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Everything in July 2015 issue

News

July 2015
News

Liverpool Bible Convention 2015

The annual Liverpool Bible Convention was held from 5-8 May, and was hosted this year by Dovecot Evangelical Church. These evening meetings provide an opportunity for local Christians to share fellowship centred on the ministry of the Word of God. The preachers choose their passages and topics, as the Lord leads, and it is encouraging when one or more themes emerge during the week. This year was no exception, with people commenting afterwards how much they had been blessed by the ministry during the week. The evenings were well attended, with heartfelt singing. On Tuesday evening, Jim Waterworth (Chester) dealt with the presence of God...

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News

July 2015
News

Death clinic

A British father-of-three who feared he would be paralysed by an inoperable tumour has died at the Dignitas centre in Switzerland. Despite not being terminally ill, businessman Jeffrey Spector, 54, of St Annes, Lancashire, died surrounded by friends and family at the death clinic. In a statement, the family said, ‘While we are now in a state of all-consuming grief and miss Jeffrey very much, we also recognise that he is now at peace and away from the fear which surrounded him in the last few weeks of his life. He ended his life with dignity and control which was his overwhelming desire’. Mr Spector...

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Christian Prison Resourcing open day 2015

News

July 2015
News

Christian Prison Resourcing open day 2015

When considering those in prison it can be tempting to think of them as being ‘beyond redemption; and they are, after all, where they belong!’ If that describes your thoughts, then this may be a timely reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work in prisons and the gospel flourishing behind lock and key. The reality of life in prison can bring some men and women, many of whom have come to the lowest and darkest point of their lives, to the wonderful revelation of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now in its fifth year, the annual open day of Christian Prison Resourcing (CPR)...

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News

July 2015
News

Persecution in India

Hindu radicals have been rampaging through Christian areas, destroying churches and religious buildings. Most recently, a gang attacked three churches in Indore, in the Madhya Pradesh state, shattering windows and destroying the interiors of the buildings. On the same night in another part of the state, Hindu radicals threw bricks at a Christian centre for children with disabilities. In a report from Barnabas Fund, one of the centre’s leaders said, ‘Thanks to the Lord’s divine providence, no one was injured and the children were not present at that time’. In one Indore church, vandals broke the PA system and other items inside the building. In...

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News

July 2015
News

Gay pride and UKIP

Political party UKIP has been banned from joining a gay pride parade, due to be held at the end of June, amid concerns for the safety of those taking part. In a report from the South Wales Guardian, organisers at the event in London said they had to ‘wrestle with a difficult issue’, when deciding whether or not to allow a group from the right-wing political party to enter the parade. According to a statement from the organisers, the decision was made to reject UKIP’s application ‘in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit’. They claimed the...

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News

July 2015
News

Church attendance

Declining attendance at the Church of England has accelerated over the past ten years, data from the NatCen Social Research has revealed. According to the figures, the Church of England (CofE) has been in decline for the past 30 years. And, over the past decade, this has sped up considerably, with far fewer people in the country classing themselves as Anglican. The organisation’s British Social Attitudes survey revealed that, although, in 1983, 40 per cent of British adults claimed they were Anglican, this figure had fallen to just 17 per cent in 2014. The number of Anglicans in Britain fell by as many as 4.5 million...

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News

July 2015
News

Hebrew boot camp

Tyndale House, Cambridge, has reinstated its ‘Hebrew boot camp’, hosting several Cuban students for an advanced, intensive visit to study the Word of God in Hebrew. According to a statement from the centre, Tyndale House is an ‘ideal environment’, because it allows students to concentrate fully on Hebrew for about 10 hours a day, over the course of 7-10 weeks. The statement said: ‘This intensive work has shown remarkable results. They are regularly reading four chapters of the Hebrew Old Testament a day and coming to class well prepared to discuss the text’. The six students, who had been part of a 10-strong student group visiting...

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News

July 2015
News > Youth Features

Sunday schools are making a comeback!

On 16 May, shop owners and residents in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, came to the streets to view a historic scene. A Sunday school parade, made up of nearly 250 adults and children from the local area and throughout England, converged on Blackheath. The day’s events began with a service of thanksgiving at 11.30am at Beeches Road Baptist Chapel. Several years ago, the chapel had fallen into disuse, until an outreach Sunday school was started, enabling a church plant to begin. Resilient and fruitful Many today believe the evangelistic Sunday school to be a relic of the past, but it has proven resilient and, even...

