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Everything in January 2012 issue

Tony Bickley’s testimony (2)

Article

January 2012
Articles > Biblical/theological

Tony Bickley’s testimony (2)

Tony Bickley’s testimony (2) Having come to faith in Jesus Christ, believing on him in my heart (see December 2011 ET), I was enabled, along with my wife, to confess Christ with my mouth, at a Billy Graham rally in Birmingham. That day, 4 July 1984, was significant in more than one way. For millions of Americans, 4 July represents independence from a former colonial power. For us, it meant deliverance from a far more fearful tyranny. It was the greatest day of my life!     There is no better day for a man than when he becomes a Christian. And, from our human perspective,...

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Pressing on

Article

January 2012
Articles > Guest column

Pressing on

Guest Column      PRESSING ON Have you ever been ‘apprehended’ by the strong arm of the law? Thankfully, that has never been my experience, though we have all witnessed it happen to others, at least on TV. But, the fact that you are reading these words suggests you have been — or perhaps are about to be — ‘apprehended’ by the stronger arm of grace, in the person of Jesus Christ.     The apostle Paul, who wrote the letter to the Philippians, knew what it was to be in the strong yet gracious grip of Jesus’ hand. As he looks back over his life, he is...

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WEST dedication

News

January 2012
News

WEST dedication

WEST dedication ‘Be very careful to love the Lord your God’ was Rev. Brian Edwards’ text, from Joshua 23:11, preached on at WEST’s dedication service on Saturday 24 September.     His first application was to the students. What could be more important to remember in an institution dedicated to the instruction of future Christian leaders?     It was a warning to guard against coldness and emptiness and to keep close to everything that promotes love for God. The first and great commandment requires passionate obedience to God. Who else can command love?     We must watch out for distractions. Is my heart fixed on him?...

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News

January 2012
News

Pastor for Parkstone

Pastor for Parkstone On Saturday 8 October, Simon Patterson was inducted to the pastorate at Parkstone Free Evangelical Church in Poole, Dorset.     The church, a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, recently celebrated its 78th year in Poole, and had been praying and seeking a pastor for a number of years.    Mr Patterson, a graduate of Wales’s WEST college, answered the call, along with his wife Kirsty and daughter Orla. They are a young family, which the church had asked the Lord to provide — and their prayers were duly answered.     The induction was led by chairman Geoff Lock, church elder,...

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Glory and joy

News

January 2012
News

Glory and joy

Glory and joy ‘God’s Glory, Our Joy’ conference was held at Emmaus Church Centre in Warrington, on loan to us from the Orford church. The facilities are superb and we have to say ‘thank you’ to the ladies from Chorlton Evangelical Church for looking after us throughout the day.    This year the theme was ‘Building biblical churches for the 21st century’. The conference began on Friday afternoon with a seminar for church leaders, led by Andrew Swanson.     Mr Swanson has been blessed with more than 40 years of service and all those who attended were greatly challenged and appreciated his honesty.    The evening service,...

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News

January 2012
News

Faithfulness

Faithfulness Christian and secular organisations are throwing their weight behind a campaign called Faithfulness Matters.    The campaign, a joint effort involving such groups as think-tank Theos, the Evangelical Alliance, the Jubilee Centre and Restored — which seeks to end violence against women — aims to prevent people making money from breaking up relationships.    Faithfulness Matters has already challenged companies who run websites that specifically encourage people who are married or in committed relationships to have affairs.    In the campaign statement, it said, ‘We believe this is not legitimate business for responsible companies to be involved in and we want them to withdraw from the partnerships...

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News

January 2012
News

Barnabas victory

Barnabas victory Barnabas Fund has welcomed a response from the UK Charity Commission (UKCC) that cleared the Christian advocacy group of complaints that it is ‘divisive’.    According to a statement from Barnabas Fund, the UKCC received a complaint after a lay reader in the Church of England took exception to an article in the Sunday Times on 7 August, which spoke about Barnabas Fund’s Operation Nehemiah booklet, Slippery slope.    The booklet spoke in detail about the growing Islamisation of Britain, to which the lay reader took exception, writing to the UKCC asking whether Barnabas Fund should retain charitable status when it was ‘divisive’.    According to...

