Subscribe now

Everything in December 2018 issue

Review

December 2018
Reviews > Book

In the Footsteps of King David: Revelations from an Ancient Biblical City

Until the publication of In the footsteps of King David, the prevailing approach to biblical archaeology has often been denial of the factuality of biblical texts. From 2007 to 2013, a team of archaeologists (led by the authors of this fascinating volume) excavated Khirbet Qeiyafa. This is located in the Elah Valley on the…

Read more

Review

December 2018
Reviews > Book

Why Is There Evil in the World (and So Much of It?) (The Big Ten)

Anyone who regularly engages in outdoor evangelism will tell you that the question of this book’s title is the one most frequently raised by people on the street. It is good to know, therefore, the solid biblical answers with which Christians can respond and, hopefully, help people. This is especially true for helping those…

Read more

Review

December 2018
Reviews > Book

What is Man?

In this book, Professor Andrews (see article on page 3 of this ET issue) distils a lifetime of meditation on the titular question into 14 rich and readable chapters. He unpacks the issues behind what scholars have called ‘hard problems’ and shows us how biblical revelation brings understanding to our minds and gives humans…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Induction

Induction – Hitchin Grace Baptist welcomes pastor

Hitchin Grace Baptist Church welcomed its new pastor Tom Forryan at a service attended by 200 people, in the Priory School, Hitchin, on 13 October 2018. Ashkan Sarmadi, current pastor of Derby Road Baptist Church (DRBC), Watford, commended Tom’s previous ministry as former pastor at DRBC and as a worker with Grace Baptist Mission…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Church news

Church – Pioneers for London

The Bishop of London is backing the identifying and training of new pioneer leaders in order to birth ‘new churches, for new people in new places’, across London. In a joint venture between the Centre for Church Planting and Growth and Church Mission Society, the School of Pioneers will, for the first time, allow…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Church news

Church – Church Society Council

Church Society’s Council met in October to discuss the ‘memorandum of agreement’ made between Church Society, Reform and the Fellowship of Word and Spirit, made prior to a recent merger between these groups. The items discussed by the council were: relationships with other Anglican bodies; Church Society’s commitment to contending for the true gospel;…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Events

Events – What is man?

The latest ‘Alpha and Omega Conference’ took place on Saturday 6 October, when Professor Edgar Andrews (see p.3) delivered two lectures based on his new book What is Man? Adam, alien or ape? These half-day conferences are held usually twice a year at the Campus Church, Welwyn Garden City, and feature issues of current…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Events

Events – 50th anniversary in Wolverhampton

An anniversary gives us another opportunity to remember, and on 15-16 September 2018 the members and friends of West Park Church, Wolverhampton, recalled and celebrated God’s goodness since the founding of the church 50 years ago. In those days it was called Merridale Church and was in a different part of the city. Much…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – European Court upholds conviction for insulting Islam

In a troubling legal ruling for free speech, a woman who insulted the Muslim faith has had her conviction upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. The woman, known only as Mrs S, had made disparaging remarks about the prophet Mohammed, calling him a paedophile, because one of his many wives was only…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – Stem cell hope for cleft palate babies

Adult stem cells could be used in the future to heal babies with cleft palates, a pioneering new treatment in Colombia has shown. The condition is an abnormality whereby the part of skull which connects the mouth to the nose has not developed. It affects around one in every 700 births. Cleft palates, although…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – Focus on actual crimes, says senior police officer

The police should focus on actual crimes like burglaries and robberies, and not waste time recording incidents which are not crimes, a senior officer has said. National Police Chiefs’ Council chairwoman Sara Thornton warned forces are too stretched to take on issues such as logging ‘hate incidents’ where no crime has been committed, even…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – Children complain about gambling ads bombardment

Highschool children in Salisbury have spoken out about being bombarded with gambling ads. St Joseph’s School has been helping its older pupils to understand the methods gambling companies use to get and keep customers. 15-year-old Bryn, from St Joseph’s, recalled seeing a gambling ad where a James Bond-style character was shown to be gambling…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Society – Baroness tables grooming question

Christian Peer Baroness Cox has tabled questions in Parliament asking the government about victims who have been groomed by gangs, the Christian Legal Centre reported. The question reads, ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are aware of the case of Sarah who was held captive by a grooming gang for 12 years as…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Events

