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Everything in October 2013 issue

Central Baptist retirement service

News

October 2013
News

Central Baptist retirement service

On Sunday 14 July, a day of thanksgiving was held at Central Baptist Church, Walthamstow, for Pastor Roger Neil ahead of his retirement at the end of August.     Mr Neil was saved at university while training as a teacher. He and his wife Pat joined Sutton Bonington Baptist Church, where they learnt much under the leadership of Rev. John Blanshard, and Roger became a deacon.    During this time, the call to ministry grew and Roger and Pat moved to London so that he could attend London Bible College. Then, in 1984, Mr Neil accepted a call to the pastorate at Chingford Mount Baptist Church,...

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Article

October 2013
Asia

Tibet’s well-sold lie

The sky burial site was a disturbing scene. The sweet smell of rotting flesh filled the man’s nostrils, stimulating his salivary glands so that he felt sick yet hungry at the same time. Around a group of flat stones, he could see bloodied hatchets lying on the ground amidst torn clothes and human bones — a pelvis, skull, forearm. The bits that the vultures do not eat will lie there until they decompose or are carried away by dogs.     Coming down off the mountainside he looked pale and was clearly in shock. He had found what he was looking for, but not what he...

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News

October 2013
News

Reeth Evangelical Congregational Church

Rev. David Levell was inducted to the pastorate of Reeth Evangelical Congregational Church this July.    The service was chaired by John Little (deacon), who spoke of how the church had been led to call David and his wife Mary. Mark Rowcroft, pastor of Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church, Darlington, read the Scriptures.     Andy Hannan, deacon at Pantiles Baptist Church, Tunbridge Wells where David has ministered for 25 years, commended his faithful gospel ministry centred on the Word of God. He also spoke of Mary’s support and her contribution in establishing a mothers and toddlers group along with her involvement in other areas of church...

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News

October 2013
News

Anglican cleric takes on Archbishop Welby

A diagnosis by the Archbishop of Canterbury of the crisis within Anglicanism has received a stinging critique from Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, chief operating officer of the American Anglican Council.    In a sermon delivered in Mexico on 13 August, Justin Welby had said that the Anglican Communion was moving in the opposite direction to toleration, and disintegrating into chaos and disputes between traditionalists and progressives.    But, in his blog (www.americananglican.org/what-is-the-problem), Canon Ashey contrasts Welby’s analysis with the 2012 statement of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). Authority The FCA, comprising 200 archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons and lay leaders from 30 countries and 25 Anglican...

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Historical

October 2013
Articles > Historical

David Brainerd (1718-1747) (2)

Last month’s article on David Brainerd highlighted Jonathan Edwards’ esteem for his friend as an exemplar of authentic Christianity. Although dying when only 29, Brainerd was a classic role model for how the kingdom of God is extended. In 1729 Jonathan Edwards had become pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, then a town of about 1000 men, women and children. During 1734-35, around one third of the town was converted within the short space of six months.     At that time, ‘a great and earnest concern about the great things of religion, and the eternal world, became universal in all parts of the town’, especially among the...

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Article

October 2013
Articles > Biblical/theological

Indulgences today (2)

In September’s ET we observed that the Vatican had recently proclaimed an ‘indulgence’ for ‘contrite’ Catholics for attending the Catholic World Youth Day, held in Rio de Janeiro; or for following the Youth Day on Twitter. We saw that the long established Catholic practice of indulgences is a denial of the true gospel. The gospel is grounded in justification by faith alone, not in justification by good works.     Same issues The sixteenth century Reformation brought a recovery of the preaching of the pure gospel in contrast to ‘works religion’, which then also expressed itself in indulgences. This summer’s proclamation of an indulgence reminds believers...

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Article

October 2013
Belarus

Belarus’s first Summer School of Reformed Theology

On 25-27 June, the first Summer School of Reformed Theology took place in Minsk. It was a small but new event for my country.     Our goal is to change the ethos of Christian conferences in Belarus. We are not obsessed with numbers, but focussing on a different kind of fellowship. The aim is not motivational, entertaining or pietistic, but purely theological.    Discussion We invited a dozen ministers of Reformed congregations (both paedo-Baptist and Baptist) for three days of theological training and discussion. Some of them already had formal seminary degrees, some had not. All had an appreciation of Reformed theology; not just the five...

