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Everything in December 2017 issue

Historical

December 2017
Articles > Historical

LETTER FROM AMERICA: President Kennedy’s assassination

On Friday 22 November 1963, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s immediate succession and Kennedy’s sudden death spurred worldwide controversy and raised suspicions of conspiracy, that were increased by the nature of the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Guest column

Christians and slavery

Evangelicals rightly celebrate William Wilberforce. His Christian beliefs motivated his historic effort to secure the abolition of the slave trade, in the British empire, in 1807 (see ET, December 2017). What we don’t talk about so much is how a number of godly Christian leaders, particularly in the Southern USA in the nineteenth century,…

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Review

December 2017

Moving On – Beyond Forgive and Forget

Forgiveness is an issue that Christians will deal with until their dying day. It is not just ‘forgetting’: withholding full forgiveness comes at a cost, whether physical (lowered immunity), emotional (anxiety, depression, difficult relationships, anger, bitterness, etc.) or spiritual (putting a barrier between us and God). This book takes a hard look at one’s…

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Review

December 2017

When Evangelicals Care

Social care for the elderly is a much discussed issue and this publication is timely. It is the account of how a group of young Christians, concerned for the suffering of aged believers, became the wide-ranging Pilgrims’ Friend Society. It serves to correct any notion that evangelicals are too ‘spiritual’ to be concerned for…

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Review

December 2017

Jesus: the hidden years

The four Gospels tell us little about the Lord Jesus’ life prior to the beginning of his public ministry. These 30 years of near-silence have elicited much speculation about the ‘hidden years’ of Jesus. There is, for example, the apocryphal story in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (believed to date from the second century)…

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Review

December 2017

For the Glory – The life of Eric Liddell

Biographies of Christians can be rich feasts that inspire believers. How excellent it is to have a new work that should rank as one of the best of this present generation. Duncan Hamilton is a sports writer and apparently not a Christian, so it is remarkable how he spent over eighteen months researching the…

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Review

December 2017

The Axe and the Tree

The subtitle of this book is, ‘How bloody persecution sowed the seeds of new life in Zimbabwe’. At the time the story begins, Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. The mission involved was the Elim Missionary Society. Key figures in its early days were Cecil Brien, a medical doctor from Belfast, and his wife, Dr…

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Review

December 2017

Reformation Women – 16th Century figures who shaped Christianity’s Rebirth

Stories of those who pursued faithfulness in life and doctrine are always inspiring. Here are twelve such stories of women serving the Lord in the turbulence of Reformation times. They were from France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and one — a former lady-in-waiting to a famous Roman Catholic queen — was English. Most were…

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Review

December 2017
Reviews > Book

A Chance to Die – Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

A chance to die is Elisabeth Elliot’s title for her account of the life of Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur. If such a title suits anyone, it is surely Elisabeth Elliot herself, as she faced the fearful loss of her young husband Jim, murdered by the Auca Indians in 1950, as he and four others…

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Review

December 2017
Reviews > DVD

The spirit of discovery — inspiring the new generation of scientific pioneers

This is a high-quality production, aimed at correcting a problem arguably threatening the integrity of much of scientific education today: that science curricula and teachers stultify rather than encourage true science when it comes to evolutionary theory, since the latter has become a ‘no-go’ area for critical thinking. The film weaves together the insights…

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Review

December 2017

Evolution: still a theory in crisis

Michael Denton is a British-Australian biochemist. This book is an update of his 1985 title, Evolution: a theory in crisis.  It contains many technical terms and more than 800 endnotes, referencing academic works in support of his thesis. However, the written style is clear, as is the book’s message that Darwinian evolution is like,…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – UK Creation Mega Conference 2017

Half-term week (26-28 October) saw 1,600 people from 16 nations, including 500 under-18-year olds, attending the UK Creation Mega Conference at West Bromwich, sponsored by Answers in Genesis. The programme, entitled ‘Inspiring a Genesis Reformation’, echoed the Reformation of 500 years ago, with its emphasis on the authority of Scripture — in this case,…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Gateshead Reformation conference

St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead, was the location for a conference from 12-14 October, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The conference proper was opened by Rev. Dr William Schweitzer, the minister of Gateshead Presbyterian Church, the hosting church. Dr Schweitzer gave a helpful address on the necessity of the Reformation, reminding us…

