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Everything in 2006 issue

Making sense of life

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Making sense of life

William Wade is on the staff of SASRA, an evangelistic organisation working among Army and RAF personnel. This is his personal story.'You're all sinners!' The pastor of the small church was passionate as he preached. Actually, I had no problem with being called a sinner. I was in a world of trouble. I had…

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Building on sand

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Building on sand

I had good parents but ours was not a God-fearing home. I was sent to Sunday school at a little Wesleyan chapel in Abercarn but it made little impression on me.I started work at fifteen. There was little choice in those days, it was either the mines or the tinplate works. I went to…

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Brave new world

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Brave new world

For me, religion was not Christianity - it was football. During the long summer months, from eight in the morning until eight at night, it was football, building dens and going fishing. Religion was the last thing on my mind. At school, the Religious Education teacher was always mocked. They taught evolution in one…

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Wings over Darfur

Article

December 2006
Sudan

Wings over Darfur

The humanitarian crisis in Darfur has affected millions of people. Many have died through the war and its consequences. Disease and starvation are rife. Since 2003, two million people have fled the region. Many seek refuge in displaced people’s camps in neighbouring Chad; others make their homes elsewhere in Sudan. Christian relief organisation Safe…

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Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Teen testimony -afraid to sleep

I was born and brought up in a Christian family and I have been going to church since I was very young. When I was eight I asked God to forgive my sins because I didn't want to go to hell, but nothing changed in my life.Over the next few years I sat through…

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I cast a spell

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

I cast a spell

In my teens I found myself drawn to books about eastern philosophies, the occult and new age. Under the surface I harboured a deep unhappiness but I drowned these feelings with alcohol, drugs and comfort eating.I thought suicide might be a way out. Once during an argument I tried to get out of a…

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Top priority

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Top priority

Every day we face a barrage of things that need to be done - work, meetings, shopping, phone calls, cleaning, DIY, people to see, books to read, and so on. The only way to cope is to set priorities and deal with the important issues first. But, how do we know what is important?…

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Nothing made sense

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Nothing made sense

I came from a good working class home and left school at fifteen - when a lot of questions suddenly seemed important to me. Who am I? Where do I fit into the scheme of things? Can we find happiness in a world where most people are out for themselves? Nothing really made sense.Religion,…

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A glorious thought

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

A glorious thought

Sandi's story I was in hospital suffering from depression. Hearing that I wanted to attend church, a fellow patient invited me to go to hers.I was not brought up as a Christian, so when I first entered Spring Road Church in Southampton I found it strange that there were no stained glass windows, crosses…

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What’s your problem?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

What’s your problem?

Many people get annoyed if someone tries to talk to them about Christ. 'Religion is a private matter', they say, 'so keep it to yourself!'But Christianity is not private at all - according to Jesus it is a message to be proclaimed to the whole wide world (Mark 16:15)! The apostle Paul took this…

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Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Toy story

'In my opinion', said the Teddy Bear, 'Christmas is overrated'.'Yeah', chipped in the Barbie Doll in a frilly dress, 'It's just an excuse for a party. But, heh! There's nothing wrong with that, is there?' 'We're all robots', gloomily intoned the shiny mechanical figure (made in Japan); 'Just robots, nothing more'.The toy shop was…

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Free the slaves!

Historical

December 2006
Articles > Historical

Free the slaves!

John Newton was the only son of a sea captain who owned a small fleet of trading vessels. Captain Newton planned a rugged upbringing for John. He left boarding school as soon as he was old enough for his first taste of life at sea - in a vessel trading round Mediterranean ports.At seventeen…

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Led to find Christ

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Led to find Christ

I came to England from China for a short stay. One morning, I was trying to place a large bag of garbage into a bin outside the place where I was staying. I was struggling with the bag but a Chinese man passing by kindly volunteered to help me. I discovered later that he…

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Guru-mania, or finding your roots

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Guru-mania, or finding your roots

Our 'mobile' generation, ever on the move, has developed a powerful sense of its own rootlessness. So it's not surprising that discovering our family roots has become a major pastime. Surpassing the nation's fitness fads, cooking concerns, and a myriad other self-help gigs, genealogical research (GR) is now big business.A simple search for 'genealogical…

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What if Jesus had never been born?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

What if Jesus had never been born?

On one of my overseas trips an in-flight documentary caught my attention. An anthropologist was waxing eloquent about the 'incredibly advanced Mayan civilization' of Central America in the 15th century. They didn't have a written language, but they were 'incredibly advanced'.The Mayans built spectacular pyramid temples - all without the wheel! Of course, they…

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A tale of two Women

Historical

December 2006
Articles > Historical

A tale of two Women

Both women lived in the eighteenth century. Both were highly gifted. Both had marriages arranged for them at a young age. But there the resemblance ends.Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), was acclaimed for her beauty, style, wit, intelligence and strength of character. One of the top ten celebrities in the nation, she was…

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Help! I’m allergic to God

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Help! I’m allergic to God

The medical columnist of a USA newspaper received an unusual letter. The writer complained of a phobia that sounds strange but may be more common than we think! She claimed that whenever she went to a church she felt weak and dizzy, and within a few minutes began to perspire. Her doctor had suggested…

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The humiliation of God

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

The humiliation of God

The humiliation of God is not the first thing that springs to mind when we think of Christmas. The mood of the season is festive. The carols we sing speak of the King of heaven coming to earth to usher in a reign of peace. Even the familiar nativity scenes are cosy and attractive…

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Christmas was an ugly holiday!

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Christmas was an ugly holiday!

As a Jew I believed that Christians worshipped a pagan God. I was offended by their faith and aggressive towards anyone who tried to share it with me. I used to mock my Christian co-workers, telling them that Christmas was an ugly holiday that celebrated the murder of young Jewish children by King Herod.…

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A Christmas message from Peter Jensen Archbishop of Sydney

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

A Christmas message from Peter Jensen Archbishop of Sydney

The madness of choiceAny visitor to the USA will comment on the same thing - the huge variety of choice available. I am a simple man with simple tastes. Trying to order a sandwich in the US is a nightmare. For years now, all I have wanted from a sandwich is two pieces of…

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Love of a Father

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Love of a Father

I've heard it said that everyone looks for God at some point in their life. For me it was 28 August 1999 - although it was really God who came looking for me. I wasn't prepared for what it would be like to meet God. Religious studies at school had given me no clue,…

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Who is Jesus Christ?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Who is Jesus Christ?

Earlier this year the British press had a field day with a story about BBC television newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky. It seems that she and her husband were declined an upgrade at a sumptuous hotel in Agra, India, close to the Taj Mahal. She asked the receptionist, 'Do you know who I am?' The answer…

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Article

December 2006
Bulgaria

Christmas in Bulgaria

Many people of all ages in Bulgaria live below the poverty line, experiencing hunger and illness yet remaining neglected. Some have been bedridden for years in poverty and hunger. Each Christmas, Siloam Christian Ministries joins with local Christians to alleviate this suffering. Relief gift parcels supply food staples such as rice, lentils, macaroni and…

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Love actually

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Love actually

The film Love actually begins dramatically - the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 sent only messages of love before they died. Their last act was to tell family or friends, 'Never forget I love you - thank you for loving me'. Love is that important. Christmas is a good time for many…

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Simply the best?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Simply the best?

'Simply the best' - so goes the refrain of a popular song. Everything has to be the best. There's no room for modesty in today's competitive world!We want our children to be the best at reading or swimming - to attend the best schools and later get the best jobs. The education system contributes…

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And is it true?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

And is it true?

John Betjeman, a Poet Laureate born 100 years ago, was one of Britain's greatest twentieth century poets. He loved our country and its great Christian heritage. He prized our traditions and institutions. He admired the fine old buildings and churches. He wrote extensively about the countryside.But although Betjeman loved to attend church services, he…

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SANTA or Saviour?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

SANTA or Saviour?

Who takes centre stage at Christmas? Many would answer, 'Santa Claus'. The friendly bearded man dressed in a red suit, who gives out presents to children, seems to be everywhere at Christmas-time! In advertising, greetings cards, Hollywood films, and shopping centres - Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) is increasingly the focus of the festivities.…

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Designer humans

Article

December 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Designer humans

I once designed a small knife - a slender rod with a tiny razor-sharp blade at the end. One of my students came across the knife and started using it to cut up card. I stopped him and explained that the knife was designed for something far more important - a life-saving surgical operation…

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Enabled to believe

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Enabled to believe

Peter's storyI was brought up in a Christian home and attended church, but when I went to college I began hanging out with friends on Sundays, following nights out in pubs and clubs. I was living the life that most young people are accustomed to in this country. I had my fair share of…

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Wages or gift?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

Wages or gift?

A long time ago, when I worked as a wages clerk in the Coal Industry, I went to various collieries on Friday mornings to give the miners their wages. They didn't touch their caps and cry, 'Thank you for your kindness young sir - how can I ever repay you?'That packet I gave them…

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FAQ Fight Al Qaeda? Fix All Quibbles?Free Albert Quinn?

Article

December 2006
Evangelistic

FAQ Fight Al Qaeda? Fix All Quibbles?Free Albert Quinn?

None of the above (who is Albert Quinn anyway?) If you're into computers you will know that FAQ means Frequently Asked Questions. But here Professor Edgar Andrews answers some FAQs you won't find on the internet.Q. You look intelligent. So how can you believe the Bible?A. I believe the Bible first and foremost because…

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Counting heads in Jamaica

Article

November 2006
Jamaica

Counting heads in Jamaica

The Christian church in Jamaica has strong colonial roots. The Spanish colonisers of the sixteenth century were followed by Roman Catholic priests; their English successors by Anglican clergymen. During the eighteenth century, Moravians, Baptists and Methodists became established; ministering mainly to the slave population. The population census of 2001 collected data on denominational affiliation…

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Article

November 2006
Scientific (including creation)

From Darwin to Christ

Public schools in USA are off limits to religion, but that didn't stop Tom DeRosa. As a science instructor during the 1970s in a large Florida public school system, DeRosa used his classroom to present his devoutly held views about God and creation. No one objected.He was free to push evolution and oppose divine…

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The path to paradise – Christ or Muhammad?

