Love in 2nd place


Gosling and Stone | photo: Dale Robinette

 

Picture a multi-lane highway with traffic at a standstill under a blazing sun and a young woman getting out of her car and beginning to sing and dance…

Unapologetic Christianity from Chris Sinkinson: The God of fire


photo: iStock

photo: iStock

An atheist told me last month that though he did not believe in God, but if he were to believe ‘it would have to be the God of hell and brimstone.’

He was sharing a general distaste for modern, liberal presentations of God and a preference for more traditional views. Of course, all such conversations are a little pointless. It matters very little what kind of God we would like to believe in. What matters is who God is – not who we would like God to be. However, the comment was perceptive. A God of holiness and judgment commands interest and respect.

Presenting the doctrine of hell

One aspect of this problem is the way we present the doctrine of hell. For many, hell has become such an embarrassing theme that it is dropped out of Christian vocabulary. Attempts to restore the word are not helped when the concept has been changed out of recognition.

In Rob Bell’s Love Wins there is a clear drift towards(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 September 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

The single track by Jacqui Wright: A message to the church


A message to the churchDear church and church leaders,

Possibly, like you, I left my single life in my early twenties when I married a pastor and became busy with ministry and having a family. I did not think about nor understand the singleness issue for people in our congregation, as it was never raised for my attention.

Unwilling divorce

In God’s sovereign providence, when my life took a dramatic turn to receive the gift of a hard grace: an unwilling divorce and becoming a single parent of five children under nine years old, then the singleness issue started to become real to me. My circumstances changed from being in the centre of church life, being admired, accepted, and understood, to being scorned, rejected and marginalised, by those very same people. I felt like a divorced single parent ‘leper’, which was truly shocking and grievous to me. In the very time of my need, the ‘fat sheep’ in the church pushed out the sheep who served them that had become ‘weak’ (Ezekiel 34). Even more shockingly, I found this to be true in many churches that I tried to become part of across continents.

God wastes nothing of our experiences and suffering, it is always multi-layered, and so over time… (to read more click here)

Further practical advice can be found at http://www.singlechristians.co.uk/info/church_leader

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 May 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

The power of love in local church evangelism (July issue highlights)


Coming up in the July issue of Evangelicals Now…

Front cover of en July issue

Front cover of en July issue

• Christian wins discrimination case

• Mez McConnell reflects on the power of love in local church evangelism

• How to pep-up your preaching!

The July 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 single track by Jacqui Wright: Sex, love and singles


photo: iStock

photo: iStock

How do we rightly think about sex and love from a biblical perspective?

We need to start by understanding God’s covenantal love for us in Christ; that is his promise of unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness in Christ. From this unimaginable gift of grace we worship, love, trust and obey him first and foremost. He is the ultimate bridegroom and the one who satisfies all our deepest needs.

Ultimate unveiling

God has created sex and love as good gifts for us to enjoy in their rightful place in our lives. This is part of the pattern of covenantal love which is unselfish and promises commitment to the other in spite of feelings. Sex within a covenantal legally binding marriage relationship is the ultimate unveiling of oneself and selfless sacrificial giving which reflects the commitment to the other in all aspects of life. Sex in marriage is within a zone of safety and due to its committed nature, grows ever deeper. In contrast, our secular society operates on a … (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 March 2015 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.

Frozen (film review)


FROZENFrozen
Directors Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Running time 102 minutes.
Cert. PG

In the beautiful land of Arendelle, Princess Elsa hides a dark secret.

Her emotions of anger or fear result in an uncontrollable outpouring, turning all that surrounds her into ice and snow. Afraid that she will harm those she loves most and having frozen the whole kingdom into an endless winter, Elsa withdraws to an icy isolated mountain palace.

Here she believes she will find happiness in finally ‘letting go’ and ceasing her struggle against the powers inside her.

But her younger sister Anna, warm, impulsive, with fiery red hair, sets out to rescue Elsa from herself. She believes that love will thaw Elsa’s heart. She also believes that romantic love will rescue her from a life of loneliness. The adventures that follow show that she is only partially right.

Snow Queen inspiration

The makers, Disney Pixar, credit Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen as the inspiration for their latest family offering (although allusions are subtle and symbolic rather than any similarities in plot).

The film creates a beautiful glistening world where each snowflake is a marvel of animation. The attention to detail in the somewhere-in-Scandinavia palace, the clothing and the landscape adds to the richness of the fairy-tale world.

The plot is romping, the songs are singa-long great and it boasts a brilliant side-kick snowman (his song about how he longs for summer is laugh-out-loud funny).

Sacrificial love

But my favourite aspect of the film was the characterisation of the two sisters. Both are flawed, both make mistakes, but both learn that perfect love drives out fear. They drive the plot, they do the rescuing and ultimately they show the power of sacrificial love in what is not your usual Disney dénouement. Take the family, borrow some children for the afternoon or just go on your own for some frozen fun.

This article was first published in the February 2014 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to EN or contact us for more information.
http://www.e-n.org.uk 0845 225 0057