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Everything in December 2012 issue

Crossing the great gulf
December 2012
Evangelistic

Crossing the great gulf

Crossing the great gulf At the age of fourteen I made a Christian friend at school, who invited me to a youth club run by her church. As my family were not Christians and I had always witnessed Christians being mocked for their faith, I did not particularly want to go.     However, on the third invitation, something compelled me to say I would go, so I did.     I did not particularly enjoy my first week at the youth club, but my step-mum encouraged me to keep attending, in the hope I would be able to make new friends.    Far away Over time, I...

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Touch and the difference Jesus makes
December 2012
Evangelistic

Touch and the difference Jesus makes

Touch and the difference Jesus makes If I was to use a picture to describe life, it would be the splash of water following a stone tossed into the sea. We leave ripples behind us which reach out and touch others. There will always be a ripple; even the most talented divers at the Olympics left a little splash when they entered the water.    In March this year, a new TV show was aired called Touch and I was drawn in from the very first episode. I ached for Martin, the father of Jake, a young boy who couldn’t bear to be touched and couldn’t...

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December 2012
Evangelistic

He was Mary’s son

He was Mary’s son Guest Column   Peter Milsom Christmas can be a strange time. It comes in the dark days of winter and, no matter how carefully we plan, always seems to be a busy time with too much to do and too little time to do it. It’s really good to see the family and spend time with them. It’s good to give and receive presents. Yet often our hopes are not fulfilled and, after it is all over, there can be an emptiness and, for many, the pressure of paying the bills. Born in a stable The first Christmas was a bit like...

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December 2012
News

Cathedrals

Cathedrals Cathedrals in the UK are inclusive and welcoming to those of all faiths and none, a report, conducted by ComRes on behalf of think-tank Theos, has found.    The 33-page Spiritual capital report, forged from a study examining the present and future of Church of England cathedrals, showed that 53 per cent of people thought cathedrals were welcoming.    Only 8 per cent disagreed, while 15 per cent of respondents felt that cathedrals were just for people of Christian faith and not for those of other faiths or no faiths.    In a parallel survey of 2000 people around six case study cathedrals, 67 per cent of...

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Atheism’s new clothes
December 2012
Reviews

Atheism’s new clothes

Atheism’s new clothes: exploring and exposing the claims of the New Atheists David H. GlassApollos (IVP)319 pages, £16.99ISBN: 978-1-84474-571-5 In a review of Richard Barn’s The Dawkins proof, for Evangelical Times last year, I had to ask if we needed yet another book responding to the New Atheists. To my surprise, I must again answer ‘Yes!’ Glass’s book is different from all the others I have read.    For the New Atheists, religion is evil and a major cause of violence and suffering throughout the world. Its adherents are irrational, even deluded. In contrast, atheists are extolled as eminently reasonable and objective people, and defenders of...

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David Livingstone  — famous missionary explorer
December 2012
Articles > Historical

David Livingstone — famous missionary explorer

David Livingstone  — famous missionary explorer David Livingstone, the fabled explorer, was born nearly 200 years ago at Blantyre, which is about seven miles from Glasgow, on 19 March 1813. His father, Neil, worked industriously as a tea-dealer around the local villages. He was a Sunday school teacher and total abstainer, who honoured the Lord’s Day. David’s kindly mother, Agnes, came from an old Scottish covenanting family and provided a happy home environment for their five boys and two girls. Missionary call As a boy, David had a passion for collecting flowers and shells, and could boast of climbing higher up Bothwell Castle than any...

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December 2012
News

Corruption

Corruption A campaign, Exposed2013, has been launched to take a stand against institutional corruption. Exposed is a group of Christian organisations, which aims to challenge the global church, businesses and governments to highlight the effects of corruption on the world’s poor.     Campaign chairman Rev. Joel Edwards described it as ‘an opportunity for the church to do what we are called to do: to raise our voice in holy outrage and provide practical offerings of hope’.    The launch marked the start of a 12-month campaign of awareness-raising and action. Global partners include the Bible Society, Salvation Army and World Evangelical Alliance. The campaign has also...