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Article

July 2015
Obituaries

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot went to be with the Lord on Monday 15 June after suffering for 10 years with dementia. She was born in Belgium to missionary parents. The family moved to the U.S. when she was just a few months old. She met the man who was to be her husband at Wheaton College while they both studied Classical Greek. Already they both had in mind that they wanted to use their studies to help them translate the New Testament into new languages. They went separately to Ecuador to work with the Quichua Indians and married there in 1953. While working with the Quichua Indians...

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Article

July 2015
Islam

Arab youth seek Christ online

Every evening for many years, short Arabic gospel programmes have been aired over a popular commercial medium wave radio station.  Then, with the advance of technology, hundreds of postal responses were replaced by many more SMS mobile cell phone text messages. But these are now outnumbered by many thousands of interactions over the internet. Internet Interactive websites have effectively complemented the radio efforts for several years. Now the internet is overtaking traditional radio in urban communities. This is especially so among Arab youth, the vast majority of the population contacted. Our media teams have increasingly viewed this development as a golden opportunity to reach more young...

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News

July 2015
News

Croydon united!

The last time Croydon featured in the national press was during the 2011 riots. Since then, some Croydonites are changing London’s largest borough. Resident and co-founder of Croydon Tech City (CTC), Jonny Rose talks with Sheila Marshall about how his work has been helping to heal Croydon’s hurt. CTC is ‘a community of software developers, creatives, venture capitalists and tech startup founders who are committed to making Croydon an attractive home to early-stage technical and digital startups’. SM: How did you become a Christian? JR: I knew that Christ was with me from a very young age. When I was 12, I started to attend my school’s...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Fishing and farming

I have done some fishing — not as much as I would like, but I do plan to do more in years to come. And I’ve done some farming — only in the back yard, yet it is has been a dream of mine. Maybe a plot of land with a trout creek winding through it. One can at least dream! But wait a minute! I am a fisherman and a farmer already. And, biblically speaking, all Christians are. Fishing Jesus said to Peter and Andrew his brother, who were both actual fishermen, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19)....

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News

July 2015
News

Wales Evangelical School of Theology thanksgiving

Saturday 16 May was a full day for staff and students at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST). In the morning there was an Open Day for prospective students. After a hearty lunch, at 2.30pm the end-of-term thanksgiving service was held. This brought along more staff and students, with supporters, friends and relatives of students. The service was led by the principal, Jonathan Stephen. Mike Reeves read Ephesians 3:7-13 and 4:25 – 5:5 and prayed. The principal commented on the happy atmosphere through the year and pleasing spiritual development of the students. He spoke about recent trends in training that had seen the closure...

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News

July 2015
News

Scottish Parliament prayer and politics

A Free Church of Scotland (FCoS) minister from Skye has become the 10th FCoS minister to address Members of the Scottish Parliament. On 2 June, Rev. Donnie MacDonald gave an address at the weekly ‘Time for Reflection’ slot at the Scottish Parliament. Time for Reflection is a brief slot where external speakers from religious and other belief groups have the opportunity to share a message with assembled politicians. Mr MacDonald, minister for Portree FCoS, gave a four-minute address to MSPs gathered for business in the main chamber at Holyrood, and was broadcast live on the Scottish Parliament website. He said, ‘There is not much you can...

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News

July 2015
News

Larne church opening

Larne Evangelical Church in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, celebrated the opening of its new place of worship, on Friday 17 April, with a special service of thanksgiving. Previously, the small fellowship met in the Moyle Hospital for about 10 years. Under God, we sought to establish a work which held to Reformed truths. The church constituted formally last year, adhering to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. When the former Elim church building became available, the church was able to purchase it. It has taken 15 months to transform it into the church’s new home. We are sincerely grateful to all who have contributed, through prayer,...

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News

July 2015
News

Ashers bakery – The great British stand-off

Ashers Baking Company is not just rolling over in its fight to defend itself against the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland. Instead, it is determined to protect freedom of conscience. There is much at stake here. Three days after Judge Isobel Brownlie levied a £500 penalty on Northern Ireland’s Ashers Baking Company for refusing to decorate a cake in favour of gay marriage, the vultures swooped. The Belfast Telegraph’s Sunday life paper sent a reporter to Ashers requesting them to decorate a celebration cake that was an exact replica of the one Ashers refused to produce in 2014 for a pro-gay marriage campaign group. The...

