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Everything in May 2014 issue

Article

May 2014
Madagascar

Can we really establish mission hospitals today?

In today’s world, many Christians and non-Christians would raise their eyebrows at the thought of opening a mission hospital in our generation. Surely the day of mission hospitals is past? Perhaps they served a purpose in the days of David Livingstone. But today? When we were involved in planning a mission hospital in Madagascar,…

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News

May 2014
News

Christian marriage

A Liberal Democrat MP has called for Christian marriages to be stripped of their legal status. Simon Hughes, Minister of Justice and Civil Liberties, told the Liberal Democrat spring conference that only secular, state-recognised ceremonies should have legal recognition In a speech condemned by Christian Concern (CC) and the Christian Institute (CI), Mr Hughes…

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News

May 2014
News

Climate change impact

The damage inflicted by climate change in the UK is likely to be irreversible and, globally, could lead to significant changes, struggles and even wars, a major UN report has found. According to the Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability report, which runs to several hundred pages, the future security and livelihood of…

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News

May 2014
News

RBC Ministries

‘Encounters with Christ’ was the title of RBC Ministries’ one-day Bible conference in London, on 8 March. More than 500 people gathered at the historic Westminster Chapel to hear Bill Crowder, associate Bible teacher with RBC Ministries, give four papers on people who had encounters with the Lord Jesus Christ. Gathered from all different…

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News

May 2014
News

Guesthouse owners targeted

A couple of Christian guesthouse owners have been targeted by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), in a case similar to that of Peter and Hazelmary Bull from a couple of years ago. Wales-based Jeff and Sue Green had been written to by the UK EHRC to challenge them on their policy…

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News

May 2014
News > Youth Features

The mystery of the mummy – not all science is equally ‘scientific’!

Scientists have argued a great deal about the cause of death of the famous Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun (see, for example, Jo Marchant, ‘Death on the Nile’, New Scientist, 15 January 2011). Multiplying theories For many years, people believed that the boy-king had died from a haemorrhage, following a blow to the head. Some even…

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News

May 2014
News

Abortion

The government has ‘smuggled in’ a nurse-led abortion service without it being discussed in parliament, Dr Peter Saunders has claimed. The chief executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) said that, under the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron, former health minister Andrew Lansley, working with abortion providers and senior figures at the Department…

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Article

May 2014
Obituaries

Rev. Dr Ian Malcolm Tait (1918–2013)

Ian Tait, a pastor and teacher of God’s Word, died on 17 December 2013. He was formerly pastor of Welwyn Evangelical Church, Hertfordshire. He was also a visiting lecturer at Covenant Theological College, Tennessee, and Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. Ian was born in 1918, ten months before the end of the First…

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News

May 2014
News

Religious education

Religious Education (RE) lessons have a ‘key role’ to play in reducing religious misunderstanding and conflict, an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Religious Education has said. In a summary report, entitled RE and good community relations, the committee found that when schools provide pupils with education on religion and belief,…

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News

May 2014
News

Elderly care

Older people in the UK are not being given the care, respect and security they deserve, Christian care home charity, Pilgrims’ Friend Society (PFS), has warned. In its latest newsletter, the Society revealed how report after report from charities and government have unveiled poor standards in state-run homes, lack of proper dementia care, over-priced…

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News

May 2014
News

Scottish conference

Dr Sinclair Ferguson has been scheduled to speak at the 25th annual Scottish Reformed Conference (SRC) on 10 May this year, at Hamilton College, Hamilton. According to Richard Martin, spokesman for the SRC, this is the anniversary year for the SRC. He said, ‘We hope that it will be special. ‘Our conference has grown…

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Church membership – the importance of belonging

Article

May 2014
Cults and other religions

Church membership – the importance of belonging

One of the greatest privileges of my life is to have been a member of a church and to be in fellowship with the same people over a period of time. We have seen one another’s children grow up with all the difficulties and joys that brings. We have seen one another in good…

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News

May 2014
News

Unprecedented case

A young Christian graphic designer, who sued a hotel claiming he was denied a job there because of his faith, has settled out of court. Jamie Haxby, who was supported by the Christian Institute (CI), claimed that a manager at Colchester-based Prested Hall Hotel turned him down for a job because some staff who…

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News

May 2014
News

Poverty petition

High-profile clergymen and campaigner and author Jack Monroe have handed over a 70,000-strong Change.org petition. The petition, which was stuffed into red lunch boxes to highlight food poverty in the UK, reflected the famous Budget Box. The campaigners said they were acting to raise awareness of the national scandal of hundreds of thousands of…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Thoughts on the Lord’s Supper (1)

