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Everything in September 2020 issue

Review

September 2020
Reviews > Book

Church Reformed

I had not heard of Tim Bayly before, but judging from this book, I would like to meet him. He has a high view of the local church – as does God. And Bayly wants us all to be clear on that. But he is afraid that many of us aren’t. People are not…

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Review

September 2020
Reviews > Book

George Whitefield: The First Transatlantic Revivalist

This book is better than its title might suggest. Although Charles Finney, the ‘father of modern revivalism’, considered George Whitefield to be ‘a progenitor of his own revival techniques’ (p.307), such comparison misleads far more than it informs. Whitefield adopted no conscious ‘techniques’ in seeking to achieve the great concern of his life, which…

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Review

September 2020
Reviews > Book

Columba: the Faith of an Island Soldier (Biography)

I enjoyed this book, which can be read at different levels. Scholars of pre-Roman Western Christianity will find it highly informative. For those of a less academic bent it will be like peering through a window and seeing a world very different to our own. Highly ascetic monasticism began in Egypt as a reaction…

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Review

September 2020
Reviews > Book

A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Understanding Suicide and Euthaniasia – A Contemporary and Biblical Perspective

It is with sensitivity and a pastoral heart that Eryl Davies addresses these complex and controversial issues. Statistics alone demand that a biblical perspective is given to these topics. In 1969, an estimated 51% of the UK population was in support of voluntary euthanasia for those suffering unbearable pain and discomfort in terminal illness,…

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Review

September 2020
Reviews > Book

Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder that, outside of their church communities, many Christians feel second class and defenceless. But…

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News

September 2020
News > People > Obituaries

Dr J. I. Packer (1926–2020)

J. I. Packer went to be with the Lord on 17 July 2020. He was 93 years old. Packer was widely recognised as one of the most influential theological popularisers of the 20th century. Throughout nearly 70 years of writing and ministry, he stressed the importance of knowing and communing with God. He called…

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News

September 2020
News > Obituaries

Peter Maiden (1948–2020)

Peter Maiden, the former International Director of Operation Mobilisation (OM) and former chairman of the Keswick Convention, died on 14 July 2020 aged 72. Born in 1948, Peter hailed from Carlisle where he met his wife, Win, at a youth meeting at Hebron Evangelical Church. Peter began work in industry but, following a summer…

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News

September 2020
News > International

Sudan: Christians celebrate the abolition of deadly apostacy laws

Christians are celebrating after the new Sudanese government abolished the country’s apostasy law. Until the law was removed, Muslims in Sudan could be sentenced to death for converting to Christianity. Even discussing other religions could lead to arrest. This greatly limited Christian evangelism, and Christians were routinely persecuted for their beliefs – including having…

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News

September 2020
News > International

Netherlands: MP wants to allow euthanasia for healthy over-75s

A new law is being proposed in the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia for healthy people over the age of 75. The bill, proposed by Pia Dijkstra MP, would allow over-75s with no medical problems to apply for an ‘end-of-life supervisor’. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is already legal if the person is deemed to be…

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News

September 2020
News > International

Chile: Covid-19 arrests of pastors ruled unconstitutional

Chilean pastors who were wrongfully arrested for holding worship services during the Covid-19 crisis have won their case setting a precedent for religious freedom. A court recently ruled that the arrest was unconstitutional and based on an illegal administrative act. They were arrested for allegedly violating Covid-19 health measures which prohibited religious activities. ADF…

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News

September 2020
News > Persecution

China: Covid-19 used for church crackdown

Christian advocacy group China Aid has warned that the communist state has increased crackdowns on Christians under the guise of breaking up illegal meetings under Covid-19 lockdown measures. Individuals’ homes have been raided by armed police, with Christian emblems removed from their own homes, while churches have continued to see their crosses removed by…

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News

September 2020
News > Persecution

Nigeria: Aid workers killed as a ‘warning’ against converting Muslims to Christianity

