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Everything in August 2017 issue

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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