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Everything in April 2016 issue

News

April 2016
News

Ethics – Tackling prostitution

In March, the Home Affairs Committee held its first hearing as part of an inquiry into the law on prostitution. One of the proposals under consideration is changing the law to criminalise the purchase of sexual services, in order to reduce demand for prostitution.  More than 200 responses were sent in during the government’s…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

The works of William Perkins

Recently, Christian literary organisation ‘Books At a Glance’ interviewed Stephen Yuille and Joel Beeke about the recent publication of The works of William Perkins. Here is the substance of that interview. Books: The publication of The works of William Perkins is a landmark event in Christian publishing. Long overdue, the republishing of this ‘father…

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News

April 2016
News

Education – Parents responsible

Churches must help parents to engage with their children’s schools, so the state does not have the final word on decisions about how children are educated. This is the view of the Evangelical Alliance (EA), which has unveiled a guide to help Christian parents and their churches take an active role in the education…

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News

April 2016
News

Inductions – Free Church inductions

One of the most experienced ministers in the Free Church of Scotland has become the next minister of Stornoway Free Church. Earlier this year, Rev. James Maciver accepted a unanimous call from the Kenneth Street congregation, at a meeting of the Western Isles Presbytery in Stornoway. Mr Maciver, who served as Moderator of the…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Beautiful in his time’ (1)

The New England theologian Jonathan Edwards is famous for his description of the progress of redemption history: ‘It may here be observed, that from the fall of man to our day, the work of redemption in its effect has mainly been carried on by remarkable communications of the Spirit of God.’ ‘Though there be…

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News

April 2016
News

International – Brazilian superstition

Brazilian millionaire Eike Batista has thrown £130,000 worth of gold coins into the South Atlantic Ocean to appease a false god. Once the richest man in Brazil, Mr Batista’s oil conglomerate, OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, lost 90 per cent of its value, and he was plunged into debt and a legal case.…

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News

April 2016
News

Wales to regulate Sunday schools

The contentious plans from Westminster for Ofsted to regulate religious and other out-of-school groups in England have been replicated in proposals from the Welsh government. The so-called ‘out-of-school education settings’ proposals have been outlined in a public consultation, and bear great similarities to plans being considered for England. The consultation, which closes on 6…

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News

April 2016
News

Church – Archbishops in denial

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has denied the Church of England is considering changing its doctrine to allow same-sex marriages. In February, Archbishop Sentamu wrote a letter to ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex’ (LGBTI) activist and General Synod member Jayne Ozanne, on behalf of himself and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which…

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Historical

April 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (2)

Last month’s article surveyed the variety of attacks on evangelical faith during the second half of the nineteenth century. This article focuses on how literature, science and philosophy combined to undermine people’s confidence in traditional Christian belief (authors cited are referenced below). The spirit of the age was, to a significant degree, strengthened and…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Who raised Jesus from the dead?’

It is natural to inquire about the details of an event so important to us. But we should first remember that the Bible avoids providing us details about what happened within the tomb when Jesus arose in resurrection life. We know he was killed and buried, that the tomb was sealed and guarded by…

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News

April 2016
News

Media – English anthem

Parliament has debated whether English sports fans should have their own national anthem, just as the Welsh sing Hen wlad fy nhadau (Land of my fathers), and the Scots sing Flower of Scotland. Although the English national anthem Bill is unlikely to get on to the statute books, and has been criticised heavily by…

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News

April 2016
News

Persecution UK – Facebook fiasco

Christian student Felix Ngole has been removed from Sheffield University’s social work course for his beliefs on biblical marriage. Last year, the student made comments on his personal Facebook page in support of traditional marriage, following the case of American marriage clerk Kim Davis. Ms Davis expressed a conscientious objection to issuing marriage certificates…

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News

April 2016
News

Conference – 2015 Irish Biblical Reformation Conference

The 2015 Irish Biblical Reformation Conference was held on Saturday 7 November, at Edenmore Golf Club, Northern Ireland. The guest speaker was Pastor Geoff Thomas of Aberystwyth, who spoke on the theme, ‘The authority and sufficiency of God’s Word’. Conscience In his first session, Geoff reminded us of the uniqueness of God’s Word, the…

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News

April 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: The Anglican communion in North America

During the twenty-first century, Anglican churches in Canada and the USA have experienced turmoil and division over same-sex marriage. As early as 2002, Canadian dioceses began to split away from the Anglican Church of Canada over the issue. Many more American Anglican churches were to follow suit and form a new denomination, the Anglican…

