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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Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is one of the greatest novels, and for good reason. Melville writes in such a way that you have to stop just to marvel at the way he crafts a sentence.  Even Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Marylinne Robinson, is left without many words when...

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Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:10

Church Discipline: Done for the Self-Loving Lord

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Can a church who knows God to be loving diligently practice church discipline? What’s more, can a church who worships a loving God excommunicate members from the corporate experience of worshipping that loving God? From the corporate experience of serving that loving God?

Yes.

From a young age,...

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:15

Why You Will Join the Wrong Church

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The most read New York Times article from 2016 had nothing to do with politics, culture wars, or comic book movies. Instead, the most-read article of 2016 was all about commitment.

The piece, titled “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person,” was written by Alain de Botton. In it,...

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:10

When the Authoritative Jesus Shows Up

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We don’t like authority, do we?

Or, rather, we don’t like someone else’s authority. We like our own authority just fine; we bask in it. We don’t give it up easily. That’s why the opening chapter of Mark’s gospel can be so difficult. Mark shows us what happens when...

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019 15:05

Preacher, Give Them Bread

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“Brother, that was a great Bible study, but it wasn’t a sermon.”

That sentence from my pastor and mentor was inexplicable to me. I was a budding expository preacher, studying theology in college, and longing to show God’s people the glorious things I was seeing in the Bible....

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 15:15

Leading Your Ministry Marriage Well

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Pastors not only want to succeed at church and home, but we are also required to. Have you heard of any other profession with the requirement to win at work and home? I have asked that question to thousands of pastors and seminarians, and I have yet to hear of even one.

When we said...

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 15:10

The Dangers of Disconnected Discipleship

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One of the worst feelings in the modern world has to be when you look at your phone and see a red “low battery” icon. Last week, I got to work and noticed that my charging cord was broken. When I pulled my phone out to do something really important (like check ESPN), I realized it was...

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Christians are meant to live with a sense of urgency. Urgency is not panic, anxiety, or acting before we think; it is a sense of insistence that requires steady, and often swift, action. But why is that?

The answer, of course, is simple – it’s because the message of the...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 15:10

The Harmonics of the Old Testament

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Much to my chagrin, when I learned what it meant to study the Old Testament, I quickly realized I needed to develop a love for poetry. Creativity was—and is—not my forté. Yet, the more I read Scripture, the more I recognized the writers were, in a sense, singing in harmony with...

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 15:15

Steering from the Stage

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"The world is a ship . . . and the pulpit is its prow.”

So claims Herman Melville in his classic novel Moby Dick, and while Melville’s claim may not exactly hold up in this post-Christian era of the West, it is certainly true for the local church. The preaching is the steering wheel of...

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 15:10

Links For The Church (3/11)

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When You Make Your Bed In Hell

Andrea Burke writes about when we are struggling to trust God and obey His word. She shares part of her personal story and gives encouragement to those who doubt. 

Four Worship Essentials in Healthy Churches

"Aspire for excellence in worship with purpose of gospel...

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 15:05

Are You Persuading or Are You Polarizing?

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When it comes to sharing your beliefs and opinions, are you persuasive or are you polarizing? In my personal experience, it’s easy to get them confused. Sometimes we think that zinger of a Facebook post or that Twitter tirade is championing a cause, when in reality, all we really accomplish...

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Saturday, 09 March 2019 14:15

The Path of Trouble is the Way Home

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"Man ... is of few days, and full of trouble."-- Job 14:1

It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but...

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Thursday, 07 March 2019 14:15

Satan Isn't After the SBC, God Is

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Last week as a series of articles outlined a detailed history of sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches. I have friends and family affected inside what was reported. I am affected. 

My whole life, I’ve watched faithful men and women in Southern Baptist churches and seminaries love...

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Some revisionist interpreters of Scripture claim David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship. It is with some reservation that I mention this argument since the average Christian who reads the Bible never considers a homosexual slant on the friendship of David and Jonathan. The false claim...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:15

Discipleship Simplified

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The wisdom of the ages has always reminded us that there are two sides to every story and that the truth is somewhere between the two. I would say this is usually correct. Like people, stories can have two sides and both can  be true. One can be both kind, yet firm, highly...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:10

10 Ways to Lead a Great Team Meeting

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Few in ministry have actually been trained in leading meetings. Yet, it’s one of the essential, ongoing responsibilities we have as leaders. I’ve witnessed some terrible meetings that were terrible solely because of the poor oversight of the ones leading them. Your ability to lead...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:05

Don’t Domesticate God with Words

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Editor's Note: This post includes reflections based upon Dr. Matthew Barrett's newly released book, None Great: The Undomesticated Attributes of God, available now at Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Many of us have a nasty habit. We domesticate God.

The irony is that it stems from a good...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2019 14:10

The Department of Redundancy Department

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I am probably the least patient person I know. However, it is evidence of God’s grace that the Holy Spirit is making me more into Christ’s image when others comment on how patient I am. This is, after all, the fruit of having God’s Spirit inside me (Gal. 5:22), but I always feel...

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I was saved in the summer between middle school and high school and felt called to ministry in a few years later. I’ve always been a little obsessed with “efficiency” (think the Pete & Pete episode with the Efficiency Expert), and so when I was thinking about college and...

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Monday, 04 March 2019 14:15

Joyful Frustration

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“Why would I waste my Sunday doing that?” responded Jeannie. Her comment was in response to my invitation to attend a special worship service at our church. Even after years of ministry in New England, I was still taken back by the firmness of her conviction that attending church would...

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It’s a familiar scene: the Saturday sermon review. However, after reviewing your notes or manuscript on this particular Saturday, you begin to browse the Internet, and you come across something that seems to stick in your craw: yet another article about the massive popularity of Fortnite,...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 14:15

Peter, Paul, and Race

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Last fall on Twitter I made the claim that Paul confronted Peter (as recounted in Galatians 2:11ff.) out of a concern for racial justice as an entailment of the gospel. The nuclear fallout was nearly immediate. Over the ensuing 24 hours, I had my exegetical aptitude, moral reasoning, and even...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 14:10

Set The Pattern

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“Is tomorrow church day?” My 6 year old asked me this as we were getting ready for bed on a Saturday night. While I am pretty sure kindergarten has taught him the days of the week, he still just refers to days either as school days or church day. I am not sure how he classifies...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 14:05

Links For The Church (3/4)

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Why Is It So Hard to Pray?

Prayer means death to self. Burk Parsons answers why it's so hard to pray, and how we can trust God to answer with power and might. 

God is Not Silent About Sexual Assault

Katie McCoy writes that God, "speaks on behalf of the woman who has been sexually assaulted." She...

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