Where now for Asia?

The court’s decision on the future of Asia Bibi on 31 October was never going to provide a peaceful ending, whichever way it went.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court decided to release her, rejecting calls for the death penalty for the mother, imprisoned for over nine years on a false charge of blasphemy. Unsurprisingly, this led to unrest in Pakistan, then government capitulation to extremists, and the innocent forced to flee the country.

Over the years groups of Christians holding vigils – to ensure no-one forgot the woman imprisoned because she dared to offer some Muslim women a drink of water – have remained quietly constant.

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Gospel Caring

If, like me, you get embarrassed crying in public, this is not a book to read on the train! The book tells the story of Aaron, a profoundly disabled boy.

Aaron was fostered and then adopted by John and Pat Mollitt, and lived in their care for 28 years until his death. It tells of their daily struggles in caring for Aaron: struggling with specialised equipment, battling for funding and managing a series of complex health needs. It also wonderfully tells of the joy Aaron brought to his family and wider community, as a man who could not speak nevertheless communicated his joy and thankfulness. In the author’s words ‘he gave us far more than we could ever have given him.’

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Teaming up with church

How well do you know your local area?

I’m pretty confident that wherever your church is based, there will be sportspeople and sports clubs on your doorstep. And there will probably be sportspeople in your church family too.

Are you committed to reaching your local area with the good news of Jesus? If the answer’s yes, then sharing the gospel with sportspeople should surely be part of your church’s ‘mission strategy’, right? As our General Director Graham Daniels highlighted in this column in January, with more than 10 million people playing competitive sport once a week across the UK, there is a huge mission field in our midst – and the church needs to get stuck in.

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Marx without Sparks

Melvin Tinker’s latest book takes as its two starting points C. S. Lewis’ science-fiction tale That Hideous Strength and the biblical account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. These act as lenses through which to make sense of the cultural transformations we have seen around us in the West.

Having introduced these two controlling narratives, Tinker brings us to the main focus of the book: cultural Marxism – a little-understood term that makes the subtitle sound rather sensationalist, but he does a good job of outlining the ways in which this movement has succeeded in transforming Western society in less than a century.

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Is your church glued together?

In October a new book was released encouraging us to think biblically about the organisation and leading of our churches.

What is the significance of participation in the Lord’s Supper?

It is has long been suggested that the health of family life is strengthened by eating together. It is not, of course, that simply eating together makes you family – that happens by other means – but the family meal table is glue for family life.

Imagine a household in which blood-related people lived, and yet they never ate together. Could you call that collection of people a family?

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Swift – reputation

You’ve got to love Taylor Swift.

Since she was 15 in 2005 she’s been producing incredibly popular, well-written songs and to date has sold 40 million albums worldwide. She maintains a relatively clean-cut image, eschewing sexy photo-shoots, communicating personally with her teenage fans (Swifties) and giving generously to charity. Compared to the Kardashians and Katy Perry, she almost seems like the girl next door.

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If wombs had windows

Looking at the map of Europe it is easy for Christians to be bitterly disappointed.

The availability of unrestricted abortion is growing. With the exception of Malta and Northern Ireland it appears that most countries offer easy access to ‘termination’. Reports of the near total elimination of Down’s Syndrome in Iceland by pre-natal screening have captured attention. A culture of death and euthanasia is embracing us. We are being silenced as witnesses to the horrific truth of what happens in the abortion industry.

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Standing up for Jesus

This month Christian Concern celebrates ten years of ministry and support of Christians under fire in the public arena.

We interview Andrea Minichiello Williams, co-founder and present CEO of the work.

en: Tell us briefly what prompted you to start the work. 
AW: I first heard about Jesus at Sunday school, and responded to his call as a little girl. From then on, I longed to serve him and wanted others to know him.

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