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Everything in February 2019 issue

Article

February 2019
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Eastern Africa > Mozambique

Mozambique: Visit from the Former Vice Minister of Health

When I arrived in Mozambique back in 1990 the government was still Marxist and aligned with the former Soviet Union. Throughout the 1980s the nation was the poorest country on earth. At the beginning of that decade, only two countries had fewer doctors per capita than Mozambique. So Americans were rare and trained surgeons…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Guest column

Healthy Christianity: Transformed Life and Conduct

In previous articles we have been looking at the importance of balance in the Christian life, following the lead of William Williams, Pantycelyn (1717-91) who wrote a letter at the end of his life in which he said, ‘I have come to see that true religion consists of three parts: first true light respecting…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Evangelistic

Freed, but at a price

Just days before Easter 2018, Redouane Lakdim, a 25-year-old Moroccan criminal, opened fire on passengers in a car in southern France, killing one.  Minutes later he fired on a group of police officers who were jogging near the castle in Carcassonne. He then drove to the town of Trèbes and stormed a supermarket, shooting…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Are churches keeping our children and vulnerable adults safe?

Safeguarding practices have been an important part of churches since the late 1990s, but as society has changed, has the way we safeguard our children changed? Paul and Sue Harrison, who started Christian Safeguarding Services (CSS), are concerned that some churches are ‘stuck in a time warp’ when it comes to this area. ‘As…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘You once were, now you are not’

Practising homosexuals who profess to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are demanding that they should be welcomed as equals in faith into the mainline denominations. They also argue they should not be excluded from enjoying the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as heterosexual believers, including the role of pastoral leadership within the…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Thinking it through: Crying out for justice

For the next twelve months, we have asked Stephen Rees – an experienced pastor – to share some thoughts on various topics. Whilst his column may be edited for reasons of length or style, his words and opinions are his own and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Evangelical Times. What is…

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Article

February 2019
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What is the transgender agenda?

No one can ignore the current demands for ‘transsexual rights’. Both the UK and Scottish governments are considering proposals to make ‘changing sex’ as easy as buying a TV licence. Our instinctive reaction may be to assume that the demand for ‘transsexual (or transgender) rights’ is mainly about protecting a tiny minority of troubled…

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Persecution > Religious liberty > Society

Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children. Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple.…

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Article

February 2019
Comment

We must be on alert to the transgender agenda

You may be tempted to think the transgender ideology has come from nowhere. From relative obscurity, it is now dominating the equalities agenda wherever you care to look: schools, government, media, public services. But the truth of the matter is, the transgender agenda has been simmering away in the background for many years. And…

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Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

How the Bible Can Change Your Life: Answers to the Ten Most Common Questions about the Bible

This book started as a series of sermons preached at Wheaton Chapel in which Pastor Moody aimed to answer questions about the Bible. I appreciated Moody’s aim in addressing these questions. His points were often fresh, illuminating and helpful. One example is his discussion of the relevance of the Bible. He highlights the common…

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Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases

This is an ambitious little book. The eponymous ‘long story’ is the Scriptures. The subtitle describes what Scrivener is attempting: ‘The Bible in 12 phrases’. There are nine pithy chapters covering the Old Testament. Three are given to the New Testament. The implicit aim of this well-known evangelist is to put over the storyline…

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Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

John Newton (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)

Christian Biographies for Young Readers seek to introduce seven-to twelve-year-olds to some important characters from church history. This addition to the series is well researched and documented. The author takes care to set John Newton in his historical setting, explaining events and customs likely to be unfamiliar to modern readers. Illustrations are used on…

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Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

The Pastor’s Soul

On the basis that pastors live and work under considerable pressure, this short and lucid book aims to offer them some of the help they so greatly need. The authors are both Baptist pastors in Louisville, Kentucky. They write with concern for the wellbeing of the pastor. They argue that it is not uncommon…

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News

February 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Reverend Timothy Alford 1933-2018

Rev Timothy Alford went to be with the Lord on 6th December 2018, aged 84. Raised in Colerne, Wiltshire, Timothy believed from an early age under the influence of his family and Colerne Evangelical Church. His pastor, Harry Matthews, brought Timothy to a turning point as he challenged him with Scripture. While still a…