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News

July 2015
News

Online Safety

An independent peer has made a fifth attempt to change the law to improve online safety, bringing an Online Safety Bill to the House of Lords. Tabled by Baroness Howe, the Bill, which had its first reading in the House at the end of May, aims to improve safety for households with children, put more onus on internet service providers (ISPs) and tighten up on websites that stream pornography. Baroness Howe told the House that her Bill ‘made good the failures of the current system by applying to 100 per cent of the market, and thus to 100 per cent of households with children’. The...

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News

July 2015
News

Thriving women

Women who have been set apart by their churches for Christian ministry gathered in Worcestershire in May for a conference called Thrive. Organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), Thrive first took place in 2012 and has now become a yearly event for FIEC, gathering together women working in independent churches. Organised by Elisabeth Smyth, women’s ministry co-ordinator for the FIEC, more than 30 women gathered at Holland House on the banks of the River Avon for this year’s Thrive at the end of May. The three-day conference is designed to refresh women working in ministry both physically and spiritually.  At this year’s conference, George and Ele...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Serving God and multiple sclerosis

Having an active role serving God within the local church or on the mission field is surely the most fulfilling task a Christian can ever be engaged in. Despite the disappointments that Christian service can bring, being involved in building Christ’s kingdom must rate as the most privileged occupation on this earth. When circumstances in your life change, however, such as retirement, ill health, or — as in my case — caring for a loved one, and you are no longer able to do what you once did within God’s kingdom, questions arise as to what it really means to serve the Lord. Experiences and...

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News

July 2015
News

Scotland rejects assisted suicide

A Bill proposing to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland has been defeated at Holyrood by 82 votes to 36. The Bill, which was taken over by Patrick Harvey, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) following the death of proponent Margo McDonald, had its first stage reading in the Scottish Parliament in May.  Under the proposed legislation, people over the age of 16 with terminal or life-shortening illnesses would have been allowed to end their lives with the assistance of another person, known as a licensed facilitator. Many MSPs had voiced strong opposition to the Bill before the debate, while several campaign groups had lobbied hard to...

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News

July 2015
News

Child abuse in churches

Every UK Christian denomination should commission immediate, independent, past case reviews into potential child abuse, the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has said. The call comes after the Methodist Church unveiled the findings of its own independent report, which revealed historic abuse and issued a full and unreserved apology to the survivors of that abuse. Simon Bass, chief executive of CCPAS, called the Methodist Church’s report a ‘powerful demonstration of the commitment the Methodist Church has towards ensuring churches are safer places for children, along with recognising the needs of survivors of abuse’. He said that churches and places of worship of every description cannot move...

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News

July 2015
News

Glasgow FIEC Conference

Six churches from across Glasgow gathered to hear from John Stevens, national director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), during a special meeting in the city at the end of April. In his message, Mr Stevens explained the parallels between the situation facing the church in Corinth and the condition of our secular society today. Afterwards, church representatives took turns to share what God has been doing, as they take the good news of the gospel to their communities. Andy Hunter, FIEC Scotland director, convened the meeting and was excited to hear how God is using the churches in Glasgow. He said, ‘In a...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Abortion and Christian ethics

Every year there is an anti-abortion ‘pro-life’ march in Zurich, mainly supported by Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Liberal Protestants are noticeably absent and even the large buildings of Swiss Reformed churches in the city centre are refused to the marchers, who want a closing indoor rally. In recent years this march has needed police protection, because of violent intimidation (stone-throwing and loud verbal abuse) by a group of left-wing extremists. Such marches have evoked the same responses in Germany and elsewhere. Bleak outlook The signs look bleak for those, especially Christians, opposing abortion. Not only is it practically impossible for midwives whose conscience is against...