Event – The art of faithful failure

Seventy per cent of Christians know who they want to invite to church, but never do — something Michael Harvey, founder of the National Weekend of Invitation and Back to Church Sunday, reckons can change if Christians think differently. Talking to a packed hall at the Christian Resources Exhibition 2018, at Sandown Park in…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Events

Event – Christian Heritage exhibition

The Christian Heritage Centre continued to see a good number of visitors visit its exhibition during this summer. Situated in Providence Chapel in Rowley Regis, near Birmingham, it was set up to demonstrate the impact that Christianity has had on our country. The story of Christianity in Britain is told through a series of…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Church news

Church – Respected Bible teacher John L. Mackay dies

Professor John L. Mackay, lecturer and author of numerous Bible commentaries, has died aged 70. Prof. Mackay was formerly Principal and Professor of Old Testament Studies at the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh (now Edinburgh Theological Seminary). He passed away peacefully at home on 25 October and is survived by his wife…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Education

Education – Parental rights consultation

Religious think tank Theos is calling for a number of improvements to Religious Education in schools, in a report which summarises a series of high-level conversations on the effectiveness and future of RE. Recommendations include ending parents’ right to withdraw their child from RE, ensuring Ofsted take action against schools not teaching RE well,…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Mission

Mission – Alternative advent calendar

How can someone call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? For over a year, 10 global Christian mission organisations have been working together under the #HowWillTheyHear campaign, which seeks…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Mission

Mission – Serving in Mission: 10:14 prayer project

How can someone call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? For over a year, 10 global Christian mission organisations have been working together under the #HowWillTheyHear campaign, which seeks…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Mission

Mission – EMF moves headquarters

The European Mission Fellowship is in the process of relocating to Leicestershire. After a long history of being based in the home counties, the charity is moving its headquarters to Glenfield, a village in the Blaby district of Leicester.

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Mission

Mission – Bible camp defies statistics

Twenty-seven young people mostly from one-parent families chose to follow the Lord Jesus at a Bible camp in Peru. Arriving with a back-pack full of expectations and enthusiasm, 66 youths in total between 12 and 16 years old attended the camp in Comas, a deprived area of Lima, the capital of the South American…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – ‘Locked-in’ syndrome teenager recovers

A teenager is recovering after a bleed on the brain left her with ‘locked-in’ syndrome. Miranda Meldrum suffered a near-fatal stroke in April last year, aged 13, leaving her almost completely paralysed. ‘Locked-in’ syndrome leaves people with fully functioning minds but with little or no ability to communicate. The condition is frequently used by…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – Christian and anti-slavery campaigner honoured

Two-hundred and fifty years since his birth, one of the men who fought to end slavery has been honoured with a memorial plaque in St George’s Gardens in London. Zachary Macaulay was born in Inveraray in 1768, but after getting a job in a merchant’s office in Glasgow, he spent much of his youth…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – Radical abortion motion

Campaigners have expressed relief that a radical abortion motion brought forward by Diana Johnson MP, Labour MP for Hull North, is unlikely to become law. The motion, which MPs passed by 208 to 123 votes in October, sought to impose abortion on Northern Ireland and remove many of the current legal safeguards around abortion provision in…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > International

International – Brunson: ‘Millions prayed for Turkey’

Pastor Andrew Brunson believes that God was sovereignly involved in his two-year incarceration in Turkey because ‘millions of people prayed for Turkey during that time, and God is bringing blessing out of it’. In an interview with American TV programme CBS This Morning after his release, Pastor Brunson revealed that the book of 2…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > International

International – OM update on Sulawesi

Christian missionary organisation Operation Mobilisation (OM) has thanked its supporters for backing its work in Indonesia with prayer following the devastating 7.4 earthquake which struck in the Central Sulawesi region on 28 September. Over 2 million people were affected by the impact of such a large-scale disaster. Homes, hospitals, water and communication lines were…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > International

International – Rising intolerance among India’s youth

There is increasing intolerance in India amongst Hindu youths towards other religious minorities, one Indian Christian leader has told a meeting in the House of Lords. Speaking at a reception organised by religious freedom group ADF International, Dr Michael Williams blamed India’s ‘fundamentalist’ government. He said it was comparable to Islamic radicalisation or fascism…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Pakistani Christian pupil expelled

A 13-year-old Pakistani Christian boy was sent out of his classroom for turning off a tap that had been left running. Fourth grader student Sharjeel was expelled from his class on 16 October 2018 because it was believed that by touching the tap he had tainted the water and therefore he should be punished.…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Asia Bibi ‘freed’