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News

January 2012
News

False healings

False healings A Sky News investigation has discovered that at least six people have died in Britain after being told that they had been healed of HIV by a Charismatic church.    The news agency sent three undercover reporters into the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which is based in Southwark, south London, pretending to be HIV-positive. The church told them they could be cured of the HIV demon and were told to stop taking their medication.     There is also evidence this has been happening across the UK, in sister-churches in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.    According to the Sky News reporters, the healing...

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A new year’s resolution from the fall of Babylon

Article

January 2012
Articles > Comment

A new year’s resolution from the fall of Babylon

‘Babylon’ in the Bible is a symbol of the apostate community with false religion at its heart. Priesthood and ceremonies were not add-ons to Chaldean society, but permeated it. Medieval society replicated this pagan alliance, except that the priesthood and ceremonies had a Christian veneer. Such a union is still found in many states today and Revelation 18, often entitled ‘The fall of Babylon’, has a very modern ring. How does God view Babylon? The angel from heaven cries, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every...

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Article

January 2012
Obituaries

David Rushworth-Smith

David Rushworth-Smith Rev. David Rushworth-Smith died peacefully at home on 8 November, aged 84, following nine months of illness with multiple myeloma.     David, together with his wife, Doreen, was pastor of several churches, including Braughing and Puckeridge Chapels in Hertfordshire, Westbury Avenue Baptist Church in London N17, and Crich and Milford Chapels in Derbyshire.     David was also involved in extensive Christian literature work, both at home and overseas.

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News

January 2012
News

Amish attacks

Amish attacks Seven men have been charged with religious hate-crime in the US state of Ohio following a number of hair-cutting attacks in the Amish community.    According to the US Department of Justice, Amish men and women have had their beards and hair cut in a spate of assaults. The attacks have been blamed on a ‘breakaway group’ in the community, with Amish setting upon Amish, according to the BBC.    Perhaps ironically, the named leader of the group is called Samuel Mullet, 66. Three of his sons are among those detained, prosecutors said.    It is alleged that they forcibly restrained multiple Amish men and cut...

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Historical

January 2012
Articles > Historical

Welsh Calvinistic Methodism – a denomination and a declaration

Statue of Daniel Rowland at Llangeitho, Ceredigion (Roger Kidd) / CC BY-SA 2.0   Welsh Calvinistic Methodism — a denomination and a declaration It was an occasion that passed largely unnoticed outside Wales, but 2011 marked the anniversary of an event of great significance for the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists. Two hundred years ago, they took the decisive step of ordaining their own ministers for the very first time. In so doing, they established a separate denomination independent of the Church of England, and they created what was to become a remarkably powerful force in the religious, social and cultural life of Wales. Welsh The story...

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News

January 2012
News

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia A series of incident reports leaked to advocacy groups has revealed the Saudi authorities are targeting citizens — some as young as 13 — with live ammunition and arrest.    According to non-governmental organisation the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Saudi security forces are engaged in a systematic campaign targeting youngsters on motorcycles with arbitrary arrests and shooting at them using live rounds.     In one leaked incident report, 13-year-old Saleh Mehdi Muhammad Marrar was placed in a detention centre in Al-Qadeeh, having sustained two bullet wounds to his left thigh and one bullet wound to his right foot.    He and several others, including a...

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News

January 2012
News

Female succession

Female succession Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the beginning of the end of male primogeniture in relation to the Crown.    In October, the Commonwealth countries agreed to change the rules of royal succession, meaning that women are now counted as being in line for the throne of England. It means any potential daughter of Prince William and Katherine, if she is born first, may become queen one day.    While gender equality was hailed as a good thing, the Commonwealth also overturned the ruling that Catholics were not allowed to sit on the throne.    After centuries of rule from Rome, the Reformation brought about the...

