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Everything in March 2000 issue

Historical

November 2018
Articles > Historical

The Synod of Dort

The date is Monday 6 May 1619. The place is the ‘Great Church’ in the influential city of Dordrecht (or Dort) in the central Netherlands. Since November 1618 (300 years ago, this month) the Great Synod of Dort has been meeting daily; a total of 154 sessions have been held. It is thought that just over 100 delegates have attended: we know the names of 96 of them. They have been representing the Reformed Churches of most of the states of Europe. The most notable absentees have been the French. At the last minute their king, Louis XIII, withdrew permission for them to attend. Now...

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Confessions of a small-town pastor

Article

March 2000
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Confessions of a small-town pastor

Small is beautiful, whether it be a tiny diamond on a fiancée's finger, a newborn baby in its bassinet, or a few dozen saints belting out Amazing Grace in a small-town church. Especially when the small town is surrounded by rolling countryside under a big, big sky of drifting cumulus.Let me tell you why…

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How secure is your home?

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

How secure is your home?

Home-ownership for all, with the security associated with it, was the dream of the eighties. For many, that dream has become the nightmare of the nineties. Homes no longer guarantee the sense of peace we think they should. Indeed, the experience of many has been quite the opposite.The equity trap has meant that many…

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It Amazes Me

Article

March 2000
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

It Amazes Me

It amazes me that anyone around here comes to Christ at all.  And it is no surprise that less than 3% of my fellow citizens of Marin County attend church services on Easter Sunday.Here are thumbnail sketches of items I read in the San Francisco Chronicle this week. Two teenaged brothers in Redding, California,…

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Missionary Spotlight – The Church in South Africa — A Plea

Article

March 2000
South Africa

Missionary Spotlight – The Church in South Africa — A Plea

Although Portuguese Catholics predated the Dutch in landing at the Cape of Good Hope, the history of the gospel in South Africa really began with the arrival of the Dutch in 1652. These were followed by the French Huguenots (1668) and by early German settlers. Most of these settlers were Protestants, while the Dutch and French were Calvinists. The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) became the established church in South Africa. Thus, as the colony expanded during the eighteenth century, so did the DRC. However, growth was confined to the white settler congregations.   Divisions   By the end of the nineteenth century, the influence of...

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Retrospect on the New Millennium

Article

March 2000
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Retrospect on the New Millennium

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on 28 December 1999, Giles Worsley complained: ‘Nobody seems to know exactly what it is we are celebrating ... We certainly do not seem to be celebrating the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth ... Christianity barely features among the Millennium's activities’.This is symptomatic of the spiritual condition and confusion…

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Where will you spend Eternity?

Article

March 2000
Evangelistic

Where will you spend Eternity?

Mr Eternity       One cold night in 1956, the minister of the Burton Street Baptist Church, Sydney, noticed the shadowy outline of a crouched man, oblivious to his presence, writing on the footpath.   ‘Are you Mr Eternity?’ asked Mr Thompson.     ‘Guilty your honour!’ came the softly spoken reply as the small man stood up. After 26 years of speculation, the mystery of Mr Eternity had been solved.   There, in the gloom, stood Arthur Stace, 160 cm tall, weighing just 50 kg, dressed in a suit and a felt hat. As it happened, Arthur was the church cleaner and very...

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Article

March 2000
South Africa

Missionary Spotlight – South Africa – Fact File

South Africa – Fact File   Area: Over 471,000 square miles.   Neighbouring countries:   Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Climate and terrain:   A large interior plateau, with various plains (velds), is rimmed by rugged hills. The interior is semiarid, but conditions are subtropical along a narrow, eastern, coastal plain. Drought is common, and the relative lack of inland waterways necessitates extensive land irrigation and water conservation measures. Natural resources:   These include, famously, gold and diamonds, but also, coal, chromium, antimony, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt and natural gas. South Africa has over 200 species...

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Is it worth dying for anything?

Article

March 2000
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Is it worth dying for anything?

