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Everything in May 2013 issue

News

May 2013
News

Global gay battle

America’s gay rights campaign group, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has been stepping up its lobbying while the US Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.      According to online news agency NBC, the HRC conducted a survey among 688 leading US employers. It found that 99…

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News

May 2013
News

Church Society commissioning

On Saturday 2 March, Christ Church, Cambridge, was filled for the commissioning service of Rev. Lee Gatiss as director of Church Society (CS).      The service was led by Bishop Wallace Benn, former bishop of Lewes and vice-president of CS. After a hymn, psalm and reading, Rev. Paul Darlington, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Oswestry,…

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News

May 2013
News

160 years of open-air preaching

The claim is sometimes made that you can make statistics say anything. Well here is a statistic that clearly speaks for itself — around 93.5 per cent of the population of the United Kingdom do not attend church.   About 62 million people now live in the UK. So when we ‘do the math’,…

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News

May 2013
News

Syrian conflict

In March, the conflict in Syria entered its third year, hovering on the brink of a wide-scale humanitarian crisis. According to reports from the BBC, more than 70,000 people have been killed, more than three million people displaced and much of the nation’s infrastructure destroyed.      Hope of a political solution has all but…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Guest column

Scoping Apollos – nine marks of a healthy Christian

Most great pirate stories have one thing in common. At some point someone slides out their spyglass and focuses on an unsuspecting person, whose every movement is then seen in the black-bordered circular frame. The Scriptures are the Christian’s spyglass. Paul says, ‘Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who…

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News

May 2013
News

Caergwrle Evangelical Church

On Saturday 2 March, about 190 people gathered at Caergwrle Evangelical Church, near Wrexham, for the induction of Darrin Gilchrist as the new pastor. Darrin was previously assistant pastor to Andy Christofides, pastor of St Mellons Baptist Church, near Cardiff.      The service was led by Neil Richards, an elder at Caergwrle, and the…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Personal view: What are the church’s priorities?

Tim Montgomerie’s piece in The Times (1 April 2013),‘Christians must put families first, not politics’ got me thinking (you need to be a subscriber to view the article). He takes issue with Lord Carey’s recently expressed concerns about Christians being persecuted by Tories. Montgomerie makes a valid point that church leaders are much more…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Biblical/theological

All of grace

What is grace? Grace is the free, unmerited, undeserved favour of God to sinners. It is needed because of the character of God and the character of man.   Though man was created in the image of God, able to know and enjoy him, he sinned and was separated from God.    Sin has…

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Article

May 2013
Obituaries

Matthew Warren

Pastor Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son, Matthew, has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.      According to official reports, the body of the young man, who had suffered most of his life from mental illness, was found at his home in Mission Viejo, California. Pastor Warren and his wife founded Saddleback Valley Community Church,…

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News

May 2013
News

Sheffield University

Liberal theological students at Sheffield University are reinterpreting the Bible to back up theories that homosexuality is acceptable biblically.      A project at the university called Hidden Perspectives was launched in April, to ‘challenge the assumptions often made in mainstream and scholarly readings of the Bible’. It claimed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender…

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News

May 2013
News

Constitutional marriage

A graduate with a qualification in constitutional law is petitioning HM the Queen to assert her right as sovereign to veto the Government’s proposed equalisation Bill that will usher in same-sex marriage.      David Green, who is resident in Calais, has written to HM The Queen, reminding her of the settlement of 1688, that…

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News

May 2013
News

Happy 175th SASRA!

On 14 March 2013, at the Guard’s Chapel in Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London, the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) celebrated their dodransbicentennial (175th) anniversary with a thanksgiving service. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Patron of the Association, had intended to join the gathering, along with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,…

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News

May 2013
News

Persecuted minority

Prime Minister David Cameron seems to be doing more to persuade Christians in the UK that they are part of a persecuted minority than any other recent political Western leader, Lord Carey has claimed.      In an article for the Daily Mail, the one-time Archbishop of Canterbury claimed that Mr Cameron’s platitudes to religious…

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Revival and the Primitive Methodists (4)

Historical

May 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (4)

One of the most outstanding features of the early Primitive Methodists was their sheer hard labour for the Lord.   Despite continuing in long hours of public employment, they preached in four counties, organised meetings, held ‘walking-services’ — in which they would sometimes walk a mile and a half, preaching as they went —…