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Gaulby Festival of Grace
December 2012
News

Gaulby Festival of Grace

Gaulby Festival of Grace The 13th Gaulby Festival of Grace was held at Gaulby Parish Church in Leicestershire on Saturday afternoon 8 September 2012.    The event was inaugurated by the late rector of the parish, Rev. Ashley Cheesman (rector from 1988-2010), as an annual event. It was designed to celebrate the doctrines of grace, proclaim the gospel as recorded in Holy Scripture, build up believers in their most holy faith, and inform Christians about the work of the church in this country and other parts of the world.    Roughly 50 folk gathered together on a glorious sunny afternoon to hear the speakers. Derek McDonnell gave...

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Will the war be over by Christmas?
December 2012
Evangelistic

Will the war be over by Christmas?

Will the war be over by Christmas? Ninety-eight years ago, the men of two huge armies faced each other across the fields and woods of Belgium and France and prepared for their first Christmas of the Great War. At nightfall on Christmas Eve there was an outbreak of peace and goodwill among British and German soldiers. It was a beautiful moonlit night. The air was still and frost covered the ground. This unusual quietness was broken by the sound of ‘Silent night’ and other carols coming from the German trenches.     The British troops then watched in astonishment as Christmas trees adorned with lighted candles...

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December 2012
News

Italian outreach

Italian outreach    John Blanchard recently completed his fourth ministry visit to Italy in 12 months, when for the second time he was serving Sola Grazia Church in Porto Mantovano, on the outskirts of Mantova.     Sola Grazia Church was planted by Andrea Artioli, who also co-founded Coram Deo (‘before the face of God’), a trust committed to church planting and the production of evangelical Christian literature.     Under the leadership of Alan Johnston, a pastor from Coleraine, a team of 11 sent by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, from Northern Ireland, had worked there for a week before Dr Blanchard arrived.     The team’s main work...

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Everything now made sense
December 2012
Evangelistic

Everything now made sense

Everything now made sense I was raised in Scotland in a village just outside the picturesque town of Stirling. Our family would probably have been best described at the time as agnostic. We simply didn’t have any need to discuss God, and I never went to the Sunday school that some of my friends went to. I thought of God with slightly more respect than I did church or Jesus, which is to say, not much.    Gideon Bible In my first year at secondary school, we were all offered a Gideon Bible. The men who offered them pointed out that we didn’t need to take...

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Does a little matter much?
December 2012
Articles > World Mission

Does a little matter much?

Does a little matter much? Africa is a continent with massive needs. What wonderful opportunities for ministry with the gospel and compassionate care, for God’s glory!     We should not settle for doing only a little for the kingdom of God, when we can do so much more by trusting in our sovereign Lord to use us for his glory. On the other hand, we should never despise the day of small things. We should do what we can, even if that might be something small.     Multiplied ministry The boy in the Gospel of John only had a small, poor lunch of five loaves...

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December 2012
News

Abortion counselling

The Government has cancelled a public consultation on independent pregnancy counselling and will not now bring forward legislation on this, health minister Anna Soubry has revealed.    This comes despite promises to MPs last autumn and despite important pledges made during the Conservative party conference, in which secretary of state Jeremy Hunt said he would support pushing back the legal age of abortion to 24 weeks from 21.    The consultation was to be about ensuring that all women facing unexpected pregnancy were given access to non-compulsory, independent counselling.     However, during a parliamentary debate on abortion, Ms Soubry said holding the consultation would be a pointless...

