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Everything in May 2016 issue

News

May 2016
News

Induction – Buckingham Chapel, Bristol

There was great rejoicing as friends gathered to celebrate the induction of Oliver Gross as the new pastor of Buckingham Chapel, Bristol, on 19 March. The church had been looking to the Lord for another pastor-teacher to lead the flock at Buckingham for over eight years before Mr Gross accepted the call to this…

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News

May 2016
News

Persecution UK – Magistrate suspended

Christian magistrate Richard Page, 69, has been suspended as a non-executive director of an NHS trust. Earlier this year, he had been removed by the Lord Chancellor for his traditional biblical beliefs about marriage and family life. He had served 15 years on the Kent magistrates’ bench, as a justice of the peace. According…

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Historical

May 2016
Articles > Historical

Foxe at 500

‘Foxe’ is not a name familiar to many Christians. It is the first word in the title of what is today a widely un-read book, Foxe’s book of Martyrs. In fact, John Foxe was a real person, and two good reasons for thinking about him are that he was a Christian and that he…

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News

May 2016
News

Media – A good year for Bible translation

In 2015, Bible Societies helped to complete translations in 50 languages spoken by nearly 160 million people. According to a statement, 2015 was ‘a first’, in terms of translation for no fewer than 28 languages, spoken by nearly 33 million people. Eleven communities now have their first full Bible; six have a New Testament;…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Beautiful in his time’ (2)

Jonathan Edwards, in A history of the work of redemption, demonstrates that a soteriological (saving) significance is traceable in nearly all of God’s works. He gives numerous scriptural examples to show how God, in different ways, is always preparing the field for the salvation of sinners. The Lord’s groundwork is even traceable in his…

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News

May 2016
News

Mission – Broxburn, West Lothian

It’s sadly not uncommon these days to hear of another local church witness closing down, but not common enough to hear of a new work being established on the foundations of the old. But that’s what has happened in Broxburn, on the western outskirts of Edinburgh. In June 2013, Hope Hall Evangelical Church took…

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News

May 2016
News

Training – Publishing push

Christian publishers for CLC International, from eleven different European countries came together with William and Carine MacKenzie of Christian Focus, at a three-day training event in South Holland.    According to Mr MacKenzie, these fledgling publishing houses, run by indigenous people are seeking God’s help and support to further the gospel with much-needed Christian…

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Article

May 2016
Scientific (including creation)

Can atheists know meaning and purpose?

Leading evolutionists and atheists often concede that their worldview implies that life is meaningless. According to Professor Richard Dawkins, ‘The universe we observe has … no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference’. Similarly, Professor Susan Blackmore stated, ‘In the end nothing matters … If you really think…

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News

May 2016
News

International – Banning the niqab

Egypt’s lawmakers are drafting a bill to ban women from wearing the niqab (face veil) in public places and government institutions. In many Muslim-majority contexts, the traditional view is that Islam requires women to wear the niqab. According to MP Amna Nosseir, who is also a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, it…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Considering the covenants

Have you ever become so familiar with a building that, though you pass it many times, you don’t notice it? Some years ago, I was looking for a particular church in a small town. I went into a shop and asked if they could direct me. ‘No. Sorry, we’ve never heard of it’, was…

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News

May 2016
News

International – Zhang Kai

Release International has created a petition calling on the Chinese president to free a Christian human rights lawyer, following a televised ‘confession’. According to the Christian advocacy organisation, the confession from Zhang Kai is believed to be ‘bogus’ and made under duress. The petition calling for Zhang’s release follows a televised ‘confession’ in which…

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News

May 2016
News

Event – Youth Sermon

‘Hope’ has been chosen as the theme for the Sermon of the Year competition, the finals of which will be held on 20 May at London’s ExCel centre. The competition, inaugurated by the London School of Theology (LST) and Preach magazine, aims to unearth the preachers of tomorrow. Among the Under-21s finalists is Phil Hutchinson, 17, who is…

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Historical

May 2016
Articles > Historical

Why were our Reformers burned?

