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Everything in 2016 issue

News

December 2016
News

Persecution: Uk – Ashers cake row

Ashers Baking Company owners Daniel and Amy McArthur have stated that God has been ‘bringing about good’, despite the Belfast Court of Appeal ruling against them in November. The couple told Sky News how their beliefs about marriage have been rooted in the ‘unchanging truth of the Bible’ and, although they have been dragged…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Cradled in a manger

Our familiarity with the first Christmas scene can easily blunt us to its staggering wonder. Luke 2:12 records the infant Christ as ‘lying in a manger’. Think of that! Here is condescension and humiliation of the highest degree, for here is the eternal Son of God — the One through whom God made all…

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News

December 2016
News

Ethics – Aisling Hubert

Pro-life campaigner Aisling Hubert has seen her challenge against the unjust costs awarded against her adjourned until January. The 23-year-old Christian woman, whose attempt to bring gender-abortion doctors to justice was derailed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), is facing crippling legal costs. Ms Hubert aimed to bring two doctors, who in 2012 were…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Do we have enough evidence to trust the Bible?

People today must judge between two contradictory worldviews: the biblical worldview and the evolutionary worldview. I’m a lawyer, so I think about this like a legal case. Juries have to judge between opposing litigants, like we have to judge between worldviews. Juries do it by weighing the evidence. Let me give an example from…

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News

December 2016
News

Christmas – Operation Christmas Child

Christmas shoe box gifts have been dropped off over November, with thousands of churches across the UK preparing to send gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need across the world. As the packing got underway, more than 20 million people worldwide watched Operation Christmas Child videos from Samaritan’s Purse, which showed the joy these boxes…

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Historical

December 2016
Articles > Historical

Remembering Martin Luther

A blue touch-paper was lit 500 years ago which brought about an explosion that changed the course of the world. Martin Luther, a German monk and university professor, nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg in Germany. The Theses were points Luther was making that were indirectly questioning…

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News

December 2016
News

International – Jakarta fury

A Christian governor in Jakarta has faced calls for his prosecution for ‘blasphemy’ from Muslim hardliners in Indonesia. Reports from the BBC showed angry protests in November, as tens of thousands of hard-line Muslims marched against the governor of Jakarta, demanding he is prosecuted for blasphemy. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian, is the first…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

A freedom campaigner finds Christ

My name is Julian Sebothane Bahula, and I was born and brought up in Pretoria, South Africa. In the 1960s, I became a professional musician and composer, and was very famous throughout South Africa with the Malombo Jazz Men. In those days, all South Africans were political in one way or another and, while…

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News

December 2016
News

Christmas – Traidcraft upturn

Fair trade retailer and charity Traidcraft has witnessed success for its Show You Care marketing campaign and supporter call to action. The campaign prompted a 10 per cent rise in sales during its key 2015 pre-Christmas trading period, which set the scene for the successful year ahead. According to Traidcraft, nearly 560,000 people in…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Evangelistic

Wise men from the east

‘Now after Jesus was born, in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?’ (Matthew 2:1-2). The visit of the wise men to worship our Lord at the time of his…

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News

December 2016
News

Politics – Extremism laws

A top QC has blasted the UK government’s counter-extremism plans as ‘dangerous, alarming and quite wrong’. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Law in action programme, David Anderson QC said the new laws being proposed by government were ‘dangerous and quite wrong’. The independent reviewer of terrorism legislation commented that the 2015 draft…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

My wonderful Saviour

Brought up in a Hindu household, I was exposed to rites and rituals of the religion, most of which I failed to grasp the meaning of. But, even as the Bible forbids worshipping and serving the creature rather than the creator, it didn’t sit right with me — I did believe that there was…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Who is Jesus?

When Richard Dawkins claims, ‘There is no good historical evidence that [Jesus] ever thought he was divine’, he is tripping blindfold over the truth. C. S. Lewis gets us on the right track when he writes, ‘The doctrine of Christ’s divinity seems to me not something stuck on, which you can unstick, but something…

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News

December 2016
News

Anniversary – Wensleydale church celebrates 25th

On Friday 7 October, Wensleydale Evangelical Church, Leyburn, celebrated its 25th anniversary. The history of the church goes back to 1985, when two families moved near Catterick Garrison. They were then members of an evangelical church 15 miles away, and shared concern about the lack of evangelical churches in this area. They began to…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

How I became a Christian

I was not born a Christian just because I was brought up in this country with its Christian heritage, or because I was baptised and confirmed in the local Anglican church and became a choirboy. My parents had no interest in the Bible, and so there was not a copy to be found in…

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Article

December 2016
Finland

From blasphemer to preacher

I was not brought up in a Christian home, although my mum and dad were in certain ways quite religious and members of the Russian Orthodox Church in Finland, where I was baptised as a baby. My mum and dad divorced when I was about seven years old, leaving me and my younger brother…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

More than words

For the Christian, carol singing should be about more than hitting the right notes, Simoney Kyriakou explains. Carols by candlelight, Michaelmas music, Christmas carol service, nine lessons and carols: whatever we call it, this is the one event nearly every Christian denomination spends a lot of time, money and dedication in preparing. Each year,…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

The angels’ message to the shepherds – and to us

Angels and shepherds. It’s hard to escape them at this time of year. You’ll find them on Christmas cards, in shop windows and at the school nativity play; not to mention the carols we hear as we turn on our radios and TVs, or make our way through shopping centres and major railway stations.…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

The wonder of Christ’s person

Is Jesus really God? In AD 319, Arius, a deacon in Alexandria, fired the first shots in a 60-year war that would come to engulf all of Christianity in the Roman empire. Arius argued, ‘If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it…

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News

December 2016
News

International – Ukrainian suffering

Christians in the so-called ‘grey zone’ of Ukraine are in urgent need of help as winter approaches. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, the conflict between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists is still continuing. But with the bitter winter months, many of those in exile are without fuel, food, life-saving medicines and basic…

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News

December 2016
News

Media – Bible evidence unearthed

Archaeologists in Israel have found evidence supporting the Bible’s account of the fight against Ba’al worship. According to a report in Christian Today, written by Ruth Gledhill, archaeologists have proved that passages of the Bible about the triumph of Judaism over the pagan Ba’al worship are true. The report cited the fight against paganism…

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News

December 2016
News

Ethics – Disability double-standard

Disability debates have exposed deep hypocrisy at the heart of parliament, a leading peer has claimed. As Lord Shinkwin’s Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill sailed through its second reading in the House of Lords, some peers argued strongly against limiting the rights of the parents to abort a disabled child. Currently, abortions on grounds of…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

The light has dawned

Winter is here again with its dark evenings and mornings. We will often find ourselves walking in its darkness; it’s not surprising that Christmas lights are so popular. Every year more of us fight the darkness by brightening up our homes and gardens with hundreds of festive lights. Worldwide darkness Do you feel that…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

50 years on

I was born in Nottingham in 1949. My family was respectable, but with no serious interest in God. Church was only for family occasions like christenings and weddings. 50 years ago this month, I trusted in Jesus Christ to be my Saviour and Lord, and my life changed direction. Superficially, that change seemed to…

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‘For a while’

Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

‘For a while’

Bala in North Wales is a very Welsh town. The language spoken in the homes and shops is Welsh, and the names of the houses you pass are, with very few exceptions, Welsh. One of these exceptions is the nameplate on a house passed if you enter Bala from the Dogellau road. The name…

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News

December 2016
News

Christmas – Host a student

Charity Host, founded 29 years ago by the British Council, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Victoria League, is encouraging UK families to offer up their home for one to four days to foreign students this Christmas. Many adult international students from across the world would love to spend a few days with a British…

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News

December 2016
News

International – Trump, Christianity and Evangelicals

Christians on both sides of the Atlantic are reacting very differently to the news that Donald J. Trump has become president-elect of the US. In the UK, known critics of Mr Trump, such as Dr Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, expressed caution over the decision and called for prayer. A statement issued by the…

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Article

December 2016
Obituaries

Rev. Alec Motyer (1924-2016)

Earlier this year, John Alexander Motyer — Alec Motyer — was called to be with the Lord, aged 91. Rev. Lee Gatiss of Church Society has written this tribute: Mr Motyer studied at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was awarded BA, MA, and BD degrees. He trained for the Anglican ministry at Wycliffe Hall,…

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News

December 2016
News

Event – Creation in the USA

Truth In Science’s director Professor Andy McIntosh headed to North Carolina, US, in November, hosted by the Grace Reformed Baptist Church at Mebane. The ministry was to students at two universities and meetings at the church, where 200 people listened to a talk on ‘The wonder of hearing’. He spoke on how the intricate…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christmas wonder

At this time of year, our minds are drawn to the wonder of the birth — the incarnation — of Jesus Christ. Referring to Christ’s incarnation, the Bible says: ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to…

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News

December 2016
News

Christmas – Shine for ShelterBox

Britons have been encouraged to get together with friends and family to brighten evacuees’ lives, through a new campaign from disaster relief charity ShelterBox. Its Christmas season ‘Shine for ShelterBox’ campaign aims to encourage people to get together for a candlelit winter feast, and raise funds to help people around the world who have…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Taking God seriously

Recently I read of an unnerving experience that happened to a pastor and his wife flying back from a Christian conference abroad. The conduct they witnessed teaches us a great deal about human behaviour and attitudes. They were flying from Portland back to Los Angeles and all seemed to be going well. All of…

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News

December 2016
News

International – Help for Haiti

Haiti is recovering from another devastating weather front, and Christian organisations such as Siloam Christian Ministries, in partnership with Childcare Worldwide (CCW), are providing ongoing critical care. Richard Norton, Siloam’s UK director, said, ‘We want to relieve suffering and recognise that the impoverished benefit from a “hand-up” rather than a mere hand-out. On the…

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News

December 2016
News

Conferences – ‘Authentic – inside and out’

This was the title of the 2016 London Women’s Convention, held at the Emmanuel Centre, London on Saturday 15 October.We took ourselves and some young ladies from Thornton Heath Evangelical Church’s groups: Impact (for teenagers) and Vibe (20s-30s). I was encouraged to see the hall filled with hundreds of young women. Too often photographs…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Two views from space

The year 2011 was remembered as the 50th anniversary of the Russian Uri Gagarin’s first flight into space. Though his exact words have been disputed, and communist propaganda was undoubtedly at work, Gagarin is famously said to have quipped, ‘I see no God up here’. In 2012 the American Neil Armstrong passed away. He…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Christianity and Christmas

Paul Mackrell encourages both Christians and non-Christians not to confuse true Christianity with the trappings of Christmas. Annual national events seem to be getting bigger and bigger. More chocolate is now eaten at Easter than ever before. The mix of childish and sinister rituals that is Halloween grows with each succeeding year. And Remembrance…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Knowing true peace with God

I grew up in a family which went to church every Sunday. Gradually I came to realise that attending church and living an outwardly respectable life did not make me a Christian. I needed to accept that God’s definition of sin included the self-centred attitudes of my heart. Only by believing that Christ died…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Freedom in Christ

My name is Demi. I’m 25, from Bulgaria, but have been living in London for five years. I graduated from Middlesex University and since then have been working as a guitar and piano teacher. I was raised in an Orthodox country, where the majority of people identify themselves as Christian, but have no idea…

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Article

December 2016
Finland

God’s perfect plan

For the first 18 years of my life, if anyone had asked me if I believed in God, my response would have been a firm, ‘No!’ I had no religious upbringing, having only attended a church a few times in my life. What I knew about Christianity, I had been taught at school and,…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

God’s amazing love

At one time, there was no more to my life than the plans I’d made of going to university, getting a job, maybe marrying, and having a family; then, I suppose, retirement and a few relaxing years — and what then? I knew from reading the Bible and going to church that there was…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Guest column

Who is in control?