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News

December 2017
News > Conferences

Conference – Scottish Reformed Baptist Conference

In the beautiful, autumnal setting of Pitlochry, nearly 40 members of churches across Scotland met for a second Scottish Reformed Baptist Conference. Due to the blessing and encouragement of the previous, introductory conference last year, there was a clear desire to meet again; and so, from 9-11 October, we met together at the Atholl…

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News

December 2017
News > People > Obituaries

Rev. David Bugden (1926-2017)

On 18 September 2017, David Bugden, aged 91, was called home to glory. Although he came to know Christ at around 11 years of age, it was after he left school and was serving in the army that he sensed the call to full-time Christian service. He subsequently went on to train for the…

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News

December 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – UK family life

Christian charity CARE has welcomed a debate held at the House of Lords, in which a manifesto to strengthen families has been discussed. The debate, secured by Lord Farmer, discussed the findings of the manifesto, not least the appalling cost of family breakdown and the need to help struggling families in the UK. During…

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News

December 2017
News > Ethics

Ethics – Gender identity warning

It is extremely rare for children to have true gender identity concerns, a lead clinician at a gender identity clinic for children has stated. According to Professor Gary Butler, clinical lead at the UK Gender Identity Development service, only ‘one child born in every 20,000’ experiences transsexual feelings. He made the comments during a…

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News

December 2017
News > Society

Society – Faith in Later Life

A new initiative was launched by five leading Christian charities — Pilgrims’ Friend Society, the Salvation Army, London City Mission, Mission Care and Keychange — on 10 October 2017, in the House of Lords. Focusing on the profound societal consequences of an ageing UK population, Faith in Later Life (FiLL) draws attention to wide-ranging…

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News

December 2017
News > International

International – Rebuilding the Philippines

Sailor’s Society has discussed the long-term impact of storms on communities, four years on from Typhoon Haiyan hitting south-east Asia. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most destructive tropical cyclones ever recorded, hit Southeast Asia, killing more than 7,000 people and leaving an estimated $2.8 billion worth of damage. Stuart Rivers, chief…

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News

December 2017
News > International

International – Caring for CAR

Tearfund has highlighted the central importance of the church for people fearing for their lives in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country, which shares borders with Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, has been torn apart by decades of conflict which has seen thousands killed. With violence flaring once again in…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Social media outreach

More than a million people are being reached every month by Christian churches on social media, figures published by the Church of England (CofE) have suggested. A year after the CofE adopted a new digital approach, with videos, podcasts, blogs and images, including prayers, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin, these messages are reaching…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Supporting our servicemen

Military charity ‘Walking With The Wounded’ has said it will treble the number of ex-servicemen and women it supports in 2018, following a 97 per cent increase last year to more than 1,000. In a statement, the charity said that, as Christmas approaches, more ex-service personnel than ever require support, as Christmas can be…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child has begun, as thousands of churches across the UK order their resources to help deliver shoebox gifts to children across the world. Samaritan’s Purse, which began the operation in 1993, has delivered present-filled shoeboxes to more than 145 million children in more than 160 countries. The boxes are handed in at…

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News

December 2017
News > Christmas

Christmas – Two pairs of socks

Christian entrepreneur Ed Vickers has launched Jollie Socks, an initiative to support people who are homeless. The sock brand has been stocked in stores such as John Lewis, with the tag line ‘wear a pair, share a pair’. Essentially, when you buy a pair, the company donates a pair of socks to your favourite…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

How one Iranian became a Christian

Q. Mark [name changed], what was your life like before you were a Christian? Mark: Actually, my life had a lot of ups and downs, but any happiness was very short-lived. I always believed in God. Looking back, I can see that I was a sinner — and still am. One summer, I was very…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

We don’t need to guess

News is out that a certain celebrity has come to town. But why has he come? No one is quite sure. So, everyone’s guessing — one suggesting this, another suggesting that — until someone comes up with the really bright idea: ‘Why not just ask him?’ So they do. And he tells them! It’s…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The danger of the manger

