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Everything in February 2021 issue

Article

February 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

How Christians come to believe in revival

This article is about revival, so I ought to explain how I am using the word. By ‘revival’ I mean a sovereign act of God in which he pours out his Holy Spirit with the result that people are awed by his being, his attributes, and his works. Christians are awakened from their lethargy,…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Life in a goldfish bowl

The following is an excerpt from the book, ‘The Last Valley’, written by Graham Heaps and published by Evangelical Press. The book is an honest, graphic, and affectionately told account of the closing year of the life of Graham’s wife, Sue, dying of cancer. A review of the book is published in this edition…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘Hands, Face, Space’ – for how long?

Let’s imagine we could jump into a time machine and fast-forward to, say, Christmas 2045. Here are two scenarios we could envisage. Spot the differences! Scenario 1 – Seven-year-old girl looking at photos from the summer of 2019 says ‘Mum, I don’t believe it! Why are all these people sitting together and not wearing…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The new normal, God with us

‘We’ll soon be back to normal!’ So the politicians keep telling us, thanks to the Covid-19 vaccine. But what is normal? I think the politicians’ hope is that by this time next year, social distancing, face masks, and ubiquitous hand sanitisers will be a thing of the past. Hopefully by Christmas 2021, we shall…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > General

Ravi Zacharias: A parable from the dead

Evangelicalism received crushing confirmation recently that allegations against Ravi Zacharias have proven true. Ravi, who died in May, was a world-renowned apologist for Christianity. But his outward influence and popularity disguised a deep wickedness. Graphic as it is, it needs to be said. In his death Ravi has been accused by several women who…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Christian medics speak out on transgender ideology

Medical professionals have warned about the damage transgender ideology is causing UK children in a recent video. In it, doctors and scientists give ‘a scientific and compassionate response’ to the transgender agenda. Copies have been sent to schools and MPs. Although the producers, Truth in Science, and the contributors are Christians, the arguments are…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

I fear God, and I’m afraid of God

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not only that, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the Christian life. The Bible makes it clear that to love God, to honour God, to obey God, we must fear God. But ‘fear’ is a word with many dimensions, many…

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Backlash from the US Capitol riot may hit UK evangelicals

Article

February 2021
Articles > Comment

Backlash from the US Capitol riot may hit UK evangelicals

The attack on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., last month was an outrage, and a sad day for democracy across the western world. President Trump must bear his share of responsibility for raising the temperature of the crowd, just as those on the left must bear their share of the responsibility for firing…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Guest column

Why creeds are biblical, part one

A striking and yet often ignored fact is that the Reformation and Puritan eras produced over 40 confessions of faith. Men like John Calvin, John Knox, and John Owen saw the writing (and confessing!) of creeds and confessions as essential to the recovery of gospel truth and the building of Christ’s kingdom. Contrast this…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Burnout and the minister

Have you heard of the phrase ‘moral injury’? Probably not. It is more likely you have if you are American because moral injury is a medical term used in the United States for what we have long called burnout. This occurs when someone becomes chronically exhausted and forms highly negative views about themselves and…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Apocrypha: those mysterious extra books

How well do you know the Apocrypha? The what? The Apocrypha. The word means the ‘hidden’ works. And it’s a collection of writings that you’ll find in some Bibles, usually placed between the Old Testament and the New Testament. They were written (with one exception) in the 400 years after the Old Testament had…

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News

February 2021
News > Politics

Christian MP appointed as new religious liberty envoy

Christian MP Fiona Bruce, the member for Congleton and vice-chair of the all-party group for international freedom of religion or belief, has become the UK’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief. The appointment, made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the end of last year, is an important one for the UK…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Allegations against Ravi Zacharias prove true

An investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct committed by the late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias suggests the accusations are true. The organisation he founded, Ravi Zacharias Ministries International (RZIM), took the unusual step of issuing a statement after receiving an interim report from the independent investigators. The statement said, ‘In August 2020, allegations of…

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News

February 2021
News > Education

Parents fight Welsh government over compulsory sex education in schools

Welsh parents and supporters have lost the first step of their fight against the Welsh government’s proposals to prohibit them from taking their children out of state-school sex education classes. In a heated debate in the Welsh Parliament, during which Christian Senedd Member Darren Millar put up a robust defence of parents’ rights, members…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Scottish church leaders tell Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Lift the ban on worship’

Hundreds of Scottish church leaders have written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her to lift the ban on public Sunday worship, warning the ban ‘may be unlawful’. At the time this edition of ET went to press, Scotland was the only country in the UK to criminalise church attendance under Covid-19 restrictions. Some…

