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

For the Church - Apologetic Report
image

It's a million degrees outside so you dive into the pool for a nice dip. Upon the plunge, your sunglasses plop off your head and down they go. “Maybe someone will go snag them from the rough bottom," you wonder. You look around to see your kiddos in their awkward arm-floaties...

Read more

image

This post is part of a series by Todd Chipman. Read Part I, Part II, and Part III.

If couples who plan to foster or adopt can enlists the support of their own parents, they will have a greater degree of connectivity with the kids coming into their home. Stated differently, foster or adopted kids...

Read more

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 14:15

The Beautiful Question the Gospel Compels Us to Ask

Written by
image

“Is there anyone else left?”

It seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? You and I might ask it when we’re leaving a building and it’s our job to turn out the lights. We turn back at the door and shout out, “Anyone left in here?” Then, when no answer...

Read more

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 14:10

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 3)

Written by
image

Editor's Note: This is the final installment in a 3-part series. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.

The idea of the professing Christian living in isolation from the local church is quite foreign to the New Testament. It’s surprising that so many people can read the New Testament...

Read more

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:15

Foster Care and Spiritual Formation

Written by
image

I’ve written before about my struggles with foster care. It’s revealed some dark truths about my own heart that I would have preferred not be there. It’s been over a year now that Andrew* has been with my family. His infectious laughter fills our home as he...

Read more

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:10

The Irony of Holding a Grudge

Written by
image

Isn’t holding a grudge just the best? Someone has wronged us, wounded us, irritated us, infuriated us, etc., and they deserve some kind of retribution. They can’t get away with that, can they? They need to know that they’ve angered you, and you will make sure they know.

Sure,...

Read more

Monday, 28 January 2019 14:15

Christ Puts a Comma Where the World Puts a Period

Written by
image

There are some words or phrases that just don’t go together.  “Jumbo Shrimp,” “New Antiques,” “kind of pregnant,” or “sort of married” are some that come to my mind. Other phrases can become part of our standard English, like...

Read more

Monday, 28 January 2019 14:10

Can We Trust the Gospels? Yes, We Can.

Written by
image

For the last 30 years, I’ve been researching and teaching ancient languages and the Bible. I’ve tended to write abstruse things and to be pleased if I could get double-figure numbers of readers. I’ve also tended to advise budding scholars not to write too much. After all, it takes...

Read more

Monday, 28 January 2019 14:05

The Picture of Hope in Suffering

Written by
image

The year 2016 marked the centennial anniversary of America’s National Park Service. In celebration of the anniversary, a particular issue of National Geographic contained some amazing photos of several parks—as only National Geographic can capture.

Now, I pride myself...

Read more

Sunday, 27 January 2019 14:15

The Audacious Invincibility of Meekness

Written by
image

We are seeing today a rebooting of the radical individualism of the 1970's and '80's. It was Tom Wolfe who originally named the 70's in particular "The Me Decade," but the consumeristic excess and further political polarization of the 80's only compounded the aggressive narcissism of the...

Read more

Sunday, 27 January 2019 14:05

Walking When You Can’t Seem to Crawl

Written by
image

Can I confess something? I struggle to walk with Jesus. Sometimes I can’t even crawl. I am a pastor to the Bride of Christ and some days I don’t even want to read the words of Christ. Shocker, I know, but it is a true reality for all too many of us. Chances are, if you’re reading...

Read more

Saturday, 26 January 2019 14:15

The Fullness of Jesus

Written by
image

"And of his fulness have all we received."-- John 1:16

These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There is a fulness of essential Deity, for "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead." There is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a...

Read more

image

Depravity isn’t exactly en vogue these days. You don’t hear friends at coffee shops talking about the blackness of their hearts. We don’t put verses about human sinfulness on coffee cups, or surround them with filigree in inspirational memes.

We want to hear uplifting verses,...

Read more

image

This post is part of a series by Todd Chipman. Read Part I and Part II.

Most Christian couples who foster or adopt do so because they want to glorify God in the world through their parenting. Some couples sense a call to foster care or adoption ministry because they are not able to have biological...

Read more

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 14:15

Why We Suffer

Written by
image

Suffering is one thing all of us have in common. We do not have to seek it out; it will find us. We can’t avoid it. It is unkindly patient. Even if we are spared early in life, at some point, it sniffs us out.

Why is suffering, like taxes, so ubiquitous? Joshua Chatraw and Mark Allen take up...

Read more

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 14:10

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 2)

Written by
image

Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a 4-part series. Click to read Part 1.

If you pull the thread of the local church out of the fabric of the New Testament, you no longer have a New Testament. In no way does this minimize the centrality of the work of Christ. In fact, it magnifies it, because it shows...

Read more

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 14:05

Fellow Protestants, Don’t Forget Margaret Clitherow

Written by
image

I love the Protestant Reformation and the return to biblical truths that came with it. Some of my heroes were men like Martin Luther and John Calvin, whom God used in mighty ways. I’m encouraged by the bravery of hundreds of English men and women like Anne Askew, Hugh Latimer, and Thomas...

Read more

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 14:10

From Complainers to Rejoicers

Written by
image

When God’s work in and around me seems slow or nonexistent, I’m prone to grumbling. But there are many other times too, I’m noticing, when I’m quick to grumble or complain: when I’m under stress or experiencing suffering, when I can’t be sure of guaranteed...

Read more

image

I was called to the pastorate straight out of seminary. I married my wife. We went on our honeymoon, and then we moved into the parsonage to begin pastoral ministry in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. I did not have a timetable planned for how long I would serve in my first church, but I...

Read more

Monday, 21 January 2019 14:15

Don't Just Meet Someone's Needs

Written by
image

The man was a leper.

Leprosy was a category of several kinds of skin diseases which were difficult to treat in the ancient world and threatened to spread quickly. For this reason, the Old Testament gave the Israelites specific and drastic instructions for dealing with leprosy:

“The person who...

Read more

Monday, 21 January 2019 14:10

If God is Not In Control of Your Pain

Written by
image

One of the most difficult issues to address in the Christian life is the issue of suffering. Countless words have been devoted to the topic, but no matter how much is said, it never seems that the right words are found. There are too many kinds of pain, too many types of suffering, and too much...

Read more

Sunday, 20 January 2019 21:55

Links For The Church

Written by
image

5 Myths About Complementarianism

Andreas & Margaret Köstenberger write about ways that complementarianism is misunderstood. There are false understandings about this doctrine and the Köstenbergers debunks some of these.

Practical Applications of the Doctrine of Justification

"When we...

Read more

Sunday, 20 January 2019 21:40

Engage Your Mind

Written by
image

Most of the hospitals in our country are named after religious people or holy places. This was an observation made by a comedian who asked the question of whether you would feel comfortable going to a supposed place of science which had its roots in religion. His point was that a place named after...

Read more

Sunday, 20 January 2019 14:15

Mister Rogers's Deathbed Confession

Written by
image

I went with my family last summer to see the new Fred Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Overall it was an excellent film, and we enjoyed it very much. As I said in my night-of tweet thread, you and I could quibble with portions of it—the filmmaker seems intent...

Read more

Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:15

Turn My Eyes from Vanity

Written by
image

"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way."-- Psalm 119:37

There are divers kinds of vanity. The cap and bells of the fool, the mirth of the world, the dance, the lyre, and the cup of the dissolute, all these men know to be vanities; they wear upon their forefront...

Read more