Gary Clayton examines some of the supposed ‘magic’ of Christmas. A friend once produced a thought-provoking Christmas card that showed an illustration of the traditional Christmas tree decked in tinsel and baubles, with presents down below. This was then followed by an image of a mighty wind stripping the tree of its trappings and…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Mary’s Magnificat; Rachel’s lament

For many families at Christmas, traditional imagery can be heartbreaking, rather than heart-warming. ‘Christmas is all about family’; ‘children make Christmas special’; ‘it’s such a joy to see the little ones’ faces on Christmas day’. We’ve all heard these perfectly natural sentiments expressed by parents and not just secular parents. Christian parents often put…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

If I were a wise man…

We don’t know very much about them. Matthew’s is the only Gospel to make mention of them, and they appear and disappear in just twelve verses. But I’ve always had a soft spot for the mystery men from the East. One carol goes like this: ‘We three kings of Orient are, One in a…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Just an old book?

The circumstances surrounding someone’s conversion to Christ may vary widely, but it seems to me that there are five elements common to all: conviction of sin; repentance; hearing (or reading) the gospel; the exercise of faith in the finished work of Christ; and a subsequent, evident change in lifestyle. My own conversion occurred in…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Changed from the inside out

What was your life like before you were a Christian? About the age of four, I made a ‘confession of faith’ in Jesus Christ and was baptised. ‘So that was that’, I used to think growing up. I said the right things and prayed every so often. But as I grew up, there were…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

A good grief — a personal testimony

Death is the one thing that all people in this world have in common. Death is inevitable for us all, irrespective of our status. And death is the one subject we all try to avoid, but eventually have to face head-on. Only a Christian can look death in the face with a smile. But,…

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Article

December 2017
Articles

Knowing Christ personally

I was born into a very dangerous environment. What? Were my parents criminals? No, just the opposite. My parents, Ron and Mary Pendleton, were deeply committed Christians. There was the ‘dangerous’ environment, because, you see, my parents had come to put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, and I grew up…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Called to be a soldier of Jesus Christ

As a boy growing up in Gorslas, many of the people in the area had been changed by God during the 1904 Revival. They were different to the ordinary religious man; their faith and witness was vibrant and they had such zeal for God. All they would talk about was the Lord. This had…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Lasting happiness

Unlike alcohol, success or sport, turning to Jesus has brought me true and lasting happiness. I didn’t have an easy time when I was growing up. My dad died when I was four and, when I was a teenager, I became seriously ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. I was so desperate I asked God for help, but when I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

War and peace

When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, there were many who said, ‘It’ll all be over by Christmas!’ People thought it was just a small, local difficulty, as though they were saying, ‘It won’t need a large army to sort it out’. How wrong they were! What began in the balmy days…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

A certain destiny

Since her arrival at Number 10 last year, press reports have revealed that way back in the early 1990s Theresa May’s father-in-law predicted she would one day become Prime Minister. She wasn’t even an MP at the time, though she had already embarked on a political career and was a rising star in the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Jesus Christ is the greatest

A messenger from God announced to his mother Mary, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, that he was going to be great. There is relative greatness and absolute greatness. Snowdon is a relatively great mountain in England and Wales; none is higher. But it is a mere hill compared…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The sweet sound of grace

Hello, my name is Ruth. I’m married to Pete, am a mum, and love to spend my spare time singing, cooking and catching up with friends or family. However, I’ve got to pause there, because although all those things are nice to hear and know, they don’t tell you about my true identity. I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

True freedom

I’m not sure what you think about Christianity or even Christians as you are reading this, but I would like to share with you the way the God of the Bible changed my life in ways I never thought would happen. My upbringing was a Christian one, as both my parents are Bible-believing Christians.…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Sought and found by God

I was born in Wales, United Kingdom. Although sent to Sunday school as a young child (something which I hated!), I never once really heard the gospel message. Strange as it may seem, one can go to some places of worship and yet never hear the message of God’s saving grace. Two things I…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

From knowing about Jesus to knowing him

I grew up in a happy home in Malvern with a great family, good friends, and practically everything I wanted, right down to my own horse! We attended the local Church of England fairly often, and I believed I was a good person and good people went to heaven. I’d always believed in God…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Something better than this life can ever offer