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News

July 2015
News

Christian literature

‘Challenges at Home and Overseas’ was the theme of the Christians in Library and Information Services (CLIS) AGM and annual conference. This was held on Saturday 18 April in the YMCA in East Street, Leicester, and proved an informative and enjoyable occasion. Diana Edmonds, head of libraries at Greenwich Leisure, a social enterprise company which currently runs the public library services in the London boroughs of Greenwich and Wandsworth, spoke on the controversial topic of library privatisation and outsourcing. She said that, if it is done well with the full support of staff, library footfall can, and has, increased dramatically. Emmanuel Oladipo, formerly international secretary for Scripture Union, spoke on the...

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News

July 2015
News

Christian student stands firm

A professor in a Florida college who failed his student for refusing to condemn her Christian faith has received full backing from the faculty at Polk State College. In May, Lance Russum gave one student a zero on four separate papers because the 16-year-old did not question her own views or conform to what he had taught her in humanities classes about Marxism, atheism, feminism and homosexuality. According to the Liberty Counsel, a legal firm which filed a complaint on behalf of the student, the girl was failed for not conceding that Jesus is a myth, or accepting that Christianity oppresses women. The law firm...

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News

July 2015
News

Cruelty in Libya

Amnesty International has highlighted the ‘extreme dangers’ facing Christian migrants and refugees in Libya, in the light of the rising threat of violence from armed Islamist groups. Concerned specifically about attacks from Islamic State (IS), the 31-page report from Amnesty, called Libya is full of cruelty, said, ‘Abducted, tortured, unlawfully killed and harassed because of their religion, Christians are left with violence on every side and a dying hope of escape. ‘The rise of armed groups which have pledged allegiance to the IS armed group has further exacerbated risks faced by religious minorities in Libya. Even before the recent summary killings of 51 Copts claimed...

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Historical

July 2015
Articles > Historical

John Hus (1372–1415)

Protestants have generally looked to the Englishman, John Wyclif (1330?–1384), and the Bohemian, John Hus (1372–1415) (spellings vary, e.g. Wycliffe, Huss), as the two most significant reformers before the Reformation. Occasionally it has even been suggested that they are the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3. Hus has been owned by many who are hardly evangelical Protestants. In 1913 Benito Mussolini (or his ghost writer) wrote a biography of Jan Hus, supposedly to arouse ‘a hatred of every form of spiritual and secular tyranny’! Unitarians often use the flaming chalice of the Hussites as one of their symbols, despite Hus’ commitment to the triune God. It...

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News

July 2015
News

Child Care Bill

Measures proposed by the UK government to protect children and vulnerable young people will not go far enough, Christian children’s charity Spurgeons has warned. In a statement, Ross Hendry, chief executive of Spurgeons, called on churches to step up to the challenges raised by proposed changes to the Child Care Bill and to the troubled families component of the Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill. He also asked Christians to work with Spurgeons to care for disadvantaged children and families across the UK. He said, ‘The government is setting out to tackle some deep-seated and complex problems, and that is to be supported and applauded. Too...

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News

July 2015
News

Muslim converts in Britain

Young people from Muslim backgrounds who have left Islam claim that they are a minority within a minority in Britain. A charity called Safe Haven, set up by Christians to help men and women who have left Islam, said many of these young people were living under the shadow of extreme threat from their families and friends. According to one person helped by the charity, ‘If someone found out where I lived, they could burn my house down’. In a statement from Safe Haven, which was launched last year by Christian Concern, founder Andrea Williams said many ex-Muslims blamed the present cultural climate in the...

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Article

July 2015
Moldova

Ministry in Moldova (2)

The following report (begun in ET, June 2015) was sent by Donald J. Morrison, a Free Church (Continuing) evangelist based in Inverness, following a recent 10-day missionary trip to Moldova in Eastern Europe. Nearly four years ago, one large Moldavian family was dealt a tragic blow, when the head of the home passed away, leaving a widowed wife (Ekaterina Giok, a devoted Christian) and eight small children. Their lives together were toppled upside down after Vasilli (48) lost his battle with cancer. His devastating loss brought much anguish and heartache to the family, although they knew that the death of a precious husband and devoted...

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News

July 2015
News

Global same-sex marriage?

In May, voters in the Republic of Ireland came out strongly in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a national referendum. Sixty-two per cent of the population voted in favour of changing the constitution to allow same-sex marriage, with the result being hailed as ‘the will of the people’. Despite the celebrations portrayed on the news, the result did not go down well with the Catholic Church in Rome. According to a BBC report, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said he was ‘very saddened’ by the result, and the vote showed how much the church needed to improve how it preached the...

