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Everything in May 2021 issue

Article

May 2021
Articles > Guest column

Cry Freedom! – Part 2

God’s freedom, we saw last month, means that he does not need to seek the permission of any other being to act as he chooses. And because God is free, God loves freedom and he desires that his creatures should be free. The defining narrative of the people of Israel in the Old Testament…

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News

May 2021
News > Church news

Ian Hamilton: Worship today is lacking ‘reverence and awe’

Many churches today lack a sense of reverence and awe when they gather for worship, and they need to recover the God-ness of God. So says Ian Hamilton as he reflects on a lifetime of ministry in a video interview hosted by Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff. Ian Hamilton was previously minister of Cambridge Presbyterian…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

Willing but Weak: Fighting to put self-control at the heart of Christian discipleship

I guess most of us, if we are really honest, would admit that we struggle with self-control. Here is a book that tackles the issue in a clear and forthright way. It is a small volume, which might superficially suggest that it is not sufficient. Yet here is the practical wisdom of the author:…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

Tough Issues, True Hope: A concise journey through Christian ethics

Luke H. Davis teaches ethics at a Christian high school in the American Midwest, and has written an easy-to-read, conversational book covering the major areas of Christian ethics. It is aimed at high school students and young people, both Christians and non-Christians, and covers topics related to three broad headings: ‘Life’ (including abortion, euthanasia,…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

The Cross of Jesus: How Christ understood his crucifixion

Warren Wiersbe was primarily known for his work in radio ministry, and published a large number of books rooted in evangelical, biblical truth. A striking feature of The Cross of Jesus is its basic, straightforward approach to the centrality of the cross in evangelism. Most chapters revolve around how Jesus saw the work of the atonement,…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

The Way of Life: Christian belief and experience

The aim of this book is to promote holiness, and the author’s view is that ‘the exhibition of the truth is the best means of promoting holiness’ (p.5). Thus he sets out in the first chapter to demonstrate that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and the only source of infallible truth.…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

Our chief of days

This little book does exactly what it says on the cover! Steering a balanced course between legalism on one side and casual indifference on the other, the author sets out the case for keeping the Lord’s day special. Its three chapters cover the three topics of the sub-title. We are shown biblical principles drawn…

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News

May 2021
News

Keir Starmer’s apology for church visit is an ‘insult’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has apologised for visiting a church that upholds biblical beliefs about sexual ethics. Starmer had released a video on Good Friday praising the Jesus House church in Brent, North London, for allowing its premises to be used as a vaccination centre. But later, LGBT activists within the Labour Party…

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News

May 2021
News

Fletcher report details terrible abuse, but is accused of having a ‘negative wider agenda’

A report has been published looking into the lessons to be learned from the misconduct of Jonathan Fletcher during his time as minister of Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon. Among other things, the report suggests there is an ‘unhealthy culture’ within the conservative evangelical networks with which Fletcher was associated. This culture might only be changed,…

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News

May 2021
News

Concerns over vaccine passports for churches while worship rules may stretch beyond June

There are growing concerns among church leaders that the government will introduce ‘vaccine passports’ for places of worship and extend restrictions on worship beyond June. A group of church ministers have signed a public letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, urging the government not to put churches in that position. The letter has…

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News

May 2021
News

Top police officer says a ‘culture of porn’ surrounds abuse scandal

A top police officer has warned that easy access to online pornography is presenting a serious issue for the way children view relationships. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, chief constable Simon Bailey, spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said there is a ‘real issue’ surrounding ‘what children now see and view…

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News

May 2021
News

Prayers offered following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

Evangelical groups have offered prayers for the Royal Family following the death of Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh. His death at the age of 99 was announced on 9 April, just a few days before this edition of ET went to print. CARE issued a prayer saying, ‘God our Father, you truly hold…

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News

May 2021
Articles > News

FIEC and Affinity leaders outline concerns about plans to outlaw so-called ‘conversion therapy’

John Stevens, National Director of FIEC, and Graham Nicholls, Director of Affinity, have said a ban on ‘conversion therapy’ could criminalise aspects of the Christian faith. The two leaders say ordinary church practices – such as preaching, prayer, and pastoral care – could all be criminalised if the government goes ahead with a blanket…

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News

May 2021
News

Christian bus ad victory hailed as ‘good news for the Good News’