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Kensit Evangelical Church, Finchley
December 2012
News

Kensit Evangelical Church, Finchley

Kensit Evangelical Church, Finchley In June, Rev. Spencer Cunnah was welcomed as the new pastor of Kensit Evangelical Church in Finchley, London (www.kensit.org.uk). The service was attended by 200 people, including many from Mr Cunnah’s former congregation at Wickliffe Independent Church in Sheffield, where he had been minister for over 10 years.    David Lacey, Kensit’s church secretary, explained the process by which the church had been led to call Mr Cunnah to become their pastor. Mr Cunnah responded by explaining how the Lord had clearly guided him.    He said God had answered prayer for the future leadership of the Sheffield church he was leaving, making...

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Calling on the name of the Lord
December 2012
Evangelistic

Calling on the name of the Lord

Calling on the name of the Lord I was born into a Christian family and each week went along to church. I was not interested in what was being said, although there were times when it would suddenly hit me that I was not living in a way that pleased God. This would trouble me for a while, but I would soon forget about it.    When I was 12 years old, I went on a Christian camp in South Wales. Each day, a verse from the Bible was explained to us. On one day the verse was, ‘What good will it be for a man...

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December 2012
News

Cinnamon Network

Cinnamon Network At a recent networking forum for Cinnamon Network, cabinet minister Nick Hurd MP declared his ‘vision’ for working with churches to promote social enterprise.     He spoke of a ‘crisis of trust’ in how people are looked after, especially young people, and said that both Government and churches are seeking to tackle huge and expensive social problems. He said the Government believes that social enterprise and investment provide the sustainable way forward.     The Cinnamon Network has just announced that church-based social enterprise projects can obtain cabinet office-funded grants.

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From football to faith
December 2012
Evangelistic

From football to faith

From football to faith Hi, my name is Hamilton, but you may call me Ham!     My childhood wasn’t anything spectacular; I did what most children did when growing up. I had a real love for football and was always playing it. Looking back, I don’t really remember having much to do with Christianity and church, apart from two incidents.     The first memory is going to church with my grandmother, sitting in the Sunday school and being given a drink of squash. The other is when I was about eleven. I was on my way to play football in the park and it looked...

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December 2012
Evangelistic

God’s living Word

God’s living Word I became a Christian after I experienced an amazing touch of God’s presence. I was born and raised in Singapore by non-Christian parents. Though they sent me to a Lutheran kindergarten where I learnt songs like ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’, when I was eight I became an atheist.     I wasn’t sure why I stopped believing in God, but I suddenly felt that God was just an imaginary construct and so I stopped believing that God existed.     My relatives believed in ancestral worship and burnt incense to idols, but that held no appeal to me. I didn’t believe that...

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Finding the Creator
December 2012
Evangelistic

Finding the Creator

Finding the Creator I was born in South Wales during World War II. I had a happy and stable upbringing.     My parents and I attended a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church. Going to chapel was part of our weekly routine, as was dressing in our ‘Sunday best’! I believed in the existence of God, feared him, but did not know him.     With increasing work demands, my parents left off attending church, and didn’t worry if I didn’t attend either. When television entered our home, I found drama more exciting than church attendance. Turning down a university place, I proceeded to train as an actress.  ...

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Truth or tradition?
December 2012
Evangelistic

Truth or tradition?

Truth or tradition? Truth and tradition have usually been in contention. And this is especially true when it comes to the subject of Christmas. Christmas is a season full of traditions, from Santa Claus to Rudolph the reindeer, to Christmas trees. These are harmless and happy traditions, except when they push the truth out of Christmas.    The truth is that Christmas is the invention of God. By ‘Christmas’ I don’t mean December 25, but the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the world.    God planned this event in all its details. He prophesied it in the Old Testament...

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Igor Chernov — living in a different world
December 2012
Articles > World Mission

Igor Chernov — living in a different world

Igor Chernov — living in a different world Things are different from normal at -40 Celsius. The ice on the road is no longer slippery, but makes a squeaking noise as you walk over it. Plastic carrier bags become brittle. The hairs in your nose freeze with the first breath you take.     Any hint of a wind feels like sandpaper rubbing on your face (before your face becomes numb, that is!). Passers-by look at each other’s noses to check that white spots are not appearing — the first sign of frost bite.     Fortunately, in Novosibirsk, Siberia, such temperatures only occur once or twice...

