Subscribe now

Everything in July 2014 issue

News

July 2014
News

Islamic radicalism

Nations are ‘sleep-walking’ if they believe that radicalism and fundamentalism are things that happen far away from home, Ade Omooba has warned. The co-founder of UK Christian advocacy group Christian Concern said that, ‘Radical Islam is a virus in the atmosphere’ and poses a threat to young men in the UK, just as it…

Read more
A sweet or biblical Jesus?

Article

July 2014
Articles > Comment

A sweet or biblical Jesus?

Do you have a ‘sweet Jesus’ in your heart, but not a ‘biblical Jesus’ in your mind? You need both; one will not do without the other. The biblical Jesus is also the truly sweet Jesus. Where might we find him? One of my favourite places to look for this sweet and biblical Jesus…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Why Christians need to keep hearing the gospel (1)

What is the gospel’s place in our Sunday services? By the term ‘gospel’ I mean evangelistic or gospel preaching. One may ask, ‘Well, what exactly is gospel preaching?’ No doubt there are different views concerning the definition of gospel preaching, but I mean preaching seeking to tell non-Christians of their need of Christ. The…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Personal View: The Christian and fantasy fiction (1)

      How should a Christian think of fantasy fiction? Opinions seem to range from extreme caution to enthusiastic promotion. Of course, when this range of opinions is regarded as a mere matter of taste, very little need be said about it. But sometimes deeper issues either are, or are said to be,…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Dividing the church

Church denominations both sides of the Atlantic are being forced to address the issue of same-sex marriage, with several groups making controversial decisions. According to a report from a senior theologian ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention, members face an issue that, according to one pastor, ‘would not have been imaginable just a few…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Dark economy

The dark side of the economy has brought billions of pounds into the UK, with the nation benefiting from drugs and prostitution. In 2009, these activities brought nearly £10bn a year into the UK, with prostitution boosting Britain’s gross domestic product by £5.3bn, figures have claimed. Citing official data from the Office for National…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

United by faith, divided by war

Britain’s men were faced with a searching choice after 1914: sign up or stand against conscription. Many Christian men believed they were fighting a Just War; others refused to accept that its killing was justified. Earlier this year, BBC journalist and presenter Jeremy Paxman came under fire for calling conscientious objectors — men who…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Twentieth anniversary at Hayes

In 1994, Hayes Town Chapel ladies meeting was started by a few ladies who felt the need and desire to meet on a regular basis for fellowship and Bible study. These meetings started in different members’ homes and, once numbers grew, they were held in the chapel, where they continue to be held 20…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Important Conference

Reformed, Baptist and partnership are concepts not usually combined in today’s Scotland, so it was refreshing to see them come together at the Important Conference (IC) in west Edinburgh on 13 May. Some 50 Scottish pastors and potential leaders enjoyed fellowship in hearing pastors Steven J. Lawson, Barry King and Ali McLachlan. It has…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Churches in turmoil

Church denominations on both sides of the Atlantic are being forced to address the issue of same-sex marriage. According to a report from a senior theologian, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) members face an issue that ‘would not have been imaginable just a few years ago’ — the issue of same-sex relationships. The report from…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Abortion Bill

Despite much debate and pressure from lobby groups, the government passed guidance on abortion that a pro-life organisation has described as ‘weak’ and ‘failing to uphold the law’. Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), criticised the new guidance by the Department of Health. He said the…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Trojan Horse

The so-called Trojan Horse plot, an alleged Muslim conspiracy to Islamise schools in Birmingham, was led by a man who was not only a fundamentalist, but also an Ofsted inspector. According to reports in the Times and Telegraph, Tahir Alam, who had qualified as an Ofsted inspector in 2010 and was a chairman of…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Bible by the Beach

The Bible by the Beach event at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, on England’s south coast, played host to nearly 1000 delegates over the May bank holiday weekend. Dr Liam Goligher, senior minister at Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, US, led three Bible readings around the theme of true humanity. Other main meeting speakers included Ian…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Witchcraft

