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Everything in 2017 issue

Review

May 2017
Reviews > Book

From strength to strength: a life of Marcus Loane

On 23 April 1954, a student at Moore College, Sydney, was listening to a history lecture by Marcus Loane, being part of a series on Paul and Acts. It was a day not to be forgotten by W. J. Lawton, who would later speak of the ‘breath-taking grandeur’ of the address and would add,…

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Review

March 2018
Reviews > Book

Psalms Vol. 1: From Suffering to Glory (Welwyn Commentary Series)

This commentary from Philip Eveson, in the Welwyn Commentary Series, begins with a ten-page introduction, briefly touching on psalm headings (part of the Hebrew text); the division of the Psalter into five books; different types of psalm (praise, prayer, thanksgiving, wisdom, law, history, etc.); Hebrew poetry; musical accompaniment; and the use of psalms in…

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Review

January 2017

Learning about the Old Testament

This is a readable introduction to the history and theology of the Old Testament (OT). The author was the principal of the Presbyterian Theological College in Melbourne and writes from a Reformed, evangelical point of view. Harman begins with advice on approaching the OT: it is the Word of God and to be respected…

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Historical

December 2017
Articles > Historical

LETTER FROM AMERICA: President Kennedy’s assassination

On Friday 22 November 1963, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s immediate succession and Kennedy’s sudden death spurred worldwide controversy and raised suspicions of conspiracy, that were increased by the nature of the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Guest column

Christians and slavery

Evangelicals rightly celebrate William Wilberforce. His Christian beliefs motivated his historic effort to secure the abolition of the slave trade, in the British empire, in 1807 (see ET, December 2017). What we don’t talk about so much is how a number of godly Christian leaders, particularly in the Southern USA in the nineteenth century,…

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Article

January 2018
Articles > Comment

Something easily overlooked

Last year — 500 years on since the Reformation — was one of joyful commemoration, focusing on the exhilarating truths of the gospel. Scottish Reformer and martyr Patrick Hamilton, explained in his little treatise, Patrick’s Places, why the gospel is such a glad herald: ‘The [moral] law saith: “Pay thy debt. Thou art a…

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Article

January 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

In whose name?

In ET August 2016, ‘Teach us how not to pray’ looked at some bad ways people pray, putting their desires above their legitimate needs and not considering God’s will for their lives. But why do Bible-believing Christians behave this way? It comes down, I think, to at least two issues. One is fear, the…

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Historical

January 2018
Articles > Historical

Pierre Viret (1511-1571) — another forgotten Reformer (2)

The failed attempts to murder Pierre Viret (ET, October 2017) backfired on the Catholics; they were regarded with suspicion and contempt. Geneva was won for the Reformation, yet Viret was not to remain there. He was now entreated to go to Lausanne. Geneva had preachers, but there were none in Lausanne. Viret could not…

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Article

January 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The rainbow flag20

There was a time when the world was overwhelmed with wickedness and the evil of man spread across the face of the globe. The wickedness was so great that God determined to wipe out mankind, together with animals, birds and everything that moved on the ground. His chosen method of judgment then was a…

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Article

January 2018
Evangelistic

The terrible, terrific moment

Roger Ellsworth shares a story from My coffee-cup meditations about William R. Newell. The teenage Newell was so rebellious that he brought continual heartache to his parents. His father, a pastor, pleaded with R. A. Torrey, president of Moody Bible College, to accept his son as a student. Torrey refused. The father continued to…

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Article

January 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Seeking, speaking and winning2

They will be missing from our churches next Sunday: that wide variety of individuals — the ‘down and outs’, ‘up and outs’, and all others in between. But one thing is for sure, whether up or down, they are most definitely ‘out’; the majority totally ignorant of the real gospel, living with a blatant…

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News

January 2018
News > Persecution

Remember the persecuted church

Christian organisations joined forces, as 2017 closed, to encourage UK churches to pray for fellow-believers who suffer because of their faith. Around the world, many Christians risk harassment, discrimination, imprisonment or even the risk of death, simply for trying to live out their faith or worship together. The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the…

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News

January 2018
News > People

House of Windsor gets the Markle sparkle

Church leaders have welcomed the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement and urged prayer for the young couple. Dr Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘I have met Prince Harry on a number of occasions and have always been struck by his commitment and passion for his charities, and his immense love…

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Review

December 2017

Moving On – Beyond Forgive and Forget

Forgiveness is an issue that Christians will deal with until their dying day. It is not just ‘forgetting’: withholding full forgiveness comes at a cost, whether physical (lowered immunity), emotional (anxiety, depression, difficult relationships, anger, bitterness, etc.) or spiritual (putting a barrier between us and God). This book takes a hard look at one’s…

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Review

December 2017

When Evangelicals Care

Social care for the elderly is a much discussed issue and this publication is timely. It is the account of how a group of young Christians, concerned for the suffering of aged believers, became the wide-ranging Pilgrims’ Friend Society. It serves to correct any notion that evangelicals are too ‘spiritual’ to be concerned for…

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Review

December 2017

Jesus: the hidden years

The four Gospels tell us little about the Lord Jesus’ life prior to the beginning of his public ministry. These 30 years of near-silence have elicited much speculation about the ‘hidden years’ of Jesus. There is, for example, the apocryphal story in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (believed to date from the second century)…

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Review

December 2017

For the Glory – The life of Eric Liddell

Biographies of Christians can be rich feasts that inspire believers. How excellent it is to have a new work that should rank as one of the best of this present generation. Duncan Hamilton is a sports writer and apparently not a Christian, so it is remarkable how he spent over eighteen months researching the…

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Review

December 2017

The Axe and the Tree

The subtitle of this book is, ‘How bloody persecution sowed the seeds of new life in Zimbabwe’. At the time the story begins, Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. The mission involved was the Elim Missionary Society. Key figures in its early days were Cecil Brien, a medical doctor from Belfast, and his wife, Dr…

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Review

December 2017

Reformation Women – 16th Century figures who shaped Christianity’s Rebirth

Stories of those who pursued faithfulness in life and doctrine are always inspiring. Here are twelve such stories of women serving the Lord in the turbulence of Reformation times. They were from France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and one — a former lady-in-waiting to a famous Roman Catholic queen — was English. Most were…

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Review

December 2017
Reviews > Book

A Chance to Die – Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

A chance to die is Elisabeth Elliot’s title for her account of the life of Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur. If such a title suits anyone, it is surely Elisabeth Elliot herself, as she faced the fearful loss of her young husband Jim, murdered by the Auca Indians in 1950, as he and four others…

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Review

December 2017
Reviews > DVD

The spirit of discovery — inspiring the new generation of scientific pioneers

This is a high-quality production, aimed at correcting a problem arguably threatening the integrity of much of scientific education today: that science curricula and teachers stultify rather than encourage true science when it comes to evolutionary theory, since the latter has become a ‘no-go’ area for critical thinking. The film weaves together the insights…

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Review

December 2017

Evolution: still a theory in crisis

Michael Denton is a British-Australian biochemist. This book is an update of his 1985 title, Evolution: a theory in crisis.  It contains many technical terms and more than 800 endnotes, referencing academic works in support of his thesis. However, the written style is clear, as is the book’s message that Darwinian evolution is like,…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – UK Creation Mega Conference 2017

Half-term week (26-28 October) saw 1,600 people from 16 nations, including 500 under-18-year olds, attending the UK Creation Mega Conference at West Bromwich, sponsored by Answers in Genesis. The programme, entitled ‘Inspiring a Genesis Reformation’, echoed the Reformation of 500 years ago, with its emphasis on the authority of Scripture — in this case,…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Gateshead Reformation conference

St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead, was the location for a conference from 12-14 October, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The conference proper was opened by Rev. Dr William Schweitzer, the minister of Gateshead Presbyterian Church, the hosting church. Dr Schweitzer gave a helpful address on the necessity of the Reformation, reminding us…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Scottish Reformed Baptist Conference

In the beautiful, autumnal setting of Pitlochry, nearly 40 members of churches across Scotland met for a second Scottish Reformed Baptist Conference. Due to the blessing and encouragement of the previous, introductory conference last year, there was a clear desire to meet again; and so, from 9-11 October, we met together at the Atholl…

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News

December 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Rev. David Bugden (1926-2017)

On 18 September 2017, David Bugden, aged 91, was called home to glory. Although he came to know Christ at around 11 years of age, it was after he left school and was serving in the army that he sensed the call to full-time Christian service. He subsequently went on to train for the…

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News

December 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – UK family life

Christian charity CARE has welcomed a debate held at the House of Lords, in which a manifesto to strengthen families has been discussed. The debate, secured by Lord Farmer, discussed the findings of the manifesto, not least the appalling cost of family breakdown and the need to help struggling families in the UK. During…

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News

December 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Gender identity warning

It is extremely rare for children to have true gender identity concerns, a lead clinician at a gender identity clinic for children has stated. According to Professor Gary Butler, clinical lead at the UK Gender Identity Development service, only ‘one child born in every 20,000’ experiences transsexual feelings. He made the comments during a…

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News

December 2017
News > Society

Society – Faith in Later Life

A new initiative was launched by five leading Christian charities — Pilgrims’ Friend Society, the Salvation Army, London City Mission, Mission Care and Keychange — on 10 October 2017, in the House of Lords. Focusing on the profound societal consequences of an ageing UK population, Faith in Later Life (FiLL) draws attention to wide-ranging…

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News

December 2017
News > International

International – Rebuilding the Philippines

Sailor’s Society has discussed the long-term impact of storms on communities, four years on from Typhoon Haiyan hitting south-east Asia. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most destructive tropical cyclones ever recorded, hit Southeast Asia, killing more than 7,000 people and leaving an estimated $2.8 billion worth of damage. Stuart Rivers, chief…

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News

December 2017
News > International

International – Caring for CAR

Tearfund has highlighted the central importance of the church for people fearing for their lives in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country, which shares borders with Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, has been torn apart by decades of conflict which has seen thousands killed. With violence flaring once again in…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Social media outreach

More than a million people are being reached every month by Christian churches on social media, figures published by the Church of England (CofE) have suggested. A year after the CofE adopted a new digital approach, with videos, podcasts, blogs and images, including prayers, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin, these messages are reaching…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Supporting our servicemen

Military charity ‘Walking With The Wounded’ has said it will treble the number of ex-servicemen and women it supports in 2018, following a 97 per cent increase last year to more than 1,000. In a statement, the charity said that, as Christmas approaches, more ex-service personnel than ever require support, as Christmas can be…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child has begun, as thousands of churches across the UK order their resources to help deliver shoebox gifts to children across the world. Samaritan’s Purse, which began the operation in 1993, has delivered present-filled shoeboxes to more than 145 million children in more than 160 countries. The boxes are handed in at…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Two pairs of socks

Christian entrepreneur Ed Vickers has launched Jollie Socks, an initiative to support people who are homeless. The sock brand has been stocked in stores such as John Lewis, with the tag line ‘wear a pair, share a pair’. Essentially, when you buy a pair, the company donates a pair of socks to your favourite…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

How one Iranian became a Christian

Q. Mark [name changed], what was your life like before you were a Christian? Mark: Actually, my life had a lot of ups and downs, but any happiness was very short-lived. I always believed in God. Looking back, I can see that I was a sinner — and still am. One summer, I was very…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

We don’t need to guess

News is out that a certain celebrity has come to town. But why has he come? No one is quite sure. So, everyone’s guessing — one suggesting this, another suggesting that — until someone comes up with the really bright idea: ‘Why not just ask him?’ So they do. And he tells them! It’s…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The danger of the manger

Gary Clayton examines some of the supposed ‘magic’ of Christmas. A friend once produced a thought-provoking Christmas card that showed an illustration of the traditional Christmas tree decked in tinsel and baubles, with presents down below. This was then followed by an image of a mighty wind stripping the tree of its trappings and…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Mary’s Magnificat; Rachel’s lament

For many families at Christmas, traditional imagery can be heartbreaking, rather than heart-warming. ‘Christmas is all about family’; ‘children make Christmas special’; ‘it’s such a joy to see the little ones’ faces on Christmas day’. We’ve all heard these perfectly natural sentiments expressed by parents and not just secular parents. Christian parents often put…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

If I were a wise man…

We don’t know very much about them. Matthew’s is the only Gospel to make mention of them, and they appear and disappear in just twelve verses. But I’ve always had a soft spot for the mystery men from the East. One carol goes like this: ‘We three kings of Orient are, One in a…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Just an old book?