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News

October 2013
News

Educational failure

White working-class British boys are falling further behind other groups of children at GCSE, despite initiatives designed to boost the performance of disadvantaged pupils.    A new study by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) of the roots of educational failure in England found that, from 2007-2012, the gap in performance between poor white boys and most other pupils actually widened.    White British boys receiving free school meals (FSM), the commonly used measure of classroom disadvantage, are performing much worse than other deprived groups of pupils.    White British children form the largest ethnic group in England on FSM. They are also the worst performing, after the...

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Article

October 2013
Scientific (including creation)

Pseudoscience and the stifling of debate -What promoters of climate change and evolution have in common

Much effort is currently being expended to persuade the general public that lavish investment in ‘green energy’ (such as wind farms) is vital for our planet’s future and is also scientifically justified.       My purpose here is not to argue for or against the claims of pro-climate-change scientists and politicians, but to look at how prominent spokespersons are going about their task.[1]       Promoters of the idea that people, penguins and pomegranates share a common ancestor are fond of claiming that contrary voices are ‘anti–science’ — a charge that is also being levelled at those who disagree with the party line on ‘climate change’.[2] It...

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The persecuted church

News

October 2013
News

The persecuted church

A meeting, aimed at highlighting the conditions and needs faced by the persecuted church, was held in July, at Ebenezer Reformed Baptist Church, Brighton.    The speakers were Pastor Pooyan Mehrshahi from Cheltenham and Pastor Haile Emiru from London. Information was shared regarding the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and north and east Africa.    The meeting opened with the sobering fact that every 190 seconds a Christian gives up his life for Christ’s sake; that is, 19 people every single hour. Personal testimonies were given of the lengths our brothers and sisters go to in making the gospel...

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Article

October 2013
Interviews

The big interview: Breaking slavery’s legacy

Sarah de Carvalho MBE, founder of Happy Child International, will soon celebrate 20 years of ministry. Happy Child has rescued and restored over 9500 children from the streets and places of risk and reintegrated them back into family and community. Beginning with a 24-hour shelter in Belo Horizonte, in south east Brazil, the charity has expanded, with 10 additional safe homes in that city and, more recently, three homes in Recife, in the poorer north east of the country. Sarah recently shared her story with Sheila Marshall. Sheila: How were you called to work in Brazil? Sarah: I was a publicist on film production and distribution...

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Article

October 2013
Education

Students away from home

For many students who will shortly leave home to go away to college or university, this can be a difficult and dangerous time in their Christian lives. To come from a secure, even sheltered, Christian home and be plunged into the quicksands of modern student culture, can prove to be too much for some. How can Christian students cope with the temptations they will face? The answer lies in looking. Look to God The stories about people turning away from the faith in college may fill you with foreboding, but be assured that there are countless Christians who have been greatly encouraged and blessed while...

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Article

October 2013
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The glory of Christ (3)

God made us as complex beings. We have heads and hearts (and wills too); that is, each one of us has both a centre of understanding and a centre of emotion. We are not robots, but flesh and blood. But not mindless flesh and blood; we are to be guided by truth. We rightly dislike the excesses of the Charismatic movement which cause people to be led by emotion and fancy instead of God’s revelation. But, whilst warning about that ditch on one side of the road, are we equally aware of the ditch on the opposite side — the ditch of dry intellectualism?    Unless...

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Article

October 2013
Obituaries

Rev. Raymond Gregory (1928-2013)

Rev. Raymond Gregory entered the Lord’s presence on 20 July. For the last years of his life he could not wait to see his Lord and Saviour. He died peacefully while sleeping in his chair.     Raymond became a Christian whilst serving in the army at Saton camp, Chester. A visiting representative of the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association gave him a copy of the New Testament.    He put it away in a drawer for some time, but then decided to read it through want of something to do. The end result was, as he often quoted, ‘I fell in love with Jesus Christ’....