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Joseph Hart (1712-1768)

Historical

January 2012
Articles > Historical

Joseph Hart (1712-1768)

Joseph Hart (1712-1768) Joseph Hart was born in London 300 years ago. He became a pastor and hymn-writer, his most notable hymns being ‘Come ye sinners, poor and wretched’, ‘A Man there is, a real Man’, and ‘How good is the God we adore’. Having parents who were Calvinistic Independents, ‘I imbibed’, says Hart, ‘the sound doctrines of the gospel from my infancy; nor was I without touches of heart, checks of conscience, and meltings of affections, by the secret striving of God’s Spirit with me while very young; but the impressions were not deep, nor the influences lasting’. He was educated in the classics,...

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News

January 2012
News

Abortion mistake

Abortion mistake A healthy 32-week-old foetus was aborted ‘by mistake’ in a tragic mix up at an Australian hospital.    According to the Herald Sun newspaper, the mother, who was expecting twin boys, was told by doctors that one of the babies had a serious congenital heart defect. She decided to have him aborted, despite the child being only a few weeks away from birth.    However, surgeons accidentally terminated the healthy twin and, after an emergency Caesarean section operation, the sick twin also died.    Her decision to abort the unhealthy baby resulted in the scandalous death of two babies, who were, it seems, weeks over the...

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News

January 2012
News

Gay marriage

Gay marriage The Government plans to issue its consultation on redefining marriage to create same-sex marriage later this year.        The move is another nail in the coffin for marriage, politically speaking, and follows on from the votes held early December in the House of Lords over registering civil partnerships in churches.    Baroness O’Cathain tabled a motion to reject the regulations because she claimed they failed to fulfil the Government’s promise to protect religious liberty.    According to Christian Concern, the scheme is intended to be ‘voluntary’, although critics of the move believe what is being portrayed as ‘optional’ for churches will quickly become an expectation...

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No prayer – no power – no fruit

Article

January 2012
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

No prayer – no power – no fruit

No prayer – no power – no fruit We see in Acts 4:23-31, after Pentecost’s initial blessing, that the church came under intense persecution and the spread of the gospel was seriously threatened. The church’s immediate response was to call out to the sovereign Lord in urgent, passionate prayer that he would intervene and the gospel thrive again.    The question we must face is, why aren’t we praying like that, as many of our forefathers prayed? And what lessons can we learn from the prayer life of the early church in Acts 4:23-31?    Concern Others share my concern. Vaughan Roberts says, ‘We have almost stopped...

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Recognition at Haslemere

News

January 2012
News

Recognition at Haslemere

Recognition at Haslemere Hope Baptist Church, Haslemere, gave public thanks to God, on 8 October, that after nearly twelve pastor-less years the Lord has given them a pastor, Thomas Yates. The church and many visitors rejoiced in God’s goodness.    Charles Sleeman led the service, opening with an expression of thanksgiving for letters of encouragement the church had received from friends unable to be present.     Prayer and the hymn ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ name’ followed, and Geoff Marshall read the Word of God. Mr Sleeman then outlined the history of the call to the pastorate.     Mr Yates was previously an elder at...

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Serious Christians

Article

January 2012
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Serious Christians

Serious Christians During the 1970s when our church was experiencing a period of rich blessing, with frequent conversions and rapid growth, several other churches in town grew jealous and rumours about us began to spread. It was being said that our growth was due to us being sheep stealers. One of our elders had a great answer to this: he said we were not sheep stealers, we just grew grass!    When we would not join with others in ecumenical evangelism it was said we did not believe in evangelism. This, in spite of the fact that each year we published and distributed door to door...

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Chester outreach

News

January 2012
News

Chester outreach

Chester outreach Chester City Mission has formed a new outreach venture in a second-hand Christian bookshop.    Its aim is to have mission doors open each day of the week, to allow another point of contact and follow up to street evangelism that we do in the city. We are located in the middle of Chester, behind the market, by the main bus station on Hunter Street.     All the books on sale have been donated. The money from this will go into buying gospels, tracts and other books that we will be giving out free to spread the gospel.     There will be tea and...

