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Everything in April 2017 issue

Historical

April 2017
Uncategorised > Historical

The surprising story of David Michell (part2)

Part 1 is here. After the Japanese attack on Pearl harbour and the entry of the United States into the war the situation became rapidly more difficult for all the children and teachers at the Chefoo School.   Chefoo School The fighting in the local area between the Japanese and the Chinese had intensified.…

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Historical

April 2017
Articles > Historical

The surprising story of David Michell (Part 3)

Part 1 is here Part 2 is here Six months after the death of Eric Liddell the prisoners in Weihsien concentration camp were liberated. On August 15th 1945, following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered, though this was not known at Weihsien. Two days later an American B24 plane…

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Children, fathers, youths (3)

Article

April 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

Children, fathers, youths (3)

Continued from Children, fathers, youths (2) In previous articles we considered the passage in 1 John 2:12-14, where the apostle addresses his readers as ‘children, fathers, and young men. I suggested that John was not writing to three different groups within the church, but to the whole church as having the characteristics of children (new…

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News

April 2017
News

Politics – Domestic abuse

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that current legislation governing domestic abuse in England and Wales is to be overhauled. Mothers’ Union, which represents over four million members worldwide, welcomed the announcement, with Bev Jullien, chief executive of the organisation, saying this could help survivors of domestic abuse. She commented: ‘We trust the issue…

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News

April 2017
News

Ethics – Up-to-birth abortion Bill

Abortion up to birth, for any reason, could be permissible by law if a new Bill going through Parliament is passed. The Bill will remove all legal restrictions on abortion. There would be no grounds on which abortion could not take place and no ‘upper’ gestational time limit. According to the ‘Not in Our…

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News

April 2017
News

Politics – Pharmacists and conscience

Pharmacists could be forced to act against their conscience under plans from the profession’s regulator, depending on the outcome of a consultation which was to finish in March. The General Pharmaceutical Council issued the consultation, which proposed amending its professional standards and supporting guidance — the code of conduct for pharmacy professionals.   As…

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News

April 2017
News

Society – Sin’s insanity

Pregnant women in hospital are no longer allowed to be referred to as mothers, and women serving in the Royal Air Force cannot wear skirts on parade. These are the latest in a series of bizarre rulings aimed at reducing perceived offence to people who identify as ‘transgender’. According to a 14-page leaflet, called A…

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News

April 2017
News

Politics – Heterosexual partnerships

Civil partnerships for heterosexuals — which were estimated to cost the taxpayer billions — have been blocked by the Court of Appeal in London. Judges ruled against Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, the couple who brought the expensive action, who claimed they had rejected the ‘sexist trappings’ of marriage and wanted heterosexual civil partnerships.…

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News

April 2017
News

Mission – Grace Edinburgh reaches out

Grace Edinburgh has expressed gratitude to God for adding seven new members. This means its membership has doubled in the last year, and others are asking already about joining in the future. Grace Edinburgh thanks God for the warmth of fellowship, prayerfulness and love we enjoy. Every week the gospel is presented to unbelieving…

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Article

April 2017
Obituaries

Rev. Alisdair Smith (1925-2017)

Alasdair Smith, who passed away earlier this year, was born in Ness in 1925. He was the son of John and Margaret and the eldest of seven of a family. He attended school in Ness, before entering his working life at the aerodrome and as a weaver and upholsterer. He was called up during…

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Article

April 2017
Evangelistic

The breaking dawn

At sunset and sunrise, a soldier in the field will be told to ‘Stand to’. These periods — just before sunset, when the light is dimming and it’s harder to see the enemy approach; or just before dawn, when the night is at its darkest, until the sun has broken over the horizon and…

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News

April 2017
News

Conference – Philippines pastors’ conference

The 2017 Philippines pastors’ conference was a time of blessing, encouragement and challenge. We had 390 delegates attend the three-day conference at Cubao Reformed Baptist Church, Manila, with many staying at the church in our make-do accommodation, on the floor of the Sunday school rooms. We had to really make use this year of…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > Guest column

Don’t forget that Jesus is alive!