Over the years, I have heard people express views that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. As a young Christian, it was difficult to match such clear supposed insights with Jesus’ teaching, about only the Father knowing the appointed time.  I now receive a state pension and I find myself doing a lot of reflecting.…

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News

December 2016
News

Youth – SALT Youth Conference

Grace Baptist Partnership and Trinity Baptist Church, Dundee, held their twelfth and largest youth conference on 25September, in north Edinburgh. It was great day of lively and applied Bible ministry. It is encouraging to see an increasing number of teens and twenties being drawn to solid teaching and Christian fellowship. The theme was timely…

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News

December 2016
News

Media – Worth of a soul

Billy Graham’s month-long London Crusade in 1966 is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the release of a new film. Franklin Graham is spearheading the new gospel message in the film The worth of a soul, as a free evangelistic resource for churches across the country.  The 2016 instalment features an evangelistic message from Mr…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

From crime to Christ

In April 2016, John Lawson shared his spiritual experience with BBC Radio Scotland (interview in full at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03r150l). This report is made available from the Christian Institute. A man who ran London’s biggest brothel and was planning a murder has told the BBC how his life was turned around by Jesus Christ. Criminal life John…

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Article

December 2016
Nepal

Nepal’s most unlikely church-planter (1)

Down the valley from Kathmandu, the ancient capital of Nepal, rests an even older city. In Bhaktapur, the timeworn traditions of Hinduism sink as deep into the dry soil as the white-capped Himalayan mountains rise in the background. Bhaktapur looks like it was built one brick at a time. Narrow, brick-paved city streets are…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

Jesus never forsakes us

‘I believe that when we accept the claims of Jesus on our lives he never forsakes us, even when we stray’. This has proved to be the Christian experience of church member, John McKay, as he explains: I was converted, baptised and received into membership of a Baptist church 50 years ago. ‘Four years…

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News

December 2016
News

International – Iranian pastor

Iranian pastor Behnam Irani has been released from prison in Iran after being jailed for six years for leading a house church and sharing his faith. Partners of advocacy organisation Release International have confirmed Behnam Irani has finally been freed, although he is said to be in poor health following his ordeal in Ghezal…

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Article

December 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Mary’s song

There seem to be two views of a 21st century Christmas. The first owes something to Charles Dickens and Bing Crosby: chestnuts roasting on an open fire; the Christmas of jollity and plenty; merry Christmas! It is a time centred around an excess of food, booze and presents; a time to forget the cold weather…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

The joy of restoration

I was brought up in a broken home with little Christian influence. Aged 19, I was invited to a Christian convention in Keswick. After a week of learning how spiritually dead I was and seeing first-hand Christian love expressed towards me and others, I began to read the New Testament that I had been…

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Article

December 2016
Evangelistic

The twelve days of Christmas

The baby lying in Bethlehem’s manger on that first Christmas so long ago was none other than the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We must say this because the angel Gabriel said it to Mary in no uncertain terms (Luke 1:31-33). The wise men, who journeyed far to find Jesus, made…

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Conferences – Leicester Creation Conference

News

December 2016
News

Conferences – Leicester Creation Conference

Brockington College, Leicester, was the venue on 7-8 October for the Leicester Creation Conference 2016. There had been meetings in the run-up to this, held in different churches in the East Midlands area, earlier in September too. Attended by many from across the Midlands, and even as far as the Netherlands, people from different…

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Review

December 2016
DVD

A Survey of Church History Part 5 (DVD)

W. Robert Godfrey is president and professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, California. He here provides an informative, insightful and interesting series of twelve lectures on 1800-1900. Although produced primarily for an American audience, there is much that is applicable to the UK. The lectures average around 24 minutes each, which makes…

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Review

December 2016
Reviews > Book

One Man & One Woman

This little book makes a compelling biblical case for heterosexual marriage over against same-sex unions. It is a theologically robust response to the sexual obsession and gender confusion of contemporary Western society. The book comes from a US Reformed church context and references the Westminster Confession, Larger Catechism and Heidelberg Catechism. It seems mainly…

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Review

December 2016

Creation Points – Genesis 1-11

Christians stand in debt to Andy McIntosh and his friends who labour so effectively in the battle for the truth of creationism. In this book, the battle lines are drawn between Christians who stand for biblical inerrancy and those Christians who try to impose the evolutionary viewpoint onto the text of Scripture. McIntosh challenges…

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Review

December 2016

Wonderful! Blythswood People share stories of God’s faithfulness

Here are 13 miracles of grace, which in time have led to so much good. It is a most apt title! This book commemorates 50 years of gospel and Christian witness, first started in Glasgow and then spreading to European, African and Asian countries. I eagerly read the foreword written by Lord Mackay, a…

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News

November 2016
News

Inductions – Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth

On Saturday 3 September, Rhodri Brady’s service of ordination and induction to the pastorate of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, took place. Rhodri’s father Gary Brady, minister of Child’s Hill Baptist Church, London, and grandfather Geoff Thomas, retired minister of Alfred Place, took part.      Also taking part were Alfred Place’s church elders, Robert Strivens,…

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News

November 2016
News

Persecution: Russia – American charged

An American citizen has had to pay a 40,000 rouble (US$700) fine after a Russian judge ruled he had ‘unlawfully conducted missionary activity’. In August, a judge in the city of Oryol, Russia, ruled Donald Ossewaarde, a US citizen, had been acting illegally by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. A statement available online…

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Article

November 2016
Cults and other religions

The myth of Mother Teresa

On 4 September 2016, Pope Francis canonised Mother Teresa as a Catholic ‘saint’ at a Vatican ceremony. This article by Tim Challies was published online in November 2003 (http://www.challies.com/articles/the-myth-of-mother-teresa?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork). Mother Teresa (known also as Mother Teresa of Calcutta) was born in what is now called the Republic of Macedonia in 1910. Born to Albanian…

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News

November 2016
News

Ethics – Don’t Screen Us Out

A controversial new, non-invasive, pre-natal test (NIPT) for Down’s syndrome is under public scrutiny. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is suggesting that, though expensive — given the high cost of treating children born with Down’s — it might still be cost-effective to give the test to all. However, such a move would…

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News

November 2016
News

Conference – Through the lens of Melchizedek

At the beginning of September, the John Owen Centre hosted delegates, who endured the intense heat of the hottest September day in over 100 years. They enjoyed the intense and fruitful papers and the discussion that followed each of them at the conference. There was plentiful opportunity to greet old friends and make new…

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News

November 2016
News

Persecution: Africa – Central African Republic

More than 200 people have been reported as killed by Islamic militants in the war-torn Central African Republic. Violence has intensified across the country, as Seleka Islamist militants spread into Koui in the north and Kouango in the south of the Christian-majority country. September’s violence has also seen residents fleeing across the river to…

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News

November 2016
News

Conference – Wilberforce Academy

In September, more than 100 delegates gathered at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, to confer on speaking of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord in the public square. The Wilberforce Academy is hosted by Christian Concern. One of the attendees was Immamuel Opara, 31, a fitness instructor and pro-life activist. In 2015, he went to…

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News

November 2016
News

Education – LGBT lessons in schools

Christian teachers who are members of national unions may be at risk of unfair treatment over Labour pledges to push LGBT rights in schools, the Christian Institute has warned. In October, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, made the pledges in a manifesto on equality and diversity. The manifesto backed compulsory sex and…

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News

November 2016
News

Media – BBC perversion

A Pro-transgender promotion at the BBC has become so intensive and one-sided that a Times columnist has ‘for the first time in her life’ written to complain to the BBC. Janice Turner said the BBC Radio 4 programme in September, in which presenter Jennifer Tracey interviewed a 10-year-old girl whose parents used the internet…

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News

November 2016
News

Media – John Knox’s Bible

A forgotten Latin and Hebrew Old Testament, published in 1546 in Basel, Switzerland, has been identified by staff at the University of Glasgow Archives and Special Collections, as the property of Scottish reformer John Knox. The library of the Christian reformer had been broken up and ‘lost to view’, news reports claimed, with only…

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News

November 2016
News

Mission – The Twelve Days of Christmas

Recently, Evangelical Times interviewed Roger Ellsworth and Jim Holmes about a new project they are working on: the publication, promotion and distribution of a small-format, 112-page book, The Twelve Days of Christmas: morning and evening thoughts on Immanuel — God with us. The book is by Roger Ellsworth (details from http://twelvedaysofchristmas.net). ET: Jim, tell…

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News

November 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: The 2016 American presidential election

One of the fundamental privileges of belonging to a democratic nation is being able to vote. Our desire, especially as Christian citizens, is to make an impact on our nation and culture through that vote. We want to have good laws passed, and just rulers and judges put in places of authority, so that…

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Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

Julius Köbner (2)

Continued from Julius Köbner (1) When Julius and Juliane Köbner joined as members of the Baptist church in Hamburg in 1836, the church had 36 members. Their pastor, Johann Oncken, needed an assistant to relieve his workload as pastor, preacher and missionary. There was no one in the church at that time with the necessary…

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News

November 2016
News

Conferences – Free Church School in Theology

The 64th Free Church School in Theology was held from 5-8 September at Carronvale House, Larbert. The School commenced with an historical paper by Rev. Alasdair Macleod on the great Presbyterian leader, Alexander Henderson, showing how he and the other Scottish Covenanters defied Charles I in his attempts to impose ritualistic worship on the…

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Article

November 2016
India

God’s plan in a TB sanatorium

While serving with Operation Mobilisation in India in 1967, tuberculosis forced me into a sanatorium for several months. I did not yet speak the language, but I tried to give Christian literature written in their own language to patients, doctors and nurses. Being an international seminary student in America, and studying the Protestant Reformation…

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News

November 2016
News

International – Hurricane Matthew

Christian organisations are helping those injured and left homeless in the wake of October’s deadly Hurricane Matthew. At the beginning of October, Haiti, Cuba, the Caribbean, Florida and the south-east coast of the USA were struck by the deadliest hurricane to hit the region since 2005. Hurricane Matthew brought winds of up to 140mph,…

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Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

A night to be remembered – what Dr Lloyd-Jones really said.

It seemed as though it might be an uneventful night in London … The many Christians who made their way to the Central Hall, Westminster for the opening of the Second National Assembly of Evangelicals were totally unaware of how eventful that meeting would be. Even the members of the Westminster Fellowship who knew…

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News

November 2016
News

Society – Gambling in Blackpool

More than £175m has been gambled in Blackpool on betting machines alone over the past year, latest figures from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling have revealed. According to a report from the Blackpool Gazette, the statistics were released by the campaign group in support of their plea to bring in tougher regulations on fixed-odds…

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Article

November 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (3)

Mercy is a quality rarely seen in the world today. Instead, we see a competitive spirit, a ‘get all you can, while you can’ attitude. Thankfully, when we look at the God of the Bible, we see mercy. ‘Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go to…

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News

November 2016
News > Youth Features

Commandments anyone? Meaning and Origins

People today have all kinds of problems with authority and the idea of commandments. Nobody really likes being told what to do. They think it childish. In the case of God’s commandments, people imagine a tyrant laying down the law, wanting to take away human freedom and pleasure in life. Law is bad, freedom…

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News

November 2016
News

Ministry – ChristChurch Tilehurst

ChristChurch Tilehurst (CCT) has started its move to being an independent church, after beginning five years ago as a congregation plant from Carey Baptist Church (CBC) in Reading. CBC had outgrown its current building and it seemed that the Lord was leading us to plant a new satellite congregation. We identified an area in…

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Article

November 2016
Obituaries

Rev. Vernon Higham (1926-2016)

On 14 September 2016, the Lord called home one of his choice servants, and one of the most respected ministers in the British Isles: William Vernon Higham, pastor emeritus of the Tabernacle Cardiff. The funeral service was held in the Tabernacle Cardiff on Tuesday 27 September. Pastor Robert Dickie, of Berean Baptist Church, Michigan,…

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Events – Stanton Lees Chapel anniversary

News

November 2016
News

Events – Stanton Lees Chapel anniversary

Stanton Lees anniversary and Bible School is one of those engagements that go on our calendar first — I think this was our 45th year! So, on the last Saturday of August, we drove again along the narrow lane, up the one-in-seven Derbyshire hill, to the chapel balanced precariously on the hillside. So did…

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Article

November 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

A tale of two wives: Eunice

In ET, October 2016, we looked at the marriage of Priscilla to Aquila. This month we consider the marriage of Eunice, the mother of Timothy. Perhaps Priscilla’s marriage being such a good example has left some readers saying, ‘That’s all fine for Priscilla. She made the perfect marriage. Some of us have not had…

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News

November 2016
News > General

Thoughts on Remembrance

As far back as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the military, and especially the army. Both my grandfathers fought in the Second World War (WW2). My nan watched the Battle of Britain from Wimbledon, and my father served in the Parachute Regiment. I was always fascinated by their stories and, even from a young age, knew…

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News

November 2016
News

Persecution: India – Politician attacked

Christians have been targeted across India in a series of attacks, with one Christian politician stabbed to death in a church in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu in October. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, Dhanasekharan was at a church service when a phone call lured him outside, where five men were…

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News

November 2016
News

Events – Union School of Theology

The meeting room, for the first commissioning service of the Union School of Theology (UST), was nearly full, mostly of campus students, both degree and from the International Foundation Course. Jonathan Stephen also introduced representatives from learning communities in England and Wales: Hull, Liverpool, London, Eastbourne, Worthing, Oxford and Porthcawl. Excitingly, there were even…

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News

November 2016
News

Mission – New Christian bookshop

A new, independent Christian bookshop has opened on the North Norfolk Coast. Shiloah Books is owned and managed by Lisa Davies, wife of the pastor of Cromer Baptist Church. As well as a range of Bibles, commentaries and Christian literature, there is a good selection of greetings cards and gift items, including Bible-based games…

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Article

November 2016
Articles > Comment

Ten commandments for church members

1. Don’t idolise your pastor. Don’t expect him to be able to do what only God can do. Don’t make a saviour of him. 2. Don’t criticise your pastor, unless he departs from the truth, and then do it with tears. And please don’t expect perfection. He is a mere man — a weak,…