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News

April 2016
News

Persecution Algeria – Church threatened

Christians in Algeria are facing increasing problems when it comes to practising their faith, reports from Release International have said. According to the Christian advocacy organisation, a church in the Kabylie area of northern Algeria is being threatened with closure. Officials have given warning that they will start legal action against its pastor if…

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News

April 2016
News

International – Catholic child abuse

Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell has promised to do more to help people who suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic priests. In a meeting in Rome, Cardinal Pell vowed to help lower suicide rates among people who were abused by Catholic priests as children. Cardinal Pell met privately with a group of survivors…

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News

April 2016
News

Event- Hampton Court protest

What happened on 9 February 2016 at Hampton Court Royal Chapel ought to be of great interest and deep concern to every Bible-believing Christian. Unlike the results of a Guardian poll — where 60 per cent of respondents said yes to what had taken place, 19 per cent said no, and 21 per cent…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Smiles amongst sorrows

‘I’m pregnant!’ Two words I could not wait to shout to the world. Everything was moving along swimmingly in my life plan. I could tick off good results in school and university, a loving husband, a job, even a dog! Now, just like pretty much anything else, I had put my mind to do,…

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News

April 2016
News

Church extension – Portavogie FCC services

The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) witness has begun to expand in Northern Ireland. On 7 February, the Ballyclare & Doagh congregation began to hold weekly services in Portavogie Community Centre. The Ballyclare & Doagh congregation had been meeting at Torrens Memorial Hall, Doagh, Ballyclare, at 11.30am and 6.00pm on the Lord’s Day, but…

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News

April 2016
News

Media – BBC Breakfast

Former BBC Breakfast show presenter Bill Turnbull has spoken out against those who criticised the appointment of his successor, Christian Dan Walker. Earlier this year, when the BBC announced that Mr Walker would be taking over from Mr Turnbull, who has co-presented the programme for 15 years, many people called for the BBC to…

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News

April 2016
News

Politics – Sunday trading at bay

Further liberalisation of Sunday trading in England and Wales has been staved off, for the time being at least. At the conclusion of a lengthy debate in the House of Commons, on 9 March, MPs voted by 317 to 286 in favour of David Burrowes’ amendment to remove the government’s proposals from the Enterprise…

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News

April 2016
News

Induction – Dens Road Church, Dundee

Between 70 and 80 people attended the induction of Rev. John Davidson in Dens Road Church, Dundee (APC). Mr Davidson is from the island of Lewis and has now moved to Dundee, following his graduation at Highland Theological College. Rev. Donald Macaskill is due to retire in May and hopes to move to Inverness.…

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News

April 2016
News

International – US-India visa row

A US government body monitoring international religious freedom has been denied visas to enter India. According to a Reuters report, Indian officials defended the decision, saying the group had no business judging the situation in the country. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) had intended to send a delegation to India in…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > World Mission

Women missionaries (3): What’s mission life like?

Elinor Magowan, women’s pastoral worker at UFM Worldwide, asks Elizabeth to explain what life is like for a woman missionary and her family in France. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I was born and brought up in London, the eldest child of a large family. My parents are Christians who have…

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News

April 2016
News

International – Moon landings

San Francisco based funeral firm Elysium Space has developed a way of transporting your cremated remains to be laid to rest on the moon. Last year, the firm developed its ‘Lunar memorial’, in which 1 gram of a person’s ashes will be privately dispatched to the moon in a small box, for $11,950 (£8,080).…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Meet Joseph of Arimathea – a major, minor character of the Bible

One of the major, ‘minor’ characters of the Bible is a man by the name of Joseph, who hailed from the Jewish town of Arimathea. Truth be told, we do not know a great deal about this Joseph, nor about his home town. It is as though he walks in and out of the…

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News

April 2016
News

Brexit must not divert nor divide

Christian Institute director Colin Hart has warned that Brexit arguments must not distract Christians from bigger, deeper spiritual issues. Christian politicians, businessmen, academics and ordinary households are facing an enormous decision, on 23 June this year: whether to vote in or out of the European Union. There are good arguments to be made for…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Easter and nature

Only in the Bible can we find a final record of God’s amazing plan of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But once one knows the truth about life and reality, he or she can see many evidences in the physical world of gospel truth. Take for example the fact of resurrection.…

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News

April 2016
News

Persecution UK – Ashers appeal

Northern Ireland’s most senior lawyer has been allowed to give detailed arguments in the Ashers Baking Company case. Attorney General (AG) John Larkin QC has been given permission by Court of Appeal in Belfast to raise the case that anti-discrimination laws in Northern Ireland directly discriminate against those who hold certain religious beliefs. Mr…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘The Lord led me’