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News

May 2013
News

EMF in the North West

It was a busy time for Chorlton Evangelical Church during March, as not only did it celebrate the retirement of its former pastor (see above) but also played host to the European Missionary Fellowship’s (EMF) annual North West Conference.      On 16 March, 40 people gathered at the Manchester church to hear from two…

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News

May 2013
News

Muslims seize Central African state

Church buildings have been attacked and the homes of Christians looted in the aftermath of a bloody coup by a band of Muslim rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR). The Seleka rebels seized control of the country on 24 March, following a three-month uprising.      Their leader, Michel Djotodia, has assumed the presidency…

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News

May 2013
News

China’s one child policy

A woman in China has been found dead in suspicious circumstances, after being forcibly sterilised twice to prevent her having more children.      According to campaign group Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF), Yang Yuzhi hanged herself in the local family planning office in Taikang County, Henan Province, after suffering extreme trauma as a result…

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News

May 2013
News

Margaret Thatcher: 1925-2013

Picture from the Margaret Thatcher Foundation The death of Baroness Thatcher, former UK prime minister from 1979-1990, has polarised public opinion across the nation. Her funeral, to be carried out at St Paul’s Cathedral and attended by HM the Queen and the current PM David Cameron, will be watched by millions around the world.…

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News

May 2013
News

Vietnam

Converts to Christianity have been suffering an escalation of violence towards them in Vietnam, reports from Christian aid agencies have claimed.      According to Release International, the conversion to Christianity of five families in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam has provoked violent opposition from their neighbours.      The families, who became Christians in…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Pestering God

How do we pray? We perhaps give a lot of thought to the content of our prayers, but much less to the manner of our prayers. ‘What do we pray for?’ is usually more important than ‘How do we pray?’ We know that there are conditions for our prayers to be answered, such as…

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News

May 2013
News

Britons and prayer

Britons may not like going to church, but they still believe in the power of prayer, a survey has found.      According to the findings of an ICM survey, conducted on behalf of the Church of England among 2000 people nationwide, four in five British adults still believe in the power of prayer.     …

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Article

May 2013
Book

Universalism à la mode (2)

Rob Bell’s well-known book, Love wins, is supposedly about God’s love. He says, ‘I believe that Jesus’s story is first and foremost about the love of God for every single one of us’.   He states that ‘God’s love will eventually melt even the hardest hearts’. And it is easy to see where the…

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Article

May 2013
Iran

Growing pressures in Azerbaijan

Churches in Azerbaijan are facing increasing pressure due to government fears of religious extremism. A fact-finding trip by Release International discovered many churches are being denied official registration under tough new regulations.      But, despite the increasing pressures faced by Christians in the former Soviet republic, the church is growing.      Release, which serves…

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Article

May 2013
Cults and other religions

Arianism and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Athanasius became bishop of Alexandria in AD 328, three years after the Council of Nicaea. He was exiled on five occasions and spent most of his life refuting heretical doctrine taught by his contemporary, Arius, who was a presbyter in the same city.

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Retirement at Chorlton

News

May 2013
News

Retirement at Chorlton

On 23 March, a service was held at Chorlton Evangelical Church, Manchester, to mark the retirement of Walter Johnston, who has served as its pastor for more than 27 years. A number of former members were present, along with friends and pastors from other churches.      The preacher was David Sharp of Irby, who…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > World Mission

Telling Jews about Jesus in the ‘Age of Aquarius’

After Simone, a young Jewish woman who had been involved in the New Age movement, became a believer in Jesus, she felt the Lord was calling her to go back to the fairs and exhibitions she used to frequent, in order to reach out to those still entangled in the web of 'pick'n'mix' mysticism…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘I , I AM’

What a strange arrangement of words! Any newspaper editor would complain if they saw this in one of their newspaper articles, let alone as a heading!   If you generally avoid complicated looking arrangements of words and everything to do with grammar, make this newspaper article an exception and read it! There is a…

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Article

May 2013
Egypt

Egypt Update

The uprising in Egypt stunned the world, as President Mubarak stepped aside in 2011. The once invincible leader of the Arab world’s most populous nation was later seen in a courtroom on a stretcher behind bars.      With elections, Mr Morsi was ushered into the presidential palace. He was steeped in the Muslim Brotherhood,…

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News

May 2013
News

Rob Bell

Author and former pastor Rob Bell has declared his support for gay marriage and encouraged his church to attend a gay rights parade in California.      According to news reports from his church’s web site, Mr Bell, who wrote the controversial book Love wins that questioned the Bible’s teaching on hell, expressed his support…