The circumstances surrounding someone’s conversion to Christ may vary widely, but it seems to me that there are five elements common to all: conviction of sin; repentance; hearing (or reading) the gospel; the exercise of faith in the finished work of Christ; and a subsequent, evident change in lifestyle. My own conversion occurred in…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Changed from the inside out

What was your life like before you were a Christian? About the age of four, I made a ‘confession of faith’ in Jesus Christ and was baptised. ‘So that was that’, I used to think growing up. I said the right things and prayed every so often. But as I grew up, there were…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

A good grief — a personal testimony

Death is the one thing that all people in this world have in common. Death is inevitable for us all, irrespective of our status. And death is the one subject we all try to avoid, but eventually have to face head-on. Only a Christian can look death in the face with a smile. But,…

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Article

December 2017
Articles

Knowing Christ personally

I was born into a very dangerous environment. What? Were my parents criminals? No, just the opposite. My parents, Ron and Mary Pendleton, were deeply committed Christians. There was the ‘dangerous’ environment, because, you see, my parents had come to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, and I grew up…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Called to be a soldier of Jesus Christ

As a boy growing up in Gorslas, many of the people in the area had been changed by God during the 1904 Revival. They were different to the ordinary religious man; their faith and witness was vibrant and they had such zeal for God. All they would talk about was the Lord. This had…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Lasting happiness

Unlike alcohol, success or sport, turning to Jesus has brought me true and lasting happiness. I didn’t have an easy time when I was growing up. My dad died when I was four and, when I was a teenager, I became seriously ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. I was so desperate I asked God for help, but when I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

War and peace

When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, there were many who said, ‘It’ll all be over by Christmas!’ People thought it was just a small, local difficulty, as though they were saying, ‘It won’t need a large army to sort it out’. How wrong they were! What began in the balmy days…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

A certain destiny

Since her arrival at Number 10 last year, press reports have revealed that way back in the early 1990s Theresa May’s father-in-law predicted she would one day become Prime Minister. She wasn’t even an MP at the time, though she had already embarked on a political career and was a rising star in the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Jesus Christ is the greatest

A messenger from God announced to his mother Mary, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, that he was going to be great. There is relative greatness and absolute greatness. Snowdon is a relatively great mountain in England and Wales; none is higher. But it is a mere hill compared…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The sweet sound of grace

Hello, my name is Ruth. I’m married to Pete, am a mum, and love to spend my spare time singing, cooking and catching up with friends or family. However, I’ve got to pause there, because although all those things are nice to hear and know, they don’t tell you about my true identity. I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic > Uncategorised

True freedom

I’m not sure what you think about Christianity or even Christians as you are reading this, but I would like to share with you the way the God of the Bible changed my life in ways I never thought would happen. My upbringing was a Christian one, as both my parents are Bible-believing Christians.…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Sought and found by God

I was born in Wales, United Kingdom. Although sent to Sunday school as a young child (something which I hated!), I never once really heard the gospel message. Strange as it may seem, one can go to some places of worship and yet never hear the message of God’s saving grace. Two things I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

From knowing about Jesus to knowing him

I grew up in a happy home in Malvern with a great family, good friends, and practically everything I wanted, right down to my own horse! We attended the local Church of England fairly often, and I believed I was a good person and good people went to heaven. I’d always believed in God…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Something better than this life can ever offer

When I was about six-years-old, I believed in God, and I remember praying to him, asking him to forgive me for the wrong things I was doing. I wasn’t particularly naughty or rebellious by many peoples’ standards, but I was hiding it well! But I knew that those wrong things I was doing meant that I…

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News

December 2017
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Culture Clash

On 12 August 2017, neo-Nazis, members of the KKK and other white nationalist groups met in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the proposed tear-down of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and to stage the largest yet rally to ‘Take America back’. As these hate groups clashed with counter-protesters on the streets, demonstration…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Guest column

William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade

This month marks the end of Kingston upon Hull’s year as the UK’s City of Culture. One part of Hull’s celebrations has been remembering William Wilberforce, ‘the friend of humanity’ and Hull’s ‘most illustrious son’. Wilberforce’s untiring efforts to abolish the slave trade were rewarded with that famous Act of Parliament of 1807, an…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Comment

The Royal Speech

More than eight million people in the UK watched the Queen’s message on Christmas day last year. Millions more throughout the Commonwealth saw her, some in different time zones many hours before our 3 o’clock slot. Always eagerly anticipated, the Queen’s message has a certain predictability about it. She reflects on the world scene,…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Where science and faith meet

For many generations, we have been bombarded with the idea that science and the Bible are at war. Yet in 1865, over 150 years ago, Christians who were scientists proposed an approach based on harmony, not contradiction. Describing themselves as ‘students of the natural and physical sciences’, the 717 scholars represented senior academics, professional…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The power of prayer

Hello, my story shows how wonderfully God answers prayer for our loved ones. My grandfather, whom I never met because he was killed in the First World War, became a Christian after he was married and had two sons. He prayed for his wife and family that they too would become believers, but he…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Leonard Muggeridge — son of a famous father

Many of you will have heard of the writer and often controversial TV broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge, but perhaps not many will know that his eldest son Len was converted to Christ as a young man and had a long and active life in service to God. Compared to his famous father, Len (10/10/28–1/3/17) was…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Something wonderful happened

I was driving home, and suddenly I felt so empty and lost. I became really upset, wondering where I was going with my life. What changed? I’d moved to Cardiff with work, and two people on my team became Christians. I’d watched them get baptised, and they’d told the stories of how their lives…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Real celebration

The story is told of a fellow who decided he’d throw a retirement party for his colleagues, friends and family, having worked in the same company for over 40 years. He hired a hall, booked a jazz band, contacted some outside caterers and sent out the invitations. Then, in due course, a great crowd…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Let’s go to Bethlehem

Christmas is a special time of the year. The preparations begin weeks before; there is a long list of things to be done. Cards and presents are to be bought, decorations and Christmas trees put up. There are school concerts and carol services. There is food to be bought and cooked; time with the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Amazing grace

Being brought up in a Christian family, I listened to the gospel message from a young age. I attended Sunday school, youth groups and hundreds of church services, but I took very little notice of what I was hearing. From my point of view, the truths I heard from God’s Word went in one…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

From prodigal to preacher — the story of Chris Killen

On 25 July 1966, a family in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, welcomed a baby boy. He was their third son, and they had high hopes that he would fulfil their dreams for him and succeed in life. But, by the time he was 15, he had so broken their hearts that they had to ask…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Passchendaele — a lesson in mud

The green and pleasant little Belgian village of Passchendaele, just east of Ypres, has given its name to some of the worst horrors of the First World War. It has become synonymous with the mud of Flanders. With the Somme, you think of over-the-top charges and thousands of British soldiers mown down by German…

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Historical

December 2017
Articles > Historical

Anne Askew (1521 – 1546), Protestant martyr

This year marks 500 years since the Reformation began in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. In this article, Sheila Stephen, visiting lecturer at The Wales Campus, Union School of Theology, writes on a heroic, though largely overlooked, person from the Reformation. Church history isn’t tidy,…

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Review

November 2017

WCS – Hebrews: The Name High over All

The letter to the Hebrews is a part of Scripture particularly rich in devotional subject matter. It is fitting, then, that this recent commentary in the Welwyn Commentary Series is warmly devotional in its style. In equal measure, it is reassuringly thorough and scholarly. The introduction deals with such matters as the authorship of…

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Review

November 2017

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

In the 500th year since the onset of the Reformation, this book is timely. Its focus is on one particular aspect of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith, namely the concept of imputed righteousness. The title encapsulates this biblical truth, rooted in the reality of the two Adams: the first from the…

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Review

November 2017

Looking for Love

Joanne Gilchrist has worked with Youth With A Mission in New Zealand and is now involved in youth work in England, particularly mentoring young women. Joanne clearly loves the Lord and has a high view of marriage. This book is written as a testimony to what God has done in her own life and…

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Review

November 2017

What the Bible really says about The Days of Creation

In this small booklet, Simon Turpin (general manager and speaker for Answers in Genesis UK) sets out in simple terms some answers to common questions about Genesis 1-9. He gently shows the connection from Genesis to our need of Jesus Christ, while offering proofs of Jesus’ deity. Clearly asserting a literal 6-day creation, Turpin…

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Review

November 2017

Bible Studies – Work.Life – Finding purpose in your everyday

This is a helpful series of eight studies aimed at small groups. It lays out biblical principles and encourages a God-honouring attitude towards work. It would probably be best used with university student groups or a church’s men’s group, though the principles would be beneficial for all. The blurb states that, whatever your employment,…

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Review

November 2017

How shall they hear?

This is a moving account of the life and ministry of a faithful preacher living in a rural context. John Mollitt speaks of his early days when he first preached to his twin brother. He outlines his conversion and call to preach, initially in the context of a Methodist circuit. His conversion resulted in…

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Review

November 2017

The Decalogue

There are few sections of Holy Scripture that have received more attention than the Ten Commandments. What else could be written to add to the available resources? But, having read this volume, I humbly suggest it is a valuable addition to the existing corpus. Both the title and subtitle (‘Living as the people of…

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Review

November 2017

Confronting Porn

There is nothing new about sexual temptation. There have always been adulterers at large, seeking to lure their prey into sin. But since the advent of printed media, photographic imaging and film, adultery or fornication has appeared increasingly in print and on screen in the form of pornography. Technological advances present fresh challenges, with…

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Article

November 2017
Articles > World Mission > Asia

Increased persecution in the Maldives

Christians in the Maldives have few rights, but until now at least the courts would protect those rights. Now, however, the government is increasingly controlling the courts and simply ignoring the law, leaving Christians in an even more vulnerable state. The Maldivian government has just suspended one-third of all lawyers in the islands, after they tried…

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Article

November 2017
Articles > Asia > Mongolia

Building for the future in Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia: a country with as many people as Wales, spread across an area four times the size of Germany and almost seven times the size of the UK! Perhaps you’ve never noticed Mongolia on a map, enveloped by borders with Russia and China, and yet it’s time to start taking note of…

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News

November 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Joe West (1941-2017)

On 26 July, Joe West went to be with the Lord, aged 76. On 10 August, family and friends joined together at Providence Baptist Chapel in Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire, to mourn his passing and give thanks for his life of service. He was saved while a teenager and baptised at Totnes Gospel Hall in…

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News

November 2017
News > Youth

Youth – September Bible School (SBS), Whitby

This year’s SBS, held at Whitby Evangelical Church, saw its largest number of attendees in over a decade. Thirty-six young people came for a weekend of biblical teaching and fellowship, from as far afield as Newcastle in the north and Milton Keynes in the south. ‘Keep on keeping on’ was the theme of the…

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News

November 2017
News > Induction

Induction – Welcome Hall welcomes evangelist

On Saturday 9 September, more than 150 people gathered for the induction of Peter Sherwood as evangelist at Welcome Hall Evangelical Church (WHEC), Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The weekend also marked the church’s 78th anniversary and 5th anniversary of Jeremy Brooks’ pastorate. Speaking on behalf of WHEC, Pastor Brooks explained how the elders had been seeking…

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News

November 2017
News > Induction

Inductions – New pastor at Leamington Spa

A new chapter began for Emmanuel Church, Leamington Spa, with the induction of their pastor James Midwinter, on Saturday 9 September. Mr Midwinter worked as a lawyer before being called to the ministry and training at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was assistant pastor to Ray Evans at Grace Community Church, Bedford,…

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News

November 2017
News > Induction

Inductions – Dudley Baptist Church

Many met together on Saturday 2 September to witness the induction of Conrad Pomeroy to the pastorate of Dudley Baptist Church. People came from as far as Wick and Dundee. There was plenty of sun, plenty of people, plenty of food and plenty of blessing from the Lord. It was a day most of…

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News

November 2017
News > Induction

Induction – FCC induction in Atlanta

On 14 July 2017, the presbytery of the United States inducted Rev. Brent C. Evans as the new minister of the Atlanta congregation. Mr Evans was received into the Free Church (Continuing) (FCC) as a minister, by the FCC’s general assembly, in May 2017. He was ordained to the ministry in 2008 by the…

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News

November 2017
News > Events

Event – Brixton Tabernacle 150th anniversary

On 24 June many people gathered to help us celebrate this special anniversary. We had a lovely day, including seeing some faces that we hadn’t seen at the chapel for some time. Many had travelled great distances to be there. The services themselves were truly special. It was good to sing hymns which we…

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News

November 2017
News > Events

Event – Farewell at Hanney

It was a bitter-sweet weekend for members of Hanney Chapel, Oxfordshire, when they moved into their newly extended and refurbished building in September. It was also the occasion of a farewell tea in honour of Bob and Gwyn Pritchard, a couple who have played a key part in the transformation of the village chapel. The new…

