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Everything in 2005 issue

The Humpty Dumpty world

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

The Humpty Dumpty world

When we were children we learned about Humpty Dumpty - the big egg who fell off the wall and couldn't be reassembled. Today we live in a world that also seems to be falling apart. Persons, programs, institutions and ideals that we once thought timeless are fragmenting. Nothing is sacred any more. In the…

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Are you sitting too comfortably?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Are you sitting too comfortably?

Many years ago a wise teacher said something I have often thought about. He remarked, 'In the beginning God made man in his image, and ever since man has been making God in his image'. There's a lot of truth in that. It seems that 'God-making' is a perennial employment of human beings. There…

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I had to be sure

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

I had to be sure

I always imagined that the answers to life lay in experiencing new things - travelling, learning about other cultures and meeting new people. Having grown up with no religious influence, I was happy to accept this as being 'all there is'. But I soon discovered that these things provided only temporary happiness.So started my…

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Does God exist?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Does God exist?

'Does God exist?' 'Is there more to life than what is here and now?' I struggled with these questions like everyone else.I was brought up in Malaysia, a mainly Muslim country with a significant Buddhist population, followed by Hinduism and Christianity. However, my own family were not religious and as a child I gave…

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Happy or haggard?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Happy or haggard?

Our culture pushes us to get more - the Bible prompts us to give more. Our society makes a virtue of self-fulfilment - the Bible makes a virtue of self-denial. 'Say yes' to what you want, advise the adverts. 'Say no' to what you covet, says Jesus.Alarming numbers of people in Britain are in…

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Can a scientist believe in God?

Article

December 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Can a scientist believe in God?

Research zoologist Sheena Tyler examines the evidence.I still remember the day when, returning from a University hockey match, student vet Cynthia asked to talk with me about God. She shared two things I'd never heard before. Firstly, she said that God had a plan for my life. I challenged her statement but the depth…

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Slavery and boiling oil

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Slavery and boiling oil

'Five Ukranian women who were tortured and imprisoned in a basement by sex traffickers in Turkey [have been] freed thanks to ... the International Organization for Migration (IOM)'. So ran a newspaper item last summer.The paper continued: 'The women - one of whom was held for six years - were set to return to…

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Rescue mission

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Rescue mission

C. S. Lewis, author of the Narniastories, said that the essentials of what we are as human beings can be argued quite cogently from two things - dirty jokes and attitudes towards death.The former centre almost exclusively on reproduction and going to the loo - two of the most natural processes on earth. Why…

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Really good news!

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Really good news!

The news that a mother is expecting a baby is good news for the whole family, but especially for the mother, She shares the news with other who, in turn, are glad to congratulate her.In the months that follow, she will become aware of physical changes in her body as the baby develops. She…

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Why bother about Christmas?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Why bother about Christmas?

Steven Curry ruminates on the pagan origin and present meaning of ChristmasI had quite a shock when I first met a Christian who didn't celebrate Christmas. 'Missed you at the carol service!'  I said cheerily to a man I regarded as a spiritually-minded Christian. He looked at me gravely, hesitated and then replied, 'I…

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Missionary Spotlight-The forgotten conflict

Article

December 2005
General

Missionary Spotlight-The forgotten conflict

For 18 years, the self-styled ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA) has waged war against the Ugandan government, carrying out horrific attacks and acts of violence in towns and villages. The conflict has claimed up to 100,000 lives. Countless survivors have been scarred physically and psychologically. Sexual violence, mutilation and kidnappings are common. Up to 30,000…

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A perfect life?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

A perfect life?

Carl's story My teenage years were spent doing what young lads do. As I reached adulthood, I began to have girlfriends, get drunk, party ... and I loved it! But when I reached 20 I noticed something. Every Sunday evening, I would lie in bed (usually hung over) and consider life and death. It…

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Life in focus

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Life in focus

A scientist looks at 'intelligent design'As a boy, I was able to use a microscope to explore the world around me. It was fascinating to look at printing in books. Under magnification, the letters are no longer crisp and well formed. Printed pictures are a chaotic mixture of coloured dots. A razor blade has…

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Are YOU free?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Are YOU free?

'I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom', declared French writer Simone de Beauvoir. But what kind of freedom do people want? To find out where our dreams of freedom lie, I did a survey among my friends. Gallup it wasn't, but the results were interesting!Samantha JellettI asked a single question:…

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Saved in a chip shop

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Saved in a chip shop

It's 12.30pm on 26 June 1993. At 32 years of age, I am sitting in a chip shop staring at the wall - reviewing my life, struggling with my guilt, and despairing in my heart as to what I should do.In my mind I could see the letter 'Y'. It was a picture of…

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Is God real?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

Is God real?

I was brought up in mainland China in a materialistic and atheistic environment. I was taught to believe that everything will disappear after death - no more happiness and no more pain. I was also taught that the purpose of life is to realise all personal ambitions.After leaving school I was blessed with favourable…

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No choice but to pray

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

No choice but to pray

Spend all your time waiting for the second chance,For a break that would make it OK.There's always some reason to feel not good enough,And it's hard at the end of the day ...Those words are from Angel - a beautiful, melancholy song recorded by Sarah McLachlan in 1997. They reflect the hopelessness of drug…

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God with us? Yes, really

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

God with us? Yes, really

Do you have an interesting name? Have you every tried to trace your ancestors? Many names reflect the trade or occupation of their original owner - Mason, Collier, Smith, Hunter, Driver, Butcher, Thatcher and so on.In Wales, over the centuries, so many people acquired surnames such as Davies, Jones or Williams that it became…

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Bowers of the Antarctic

Historical

December 2005
Articles > Historical

Bowers of the Antarctic

Henry Bowers was just 28 when in March 1912 - with Captain Scott and Dr Bill Wilson - he lay down to die in a tiny tent in a swirling blizzard. The explorers were on the return journey from the South Pole. Bowers' father, seafaring Captain Alexander Bowers, had sailed race-winning clippers and penetrated…

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The true happiness of Christmas

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

The true happiness of Christmas

'I enjoy Christmas', said my friend, 'because I like getting presents'. There was a twinkle in his eye when he said it, but no sensible, loving person despises receiving presents. But we also enjoy giving presents - gifts that make loved ones' eyes light up with pleasure. Giving and receiving - here lies the…

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Guest column

Article

December 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest column

The right equipmentOctober's devastating earthquake in Pakistan proved one thing - to save people from disaster you need the right equipment. As on countless previous occasions, the availability or absence of helicopters and heavy lifting equipment proved crucial, as did tents to shelter the homeless and medical supplies. The same principle applies in the…

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What’s in a name?

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

What’s in a name?

We choose our children's names on the basis of some family or other association - or simply because we like the way they sound. In the Bible, however, names were chosen because of what they meant.The most famous biblical name of all is of course the name 'Jesus'. It is the Greek form of…

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The Man in sixty billion

Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

The Man in sixty billion

On 10 January 1989 a baby girl was born in a hospital in Essex. She weighed exactly 7lbs and was 20 inches long. This may sound very ordinary, but she was unique in the whole of human history - she made me a grandfather for the first time!There have, admittedly, been more remarkable babies.…

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Article

December 2005
Cambodia

Missionary Spotlight-Spectacular growth in Cambodia

Dr Stephen Griffiths of OMF International writes:   I went to buy a school van. ‘By the way,’ said Mr Lak, the salesman, ‘are you a Christian?’ Waiting for the paperwork, we sat on plastic chairs, traffic thundering past just feet away. Waves of dust, heat and diesel fumes gently choked me while Mr…

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Article

December 2005
Evangelistic

The tyranny of tolerance

No-one likes being accused of intolerance. It is the ultimate put-down. To be branded 'intolerant' puts you in the same category as a fascist or a bigot. For many people, tolerance is the ultimate virtue. But this creates a paradox - as a society we can tolerate anything but intolerance! Instinctively we want to…

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Gunpowder plot and providence

Historical

December 2005
Articles > Historical

Gunpowder plot and providence

Dear Sir, While I enjoyed Paul Mackrell's article summarising the Gunpowder Plot (Evangelical Times, November) I felt it overlooked one of the most significant consequences of the plot's failure - that six years later King James authorised a new version of the English Bible. Produced by the most spiritual academics of their day, the…

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Preachers and their hearers

Article

November 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Preachers and their hearers

As Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius and his friends, 'The Holy Ghost fell upon them which heard the word' (Acts 10:1-48). This should not surprise us. Such a marvellous manifestation of God's grace may be reasonably expected when men and women come to hear the Word of God with the attitude Cornelius had:…

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Missionary Spotlight – The mission field they never chose

Article

November 2005
United Kingdom

Missionary Spotlight – The mission field they never chose

It can be difficult to get into prison — security clearance is always needed and a security clampdown may deny all access. Only the chaplain’s helpfulness in a high-profile prison one Sunday enabled us to preach the gospel there. Those inside are keen to get out; we are keen to get in! We want…

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Calvinism and open-air preaching

Article

November 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Calvinism and open-air preaching

A recent ET correspondent asked - 'What about a special piece by a Calvinist on starting up open-air preaching?'  So I make an effort to oblige.There is a general view abroad that Calvinism impedes evangelism. This, of course, is a myth. The thing that impedes evangelism is spiritual laziness, and there are as many…

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The little man of Mindoro

Article

November 2005
Philippines

The little man of Mindoro

Margaret and I began our ministry in the Philippines in 1970 on the small island of Mindoro. As new missionaries, we were discouraged. With no savings, and no income for three months, we struggled to learn a new language and a new culture. Early one morning during a typhoon, Margaret shook me awake, groaning…

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Theodore Beza (1519-1605)

Historical

November 2005
Articles > Historical

Theodore Beza (1519-1605)

Have you ever heard a conversation like this? Charles: Hey, Jim, did you know that Theodore Beza died 400 years ago this month? Jim: Theodore who? Charles: Theodore Beza. Jim: Oh, Beeeeeza. Wasn’t he that terrible monster who wrecked Calvin’s Calvinism? Some kind of hyper-Calvinist? Charles:Yeah, that’s right! Calvin was a really nice guy…

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Do hurricanes just happen?

Article

November 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Do hurricanes just happen?

The Psalmist wrote, ‘Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; he brings the wind out of his treasuries’ (Psalm 135:6-7).And Jeremiah asked, ‘Is it…

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Article

November 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment

Following JesusWhen Helen Roseveare first arrived on the Congo mission field in 1953 she was greeted by memorable words from senior missionary Jack Scholes. She recalls them in her autobiography Give me this mountain(IVP; pp.75-76).‘If you think you have come to the mission field because you are a little better than others, or as…

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What is the Bible?

Article

November 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

What is the Bible?

The Bible is differentJust as the Lord Jesus Christ is different from all other leaders, religious or otherwise, so the Bible is different from all other books. Those leaders and those books are of earthly origin. Such religious leaders are men or women with all the weaknesses and failures of sinful humanity. And all…

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Guest Column – Jesus perfected

Article

November 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – Jesus perfected

The writer uses this word three times in connection with the Lord Jesus. He asserts that Jesus was perfected in Gethsemane (5:9), on the cross (2:9-10) and when he rose from the grave (7:28).The idea that Jesus was ‘perfected’ by these events cannot mean that they somehow removed defects in his character. Let us…

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Missionary Spotlight – A storm in Turkey

Article

November 2005
Turkey

Missionary Spotlight – A storm in Turkey

Beside one of the beautiful Bosphorus bays in Istanbul lies the Bebek Park, where one can sit and watch large ships passing to and from the Black Sea. In the spring, steep wooded hills are ablaze with the red blossom of ‘Judas’ trees — which symbolise to Armenians the blood of the traitor Judas.…

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Modern Christian Mysticism

Article

November 2005
Cults and other religions

Modern Christian Mysticism

VisualisationOur next subject is 'visualisation'. Some years ago, Karen Mains wrote a book, Lonely no more, in which she chronicled her journey into Jungian psychology, visualisation and the occult. By doing so she effectively torpedoed the ministry of 'Chapel of the Air' run by herself and her husband David.She denied any involvement with the…

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Getting started in church history

Historical

November 2005
Articles > Historical

Getting started in church history

I cannot think of a single Christian who would not benefit from acquiring a working knowledge of church history. This is, first and foremost, because God has been at work in this world ever since the events recorded in the final chapter of Acts 28. Our time is always well spent if we make…

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Norway – revival remembered

Historical

November 2005
Articles > Historical

Norway – revival remembered

‘Independence Day for Norway!’ So I imagine the newspaper headlines exulted throughout the land when, on 7 June 1905, the Norwegian Parliament declared the union with Sweden dissolved. This year celebrates the centenary of that event. Being a third-generation Norwegian I ask myself, ‘But how are things in the mother-country today?’ Like much of…

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The Marian Martyrs – Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley

Historical

November 2005
Articles > Historical

The Marian Martyrs – Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley

Two of the outstanding leaders of the English Reformation, High Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, were burned at the stake in Oxford on 16 October 1555. The site of their martyrdom in Broad Street is marked by a simple cross in the pavement. A more elaborate memorial stands round the corner in St Giles. Their…

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Historical

November 2005
Articles > Historical

The Gunpowder Plot

If 1066 is the year every Briton remembers, 5 November is the best-known date. Whoever invented the little rhyme, 'Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot', can rest easy. It seems highly unlikely that the day will ever be forgotten, even if few of us could give the year (it was…

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Missionary Spotlight – Spiritual warfare in PNG

Article

November 2005
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Spiritual warfare in PNG

In 2004 some of the Hewa people of Papua New Guinea heard the gospel for the first time and came to know Christ as Saviour. New Tribes missionaries were already learning Hewa culture and language, but God used a young man named Dogofili to first bring the good news of Christ to these people.…

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Article

October 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Are chimps our second cousins?

The mapping of the complete chimpanzee genome, announced recently, has raised again the question of man’s relationship to other primates. Man and chimp share 99% of their functional genes and 96% of their overall genome (total genetic material). This only confirms something that has been known for decades — that human and chimp DNA…

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Seven steps to a full life?

Article

October 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Seven steps to a full life?

Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, is the Norman Vincent Peale of our generation. While Osteen has won popularity with throngs of people in Houston — even opening his new church in the former basketball home of the NBA Houston Rockets — his appeal lies not in his biblical wisdom but…

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What God can do

Article

October 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

What God can do

One day, a young woman asked her mother for a Bible, because she was anxious to have her own just like the others in the Bible class. The story circulated around the village. The reaction was mixed - joy, sympathy, scepticism, cynicism and bewilderment. A Bible? Everyone knew she couldn't read! Yet apparently she…

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Holocaust Denial 2. The arguments

Historical

October 2005
Articles > Historical

Holocaust Denial 2. The arguments

I explained last month what I mean by 'Holocaust denial' - namely, rejection of the fact that, as a matter of deliberate policy, the Nazis killed some six million Jews, mostly during Word War II, employing gas chambers and other means to do so.I shall not attempt a systematic refutation of the deniers’ arguments,…

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The truth shall set you free

Article

October 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The truth shall set you free

An edited extract from an address given by Home Mission Worker Donald J. Morrison to the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) assembly.It is now just a little over eighteen months since I began my work as Home Mission Worker/Evangelist, operating from Inverness. During that time I’ve travelled throughout Scotland, sharing the Good News about…

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Article

October 2005
General

ETI – encouraging progress

The new (October to December) issue of Evangelical Times Internationalcompletes ETI’s first year. The slimmed-down airmail edition of Evangelical Timesnow has subscribers in 46 countries world-wide and a rising circulation.   We are grateful to God for this progress but are conscious that many opportunities remain untapped. Readers can join us in this ministry…

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Article

October 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment

Believing the Bible‘Believing the Bible’ is something all Evangelicals claim to do. But what if I say, ‘I believe in using safety ladders to rescue people from fires’, and then refuse to use one when my own house goes up in flames? It means I never really trusted in ladders at all. My belief…

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Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – a pastor reflects on blessings and failures

Article

October 2005
Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka – a pastor reflects on blessings and failures

26 December 2004 was another Lord’s Day morning and we were gathering for worship. I heard my daughter cry out ‘the sea is coming’. At first I didn’t believe her; until I heard the cries of others and witnessed the sea rushing up to the compound gate. Two or three times it came and…

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God’s gift to North Wales- Thomas Charles of Bala (1755-1814)

Historical

October 2005
Articles > Historical

God’s gift to North Wales- Thomas Charles of Bala (1755-1814)

The gravestone epitaph concludes with the words: 'North Wales (the more immediate field of his ministerial labours for thirty years) will probably retain traces of his various and strenuous exertions to promote the kingdom of Christ till time shall be no more'. The grave is that of Thomas Charles of Bala, best known for…