Growing fears of witchcraft and false accusations of practising magic have spread across Nepal, with women being subjected to ‘horrific’ attacks, a report has found. A 24-page report commissioned by the Forum for Protection of People’s rights, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales,…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Meriam Ibrahim

There is still confusion concerning Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to death for apostasy, as to whether she shall be freed, after immense international pressure. Speaking on behalf of the government in Khartoum, Abdullahi Alzareg told the BBC that the punishment would not be carried out. But,…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Guest column

Truth is what you hit when you’re wrong

I have a number of books on my shelves with ‘truth’ in the title: No place for truth; Scripture and truth; Thy Word is truth; The Word of truth; Truth under Attack. These remind me that the life of a Christian, and especially a Christian minister, is based on truth and dedicated to living…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Sexual violence

Incidents of sexual violence towards young women seem to be escalating across the world. Pray for the safety and protection of all women, Christian or not. A teenage Malaysian girl is reported to have been gang-raped by up to 38 men in an abandoned hut used as a drug haunt. According to reports, the…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Evangelistic

A plea for Sunday evening services

We are living in very dark and critical times. We need answers. The Bible alone contains the answers we need. It tells us why we are the way we are, and what God has done in and through his Son, Jesus Christ, to change us. We need more of the Bible. We need it…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Mass grave

A mass grave in Ireland is set to be excavated after an official complaint was filed from the relative of a missing child from a former Tuam Catholic children’s home. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the bodies of nearly 800 babies and young children are believed to have been interred in…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Providence House

More than 500 people attended Providence House’s 50th anniversary, on Saturday 10 May 2014, including the deputy Mayor and local MP Jane Ellison. People came from almost every corner of England, reconnecting with their association with the iconic Battersea Youth Club. Many had not set foot inside for more than 20 years. There were…

Read more

Historical

July 2014
Articles > Historical

Matthew Henry

June 2014 is the 300th anniversary of Matthew Henry’s death. In this extract from Philip Eveson’s Bitesize Biography, we are reminded that this Puritan, whose Bible commentary has had a profound and lasting impact on many Christians, faced the normal ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of pastoral ministry. Matthew Henry lived at a time when there…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Assisted suicide

The consultation period for a Scottish Bill that could see Assisted Suicide legalised has passed, but the church must still ‘stand firm’, CARE has said. In a statement following the end of the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill consultation in Scotland, the pro-life charity asked Christians to ‘stand firm and take action on issues relating…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

New FCC moderator’s address

If secular leaders show no signs of repentance, Christians should pray for their downfall, Rev. Allan Murray, the new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), has said. In his inaugural address, given in May, Mr Murray claimed that Christians should pray leaders would be brought to repentance, but,…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Who was Adam?

Some people are especially remembered because they are the first to do something. Neil Armstrong’s name cannot be mentioned without thinking of the event for which he is most famous — the first moonwalk! Adam is to be remembered as Adam the first! He was the first in countless different ways, but he is…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Schoolgirl abductions

There has been no sign of the 270 Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted by Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram, despite intense international condemnation. While the search continues, Nigeria has come under increasing pressure from its fellow African nations to crack down on the terrorism, which has been rife in northern Nigeria for several years.…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Scottish Reformed Conference

The 25th annual Scottish Reformed Conference (SRC) took place as usual on the second Saturday of May, in Hamilton College, Hamilton. It was a special day of ministry, fellowship and blessing, not least due to the fact that it was our 25th anniversary year and we were able to consider how the conference has…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Saturday or Sunday?