The words of the angel to the two Marys, ‘He is not here; for he is risen’ (Matthew 28:6), changed everything. Despair was vanquished by hope, faith triumphed over doubt, and weakness gave birth to strength. As then, so now. We rightly emphasise the centrality of the cross to our Christian faith. At Calvary,…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > World Mission

Beauty for ashes

No doubt you saw pictures on the news when it happened: Yezidi and Christian refugees fleeing from the savage onslaught of ISIS; concrete shells hastily tarped up as makeshift accommodation; huge refugee camps set up to care for those who have sought refuge in the much more welcoming, self-autonomous Kurdistan region. But there is…

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News

April 2017
News

Persecution: Canada – Canadian mayor seeks to ban Graham

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, has gone ahead with his planned appearance at a Christian event in Canada despite attempts by the Vancouver mayor to drop the ‘contentious pastor’. In February, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson asked the organisers of the Festival of Hope event, which happened between 3-5 March, to drop headline speaker Rev.…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > World Mission

The gospel challenges the Islamic worldview

Islam is not a unified or homogeneous religious system. Rather it is a varied and colourful array of sometimes contradictory ideas. Some Muslims say that it is basically peace-loving. These liberals are happy to espouse Western ideas, like democracy, freedom of belief, pluralism, humanism, and the like. Some go as far as adopting New…

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News

April 2017
News

Church – Help needed for Harris

The place of worship of the Harris (Leverburgh) congregation of the Free Church (Continuing) is situated in the village of Northton. Prior to our occupation of it, the church property was underused and rather neglected for many years. Recently however, it has been given a new lease of life, with new windows and a…

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A matter of life and death

Article

April 2017
Evangelistic

A matter of life and death

The celebrated Liverpool manager Bill Shankly famously said, ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death … it is much, much more important than that’. Such sentiments have been echoed by many an ardent football fan, while they remain a complete mystery to those for whom ‘the beautiful game’ holds no…

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News

April 2017
News

Mission – OM International anniversary

Discovering the depths of prayer has been central to OM over these past 60 years. From the beginning, when Dorothea Clapp prayed for the school opposite her house, asking the Lord to save and scatter students to the nations, prayer has been part of our DNA. Dale Rhoton says of the early days, ‘The…

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News

April 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – William Perkins conference

Cambridge in May is the place to be if you want to attend the William Perkins conference at the iconic Round Church. From 19-20 May, speakers such as Sinclair Ferguson, Joel Beeke and Geoff Thomas will be speaking on the life and ministry of 16th-century preacher William Perkins. The series of lectures will mark…

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Article

April 2017
Scientific (including creation)

The age of the earth and why it matters

The Bible teaches that God created the earth approximately 6,000 years ago. From time to time, we meet people who reject evolution and would call themselves ‘creationists’, but who, nevertheless, accept that the earth and its rocks are millions of years old. In some cases, they feel that identifying as ‘young earth creationists’ would…

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News

April 2017
News

Education – European School of Biblical Studies

European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) has changed its School’s name to become the European School of Biblical Studies. The new branding and logo aim to promote the core values and vision of the School. Principal Jörg Müller said: ‘The new logo, as part of the new visual identity of EMF, of which the School is very…

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Article

April 2017
Interviews

Christianity in UK politics (1)

Shirin Aguiar puts some searching questions to Gareth Wallace, Director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF). Before leading the CCF, Gareth Wallace was policy advisor for the Salvation Army. He also worked for the Evangelical Alliance and Oasis Trust. He has recently stood down as deputy chair (political) for Vauxhall Conservative Association, attends St…

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News

April 2017
News

Church – Rev. Dr Iain D. Campbell

The Free Church of Scotland announced on 28 January 2017 the sudden passing of Rev. Dr Iain D. Campbell, minister of Point/Knock Free Church, Isle of Lewis, aged 53. The funeral service took place at Stornoway Free Church on 3 February. He leaves a wife and three children. Iain D. Campbell trained for pastoral…

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News

April 2017
News

Education – Christian Heritage Centre update

This year began with two encouraging school visits, one from a local primary school who brought along two classes, and the second a group of home school children from the West Midlands. On Saturday 25 February an encouragingly large number attended our Spring Lectures, where Geoff Thomas gave an excellent afternoon of talks on…

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News

April 2017
News

Youth – Brent de-Christianises school assembly

Brent Council has become the first in Britain to go against government stipulations that state-funded schools should have a daily act of ‘broadly Christian’ worship. The local council allows schools in its borough to provide multi-belief assemblies. Its approach has been hailed by some education experts as ‘ground-breaking’ and having the potential to lead…

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Historical

April 2017
Articles > Historical

Plague summer

There are some dates in British history that everyone remembers: 1966, when England won the football world cup; 1066, the Battle of Hastings; and 1666, the Great Fire of London. Many people probably know what happened in 1665 also, the year before the Great Fire. That was when the Great Plague occurred in London…