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Modern Christian Mysticism

Article

October 2005
Cults and other religions

Modern Christian Mysticism

4. LabyrinthsMost evangelical Christians probably would not recognise themselves in the previous discussion of mysticism (ET July to August), but there are subtle influences at work drawing believers in this direction even without their knowledge. While firmly denying any part in classical mysticism many are actually participating in time-honoured mystical practices.Many are doing this…

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Learning from the past

Historical

October 2005
Articles > Historical

Learning from the past

Benefit from history!Car-maker Henry Ford is famous for his off-the-cuff remark that 'history is bunk'. Sometimes I come across Evangelical Christians who share his dismissive attitude towards learning from the past.But I prefer the perspective of the historian, who called his record of the first colonists in New England The mighty acts of Christ…

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The Cutting Edge

Article

October 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Cutting Edge

3. Rewriting theologyWe now turn to 'phase two' of the feminist movement - redefining theology. In the 1970s the rise of Women's Studies affected almost all academic disciplines. Books and courses were written on feminist approaches to law, history ('herstory'), literature and so on. Having redefined herself, the feminist wanted to use women's experience…

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News

October 2005
News

Ready with the gospel

Paying our debts is seldom easy, yet there is one debt we can settle with a sense of privilege and joy. Paul refers to it in Romans 1:14: ‘I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and unwise. So as much as is in me I am ready to…

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God is faithful still : – George Müller and Thomas Barnardo

Historical

October 2005
Articles > Historical

God is faithful still : – George Müller and Thomas Barnardo

This year marks both the bi-centenary of the birth of George Müller (1805-1898) and the centenary of the death of Thomas Barnardo (1845-1905). Both were great and godly men who lived their lives fully for the Lord, consumed by love for Christ and their fellow human beings. With burning concern, they both devoted their…

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Guest Column : Reflections from a duffle-coat pocket

Article

October 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column : Reflections from a duffle-coat pocket

I have always liked aphorisms - those short, pithy sayings that express a nugget of truth in a striking way. That is one of several reasons why I have been drawn to Samuel Rutherford, an eminent servant of the gospel in seventeenth-century Scotland.His capacity for coining phrases that get under your skin and won’t…

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To Bala for a BIBLE- 2. For all the world

Historical

October 2005
Articles > Historical

To Bala for a BIBLE- 2. For all the world

Last month, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Charles of Bala, we rehearsed the well-known story of ‘Mary Jones and her Bible’. However, Mary’s story is not just that of a young girl walking to Bala — there is more to it than that. The plight of Mary Jones, and others…

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Missionary Spotlight – Bhutan – ‘the road less travelled’

Article

October 2005
Bhutan

Missionary Spotlight – Bhutan – ‘the road less travelled’

Gathering news in Thimpu – Bhutan’s capital city – is an education in itself. This is widely seen as a ‘closed country’ but, unusually, there is little poverty to speak of and no pent-up national anger. Nor is there any crime worth reporting. The economy barely gets a mention, and the King (the leader…

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Work, leisure and the Christian

Article

September 2005
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Work, leisure and the Christian

Work and leisure are God’s gifts to the human race, yet within Christian churches they are neglected topics and young people receive no clear direction in these areas. Society’s attitude towards them is dominated by a secular and pragmatic outlook. The way people spend their leisure time often reflects the decline of moral and…

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What’s the point of education?

Article

September 2005
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What’s the point of education?

I was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education — the rigorous training of the mind — is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding.This sounds too obvious to be compelling! But that’s just because we…

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Missionary Spotlight – House churches in Vietnam

Article

September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – House churches in Vietnam

The evangelical house churches of Vietnam operate independently of the officially recognised Evangelical Church of Vietnam. The latter church represents 20% of Vietnam’s Protestants. Under the communist government, churches must register and comply with strict regulations governing their activities and teachings, the training and appointment of ministers, and contact with Christians from other countries.…

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Church growth – New Testament style

Article

September 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Church growth – New Testament style

Peter's sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-47) was exceedingly simple. There were no illustrations, no stirring stories, no marvellous points of logic, no soaring heights of oratory, The Apostle simple declared that truth of God, boldly exposing the sin of his hearers and explaining the meaning of Christ's death and resurrection.But every word he spoke…

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Holocaust Denial-What it is and why evangelical scholars must categorically reject it

Historical

September 2005
Articles > Historical

Holocaust Denial-What it is and why evangelical scholars must categorically reject it

The Holocaust - the attempt by the German Nazis to wipe out the entire Jewish population of Europe - is the greatest tragedy the Jewish people have ever faced. It is also a Christian problem because most of the perpetrators of the Holocaust were baptised church members. The bystanders who did nothing to halt…

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To Bala for a Bible

Historical

September 2005
Articles > Historical

To Bala for a Bible

To Bala for a BIBLE- 2. For all the world   God’s gift to North Wales- Thomas Charles of Bala (1755-1814)   This month and next we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth on 15 October 1755 of Thomas Charles of Bala In a narrow and lovely valley at the foot of Cadair…

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Modern Christian Mysticism

Article

September 2005
Cults and other religions

Modern Christian Mysticism

3.   Contemplative prayerThe heart and soul of mysticism, Christian or otherwise, is the art of meditation or contemplation. Contemplative prayer (also known as ‘centring prayer’ and ‘breath prayer’) is rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance in evangelical circles, so it is vital that we understand exactly what is being promoted and why we are concerned.First…

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Learning from the past

Historical

September 2005
Articles > Historical

Learning from the past

History has always been one of the great loves of my life. It is something I learned from my father while I was still very small. His passion to understand his own roots, and his conviction that the people of the past were worth getting to know, communicated itself to me.Tramping with him through…

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Missionary Spotlight – Rejoicing in tribulation

Article

September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – Rejoicing in tribulation

The evangelical church in Vietnam, numbering some 1.2 million Christians, has experienced a six-fold growth in the last ten years. Many churches have weekly days of corporate prayer and fasting, and run programmes of reading and memorising Scripture. They also have a commitment to preaching the gospel – and not just in their own…

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Guest Column – How to spoil a prayer meeting

Article

September 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – How to spoil a prayer meeting

Here are ten sure-fire tips guaranteed to make the corporate prayer life of any local church ineffective. Yes, your church can become weak and succumb to spiritual paralysis! Just follow these ten steps and the pulpit will lose its power, lives will cease to make an impact, and the church will become barely distinguishable…

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Article

September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight

Christianity in Vietnam Missionaries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance began work in Vietnam in 1911. By 1929 their work resulted in the establishment of an independent Evangelical Church of Vietnam. Over the years other missionary societies joined in the work of church-planting and by the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 there…

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Article

September 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment – Just a Bible

‘Just teaching the Bible to a few children doesn’t seem like great progress’. This might be our reaction to the pictures of Iraqi Sunday school children on page 15. But if you are tempted to think like that, you would surely be wrong.In this and next month’s ETwe recall the famous adventure of young…

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Preaching Christ

Article

September 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching Christ

Preaching Christ — what a novel idea! Or is it? Not at all! To preach Christ is to preach ‘all the counsel of God’. That fact is presented with great clarity by Edgar Andrews in his latest book, Preaching Christ,published by Evangelical Times.The Word of God is not a book about science, morality, history,…

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Encouraging believers in Vietnam

Article

September 2005
Vietnam

Encouraging believers in Vietnam

  Over the past two years I have taken six trips into countries near Cambodia that do not have religious freedom and whose governments actively persecute the church of Christ. On a few occasions I have been able to join groups of people smuggling Bibles into Vietnam.   What a joy to be able…

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The Cutting Edge- Feminism

Article

September 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Cutting Edge- Feminism

2. Feminism's false gospelWe saw last month that men and women, both made in the image of God, are ‘equal but different’ because of who God is. Thus the model for human relationships is not interchangeable egalitarianism, as feminism supposes, but God’s Trinitarian inter-relationship — involving a complex pattern of initiation and response, of…

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A place for prayer

Article

September 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A place for prayer

Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find'. And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the…

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Article

September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Area:128,000 square miles   Neighbours: Cambodia, Laos and China.   Environment: Vietnam has a tropical climate. There are northern mountains, central highlands, and flat river delta areas in the north and south (Mekong river).   Population: 83.5 million (plus 2 million diaspora).   Infant mortality: 26 deaths per 1,000 births.   Life expectancy: Males…

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Who has Peter’s keys?