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News

November 2017
News > Events

Event – Keith and Kristyn Getty

Christians gathered in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, in the Houses of Parliament, to celebrate the power of singing and hymn-writing in the Christian faith. The event was led by Keith and Kristyn Getty and hosted by Christians in Parliament, partly to thank God for the OBE Keith Getty had received in June…

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News

November 2017
News > Science

Science – Victory for creation scientist

An Australian geologist who was refused permission to research in the Grand Canyon has won his case in the US. According to the latest Creation Update from the Creation Resources Trust, Dr Andrew Snelling was denied permission in 2013 to do field work in the national park. However, supported by advocacy group Alliance Defending…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Transgender regret for teen

Australian teenager Patrick Mitchell has decided to return to his birth sex, years after making a transition to be a girl. In an interview with an Australian TV show, Patrick, who had believed he was a ‘girl trapped in a boy’s body’, opened up about his experience of being diagnosed with gender dysphoria aged…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Church same-sex wedding

The Anglican Communion has started action against the Scottish Episcopal Church for hosting a same-sex church wedding, the first ever by a mainstream denomination in the UK. According to The Times, St. John’s Church in Edinburgh recently hosted the wedding of Peter Matthews and Alistair Dinnie. However, as this runs counter to the Church…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Parents in trans child row

Isle of Wight parents Nigel and Sally Rowe have been subjected to public and private vitriol after taking their child out of a church school and seeking legal advice about it. The parents were told on national TV they ‘had a problem’ and their religious ideals were ‘as extreme as people like Islamic State’,…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Embryo factory warning

Embryo factories could be set up in the UK to provide fodder for ‘research’, a genetic scientist has warned. Professor Jennifer Doudna, who pioneered a gene-editing technique called Crispr-Cas9, warned that such facilities could end up churning out human lives in the name of medical research. Speaking after the Francis Crick Institute in London…

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News

November 2017
News > Society

Society – ‘Like punching Nazis’

A radical pro-transsexual group has welcomed violence against feminists who voice opposition to transgender rights. A 60-year-old woman, Maria MacLachlan, was punched and kicked in London’s Hyde Park as she met with other concerned feminists to discuss government plans to allow people to legally self-identify their gender. Following widespread outrage at the attack, a…

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News

November 2017
News > Society

Society – Church schools vs. belief

Most British millennials have no faith or religion, a wide-ranging study has claimed. The British Social Attitudes Survey, published in September, revealed 71 per cent of all 18-24 year olds polled said they belonged to ‘no religion’. In the study, 53 per cent claimed they were not religious. Of the remaining 47 per cent,…

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News

November 2017
News > International

International – How will they hear?

Serving in Mission (SIM) has spearheaded a campaign to take the gospel to migrants and refugees. Mission partners include Greater European Mission, European Christian Mission International, DMG, Evangelical Alliance Mission and SIM in Europe. The campaign, called #HowWillTheyHear, was launched on 14 October with 14 days of prayer to mark the start of an…

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News

November 2017
News > International

International – Back-pedalling on the Reformation

A global coalition of Reformed churches has signed up to an ecumenical statement with the Roman Catholic Church to ‘overcome divisions’ from the time of the Reformation. The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), representing 80 million Christians, signed a joint declaration on the doctrine of justification, at a church in Wittenberg, the town…

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News

November 2017
News > International

International – Myanmar appeal

UK aid agencies have launched a joint fundraising appeal to help the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes in Myanmar. According to the 13 Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) members, the people are in critical need of shelter, medical care, water and food. Over the summer, more than half a million people, mostly…

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News

November 2017
News > International

International – Penn State cross row

Atheists have won a case to remove a cross from an historic Pennsylvania county seal. According to a story in the Christian Post, a federal judge ruled in September that the seal was ‘unconstitutional for including a cross’. US District Judge Edward Smith released a decision against Lehigh County’s seal, arguing that having a…

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News

November 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Double standards at Sheffield University

Sheffield University has been accused of ‘appalling double standards’ over LGBT, Islam and Christian beliefs. During a hearing at which Christian student Felix Ngole sought to appeal against the university’s decision to expel him after he expressed his belief in Christian marriage on Facebook, new evidence was submitted to the High Court showing there…

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News

November 2017
News > Society

Society – The fight against abortion: ‘green shoots of life’ in Sheffield

Can you believe that there have been over one billion abortions worldwide? The latest UK figures, alone, demonstrate that more than one in five pregnancies end in abortion meaning that on average 523 abortions were carried out every day in England and Wales. It is truly shocking, but how do we even begin to…

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News

November 2017
News > International

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Coping with hurricanes

Late on Friday 25 August 2017, Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in south Texas, after gathering force in the Gulf of Mexico. With wind gusts of 130 mph, it hit Rockport, Texas, and then moved back into the Gulf, only to make a second landfall in Corpus Christi as…

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Article

November 2017
Guest Column

GUEST COLUMN: Seeing Jesus in an unexpected place

Being a Christian means that we know the Lord. This is part of the New Covenant, set out in Jeremiah and quoted in Hebrews 8:10-12: ‘This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them…

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Historical

November 2017
Articles > Historical

Why the mediaeval church needed reforming (2)

In mediaeval Europe, various ‘nonconformist’ groups emerged, such as the Bogomils, Cathars, Albigenses and Waldensians. There were also individuals who tried to make a difference from within the Catholic church. Marsilius of Padua (1270-1342) was one. He held almost pure Protestant teaching. Such teaching was spreading like wildfire among students in the universities, among…

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News

November 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Erroll Hulse —a beautifully proportioned life

The September 2017 edition of Evangelical Times reported on the homecall of Pastor Erroll Hulse (1931-2017). Dr Tom Nettles has written this tribute. Erroll Hulse was a major force in the rejuvenation of life among Reformed Baptists in England. He was indefatigable in his labours for the gospel, passionate in his love of truth,…

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News

November 2017
News

The precious life of a baby boy, saved by the amazing providence of God

How true are William Cowper’s words about providence: ‘God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform’! Little did I think, when I wrote a letter to the local and national Scottish press, about the desperate need to repeal the Abortion Act, that it would save someone’s life far away in the Gambia.…

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Historical

November 2017
Articles > Historical

It was 50 years ago

The Beatles rose to the heights of fame and fortune with an image of youthful naivety and charm, but it came at a cost. When private remarks by John Lennon were taken as self-aggrandising blasphemy in the USA (Lennon denied this was his intention), church youth groups rallied at concert venues to burn Beatles…

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Historical

November 2017
Articles > Historical

John Rogers, Reformation martyr

Over 460 years ago, on 4 February 1555, John Rogers was tied to a post in Smithfield, London, firewood was heaped around him, and he was burned to death — because he was an evangelical Christian. In the next three and a half years, nearly 300 more martyrs died in the same way. Our…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Making sense of terrorism and tragedy

How are Christians to respond to recent tragic events in the UK? There have been bombings at Parsons Green and at the Manchester Arena. There was the attack in Westminster. And, barely had the police cordons been lifted in Borough Market and London Bridge, when another cordon went up around Grenfell Tower, because of…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics > Society

The Christian Institute comments on a shameful anniversary

On 27 October 1967, the Abortion Act was passed by Parliament. For 50 years, it has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland to kill an unborn child in the womb. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) was formed in 1966 to campaign against the Act, followed by LIFE in 1970.…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics > Society

Christian Concern comments on the grim realities of abortion

27 October 2017 marks 50 years since abortion in certain circumstances became legal according to British law. While the Abortion Act (1967) currently only allows abortions when the mother or child’s physical or mental health is at risk of permanent damage, the law is rarely honoured, even in its flawed current form, and reports…

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Historical

November 2017
Articles > Historical

The life and legacy of Amy Carmichael

People-trafficking is not new. But, born 150 years ago this December, one single, often sick, missionary woman from Northern Ireland dared to challenge it in India. Hinduism encouraged the temple slavery of children. It was prostitution perpetrated in the name of that ancient religion, where little girls and boys were sold to ‘marry’ the…

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Article

November 2017
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Euthanasia for disabled babies? — another fruit of evolutionary thinking

Professor Jerry Coyne is an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, a prominent critic of creationists and author of Faith vs. fact: why science and religion are incompatible.1 In his blog (which goes under the name ‘Why Evolution is True’), he recently argued for the euthanising of severely disabled new-born babies.2 Coyne asks, ‘If…

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News

November 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > News > Ethics > Society

50 years of shame

Anniversaries are how we mark out our history. Some are welcome, others are not; some are humdrum, others are special. This year, two are extra special: a 500th and a 50th. Both changed our world. The first ushered in the wonderful gospel freedoms of the Protestant Reformation. The second is the passing of the…

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News

November 2017
News > Ethics

Action against abortion continues

In 1967 — 50 years ago — the UK Abortion Act was passed by Parliament. It was passed in October 1967 and came into effect in April 1968. Since then, although some are pushing for even more liberal legislation, increasing numbers of ordinary people are calling for a radical reversal. Since 1967, according to…

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Review

October 2017

A Christian’s pocket guide to Mary: Mother of God?

This short, readable book is profitable not only for presenting the problems surrounding the subject, but also because it is edifying. It begins with a biblical portrait of Mary. It then explores how the relatively brief biblical references can be twisted into Mariology, not only in teaching but in devotion. It concisely presents the…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Youth Features

Reformation Timeline

If Methuselah died in 2017, he would have been born in 1048 and could have fought at the Battle of Hastings. He would have lived through the whole of the Reformation period and into the present day. Not being Methuselahs, it isn’t like that for us! For us, the Reformation began seven or eight…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Moldova

‘These wheels are my “legs”!’

These were the words of Ivan, a village pastor and evangelist in north Moldova, as he looked proudly at the little motorcycle, purchased and presented to him by Slavic Gospel Association (UK) as part of its transport project ‘The Gospel on the Move’. What he means is that he can go further (and reach…

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News

October 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Peter Jeffery (1937-2017)

Peter was born in 1937. In 1955, aged 17, he became a Christian, even though that same day he had vowed, ‘I will never become a Christian!’ He married his high school sweetheart, Lorna, at the age of 21 and they had their first child two years later. Nine days after the birth, the…

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News

October 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Leslie Jarvis (1938 – 2017)

On 27 July 2017, the funeral and thanksgiving service for Leslie Jarvis was held at the Baptist chapel in Market Street, Hailsham. The chapel was full, with family, friends and Christian brothers and sisters from many of the churches that Leslie had helped through his preaching and pastoral ministry. The spirit of thanksgiving and…

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Induction – Shettleston welcomes James Haram

News

October 2017
News > Induction

Induction – Shettleston welcomes James Haram

The district of Shettleston in Glasgow is known as a socially deprived area. It was said, some years ago, that the life expectation of a Shettleston man was 58 years. It has suffered not only social deprivation, but also diminution of evangelical witness. Within the presbytery of the Church of Scotland in the area…

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News

October 2017
News > Induction

Induction – Dundee church plant

In September 2017, Dundee saw the ordination and induction of Andrew Robertson take place at St Peter’s Free Church. Rev. David Court preached and presided over the service. Andrew is the son of former Free Church Moderator Rev. David Robertson and a graduate of Edinburgh Theological Seminary. He will be leading a new church…

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News

October 2017
News

Singapore – Bible Presbyterian churches remember the Reformation

From 9-12 August, about 800 people from many Bible Presbyterian (BP) churches and more than 10 countries, gathered together for a conference to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The conference was organised by nine BP churches from Singapore and Malaysia, and held at Calvary BP and Life BP Churches in Singapore.…

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News

October 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Argyll Convention

‘The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed’. That was our experience at this year’s Argyll Convention. Several people came to the speakers afterwards and commented on how the messages had spoken into their lives. We also met a number of tourists who came to the event having seen…

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News

October 2017
News > Events

Event – Yateley holiday at home

For the fourth year running, members of Yateley Baptist Church organised an event for elderly folk in our community who have little opportunity for a holiday of their own. We collected our guests each morning from home and had coffee before we began our structured programme of activities. Given that in 2017 we have…

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News

October 2017
News > Youth

Youth – Greenbelt moves towards multifaith

Arts festival Greenbelt has gone even further from its Christian roots and hosted a major Muslim presence with a full programme of performances. Taking place on 25-28 August, in the grounds of Boughton House in Northamptonshire, it partnered with Amal, a British grant-giving fund supporting British Muslim art and culture. Christian and Muslim artistry, ideas, conversation…

