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Everything in March 2016 issue

News

March 2016
News

Education – WEST becomes Union

The Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST) has left its traditional heartland of Bridgend, Wales, to set up headquarters in Oxford. In January 2016, WEST rebranded as Union, a new and larger international ministry headquartered in Oxford and led by Rev. Dr Michael Reeves. Dr Reeves is director of the European Theologians Network. He…

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Conference – FIEC Hub Conference

News

March 2016
News

Conference – FIEC Hub Conference

More than 150 people gathered near Milton Keynes in January for the yearly Hub Conference, organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC). Those considering the call to be pastors, pastors’ wives, youth and children’s workers and women’s workers enjoyed seminars and worship, as well as Bible teaching, in the main sessions from…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Guest column

‘I will yet for this be inquired of’ (Ezekiel 36:37).

Britain was involved in a number of conflicts around the world that divided opinion at home. There was widespread concern over the extraction of confessions and information by torture. Europe was pursuing huge trade agreements with China, at unprecedented levels. London was the focus of government attempts to improve security, due to varied threats.…

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News

March 2016
News

Induction – Spring Meadow, Cradley Heath

Saturday 16 January was a special day at Spring Meadow Baptist Church, Cradley Heath, in the English Midlands. A congregation of 150 came together to welcome Julian Eisner and his wife Susan, and to witness Mr Eisner’s induction to the pastorate. Folk travelled from Scotland, Manchester, Durham, Leicestershire, Suffolk, Kent, Somerset and Chester and…

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News

March 2016
News

Mission – Church planting in Ilford

Ilford is in the London Borough of Redbridge, in north-east Greater London, and, like most of London, it is booming. The effects of the 2012 Olympic Games can be still felt, with improved transport links. Trains get you from Ilford to Liverpool Street station in 18 minutes. Hub In the next five years, Crossrail will…

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Historical

March 2016
Articles > Historical

A golden chain of providences

For 80 long years, Courtenay Harris has carried the secret burden of a family tragedy which has shaped his entire life. It is a story he has found hard to share and yet one that magnifies the wonder of God’s providences in his life. The story begins in late June 1934. A broken-hearted young…

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News

March 2016
News

Event – Blythswood marks 50 years

Christian charity Blythswood Care marked its 50th anniversary with a service of thanksgiving, held in Inverness, on Friday 5 February 2016. The Blythswood Tract Society was started by the late John Walter (Jackie) Ross, then a student for the ministry, and other young people from the Free Presbyterian Church in Glasgow, with the aim…

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News

March 2016
News

Politics – Sunday trading

Day One Christian Ministries has called on Christians to lobby their MPs against government proposals for extending Sunday trading hours. The plans, which have been criticised by Christian groups and trade union bodies, would give powers to local councils to extend opening hours. The proposals have been put forward as amendments to the Enterprise…

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News

March 2016
News

Media – FIEC attendance

Church attendance among children has dropped to just 20 per cent, research from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) has found. A survey carried out by the FIEC revealed that while children made up 32 per cent of the total congregation in FIEC churches in 1980, this has dropped to just 20 per…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – Scotland rejects incest

Christian Concern has spoken out against a petition submitted to the Scottish Parliament calling for the legalisation of incest between adults. The petition was raised by a man called Richard Morris, who, it is believed, resides in Australia, and submitted the petition on behalf of a Scottish man convicted of committing incest with his…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > World Mission

Women missionaries (2)

Elinor Magowan, women’s pastoral worker at UFM Worldwide, asks Esme Zarate to explain what life is like for a woman missionary and her family in Peru. Elinor: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Esme: My name is Esme Zarate. I am married to Edward, who is Peruvian, and we have two children,…

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News

March 2016
News

International – Zimbabwe’s drought

A serious drought in the country has caused extra problems for the church in Zimbabwe, with more than 1.5 million people facing hunger as crops across the country have died. According to reports, high temperatures and low rainfall have seen maize supplies diminish rapidly, and importing from neighbours is impossible, because the drought caused…

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News

March 2016
News

The scourge of Zika

As the Zika virus spreads, experts are warning against unnecessary abortions. Recent news that the virus has sexually transmitted from an infected American citizen to his partner in Texas, US, has given the medical community further dimensions to consider. The Zika virus recently emerged in Brazil, causing people to abandon travel plans for fear…

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News

March 2016
News

Event – Thanksgiving at Ryedale, North Yorkshire

On Saturday 2 January, about 80 people joined with Ryedale Evangelical Church (REC) to praise God for his amazing kindness in providing Middleton Chapel as a place of worship. REC was formed in 1984 as a plant from Whitby and York Evangelical Churches, meeting initially in Kirkby Moorside and then for the past 18…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – Abortion controversy

