But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Sunday, 24 May 2020 06:19

Plague Journal: Week 10

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On Monday 16 March the Prime Minister made an announcement to the nation on TV. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus people were advised to stop attending public meeting places such as restaurants and cinemas. Later that day places of worship were added to the list. Although this was advice...

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Sunday, 17 May 2020 05:30

Plague Journal: Week 9

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It's been great to see the way people have risen to the challenge of Coronavirus, looking out for shielding neighbours, etc. But social distancing measures have also brought out the worst in some. There are those who flout the rules with a blatant disregard for others. Then there are the 'holier...

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Saturday, 09 May 2020 18:23

Plague Journal: Week 8

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"She has done what she could" (Mark 14:8). Those words were spoken by Jesus to the woman who poured costly ointment over his head days before his crucifixion. In John's account (John 12:1-8) she is identified as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. Some of Jesus' disciples scolded her. What a waste....

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Sunday, 03 May 2020 19:53

‘A very present help in trouble’

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As I write (for 20 April deadline*) the government has announced that lockdown will continue for another three weeks. Ministers insist that they will follow the science when it comes to deciding when to ease measures designed to combat coronavirus. The trouble is that responding to Covid-19...

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Friday, 01 May 2020 20:46

Plague Journal: Week 7

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Boris is back. A bit breathless in his appearance at the Downing Street Covid-19 briefing on Thursday, but back. Political attention is now more clearly focused on how the country will emerge from lockdown. Such is the public's fear of coronavirus that the government may have a job on its hands in...

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Sunday, 26 April 2020 05:18

Plague Journal: Week 6

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A song I really hated in the late 70s was 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by The Buggles. A harbinger of trashy 80s synth pop. At the time (1979) the angry class war of The Jam's 'Eton Rifles' was more my thing. But we're all wannabe video stars now in the ongoing disaster movie that is the...

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Thursday, 16 April 2020 21:24

Plague Journal: Week 5

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Plague Journal: Week 1Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
On Thursday the government announced that lockdown will continue for another three weeks, as it is too early to relax the measures designed to combat coronavirus. Meanwhile, political leaders are under pressure to make their exit plans...

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Saturday, 11 April 2020 17:34

Easter: A Matter of Life and Death?

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Bill Shankly the famous Liverpool football manager once quipped, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” Maybe not. As I write elite football matches across the UK have been suspended. Evidently Mr. Shankly didn’t...

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Saturday, 11 April 2020 03:14

Plague Journal: Week 4

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Plague Journal: Week 1Week 2 & Week 3.
I seemed to be getting into more of a routine this week and ministry felt a bit less like trying to wade through treacle, while wearing flippers. Which was nice. The change from using Facebook 'Go Live' to pre-recording YouTube videos has...

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Friday, 03 April 2020 21:19

Plague Journal: Week 3

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Plague Journal: Week 1 & Week 2
So, this is Week 3 here on Planet Lockdown. Many of the things I used to to in the course of regular pastoral ministry are out of bounds. No visiting, no church services or activities. No church officers' meetings. No meetings with leaders of other...

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Friday, 27 March 2020 04:04

Plague Journal: Week 2

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In Plague Journal: Week 1  I described how our churches responded to the government's measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, announced on Monday 16 March. Like most other fellowships we suspended all our regular meetings and activities. Older church members and those with...

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 02:28

The Shadow of Calvary, by Hugh Martin

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 Banner of Truth Trust, 2016, 250pp
At the Banner of Truth Ministers' Conference it is customary for speakers to recommend titles that attendees might like to purchase from the bookshop. I believe it was on the strength of Sinclair B. Ferguson's recommendation that I bought The Shadow of Calvary...

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Thursday, 19 March 2020 21:08

Plague Journal: Week 1

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The week began as weeks always used to. On the first day of the week Providence Baptist Church gathered to worship God. Even then, there was a sense of foreboding. After the service we discussed whether our Holiday Bible should go ahead during the Easter break, given the developing coronavirus...

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020 04:14

'The Mystery of Providence', by John Flavel

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Banner of Truth Trust, 1976 reprint, 221pp 
The other Friday was a bit crazy. On the way to dropping one family member off at the railway station and then taking another to the Doctors, my car had a puncture. I managed to get to the station on time, but had to change the tyre before driving to...

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 23:59

Film roundup

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We've been to see several films over the last few weeks.1917
A powerful WWI film with the appearance of being shot in one take. The cinematography gives the film an immersive feel as you follow two Tommies on a mission to call off an attack on retreating German forces. Intelligence had shown the...

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Christian Focus, 2019, 160pp
Evangelists who tell people that if they become a Christian they are in for a trouble free life are just being silly. When you think of following Jesus, the appropriate image isn't one of lolling around in a hammock strung between two palm trees as the sea gently laps...

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Little Brown, 2019, 594pp
When Paul arrived in Corinth sometime in the early 50s AD, the apostle was aware of the intellectual pretensions of that great city. The rock stars of the day were not musicians, but orators. Public speakers could command a handsome fee for their highfalutin disquisitions...

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As a child the historian Tom Holland was fascinated by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Holland, who hails from Wiltshire, went on to author several bestselling books on Roman and Greek history, Rubicon, Persian Fireand Dynasty. But the more he got into the ancient world, the more morally repellent...

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The authors of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689 (LBC) were keen to identify themselves with mainstream Puritan theological orthodoxy. That is why their confession of faith was not a freshly minted expression of their beliefs, but a revision of the Independent's Savoy Declaration...

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Monday, 09 December 2019 04:17

Christmas songs

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Whether we like them or not, Christmas songs are pretty much inescapable at this time of year. The top three seasonal songs in the UK are 1. Fairytale Of New York, 2. All I Want For Christmas Is You and 3. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. According to Google, anyway. You might have other...

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 02:53

The Trinity: order, persons, nature and will

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The incarnate Christ has two wills. Each proper to his divine and human natures. If will were a property of persons, he would only have one will, for Christ is not two persons, but one person with two natures. 
Since will is a property of nature, the three persons of the Trinity share one...

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Audible edition 
In Part 1 we looked at what Murray has to say on 'Gay' and 'Women'. Now we come to Race, Trans and some concluding thoughts.
Race 
Martin Luther King looked forward to the time when people would be judged on the content of their character, rather than the colour of their...

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Audible edition
In his previous title, The StrangeDeath of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, the author linked the immigration crisis with the decline of Christianity in Western Europe. The continent was Christian enough to be fueled by a guilt-driven sense of responsibility towards the...

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Monday, 04 November 2019 18:29

A Bridge Too Far?

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I vividly remember being taken to see A Bridge Too Far. We saw it in the old Royal Playhouse cinema in Tenby when on holiday back in 1977. The film boasted a stellar cast including Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins and Lawrence Olivier among the Brits and Gene Hackman, Ryan...

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In a previous post I discussed whether the old covenant was a covenant of works. See here for my review of Shadow and Substanceby Samuel D. Renihan.Speaking of the Abrahamic covenant Particular Baptist pioneer, Nehemiah Coxe wrote that it was, 'a Covenant of Grace and Mercy...yet...

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