May 2016 is 200 years since the birth of J. C. Ryle, a staunch Anglican evangelical, whose writings have been greatly used by God. This extract is taken from a much longer lecture given in 1867, on the courageous stand of the Protestant martyrs under Queen Mary I (1553-58). Why were our Reformers burned?…

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News

May 2016
News

Appointment – New director at Affinity

Affinity is delighted to announce the appointment of Graham Nicholls as its new director. He will continue the excellent work of Peter Milsom, who retired from this role at the end of March. Affinity’s affiliated church groupings, denominations and organisations are drawn from across the UK and minister here and overseas. The aim of…

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News

May 2016
News

LETTER FROM AMERICA: The new agrarians

‘Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous; and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands’ (Thomas Jefferson, 1785). Ever since the founding of America, agriculture has been a major industry…

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News

May 2016
News

Thought-policing social workers

Christian student Felix Ngole has said he will seek further legal action, after his university expelled him for his views on marriage, which he had outlined on Facebook. The 38-year-old, who was studying a Master’s degree at Sheffield on social work, has lost his appeal against the university’s Fitness to Practise Committee’s (FPC) decision…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > Comment

COMMENT: Relating to the state

Unusually, our comment column this month takes the form of a book review, submitted to Evangelical Times in the normal course of its book-reviewing service for readers. The book it focuses on — God and politics — is a brief but excellent and accessible treatment of a vital issue; and one that draws ever…

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News

May 2016
News

Mission – SIM and MECO merge

Two mission organisations, Serving In Mission (SIM) and MECO (Middle East Christian Outreach) International have joined forces in gospel work. Both leadership teams believe that together, as SIM, they will be better able to take the good news of Jesus to where he is least known, than either could have done individually. Mike Parker,…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > World Mission

Women missionaries (4): What’s mission life like?

Elinor Magowan, who is women’s pastoral worker at UFM Worldwide, talks to Heledd Job. Heledd is a UFM missionary working in student ministry in Kosice, Slovakia, in association with IFES. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I was born in North Wales and stayed there until I went to study at the…

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News

May 2016
News

Event – 50 years of service

At the end of February, the pastoral ministry of Geoff Thomas at Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, officially came to an end. It was just last November that a well-attended weekend of meetings marked 50 years of his ministry there. His role as preacher-pastor has been as significant locally as it has been internationally,…

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News

May 2016
News

Politics – Disabled welfare

Christians in the UK have reacted to the appointment of professed believer Stephen Crabb MP as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. As soon as his position was confirmed, following the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, Christians signed a joint letter coordinated by think-tanks Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform,…

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Event – Farewell and welcome for EMF

News

May 2016
News

Event – Farewell and welcome for EMF

On Saturday 12 March, at Welwyn Evangelical Church in Hertfordshire, the European Mission Fellowship (EMF) held a special farewell and welcome service. The farewell was to the outgoing director Martin Leech, who later this year will take up a pastorate in Australia. Those being welcomed were Ian Parry, founding pastor of The Bay Church…

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News

May 2016
News

Turning a blind eye

The UK government has refused to acknowledge genocide is being committed against Christians by Islamic extremists. In March, the House of Lords refused, by 148 to 111 votes, an amendment to the proposed Immigration Bill that would recognise genocide is being committed by Isis (Daesh) in Iraq and Syria. The amendment could have resulted…

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News

May 2016
News

Society – Pennine preaching

Powerful Pennine preaching was a talent much in demand 400 years ago, an academic study has found. A Huddersfield historian, Margaret Bullett, has completed a thesis on the importance of preaching in Pennine churches in England between 1580 and 1660.  According to Dr Bullett, it was the Calvinist doctrine of predestination that made the…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > Comment

Brexit

I am an enthusiastic European. Europe has given the world great art, literature, architecture and music. It was here that the Reformation was birthed, and the scientific revolution. I have personally enjoyed visiting many European countries, including France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Poland and Albania. I’m even trying to learn the rudiments of the Polish…

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News

May 2016
News

Event – Golden anniversary at Scott Drive

On February 21-22, Scott Drive Church celebrated 50 years of Christian witness in the Devon seaside town of Exmouth. David Jackman, former pastor of Above Bar Church in Southampton and one of the founders of the Proclamation Trust was the guest speaker on both days. The founding of the church owes much to Rev.…