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Article

October 2013
Evangelistic

Amazing love!

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). As we prepare to reach out with the gospel again this Christmas, let us think once more about our relationship to the God of love.        No doubt John 3:16 is the most beloved verse in the whole Bible. And, no wonder, for it expresses in a simple but beautiful way the wonderful love of God for humanity. Here we learn the extent of God’s love: ‘God so loved the world’. The word for ‘world’ in the Greek...

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Historical

October 2013
Articles > Historical

Final curtain

Can Her Majesty the Queen refuse the Royal Assent for a parliamentary Bill? This became a live issue in relation to the recent Marriage Act. To answer this question, it is necessary to turn to the 1688 constitutional settlement. Those well versed in history will know that the seeds of the 1688 settlement were sown in 1603 with the advent of James I, who held the view that he ruled by Divine Right, and couldn’t be questioned. Unfortunately, he saw kingship solely in terms of his rights, to the virtual exclusion of his responsibilities. In due course, James’ distorted view came to a head with...

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News

October 2013
News

Isle of Dogs café

St John’s Park is a small green space on the Isle of Dogs, East London. Just a few years ago, it was a place no one dared to enter, because of the gangs, drugs and high levels of crime. Now it is a vibrant community hub, where parents and children gather to enjoy time together.    This change has been brought about through the long-term ministry of Café Forever, a cafe run by London City Mission. In 2006 they transformed a disused council building in the middle of the park into a small shop selling cold drinks and snacks.    Over time the gangs moved on and...

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News

October 2013
News

Ending abortion

Ending abortion became a little more of a reality, as 55 people from around the country and abroad joined together in London for the Clarkson Academy.    Organisers from the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) UK and Christian Concern were pleased with the feedback from delegates.    Andrew Stephenson from CBR UK, who runs the public education project Abort67, said, ‘The aim of the Academy was to move away from languishing over the problem of abortion and encourage people that this is a winnable battle’.    Those attending learned that the history of social reform for such as the slave trade and child labour teaches us important universal...

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Article

October 2013
Articles > Guest column

The ‘yes-man’

Sometimes it’s good to be a ‘yes-man’. Let me tell you about one; his name was Arch. That’s his real name, and a few readers may have known him. He was a deacon and church secretary of the first church I pastored and one of the best men I have ever known. He was already elderly the first time I met him. I was visiting preacher for the day and he was there to welcome me. The tea and biscuits were welcome but not unusual; the warmth of his smile for a young stranger was.    A few months later I became pastor there, and he...

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Historical

October 2013
Articles > Historical

Dangerous Compromises – Reflections on the Life of Renée of France

When Evangelical Press first suggested I write a book for their series of Bitesize Biographies, I immediately thought of Renée of France, and that for several reasons. Mostly, I had recently written a semi-fictionalized biography of Olympia Morata (Weight of a Flame, the Passion of Olympia Morta, P&R 2012) and my research had left me longing to know more about Renée, a prominent character in that story. Renée was, in some respect, far from the larger-than-life characters that populate many popular historical accounts. In many ways, she embodied the complexity of her times, struggling to consolidate her faith in a period of rapid and momentous...

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The UK concert of prayer

News

October 2013
News

The UK concert of prayer

On 5 October, churches around the country plan to meet in united prayer gatherings to plead with God for an outpouring of the Spirit and the revival of his work, in our desperately needy nation. This will be the twelfth such occasion in the past three years. This ‘Concert of prayer for revival’ began as an initiative of the Yorkshire Reformed Ministers’ Fraternal at the beginning of 2011. For the first year, the four quarterly events were limited to Yorkshire. However, for the past two years friends in other parts of the UK have chosen to meet in similar quarterly united prayer gatherings that deliberately...

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Article

October 2013
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Forgiveness (2)

The most important thing of all is to experience God’s forgiveness, through Jesus Christ (September ET). And we must then forgive those who sin against us. Consider first the forgiveness Christians should show to one another. This should mirror God’s forgiveness of us — ‘forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:32); ‘as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive’ (Colossians 3:13).    If we are sinned against, Christ tells us what we should do (Matthew 18:15-35). Matthew 18:15 says, ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears...