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The force of truth
December 2012
Evangelistic

The force of truth

The force of truth I was brought up in Toxteth, Liverpool, and lived around the corner from a very active church, which always had something for bored kids like me. Although my parents weren’t churchgoers, they had attended Sunday school as children and thought it would be good for us to do the same.     I loved all the games, quizzes, crafts, singing, and especially the Bible stories. I became familiar with the Christian message. Hearing about God sending his Son to save sinners always gave me a warm, cosy feeling, rather like a fairy tale with a good ending.     That all changed when,...

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What is your life ?
December 2012
Evangelistic

What is your life ?

What is your life ? I challenge you! Can you think of a more important question than that? The New Testament writer James gives a brief answer to this question: ‘You are a mist that appears a little while and then vanishes’ (James 4:14). But that answer touches on only two aspects of life on this earth — time and death.     Mysteries Time can pass so quickly or so slowly although it comes to us all equally, as one second at a time. But life is more than time, wonderful and important as that gift is. And life is more than death, inevitable and...

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December 2012
Evangelistic

A white Christmas

A white Christmas Yes, it’s that time again — when you can’t visit the shops without being subjected to ‘Christmas music’. I don’t mean carols like ‘Hark the herald angels sing’ or Handel’s ‘Messiah’, but ‘Merry Christmas’ by Slade or ‘Mistletoe and wine’ by Cliff Richard. It’s enough to make you want to stay at home and buy all your pressies on the internet!    I suppose that one of the best loved of these songs is ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby. You know how it goes: ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…’     In fact, by the wonders of modern technology, Welsh opera singer Bryn...

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December 2012
News

Gay Pride

Gay Pride Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced his intention to give £650,000 in sponsorship to London’s Gay Pride event.    Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said, ‘The Mayor of London is throwing public money at an event which does not have the backing of a large section of the public.    ‘I hope those Londoners who disagree with Mr Johnson will let him know’. To this end, Christian Concern is asking Londoners to contact Mr Johnson to express concerns over plans to spend more taxpayer money on the event.    According to Christian Concern, nearly £100,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on the...

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A Christmas blessing
December 2012
Evangelistic

A Christmas blessing

A Christmas blessing Christmas Eve 2011 saw my family and I attending a ‘Service of nine lessons and carols’ in Bath Abbey. The carefully chosen Bible readings, along with the traditional Christmas carols, proved a great blessing. The service concluded with a prayer, which this Christmas I would like to share with you: May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wise men, the obedience of Joseph and Mary and the peace of the Christ-child be yours this Christmas; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain...

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Doing the right thing
December 2012
Evangelistic

Doing the right thing

Doing the right thing There will be some people reading this who don’t enjoy the social whirl of the holidays. Nevertheless, they go to dances, ‘dos’ and New Year countdowns because of the expectations of others. Even while conforming, many feel the awkwardness of ‘loneliness in a crowd’. But my biblical hero, Joseph, broke free of doing only what was expected of him.     Everyone must have assumed that he would disown pregnant Mary, mother-to-be of Jesus; the pressure to do so must have been immense. But he still cared for her deeply, even before he learned from the angel the unique and exonerating fact...

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December 2012
Scientific (including creation)

Meet the multiverse

Meet the multiverse According to Goldilocks, Little Bear’s porridge was ‘just right’, but only in the last 60 years or so have scientists been forced to agree. Not just about porridge, of course, but about planet Earth’s apparently unique capacity to sustain life. The realisation that Earth is perfectly suited (‘just right’) for the task of playing host to intelligent life has led scientists to call it ‘the Goldilocks planet’. Logically, of course, it should be called the porridge planet, since it was the porridge rather than Goldilocks that was just right, but that’s a detail.         Exploration of the solar system has demonstrated...