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has denounced the execution of five aid workers on 19 July in northeast Nigeria. The murder was carried out by the ‘Islamic State in West Africa Province’ (ISWAP), a Boko Haram faction. ISWAP militants claimed responsibility for the killings of these workers they had abducted…

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News

September 2020
News > Persecution

India: Christians face rising death threats

Indian extremists have increased attacks against Christians, amid fears that Covid-19 could make the rising levels of persecution even worse in the country. Reports from Release International partners in India have revealed several chilling cases, including the brutal death of sixteen-year-old Samaru Madkami. Samaru was a promising young pastor who led a tiny church…

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News

September 2020
News > Events

EMF Zoom youth conference

The European Mission Fellowship held their first youth conference via Zoom in July. Around 30 young people joined online for the event. Filipe Rodrigues from Portugal was the guest missionary speaker. The programme included an introduction to the work of EMF by Mission Director Steven Bowers, a quiz on Europe, a Portuguese song, a…

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News

September 2020
News > Mission

Evangelism in the time of Covid

Lausanne Free Church, an English-speaking fellowship in Switzerland, has been adapting its evangelism to the challenges of Covid-19. The nearby city of Montreux is a tourist hotspot in summer, but it has been very quiet in recent months. LFC usually engages in outdoor evangelism once a month in Montreux, famed for its annual jazz…

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News

September 2020
News > Mission

EMF webinar: reaching Roman Catholics

Europe is the most secular continent on earth, but many continue to hold strong allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Southern Europe. In Italy, for example, polls suggest that approximately 80% of the population has affiliations with Roman Catholicism. José Moreno Berrocal has been a missionary and pastor with European Missionary Fellowship…

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News

September 2020
News > Events

London Seminary’s thanksgiving service

In June over 100 people joined via Zoom for London Seminary’s annual Thanksgiving Service. The event is normally held at the seminary’s main campus in Finchley, where former guest speakers include Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and Geoff Thomas. This year, the gathering was conducted online for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lecturers,…

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News

September 2020
News > Conferences

Slavic Gospel Association UK marks 70 years

SGA (UK) celebrated its 70th anniversary in July. It was founded in 1934 in conjunction with Peter Deyneka, a Russian emigrant to the USA whose concerns for the spiritual wellbeing of his compatriots back in Eastern Europe led to the founding of the Association. SGA (UK) is a missionary organisation seeking to partner with…

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News

September 2020
News > Conferences

Banner of Truth moves online for conference: All things for good?

In June, the Banner of Truth held an online conference in place of its regular ministers’ conference, cancelled due to Covid-19. The question mark at the end of the conference title was deliberate. It was to highlight the fact that, in times of trouble, believers can easily question Paul’s great assertion in Romans 8…

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News

September 2020
News > Media

BBC drops radical transgender organisations from its website

Public service broadcaster, the BBC, has removed some of the UK’s most controversial pro-trans groups from its online ‘gender identity’ information page. Links to Mermaids, The Gender Trust, and The Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES), which promote radical transgender ideology, have been replaced with a link to the NHS. The move came…

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News

September 2020
News > Religious liberty

‘Arbitrary’ limit of 50 worshippers in Scottish churches is ‘not legal’

Churches in Scotland have been told they should not have more than 50 worshippers in their services because of the Covid-19 crisis, but the limit is not legally binding. The Scottish government’s guidance may change, but that is the latest situation at the time this edition of ET went to print. The Scottish government…

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News

September 2020
News > Society

NI churches faced ‘deregistration’ warning over same-sex marriage

Churches in Northern Ireland received a letter from the General Register Office, warning them they face ‘deregistration’ unless they complete a form saying whether or not they will perform same-sex weddings. Deregistration would strip churches of the right to conduct weddings. The letter has since been recalled following pressure from The Christian Institute. Officials…

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News

September 2020
News > Ethics

Murder enquiry and two maternal deaths revealed in NHS ‘home abortions’ email

An email from an NHS chief midwife reveals a murder investigation has been launched into the death of a newborn baby after the mother took home abortion pills. The email says the baby may have been aborted after birth, and it also reveals that two mothers died after taking abortion pills at home. The…

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News

September 2020
News > Society

Christian Legal Centre supports father ‘brutally’ dragged by police from sick daughter’s hospital bedside

Disturbing police bodycam footage shows officers dragging a father away from his sick daughter’s hospital bedside. The father – a long serving NHS respiratory consultant – was arrested after refusing to leave when told his daughter’s life support should be switched off. Dr Rashid Abbasi, 58, had a heart attack outside his daughter’s hospital…

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News

September 2020
News > Society

Could the Bible be illegal in Scotland?

