people…

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Article

June 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Southern Europe > Italy

A week in the life.

Just to the south-east of the city of Bologna, on the straight road that leads to the seaside resort of Rimini, lies the town of San Lazzaro. The first and only evangelical witness in San Lazzaro began in 1970, as an offshoot from the Bologna Brethren assembly. Progress has been hard and slow in…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Saved by a cup of water

A condemned captive was once brought before an Asiatic prince for execution. The executioner already had the sword of execution raised over his head, when, impressed by intolerable thirst, the prisoner asked for water. A cup was handed him. He held it, apprehensively, lest the executioner would strike while he was in the act…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning cults – The International Church of Christ (2)

The scene? A crowded London underground train. The time? About 8.00 am on a weekday and only four years ago. Unexpectedly, a conversation was initiated by a pleasant, friendly, young woman. Sitting next to her, and now engaged in the conversation, was Lucy, a young biochemist on the way to her research laboratory. Within…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Israel

Twenty years of mercy

Elders of the Grace and Truth Christian congregation reflect on how God has led them. Over the years, God has blessed the church, the Body of Christ in Israel, as well as our own congregation. We are here through the merits of Jesus the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour. It is our privilege to…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Seals of faith

The bread and wine are symbols of Christ’s flesh and blood. Sacramental use of these elements is a holy use of ordinary things and as such is to be conducted with the utmost reverence. Why? Because these symbols speak of Christ’s provision of redemption for his people. 1. Setting apart the elements — as…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Adversity in the workplace

For most Christians of working age, the working world is familiar territory. Either full-time or part-time, they work in the offices, factories, research centres, hospitals, schools, libraries or supermarkets of what is often called the ‘secular’ world. A small number of Christians are employed in a ‘Christian’ environment — a Bible college or the…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Israel

Messianic believers threatened but encouraged

Antagonism towards Messianic groups in Israel has been increasing since the introduction of a bill in the Jewish parliament to outlaw ‘missionary material’. Opposition from ultra-orthodox Jews is thought to be the source of a number of incidents over the past few months in which Messianic believers have had their property damaged and threats…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Where union is not strength

A notable incident took place during the reign of Amaziah, King of Judah. We read about it in 2 Chronicles 25:5-13. After Amaziah had established himself on the throne, he determined to fight the Edomites. He counted his men of war, but they seemed few in number. Accordingly, 'he also hired one hundred thousand…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Asia > Western Asia > Israel

Israel – fifty years on

From poverty to plenty The modern State of Israel, established fifty years ago, is a remarkable phenomenon. A nation exiled for almost 2,000 years returns home under the most distressing circumstances the world has ever known. Torn and battered from the Nazi ‘holocaust’, the population has swollen from an initial 600,000 to now over…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Spiritual gifts and the Bible

Over 500 ‘ordinary Christians’ gathered in Chester on Saturday 31 January for this important conference. The opening devotions were led by Chairman Martin Grubb, who stated that the aim of the conference was to ‘encourage contentment and confidence in the Christ of Scripture’, rather than to ‘supply verbal hand-grenades to throw at our charismatic…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Evangelistic

A matter of death and life

Death is commonplace on television. We see it portrayed in many different ways in fiction, and we also see it in fact. Some of the more harrowing pictures have left impressions we are unlikely to forget, such as the images of Nazi concentration camps with countless emaciated corpses piled high in silent condemnation of…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

So why don’t we pray?

If God has indeed 'shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God', it is only 'in the face of Jesus Christ' that this knowledge may be found (2 Corinthians 4:6). A constant stream of books and sermons encourages the church to pray. Exhortation to pray is…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Western Asia > Israel > Jordan > Palestine

The gospel and Arab Palestinians

The Arab Palestinian population is estimated to be about 7 million worldwide. About 1.2 million live within the internationally recognized borders of Israel. Another 2.1 million live in Gaza and the West Bank. In Jordan the Palestinians are estimated to be 1.8 million. In addition, there are many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who,…

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Historical

May 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith – Basil of Caesarea and the deity of the Holy Spirit

While the first book devoted to the subject of baptism was written by the North African theologian, Tertullian, at the end of the second century AD, it was not until the middle of the ninth century that a book on the Lord’s Supper appeared. Similarly, while there were a number of books on the…

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Article

May 1998
Articles > Guest column

The label has come off the bottle

Once upon a time (during the second century, to be precise) a man called Montanus mixed a pleasant-tasting poison and put it in a large unbreakable bottle. The poison had the power to reproduce itself so, as long as a few drops remained, it didn’t matter how much of it was used. Given time,…

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Historical

April 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith – Athanasius of Alexandria and the challenge of Arianism

