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Everything in January 2021 issue

News

January 2021
News > Church news > Events > News in brief

Walk for Zambia

Last September 42 people turned up for a sponsored walk around Bewl Water, a reservoir southwest of Tunbridge Wells. The event was organised by Proclamation Zambia, a ministry training and equipping church leaders through Kitwe Bible College in Zambia. Both before and during the walk, measures were carefully taken to be ‘covid-secure’, such as…

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Review

January 2021
Reviews > Book

So You Want to Be a Street Preacher

This is a short book written by a man with a real heart for taking the gospel out to where the people are. He writes to those who might consider taking up the mantle of open air preaching. Having been involved in street preaching for many years the writer is rightly burdened that a…

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Review

January 2021
Reviews > Book

A Student’s Guide to Anxiety

Teenagers face many fears like social rejection, academic failure, and missing out; and social media can often intensify these fears. Aimed at teenagers, this short book – one of a series of discipleship guides – outlines a Christian response to such fears. In the space of ten chapters, we learn that anxiety reminds us…

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Review

January 2021
Reviews > Book

The Fruitful Home: Creating a gospel culture for family life

As Christians, we long to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6); and in The Fruitful Home, Ann Benton helpfully and practically gives us solid biblical advice on how to go about this intentionally. In a generation where many do not sit down and have a meal together, or are…

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Review

January 2021
Reviews > Book

Being a Pastor: A conversation with Andrew Fuller

In their introduction, the authors express their concern regarding the effect of megachurch pastors and public perception of what makes a good minister. A principle stated at the beginning of the book is that we should learn from the example of godly pastors during the history of the church. Andrew Fuller was a Calvinist…

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News

January 2021
News > Obituaries

David Winch (1934–2020)

‘Show me, Lord, the purpose for which I was born, that I may try to achieve it in the strength that you supply and for your glory!’ These words, written in David’s characteristic hand under the Greek of the text he was expounding, appear in the introductory pages of his commentary on John. He…

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News

January 2021
News > Conferences

Newcastle conference on evangelism

It was a crisis that prompted Westminster Presbyterian Seminary, Newcastle, to host a conference on evangelism this October. Conference speaker Andy Young summed up that crisis: ‘Europe is the only continent in the world where the church is receding.’ With mortality standing at 100%, the challenge remains for Christians to help others spiritually prepare…

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News

January 2021
News > Church news

Rob Childs ordained at Droylsden Independent Church, Manchester

Revd Rob Childs was ordained and inducted to the pastorate of Droylsden Independent Church, Manchester, in October. Droylsden’s former pastor, Revd Ian Densham, led the ordination. Revd Dr Thomas Brand (Director of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches) and Revd Jackie Brown (People’s Hall Evangelical Church, Bridgnorth) also officiated. Ian addressed Rob with seven…

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News

January 2021
News > Church news

Revd Thomas Buchanan ordained in Sutherland

In September Revd Thomas Buchanan was ordained by the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) and inducted to the pastoral charge of the Brora congregation near Golspie in the far North East of Scotland. The event was conducted at Tarbat FCS(C) in Portmahomack. Attendance in person was limited to 50, but many more connected to…

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News

January 2021
News > Church news

Lockdown handover at West Street Evangelical Church

Covid-19 prevented a personal handover at West Street Evangelical Church in 2020, but the harvest thanksgiving service was a perfect opportunity to thank God for his provision of a new pastor. Nigel Croxford and his wife Margaret have retired from the pastorship of West Street after more than eight years serving the Carshalton-based congregation.…

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News

January 2021
News > Conferences

Trinitarian Bible Society holds annual meeting

In September the Trinitarian Bible Society held its 189th AGM. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only a small number were present at the head office in South London. Others joined online, and the Society was greatly encouraged by the large number who viewed the meeting, including those across the world normally unable to travel to…

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News

January 2021
News > Church news

Associate pastor for Welcome Hall Evangelical Church

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

January 2021
News > International

Canada: Euthanasia for woman who couldn’t face Christmas lockdown

An elderly Canadian woman was euthanised to avoid a second Covid-19 lockdown over the Christmas period, according to news reports. Canadian TV station CTV reported that 90-year old Nancy Russell, who was neither chronically ill nor dying, was allowed to die by elective lethal injection to avoid going through another lockdown. While she was…