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Zimbabwe Partnership Trust

News

January 2012
News

Zimbabwe Partnership Trust

Zimbabwe Partnership Trust In the last decade the people of Zimbabwe have been staggering beneath a yoke of despair. Unemployment statistics are now at close to 90 per cent. The population has faced poverty, successive droughts, and economic disaster.     In July 2008, hyperinflation resulted in the total collapse of the Zimbabwean currency. These conditions have been aggravated by a largely out of control AIDS pandemic, which has left an estimated one in four children without their parents.     A chaotic and violent land reform programme has left the once thriving agricultural sector bankrupt and demoralised. Sadly, food now has to be imported into the...

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The great ship Titanic

Article

January 2012
Evangelistic

The great ship Titanic

The great ship Titanic Oh they built the ship Titanic, to sail the ocean blue; And they thought they had a ship that the water would n’er leak through But the Lord’s almighty hand, knew that ship would never stand. It was sad when that great ship went down. One of the greatest tragedies in modern history is the story of the sinking of the ship Titanic, which sailed from England in April 1912 with 2,200 people aboard. This luxury liner was billed as one of the safest ships in the world, but the people who boarded her on that fateful voyage little knew the...

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God at work in Saudi Arabia

Article

January 2012
Saudi Arabia

God at work in Saudi Arabia

God at work in Saudi Arabia ‘Saudi women to be allowed to vote for the first time’; ‘Saudi woman sentenced to ten lashes for driving is later pardoned by the king’. Saudi Arabia can generate headlines like none other. With the Koran as its constitution, and as keeper of the two holiest sites in Islam, Saudi Arabia has sought to restrict the spread of Christianity. Yet, reports are coming in that God is at work in this desert kingdom of 26 million people. Church The church in Saudi Arabia has largely been confined to foreigners. Unlike other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia does...

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News

January 2012
News

Business as mission

Business as mission The US Centre for Faith & Global Education (CFGE) has announced it will launch a ‘business as mission’ (BAM) training project for Christian university students in the Middle East and other selected countries around the world.    At a time of global recession and when every government acknowledges the need to support small enterprises, the CFGE’s aim is to help Christians use economic development as a mission tool for developing countries.    The project will involve developing an introductory seminar on the basic principles and practices of BAM, which will be delivered to Christian business students through partnerships with student ministries, and in co-operation...

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The apple of my eye

Article

January 2012
Articles > Biblical/theological

The apple of my eye

The apple of my eye The expression ‘You are the apple of my eye’ has entered popular poetry and song. The term is used to describe someone very dear and special to us. Think, for instance, of a couple on their wedding day, making their marriage vows. There are millions of women in the world, but out of them all, this one woman is uniquely special to this one man. He has chosen just her to be his special, life-long companion, and has pledged marital faithfulness to her alone. She is ‘the apple of his eye’.    Ancient pedigree The expression has an ancient pedigree. It...

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The big interview – Robert Musgrave

Article

January 2012
Interviews

The big interview – Robert Musgrave

The big interview Since the 1950s, Providence House (formerly Providence Chapel) has served families of Battersea in London through its youth work. Robert Musgrave joined Providence House on his gap year 38 years ago and is still there. Sheila Marshall caught up with him before he received an MBE, which he was nominated for by a former club member. SM How does Providence House (PH) approach youth work? RM When I came here, everyone apart from a few specialists was a Christian. PH was established through the network of our founder, Elizabeth Braund. Volunteers largely came from churches outside Battersea and were often culturally out...

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News

January 2012
News

Greek to me

Greek to me Tyndale House has made 1370 ancient texts available for free download, to help students of New Testament Greek and Latin.    According to a statement, the Perseus collection of Greek and Latin texts, most with translations, are now available for download together with superb software, free of charge.    For example, the role of women and household codes in Timothy are easy to compare with Aristotle’s writings to help students understand the Bible in context. You don’t need to know any Greek or Latin to use the Perseus collection.

