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Everything in July 2020 issue

News

July 2020
News > Church news > News in brief

Commendation for SASRA evangelist

A SASRA Scripture Reader based at MOD Lyneham, Wiltshire has received an official commendation for his Christian outreach work among servicemen and women. Army Scripture Reader Tiaan de Klerk, originally from South Africa but moving to England in 1999, was awarded the citation by Colonel ERB Heal, Commandant of the Defence School of Electronic…

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Review

July 2020
Reviews > Book

Clash of Visions: Populism and Elitism in New Testament Theology (Reformed Exegetical Doctrinal Studies series)

Robert Yarbrough wrote Clash of Visions in support of what he calls a ‘populist’ approach to the understanding of the New Testament, over against the ‘elitist’ approach which dominates much academic study of the Bible today. The elite, on Yarbrough’s definition, approach the Bible like any other book: they do not accept that it is divinely…

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Review

July 2020
Reviews > Book

Final Word: Why We Need the Bible

If a book can lead you to The Book, then surely it is a book worth reading! Final Word seeks to do just that, teaching the reader about why we need the Bible, and therefore leading them back to the Word of God itself. In a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with different…

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Review

July 2020
Reviews > Book

Worship or Entertainment?

Have you ever given serious thought to the principles behind what you sing? This is the challenge which Peter Masters issues in this revised and condensed edition of his well-known title, Worship in the Melting Pot. Written at a popular level, the book encourages its readers to move beyond proof texts to a more thorough…

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Review

July 2020
Reviews > Book

The Misted World of Genesis One

There have been so many books on the creation chapters of Genesis that there have to be compelling reasons to recommend another addition. When I started to read Michael Drake’s book, I must admit that, from my knowledge of the author’s background and writings, I expected it to be relevant and interesting, but I…

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News

July 2020
News > People > Obituaries

Bill Barkley (1929–2020)

William (‘Bill’) Wallace Barkley, 90, was promoted to glory on 5 April 2020, dying peacefully at home after battling cancer for several months. Bill was born in Cloughogue near Ballymena, NI. He was one of seven brothers, including an identical twin, Tom. Both were members of Ballymena Baptist Church. Bill studied at London Bible…

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News

July 2020
News > People > Obituaries

Ravi Zacharias (1946–2020)

Prominent apologist, author, and speaker Ravi Zacharias has died aged 74 following a brief battle with cancer. An online memorial service in his honour was watched by over 70,000 people and eulogies were given by figures including US Vice President Mike Pence. He described Ravi as ‘the greatest Christian apologist of this century; the…

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News

July 2020
News > Church news

New Timothy Dudley-Smith hymn for SASRA

Acclaimed hymn-writer Timothy Dudley-Smith OBE has written a new composition inspired by the work of the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association. Timothy is former Bishop of Thetford and former President of the Evangelical Alliance. The 93-year-old is no stranger to hymns, having penned over 200, including ‘Tell out my soul’, ‘Name of all…

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News

July 2020
News > Induction

500 attend Bedford induction

A great number gathered at Providence Baptist Chapel, Bedford, in March for the induction service of Oliver Wyncoll. Some travelled from as far afield as Liverpool, Southampton, and Devon. A large contingent came from Oliver’s former church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Pastor Jonathan Northern (Baldock Baptist Church) chaired the proceedings. The service opened…

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News

July 2020
News > Conferences

‘Pursuing peace’ at Dewsbury conference

In March, 120 men and women met at Dewsbury Evangelical Church for a lively, interesting conference on ‘Pursuing peace in all your relationships’. The speaker was Dr Robert D. Jones, professor of biblical counselling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Many attendees hold positions of responsibility in evangelical churches across northern England.…

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News

July 2020
News > International

China: 48 churches shut down

Chinese officials have shut down at least 48 state-registered churches and meeting venues in Yugan county, China, between 18 and 30 April. According to religious liberty and human rights publication Bitter Winter, religious items have been stripped from churches in Yugan county and replaced with images of President Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong. Chairman…

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News

July 2020
News > International

France: Court orders ban on church gatherings to be lifted

The French government has been ordered to lift the ban on meetings in churches within eight days by its top administrative court. Although the government recently eased its coronavirus restrictions by allowing private meetings of up to ten people, this did not apply to religious settings. As a result, all church meetings were still…

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News

July 2020
News > International > Persecution

Nigeria: Fulani militants claim more Christian lives

Fulani militants have killed 620 Christians in the first five months of 2020 in Northern Nigeria, a report has claimed. The report, by the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (ISCLRL), stated the attacks are growing and have the characteristics of an undeclared jihad against Christians. According to the ISCLRL, 32,000…

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News

July 2020
News > Ethics

Judge decides patient can die rather than live with stoma bag

A judge has ruled that a patient with bowel problems should be allowed to die rather than live with a stoma bag. A stoma is an opening in the abdomen and a bag is attached to collect faeces or urine. One bowel cancer charity said it was ‘tragic’ that death is seen as a…