Britain and other nations should offer asylum to Asia Bibi and her family, Christian campaigners said after the Catholic mother-of-five was acquitted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan on 31 October. A three-judge bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court saved the illiterate farm labourer from execution, with its decision to acquit and release her. In a…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Eastern Ukraine bans church meetings

An evangelical church group in eastern Ukraine has been outlawed by authorities, and Christians face a fine or arrest if they meet together, even in their own homes. Now called the Luhansk People’s Republic and controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, the area’s officials imposed a re-registration process for churches in February 2018. But…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Secular aggression shuts churches in Rwanda

Church attendance has declined in Rwanda this year and church leaders live in fear, as the government continues to close churches amid increasing aggressive secularisation by President Paul Kagame. More than 8,000 churches have now been closed in the Christian-majority country, and the number keeps growing, on the pretext of failing to meet requirements…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Guest column

Healthy Christianity

Christianity is to affect the whole of life, and one of the great dangers Christians face is that of imbalance. They must always be on the lookout not to overemphasise some things and underemphasise others. Church history teaches us that imbalances not corrected can lead Christians away from the faith altogether. If Christianity is…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Burden of guilt removed

I was born in Sticker, near St Austell in Cornwall, and my earliest memories are of attending the local Methodist chapel and Sunday school. When I was 15, I saw a film on the crucifixion at the cinema and was challenged by an evangelist afterwards. Then, when I was 17, I left school and…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

From creation to Christ

I was brought up in a Christian family where the Bible was taught, and from a very early age was surrounded by other Christians. However, this did not mean that I was a Christian myself, although at times I thought I was. But I had not personally accepted Jesus into my life. Deep down,…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Drawn by God’s Word

I was born in 1964 and brought up in South Yorkshire. I have been married now for 28 years. Before my marriage, my interests were football, going to the pub and just having a good time, and I still wanted this life to continue after marriage. Neither my wife nor I had any interest…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Growth in Christ

I was born into a Christian home in Brunei. As a child my parents taught me about the Lord Jesus Christ from the Bible. My father is a preacher in our home church and my mother translates the sermons into Mandarin. However, it was not until I was 13 that I realised that I…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

From confusion to conversion

My mother very sadly died when I was only 11 years old. My uncle and aunt, who already had five children took me in. They were kind but poor. After the war I was introduced to a very lovely man, who became my husband. The marriage produced two children, a son and a daughter.…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Overwhelmed by God’s love

Many years ago, I found myself in a hopeless, helpless state; at a place in my mind where nothing made sense. I had become extremely cynical and could see no point in anything. The world seemed to be a place of suffering. Happiness had become an elusive state of mind that didn’t last and…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

What Jesus means to me

The Bible says that to believers Jesus Christ is ‘precious’. They love to speak of him and what he means to them in their lives. Jesus Christ means more to me than anyone else. As the apostle Paul says: ‘To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21). He is…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Hearing the true gospel

I was not brought up in a Christian family, but my parents had a friend who helped with leading a Sunday school. Therefore, my sister and I went along. I don’t remember much about it and it didn’t seem to make any impression on me at the time. Despite this, I often used to…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

God’s love working everything for good

Having grown up in a Christian home and attended church since I was born, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. I definitely had a good understanding of the fundamental core of Christianity: that I was a sinner, that I was loved by God, and that there was forgiveness and…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Found by the Good Shepherd

I was born into a Christian home in Sheffield and lived in the city during World War II. I had two sisters and two brothers. My parents took us to church and Sunday school. I loved reading and, at the age of 11, read a Christian book written for children that explained Jesus as…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A sudden realisation

Growing up in a Christian family has meant that I learnt about God from a very young age. For as long as I can remember I’ve believed in God, attended church services, prayed and read from the Bible. I used to assume that this made me a Christian. But when I was around 15…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Finding the Creator

As a teenager, sadly, I had no time for God, but I believed that there was a Creator. In the early 1950s I left Sheffield, having been called up for national service and I was stationed at RAF Chivenor in North Devon. One day when off-duty and visiting Rock Park in Barnstaple I noticed…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

From traditional to real

Born in Poland, I followed the traditions of the Roman Catholic religion for the first 18 years of my life: christened as a baby, having religious lessons, and attending Sunday ‘mass’ with my parents, as all the other children in my village did. I was taught to believe in God’s existence, the concept of…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Who do you think you are?