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Historical

May 2013
Articles > Historical

The grace of giving – Richard Cory; the Billups family

Nigel Faithfull celebrates the lives of some other forgotten benefactors of gospel work (see also the first part in April ET). Richard Cory was born at Bideford in February 1830. He was about two years younger than his brother John (April ET). His wife Emily was born in 1832 at Gwinear, near Hayle in…

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News

May 2013
News

Lovewise

To help equip Christians to uphold the biblical perspective of marriage, charity Lovewise has created a new marriage DVD. Today, in the UK, the very meaning of the word ‘marriage’ is under threat from government proposals to redefine it in law.      Now more than ever, our young people need to hear faithful teaching…

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News

May 2013
News > Youth Features

‘There’s nowhere as dangerous as the mission field!’

In 2007, Barry Davis and his wife Susana set up a primary school in Dolores, Nicaragua. Carazo Christian Academy (CCA) started with four pupils and by the end of the year it had grown to 16. They advertised the school in that first year only, and now it has over 100 pupils. I had…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The Prosperity Gospel

Learnmore Zuze of Zimbabwe explores the fallacies behind a popular global heresy   A story is told of a dog that died. The owner loved his dog so dearly that he went to his pastor and said, ‘Pastor, my dog has died this morning. I have one request which, if you grant, I would…

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Article

May 2013
Articles > Comment

Where we’re at!

Evangelist Roger Carswell writes in his recent prayer letter:   Don’t misunderstand; I am not despondent, nor depressed. Unless the Lord decides otherwise, I am not about to give up. I feel privileged to live and speak for the Lord at this time in history. But please bear with me as I muse on…

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News

May 2013
News

Online funding

The National Churches Trust and JustGiving have made it easier to help Christian places of worship and religious significance raise funds for essential repairs.      By teaming up with the online charity fundraising site, churches, chapels and meeting houses joining the scheme will get access to the JustGiving fundraising platform, saving a £15-a-month subscription…

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Article

May 2013
Western Africa

New training initiative in West Africa

Recently, a group of Senegalese, Liberian and Ivorian pastors and Christian workers, whose hearts God had burdened to take his Word more effectively to fellow Africans, let it be known that they wanted help with this outreach. New Tribes Mission (NTM) is more than happy to be involved.      Some of the participants, both…

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News

May 2013
News

EA relocates

The Evangelical Alliance has left its home of more than 30 years in Kennington, south-east London, to move to new premises at the centre of London’s King’s Cross redevelopment.      In a statement, the EA said it was time to move as its Kennington Home, Whitefield House, was ‘no longer fit for purpose’.     …

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News

May 2013
News

Wattisham anniversary

On 9 March, Wattisham Baptist Church gathered with friends from far and wide to give thanks to God for his sustaining of this cause for 250 years.      Our thanksgiving services were chaired by Brian Ellis, who together with his wife Necy was sent out by Wattisham Chapel in 1977 as a missionary in…

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Article

May 2013
Romania

Tent-missioning in south Romania

It is a great joy and privilege to present to you our very important work among local churches in the south of Romania, in the counties of Giurgiu and Teleorman. These counties are about 80 kms south of the capital, Bucharest.      We are a relatively young team of believers who are involved in…

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News

May 2013
News

Gujranwala

There have been continued attacks on professing Christians in Pakistan during April, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has claimed.      In a newsletter, the BPCA claimed that a ‘Christian colony’ in Gujranwala had been attacked by a violent Muslim mob on 3 April and Christians retaliated with weapons. The mob damaged shops, houses…

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News

May 2013
News

Crossroads debate

The church is at a crossroads in the UK, with internal fighting besetting it on the one hand, but, on the other, with an opportunity to be a moral guide in a country dogged by political and financial scandals.      This was the topic of debate for four panellists — Catholic theologian, Dr Anna…

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Review

May 2013

A Ransom for Many – The Gospel of Mark Simply Explained

A ransom for many Steve WilmshurstEP Books416 pages£13.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-744-7Star rating : 4 A ransom for many is another commentary in the excellent Welwyn Commentary Series, written to explain books of the Bible in a simple, well-applied and faithful way. This one is on Mark’s Gospel.     It was written by Dr Steve Wilmshurst, who is…