US-based Christian news agency WorldNetDaily (WND) recently hosted a two-hour, live-streamed debate entitled ‘Should Christians keep the sabbath?’, digging into the issue of how Christians interpret the Fourth Commandment. According to the WND founder and debate moderator, the event was ‘provocative and historic’, as Jim Staley, pastor of Passion for Truth Fellowship in St…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

WEST thanksgiving

Saturday 17 May was a beautifully sunny day and the SaRang Thomas Centre was nearly full for the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST) thanksgiving service. This was led by the principal, Jonathan Stephen. Pastoral and church theologian, Phil Hill, read Acts 20:13-38 and led in prayer. WEST now owns the freehold of the…

Read more

Historical

July 2014
Articles > Historical

Henry Havelock – ‘every inch a soldier and every inch a Christian’ (4)

Havelock’s hopes for army promotion were frequently dashed. But he was convinced that constantly badgering the powers-that-be for promotion was unbecoming. It was not only in his professional career that he had to wrestle. He struggled with personal disaster also. His son, Ettrick, died in infancy in 1834. In 1836 the home in which…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Dangerous disclosures

Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, has fled the sub-continent to take up refuge in Finland, after death-threats imposed on him. According to a BBC report, Mr Edamaruku had been exposing feats of supposed holy men as tricks or sleight of hand. After a recent televised appearance in which he outed many…

Read more
‘Pour out your heart’

Article

July 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘Pour out your heart’

While pastors should be known for their gift of speech in the pulpit on a Sunday, when they explain and apply the Word of God, careful listening skills are a requirement of their pastoral visitation during the week. Any Christian pastor worth his salt will know the meaning of the expression, ‘He poured out…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Thornton Heath

On Sunday 18 May, six men were inducted into the leadership at Thornton Heath Evangelical Church, Surrey, to strengthen the diaconate and eldership and help the church in its mission to the unreached community. Two years since the church welcomed its new pastor, Gordon Bull, and a year after the new premises were opened…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Why is Adam under pressure?

Western culture is being increasingly dominated by ideologies that are either godless or anti-God. The deletion of God leaves a huge problem with regards to origins. Materialists need a different explanation for the origin of matter, life and humanity. Evolution of some kind is the only option for atheists. Over the last 150 years…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Boko Haram

Up to 200 people may have been killed in one week, after suspected Boko Haram militants have launched a wave of attacks near the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. According to survivor reports told to the BBC, in one village the Islamist militants went on a rampage, killing about 45 people. The attackers told…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Reformed conference in Sri Lanka

After an 18 year gap, churches in Sri Lanka that are committed to the historic Reformed faith came together for a Bible conference on 11-15 April. There were 347 people from 12 churches, including 35 ministers and aspiring leaders, meeting for the Grace Fraternal Family and Ministers’ Bible Conferences. The venue was the beautifully…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Why we need reformation now

‘When Paul faced the issue of how the faith was to be continued after his death, he offered two basic proposals in the pastoral epistles: the church needed a form of sound words and it needed a structure’ (Carl Trueman, ‘The evangelical dilemma’; Place for truth website). It may be observed that these two…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Celebrating 50 years of EMF training

Over the last 50 years, the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) has been investing in training Christians for the work of gospel ministry in Europe and, as it subsequently turned out, many other parts of the world too. The 50th anniversary of EMF’s involvement in training was marked at the Open Day of EMF’s School…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Homophobic bullying

Church schools should recognise that homophobic bullying takes place and make provision for tackling it within their anti-bullying strategies, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. Speaking to gay newspaper Pink news, Dr Welby said that Church of England (CofE) guidance on challenging homophobic bullying, called ‘Valuing all God’s children’, was being sent to all…

Read more

Historical

July 2014
Articles > Historical

Dobbie of Malta (1)

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was addressing the House of Commons on the war situation in the Mediterranean. His speech turned to the Governor of Malta: ‘That remarkable man, General Dobbie — a Cromwellian figure at a key point, fighting with his Bible in one hand and his sword in the other’. October this…