We may often hear people say, ‘The Lord led me to this job’, or, ‘The Lord led me to marry this man’. In some cases, one cannot doubt the providence of God in the matter. However, there are times when people use this expression to justify sinful or unbiblical conduct. I heard someone claim…

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News

April 2016
News

Persecution India – Extreme humiliation

A Christian man in India was shaved and paraded around town on a donkey in an act of extreme humiliation, after he was falsely accused of converting three Hindus to Christianity. Reports from Barnabas Fund claimed that, in January, approximately 20 men — thought to be from the Hindu nationalist Bajrang Dal group —…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ’s atoning blood

We see blood in every aspect of the atonement. The blood of Jesus is our redemption — the payment of the price for our freedom from sin. His blood is our justification — the legal basis for the declaration of our righteousness before God. His blood is our propitiation — our protection from the…

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News

April 2016
News

Conference – Who made God?

The latest ‘Alpha and Omega’ conference at the Campus Church, Welwyn Garden City, was held on Saturday 27 February, with some 65 in attendance. It was devoted to Christian apologetics under the title of ‘Who made God? (scientific and biblical perspectives on origins)’. Both sessions were addressed by Professor Edgar Andrews, whose book with…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > World Mission

The need for strategic missionary budgeting

Church leaders need to study. Preachers need access to quality literature, if their ministries are to be biblically sound. Those who teach churches must have an effective grasp of the truth, if they are going to nurture their flocks to spiritual maturity. However, for many pastors in the younger churches of the developing world,…

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COMMENT: The power of humility

Article

April 2016
Articles > Comment

COMMENT: The power of humility

Though achieving true humility takes patience and understanding of God’s Word, it is essential for being a convincing witness for Christ in today’s arrogant society. Humility isn’t thinking you’re not better than another individual. It has a much deeper root. And it is something God wants each of us to manifest in our daily…

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News

April 2016
News

Literature – Grace Publications partners with Christian Focus

Grace Publications Trust (GPT) and Christian Focus Publications have entered a new co-publication agreement, with the first joint books appearing during 2016. The most enduring books from the old catalogue will be re-issued (sometimes revised) and will include simplified works under the series title ‘Grace Essentials’. Later in the year, the 2000 years series…

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Mission – Christian Heritage Centre, Rowley Regis

News

April 2016
News

Mission – Christian Heritage Centre, Rowley Regis

The Christian Heritage Centre (CHC) opened its fifth year with a visit of nearly 40 home-schooled children and their parents. The aim of the centre is to make widely known the fascinating, priceless and wide-ranging benefits of the UK’s Christian heritage. With this first group of the year, we looked at the inspirational story…

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News

April 2016
News

International – Religious freedom in Iran

Election victory for reformists in Iran is a step in the right direction, but Christian advocacy organisation Release International has called for more freedom. Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release, said he hoped the election result, which gave President Rouhani a fresh mandate and secure platform for reform, signalled an ‘end to the current crackdown…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Guest column

The preciousness of the local church

In March 2016’s guest column, we considered the prayer burden a number of men had for the success of the gospel, which resulted in their earnest crying to the Lord. Their desire was that the cause of Christ would prosper at home and abroad, for God’s glory.A key factor in that was the reviving,…

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News

April 2016
News

International – American lecturer

Dr Larycia Hawkins, the professor who left an Illinois Christian college after asserting that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, has joined the University of Virginia. Ms Hawkins had announced on her Facebook in December 2015 that she would wear a hijab in support of those American Muslims who were being harassed. However,…

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Article

April 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Saving Faith

How a sinner comes to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a mystery of grace. How someone who has opposed the gospel for years, suddenly is humbled by that same message is beyond explanation. How a lifetime of indifference to biblical truths is changed into serious devotion to those truths is baffling. There…

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News

April 2016
News

Politics – Cameron slams SNP

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, has slammed the Scottish National Party (SNP) for pursuing its Named Persons plans. In March, just before the scheme was challenged in the UK Supreme Court by a coalition of campaigners, including the Christian Institute, Mr Cameron called the plan to assign a state guardian to every…

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News

April 2016
News

Mission – Flood support

December’s flooding caused destruction across the UK, particularly in Carlisle. As reported in Evangelical Times in January, Carlisle Baptist Church (CBC) was hit hard, but used this as a means to mission in its neighbourhood.   An update from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) revealed that, despite being forced out of the…

