Editors commentary: The ‘über value’ treatment


This is ‘non-political.’bibleWEB

That is how a covering letter, from an Anglican stable, described a document released over the Easter weekend with the title ‘Affirming Evangelical Unity over the Theology of Men and Women.’

When something announces itself as nonpolitical I tend to smell a rat. In the affirmation the supposed secondary issue of the Complementarian vs Egalitarian debate over the roles of women in the church is framed as a threat to the ‘über-value’ of evangelical unity. Why the document? I think the timing says a lot. With Archbishop Welby having pushed through the first woman bishop in the Church of England some kind of reshuffling of positions within Anglicanism was inevitable. It is this which makes me feel that despite its protestation, the document is actually highly political. Two or three years ago it might have been different.

Repent of your grief?

With the Evangelical Alliance basis of faith as its starting point, it contains some useful points concerning both the equality and differences between men and women as…(to read more click here)

This article was first published in the May 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to en or visit our website www.e-n.org.uk.

Joyce Meyer and the new Muslim Nigerian president (May issue highlights)

Coming up in the May issue of Evangelicals Now…

May issue of en

May issue of en


• God answers prayers for a new youth venture

• How will Christians fair under the new Muslim president in Nigeria?

• Joyce Meyer at HTB leadership conference. What are we to make of her?

The May issue is out now! Read it online or enjoy the printed paper with your morning cuppa!

You may subscribe to have regular access every month to all of the articles for the ridiculously cheap price of £0.84 a month – £10.00 per year!

Remembering the year ahead!

Joy Horn highlights some significant anniversaries from Christian history in 2015

Katharine von Bora Luther, by Hollie Durmer |image: theologyforgirls.com

Katharine von Bora Luther, by Hollie Durmer |image: theologyforgirls.com


Justin Martyr was put to death in Rome in 165. From a pagan background, he became a Christian aged about 30, and taught in Ephesus and Rome. He wrote two ‘Apologies’ or defences of Christianity against misrepresentation.

The Basel Mission (now called Mission 21) was founded in 1815, and trained German, Dutch and British missionaries who went to the Caucasus (1821), the Gold Coast, now Ghana (1828), and throughout the world. A major feature of their work was creating employment, such as printing, tile-making and weaving.

William Booth began working in the East End of London in 1865, leading to the foundation of the Salvation Army in 1878.

The Second Vatican Council closed in 1965. This council, which had held four sessions since 1962, allowed some use of vernacular languages (rather than Latin) in services, and referred to non-Roman Catholics as ‘separated brethren’ rather than ‘heretics’, but reiterated traditional Catholic teaching.


Isaac Watts’s Divine Songs attempted in Easy Language, for the sake of Children, was published in 1715. It became a best-seller, remaining popular well into the 19th century, when it was parodied in Alice in Wonderland.

Hudson Taylor’s pamphlet, China: its Spiritual Need and Claims was published in 1865. Consequently many candidates applied to the China Inland Mission.

The 12th and final small volume of The Fundamentals was published in the United States in 1915. The series aimed to reassert and defend traditional Christian truths, and three million copies were sent out free, one to every theological student and Christian worker. The series led to the term ‘fundamentalist’ being coined in the 1920s.

The Anglican Hymn Book was published in 1965. It was faithful to the Bible (making judicious alterations to some hymns), and although its content was heavily 19th century, it introduced some 40 new tunes and 20 new texts, including Timothy Dudley-Smith’s Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord.


4 T.S. Eliot died, aged 77, in 1965. A poet and dramatist, his Christian convictions, of an Anglo-Catholic persuasion, are evident in The Waste Land (1922), Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Four Quartets (1944).

13 Mary Slessor died at Calabar, Nigeria, in 1915, aged 67. A tough and brave woman from the Dundee slums, she worked with considerable success among the Ibo people, and fought against twin-killing and witchcraft.

16 Henry Thornton died at the house of his cousin, William Wilberforce, in 1815, aged 55. An MP and governor of the Bank of England, he was enormously generous, and his home at Battersea Rise was the centre of the ‘Clapham Sect’. He was involved in the campaign to abolish slavery, in the foundation of the Sierra Leone colony, in missions abroad and, together with Hannah More, in writing simple evangelistic tracts.

25 David Bentley-Taylor, an outstanding missionary leader, was born in 1915. Converted on his fourth day at Oxford, and subsequently president of the Christian Union there, he went to China in 1938 as a member of the China Inland Fellowship, and served there and in Indonesia. He was a founder of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in 1947, with the aim of seeing a Christian Union in every university in the world.


… (to read more click here)

Joy Horn, Cranleigh Baptist Church

This article was first published in the January issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Is there anybody out there?

What set Mez McConnell on the road to becoming a Christian?

Mez McConnell

Mez McConnell

My story starts before I was even born.

My parents’ marriage was doomed from the start. I was only two when my mother ran off leaving my three-year-old sister and me with our grandparents. From that point, childhood memories are a mixture of anger, pain and loneliness. Abandoned by my mother, I was often clueless about my father’s whereabouts, while his girlfriend – a cruel, angry and violent woman ‘looked after us’. She wasn’t nice and would get angry with us kids and hit us. She would get angry a lot.