Read more

Historical

July 2014
Articles > Historical

A friendly exhortation

Two hundred and fifty years ago (11 July 1764), John Wesley wrote to a Christian in fellowship, but not membership (‘society’ or ‘class’), with the Methodists. His letter remains relevant to all Christians today not in church membership.   Dear Sir, There was one thing when I was with you that gave me pain:…

Read more
Banner of Truth 2014

News

July 2014
News

Banner of Truth 2014

Amid the welter of Christian onferences of recent years, some well established favourites continue to provide a distinctive fare of spiritual enrichment and good fellowship. The Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference in Leicester is one such, and the 2014 conference was no exception, despite being curtailed slightly because the event came just after Easter.…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Cults and other religions

New atheism – new religion

Atheists tend to say their non-belief in God is something that does not need to be defended. Christopher Hitchens has said, ‘I don’t believe in God and I don’t need to justify this, just as I don’t need to give reasons for my non-belief in the tooth fairy’ (God is not great, Atlantic Books;…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Addressing disability

Dealing with disability is the ‘elephant in the church’, and Christians need to deal with it better, Gordon Temple has claimed. The chief executive of charity Torch Trust said, ‘The truth is, many of us just don’t know what to say when we meet a disabled person, particularly when we know that the disability…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Three-person babies

Pro-life and other ethical campaign groups have called on the government to rethink plans to create three-parent babies. In June, a scientific review suggested that an advanced form of IVF, using three donors, would be safe and help prevent deadly disease. Research from the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine claims that 6,500 babies are born…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Abortion and domestic violence

Victims of domestic abuse are increasingly likely to seek abortion, analysis from Kings College, London, has found. Assessing 74 studies from across the globe, the college found that up to 50,000 women in the UK have sought abortion — and there is a strong connection between this and these women being the subjects of…

Read more

News

July 2014
News > Youth Features

Muslims and atheists hear the gospel at Speakers’ Corner

The world famous Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London, attracts thousands of tourists from every country in the world. Once the place for freedom of speech at public executions, this space provides a great opportunity for a team of 80 Christians to preach and witness for the Lord Jesus. Where else can you give a…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

Letter furore

Essex County Council was forced to issue an apology to churches, after it sent a letter that incorrectly demanded churches be licensed to perform same-sex marriages. The council wrote to all churches in the county registered as wedding venues telling them, with underlined and bold lettering, that they must, with ‘immediate effect’, become licensed…

Read more

Article

July 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Resurgent Calvinism – thoughts on the ‘Together for the Gospel’ conference

Supposing you were suddenly to find yourself among 7000 mainly young people, singing, without any band, Reginald Heber’s ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!’, and gathered to hear sermons for three days, you might well wonder where you were and what was happening. My own arrival in that situation was not entirely sudden, for…

Read more

News

July 2014
News

School chaplains

School chaplains are no longer getting adequate support from their local church, putting greater pressure on school resources, a report has found. In a 32-page report, called The public face of God: chaplaincy in Anglican secondary schools and academies in England and Wales, the Church of England (CofE) found that churches are no longer…

Read more
The Beauty and the Glory of the Father

Review

July 2014

The Beauty and the Glory of the Father

The beauty and glory of the Father Edited by Joel Beeke Reformation Heritage Books, 156 pages, £15:10 (hardback) or £6.64 (Kindle) ISBN: 978-1-60178-246-5 Star Rating : 4 stars This is a beautifully produced book of rich devotional content. It contains a series of eleven messages, delivered by nine different speakers at a conference of…

Read more
Be my witnesses

Review

July 2014

Be my witnesses

Be my witnesses Kieran BevilleEP Books, 160 pages, £6.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-926-7Star Rating : 3   A book that encourages us all to engage in evangelism is always to be welcomed, especially as it focuses on what used to be called ‘personal evangelism’, but is now increasingly known as ‘relational evangelism’. The opening chapter is a…