Article

November 2006
Cults and other religions

The path to paradise – Christ or Muhammad?

The BBC2 two-part screening of The Path to 9/11 (10-11 September 2006) was compulsive viewing. It was impossible to miss the purely religious motivation of the Muslim terrorists. Despite the depressing 'PC' discussion that followed on Newsnight, when we again heard that the majority of Muslims reject the violent activities of their more fanatical…

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News

November 2006
News

A call for Christian risk

By removing eternal risk, Christ calls his people to continual temporal risk. For the followers of Jesus the final risk is gone. 'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:1). 'Neither death nor life ... will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus…

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Loving the imperfect church

Article

November 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Loving the imperfect church

Attending the local Evangelical church had been a revelation to Sal. Brought up in a one-parent home with an agnostic mother, and brothers who were self-confessed atheists, it had been a new world to her. What struck her first - before anything the preacher said - was the people's warmth. Unlike others she had…

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Article

November 2006
Jamaica

Jamaica’s religions

Jamaica has a number of mainly home-grown religions — some are syncretistic between Christianity and animism. The most important cult is Pocomania. Its meetings are frenzied — with prayers, dances and rhythmic drumming. Adherents go into a trance, aided by rum and ganja (marijuana/cannabis). The most African of the cults is Kumina. It is…

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Article

November 2006
Jamaica

Jamaica fact file

Location: The third largest island in the Caribbean Sea, lying south of Cuba. Area: 4244 square miles.Environment: Jamaica is mountainous (Blue Mountain Peak, 2256m) and prone to earthquakes and hurricanes. It has a tropical climate.Population: 2.8 million. Another 1.3 million have emigrated to North America and UK.Infant mortality rate: 16/1000 live births. Life expectancy:…

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Reaching into Jamaica

Article

November 2006
Jamaica

Reaching into Jamaica

From a historical perspective, Jamaica is an island that has been reached with the gospel. We have freedom of religion; the population has access to thousands of churches; and Jamaica claims to be a Christian nation. However, there are still opportunities for missionaries to labour here, especially in the areas of theological education and…

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Evolution at school

Article

November 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Evolution at school

‘Turn to page 104; we are going to study how the atmosphere formed 2000 million years ago!’ This is a typical opening for lessons in Religious Studies, Geography and the Sciences. Most of us have to listen to teachers promoting Evolution or the Big Bang. But how should Christians react when being taught these…

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Got any gunpowder?

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Got any gunpowder?

Remember, remember The fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason Why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot ... Why ever does the nursery rhyme tell us to remember this particular day? Today 5 November is all about bonfires, firework displays and toffee apples - and very enjoyable it is. But…

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TV and the Christian

Article

November 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

TV and the Christian

Without question, television is the icon of our age. Along with the internet, it is a major driving force in our culture and a major influence in our lives. Some years ago an industrial dispute threatened to black out the TV Christmas schedules. The dispute was rapidly settled - the idea that the nation's…

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Beach Mission what it felt like

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Beach Mission what it felt like

Believe me, I had my doubts. Would there actually be people willing to talk about 'religious stuff'? Don't most people go abroad on holiday now? I'm only a teenager; would I really be any use? And would I have the guts to go up and talk to people? These were some of the questions…

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Article

November 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Truth in Science

Truth in Science (TiS) - an organisation promoting good science teaching - was launched on 20 September. TiS' stated aim is to campaign for honesty and fairness in UK science classrooms in the teaching of origins. For a very long time most teaching on this subject has been dogmatic and biased. Darwinian evolution has…

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The water of life 4. Born of the Spirit

Article

November 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The water of life 4. Born of the Spirit

'The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit' (John 3:8). The Holy Spirit's dealings with the soul begin with the new birth - a gracious, mysterious and sovereign work…

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Guest Column – The importance of Christian arithmetic

Article

November 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – The importance of Christian arithmetic

I think it was Dr Jim Packer who taught me the importance of Christian arithmetic. It is quite simple - to add is to subtract. When something is perfect for its purpose, to add to it is to subtract from it and even to destroy its usefulness. It is, of course, the same point…

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Summer sharing

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Summer sharing

Throughout the summer there are various organisations that enable Christians of all ages to go out in UK and even other lands to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.This summer I took part in the United Beach Mission at Benllech on Anglesey, working with other like-minded Christians to take the…

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Evangelicalism in Jamaica

Article

November 2006
Jamaica

Evangelicalism in Jamaica

Roman Catholicism came to Jamaica in 1494 during Christopher Columbus’ second expedition from Spain. In 1655 the Spaniards were driven out of the island by the British, who introduced Anglicanism. Evangelical Christianity arrived in the eighteenth century with the Moravians. They were opposed to slavery, which had been introduced by the Spaniards and continued…

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Emergent and the rule of life

Article

November 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Emergent and the rule of life

Last month I began to explore how the 'emergent church' promotes Roman Catholic mysticism among its 'evangelical' adherents - citing particularly Tony Jones' recent book, Soul shaper: Exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry. Jones is the US National Coordinator of 'Emergent-US' and minister to youth at Colonial Church of Edina, Minnesota. He…

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Sex in society

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Sex in society

Sex! Excellent, we're awake. Good morning at the back there. Real sensitive issue here but one I wanted to raise in the youth supplement but no one else wanted to write about. However, I would like to point out I am no expert and I'm not going to go dishing out advice - because…

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Article

November 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment – More blessed to give

One saying of the Lord Jesus Christ is easily overlooked: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'. The words are easily missed because they are found nowhere in the four Gospels! They actually occur in Acts 20:35 at the end of Paul's farewell to the elders of the church at Ephesus. He…

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Spending time with God

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Spending time with God

When I first heard that Christians do 'quiet times' - time set aside every day to spend time reading and praying with God - I thought I would never be able to keep it up. But hard as it may be to fit God into our busy lives it's absolutely essential. When we love…

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Cliff top conversion

News

November 2006
News > Youth Features

Cliff top conversion

My name's Bethany but a lot of my friends call me Beth. I was born into a Christian home and have always been to church. Doesn't sound exciting does it? Nothing too radical, dangerous or adventurous in my life, is there? But don't judge a book by its cover. I've had the most radical…

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FIEL’s fourth Brazilian youth conference

Article

October 2006
Brazil

FIEL’s fourth Brazilian youth conference

The vision to have a reformed conference for Brazilian youth arose out of two issues. First, we were concerned about the increasing apathy and superficiality in the Brazilian evangelical church and in Christian youth in general. Secondly, we knew that some young people went to great lengths to attend Editora Fiel’s (a reformed publisher in the…

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News

October 2006
News

Just a servant!

New Tribes Mission reports the death of Indonesian missionary Elisa Bowa. Graham Castle writes - he was a humble, gentle man who had a heart to serve the Lord; 'I'm just a servant!' is what he would say to me.He once told me, 'Had not missionaries come to my tribe when I was a…

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News

October 2006
News

‘Sign of the cross’

Scottish prosecutors have been criticised for cautioning the Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc for crossing himself during a match against Rangers. Polish born Boruc was cautioned for a breach of the peace over the incident at an Old Firm match at Ibrox in February. The Catholic Church called the caution 'worrying and alarming' as the…

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Missionary Spotlight- Creation ministry in India

Article

October 2006
India

Missionary Spotlight- Creation ministry in India

Earlier this year I visited India and was deeply impressed with that vast nation of a billion people. It is a country of immense contrasts – poverty and yet industriousness; good communications and yet chaos in the cities; the tranquillity of the Ganges and yet the incessant noise of traffic. We asked one of…

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News

October 2006
News

Zimbabwe’s dire state

Church leaders in Zimbabwe say that almost nothing has been done to re-house 700,000 people who lost their homes and livelihoods in massive demolitions last year. At the time the Zimbabwean government said the destruction was to clean up cities, but many believe it was designed to demoralise President Mugabe's political opponents.Kirk Moderator loses…

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Solid progress in Port Harcourt

News

October 2006
News

Solid progress in Port Harcourt

The Reformed Tabernacle in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, hosted their first youth conference, on 7-8 August. Its theme was 'Biblical foundations for Christian living - in the home, church and society'. The attendance was encouraging, with 100 young people present and 17 churches represented.Pastor Alan Levy and his wife Mary, of Penyrheol Free Church, Swansea,…

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On site- witness in the workplace

Article

October 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

On site- witness in the workplace

Witness for Christ in the workplace is one of the hardest things we face as Christians. We know we are called to be witnesses for our Lord wherever we are, yet we struggle with 'on site' witnessing.Somehow, whipping out a gospel tract at the office business meeting - or in the shed with the…

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News

October 2006
News

Literature evangelism – any takers?

