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Everything in August 2020 issue

News

August 2020
News > Church news

Edinburgh Youth Conference

In March a large group of young people gathered at Grace Baptist Church, Edinburgh for the biannual SALT youth conference, organised by Grace Baptist Partnership (Scotland). The theme was ‘Understanding contemporary issues from God’s revealed Word.’ Kev Wong (elder at the host church) led the conference. He was due to be assisted by Andrew…

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Article

August 2020
Articles

The Noble Liar: How and Why the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda

‘Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report’ (Philippians 4:8) was incorporated into the mission statement of the BBC, founded in 1927. The first Director-General John Reith’s vision for the corporation was that it should provide education, promote moral improvement, and take a fair and impartial stance on political matters. Old…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

The Guardsman

Despite being under age, George Venables volunteered for service in May 1915. His initial desire to join the Royal Army Medical Corps, on the grounds that he would not have to take life, could not be granted.  As a result he ended up following his older brother into the Coldstream Guards. The boys had…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul

In this book, Mark Chanski helpfully guides us through the practical and down-to-earth ways in which Christians can encourage one another. Direct expressions of encouragement, as well as some more subtle ways to encourage one another, are clearly explained. Chanski then moves to the implications for marriage, reminding us that husbands and wives are…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

A Parable of a Garden

This book is unusual. It is dedicated to a particular congregation — that of Tamworth Road Strict Baptist Chapel in Croydon — and addressed to the committee which oversees a small group of churches known as Gospel Standard (GS) Strict Baptists. The author is plainly expressing a great burden on his heart. It comes…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible for a divine power to bring a dead man back to life, a divinely…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides a historical and theological introduction to the Puritan movement ‘that stretched across the Atlantic…

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Review

August 2020
Reviews > Book

5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide to church history; for example, it doesn’t seek to explain the theological flashpoints of…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Just what does the Black Lives Matter movement stand for?

All right, let’s get this out of the way first. I know that when people repeat the slogan, ‘black lives matter’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they support every single ideological belief of the whole BLM movement. For many people it’s just a way of saying, ‘I oppose racism.’ I accept that. I also know…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Intersectionality and the church

A few years ago, during an open question and answer session on a college campus, a student accused me of hate speech. She referred to something I described in my lecture, when in 1998 I was in my kitchen confessing to my transgender friend Jill that I was starting to believe that the gospel…

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Historical

August 2020
Articles > Historical

A Tailor, a Tinker, and a Cobbler

As a leap year, February in 2020 had 29 days. So did 1640, and on 29 February 1640, in the remote Buckinghamshire parish of Stoke Hammond, Benjamin Keach was born to John and Joyce Keach. He became a prominent preacher in London after 1668. He was the most prolific writer among the Particular Baptists…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

J. K. Rowling, latest casualty in the war of transgender ideology

On Twitter in June, J. K. Rowling took issue with the use of the term ‘people who menstruate’ as a needlessly transgender-friendly substitute for the more obvious word: ‘women’. The furore from transgender supporters in the wake of Rowling’s tweet was as predictable as it was depressing. Rowling ended up publishing a 3,600 word…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Atheists in praise of Christianity

Historian Tom Holland is known primarily as a storyteller of the ancient world. Thus his newest book, Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, came as a surprise for several reasons. First, Tom Holland is not a Christian. Second, Holland’s book is one of the most ambitious historical defences of Christianity for a…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Comment

Were churches too quick to surrender their liberty during the Covid crisis?

Whether or not one agrees with the merits of the legal action brought by a group of church leaders against the government for the forced closure of churches, the case raises some important questions. Does a state government have the right to force, by law, churches to stop gathering for worship? Does an agency…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Who has ultimate authority over the church? A debate we need to have

Covid-19 is more than the outbreak of a virus, more than a public health crisis, more even than a global pandemic. Its effects extend far beyond the realms of medicine; it has come and shaken the whole world radically, perhaps like nothing has since 1945. Covid-19 is a powerful catalyst which has accelerated momentous…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

More than words: touch and Jesus

Jesus instructed the eleven to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). He wasn’t simply asking them to use their own words to tell others about him. As their rabbi (John 11:8), he was commanding them to pass on his story and teaching in the form he had taught to them. He had filled…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The last enemy: The fight of faith and the pilgrimage

Last month we reflected on death and how our society and our churches have been freshly challenged about its reality and power. We began to think about how we need to learn how to face the challenge of our last enemy. Paul uses this language in 1 Corinthians 15:26 for our Lord Christ’s conquest…

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Article

August 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Bored with the Bible?