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News

July 2020
News > Society

Christians in Sport speak about the place of faith in pro football

Members of Christians in Sport (CIS) have spoken of the impact of Christianity in professional football. In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, CIS General Director Graham Daniels highlighted the increasing willingness of footballers to talk about God. Daniels, a former player and now Director of Football at Cambridge United, came to faith as…

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News

July 2020
News > Society

Legal action launched to end DIY abortions

Christian Concern has lodged papers to the Court of Appeal, seeking to put an end to do-it-yourself ‘home abortions’. The Christian advocacy group is seeking to overturn a High Court decision in May not to review the government’s policy on allowing people to get abortion kits sent to their homes. The group, among others,…

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News

July 2020
News > Ethics

Scottish bill will ‘close down’ free speech

The Scottish Government has come under increasing pressure to modify its Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, with critics warning it can be weaponised to destroy free speech. The bill seeks to extend the current laws on ‘hate crimes’ against particular characteristics, including religion, race, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. Ciarán Kelly, deputy…

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News

July 2020
News > Ethics > Society

Stormont ‘sends a message’ against new abortion laws imposed by Westminster

The Northern Ireland (NI) Assembly has voted to pass a motion to reject recent changes to abortion laws in Northern Ireland. The new abortion regulations, drawn up by Westminster while Stormont was not sitting, came into force in March after a vote in 2019. The motion, brought by the DUP, passed by 46 votes…

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News

July 2020
News > Ethics > Society

Boris drops trans plans

A leaked government report says Boris Johnson will scrap plans to allow people to change their legal gender by ‘self-identifying’ as male or female. In addition, the government is preparing to set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces, such as changing rooms. The move is likely to anger transgender activists who object to…

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News

July 2020
News > Society

Proposals to relax Sunday trading laws

The government is considering suspending the Sunday trading laws for one year to boost the economy after the lockdown, according to reports. But the Labour Party opposes the suggestion, arguing that it won’t help the economy, and it would have a big impact on retail staff. Labour’s Lisa Nandy said, ‘[Workers] are deeply worried…

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News

July 2020
News > Ethics > Society

MPs back ‘no fault’ divorce

The House of Commons has passed a government bill to make divorce even quicker and easier than it already is. MPs voted in favour of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which has already passed the House of Lords. Currently, for a couple to start divorce proceedings immediately, one spouse has to allege that…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Biblical/theological

Is a Christian woman forbidden to wear jewellery?

‘Should a Christian woman wear jewellery?’ I was asked that question by a member of the church I pastor. We’ll call her Rita. Rita had been reading an article which said that no Christian woman should wear jewellery, even a wedding-ring. So she wanted to know, did I agree? I wasn’t ready to give…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The last enemy

Covid-19 has changed our society in many ways, and one of these is its view of death. For the pandemic has shaken our complacent confidence about sickness and death, hasn’t it? Just as the early 21st century disproved the late 20th century claim by Fukuyama that the end of history had arrived with the…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Personal view

Reflections on race

When I was young, I had big ideas on race. Now I am older my ideas are smaller because I realise issues are more complicated than I once thought. I am also conscious of the pressure of a news cycle that demands simplicity. ‘You must take a position and you must take it now,’…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Guest column

More than words: eyes and stories

God speaks to us without video, audio, diagrams, emojis, or musical notation: we simply have his Word. But because it’s exhaled and made understandable by his Spirit, (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 1 Cor. 2:13, 14), it has an incomparable communicative power (Heb. 4:12). In my three guest articles I’m meditating on that thought by…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Comment

Beware the twin idols of ‘social justice’ and ‘health & safety’

When it comes to questions about race and ethnicity the impulse for justice, fairness, and unity is a right one for us as evangelicals to have. But, as Ferris Lindsay points out in this edition, it is rarely that simple. As the son of Caribbean parents, he has spent a lifetime thinking through the…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > General

Presbyterian theological college emerges in Newcastle

All around the world, there are seminaries teaching their students an English doctrinal standard: the monumental Westminster Confession of Faith. In Brazil alone, there are no less than nine such seminaries. For nearly a century, however, England lacked an educational institution to uphold her own Confession. The last Presbyterian theological college in England, Westminster…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The trouble with ‘The UK Blessing’

In the month of May a video called The UK Blessing, produced by 65 churches from all over the UK, went viral, reaching more than 2.5 million views within just a couple of weeks. Its main director, Tim Hughes, received an award from the Prime Minister, who called the video a ‘sensational singing masterpiece’.…

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Article

July 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Health and safety or hope and salvation? The church’s message during a pandemic

‘Why do our church leaders worship at the altar of health and safety?’ ran the title of a recent article by a Sunday Times columnist, above a picture of the Archbishop of Canterbury at a homemade altar in his kitchen. That image seems to epitomise the response of church leaders in Britain to the…

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Review

July 2020
Reviews > Book

Everyday Evangelism

Experience proves that it’s perfectly possible to hold deep spiritual conversations with complete strangers, if we’re open about our agenda. Everyday Evangelism will equip and encourage the average believer to seek out and make use of those opportunities for ‘cold contact’ outreach. The authors make a vital clarification that evangelism is not seeing sinners saved: it…

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