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December 2012
News

Pakistan

Pakistan Rimsha Masih, the teenager with learning disabilities who was put on Pakistan’s death row on false blasphemy charges, has claimed asylum in Norway.     The news came from Farrukh H. Saif, executive director of the Pakistan-based Christian aid and advocacy group World Vision In Progress (WVIP).     It is believed that, after her release on bail, she and her family went to the Norwegian embassy in Pakistan and were all later flown to Norway. There has been no comment from the Norwegian government.     Wilson Chowdhry, founder of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said, ‘It is a relief to know that at least some...

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December 2012
News

Lap dancing

Lap dancing Maidstone Council has thrown out an application for lap dancing to take place at a venue close to Maidstone town centre in Kent.     According to reports from the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), local residents had presented a case that such a venue was not suitable in an area being regenerated by the council, where there are already schools, churches and shops nearby. They were supported by the CLC.    Maidstone Council received more than 100 letters of objection before the hearing. During the hearing, the council heard from a member of the town’s street pastor scheme. Michael Phillips, the solicitor representing many of...

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From immorality to Christ
December 2012
Evangelistic

From immorality to Christ

From immorality to Christ I left the British Home for Mothers and Babies, at Woolwich, in my mother’s arms. That was at the end of the first week of June in 1944. We were accompanied, I am told, by the drone of an unwelcome companion up in the sky, one of Hitler’s first ‘doodlebugs’.     I am here today, by the grace of God. Among my early memories were the shattered buildings and bomb craters, one of my earliest play areas, evidences of man’s inhumanity to man and the evil of the human heart.    I was brought up in a church which had pleasant people...

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The dog who stole Christmas
December 2012
Evangelistic

The dog who stole Christmas

The dog who stole Christmas Wise men came from the East to worship Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Myrrh seems a strange gift, for it was used to anoint a dead body!    But Jesus was born to die, and, by his death and resurrection, he paid the penalty for the sins of which we are guilty. As the Bible puts it: ‘God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’    ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid...

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December 2012
Articles > Historical > News

Scottish martyrs

Scottish martyrs 31 October 2012 marked the 350th anniversary of the ejection of nearly 400 Covenanter ministers from their parishes in Scotland. These men refused to conform to the imposition on the Reformed Church in Scotland by King Charles II of what they believed to be unscriptural forms of worship and church government. A reign of persecution began and many of these men were hounded, tortured and killed. Some were executed on a gallows in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh. A Covenanter Memorial stone marks the spot where they died. Before the annual meetings of the Scottish Reformation Society (SRS) on 15 September, a group gathered...

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An urgent choice
December 2012
Evangelistic

An urgent choice

An urgent choice I was brought up in Italy, where the standard belief is Roman Catholicism, but I never really believed Catholicism had God’s authority behind it.     Somehow I resented my conscience’s demands for a better standard of behaviour, but that was the extent of my beliefs. I believed in the existence of a Creator as a stern, moralistic figure, remote and irrelevant, but not present in the church.     After school, I embarked on a very long gap year, which was to last some 36 months: one year in the UK to learn the language; a year in Paris; and a year in...

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December 2012
News

Alien concept

Alien concept More people believe in extra-terrestrials than in God, research for ‘XCOM: Enemy Unknown’, a new video game, has found.    A poll of 1,359 UK adults found that more than 50 per cent — equating approximately to 33.1 million people in the UK — believe there is life on other planets, with only 27.5 million believing there is a God.    The survey also found that 52 per cent of people think there would be a government conspiracy to cover up aliens’ existence. It claimed that more men than women claim to have seen UFOs and believe in life on other planets. The same finding...

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Words of wonder from a forgotten figure
December 2012
Evangelistic

Words of wonder from a forgotten figure

Words of wonder from a forgotten figure Simeon is not as well known as the shepherds or the wise men, but he tells us far more about the meaning of Jesus’ birth. Whenever we think of the people who saw the Lord Jesus Christ as a newborn infant or as a young child, our minds instinctively turn to the shepherds and the wise men.     Both feature in nativity scenes, on Christmas cards and in carols such as ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ and ‘As with gladness men of old’; and we may be familiar with their stories.    The shepherds were local Jews,...

