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CI Podcast: Northern Ireland’s New Abortion Law

The Government has imposed a new abortion regime on Northern Ireland that goes far beyond the law in the rest of the UK. In this CI Podcast we examine the radical change and what it means for the Province.

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Theological

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A better covenant

“Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant”
Hebrews 7:22b (NIV)

Some Christians are confused because of misunderstandings about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Some wrongly drive a wedge between the two Testaments, leading to muddled ideas such as ‘the God of Old Testament was a God of wrath and law, but the God of the New Testament is a God of love and grace’. Others fail to see that the theocratic nation of Israel has passed away, leading to falsehoods such as thinking that the material blessings promised to the nation of Israel must mean there are ‘health, wealth and prosperity’ promises for modern day believers.

The continuity of the moral law, in particular, is a subject that is often misunderstood when the relationship between the Testaments is confused. This series of lectures aims to shed some light on these important matters.

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Confidence in the truth

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

The influence of secularism on our society can often feel overwhelming. In a nation that is increasingly turning from God’s word, the Church is in need of those who are willing to stand firm in the truth of the gospel. But in the face of so many challenges, how should Christians respond?

These lectures help encourage Christians to be confident about their beliefs by focusing on the sovereignty of God and the truthfulness of his word.

This series helps Christians see that, even in the midst of fears and disappointments, we can continue to be courageous ambassadors for Jesus Christ.

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First and Last Things

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!”
Romans 11:36 (NIV)

God has made provision not only for salvation, but also for the ultimate restoration of creation itself. Despite a world of confusion, there are eternal realities that every believer needs to understand, witness to and put into practice.

It is vital that Christians understand where we have come from and where we are going. Only by understanding God’s First and Last Things can we understand how to live now.

These lectures help Christians have a clear biblical vision of what God is doing in the world and so give us a motivated heart and a firm footing for following Jesus in a confused world.

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Having an answer

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Giving a reason for our faith often seems like an overwhelming task in our secular culture. At a time when many are sceptical or even hostile towards God’s word, Christians need a firm grounding in its reliability and relevance today. But with so many questions and challenges, how can we know how to respond?

These lectures help encourage believers to be more confident in their witness, by focusing on the Bible’s timeless answers to common questions.

This series helps equip Christians in an unbelieving world to give a reason for the hope that we have.

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Independency and freedom

The quest for religious liberty in the seventeenth century

‘For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.’
Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

The religious ferment of the seventeenth century was like a cauldron. Into the mix went a passion for biblical orthodoxy, a cry for religious freedom, the emergence of new independent congregations, the flight to America, oppression of various groups, civil war and Commonwealth, the Great Ejection and then a new toleration. The quest for liberty has deep roots yet often generates oppression. What are the boundaries of religious liberty and toleration? What happens when those who are seen as ‘radical’ gain power? We find both the origins and the price of religious freedom in this century with many lessons for us today.
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Our living hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NIV)

As Christians we have peace with God and are adopted into his family. Yet our outlook is sometimes dominated by pain or trials which can appear to be the more pressing reality. In a dark world, how can believers avoid losing sight of our glorious hope?

These lectures challenge Christians to set their hope fully on the life-giving promises of God, and to live accordingly. By hoping in ‘what is not seen’ but what is eternal we are grounded in the God of hope and also inspired to live with confidence now.

This series helps to assure believers in the reality of biblical hope and its relevance here and now.

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Salt and light

‘You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world.’
Matthew 5:13-14 (NIV)

Christians today live amid growing hostility towards the Bible’s teaching and those who seek to witness to it. Believers need clear, biblical wisdom to help them deal with the everyday challenges they face.

For years, The Christian Institute has sought to be a Christian influence in our increasingly secular world. The aim of this year’s Autumn Lectures is to deliver simple, biblical ideas that will equip and encourage Christians in every situation to make a stand for the Lord Jesus.

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The early church speaks today

‘Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.’
Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

These lectures look at how the early church confronted many issues which are very contemporary in the 21st century.

Christian believers in the early church knew what it was to live out their faith in a hostile world. Like us they sought to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers and struggled to understand the times in which they lived. They skilfully countered false teaching and laid the foundations for key doctrines which still serve as touchstones of orthodoxy.

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The English Reformation

‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’
2 Timothy 3:16-17(NIV)

The English Reformation was foundational in establishing the biblical and Protestant faith in England. At its heart lay both the recovery of the authority of the Bible and religious liberty. The English Reformation also shaped our culture, our laws and our national sovereignty. We have lost sight of these great truths and yet their importance for us today cannot be overstated.