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News

October 2017
News > Youth

Youth – EMF European Huddle

The Huddle is an event in which brothers and sisters in Christ from many nations and languages meet together. Every year, people aged between 20 and 30 camp in the beautiful grounds of Guessens in Welwyn and have opportunity to hear fine speakers, such as Pal Borzasi and Lindsay Brown.   At this year’s…

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News

October 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Slave to servant

Because the biblical account of Joseph is so much like his own life, Joseph Mutabula loves it. A special calling has overcome his mistreatment as a suffering child. Genocide in Rwanda marred Joseph’s early life. His mother hid him and escaped with him to Uganda, but soon died. As a seven-year-old little boy, he…

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News

October 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Marie Stopes squalor

Around eleven women have had to be taken to hospital from Marie Stopes abortion clinics over the past three months, it has emerged. Of these, one needed surgery to repair her cervix, two received blood transfusions and another had a bacterial infection. Marie Stopes has already come under fire for a number of health…

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News

October 2017
News > Society

Society – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Roman Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has died at the age of 85. According to the BBC, he served as a priest for more than six decades, having begun in Hampshire in the 1950s. It is reported that he was a personal friend of Pope Francis. He eventually went on to lead the Roman Catholic…

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News

October 2017
News > Society

Society – Humanist support

A ‘Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network’ (NRPSN), has been launched. The network has more than 150 trained and accredited carers, supported by Humanists UK. According to Humanists UK, 45 per cent of people who are not religious responded to a poll from the organisation and said they would choose to have a non-religious pastoral support…

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News

October 2017
News > Politics

Politics – NI same-sex union cases dismissed

Belfast’s High Court has dismissed two cases seeking to have same-sex marriage introduced to Northern Ireland (NI). In one case, an anonymous man known as applicant X, who entered into a homosexual marriage three years ago, sought a declaration that this union is valid under NI law. In the other, two couples who are…

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News

October 2017
News > Politics

Politics – Scotland must drop Named Person law

Clan Childlaw, a children’s charity has called for the Scottish Government to drop its watered-down Named Person law. It claims the law, which has had to be reworked due to intense lobbying, still fails to address criticisms from the UK Supreme Court. Clan Childlaw, which intervened in the successful court case spearheaded by the…

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News

October 2017
News > Politics

Politics – DUP ‘resolute’ on ethical matters

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster has told a conference that she will reject pressure to introduce same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland. Currently marriage is between one man and one woman in Northern Ireland and abortion remains illegal, except to preserve the life of the mother. As reported by the Christian…

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News

October 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Street preacher freed

Christian street preacher, Ian Sleeper, has been released after being held in a cell for 13 hours for sharing the truth about Islam. Mr Sleeper was arrested outside Southwark Cathedral on 23 June. He was at the time displaying placards depicting love for Muslims and criticising the ideology of Islam. However, he was informed…

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News

October 2017
News > International

International – Sierra Leone mudslides

Mothers’ Union in Sierra Leone has responded to the needs of those affected by the mudslides that hit the country’s capital, Freetown, in August 2017. According to news reports, scores of people were killed and about 600 people reported missing, with thousands of people left destitute and at risk. Victoria Wilson, Mothers’ Union’s diocesan…

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News

October 2017
News > International

International – Spring Harvest partners Mercy Ships

Christian charity Mercy Ships has been chosen as the official charity partner for Spring Harvest 2018 and 2019. This marks the first time that Spring Harvest has partnered with Mercy Ships, an international charity that operates the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship. Peter Martin, group chief executive at Essential Christian, which runs Spring Harvest,…

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News

October 2017
News > International

International – Huge storms

In Asia and the Americas there have been catastrophic storms, sea surges and flooding during August and September. India, Bangladesh and Nepal have seen possibly their worst ever monsoon flooding, with entire towns swept away and more than 1200 people losing their lives. Reaching as far as Mumbai, the rains forced millions of people…

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News

October 2017
News > International

International – Nepal to clamp down on Christians

Nepal has passed an ‘anti-conversion’ bill in its parliament which could make Christian witnessing illegal in the country. The bill criminalises ‘the hurting of religious sentiment’. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a religious freedom charity, the move is ‘deeply concerning’. Anyone from Nepal caught committing an offence faces up to five years in…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Guest column

Still not known

It is the glorious privilege of every believer to be able to say, ‘I know the Lord’. But how well do we know him? That is the issue we began to look at last month. The Saviour is ever with us, as he promised, and his Spirit is ever active within us. Yet our…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Comment

Reformation 500

It is exactly 500 years since 31 October 1517, the day when Martin Luther placarded 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. This seemingly obscure event was arguably the flame that lit the touchpaper and the beginning of the sixteenth century Reformation. Luther’s theses went viral in Germany and Switzerland.…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Sola Scriptura and ten reasons we need a Genesis Reformation

In nailing his 95 theses to the church door on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther was not only condemning the Roman Catholic Church for selling indulgences, but also calling for an examination of what Scripture taught about indulgences. Luther was convinced that Scripture alone is the final arbiter of what we should believe. Today,…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

Why the mediaeval church needed reforming (1)

In the early years of the New Testament church, the pattern for doctrine and worship was laid down in a clear, unambiguous way. It was laid down in the Old Testament and made clear in the New. But gradually this pattern of clear teaching in the Bible was challenged and altered by an erring…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

Pierre Viret (1511-1571) — another forgotten Reformer (1)

Some years ago, my wife and I were able to take a vacation in Switzerland. This was the first time either of us had been there, and a highlight was visiting the scene of some of the great heroes of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation. Most people have heard of Martin Luther and John…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Reformation 500: ‘Here I stand!’

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses on the door at the Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany. Thus began the Reformation. As we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of his act this year, it is a good opportunity to reflect on why the Reformation was needed and what message it…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

The Scottish Reformation — a work of God’s grace

The Reformation in Scotland in the sixteenth century was essentially a rediscovery of grace and a notable work of the Holy Spirit in the nation. Invaluable in providing a clear understanding of the ideals of the Reformers in doctrine, church order and practice are documents associated with the Scottish Reformation, especially The Scots Confession…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The very practical Reformation

When people today think of the Reformation, they tend to picture Luther in monastic robes nailing a large amount of paper to the Castle Church door in Wittenburg. Or, they think of the wonderful ideas of the Reformation: justification by faith alone; Scripture alone as our supreme authority; salvation by grace alone. These ideas…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

North America and Reformation in the Netherlands

Perhaps the Reformation’s most lasting impact on the American church has come from the Netherlands. The Reformation came later to the Netherlands than Germany and England, perhaps because of extreme persecution. The German states retained some autonomy, but there was no such protection in the Netherlands. During the Reformation era, over 50,000 Protestants were…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

William Tyndale: the man who gave England her Bible

William Tyndale came from Gloucestershire, from the Vale of Berkeley, probably from Slimbridge, and the best estimates suggest that he was born in 1494. Educated at Oxford, at Magdalen Hall, he returned to his native county to become tutor to the two sons of Sir John Walsh, at Little Sodbury Manor, in 1522. His…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

The Reformation in Europe

It is difficult today to grasp the psychic trauma caused by the Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. As well as a religious renewal, it had profound historical, social and cultural effects. The Reformation’s benefits are largely ignored by our contemporaries, who are mesmerised by ‘latest is best’ ideology and technical progress, invariably traced back…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Cults and other religions

Roman Catholicism: then and now

The Council of Trent (1545-63) defined Rome’s response to the challenge of the Reformation. Three great problems stand out in the teachings of Trent: the doctrines of revelation and justification, and the church’s worship. Trent’s position on each of these demonstrates why the Reformation was necessary at the time. But it is often said…

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Historical

October 2017
Articles > Historical

The Reformation in England

Inevitably, the debate about indulgences raised by Martin Luther’s protest rapidly became one about the personal understanding of Scripture, over against the church’s claim to be Scripture’s final and authoritative interpreter. The debate became furious and could not be contained within Germany, but widened, helped by the widespread use of Latin in scholarly circles…

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Article

October 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Justification by faith — a personal testimony

At this 500th anniversary of the Reformation we come to one of the main pillars, if not the pillar, of that Reformation: justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. Martin Luther wrote, ‘When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen’. He declared, ‘This is the chief article from which all other doctrines…

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Review

September 2017
Reviews > Book

All Things Made New – Writings on the Reformation

There has been a recent flurry of publications on the Reformation. Prior to this, Oxford professor Diarmaid McCulloch stood out in the renewal of Reformation studies. His titles include Thomas Cranmer: a life (1997) and Reformation: Europe’s house divided (2004). MacCulloch presents a balanced view, linking English Reformers with their continental counterparts, particularly those…

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Review

September 2017

Voices from the Past Vol 2

This book consists of selections from around 30 authors from the Puritan era, arranged as daily readings. The editor has condensed and abridged the extracts, seeking to remain faithful to the authors’ flows of thought. Each day’s section is headed by an appropriate verse. One cannot argue with the quality of the material here.…

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Review

September 2017

Grace Essentials

Christian Focus is to be commended for publishing a clear, concise and comprehensive compendium of John Calvin’s classic, The Institutes of the Christian religion. Systematic, biblical theology is presented in an accessible and appealing format. Using the ESV Bible text, this book is both illuminative and informative. Part one focuses on ‘The knowledge of…

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Review

September 2017

1,2,3 John – Redemption’s Certainty

The apostle John’s writings, especially his letters, are known to be a challenge to understand. The author of this commentary faces up to this fact. He acknowledges the profundity of John’s thoughts and the difficulty of his grammar. However, the book’s great strength stems from the writer’s conviction that there is a clarity to…

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Review

September 2017

Created and Creating

This is a disappointing book. The author has the learning, as he discusses the subject of culture and the church, but, as he himself admits, ‘The alert reader will have noticed the dearth of applications in this book’ (p.233). The book aims at ‘explorations into cultural analysis’ (p.50), but seems to conclude that this is…

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Review

September 2017

Life in Bible Times

This short book is divided into 22 brief chapters, each based on a biblical ‘picture’. The reader is led on a brief tour of life in Bible times, such as fishing, shepherding and living in tents. At each stop along the way, the author gives biblical examples and draws spiritual lessons from these topics.…

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Review

September 2017

Judah – From a sinful man to the saving Messiah

This book is the second in a series dealing with different characters in the Bible. In the introduction, the author makes the point that, although there isn’t a great deal about Judah in the Bible, his name appears there frequently. Also, the tribe that descended from him rises to eminence in Scripture. This book,…

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Review

September 2017

Gospel Culture

In western society we live in a time of unprecedented cultural change. It is a time when Christian morality is increasingly condemned as well as rejected. Christians often find it difficult to make voices heard in the public square. Any book which, like this one, causes readers to think deeply about how we should…

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Review

September 2017

God’s Divorce

This book is based on the author’s PhD thesis. His contention is that the early church was influenced in its understanding of the New Testament more by Neoplatonism than the Old Testament. So, marriage came to be seen as a sacrament made in heaven by God, and the ‘marriage’ of Adam and Eve in…

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Review

September 2017

Unbelievable?

