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Everything in February 2004 issue

The new pagans

Article

February 2004
Cults and other religions

The new pagans

Pagans were the country folk ('pagan' means country dweller) who resisted organised religion and practised ancient rituals and ceremonies. Their pre-Christian religion could be described as animism - the belief that everything is alive with natural or supernatural spirits.The ancient pagans used magical enchantments, honoured a myriad of gods and goddesses, and lived close…

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Article

February 2004
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Feeling medium

Although I know something was wrong, the news came as a shock. I’ve always imagined myself blasting through the golden years with verve and energy – bounding up stairs at a single leap, running to the top of towering hills and thumping my chest in victory. No more. Suddenly my goals are more prosaic. Mary Helen and I have always tried to walk a couple of miles a day – now she walks alone. I helped chart the Hope/Hamilton section of the Oak Ridges Trail – now they hike without me. Suddenly my view of others is more sympathetic. I never could relate to those...

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Concerning Cults

Article

February 2004
Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults

Mormon Fundamentalists (3)Do Dan Lafferty and Osama bin Laden have anything in common? 'I've asked myself that', Dan acknowledges. In prison with his brother Ron for the gruesome murder of their sister-in-law and her baby, Dan is reflective but unrepentant.'Is that what I'm like?' His personal answer is an emphatic 'No'. His reasons? The…

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The cutting edge-An occasional series on doctrinal issues today

Article

February 2004
Articles > Biblical/theological

The cutting edge-An occasional series on doctrinal issues today

The late twentieth and early twenty-first century have witnessed the proliferation of churches, some of which have mushroomed overnight into mega ecclesiastical outfits with aggressive marketing policies.Amissionary to India, Donald McGavran, had already formulated the main principles of church growth theory in the 1930s, but it was not until the 1970s that his ideas…

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A-level – and the fall of Byzantium

Historical

February 2004
Articles > Historical

A-level – and the fall of Byzantium

It is often said that our education system is being 'dumbed down'. Achievements are becoming meaningless because standards are being lowered. A-level results are improving year on year, but is it because the exams are getting easier and marking less rigorous? If there is anything in these allegations, should that be a matter of…

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Article

February 2004
Articles > Comment

Comment-Rest-home or race-track?

When the apostle Paul lists the 'fruit of the Spirit' in Galatians 5:22-23, he leaves 'self-control' or 'temperance' until last.The list begins with high-profile things like love, joy and peace. So is this ninth fruit an afterthought? Not at all, for it is basic to true Christian living.The terms 'self-control' and 'temperance' do not…

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Liberalism in Evangelical Garb

Article

February 2004
Articles > Biblical/theological

Liberalism in Evangelical Garb

My purpose is writing is to warn readers of books which appear to be evangelical but are not. Such is the latest work by David Wilkinson entitled The message of Creation (IVP, 2002, ISBN 0-8308-2405-7). There are good parts to the book - it asserts the sovereignty of God and the greatness of Christ…

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Judeophobia

Article

February 2004
Cults and other religions

Judeophobia

A Christian leader once asked me if I 'liked Jews'? I thought it was a strange question to ask someone who is committed to sharing the love of Jesus with Jewish people, and I answered without hesitation, 'Of course I do'. He appeared surprised.'I found them to be the rudest boys in school', he…

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Degree of discretion

Article

February 2004
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Degree of discretion

Last December, Joanna Jepson, a 26-year-old Church of England curate, won the right to a judicial review of a case where a foetus with a cleft palate was aborted late in pregnancy.The judicial review, which will take place this year, will allow her to challenge the decision of West Mercia Police not to prosecute doctors…

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Missionary Spotlight-Myanmar – land of pagodas

Article

February 2004
Burma

Missionary Spotlight-Myanmar – land of pagodas

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is the largest country in mainland South East Asia. Its population is a union comprising many different nationalities, with fifty minority people groups speaking 128 different languages and dialects.   Buddhism   The country is covered with Buddhist pagodas. They are on every mountain and hill, near towns and villages – wherever pious Buddhists built them. The Ministry of Religious Affairs has actively encouraged their construction in every region during the last decade. The British annexed Burma in 1886 during the reign of its last monarch – King Thibaw – who was taken to Calcutta, where he died in 1916. Burma gained...