Article

September 2005
Cults and other religions

Who has Peter’s keys?

In his very first message on 20 April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of himself as 'Peter's current successor'. For most Catholics, the belief that the pope derives his authority from Peter is the main cornerstone of their faith.I never questioned this presupposition until the very end of my 22 years as a Catholic…

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Sorting out your soul – psychology unleashed

Article

August 2005
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Sorting out your soul – psychology unleashed

Barely disguised pagan beliefs and practices have been worming their way into churches through a variety of counselling techniques, masquerading under the label 'Christian'. We need to be wary of those who claim they can sort out our souls using such methods.'Christian counselling' has grown dramatically over the last half-century and although many have…

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Article

August 2005
Cameroon

Missionary Spotlight – Cameroon

A bird’s-eye view of Cameroon’s church history The first Christian mission to Cameroon was the London Baptist Mission (LBM) in 1845. The LBM was constituted at the request of former African slaves in the Americas. It consisted of black pastors Fuller and Merrick along with English missionaries Dr Prince and Alfred Saker. Based in…

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The Mudite controversy

Article

August 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Mudite controversy

The bitter Mudite controversy arose in the year 2010 (forgive the time-warp). The heated debate between certain evangelical theologians arose over a simple question. Were spittle and clay necessary when Christ healed a blind person?he Mudites took the position that John 9:6 is definitive of Christ's healing method: 'he spat on the ground, and…

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Article

August 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Where are the children

Cindy Gingerich, a Christian worker in the Philippines, recently spent 15 days in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, with a medical relief team made up of Filipino and Indonesian Christians.Sumatra is the largest unevangelised island on earth; there are fewer than 50 Aceh believers in this people group of three million. On 26 December the most…

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Article

August 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The contract

Being a pastor for nearly four decades, I have not owned a home. For the last 20 years, it has been my pleasure to live rent free in a parsonage. But prior to that I always paid rent.Renting is a collateral contract; that is, both parties have to perform. I have to pay and…

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Article

August 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment-Underestimating God

We are often warned not to underestimate our enemies, but what about our friends? Are we in danger of under-estimating God?Underestimating God not only burdens us with needless cares but can cause much harm. This is exemplified by no less than Abraham, the archetype of faith! If even he could fail in this respect…

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Article

August 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Missionary Spotlight

Now I want to summarise the reasons I had to leave the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) scene. Firstly, I could no longer accept the premises undergirding the CCM philosophy. In other words, the piles holding up the pier turned out to be rotten and crumbling. Our key premises were that music is amoral; God…

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Guest Column

Article

August 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

In the winter of 1850-51, two young men walked out of Cambridge on the Newmarket road, heading for a village named Teversham. One of them was deep in silence, having received one of the biggest surprises of his young life.A keen member of St Andrew's Street Baptist Church and an active teacher in the…

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Preaching – the Spirit and the Word

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching – the Spirit and the Word

Adapted from Spirit empowered preaching - Involving the Holy Spirit in your ministry by Arturo G. Arzudia III (Christian Focus). The Scriptures repeatedly display a tight connection between the coming of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent proclamation of the Word of God. This connection is seen frequently in the Old Testament. In Numbers…

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Aerial combat

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Aerial combat

I don't often watch films, but when I do I find that God sometimes gives me unexpected analogies. This was the case when I watched the 1970s film Zeppelin, starring Michael York.I have always been fascinated by airships. In this film the hero, a British secret agent, reluctantly finds himself on board a First…

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The Cutting Edge

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Cutting Edge

I remember vividly the first time I read some feminist theology at university. I sat in my room absolutely addicted - a rare experience. It was so polemical and radical that I was hooked.However, after an hour or so I could not read any more. I was so emotionally churned up - angry at…

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Convert or disciple

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Convert or disciple

One afternoon in 1983, the doctor having just left the ward, I lay upon my bed thinking: 'I have multiple sclerosis!' I kept repeating the phrase, like a bride rolling her new name around her tongue.A 'crippling disease' lay dormant within me. Yet at that precise moment I could have leapt from my bed…

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Shared truth

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Shared truth

One evening I was engaged in vigorous debate outside Ladbroke Grove tube station with a member of the 'Nation of Islam' who was selling copies of The final call. We were soon surrounded by a group of Rastafarians who left their table of joss-sticks to join in the discussion.One Rasta rounded on the Nation…

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Article

August 2005
General

Prisons around the world

Imprisonment rates are higher in England and Wales than any major country in Western Europe, according to recent figures from the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College, London. A league table of the world’s prison population shows that 142 out of every 100,000 people are in jail in England and Wales –…

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Make poverty history? – understanding Deuteronomy 15

Article

August 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Make poverty history? – understanding Deuteronomy 15

One of the striking features of the many passages in Deuteronomy that describe what life should have been like once the people of Israel had entered the Promised Land is the tension between what is held out as the ideal and what would prove to be the reality. Thus, on the one hand, the…

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Modern Christian mysticism

Article

August 2005
Cults and other religions

Modern Christian mysticism

Last month we looked at the dramatic rise in popularity of mysticism among Christians - the 'rediscovery' of mediaeval 'disciplines' that allegedly bring us closer to God. But just what are these spiritual disciplines which are (we are told) essential to our spiritual development?According to Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of discipline, the…

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Is the pope a Roman Catholic?

Article

July 2005
Cults and other religions

Is the pope a Roman Catholic?

I hear you say, 'Don't be silly, of course he is! Everybody knows the pope's a Roman Catholic!' But do they? According to Rome's official teaching, it is actually impossible to know - but then, some issues are best locked away in the Vatican vaults safe from the prying eyes of ordinary Catholics.For example,…

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Missionary Spotlight-Spanish Christian literature

Article

July 2005
General

Missionary Spotlight-Spanish Christian literature

Editorial Peregrino (Pilgrim Press) is a Reformed publishing house based in Spain that publishes and distributes sound Christian literature in Spain and the Spanish-speaking world, including the Americas. The main promoter of this work was the late Bill Clark, who through Evangelical Press and other agencies provided the financial means and expertise necessary to…

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Modern Christian mysticism

Article

July 2005
Cults and other religions

Modern Christian mysticism

Classical mysticism was virtually  unknown in evangelical circles until 1978, when Quaker minister Richard J. Foster published Celebration of discipline, the path to spiritual growth. Hailed by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century, and voted by the readers of that magazine as the third most influential book…

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Missionary Spotlight-Christ in the multi-faith prison maze

Article

July 2005
United Kingdom

Missionary Spotlight-Christ in the multi-faith prison maze

A highly respected chaplaincy source explained to me the difference between multi-faith and inter-faith. Multi-faith allows freedom of religion for all faiths and recognises that a prison chaplaincy provides an interface for this to happen – the chaplaincy is like a prison’s religious ‘web-site’. But inter-faith goes deeper. It occurs when an attempt is…

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Abram and the King of Salem

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Abram and the King of Salem

The bad news arrived out of the blue. Along with other inhabitants of Sodom, Abram's nephew Lot had been taken captive and spirited away to the north country by a motley group of marauding kings. What should Abram do?We find the answer in Genesis 14, which describes how Chedorlaomer defeated the King of Sodom…

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Francis Schaeffer slept here

Historical

July 2005
Articles > Historical

Francis Schaeffer slept here

In 1966 I joined Operation Mobilization for a year of ministry in France, but spent two years in India instead. While in London that summer, at the one-month OM orientation, I volunteered to work on a clean-up crew late one night. Around 12:30am I was sweeping the front steps of the Conference Centre when…

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Article

July 2005
Israel

Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?