In Northern Ireland (NI) abortion is only allowed if the mother’s life is at risk. But, in November 2015, after a judicial review by the Northern Ireland (NI) Human Rights Commission, Mr Justice Horner ruled that NI’s abortion law contravenes human rights legislation. He ruled that not allowing abortion when an unborn baby has…

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News

March 2016
News

Mission – Short-term voluntary mission

Are you involved in short-term voluntary mission at home or overseas and need some financial help? If so, the Free Church of Scotland Mission Board might be able to help you. This year the mission board is able to offer a small grant fund, which will help those undertaking short-term mission works at home…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The tribunal

John Fairbrother, a retired primary school teacher who taught in inner Birmingham during the 1970s-90s, recalls a ‘run-in’ with the political correctness of his day. A new head teacher was appointed to the school. She was an advisor to the city education committee on multi-faith and multi-culturism, and picked up the fact that, when…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Comment

Pray for a real and lasting revival

We need a work of the Holy Spirit of a supernatural kind, putting power into the preaching of the Word, inspiring all believers with heavenly energy, and solemnly affecting the hearts of the careless so that they turn to God and live. We would not be drunk with the wine of carnal excitement, but…

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News

March 2016
News

Mission – Emmanuel Baptist Church, Leeds

To say that last year was an eventful one for Leeds Reformed Baptist Church is an understatement! Not only did the church change its name to Emmanuel Baptist Church, but, by the end of 2015, the Lord had answered prayers for a new home beyond all expectations. The church outgrew its home on Cottage…

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News

March 2016
News

Media – BBC hits new low

The BBC has screened footage from inside Switzerland’s second-largest suicide clinic — the first time this has been shown on British television. The 90-minute programme, aired on 10 February, followed the story of businessman Simon Binner, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in January 2015. The documentary, called ‘How to die: Simon’s choice’,…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – Named Person offender

One of the inaugural Named Persons of the Scottish government’s controversial scheme has been struck off the teaching register for sharing fantasies about sexually abusing children. According to a news report, highlighted by the campaign ‘No to Named Persons’ (No2NP), teacher Dayna Dickson-Boath was appointed 14 months ago as a state guardian for 200…

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News

March 2016
News

Media – Dan Walker

The liberal press has been having a field day with the appointment of well-known Christian journalist Dan Walker as replacement for Bill Turnbull, as presenter for BBC Breakfast. The Guardian, especially, has been pouring out vitriol against Mr Walker on account of his faith, stating that a man who believes in God cannot be…

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Historical

March 2016
Articles > Historical

King Edward VI

Edward VI, Henry VIII’s only son, was crowned king at the age of 9, but died at the age of 15. He was a gifted young man and convinced evangelical, who, despite his short life, has impacted our national life down to modern times. On 27 January 1547, Henry VIII knew he was near…

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Historical

March 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (1)

Robust evangelical belief, whether Calvinist or Arminian, fell into rapid decay during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It has been customary to fix the largest part of the blame for this on Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and his speculations. Although Darwin’s writings were a significant contributory factor, in reality, decline set in years before his…

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News

March 2016
News

Youth – Bizarre questionaire

A survey in Brighton that asked children to state whether they were tri-gender has been sternly criticised by the Christian Institute. The government-sponsored Children’s Commissioner for England created the survey, in which teenagers were given 25 options to choose from, including ‘tri-gender’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘gender fluid’ and ‘demi-boy’. The children could choose as many as…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘You must be born again!’ (2)

Continued from You must be born again (1) Few people would grudge admitting they are less than perfect, that they make mistakes now and again, and could use help to do better next time. But say ‘sinner’ and mention ‘born again’, and their mood darkens. Nicodemus needed to be persuaded that he must be…

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News

March 2016
News

Politics – Counter-extremism

Christian Concern (CC) has warned that the government’s wide-ranging, counter-extremism strategy creates more problems than it solves. In a newsletter, CC’s chief executive Andrea Williams applauded efforts by the UK government to tackle Islamic terrorism, but warned of serious flaws in its strategy, that could affect the freedom of Christians to express their beliefs…

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News

March 2016
News

Media – Building bridges?