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News

April 2017
News

Persecution: Iran – Arrested for taking communion

Three Iranian Christians are waiting to hear whether they will be flogged after being arrested for celebrating communion. Last year, Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammad Reza Omidi were arrested at their house church in Rasht as they were celebrating communion. According to a report from Release International, they were charged with consuming alcohol…

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News

April 2017
News

Education – Creation in America

Creationist and scientist, Andy McIntosh, gave a series of Christian talks in Georgia and Florida, USA, during February this year. It was his third visit to Fayetteville near Atlanta, where he was with pastor Hank Rast and Heritage Reformed Baptist Church who were seeking to reach out using creation. As with many of these…

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News

April 2017
News

Event – Zeebrugge disaster remembered

Dover was the setting for a memorial service for families affected by MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, which happened 30 years ago. The Herald capsized in just 90 seconds after setting sail from Zeebrugge, Belgium, on 6 March 1987. It was on course for Dover when tragedy struck and 193 people lost their…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > World Mission > Africa

Equipping the church

There have been too many sightings of the African pastor’s ‘12-inch bookshelf’ for it to be dismissed as mythological! But do we prosperous, northern hemisphere Christians treat it as if it is? When you have to prepare a sermon or Bible study on a scriptural passage in, say, Philippians, which commentator do you turn…

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News

April 2017
News

Education – Dinosaur roadshow

Dinosaurs fascinate both young and old. Books showing their spectacular forms, awesome teeth and fierce claws keep children occupied for hours. They are intriguing and mysterious, and often portrayed as from ‘another world’ totally different from our own. But how do they fit into the Bible? Starting this March, Creation Ministries International has been…

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Article

April 2017
Pakistan

Education crisis for Pakistan’s Christian community

A recent survey, released by UK charity Starfish Asia, highlights the dire state of education for the downtrodden Christian community in Pakistan. Conducted in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the survey covered 604 schools for 85,000 poor children. It revealed that four out of five teachers have no teaching qualification, 10 per cent of schools have…

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News

April 2017
News > Youth Features

Saints and sinners

On Sunday, 8 January 1956, five young missionaries gave their lives in an attempt at sharing the gospel with a tribe renowned for its ferocity. Earlier in 2017, the grandson of one of the martyrs toured the UK along with performances from 4Front Theatre. Their show, Reckless Abandon, runs throughout 2017 and tells the…

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News

April 2017
News

Anniversary – Spurgeon’s children’s charity

It has been 150 years since Spurgeon’s children’s charity was founded by Baptist minister, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. To mark the anniversary, the charity has undergone a re-brand, which it believes puts Charles Spurgeon back at the heart of its identity and mission. According to a statement from the charity, it is looking to build partnerships…

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News

April 2017
News

Persecution: UK – State oppression

With prosecutors telling courtrooms the Authorised Version has no place in modern society, ET asks, how much further will censorship of Christians now go in the UK? Are we returning to a seventeenth century-type oppression of biblical Christianity? Protections for freedom of expression already enshrined in law are at risk of unravelling, just weeks…

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News

April 2017
News

Letter from America: Protest

Freedom of speech is a democratic right which has been exercised and abused over the course of American history. This right, while of broad application, is not a total absolute. There are exceptions to the rule that often delightfully coincide with God’s design for the rule of law, such as the prohibition of libel,…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

The face of Christ

Once, when saying bedtime prayers with a grandson, he asked why he couldn’t see God, saying, ‘It would be easier to believe in him if I could’. This was not such a childish question. Moses made the same request, but God replied, ‘You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and…

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News

April 2017
News

Mission – From bookies to Bible

A Scottish congregation has beaten the odds to take over a former bookies and turn it into a church. In what is believed to be a first, the former Ladbrokes betting shop in Upper Craigs, is now a city centre location for Stirling Free Church of Scotland. The fledging congregation is slowly outgrowing its…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘What is truth?’