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Article

October 2013
United Kingdom

Stretched to the limit, but giving God all the glory!

I have to admit that when I first signed up to do Weymouth beach mission, it wasn’t all about serving God and sharing the gospel. I did want to do those things but there were other reasons too! My brother-in-law and sister had been encouraging me to come for some time and I was keen to spend some time with them. So you could say I wasn’t the best prepared for what I was about to do. I soon realised that when I arrived. On Sunday afternoon the training began and I think it was then that the full impact of what beach mission was...

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Article

October 2013
France

What can be done?

Fiona Steward, a missionary with UFM Worldwide and Grace Baptist Mission, has been reaching out to students in Bordeaux, France, for the last 8 years. She shared her inmost motivations in a recent prayer letter. What can be done without God? An obvious question, but one that our sinful, self-reliant, self-glorifying hearts need to grasp more. It is a deep consolation to be reminded that no one can stop the Lord accomplishing all that he has purposed. Everything is through and for Christ. The glory can only ever go to him. What can be done without the cross? I love what was said of Spurgeon’s...

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News

October 2013
News

Sudan exodus

Barnabas Fund has moved almost 5000 stranded Christians to South Sudan and is appealing for help in rescuing more from the overwhelmingly Muslim north.    After South Sudan was created in 2011, people of South Sudanese origin living in the north were stripped of their Sudan citizenship and given a deadline to leave Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of southerners, including many Christians, had fled north during the brutal 22-year-long civil war that ended in 2005. But the aggressively Islamic government in Khartoum is seeking to eradicate the Christian presence.    Many southerners have now returned to their homeland, but the most poor and vulnerable lacking resources to...

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News

October 2013
News

Arab Israeli pastor tours UK

Ten years ago, in the Israeli city of Haifa, a tragic but remarkable event took place. A 20-year-old Palestinian man boarded a bus full of schoolchildren in Haifa and blew himself up, killing 17 and injuring 53.     Hamas took credit for the massacre and Saddam Hussein sent a $25,000 reward to the family of the terrorist. One of those killed was Abigail Litle, the 14-year-old daughter of American Baptist missionaries.     Abigail’s funeral at Beit Eliyahu (House of Elijah) congregation the following day was attended by members of Israel’s Knesset and covered by national television. For days after, Israel was talking about the broadcast.  ...

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Article

October 2013
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The Christian and fantasy fiction

How should a Christian think of fantasy fiction?  Opinions seem to range from extreme caution to enthusiastic promotion.  Of course, when this range of opinions is regarded as a mere matter of taste very little need be said about it.  But sometimes deeper issues either are, or are said to be, at stake. Sometimes, Christians who enjoy fantasy fiction can regard it as more than mere relaxation.  Parts of it are promoted, in addition, to the category of edification.  This is especially the case, of course, with authors either Christian or perceived to be Christian, most notably C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and...

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Historical

October 2013
Articles > Historical

Daniel Rowland – man of truth and power (1)

Daniel Rowland was born in 17131 at Pantybeudy in the parish of Llancwnlle, near Llangeitho, Cardiganshire. He had an elder brother, John, and both sons were intended for the ministry by their father, who was the vicar. On the death of his father in 1731, his elder brother John succeeded him, while Daniel completed his education at Hereford Grammar School, where his attainments were of a high standard. At the tender age of 20, he was ordained in London and for the purpose he walked there. He then became curate to his brother, who was now the incumbent not only of Llancwnlle but also of...

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News

October 2013
News

Geoff Thomas festschrift

This month, Dr Geoff Thomas, pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, for the last 48 years, turns 75.     He was ambushed during August’s Evangelical Movement of Wales annual conference in Aberystwyth, when he was presented with a book of essays that is to be published on 15 October to celebrate his long and influential ministry.     Clearly moved by the gesture, he uncharacteristically had to admit that he was ‘lost for words’. The conference setting seemed appropriate, as Geoff is such a good friend to it. Many present had begun their week listening to him preach his annual mini-series down the hill in...