Chester presents extraordinary opportunities for evangelism. While local people flock in regularly to the shops, a further 6 million visitors of many different nationalities pass through its historic centre each year.As one with a strong interest in world mission, especially among Moslem peoples, Ian Cameron-Swan welcomed retirement from full-time employment nine years ago as…

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Cush for Christ

Article

October 2006
Kenya

Cush for Christ

Psalm 68:31 says, ‘Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God’. However, ‘Ethiopia’ here is a translation of the Hebrew word ‘Cush’. Among the several pastoral Cushite peoples in the deserts of Northern Kenya are the Rendille, with their fascinating cultural background. It is probable that the Rendille were influenced by black Ethiopian Jews…

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News

October 2006
News

Hindu temple

The largest Hindu temple in Europe has opened in the West Midlands with priests performing a number of rituals to sanctify the £6.5m Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple of the UK in Tividale. The temple's design is based on one of the holiest sites in the Hindu world, the Tirupati-Tirumala Temple in India. Scores of…

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Article

October 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Salt and Light

One wonderful aspect of the Bible is the sheer diversity of people and personalities within its pages. It does not matter what kind of person you are, you will find someone like you within the Scriptures. The full range of human-ness can be discovered in the pages of God's book.This ought to encourage Christians…

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News

October 2006
News

Gay police advert under investigation

The Gay Police Association (GPA) is being investigated by Scotland Yard for an advert that blamed religion for an increase in homophobic crime. The advertisement depicted a Bible beside a pool of blood under the heading ‘In the name of the Father’. The police are believed to have received over 40,000 complaints about the…

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Lampeter Evangelical Church’s twenty-fifth

News

October 2006
News

Lampeter Evangelical Church’s twenty-fifth

On the weekend of 2-3 September special services were held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Lampeter Evangelical Church (Eglwys Efengylaidd Llanbed), at Ceredigion in west Wales. The church was established in 1981. Although at one time it was in danger of closing, it has seen substantial growth over the last decade. The anniversary…

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Guest Column – What is evangelism?

Article

October 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – What is evangelism?

The Bible uses many different terms to describe evangelism - such as, ­proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, preaching Christ, fishing for men, bearing fruit, the aroma of Christ, the ministry of reconciliation and declaring the wonderful deeds of God. However, so complex is the subject and so varied are the means, that Christianity has…

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Are street children trash?

Article

October 2006
General

Are street children trash?

Many consider street children to be trash. Local businessmen in Brazil call them ‘vermin’ and ‘garbage’. They say, ‘If we let them grow up they will become criminals — a blight on our society’. From time to time some have even hired assassins to kill them. A staggering 160 million extremely underprivileged street children…

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God loves music

Article

October 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

God loves music

An extract from 'Can we rock the gospel?' by John Blanchard and Dan Lucarini - a new book from Evangelical Press on music in worship and evangelism God loves music. We say this not because either of us has a vested interest in securing God's backing for our ministries nor because we want to…

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News

October 2006
News

Firefighters sent for ‘diversity training’

In an astonishing act of patronising PC-ness, nine Scottish firefighters, disciplined for refusing to hand out leaflets at a gay pride event, have been earmarked by superiors for a ‘diversity training’ course. One of the firefighters involved was demoted from a watch manager to crew manager with a £5000 salary cut and the others…

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Encouraging news from Africa

Article

October 2006
Zambia

Encouraging news from Africa

This year’s Zambian Reformed Family Conference and School of Theology were held in Lusaka from 21-25 August. The keynote address was given by Choolwe Mwetwa, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Chingola, Zambia. He showed from Romans 8 how true spiritual assurance comes from reflecting upon the eternal dimensions of our salvation. Guest preachers…

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Stanton Lees Chapel Bible School

News

October 2006
News

Stanton Lees Chapel Bible School

Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel and giving up your Christian commitment?Personal failure, hostility from the world and painful disagreements with other Christians may all point in that direction, yet God has given powerful encouragements in his Word to counteract setbacks and urge us on in the Christian life. That was…

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The water of life3. The Spirit and pastoral preaching

Article

October 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The water of life3. The Spirit and pastoral preaching

We began this short series by considering the Holy Spirit in evangelism (ET, August) and continued last month with the Spirit and the church at worship. But I have so far made little reference to a central feature of evangelical worship, namely, pastoral preaching.Of course, as we saw in August, gospel preaching lies at…

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Historical

October 2006
Articles > Historical

Arthur Pink’s paper flock

In July 1952 a somewhat strange and reclusive man was buried in Scotland, at Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis. Probably few of his neighbours knew that Arthur W. Pink was the spiritual leader of a 'paper flock' scattered around the English-speaking world - devoted readers to whom he ministered through his journal Studies…

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A far more positive response

News

October 2006
News

A far more positive response

Pastor Jonathan Bond recounts his church’s first experience of using ET’s evangelistic Christmas issue. Jennyfield Evangelical Church (JEC) is a small church (30-plus members) seeking to share the gospel on an estate in Harrogate (N. Yorks.) with well over 3000 homes. With the exception of a small Saturday night meeting run by the local…

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Aber 2006

News

October 2006
News

Aber 2006

The main addresses in this year's Evangelical Movement of Wales conference (August 14-18), at Aberystwyth, were given by Joel Beeke, pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Church, Michigan. They were on - Jesus' cross-bearing and ours, Jesus' office-bearing and ours, Jesus' tears and ours, and Jesus' endurance and ours. His ministry led to much discussion;…

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Gideon- faith in crisis

Article

October 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Gideon- faith in crisis

Gideon was a man of faith. Make no mistake about that. But he was also a man whose faith was in crisis. He makes this clear when the Angel of the Lord appears to him (Judges 6:11-13). What was the reason for this crisis? There were two sides to it.One cause was the Midianites.…

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News

October 2006
News

Talking Bibles

Talking Bibles International, based in California, has sent 1000 new digital, solid-state Talking Bibles to the Bible Society in Malawi, Africa. The company believes these are the first digital Talking Bibles available in Africa.The Talking Bibles have a special arrangement of Scripture passages from the Old Testament as well as the entire New Testament…

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Creation ministry in India

Article

October 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Creation ministry in India

Earlier this year I visited India and was deeply impressed with that vast nation of a billion people. It is a country of immense contrasts - poverty and yet industriousness; good communications and yet chaos in the cities; the tranquillity of the Ganges and yet the incessant noise of traffic. We asked one of…

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Holy fire in Sri Lanka

News

October 2006
News

Holy fire in Sri Lanka

The people of Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Chapel (CRPC), of Colombo, Sri Lanka, had been eagerly anticipating the visit of Dr S. H. Tow (Singapore) in August to minister the Word of God and were not disappointed. For three days he expounded the Bible's teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit. Many remarked afterwards…

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Emergent and the mystics

Article

October 2006
General

Emergent and the mystics

The Vatican and the Emerging Church have something surprising in common — the promotion of mysticism. A well-known papal document reveals the heart of Roman Catholic policy in this area. ‘It [Vatican Council II] longs to set forth the way it understands the presence and function of the [Roman Catholic] Church in the world…

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News

October 2006
News

Anglican and Catholic school

The first shared faith school in Wales has begun taking students for the new academic year. St Joseph's Catholic High School in Wrexham is now known as St Joseph's Catholic and Anglican High School. The merger decision was agreed two years ago by the denominations.In what is seen as a possible precedent for future…

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Plexiglas preaching

Article

October 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Plexiglas preaching

I am committed to expository preaching. It is my unshakable conviction that the proclamation of God's Word should always be the heart and the focus of the church's ministry (2 ­Timothy 4:2). And proper biblical preaching should be systematic, expositional, theological and God-centred.Such preaching is in short supply these days. There are plenty of…

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News

October 2006
News

Bibles in China and India

Demand is rising for Bibles in China and India despite Christians there being in the minority. The People's Republic of China has an official Bible printing house. Since 1987 its press in Nanjing has turned out more than 46 million copies of the Bible and the New Testament. Official Bible distribution figures in China…

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News

October 2006
News

SNCF’s shady past

The French state railway SNCF has been asked to pay millions of euros in compensation to more than 200 families whose relatives were transported to Nazi death camps during World War II. The families have threatened to sue the company if their request is not granted. In a landmark ruling in June, a court…

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To God be the glory

Article

October 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

To God be the glory

'All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name' (Psalm 86:9).Why do we do what we do? Most of the time we probably don't analyse it. But if we pressed the question on ourselves, what would we say? For example, why do…

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News

October 2006
News

Christian Voice director arrested

The National Director of Christian Voice, a prayer and lobby group, was arrested by South Wales Police for distributing gospel tracts at a homosexual event. Stephen Green refused to stop giving out the leaflets to people entering Bute Park in Cardiff, where the 'Mardi Gras' event was being held.Mr Green was held for four…

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News

October 2006
News

Madonna

A concert by US pop star Madonna, in which she re-enacts the crucifixion, went ahead in Amsterdam despite a bomb threat. Police later arrested a 63-year-old Dutch priest who confessed to making a hoax call in an attempt to disrupt the event. The mock re-enactment of the crucifixion offended some Christians when the show…

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Article

October 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment

Evangelicals face a dilemma. The more they distance themselves from the values and lifestyles of this 'present evil age' (Galatians 1:4), the more marginalised they become and the less they are listened to.  How can we be faithful to the Lord and yet still win a lost world for Jesus Christ? How can we…

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News

September 2006
News

Britain’s addiction

A new report says almost 20% of adults across England binge drink at least double the daily recommended level in one or more sessions a week. Experts say Britain has gone from a nation 'enjoying a harmless tipple' to one developing 'a dangerous alcohol addiction'.The biggest binge drinkers live in the North East and…

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News

September 2006
News

Baptist Insurance – read the small print

Treasurers of independent Baptist churches who insure their premises with the Baptist Insurance Company PLC (BIC) may soon find themselves members of an inclusive organisation under the presidency of the Bishop of London.Unless they opt out, the church insurance group is making all its policy holders members of the Association of Church Treasurers and…

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Keswick Convention 2006

News

September 2006
News

Keswick Convention 2006

Peter Maiden, Chairman of the Keswick Convention council and Director of Operation Mobilisation, preached at the first meeting of the 2006 Convention. The conference theme was 'The church in the power of the Spirit'. 'Are our churches cross-centred?' he asked. Are we just becoming a bit more religious, adding a layer of piety to…

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Exciting progress in PNG

Article

September 2006
Papua New Guinea

Exciting progress in PNG

Missionaries Bob and George Walker and Jack Housley hiked in to visit the Bisorio people of Papua New Guinea, 24 years to the day they first presented the gospel to them in 1982. Today New Tribes Mission no longer has missionaries working among the Bisorios. The work was completed in 2000. The Bisorios express…

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Passive obedience

Article

September 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Passive obedience

'To obey is better than sacrifice' (1 Samuel 15:22) While struggling to learn New Testament Greek, I was taught to distinguish between the 'active' and 'passive' voices. My tutor's explanatory illustration has stayed with me - Active voice: think, 'Jesus healed the leper'. Passive voice: think, 'The leper was healed by Jesus'.At the very centre…

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A lifetime ministry – W. B. Forsyth at 100

Historical

September 2006
Articles > Historical

A lifetime ministry – W. B. Forsyth at 100

It is 1932 in north-east ­Brazil. A young missionary is facing a hostile crowd summoned by the Roman Catholic priest to stop him preaching. The priest calls out ‘What bishop ordained the preacher?’ The firm reply comes back, ‘The Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” ……

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Should Christians gamble?

