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All articles & reviews tagged with comment

COMMENT: Boris, burkas and bans

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October 2018
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COMMENT: Boris, burkas and bans

The discussion sparked by Boris Johnson’s burka comments raises some important points. I want to defend religious freedom, so I don’t like politicians telling people how to observe their religious practices. I want to defend free speech, so I don’t like the way people wanted Boris to be ‘investigated’ for his remarks. I am concerned about the rise of radical Islam, so I don’t like women being forced to hide their faces (yes, I know not every Muslim woman who wears a burka is forced to do so, but many are). All these things are swirling around in my head as I consider this latest...

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May 2017
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Scripture truth harmonises

Scripture truth hangs together; displace a part of it and you distort the whole. Treating Genesis 1-3 as allegory rather than history not only undermines the doctrine of special creation but the gospel itself. Christ could only be a real ‘second Adam’ if the federal headship of the first Adam was historically true (Romans 5:12-21). While many evangelicals stand for special creation — which is good — not a few have embraced some erroneous elements. They reject theistic evolution and death before Adam’s Fall; they rightly insist on a ‘young Adam’ and a ‘young Fall’ (thousands of years), but still wrongly talk of an ‘old...

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April 2017
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The Reformation

The commemoration of the Reformation this year, 500 years from its start, is a welcome reminder of the precious and refreshing truths that lie at the heart of the gospel. Nothing has changed in these truths in 500 years, since they are the truths of Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church, however, has changed its strategy since it first tried to browbeat Luther and his associates into submission. Today it is a skilful marketer of its religious commodities, able to assume conciliatory tones when talking to its ‘separated brethren’. But it has not changed its core beliefs. Rather, it has increased the sum of its heresies,...

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Hybrid religion

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March 2017
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Hybrid religion

‘They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods’ (2 Kings 17:33) A hybrid is something that is a mixture or combination of two different elements. For example, a mule is a hybrid union of a donkey and a horse. A hybrid car is one that combines the use of both gasoline and electric power to propel the vehicle.  Hybrid religion, in this sense, is one that has elements of Christianity yet also incorporates, sometimes deliberately and sometime inadvertently, elements of surrounding idolatry and pagan culture. Israel and the nations A classic example of hybrid religion can be found in the Old Testament when the...

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February 2017
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Essential truth

In four addresses on ‘What is an evangelical?’ given in 1971, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminded his hearers of the vital distinction between what he called ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ biblical truths. Safeguard His was no plea for doctrinal indifferentism and laxity, as the addresses made abundantly clear, but an impassioned call to define the heart of the gospel and thereby help safeguard the precious gift of evangelical unity among believers. In words quoted from John Calvin’s Institutes, book 4, Dr Lloyd-Jones said: ‘For not all the articles of true doctrine are of the same sort. Some are so necessary to know that they should be certain...

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January 2017
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Ten commandments for pastors

1. Give priority to your personal communion with God. Put your own soul first: your maintaining communion with God is a prerequisite for being an effective pastor to your people. ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers’ (Acts 20:28). 2. Give priority to prayer and holiness. Undertake no sermon, no pastoral work, no task of the ministry without seeking God’s face in Jesus Christ. Follow John Bunyan’s advice: ‘You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed’. Personal holiness is not...

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November 2016
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Ten commandments for church members

1. Don’t idolise your pastor. Don’t expect him to be able to do what only God can do. Don’t make a saviour of him. 2. Don’t criticise your pastor, unless he departs from the truth, and then do it with tears. And please don’t expect perfection. He is a mere man — a weak, sinful man at that, just like you. His office is divine, but his person is human. He sets before you treasure in an earthen vessel. If you don’t remember that, you will cry hosanna today, but crucify him tomorrow. 3. Don’t avoid your pastor. Go to him, tell him your needs,...

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