Central to the proclamation of the gospel in the first century A. D. was the confession that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9). As one probes what the term 'Lord' means for the New Testament writers, it is soon clear that there is more here than initially meets the eye. To confess Jesus as Lord…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Concerning cults – The International Church of Christ (ICC)

The story is a familiar one. And often it can be a distressing and even tragic story. In order to illustrate the point, here are two real situations which occurred recently and are known to the writer. A young lady from Wales recently studied in a Midlands college for three years and enjoyed her…

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News

April 1998
News > People > Obituaries

Theodore Bendor-Samuel

Theodore Harold Bendor-Samuel passed into the presence of the Lord on 26 February 1998, aged ninety-two. His physical condition had gradually deteriorated following a severe heart attack six months earlier. His public ministry had two main phases. For nearly thirty years he served as a pastor and then for a longer period he was…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

What about fleeces?

In earlier articles we have seen that God guides his children primarily by his Word. There may be times when he leads us in mysterious ways, but we are always to seek guidance from Scripture. It is likely that some will point to situations in their own lives when they have sought guidance by…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

God’s last word

When Paul brought the gospel to Athens, he 'preached to them Jesus and the resurrection' (Acts 17:18). But when he moved on to Corinth, his sole message was 'Christ and him crucified' (1 Corinthians 2:2). Does this mean the apostle somehow changed his emphasis, from the resurrection to the cross? This seems doubtful. It…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Comment

Comment

The Easter story does not reflect well on the first followers of Christ. Always slow to understand his mission, the disciples variously betrayed him, denied him, went to sleep on him, or abandoned him, at the moment of his greatest need. Jesus himself, of course, was not taken by surprise by these things. He…

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Article

April 1998
Albania

Missionary Spotlight – Albanian update

Early last year, Albania erupted into violence and anarchy, and by July most of the major cities apart from Tirana were controlled by gangs. All major roads were plagued with robberies and murder, making travel very hazardous. Many lost their lives, many more their property, and many were seriously injured. By September the general…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Darwin’s challenge to biblical creation

During the weeks before last Christmas, BBC Radio 4 carried a series of programmes giving popular presentations on the lives of famous scientists with the general title 'On Giants' Shoulders'. On 17 December, it was the turn of Charles Darwin. The revolutionary nature of his work was discussed by four leading Darwinian professors (Stephen…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Training for the ministry

Q. Evangelical Times is both pleased and grateful to have this opportunity of interviewing you, Mr Eveson the principal of London Theological Seminary (LTS). Thank you for your time. I wonder if we could begin by asking you for a very brief history of LTS and why it was founded? A. On 20 October…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Visible signs

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he comes' (1 Corinthians 11:26) If Paul had written his first Corinthian letter specifically to your church, you would by now be smarting under his rebukes. Problem after problem surfaces in this letter. In chapters 11-14,…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > World Mission > Australia

Letter from Australia

As I sit writing this report I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of the ‘Land Down Under’. The landscape is glorious and the scene from my study window is of trees and mountains. The sun is shining brightly and the countryside is green from the plentiful rain which has fallen during…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > World Mission > Europe

Literature ministry in French-speaking Europe

Publishing the good news of God’s sovereign grace in Christ in French-speaking Europe at the end of the twentieth century is a vital missionary work. The evangelical constituency in Belgium, France and French Switzerland is slowly increasing in size, although turnover among its members is high. Yet sadly its message is still largely man-centred,…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Are we being used?

No, this is not a complaint or warning about subversive activities! We mean, are you, our friends and subscribers, using Evangelical Times as effectively as possible? A church known to us has increased its order for ET by 50% and now offers a free extra copy of the paper to anyone who has already…

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Article

April 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Eastern Asia > China

Missionary Spotlight-China – Churches still under pressure

We sat under the coconut palms, on an island off the coast of south China, as the young Chinese pastor shared with me the pressures upon his church. His church had been formed in 1992 and grew rapidly to over 200 people. The believers built a large church building with a palm-thatched roof. But…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Isaac Watts

Two hundred and fifty years ago, in November 1748, Isaac Watts was called to his eternal rest. He left behind some 600 hymns, many of them paraphrases of the Psalms and other portions of Scripture, but all written in the language of the new covenant and explicitly bringing the person and work of Christ…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Defenders of the faith: Irenaeus of Lyons and the threat of Gnosticism

Although Irenaeus of Lyons is the most important Greek-speaking theologian of second-century Christianity, materials for his life story are meagre at best. But what we do know of him makes us eager to find out more about this winsome author and pastor. Irenaeus was born in the Roman province of Asia, now on the…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Taking the wrong turning