It would be accurate to say that more and more people are asking this kind of question these days. Most Christians will know that it was the first century Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, who posed this question to Jesus during a private interview with him at the Lord’s trial. The apostle John…

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Historical

April 2017
Articles > Historical

‘These 50 years’ (1)

A sermon preached at the thanksgiving service on the 50th anniversary of Evangelical Times (Hayes Town Chapel, 4 February 2017): ‘The righteous shall see it and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord’ (Psalm 107:42-43). This…

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News

April 2017
News

Thanksgiving – Phil Arthur

About 130 people gathered on 25 February, from northwest England and further afield, to give thanks for the ministry of Phil Arthur at Grace Baptist Church, Lancaster. Phil will be having a six-month sabbatical and then continuing to serve the church in a part-time capacity. For over 28 years Phil Arthur has been preaching,…

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Article

April 2017
Articles > Comment

The Reformation

The commemoration of the Reformation this year, 500 years from its start, is a welcome reminder of the precious and refreshing truths that lie at the heart of the gospel. Nothing has changed in these truths in 500 years, since they are the truths of Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church, however, has changed its…

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News

April 2017
News

Politics – Extremism

Extremism still has no clear legal definition as far as the UK government is concerned, the Home Secretary has admitted. In a letter submitted to the joint committee on human rights, Amber Rudd said the government still had not agreed on what ‘extremism’ meant, as far as the upcoming counter-extremism Bill was concerned. Her…

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Review

April 2017

Every promise of your Word­ — the gospel according to Joshua

The result of a lifetime’s study, this book is heart-warming, searching and readable. The author’s years of preaching through Joshua are clearly discernible in the structure of each chapter. As well as making warm application of the text, he shows consistent attention to those details that anticipate the final triumph of God’s kingdom, through…

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Review

April 2017

James MacGregor: Preacher, Theologian & Defender of the Faith

This book will interest those who enjoy Christian biographies or follow church history. It focuses on theological issues as well as the life of its subject. Indeed, Macgregor was primarily a theologian, and the title aptly sums him up. He was born in Scotland in humble circumstances, but became professor of theology at possibly…

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Review

April 2017

Primer – How Far We Fell (Issue 2) – the doctrine of sin

Primer is a new journal published twice a year by the FIEC. Each issue focuses on one subject with different authors providing analysis from various angles. The journal is aimed primarily at church leaders, to help them engage with significant theological issues, but any Christian keen to wrestle with such topics would benefit from…

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Review

April 2017

Trail Blazers – Ulrich Zwingli – Shepherd Warrior

‘They can kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul’. So exclaimed Ulrich Zwingli, as he was dying on the battlefield, fighting for the Protestant cause. Born a few weeks after Luther and 25 years before Calvin, he was a diligent student, whose books were his friends. He became an accomplished musician, poet…

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Review

April 2017

Does Christianity Really Work?

This is a book about apologetics (arguments defending the Christian faith). It is the second of a projected 10-volume series, entitled ‘The Big Ten: Critical Questions Answered’, which aims to address major questions raised by sceptics. Questions include, ‘Why is there evil in the world (and so much of it)?’ ‘Hasn’t science shown that…

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Review

April 2017

Talking Points: Transgender

Vaughan Roberts’ latest book is a good introduction to a topic that has hit our culture like a juggernaut. At just 64-pages, it is a quick read. Chapter 1 defines terms. What does ‘transgender’ actually mean? Is it sexual? Chapter 2 looks at why our culture has moved so quickly from a ‘yuk!’ reaction…

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Review

April 2017

2000 Years of Christ’s power. Volume 4: The age of religious conflict 16th to 18th century

This instructive account of the sad divisions that occurred in the church provides warnings about schism and its consequences. It is a must for ministers and academics, capturing the story of the church after Luther and Calvin. The first chapter (heavy reading in places) describes the divisions that occurred within the Lutheran church and…

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Review

April 2017

Thirty Thousand Days – the journey home to God

As I began to read the preface of this book, I was reminded of A.W. Tozer’s The pursuit of God. At first I felt overwhelmed by the rapid pace of the writing. Gradually, I began to appreciate its thrust and, by the end, was thankful for the expert writing and zeal of the author.…

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Review

April 2017

How can I remember and practice the Bible

This booklet in the ‘Cultivating Biblical Godliness’ series is written by an associate professor of systematic theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the US. The stated purpose of the series is to inform the mind, warm the affections and transform the whole person by the Spirit’s grace. This particular booklet provides practical suggestions…

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Review

April 2017

The Beauty and Glory of God’s Word

‘Without the Word of God, we have no light. Christ is our light, and we cannot trust Christ apart from the Word of the Lord. Unless we are expositing a word from the Lord, no preacher has the authority to say anything about hell, heaven, or the way to escape the one and enter…

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Review

April 2017

8 Women of Faith

This is a superb book by Professor Michael Haykin on eight Christian women selected from across the history of the Reformation and post-Reformation church. Each mini-biography is well researched, thoroughly referenced, and presented in an edifying and devotional way. To read Haykin on any of these women — Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter, Anne…

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