Concerns are being raised about a new far-reaching Hate Crimes and Public Order Bill being proposed in Scotland. One journalist writing in The Spectator asks whether possession of the Bible could become a criminal offence. The proposed legislation would make it a crime to possess ‘inflammatory’ material, or communicate ‘insulting’ material to another person.…

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News

September 2020
News > International

MacArthur faces arrest and fines for defying the lockdown

The City of Los Angeles has issued a cease-and-desist order threatening Pastor John MacArthur with a daily $1,000 fine and possible arrest for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown. MacArthur, together with his fellow pastors and elders at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Los Angeles, has decided to restart full church worship gatherings in defiance…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Bored with the Bible?

In last month’s ET Stephen Rees set out four things we shouldn’t do if we find that our Bible reading is becoming boring. Here, in the second and concluding part of his article, he sets out three things to remember and six tips to help. 1. There are lots of natural reasons why at…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The ‘Woke’ agenda

I am asleep. I am not awake. Or to use the PC term, I am not ‘Woke’. I fully agree with the excellent articles on transgender by Dr Sharon James in the February and March editions of ET. I am convinced that the Bible teaches that marriage is only for a man and a…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Guest column

The importance of Christian education

The question of how we educate our children is not a matter of indifference or personal taste for Christian disciples. Our God is a literate God! His handwriting is at the centre of his covenant relationship with his people (Exodus 32:15-16, 34:1) This original writing of God is intended to act as a signature…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Comment

Are you helping or hindering your exhausted church elders?

Having spoken with several elders from different churches in recent times, they are all saying the same thing. Serving the church during the Covid crisis has been exhausting. One church leader put it this way. He said it has been like starting a new job, with all the information overload that comes with that,…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

I read the news today, oh boy

I recently spent time thinking through some of the unexpected sources of stress in modern life, resolving to put them in their place. One notable factor has been the influence of news media on my peace of mind and concentration. The pervasiveness and intrusiveness of current affairs can be a driver for anxiety and…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Christ or Caesar? MacArthur’s church disregards the lockdown restrictions

John MacArthur is never one to shy away from controversy. Throughout his long ministry he has spoken out on a number of thorny issues. He has attracted both admiration from his supporters and derision from his opponents. Most recently, he has sparked a debate in the US by deciding the time has come to…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The rise of anti-Christian ideologies and how Christians should respond

The first UK Gay Liberation Front Manifesto was published in 1971. The document urged activists to target law, education, and the media as part of a cultural revolution to demolish the family. It was critical of Christianity because its ‘teachings support the family and marriage’. Having such revolutionary aims demonstrates that the gay movement…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

The limits of authority

The author wishes to emphasise that the views expressed in this article are his own and should not necessarily be attributed to anyone connected with him. During lockdown I have preached from Romans 13 on submission to governing authorities. In the course of regular emails to church members, I have encouraged them to observe…

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Historical

September 2020
Articles > Historical

10 facts about the Pilgrim Fathers

This month – September – marks the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower. In popular perceptions the ‘pilgrims’ are Puritans who left England in 1620 seeking religious freedom. But how well do we know them? 1. Many don’t class them as Puritans The Puritans aimed to complete the reformation of the Church…

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Article

September 2020
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

A weary mum rejoices

I recall last Christmas visiting a certain clothing store for teenagers. I was trying to finish some last-minute shopping, and was down to a final few items. In true mum fashion, I round out my children’s Christmas gifts each year with new underwear and socks. Having shopped at this particular store before, I knew…

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