Today there seems to be a growing crisis over the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. A couple of years ago the author was visiting Britain and was surprised by the casual way it was celebrated in a church he attended. He knows of one family with young children who were obliged to attend another…

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Article

May 2014
Madagascar

A new mission hospital in our generation

The Good News Hospital in Mandritsara, Madagascar, began in 1993 when a small group of missionaries and Malagasy Christians moved to this remote town, in a largely unevangelised area of northern Madagascar. The location was suggested by the Malagasy government health department, because of the large rural population and minimal government facilities. But, in…

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News

May 2014
News

Trafficking

Thousands of British girls and young women have been blighted by a brutal gang culture of sexual exploitation, guns and drug-running, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has revealed. The CSJ, which carried out the research with the London-based, urban youth charity XLP, found that some female gang members in their teens are being…

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News

May 2014
News

Holiday Bible Club, Oswestry

After church on Sunday 16 February, a gang of labourers cleverly transformed the Victorian church of Holy Trinity, Oswestry, into a dynamic scene from the Wild West for the Holiday Bible Club. Work and preparation from the 63-strong team of variously aged and experienced helpers continued on the Monday as, from Tuesday to Friday,…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

What did the Reformers believe about the age of the earth? (2)

One great effect of the 16th century Reformation was to return the church to the literal sense of the Bible. Though God worked through many Reformers alongside and after Luther, none is so well known as John Calvin (AD 1509–64). Like Luther, he read Genesis as ‘the history of creation’. He believed that ‘the…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Does God suffer with us? (and why it’s great news that he doesn’t) (2)

In April’s ET, we saw that the doctrine of God’s impassibility — his immunity to suffering and human-like emotions — has had a rough ride in recent years, particularly following the great anguish of two world wars and much more suffering besides, during the last century.   It has often been thought that the…

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Article

May 2014
DVD

Noah?

Paramount Pictures Directed by Darren Aronovsky Starring Russell Crowe Cert. 12A   One of my pet hates is the dinky sort of ‘Noah’s ark’ you see in toy shops and children’s books. The ark in Paramount Pictures’ film Noah is nothing like that. It is a hulking great thing, and when the animals come…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The anointing ! (2)

During my days in the Jesus People movement, when we really did see miracles, I never heard or experienced anything like the ‘miracles’ described by Rodney Howard-Browne or Paul Cain. These ‘miracles’ they attribute to their ‘anointing’ (see ET, April 2014). However, I have had conversations with those involved in eastern spiritual practices that…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Zeal for God

Complacency is an enemy that can attack any one of us in our Christian faith and hamper a fulfilling relationship with God. Merriam-Webster defines complacency as ‘a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to make them better’. Though many of us may acknowledge God on a daily basis, this…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Spiritual check-ups

Every six months or so, I need to go to the dentist to have a check-up, to see if my teeth are fine or any remedial work needs to be carried out. Some people need to go regularly to the doctor’s surgery for a medical check-up. Believers should be carrying out spiritual self-checks regularly.…

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News

May 2014
News

Police apology

A street preacher who was detained in police custody for more than 19 hours has been exonerated, after the police settled a claim for wrongful arrest. According to the Christian Institute (CI), which supported John Craven in his battle, the preacher will receive £13,000 in compensation, plus legal costs, from the Greater Manchester police…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Guest column

What is man?

‘It has been said by someone that “the proper study of mankind is man”. I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God’, said C. H. Spurgeon. I would like to propose that God’s elect might also usefully give a little…

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News

May 2014
News

Scotland

The Scottish Government’s ‘Named persons’ policy will undermine parents, according to faith-based, pro-life charity CARE. The proposed legislation means every child in Scotland will get an independent adviser to look after the child’s welfare. According to CARE’s latest newsletter, the ‘measure will undermine parental authority and responsibility’. Scotland Tonight reported on a legal challenge…

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News

May 2014
News

Domestic abuse and abortion

Pro-life charity LIFE has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the link between domestic abuse and abortion. Called ‘Finding Hope’, the campaign highlights studies that show 25 per cent of women globally who seek abortion are victims of domestic abuse. This would equate to 50,000 women every year in the UK seeking…

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News

May 2014
News

Banner of Truth in Australia

The Banner Conference at Collaroy, Sydney, was held from 4-7 March, and there was a fine spirit among those who gathered which showed itself from the outset. A few weeks beforehand we were rather concerned at the low bookings, but, Australian fashion, late bookings happily multiplied, so that around 90 people came. Attendance would…

