Prayer fuel: Prayer on the agenda and more Sunday trading

UK news page 3

August issue UK news page 3

Here are a handful of news-bites included in the August issue of en. Please use these articles to spur your prayers, personally or in regular prayer meetings, as we pray for our country.

Representative – The Labour disabilities minister expressed support for legalising assisted suicide in mid-July, despite being aware that many disabled people will be ‘horrified’ and ‘outraged’ by her stance.

Prayer: on the agenda – Prayers will be said once again at the start of Tiverton Town Council meetings after councillors voted to bring them back, it was reported in July.

More Sunday trading – In the 8 July budget, George Osbourne made a U-turn on a pre-election assurance not to change the law on Sunday trading and announced that a consultation would be taking place to lengthen the hours that large shops may stay open on a Sunday.

For more news and prayer fuel from around world and in the UK visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Editors commentary: Miscalculating in church?

Who do you not see when you are in church?


Which people are there but invisible to you? And to which people is your attention naturally drawn? Young families? Students? The Lord Jesus often viewed things in a rather different way from us, and noticed the people we overlook. Contemplating worshippers at the temple he drew his disciples’ attention to a poor old widow (Luke 21.1-4).

Lonely in church

Here’s a story of an old widow in our congregation who we overlooked. We didn’t overlook her completely. Some of our godly women spend much time looking after her and having her around for Sunday lunches. But she tended to get neglected in the turmoil of the after service coffee time, with no one talking with her. We quite rightly received a letter of rebuke from her carer. ‘Lonely in church! It’s not good enough!’ We had to take that on the chin and pull our socks up. We weren’t seeing her the way Jesus would have done. But, back to the story.

The card writer

Olive – that’s her name – loves to write greetings cards to all kinds of people. Sometimes she includes verses of Scripture, sometimes poems, sometimes words of encouragement, like ‘Dear Pastor, I really enjoyed your choice of hymns on Sunday morning’. That’s great. But God used her card writing in a way which went far beyond our limited horizons.…(to read more click here)

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

Keller and Piper at The Time to Plant conference…(August issue highlights)

Coming up in the August issue of Evangelicals Now…

Back : Front Cover : UKnews : NIBS (Page 2)• Tim Keller and John Piper at the Time to Plant Conference

• Christians fighting the sex trade in Latvia

• Changing church strategy in the light of changing age profiles

The August 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!

The Home Service from Tim Thornborough: Tail wags dog?

Tail wags dogHistorically, most UK churches ran a central prayer meeting at the church.

This often had a Bible talk at the centre of it (and sometimes, bizarrely, not much prayer). But what started in the 1960s as a radical experiment has now become a standard feature of the life of most evangelical churches: small groups gathering week by week in people’s homes, led by ordinary church members. They may be called Bible study groups, growth groups or a host of other titles.

What for?

But why have we found these groups to be so indispensable to church life? Let’s get back to basics: what is a home group actually for? When you ask a random selection of small group leaders (which I did!)… (to read more click here)


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

So you have no children?

Pastor’s wife, Tracey Richards, shares her story

No children

We had known much excitement in the week and a half of moving to Marlow.

It was October 1998. We had been married for three years and we were excited by the new opportunity to minister to God’s people in our first pastorate. All these joys and prospects were magnified by the fact that I was pregnant with our first child. We both wanted children very much.

Before leaving for our first church meeting I felt a sudden sharp pain in my abdomen. Hoping that the pain would pass I continued to get ready to leave, but the pain only became worse and more intense.

Life shattered

My husband, Evan, went alone to the meeting, which left us both feeling disappointed and sad.

On arriving home and discovering my worsening condition (to read more click here)

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

Use it, don’t lose it! (book review)

Westminster CatechismCONFESSING THE FAITH
A reader’s guide to the Westminster
Confession of Faith
By Chad van Dixhoorn
Banner of Truth. 484 pages. £19.81
ISBN 978 1 848 714 045

The Westminster Confession of Faith has been one of the most influential summaries of Reformed Christian belief in the English speaking world.