These lectures take the English Reformation as their theme. We seek to look through the eyes of some of its key figures at the vital truths that changed the lives of countless individuals and, through them, changed a nation.

We celebrate the Reformation in this land. As we do so, we pray that the Lord would revive his Church today, and that we would not forget how he has used those who have gone before us.

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The person of Christ

‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.’
Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)

Christian theology has referred to the three great offices of Christ: prophet, priest and king. As God’s only son he is the final prophet. He is the Great High Priest who offered himself as a full and final sacrifice on the cross in our place. He is ascended far above all rule and authority and is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Scripture also points to Christ as the Great Redeemer, prefigured by Old Testament teaching on the kinsman redeemer and the redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt. Christ is also the suffering servant who humbled himself even to death on a cross. Perhaps the most familiar title of all to us is Christ the Saviour.

We consider these titles of Christ and their biblical foundations.

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The person of Christ – part 2

‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’
John 1:14 (NIV)

The Person of Christ is a central doctrine of the Christian faith. For we do not follow an abstract philosophy nor a dead prophet – but a living, glorified, divine person to whom we are united by the Holy Spirit and through whom we are reconciled to the Father.

In these five lectures we consider the wonderful mystery of Christ’s two natures in one person; look back to the Old Testament and examine some of the ways in which Christ is revealed there; consider Christ’s present rule over all things; look to the future and consider Christ as judge; and we examine the joy of eternity with Christ in the world to come.

Biographical

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Contending for the faith – part 3

‘...contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’
Jude 1:3 (NIV)

C.S. Lewis said: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

The Christians that we hear about in these lectures were deeply courageous in the face of immense challenges, opposition and persecution. These men stand in history as examples of what it is to live a life of consistent devotion to our Lord, despite public hostility and personal suffering.

In an age where Christian belief is often derided and mocked, we can look to those who have gone before and remember that we can not only stand firm but, by the grace of God, endeavour to change hearts and minds. In so doing we answer Jude’s instruction to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints”.

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Great Christian thinkers – part 2

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2a (NIV)

These lectures look at the life and work of five American theologians and apologists. Each one of these great Christian thinkers has had a significant impact upon the church’s thinking today. Warfield, Machen, and Schaeffer were involved in defending the infallibility of the Bible against the rise of liberalism in the church. Nevin saw charlatans and hucksters in the pulpit and sought to call the American church back to its historic Biblical roots. Jonathan Edwards defended the evangelical faith against the many false religious movements of his day.

The church in the 21st Century is in desperate need of those who are willing to stand firm against the onslaught of many false gospels and instead proclaim the genuine evangelical gospel which alone can truly transform lives and every part of society.

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Servants of God

“Of whom the world was not worthy”
Hebrews 11:38 (NIV)

For centuries God has blessed Britain with faithful Christians who have been courageous ambassadors for Jesus Christ. This series of lectures aims to encourage and inspire us by the example of servants of God from our nation’s past.

In recent years the Travel Guides published by Day One Ministries have been a valuable resource for Christians, providing an engaging introduction to people and places that have shaped our Christian heritage. Authors of five of these books will give this year’s Autumn Lectures and will talk about the subject of their own Travel Guide.

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The English Reformation

‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’
2 Timothy 3:16-17(NIV)

The English Reformation was foundational in establishing the biblical and Protestant faith in England. At its heart lay both the recovery of the authority of the Bible and religious liberty. The English Reformation also shaped our culture, our laws and our national sovereignty. We have lost sight of these great truths and yet their importance for us today cannot be overstated.

These lectures take the English Reformation as their theme. We seek to look through the eyes of some of its key figures at the vital truths that changed the lives of countless individuals and, through them, changed a nation.

We celebrate the Reformation in this land. As we do so, we pray that the Lord would revive his Church today, and that we would not forget how he has used those who have gone before us.

Listen

The Reformation – part 2

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
Romans 1:17 (NIV)

Many people miss the importance of the Reformation, seeing it as the subject of a lifeless history lesson or a confusing doctrinal quarrel over the right words. But its recovery of vital biblical truths – not least on justification by faith – speaks powerfully to us today. And the Reformers’ example inspires us to live for Christ in a hostile world.

These lectures, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, serve as a timely reminder of its great truths, and of some of the key figures used by God to revive and reform his church. Through taking a closer look at some of its leading personalities, this series seeks to explore and better understand key themes of the Reformation.

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2019 Autumn Lectures

Independency and freedom

The quest for religious liberty in the seventeenth century

The quest for liberty has deep roots yet often generates oppression. What are the boundaries of religious liberty and toleration? What happens when those who are seen as ‘radical’ gain power? We find both the origins and the price of religious freedom in this century with many lessons for us today.