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News

November 2016
News

Mission – Guernsey broadcasts

During September, Prof. Andy McIntosh and his wife Juliet visited Guernsey, which he described as ‘a most beautiful island, with cliffs on the south and sandy beaches along the north and west’. Prof. McIntosh said: ‘The opportunity in Guernsey spiritually, was most valuable. The Thursday main meeting on 22 September saw about 150 in…

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News

November 2016
News

Mission – Christian outreach to Muslims

A Christian outreach to Muslims by those of a Muslim background has seen great growth as it sets up house groups and fellowship meetings. A prayer letter from the Christian group said: ‘Our living God has filled our hearts with his burden and vision in our lives to reach specifically to the Muslims with…

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News

November 2016
News

Persecution: Central Asia – Uzbekistan

Eight Christians in the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan have been punished in recent months for having religious literature at home, Norwegian human rights organisation Forum18 has revealed. Seven of these were landed with heavy fines, while the other was sentenced to two years of corrective labour for committing the same offence twice within…

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News

November 2016
News

Education – London Seminary

The London Theological Seminary has changed its name to the London Seminary. Here, Principal Robert Strivens explains why. Q: Why have you changed your name? A: Changing our name to London Seminary might feel like a radical step, but we want to reach a wider audience — for instance, all those evangelical churches and…

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News

November 2016
News

Ethics – Three-parent baby

The world’s first three-parent baby was born to Jordanian parents in Mexico. The baby boy was born five months ago. His mother, whose name remains anonymous, carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal disorder that affects the developing nervous system. Her first two children died from the disease. The technique used has caused much…

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Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

Britain’s decline and fall (1)

How deep-rooted is decadence in Britain today? What would it take for there to be a widespread turning to Christ? Some answers to these questions lie beneath two centuries of social history. We start with the years 1790-1840. These were the decades of the ‘Forgotten Revival’, the high watermark of British evangelicalism that followed…

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Inductions – Whittlesey Baptist Church

News

November 2016
News

Inductions – Whittlesey Baptist Church

Paul Kosciecha was inducted into the pastorate of Whittlesey Baptist Church in Cambridgeshire on 3 September. Mr Kosciecha has moved to Whittlesey with his wife Anita and their four children, Matthew, Nathan, Caleb and Vanessa. He joins the eldership team, alongside Graham Abblitt, Roger Brand and Steve Philpott. Members of Whittlesey Baptist Church were…

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News

November 2016
News

Persecution: Pakistan – Asia Bibi

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has been considering the final appeal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman put onto death row after accusations of blasphemy. During October, Christian advocacy agency Release International called on Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws to be repealed. Ms Bibi, who has been described as Pakistan’s highest profile prisoner, has been on death…

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News

November 2016
News

Society – Christianity in Scotland

Figures published by National Records of Scotland showed that last year there were more humanist than Church of Scotland weddings. Almost 80 per cent of these were carried out by Humanist Society of Scotland. The latest Scottish Household Survey (SHS) has revealed nearly half of Scottish adults are not religious. When a question about religion…

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News

November 2016
News

Ethics – Sex trade in the UK

Organised crime in the UK is more involved in running Britain’s sex trade than experts had previously believed, according to the Police Foundation. Research from the foundation has found that nearly three-quarters of brothels have links to dangerous criminal gangs. Some 65 brothels have been identified as operating in Bristol between 2013 and 2014,…

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Some danger signs

Article

November 2016
Articles > Guest column

Some danger signs

A Yale professor said, ‘A void has opened in the heart of western Christianity. Where the cross once stood, there is now a vacuum’. Cross Did you hear Christ and the cross exalted last Sunday in public worship? If not, the preacher needs to examine what his duty is. Paul said, ‘For I decided…

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Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

‘Though he died, he still speaks’

He had a burning desire to take the gospel to Korea. A gifted linguist, he had already mastered the rudiments of the Korean tongue. Having secured passage as an interpreter on an American armed trading ship, the General Sherman, he set out for Pyongyang, the capital. As the ship sailed along the Taedong River,…

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Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

Gideon Ouseley (2)

Continued from Gideon Ouseley (1) 1798 was the year of the Irish rebellion against English rule, with Ireland in the grip of violence. When Gideon was away on his gospel travels, Harriet was left at home; and it may have been the thought of danger to her that caused them to move to Sligo,…

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Article

November 2016
Spain

Visiting central Spain

Studying for Spanish GCSE two years ago, I travelled out to Spain to stay with a pastor called Jose Luis and his family, who live in a small town called Moral. He is one of three pastors and four churches, part of an organisation called Spanish Gospel Mission (SGM). This is a faithful evangelical…

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Conferences – Festival of Grace, Gaulby

News

November 2016
News

Conferences – Festival of Grace, Gaulby

The 17th annual Gaulby Festival of Grace was held on Saturday 10 September, at St Peter’s Parish Church, Gaulby, Leicestershire. About 60 were present and were blessed with excellent ministry and warm fellowship. The Gaulby Reformed Evangelical Anglican Fellowship is one of the Church of England (CofE) fellowships in Leicestershire where the doctrines of…

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News

November 2016
News

Church – Bishop David Jenkins

The controversial former Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, died in September 2016. Bishop Jenkins, who was enthroned in Durham in 1984 and served until 1994, was a prominent figure during the time of the bitter miners’ strike in the 1980s, and well known for supporting workers against unfair practices. However, he was also known…

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News

November 2016
News

Events – Yateley’s holiday at home

‘Thank you so much. This really is my holiday for the year’. This was what one of our guests said as she left Yateley Baptist Church last Thursday afternoon. For the third year running we have been able to organise an event for some of our elderly folk in the community who have little…

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News

November 2016
News

Mission – Mission merger

Serving In Mission (SIM-UK) and Middle East Christian Outreach (MECO) UK & Ireland have completed the merger of their two organisations. The two long-established mission agencies are pooling resources, prayer and personnel to drive greater gospel outreach both in the Middle East and among diaspora Middle Eastern peoples. In a joint statement, SIM-UK director…

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Review

November 2016
Reviews > Book

Light from Old Times

Some years ago, a friend visited the parish church in Childwall, Liverpool, in order to see the grave of Bishop Ryle, Liverpool’s first bishop. Having some difficulty in finding it, he sought the vicar’s help. Not only did the vicar not know its whereabouts, he had never even heard of Ryle! Such lamentable ignorance…

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Review

November 2016

The Forgotten Fear

This is a much-needed book on a largely neglected subject. It is divided into seven chapters, with questions to ponder at the end of each. In the first chapter, the author shows that fear of God is not an outdated, Old Testament concept, but something found throughout the Scriptures. It includes a brief review…

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Review

November 2016
Reviews > Book

Living in a Godly Marriage

This book is the latest in the ‘Deepen your Christian life’ series, which aims to make Puritan wisdom on various subjects accessible to a contemporary audience. Modern readers may wonder how relevant Puritan ideas are to the success of marriage in the twenty-first century. However, the authors state that their aim is to ‘set…

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Review

November 2016

Why the Reformation still matters

Michael Reeves and Tim Chester have done a great service to the church in writing this book. It is a timely reminder of what happened in Europe some 500 years ago, in what has been called the Great Reformation. In modern times, more lip service than commitment is being paid to this momentous event…

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Review

November 2016

Shepherds after my own heart — essays in honour of Robert W. Oliver

This festschrift is a tribute to the long and fruitful ministry of Robert Oliver, retired pastor at Bradford-on-Avon. The editors explain how friends and fellow ministers have addressed topics which are dear to Dr Oliver. The result is a smorgasbord for anybody who shares those interests. A contribution from Dr Oliver’s son, Paul, gives…

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Review

November 2016

WCS – Psalms: from suffering to glory Vol2 73-150

There is something special about the Book of Psalms, and this also goes for good commentaries on it. Psalms contribute uniquely to Christian prayer, worship and praise. They also contribute uniquely to the New Testament’s explanation of the gospel of Jesus and the kingdom of God. To many, Psalms is more familiar than other…

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Review

November 2016

The Power of God for Salvation — papers read at the 2015 Westminster Conference

In December 2015, I attended the Westminster Conference in London where these papers were first given. The six papers cover five significant men from a period of over three centuries. They include Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466–1536), John Owen (1616–1683), Isaac Watts (1674–1748), Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) and Andrew Fuller (1754–1815). The papers cover a variety of…

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Review

November 2016
Reviews > Book

Prepared to Stand Alone – J C Ryle

Readers of J. C. Ryle’s Expository thoughts on the Gospels and other classics may feel well acquainted already with the author. But while Ryle’s character is clear from his writings, personal anecdotes and experiences are almost entirely absent. Iain Murray has done the church a service by bringing to life the man behind the books. Ryle…

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Review

November 2016

Communicating for a change — seven keys to irresistible communication

This was a frustrating read. There is much that is good and helpful, but it is couched in a rather arrogant tone and fails to say anything helpful that hasn’t already been said by others. It is a book of two halves. The first takes the form of a fictional narrative, written by Lane…

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Review

November 2016

Black Flags: the rise of ISIS

Names such as Abu-Musad al-Zarqawi, ISIS (or IS), al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and al-Nusra have become very familiar to anyone keeping abreast of world affairs. They are all players within the seemingly ever more turbulent and violent landscape of the Middle East. Yet, I suspect that very few of us understand…

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News

October 2016
News

Mission – Christian Heritage Centre

The Christian Heritage Centre, Rowley Regis, Birmingham, now in its fifth year, held its popular annual cream tea and second-hand book sale on the second Saturday in August. More than 100 visitors passed through the centre. A body of interested supporters have been regular at these special events, which is encouraging and helpful for…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

The progress of Christianity in Finland

As a Protestant Christian from Finland, I trace my spiritual heritage back to the Finnish Reformation, when the country turned from Roman Catholicism to Protestant Lutheranism. Although not a Lutheran myself, I am thankful for how God used this period to bless my home country with the Word of God in the Finnish language,…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Guest column

The printed word

A woman went to her local Christian bookshop and purchased a copy of a book called Ten girls who changed the world. She bought this book for her nine-year-old daughter. When the girl finished the book, she said, ‘I think God is calling me to be a missionary, but I don’t need to wait…

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News

October 2016
News

Induction – Glasgow City Free Church

Rev. Allan Shearer was ordained and inducted to the role of assistant minister of Glasgow City Free Church, part of the Free Church of Scotland, at a service earlier this summer. This follows the retirement of Rev. Finlay Mackenzie six months earlier. Around 150 people attended the service, which was led by Glasgow and…

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Mission: North Africa – New Bible translation

News

October 2016
News

Mission: North Africa – New Bible translation

It has taken 30 years to translate the New Testament into the West African Tawallammat language, but that is just the first step in spreading the gospel among the Tamajaq people who speak it. As translator Andrawes [name changed] admits, there is still a huge task to share the good news of Jesus with…

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News

October 2016
News

Politics – Free speech

Anjem Choudary’s conviction has proved new counter-extremism powers are unnecessary, free speech campaigners have said. The Defend Free Speech (DFS) campaign, supported, among others, by the Christian Institute was launched in Parliament last year. It claims existing legislation is sufficient to target genuine extremists, and further hard-line laws are not needed. The campaigners are…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Egypt – Coptic Christians targeted

Christians in Egypt are going through unprecedented attacks, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK has claimed. Bishop Angaelos said, having emerged from uprisings and changes in government, resulting pressures on the economy and infrastructure, and the loss of foreign investment and tourism, Egypt has become more vulnerable to a…

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News

October 2016
News

Church – Anglican rifts widen

Christian Concern (CC) has warned of a schism in the Church of England (CofE) over the issue of same-sex marriage. This comes as the Bishop of Grantham announced he was a homosexual and has a partnership with another man. According to CC, several parishes are preparing for the beginnings of what could be a…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Religious decline halted

Religious decline seen in the UK over the past few years appears to have halted, according to pollster NatCen Social Research’s latest British social attitudes survey. Although the proportion of people saying they have no religion increased gradually from 31 per cent in 1983 up to 51 per cent in 2009, there has been…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – A unique book

Author Gareth Crossley has released a second edition of his unique, Christ-centred survey of the Old Testament. Entitled The Old Testament explained and applied, and aimed at the global English-speaking market, the first edition (2002) has been highly acclaimed and has helped pastors and preachers ministering in first- to third-world contexts. The Old Testament…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Extremist literature

Five books branded as extremist by the prison service remained in prison libraries in England and Wales for seven months after a review called for their removal, it has been revealed. According to a report from the BBC, the books, which promote hard-line Islam, were discovered during Home Office official Ian Acheson’s prison review and…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

The Republic of Finland

Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917. During World War II, it defended its independence through cooperation with Germany and resisted subsequent invasions by the Soviet Union. In the late twentieth century, Finland transformed from a farm/forest economy to a diversified industrial economy. It has been a member of the EU since 1995. Neighbours: Norway,…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Merthyr Tydfil