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News

October 2013
News

Open airs in Oxbridge

United Beach Missions (UBM) ran ‘Christian Answer’ teams across the country during the summer months. Oxford and Cambridge proved once again to be unique missions, with unrivalled opportunities for gospel preaching in the open air.     What marks them out is the desire not to attack or ridicule, but to listen and genuinely consider the Christian message. There is still loud opposition at times, but it is relatively little and usually good natured.    From the first session, a crowd of listeners gathered, accepting Gospels and other literature offered from the front. Remarkable providential links were experienced. Many stayed after the talks to chat about the...

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News

October 2013
News

EP Books appoints next chairman

After five years of sterling service as chairman of the board of Evangelical Press, Roger Fay has stepped aside, in accordance with EP’s constitutional practice. Roger has led the board during difficult times and we are grateful that he will remain as a board member, to continue to share his enthusiasm and experience in this field of the Lord’s service.    Roger has been replaced as chairman by Pastor Mostyn Roberts. Mostyn pastors Welwyn Evangelical Church, lectures at London Theological Seminary and has ministered as a visiting speaker in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Italy and Spain.     He has a young family and we are very grateful...

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News

October 2013
News

Tackling pornography

A conference aimed at equipping pastors and parents to deal with porn will be held in Watford on 18-19 October.    Porn Scars is aimed at equipping pastors and parents to deal with porn, which organisers say is often an unspoken struggle for many Christians, given its corrosive nature.    Organisers say that the conference, aimed at those over 16, will be more of an experience than a conference, and will be mainly creative, using music, film, seminars and talks.    Karin Cooke, director of Porn Scars and one of the speakers, said, ‘There is an increase in use of pornography right across the generations and this does...

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Article

October 2013
Obituaries

Oliver Barclay (1919-2013)

Oliver Barclay, second General Secretary of IVF/UCCF, died at his home in Leicester on 12 September 2013, aged 94.     He was born in Kobe, Japan, on 22 February 1919, the son of Joseph Gurney Barclay (who served with what is now the Church Mission Society). His great grandfather was the MP Thomas Fowell Buxton, who campaigned with William Wilberforce as part of the influential Clapham Sect. Life work     Oliver first joined the small IVF team in 1945, having completed a doctorate in zoology. His original hope was to teach in one of China’s newer universities, but Douglas Johnson, IVF’s founding General Secretary (always...

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News

October 2013
News

Al Qaeda targets Christians

As President Obama talked tough on Syria, attacks on various Christian denominations there continued, including an assault by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels on the mountain Christian village of Maaloula, 40 miles north east of Damascus, on 5 September.    Some of its 2000 residents still speak a version of Aramaic, the language once spoken by Jesus. Around 80 residents took shelter in a convent, housing 13 nuns and 27 orphans, after an attack by the Jabhat al Nusra group.    According to Barnabas Fund, Syria used to be one of the easiest places in the Arab world to be a Christian. Until early 2011, Syria’s churches were large, catering...

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Historical

October 2013
Articles > Historical

The Amish (2) Anabaptist origins

On the last day of October 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany. The Reformation had been launched. By the beginning of 1522, Ulrich Zwingli was established as leader of the Reformation in Zurich, with a group of young men under his tuition. Among them were the first identifiable antecedents of the present day Amish.    Introduced by Zwingli to the Greek New Testament, they became eager to see the reform of the church. Zwingli had planned to observe the Lord’s Supper in the simple New Testament (NT) manner on Christmas Day 1523.     Although he had...

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News

October 2013
News

Creation in California

Professor Andy McIntosh recently spoke at two meetings at churches in California. The first was in Redding, near California’s northern border.     The pastor who ran the meeting, Al Franklin, has a huge collection of fascinating fossils, so the subject of rocks and fossils was close to his heart. He showed Prof. McIntosh crabs, exquisitely preserved fish, plants and leaves. There was a beautiful, needle fish fossil, with its last meal of another fish preserved in its stomach.    One talk was on Thermodynamics and Information, which, Andy says, ‘is not a walk in the park’. The audience followed it and some realised the implications —...