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Guest Column-Judge not

Article

February 2004
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column-Judge not

Is any part of Scripture more popular or misquoted than these words from Matthew 7:1? They have been adopted as the charter for a permissive, non-judgemental approach to life, an 'anything goes' mentality which never forms, let alone expresses, an unfavourable opinion about anyone or anything. People who otherwise have little time for Jesus…

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Article

February 2004
Burma

Missionary Spotlight-The Union of Myanmar [Burma]

Area:261,218 square miles. Population:47 million. Neighbouring countries:China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India. Environment:Myanmar’s terrain is dominated by a horseshoe of mountains and highlands surrounding central lowlands and the plains of the Irrawaddy River. The long coastline in the west provides many natural harbours. Most of Myanmar lies within the tropics. Life expectancy:55 years. Myanmar has a rampant AIDS problem. Capital:Yangon [Rangoon] (6 million). Other city:Mandalay (1 million). Urbanisation:28%. Ethnic groups:Burmese 58%; indigenous minorities (including Karen, Shan, Chin, Mon, Arakanese, Kachin and Rohingya) 33%; others (including Chinese, Indian, Nepali and Malay) 9%. Languages:Burmese (official); 106 other languages. Literacy:83%. Economy:Myanmar has considerable natural resources, particularly in energy...

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Preaching Christ

Article

February 2004
Articles > Biblical/theological

Preaching Christ

What does it mean to preach Christ?'We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).Last month we asked the question, 'What shall we preach?'. The New…

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Essential things

Article

February 2004
Articles > Biblical/theological

Essential things

It was the godly Richard Baxter who wisely said, 'In essential things unity, in doubtful things liberty, but in all things charity'.Here I want to focus on essential things. And I want to ask why so many Reformed churches and denominations are, generally speaking, failing miserably to focus on the essentials. While I hesitate…

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Missionary Spotlight-Contending for the faith

Article

February 2004
Burma

Missionary Spotlight-Contending for the faith

Adoniram Judson and his wife landed at Yangon in 1813. The first convert was gained in 1819. His name was U Naw and, as he witnessed to his family and others, several more were converted. This tiny foothold was obtained in the face of social and religious hostility. The Burmese were so strongly entrenched in traditional Buddhism that Judson once said, ‘It is easier to take out the tooth of a living lion than convert a Burmese!’   Expansion   Judson and his converts suffered greatly for the gospel. But through their suffering, and diligent work in reaching out to the people, the nation soon...

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Article

February 2004
Burma

Missionary Spotlight-Myanmar highlights

Last summer Joseph Hewitt, a retired UK Grace Baptist pastor, spent nearly three weeks visiting Christians in Myanmar. He and Chris Hughes have listed randomly the highlights of the visit. Speaking at six Bible colleges for time periods ranging from five minutes to over three hours. Also preaching at a Full Gospel Church, speaking at a leaders’ conference, and leading devotions at a youth conference. Three very different cities: Yangon – an ex-colonial city that must at one time have been very pleasant and could be again; Mandalay – an old Buddhist town, dirty and oppressive; Maymyo – a quiet country backwater. Smells – in...

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The glories of Christ

Article

February 2004
Articles > Biblical/theological

The glories of Christ

In this series of articles I want to bring before you some of the glories that belong to the Saviour - who is 'far above all' (Ephesians 4:10), who 'filleth all in all' (Ephesians 1:23); and who is 'all and in all' (Colossians 3:11).For this purpose we must firstly come to the inspired Word…

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‘Straight Talk’-gospel television goes on air

News

February 2004
News

‘Straight Talk’-gospel television goes on air

Readers may recall that in July 2003 Evangelical Times carried a report ('Television, the modern marketplace') on a new initiative for using satellite TV in the UK for biblical evangelistic preaching. The plan was to broadcast a five-minute, twice-weekly, no frills, preacher-to-camera presentation by men of proven faithfulness to the gospel and the courage…

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Thomas Cartwright – the father of Puritanism

Historical

February 2004
Articles > Historical

Thomas Cartwright – the father of Puritanism

Last month we left Thomas Cartwright in Geneva, where Theodore Beza had assumed the mantle of John Calvin. But friends in England regretted his absence, and Cartwright was encouraged to return in 1572.His advice was sought concerning negotiations with Catherine de Medici over Queen Elizabeth's possible marriage to the Duke of Anjou. Cartwright's opinion…

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Francis Schaeffer’s apologetic

Historical

February 2004
Articles > Historical

Francis Schaeffer’s apologetic

Dr Francis Schaeffer's defence of the gospel ('apologetic') is simple and consistent. His approach is perhaps best summarised in the opening words of his book The God who is there: 'Christian apologetics do not start somewhere beyond the stars. They begin with man and what he knows about himself'. Schaeffer, who has been called…

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