Article

September 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Should Christians gamble?

Some time ago the front page of one of Singapore’s tabloids reported that a dishwasher lady had gambled away $92,000 of her family’s money (from the sale of a flat) by playing the jackpot and had resorted to begging from strangers to feed herself.   According to an Inland Revenue source, jackpot machines here…

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The paths of righteousness

Article

September 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The paths of righteousness

'He leads me in the paths of   righteousness' (Psalm 23:3)The Lord our shepherd leads his sheep into all righteousness. From the moment of our new birth as children of God and at each key juncture of our pilgrimage through this world - at the dawn of each new day and at every single step…

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Article

September 2006
Lebanon

MERF and Lebanon

In 1971 Lebanon was a prosperous, democratic multicultural haven in the Arab world — a centre for business, education and tourism. But sadly, the 50,000 Lebanese Protestants identified in an early 1950s census had dwindled to barely 3000 regular churchgoers. Three young believers in Beirut, of various nationalities, met regularly for prayer, Bible study…

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News

September 2006
News

Chinese demolish house church

The Chinese government's official news media reports that about 3000 Christians have been involved in clashes with the police over the demolition of an unofficial church building. The report says two people were arrested but gives no numbers of those injured. This follows claims by the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and…

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Review

September 2006
Reviews > Book

Wings Like a Dove: The Courage of Queen Jeanne D’Albret

Wings Like a Dove is the story of the only daughter of the King and Queen of the tiny kingdom of Navarre – born in the year 1528 in a Roman Catholic France that was being challenged by the rediscovery of biblical Christianity. Princess Jeanne, a lively and thoughtful child, gradually accepts this Reformation…

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Review

September 2006
Reviews > Book

The Biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

It was 1993 and I was in my final year of studies at York. A friend and I were perusing the Christian biographies in a bookshop when he took down a small paperback simply entitled Robert Murray M’Cheyne. He told me I should read it, as this man’s life was special. I stored the…

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Scientology

Article

September 2006
Cults and other religions

Scientology

'The fastest growing religious movement on earth' - that is what Scientology claims for itself. It is a staggering claim and there is no firm evidence to substantiate it. However, the official web-site reports that Scientology has 'more than 3,200 churches, missions and groups in 154 countries'.In Great Britain they claim a membership of…

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Bracknell church bids farewell

News

September 2006
News

Bracknell church bids farewell

On Sunday 23 July, Easthampstead Baptist Church in South Hill Road, Bracknell, said goodbye to its senior minister, Rev. Dane Baker, and his wife Blanche and family after sixteen years of faithful service to the church and the town.The church was full for the service, which included a 'This is your EBC Life' event…

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Article

September 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment God speaks; do we listen?

Evangelicals can never remind themselves enough of the centrality - not just importance - of Scripture. The Bible is the only book in which God has spoken (Hebrews 1:1-2). In no other place are the 'unsearchable riches' of Jesus Christ displayed and salvation found. The Scriptures are God's self-revelation in a verbal form. They…

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Evangelicals in Lebanon

Article

September 2006
Lebanon

Evangelicals in Lebanon

There are an estimated 20,000 Protestants in Lebanon. These comprise Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Church of God, Nazarene, Brethren and Charismatics. The Presbyterian and Congregational churches are similar, and form 75% of the Protestant community. The Presbyterian Synod covers Lebanon and Syria (there are several thousand Presbyterians in Syria also). The evangelical missions that established…

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News

September 2006
News

Wars and rumours

Violence and political instability have dogged the Middle East for generations. The bitterness runs deep. Arabs and Israelis have conflicting views of history and strive for irreconcilable futures. Politicians seem no more able to resolve the issues than generals. The turbulent mix of nationalism, religion and mutual suspicion looks set to ferment for years…

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The struggle for Lebanon

Article

September 2006
Lebanon

The struggle for Lebanon

This month’s missionary spotlight demonstrates that in the past Lebanon has played a unique role in Christian mission in the Middle East – surely a point not lost on Satan either. In this article we chart the conflicts that have raged over the last 60 years as Islamic forces have struggled to take control…

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At the eleventh hour -John Cowper

Historical

September 2006
Articles > Historical

At the eleventh hour -John Cowper

My mother! When I learnt that you were dead,Say, were you conscious of the tears I shed?In these words the poet and hymn writer William Cowper recalled his grief over the death of his mother in 1737. The loss left deep scars on the sensitive six-year-old, for Ann Cowper, only thirty-four when she died,…

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Joyful service at the Llangollen Eisteddfod

News

September 2006
News

Joyful service at the Llangollen Eisteddfod

The smiling faces of the outreach team matched the sunny weather that the Lord gave us during the week of the 60th Llangollen Eisteddfod. A Christian team has been present for 58 of those 60 years. The four stations where the team worked were kept busy throughout the week. The schoolroom of the chapel…

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News

September 2006
News

140 to sue Catholic children’s home

Around 140 men are planning to sue the Roman Catholic Church for damages over alleged physical and sexual abuse suffered while in care. The action is being taken against the organisations responsible for running St William's Community Home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire over a 20-year period. If successful, damages could run into millions…

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Hezbollah

Article

September 2006
Lebanon

Hezbollah

Hezbollah (Hizbullah, Arabic for ‘party of God’) is an Islamic political party and militia group ­functioning within Lebanon. It was founded during the Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990. In June 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon and sided with one of the country’s ‘Christian’ factions against the many other, mostly Muslim, factions. Other powers, including Syria…

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LTS end-of-year service

News

September 2006
News

LTS end-of-year service

Another hot summer's day for the June end-of-year service at the London Theological Seminary! Fifteen men were finishing the two-year course at the seminary, and testified to the Lord's goodness and blessing on their time there. Six men were from Britain, and others came from Eastern Europe and the Far East. One came from…

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The water of life 2. The Spirit and the church

Article

September 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The water of life 2. The Spirit and the church

Last month I argued that there can be no real evangelism without the Holy Spirit. Now I want to show that without the Holy Spirit there can be no true church.  The concern that underlies these articles is that many Reformed churches are neglecting the Holy Spirit. We have right views on his person…

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The church – divine and human

Article

September 2006
General

The church – divine and human

When it comes to ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) it is ­important to make one thing clear from the very start – according to the Bible the church is both a divine and human organism. This is why Holy Scripture presents the church as a body, having a head and members. The divine…

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News

September 2006
News

Black church leaders speak out

A letter protesting against the Labour Government's sexual orientation regulations appeared in the Telegraph newspaper in July. The letter was signed by 177 pastors of black churches and helpfully highlighted the discrimination felt by many Christians at attempts being made by the Government to impose an obligation on Christian organisations to accept homosexuality as…

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Article

September 2006
Lebanon

Lebanon profile

Lebanon is located north of Israel at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and shares a border with Syria. It is a beautiful land of plains and mountains, with about 3.8 million inhabitants, nearly all Arab. Lebanon was once wealthy — an economic centre of the Middle East — but decades of war…

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Building the church in dark days – Alun McNabb

Article

August 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Building the church in dark days – Alun McNabb

We report at length Alun McNabb's ministry at the Crumlin Fraternal Conference, Co. Antrim, on 3 June because we believe it makes some important statements.Alun McNabb's theme was 'Building the church in dark days' and he addressed it in two sessions. In the first session he took as his text Psalm 100:4: 'Enter into…

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Missionary Spotlight – Doing the impossible in PNG – Clifford Hellar

Article

August 2006
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Doing the impossible in PNG – Clifford Hellar

Soon after my wife and I arrived in Papua New Guinea in January 1962, the field director and I hiked to the location where we were planning to work among Keyagana-speaking people I quickly began to appreciate the problems we would face as we worked there as a family. My wife was pregnant with…

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Flash floods – the story of Thomas Langton – Roger Fay and William Horsburgh

Historical

August 2006
Articles > Historical

Flash floods – the story of Thomas Langton – Roger Fay and William Horsburgh

Just over a yearago, the hamlets of Kepwick, Thimbleby and Hawnby in the Hambleton hills near Thirsk were hit by flash floods. It was only ten months after a dramatic flash flood devastated the Cornish village of Boscastle. The Yorkshire floods made headline news, but were soon forgotten - there had been considerably less…

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Conquering the shy gene – Jim Elliff

Article

August 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Conquering the shy gene – Jim Elliff