There are times when reading the Bible isn’t easy. A dear friend was talking with me recently about the problem he was experiencing in his Bible reading. ‘I just find it boring. It doesn’t matter which bit of the Bible I read. None of it seems to touch me. I can read through a…

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News

August 2020
News

Church leaders challenge state’s lockdown authority

A group of 25 church leaders — including a former chaplain to the Queen — has filed a legal action to challenge the government’s decision to shut down churches during the Covid-19 crisis. Although the government has since allowed churches to reopen for gathered worship with restrictions in place, the group — supported by…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Campaigners fail in their bid to legalise abortion on demand

Pro-abortion MPs have failed in an attempt to introduce abortion on demand in England and Wales. The radical plan came in the form of a proposed amendment to the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill. But the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, did not select Labour MP Diana Johnson’s amendment to repeal…

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News

August 2020
News > Religious liberty

Court rules adoption agency can keep its evangelical ethos

An evangelical adoption and fostering agency has been told it can keep its religious ethos following a case in the High Court. However, the judge also ruled that the agency must allow same-sex couples to foster and adopt. Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Service took the case to court because Ofsted had demanded…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

An undercover investigation reveals ‘illegal’ and ‘unsafe’ home abortions

A Christian group has conducted an undercover investigation and accused abortion providers of putting women at risk by breaking the rules for distributing termination pills. Christian Concern commissioned a public health consultant, Kevin Duffy, to carry out a research exercise. Eight volunteers took part in an industry standard ‘mystery client’ exercise to see if…

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News

August 2020
News > Mission

Beach missions will go online this summer

Missions may have cancelled summer camps and beach events due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions, but if children cannot come to the camps, the camps can come to the children — at least virtually. United Beach Missions (UBM) have created a programme of online events for young people. Tim Howlett, executive officer of UBM,…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Christian MP ‘furious’ that churches were not loud enough about reopening

Churches should have done more to pressurise the government to reopen places of worship, one Christian MP has said. Derek Thomas, Conservative MP for St Ives, said although he’s happy churches in England were allowed to reopen from 4th July, Christians could have done more to lobby on the issue. ‘I am inwardly furious,’…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Boris thanks Christians for their prayers, and says ‘it seems to have worked’

The Prime Minister has thanked Christians who prayed for him while he was hospitalised with coronavirus earlier this year. Boris Johnson was speaking at the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, which was broadcast live from the Houses of Parliament. The annual event is organised by the cross-party group, Christians in Parliament. It exists to recognise…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Scottish government U-turn after criticism over reopening churches

The Scottish government changed its mind last month to allow churches to reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown. Initially, Nicola Sturgeon’s government was going to force churches to remain closed for longer, even though pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen. But following a huge backlash from churchgoers across the country the government in Edinburgh…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Judicial review granted over DIY ‘at home’ abortions

The Court of Appeal has reversed the decision of the High Court to reject Christian Concern’s legal challenge against the legalisation of DIY abortions. In the order published, Lord Justice Lewison ruled it was ‘arguable’ that the Health Secretary Matt Hancock exceeded his powers under the 1967 Abortion Act when he designated ‘a pregnant…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Controversial Sunday trading proposals have been dropped

The government’s controversial plan to further liberalise the Sunday trading laws has been dropped. A relaxation of existing rules on Sunday trading was being considered as part of a range of measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus lockdown. There was strong opposition to the proposal, with campaign groups such as CARE…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Pro-Life Down’s Syndrome campaigner gets married

Pro-life campaigner Heidi Crowter, an advocate for the ‘Don’t Screen us Out’ campaign and defender of human rights for people with Down’s Syndrome, has celebrated her marriage. As the government eased lockdown measures, Mrs Carter — nee Crowter — and her husband James Carter, started to plan their socially distanced wedding at their church,…

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News

August 2020
News > Mission

Open-Air Mission returning to the streets

Back in March as the coronavirus pandemic gathered momentum, the Open-Air Mission committee (who oversee the work) suspended all open-air activity. This decision, taken days before the ‘lockdown’ was imposed, sought to protect our workers, those we come into contact with and, ultimately, the gospel message we proclaim. Thankfully, there were still many opportunities…