A court has strongly rebuked a local council for taking sides against Christians by banning bus ads to promote a gospel event. The ruling said that Blackpool Council had discriminated against Christians when it banned bus adverts for the Lancashire Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham. Ahead of the event, the council initially allowed,…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Church news

OMF Conference: Mission work should never be ‘hit and run’

In February, the Overseas Missionary Fellowship ran an online event for people interested to learn more about how the good news of Jesus is being shared across the world. We heard accounts of how our sovereign Lord has been at work despite the pandemic. Highlighting the cross-cultural nature of our faith, UK and Irish…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Church news

New Christian fiction publisher is launched for young readers

Reformation Lightning, a new micro publisher dedicated to creative Christian writing for young readers, launched in March. Founder Jonathan Pountney told ET, ‘Children’s and Young Adult fiction is hugely popular in the secular world. Walk into any high-street bookshop and you’ll see shelves dedicated to the genre. ‘We are missing something similar in the…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Church news

Carl Trueman gives lecture on identity

‘Who am I?’ is a big question. A bigger one concerns just who gets to determine my identity in the first place. God? Society? Me? In March, Prof. Carl Trueman surveyed this issue with particular reference to the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Carl is on the faculty of Grove City College, Pennsylvania, and he…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Church news

‘Taken without consent’: atheism and science webinar

David Williams, a lawyer, based this stimulating session on his intriguing 2019 book Taken Without Consent: How atheists have highjacked science. The question he posed – ‘How did we get here?’ – has fascinated humans for millennia. He showed that in the 20th century the widely-accepted answer was, by Darwinian evolution. But that century…

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Article

May 2021
International

Australia: New laws proposed to protect religious freedom

A bill that would make it harder to discriminate against a person on the basis of their faith and genuinely held belief has been backed by a parliamentary committee in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Mark Latham, leader of NSW’s One Nation party, has put forward amendments to change the state’s anti-discrimination laws to…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > International

Global: Series of international legal actions taken against the forced closures of places of worship

Countries the world over have taken their governments to court over the forced closure of places of worship during the 2021 lockdown, and some have won. In Chile, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Covid-19 restrictions had been applied in a ‘discriminatory manner’ against believers. The ruling came at the start of Holy Week…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Church news

‘Stayed upon Jehovah’ at online retreat

In February, the Crown Christian Heritage Trust hosted an online Winter Retreat in lieu of the usual in-person event held annually at Cefn Lea, Wales. The week consisted of testimonies, singing, and preaching. Bible teaching and training sessions were given in four different categories: the Christian home, apologetics, local church resources, and strengthening the…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > International

Ireland: Opposition grows against Euthanasia bill

A coalition of campaigners have spoken out against Ireland’s proposed euthanasia bill, calling it ‘dangerous’ and claiming it will undermine palliative end-of-life care for vulnerable people. The Dying with Dignity Bill, which is going through the Irish parliament, aims to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Republic of Ireland. It also contains provisions…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The gospel and the love of God

I’ve been looking at ‘tracts’ – evangelistic leaflets for mass distribution. It’s not easy to find tracts that present the gospel clearly, attractively, and, most important of all, in a way that’s true to the Bible. I’ve got one tract in front of me now. It’s better than many. It’s attractive in its design.…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Our identity and ‘the gender agenda’

Sixty or so years ago as a teenage schoolboy in a co-educational secondary school in north London, it never entered my head to question my gender. The distinction between boys and girls was plain for all to see. We went into school at different entrances at opposite ends of the school. Woe betide anyone…

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Article

May 2021
Articles

Autonomy and Euthanasia

In previous articles we have reflected on the Bible’s teaching that while death is an evil, its miseries never justify intentional killing, and that important decisions should be made in discussion with others: for this is both biblical wisdom and a consequence of our imageness. Without other human beings, we are incomplete – and…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The gospel of church government

The author and atheist Christopher Hitchens wrote in his autobiography: ‘Everything about Christianity is contained in the pathetic image of the flock.’ I think he’s spot on. Frankly, he’s thought much harder about that metaphor than many Christians have. This sheep metaphor is no incidental part of the Bible, it’s central to it. Think…

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Article

May 2021
Articles

Flowers at the bandstand

Sarah Everard was one year older than I when her life was tragically taken in March. Raised in Battersea myself, I know Clapham Common well (the popular park where Sarah was last seen alive). Her tragic death profoundly affects me, as it has many others across the country. Harassment of women has become a…