When I was about six-years-old, I believed in God, and I remember praying to him, asking him to forgive me for the wrong things I was doing. I wasn’t particularly naughty or rebellious by many peoples’ standards, but I was hiding it well! But I knew that those wrong things I was doing meant that I…

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News

December 2017
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Culture Clash

On 12 August 2017, neo-Nazis, members of the KKK and other white nationalist groups met in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the proposed tear-down of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and to stage the largest yet rally to ‘Take America back’. As these hate groups clashed with counter-protesters on the streets, demonstration…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Guest column

William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade

This month marks the end of Kingston upon Hull’s year as the UK’s City of Culture. One part of Hull’s celebrations has been remembering William Wilberforce, ‘the friend of humanity’ and Hull’s ‘most illustrious son’. Wilberforce’s untiring efforts to abolish the slave trade were rewarded with that famous Act of Parliament of 1807, an…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Comment

The Royal Speech

More than eight million people in the UK watched the Queen’s message on Christmas day last year. Millions more throughout the Commonwealth saw her, some in different time zones many hours before our 3 o’clock slot. Always eagerly anticipated, the Queen’s message has a certain predictability about it. She reflects on the world scene,…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

Where science and faith meet

For many generations, we have been bombarded with the idea that science and the Bible are at war. Yet in 1865, over 150 years ago, Christians who were scientists proposed an approach based on harmony, not contradiction. Describing themselves as ‘students of the natural and physical sciences’, the 717 scholars represented senior academics, professional…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The power of prayer

Hello, my story shows how wonderfully God answers prayer for our loved ones. My grandfather, whom I never met because he was killed in the First World War, became a Christian after he was married and had two sons. He prayed for his wife and family that they too would become believers, but he…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Leonard Muggeridge — son of a famous father

Many of you will have heard of the writer and often controversial TV broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge, but perhaps not many will know that his eldest son Len was converted to Christ as a young man and had a long and active life in service to God. Compared to his famous father, Len (10/10/28–1/3/17) was…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Something wonderful happened

I was driving home, and suddenly I felt so empty and lost. I became really upset, wondering where I was going with my life. What changed? I’d moved to Cardiff with work, and two people on my team became Christians. I’d watched them get baptised, and they’d told the stories of how their lives…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Real celebration

The story is told of a fellow who decided he’d throw a retirement party for his colleagues, friends and family, having worked in the same company for over 40 years. He hired a hall, booked a jazz band, contacted some outside caterers and sent out the invitations. Then, in due course, a great crowd…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Let’s go to Bethlehem

Christmas is a special time of the year. The preparations begin weeks before; there is a long list of things to be done. Cards and presents are to be bought, decorations and Christmas trees put up. There are school concerts and carol services. There is food to be bought and cooked; time with the…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Amazing grace

Being brought up in a Christian family, I listened to the gospel message from a young age. I attended Sunday school, youth groups and hundreds of church services, but I took very little notice of what I was hearing. From my point of view, the truths I heard from God’s Word went in one…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

From prodigal to preacher — the story of Chris Killen

On 25 July 1966, a family in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, welcomed a baby boy. He was their third son, and they had high hopes that he would fulfil their dreams for him and succeed in life. But, by the time he was 15, he had so broken their hearts that they had to ask…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Passchendaele — a lesson in mud

The green and pleasant little Belgian village of Passchendaele, just east of Ypres, has given its name to some of the worst horrors of the First World War. It has become synonymous with the mud of Flanders. With the Somme, you think of over-the-top charges and thousands of British soldiers mown down by German…

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Historical

December 2017
Articles > Historical

Anne Askew (1521 – 1546), Protestant martyr

This year marks 500 years since the Reformation began in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. In this article, Sheila Stephen, visiting lecturer at The Wales Campus, Union School of Theology, writes on a heroic, though largely overlooked, person from the Reformation. Church history isn’t tidy,…

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Making sense of terrorism and tragedy

How are Christians to respond to recent tragic events in the UK? There have been bombings at Parsons Green and at the Manchester Arena. There was the attack in Westminster. And, barely had the police cordons been lifted in Borough Market and London Bridge, when another cordon went up around Grenfell Tower, because of…

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