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Party witness

News

January 2012
News

Party witness

Party witness Each year, the UK’s main political parties hold their annual conferences in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Over the past few years, a small number of Christians have held a Christian witness outside these events.     The pattern of approach has usually been to offer evangelistic literature to passers-by, conduct open-air preaching, and seek to engage people in conversation about their eternal souls. Appropriate banners and boards with Scripture texts have normally been on display too.    This year we were able to bear witness outside both the Labour and Conservative conferences. The first was in Liverpool at the Labour Party. This was a two-day witness.  ...

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Mark time – The Book (4 CD set)

Article

January 2012
DVD

Mark time – The Book (4 CD set)

Mark time — The Book (4 CD set) Gerard Chrispin Day One Publications, 176 pages, £15.00, ISBN: 978-1-84625-284-6 When Rico Tice, author of the Christianity Explored programme which is based on Mark’s Gospel, says that from now on this is the first commentary he will reach for, you know it will be good. Your view is reinforced when you realise that Gerard Chrispin is the author. He is a good and clear Bible teacher. This is an innovative and creative concept: a simple commentary on Mark, with well explained studies and study questions for each of the 52 sessions that focus on application. All the...

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Pilgrim Tabernacle

News

January 2012
News

Pilgrim Tabernacle

Pilgrim Tabernacle     The Pilgrim Tabernacle’s 24th church and pastor’s anniversary service was held on Saturday 10 September in Wood Green, North London.    It was attended by more than 70 people from many ethnic backgrounds. The preacher, Rev. Maurice Roberts from Inverness, expressed his emotion at seeing so many believers representing many languages and cultures — a foretaste of heaven.    He movingly expounded the Messianic Psalm 45, pointing out man’s four states: his innocence (Adam and Eve), sinfulness (Fall), state of grace (only in Christ) and glory (after death).     The most glorious and perfect person of Christ was revealed to us graphically. He was the...

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Through a lens, darkly

News

January 2012
News

Through a lens, darkly

Through a lens, darkly Media intrusion into celebrities’ lives has escalated, precipitated by the development of new technology. But how far is ‘too far’? The Leveson Inquiry has heard from at least 28 public figures who claim investigative journalism has gone way beyond the bounds of decency and bordered on the criminal. Will press laws now be tightened to the point of censorship?    The inquiry was promised in July 2011, when the News of the World (NotW) scandal broke and Prime Minister David Cameron pledged an investigation into invasive press ‘techniques’.    Lord Justice Leveson opened the hearings on Monday 14 November 2011, saying, ‘The press...

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Memories of Duncan Campbell

Historical

January 2012
Articles > Historical

Memories of Duncan Campbell

Memories of Duncan Campbell The name Duncan Campbell is always associated with the remarkable revival that occurred in the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland, from 1949 to 1952. Those truly were glorious and wonderful days, when the community was saturated with the presence and power of God. There are scores of amazing stories that you can read for yourself in the books that are available.    Many people were saved through the ministry of Duncan Campbell — not only during the revival, but also during the years beforehand and those that followed. Duncan was an evangelist. He preached and people were saved...

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EMW (South Wales) day

News

January 2012
News

EMW (South Wales) day

EMW (South Wales) day 150 people gathered on the first Saturday in October for the annual South Wales Evangelical Movement of Wales day. There were preaching services and seminars, with young and old coming together for fellowship and good ministry.     The venue was Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport. The two main speakers were Mike Mellor from Bournemouth and Chris Rees from Narberth, Pembrokeshire. There was a good mix of people present, from all over South Wales.     Mr Mellor preached at the opening session, appealing from Acts 1 that we go out with the gospel in the Holy Spirit’s enabling and power. He spoke with...