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News

July 2015
News

Fossil find in Alberta, Canada

Some ‘60-million-year-old’ fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada, by a creationist called Edgar Nernberg. According to BBC reports, Mr Nernberg, who has a long-standing interest in Creation Science, was digging a basement for his home in Calgary, Alberta, when he came across five fish fossils, found in rocks allegedly 60 million years old. Mr Nernberg told reporters that the find was important and extraordinary, but it had not changed his mind about the way the world was made, or shaken his faith in creation. As quoted by the BBC, Mr Nernberg said, ‘When the five fish fossils presented themselves to me in the excavator bucket,...

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News

July 2015
News

Scottish Reformed conference

Is the teaching and example of Jesus seen in our lives and heard in our words? That was one of the main issues raised at this year’s Scottish Reformed Conference (SRC), held on 9 May at Hamilton College. About 500 people of all ages gathered to praise God and hear his Word being expounded by Kevin DeYoung and Steven Curry. One of the main features of the SRC is a commitment to relevant and robust biblical teaching. This was once again in evidence at this year’s conference. Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He...

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News

July 2015
News

Dealing with mental illness in Cameroon

Mental illness still remains a taboo subject in many African countries, a situation that Pioneers UK missionaries are trying to overcome. In the latest newsletter from the mission organisation, Pioneers highlighted the lifestyle of those in Cameroon suffering from mental illnesses and lack of medication. According to one missionary, one woman, called Ita, had been left tied up outside her sister’s house, naked, incontinent and screaming. This was the only way villagers felt they could keep her and their own families safe, since it was widely held that Ita was suffering from possession by evil spirits. However, after a team from Pioneers ran a series of...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Are there apostles today?

This is a vital question, since, in our own day, extraordinary claims are sometimes made and extraordinary practices undertaken on the basis that a contemporary ministry is supposed to be ‘apostolic’. To answer the question, we must first look carefully at the teaching of Scripture, to see what the biblical qualifications of New Testament apostles really were. Authority First, apostleship was sometimes linked to the actual writing of the New Testament books. Peter also says at the start of both of his letters that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ. While John didn’t use the word ‘apostle’, he made it abundantly clear at the...

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Historical

July 2015
Articles > Historical

Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson (1824–1863)

There are many heroes of the faith or soldiers of the cross that we can call to memory, who have made a great impact on us and stood out as examples of faith. When I lived in England, I read about the Reformers and Puritans, whose godly lives were a great encouragement to me. I was raised in the southern United States and there have been many men there too, both theologians and laymen, who are godly examples. Thomas Jonathan Jackson was one such man whom I have greatly admired. While known for his genius, bravery and tenacity in battle, he was also a loving...

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News

July 2015
News

Emmanuel Marlborough – church plant

A new church has started meeting in Marlborough, planted by a group of FIEC churches in north Wiltshire. Marlborough is home to members of Calne Free Church and Freshbrook Church, Swindon, who were commuting a long way for Sunday fellowship. That has all changed since Emmanuel Marlborough began meeting at the end of April. Pastored by Reuben Mann from Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Chippenham, the church plant is hoping to reach not just Marlborough, but rural east Wiltshire. Pastor Mann has been encouraged by all that has happened so far and says, ‘At first just a dozen Christians who live in Marlborough but travelled elsewhere to various churches...

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Article

July 2015
Scientific (including creation)

Flood theology: why does Noah’s Flood matter? (2)

Continued from Flood theology part 1 Noah’s Flood has a pivotal place in the central themes of the Bible. That it was a universal rather than local flood is demonstrated by its central place in the Bible’s storyline. The second coming of Christ involves final judgement, but it is more than this — it is the start of a sin-free world. Similarly, the Flood was a terrible, global judgement, but it was also the start of an era of grace, to ensure sin would not triumph. Abundant grace The period between the Flood and the Second Coming is an era of abundant grace, centred on...