My uncle David is the family historian. He has spent many hours researching the family tree and has discovered relatives in Australia and Argentina. My uncle is not alone in his desire to trace his genealogical roots. The BBC series Who do you think you are? is very popular. In the programme, famous people…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

My Lord and my God!

It’s exciting! It’s amazing! It’s fantastic! As incredible as it seems, yet by faith I believe it’s true. Permit me to give a testimony, a wonderful witness that I could only make by God’s sovereign grace. Here it is: ‘The God of the Bible is my God!’ Let me be specific. My God is…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

The wise and the foolish

History is littered with dead kings. Destined to reign from the beginning of life, they have come at last to their throne. But only for a time. Always, sooner or later, they have come into conflict with death. And death has always carried the day. There is, however, one remarkable exception to this universal…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Joseph — unsung hero of Christmas?

Joseph — the legal guardian and earthly father of the Lord Jesus — is often overlooked in the Christmas story. Matthew’s Gospel however relates the account of the birth of Christ more from Joseph’s perspective than Mary’s. Matthew tells us: ‘Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A hymn of hope for those in despair

Who wrote this song? The author is most surprising: a Jewish priest who’d been struck dumb for nine months! Zacharias was his name, and the cause of his lack of speech was unbelief. Zacharias just hadn’t reckoned that his elderly wife could possibly become a mother for the first time, even though God himself…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

‘The Word became flesh’

In just these four words John the apostle, in the first chapter of his Gospel, gives us the reason for celebrating Christmas. It is amazing how much can be said in a few words. Four words to describe one of the most significant, amazing and pivotal events in the whole of human history. John…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Facing the future

Mary’s hopes and dreams for her firstborn son were overshadowed by prophecy, but she never forgot who held the future for Jesus. Last year I wrote about the difficulties facing childless parents at Christmas, when everything seems to focus on ‘family’. This year we will be celebrating our own family ‘miracle’: a son finally…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Mary’s Song

This month people all over the world will celebrate Christmas. For many, it will simply mean time off work to sit back, relax and indulge in chocolates, presents, and elaborate roast dinners. However, the true meaning of Christmas is much deeper. Christians celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A sight for sore eyes

Our eyes are wonderful things! Each one is a slightly asymmetrical globe, about an inch in diameter. The front part of the eye that you see in the mirror contains the iris (the pigmented part), the cornea (a clear dome over the iris), the pupil (the black circular opening in the iris that lets…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Scientific (including creation)

The perils of scientific illiteracy

When Pope Francis addressed the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he argued that ideas like the ‘big bang’ and evolution are perfectly compatible with the Christian faith (Address on occasion of inauguration of bust in honour of Pope Benedict XV1, Plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 27 October 2014). Astonishingly, he declared: ‘When we read…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Angels and shepherds

Tea towel-turbaned children and cosy Christmas card scenes often spring to mind when we think about the shepherds. But what were these first eyewitnesses of the manger really like? Our research takes us to the account by Luke, the historian amongst Jesus’ four biblical biographers. But what would it have been like for Luke…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A soldier’s story (2)

Gavin Dickson continues sharing his life story (begun in November’s ET ): When the Scots Guards returned to Iraq in 2007 for Telic 7, an insurgency was raging throughout the country. So we had to exchange our berets for helmets and full body armour. In fact, you didn’t travel unless you were in an…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

From pavement to palace

Mark was a 27-year-old from Clwyd, working for a firm that fitted ten-pin bowling alleys. It was a job that many lads of his age would have been happy to have had, but Mark had bigger dreams. Like other young boys in North Wales he had grown up with the idea that London was…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Happy Christmas?

Gary Clayton reminds everyone, including Christians, what the Christmas season is all about. To millions around the world Christmas is the most eagerly anticipated time of the year. For some, it’s a time of joy, celebration, family and worship. For others, it can be a profoundly lonely, materialistic or depressing experience. Christmas, however one…

Read more

Article

December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

The perfect man

Has there ever been a perfect human being? In spite of the praise and adoration we lavish on our heroes, saints and pop-idols, the answer has to be ‘no’. The Bible, however, claims a single exception to this rule. Jesus Christ, the Bible maintains, was the perfect man who shows us what humanity should…

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Society

Light has dawned

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned’. This beautiful verse, from chapter 9 of Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy, is set within a wonderful passage often read at Christmas. It describes the coming of the Messiah. The…

Read more