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News

August 2020
News > Society

Caring for Life innovates under lockdown

‘Hands on’ support of vulnerable people characterises the ministry of Caring For Life, but the lockdown has compelled the charity to adapt and innovate. The charity’s mission is to share the love of Christ by providing housing, support, and a range of lively daytime activity projects to society’s marginalised and needy. However, since March…

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News

August 2020
News > Mission

Surge in online evangelism courses

The Covid-19 lockdown coupled with the Easter period led to a spike in the number of people interested in exploring the Christian faith. Christianity Explored Ministries (CEM), creators of the popular Christianity Explored course, saw a 30% increase in traffic to their evangelistic website (www.christianityexplored.org) since March. Visits to CEM’s specific webpage, If God…

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News

August 2020
News > Church news

Memory verse rally

The Essex Protestant Council has for many years arranged an annual Memory Verse Rally, aimed at fostering a love and knowledge of the Bible among young people. The venue is usually in Essex, but Sunday schools from neighbouring counties take part. Due to the growing coronavirus pandemic, fewer children than normal attended this year.…

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News

August 2020
News > Church news

Edinburgh youth conference looks at contemporary issues

In March a large group of young people gathered at Grace Baptist Church, Edinburgh, for the biannual SALT youth conference, organised by Grace Baptist Partnership (Scotland). The theme was ‘Understanding contemporary issues from God’s revealed Word’. Due to the coronavirus starting to strike, Kev Wong (elder at the host church) led the conference single-handedly,…

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News

August 2020
News > Conferences

Christian medics national conference hosted online

In April over 750 Christian medical professionals gathered online for the Christian Medical Fellowship’s National Online Gathering. The conference title was ‘How long, O Lord? Finding hope in Christ when the storm clouds gather’. CMF has over 6,000 members working as doctors, nurses, and other roles. CEO Dr Mark Pickering said, ‘Our goal is…

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News

August 2020
News > Conferences

Zoom conference addresses suffering and God’s glory

In May Gospel Reformation:UK hosted a free and lively online conference called Zoomutopia. Thrown together in just a few weeks, the conference witnessed great preaching and teaching from Kevin DeYoung (Christ Covenant Church, North Carolina), Garry Williams (Director, Pastors’ Academy) and Jonty Rhodes (Christ Church Central, Leeds). In their promotional videos GR:UK explained that…

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News

August 2020
News > International

Montenegro: Call for more religious freedom

Two British MPs, who are normally on the opposite sides of the political divide, have joined forces to call for more religious freedom in Montenegro. Tim Farron and Steve Baker have called on the UK, the EU, and NATO to apply pressure on the country’s president, Milo Djukanovic. Montenegro is a small Balkan nation…

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News

August 2020
News > International

Armenia: Evangelical wins important court case

The Administrative Court in Armenia has upheld the right to freedom of religion in what advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International has called a precedent-setting case. The case centred on a decorated police officer, Edgar Karapetyan, who was dismissed from his position as a senior lieutenant in the police force in late 2018…

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News

August 2020
News > International

US: University removes George Whitefield statue

The University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn, has decided to remove a statue of the 18th century evangelical preacher George Whitefield from its campus. The university issued a statement saying, ‘The case for removing Whitefield is overwhelmingly strong. He was a well-known evangelical preacher in the mid-eighteenth century, who notably led a successful…

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News

August 2020
News > International

Nigeria: Mass violence against Christians could turn into genocide

Former US Congressman Frank Wolf has warned the ‘failed’ response by the US government to the religious violence being committed against Christians in Nigeria could lead to another mass genocide, as seen in Rwanda and Darfur. Mr Wolf – the erstwhile Republican representative from Virginia – took part in a Zoom call with advocacy…

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News

August 2020
News > People > Obituaries

Jim Wood (1931–2020)

Jim was raised in Bolton, Lancashire, and studied under Ernest Kevin at London Bible College 1952–56. His first church was West Street Baptist Church, Crewe 1956–71, followed by Broadmead Baptist Church, Woodford Green 1971–85. He taught in a Bible College in Kenya 1986–87 and then he finally served the Central Baptist Church, Walthamstow 1989–98.…

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