Justin Brierley is the host of Premier Christian Radio’s Unbelievable? radio show. He describes how, as an undergraduate at Oxford University, his contact with sceptics made him question his belief in God and Christianity. He explains that the experience helped him affirm the rationality of Christian belief. This background explains the show he hosts.…

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Review

September 2017
Reviews > Book

Fine Gold from Yorkshire

Yorkshire is known for its food, athletes and cricketers. It should also be known for the number of notable Christians who have hailed from this county over the centuries. In Fine gold from Yorkshire, Faith Cook brings readers 21 biographies, plus eight brief summaries of men and women who gave their lives to Christ.…

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Review

September 2017
Reviews > Book

Spoken for — embracing who you are and whose you are

Spoken for is a brilliant read, which draws upon biblical promises as well as biographical anecdotes from Gunn and Bethke. They remind readers that, whether married or single, Christians have been chosen and pursued by God, and he should be our first love. The book is written in an informative, yet personal way. Through…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Youth Features

Fleas

The Bible commands us to constantly be praising God for all our blessings. But there is also a strange command in the Bible that has caused a lot of people to wonder. Paul commands believers in 2 Thessalonians 5:18: ‘In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > World Mission

Farsi media ministry

Farsi is the language of Iran, much of Afghanistan and neighbouring communities, totalling about 110 million Farsi-speakers. Except in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, Farsi is written in a modified Arabic script. Although many words have been borrowed from Arab neighbours, Farsi’s roots go back to the Indo-European language family, just like English.…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Eritrea

Eritrean crackdown

Christians in Eritrea are experiencing an increased state crackdown, with fears that even children face a future behind bars, Release International has warned. Launching a campaign to pressurise the Eritrean government to release Christian prisoners, Release International has revealed that at least 200 Christians have been arrested in house-to-house raids, in a tough new…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Moldova

Moldova (2)

Donald J. Morrison continues his report on gospel ministry to Romanians and Russians in Moldova’s rural countryside.. As we went around the village of Baurci Moldoveni with gospel materials, it was evident that the folk there had their own problems. Some of these, sadly, they have brought upon themselves. I found that alcohol addiction…

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News

September 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Erroll Hulse (1931-2017)

We heard from his family on 3 August of the passing of Pastor Erroll Hulse, in the Wetherby Manor Nursing Home, where he had been cared for recently, after suffering a stroke three and a half years ago. Erroll was born in South Africa in 1931 and graduated in architecture at Pretoria University. Helped…

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News

September 2017
News > Events

Event – Keswick Convention 2017

The annual three-week summer Christian convention at Keswick once more saw large attendances. The thousands attending included substantial increases in newcomers and younger people. Many meetings were live-streamed to other parts of the UK and to India, Canada, USA, Norway, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Among the many speakers were Don Carson of Trinity…

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Article

September 2017
Uncategorised

Event – FCC holiday

Just under 30 people attended the 2017 Free Church (Continuing) All-Age Holiday, held in Windmill Christian Centre, Arbroath, in July. Due to the popularity of the centre, we were not able to book our usual week-long slot; so, instead of not holding the holiday, the organisers opted to stage it over an extended weekend.…

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News

September 2017
News > Events

Event – Inskip bicentenary celebration

Some 200 years ago this year, a handful of converted people on the Fylde coast in Lancashire, convinced of baptism by immersion, purchased a portion of land for the princely sum of £10 and set to work erecting a Baptist chapel in Inskip, where the preaching of the gospel could be heard. The chapel…

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News

September 2017
News > Conferences

Conferences – Longhorsley Mission Bible Convention

In 1948, the Yorkshire evangelist Harold Watson was invited to speak during a weekend at Longhorsley Mission in rural Northumberland. When Mission members became aware of the interest being expressed by many people, it became obvious that the Mission hall in Longhorsley would not be able to accommodate everyone. The decision was made to…

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News

September 2017
News > Conferences

Conferences – NI pastors’ conference

Earlier this year, the Association of Baptist Churches (ABC) in Northern Ireland held its pastors’ conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford. Some 92 men involved in ministry across the Island attended the conference. The speaker was Ray Evans, senior pastor of Grace Church Bedford. The theme was ‘Ready, steady, grow: equipping today’s…

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News

September 2017
News > Induction

Induction – Union Chapel, Bethersden, Kent

A good number of friends and supporters, from far and wide, joined together with us for a memorable afternoon, as we gave thanks to almighty God for his provision of our new pastor, Matthew Cox. Last year, 2016, was a difficult one, and there were times when we wondered whether the church would be…

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News

September 2017
News > Induction

Inductions – New ministers for Western Isles

Three newly licensed Free Church ministers have been called by Western Isles congregations in July. During a meeting of the presbytery on 10 July, presided by Rev. Murdo Campbell of Barvas Free Church, Rev. David MacDonald accepted the congregation’s call to Back Free Church, Stornoway, as assistant minister. Due to family commitments, Mr MacDonald…

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Conference – Marriage course

News

September 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Marriage course

One of the greatest challenges in life is marriage. Two sinful people pledge their life-long commitment, love and faithfulness to each other, but do so knowing there will be hurt, sin, pain and failure at times in the future. How is a marriage to survive these inwards challenges, in addition to the constant undermining…

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News

September 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – South Wales Revival Conference

Bryntirion, at Bridgend in Wales, welcomed the 18th consecutive Revival Conference, held from 1-8 July. It was a most blessed time. The main speakers, Paul Mallard and Kenneth Stewart, preached in an authoritative, winsome and practical way. The former travelled virtually daily from Bath, following his wife’s hospitalisation. His five messages were from Psalms,…

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News

September 2017
News > Education

Education – Family Education Trust AGM

The transgender agenda is having a serious effect on school policies, the chairman of the Family Education Trust (FET) has warned. In his opening address to the 2017 annual general meeting, held in London, Arthur Cornell gave a broad overview of some key issues that had arisen in relation to the welfare of children…

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News

September 2017
News > Education

Education – Humanists pitch for SACREs

A humanist parent in Wales is challenging the Vale of Glamorgan Council at the High Court in Cardiff, over its decision to exclude a humanist representative from the local body responsible for overseeing religious education (RE) in the area. Kathy Riddick, who is also the co-ordinator of Wales Humanists, applied to join the Vale…

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News

September 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Christian play centre

A campaign has been launched to create the UK’s first dedicated Bible-themed play centre, in south Manchester. The interactive discovery centre for children, which will be not-for-profit, will include a large play area, café and function room, and will be entirely based around the Bible. Called ‘The Hidden Treasure Discovery Centre’, its organisers claim…

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News

September 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Bible banks double in three months

The West Midlands has seen a remarkable growth in the number of Bible banks. There are now 13 churches in the West Midlands with Bible banks, compared with just five churches a short time ago. Bible banks, which were the initiative of the Black Country Mission, have been set up in Anglican, Methodist, Baptist…

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News

September 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Gloucester carnival witness

The annual Bible salvation verse reading and giving out of gospel tracts to 40,000 people lining the route of the Gloucester carnival procession took place on Saturday 22 July, at 3.30pm. This Christian outreach has been done every year for 34 years. Following a strongly worded letter from a leading law firm in London,…

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News

September 2017
News > Mission

Mission – NTM 75th anniversary

The 75th anniversary of the New Tribes Mission (NTM) was celebrated with a special time of celebration and remembrance of its five missionary martyrs, who lost their lives in NTM’s first endeavour, attempting to contact the Ayorés in Bolivia in 1943. The social committee came up with the idea of a 1940s style British…

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News

September 2017
News > Media

Media – Pro-life advert upheld

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has rejected complaints made against ‘Both Lives Matter’ (BLM) about a billboard campaign. In January 2017, BLM ran two billboards, which claimed, ‘100,000 people are alive today because of our laws on abortion. Why change that?’ Fourteen complainants argued this claim was misleading and could not be substantiated. The…

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News

September 2017
News > Media

Media – Harold Wilson lecture

Religion and theology have a crucial role to play in preventing democracies from descending into populist states where ‘might is right’, a former Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed. In his 2017 Harold Wilson Lecture, delivered to the University of Huddersfield, Dr Rowan Williams said theology might seem an abstract discipline. However, when properly understood…

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News

September 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Abortion case fees

Pro-life campaigner Aisling Hubert has had a claim filed with the European Court of Human Rights against the prohibitive costs she suffered, as a result of her private prosecution. As mentioned in previous editions of Evangelical Times, Miss Hubert launched a private prosecution against two doctors who had verbally agreed to perform ‘gender-abortions’, in…

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News

September 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Dangerous agenda

The government must not press ahead with its plans on transsexualism, according to a gay man who acted as speech writer to a cabinet minister. Graeme Archer, writing for Conservative home, said making it easier for people to change their biological sex would endanger young people. In his article, he criticised moves by Equalities…

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News

September 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – People trafficking

More than 45.8m people globally are being exploited in modern day forms of slavery, in 167 countries across the world, latest figures have warned. Recent statistics from the National Crime Agency (NCA) show the number of people found in situations of possible exploitation is increasing. However, the 3,805 people referred to the NCA in…

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News

September 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Women at risk

A consultation on the Gender Recognition Act will be published in the autumn. Earlier this year, government leaders, such as Prime Minister Theresa May, and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn both spoke out in favour of allowing people to self-identify. However, Simon Calvert, deputy director of public affairs at the Christian Institute, warned that women,…

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News

September 2017
News > Politics

Politics – Churches told, ‘Keep up!’

Equalities Minister Justine Greening has told churches in the UK that they need to keep up with modern attitudes and carry out same-sex weddings. In an interview with Sky News, the Conservative MP said she did not want to ‘prescribe’ how faith groups deal with the issue, but it was ‘important the church keeps…

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News

September 2017
News > International

International: India – Reaching the untouchables

Nearly 30 years ago, Operation Mobilisation (OM), which had been in India since 1964, started to reach out to the lowest caste of Indian society, the Dalit-Bahujan people, or ‘untouchables’. Joseph D’Souza, moderator bishop of the Good Shepherd Church of India, said: ‘The cry of the Dalits and other poor, marginalised people of India…

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News

September 2017
News > International

International – Yazidi victims

Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls, rescued or freed when IS was pushed out of Mosul in Iraq, are struggling to recover after three years of sexual abuse. A hard-hitting report from the New York Times says that systematic sexual abuse has left many girls unable to move, with many falling into a deep,…

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News

September 2017
News > International

International: Supporting Syrian widows

Syrian Christian widows are in desperate need of help, especially those remaining in the war-torn country. Many Syrian men, including Christians, were kidnapped by the so-called Islamic State in 2013; their wives were sent footage of their beheadings when they refused to convert. Other Christian men were killed over the last six years of…

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News

September 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Richard Page

A Christian who was dismissed as a magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice, after expressing his view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father, is challenging the NHS trust which subsequently removed him as a director. Richard Page, who had nearly…

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News

September 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: India cracks down on Christian camps

Indian Christians have been arrested on trumped-up charges after holding church camps. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh, a stronghold of the Hindutva ideology, decided to hear the case of 10 Christian pastors and co-workers. They were arrested on charges of kidnapping, cruelty and forceful conversion. On 23 May, at Ratlam train station in…

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News

September 2017
News

Letter from America: Women’s roles in the Presbyterian Church in America

This June, the 45th General Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) met in Greensboro, North Carolina, to carry out the business of the church. The previous year had been a landmark year in the life of the church, as elders from the conservative Presbyterian church voted to usher in racial reconciliation…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Guest column

A desire to know Christ

‘It is a wonderful thing to know Jesus!’ We would all agree with that. It is something we sing about and rightly rejoice in. Indeed, it is what God promised his people: ‘No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, Know the Lord, because they will all know me, from…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Christmas — an opportunity for the gospel

Christmas means a lot of different things to different people. For some it is a time of drunkenness, debauchery, and crime. Others feel lonely because someone forgot them. Some are weighed down under the burden of many activities and the pressure of shopping. Then there are those who are dismissive of the whole thing.…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Answering difficult questions (2)

Continued from Answering difficult questions (1) Jesus’ enemies often tried to trap him with ‘clever’ theological questions, such as the one about marriage and the resurrection in Mark 12:18-27. ‘Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to [Jesus]; and they asked him, saying: Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies,…

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Historical

September 2017
Articles > Historical

John Wesley and music

It comes as almost a shock to read in John Wesley’s Journal that this earnest minister was not above very occasionally attending a concert or, rather more often, looking over large estates of the kind you find in today’s National Trust. Clearly, Wesley not only regarded all the world as his parish, but saw…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Talking to yourself

I have heard it said that talking to oneself is the first sign of madness. Well, if that is the case, then I am mad! And, I sincerely hope that there are many more mad people who are reading this article! I have often talked to myself. Is that such a bad thing? I…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Home alone: a Christian widower’s struggle

‘You don’t get married to live on your own!’ Yet, in this world of disease and death, that loneliness comes to many men and women who have spent much of their adult working-life in the joy of a deeply satisfying Christian marriage. About two years ago, my wife for four decades fell asleep in…

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Article

September 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Humility: a neglected Christian virtue?