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News

July 2015
News

Plymouth opening – Beacon Park Baptist Church

On Saturday 2 May, nearly 150 people gathered in the former Methodist church building in Peverell Park Road, Plymouth, for the 20th anniversary of the Beacon Park Baptist Church. It was also the occasion of the official re-opening of the building for Christian worship. The preacher was Dr Peter Masters of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. The church at Beacon Park had completed the purchase of the building in mid-January 2015, subsequent to the building’s closure in 2013. This now becomes the permanent home of Beacon Park, which had been meeting in the nearby Montpelier Primary School since its constitution in May 1995. The date was...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ, the olive tree

The olive tree is synonymous with the land of the Bible. The ‘promised land’ is described in Deuteronomy 8:8 as ‘a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey’. The olive harvest was integral to the economy in Bible times. At a basic level, olives provided both food and light: they were a staple of Israel’s diet, and olive oil was the normal fuel for lamps. Olive oil Olive oil was also used medicinally, being employed as a soothing lotion for the skin. And it was used in religious ceremonies: prophets, priests and kings...

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News

July 2015
News

Northern Ireland and trafficking

Paying for sexual services has become a criminal offence in Northern Ireland, under new hardline laws against trafficking. In June, Northern Ireland joined countries such as Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Canada, in making the purchase of sexual services illegal, when its assembly voted in favour of the tough new measures. Lord Morrow, the architect of the new human trafficking laws, held an event for members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) of Northern Ireland, and non-governmental organisations, to mark the implementation of the new criminal offence. Lord Morrow is one of two Democratic Unionist MLAs for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, alongside Arlene Foster, and was made...

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We’re pilgrims

Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

We’re pilgrims

Our gardens are not paradise; our homes are not the Father’s house on high; our comforts are not our heaven; our resting places are not the everlasting rest! We must not rest contented here below. We have not come to that promised land of which God has spoken to us in his covenant. If we were mindful of the place from which we came out, truly we have had many opportunities to return. But we are not mindful of it — our whole desire lies in the opposite direction. Our citizenship rights and civic privileges connect us with a city whose jewelled walls and shining...

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News

July 2015
News

Church of Scotland – gay ministers allowed

The Church of Scotland (CoS) has voted to allow gay clergy to become ministers and to remain in their same-sex civil partnerships. At its latest General Assembly, which was attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the CoS voted in favour of allowing congregations to ordain practising homosexuals in civil partnerships, with 309 delegates in favour and 183 against. This followed a debate among all 45 presbyteries, in which 31 voted in favour. A later debate extended this permission to ministers within same-sex marriages. In a statement, the CoS said it was time for the church to be inclusive and recognise the ‘mixed economy’ of modern...

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The new morality

Article

July 2015
Articles > Comment

The new morality

Recent days have seen the citizens of Ireland decide by popular vote to accept ‘same-sex marriage’. The BBC revelled in the outcome and reported it as yet another endorsement of the West’s new social position. What are the implications for our society? Does this new morality undermine the Bible and its revealed position concerning marriage? The West historically has used the Bible as its baseline for morality, but, on a national, political level, in the UK at least, this is no longer the case. Huge issues arise as to what is morally right today, but the UK’s new phase of subjective moralism is open to...

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News

July 2015
News

Austerity measures

The former Coalition government’s austerity measures and overall economic policy hurt the poor in the UK, research from the Evangelical Alliance (EA) has shown. In a 13-page report called Good news for the poor, part of the EA’s 21st Century Evangelicals series, nearly four out of five evangelicals thought the last government’s economic policy hurt the poor more than the rich. Overall, just 15 per cent of evangelicals said the Coalition’s economic policy worked well to produce a more prosperous future for all, while two-thirds of respondents said welfare reform policies had a negative effect on the sick and disabled. According to the report, there was a...

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News

July 2015
News

Spiritual blessing for Egypt

The church in a remote, rural part of Minya, Egypt, has been experiencing great blessing, even as Islamic State attacks Christians in Egypt and across North Africa.  According to a mission organisation working with people in the area, a small gospel outreach project, launched five years ago in the Minya district, has seen strong growth, in an area where roughly 2.5m people identify themselves as Christian. The mission group was concerned that, although there are many churches in the city centre, the rural areas lack spiritual nurture, and many poor families have no means of reading or hearing the gospel taught systematically and regularly. However,...