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News

April 2016
News

Persecution UK – Victoria Wasteney

Judgment for disciplined senior occupational therapist Victoria Wasteney has been reserved for a later date, after an Employment Appeal Tribunal heard her case in February. Ms Wasteney was disciplined by her National Health Service (NHS) employer in 2014 for praying with a Muslim colleague and giving a book to her about a woman who had…

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Review

April 2016

Crown of Thorns

Upon first seeing this book, readers may wonder what issue is being addressed. But Tim Chester explains the problem and answers it well. The question concerns the gospel. Is the gospel about the coming of the kingdom of God and its implications for social justice in this world? Or does it centre on the…

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Review

April 2016

The Armstrong Girl – A child for sale

This book covers a court case that took place in Victorian England in 1885. Eliza Armstrong was a vulnerable girl, who was used as a publicity case to reveal how easy it was for girls from difficult backgrounds to end up in the sex trade. It also showed how easily young girls could be…

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Review

April 2016

Vanishing Grace

Years ago, I read the author’s What’s so amazing about grace? and noted his lack of theological precision and tendency to lump all professing Christians together, irrespective of their doctrinal beliefs. Sadly, this title is no different and flawed in many areas. How can a book on ‘grace’ not begin with a biblical definition…

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Review

April 2016

When God Breaks in: revival can happen again

This book is about revival. The author is convinced that it can happen again in Western Europe, despite the sad state of the church. He writes in order to urge readers to believe that God can work again. Dr Green maintains that such renewal is the work of God, but emphasises the great need…

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Review

April 2016

Scottish Theology in relation to Church History

In 1939, the principal of the Free Church of Scotland college, Dr John Macleod, delivered a series of lectures at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He was an acknowledged master of his chosen subject, Scottish theology. His ten lectures were published in 1943, and this reprint has a new foreword, a series of helpful…

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Review

April 2016

The Lord’s Day: why we go to church twice on Sundays

These companion booklets (see also What does the Bible really say about the importance of Sundays?) provide teaching on an important subject that needs to be re-emphasised in our present age: the significance of the Lord’s Day for believers, and the desirability of meeting for worship twice each Sunday. In our present ecclesiastical situation,…

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Review

April 2016

What does the Bible really say about the importance of Sundays?

These companion booklets (see also The Lord’s Day: why we go to church twice on Sundays ) provide teaching on an important subject that needs to be re-emphasised in our present age: the significance of the Lord’s Day for believers, and the desirability of meeting for worship twice each Sunday. In our present ecclesiastical situation,…

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Review

April 2016

Suffering and Singing

This brief and readable book is an exposition of Psalm 44. It focuses on the Christian’s hope in the midst of suffering. The writer shows pastoral compassion for people who suffer in many different ways. Throughout the book, he leads us to Christ as the one whose unique, sin-bearing sufferings have delivered his people…

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Review

April 2016

My Journey so far

This is an easy read about an extraordinary man, commonly known as the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’. Not many people in their 40s deem it an appropriate time to pen their autobiography, but the author has packed a lot into this volume. White has counted among his personal friends at least three archbishops of Canterbury,…

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Review

April 2016

The Great Christ Comet

Most attempts to develop a coherent, astronomical story behind the Star of Bethlehem have been made by astronomers with limited respect for Scripture. The results have been disappointing. In contrast, Colin Nicholl treats Scripture with care and respect, paying attention to detail and dealing accurately with astronomy. The book is beautifully illustrated, well written,…

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Review

April 2016

A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues

Everyone says it! One of the biggest challenges the church in the rich Western world faces today is a consumerism that damages our spiritual lives, God’s creation and the lives of the poor in many parts of the world.              This book is one of a growing number describing the impact our lives are…

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Review

April 2016

Money Counts

There can be no doubt that we live in a society driven by money. Even Christians are not immune to the demands and temptations of wealth, which is occasionally fuelled by erroneous teaching. Sadly, many have fallen into the debt trap and are struggling to cope. In view of that, this book brings welcome…

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Review

April 2016

Expository Thoughts on Acts

Rather than a commentary, this is more of a daily devotional. It follows similar lines to J. C. Ryle’s ‘expository thoughts’ on the Gospels and is well worth a read. It is not an in-depth study, but does open up some of the themes of Acts with ease and interest. It is well written…

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Review

April 2016

The book that made your world — how the Bible created the soul of western civilization

This learned Indian philosopher and Christian was unknown to me until recently. It was a surprise to discover this title with its glowing comments and reviews, so I ordered a copy. I was delighted to have read it and am keen to share its illuminating pages with all and sundry, especially young, thinking people.…

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