A Welsh sex entertainment company has had its application for a venue in a rural Welsh town turned down by the council’s licensing committee.  Supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), a number of objectors urged the committee in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, not to grant a license for the venue in such close…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

A tale of two wives: Priscilla

The Bible tells us tantalisingly little about Priscilla: just enough to piece together about 17 years of the life of an amazing woman (see Acts 18; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19), but leaving plenty to ask her when we meet in heaven! Her real name was Prisca, Priscilla being the diminutive — ‘little Priscilla’;…

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News

October 2016
News

Ethics – Pornography influence

Teenagers and young people in the UK are becoming more addicted to pornography, leading to polluted sexual relationships with each other, a BBC documentary has found. BBC Newsbeat’s ‘Brought up on porn’ documentary has revealed how women are being forced to spend money to be the idealised ‘perfect version’ of a woman, because their…

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News

October 2016
News

Event – 200th anniversary

Salem Chapel at Martin Top, near Clitheroe, Lancashire, celebrated its 200th anniversary last month. Roger Carswell preached about the fundamentals of the faith that inspired those early Georgian founders: the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The chapel was packed out by more than 170 people, some of whom were sitting on the floor…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – Church planting

London Theological Seminary (LTS) has been receiving plenty of applications for the Plant! course for 2016-17, which started in September. Plant! is a one year, part-time course for those interested or involved in church planting. According to a newsletter from LTS, it involves seven day-long sessions over the course of the year, each session…

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Article

October 2016
Obituaries

Roger Cook (1941-2016)

Christian radio is often an unsung ministry in the UK and yet it has a huge impact across the developing world. Roger Cook’s great contribution in his many years of service for the Lord was developing radio ministry in both France and Francophone Africa. Roger Cook will be known widely among Grace Baptist churches…

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News

October 2016
News

Mission – Grace Baptist Partnership news

Scotland has seen extensive mission work during the summer, with the Grace Baptist Partnership (GBP) organising a week-long evangelistic outreach in major Scottish cities. According to a GBP newsletter, West Edinburgh saw its ‘best week of evangelism ever, with nearly 40 people participating, reaching 6,000 homes with gospel influence’. The team had a number…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Ampleforth College

Catholic School Ampleforth College, in North Yorkshire, has been at the centre of an inquiry into alleged sex abuse. Earlier this year, there was an investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy there. The teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term, while…

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Conference – Aber Conference 2016

News

October 2016
News

Conference – Aber Conference 2016

The long journey westwards on a busy weekend in August is well worthwhile, not just because of the beautiful drive over the Cambrian Mountains as you approach Aberystwyth, but far more because of the wonderful Aber Conference when you arrive. Nearly 1,200 people of all ages attend, but the sight of so many eager…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Syria – Aleppo appeal

Christians and other ordinary citizens in Aleppo, Syria, are struggling daily after being surrounded and besieged on all sides, either by government forces, rebel forces or foreign military intervention. In an email to advocacy agency Barnabas Fund, sent by its ministry partner in Aleppo during August, the problems were outlined dramatically: ‘The enemy has…

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The Trinitarian benediction

Article

October 2016
Articles > Comment

The Trinitarian benediction

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen’ (2 Corinthians 13:11-14). I once heard a pastor say, ‘I don’t care what doctrine people believe, as long as they love Jesus’. Does it really matter what you believe? Can…

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Jonah for today’s church (2)

Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (2)

‘Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and he answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice’ (Jonah 2:1-2). Prayer is a sacred act. It is not meant to be a…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Contending for the faith (2)

Continued from Contending for the faith (1) The church in the eighteenth century suffered from the attack of atheistic philosophers, but in the nineteenth century there was an even more subtle attack that came from within. Higher Criticism and the theory of evolution cast doubt upon the accuracy of the Bible. So-called Christian scholars,…

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‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

The immediate context of this promise is the threat Israel faced when the Assyrian king Sennacherib mounted a siege against the nation (c.700 BC). The people had seen king Hezekiah in mourning, with sackcloth on his head because of the danger they were in. God assured them that the time would come when the…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Julius Köbner (1)

Julius Köbner, Johann Gerhardt Oncken and Gottfrid Wilhelm Lehmann were three great German Baptist pioneers in the European continent. They became known as the Baptist cloverleaf. Köbner became Oncken’s right-hand man and his closest friend in the Baptist church in Hamburg. The story begins in Odense, Denmark. Köbner’s parents were immigrants from Poland and…

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News

October 2016
News

Ethics – Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes clinics have had surgical abortions suspended after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found significant safety breaches. The CQC discovered there were problems surrounding the levels of training and competence in anaesthesia and sedation, issues of consent, and the instigation of this course of action by Marie Stopes. In a statement, campaign group…

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News

October 2016
News

International: Pakistan – Forced conversions

Forced conversions are still being carried out across Pakistan, reports from the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) have claimed. If any girl reconverts to Christianity, she is accused of apostasy, and while the state does not prohibit any citizen from converting or reconverting to any religion, the reality in Pakistani society…

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News

October 2016
News

Education – High participation in religious studies

Religious education GCSE courses have seen the highest number of entries since 2002, a report has claimed. Data from the RE for real report shows the number of pupils in England and Wales taking the GCSE Religious Studies full course is at its highest since 2002. There were 284,057 entries, up 0.1 per cent…

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News

October 2016
News

Ministry – Aberdeen encouragement

The Aberdeen congregation of the Free Church (Continuing) recently agreed to purchase the Stuart Resource Centre, Invercauld Road, Aberdeen, from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Scotland for £291,500. We believe this is a token of God’s continuing mercy towards both the congregation and the denomination. The Lord has provided for us in a most…

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News

October 2016
News

Politics – The politics of madness

Government has rejected recommendations from the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) of MPs to make ‘gender identity’ a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act. In a report from the WEC, although the UK government is ‘committed to a new “trans equality” action plan, and a review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004’, there…

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News

October 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Rural American congregational singing

Over the last few hundred years since the American Revolution, ecclesiastical music and singing in America have not changed as much as one might think. Many of the colonies were founded for religious freedom, especially New England, where the Pilgrim Fathers and Puritans settled. During that time, the foundation for American church music and…

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Article

October 2016
Obituaries

David Wilmshurst (1914-2016)

David Wilmshurst, or ‘O.D.’, as he would become known to generations of Gindiri students, was born on 21 August 1914. He grew up in Croydon, where his parents were members of West Croydon Baptist Church. It was through Isaiah 6:8 — ‘I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and…

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Article

October 2016
Finland

Finishing the Finnish Reformation

Being an international seminary student in America, and studying the Protestant Reformation in Germany, as well as more recent church history in England and America, made me realise how little I know about the Reformation in my own country of Finland. This led me on a quest to study my own Reformation heritage and…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Gideon Ouseley (1)

Who was Gideon Ouseley? He was an early nineteenth century evangelist in Ireland, given a roving commission by the Irish Methodist conference. He had a particular calling to preach the gospel in the Irish Gaelic language, to a predominantly Roman Catholic peasant population. As a Methodist, he was of course Arminian — sometimes belligerently…

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People – Rev. David S. Fraser 

News

October 2016
News

People – Rev. David S. Fraser 

On a sunny summer’s evening, a goodly number of the congregation of Shettleston, part of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (FCC), met in the Redstones Hotel, Uddingston. They gathered to mark the retirement of Rev. David S. Fraser, having been called to Shettleston twelve years previously. After a very pleasant meal, the session clerk, Mr…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Harvest expectations

‘And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart’ (Galatians 6:9) When it comes to Christian service, I wonder what our expectations are. Do we have great expectations? Do we eagerly anticipate a great outpouring of God the Holy Spirit? Do…

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Article

October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Break up your fallow ground’

‘For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns’ (Jeremiah 4:3). Last summer I was walking along a path through two fields near my home. It was during the dry spell at the end of June. In the first field, the…

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News

October 2016
News

Warning to churches

Christians across the UK have been urged to remain vigilant after the threat of Islamic terrorist actions against places of worship. In July, police forces in the UK wrote to churches warning them to step up their vigilance against possible attacks. This followed the Islamic terror attack on a French Catholic church in Normandy,…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Politicians need prayer

A Devon church minister has set up an organisation to help encourage Britons to pray for their local and national politicians. Rev. Mike Davies, who is the senior minister at Okehampton’s Inspiration Church, has just graduated in a course studying ‘Leadership in public life’. The course involved meeting many senior politicians, diplomats, and ambassadors.…

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News

October 2016
News

Ministry – John Newton Project news

Simon Manchester, senior minister at St Thomas’ Anglican Church, North Sydney, led the main Bible studies at the first week of the Keswick convention this year. Mr Manchester spoke from Deuteronomy and encouraged those attending to ‘take a great interest in the wisdom of John Newton’. According to the latest newsletter from the John…

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News

October 2016
News

Society – Transgender warning

Transgender’s societal bandwagon is a ‘cult’ which ‘wants to do permanent physical harm to perfectly healthy bodies in the name of “love”, an American author has claimed. Writing on the ‘American Conservative Website’, Rod Dreher cited dozens of letters from readers who are troubled by the ‘nightmare’ of having teens suddenly announce they are…

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Historical

October 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall? (3)

The ‘subscribers’ — those Nonconformist ministers who had voted in favour of a declaration of faith concerning the Trinity — did not take their defeat (57-53 votes) lying down. They returned to Salters’ Hall on 3 March 1719 and unanimously resolved to adopt the words of the 1st article of the 39 Articles and…

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News

October 2016
News

Media – Police delays

The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has sent an open letter to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), complaining over delays in DBS (child protection) applications. In the letter, the head of CCPAS said the delays in getting such applications processed were ‘causing our members and service users significant concerns in the safer recruitment…

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News

October 2016
News

Olympic testimonies

Many Olympians returning to their countries from Rio this year did so in triumph, but several have publicly declared glory to God for their talent and success. ‘Jesus did it’. This was the comment made by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, after he won gold in the men’s 400m final. According to a…

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News

October 2016
News

Media – CRE looks for new owner

The Bible Society has started looking for a new owner of the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE). The 12th-13th October 2016 show in Maidstone, in Kent, is the last under Bible Society’s management, and the society is inviting anyone interested in acquiring the exhibition to contact the organisation. Following Bible Society’s acquisition of CRE in…

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Conference – Lewis Christian Conference

News

October 2016
News

Conference – Lewis Christian Conference

This year’s Lewis Christian Conference was held from Friday 24 June to Monday 27 June, in Kenneth Street Free Church, Stornoway. The speaker was Alistair Begg from Cleveland, Ohio, and the theme ‘Looking to Jesus’. Attendances throughout the weekend were encouraging. On Friday evening, Pastor Begg spoke from Mark 1:14-39 on the theme, ‘The…

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Review

October 2016

Preparation for Ministry

A great little book on a vital subject. It comes in two halves. The first contains the author’s own thoughts on the subject, comprising seven pithy but structured chapters covering the basics for an introduction to a life of ministry. The second half has four ‘appendices’, the bulk of which consist of Spurgeon’s ‘The…

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Review

October 2016

Knowing Christ

Shortly after becoming a Christian, Mark Jones read J. I. Packer’s Knowing God. This book made a profound impact on him, and Knowing Christ is something of a follow-up to Packer’s classic. Packer himself writes an enthusiastic foreword to the book. There is no doubting the aim and desire of the author. He makes…

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Review

October 2016

From the Pen of Pastor Paul – 1-2 Thessalonians

I found this book personally helpful. Although accessible to all Christians, it reminded me of what lies at the heart of a pastor’s work. The author explains how its content is taken from sermons preached to his church from Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians. This was just after he declined a call to another…

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Review

October 2016

Opening up Deuteronomy

For someone surveying the books that comprise our Bible, wondering which to read, or for a preacher deciding which to preach, Deuteronomy would not be an immediate choice. But it is in the Bible and, according to Paul, is ‘useful’ for our instruction in the faith. For many, this Old Testament book feels as…

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Review

October 2016

Intentional – Evangelism that takes people to Jesus

This is a short, punchy book about evangelism. The author is vicar of a conservative, evangelical Anglican church. You can quickly tell he isn’t someone holed up in a study who never talks to unbelievers. It is practical, realistic and motivating. At just 10 chapters long, it is also an easy read. Williams aims…

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Review

October 2016

Records of Grace in Sutherland

Sutherland: I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the location. In case you are an exception, Sutherland is a county in the far north of Scotland with, uniquely, eastern, western and northern coastlines. The author of this book, Rev. Donald Munro, was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. He lived from…

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Review

October 2016

Sweetly set on God – piety of David Brainerd

This handy little book is an introduction to David Brainerd (1718-1747), pioneer missionary to the native Americans. It is part of a book series sketching out the lives and ministries of divines in the Puritan tradition, stretching from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. The series’ title is ‘Profiles in Reformed spirituality’, edited overall by…