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Let’s get this party started!
December 2012
Evangelistic

Let’s get this party started!

Let’s get this party started! ‘It’s the season to be jolly’, but have we forgotten the reason to celebrate? This year is the last time the Girard Annual Christmas Open House will be held at my flat. It’s been a seven-year tradition: inviting everyone from church, work, school and university to see how many people can possibly fit into a 12×7 foot space.     The record is 29 at the same time and I did wonder if the floor would hold firm! It’s a little bit of giving and gospel, mixing it up between friends of all beliefs or none, giving food and extending invitations...

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Drawn to Christ
December 2012
Evangelistic

Drawn to Christ

Drawn to Christ As a 15-year-old growing up in the city of Coventry, I had one focus in life — cycling was my passion. Every day I would be out with the local cycling club, training or involved with time trials. I was not really that good but I just loved the sport.     So it came as a surprise when a good friend of mine invited me along to her church youth group. I politely declined. I had never even considered whether there was a God or not and I had no concept as to what a Christian might be.     Party invitation My...

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December 2012
News

Gang culture

Gang culture The removal of more than 200 gang ring leaders from London’s streets has resulted in younger gang members grabbing power violently, a study has found. The report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), called Gangs — time to wake up, looks at how gang crime and fear of gangs has changed since the summer riots of 2011.    The CSJ report said there has been a lack of joined-up thinking, and warned that the crackdown has backfired, because it has created a power vacuum in many street gangs.     The report, which draws heavily on interviews with community leaders and former gang members,...

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The sinking of the Iolaire
December 2012
Evangelistic

The sinking of the Iolaire

The sinking of the Iolaire In the Western Isles, where people over the years have so much depended on boats for their livelihood, many families have become familiar with the experience of bereavement, as news has reached them of vessels lost at sea and their men drowned. Among the shipwrecks off the Isle of Lewis, probably none has been more tragic or aroused such pathos as that of the Iolaire, which went down in the early hours of 1 January 1919. Two hundred and five men drowned within sight of the lights of Stornoway. Scarcely a family was left untouched in Lewis by this horrific...

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December 2012
Evangelistic

My eyes were opened

My eyes were opened I started coming along to Camberwell Evangelical Church when I was just 14. My new friend from school had invited me along. She’d been brought up in the church and thought I might enjoy playing rounders in the park with the rest of her young friends during the summer.     I had a really good time. Everyone was friendly and kind, and at the end we all sat down on the grass and some guy stood up for about 10 minutes and talked about God. It was there that I first heard that I was a sinner and that one day...

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From atheism to Christ
December 2012
Articles > World Mission

From atheism to Christ

From atheism to Christ I was born in 1957 in Khabarovsk, eastern Siberia, in an atheistic family. My father was a military pilot. I was 14 years old and had never heard about Christ.    When we moved to the Moscow region, I sought out a Russian Orthodox church, as something inside my heart impelled me to seek for the Lord. Now I know that it was a call from God.     I usually had nightmares after secretly visiting the Russian Orthodox church from time to time and I had no idea why. I did not learn anything there about Christ, but learned some things about...

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The mystery of the incarnation
December 2012
Evangelistic

The mystery of the incarnation

The mystery of the incarnation If you were visiting someone in a nursing home and they asked you to read them the Christmas story, you would probably read from the early chapters of either Luke’s or Matthew’s Gospel. We usually think that these events are described in those Gospels and that Mark and John are silent on this part of Jesus’ history.     However we can easily overlook the fact that John has a very profound, if brief, statement about Jesus’ birth: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us’ (John 1:14).     Someone not familiar with the Bible could easily read this...