Like it or not, much of church life and our impact on society depends on conversation. Do you do much of that? It is the responsibility of everybody in the church - including the shy people. There may be a 'shy gene' somewhere in your make-up, but if it becomes an excuse to ignore others…

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Running Christ’s errands – The life of John Berridge – Andy Banton

Historical

August 2006
Articles > Historical

Running Christ’s errands – The life of John Berridge – Andy Banton

'Here lie the earthly remains of John Berridge, late vicar of Everton and itinerant servant of Jesus Christ, who loved his Master and his Work, and after running on his errands many years, was called up to wait on him above. Reader, art thou born again? No salvation without new birth! I was born…

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Disney-world culture – Paul Wells

Article

August 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Disney-world culture – Paul Wells

Paul Wells, of the Faculty of Reformed Theology, Aix-en-Provence, asks, What will become of Evangelicals? Does David Wells have the answer?In February I had the pleasure of taking part in a debate at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, with David Wells who, by the way, is no relation. The topic under discussion was the prospect…

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Missionary Spotlight – Maritime Christian Ministries – Stan Sherrington

Article

August 2006
United Kingdom

Missionary Spotlight – Maritime Christian Ministries – Stan Sherrington

It was a cold wet evening on 17 February 1957. I stood waiting for my father to come to the Sunday evening service at Bankhall Mission Church, Liverpool. As I waited I felt a tug on my coat sleeve and a young American asked me, ‘What time does the service start, buddy?’   I…

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Comment – Throne-room worship – Robert L. Dickie

Article

August 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment – Throne-room worship – Robert L. Dickie

Jesus Christ our Lord said, 'true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship him' (John 4:23). One of the most amazing facts about God is that he is seeking a people to worship his Son Jesus Christ. If you have become a Christian,…

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The bonds of Christ – Don Fortner

Article

August 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The bonds of Christ – Don Fortner

'There is no doubt', wrote A. A. Hodge, 'but that if there be but one God there is but one church; if there be but one Christ there is but one church; if there be but one cross there is but one church; if there be but one Holy Ghost there is but one…

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Tyndale House and Fellowship – Iain Murray

News

August 2006
News

Tyndale House and Fellowship – Iain Murray

This book helps to fill in an important segment of 20th century church history. The Inter-Varsity Fellowship (IVF, later UCCF) played a vital part in evangelical witness - establishing a younger generation in definite biblical faith and, by various agencies, seeking to recover historic Christianity in an era of widespread apostasy. The Tyndale Fellowship…

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The Water of Life – Edgar Andrews

Article

August 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Water of Life – Edgar Andrews

Many Reformed churches today are suffering a serious spiritual drought. Compared with fifty years ago, there are few conversions to Christ, little evidence of personal piety and a decided lack of enthusiasm for mission and evangelism. Commitment to Christ and his church is at a low ebb. We considered this briefly in July’s ‘Comment’ column,…

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Guest Column – The twofold nature of the church – Paul Negrut

Article

August 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – The twofold nature of the church – Paul Negrut

One of the analogies used by the apostle Paul to explain the mystery of the church - for it is a divine-human mystery - is drawn from the Old Testament idea of the 'people of God'. Such a definition bridges the two fundamental realities of the church - on the one hand its historical…

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Begotten not made – Roy Mohon

Article

August 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Begotten not made – Roy Mohon

A recent article by Laura Nelson (ET May) pointed out that although the Bible refers to God overwhelmingly in male terms, God is not male in the sense of being physically male. But if there is no physical sexuality in God, why does the Bible describe him in male language? My purpose here is…

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LTS end-of-year service

News

August 2006
News

LTS end-of-year service

Another hot summer's day for the June end-of-year service at the London Theological Seminary! Fifteen men were finishing the two-year course at the seminary, and testified to the Lord's goodness and blessing on their time there. Six men were from Britain, and others came from Eastern Europe and the Far East. One came from…

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God’s grace in sorrow and danger

Historical

August 2006
Articles > Historical

God’s grace in sorrow and danger

 God's Grace in sorrow and dangerFourteen-year-old Catherine Willoughby was eagerly anticipating her marriage to eighteen-year-old Henry Brandon. Henry, only son of Sir Charles Brandon and Mary Rose (Henry VIII's favourite sister), was in direct line for the throne of England - second only to Henry VIII's daughter Mary.Catherine, herself a wealthy heiress, was also…

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Common sense and science – the argument from design – Stuart Burgess

Article

August 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Common sense and science – the argument from design – Stuart Burgess

A recent Royal Society lecture delivered by Steve Jones had an unusually blunt title - 'Why creationism is wrong and evolution is right'. The purpose of the uncompromising title was, no doubt, to try to convince a sceptical public that evolution should be accepted as scientific truth. A recent Mori poll for the BBC…

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How happy are you?  – Jonathan Skinner

Article

August 2006
Evangelistic

How happy are you? – Jonathan Skinner

British people are becoming miserable. Earlier this year the BBC published an opinion poll that shows that although we are three times richer than we were 50 years ago, we are also less happy.The opinion poll by GfK NOP for The happiness formula (a five-week series on BBC 2) indicated that extra wealth has…

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Missionary Spotlight – Philippines; the William Carey School of Theology – Janet Billson

Article

August 2006
Philippines

Missionary Spotlight – Philippines; the William Carey School of Theology – Janet Billson

The WCST has its first graduates! These are the first-fruits of a work begun in October 2001 when four men travelled to the Philippines to launch this project for the Lord. Born out of prayer, the school was created to train spiritual leaders – men who would shape churches and influence nations.   Responding…

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Missionary Spotlight – Eating scrolls in Mongolia – Dr Gerald Mitchum

Article

August 2006
Mongolia

Missionary Spotlight – Eating scrolls in Mongolia – Dr Gerald Mitchum

I have never actually eaten a scroll, but I have eaten some meals in Mongolia that would make a scroll look like a gourmet feast. However, I know some of our western food in equally repulsive to our Mongolian friends. But God told Ezekiel in Chapter 3:1 of his book, ‘Eat this scroll’. Did…

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Tireless service – Fred Mitchell

Historical

June 2006
Articles > Historical

Tireless service – Fred Mitchell

A young prisoner was hustled through the massive entrance gates of Wormwood Scrubbs and pushed into a cell. Fred Mitchell was left alone. What had the open-faced boy from Yorkshire done to deserve such punishment? It was 1915 and the First World War was not going well for England. At the second Battle of…

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Togetherness in the gospel

Article

June 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Togetherness in the gospel

'I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now' (Philippians 1:3-5).Although togetherness in Christ is implicit from the outset of the letter to the Philippians, the word 'fellowship' does…

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Article

June 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

BROKEN MINDS – THE PROBLEM OF DEPRESSION

David Gregson reflects on a recent book by Steve and Robyn Bloem In 1985, American Steve Bloem was about to make a final visit 'with a view' to what seemed a very suitable and attractive church in Florida. He had a wife and a young family and had successfully passed through Bible seminary. Up…

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Article

June 2006
Albania

Albanian mission anniversary

                                         Albanian mission anniversary   The Albanian Evangelical Mission (AEM) marked the 20th anniversary of its founding with special meetings in Oxford on Saturday 1 April at the Reformed Baptist Church in Albert Street. People gathered from various parts of England and Wales.      The first session was addressed by AEM director David Young…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-Amazing grace in Sierra Leone

Article

June 2006
Sierra Leone

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-Amazing grace in Sierra Leone

The gospel arrived in Sierra Leone over 200 years ago, the first missionaries being former slaves from Britain. They strode up the shore from their ship praising and thanking God, and singing an Isaac Watts hymn: ‘Awake! And sing the song, Of Moses and the Lamb’.   Missionaries indeed – for many of these…

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Horatius Bonar at Borehamwood

Historical

June 2006
Articles > Historical

Horatius Bonar at Borehamwood

As many of the Lord's people know, there are Annual Lectures and Annual Lectures! Sometimes we set out for an advertised lecture that promises much, only to be treated to yet another dose of what Dr Lloyd-Jones aptly called 'barren intellectualism'.Fortunately there are other occasions, when our hopes are realised and the lecture enlightens…

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Article

June 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The gospel of Judas – GOOD news or BAD?