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Russian EP conference

News

January 2012
News

Russian EP conference

Russian EP conference The 12th annual Evangelical Press Russian-language conference was held in Belarus on 3-4 November 2011.     It was a joy to return to Belarus for the first time since 2001. About 50 delegates attended, drawn mainly from Belarus, but also some from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.     Nearly all the addresses related to Russian-language books that EP is selling in the Russian world and beyond. In Russian, ‘EP’ is short for ‘Gospel’ and ‘Reformation’. Pastors Georgi and Slava Viazovski picked up on these themes in their addresses.     Georgi spoke on the true nature of the gospel of grace and the gift...

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News

January 2012
News

Churchless Afghanistan

Churchless Afghanistan The US state department has reported that there are no Christian churches or schools in Afghanistan.    According to a report from Mission network news (MNN), the US state department report on religious freedom indicates there is no Christian church open to the public in Afghanistan and there are no Christian schools.     After nearly a decade of war and occupation in Afghanistan, the Christian influence has been quashed, the report suggested.    Quoted in MNN, Todd Nettleton, spokesman for Christian organisation Voice of the Martyrs, said, ‘Consider whether the church is a building or is God’s people. It is possible that the last church...

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Bible and science

News

January 2012
News

Bible and science

Bible and science Roughly 250 people attended ‘The Bible, science and society — today!’ conference that took place at the Derby Assembly Rooms on Saturday 29 October 2011.    In this 400th anniversary year of the King James Bible, the event was organised by Castlefields Church, Derby, to be a help to Christians of all ages and an opportunity to reach out with the gospel.    Dr Andy McIntosh, professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory at the University of Leeds, led the first two sessions under the headings of ‘Design, intelligence and the Word of God’ and ‘Fossils, bones and the Bible’.    These were followed by an...

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The apostle Paul’s great aim

Article

January 2012
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The apostle Paul’s great aim

The apostle Paul’s great aim ‘Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ’ (Colossians 1:28). Herein was the grand purpose and passion that motivated Paul’s apostolic life. The driving force behind all he did, wrote and taught, and the way he lived, was this single-minded ambition to make Jesus Christ known among the nations.     He was consumed with the desire to preach ‘Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2). His whole post-conversion life was poured out as a fragrant offering of love, obedience, suffering and service to his Saviour (2 Timothy...

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News

January 2012
News

Population policy

Population policy A senior UK academic has called for an ‘active population policy’ to be set in place in Britain, after official figures indicated the UK’s population would grow to 73.2 million until 2035.    Dr Thomas Renstrom, senior lecturer in economics at Durham University Business School, pointed to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that present a population boom in the UK.    Hot on the heels of global surveys that stated the world’s population is set to explode to nine billion within the next 50 years, the ONS survey indicates a growth here of 4.9 million by 2020, taking the populace up to...

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Club to worship centre

News

January 2012
News

Club to worship centre

Club to worship centre On Tuesday 11 October, the Presbyterian Reformed Church had an open evening in its new venue in Frederick Street, Stockton-on-Tees.    It followed three years of purchase formalities, design discussions, renovations and decoration. What was a gymnasium is now a centre for the worship of God, in a residential area at the north end of the town.    The speaker was Keith Bullock of the Open-Air Mission, who took as his subject the personal changes during Paul’s ministry at Philippi (Acts 16).     He spoke of the tender-hearted Lydia, who was already devout and met for prayer but needed her heart opening to the...

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News

January 2012
News

Fair Brits

Fair Brits The UK has more consistent Fairtrade customers than any other developed nation, according to a global survey from the charitable organisation.     Despite the recession, the survey showed public support for Fairtrade goods was still on the rise worldwide, with shoppers increasingly expecting businesses to be more accountable and fair in dealing with producers in developing countries.     But support for the Fairtrade proposition was holding up best in the UK, despite the difficult economic times. Some 50 per cent of UK consumers say they purchase Fairtrade products regularly, at least once a month.     Sales of Fairtrade products soared by 40 per...