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News

May 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Matthew Hill (1939–2021)

Matthew Hill, who died in January, became known throughout the UK during his period as Home Secretary of the Spanish Gospel Mission. He did much to raise the profile of the Mission among churches. Born in the New Forest, Matthew was converted as a teenager, and his life was Christ-centred from that point onwards.…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

The Christian’s joy

We are living in a day in which, admittedly, it is hard not to be pessimistic about the prospects for the church. Bad things are happening in the life of the nations. Bad things are happening in the lives of Christians and their churches. It is hard to be joyous and upbeat, isn’t it?…

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Article

May 2021
Articles

Service is universal

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, recently declared that ‘service is universal’ ahead of a highly-publicised interview with Oprah Winfrey. While acknowledging the ongoing controversy surrounding many of Harry and Meghan’s revelations, a Christian can nonetheless say a hearty amen to the remark about service being universal. In one of his gospel…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Don’t fill every open moment with content

When I’m waiting in line to order my drink at a coffee shop, my automatic instinct is to grab for my phone. Not to do anything necessary, of course; just to scroll aimlessly for the minute or two before it’s my turn to order. Maybe I can catch a few tweets, headlines, or Instagram…

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News

May 2021
News > International

Eritrea: Christians arrested during two prayer meetings

Christians have been arrested in Eritrea in a brace of government-sanctioned raids. In March, the army raided a prayer meeting held by 23 women in the capital city of Asmara and imprisoned the women at Mai Sarawa prison. Shortly after this, another 12 Christians were arrested in Assab, near the border with Djibouti, when…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Humility and repentance in face of Fletcher report: Beware Trojan horses

Jonathan Fletcher is very well-known within the Anglican part of conservative evangelicalism, though maybe less so among independents. He was the minister of Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon, from 1982 to 2012, but perhaps the single most influential Anglican conservative evangelical across a much wider spectrum of conferences, camps, and churches. Many flocked to his church,…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Biblical/theological

One of the ugliest sights in the world

One of the ugliest sights in the world is that of a child who rules over his parents. We have all seen it, I’m sure. We have seen parents who tiptoe around their child’s cries, their child’s demands, their child’s outbursts of anger. They will do whatever he dictates, give whatever he commands. We…

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News

May 2021
News > International

Indonesia: Christians increase security after church is bombed during Easter

Indonesian Christians were forced to step up security over Easter after a terrorist carried out a suicide bombing at a church in Makassar, Sulawesi, on Palm Sunday. According to Al Jazeera, there are approximately 23 million Christians in Indonesia, compared with 270 million Muslims. Al Jazeera stated the bomber was known to Indonesian police,…

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News

May 2021
News > International

US: Jim Elliot plaque is reworded to remove references to ‘savages’

Wheaton College, an evangelical liberal arts college in Illinois, is revising wording on a plaque commemorating the deaths of the five missionaries killed in Ecuador in 1956. The plaque, which hung in the foyer of the college’s main chapel for 64 years, had been donated by the class of 1949. According to a letter…

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Article

May 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

A walk with Mr O (2) How important is daily Bible reading?

Mr O, last time we went for a walk together, you took me a bit by surprise. Oh yes? Why was that? Well, I asked you what has helped you most in your Christian life, and you said it was being an active member of a biblical church. But I’ve asked the same question…

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Article

May 2021
Articles

Comment

Vaccine passports Indications that the government might extend social distancing measures beyond 21 June and introduce vaccine passports for churches are deeply worrying. While no firm proposals have yet come forward, we have seen the government shift the goalposts many times before. Confidence in what they say has been eroded. We all acknowledge the…

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Article

May 2021
Articles

VE Day: Why do wars persist?

Neither drizzle nor dull skies dampened the celebrations on 8 May 1945. Victory in Europe had finally put an end to years of suffering, separation, and death. The war was over. Crowds euphoric with joy swarmed Buckingham Palace. There were hugs and kisses, smiles and laughter, dancing and singing. For the first time since…

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Review

May 2021
Reviews > Book

Departures: Poems and meditations on the Book of Exodus

Departures is a devotional book, but one with a difference. It consists of 40 chapters, each corresponding to a chapter in the book of Exodus. P. D. Gray recommends that the reader should read carefully and reflect deeply on each chapter of Exodus first, with the help of an appropriate commentary if necessary, before referring…

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