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Review

October 2016

Portraits of Faith

It can be difficult to fully comprehend biblical concepts such as ‘grace’, ‘faith’ and ‘hope’. In his student years Dr Beeke had been challenged to consider the meaning of ‘faith’. After 50 hours’ hard work, he still felt his efforts far too abstract. Then, inspired by the ‘hall of the faithful’ in Hebrews 11,…

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Review

October 2016
Reviews > Book

Jewels from John Newton

I feel indebted to Miller Ferrie. You might do too by the end of this review. Why? Because she has carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully compiled a series of daily readings, drawn from the works of that trophy of grace, John Newton. It ranges far and wide across Newton’s letters, thoughts about the nation and…

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Review

October 2016

What the Bible teaches about The Trinity

The Trinity is not a niche subject only for keen Christians; we all need to know what the Bible teaches about the Trinity, because we all need to know God. As Stuart Olyott explains in this helpful little book, ‘A belief in the Trinity is essential to salvation’ (p.87) because the one God in…

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Review

October 2016

What the Bible teaches about The Person of Christ

This book has three main sections, each considering an aspect of the person of Christ and each linked to one title in the Saviour’s name, the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. In the first, he is ‘Lord’. Here the doctrine of Christ’s deity is opened up from eternity, in time, and to eternity. The author offers…

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Review

October 2016

God’s not dead 2

This new release from Pure Flix, directed by Harold Cronk, is a very watchable courtroom drama, with high production values and excellent acting. With great skill, a number of themes have been woven together, in order to provide what is both an enjoyable movie and a thought-provoking piece of Christian apologetics. Reflecting on more…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Contending for the faith (1)

When we view the situation in some of the historic denominations in the United Kingdom, we see how they are dominated by false teachers. Ministers and elders can hold the most outrageous opinions and yet no action is taken against them. Trials for heresy seem to have become a thing of the past. We…

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News

September 2016
News

International – Eisteddfod outreach

In 1947 an international musical eisteddfod (festival) was held in Llangollen seeking to bring war-torn countries together. It has been held here ever since and provides a unique opportunity to share the gospel with competitors and spectators from all over the world. Glanrafon Evangelical Church have hosted an evangelistic team for many years to…

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News

September 2016
News

Politics – Abortion fears

Theresa May’s new cabinet poses challenges to pro-lifers, according to anti-abortion campaigners. Paul Tully, director of parliamentary research for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said the new Prime Minister’s cabinet comprised several members whose track record on abortions left much to be desired. In particular, SPUC noted the July appointments…

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News

September 2016
News

International – French tragedy response

Nice has welcomed the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, an international coalition of crisis-trained chaplains. The team journeyed to France to offer emotional and spiritual care on the streets of Nice, following the horrific terror attack on Bastille Day, in July. More than 80 people died in the violent attack, with dozens more seriously…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

PERSONAL VIEW: Brexit reflection

‘Vote leave’ supporters seemed as surprised as everyone else that Britons decided to exit the EU on 23 June 2016. At the time of writing this article no asteroid strike had taken place. Even the rumbling Icelandic volcano failed to erupt in disgust.  And there was no earthquake. Or was there an earthquake? In…

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News

September 2016
News

Media – Anglican lectionary

Church Society has created weekly expositions on the Church of England’s lectionary (Scripture readings list) to help support ministers and others. A blog post on the Church Society website explained how many, if not most Anglican churches use the lectionary to guide them each week, in at least one of their services. It said,…

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News

September 2016
News

Conference – Keswick bonanza

For several weeks during July and August, the small town of Keswick in Cumbria, in the North of England, was swarming with people attending the 141st Keswick Convention. According to organisers, the convention (16 July-5 August) was ‘completely packed out’, with more visitors than ever, and an extra relay venue needing to be added…

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News

September 2016
News

Conference – Northumberland Bible teaching

‘Another excellent weekend!’ That is what those who attended the Northumberland Bible teaching weekend said. Sponsored by Longhorsley Mission Church, Kevin Bidwell (Sheffield) and Derek Cleave (Bristol) addressed the 200-plus attendees who gathered on 2-4 July 2016. In three sessions, Mr Bidwell opened up our call as Christians to run, wrestle and box. Mr…

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News

September 2016
News

Persecution South Sudan: Thousands flee

Violence in Sudan has seen at least 5,015 people, of whom 90 per cent are women and children, flee to the West Nile region of north west Uganda since July. According to reports, refugees are overwhelming border crossings with their high numbers. It is reported that, on 17 July alone, 1,633 refugees escaped to…

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News

September 2016
News

Event – Ryedale anniversary

Ryedale Evangelical Church met with friends from Ripon, Northallerton, Darlington, Whitby, Scarborough and Hull in Middleton Chapel, Pickering, on Saturday 16 July. They joined to give thanks for God’s faithfulness in providing for and upholding its minister William Horsburgh and the Ryedale church over the last 30 years. The church was formed in 1984,…

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News

September 2016
News

Politics – ‘Cameron overruled me’

David Cameron, former UK Prime Minister, overruled the former Secretary of State for Education after she attempted to make sex education mandatory in primary schools. Nicky Morgan, who until the latest cabinet reshuffle was Education Secretary, had intended to ensure sex education became a statutory subject for all schools in England. However, in reports…

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Article

September 2016
Belarus

Progress in theological education in Minsk

Next year I will be 40. The middle-age crisis will not necessarily hit me too hard, but I have begun asking questions like, ‘What have I been doing for the last 20 years?’ Basically, I have been striving in one direction in everything I have done. I have wanted to try to help recover…

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Article

September 2016
Evangelistic

Ben-Hur: the making of the story

I have seen Charlton Heston in the 1959 film Ben-Hur more times than I care to remember, and I loved viewing it. I have never been bothered by the faux pas of the twentieth century images in the background of the chariot race, but have been moved by this simple tale of the injustice…

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News

September 2016
News

Ethics – Britain’s shame

The United Reformed Church (URC) has become the latest denomination to allow same-sex couples to marry in its buildings. During a meeting in Merseyside, the URC’s ruling general assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing gay marriage, although individual churches will not be forced to comply. According to a report from the BBC, this…

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News

September 2016
News

Church – Anglican revival

Could the Church of England (CofE) be God’s chosen instrument to revive the church? At first sight the question might seem ludicrous, but that proposition may not be quite as absurd as might appear at first sight. The Anglican denomination has an archbishop who has openly declared that he sometimes doubts whether there even…

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News

September 2016
News

Youth – Chernobyl youth at Nairn

The Nairn congregation of the Free Church of Scotland has recently hosted a group of school-aged children from Chernobyl in the Ukraine, in a partnership developed alongside other local churches. Many will remember the horrific explosion at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, close to the border between Ukraine and Belarus, in 1986.  While…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Comment

The Pole Star

One of the blessings of believing in God is to stand in wonder and worship while beholding the glory of God’s creation. Many of you may know that a few miles north of me here, in Lexington, Kentucky, there is a building phenomenon, a huge wooden boat built by Answers of Genesis, that is…

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News

September 2016
News

Compassionate ministry – Steadfast Global

A Scotland-based mission to the suffering church, Steadfast Global, has been instrumental in arranging the Dohuk Summit, a meeting of church leaders in Northern Iraq. For the first time, leaders from the evangelical church joined with Orthodox denominations in late June, with the primary purpose of seeking a lasting solution for the migration of…

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News

September 2016
News

Extreme counter-extremism

The government’s counter-extremism measures have been roundly criticised by a joint committee of MPs. In May 2016, a Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill was included in the Queen’s Speech. Christian organisations warned then that the government could end up trapping innocent people in its measures, and now, an all-party Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR)…

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News

September 2016
News

Persecution UK: – Appalling injustice

Christian anti-abortion campaigner Aisling Hubert is facing a £47,000 bill for legal costs after the Crown Prosecution Service derailed her attempt to prosecute gender-abortion doctors. Christian Concern, whose sister organisation the Christian Legal Centre was supporting 23-year-old Ms Hubert in her private prosecution attempt, has urged Christians to contact their MPs about her situation…

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News

September 2016
News

Mission – Solas at the Fringe

The Solas Centre for Public Christianity (Solas SPC) held a series of outreach events over August as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival took place. The Fringe arts festival, which attracts thousands with its artistic, musical, theatrical and comedic shows, this year featured more than 3,000 events, from 5-29 August. While many of these are irreverent,…

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News

September 2016
News

Youth – RE youth debate

School children in the House of Commons took part in a major debate in July about the role of religious education. More than 70 students from across England came together at the Houses of Parliament for the inaugural Youth Debate on the role of religious education in schools. The debate was staged by the…

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News

September 2016
News

Mission – Salford-Manchester Evangelical Presbyterian church plant

A typical northern city, whose cotton mills were once powered by water from the River Irwell, Salford experienced massive decline in the twentieth century as its traditional industrial base was eroded. Now slowly regaining some prosperity as an excellent commuter area for those working in adjacent Manchester, and home to Manchester United Football Club,…

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News

September 2016
News

International – Russian crackdown latest

Russian elections in September may offer a ray of hope to Christians in the country, who are at risk of a serious crackdown on religious activities. On 24 June, the lower house of the Russian parliament — the Duma — approved legislation known as Yarovaya’s Law, which aimed to tackle extremist religious groups operating…

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News

September 2016
News

Media – Life of Brian protest

Christian charity director Richard Norton has slammed the decision of a local church to put on a screening of The Life of Brian. The film, which parodies the life of Jesus, caused great controversy when it was produced in 1979 for its implicit and explicit blasphemy. However, during July, it was screened at a…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Fishers of men (2)

‘When Simon Peter saw [the miraculous catch of fish] he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord! For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken … And Jesus said to Simon, Do not be afraid. From…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Are you called to gospel ministry?

If there is anything else a man can do other than preach, Martyn Lloyd-Jones maintained, he ought to do it. The pulpit is no place for him. The ministry is not merely something an individual can do, but what he must do. To enter the pulpit, that necessity must be laid upon him. A…

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Article

September 2016
Scientific (including creation)

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

In a recent BBC TV programme, The man who made the modern world, Professor Iain Stewart began by asking people in Edinburgh’s George Street whether they recognised a portrait of James Clerk Maxwell. Virtually none did, even though they were standing right under his large monument, erected in 2008. He is known as Scotland’s…

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News

September 2016
News

Event – Church history afternooon

On Saturday 4 June 2016, a good number travelled to the tiny Leicestershire village of Barton-in-the-Beans to join with local chapel members for their annual church history afternoon. The historic Baptist church in Barton was founded in the eighteenth century, and witnessed scenes of great blessing and conversions in those early days. The speakers…

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News

September 2016
News

Persecution: Nigeria – Land grab

Nigerian Christians have suffered a death toll of at least 133 since mid-June, after Islamist group Fulani have embarked on a wave of violence. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, on 10 July a pastor’s wife was murdered in Abuja as she shared the gospel in her local neighbourhood. The following week, a mob…

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News

September 2016
News

Youth – School badge scandal

Parents at a Church of England primary school in Huddersfield have expressed anger after the school removed a cross on its new school badge. The school is the result of a merger between three schools around Crosland Moor, near Huddersfield. The cross formed part of a pupil’s winning entry, in a competition to design…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Lessons learned from a crank sensor

Trials are part and parcel of the Christian life. We may not like that, but it is a fact we have to face up to. Trials refine us and remove the dross. But, I never imagined in a million years that I would learn something about trials from a ‘crank sensor’! What on earth…

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Jonah for today’s church (1)

Article

September 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Jonah for today’s church (1)

I once heard a prominent British preacher say the book of Jonah might well be the most underrated book in all of Scripture. Having just taken a Bible study group through this little book, and having also taken a local church through it in recent years, I agree with that statement. The book of…

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News

September 2016
News

Persecution: Pakistan – Whatsapp arrest

WhatsApp messages have caused a Christian man to be charged under Pakistan’s severe blasphemy law. According to reports, police have registered a case against Nadeem James and are searching for him, as he has fled his home to save his life. The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) reported Mr James had…

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Article

September 2016
Articles > Guest column

The hunger for significance

Richard Gere, in a recent film, plays the part of a homeless man who has this line: ‘I’m nobody; I don’t exist’. Andrew Carnegie was asked how much money it took to make a man happy. His answer was, ‘A little more’. The relentless hunger for significance in the human heart cannot be satisfied…

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News

September 2016
News

Mission – Christ in Calais

Most people would not venture into the migrant encampment known as the Calais Jungle, notorious for potential danger. Yet there are a few teams of Christians who visit regularly, including Dave Workman, evangelist with OAC Ministries (formerly known as the Open Air Campaigners). Mr Workman says, ‘My guesstimate is that 70 per cent of…