While foundational for Presbyterian churches it has been adapted and adopted by Calvinistic Congregationalists and Baptists. Chad van Dixhoorn, an American Presbyterian minister, is perhaps the leading living authority on the confession and the assembly of divines that drew it up. He is the editor of the recently published minutes of the assembly.

This book is essentially a commentary on the Confession. Following its structure, each chapter includes the historic text as well as a modern version, Scripture proofs, and succinct but penetrating comments on the paragraph under consideration. Beginning with the doctrine of Scripture, the book moves through the confession to its final chapter on the resurrection of the dead.

Lightness of touch

In our day of much shorter statements of faith, this is a reminder of the value of… (to read more click here)

Kenneth Brownell,
East London Tabernacle

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

Unapologetic Christianity from Chris Sinkinson: Angry with God

Stephen Fry |photo: Wikimedia (Brian Minkoff – London Pixels)

Stephen Fry |photo: Wikimedia (Brian Minkoff – London Pixels)

Stephen Fry’s recent angry outburst about God has been circulating on social media.

It occurred during an exchange on an Irish public TV programme, ‘The Meaning of Life’. Asked to explain his unbelief, Fry described God as an ‘evil, capricious, monstrous maniac’. Given bone cancer in children, how can we have any respect for a sovereign, creator God? ‘How dare you create a world in which there is such misery?’ Fry indignantly asked. How could such a God expect us to worship him?

Thick and fast

Responses to Fry came thick and fast. Christian apologists and columnists have written various articles. From Russell Brand to Rowan Williams, almost everyone has had something to say. Fry himself claimed to be taken aback by the response. Speaking on Radio 4 he revealed, ‘I was astonished that it caused such a viral explosion on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m most pleased that it’s got people talking. I’d never wish to offend anybody who is individually devout or pious and goes about their religious ways.’

Plenty of useful responses have been made to Fry’s comments. In fact, most of the published replies from Christians like David Robertson, Krish Kandiah and Martin Saunders have been respectful and robust. Even Russell Brand’s video reply has been sensible. I have not come across any ‘offence’ being taken, only reasonable replies and thoughtful counter-arguments. Fry’s outburst ignores the clear biblical teaching that we live in a fallen world. Bone cancer and child death do not reflect God’s original intentions for creation.

Why such passion?

A deeper question is: why does the existence or non-existence of God generate such passion? (click here to read more)

Chris is lecturer at Moorlands College and pastor of Alderholt Chapel. His books include Confident Christianity and Time Travel to the Old Testament published by IVP. 

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

What God can do in 10 years

The church family at the anniversary weekend

The church family at the anniversary weekend

An independent church in Chippenham, Wiltshire, celebrated the launch of its new building with a community open day on its ten year anniversary weekend.

Emmanuel Church Chippenham (ECC), which has met in a local school since its formation, bought a former Exclusive Brethren building last October. After several months of extensive renovation work, which included levelling the floor, installing windows and repairing the roof, the building was officially opened on Saturday 2 May.

ECC invited neighbours and friends to a community day featuring a bouncy castle, face painting, crafts, cakes, games and other fun activities.

From hirers to owners

Pastor Spencer Shaw said: ‘For us as a church, having our own building after ten years in a school is an attempt to take the next steps to reach people more effectively with the gospel. Hiring premises to do things is always frustrating and somewhat limiting, and we see our new building as a place that our church can operate from as a spiritual lifeboat station – that is the key phrase we’ve used all along!

‘By starting with a community open day, we are starting as we mean to go on – looking outwards first and engaging with the community around us through fun and friendliness; at the same time being very clear that we are all about the gospel.’

Conversion stories

Displays of church members’ testimonies, different areas of church life and varied Christian literature… (click here to read more)

Jenny Thomas

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