Life is very precious, and to give one's life for a cause is the greatest sacrifice we can make. But is it worth it? It depends upon what is at stake.We admire the fireman who risks his life in the course of duty to save others. Even more do we sing the praise of…

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Missionary Spotlight – Christian Literature to a Rainbow Nation

Article

March 2000
South Africa

Missionary Spotlight – Christian Literature to a Rainbow Nation

Leaning a little nearer to the microphone the distinguished grey-headed politician declared, ‘The people of this country of South Africa truly constitute a Rainbow Nation’. When final democratic rule was attained in 1994, Nelson Mandela, the new state president, chose an apt illustration, for South Africa’s citizens originate from a multiplicity of backgrounds. Whether from local African stock or Malay extraction, from Holland or France, from Chinese or Indian races, the mix has an immense variety. This poses a particular challenge to church-planting and pastoral ministry. It emphasises that Christian literature has a vital supporting role to play amongst a diverse people.   Channels  ...

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The Fall of Man — Part Two

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Fall of Man — Part Two

Last month we looked at the fall of man from the viewpoint of man’s sin and God’s grace. We now consider more closely the activity of Satan, who appears for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 3. Next we consider the consequences of the fall and, finally, return to the subject of…

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Evangelical Spirituality

Historical

March 2000
Articles > Historical

Evangelical Spirituality

A Celebration of Divine Grace In the two previous articles we have considered the spirituality of that remarkable man of God, the eighteenth-century evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770). It is calculated that he preached around 18,000 sermons in the thirty-five years between his conversion in Oxford in 1735 and his death in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in…

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Talking Sense

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

Talking Sense

Wisdom ‘shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee’ (Proverbs 4:9). Our lives are definitely the poorer — bankrupt in fact — for failing to profit from the treasures of God’s wisdom in the practicalities of our everyday lives. When we enter the ‘Palace…

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The Beatitudes

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Beatitudes

1. Blessedness‘The Beatitudes’ is the name given collectively to the first part of ‘the Sermon on the Mount’, which comprises Matthew chapters 5 to 7. The Beatitudes are set out in verses 3 to 12 of chapter 5. These verses describe the ‘blessed’ ones, that is to say, the people who enjoy the favour…

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Guest Column

Article

March 2000
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column

The Church's HolinessThe Belgic Confession of Faith describes the church as a ‘holy congregation of true Christian believers, all expecting their salvation in Jesus Christ, being washed in his blood and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit’. This is based on the New Testament’s three-part description of the church’s holiness.Principle and practice1. The…

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Concerning Cults

Article

March 2000
Cults and other religions

Concerning Cults

Cults and the M15Can you find a link between the following: MI5; police chiefs; senior government officials; the Millennium Dome; San Diego; a Tokyo underground station; and Armageddon? You have probably guessed correctly. They are all linked in various ways with cults. But what has MI5 got to do with cults? Evidently, MI5 was…

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Taylorite Exclusive Brethren

Article

March 2000
Cults and other religions

Taylorite Exclusive Brethren

The correspondence on this subject during August and September 1999 has only recently been drawn to my attention. Eryl Davies’ original article drew partly on information gleaned from an account written by me, and published on a website. I was specially intrigued by the reply signed by three Taylorite Exclusive Brethren printed in Evangelical…

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Missionary Spotlight – South Africa

Article

March 2000
South Africa

Missionary Spotlight – South Africa

A Nation of Pluralism   There are several inscriptions on the base of Paul Kruger’s statue in Church Square, Pretoria. One of them credits him with never having made a political decision without relying on the Scriptures as his guide. He became convinced that these decisions had divine backing. Certainly, until 1994, a close alliance existed between the politically dominant whites in South Africa and the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). In fact, the first European settlers did not emigrate to South Africa for religious reasons. They were farmers and not missionaries. They set up the Dutch East India Company in the Cape. While the religious...

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Reformation:Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

Reformation:Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Over the past five years, we have seen Protestants making greater concessions to the Roman Catholic Church in the historic signing of Evangelicals and Catholics Together 1994 and 1997. There is a strong prevailing disposition among the neo-evangelical community to give up (or at least minimise) the major doctrinal differences between Protestant churches and…

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A Disciple

Article

March 2000
Articles > Biblical/theological

A Disciple

One of the great events in the life of the Christian church took place when our Lord Jesus led the man Saul of Tarsus to himself. How sovereign the workings of the Lord appear in the whole encounter on the Damascus road! The omnipotent power of the ascended Christ shone around the arch-persecutor of…

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