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News

July 2015
News

Vicar stands firm

A vicar who refused to baptise an 11-month-old baby, on the basis that his parents were not yet married, has received stern criticism from the family and from media outlets. According to reports, Rev. Tim Hayes, vicar at St John’s in Dunkinfield, Manchester, for the past 21 years, said that this had always been the policy at his church. However, unmarried Heather Lawrence and her partner Jonathan criticised the vicar after he told them he could only offer a blessing service and not a baptism for their son. The couple were cohabiting and had been in a relationship for four years. Quoted in The Daily Mail,...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Guest column

The Lord’s Day and the day of the Lord

We have been exploring the Bible’s teaching on the Sabbath as the special day of rest God has given his people. We have seen how the church has largely forgotten it, in our day, but also why it needs to be rediscovered.  One of the reasons many Christians have abandoned the idea of such a day continuing for the church is, they say, because the idea of a Sabbath day belongs to the Old Testament and is not replicated in the New. Those who disagree would say that it is replicated in the New Testament — and offer significant arguments by way of support. Clearly,...

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News

July 2015
News

Street preachers cleared

Two Christian street preachers have been cleared of all charges after they were arrested in Basildon and Hereford respectively. One preacher, Rob Hughes, had been arrested in Basildon on 4 September last year, after a confrontation with a member of the public, who wrongly accused him of using homophobic and offensive language. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Mr Hughes was arrested by police and held in custody for 11 hours. During this time, he was interviewed, a DNA sample was taken, as well as his finger prints and a mug shot. He was finally released just before midnight, after police said they would not press...

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News

July 2015
News

Prostitution adverts ban

A London peer is seeking to ban prostitution adverts from newspapers and online sites across England and Wales.  A Bill published in June by Lord McColl of Dulwich has proposed legislation that would make it illegal to place adverts for sexual services in local and national newspapers, as well as online.  Speaking after the Bill’s first reading, Lord McColl argued that, because it is illegal in Britain to organise prostitution, it was inconsistent that it is legal to advertise prostitution. He told Parliament: ‘The fact is it is illegal in this country to organise prostitution, yet perfectly legal to advertise it — and this makes no...

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Article

July 2015
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

God-honouring evangelism (2)

Continued from God-honouring evangelism (1) How important it is that the main aim of evangelism is to bring glory and honour to the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ. That aim should be uppermost in our thoughts, whether we are the first link in the chain of seeking to reach a person for the Lord, or the final link. Perhaps it is in the final stage where most mistakes have been made, particularly in the last 200 years. Charles Finney Sadly, one of the chief culprits was an influential American evangelist called Charles Finney (1792–1875). Finney used all kinds of gimmicks and techniques to get...

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Creation ministry in California

Article

July 2015
United States of America

Creation ministry in California

Professor Andy McIntosh of ACM Creation ministries, recently spent several days in the USA. From 8-14 April, he was in California. He writes: This valuable time in California began with a four-day Alpha Omega conference, where creation themes were presented by Andrew Snelling (Answers in Genesis), myself and Randy Gulliuza of Institute of Creation Research. It was a privilege to hear these speakers present their material, as well as take part myself in a range of talks. Meetings were held at the Shashta Bible College and churches in a wide area, reaching down from Redding to Sacramento. Though not large, the seminaries I visited at Shashta...

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Article

July 2015
Europe

European Missionary Fellowship

Thirteen students from nine different countries, studying at the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) School of Biblical Studies, gave ample testimony at its Open Day that the course had helped them to ‘know what they believe and why they believe it’. This confirmed ‘very broadly but profoundly what the objectives of the six-month course are’, said Jörg Müller, the school’s principal. About 150 people gathered in the morning and afternoon of Saturday 9 May to meet the students, listen to their reports and encourage them, as they seek the Lord’s will for future ministry in their home countries. Of the 13 students, three come from the UK,...

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News

July 2015
News

Truro Evangelical Church – induction of Nick Fuller

On 7 March, Nick Fuller was inducted to the pastorate of Truro Evangelical Church, Cornwall. This marked a new chapter in the life of the church, which was originally planted in 1998. It meets in Tregolls Academy School, and the hall was packed on this occasion. It was encouraging that many from evangelical churches around Cornwall and gospel preaching churches within Truro were able to attend. John Rosser, founding pastor of Truro Evangelical Church, led the service, with prayers from Peter Ninnis who was Mr Fuller’s predecessor. John Harris preached from Romans 1, urging Nick Fuller to be faithful to his gospel calling. Mr Harris had been...

