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Everything in December 2019 issue

Review

December 2019
Reviews > Book

Come and Behold Him: Christmas Through Different Eyes

I found this little book both refreshing and stimulating. In such a short compass, we see the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ through the eyes of fourteen characters in the Bible. These are helpfully grouped in time sequence, beginning with Old Testament prophecies in Micah, Isaiah, Job and Malachi, and continuing with the…

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Review

December 2019
Reviews > Book

My Sunflower Girl

This is a heartfelt but reflective account of events leading to the death of Dyfan Williams’s 10-year-old daughter Megan, and the subsequent slow road to recovery. The reader is invited to walk with him and Caroline through their personal valley of death as he recounts Megan’s 10 days in hospital before she was taken…

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News

December 2019
News > Conferences

The Pastors’ Academy conference puts theology back into practice

The Pastors’ Academy at London Seminary held its annual two-day conference in September. It was good to catch up with old friends and make new ones as we considered the subject, ‘Putting theology back into practice: the sons of Jacob’. My initial fears that the focus was too narrow were soon dispelled. Garry Williams…

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News

December 2019
News > Conferences

‘Truth 4 Youth’ conference looks at creation research, Islam and discipleship

The Heatree Activity Centre in Dartmoor hosted the annual Truth 4 Youth conference in August. Attracting a host of young people, there was much opportunity for outdoor fellowship as well as teaching. Activities on offer included fencing, a water slide, high ropes and a bonfire (replete with marshmallows on sticks). John Mackay and Joseph…

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News

December 2019
News > Church news

From prison to pulpit: 20 years of ministry for pastor, Billy McCurrie

Forty years ago, Pastor Billy McCurrie was an angry young man locked up in the Maze prison, Northern Ireland. Thirty years ago, he was changed. The avowed atheist and communist had become a Christian, keen to find out what God had in store for him. Twenty years ago, he was appointed Pastor of Aughton…

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News

December 2019
News > Society

Parents slam government for steering children towards transgender surgery

More than 30 UK families with transgender children are lobbying the government and the National Health Service over what they have called ‘state-sponsored sterilisation’. The campaign group, which is provisionally being called Our Duty, told The Times that medical professionals are steering confused children and young teenagers towards treatments that can leave them infertile.…

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News

December 2019
News > Religious liberty

Equality agenda has eroded human rights

The equality agenda has gone far beyond ensuring fairness and has ended up eroding fundamental human rights, an author and religious liberty lawyer has claimed. In a blog post for Christian Concern, Roger Kiska said the ‘juggernaut’ of equality has been riding roughshod through basic human rights in both the US and the UK…

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News

December 2019
News > Education > Ethics

New guide to debunk schools equality myths

A new guide for parents and pupils aims to debunk the myths surrounding what schools in Great Britain are required to do because of the Equality Act. The guide is called Equipped for Equality and is published by The Christian Institute. It is written primarily for parents and pupils, although others may find it…

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News

December 2019
News > Ethics > Religious liberty

Man arrested for praying outside abortion clinic

A wheelchair-using Christian man has been arrested and charged for praying out loud within an exclusion zone outside an abortion clinic. Christian Hacking, 29, was audibly but peacefully praying outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, London. He was carried away by police after he refused to stop. According to a court order, people…

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News

December 2019
News > Politics

Christian groups prepare general election guidance

The United Kingdom will hold its first December general election since 1923 when voters go to the polls on Thursday 12 December. Various Christian groups have been busy preparing materials to help believers think through various issues before voting. The Christian Institute will be publishing its popular Election Briefing which will analyse the policies…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Truth, lies and Santa Claus: What shall we tell our children about Father Christmas?

It’s not a problem now. Our children are that bit older. But for years we had to threaten them with dire penalties as Christmas approached. They mustn’t say it. They mustn’t even hint at it. Whatever anyone said to them, they mustn’t let it slip. They don’t believe in Santa. I well remember the…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Comment

Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves

Vote for the least-worst candidate, and pray Depending on your point of view, the last few years have either seen parliamentary democracy at its best, or its worst. Whatever view you take on that, we are nevertheless privileged to live in a democracy. Let’s not give in to the cynicism and apathy which blights…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’

Outside the snow has just fallen. It looks so lovely and white when it first falls to the ground. But I can also see that it is not pure on the street, for it mingles with the dirt and grime and becomes a mushy mess. Many years ago, a young lady saw in her…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The trashing of truth

‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’, wrote George Orwell. Nearly 75 years ago Animal Farm was published. Famously, its author, George Orwell, believed that real liberty must involve the freedom to call out lies. We live now in an age…

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Historical

December 2019
Articles > Historical

Arthur Stace: ‘Mr Eternity’

As we approached the new millennium in December, 1999 there were concerns that computer systems would crash, causing mayhem around the globe. Some feared that it may usher in the end of the world. The first pictures from a new year generally come from Sydney, Australia. The new millennium in 2000 was no exception.…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Christmas jumpers

What would Christmas be without Christmas trees, Christmas dinner, Christmas carols, Christmas cards or, more recently, the Christmas jumper? Christmas gives us the opportunity to wear clothes we would never normally be seen dead in. What other time of the year would we wear to work an elf’s outfit or a jumper which lights…

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Historical

December 2019
Articles > Historical

Children’s champion

With Barnardo’s 330 charity shops, 400 social projects and care of thousands of children, most readers will be familiar with that name. But who was Tom Barnardo, founder of this remarkable charity begun in 1867? ‘A bit of all sorts’ was Tom’s own description of himself as he thought of the blend of Spanish,…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Light in the darkness

One of the saddest days of my life was the day of my father’s funeral. It was a dark, drizzly and murky winter’s day. The weather outside seemed to mirror our mood inside. We had a service in church, giving thanks for my dad’s life, and then went to the cemetery to bury him.…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Star of wonder

The Gospel of Matthew records how wise men came from the east to the land of Israel to search after the King of the Jews. The wise men were led to Jerusalem and then Bethlehem by a bright star in the sky. We don’t know exactly how far east the men had come from,…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Joy to the world

The birth of Jesus Christ is the greatest reason for joy in the history of the world. Today people all over the world are seeking true and lasting joy. It was the same in the first century. The night Jesus was born, an angel appeared to some hill shepherds and announced, ‘I bring you…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > General

Prepared for Christmas? But how ready is your heart?

Some people are smug about being prepared early for the biggest public holiday in the year: Christmas time. There are people who, at the time of writing (early October), have already made their puddings, prepared their fruit for the cake, bought their presents, made their lists and started the wrapping. I know: I am…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

A lonely Christmas and a miserable New Year?

‘I hate Christmas’ John responded. I felt guilty. I had been making small talk with him before I departed to see my next patient (I see patients in their own homes). I should have remembered that he had no family, at least none in regular contact. I might have noticed that not only did…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

‘A satisfaction and completeness I had never known before’

I was brought up to go to a Church of England church in North Yorkshire, but stopped going when I was about ten to play football. Although I do not remember the gospel being preached there, I did believe in God, and God was good to me. He allowed me to experience various things…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

What good is it to gain the world and lose your soul?

I was born into a Christian family and each week I 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…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

From nightclub bouncer to city gospel worker

My name is James Tredgett. I was born and raised in northeast Essex. Life was good at first: I was the biggest kid in primary school, my family lived in a big house and every day seemed fun. As a teenager, life started to fall apart. My parents divorced and my mum and I…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

They thought I was dying, but then I was reborn

I was born into a family of four, with two brothers and one sister. My mother was a Christian and my father an atheist. We were taken to church by my mother and her parents, who were both strong believers. Through my teenage years, I continued to attend church. When I went to university…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

I was angry and I hated God. Then the gospel transformed me

My name is Gary Currie. I was born in Chatham, Kent, in 1957. My upbringing wasn’t the best, with parents who did not care and were quick with hand, fist or stick to control us. There were four kids: three boys and one girl. We boys went through it with the beatings, so we…

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Article

December 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Trust in Christ alone

Having grown up attending Sunday school and church, I never really doubted that God existed. I knew what was involved in becoming a Christian, but I also knew that I wasn’t one. I grew up living in a ‘Christian’ way, happy to go to church every week and even talk to my friends about…

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Review

December 2019
Reviews > Book

Let’s Study – James

The letter of James is frequently commended as a ‘practical’ book. But in this devotional commentary, Sinclair Ferguson is out to prove that its wise guidance is drawn from a weighty theology. The link between beliefs and behaviour is demonstrated ably in his treatment of James 2:14-26. Here Ferguson unpicks the difficult wording by…

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