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News

January 2012
News

Unrealistic

Open letter The London Theological Seminary (LTS) has written an open letter to Damian Green, Conservative MP for Ashford and immigration minister, appealing for a rethink about new even tighter regulations for the ‘educational oversight’ of visa students.     The Government’s intention is to ensure that the UK’s educational system is not abused to allow illegal immigration of ‘students’ by the back door, but the costly, time-consuming regulatory processes could have a significant effect on smaller colleges such as LTS.    In his letter, LTS principal Robert Strivens said, ‘The threat posed to colleges such as ours, by the new requirement to obtain “educational oversight”, is...

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Christianity or ‘i-anity’?

Article

January 2012
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Christianity or ‘i-anity’?

Christianity or ‘i-anity’? The apostle Paul was not in doubt about what he should preach. He put it very clearly: ‘I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2). It’s obvious that Paul was a preacher of Christianity. The word ‘Christianity’ has Christ in it, and Paul preached Christ. Many preachers these days cannot echo the words of Paul. They are not preachers of Christ, and if we take Christ out of Christianity, we have ‘i-anity’.     Isn’t it interesting that ‘i-anity’ begins with ‘i’? Much of what we call Christianity these days has very little...

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Life at home in South Sudan

Article

January 2012
Sudan

Life at home in South Sudan

World Mission Life at home in South Sudan I realise how far I have journeyed to be able to join together the words ‘at home’ and ‘in Sudan’. I remember when we arrived five years ago. I was in our aracuba, the temporary grass shelter we lived in as we constructed a hut to dwell in for the next four years.     I was pregnant and sitting on a small stool, washing cloth diapers in a rationed amount of water. It was Sunday morning and I was doing this wash out of necessity, because Samuel, two years old, had been having diarrhoea through the night....

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News

January 2012
News

The way to San Jose

The way to San Jose People around the world must be told there is no international right to abortion, according to the creators of the San Jose Articles.    The San Jose Articles, formed in March 2011 and launched in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 26 October, by Anna Záborská MEP and Alojz Peterle MEP, aim to counter the false belief, perpetuated by influential people, that the UN holds abortion to be a human right.    The articles, prepared by a group of 31 experts in international law, public health, science, medicine and government, demonstrate that the unborn child is protected in human rights instruments, and...

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David Obbard: 1922-2011

Article

January 2012
Obituaries

David Obbard: 1922-2011

David Obbard: 1922-2011 David Obbard passed quietly from this world on Saturday morning, 1 October 2011, at the age of 89.    He was born at Bullingstone Farm, Speldhurst, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent on 7 July 1922, the youngest son of a smallholder and farmer. He moved with his family to Cherry Gardens Farm, Groombridge, in East Sussex, at the age of just three.    He spent nearly the whole of his adult life on the farm where he was brought up, and which he shared with his farming parents and family.    Those bald facts hide a lifetime of service to family, farming, and especially to...

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The hymns of Charles Wesley

Historical

January 2012
Articles > Historical

The hymns of Charles Wesley

The hymns of Charles Wesley The Charles Wesley hymns that we find in our current hymnbooks and other sources are so popular, especially when set to rousing tunes, that it is hard to understand why so few are in current use. There does appear to be some misunderstanding among producers of modern songbooks. It is thought that, unless hymns are in modern idiom, they will not appeal to young people.     Tunes This may be true of hymns in which the words lack fire, especially when set to dirgy tunes, but Wesley hymns are a great exception. Many young people are surprised when they enter...

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Gospel preaching

Article

January 2012
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Gospel preaching

Gospel preaching Preaching the gospel faithfully should be the number one concern of all serious Christians and churches, and especially of those set apart as ministers of the gospel. I want to call on all such to proclaim a full-blooded gospel message and to use a biblical methodology in outreach. That way our efforts will be owned by the Holy Spirit to the conversion of souls.     Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16, ‘For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!’ Consider then the...