Some Christians are obsessed with knowing whether they are ‘in the will of God’. What do they mean? Usually they have in mind a plan for their lives that God drew up in eternity, and which they are now duty-bound to discover and follow, rather like a road map to a specific destination. In…

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Historical

March 1998
Articles > Historical

Full circle

Last month we drove in imagination down the M1 passing junction 21. Noting the sign ‘River Swift’ on the motorway embankment, we reminisced as we looked back to the fourteenth century, to see a great man of God whose pioneering work was so influential that he was called the ‘Morning Star of the Reformation’.…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Cults and other religions

Alpha courses and Catholicism

Among the various churches recommended by the Daily Telegraph for Christmas worship last December was a parish church in West London called Holy Trinity, Brompton. The vicar of this ‘thriving Anglican evangelical church’, wrote the concerned reporter, is ‘the Rev. Sandy Millar, a pioneer of the Alpha courses ... and a persuasive preacher who…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Things never change

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he deplored the fact that ‘The Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom’, and he immediately distances himself from both Jews and Greeks by declaring, ‘but we preach Christ crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:22-23). The situation has not changed today. People continue to…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

More about the Promise Keepers

I would like to offer a personal comment and some additional pertinent information concerning Promise Keepers (PK). The interest of my men and the support of my Session for PK has dropped radically in the last three years for some of the very reasons that your article mentioned. We no longer support PK as…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > World Mission > Western Africa

Missionary Spotlight – Christian literature in French West Africa

‘Europresse-Afrique’ is an independent, indigenous organization based in Gagnoa, Ivory Coast. It is closely associated with ‘Europresse-France’, which is located in Chalon-sur-Saône, France. Both organizations were set up under EP Missionary, the missionary wing of Evangelical Press. Two men are employed full time in France, Jean-Claude Souillot and Marc Demory, and two in Ivory…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Consecration and the Lord’s Supper

'Do this in remembrance of me' (1 Corinthians 11:24) In one of his famous ‘Princeton sermons’, Charles Hodge observed that we ‘cannot commemorate Christ as our Saviour without thereby acknowledging ourselves to be his, the purchase of his blood and devoted to his service’ (Charles Hodge, Princeton Sermons, p. 373). What we must grasp…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > World Mission > Western Africa

Missionary Spotlight

Gospel radio in the French-speaking world The growth in understanding of the gospel of grace, which is happening today in many parts of French-speaking Africa, is undoubtedly due to the influence of Bill Clark’s radio programme Echos de la Vérité. For a number of years this was broadcast over Radio ELWA in Monrovia, Liberia,…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ our sanctification

'Of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption ...' (1 Corinthians 1:30) Growing in grace In Reformed circles it is usual to view sanctification as something progressive; that is, sanctification is seen as a process in which, as time passes, the believer…

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Article

March 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Benefit from your Bible

​·Our passage is Matthew 26:6-13, where an un-named woman anoints Jesus by breaking an alabaster flask of precious oil and pouring the contents over his head. In John’s Gospel, the woman is identified as Mary of Bethany and anoints his feet rather than his head. Unless there were two separate but similar events, which…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – ‘Pearl’ or ‘tear drop’ of the Indian Ocean?

Aboriginal Vedda inhabiting the island were conquered by Sinhalese, who came from north India during the 500’s B.C. In the third century B.C. the island became a major centre of Buddhism. Tamils arrived from south India from 100 B.C. onwards. Conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils resulted in Tamils controlling the northern half of the…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ our righteousness

'Christ Jesus, who became for us ... righteousness' (1 Corinthians 1:30) A real Christian, says the Bible, is one who has been declared righteous, or 'justified' in the sight of God, through faith in Christ alone. That Christ has 'become our righteousness' means exactly what it says, namely that his perfect righteousness has been…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Unity and peace at what price?

'But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him' (John 4:23) How much truth are you willing to give up for the sake of unity and peace? While such a question seems ridiculous, yet it…

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Historical

February 1998
Articles > Historical

Thomas Bilney – the forgotten Reformer

Just before his death in the flames, Hugh Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr Nicholas Ridley with these justly famous words: ‘Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.’ Latimer was indeed…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – Carried by the Swift

Christians, of all people, should be interested in history. The Bible, after all, is to a marked degree the history book par excellence. It is the record of God's mighty actions in creation and redemption. The twenty centuries that have followed since its completion have been the ongoing record of God's dealing with his…

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Historical

February 1998
Articles > Historical

Billy Graham – on faith and the future of Christianity

​Following the publication of Billy Graham's autobiography, American 'televangelist' Robert Schuller interviewed Dr Graham on his 'Hour of Power' television show in May 1997. We reproduce below extracts from a verbatim transcript of that interview, in which Billy Graham answers questions on the subjects of faith and his message for today. We have made…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – Features

Physical: An island 25,328 square miles in area, 50 miles south-east of India. Hilly in the south. Adam’s Peak, standing 2243 metres high, is sacred to Buddhists. Population: 18 million. Sinhalese – 74%; Tamils 17%; Moors – 7% (partly descended from Arab seafarers); others – 2%. Population density – 622 persons per square mile.…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Lord, where do I go from here?