Richard Gibson of Christian Witness to Israel reports on a recent meeting in Durham:   Over seventy students came to hear Nick Howard, son of Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, address the question: ‘Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?’ The event was part of a ‘Hot Potatoes’ series of talks organised by the Durham Intercollegiate…

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Missionary Spotlight-Sola Scriptura in Argentina

Article

July 2005
Argentina

Missionary Spotlight-Sola Scriptura in Argentina

On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Church – and Sola Scripturabecame the battle cry of Protestant Europe and the dread of every Roman Catholic scholar. Once again this battle cry has been sounded, but now in the southernmost part of Latin America – Argentina. ARBCA…

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Article

July 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment-Triple action

The words 'triple action' signify strength and efficiency. We used to load our dishwasher with detergent, salt and rinse-aid, but now a 'triple action' tablet takes care of everything. On a more serious note, the MMR triple vaccine has been much promoted lately as something needful for the health of the nation.'Triple action' is…

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Article

July 2005
Laos

Missionary Spotlight

  Area:91,429 square miles.   Neighbours: Thailand, Burma, China, Vietnam and Cambodia.   Environment: Laos has a tropical monsoon climate. Much of its terrain consists of rugged mountains (Phou Bia 2,871 metres) with plains and plateaus. The Mekong River runs through the southwest of the country and most people live along its delta. There…

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Saving faith

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Saving faith

'And he said to the woman, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace" ' (Luke 7:50). Some men preach as if they were scared to death that one of the non-elect might be saved! They throw up barbed-wire fences all around the gospel, doing everything they can to keep sinners from believing on…

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Missionary Spotlight-Sola Scriptura in Argentina

Article

July 2005
Argentina

Missionary Spotlight-Sola Scriptura in Argentina

On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Church – and Sola Scripturabecame the battle cry of Protestant Europe and the dread of every Roman Catholic scholar. Once again this battle cry has been sounded, but now in the southernmost part of Latin America – Argentina. ARBCA…

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Eat yourself happy

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Eat yourself happy

I can't forget the billboard. Every time I drove through Manurewa, there it was at the side of the road - a giant face with a ludicrous smile. Across the top was written, 'Eat yourself happy'.Each time I drove past I pondered its meaning. Would eating hamburgers from a particular joint leave me feeling…

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Preaching Christ

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching Christ

The Church Society met for its annual conference at High Leigh Conference Centre from 17-19 May. The theme was 'Preaching Christ - a conference for Christians eager to proclaim Christ in an age of apostasy and political correctness'.John Cheeseman (Holy Trinity, Eastbourne) opened on 'Preaching Christ: reaching unbelievers'. People become believers because the Father…

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Saving faith

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Saving faith

And he said to the woman, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace" ' (Luke 7:50). Some men preach as if they were scared to death that one of the non-elect might be saved! They throw up barbed-wire fences all around the gospel, doing everything they can to keep sinners from believing on…

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Is God calling you to be a missionary?

Article

July 2005
General

Is God calling you to be a missionary?

God’s ‘call’ to someone to be a missionary is not authoritative in the way the Scriptures are — your ‘calling’ can never be beyond question. Nevertheless, you can be profoundly sure in your own heart. God can bring you to a conviction that, all things considered (including Scripture!), this is the path of obedience.…

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Our fierce accuser

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Our fierce accuser

Satan was not created as an evil angel - God 'saw everything that he had made and it was very good' (Genesis 1:31). Berkhof writes, 'He was originally, it would seem, one of the mightiest princes of the angelic world, and became the leader of those that revolted and fell away from God' (Systematic…

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Comfort for Christian parents

Article

July 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Comfort for Christian parents

All Christian parents wish there was something we could do to secure our child's salvation. We would do it 'with all our might' because we love our child so much. But God has not made salvation the result of someone else's faith - our children must come to Christ on their own. Christians are…

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Guest Column

Article

July 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

Shortly before my mother passed into glory, I took a young friend to visit her. Before he left he asked, 'What would you like me to read?' Her immediate reply was 'John 14'. Although only in her early fifties, she was ready for the home that Jesus had prepared.The Saviour spoke the words of…

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Preaching Christ

Article

July 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching Christ

The Church Society met for its annual conference at High Leigh Conference Centre from 17-19 May. The theme was 'Preaching Christ - a conference for Christians eager to proclaim Christ in an age of apostasy and political correctness'.John Cheeseman (Holy Trinity, Eastbourne) opened on 'Preaching Christ: reaching unbelievers'. People become believers because the Father…

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Article

June 2005
Articles > World Mission > Africa

Africa revisited

A report on John Blanchard’s latest visits John Blanchard recently returned from his fifth preaching tour in South Africa, and the fourth sponsored by Alpha and Omega Foundation in conjunction with Christian Book Discounters. CBD was established in 1995 with the aim of providing quality Christian books at the best possible prices to countries…

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Article

June 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment-Paw-prints

After many years of careful observation, I am no longer in any doubt. Cats are irresistibly attracted to wet concrete! Lay a fresh concrete surface and the following morning it will be decorated by a set of beautifully preserved paw-prints, impossible to erase. It is quite literally 'set in concrete'. The cat-and-concrete illustration came…

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Guest Column-How can young people be pure?

Article

June 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column-How can young people be pure?

[Philip Grist has served with Grace Baptist Mission (GBM) in India and as a co-ordinator of GBM's literature ministry]Psalm 119:9 gives a straightforward answer (although carrying out the instructions will be a battle!): 'How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word'. The New Testament equivalent is 2…

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The purpose-driven life

Article

June 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The purpose-driven life

By now every Christian and most unbelievers have heard of Rick Warren and his runaway bestseller, The purpose-driven life. This promises to be 'a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey that will enable you to discover the answers to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?''By the end of this…

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Seven reasons why Christ died

Article

June 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Seven reasons why Christ died

'God's purposes for the world in the death of Jesus are unfathomable'. Thus writes John Piper in his latest book, The Passion of Jesus Christ: fifty reasons why he came to die. He adds, 'Infinitely more important than who killed Jesus is the question, "What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending…

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Intelligent Design-Science education and design in the natural world

Article

June 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Intelligent Design-Science education and design in the natural world

Judging by media interest, the concept of Intelligent Design (ID) is having a major impact in the USA. Several popular science journals (including National Geographic and Discover) have carried lengthy articles defending Darwinian evolution. Many peer-reviewed journals (including Nature and Science) have carried reactions to ID. According to surveys, the overwhelming majority of US…

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Who is the Vicar of Christ?

Article

June 2005
Cults and other religions

Who is the Vicar of Christ?

The election of Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope makes more relevant than ever the question, 'Who is the Vicar of Christ?' This article not only answers this question but also shows how serious it is to claim that a man can occupy an office that belongs distinctively to the Holy Spirit.The Shorter Oxford…

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Article

June 2005
Obituaries

John E. Marshall – preacher and pastor

An extract from the book by John J. Murray.John Marshall considered that his first responsibility was to care for the flock that God had committed to this trust. Although he had a comparatively small congregation he felt deeply responsible for them. His faithfulness to his own people over forty-five years can have few parallels…

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Article

June 2005
Philippines

Missionary Spotlight-Pentecostals in the Philippines

ETwould not normally get involved in the work of Pentecostal churches, but this contribution from Reformed Baptist pastor Kent Philpotthighlights the fact that among such churches are some who genuinely seek the truth and serve the Lord.   A few years ago I spoke at a two-day conference for church leaders in Iloilo City,…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

June 2005
Philippines

Missionary Spotlight

Opportunities in the Philippines It was a fine morning — warm and sunny — as 41 men and 4 women gathered at the William Carey School of Theology in Iloilo City in the Philippines. It was my privilege to teach the first part of their systematic theology course, lasting five days. The previous week…

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Our fierce accuser

Article

June 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Our fierce accuser

'Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong' (1 Corinthians 16:13). 'I saw Diabolus in his possession and Mansoul also under his oppression' (John Bunyan, The Holy War).I cannot recall ever hearing a sermon on the person and works of Satan. He certainly gets a mention in dealing with the Fall and…

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Switzerland – awakening interest in Apologetics and Reformed Theology

Article

June 2005
Switzerland

Switzerland – awakening interest in Apologetics and Reformed Theology

As pastor of the Action Biblique church in Basel, Switzerland, I was recently able to organise two seminars led by Dr Martin Erdmann – whose apologetics approach is founded on Reformed theology. I was grateful for this opportunity for several reasons.   Firstly, Christian apologetics is not talked about much in Evangelical churches these…

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Exams and the Christian

News

June 2005
News > Youth Features

Exams and the Christian

If you ask my parents they will say, 'Jason doesn't do enough work for his exams'. This is of course a blatant attempt by adults to get a reluctant teenager moving!Nevertheless, I amfacing exams - so let's talk about being a Christian in the exam situation.Are exams important?Yes! After telling you how little work…

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Missionary Spotlight-Bangladesh

Article

June 2005
Bangladesh

Missionary Spotlight-Bangladesh

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has a population of 142 million – 98% Bengali, 83% Muslim and 16% Hindu. During the fifteenth and sexteenth centuries, Bengal was the wealthiest part of the Indian subcontinent. It was also the place where missionary William Carey laboured for many years, the first Bangla grammar book being authored…