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Review

July 2015

Knowing Jesus in the Old Testament?

The purpose of this book is to revisit and challenge the common evangelical understanding that the visible appearances of God in the Old Testament were in fact appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ.  Malone believes this is an assumption built on shaky exegesis and circular reasoning. While in no way denying the Son’s pre-incarnate activity in the world, he sees no compelling reason to identify the Son, as distinct from the Father or Spirit, in Old Testament theophanies. According to Malone, the New Testament teaching is that God is unseen but not inherently unseeable. He points out that the Father and the Spirit are not always...

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Review

July 2015

Independent Church

Some would suggest that the Independent view of the church is the product of ‘don’t know any better’ ignorance or of sheer pragmatism that sits loose to biblical principles. But the key conviction of the authors of this book is that Independency is rooted in Scripture and centred on the gospel as the dynamic of church life and mission.  This work is the product of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches and sets out to advance its vision of the church, but its usefulness should not be limited to churches belonging to that grouping. Contributors define what is meant by Independency, biblically and theologically. They...

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Review

July 2015
Reviews > Book

The Works of William Perkins Vol 1

Here are the works of the ‘Father of Puritanism’ in a lightly modernised, American format. First, we have ‘A digest or harmony of the books of the Old and New Testaments’. Chronological summaries of the main events of Bible history can be helpful. However, Perkins’s version is of limited usefulness. This is partly because of his decision to date everything from the creation, rather than using the familiar BC/AD system. It is partly because he is manifestly wrong in numerous places. It is partly because his reasoning is so opaque as to be completely unintelligible, and, mainly, because it is now four centuries out of...

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Review

July 2015

The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible runs to over 2200 pages. Its dimensions are 9.5x7x2 inches and it weighs over 3 lbs. Although the notes would be useful for queries on the street, it is probably not for open-air preaching! What is the aim? The ‘Welcome’ explains the aim as follows: ‘What you hold in your hands is both the Bible and tools to help you understand the Bible’. This aim of enabling users to read with understanding is met to the extent possible in one manageable volume. What do you get? You will have the Authorised Version in a comfortably readable print, plus the...

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Review

July 2015

Why we pray

William Philip is convinced that ‘we learn most about prayer simply by learning about God’ (p.18). So, rather than providing a ‘how-to’ guide, he concentrates on the glories of God and the gospel, stirring up in believers a greater desire to seek the Lord in prayer. This is the distinctive strength of this book. Its four chapters provide four reasons for prayer. Firstly, ‘we pray because God is a speaking God’, who continues to reach out to man through the gospel, despite his rebellion. We also pray ‘because we are sons of God’. This uplifting chapter dwells on the rich doctrine of adoption, which should...

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Review

July 2015

Revival in Wales

This is a little gem. Don’t be put off by the title’s ‘in Wales’; the principles and lessons drawn here are of universal interest and significance. After a valuable introduction to Emyr Roberts’s life and ministry, by the late R. Geraint Gruffydd, the first chapter examines the nature and importance of revival. For the author, revival is ‘the Spirit of God coming in power … How utterly different from the build-up of personalities, and the accompanying lights and music which we often associate with modern evangelism’ (pp.32-34). Here is a challenge to all those evangelicals to whom the concept of revival is alien to their...

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Review

July 2015

Crazy but true

  Both the title and cover of this book give nothing away as to its contents. Natalie Brand has written on the subject of unity with Jesus in a clear and readable fashion, specifically for women. The author bases her approach on a loose study of Colossians, although other biblical references abound. Throughout the book are reminders that we are rooted in Christ and being built up in him. Chapter one is an introduction to the search that Christian women must pursue in order to be satisfied in all circumstances. The writer wants her readers to catch a vision of King Jesus, ‘to grasp more...

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Review

July 2015
Reviews > Book

The daring mission of William Tyndale

Stephen Lawson is a gifted writer who has a knack of getting to the heart of the matter. This is a fresh look at the life and work of a truly amazing man, rightly called the father of the English Bible. Indeed, Lawson further argues that Tyndale stands as the father of the modern English language. The opening chapter serves as an overview of the life of Tyndale before a more detailed examination is given, particularly of his historic Bible translation. The reader is taken through each step of the work, from Tyndale’s initial inspiration that the ploughboy be able to read the Scriptures, to...

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