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News

May 2016
News

International – UK trafficking

Child earthquake survivors in Nepal have allegedly been trafficked into the UK to be used as domestic slaves. According to an investigation by the Sun newspaper, Nepalese children, some as young as 10 years, are being sold to work as domestic slaves in England. As part of its undercover investigation, a Sun reporter posed…

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News

May 2016
News

Persecution UK – Victoria Wasteney

The NHS therapist disciplined for giving a book to a Muslim colleague, has lost her appeal against the employment tribunal’s ruling. In April 2016, Judge Eady QC upheld the tribunal’s ruling that the NHS had acted reasonably in disciplining Victoria Wasteney for inviting her colleague to church-related events, praying with her (with consent) and…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > Comment

Brexin

In the swirl of debate over the EU referendum, statistics are thrown around by both sides without careful thought. But, after much consideration, I have stepped into the BrexIn (Brinit) camp. I too wanted Prime Minister David Cameron to come back with more than a piffling piece of paper like his predecessor Neville Chamberlain…

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News

May 2016
News

Media – Smartphone drawbacks

There is a price to pay by being addicted to the smartphone, particularly the loss of face-to-face conversation, Rev. Canon J. John has claimed. In his latest blog post, the director for the Philo Trust, said it was becoming clear human culture has been changing since the ‘first iPhone in 2007 unleashed an unstoppable…

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News

May 2016
News

Politics – Human rights chairman

Liberal-leaning Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan has nominated former Stonewall Chair David Isaac as the preferred next chairman of the European Human Rights Commission. However, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre, said the nomination would create an intrinsic bias at a commission that is supposed to be…

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News

May 2016
News

Politics – Named Persons

Scottish people are divided when it comes to the controversial Named Person scheme, research commissioned by The Times and Unison has found. Named Persons is set to come into force this August and provide every child under 18 with a state-appointed guardian. Unison which represents public service workers found more than 50 per cent…

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News

May 2016
News

Conferences – Pastors’ Network conferences

Pastors and their wives have been taking part in a series of conferences across Great Britain, focused on the prayer life of church leaders. Every year, the Pastors’ Network of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), organises a series of conferences around the country. These aim to cultivate the spiritual lives of pastors…

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News

May 2016
News > Youth Features

UBM gears up for 90 weeks of mission

Nine countries, 90 weeks of mission, 900 volunteers required for active service: you may have seen them before — a group of people on the beach, in the summer, wearing red tops, running activities for children and families. They are all volunteers working with United Beach Missions (UBM). They organise day time and evening…

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Historical

May 2016
Articles > Historical

Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (3)

Continued from Victorian Christianity’s flight from faith (2) The first two articles in this series surveyed the attack on evangelical faith during the first two-thirds or so of the nineteenth century, through novels, poetry, science and philosophy. ). These assaults arose largely from sentiment and an a priori presupposition that miracles and other divine…

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Conference – North of England church leaders

News

May 2016
News

Conference – North of England church leaders

There can be few more important issues facing the church in Britain today than how to communicate the gospel effectively in our pleasure-mad, materialistic society, with its inbuilt suspicion of (and apathy towards) all ‘organised religion’. That was the theme for the annual North of England conference for church leaders and key workers, held…

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Article

May 2016
Articles > World Mission

A Vision for World Mission

The church exists as a place of nurture and worship; but also as a place of witness and outreach, which should have the whole world, as well as its own locality, in view. The Lord Jesus Christ commissioned his followers to proclaim his name to the ends of the earth. Even now, surely, Christ…

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News

May 2016
News

Media – Battle for Christianity

Christianity is in decline and, with less than 3 million people in church attendance in 2016, faces constant challenges, a BBC documentary has claimed. The Battle for Christianity documentary, shown in March, was presented by Professor Robert Beckford, who is from a Christian background. It looked at how immigration, radical social action, conservative morality…

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Review

May 2016

Opening Up Job

This volume aims to provide a working introduction to the book of Job. Much thought has gone into this publication and its layout. The book of Job is of perennial importance, dealing as it does with difficult questions faced by many. Opening up Job first places Job in his historical setting. To avoid getting…

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Review

May 2016

The Star of Bethlehem

This little book aims to help those who are seeking the Saviour, as well as encourage believers. Although there are 62 printed pages, there are only 35 of reading material, divided among preface, introduction and ten chapters. At a price of £5, readers might feel short-changed. Burgess is well known for his excellent books…