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Review

January 2012

What to look for in a pastor

What to look for in a pastor Brian Biedebach Day One Publications 210, £0.00 ISBN: 978-1-84625-2686 Star Rating: This book comes with warm commendations from, among others, Wayne Mack and John MacArthur. It is easy to understand why, for it deals helpfully with an important subject rarely addressed, namely how a church should proceed in seeking a pastor. This is an area where churches often find themselves at a loss or pursue a course that ends in bewilderment and tears. The clear and practical advice offered here, then, will no doubt be much appreciated. The author recommends that attention should be paid to the potential...

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January 2012

Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals

Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals Brian Croft & Phil A. Newton Day One 106 pages, £5 ISBN number: 978-1-84625-266-2 Star rating: 4   The conduct of funerals is a duty that few ministers relish.  While the funeral of one who was clearly a believer can be a blessed occasion, others can pose a considerable challenge.  Yet, sensitively handled, they all can be a tremendous opportunity for the gospel.  This short book sets out to show how, and it achieves its aim very well.  In four short chapters – entitled: Plan, Prepare, Preach and Perform – the authors cover a wide range of issues, from providing pastoral care...

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January 2012

John Knox and the Reformation

John Knox and the Reformation D Lloyd-Jones & I Murray Banner of Truth Trust 132, £5.50 ISBN: 978-1-84871-114-3 Star Rating: 2014 will mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Knox. Has the culture of any nation been shaped by one man quite as much as Scotland’s has by John Knox? Her educational attainments, her commitment to democratic principles and above all her spiritual heritage, all bear testimony to this remarkable individual. And yet, at the same time, have any people sought to distance themselves from their spiritual founder quite as much as the Scots have done? We really ought to know more about...

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January 2012

John MacArthur – Servant of the Word and Flock

John MacArthur – Servant of the Word and Flock Iain H. Murray Banner of Truth Trust 250, £14.50 ISBN: 978-1-84871-112-9 Star Rating: 0 The author calls this book ‘little more than a “sketch”’ and adds, ‘It is not the time for a full biography while a person’s life is still in progress.’ While the latter statement is true, the former is certainly not – at least in terms of interest and spiritual value. It often happens that after a major biography has been published someone later writes a briefer, more focussed volume, bringing out the salient facts and principles which can tend to be obscured...

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January 2012

John Stott – A portrait by his friends

John Stott – A portrait by his friends Ed Chris Wright IVP 224, £0.00 ISBN: 978-1-84474-516-6 Star Rating: This is a delightful book; as the blurb simply says: ‘Thirty five of John’s friends open their hearts and share memories of a unique man and a truly special friend. Many brush strokes, one portrait’. Published before his death, this is a fitting tribute to a man who has fought the good fight and finished the race. His life touched most of us. It is fascinating to see the man’s character gradually emerge. He had a great sense of humour and at Rugby school was known as...

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January 2012

Everyday Church – mission by being good neighbours

Everyday Church – mission by being good neighbours Tim Chester & Steve Timmis IVP 200, £9.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-520-3 Star Rating: Tim Chester and Steve Timmis appear to be carving out a popular brand of the church. However, their vision for ‘gospel communities’ amounts to a radical reshaping of traditional beliefs about the church. This latest printing moves beyond Total Church (2007) by presenting a myriad of more developed proposals for evangelism to be carried out by ‘missional churches’ (10, 51). Everyday Church has seven chapters, and the Epistle of 1 Peter forms something of a spinal column throughout. It is not intended to be a...

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January 2012

Mark Time – The Book (4 CD set)

Mark Time – The Book (4 CD set) Gerard Chrispin Day One Publications 176, £15.00 ISBN: 978-1-84625-284-6 Star Rating: undecided: good content, unhelpful format When Rico Tice, author of the Christianity Explored programme which is based on Mark’s Gospel, says that from now on this is the first commentary he will reach for, you know it will be good.  Your view is reinforced when you realise that Gerard Chrispin is the author.  He is such a good and clear Bible teacher.   This is a hugely innovative and creative concept.   A simple commentary on Mark, with well explained studies and study questions for each of the 52...

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