Is that sometimes the cry of your heart? That's not surprising. David prayed: 'Show me the way I should go' (Psalm 143:8). Christians probably pray more for guidance than for anything else. We sincerely want to know God's will, and yet sometimes it seems hard, even confusing. Perhaps one of our problems is inconsistency.…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Sri Lanka

Monsoon for a tired pastor

In 1977 I was in Sri Lanka, visiting a Bible college and three Reformed Baptist churches. They worked me hard! I spoke forty-four times in fifteen days, including seven lectures a day for four days at the Bible college, where my task was to teach the prison epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon) to…

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Article

February 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The gentleness of Christ

In 2 Corinthians 10:1, Paul speaks of his attitude towards his readers. 'Now I, Paul, am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,' he declares. The apostle has been reasoning with them and exhorting them, particularly in connection with gifts they had promised over a year ago for the needy churches…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Bangladesh

Missionary Spotlight – Bangladesh – Features

Area: 55.6 thousand square miles. Bounded by India, Myanmar (Burma) and the Bay of Bengal. Physical: Bangladesh occupies the delta and floodplains of the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra. With three-quarters of the land less than ten feet above sea level, violent monsoons and high annual rainfall (100 inches) cause frequent, serious flooding. Increased salinity…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Way of Holiness

The apostle Paul wrote, 'Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God' (2 Corinthians 7:1). This is a clear call to holiness to all who belong to God. In the previous chapter Paul outlined several wonderful promises that…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Bangladesh

Missionary Spotlight on Bangladesh

 From 200 B.C. until A.D. 1200 this area was ruled variously by Buddhist or Hindu dynasties. Muslim domination came when the Delhi Sultanate was established in 1206. After that, Afghan and then Mogul rulers governed the territory for 600 years. During the time of the Moguls, different European traders began to visit Bengal. Eventually,…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > General

Luther and the Internet

If Luther were alive today, I believe he would be embracing the ‘Internet’ with characteristic zeal. The Internet is a sophisticated network of computers that enables its users to exchange files, images and even music via the world’s telephone network. It provides the means to communicate effectively with millions of people all over the…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Teaching angels

There are several passages of Scripture in the New Testament that give me the understanding that my congregation is much larger than I can imagine when I am in the process of teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the church. When I use the word 'church' I do not mean a…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

The Flood of Noah

'I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how anyone for a moment can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures. The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

The greatness of Christ’s redemption

'He gave his life a ransom for many.' We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it; we…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ our wisdom

'Of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption' (1 Corinthians 1:30) Is there anything more noble than wisdom? Solomon did not think so. 'Get wisdom! Get understanding!' he cries. 'Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom' (Proverbs 4:5,7). Such advice…

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News

January 1998
News > International > United States of America

Letter from America: Religion as a consumer product

In a recent Sunday edition of the Atlanta Journal (religion section) my interest was drawn to an entire article titled ‘A Growing Movement: Full-service churches offer programs and activities geared to America’s consumer culture’. The article went on to give an example, namely the First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia. It described the church as…

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Historical

January 1998
Articles > Historical

The sermon of the plough

450 years ago, on 18 January 1548, Hugh Latimer preached a notable sermon. It was a clarion call for action from England's bishops and clergy. Standing in the shelter of 'the Shrouds' at St Paul's in London, he uttered an impassioned plea to the nation's prelates to devote themselves to the true work of…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > Biblical/theological

Benefit from your Bible: More Bible notes by Theophilus

Our passage this time is James 1:19-21. Once again we are not only examining the text, but displaying simple Bible notes that any readers might write for themselves after personal Bible study. To produce such notes increases understanding and aids meditation. James is pithy and concise in his writing, and at times even cryptic.…

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Article

January 1998
Articles > World Mission > Asia > Southern Asia > Bangladesh

Bangladesh – A correspondent writes

Some days ago, I returned from a three-week visit to Bangladesh; my first time back for five years. There have been some dramatic changes. The population in Dhaka has increased to 10 million and is due to rise further to mega-city levels early next century. Even village roads seemed crowded with people. Paradoxically, prosperity…

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