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Review

May 2016

Confessions of a Childless Mother

Parents may have always assumed children would come along one day. It may never have occurred that there would be a problem. This book, written by one who walked the path of childlessness with her husband Nick, invites us to understand something of its grief and pain. After many years of disappointment, investigations, raised…

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Review

May 2016

Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord? (New Studies in Biblical Theology)

This is an exceptional piece of biblical theology. It presents a fascinating study of Leviticus and sets this central book of the Pentateuch within the context of the whole biblical revelation. The author demonstrates how the goal of God’s final redemption of his people in the new creation is life with God in his…

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Review

May 2016

Revolutionary Sex

Subtitled ‘How the good news of Jesus changes everything’, this book is based on a series of talks given by the rector of St Helen’s Church in Bishopsgate, London. It is ‘revolutionary’ in that it counters the 1960s culture, that ‘we have become plastic people, for whom the contours of our identity can be…

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Review

May 2016

Right to Die?

I have a serious reservation about this book. It is not the ambiguous title, nor the dismal cover. It is its structure. This Christian book consists of 10 chapters, but there is precious little that is distinctly Christian until chapter 7 (about halfway through). Even then, few Scripture references are made, with meagre exegesis…

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Review

May 2016

Virtually Human: flourishing in a digital world

This title develops the principle that technology is not value-neutral, because God has not made the world value-neutral. Many features of the digital world, particularly social media, convey a worldview at odds with the Bible. For Christians grappling with Facebook and Twitter, this book is helpful. The book initially develops a theological framework. For…

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Review

May 2016

Why read Church History?

This booklet is a masterly answer to this topical question. It is enhanced on its cover by four historical references — to Paul, Luther, George Whitefield and C. H. Spurgeon. Phil Arthur has an excellently trained mind and can write or speak with few words but in a judicious manner. His words often leave…

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Review

May 2016

The courage to be Protestant

I bought this some years ago and regret having never read it until now. What changed me? The fact that next year is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s historic nailing of 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenburg, initiating the Protestant Reformation. That led to my asking the really big…

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Review

May 2016

The Baptist story: from English sect to global movement

This is a catch-all introduction to its subject, with all the strengths and weaknesses of the genre. In this case, the strengths are more buttressed and the weaknesses less exaggerated, but all are present and correct. The three editors each take the reins for each of three particular periods, and then, presumably, combine for…

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Review

May 2016

God and Politics

God and politics — Jesus’ vision for state, society, and government Mark Dever 10Publishing, 64 pages, £2.99 ISBN: 9781910587447 This 55 page booklet is an excellent exposition of Mark 12:13-17. The Pharisees and Herodians ask Jesus the entrapping question, ‘Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?’ Mark Dever affirms that Jesus’ reply, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and…

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Review

May 2016

The quest for the historical Adam: Genesis, hermeneutics and human origins

The quest for the historical Adam: Genesis, hermeneutics and human origins.William VanDoodewaardReformation Heritage Books346 pages, £19.50ISBN: 978-1601783776 This book defends the literal approach to the first chapters of Genesis, including the six days and the creation of the first human beings, and provides a readable history of the interpretation of the creation accounts, down to the present.…

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Review

May 2016

Ecumenical quest for a world federation — the churches’ contribution to marshal public support for world order and peace, 1919-1945 

This is an excellent work, which informs us of the past and gives us much to consider for the future. Erdmann writes of the era when World War I was approaching and a number of influential people gave thought to what could possibly abolish war and solve most of the world’s social ills. Following the…

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Review

May 2016

Pray & protect — how to plan and safeguard churches and ministries in the context of terrorism

The title of this well produced, stapled booklet is exactly indicative of the content. The introduction identifies the aim as, ‘to build on the good practice of your church or organisation, but focus on one specific aspect of care and protection: guarding against a violent or terrorist attack from people who are hostile to…

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Review

May 2016

Charles Williams: The third inkling

Why is this book so important? Because it is the definitive biography of a man who made a uniquely powerful impact on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, whose own influence on the modern world and modern Christianity is itself so significant. Charles Williams (1886-1945), as the book’s title says, was ‘the…

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