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News

February 2019
News > Church news

Two churches in Coventry merge

Two Coventry churches have merged to further the gospel in a needy area. Described as an ‘enfolding process’, a small church with diminishing resources has been lovingly taken in by a neighbouring congregation to form one new fellowship across two locations. Lower Ford Street Baptist Church, founded in 1857, has been experiencing growth in…

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Review

February 2019
Reviews > Book

The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith

This book aims to provide a simple expression of the core beliefs of the Christian faith. What better way to do this than to work systematically through the Apostles’ Creed? There has been a recent survey in order to answer the question: ‘How much do people in Britain today know about God, the Bible,…

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News

February 2019
News > Church news

New building in Ealing for the International Presbyterian Church

The International Presbyterian Church recently opened a new building in Ealing. The IPC was founded in 1969, having emerged from the work of L’Abri. In 1979, it acquired St Helena Chapel which provided a wonderful home for the next 25 years. In the course of time, plans for redevelopment were needed but were slow…

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News

February 2019
News > Church news > Conferences

Reformation and Revival Fellowship Conference

Every year, in mid-November, about 70 people make the journey to Swanwick in Derbyshire for the annual conference of the Reformation and Revival Fellowship. There were two speakers this year, Geoff Thomas and George Macaskill. Both men were faithful to Scripture and warm in the delivery of the messages that the Lord had laid…

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News

February 2019
News > Church news > Conferences

Westminster Conference 2018

December 4-5 witnessed two days of excellent ministry at Regent Hall, London. Six papers were read on a variety of subjects. Paul Wells opened with a treatment of Amyraldism. He analysed Amyraldism in conflict as well as the nature of the divine decree and election. It was a technical, balanced paper prompting helpful discussion.…

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Family > Society

‘There was no way we could kill our babies’

A mother has explained how she refused to consider abortion when doctors told her that her triplets were not developing as expected. Katie Johnson and her husband Patrick were told at a twelve-week scan that their babies, Oscar, Aurelia and Oliver, had life-threatening growth problems. Doctors advised Katie to abort one or two of…

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Ealing censorship zone to be reviewed by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal a High Court decision that upheld a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) around an abortion facility in the London Borough of Ealing. The Ealing PSPO, which took effect in April last year, imposed a censorship zone that criminalised a wide range of conduct, including prayer,…

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Abortion rate highest in 10 years, Down’s abortions up 50%

Revised abortion statistics published by the Department of Health (DoH) show that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest in ten years. The DoH revealed that in 2017 more than 197,000 abortions were carried out, the highest number since 2008. The statistics also revealed a large increase…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Scottish teachers advised to break law by ‘outdated’ Named Person advice

The Scottish Government has again come under fire for its controversial Named Person scheme, and Education Minister John Swinney has been advised to drop it altogether. The No To Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign says teachers are being encouraged to break the law by ‘outdated’ guidance on sharing pupils’ information. The group wrote to the…

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News

February 2019
News > Persecution

Jeremy Hunt calls for review into global persecution of Christians

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has acknowledged the ‘dramatic rise in violence’ against Christians globally, and launched an independent review to investigate. An estimated 215 million Christians faced discrimination and violence last year, and an average of 250 were killed for their faith each month. Mr Hunt says Britain ‘can and must do more’ to…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Professor says Wales smacking consultation ignored research

An academic who contributed to the Welsh Government’s consultation on criminalising parents who smack their children says his research has been misquoted and ignored. Professor Robert Larzelere called on politicians not to introduce a smacking ban in defiance of the ‘relevant evidence’. He said: ‘The consultation document also failed to summarise all of the…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

NHS staff told using ‘he’ or ‘she’ could offend transgender people

NHS staff in Lothian have been told to refer to patients as ‘they’ to avoid offending transgender people. Managers have been offered training courses to show them how ‘gender neutral’ language can be ‘normalised’ in the health service. NHS Lothian is running courses for staff in conjunction with the Scottish Trans Alliance and LGBT…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Gym under fire for asking man to leave woman’s changing area

A gym has been criticised after it asked a man, who self-identifies as a woman, to leave the women’s changing area. Female customers told staff at PureGym that they felt ‘uncomfortable’ getting changed in the same room as the man. The transgender customer rejected PureGym’s offer of an alternative, gender neutral changing area. The…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