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Article

May 2014
Madagascar

Gospel tracts

Patients all over the world spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting time is an opportunity for Christians to talk to them about the Lord — and for them to read the Scriptures and gospel tracts. With this in mind, several tracts have been written and translated into Malagasy. Here are some of them:…

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Historical

May 2014
Articles > Historical

John Calvin and his relevance for today (1)

This year marks the 450th anniversary of the death of John Calvin (1509–1564). In three articles we will look at the relevance of Calvin’s teaching for our situation today. Admittedly there is always a danger in trying to make a figure in history ‘relevant’ to the present day. Calvin was born over half a…

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News

May 2014
News

Jonathan Edwards conference

The ‘Jonathan Edwards for the Church’ conference met for the first time, on 27-28 February. Convened in the excellently equipped and user-friendly Penthouse Suite of Collingwood College, at Durham University, it was attended by more than 80 people. As the first ever dedicated Edwards conference to be held in England, it was prayer answered…

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News

May 2014
News

Haircuts

Reports have claimed that male university students in North Korea have been instructed to get the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un. According to Radio Free Asia, the state-sanctioned sartorial guideline was introduced in the capital Pyongyang earlier this year and is being rolled out across the country. For the past few years,…

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News

May 2014
News

Blasphemy law

Amnesty International has condemned the Pakistani authorities who have put a Christian road sweeper on death row and fined him 200,000 rupees. David Griffiths, deputy Asia-Pacific director for Amnesty International, said the authorities should release Mr Masih immediately and quash his conviction. He has been sentenced to death by hanging, after being arrested on…

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News

May 2014
News

Afghanistan

The road to peace will be long and uncertain, Tearfund has claimed, after Afghanistan voted in its third presidential election since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Bruce Clark, who oversees the charity’s work in the country, urged Christians to pray for peace and for continued international commitment to Afghanistan, following the elections…

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News

May 2014
News

‘Caring for all’

On the weekend of 7-8 March, the North of England Conference for church officers was held with the theme ‘Caring for all God’s church’. Although keynote speaker Richard Underwood was unwell, the organisers managed to find capable substitutes, who served the conference well. Mike Plant, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches…

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Article

May 2014
Scientific (including creation)

Was Noah’s Ark big enough?

One of the annoying aspects of so many accounts of Noah and the great flood is the ridiculous pictures that are used to represent the ark. One aspect of the current film that is more biblical is the fact that the ark is very big. A recent investigation by four physics students at Leicester…

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Article

May 2014
Articles > Biblical/theological

Back to the gospel

‘I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other…

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News

May 2014
News

Assisted suicide

Legalising assisted suicide could lead to improper and unfair pressure on people to end their lives, the Prime Minister has said. Speaking as MP Fiona Bruce tabled an early day motion calling on the government not to relax current laws, David Cameron said that he opposed changing the law to legalise assisted suicide. The…

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News

May 2014
News

Vote-loser

Allowing three-parent embryos is a vote-loser for the Conservatives, a study commissioned by the Christian Institute (CI) has claimed. In a poll of more than 2000 UK adults, carried out by ComRes on behalf of the CI, 29 per cent of Conservative voters claimed that if the government presses ahead with the changes to…

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News

May 2014
News

Cinderella law

Starving your children of love could face prosecution under new child neglect rules dubbed the ‘Cinderella law’. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, any parents or guardians whose children suffer from emotional cruelty could be charged with a crime, alongside physical or sexual abuse. It is understood the changes will be introduced…

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News

May 2014
News

Sharia spectre

The UK government has been forced to dismiss claims that Sharia law will become embedded within the laws of England and Wales. In parliament, Minister for Justice Simon Hughes has publicly quashed reports that Sharia law was being given equal status in UK legislation. This followed a furore that erupted after the Law Society…

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News

May 2014
News

Hope Church

On Sunday 2 March, Hope Church, in Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill, had its inaugural service, which was held in the local community centre. The church, which is affiliated to the Free Church of Scotland, was formed by a large number of former members of the local Church of Scotland, including its minister, Rev. Ian Watson.…

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News

May 2014
News

EMF conference

Supporters of the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) in the north-west of England gathered at Chorlton Evangelical Church, Manchester, on 8 March, for an afternoon conference. Walter Johnston, former pastor of Chorlton and a member of EMF’s executive committee, began the occasion by reminding us how the church is to prepare for the appearance of…

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News

May 2014
News

Syria

Eighty people have died and thousands more are displaced as a result of an attack on a Syrian town regarded as a Christian area. According to reports from Christian advocacy group Barnabas Fund, the population of Kessab was forced to flee after it was besieged by Islamist rebels, who beheaded and killed 80 people,…

