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

Reformed Forum - Apologetic Report
Friday, 12 January 2018 20:49

The Doubting Believer

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Fifteen to twenty years ago, prominent figures in the missional movement began saying things like, “Our churches have to be safe places for doubters,” or “You should feel like you can come to our church with all of your doubts.” I always felt somewhat uncomfortable whenever...

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Friday, 05 January 2018 02:05

The John Murray Collection

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I was weaned on the writings of the members of the original faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. The older I get, the more I realize how much I especially owe to the work of the late Professor John Murray. Murray served as the professor of systematic theology at...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 21:41

The Genesis of Theology

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For those who have decided to go back to Genesis at the beginning of 2018 as you restart your Bible reading plan, here are a few theological themes that emerge when we meditate on the opening two chapters of the Bible in light of the fullness of biblical revelation:

A Theology of Creation and New...

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:33

The Pastoral Year in Review

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At the end of each year, I draft a summary of all of the preaching, teaching, visitation, writing, counseling, speaking, church outreach, ecclesiastical meetings and other labors in which I have been pastorally engaged in over the course of the year. This summary then goes out to our...

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 20:54

The Grace of Confessing Sin

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“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov 28:13). The Scriptures explicitly teach that the confession of sin is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life. Nevertheless, in our day, it...

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Monday, 04 December 2017 09:32

On Being a Lifelong Learner

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Over the years, I have heard many professing Christians say that they don’t read very much. This has to be one of the most discouraging things that a pastor can hear a Christian admit. It may only be more disheartening to hear young men complain about how much they have to study in seminary....

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 22:26

The Judgment-Mercy of God

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Whenever some particular natural disaster occurs–e.g. an earthquake, hurricane, Tsunami, etc.–a segment of Christians vocalize their opinion that the particular disaster was God’s specific judgment on a specific people for a specifically egregious sin. As soon as these...

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Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:10

The Social Media Echo Chamber

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Social media parlance and procedure are constantly evolving. Phraseology and expectations are mysteriously codified into the minds of the masses. In the social media echo chamber, parameters develop progressively and often imperceptibly. Paranoia and subtweets, expectations and ultimatums,...

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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 02:14

When Speaking About Jesus’ Bride

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It has become all too common for men and women to attack the church for all of the ways in which they believe that the church has failed. Almost every day professing believers rant online about the failures of “the evangelical church,” “the Reformed church,” “the...

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017 21:01

The Prophets and the Prophet

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In Miscellanies 1044, Jonathan Edwards made the following profound observation about the contrast between the mediated authority with which the Old Testament prophets spoke the word of God and the immediate authority with which Christ spoke the word of God:

“The ancient prophets, when...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 23:23

Criticizing Our Camp

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As we make our way through the Gospel records, we find that Jesus frequently warned and criticized both his opponents and his disciples. This is a point of no small significance for those of us who live in a time when, at every level of society, men tend to focus exclusively on the error of their...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 02:16

Doctrine, Denominations and Division

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The 20th Century will be likely be remembered as the Century of ecclesiastical ecumenism. The 21st Century is shaping up to follow suit–not simply because of a widespread desire for co-belligerency, but on account of a doctrinal reductionism that seeks to dilute Christianity down to the most...

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Monday, 09 October 2017 10:01

The Last Cry of Dereliction

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Many believers throughout the history of the church have experienced the ups and downs of the experiential assurance of salvation. There have been times when I have been overwhelmed by the nearness of God–when there were sweet “times of refreshing from the presence of the...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:41

Gospel Poetry at the Table

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Celebrating the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis poses quite a few challenges for the minister of the Gospel. Foremost among these challenges is that of keeping the meditations close to the message of the passage upon which you have just finished preaching. Additionally, the minister must...

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 23:07

The Unhypocritical Jesus

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Jesus constantly warned about hypocrisy throughout his earthly ministry. Whether it was the institutionalized hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13-15, 23-29), or the leavening effects that such hypocrisy on professing believers (Luke 12:1), Jesus recurrently...

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Saturday, 16 September 2017 08:08

When Jesus Read the Bible

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The Holy Spirit created a human nature for the eternally begotten Son of God in the womb of the virgin Mary; “and, so” as the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, the Son of God “became, and continues to be, both God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever.” In...

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Friday, 15 September 2017 04:48

The Ministerial Decrease

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“He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30). Appropriating this truth into our thoughts, hearts and actions is one of the greatest challenges every believer faces in life. No sooner does it start to sink into our minds that our lives begin to reveal–in a multitude of...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 10:51

The Sitting Christ

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Every week at New Covenant, we confess one of the ancient creeds of the Church (i.e the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed). I especially love confessing the biblical truth that Jesus is “seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,” for the simple reason that...

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Friday, 01 September 2017 03:48

Nothing to Complain About

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Of all the sins that are grievous to the Lord (and there are plenty of them in our hearts and lives), I have recently been sensitive to the fact that we are all quick to gloss over two of the most serious–namely, ingratitude and complaining. It was these sins in particular that marked...

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017 22:47

Diagnostic Decision Making

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Not being sure how to decide between two or more legitimate life options is a common human experience. It is part of what it means to be a finite creature in a finite world mysteriously governed by the infinite God. Whether it is a student trying to discern what college to attend, a young man...

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Thursday, 10 August 2017 08:03

Identifying Elders And Deacons

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Identifying, training and installing church officers (i.e. elders and deacons) is one of the most important and difficult tasks with which God has tasked those pastors He has placed in full time Gospel ministry. The health of the church is dependent on the spiritual health and giftedness of the men...

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Wednesday, 02 August 2017 05:56

When the Preaching is Bad

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What are we to do when we find the preaching to be deficient in the local church to which we belong? For some church members, that is a relatively easy question to answer–just leave! After all, many people will leave churches for all sorts of other illegitimate reasons: musical preference,...

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Friday, 28 July 2017 22:44

Reading God’s Providence

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God’s providence is among the most mysterious and perplexing realities in the Universe. Ironically, many pass themselves off as being quite proficient in reading God’s works of providence in their lives and in the lives of others. When something difficult, unexpected or surprising...

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 12:14

Destroying the Good for the Better

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A friend of mine, who has pastored the same church for 35 years, has made the observation that much division, discontentment and discord in the local church comes when people allow what they perceive to be “the better” destroy their contentment with “the...

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 03:38

The Greatest Book Never!

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Over the years I’ve developed something of a preoccupation with theological compilation volumes. Though such volumes generally only undergo a single printing (only to be forever lost in the annals of publishing), they contain some of the richest and most focused...

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