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Silent night
December 2012
Evangelistic

Silent night

Silent night There are few things as stunning as a night sky full of blazing stars. Trouble is, you hardly ever see one. Why not? Because of light pollution.     There is so much light from buildings, towns, cities and street lamps. You really need to be out in the ‘middle of nowhere’ to see a starry night in all its splendour. The dark background is vital.     The same is true of Christmas. The story has been made so sentimental, so ‘jolly’, that you can hardly see the splendour. Comic camels, a grumpy innkeeper, Santa — it’s all ‘light pollution’ that robs us of...

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LOVED from before birth
December 2012
Evangelistic

LOVED from before birth

LOVED from before birth There is a verse in the Bible in which King David celebrates God’s care for him, while he was a baby growing in his mother’s womb.     He says, ‘Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them’ (Psalm 139:16).    In the same way, even before I was born, the Lord was watching over and preparing my path in life.     When two weeks old, I was adopted by my family; at that time, there were no Christians in it. When...

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Season of goodwill
December 2012
Evangelistic

Season of goodwill

Season of goodwill Christmas is a very important time for charities. Throughout December, we will all be receiving more than the usual amount of glossy flyers and printed envelopes asking us to donate to good causes, along with Christmas cards from great aunts and second-cousins-once-removed. Whether it’s animal shelters, third world aid or medical charities, our heart strings will probably be tugged every time we pick up the post this December.    You might think that Christmas would be the worst possible time to solicit donations, given the expense involved in buying presents, visiting family and attending Christmas parties, but it is in fact a time...

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December 2012

Below me, the clouds

Below Me, The Clouds Ron Collard Onwards and Upwards 314 pages, £10.49 ISBN: 1-907509-31-5 Star rating: 5 stars   I found this a fascinating, challenging and in many places a moving read.  It is an autobiography and the story of an RAF pilot told with sincere honesty.  The author doesn’t gloss over the failures but, consistently throughout his career, gives God the glory for the many successes.  Training to be a pilot is meticulous, every detail is vital whether small or great.  There is a challenge there for every believer. Our Christian lives are to aim at perfection.  Sadly, we are only too aware of...

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December 2012

Who is the Real Jesus?

Who Is The Real Jesus? H Dermot McDonald Isaac Publishing 122 pages, £7.99 ISBN: 978-0-98252-188-5 Star rating: 3 stars   We cannot spend too much time considering the wonder of our God ‘contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man.’ This book is therefore to be commended for helping us to do just that. It is a slim volume and repays a second reading.       We begin by looking at the real and perfect humanity of Jesus, and this for me was the most fascinating section, with a number of striking thoughts e.g. ‘His sinless life is a greater miracle than any of the others he...

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December 2012

Atheism’s New Clothes

Atheism’s New ClothesDavid H GlassApollos (IVP)320, £16.99ISBN: 978-1-84474-571-5Star Rating: 5 In a review of Richard Barn’s The Dawkins Proof for ET last year I had to ask if we needed yet another book responding to the New Atheists.  To my surprise, I must again answer ‘Yes!’, because Glass’s book is also very usefully different from the others I have read. For the New Atheists, religion is evil and a major cause of violence and suffering throughout the world.  Its adherents are irrational, even deluded.  In contrast, atheists are extolled as eminently reasonable and objective people and as defenders of true morality and peace. Dr Glass,...

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December 2012

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey Simonetta Carr Reformation Heritage Books 64 pages, $14 ISBN: 978-1-60178-190-1   What a delight to see and handle this beautifully illustrated book! Part of a new series of biographies of men and women of faith specially designed for young people, Lady Jane Grey’s story is sympathetically told.      Simonetta Carr untangles the complicated period of Tudor English history as she shows how Lady Jane, the fifteen-year-old cousin of young King Edward VI, was declared Queen of England at Edward’s death but just nine days later was accused of treason when Mary Tudor claimed the throne. Imprisoned in the Tower of London for...

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