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
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It’s a common mistake among those who feel called to plant and pastor churches: some men are willing to lead the church before they lead their families. In fact, some guys seem willing to lead the church to the detriment of their families! Both options are unacceptable to God. He poses a...

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Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:15

5 Better Ways to "Argue" About Social Justice

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This will be a short post, not about social justice per se, but about why some of us are having trouble seeing any fruitful conversations taking place online about it -- or any other subject of controversy within the Church -- and are reluctant to contribute.

First, one thing I think...

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Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:10

God Delights in the Gospel

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It took me years to overcome the thought that God was a frustrated and irritable Father that was constantly disappointed in me. I would see other Christians casually walk in faith and sweet spiritual bliss while I was burdened by the thought of Sodom and Gomorrah – divine punishment that all...

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Sunday, 16 September 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (9/16)

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Think Before You Speak: 4 Tips For Dialoguing With Non-Christians

Brady Weller writes a helpful piece on building a more patient system of apologetics. He shares ways to love and serve others while you're discussing doctrine with them.

No Excuses For Preaching Bad Sermons

There are many helpful tools...

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Saturday, 15 September 2018 15:15

Partakers of the Divine Nature

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"Partakers of the divine nature."-- 2 Peter 1:4

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but...

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Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:15

It’s Not Enough to Have Your Sins Forgiven

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When the reformer Martin Luther was first confronted by Paul’s phrase “the righteousness of God” in Romans 3, he was overwhelmed and lost all hope. He knew he couldn’t match up to the perfect standard of God’s righteousness. Such righteousness, he thought, would be...

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Thursday, 13 September 2018 15:10

Reflections on Josiah's Life and Legacy

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Josiah is one of my favorite kings mentioned in the Bible (2 Kings 22-23). Josiah began his ruling at the age of 8 and eventually went on to initiate one of the greatest reform movements in Israel’s history. The catalyst for this reform was none other than the power of the Word of God. The...

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:15

Why Every Christian Should Read Mere Christianity

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C.S. Lewis loved old books. In a short piece he wrote to introduce Athanasius’s On the Incarnation to a modern audience, he admonished that Christians who only read new books are joining “at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight” and “will often...

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:10

On the Road to Emmaus

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I remember how dark it looked inside. It was mid-morning. The sun was hot in the sky, and my skin felt it, but the tomb looked cold, as if it had been robbed of it’s purpose. As my eyes adjusted, I saw the linens. And that was it. Nothing else. 

Were the women lying? I wasn't sure. I...

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 15:05

Pastor, Have You Been With Jesus?

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A friend and I talked about a conference we both attended during different years. I told him about the year I attended, then he told me about the year he attended. As he listed the speakers he heard, I asked about a particular name. I knew of this man’s ministry, but had never heard...

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Anyone who plays or follows sports knows it takes an entire team to win.

To be sure, winning teams usually have both star players and role players. Star players are relied on to carry the squad. Role players have lesser-known yet still significant roles. They don’t receive all the credit or...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:05

Innocent As To What Is Evil

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It was such a simple little phrase, but it rocked me to my core. It halted me in my tracks and set my mind whirling. Just a few words and yet they cause great contemplation and introspection. It made me wonder where I was putting the focus of my mind. It made me consider my life from a new angle....

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Monday, 10 September 2018 15:15

The Gospel Gets the Last Word

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"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever." - 1 Peter 1:24-25

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Picture a scene. You are standing before the...

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When I speak at churches, I am constantly amazed by how many services are designed and executed in a way that excludes everyone but the twenty-percent of members who are the most active. Worship services in the local church are rightly designed for the gathered community of believers to grow in the...

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Sunday, 09 September 2018 15:15

Experience KC at FTC

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In two weeks, we'll welcome pastors, ministers, and missionaries from across the country to our annual For The Church Conference, "The Mission & Majesty of the Church."

We know you'll probably have some free time, so we want to offer you our best suggestions for barbeque, food, coffee, and...

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Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.-- Galatians 2:10

One of the strangest developments of late in the ongoing scrums over the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of "social justice" is the shifts in understanding by various evangelical tribes and movements of...

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Sunday, 09 September 2018 15:05

Why You Should Actually Go to Seminary

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It’s no secret online theological education is booming. At theological institutions across North America, the number of online students rises consistently. As a seminarian in the twenty-first century, I’m immensely grateful for the flexibility and freedom online education affords. As a...

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Saturday, 08 September 2018 15:15

Prevailing Prayer

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"I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."-- Jeremiah 33:3

There are different translations of these words. One version renders it, "I will shew thee great and fortified things." Another, "Great and reserved things." Now, there are reserved and special things...

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Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:15

The Gospel and Your Money

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Did you know that Jesus spoke more about money than any other topic? That’s right. In fact, sixteen of Christ’s thirty-eight parables reference our handling of earthly treasure. In the Gospels, one out of every ten verses when Jesus is speaking addresses money. As John Piper observed,...

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Thursday, 06 September 2018 15:10

Resolve to Live Wisely and Press On

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During an extremely stressful time in my life and ministry, I discovered some old files I’d saved for future sermons. I must have done some research into Jonathan Edwards because my notes included a list of resolutions he wrote as a teenager. Here’s what I wrote:

Between ages 19 and 20,...

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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 15:15

Your Church's Leadership Structure May Not Be the Problem,

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The New Testament is conspicuously silent with respect to details on church governance and decision-making. Jesus never used the word pastor, bishop or deacon, and, in fact, never mentioned any office of the church. He did not offer instructions on the responsibilities of an elder. He never...

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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 15:10

Pastor, Rest Even When Your Work's Not Finished

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The elementary school was electric with energy as I walked my middle child to her class.  Teachers were excited, kids were running around, some people even looked lost, too! I could tell the teachers were looking forward to a new year, and so were the kids.  

I grew up with...

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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 15:05

I Want Christlike, Bible Reflexes

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When the whirlwind of questions come to you about various hot-button social issues, where do you turn?

If we’re honest, we’re often tempted to strike a deal, blending our biblical conviction with what’s culturally palatable. It’s tempting to try to salute the contemporary...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 15:10

We Need All Creators Creating

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I sit with a friend over breakfast, our table squeezed in among other pairs of diners. We reach across to one another and hold hands for a brief moment. She has tears in her eyes and I have tears in mine, both of us tired and both of us broken over the state of things. She tells me her heaviness...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 15:05

As It Is In All the World

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“. . .the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from...

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