‘I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think’, wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 12:3). An apocryphal story relates how, at the funeral of a successful businessman, tribute was paid to him, saying, ‘Bob was a self-made man, and he worshipped his maker’. Humour apart,…

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Historical

September 2017
Articles > Historical

Evangelicalism in Northern Ireland, 1967–2017

Visiting tourists and the Province’s 1.8 million citizens enjoy easy access to a rugged coast-line, with breathtaking beaches, fresh-water lakes and rivers that provide great fishing for the keen angler. Northern Ireland (NI) has some of the best-preserved castles and ancient forts, surrounded by myths and legends from ancient times, and a rich fertile…

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Historical

September 2017
Articles > Historical > Uncategorised

Evangelicalism in Wales, 1967–2017

The last 50 years have been years of change, both for Wales as a nation and for its evangelical witness. Its geography, culture, languages and politics have always been distinctive. Almost three million people live in this beautiful part of the United Kingdom and they speak two official languages, Welsh and English. However, Wales…

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Historical

September 2017
Articles > Historical

Evangelicalism in Scotland, 1967-2017

The state of evangelicalism in Scotland in 2017 reveals a much more complicated picture than 1967. At that time there were several main denominations of considerable strength. On the Presbyterian side there were the Church of Scotland, along with the United Free Church of Scotland, Free Church of Scotland, and Free Presbyterian Church of…

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Historical

September 2017
Articles > Historical > Uncategorised

50 challenging years

Over 1967-2017, confessional evangelical Christianity in Britain has faced some significant challenges. Here are six of them: 1) The so-called ‘New Perspective’ on the teaching of the apostle Paul. In a book entitled Paul and Palestinian Judaism by Ed Sanders, which appeared 40 years ago, the thesis was promoted that the Jews of Pauline…

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News

September 2017
News > Youth

Student pressures — caught between conformity and condemnation

Across the UK, students are preparing to start at university and college, while others are entering the workplace. But for Christians there is the additional challenge of the pressure to conform. Universities and colleges received 469,490 applications this year from UK students, according to UCAS data. Meanwhile, statistics from Universities UK suggest some 90…

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Conference – Transgender conference

News

August 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Transgender conference

The addresses given at this year’s Family Education Trust conference focused on a topic much in the public consciousness, and one which has been largely confined to academic debate. In his paper on the transgender agenda, the chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, Dr Peter Saunders, traced the rapid growth of the number…

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News

August 2017
News > Events

Event – Scottish confusion

On 5 July, a memorial service was held for Dr Gordon Wilson, former leader of the Scottish National Party and co-founder of SOLAS. The service, carried out in St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee, was conducted by Reformed minister David Robertson. The church itself is known for being the preaching place of Robert Murray M’Cheyne,…

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News

August 2017
News > Church news

Church – Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland has become embroiled in more controversy after its moderator, Rt Rev. Dr Derek Browning, took steps to allow its ministers to perform same-sex weddings, after the debating of a report in its General Assembly. According to the BBC, the report, put forward by its Theological Forum, acknowledged the Bible condemns…

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News

August 2017
News > Education

Education – Turkey and evolution

Turkey’s plans, announced in June 2017, to banish the teaching of evolution in schools have been met with disquiet and cries of outrage. It is important that Christians respond in a rational and gracious way. Turkey’s head of curriculum for the ministry of education said that Darwin’s theory of evolution was ‘controversial’ and schools…

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News

August 2017
News > Society

Society – Humanist wedding

Northern Ireland held its first ever legal humanist wedding in June, after a lengthy legal battle to secure recognition. Laura Lacole and Eunan O’Kane wed in a ceremony surrounded by friends and family and conducted by Humanists UK (formerly British Humanists Association) celebrant Isabel Russo. The decision followed on from a High Court ruling earlier this…

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News

August 2017
News > Politics

Politics – Extremism concerns

The UK Government’s ongoing plans to establish an extremism commission have been met with serious criticism from the head of public policy at the Evangelical Alliance. In a statement, Simon McCrossan commented: ‘Proposals from the government to introduce an extremism commission raise more questions than they answer. The government has tried and failed in…

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News

August 2017
News > Education

Education – Flourish for women

London Seminary has launched a course for women to start in September this year. The course, called Flourish, will run for nine days of lecturing, study and discussion, spread over the course of the academic year. It aims at biblical and theological depth, together with practical application. It meets at the seminary site in…

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News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – New UK abortion bill

Baroness Nicholson, a former director of the Save the Children Foundation, and a former member of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights, has secured a first reading of her Abortion (Foetus Protection) Bill. The bill is trying to bring the abortion time limit in line with the median for most European…

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News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Astonishing BMA vote

The British Medical Association’s vote to decriminalise abortion has been slammed by Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern. Earlier this summer, the British Medical Association (BMA) held a vote at its annual meeting, in which it voted in favour of decriminalising abortion. As a result, the organisation will adopt a pro-abortion stance as…

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News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Abortion in Northern Ireland

In June 2017, all three judges in Belfast’s Court of Appeal ruled that Northern Ireland’s (NI) current abortion law was not incompatible with human rights. NI’s laws on abortion are stricter than those in England and Wales. This came as a result of pro-choice campaigners, riding on the coat-tails of popular opinion, given the…

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News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Freedom of conscience

Pharmacists are free to practice according to their conscience, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has agreed. In new guidelines, the GPhC overwrote old guidance, which could have seen Christians have to choose between their faith or their job. This is because they may have been forced to provide access to abortifacient drugs. The GPhC…

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News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Charlie Gard dilemma

The mother of a baby with a similar condition to Charlie Gard has urged his parents to never give up on their battle to save their son. According to a report in the Evening Standard (11 July), Eman Muhammad, 33, was told her baby girl, Mira, had a rare genetic condition and would not…

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News

August 2017
News > Society

Society – Dawkins on Islam

Richard Dawkins has warned against Islam as the ‘most evil’ religion, stirring up further controversy with his anti-religious comments. The evolutionary biologist and confirmed atheist warned that it was virtually impossible to study English literature without knowing the background of Christianity. According to a report from The Telegraph, Mr Dawkins was being interviewed at…

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News

August 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Two street preachers acquitted

Two street preachers, who were arrested in 2016 and charged with using ‘threatening’ or offensive words, have been acquitted. Mike Overd and Michael Stockwell were convicted of religiously aggravated public order convictions in February 2017. They had been arrested for preaching at a Bristol shopping centre in July 2016, along with two other men. In February, the court…

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News

August 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: Nigeria – schoolgirls released

Islamic militant group Boko Haram has released a further 82 of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted in April 2014. In June, the 82 girls, 75 of whom are Christians, were set free. A Christian leader from Chibok said, ‘God is answering the prayers of his people’. Boko Haram has deliberately targeted Christians…

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News

August 2017
News > Persecution

Persecution: India – Anti-Christian attacks surge

Attacks against Christian communities in India have surged over the past three years, especially after the right-wing governing body, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), swept to power in May 2014. Release International, the advocacy body which supports persecuted Christians globally, has warned that violent Hindu nationalism has been gaining ground, causing a sharp spike…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The art of raising spouses

Shortly after our second child was born, we were at a fundraising event. I was sitting at the back of the hall, having just finished feeding my new-born, when a lady came over to me and said, ‘Oh what a privilege and a blessing to raise a son for the Lord!’ I looked at…

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News

August 2017
News > Mission

Sun, sea and salvation

Glorious weather has helped boost seaside visitors this year, but how many people will be met on the beach with the Bible? Across the UK, as well as continental Europe, UK-based churches and Christian organisations have been running Bible camps, beach missions and outreach at popular holiday destinations. Local One local mission is the…

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Review

August 2017

Pilgrims under Pressure

Ezekiel is an apt prophet with which to begin this collection of devotions that encourage saints under pressure to stay faithful to the gospel. Those who have become lukewarm in their devotion to the Lord will be challenged by Ezekiel’s call to repentance and faith, amid the impending spectre of God’s wrath. However, this…

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Review

August 2017

Big Bible Answers – The Bottomless Dinner Basket

The authors of The bottomless dinner basket seek to teach sound doctrine to children aged eight and above using Erroll Hulse’s Catechism for boys and girls. There are three units that are each split into subsections. At the beginning of each section, the authors quote the questions and answers from the catechism (omitting the…

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Review

August 2017
Reviews > Book

Bishop J C Ryle’s Autobiography

It may appear strange that the Banner of Truth Trust should so soon follow up their publication of Iain Murray’s biography of Ryle, Prepared to stand alone, with Ryle’s own Autobiography. The two works are, however, complementary. Whereas Iain Murray covers the whole of Ryle’s long life, the Autobiography ends with the death of…

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Review

August 2017

Reader’s Bible (NKJV)

How do you approach the Bible? As a reference volume to look up answers to certain questions? As a divine book given to us by God in which we hear him speaking? Have you ever wondered if the layout of your Bible affects the way you view it? One of the surprising things about…

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Review

August 2017

The Lion’s Honey – lessons from the life of Samson

In this short book, John Benton walks us through the life of Samson. While the wider context and general teaching of Judges 13-16 is outlined, the focus is specifically on lessons in leadership. Samson is an enigmatic character. His inclusion among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 can seem surprising in view of…

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Review

August 2017

And they crucified him

In this God-honouring, heart-stirring book, Alun Ebenezer considers chronologically the events leading up to, including and following the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. The book is written in conversational style, at times leading the reader down thoughtful side paths, making it highly readable and engaging. The chapters are of varying length and occasionally…

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Review

August 2017

Wonders of Grace

Anything associated with C. H. Spurgeon merits serious attention. The publishers of this little gem deserve much praise. It is a collection of testimonies drawn from the archives of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. They display a fascinating variety of testimonies from converts of Spurgeon’s ministry. The book is attractively presented in a clear format and…

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Review

August 2017

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Following earlier publications by Washer on the gospel, this booklet is worth reading. Here he directs his focus to unbelievers. He thoroughly explains the gospel, starting with God and describing succinctly his character. He then deals with humanity and something of our character, especially our moral corruption and guilt before our Maker. Washer then…

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Review

August 2017

Finding Forgiveness

This book comprises five chapters. The first two focus on the forgiveness of God, the second two on our forgiveness of others, and chapter five deals with the misnomer of forgiving ourselves. Although it is an expansion of Gale’s previous booklet, Why must we forgive?, he admits that the present work is not an…

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Review

August 2017

I shall not die, but live

In May 2011, Douglas Taylor was diagnosed with terminal cancer. From 7 June 2011 until 8 May 2014, he launched into a personal mission for the Saviour he loved. He began a blog to encourage those who knew that the remainder of their lives would be short. His vibrant faith in the Saviour, whom…

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Review

August 2017

Knowing God and Ourselves

The subtitle of this book is ‘Reading Calvin’s Institutes devotionally’. For most readers this may be somewhat misleading. It is not a devotional book in the standard sense, using excerpts of writings from well-known Christians for daily thought and devotion. It is more of a theological introduction to Calvin’s Institutes. The book certainly has…

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Review

August 2017

Luther and his Katie

‘If this monk should marry, the whole world and even the devil would roar with laughter’, said Martin Luther’s enemies. But marry Catherine von Bora he did! She had escaped from a convent where she had been living as a nun since the age of ten. Together with eleven other young women, she was…

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Review

August 2017

The Cost – what it takes to follow Jesus

This is a great little book. And its subject is anything but little: Lawson opens up Luke 14:25-35 in detail. There are 12 short chapters, which are easy to read. Each tackles approximately one verse at a time. The closing chapter places the whole passage in biblical and theological context. Every chapter is packed…

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Review

August 2017

Read Mark Learn – Luke Vol 1

These are study notes on Luke chapters 1-9. They are intended for use by small groups, but could be used for personal study. They are taken from sermons preached by the author, who is the rector at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London. This is the third in the ‘Read Mark Learn’ series from St Helen’s,…

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Review

August 2017

Luther and the 9.5 Theses

Unless you have been hiding in a monastery, you will know that this year is the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. A plethora of publications have appeared, drawing attention to this fact at various levels and from different points of view. This title comes from Dr Brownell, who has been pastor…

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Review

August 2017

Convinced by Scripture

This concise and lucid book on Luther is designed to use the opportunities afforded by the 500th anniversary of the famous nailing of the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Andy Johnston describes how the Bible gradually illuminated this incredibly important, influential Reformer. Luther had been strictly raised in a religious, superstitious…

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Review

August 2017

Crazy love — overwhelmed by a relentless God

Crazy love is a book designed to challenge Christians to stop living a lukewarm life, and encourage them to live a life ‘worthy of the calling you have received’ (Ephesians 4:1). It consists of eleven chapters, each chapter divided by subheadings, to help guide focus. Each chapter is a mix of biblical extracts, paired…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Moldova

Moldova (1)

Donald J. Morrison reports on gospel ministry to Romanians and Russians in Moldova’s rural countryside. My recent 10-day missionary visit to Moldova, in Eastern Europe, was, as always, memorable. A craving to share the gospel with as many souls as possible was my primary reason for this trip, besides helping the poor and needy.…

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Article

August 2017
Spain

An evangelical church on the tropical coast of Spain

Almuñecar is a small cosmopolitan town of around 29,000 people. There are a considerable number of foreign residents who have their second home here or come often for holidays. The town is located in the heart of what is called the ‘Costa Tropical’, between Nerja, in Málaga province, and the province of Almería. There…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Zambia

Proclamation Institute Zambia

I arrived in Ndola, Zambia, in May 2016 to be greeted by Alfred. The weather was warm and the greeting was too. We drove in his car the hour or so northwest to Kitwe, and then another half an hour further north to a remote location, where a new Bible training college had begun…