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Article

May 2014
Madagascar

An unusual patient

‘What seems to be the trouble?’ is the question doctors all over the world ask the patients in their consulting rooms. It is no different in Mandritsara, and I asked the Malagasy equivalent question of a 44-year-old lady in my consulting room. ‘I’m breathless’, came the reply (I could see that!), ‘and my abdomen…

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Historical

May 2014
Articles > Historical

César Malan (1787-1864)

Henri Abraham César Malan, who died 150 years ago, was born in a bourgeois family in Geneva, in 1787, a couple of years before the earth-shaking French Revolution. His family was of French Huguenot stock from Mérindol in Provence. They had taken refuge in Geneva during the long years of religious persecution in France.…

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Historical

May 2014
Articles > Historical

Henry Havelock – ‘every inch a soldier and every inch a Christian’ (2)

Havelock arrived back in India late in 1851 and in 1854 was appointed Quartermaster-General, promoted to full colonel. In 1855 he was promoted to Adjutant-General, responsible for the war-readiness of all the troops in India — a task he embraced with a vigour which was often resented but which proved vital and timely.  …

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The Faith Shaped Life

Review

May 2014

The Faith Shaped Life

The Faith Shaped Life Ian Hamilton Banner of Truth Trust 160, £5.50 ISBN: 978-1-84871-249-2 Star Rating: 5  I found this a delight to read and very beneficial to me spiritually. The author attempts something which I felt was quite daunting — to sum up the Christian life in 43 short chapters. To attempt this runs…

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Preaching?

Review

May 2014

Preaching?

Preaching? Alec Motyer Christian Focus Publications 192, £8.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-130-3 Star Rating: 5 There is something quite remarkable here — a big book hidden inside a small book! Anyone taking up this book will find there is sufficient in it to keep them busy for quite a long time. In his first chapter, Alec…

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BST – The Message of the Church

Review

May 2014

BST – The Message of the Church

BST – The Message of the Church Chris Green IVP 336, £12.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-878-5 Star Rating: 1 Perhaps one of the most needed areas for serious recovery in the Western evangelical church is the doctrine of the church. For this reason, I approached the chapters of this book, in IVP’s Bible Speaks Today series,…

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The God who became human

Review

May 2014

The God who became human

The God who became human Graham A Cole IVP 208, £12.99 ISBN: 978-1-84474-800-6 Star Rating: 3  This book is written specifically for scholars and students. It is part of an IVP series in biblical theology that aims to trace the development of particular themes through the Scriptures. This sets itself the task of exploring the…

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Why Christ Came

Review

May 2014

Why Christ Came

Why Christ cameJoel R. Beeke and William BoekesteinReformed Heritage Books108 pages, £6.99ISBN: 978-1-60178-268-7Star Rating : 4 This is a useful little book, its value disproportionate to its size and far more appealing than its rather dull cover might suggest. Presumably written for daily devotions, it is a series of 31 meditations on the reasons…

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Review

May 2014

The New Calvinism Considered

The new Calvinism considered — a personal and pastoral assessment Jeremy Walker EP Books, 126 pages, £6.99 ISBN: 978-0-85234-968-7 Star Rating : 3 The author outlines six possible problems with some manifestations of the ‘New Calvinist’ movement — a tendency to pragmatism and commercialism; an unbalanced view of culture; a troubling approach to holiness;…

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Developing Healthy Spiritual Growth

Review

May 2014

Developing Healthy Spiritual Growth

Developing Healthy Spiritual GrowthJoel BeekeEP Books144, £6.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-947-2Star Rating: 3 Joel Beeke is a beacon of light in the troubled waters of contemporary Reformed evangelicalism. He is a gospel man, willing to serve Christ by preaching, whether to a small black congregation in Hackney or to large conferences in the UK and US. He…

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Review

May 2014

Raiding the Lost Ark

Raiding the Lost Ark Jonty Rhodes IVP 184 pages, £8.99 ISBN: 978-1-78359-012-4 Star rating: 5 stars   No, this is not about Indiana Jones or finding long-lost artefacts! It is about opening up what the Bible has to say on a subject few evangelical people consider. In a fresh and engaging way the author…

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Review

May 2014

God’s Good News in the Miracles of Jesus

God’s good news in the miracles of Jesus Roger EllsworthDay One Publications160 pages, £5.00ISBN: 978-1-84625-407-9Star Rating : 3   This is a helpful little book on the miracles of Jesus. It begins with an introduction in which miracles are carefully defined (the birth of a baby is not a miracle!), and the question as…

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