Dad wasn’t there

One day, Dad left us at a big house. He said we were there to stay for a while. I cried a lot, but nobody hit me and there were loads of other children. I celebrated my seventh birthday at the big house. They gave me my first-ever party with a cake and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’. But Dad wasn’t there. I felt so alone. This was my first experience of… (to read more click here)

Mez McConnell is the pastor for Niddrie Community Church, near Edinburgh. He is also the Director of 20schemes which is dedicated to revitalising and planting gospel churches in Scotland’s poorest communities. Previously he was a missionary with street kids in Brazil. He is married and has two children. This article is an edited extract from his book What’s the Point of Life, published by Christian Focus, £0.85, ISBN 978 1 781 913 550 and is used with permission.

This article was first published in the January issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

The single track by Jacqui Wright: Hope for Christian singles

photo: Istock

photo: Istock

Who are Christian singles?

Christian singles are a diverse group: never married, divorced and widowed, across all ages of adulthood. Some are single by choice but many are not.

Those who desire to be married have a unique set of challenges on their spiritual journey. This series of articles aims to address this and help singles who struggle with their singleness.

One true love?

Will ‘one true love’ meet my needs? Our society places unhelpful pressure on singles to find their ‘one true love’ within a romantic experience. This pressure can also be present in the church. The ideal of being ‘a couple’ or in ‘a marriage’ as well as having ‘the perfect family with children’ leaves many singles feeling disappointed, disillusioned and mildly depressed.

They can respond with a range of reactions from a relentless drive to find that ‘someone’ to falling into despair at the thought of even trying. However, we know that … (to read more click here)

Jacqui Wright is a single Christian, and single parent of five kids for the past 16 years. She was married to a pastor which ended in an unwilling divorce. She is an independent Speech and Language therapist with practices in Bedford and on Harley Street, London. She is the chair of Bedford Christian Singles friendship and fellowship group.

This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Too driven? (book review)

SERVING WITHOUT SINKINGServing without sinking
How to serve Christ and keep your joy
By John Hindley
The Good Book Company. 123 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978 1 908 762 351

Have your lips ever said yes to something when your heart said no? Have you ever taken Jesus’s invitation to rest (Matthew 11.28) and wondered how it can become a reality, now, in our journey through life with God?

Serving without sinking is an important book and a necessary one. It exposes how driven we can be (at times subtly) – even in the name of God-honouring ministry.

Why am I doing this?

We can wrongly find significance, status and meaning outside of Jesus’s primary service to us, and that mistake enslaves us. The book exposes… (to read more click here)

Rob Iveson
Rector of St Wilfrid’s, Davenham

This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe to en for regular updates.

Editors commentary: Showing our weaknesses


missileWEBThe West is beginning to show it is vulnerable.

And people like President Putin of Russia and extremist groups like Islamic State know it.

Recently the defence secretary Michael Fallon warned that Russia would test Nato’s resolve in the Ukraine and that it is likely that President Putin will soon seek to destabilise the Baltic States. The tactics are subtle. Nato’s Article 5 of mutual defence in the case of invasion is circumvented by Russia supporting dissident pro-Russian groups within a state.

Meanwhile Islamic State continues to carry out atrocities with the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya and the capture of around 200 Christians in Syria. Simultaneously, Britain is embarrassed by the number of British Muslims joining Islamic State, the publicity given to three teenaged girls from London who have travelled to Syria, and the identification of ‘Jihadi John’ as Mohammed Emwazi who went to the same London school as two others who have joined Islamic terror groups.


Part of the West’s weakness of course comes down to finance. The eurozone is in trouble, with Greece defaulting on its debts and other countries near the brink. Britain is doing better than others in moving towards ….to read more click here

This article was first published in the April 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to en or visit our website www.e-n.org.uk.

Education Secretary closing a Christian school in Durham

Nicky Morgan visiting a school in London with David Cameron | photo: Press Association Images

Nicky Morgan visiting a school in London with David Cameron | photo: Press Association Images

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan confirmed on 27 February that she will close a Christian school in Durham

This was despite hearing numerous petitions from parents, pupils and teachers.

John Denning, the Chair of Governors of The Durham Free School (TDFS), received a letter from the Department for Education stating: ‘The Secretary of State has considered your representations. She has also taken into account representations made in letters and emails from parents and pupils of TDFS and others. Having considered all these representations carefully, the Secretary of State remains satisfied that it is appropriate to terminate the Funding Agreement.’

Wrong conclusion

However, what has not been covered in the media reporting of the story is the detail surrounding the OFSTED report. While Christian groups’ reporting has avoided a detailed analysis of the report which paints a picture of a school in dire straits, mainstream media have focused on the ‘Christian’ elements of the school, almost at times aligning it with the ‘Trojan Horse’ schools in Birmingham.

However, even a brief look at John Denning’s detailed comments on the OFST-ED report on TDFS website*, leaves one with the view that… (click here to read more)

Ruth Woodcraft

This article was first published in the April issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.