If it's not the talk of the town already, I guess it soon will be. With the launch of The Da Vinci code on film, and the recent rediscovery of the 'gospel of Judas', religious mystery and intrigue has rarely had a better press. Perhaps received wisdom as taught by the church is not…

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Guest Column

Article

June 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

Job - A reflection from the middle of the storyThrough a great swathe of the book of Job - from the beginning of Chapter 3 to the end of Chapter 31 - we are listening, largely, to Job himself. As we do so, one thing stands out more clearly than anything else. Job is…

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Article

June 2006
Sierra Leone

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-The way forward in Sierra Leone

Christopher Jonah, his wife Betty and baby Ciel have set off on a lonely path. They have, with the help of friends in the UK, set up their own mission – Truth Mission. Saddened by the way in which the Bible is mishandled throughout the country, and by the prevalence of ‘prosperity’ teaching, Truth…

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Catholicism and the Emergent Church

Article

June 2006
Cults and other religions

Catholicism and the Emergent Church

'Not since the Jesus Movement of the early 1970s has a Christian phenomenon been so closely entangled with the self-conscious cutting edge of US culture. Frequently urban, disproportionately young, overwhelmingly white, and very new - few have been in existence for more than five years - a growing number of churches are joining the…

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Cyprus in the New Testament

Article

June 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Cyprus in the New Testament

After being ruled by Egypt from 570 BC, Cyprus was enslaved to King Cyrus of Persia before becoming part of the Greek empire - which lasted until about 58 BC when the Romans took over until AD 330.   Barnabas   A letter from King Agrippa (Acts 25:13) to a certain Caius says, 'Jerusalem…

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Article

June 2006
Albania

John Blanchard visits Albania

                                            John Blanchard visits Albania   Albania is only slightly larger than Wales and its population of 3.5 million is just a little more than that of the Principality, but there the comparisons end.       While Wales shares the benefits of being part of a modern Western state, Albania is the second-poorest country in Europe,…

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Article

June 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment-Leadership

'Leadership' is a buzzword these days, with society's ills frequently (and at times unfairly) traced back to failures by our national leaders. Yet few political leaders would continue to hold office without the tacit consent of the majority - who are thus complicit in maintaining the very leadership of which they complain. So, what…

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When service seems fruitless – the story of Hans Egede

Historical

May 2006
Articles > Historical

When service seems fruitless – the story of Hans Egede

Hans Egede was absorbed in a book. Scarcely could he raise his eyes from its pages. Meals and sleep were forgotten as he roamed in imagination through the wild wastes of a strange and beautiful land, following the steps of the Viking explorer, Eric the Red. He closed The saga of Eric the Red…

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Ruin, Redemption and Regeneration

Article

May 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Ruin, Redemption and Regeneration

It has been rightly said that every sermon should contain the three Rs - ruin by sin in Adam, redemption by the blood atonement of Christ, and regeneration by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit.We rejoice in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). It is indeed the message of God…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Article

May 2006
Egypt

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

First things first in Egypt My wife and I were on a short holiday recently in Egypt — a cruise down the Nile (before you ask, it was a special offer price for January!) As soon as we discovered where we would be on Sunday, we asked our tour guide — a friendly, helpful…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – King Jesus and Iran

Article

May 2006
Iran

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – King Jesus and Iran

  In 1978, after forty years of exile, Ayatollah-Ruhollah Khomeini made his triumphal re-entry into Tehran, the capital of Iran. Hundreds of thousands of excited Iranians took to the streets to welcome him and celebrate the beginning of the new Islamic regime.   He had the blessing of Western nations hoping to keep Iran…

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Conviction and conversion

Article

May 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Conviction and conversion

Miller Avenue Church is small — forty congregants on Sunday morning is a good crowd. One of the many advantages I enjoy as pastor of a small church is that I can observe the spiritual birth and growth of people quite easily. Though I have been a pastor for over three decades, it has…

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Togetherness in the church

Article

May 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Togetherness in the church

'Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:1-2).Forgive the pun, but the coin in koinonia (fellowship) has two sides. Last month we saw…

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Have you met this man?

Article

May 2006
General

Have you met this man?

I’m often asked if I have met certain well-known criminals. Well, yes. You cannot visit so many prisons to preach Christ’s redeeming love without meeting a few headline names. But usually one prisoner looks very much like another; and we present to all alike Christ crucified and risen.   ‘Celebrity cults’ thrive on both…

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What is the ‘Emerging church’?

Article

May 2006
Cults and other religions

What is the ‘Emerging church’?

The Emerging, or Emergent, Church movement has already become a significant part of the evangelical landscape in the USA and is starting to make its presence felt this side of the pond too. In this book Don Carson argues that we, as evangelical Christians, need to become conversant with it.Getting to gripsThis is a…

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Missions – an alternative approach?

Article

May 2006
United Kingdom

Missions – an alternative approach?

  I read with interest the recent articles on missionary support by Eryl Davies and agree that Christians should prayerfully consider their level of giving to the Lord’s work. However, I also think that we should consider an alternative and (I would argue) more biblical approach to mission than that traditionally accepted in Britain…

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Guest Column

Article

May 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

Job - a reflection from the beginning of the storyJob's three friends could not have been more wrong. They looked at this profoundly afflicted man and concluded that he had brought all his suffering on himself by his sin. What other explanation could there be?But there was another explanation —the very opposite of that…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Article

May 2006
Iraq

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Christianity in Iraq Many Mesopotamian Jews turned to Christ when the gospel was first preached, and their synagogues became Christian meeting places. But these soon succumbed to Nestorianism (a heresy teaching that the incarnate Christ was two separate persons – human and divine). Along with internal power struggles among the clergy, this weakened the…

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Jesus Christ and the world’s universities

Article

May 2006
General

Jesus Christ and the world’s universities

Universities hold a unique position in any country — in its history, future, culture and politics. They reach into society with a long and inescapable arm. Universities are the seedbeds for ideas and networks. We see this in the legacies of influential people — the world’s tyrants as well as those converted to Christ…

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Only half the picture?

Article

May 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Only half the picture?

The Da Vinci Code, the church, and the 'Sacred Feminine' - are we missing out on the feminine face of the divine?Writing fiction has always been a powerful way to convey a message, and that is not necessarily a bad thing (C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia spring to mind, or even Jesus’ parables).The…

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Intelligent design is not creationism

Article

May 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Intelligent design is not creationism

We reprint this article with the author's kind permission in view of the continuing public interest in 'ID'. It provides some helpful clarification in what is often a confused debate.In 2004, the distinguished philosopher Antony Flew of the University of Reading made worldwide news when he repudiated a lifelong commitment to atheism and affirmed…

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Article

May 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment

Reaching for the bucketChristians are born to shine. In the resurrection, declares Daniel, ‘those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3). The Lord Jesus Christ takes up the theme: ‘then the righteous will shine…

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The Cyprus connection (1)

Article

May 2006
Cyprus

The Cyprus connection (1)

Cyprus is an ideal location for a late season holiday, and the temperatures were still in the mid-twenties at the end of November when we visited Paphos last year. There is a relaxing feel to this area, and a crime rate only 6% of that in Britain. There are only about 750,000 inhabitants in…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Committed to the truth

Article

April 2006
Ghana

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Committed to the truth

I recently had the privilege of travelling to Ghana to witness first-hand the labours and endeavours of our good Christian brothers and sisters in that land. Ghana is a West African country that is facing the same poverty of true religion that we are in the USA. We are pitted against many of the…

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Article

April 2006
Ghana

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Area:92,100 square miles. Neighbours: Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo. Environment: The terrain of Ghana consists mainly of low-lying plains with a central southern plateau. There are savannah grasslands in the north and farmland and forest in the south. It has the world’s largest man-made lake – Lake Volta. Population: 21.5 million. Infant mortality:…

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Evangelical superficiality

Article

April 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Evangelical superficiality

'God? He's my big mate in the sky', proclaimed a Christian taxi driver. A young Christian, asked why he always used the name 'Jesus' and never 'Lord', explained, 'Because "Jesus" is more acceptable to people outside the church. It's more "user friendly".' 'I don't pray to the Lord, I pray to Jesus', explained a…

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Togetherness in Christ

Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Togetherness in Christ

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:1-2).You won't find the word 'togetherness' in your English Bible. The term you will find is…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Ghana’s Christian legacy

Article

April 2006
Ghana

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Ghana’s Christian legacy

Christianity has existed in Ghana for over 170 years and has contributed in no small way to the development of Ghanaian society and the well-being of its people.   The first Basel and Bremen Presbyterian missionaries believed that without education it was difficult to preach the gospel effectively. Nor could there be indigenous, self-supporting…

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New kinds of revelation

Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

New kinds of revelation

Last month we began to look at the subject of personal revelations - subjective experiences that many interpret as God speaking to them without employing Scripture. In this article we shall consider more closely two specific 'new kinds' of revelation that have become popular today.Imperfect prophecyOur first concern is what some claim to be…

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Guest Column

Article

April 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

Facing facts. That is what I have endeavoured to do in this column. There is, I repeat, a crisis in giving to the Lord's work by Christians - and giving to mission in particular. My concern is that we face up to this challenge.But I acknowledge that this monetary crisis is only one expression…

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Islam today

Article

April 2006
Cults and other religions

Islam today

This article was first published in The Spectator (12 November 2005) under the title 'Will London burn too?' Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, has warned recently of 'sleepwalking our way to segregation'. Although he was not speaking principally about Muslims, they have become perhaps the most dominant minority group in…

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Whatever happened to common grace

Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Whatever happened to common grace

We who are committed to 'the doctrines of grace' tend to confine that grace to our salvation in Christ - 'salvation by grace'. However, there are other works of God's grace, which he does equally for the unsaved. These have a large place in the teaching of our great theologians, but seem to have…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT- Problems and challenges in Ghana

Article

April 2006
Ghana

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT- Problems and challenges in Ghana

There are many churches in Ghana, especially in the urban areas of the south. Here one can find a church nearly every two hundred metres. Over 60% of the population claim to be Christian, and yet the real church (of born-again believers) constitutes less than 2%.   This low figure is surprising against a…

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Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Grace goes international (2 Kings 5:1-8)

Naaman was the man who had everything: position, esteem, adulation, success, bravado - and leprosy. Of course, many Bible handbooks or footnotes in Bible translations hasten to assure us that this was not necessarily Hansen's disease, i.e., modern leprosy, but may have been some form of psoriasis or scabies or other skin disease. This…

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Azusa Street 1906- the dawn of modern Pentecostalism

Historical

April 2006
Articles > Historical

Azusa Street 1906- the dawn of modern Pentecostalism

Number 312 Azusa Street, Los Angeles, entered the annals of church history 100 years ago on 23 April 1906. It was about to become what Vinson Synan calls 'the most famous (street) address in Pentecostal-charismatic history'.On that date a series of meetings began under the leadership of William Seymour. The chief feature of these…

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Small words

Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Small words

Isn't writing wonderfully ingenious? I'm thinking about man as being creative - in particular, using his God-given ability with words.Though fallen in Adam, man being made in God's image retains this awesome gift. He is able to employ sequences of visual symbols to share ideas and thoughts - to facilitate communication between minds. And…