£1m lottery grants given to transgender lobby groups

Lottery grants totalling about £1millon have been awarded to two lobbying groups to push transgender campaign issues. On the face of it, the grants appear to break the rules about lottery grants not being given to support political campaigning. The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) was set to award £500,000 to Mermaids, a transgender charity.…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Mother threatened by social workers after she raised transgender concerns

A mum who raised concerns that her daughter, 14, was being encouraged to change her gender has been threatened by social services. The 45-year-old mother has been told that her daughter could be placed under the care of social workers. It came after the mother lodged complaints that her daughter was being ‘encouraged’ to…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Gender-confused schoolgirls sent breast binders by trans group

A publicly-funded transgender group has been sending breast binders to schoolgirls as young as thirteen and hiding the practice from parents, a newspaper investigation has revealed. Trans organisation Morf were found to be sending the binders to schoolgirls in unmarked packages after a Mail on Sunday journalist posed as a 13-year-old girl. Critics have…

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > International

Netherlands: Dementia patient euthanised despite saying she ‘didn’t want to die’

A doctor has been charged with unlawfully ending a patient’s life in the first case of its kind since euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002. The nursing home doctor, who remains anonymous, administered a lethal injection to a 74-year-old dementia patient despite the fact that her will was ‘unclear and contradictory’. Prosecutors…

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News

February 2019
News > International

Germany: Court upholds removal of children from home-school family

The German state acted within Convention law in removing children from a home-schooling family, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The Wunderlich family are considering a potential appeal to the Grand Chamber of the court. In August 2013, more than 30 police officers and social workers stormed the home of the Wunderlich…

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News

February 2019
News > International

Greece: Court rules against the forced application of Sharia law

The European Court of Human Rights ruled against Greece in a case involving the forced application of Islamic Sharia law in an inheritance dispute. The case centred on a Muslim Greek man’s will in which he bequeathed all he owned to his wife. But it was deemed invalid after it was challenged by his…

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News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

China: Police given quotas for arrests of Christians

The religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter is reporting that police stations in the major port city of Dalian (a population of 6.6 million) in northeast China are being evaluated based on the number of Christians they arrest. A police officer from Dalian, the second-largest city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told…

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News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

Iran: More than 100 Christians arrested amidst Govt crackdown

More than 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in just one week and ordered to cut all contact with religious groups and house churches. They were detained by Iranian authorities, questioned on their involvement in Christian activities, and told to expect a call from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Christian charity Open Doors UK,…

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News

February 2019
News > International

Vietnam: Napalm girl testifies, ‘Those bombs led me to Christ’

In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War, a picture of a young girl shocked the world. She had torn her burning clothes from her skin, and was screaming in agony as the napalm continued to burn into her flesh. But Kim Phuc Phan Thi survived the napalm attack and has now explained…

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News

February 2019
News > International

US: Christian teacher fired for not using preferred pronouns

A Christian schoolteacher has been fired from his position at West Point High School, in the US state of Virginia, after he refused to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Peter Vlaming, a French teacher, said that using male pronouns for a female student identifying as ‘male’ violated his conscience. Despite offering to use the…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Schoolchildren told all genders have periods

New guidance encourages primary school teachers to tell children that ‘all genders’ can have periods. The guidance has been approved by Brighton and Hove City Council which, in a 2016 survey, gave schoolchildren 25 ‘gender options’ to choose from. Critics have said this latest move is ‘deliberately misleading children’. The schools’ guidance states, ‘Trans…

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Warning over government’s Sunday school safeguarding consultation

Warning bells have been sounded over the government’s plans to introduce a ‘voluntary’ safeguarding code of conduct for out of school settings like Sunday schools and church youth groups. Concerns are being raised that the Department of Education is hinting at regulation and the consultation has prompted fears that new controls could be foisted…

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News

February 2019
News > International

US remains polarised after mid-term elections

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, the nation, and indeed the world was stunned to see such a monumental political upset as Trump won against Hillary Clinton in 2016. The election baffled pundits and populace alike as Trump won the electoral vote whilst losing the popular vote to Clinton. Despite…

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