Read more

Review

July 2014

The hitch-hiker’s guide to heaven

The hitch-hiker’s guide to heavenJohn BlanchardEP Books, 304 pages, £10.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-938-0Star rating : 4 Many people today have more of Marvin — the depressive robot created by Douglas Adams — than marvel in them, concerning life. God made man a living being; he made him to live! For the Christian, the prospect of unending…

Read more
This God Our God

Review

July 2014

This God Our God

This God Our God Archibald G Brown Banner of Truth Trust 252, £8.00 ISBN: 978-1-84871-297-3 Star Rating: 4  Archibald Brown was a late nineteenth-century Baptist, whose ministry rivalled that of his mentor C. H. Spurgeon for fruitfulness. Iain Murray’s 2011 biography rescued Brown from undeserved obscurity and, following a previous volume of sermons, the…

Read more

Review

July 2014

Does the Bible require a belief in ‘special creation’?

Does the Bible require a belief in ‘special creation’? J H John Peet Day One Publications 144, £6.00 ISBN: 978-1-84625-413-0 Star Rating: 4 The author himself asks the obvious question: ‘Why another book on this subject?’ (p.7). Dr Peet’s answer is that his purpose is specifically to look at the theological issues. He writes…

Read more

Review

July 2014

Mansoul

Mansoul Ruth BurkeDay One Publications, 128 pages, £10.00ISBN: 978-1-84625-394-2Star Rating : 3 Many readers will be familiar with John Bunyan’s The pilgrim’s progress, an allegorical story depicting the spiritual journey of a Christian. Since the original was written, it has been condensed, simplified and illustrated for younger readers. Likewise, Mansoul is an abridged and…

Read more

Review

July 2014

Christ or Hitler?

Christ or Hitler? Wilhelm BuschEP Books , 336 pages, £10.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-914-4Star Rating : 5 Have you ever wondered how you would respond if you were called to go through persecution; what your priorities would be; whether you would rely on the Lord or follow others in compromise? Wilhelm Busch was faced with all these…

Read more

Review

July 2014

The Lord’s Supper as a means of grace

The Lord’s Supper as a means of grace — more than a memory Richard BarcellosChristian Focus Publications (Mentor)128 pages, £9.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-268-3Star Rating : 3 In a way, the title of this book says it all. Richard Barcellos, a Reformed Baptist, sets out to demonstrate, primarily from Paul, how the Lord’s Supper is a means…

Read more

Review

July 2014

You asked: your questions – God’s answers

You asked: your questions. God’s answers William EdgarChristian Focus Publications, 272 pages, £9.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-143-3Star Rating : 3 In this book, aimed at teenagers, William Edgar sets out to answer serious questions about Christianity. The topics helpfully include ‘Who am I?’, ‘Can we really trust the Bible?’, ‘Is Jesus really God?’, ‘Does God love gay…

Read more

Review

July 2014

Your future ‘other half’

Your future ‘other half’ Rebecca VanDoodewaardChristian Focus Publications, 128 pages, £5.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-298-0Star Rating : 5 ‘It is all very well to fall in love with a “hunk” but before you do, you need to ask yourself … a hunk of what?’ The writer of this book, aimed particularly at young women, seeks to advise…

Read more

Review

July 2014

The Fight of Faith – Lives & Testimonies from the Battlefield

The Fight of Faith – lives & testimonies from the battlefield SASRACompiled and edited by Michael Clayton and Philip BrayPanoplia Publishing, 208 pages, £7.00, ISBN: 978-0-9576089-0-0Star Rating : 4 Composed of 15 separate testimonies and biographical sketches, this anthology focusing on Christian servicemen is an enjoyable read. The diversity of soldiers portrayed is impressive…

Read more

Review

July 2014

Christ Crucified

Christ Crucified —Understanding the Atonement Donald Macleod IVP 255 pages, £10.87 ISBN 978-1-78359-101-5 Star rating: Four stars   There are few more wonderful subjects to study than the atonement and anyone who reads this book is in for a treat. The plan of the work is essentially simple. Donald Macleod begins with three chapters…

Read more