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Missionary Spotlight-Phenomenal growth in Romania

Article

June 2005
Romania

Missionary Spotlight-Phenomenal growth in Romania

God has done something extraordinary in Romania. Consider Emmanuel Baptist Church in Oradea near the Hungarian border (Oradea has a population of 230,000; Romania, 23 million). With sacrificial giving from inside and generous help from outside, it has played a crucial role in training pastors and church planting, and has experienced phenomenal growth. Behind…

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The Evangelical Library revisited

Article

June 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Evangelical Library revisited

Surprisingly, my last visit found its way into the pages of ETso it seemed appropriate to comment on this visit as well - to attend the dedication and opening of 'The Robert Sheehan Puritan Room and Research Centre'.As reported on page 3, there was a dedication ceremony, with contributions from Mrs Wendy Sheehan, Professor…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

May 2005
Norway

Missionary Spotlight

An opened door Today, in the prisons of Norway, there are men and women who, like many in Christ’s day, see no hope or future for themselves. But we praise God for the revolutionary changing power of the gospel.   High security prison   When the building of a new high security prison on…

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Trusting the Bible

Article

May 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Trusting the Bible

Creationists accept a straight forward reading of the Genesis account of creation, but many Christians worry that this is no longer intellectually credible. However, the evidence from Mt St Helens shows that any such worries are not founded in science.The earth may appear to be very old, but the articles in this supplement show…

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‘Ages’ obtained for the lava dome of Mt St Helens

Article

May 2005
Scientific (including creation)

‘Ages’ obtained for the lava dome of Mt St Helens

Many creationists believe the earth was created by almighty God some thousands of years ago. Evolutionists, on the other hand, maintain that the earth is about 4.6 billion years old. How can there be such a vast discrepancy between these dates? Many Christians find this a real problem for they think that the evolutionary…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

May 2005
Norway

Missionary Spotlight

A most unusual postman by Nat Rodgers We had stopped on our travels in the west of Norway to have some refreshments at a restaurant in the heart of Telemark, at a place called Morgedal — famous in Norway as being the place where modern skiing was invented. Outside the restaurant, we noticed a…

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Article

May 2005
Norway

Missionary Spotlight – Facts

Kingdom of Norway   Area: 125,016 square miles.   Neighbours: Finland, Russia and Sweden.   Environment: Much of Norway consists of rugged mountains (Galdhopiggen 2,469 metres) broken by fertile valleys. Norway has one of the longest, most rugged coastlines in the world, deeply indented by fjords, with 50,000 islands. One third of Norway lies…

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Article

May 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment

PentecostIn focusing on the powerful preaching of Christ crucified, risen and ascended, Acts 2 defines a true outpouring of the Spirit of God. Genuine revival results in widespread repentance and faith, springing from the spiritual regeneration of large numbers of ungodly people, who have hitherto known only what it is to be fallen in…

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A force for good

Historical

May 2005
Articles > Historical

A force for good

John Newton persuaded William Wilberforce to stay an MP - thank God!by Peter BarnesImagine that a gifted young man, able to think on his feet and speak for three or four hours if need be, were to profess faith in Christ and ask for advice as to what he should do with his life.…

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Mount St Helens

Article

May 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Mount St Helens

Testimony to creationby Lloyd and Doris AndersonTwenty-five years ago, on 18 May 1980, Mount St Helens in south-west Washington State, USA, erupted with the force of 20,000 atom bombs. The eruption plunged two-thirds of a cubic mile of mountain into the valley below, destroyed 234 square miles of forest, and launched a mud flow…

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True worship

Article

May 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

True worship

The duty of worship He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find him, though…

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He ascended into heaven

Article

May 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

He ascended into heaven

How important is the doctrine of the ascension? Most Christians would not rank it with doctrines like the death and resurrection of Christ, which are 'of first importance'. But is this the right way to think about this doctrine?The Scottish missionary Andrew Murray thought not. He said the ascension was ‘the most wonderful, the…

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Missionary Spotlight – Norway

Article

May 2005
Norway

Missionary Spotlight – Norway

Norway is a beautiful country. Mountains and fjords adorn its thousands of miles of coastline, which curves round to meet Russia in the extreme north-east. Large areas of Norway lie within the Artic Circle where, during two of the summer months, the sun never sets. There is corresponding darkness in mid-winter. The summer months…

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Thomas Kelly

Historical

May 2005
Articles > Historical

Thomas Kelly

Very few Christians can trace their spiritual awakening to the reading of a Hebrew concordance of the Old Testament! But that is exactly what happened to Thomas Kelly as a twenty-two-year-old Irish law student.When he first came across the concordance (recently revised by William Romaine from an earlier edition) he was fascinated. More importantly,…

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Life in the blast zone

Article

May 2005
Scientific (including creation)

Life in the blast zone

- rapid recolonisation around the Mount St Helens volcanoby Philip BellWithin a year of the May 1980 eruption, foresters began a seven-year project to replant 18.4 million trees over an area of 45,000 acres. Today, a complex and healthy forest is the fruit of their labours. Considering the incredible devastation wrought by the volcano,…

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The geological legacy of Mt St Helens

Article

May 2005
Scientific (including creation)

The geological legacy of Mt St Helens

The 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens in Washington, north-west USA, was not the worst in recorded history. The 1902 eruption of Mont Pelée on the West Indian island of Martinique annihilated the 30,000 inhabitants of the capital city St Pierre within a few minutes.The 1815 eruption of Tambora on the Indonesian island of…

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Article

May 2005
Obituaries

Robert Procter (1918-2005)

Robert Proctor died on 28 January 2005 and his funeral was held at Kirkheaton Cemetery on Thursday 3 February, followed by a service of thanksgiving at Mirfield Evangelical Church. Pastor Graham Heaps (Dewsbury) took both services, with various family members (three of his four children) assisting. Robert’s son Philip gave a moving word of…

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Guest Column

Article

May 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

The New Commandmentby Philip GristPerusing John's Gospel and the letters he wrote, I am not surprised that this man was known as 'the Apostle of love'. Unlike Peter, he didn't need to be asked 'Do you love me?'He loved the Saviour dearly and was always close to Jesus. Even at the cross, when the…

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The Helper

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Helper

Jesus is about to die. His troubled disciples would soon be left alone like orphans bereft of their parents. He is preparing them for his departure: 'Let not your heart be troubled', he said. But what grounds for comfort could he offer?The answer is clear. His heavenly Father would send them 'another Helper -…

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The Person of Christ

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Person of Christ

In the Pentateuch we have figuresof Christ; in the historical books we have the foreshadowingof Christ; in the Psalms we have the feelingsof Christ; in the Gospels we have the factsof Christ; in the epistles we have the fulnessof Christ; and in the book of the Revelation we have the finalityof Christ. But especially,…

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The resurrection of Christ

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The resurrection of Christ

Louis Berkhof writes, 'For modern liberal theology the resurrection of Jesus, except in the sense of a spiritual survival, has no real importance for the Christian faith. Belief in the bodily resurrection is not essential [they say] but can very well be dropped without affecting the Christian religion' (Systematic Theologyp.349).Is that true? Or would…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

April 2005
Uganda

Missionary Spotlight

Over the past 15 years the African Bible College (ABC) in Malawi has enrolled a steady stream of students from Uganda, who endure the five-day bus trip from Kampala to Lilongwe. They have encouraged the ABC administration to open a campus in their home country. Eight years ago the ABC founders, Dr J. W.…

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Religious freedom in Serbia

Article

April 2005
Serbia

Religious freedom in Serbia

Evangelical churches have existed in Serbia since the late nineteenth century. Baptists, for example, received legal recognition in 1905, in parts of the country; and, after the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in 1918, enjoyed legal recognition. After the Second World War the Communist government treated all those belonging to…

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He endured the cross

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

He endured the cross

Jesus endured the cross. The word really means 'patiently endured'. In the Garden of Gethsemane he had prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me' (Matthew 26:39). Jesus was asking if there was another way; if he could be spared his Father's wrath and the hiding of his…

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Missionary Spotlight – Snakes and boda-bodas

Article

April 2005
Uganda

Missionary Spotlight – Snakes and boda-bodas

Our move to Uganda was not supposed to be terribly complicated. Our family had already lived in Malawi for 15 years – three of our five children were born there – so we knew Africa, and how critical it was to allow for the unexpected. We checked in at the airport four hours early…