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News

October 2013
News > Youth Features

Camping MaDness – faith, fun & friendship

From 27 July – 3 August, around fifty 10-16 year olds, some of whom were from non-Christian families, spent a week on a Christian summer camp based in Talybont, North Wales.    MaD camp, organised by Mirfield and Dewsbury Evangelical Churches, has been running for 19 years. Approximately 85 campers and staff, such as cooks and tent leaders, went on the camp.    A variety of activities including baking, beach trips and body-boarding took place. More expensive options such as pony trekking, rock climbing and a treetop adventure course were also available.    In the evenings, the whole camp gathered together for more formal services to pray, sing...

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News

October 2013
News

Norwich pastor not Intimidated

A Norwich pastor who sent Christian tracts, including one called Good news for gays, to a gay organisation is awaiting a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service on whether he will be prosecuted for homophobia.    But Rev. Dr Alan Clifford, who is pastor of Norwich Reformed Church, told Evangelical Times that he has received a lot of support. ‘Support is huge, even global. The Spectator article has done much good and brought immense encouragement’.    In a statement, he added: ‘Faith in God means I am not in deep shock. Huguenot Calvinists are not easily intimidated! I enjoy perfect peace, looking forward if necessary to the...

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News

October 2013
News

Aberystwyth Conference

Car packed? Rooms booked? Satnav charged and set? Off we go! It’s August and time for ‘Aber’.     The Aberystwyth Conference, arranged by the Evangelical Movement of Wales (EMW) and run now for 50 years or so, has a distinctive ethos of its own. A shade more traditional than other conferences perhaps, and certainly less hectic than many, it has become one of the spiritual highlights of our year.    The main conference begins on the Monday evening, with the preaching meetings held in the light and airy university Great Hall, which seats about 1200. It was well filled all week, with around 1600 in total...

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News

October 2013
News

Egyptian attacks

Christians in Egypt have become the target of Islamists since the removal of former President Mohammed Morsi.    Over 60 churches have been attacked since 14 August, when the Egyptian army cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood supporters who were protesting Morsi’s removal. Morsi’s Muslim supporters blame Coptic Christians for his overthrow.    Most of the churches were in the Egyptian cities of Minya and Assiut. Several convents, monasteries and schools, and dozens of homes and businesses have been looted, burned or destroyed. The situation was exacerbated by the decision of Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II to support the army.    In Cairo, the cross over a Franciscan school...

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Review

October 2013

Suffering & sovereignty — John Flavel and the Puritans on afflictive providence

Suffering & sovereignty — John Flavel and the Puritans on afflictive providenceBrian H. CosbyReformation Heritage Books, 164 pages, £20.00, ISBN: 978-1-60178-197-0Star Rating : 3 ‘If anyone tells me that the death of my child is God’s will, I’ll scream!’ This is an understandable reaction to sudden extreme suffering. The Puritan, John Flavel, suffered such bereavement in his life with each of his three successive wives and also through losing a child at birth.     As a result of this suffering, a major theme of his works is ‘afflictive providence’: the paradox that our kind and sovereign God ordains suffering for the good of his people.  ...

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Review

October 2013
Reviews > Book

The Life of John Calvin

The Life of John Calvin W. J. Grier Banner of Truth, 166 pages, £6.00 ISBN: 978-1-84871-181-5 Star Rating : 5 This is an excellent introduction to the life of John Calvin. It also leads us, to some extent, into the heartbeat of the movement of God that we know as the Reformation. It is written by a man in full sympathy with his subject, yet who, with integrity, discusses Calvin’s ‘frailties’ as well as his ‘charms’. There are 23 chapters. These originally appeared in the Irish Evangelical and were reprinted more recently in the Banner of Truth. Such a large number of chapters in a...

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Review

October 2013

The History of Providence

The history of providenceAlexander CarsonBanner of Truth, 248 pages, £7.50ISBN: 978-1-84871-175-4Star Rating : 3 I write this at a time of family bereavement and following serious family illness and conflict in the Evangelical Reformed scene. Belief in a sovereign God and his providential purposes is a firm anchor.     What does providence mean? This 150-year-old book fails to define it, perhaps because at that time a definition was not needed.    Wayne Grudem in his Systematic theology writes (p. 315): ‘God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he (1) keeps them existing and maintains the properties with which he created them;...