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News

August 2017
News > Events

Event – International Preaching Congress

The fourth International Congress on Preaching (ICOP) will be held from 8-10 August 2017, at St Andrews Street Baptist Church in Cambridge. The event, which unites pastors and church leaders from the UK, US and many other nations, is jointly sponsored by Preaching magazine, Anderson University, and Spurgeon’s College. The theme of the congress is ‘Preaching hope in…

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Ethics – Pregnancy advice centre

News

August 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Pregnancy advice centre

Sheffield is getting a new Christian pregnancy advice centre (PAC) to help women with the difficult decisions they need to make about their pregnancies. The aims of the Sheffield PAC are to save the lives of babies, minimise regret among women and present a Christian worldview for life. Things have been busy behind the…

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News

August 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Church history afternoon

Leicestershire played host to the 2017 Church History Afternoon on Saturday 3 June. The ‘Puritan Earl’ (Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon) and Hannah Marshman, first woman missionary to India, were two contrasting subjects for this year’s well-attended conference, at Barton-in-the-Beans Baptist Chapel. As the speakers demonstrated, both Henry Hastings and Hannah Marshman were…

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News

August 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Ministry wives’ retreat

More than 30 ministry wives gathered in May at Holland House in Worcestershire for a special retreat organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC). Jane McNabb from The Slade Church in London was the main speaker and her three talks were based on Matthew 6: ‘Live for your Father,’ ‘Delight in your Father’ and ‘Ask…

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News

August 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Church planting

Eight couples involved in planting churches joined the first ever church planters’ retreat, hosted by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) in May. Andy Paterson, mission director for the FIEC, spoke on Psalm 91 at the retreat. He was keen to organise the gathering as part of the FIEC’s support for church plants.…

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News

August 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Scottish Reformed Conference 2017

An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman walked into a conference … no punchline given, just first-class Bible teaching at the 28th Scottish Reformed Conference! Held at Hamilton College in May, several hundred people gathered to worship and hear the Word of God preached in an uplifting and challenging way. The first speaker was Rupert Bentley-Taylor.…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Comment

Fear and persecution

One of the signs of the end times, as predicted in Scripture, is the rise of fear within human hearts and the persecution of the Lord’s people. This is nothing new. We cannot overstate the warning given to the early New Testament church of such tribulation and suffering. Take the words of our Saviour:…

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News

August 2017
News > Media

Media – Christian bookshop opens

A new Christian bookshop is thriving in Milton Keynes two years after the closure of the old one. Milton Keynes lost its long-standing bookshop after 25 years, when it closed early in 2015 — just one of many that have closed over the past decade. As Evangelical Times reported in its article, ‘The shop…

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News

August 2017
News > Events

Event – Free Church (Continuing) in London

On 14 May 2017, the first communion service was held in the new Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) outreach congregation in London. A preparatory service was held on Saturday afternoon, when Rev. William Macleod preached on ‘Adoption’. He spoke of what adoption is: a stranger being taken into the family and treated as a…

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Article

August 2017
Youth Features

Dores Youth Conference

On Saturday 25 March 2017, a total of 14 young people aged 11-18 gathered at Dores Free Church (Continuing) for a youth conference. The day started with time for refreshments and chatting to friends while we waited for everyone to arrive. Rev. Davide Ratti introduced the speaker for the day, who was Rev. James…

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News

August 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Baptisms at Sola Grazia

Italy’s Sola Grazia church in Mantua celebrated on a perfect summer’s day on 11 June with a host of believers’ baptisms. We had a full church, with more than 90 people squeezing into our small church. Everyone had come to share in the wonderful service of baptism we had been planning for some months.…

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News

August 2017
News > Induction > Uncategorised

Induction – Pastoral ministry in Fetcham

Christ Church Fetcham (CCF) has been a Christian witness to the small village of Fetcham near Leatherhead in Surrey for over 20 years. Last September their second pastor, Ian Fry, moved on to Oxford to take up a new role in St Ebbe’s under Vaughan Roberts. CCF is looking for a pastor, but the…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Teach us how not to pray

‘But He has to do it; it says so in His Word!’ I’m pretty sure it was the worst prayer meeting I’ve ever attended! A friend had mentioned how people in the flat above were making life intolerable with their door-slamming, aggressive language and loud music. At the end of her tether, she needed…

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Historical

August 2017
Articles > Historical

‘Things that go bump in the night’

From 2 December 1716 onwards for several weeks, Rev. Samuel and Susanna Wesley, their seven daughters and household servants — their three sons were in London — experienced a series of unusual phenomena at the rectory home in Epworth, Lincolnshire. Today such happenings would readily be associated with ‘poltergeist’ activity. They included inexplicable groans,…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

How are the mighty fallen!

David hears of the death of two of Israel’s heroes, and exclaims three times that two mighty men have fallen. He laments, ‘Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon’ (2 Samuel 1:19-27). He is ashamed that such news is proclaimed among his enemies. At the same time, he…

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Historical

August 2017
Articles > Historical

The surprising story of David Michell (3)

Continued from The surprising story of David Michel (2) ‘One wintry day in February, I was with our little group … when we saw Eric [Liddell] walking under the trees … As usual he was smiling.’ ‘As he talked with us, we knew nothing of the pain he was hiding, and he knew nothing…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

The heavenly session of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ (2)

Christ’s priestly work in heaven is unique. At his Father’s side, he is perpetually applying the shed blood of his sacrifice on behalf of his people. We have already noticed that Jesus Christ’s once-and-for-all, single act of propitiatory sacrifice need never be repeated (see previous article in ET, July 2017). It was perfect and…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Personal view

Personal View: Was Eden a garden-temple?

Few passages in the Bible provide a richer seam of truth than Genesis 1-3. As with any familiar passage, we delight to find new and fresh insights in it. In the last 20 years, Greg Beale has popularised one such potentially enriching idea: that Eden was a garden-temple. Beale puts forward the temple idea…

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News

August 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Antony Simon (1967–2017)

On Monday 29 May, while on a mission trip to the northern part of Iraq, evangelist-pastor Antony Simon was killed in a car accident. Tony and two colleagues were crossing a busy road, after preaching at a small church and handing out audio-Bibles and humanitarian aid. There was no street lighting and by the…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Guest column

Coping with suffering

In responding to suffering, some Christians have wrongly thought that God can only meaningfully comfort us if he suffers with us in his divine nature and experiences our pain (ET Guest Column, July 2017). This is a tempting point of view, but it is the wrong answer to suffering, because God is transcendent and…

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News

August 2017
News

Letter from America: Giving Keller back-word

When Tim Keller, senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, was selected earlier this year as the recipient of Princeton Seminary’s 2017 Kuyper Prize for ‘Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness’ (a $10,000 prize), the Reformed world was ecstatic. Princeton had even celebrated Keller as ‘an innovative theologian and church…

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Article

August 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Answering difficult questions (1)

We live in tricky times for Christian witness and living. There is hostility to the gospel and its proclamation. We see the hand of the evil one in laws against extremism manipulated against believers, even though their lifestyle is opposed to violence and they only aim to live out Christ’s words, ‘Love your enemies’.…

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Review

July 2017

Daddy tried: overcoming the failures of fatherhood

(5 Star) With good reason, theologian John Frame calls this ‘the best book on fathering currently in print’. Tim Bayly is an American pastor with over 30 years’ experience. He addresses fatherhood in the home, church and public square, with application to fathers, ministers and all men. Daddy tried begins with ‘Fatherhood lost’, rooting…

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Review

July 2017

Journal of the Seminary of the Free Church of Scotland (Cont) Volume 2

In producing this journal, the FCS (Continuing) has demonstrated the necessity and benefits of sound study articles as a means of nurturing a godly ministry. Such ministry is greatly needed today. This volume has worthy articles on matters of interest to all, not just ministers. They range from Christological issues, like Christophanies in the…

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Review

July 2017

God’s Word and Your Life

This comes from Christian Focus’ CF4.K range. The small print on the back cover gives an age range of ‘Read to me: 6-8’ or ‘Read by myself: 8-12’. I would say it is ideal for those aged 11-plus. The principles in the book are pertinent to those younger, but as a tool for understanding…

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Review

July 2017

Is the Lord’s Day for you

In this addition to the ‘Cultivating Biblical Godliness’ booklet series, Joseph Pipa (President of the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina) sets out the biblical basis for the abiding relevance of the fourth commandment. In short compass, Dr Pipa demonstrates how God established the Sabbath principle of a weekly day of rest, by…

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Review

July 2017

How can I practice Christian Meditation

The 21st century is witness to an information revolution not seen since the invention of the printing press. The challenge for Christians today, faced with vast amounts of images, news feeds, social media and web surfing, is to keep all these secondary to God’s Word. Daily time with the Word of God is vital…

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Review

July 2017

Pulpit Aflame

This is an excellent book. It should be put into the hands of every man feeling called to preach. It is also helpful for those who, by God’s grace, have been preaching for many years. There are still things to learn which this book can teach. It takes the form of essays on preaching…

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Review

July 2017

People in the Bible – The Life of Abraham

Malcolm Maclean was the managing editor for Christian Focus Publishing and now ministers in the Free Church of Scotland. As may be expected, he has written this short study on Abraham with clear biblical exposition and heartfelt, practical application. Do not expect to have your questions about Melchizedek or other difficult areas answered. While…

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Review

July 2017

The Unquenchable Flame

How easy it is to hear of certain great events in the story of the Christian church and yet be unsure of the exact place of that event in the grand drama of God’s unfolding purposes. This year sees the 500th anniversary of 31 October 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to…

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Review

July 2017

Surprised by the commandments

Graham Beynon confesses that he once considered the Ten Commandments ‘predictable, negative and irrelevant’ (p.xi). After preaching through them, however, he was surprised to discover an unexpected ‘depth and richness’ (p.xii). He dedicates one short chapter to each commandment, writing in a simple and conversational style. He offers valuable insights and his practical applications are…

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Review

July 2017

Devoted to God: blueprints for sanctification

In spring 1991, a gathering of pastors in Leicester were listening intently to a preacher expounding the doctrine of sanctification. Their hearts burned within them as in three sessions he gave a masterly overview of his subject and drove home his message with real conviction. What particularly riveted their attention was the way that…

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Review

July 2017

Radical Church

In this book, John Caldwell gives a brief analysis of what has gone wrong with the church and the world. David Robertson writes in the foreword, ‘There is very little in this wee book that is new. You can find more detailed analysis of current cultural trends, contemporary church issues, historical developments and in-depth…

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Review

July 2017

The World on our Doorstep

This book is described as a resource aimed at helping UK churches engage with those of other faiths who live ‘on our doorstep’ rather than in distant lands. Much is packed into 200 pages, with many examples of churches and missionary groups finding new ways of reaching adherents of other religions. The tone is…

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Review

July 2017

Why Noah’s Ark is gospel truth

The author of this little book is the minister of Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire. It is designed for evangelistic use and was written after Peter Simpson and his wife visited the recently opened ‘Ark Encounter’ in Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is used by the author as a springboard to discuss the veracity…

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Review

July 2017

Content yet contending

This book stems from two series on Jude that the author preached in his home church. It seems aimed at ministers who might consider preaching through this book, although its appeal is wider than this. In the preface Hyde explains the reason for the title: to encourage, as did Jude, Christians to be content in…

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Review

July 2017

Born Slaves – The Bondage of the Will

This is an excellent introduction to an essential doctrine, sadly, opposed by John Wesley and many professed evangelicals. Luther states clearly in the preface, ‘Man is born a slave to sin! He is not free’. He then goes on to oppose Erasmus’ doctrine (to whom the book is a response), point by point, expounding…

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Review

July 2017

The crisis of evangelical Christianity: roots, consequences and resolutions

Keith Sewell (Professor of history at Dordt College, Iowa) brings his extensive knowledge of the history of Christianity to an assessment of evangelicalism today. He points out the early and ubiquitous influence of Platonism on the post-apostolic church. He remarks how ‘notions of holiness consisting in a constant abstemiousness with respect to ordinary, creaturely…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Youth Features

‘I’m a creationist … get me out of here! How to handle evolution at school or college

So you’re a Christian young person studying science? You believe in creation because that’s what the Bible teaches, but you’re wondering how to handle the issue at school or college. You have some difficult decisions to make. Will you openly challenge what you’re being taught about evolution, or will you keep quiet? Will you…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Faroe Islands

Jewels of the North Atlantic

Great Britain came very near to owning the Faroe Islands. King Henry VIII was twice offered the 18 small, mountainous islands located between Scotland and Iceland, as security for a loan, but both times he turned them down. By default, the Faroes archipelago became part of Denmark’s crown jewels. As far back as the…