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News

September 2016
News

Politics – ‘Named Persons’ thrown out

Christian organisations have given thanks after the Supreme Court pronounced the Scottish government’s controversial Named Person scheme plans unlawful. In an historic decision the five judges, including two from Scotland, unanimously struck down the central provisions of the scheme, in a landmark judgment in July. The Christian Institute and others v. The Lord Advocate…

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News

September 2016
News

Mission – Christian Prison Resourcing

There have been many doors closing and opening in the UK’s prison service and, according to the latest Christian Prison Resourcing (CPR) newsletter, some of these changes have affected CPR teams directly. HMP Holloway has now closed. The last of the women prisoners have been relocated to other prisons and this means a change…

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Article

September 2016
Obituaries

Peter Bull (1939-2016)

Peter Bull, the guesthouse owner whose legal battle to defend biblical marriage went all the way to the Sup-reme Court, has died peacefully in hospital aged 76. In a statement from the Christian Institute, which supported Mr Bull and his wife Hazelmary since 2008, when legal proceedings first started against them, the organisation claimed…

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News

September 2016
News

Church assembly melted to repentance

This June, commissioners (elders) from the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) met in the southern city of Mobile, Alabama, to convene the 44th General Assembly, the denomination’s annual meeting for business. For the last few years, missional theology, and most recently, racial reconciliation, are subjects that have sparked animated debate. But on 23 June…

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News

September 2016
News

Media – Project Hannah

Trans World Radio’s (TWR’s) Project Hannah has been given an award in recognition of its family-focused broadcasting. Project Hannah is TWR’s women’s ministry, centred on the radio programme Women of hope, which, according to TWR, brings together practical and spiritual teaching elements under a common theme. The Association of Christian Media (ACM) for Southern…

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News

September 2016
News

International – Humanitarian crisis

Barnabas Fund has launched Project Joseph, stepping up the delivery of food aid to Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, which are facing a serious humanitarian crisis. In Ethiopia, up to 10 million people are in danger of starvation. Two failed rainy seasons, followed by catastrophic flooding, have destroyed crops across large parts of a country in…

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News

September 2016
News > Youth Features

Caring For Life – compassion in action

Esther Smith, senior pastoral admin-istrator of Caring For Life (CFL) writes: CFL is supporting an ever-increasing number of extremely vulnerable people, and right now, some of the youngest are having a really tough time.’ They are simply lost, due to a dire shortage of safe housing and ongoing cuts to the welfare support available…

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News

September 2016
News

Politics – Loving Muslims, exposing Islam

Christian Concern has called on Christians not to be afraid to talk about Christ to Muslims, despite media coverage of atrocities carried out allegedly in the name of Islam. In a statement, Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: ‘Even among Christians, there can be hesitancy about speaking publicly about the errors…

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Historical

September 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall (2)

In Evangelical Times, August 2016, we looked at the historical and theological ethos of the nation after the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660. Our story proper begins in Exeter, Devon, in 1717. It involves two Presbyterian ministers, Joseph Hallett and James Peirce. Joseph Hallett was principal of a dissenting academy…

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Review

September 2016

Ichthus — Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Saviour

Jesus Christ should surely be at the forefront of our thinking and at the centre of our life. This is why this book is a delight to read. Jesus Christ is its all-consuming interest. Its title, Ichthus, is modelled on the acronym in the Greek, which is rendered ‘Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Saviour’. There are…

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Review

September 2016

Ann Judson – A Missionary Life for Burma

Adoniram and Ann Judson were certainly pioneer missionaries. They set sail for Asia in 1812, expecting never to see America again. Ann was one of the first female American missionaries. Their original plan was to serve in India, but various providences led them to Burma, a land whose customs, language, religion, mindset and climate were totally foreign to them.…

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Review

September 2016
Reviews > Book > Historical

Theodore Beza – The Man and the Myth

This title opens with, ‘Theodore Beza? Who’s he? Why should I care about him?’ The author (associate professor of church history at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) answers these questions with warmth and clarity. Three reasons are given for writing. The first is that Theodore Beza (1519-1605) is a great example of what it…

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Review

September 2016

Different – Living the Holy Life

Many books have been written on holy living. This is not surprising, as the Lord constantly calls his blood-bought people to walk in his ways of righteousness, justice and truth. Here we have another book on the same subject, but this one is different. It is different because it is written for people like…

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Review

September 2016

The Christian and Money

The subject of the Christian’s relationship with money is an important one. The way we use the money God gives us reveals much about the condition of our heart. On the one hand, ‘money answers everything’ (Ecclesiastes 10:19); on the other, ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’ (1…

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Review

September 2016

The murderous history of Bible translations: power, conflict and quest for meaning

This books comprises 13 chapters, subdivided into three parts: ‘Before the violence’, ‘The violence begins’ and ‘Enlightenment’. The book is broadly chronological, beginning with ‘The legacy of Alexandria’ and ‘The legend of the Septuagint’, while concluding with thoughts on ‘The future of the translated Bible’. The author, Harry Freedman, is a writer and academic…

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Review

September 2016
Reviews > Book

A great blessing to me — John Newton encounters George Whitefield

This is a delightful study of a fruitful friendship between two evangelical leaders of the eighteenth century. George Whitefield was probably England’s greatest preacher. John Newton was a pastor, spiritual counsellor and hymn writer. Both men deserve to be better known. Whitefield’s ministry shows us what God can do in desolate times. It should…

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Review

September 2016

For the Glory – The life of Eric Liddell from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr

This is a biography of the celebrated Olympic champion and missionary to China, Eric H. Liddell (1902-1945). The publishers’ dust-jacket claim that it ‘tells for the first time the full story of the life of Eric Liddell in extraordinary, vivid detail’ seems to ignore no less than six previous, fairly full biographies of Liddell!…

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Review

September 2016

A Survey of Church History (Part 6) DVD

This is a series of twelve, approximately 25-minute lectures on DVD, surveying the history of the church in the twentieth century. The first lecture is a general introduction to the century which saw both the best and the worst things in human history. Lecture 2 looks at the work of world mission in the…

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Review

September 2016

Pentecostal outpourings: revival and the Reformed tradition

There are Christians today who have little place for revival. Some focus on the most useful methods for reaching unbelievers with the gospel. Others concentrate on taking Christianity into the public square by promoting social justice or confronting aggressive secularisation. Then there are those who confuse revival (a spontaneous and surprising work of God)…

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Review

September 2016

1966 and all that: an evangelical journey

1966 was a memorable year, not least for this reviewer who enjoyed the thrill of being at Wembley to see England lift the World Cup! However, of far greater significance for British evangelicalism was a meeting of the National Assembly of Evangelicals on 18 October. There, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones delivered his now much discussed…

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Review

September 2016

War and Faith

This is a sequel to Don Stephens’ highly successful book War and grace (EP); it is essentially more of the same. War and faith looks at the life story, conversion and subsequent Christian life of eight men and women whose lives were impacted by the gospel around the time of the Second World War.…

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Historical

August 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall (1)

‘History’, said Henry Ford, ‘is more or less bunk’. The Roman statesman Cicero had a very different view: ‘he who is ignorant of what happened before he was born’, he declared, ‘is destined to remain always a child’. But what benefit is there in a knowledge of history? To know that there was such…

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News

August 2016
News

Media – Good for you?

Being strongly religious could significantly improve your physical and mental health and well-being, a study from think-tank Theos has claimed. The research, which analysed 139 separate studies published over the past three decades, confirmed the correlation between religious belief and practice and different elements of physical and mental wellbeing. The report, Religion and health:…

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News

August 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: How American churches justified slavery

‘There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the coloured race’ (General Robert E. Lee, 1856). No evil…

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News

August 2016
News

Mission – 25 years of the Christian Institute

Spiritual and moral decline is still prevalent in the UK and there is still a need to recover a Christian mind and worldview, the chairman of the Christian Institute (CI) says. In the CI’s 25th anniversary annual review, 25 years of Christian influence, John Burn OBE talked about the reasons for founding the Christian…

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News

August 2016
News

Education – Emmaus School, Staverton

Emmaus School in Staverton, Wiltshire, has recently unveiled its building extension plans. Starting in 1997 with just four pupils, the school, which is rooted in Christian values, has grown to more than 65 students, aged from Reception to Year 11. Occupying the site formerly used by the local primary school, a Victorian building dating…

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News

August 2016
News

Ethics – Abortion call

A United Nations (UN) committee has called for abortion to be decriminalised ‘in all circumstances’ in Northern Ireland. In June, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urged the Northern Ireland Executive to ‘review its legislation’ to ensure girls have access to ‘safe abortion’. Although the committee’s recommendations are not legally binding…

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News

August 2016
News

Politics – Using common sense

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has welcomed comments from former Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron stating the ‘Prevent Duty’ has been misused. The Prevent Duty, issued by the Department of Education in 2015, aims to highlight areas of concern over radicalisation; in particular, Islamic extremism. However, it was used earlier this year to prevent a…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – Pilgrims’ Friend Society

At the Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s (PFS) May 2016 thanksgiving service in  Harrogate, four key speakers gave a well-rounded insight into the ministry of this charity working with older people. Pastor Dr Tim Chester, was the plenary speaker and presented a talk on ‘The beauty of an intergenerational church’, taking Titus 2 as his text.…

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News

August 2016
News

Persecution: Pakistan – More perversion of justice

A Pakistani anti-terrorist court has acquitted five Christians of blasphemy charges, but two more have been jailed for six months under the blasphemy law and an anti-terrorist act. The case was registered on 16 August last year against 16 people for displaying and publishing material considered threatening, abusive and insulting. In a statement from…

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News

August 2016
News

Ethics – Surrogacy confusion

A surrogate mother who gave birth to a gay couple’s baby after meeting them once has been allowed to keep the child, after a judge ruled the baby would be better off with her. The woman, who is in her early 20s, contacted the two men (one of whom is the baby’s biological father)…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Law and gospel

There is much to discourage us about the state of the church today. We think of its conformity to the spirit of the world, lack of depth in Christian experience, absence of heart religion, paucity of the fear of God, disregard for the Lord’s Day, lax attitude to worship, and absence of seriousness with…

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Article

August 2016
Scientific (including creation)

In six days (2)

Continued from ‘In six days (1)’ Dr Henry Morris, in his commentary on Genesis, asks a question that shouldn’t be necessary but unfortunately is: ‘Suppose the writer of Genesis wished to teach his readers that all things were created in six literal days, what words would he have used to best convey this?’ The…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > World Mission

ACTS continues to amaze and reach out

When an experienced prosecuting barrister passionately shares common ground with ‘Chris’, a convicted prisoner, we need to see why. When the son of an Imam unconditionally endorses their agreement, there is something special. That ‘special’ thing is, of course, the wonderful good news about what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do for…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – London Theological Seminary

Ten students completed the two-year pastoral studies course at London Theological Seminary (LTS) in June. At the LTS Annual Thanksgiving Service, which was held on 25 June, they spoke of their plans for future ministry or, in some cases, further studies. Between them, they would be going to preach the gospel in South Africa,…

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News

August 2016
News

Russian crack-down

The Kremlin’s anti-terrorism laws have serious implications for biblical Christianity in Russia. Christians in Russia have been praying and fasting after their government approved a series of anti-terrorism laws that will have serious repercussions on Christian worship and witness. On 24 June, the Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) approved laws to curb…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Priscilla and Aquila: ‘working together with him’ (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Priscilla and Aquila are two lesser known characters in the New Testament. The impression we get is that they were a man and wife team ministry, for the New Testament references to them are invariably as a couple, and not as individuals. Their ministry was not a high profile, public one, yet it was…

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News

August 2016
News

Ethics – Assisted suicide voted down

A vote by doctors against assisted suicide has been welcomed by campaign groups and charities. In June, 198 doctors voted to maintain their opposition to assisted suicide at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual meeting. 115 voted in favour of a motion which called for the BMA to take a ‘neutral’ stance on the…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – Family Education Trust looks at current reproductive issues

The latest Family Education Trust conference, in central London, faced up to challenges posed by new reproductive technologies and an intrusive State. Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, examined how we are to view identity and parenthood in a non-ideal world in which children can be produced…

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News

August 2016
News

Education – Ergon Fellowship

All Souls, Langham Place, has launched a programme called the Ergon Fellowship. The fellowship is a 10-month programme, designed to equip workplace disciples to realise a deeper biblical understanding of their paid work. The aim is to establish a small Christ-centred community, whose understanding of God’s word and mission for those in paid employment…

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News

August 2016
News

Church – Synod on same-sex marriage

Bishops, clergy and lay members of the Church of England’s ruling body, the General Synod, have been urged to sign a pledge to uphold biblical marriage. Before its closed session in York, which was held from 10-12 July, pro-biblical marriage supporters called on the Synod not to water down the church’s teaching on marriage,…