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Review

October 2013

The Big Ego Trip

The big ego trip — finding true significance in a culture of self-esteemGlynn HarrisonIVP, 224 pages, £9.99, ISBN: 978-1-84474-620-0Star Rating : 4 Glynn Harrison, an experienced Christian psychiatrist, pinpoints what has become a huge cultural development in the Western world, namely the influence of ‘the self-esteem movement’. He sees what he calls ‘boosterism’ as an often baneful influence, in fields such as educational policy, child rearing and criminology.    He also demonstrates that many parts of the church have been unhelpfully influenced by thinking that stresses the need of an individual to learn how to love him or herself, before being able to love others or...

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Review

October 2013

Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Secret thoughts of an unlikely convertRosaria Champagne-Butterfield Crown & Covenant Publications 128 pages, £5.99 (Kindle edition)ISBN: 978-1884527388 Star Rating : 5 This book is unusual. It’s a memoir of a former English professor at Syracuse University, New York, who specialised in Gay and Lesbian studies but who now finds herself a Christian, a home-schooling mum and married to a Presbyterian minister.     Mixed in with her memories are insightful reflections on homosexuality, God’s guidance, hospitality, exclusive psalm-singing, world view, home-schooling and fostering.     The author is clearly conscious of the dangers of ‘giving your testimony’. Halfway through the book, she describes how reluctant she was to...

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Review

October 2013

Encouragement for Today’s Pastors

Encouragement for today’s pastorsJoel Beeke & Terry SlachterReformation Heritage Books, 216 pages, £16.00ISBN: 978-1-60178-220-5Star Rating : 4 Pastors (and others) are often in need of encouragement and this book will do just what it says on the cover — it will encourage you, and it will do so with the help of fine pastors from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.     It will be most appreciated by those in gospel ministry (and, I suspect, their wives), though it can be read with profit, for encouragement, by all believers.     Joel Beeke and Terry Slachter have put together a very readable handbook in six parts, each...

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Review

October 2013

The Cross in the Experience of our Lord

The cross in the experience of our LordR. A. FinlaysonChristian Focus Publications, 112 pages, £5.99ISBN: 978-1-78191-149-5Star Rating :5 This book consists of a series of six messages originally given by Professor Finlayson at a Welsh Bible convention in 1954. It is printed under the ‘Christian Heritage’ imprint of Christian Focus, which aims to reprint ‘books representing some of the best material from the rich heritage of the church’. With this little book, the publishers have certainly succeeded in their objective.    There is a helpful foreword by Carl R. Truman and then, for those (like me) who know nothing of Prof. Finlayson, an informative introduction to...

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Review

October 2013

The Great Ejection

The Great EjectionGary BradyEP Books, 176 pages, £8.99ISBN: 978-0-85234-802-4Star Rating : 5 Who governs the church, Jesus Christ or the state? In practical terms, what determines the doctrine and practice of the church? Is it the Bible or is it public opinion? Throughout the long history of the church, Christians have had to face and answer such questions.     Once again they have been thrown up by the debate about the nature and character of marriage. It is good to be able to consider the way in which our fathers approached such issues. The record of the legislation of 1660-1662 and its aftermath provides us...

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Review

October 2013

Freeing Tangled Hearts

Freeing tangled heartsDolores KimballEP Books160 pages, £7.99, ISBN: 978-0-85234-910-6Star Rating : 4 If you often feel controlled by the confusion caused by the interplay of emotions, hormone cycles and frequent unhelpful thinking (which most women recognise), this book will begin to direct your thinking along more biblical lines. It is addressed to women, although many of the issues discussed are for men as much as women.     It is not a step-by-step guide to improving your Christian life, neither does it offer slick answers such as ‘You can do it’, ‘Just trust more’, ‘Commit yourself’ or ‘Just speak words of truth into your life’. Rather...

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