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News

February 2021
News > Religious liberty

Local councils in England accused of ‘pressuring’ churches to close

Several local councils in England wrote to churches last month urging them to close during the lockdown, even though the law allows them to remain open. When the lockdown in England was announced, the Prime Minister made it clear that people could leave their homes for ‘communal worship’ at a church. But a letter…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Poll suggests young people are increasingly likely to seek God

An opinion poll has found that those in their late teens and early twenties, known as ‘Generation Z’, are more likely to believe in God than millennials in their late twenties and thirties. The ease at which young people can access information about faith online is seen as a key reason for the trend.…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Church in Wales considers introducing same-sex marriages

The Church in Wales is considering introducing same-sex marriage blessings in its services, after Bishops proposed radical changes to the Book of Common Prayer. At the end of last year, the Bench of Bishops made a presentation to its governing body, claiming, ‘We believe same-sex relationships can be understood in a radically different way,…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Teenager speaks out against police and prosecutors over free speech

A teenage girl who is challenging guidance on ‘hate incidents’ has spoken out on the need to protect freedom of speech. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the 14-year-old, known as ‘Miss B’, said the current rules were too stringent. According to College of Policing rules, when someone alleges a hate crime…

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News

February 2021
News > Ethics > Society

BBC criticised for suicide messaging on puberty blockers

Concerns have been raised about an article on the BBC News website which suggested teenagers may take their own lives if they can’t get access to transgender treatments. A recent ruling in the High Court decided that younger teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to choose for themselves to take life-altering puberty blockers. But the BBC…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

India: Christians celebrate return to their homes

Christian villagers in Chhattisgarh, India, have celebrated being able to go home after months of enforced exile. In September 2020, the group of 16 families had to flee their homes after a series of physical attacks, with local women reporting that a violent mob of 500 turned up at their doors, beating them and…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Austria: Court calls for legalisation of assisted dying

Austria has become the latest country where lawmakers have called for assisted suicide to become legal. In December, the Vienna Constitutional Court ruled that the country was violating fundamental rights in keeping assisted suicide illegal and ordered the government to lift the ban in 2021. The decision came as a result of a class…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

US: Chinese exiled pastor hounded out of his home

Bob Fu, a renowned campaigner for Christian freedom in China, has received death threats and been hounded out of his home in Texas, USA. According to China Aid, Mr Fu and his family had been ‘traumatised’ by bomb threats and protests, which continued for weeks outside his home. He has promised to continue with…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

Release International reports on persecution trends for the next year

Release International has published a report looking ahead to persecution trends in 2021. The report highlights the countries where Christians are likely to face the most hostility. In Africa, the organisation highlights the nations of Nigeria, Kenya, and Eritrea. The report says, ‘Some 300 evangelical Christians remain detained without trial inside repressive Eritrea where…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Australia: Churches could be banned from teaching biblical sexual ethics

The Australian state of Victoria is seeking to ban churches from teaching worshippers to follow the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics. Under the proposals, a religious leader could be sent to prison for encouraging someone with feelings of same-sex attraction to ‘live a celibate life’. Neil Foster, an Australian Associate Professor of Law, has…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Nigeria: Urgent need for prayer as persecution escalates

Nigerian Christians are living in constant fear as attacks have escalated against them since 2009. According to a 13-page dossier compiled by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, headquartered in eastern Nigeria, more than 2,200 Nigerian Christians were killed because of their religion in 2020, making the total death count…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Norway: Parents lose European Court appeal over children’s removal

Christian parents who had their five children removed by the Child Welfare Services in Norway have had their case dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights. Ruth and Marius Bodnariu claimed that the Norwegian state had infringed their rights and discriminated against them because of their Pentecostal beliefs. But judges at the European…

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News

February 2021
News > Conferences

Young believers told, ‘don’t fear the world’

In September around 60 socially-distanced people gathered at Welcome Hall Evangelical Church (WHEC) in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, for the induction of Gordon Robbins as Associate Pastor. Pastor Jeremy Brooks led the service, which was also broadcast online. He preached from Mark 10, emphasising how ministry is all about Christ rather than us. Gordon is married…

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News

February 2021
News > Mission

Soldiering on: SASRA Scripture Readers and Covid-19

Despite pandemic restrictions, SASRA’s Scripture Readers are at their posts, pointing the young men and women of our Armed Forces to the Lord Jesus Christ. They have had to adapt to minister effectively while still complying with social distancing. Both smartphone apps and social media channels have allowed them to provide Bible studies, online…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Dr David Landrum leaves Evangelical Alliance