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News

January 2021
News > International

North Korea: More people are seeing Bibles despite increased persecution

More people in North Korea are seeing Bibles even though persecution has worsened in the country, according to a new report. The findings are published in the ‘White Paper on Religious Freedom in North Korea’ written by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. Twenty years ago, only 16 North Korean defectors claimed…

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News

January 2021
News > International

US: Supreme Court blocks limits on worshipers in New York State

The US Supreme Court has ruled against the imposition of ‘severe restrictions’ on public worship in New York State during the Covid-19 pandemic. Governor Cuomo wanted to limit the number of worshippers to as few as ten people in the worst affected regions of the State. But in a 5-4 majority verdict, the court…

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News

January 2021
News > International

Global: Christians are being targeted ‘in plain sight’

Christian organisations galvanised believers across the UK and elsewhere to pray for persecuted believers around the world. In November last year, the Evangelical Alliance, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors and Release International mobilised people for the 24th International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), as reports of rising persecution showed Christians were…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Police attend London church service held during second Covid lockdown

Police officers attended a Sunday service held at the Angel Church in Islington during the second national lockdown in November. Several police vehicles arrived at the church premises on Chadwell Street in Angel, Islington. The previous Thursday, Premier Christian News had reported that Pastor Regan King had ‘decided to disregard’ lockdown rules and hold…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Two religious discrimination cases launched against Scotland’s largest grant-making trust

The former Chief Executive of Scotland’s largest independent grant-making trust is suing for unfair dismissal and religious discrimination. Stirling Free Church is also taking legal action against The Robertson Trust in a separate but related case. The Robertson Trust awards more than £20 million in grants each year. Former CEO, Kenneth Ferguson, claims he…

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News

January 2021
News > Ethics > Religious liberty > Society

Victory for student midwife banned over pro-life views

A midwifery student who was banned from her hospital placement over her pro-life views has won an apology and settlement from her university. Julia Rynkiewicz was suspended from her placement after a lecturer at the University of Nottingham reported her involvement with the university’s Students for Life society. She was subject to a four-month…

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News

January 2021
News > Ethics

Consultation on allowing DIY abortions in England

The government has launched a public consultation on whether to allow women and girls in England to take abortion pills at home. A medical abortion requires two pills to be taken. Until recently, the first pill for a medical abortion had to be taken in a hospital or clinic, and only the second pill…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Landmark court ruling protects children from dangerous transgender treatments

A landmark ruling in the High Court means children who are confused about their gender are less likely to be harmed by ‘puberty blocker’ drugs. Judges said it was ‘highly unlikely’ children aged 13 and under could ever genuinely consent to hormone blockers, and ‘very doubtful’ 14 and 15-year-olds could do so. The case…

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News

January 2021
News > Religious liberty > Society

Scottish hate crime bill is amended but still ‘dangerously flawed’

Scotland’s much-criticised hate crimes bill – which could have made parts of the Bible illegal – has been amended, but serious concerns remain. Christian and secular groups alike all feared the bill would attack free speech. Concessions have been made by the Scottish government, but free speech campaigners still want more to be done.…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Video defending biblical sexual ethics reported to the police as ‘hate crime’

A Christian who produced a video defending the Bible’s teaching about sexual ethics has been reported to the police for committing a ‘hate crime’. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Ben John of Christian Concern. In it, he questions the Church of England’s controversial set of resources, Living in Love and Faith. But…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Titanic letter by Baptist minister sells at auction

A letter written by a ‘hero’ Baptist minister who died in the 1912 sinking of the Titanic has been auctioned off for £42,000. Revd John Harper penned the two-page note while travelling on the ship, just four days before it struck an iceberg and sank. Harper was later revealed to have acted heroically in…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

Police apology for raiding a church during broadcast

Police have apologised to a church pastor after bursting in on his service broadcast and incorrectly telling him that he was breaking coronavirus regulations. On 20 November, two officers interrupted Revd Daniel Mateola’s service in Milton Keynes, claiming there were too many people supporting the broadcast and that they must leave. Guidelines during the…

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News

January 2021
News > Society

EA report shows church experience during pandemic

A survey conducted by the Evangelical Alliance shows nearly nine in ten church leaders say they have reached new people while holding online services. But the results of the poll also showed that 40 percent of churches were still not meeting together as a church in person every week for primary services. Nearly half…