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Article

April 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment

Prime Minister Tony Blair has done the unthinkable - and in the eyes of some, the unforgivable. In a television -interview on 4 March he mentioned God and politics in the same breath.He would answer to God, said Mr Blair, for his decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein. He added that his…

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The Man in the middle

Article

April 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Man in the middle

Three men stagger up the hill under the weight of heavy beams of wood, escorted by Roman soldiers and followed by a crowd of people, some cursing, some crying. The walk has been a long one, for the hill is outside the city walls.It is known by the locals as Calvary - 'the place…

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The Marian Martyrs

Historical

April 2006
Articles > Historical

The Marian Martyrs

On 21 March 1556 Thomas Cranmer, lately Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake in Oxford. Queen Mary I hoped by this execution to deal a final blow to the Protestant cause in England. In fact she committed a major political blunder. Cranmer was the most prominent of Mary's victims, a scholar with…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Open homes

Article

March 2006
Northern Africa

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Open homes

A Christian midwife describes her work in North Africa It was a home with which my colleagues were familiar. They had been here for two previous deliveries and had been honoured guests for meals following those births. For me, however, it was a first-time experience — and one I shall never forget. It was…

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Article

March 2006
Morocco

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT- Kingdom of Morocco

Area: 172,414square miles.   Neighbours : Western Sahara, Algeria, and Spain (enclaves and islands). Morocco is Africa’s closest link to Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar. Environment : Morocco has the highest mountains (Atlas mountains; Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m) in North Africa. Its fertile coastal regions are well irrigated. The southern part of the…

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Non-Muslims under Islam

Article

March 2006
Islam

Non-Muslims under Islam

Last month we asked why Christians suffer where Muslims dominate. Among other things I explained the concept of dhimmi – the ‘protected’ status historically accorded to Jews, Christians, Sabeans and Zoroastrians who submit to Islamic rule and pay a special poll tax. But not all non-Muslims under Islam can be accorded dhimmi status. For…

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Backing for Bush on Intelligent Design

Article

March 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Backing for Bush on Intelligent Design

Americans are backing President Bush on teaching Intelligent Design or creationism in schools. If a recent survey is to be believed, two-thirds of Americans agree with their President’s call to teach Intelligent Design in schools alongside evolutionary theory.But while President Bush cautiously asserts that the cosmos was made by a ‘supreme being’ without identifying…

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Guest Column- Giving – again

Article

March 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column- Giving – again

It’s that subject again — giving. But don’t misunderstand me. I am not appealing for money. However, as I indicated in this column last month, I am declaring a personal concern, yet one that is shared widely by church and mission leaders throughout the UK.Why return to the subject again? You are entitled to…

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Welcome to Youth Supplement

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

Welcome to Youth Supplement

It’s one thing to have ideas but it can be a nightmare to carry them through. It was my suggestion that Evangelical Times should do a Youth Supplement but I was really surprised when one of the Editors e-mailed me to say that they would give it a try. That was great because I…

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What is a Christian?

Article

March 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

What is a Christian?

What is a Christian and how do you become one? It’s a question that people still ask today. If you read the Bible in the book of Acts 11:26 (i.e. chapter 11 and verse 26) it tells you when Jesus’ disciples ‘were first called Christians’.Notice it doesn’t say Baptists, Methodists, Protestants, Charismatics or Brethren.…

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Christians and politics

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

Christians and politics

Approaching 18? Then you’ll soon be a fully-fledged member of society! It’s time to find out how far, as a Christian, you should get involved in that society. The question we are going to tackle here is: ‘Should we get involved in politics?’ There are two extreme views. One: try to create a theocracy…

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Intelligence beyond the Horizon

Article

March 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Intelligence beyond the Horizon

As noted in February's ET, a judicial ruling in Pennsylvania means that 'the ID fight is on'. According to this legal judgement, Intelligent Design is not science and should not be taught in science classes in state schools. The judge used very strong words, referring to the 'breathtaking inanity' of the school board.The verdict…

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Facing the Challenge of Evolution

Article

March 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Facing the Challenge of Evolution

Can you recall the moment you heard some startling news? Perhaps it was the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York or the car crash that killed Princess Diana. The moment is imprinted on your memory. My own ‘electric moment’ was a lecture on Earth Science I heard over 25 years ago as…

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Article

March 2006
Morocco

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT

Evangelical Christianity in Morocco Articles and pictures in this month’s Missionary Spotlight (pages 14 & 19) are provided by Arab World Ministries (AWM) which commemorates 2006 as its 125th anniversary. It ministers to Arab peoples in North Africa, as well as to immigrants in North America and Europe. Morocco is one of 19 Arab…

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How to rise and shine

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

How to rise and shine

(not just rise!)Rise and shine! I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase (oops! The editor says it’s a clause not a phrase). Whatever it is, it usually means ‘wake up and stop moping about like a sack of potatoes’. But here I want to talk about how to rise and shine with God’s glory throughout…

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Stuffers, UFOs and the living God

News

March 2006
News

Stuffers, UFOs and the living God

The edge of known reality and beyondA common topic of conversation among my fellow students is the origin and reasons for existence of our world. The edge of known reality is a very helpful and easy-to-read book on just this subject for young people — both Christians and non-Christians. The book is clearly laid…

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – 25 years on

Historical

March 2006
Articles > Historical

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – 25 years on

Peering through a jungle of scaffolding poles in Westminster Chapel, I first heard Dr Lloyd-Jones preach in 1950. The chapel had survived the war bet required considerable restoration work. But despite the distractions, as a young man of eighteen I had an overwhelming sense of the authority of God's Word as I listened to…

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Walking with the Bible

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

Walking with the Bible

Did you see the BBC TV series ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’? The idea was that you got a feel of what dinosaurs were really like and became acquainted with them. The same principle applies to knowing your Bible — that’s why I chose this title for my article.I will take a chapter (in this case…

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The Lord told me – I think!

Article

March 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Lord told me – I think!

A conservative Baptist denomination presents a story in its newsletter concerning one of its members deployed in Iraq. This middle-aged soldier declared that often, as he wrestles with problems of various types, 'God just reveals the answer to me'. A leader from his church back home also claims to have heard from the Lord.…

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FROG and PUSH

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

FROG and PUSH

Even when I was 4 or 5 years old I had a very simple, childlike faith in Jesus Christ. My mum had been to a missionary prayer meeting and when she got home she came up to my room and told me a story about a missionary child who got lost in a jungle…

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Sport and the Christian

Article

March 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Sport and the Christian

'Sport should never become a religion, but true religion does have something to say in the world of sport' (Derek Cleave).Sport is an area of modern human culture that has received little attention from adherents of the Christian faith. True, in recent years there has been a plethora of biographies and autobiographies of sports…

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The sweetest sound

News

March 2006
News > Youth Features

The sweetest sound

I was brought up in a Christian home and always believed there is a God — but that’s as far as it went. But when I was ten I started going to a church youth group. I heard the gospel preached every week, but one week something new struck me — I was a…

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Putting asunder

Article

March 2006
Cults and other religions

Putting asunder

Last month I wrote about the control that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) seeks to exercise over marriage. One example is their claim to have the power to annul marriages - 'putting asunder' what God has joined together. Let us look at this more closely.Human nature being what it is, it is sadly necessary…

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Pietism

Article

February 2006
Cults and other religions

Pietism

Last month we began to look at Pietism - the -seventeenth century reaction against an intellectual and abstract approach to gospel truth that arose in Europe -following the Reformation. Pietism taught a practical, active piety involving good works; daily self-examination; daily Bible study (with practical application of its moral teaching); emotionalism in prayer; a…

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Priorities

Article

February 2006
General

Priorities

 How people view their spending is all relative to what money they have. This morning, I brewed a cup of Ethiopian Harrar coffee. It is one of the most sought-after coffees in the world and is considered very expensive to purchase by the pound. But if you brew it at home it only costs…

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Article

February 2006
Articles > Comment

Comment

The tip of the icebergWith the 'civil partnerships' legalisation now in force in the UK, our nation has embraced a sin long associated with the names of Sodom and Gomorrah. While homosexuality is not an unforgivable sin in the sight of God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), it is unambiguously condemned in Scripture (Leviticus 18:22;…

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Small words

Article

February 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Small words

big meanings! (1)I am interested in words, and I hope you are too. There are several reasons for my interest. I can still remember the sense of enlightenment when, as a young child, I was taught to read. Words began to make sense and, as it were, speak to me.A more basic reason for…

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The Spirit gives life

Article

February 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Spirit gives life

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63)Rejection is the most common reaction of men when they hear the gospel. The Lord himself had taught these people and done miracles in their presence, but when they…

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Marriage and Roman Catholicism

Article

February 2006
Cults and other religions

Marriage and Roman Catholicism

The Bible teaches that marriage is a creation ordinance, belonging to all mankind. As sovereign Lord over his creation, God ordained that male and female should, at an appropriate time, leave mother and father and be married: 'therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and…

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Children at the edge of unbelief

Article

February 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Children at the edge of unbelief

The greatest agony for the Christian parent is seeing their children walk away from the faith. The sense of helplessness and feelings of guilt are often overwhelming. As children mature into adults they pass along a dark and convoluted road where they struggle to find their own identity. Somewhere along this track many young…

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Strategic ministry

Article

February 2006
General

Strategic ministry

One of the most strategic and seminal approaches to missionary work is through preachers’ conferences. In these the doctrines of grace can be taught to faithful men, who in turn will teach others (2 Timothy 2:2). Conferences also strengthen bonds of fellowship and give ready access to sound Christian literature to potentiate the spoken…