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Article

July 2017
Uncategorised > Faroe Islands

The quiet revival in the Faroes

The Faroe Islands lie about 180 nautical miles north west of the Shetlands. Recent archaeological digs suggest long-term settlements were established there in the 4th century AD. These were probably from Celtic people — suggested by today’s place names and hand-sized, stone crosses. Around 860AD the Vikings arrived, which brought the Faroes under Norway.…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Romania

Făclia Publishing House publishing good Christian books in Oradea, Romania

Let me tell you my story: I was born into a loving evangelical Christian family in a harshly communist country that suffered for so long under the cruel dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. But, in our town of Oradea in Romania, we had the privilege of attending a fine gospel preaching church, Emanuel Baptist Church,…

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News

July 2017
News > Education

Education – Forty years of London Seminary

London Seminary celebrates 40 years of training men for pastoral ministry this year. Established under the leadership of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and others in 1977, London Theological Seminary (as it then was) had one aim: to prepare men called by God to preach the gospel and pastor Christ’s people. As its constitution puts it, the…

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News

July 2017
News > Events

Induction – Stornoway induction

There was a large attendance in the Stornoway Town Hall on 28 April for the ordination and induction of Stephen McCollum as the new pastor of Stornoway Reformed Presbyterian (RP) Church. Many had travelled from Northern Ireland and the mainland for the occasion, and there were representatives from other congregations on Lewis. Stephen, from…

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News

July 2017
News > Events

Induction – Welcome to Wooler

At a service on 22 April, Wooler Evangelical Church, Northumberland, inducted Michael George Veitch from Dunbar in East Lothian to be their new pastor, after a vacancy of 16 months. Michael will be the third pastor in Wooler since the church began in 1993. About 200 people were present in the packed building, including…

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News

July 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Cycle of shame

Christian women in the persecuted world have to endure a cycle of shame, attendees at an international conference in Belgium have heard. According to the conference, the church must learn to listen in a radical new way to Christian women who have been driven to silence by persecution and shame, and not leave them…

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News

July 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – William Perkins Conference

‘Imagine studying the Reformation without access to the works of Luther or Calvin. Well, stunningly, when we consider the monumental Puritan period, the works of its ‘father’, William Perkins, have not been published since the early seventeenth century. Thankfully, our lack of access to one ‘justly esteemed by his contemporaries as a master in…

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News

July 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Grace Baptist Assembly 2017

‘Barriers are broken down by proclaiming the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth!’ This final sentence was the fitting conclusion to the 2017 Grace Baptist Assembly (GBA). We met at the Hayes Conference Centre, from 9-11 May, for our 14th year as a residential conference. Malcolm and Jean…

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News

July 2017
News > Mission

Mission – Beighton, Sheffield

Crystal Peaks Church (CPC), a plant from Wycliffe Church, Sheffield, was coming up to four years of age and didn’t have two pennies to rub together, let alone £175,000. But the church suddenly became aware that God was slowly but surely leading us to become established in Beighton village, where a Primitive Methodist church…

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News

July 2017
News > Education

Education – New principal for London Seminary

The board of London Seminary has appointed Bill James, pastor of Emmanuel Church in Leamington Spa, as the next principal of the seminary. He will take up the post in January 2018. He follows in the footsteps of current principal Robert Strivens, who is to step down from the post at the end of…

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News

July 2017
News

Society – Sunday trading turned down in NI

Councillors have voted against increasing Sunday trading in Belfast, following concerns that family life would suffer. Belfast City Council’s strategic policy and resources committee rejected the proposal in May by twelve votes to three. The proposal was to designate Belfast as a ‘holiday resort’, under the Northern Ireland’s Shops Order 1997 and allow all-day…

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News

July 2017
News > Media

Media – Academic nonsense exposed

Gender studies’ status as an academic field has been kiboshed once again after an academic journal published a hoax article. Its authors have admitted the paper was ‘meaningless nonsense, designed to expose the absurdity of gender studies’. The paper was published in the Cogent Social Sciences academic journal. The authors, Peter Boyle and Jamie…

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News

July 2017
News > Media

Media – ‘Quote Jesus’

Bus advertising campaign ‘Quote Jesus’, which aims to get advertising on the side of London buses, has gained momentum. According to the campaigners, new figures suggest the adverts have been seen by 6.5 million people in the first three months of the campaign. This is more than double the number of regular churchgoers in…

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News

July 2017
News > Youth

Youth – Sunday school day

Sunday schools that only started in the past year joined dozens of others, some more than a century old, from around England and Wales at the fourth annual ‘National Sunday School Day and Parade’. A yearly event, sponsored by the Crown Christian Heritage Trust, the parade, was held on 13 May at Beeches Road…

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News

July 2017
News > Youth

Youth – Children at risk

The normalisation of underage sex has left children and young people in serious risk of sexual exploitation, a report from the Family Education Trust has found. The 152-page report, called Unprotected: how the normalisation of underage sex is exposing children and young people to the risk of sexual exploitation, analyses high-profile cases of child…

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News

July 2017
News

Science – Black holes

Two huge black holes have merged, sending out a burst of gravitational waves, which essentially are warping space-time, according to reports. The signals of the gravitational waves were picked up by the Advanced Ligo facilities in the USA, marking the third time that the labs’ laser instruments have been perturbed by the warping of…

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News

July 2017
News > Politics

Politics – IS attacks Britain

Christian leaders have condemned the Islamist terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, calling on Islamic leaders to take more responsibility. Dr Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, stirred controversy when he told leaders of Britain’s Muslim communities to do more to bear responsibility and take action to prevent extremism. He told the BBC Today programme…

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News

July 2017
News > Politics

Politics – Care for trafficking victims

Britain’s support system for victims of trafficking is full of ‘inexcusable failures’, a report from the cross-party Work and Pensions Committee has declared. According to May 2017’s report, after an initial 45-day ‘reflection and recovery’ period in a safe house, the system left many victims destitute and their traffickers unpunished. MPs on the committee…

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News

July 2017
News > Politics

Politics – Tawney Dialogue 2017

In Evangelical Times March 2017, Shirin Aguiar reported on the Conservative Christian Fellowship’s Wilberforce Address. In April, Shirin also attended Labour’s ‘Christians on the Left’ annual address — the Tawney Dialogue; here, she reports on its two keynote speeches. The Tawney Dialogue is named after Christian Socialist R. H. Tawney. At the 2017 event,…

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News

July 2017
News > Events

Events – Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) assembly

The 2017 General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (FCC) met in Liberton Kirk, Edinburgh, on Monday 22 May. During the meeting, the FCC committee presented its report to the General Assembly, in which it said governing authorities should not spy on the population. It argued it was not the role of…

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News

July 2017
News > Events

Event – European School open day

On 6 May 2017, the European School of Biblical Studies (formerly the EMF School of Biblical Studies) held its annual open day at Welwyn Evangelical Church. As the guests flooded in, so did the extra seats to accommodate the 200 or so guests who had come to hear from this year’s students and from…

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News

July 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Gay cake hearing set for October

Northern Irish bakers at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ legal controversy have been granted the right to take their appeal to the UK Supreme Court in October 2017. The ‘gay cake’ case is to go before judges sitting in the highest court in the land, to consider a possible appeal by the Belfast-based…

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News

July 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Teenage pregnancies fall

Sexual health service cuts have contributed, surprisingly to some, to a fall in teenage pregnancies across the UK. Between 1999 and 2010, the government ran a teenage pregnancy strategy, which handed out contraceptives and provide sex and relationships education. When funding for this was cut in 2010, critics warned this would have a direct…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Australian Christians targeted

Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has spoken out after being targeted by LGBT extremists during one of its events. The group was holding an event at a Melbourne hotel, during which some of the speakers would be discussing transsexualism and Australia’s ‘Safe Schools’ programme. Lyle Shelton, managing director of ACL, described the forceful obstruction of…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Global warming

America has joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only three countries outside the Paris Accord agreement on protecting the climate. In June, the 45th president decided to walk away from the US’s involvement in committing to clean energy and developing renewable sources of energy. At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Pakistani callousness

A Pakistani Christian sanitary worker has died after a doctor refused to treat him because the patient was covered in sewage. Thirty-year-old Irfan Masih died on 2 June, when a doctor at Umerkot Hospital, Lahore, refused to touch his sludge covered body, because the doctor was fasting for the month of Ramadan. According to…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Amnesty condemns Indonesia

Amnesty International has slammed the decision by Indonesian authorities to imprison the governor of Jakarta. Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as ‘Ahok’, was accused of blasphemy. The prosecutor demanded the judges sentence Ahok for one year’s imprisonment for ‘insulting or making hostility’ towards a certain group in public, under Article 156 of the…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Gay t-shirt court ruling

A Christian printer who declined to make shirts for a US gay pride event has won his court case. According to the Christian Institute, American Blaine Adamson was sued after turning down the order, because it promoted a message that conflicted with his ‘sincerely held Christian beliefs’. In 2012, Mr Adamson declined to take…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Egypt

Egyptian Christians have been slaughtered by Islamists as they travelled to a monastery in May 2017, at the start of the Islamic fast of Ramadan. The ambush killed 29 and injured 22. Men were taken off the buses, their identity cards checked to see they were Christians and then told to recite the Islamic…

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News

July 2017
News > International

International – Sri Lanka

Christians in Sri Lanka have been badly affected by severe flooding, with at least 191 deaths reported, 5,500 injured and 465,000 people displaced. At least 200 churches have also been affected by the worst rains since 2003, which have caused terrible devastation in south and west Sri Lanka at the end of May. According…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Guest column

Right and wrong answers to suffering

Suffering is a reality we all experience. Although it is used by some to reject God’s existence, when properly understood, it confirms just how much we need God. But what kind of a God do we need? It is important that we find a thoroughly biblical answer to this question, because many sincere people…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Comment

Bad news or good news?

Sometimes the news confronting evangelicals seems particularly bad, even appalling. Regular readers may have felt that way when reading, in last month’s Evangelical Times, the article entitled ‘Shocking disclosures for Christian churches’ (p.11). This article named names and reported on some serious sins and failings committed by previously respected Christians in leadership roles. In…

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Article

June 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Perseverance

There is a tale told about a farmer whose mule fell into a well. After many unsuccessful attempts to haul the mule out of the hole, the farmer decided the situation was hopeless. With sadness, he instructed his boys to fill truck-loads of soil and bury the old mule right there in the well.…

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Historical

July 2017
Articles > Historical

Robert Haldane (1764–1842)

Life is full of surprises, it is often said. That is certainly true of the life story of Robert Haldane. Very few, one imagines, would have been able to claim that the path to their conversion to Christ began with the French Revolution! Yet Robert Haldane made precisely that claim. This momentous event ‘aroused…

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Historical

July 2017
Articles > Historical > Uncategorised

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

The highly talented novelist Jane Austen died 200 years ago, on 18 July 1817. Was she a Christian? Only God knows for sure, but believers reading her novels will ask this question. Jane Austen wrote brilliantly within her own sphere of life, although there were many matters she did not cover. Carol Shields, in…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

The heavenly session of the Lord Jesus Christ (1)

The heavenly session of the risen, ascended Jesus Christ is often neglected, even when thoughts of his glory are considered. However, this subject is relevant to prayer and essential to the spiritual joy and peace of all God’s people. J. C. Ryle noted, ‘If we are Christians, we shall find it essential to our…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Federal Vision

Justification by faith, where vile sinners are counted as righteous before God for the sake of Christ, is often polluted by the waters of moralism. Martin Luther is said to have described this justification as ‘the article by which the church stands or falls’. It was this that brought him to faith in Christ,…

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Historical

July 2017
Articles > Historical

150 years of Brixton Tabernacle

Due to the work of the Holy Spirit in an expanding London, the 1860s saw a number of new churches start in South London, including what was to become Brixton Tabernacle. Although a comparatively unusual designation for a church these days, the term ‘Tabernacle’ was once common, perhaps taking its cue from Whitfield’s Tabernacle.…

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Historical

July 2017
Articles > Historical

The surprising story of David Michell (2)

In September 1943, the children and staff of the China Inland Mission school at Chefoo were forcibly moved by the Japanese to Weihsien Internment Camp on the north-east coast of China. David Michell, a 9-year-old at the school, was caught up in all this. He recalled: ‘One of the first arrivals had described Weihsien…

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Article

July 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘He shines in all that’s fair’

Psalm 24:1 proclaims, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it’. Our world was made by God and belongs to him. The evidence of our Creator is all around us. As Romans 1:20 says, ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have…