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Review

May 2013

Introducing Scripture

Introducing Scripture — a guide to the Old and New TestamentsEds Wayne Grudem, C. J. Collins & T. R. SchreinerIVP, 160 pages£8.99ISBN: 978-1-84474-568-5Star rating : 4 This book consists of articles originally featured in the ESV Study Bible. It begins with ‘An overview of the Bible’s storyline’ that answers the question, ‘How does the Bible…

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Review

May 2013

What Jesus is doing now

What Jesus is doing nowGary BradyEP Books224 pages£9.99ISBN: 978-0-852-34775-1Star rating : 4 We often reflect on what Jesus did for our salvation in the past and look forward in hope to what he will do when he returns. However, we tend not to give so much attention to what he is doing now. Gary…

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Review

May 2013

The Amazing Cross

The amazing crossJeremy and Elizabeth McQuoidIVP, 192 pages £8.99, ISBN: 978-1-84474-587-6 Star rating : 5 Husband and wife authors Jeremy and Elizabeth McQuoid have written a clear, readable, challenging and refreshing book on what was achieved for us through the cross of Christ. They also examine the difference this should make to the lives…

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Review

May 2013

The Reformed Worldview

The Reformed Worldview D Engelsma & H Hanko British Reformed Fellowship 144 pages, £5.50 Star Rating: 1 stars   This book contains the six lectures given at the 2010 Conference of the British Reformed Fellowship held in Cardiff. The authors are Emeritus Professors at the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Michigan, USA. They begin by…

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Review

May 2013

Overflowing Grace

Overflowing graceDavid N. JonesBryntirion Press96 pages, £4.99 ISBN: 978-1-85049-245-0Star rating: 4 This book contains the four addresses delivered by the author at the 2011 Evangelical Movement of Wales conference at Aberystwyth. Wonderfully, they seem to have lost little of their pace and power in the switch from pulpit to print.      In his addresses,…

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Review

May 2013

The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion

The next story: life and faith after the digital explosionTim ChalliesZondervan, 204 pages£12.99ISBN: 978-0-310-32903-9Star rating : 3 ‘Dad, your phone is rubbish’, said my daughter recently. Despite it having been her phone a year ago, it was now passé. Such is the accelerating pace of change of technology!     We hardly have time to…

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Review

May 2013

52 Spurgeon Stories for Children Book 1

52 Spurgeon stories for children, Book 1Tony HutterDay One Publications112 pages, £5.00ISBN: 978-1-84625-288-4Star rating : 4 Tony Hutter’s hope and prayer in writing these books is that children may be led to find salvation in Christ and learn truths from the Bible that will help them to live for his glory.     I have…

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Review

May 2013

52 Spurgeon Stories for Children Book 2

52 Spurgeon stories for children, Book 2128 pages£6.00, ISBN: 978-1-846-25357-7Star rating : 4 Tony Hutter’s hope and prayer in writing these books is that children may be led to find salvation in Christ and learn truths from the Bible that will help them to live for his glory.     I have now read both…

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Review

May 2013

Riches in Romania

Riches in Romania Rebecca Parkinson Day One Publications 112 pages, £6.00 ISBN: 978-1-84625-360-7 Star Rating: 4 stars  This is a storybook in a Day One series called ‘Faith Finders’, which has an underlying gospel message. It seems to be aimed at children aged 8-12 years, although no indication of a target age range is…

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Review

May 2013

Zeal for Godliness

Zeal for godliness Carl Trueman at al EP Books272 pages£14.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-758-4 Star rating : 4 This book is a delight, in its production and cover design, and especially in its contents. It consists of 253 readings from Calvin’s great Institutes of the Christian religion. But it is not a mere selection of quotations from…

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Review

May 2013

Our Southern Zion

Our southern ZionDavid B. CalhounBanner of Truth380 pages£16.00ISBN: 978-1-84871-172-3Star rating : 3 This book records the history of Columbia Theological Seminary, South Carolina, from its foundation until it moved to Atlanta in 1927 — a period of almost 100 years. It must indeed be a good thing to record the works of God among…

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Review

May 2013

Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction

Reading the Gospels wisely:a narrative and theological introductionJonathan T. PenningtonBaker Academic268 pages£14.99ISBN: 978-0-8010-3937-9Star rating : 3 Jonathan Pennington is associate professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His book discusses the nature and purpose of the four canonical Gospels and sets out a method for reading them fruitfully.      This may sound rather…

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