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News

January 2021
News > Religious liberty

UK restrictions on worship among the strictest in Europe

Worshippers in the UK have experienced some of the most severe restrictions on public worship anywhere in Europe, according to a report. The European Centre for Law and Justice looked at worship restrictions across Europe. The UK – together with Ireland, France, and Belgium – had the most severe rules. The Centre reported, ‘It…

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News

January 2021
News > Religious liberty

MP is ‘appalled’ by how easily we gave up freedoms

Conservative MP Desmond Swayne says he is ‘appalled’ at the ease with which people have allowed their religious freedoms to be ‘dispensed with’ during the Covid-19 lockdown. In a speech in parliament, Swayne said that government-imposed restrictions continue to impede a number of individual freedoms. He expressed horror at the lack of meaningful protest…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The search for assurance

Over the years Christian friends have come to me with all sorts of questions and problems. Of all the personal problems they share with me, perhaps the one that comes up most often is the problem of assurance. And it’s also one of the most difficult problems to address. The problem of assurance What…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Veganuary

I’m not sure when it all began, but a recent trend has been to link months with lifestyle improvements and diseases. Thus we have had Stoptober for some years, an attempt to encourage people to stop smoking each October, and Movember, in which men have been encouraged to grow moustaches and raise money for…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Guest column

Covid-19 and worship

Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ according to the popular proverb. While this is often true, so is the opposite – ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ In response to the Covid-19 pandemic churches cancelled in person worship services. Many have only recently begun to meet in person again. Some have yet to do…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Comment

Living in love and faith? What irony!

A Christian produced a video in which he voiced his opinions against transgenderism. For that, he was reported to – and was investigated by – North Yorkshire Police for a ‘hate crime’. I sincerely hope by the time you’re reading this, the police have dropped the troubling case. But we are hearing of these…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Westminster School of Theology

‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Leaving the Church of England: When going was necessary for growing

In August 2020 a new Anglican network of churches was formed out of St John, Newland in Hull. Within two weeks of its announcement, over 550 folk (including children) signed up to join Christ Church Newland, Christ Church Riverside, and Christ Church Orchard Park. This was the result of two years of prayer and…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cults and other religions

Knowing the times: Issues parents are having to face

Parenting has never been easy – far from it – but I want to make readers aware of various reasons why, in my view as a teacher and a parent, it is getting more difficult. Smartphones When I began teaching in 2007, the first iPhone had only just been released. It was very noticeable…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Covid decisions: a dress rehearsal

Every church leader has a view on lockdown. Many hiring buildings have been spared a potentially divisive decision. Churches with buildings have had to decide whether and how to open. It seems that the way churches have been treated owes more to the powers that be viewing us as irrelevant than deliberate persecution. However,…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

Beginning at the right place

Ephesus was a dreadful place. It was a city full of evil spirits where people used books of magic. In particular, it was in Ephesus that the great goddess Diana was worshipped in the temple built for her. It was also a city in which many listened to the apostle Paul preach. The sick…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What is the state of Christianity and creationism in the UK today?

Core Academy – a creation ministry in the USA – recently asked me to address the question above for an online conference. I decided to do so by interviewing my colleague Dr Stephen Lloyd, who, as well as being a speaker and researcher with Biblical Creation Trust, is also the pastor of Hope Church,…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The positive case for Christian education

In a recent edition of ET, Andrew Rowell wrote an article, ‘Have we lost our vision for Christian education?’ He ended with this: ‘Tragically, our national education system is fast becoming a vast machine for the promotion of liberalism, atheism, agnosticism, and godlessness.’ Nevertheless, Christian education remains a divisive issue, sadly among Christians just…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The well-dressed Christian

Most of us are concerned with our appearance. We like to look as nice as possible, at least around others. But how concerned are we about our dress or appearance in spiritual terms? This question is presented in Scripture. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve felt no shame in their nakedness. However,…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

In the world but unlike the world

If you had no knowledge of Scripture but simply watched popular evangelicalism, you might reasonably infer that the church is under some order to imitate the world as closely as possible. Every popular fad or movement soon has a ‘Christian’ counterpart. Every product logo will eventually be mimicked with a religious slant, silk-screened onto…

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Article

January 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Dealing with criticism

‘Save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me, lest they tear me like a lion, rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver’ (Psalm 7:1-2). How do you react when you are criticised for who you are or what you do? Do you automatically become defensive and start screaming…

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