The Evangelical Alliance (EA) has encouraged Christians to build bridges with local Muslims, a call which coincided with the Muslim Council of Britain’s VisitMyMosque day. The EA has also recommended that Christians visit a mosque or, if they ‘feel they cannot do this’, ‘read up’ about what Muslims believe by visiting the Mahabba Network…

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Historical

March 2016
Articles > Historical

Prophet of the long road: the life and ministry of Francis Asbury

In October 1924, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, spoke at the dedication, in Washington DC, of a statue of a lowly Methodist preacher seated upon his horse. The pose of the horse, with its head swung downwards and licking its knee, was quite an unusual one for an equestrian statue.…

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News

March 2016
News

Persecution UK – Ashers appeal

Northern Ireland’s Ashers Baking Company has had its appeal hearing adjourned until 9 May, after a last-minute legal submission from the Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The Christian-run bakery was censured in 2014 after it turned down a customer’s request for a cake that would support same-sex marriage. Ashers declined to decorate a cake with…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – US march for life

About 40,000 people marched in support of the unborn child’s right to life at the US March for Life in Washington DC. The event, which took place on 22 January, marked the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, in which the United States Supreme Court effectively legalised abortion across the country.…

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News

March 2016
News

Persecution Pakistan – Blasphemy laws

There has been renewed hope for Pakistani Christians, as a leading cleric announced a willingness to review its controversial and hard-line blasphemy laws. According to the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (Claas), the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Muhammad Khan Sherani, has said that he is willing to review the…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > World Mission > Africa > Lesotho

Mission to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho (2)

On the Monday (see ET, February 2016), our real work began in this tiny nation enclosed within South Africa. We formed into teams, each with a Gideons interpreter (www.gideons.org.uk) and driver. My team drove out into the mountains in a 4WD truck, loaded with Bibles. Off the main roads of Lesotho, the country ‘roads’…

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News

March 2016
News

Education – Head teacher pilloried

A head teacher who tweeted that ‘evolution was just a theory’ has been lambasted across the social media, with even Richard Dawkins getting in on the act. The story, which first appeared in local Yorkshire paper Accrington observer, reported that St Andrew’s CE Primary head teacher Christina Wilkinson had responded to a tweet from a…

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News

March 2016
News

Education – Ofsted update

English MPs have strongly criticised the government’s plans to inspect non-school education settings, during debates in Westminster. Words such as ‘unworkable’, ‘illegal’, ‘unlawful’ and ‘hopelessly broad’ were used, with many claiming that Ofsted’s involvement in out-of-school-hours church clubs would be detrimental to parental rights to teach their children about their cultural and religious heritage.…

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News

March 2016
News

Greetings from the Philippines

God’s work in the Philippines is evident in the growth of Protestant churches across a nation that has been dominated, for centuries, by Catholicism. A young church, Lamb of God Evangelical Church, has seen steadfast and regular attendance since it was founded by Pastor Ricky Ligutan in 1998, in Parada, Valenzuela City. It now…

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News

March 2016
News

Education – Child exploitation

There has been a worrying rise in sexually exploited children across the UK, Barnardo’s has warned. Over the past five years, the charity has seen a 169 per cent increase across the UK in the number of young victims and those at risk using its expert services. Barnardo’s has opened 11 new services in…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Struck off!

Missioning recently in Oxford, I paused at the spot on Broad Street where Hugh Ridley, Bishop Latimer and Archbishop Cranmer were burned at the stake in 1555. Just a few yards away, Martyrs Memorial, which towers imposingly over shoppers, silently testifies as a permanent reminder of their courageous stand for truth. They refused to…

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News

March 2016
News > Youth Features

Don’t read this…

Don’t read this… unless you are a Christian! Seriously, I invite those who are not believers in Jesus Christ to turn their eyes in another direction — and read something else, for this is for believers only. My Christian friend, I want to talk to you. I want to talk to you about how…

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A happy marriage

Article

March 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A happy marriage

Statistics show a total of 26,254 marriages registered in Singapore during 2013. But the total number of marital dissolutions rose four per cent — from 7,237 in 2012 to 7,525 in 2013. Here are some suggested helps for a healthy, God-centred marital life, in the midst of the mounting challenges facing many marriages. Nothing…

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News

March 2016
News

Persecution China – Chongyi Church targeted

Rev. Joseph Gu, senior pastor of Chongyi Church in Hangzhou, the largest protestant megachurch in China, has been taken into custody by government authorities. A report from the Shanghai news agency Shanghaiist, says the pastor has been placed under residential surveillance. Rev. Gu, who is also chairman of the Chinese Christian Council of Zhejiang…

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News

March 2016
News

International – Iceland’s dire need

No Icelanders under the age of 25 believe that God made the universe, research has claimed. According to a report in The Independent, a poll commissioned by the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, claimed that 93.9 per cent in the under 25 category believe the universe was created by the Big Bang. Just over 6…

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Mission – London Free Church (Continuing)

News

March 2016
News

Mission – London Free Church (Continuing)

Services have been held by the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) in London, every Lord’s Day, since the end of October. In January, there were, including children, 20 different people present at one or both of the services. We are grateful to ministers, laymen and students who travelled down from Scotland to take the…

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Article

March 2016
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘It takes all sorts!’

