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All Articles from May 2021

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
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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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
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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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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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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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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