After 10 years as director of advocacy, Dr David Landrum has left the Evangelical Alliance to take up a similar role at Open Doors UK & Ireland. During his time at the EA, Dr Landrum was instrumental in establishing the charity’s Public Leadership programme across the UK and equipping Christians with knowledge of the…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

North East conference addresses depression and dementia issues

Last December a series of talks were delivered at All Saints Presbyterian Church, Newcastle – part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales. The event was part of the School of Theology, a monthly event open to the public. Alan Thomas, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University and elder at…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Western Europe > France

France: the mission field next door

Western Europe was where the Reformation began. Schoolchildren in France are taught this, but it remains absent from the English National Curriculum. Moreover, finding a church where the Reformed doctrines of grace are taught is increasingly difficult for many believers. Lausanne Free Church (LFC) in Switzerland (which is English-speaking and Reformed) welcomes anglophones who…

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Article

February 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

All Fulham boys matter

People are far from equal. Socially, academically, economically, mentally, physically. Rightly, politicians and educators try to address this, and in doing so ‘group’ people together. Pupil Premium (disadvantaged children who receive additional school funding), BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), SEN (Special Educational Needs) and so on. Pressure groups and organisations take up the…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Andy Pitt inducted in Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport

The members of Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport, give thanks and praise to God for calling Revd Andy Pitt to the pastorate of the church. Andy had both preached and led prayer meetings on several occasions both before and during recent lockdowns. These occurred in the church building and via Zoom and YouTube. A special…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Paul Cook (1932–2020)

Paul Cook, who died on 9 November 2020, belonged to the generation of ministers who fought hard for biblical truth at a time when there were few solidly evangelical churches in England and liberal theology dominated the mainline denominations. For many years Paul attended the Westminster Fraternal as well as the annual Westminster Conference,…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Dr Jay E. Adams (1929–2020)

Paul Dr Jay E. Adams, the ‘father of Christian counselling’ has died aged 91. Adams came to prominence after publication of his ground-breaking book Competent to Counsel in 1970. He championed the cause of biblical sufficiency and spoke out against the encroachment of secular psychology into the counselling rooms of Christian leaders. Born in…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Dr Alan Cairns (1940–2020)

Free Presbyterian minister and seminary professor Dr Alan Cairns has died aged 80 after contracting coronavirus last October. The fifth of six children, Alan was raised by Christian parents in a working-class home in Belfast. An interest in music led the young Ulsterman to get involved in local Salvation Army meetings, where at the…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

The Last Valley: A story of God’s grace in terminal illness

In touching detail, Graham Heaps reflects on the terminal illness and subsequent death of his late wife Sue in 2015. It is by no means an enjoyable read, but it bears splendid testimony to the goodness and grace of God in so many ways. We’re told briefly how this ‘incurable romantic’ (p.9) fell head…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

Out of the Black Shadows

In this superbly written and compelling book, Anne Coomes artfully tells the story of Stephen Lungu. It is an explosive story of God’s power at work in the darkest of situations. I challenge you to read it and remain unconvinced of the reality of the power of God. The reader is introduced to the…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

To Seek and to Save: Daily reflections on the road to the cross

I enjoyed and benefited from this little book, which is both beautifully written and challenging. It is a series of meditations for Lent on events in Luke’s Gospel, from Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi, to the resurrection of Jesus. The meditations are divided into six weekly sections, each opening with an appropriate hymn and…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

David’s Son and David’s Lord: Christology for Christ’s people

How much do Christians study Christ himself? Christology is a greatly neglected subject for the Lord’s people. Perhaps we’ve shied away from it, having heard discussions about the difference between Greek words like homoousios and homoiousios that made our eyes glaze over. And yet, as the introduction to this book states, ‘Christology is the…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

Reformation Reboot: The need of the 21st century church

Many would agree that the state of much of evangelicalism is a cause of mourning and seeking the Lord. Paul Yeulett shares this view. His book is based on sermons preached at Grove Chapel in 2017, and it speaks in an easy-to-read way of the importance of the Reformation and the need for God…

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Review

February 2021
Reviews > Book

Hallelujah! Exploring and enjoying the Old Testament benedictions

This delightful devotional study takes us on a walk through the Old Testament benedictions, from the earliest days when men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Historical insights are given to help readers understand better what prompted such outbursts of praise. By the time we have worked through from Moses to…

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