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News

August 2016
News > Youth Features

University link-up 2016

Christian Unions (CUs) exist on university campuses primarily to give every student on campus the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ, regardless of nationality, language, background, culture, age or religion. CUs are part of an organisation called UCCF (University and Colleges Christian Fellowship), which helps set up events and…

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News

August 2016
News

International: USA – Seminar backfires

More than 30 people who paid to walk on hot coals at an event with motivational speaker Tony Robbins were treated for burns. According to an Associated Press report, the people had attended the convention in Dallas to conquer their fears. Thirty were burned, five seriously enough to be taken to hospital.  Dallas Fire-Rescue…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Comment

Coping with tragedy

How can we cope with the constant stream of calamities reported almost daily in the media? How can we absorb all the heartaches and disappointments a fallen world confronts us with? For every new event we may consider ‘good’ or even ‘very good’, there follow ten ‘bad’ ones hard on its heels. Surely we…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Fishers of men (1)

One dreary January day, a discouraged young pastor sat down and wrote himself a letter. He saw scant success in his ministry: no real fruit, no changed lives and, as far as he knew, not a single convert to Christ from all his preaching, visitation and counselling. Nor was he alone in this, for…

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News

August 2016
News

Events – Encounter the Ark

‘Noah’s Ark’, which has taken many years to complete, has finally opened to the public in Kentucky, USA. The Ark Encounter, the brainchild of Answers in Genesis, is 40 miles from its popular sister attraction, the Creation Museum, and aims to provide visitors with a life-scale idea of what the biblical Ark would have…

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News

August 2016
News

Family – Safe Families

A seriously ill mother, who was scared to go into hospital for treatment in case her children were taken into care, has been thrown a lifeline by Christian charity Safe Families for Children UK. Single mother Deborah Stephenson, who is chronically ill with fibromyalgia, refused to get the urgent knee replacement she needed, in…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Guest column

The Trinity and Public worship

The Trinity needs to become much more central to public Christian worship and preaching. Each part should be richly infused with the knowledge of Jesus Christ — the mediator of the new covenant and second person of the Trinity — and the Trinity itself. Preaching should draw out a strongly trinitarian understanding, so the…

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Historical

August 2016
Articles > Historical

Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

We are living in days when we can be easily intimidated by institutionalised atheism. Children in school science lessons may detect a sneer when they say they believe God created the earth and the first humans. When we enter museums, we are bombarded with information which promotes Darwinian evolution and its associated timescales, to…

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News

August 2016
News

Politics – Freedom of speech threatened

A new European Union (EU) agreement with major internet providers would have ‘a chilling and damaging effect on freedom of religion and speech’, Barnabas Fund has claimed. In June, the EU made an agreement with Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and other internet companies, that if any civil society organisation raises concerns about an article or…

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Article

August 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Hospitable hearts

More than 20 years ago, a shy, humble, elderly man transformed the fellowship at our 6.00pm church service. How did he do it? He brought a packet of biscuits and butter menthols to church. Up until that point, people didn’t stay around for ‘supper’. But little did this elderly man foresee the impact his…

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Article

August 2016
Obituaries

Geraint Fielder (1935-2016)

In generations past, at least in Wales, we venerated our preaching stars — the ‘pulpit princes’, whose appearance at special events could always draw a crowd. In yet earlier generations, however, men of great talent gave themselves largely to serving a local church. In some humble ‘Bethel’ or ‘Calvary’ they would delight in the…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – P-word

Two Christian organisations hosted a crucial conference, on Thursday June 23, to educate and equip church leaders to resist the damaging culture of porn. Christian charity CARE and the Naked Truth project, an organisation which works with people suffering from pornography addiction, hosted ‘The P-word conference’, which explored the issue of pornography and practical ways…

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News

August 2016
News

Repentance, the need of the hour

While the Church of England’s general synod met in emergency debate after the vote to leave the European Union (EU), Andrea Williams and Pastor Ade Omooba, co-founders of Christian Concern (CC), issued a call for repentance. In a CC statement entitled ‘A manifesto of hope — Christ Jesus the cornerstone’,they said the church needs…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – Release Women

A persecution conference in London heard about the long-term impact on Christians in Pakistan, of the Lahore bomb attack and the growing violence against the Christian community in Pakistan. Release International staged the conference, ‘Blessed are the Persecuted?’ at the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London, in June. Release is sending counsellors to Pakistan to…

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News

August 2016
News

Evangelical Times International

The editors of Evangelical Times (ET) are grateful to the many subscribers who have generously included donations to Evangelical Times International (ETI) along with their regular ET subscription renewals. The editors have conducted a survey among ETI readers over its last two editions to allow opportunity for comment and feedback. We have been heartened…

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Article

August 2016
Slovakia

A summer visit to Slovakia

I have known Branislav Micieta, pastor of Soli Deo Gloria Reformed Baptist Church in Žilina, Slovakia, for several years, having first met him at the Metropolitan Tabernacle School of Theology. Two-thirds of the population of Slovakia profess to be Roman Catholic and the influence of the Church of Rome there is quite strong. At…

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News

August 2016
News

Education – Religious education set for overhaul

Religious education in schools is set to be overhauled after a new, high-profile, independent commission was established. The Commission on Religious Education (CRE) will have a remit to make wide-ranging recommendations, as it reviews the legal, education and policy frameworks for religious education in all primary schools, secondary schools and further education colleges in…

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News

August 2016
News

International: Belgian death wish

Catholic care home St Augustine has been fined for refusing euthanasia to one of its residents. The rest home, in Diest, Belgium, operates a strict pro-life policy. However, when it prevented doctors from giving a lethal injection to Mariette Buntjens, a 74-year-old woman suffering from lung cancer, it was fined 6,000 euros. According to…

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News

August 2016
News

Politics – Named Persons update

Scotland’s largest teaching union has backed a motion calling for the ‘workload, contractual and legal implications’ of the Named Person scheme to be investigated. At the Educational Institute of Scotland’s (EIS) annual general meeting, delegates asked its council to investigate and report on how the role of named persons — which will fall to…

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News

August 2016
News

Mission – TBS on Teesside

On the evening of 7 June, Dr David Allen of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) visited the Presbyterian Reformed Church at Stockton-on-Tees. He gave an address entitled ‘A word for times of difficulty’, based upon Matthew 14:24-25. While in the path of godly obedience, the disciples alone on the boat were overtaken by a storm, just as…

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News

August 2016
News

Conference – Jonathan Edwards Conference

On 9-10 June, in the comfortable surroundings of Radisson Blu hotel, Durham, 60 attendees were treated to a theological feast, focused on the New England theologian Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), whose seminal ministry has helped mould Reformed evangelicalism for three centuries. This conference followed an inaugural one held in Durham in 2014. The theme this…

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News

August 2016
News

Politics – Counter-extremism fog

A leading Parliamentary committee has been left ‘none the wiser’ about government efforts to crack down on extremism, despite a Home Office minister appearing in front of them to explain it. Karen Bradley was facing the Joint Committee on Human Rights as the government prepares a consultation on its plans. Ms Bradley, a counter-extremism…

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Historical

August 2016
Articles > Historical

Seven marks of true revival

Knock & Point Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), on the Isle of Lewis, is a congregation with a history of revival over the last 100 years, and some of our members can remember seasons of remarkable blessing during the 1940s and 1950s. Sadly, revival has not been much experienced in recent years, but we…

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News

August 2016
News

Media – Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard was unduly hounded by the British judiciary, Canon J. John, director of the Philo Trust, has claimed. After the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) announced Sir Cliff Richard ‘will face no further action over allegations of historical sex abuse’, Canon J. John called the manner of the investigation ‘disquieting’. He said: ‘Whether…

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Article

August 2016
Poland

Pray for Poland

Imagine a door that has incredible powers. It has the ability to cleanse you from every sin that you have committed. All you need to do is walk through it. But, it is a door that only opens once every 25 years. You would need to travel to Rome and walk through the doors…

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Politics – ‘Remember me’

News

August 2016
News

Politics – ‘Remember me’

David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the UK, has asked the UK to remember him as the man who brought in gay marriage. Mr Cameron, who claims to be a regular church-goer, told the press during his resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street that same-sex marriage was one of the ‘great steps’ this country…

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Review

August 2016

BST – The message of Joshua

A college lecturer specialising in the Old Testament, David Firth has authored several commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures prior to this volume. His expertise in the Hebrew language and Israelite customs inform this book throughout, making it an enjoyable read. Part of the ‘Bible speaks today’ series, the book aims to guide lay readers…

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Review

August 2016

Serving with Calvin

Serving with Calvin is a sequel to the author’s earlier work, Worshipping with Calvin, in which he argued for ‘the historic ministry and worship of Reformed Protestantism’. In this later book, he sets out to show us how to do it. There is much that is helpful. An introductory chapter surveys the church scene…

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Review

August 2016

Focus on the Bible – Joel & Obadiah

This is an edifying commentary, in the Focus on the Bible series, on Joel and Obadiah. It is readable, concise and well structured. It focuses on expounding the text of these two books, pulling together larger themes, as well as selecting key phrases and words for more detailed exposition. Iwan Rhys Jones is Director…

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Review

August 2016

Starting out in Children’s Ministry

In this short book, Alison Mitchell gives helpful and clear advice on setting up and running children’s ministry. Alison is the commissioning editor for the Good Book Company and has been training children’s and youth leaders for over 30 years. She is author of the ‘Click’ teaching material, has written several tracts for children…

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Review

August 2016

I was sick and you visited me

This is a short, helpful and practical book on ministering to those in need. It is full of wise advice, and thoroughly biblical in its approach. It addresses many practical questions, such as who should visit the sick and why we should visit them. The author also addresses the issue of ‘how’ to visit…

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Review

August 2016

A Christian and an Unbeliever discuss …

Rob Slane tells us he was a committed and dogmatic atheist who became a committed and dogmatic Christian. This book is an imagined conversation between one who is still the former and himself as the latter. It is a composite of conversations he has actually had. This makes the transitions between topics clumsy at…

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Review

August 2016

Exploring the Bible – Ecclesiastes: Joy that perseveres

The message of Ecclesiastes is as timely in the 21st century as when first written some 3,000 years ago. In this readable devotional commentary, in the Exploring the Bible series, Dr Michael LeFebvre defines the message of Ecclesiastes as showing that ‘living in the fear of God gives us grounds for joy, despite the…

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Review

August 2016

The Call

The aim of this book is to provide information and guidance for those who are considering full-time Christian ministry. It is divided into an introduction, two main parts and two appendices. Part one is about the ‘Call to ministry’ and has a twelve-part description of what to look for in a person considering full…

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Review

August 2016

The Lord Shepherding His Sheep

This is a revised and expanded version of Beeke’s earlier work, Jehovah shepherding his sheep. Rather than a commentary on Psalm 23, it is a series of 19 expository sermons, originally preached in 1980. The sermons are Puritan in style and theology, but the language is contemporary, with short sentences making for easy reading.…

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Review

August 2016

Grace – The remarkable life of Grace Grattan Guinness

This book is based on letters, diaries, journals and notebooks written by the grandmother of the author’s husband. She has filled gaps in the journals and diaries using information from others in the family, and woven the historical information into a ‘fictionalised’ biography. The author concedes she had to ‘imagine’ Grace’s responses to letters…

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Review

August 2016

Awe – why it matters in all we think, say and do

Tripp sets out to explain things: why we sin, complain and crave stuff; why we forget to live in the awareness of eternity, and why we are dissatisfied in church, frustrated in family and unfulfilled in work and ministry. Tripp blames ‘awe wrongedness’. Being in awe of self instead of God means that life…

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Review

August 2016

Bitesize Biography – Griffith John

Who was Griffith John? In a readable manner, the author answers this question for this remarkably talented and dedicated Welsh missionary to China in another EP Bitesize Biography. Born into a godly home in Swansea in 1831, Griffith was converted at an early age. His preaching gifts were recognised during his teenage years. His…

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Review

August 2016

Ecclesiastes – A Quest for Meaning

It is commonly acknowledged that Ecclesiastes is one of the most difficult biblical books to understand. Many believers puzzle over its meaning, as they grapple with the author’s seemingly bleak view of life, where ‘all is vanity and grasping for the wind’. However, this commentary, unfolding the message of Ecclesiastes in a straightforward way…

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Review

August 2016

And so I began to read

This latest of Faith Cook’s books is autobiographical and reveals difficult periods in her life. These include when she was a mother of five small children, as well as a four-year period during which her husband was unwell and unable to minister. Faith is certainly gifted poetically and a writer of repute. In this…

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Review

August 2016

Are we together? A Protestant analyses Roman Catholicism

‘Given the attraction that Roman Catholicism is exerting on some Protestants, it is essential that its errors be exposed’. So writes Sproul in the closing pages of this book, explaining his aim in writing this short volume. It is striking how many Protestants are clamouring for greater closeness with Rome. Yet, as Sproul carefully…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > World Mission > Africa