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The Marian Martyrs

Historical

April 2005
Articles > Historical

The Marian Martyrs

Bishop John Hooper, who died at the stake in Gloucester on 9 February 1555, was one of the early Marian martyrs. His close personal involvement in the Protestantism of the Continent made a distinctive contribution to English church life. His death in the city where he once ministered must have made a deep impression…

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Guest Column

Article

April 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

My post-midnight meditations have become precious to me. I am even thankful for those circumstances that tend to drive away sleep and yet drive me to the Saviour. Yet I am profoundly aware that such meditations are far from being meticulous studies of God's Word. Perhaps they may be regarded as 'such a secret…

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Strange creatures

News

April 2005
News > Youth Features

Strange creatures

As a 16-year-old, and a part of a small team looking to establish a youth work at Wensleydale Evangelical Church, I have been considering how to present the gospel to young people in 2005.I'm sure you know, if you've had any experience of young people, that they are strange creatures. Not only do they…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

April 2005
Uganda

Missionary Spotlight

Uganda – named ‘the pearl of Africa’ by Sir Winston Churchill – has a population of 26 million, 50% of them under 14 years old. The north has experienced armed conflict since the 1980s; the south has had greater stability. My son Dan and I recently went on a medical mission to the north.…

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Foretaste of heaven

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Foretaste of heaven

His name was John Jackson but to me he was always 'Jacko'. I remember him as a small, friendly man who welcomed people in the church foyer and gave them a hymn book. He was the devoted husband of Edna and the loving father of Pat. One of his chief interests was missionary work,…

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Polycarp

Historical

April 2005
Articles > Historical

Polycarp

A church meeting is taking place in Smyrna. A resolution is passed. For the annual church outing we shall go to the local cemetery. Last February the church had lost its beloved pastor - Polycarp had died a martyr at the hands of the persecuting Roman authority. Now the congregation decides to meet at…

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True worship

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

True worship

And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, 'We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because you have taken your great power and reigned' (Revelation 11:16-17). Most people think about…

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Comment

Article

April 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment

In the world of nature, the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused havoc to many nations and countless people. In our own land we have recently experienced a hurricane, and unprecedented rainfall. Someone told me the other day that in Skye we have not had a fully dry day for six months! The…

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The Cutting Edge

Article

April 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Cutting Edge

Is physical healing part of the gospel, the birthright of every believer? Last month we began to examine this common but mistaken claim - and saw that the New Testament miracles were authenticating signs that demonstrated historically that Jesus was the promised Messiah. We continue now by considering the ministry and teaching of the…

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Guest Column

Article

March 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

Post-midnight meditations (2)It is another of those nights when sleep eludes me and I am restless both mentally and physically. The day did not work out as I had planned. One thing after another crowded in upon me, demanding attention and pushing further down the list the things that really mattered. To rub salt…

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Hudson Taylor

Historical

March 2005
Articles > Historical

Hudson Taylor

Part 2 – part 1 is here 2. Reaping in joy by Jonathan Bayes Hudson Taylor landed at Shanghai on 1 March 1854. He quickly discovered that the missionary society that had brought him to China was incompetent. No accommodation had been arranged, finances were inadequate and planning was a shambles. Worst of all,…

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True worship

Article

March 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

True worship

Requirements for worship ‘When you come to appear before me, who has required this from your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices. Incense is an abomination to me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies — I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting’ (Isaiah 1:12-13). Looking…

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Article

March 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment

Tell it as it isIn this month’s Missionary Spotlight an experienced Australian missionary working in Papua New Guinea (PNG) says: ‘Large numbers of church-going Papua New Guineans remain in false belief and, therefore, unbelief. "Churches" are brimming with people, but many of them do not know what the gospel of Christ is about’. This…

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Missionary Spotlight – Bible translation

Article

March 2005
General

Missionary Spotlight – Bible translation

Ethnic minorities often make headlines in the secular press but not often enough in Christian circles. However, our concern for such people-groups is an indication of how seriously we take the last instructions of the one we call Lord. Jesus told his disciples to go to the ethnos and make disciples of them —…

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The call

Article

March 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The call

These days, there seem to be very few real preachers approaching Bible colleges for training. Friends of mine have spoken to leaders in several colleges who all lament the same lack. Why is this?'Ah' say some, 'it's a sing of God's judgement; there's a famine of the Word of God in the land'. Well,…

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News

March 2005
News

Titan – mission accomplished

When the Huygens space probe landed on Titan on Friday 14 January 2005 it was hailed as one of the most successful missions in the history of space exploration. This mission, to the largest of Saturn's thirty-one moons, sought to gather information about Titan's surface and atmosphere.The Huygens probe was in essence a robot…

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Missionary Spotlight – What kind of missionaries?

Article

March 2005
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – What kind of missionaries?

I was recently asked, ‘What kind of missionaries are needed in Papua New Guinea (PNG) today?’ PNG first had Anglican and London Missionary Society missionaries well over a century ago, and many argue they are no longer needed, but as I travel in both rural and urban areas I get a different perspective —…

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The Marian martyrs

Historical

March 2005
Articles > Historical

The Marian martyrs

1. John Rogers and the persecution Four hundred and fifty years ago on 4 February 1555 John Rogers was tied to a post in Smithfield, London, firewood was heaped around him and he was burned to death — because he was an evangelical Christian.   In the next three and a half years nearly…

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The Cutting Edge

Article

March 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Cutting Edge

The gospel of healing: 1by Nigel T. FaithfullA young Christian asked me for advice concerning some friends. They believe the Bible teaches that Jesus died not only to provide forgiveness for our sins, but also to heal all our physical diseases - Isaiah 53:5 was quoted to support their viewpoint.It is a subject on…

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With boldness

Article

March 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

With boldness

Peter and John were ‘uneducated, common men’ — yet they were bold (Acts 4:13). They were brought before the great council of Israel, a distinguished body that included Annas the high priest and Caiaphas. The two young disciples of Jesus were going to have to answer for the incredible healing of a man who…

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Missionary Spotlight – Will the real Papua New Guinea please stand up!

Article

March 2005
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Will the real Papua New Guinea please stand up!

PNG is a land of contrasts – the lowland jungle, mountains five kilometres high, white-water rivers and huge meandering waterways snaking their way to the ocean. A nation of 10,000 tribes, more than 700 distinct languages and numerous dialects, its five million people are found in cities, towns and countless stone-age villages, scattered throughout…

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Where is God when things go wrong?

Article

March 2005
Evangelistic

Where is God when things go wrong?

The appalling devastation following the recent tsunamis in south-east Asia have had countless people asking the age-old question, ‘Where is God when things go wrong?’A reader’s letter published in the Daily Telegraph put into print the conclusion reached by many: ‘Those with religious beliefs are surely right to consider that a national disaster is…

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The death that gives us life

Article

March 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

The death that gives us life

'Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit".…

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Consider him!

Article

March 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Consider him!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men’ (Hebrews -12:2-3).What stands out on the very surface of this great letter…

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Article

February 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment-ET International

Readers may have noticed that our first-ever international edition - Evangelical Times International (ETI) - has now been launched. ETI is a quarterly, 16-page newspaper designed for low-cost air-mailing overseas. It contains news items, book reviews and accessible articles on theological, historical, devotional and biblical themes relevant to all Evangelicals. The articles are mainly,…

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Cracking the code

Article

February 2005
Cults and other religions

Cracking the code

A review of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (London: Corgi Books, 2003)Some time ago I was attending a conference in Boston when I overheard a minister complain about the divisions in her congregation. In one corner were the Left Behind readers, she lamented - narrow-minded fundamentalists and rabid supporters of George Bush's foreign…

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Article

February 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Who wrote the Bible?