‘It takes all sorts!’ This expression was sometimes heard in the railway office in which I once worked. We were an exceedingly diverse work force. I used to sit opposite a Muslim lady, and we got on quite well. One or two of the work force weren’t long out of college, yet there was…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – ‘Don’t screen us out’

A ‘Don’t screen us out’ campaign has been launched to protect the rights of unborn babies with Down’s syndrome, after concerns that a new cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening would lead to more abortions. The new screening method involves a relatively non-invasive procedure to test for unborn babies with such genetic abnormalities as Down’s syndrome.…

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News

March 2016
News

Church – Church Society criticises Anglican hierarchy

Church Society has criticised the Anglican Communion for not enough action to restore ‘biblical integrity’. The comments were made after the January meeting of Anglican Primates at Canterbury. According to a Church Society (CS) statement, it was a controversial meeting. CS praised the fact that Anglican Primates ‘condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved…

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News

March 2016
News

Ethics – Prostitution

MPs are set to consider banning the purchase of sex and to criminalise those who pay for it. The Home Affairs Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the laws on prostitution and in particular whether the burden of the criminal law should be moved onto those who pay for sex. According to Christian…

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News

March 2016
News

Education – No more griping

Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for education, has announced that the government plans to limit complaints over faith schools’ admission policies. The intention is to prevent complaints from outside the local community that can burden school admissions systems. They will also prevent secular campaign groups from bringing ‘vexatious complaints’ against faith schools. The Accord Coalition for…

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News

March 2016
News

International – Planned Parenthood

The man from Texas who exposed Planned Parenthood’s (PP) practice of selling aborted baby body parts has himself been indicted. David Daleiden, a pro-life activist who worked for Live Action before founding the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in 2013, was charged in January. The Harris County District Attorney’s office censured the man, who…

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News

March 2016
News

Letter from America – The Oregon standoff

Very early in the New Year, on 2 January, heavily armed ranchers and militiamen, led by Ammon Bundy, seized the offices of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, just 50 miles outside Burns, Oregon. Their intention was to hold the land indefinitely from the federal government, until their terms were met. While this situation may…

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Review

March 2016

Healing and Healers Today

It is a sad fact that discussions in recent decades about the place of miraculous gifts have generated much more heat than light. Writers on both sides have complained that critics neglect to understand their position. Each side has, at times, wilfully misrepresented the other. The most extreme and bizarre practices have been used…

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Review

March 2016

Candle in the Wind

I enjoyed everything about this book. It is a great read on an issue seldom addressed in recent years. Perhaps the absence of books (as well as preaching) on this subject is the reason why some evangelicals have a superficial view of the uses of conscience, and are reticent regarding the function of divine…

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Review

March 2016

Held in honor: wisdom for your marriage from voices of the past

There are many books on marriage for Christians. You may wonder whether this or that one will really help your own marriage or someone else’s. However, this book is a gem and can be confidently given to any married or engaged couple. At first glance, the book seems bitty, comprising 50 brief extracts from…

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Review

March 2016

Christian’s pocket guide to sin

This is a much-needed book on the subject, sensitively handled by a trustworthy guide. It is for the serious seeker after truth and for those who want to find their feet in Bible teaching. We are given several reasons why the subject needs to be studied. The doctrine of sin does justice to the…

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Review

March 2016

Christian’s pocket guide to suffering

Brian Cosby’s short volume does what it says on the cover, providing a brief summary of the Bible’s teaching on suffering and pain. Much information is packed into a small number of pages, all of it from a sound, God-centred theological position. An entire chapter is spent demonstrating how suffering is the result of the Fall.…

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Review

March 2016
Reviews > Book

The Letters of John Berridge of Everton

Among the many preachers used by God during the thrilling days of the eighteenth century revival in Great Britain, John Berridge has been somewhat overlooked. The compiler of these letters attributes it to Berridge’s devotion to itinerant preaching, which left him little time for writing or organising groups of believers under his influence. But…

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Review

March 2016

Andrew Murray – Christ’s anointed minister to South Africa

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was born in South Africa, but sent to Aberdeen, Scotland, for much of his education. Later, he went to Holland to study for the ministry. He was then commissioned to go to South Africa and initially sent to a remote outpost in Cape Colony, ministering in the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).…

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Review

March 2016

A Lost God in a Lost World

This book does not simply call the faithful back to church attendance; much more is at stake. The concern is that society and the church are in danger of losing touch with the true God of the Bible. In a word, it is a book about modern-day idolatry. The causes, consequences and cures of…

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Review

March 2016

Baptist foundations: church government in an anti-institutional age

This volume is a spirited study and defence of a robust and well defined church polity (authority structures and government) from Baptist convictions. It is substantial, thorough and academic in timbre. Nonetheless, it is both enjoyable and profitable. An array of historians and theologians — many of whom are pastors — blend their notes…

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