French West Africa

Jean-Claude Souillot, managing director of Evangelical Press Missionary Trust (EPMT), describes recent ministry and further plans for extending the gospel into the French-speaking world. At the end of January 2016, I flew to Cotonou, Benin. Philip Hynes, who is the other preacher here in Chalon, France, came with me to take part in the…

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Historical

July 2016
Articles > Historical

John Flavel (1628-1691)

It was a privilege to be part of the Christian Union at Aberystwyth in the mid-1960s. A highlight, apart from the eminent preachers, was when books were put out for display on the book table.  Once a year the Banner of Truth took orders for ‘damaged’ books at only 40 per cent list price.…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Comment

Let us pray for our nation

•  What is my own personal standing before the Lord? For God to hear my prayer, I myself need to be in a right relationship with him. We come before God’s throne of grace, not trusting in our own righteousness, but in his mercy. •  Pray most especially for the nation’s repentance and that people…

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News

July 2016
News

Event – Sunday school procession

The annual procession of Sunday schools through Blackheath, Halesowen, took place in early May. The revival of what was once a great Black Country tradition has become a popular annual event. The day began with a special children’s service in Beeches Road Chapel, which was almost filled to capacity. Dr Stephen Stonelake played the…

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News

July 2016
News

International – Calling ISIS to account

Iraq has formally requested the UN Security Council’s assistance in preventing ongoing atrocities against Christians and other minorities. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, permanent representative for Iraq to the UN, outlined the struggle his government is facing in combating the terrorist organisation ISIS/Daesh, which controls particular areas of Iraq. He asked for help with prosecuting the…

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News

July 2016
News

International – Pakistan’s brick kilns

‘Run with it’ may be a term casually used by many, yet one couple have bravely chosen to ‘run with patience the race that is set’ for them (Hebrews 12:1) and to run that race in Pakistan. Rev. J. (initial only, for security) says, ‘It’s not enough to just talk about faith. When you…

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News

July 2016
News

Induction – Skye

Rev. Ross Macaskill was inducted to the Associated Presbyterian Church congregation of Skye and Harris on 29 April. Rev. John Davidson, Dundee, preached from Colossians 2. During his sermon, he highlighted the mystery, knowledge and treasure to be enjoyed in the gospel. Later, Dr John C. A. Ferguson addressed the newly inducted pastor from…

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Historical

July 2016
Articles > Historical

Christianity in Cornwall

County of ‘saints’, Celtic crosses, ‘holy wells’ and oratories. There is reason to believe that Cornwall received the gospel in the first century AD. The Cornish language became virtually extinct when Coverdale’s Bible and Cranmer’s Prayer Book in English replaced the Latin liturgy and mass. In 1661 and 1662, the Church of England in…

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News

July 2016
News

Event – Bible in the Dales

Yorkshire camps have launched a new venture, ‘Bible in the Dales’. The aim is to bring good Bible teaching and Christian fellowship to the rural communities of the Dales and their surrounding communities. The event was held over the early May bank holiday, just a few miles from Grassington, with people attending from all…

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News

July 2016
News

Scottish Reformed Conference 2016

This year’s Scottish Reformed Conference (SRC) was held on Saturday 14 May at Hamilton College, near Glasgow. The SRC is an event where believers of all ages and denominations gather to praise God and hear his Word taught by internationally renowned Bible teachers. It is a conference growing in attendance and reputation. This year…

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Article

July 2016
Nigeria

Creation teaching in Nigeria

In April 2016, at the two African Pastors Conferences (APC) in Nigeria — one in Abuja, and the other in Kaduna State — we had a very valuable time. It was extremely hot, 35oC and above, with little aircon. But it was a great blessing to reach eager pastors willing to preach the biblical…

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News

July 2016
News

Conference – Thrive 2016

Jane McNabb was the main speaker at this year’s Thrive Conference, entitled ‘Supportive and encouraging’, an annual event organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), for women who serve in church-based ministry positions. More than 30 women gathered in Worcestershire to hear Jane speak on Psalms 15, 16 and 17. Now in…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > World Mission

Women missionaries (5)

Elinor Magowan, who is women’s pastoral worker at UFM Worldwide, talks to Rosie Crowter. Rosie is a UFM missionary in Papua New Guinea. Her sending church is Hambro Road Baptist Church in Streatham. Can you tell us where you are living and working, and a little about your personal circumstances? My name is Rosie…

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News

July 2016
News

Media – BBC ‘too Christian’

An internal review has concluded — somewhat surprisingly and very unconvincingly — that the BBC is too Christian in its religious output. The review said that the network should diversify to fit ‘the religious make-up’ of British society. Aaqil Ahmed, head of BBC’s religion and ethics department, has filed a report with the company’s…

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News

July 2016
News

Mission – 50 not out

It is rare for a relatively modern Christian book to need regular reprinting 50 years after its original publication, and even rarer for the author to be as busy in God’s service as he was half a century ago, but Read Mark Learn and John Blanchard buck the trend. John moved from his native…

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Article

July 2016
Obituaries

Dr Enid Parker (1920-2016)

On 8 April 2016, Dr Enid Parker, known as ‘Asamolta’ or the ‘Red lioness’ to the Afar people of East Africa, went to be with the Lord she had served so passionately, for so many years. Born in Edenfield in Lancashire in 1920, her childhood was a sad one. Her father’s health was ruined…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘You are the Son of God!’

In the language of another time, George Hutcheson (d. 1678) observes that ‘private conference and mutual edification are notable means for advancing the kingdom of Christ, for by these means Christ gathered his disciples’. Today, we might casually call this ‘networking’ or ‘sharing’. It has been variously called personal, conversational, and even lifestyle evangelism.…

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News

July 2016
News

Induction – Shepshed

In early April 2016, Ian Hilder was inducted as co-pastor of Shepshed Word of Life Church, Leicestershire. Ian was formerly pastor at Copse Chapel in Clevedon. In Shepshed, the church had agreed to look for an additional pastor, preferably an older man, with experience and proven ability, who was looking to move on from…

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News

July 2016
News

Charity – Mercy Ships and Volunteers’ Week

Mercy Ships, the international charity that operates the world’s largest floating hospital, thank the thousands of volunteers who have helped the charity, while taking part in Volunteers’  Week over the years. Over 21 million people in the UK volunteer at least once a year, contributing an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Volunteers’ Week,…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What do we really think?

On 13 April, Channel 4 took a deep breath, risked the inevitable charge of being ‘Islamophobic’ and aired on screen its study of UK Muslim attitudes, What British Muslims really think. The broadcaster’s choice of person to front the programme was Trevor Phillips, erstwhile Chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. He had…

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What else matters?

News

July 2016
News > Youth Features

What else matters?

‘For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36). What else matters? Profit is something that I am sure will occupy the minds of us all sooner or later. No one can maintain any human enterprise unless it is profitable in one way…

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News

July 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Gender confusion

The mantras of today’s world are little different from Paul’s day. The truths clearly explained in God’s holy Word have been traded for lies and the result is confusion, chaos and destruction of souls (Romans 1:24-27). While ‘gender confusion’ may not have occurred in recent world history, the sinful desire of man to create…

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News

July 2016
News

Church – Encouragement at Partick

The Partick Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (FCC) congregation is delighted to announce that, from Wednesday 1 June, the congregation is worshipping in new premises. After a time of discussion, reflection and prayer, the congregation reached a formal agreement with the kirk session of Partick United Free Church of Scotland (UF) to share their spacious and well appointed premises (at 2-4…

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Article

July 2016
Philippines

Grace Ministerial Academy, Philippines

31 March 2016 was a special day for Grace Ministerial Academy (GMA), as nine men completed four years of study in the academy. They came from various locations in the Philippines, and most will be returning to the churches they are from, although some will take up pioneering work in different situations. GMA is…

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News

July 2016
News

Event – Zacharias Trust’s ‘Why series’

Being involved in itinerant Christian work gives the opportunity to see God’s people at work in a wide variety of contexts and be encouraged by what’s going on. Events organised by the Zacharias Trust are refreshingly different from most, given their focus on apologetics. Their recent ‘Why series’ event on suffering was another encouraging…

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News

July 2016
News

Abortion challenged

Pro-life groups have reacted with dismay at the latest batch of abortion statistics for England and Wales, and with outrage over a recent media interview given by Professor Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives. The Department of Health statistics show that 185,824 abortions were carried out in England and Wales, during 2015,…

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News

July 2016
News

International – Trauma healing

Over 30,000 refugees in the Middle East are receiving psychological support from a Bible-based trauma healing programme. Adults and children in Jordan, who have fled from Syria and Iraq, are receiving support from Bible Society, as they come to terms with the devastating effects of war across the region. Many are suffering trauma-related issues…

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News

July 2016
News

International – Tanzanian churches attacked

In early May 2016, a church was burnt down in north west Tanzania, the third arson attack on a church in the area this year. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Since 2013, there have been over 13 such attacks on churches in the area and no one has yet been…

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News

July 2016
News

Induction – Hope Church, Ferndown

On 30 April, Giles Woodcraft was inducted to the pastorate at Hope Church, Ferndown, which is near to Bournemouth. The Heatherlands Centre in Ferndown was packed for the occasion. Giles will be the pastor for evangelism, working as co-pastor alongside Stuart Fisher, who is pastor for teaching. During the service there was a real…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The worst day of my life

The best day of my life (apart from becoming a Christian) was 22 July 1978, when I married Maureen Margaret Ann Taylor at Cosheston in Pembrokeshire. The worst day of my life was 25 November 2014 when Maureen, my wife for 36 years, died peacefully at home. Earlier that day, a district nurse had…

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News

July 2016
News

Induction – Owlerton Evangelical Church

On Whit Monday 1861 the foundation stone for a new Sunday school and preaching room was laid at Owlerton, which was then a village about a mile from Sheffield. Owlerton Evangelical Church, as it is known today, began as a Wesleyan Reform Union chapel.  The late Brian Cocker was lay pastor of the church…

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News

July 2016
News

International – Justice matters

Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, is launching its Justice Matters campaign, to highlight the urgent need for justice in international trade The campaign intends to shine a light on the exploitative behaviour of some British companies overseas and asking the government to do something about it. There is currently a gap in…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

In six days (1)

Are you concerned that the ‘c’ word is creeping into the church? Not the awful ‘c’ word (cancer) that we’re increasingly familiar with these days. This other ‘c’ word is one we should not want anywhere near our churches, publishing houses, theological seminaries or mission agencies. I am referring to the compromise of the…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Overcoming your doubts

Mr Doubtful couldn’t believe it! There he was standing at the entrance to the Celestial City. Was it all a dream? Had he really been summoned to live with Prince Emmanuel and his people? Were they all expecting him? Would he be welcomed or turned away? He stood frozen to the spot. Suddenly, the…

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News

July 2016
News

Event – 50 years of Blythswood

On 19 May, at least 100 people gathered to celebrate 50 years of humanitarian work by Blythswood Care. Blythswood is a Christian charity working in many countries, particularly Eastern Europe. It provides emergency aid to those who suffer sudden crises; long-term projects for the sick, the elderly and children; and shoeboxes — a Christmas…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Guest column

The Trinity and Evangelism

Without dispute, Jesus is the name upon which men and women must call in order to be saved. In the very early stages of the church’s development, it is clear that the name of Jesus was the chief stumbling block to those opposed to the gospel. The Jewish religious leaders were ‘greatly annoyed because…

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Article

July 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Mass migration

In ET, July 2004, I wrote an article entitled, ‘The stranger within our gates’. Our Stockton congregation, like others, was experiencing an influx of asylum seekers. Some of the challenges included providing food, helping with accommodation and attending appeals against deportation. The situation impacted upon our worship and we ended up providing sermon notes…

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Review

July 2016

The Face of Jesus Christ

In the introduction, the publisher states, ‘It is hoped that young preachers will be here helped to see the kind of preaching that has led so many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ’. We were made aware of a biography of Archibald Brown (1844-1922) at a recent Banner of Truth conference. These sermons…

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Review

July 2016

You can pray

Do you struggle to pray? Does your mind go blank as soon as you begin to pray? Often our personal experiences can be so negative, but this book is very positive about prayer — as the title suggests, ‘You can pray!’ The book is split into three sections: why prayer is easy (how we…

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Review

July 2016
Reviews > Book

Jonathan Edwards and the Psalms

If you are interested in preaching or the theology of Jonathan Edwards, biblical exegesis or the Psalms, then this book will interest you. It is well researched and well written. The author arranges his material around seven key topics in relation to his subject: ‘The Psalter in Edwards’ world’; ‘God and Scripture’; ‘Humanity and…

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Review

July 2016

The Whole of Life for Christ

Comprised of seven Bible studies, this book explores real discipleship. Each aspect is presented as affecting the whole of the disciple’s life. There is a whole-life gospel, whole-life wisdom, whole-life purpose, and so on, through fruitfulness, mission, hope and worship. The studies are excellent. Introduced by a theme, each study explores an appropriate biblical…

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