Channel 4's offering for the night when many were celebrating the Saviour's birth was in keeping with its policy of broadcasting controversial material. It was a programme designed to 'free' viewers from the shackles of blind faith by showing the 'historic truth' about the Bible's origins.This truth, according to the programme, has been known…

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Guest Column-Post-midnight meditations 1

Article

February 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column-Post-midnight meditations 1

It has been another crowded day and very late night and my mind is in turmoil. So much has been pressing in upon me, so many things demanding my attention, that now, in the early hours of the morning, I cannot sleep. What am I to do? Count sheep? Of course not! I recall…

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Missionary Spotlight-Reformed literature in Mexico

Article

February 2005
Mexico

Missionary Spotlight-Reformed literature in Mexico

I was converted around the age of 12, having grown up in a pastor’s home and known the Scriptures from a young age. When I was 15 the Lord began to deal directly with me regarding a call to preach his Word. On the recommendation of my father and pastor, I enrolled in Bible…

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Religious hatred laws

Article

February 2005
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Religious hatred laws

When a character in ITV's Coronation Streetthreatened to hit another over the head with a statue of the elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesh, the soap opera precipitated a religious row. The Hindu Forum of Britain complained that the revered statue was wielded as a weapon.Even soap operas are in the eye of the current storm…

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Missionary Spotlight-Argentine

Article

February 2005
Argentina

Missionary Spotlight-Argentine

 God has been faithful to our small mission work in Argentine. We have come to realise more clearly than ever that God saves people ‘where they are’. Their sins and ignorance, and the consequences of previous bad teaching, must be handled with a gospel spirit. If you think it should be easy to maintain…

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News

February 2005
News

Christian Hymns

Daniel Webber reviews the revised edition of a well-loved hymn book.It is probably a sign of the times in which we live that the most predictable outcome of the appearance of a new hymn book is that it would court controversy. Moreover, the fact that the volume is actually a revision of an older,…

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True Worship

Article

February 2005
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

True Worship

'Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our maker' (Psalm 95:2). In spite of the many styles and forms of worship available today, there is great confusion on this subject. We do well, therefore, to consider what the Bible teaches about worship, for it is our only…

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Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

Historical

February 2005
Articles > Historical

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

Part 1 of 2 parts Part 2 is here God so loved the world ‘There will be a story at the commencement, and a sermon or moral at the close. I will take the former and leave the latter for those who like it’. So said Hudson Taylor to himself one June afternoon in…

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My testimony – God’s grace

Article

February 2005
Evangelistic

My testimony – God’s grace

My early years were lived on a council estate in Leeds, with my mother and two brothers. None of us really knew or had anything to do with our father. My sister was born some years later. My mother did the best she could to provide for us but it was extremely difficult for…

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The Free Church of England

News

February 2005
News

The Free Church of England

The Free Church of England (FCE) has 24 congregations in two dioceses, North and South. Its Declaration of Principles and 39 Articles (slightly amended from those of the national church) mark it out as thoroughly Protestant and Evangelical.In most services a prayer book almost identical with the 1662 Book of Common Prayeris used, but…

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Missionary Spotlight-Brazil – growth and challenge

Article

February 2005
Brazil

Missionary Spotlight-Brazil – growth and challenge

God has graciously blessed the FIEL ministry (reformed literature translated into Portuguese). Today there are many pastors in the Reformed constituency in Brazil who a few years ago were ignorant of the doctrines of grace. The real growth began 20 years ago, with the first FIEL Conference held in Atibaia, when Prof. Edgar Andrews…

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The Da Vinci Code

Article

February 2005
Cults and other religions

The Da Vinci Code

Last month I reviewed Dan Brown's best-selling 'historical' novel, The Da Vinci Code, and showed that it is fiction with very little basis of fact. We now turn to Brown's alleged historical sources.Brown relies on the so-called Gnostic Gospels, none of which can be dated in the first century and none of which can…

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Chalkegate

Article

February 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Chalkegate

This is not a review of Steve Chalke's much-debated book, The lost message of Jesus. Several helpful critiques have appeared (for example in the June and October editions of Evangelicals Now).The bottom line is that the 'lost message' which the author has rediscovered turns out to be none other than a classic, liberal, social…

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Zambia’s day of opportunity

Article

January 2005
Zambia

Zambia’s day of opportunity

Everything will be revealed at the judgement seat of Christ and we must judge nothing before the time. Nevertheless, we are right to look into the history of the great enterprise of Christ in the earth and seek to understand our present situation and how we reached it. I believe that this is especially…

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Missions – a perennial problem

Article

January 2005
Philippines

Missions – a perennial problem

When a young pastor named Rey married, he and his wife settled in a small village on the island of Panay in the Philippines. He had trained for the ministry and later embraced the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace. His mother-in-law donated a piece of ground for a church building and they were able…

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Missionary Spotlight-Christ in the Himalayas

Article

January 2005
Nepal

Missionary Spotlight-Christ in the Himalayas

Undoubtedly, the most significant story in the Nepali church of the last 20 years is the movement to Christ of a large number of Tamangs. The Tamang people live mostly in hill districts surrounding the Kathmandu valley. Speaking a pair of related languages, they are thought to have originated from Tibet and migrated into…

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Missionary Spotlight-Church growth

Article

January 2005
Nepal

Missionary Spotlight-Church growth

Just over 50 years ago a Nepali Brahman and his family walked across the border from India up into the hills – to return to the house and land they had abandoned a decade before because of a smallpox epidemic. While in India, Buddhi Sagar had met an evangelist by the name of David…

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News

January 2005
News

Why did Bush win?

George Bush's 2004 electoral victory, when he won both the electoral college and popular vote, may well be down to one unexpected but key reason - many who voted for him did so with moral issues uppermost in their minds. If this is indeed the case, then this election is historic - it consigns…

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Would Bernard of Clairvaux have gone to my church?

Historical

January 2005
Articles > Historical

Would Bernard of Clairvaux have gone to my church?

We who call ourselves 'evangelical' like to identify great men of the past and perhaps think, 'he would have gone to my church'. Charles Spurgeon, for example - if he hadn't been the 'prince of preachers' in a former age, I'm sure he would have gone to my church.If George Whitefield hadn't have been…

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The Da Vinci Code – fact or fiction?

Article

January 2005
Cults and other religions

The Da Vinci Code – fact or fiction?

Dan Brown's 'historical' novel The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003 and has topped the best-seller lists ever since. A year after its publication, it had sold almost six million hardback copies. The movie is on the way, directed by Ron Howard.The book is a gripping murder mystery, with an extraordinary number of…

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Article

January 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Victim or victor?

‘Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled’ (Hebrews 12:14-15). Everyone knows that weeds grow more readily than flowers or fruit.…

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Led by the Spirit

Article

January 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Led by the Spirit

'But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I…

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Guest Column-Indispensable Intercession

Article

January 2005
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column-Indispensable Intercession

My conviction that I should write on this subject has been confirmed by two things. First, I recently finished reading a book describing some of the sufferings and brutal imprisonment endured by believers belonging to the many house churches in China.Second, in my daily reading I have just read Psalm 74 where the writer…

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Preaching Christ

Article

January 2005
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching Christ

In concluding this series, I want to outline two sermons from Old Testament passages that, at first sight, are 'obscure' as regards their Christological content. May they encourage us all to find 'Christ in all the Scriptures'.The reproach of EgyptOur first sermon is based on Joshua 5 and could be entitled, 'The reproach of…

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Missionary Spotlight

Article

January 2005
Nepal

Missionary Spotlight

Scaling mountains in Nepal Until 1940 Christianity was prohibited in Nepal. But in 1950 Nepali Christians living in Darjeeling, north-east India, brought the gospel into the country and won a few people for Christ. A number of other Christian missions were active from that time, including the International Nepal Fellowship (formerly Nepal Evangelistic Band)…

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Article

January 2005
Nepal

Missionary Spotlight-The power of the Word

The narrator is one of three Tamang men whose ministries the Lord has blessed to their fellow people. As there is official opposition to Christians in Nepal this narrative preserves the anonymity of those concerned. In 1967 two women Bible translators arrived from Australia and travelled to my district. They asked the Chief District…

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Urban Mission-blessing at Hull fair

News

January 2005
News

Urban Mission-blessing at Hull fair

The city of Hull has a population of well over a quarter of a million people. Each year it plays host to a week-long fair, one of the largest in Europe. Thousands of people come from far and wide to enjoy the fun. During this time the Open-Air Mission witnesses to lost souls, both…

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Article

January 2005
Articles > Comment

Comment-Priorities and pluralism

This issue of ET focuses on mission - a fitting subject for the dawn of a New Year, half a decade into the new millennium. Evangelicals must not forget the Great Commission from the risen Lord: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature' (Mark 16:15). While there remains one…

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Historical

January 2005
Articles > Historical

Surprising conversions

A correspondent writes:I enjoyed the story of penicillin in the article 'Does God perform miracles today?' by Prof. Rendle-Short in the October 2004 issues of ET. Given that the doctrine of God's sovereign election - diligently promoted by the editors of ET - implies that every conversion of a soul to Christ is a…

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