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Missionary Spotlight-EP Conference, Romania

Article

February 2006
Romania

Missionary Spotlight-EP Conference, Romania

Evangelical Press’ third Romanian Conference was held on 18-19 November in the city of Oradea. As the date coincided with sessions of the Romanian Baptist Union Assembly in Bucharest, there was uncertainty about the degree of attendance we could expect. In the event fears proved to be groundless, with numbers greater than in previous…

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Deconstructing evangelicalism (2)

Article

February 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Deconstructing evangelicalism (2)

Massive cultural shifts within Western society have resulted in what might be called the deconstruction of 'evangelicalism'. This time-honoured and once comprehensible term for New Testament Christianity has been forced to bear new and often contradictory meanings, as we began to see last month.Then I considered 'traditional evangelicalism' and 'pragmatic evangelicalism'. This month I…

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Missionary Spotlight-EP Conference, USA

Article

February 2006
United States of America

Missionary Spotlight-EP Conference, USA

The first Evangelical Press Conference in the USA took place on 11-13 November 2005 at Berean Baptist Church, Grand Blanc, Michigan, under the title, ‘The gospel of Jesus Christ: defended and proclaimed’. Over the past five years the church has seen several hundred people brought to Christ and the conference had a corresponding evangelistic…

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Two-tier Christianity

Article

February 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Two-tier Christianity

What do we look for to see if someone's faith is genuine? Some would tell us that there are two kinds of Christians - those who show their faith by holy lives and others who do not. It is almost a two-tier Christianity.To give examples: there are those who teach that some Christians (the…

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Guest column

Article

February 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest column

A serious shortage'Troubled. Shaken. Ashamed'. Those were my opening words in an article I wrote as long ago as 1970 in a respected Christian periodical. Unexpectedly, I rediscovered the article only a few days ago. And my response? One of surprise that it was still relevant for Christians and churches in 2006.The second sentence…

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Islam and Christianity

Article

February 2006
Cults and other religions

Islam and Christianity

Ever since Islam was founded in the seventh century, there have been Christian communities living as minorities in Muslim-majority contexts. Their circumstances have varied at different times and in different places, but almost always the Christians experience some degree of discrimination or hostility. This repeated pattern is not a coincidence - it arises from…

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The pastor’s wife

Article

February 2006
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The pastor’s wife

Her husband has been trained for his task, spending years anticipating the future and the likely problems he will encounter. In other words, much thought and many prayers will have gone into his preparation. His wife, on the other hand, is unlikely to be in that position - seldom being trained for the role…

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The Lord of glory

Article

February 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Lord of glory

James 2:1 makes reference to 'our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory'.This is a truly remarkable statement because the word 'glory' can ultimately only be applied to God himself - who declares in Isaiah 42:8, 'I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other'. The Westminster Confessionputs…

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Article

February 2006
Nigeria

Missionary Spotlight

Tony Okoroh, pastor of Sovereign Grace Bible Church, Lagos, writes:   We give glory to God, who made this third annual Lagos Conference possibleon 3-5 November. Nigeria is desperately needy. Many evangelical pastors are strongly influenced by the word-faith movement and ignorant of the counsel of God. This year’s theme was 1 Timothy 4:16,…

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PC or BC? Political correctness strikes again

Article

January 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

PC or BC? Political correctness strikes again

PC has been trying to stamp out BC. The infamously subversive 'Political Correctness' squad recently struck again. This time they were trying to confuse school children and undermine the foundations of our history. Like the Communists under Stalin, they were trying to rewrite history. With a pseudo-academic airbrush they were removing Christ from his…

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A culture of death?

Article

January 2006
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

A culture of death?

The case against legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide 'For two millennia the Hippocratic tradition has stood for the "sanctity" of human life. We can alleviate the unbearable in life better than ever before. We can do that and not eliminate life itself … medicine cannot be both our healer and our killer' (C. Everett…

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Labour not in vain

Article

January 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Labour not in vain

When Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel at Antioch, Pisidia, the Jews 'were filled with envy' and spoke against the gospel, contradicting and blaspheming God. They wilfully and deliberately refused to believe the revelation of God concerning his Son. Despising Christ, despising the gospel of the grace of God, and despising the messengers of…

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Missionary Spotlight-New Age spirituality

Article

January 2006
Chile

Missionary Spotlight-New Age spirituality

Chile was just entering winter. I disembarked from the airplane at 3.00am but the morning would reveal the gorgeous, snow-covered Andean mountains surrounding Santiago, the capital city.   I was looking forward to helping translate at a conference on the New Age movement and a gospel response to it. The visiting speaker would be…

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Article

January 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Clothed with Christ

What would you give to a primitive stone-age tribe - nicknamed Aucas ('naked savages') by their Quechua neighbours - to win access to them for the gospel? On 6 October 1955, Nate Saint lowered from his plane a small aluminium kettle with coloured streamers attached, containing brightly-coloured buttons and a bag of rock salt.…

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A matter of the heart

Article

January 2006
Evangelistic

A matter of the heart

Just recently I had a heart attack. I had cut down my salt intake to an absolute minimum. I had used skimmed milk and the right kind of margarine ('proven to dramatically lower cholesterol to help maintain a healthy heart'). But I still had a heart attack.Being a non-conformist, my heart attack was obviously…

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Missionary Spotlight-Chile’s first Reformed Baptist church

Article

January 2006
Chile

Missionary Spotlight-Chile’s first Reformed Baptist church

As the congregation of twenty or so people sing of the cleansing of the blood of Christ, the fresh, glistening snow on the nearby Andes mountains provides a vivid illustration of that cleansing flood. After the singing, Pastor Omar Ramos moves to the makeshift pulpit. The congregation’s expectation of being challenged by the Word…

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Article

January 2006
Articles > Comment

COMMENT-Not grudgingly

It is a hidden problem but a real one nonetheless. It is a ball-and-chain for many churches. It is a silent blight that spoils the fruit upon the vine. I refer to a grudging spirit.We are warned about it in the New Testament. Paul urges, 'let each one give as he purposes in his…

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Indulgences today

Article

January 2006
Cults and other religions

Indulgences today

In his Expository Thoughtson Matthew 12:38-50, J. C. Ryle highlights the danger of a partial reformation. Writing at the end of the 19th century, Ryle commented on the unclean spirit who went back to dwell in his old house taking seven worse spirits with him: 'Delivered as they were from heathen darkness by the…

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Article

January 2006
Chile

Missionary Spotlight – Fact File – Republic of Chile

Fact File – Republic of Chile Area: 292,135 square miles. Chile measures some 2,650 miles from north to south, but on average is less than 110 miles wide. It has archipelagoes in the south and owns Easter Island in the south Pacific.   Neighbours: Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.   Environment: Chile lies between the…

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Missionary Spotlight-The Reformed Faith in Chile

Article

January 2006
Chile

Missionary Spotlight-The Reformed Faith in Chile

The Reformed faith has been propagated in Chile for nearly two centuries. This is reflected by the Protestant work ethic present in everyday life in Chile – especially in the capital, Santiago. This doctrinal conviction was initially fed by 150 years of immigration from European countries including Germany. Over this time, the Presbyterian Church…

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Guest Column

Article

January 2006
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was 'perfected' on three occasions. We have examined how Jesus was perfected in Gethsemane and on the cross. Now we come to see how he was perfected through his resurrection.The word 'perfected' does not, of course, mean that Jesus had some moral blemish or flaw. As…

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News

January 2006
News

Concerned about standards?

The telephone rang. It was ten to eight in the morning. 'Hello? Is that John?' Yes. 'This is BBC Three Counties Radio. Sorry to call you so early. Would you take part in our breakfast show?'Jean Alexander, who played Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street, had said that there is now too much sex in…

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Carnal Christians – do they exist?

Article

January 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Carnal Christians – do they exist?

Question - According to popular teaching there is a category of people who can be called 'carnal Christians'. Is this concept biblical? Let us see.Many teach that there are different kinds of Christians - carnal, spiritual and natural. A carnal Christian is one who has been saved but who remains 'carnal', that is, his…

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Here we stand!

News

January 2006
News

Here we stand!

Each summer United Beach Missions (UBM) teams can be seen in their red t-shirts on seaside promenades and beaches testifying with love and friendliness to young and old about the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Here we stand!' was the title of a reunion weekend recently held at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, Leicestershire. It was…

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Deconstructing evangelicalism

Article

January 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Deconstructing evangelicalism

Massive cultural shifts within Western society have resulted in what might be called the deconstruction of 'evangelicalism'. This much-loved, time-honoured and once comprehensible term for New Testament Christianity has been forced to bear new and often contradictory meanings.Efforts to categorise the current state of professing evangelical church life tend to go out of date…

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Questions sceptics ask

Article

January 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Questions sceptics ask

When Mt St Helens erupted in May 1980 it caused great devastation but also provided amazing evidence of the way geographical features can be generated over short time periods - in hours, days and months rather than the millennia usually invoked for their formation.Currently most people accept the notion that our planet has been…

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Pietism and subjective Christianity

Article

January 2006
Articles > Biblical/theological

Pietism and subjective Christianity

Balance. Is there anything more elusive? Most of us strive constantly for balance - whether with our time, money, diet or relationships. If few of us feel we have found the right balance, the same can be said for the historical church. God's people tend to swing from one extreme to another, causing considerable…

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Article

January 2006
Scientific (including creation)

Christians and bipolar affective disorder

Bipolar affective disorder, popularly known as manic depression, affects between one and two per cent of the population. This means that, statistically speaking, one to two per cent of Christians will suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. It affects the moods, the sufferer alternating between deep depression and the 'highs'…

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