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
Monday, 15 May 2017 00:15

Old Man, New Man; Dead Man, True Man

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The question concerning the relationship between the believer and indwelling sin is one of the most theologically difficult to navigate. On one end of the spectrum, there are those who insist that the believer is a new creature with a new nature and ought not talk about the reality of indwelling...

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 22:32

The Roller Coaster Effect of Ministry

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I recently listened to one of the fathers of our denomination speak about the “ups and downs” that he was experiencing in ministry. This man had planted a church in the PCA (which he subsequently pastored for many decades), oversaw quite a number of church plants out of that...

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Monday, 03 April 2017 09:19

Being Professional in Ministry?

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John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is one of the books that pastors in the Western world would do well to read annually. In that work, Piper puts his finger on the gaping wound of a corporate mindset that has plagued the church in North America for far too long. At the...

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 05:17

The Reach of the Gospel

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Dr. John H. Skilton, professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, used to remind believers, “You have the unique opportunity of reaching men and women in your community with the Gospel in a way that minister may never have, precisely because...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 23:25

A Biblical Theology of Glory

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We rarely use the word glory in any knowledgeable sense in our culture. Sometimes we employ it in its adjectival form (i.e. glorious) when speaking of a sunset or some particularly unique accomplishment (usually that which is instrumental, athletic or theatric in nature). It’s...

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 23:13

Of Ministers and Marriages

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I have something of a confession to make. I really do not enjoy officiating weddings. When I tell other ministers, they inevitably seek to chide me in less than subtle, hyper-spiritual, passive agressive kinds of ways–giving me a list of all the reasons why they love officiating...

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017 02:06

Interpretive Indecisiveness

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Doctrinal indecision is not a virtue. It is often the consequence of our sinful hearts and intellects. However, it may also simply be the inevitable consequence of the intellectual and spiritual progress that believers must make in their Christian lives. For instance, many new believers...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 21:28

When Christians Hurt You

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As the culture war rages on, there is another battle raging to which we must turn our attention. When I was a boy, my dad would sometimes tell me, “No one will hurt you so much as others in the church.” In my lifetime, this has generally proven to be true. Believers...

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Thursday, 16 February 2017 06:10

Gospel Motivations for Gospel Ministry

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Competitiveness is the companion of quality, right? After all, that seems to be true of the role of competition in health care, technology, transportation, sports, restaurants, design and construction. In all forms of production, men constantly seek to surpass their...

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Wednesday, 08 February 2017 06:17

Teachability

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One of the great goals, to which each of us should aspire in our short lives, is that of becoming a teachable person. That statement sounds, at one and the same time, both noble and straightforward. However, a careful consideration of this subject leads us to conclude that it is commonly...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 05:44

Jesus Loves the Rich

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Many people have a conception of Jesus that is–to put it as bluntly as possible–substantively deficient. Many envision Jesus as the prototypical religious leader who only cared for the outcast, the socially marginalized, the sick and the poor. A Marxist, revolutionary Jesus is...

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Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:08

Did God Ordain Evil?

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Throughout human history, men have wrestled with the problem of evil. The question, “How can a good and holy God allow evil to exist in the world that He created,” is one that demands an answer. Or, to ask the question more pointedly, “How can the good and holy God be...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 05:09

When They Walk Away

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I recently had a friend tell me how distraught she was over the fact that someone she had been discipling wanted to be left alone. My friend was expressing the pain that she felt over this experience. She had poured so many hours into pursuing another with the Gospel and with Scriptural counsel,...

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Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:57

Picking Up Sticks in the Service of Jesus

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One of the perennial problems of the fallen human condition is that men and women love to serve when there is respect, reputation and remuneration involved, and not serve when it involves what they perceive to be a menial task done out of the sight of the prying and praising eyes of others. This is...

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017 05:41

7 Ways to Care for Your Wife

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In that extremely complex and, at times, hard to understand section of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we come across the comparison between the married and the unmarried (1 Cor. 7). In short, the Apostle insists that marriage is good (and the norm) but that it brings...

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Friday, 13 January 2017 05:14

Singing the Mediatorial Praise of Jesus

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“What sort of God must He be who commands His people to sing joyfully to Him from the heart?” That was the thought that struck me one day during one of our worship services. He is no evil or austere God who commands His people to sing with joy and grace in their hearts...

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Monday, 02 January 2017 10:44

Reestablishing Ministry Goals

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The longer I have been in ministry, the more I have found the ancient Latin proverb to be true: Repetitio mater studiorum est (i.e. repetition is the mother of all learning). Or, as Samuel Johnson, so helpfully noted: “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be...

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Friday, 30 December 2016 05:31

2016 Writing in Review

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A number of years ago, I started cataloguing all that I have written over the course of the year. I decided to do this mainly for the congregation that the Lord has called me to pastor. However, I also do it for those who read my blog on a regular basis. To that end, it is my sincere desire that a...

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Thursday, 29 December 2016 05:37

The Future of Emptiness

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2016 has come and gone. As the Steve Miller Band so mesmerizingly reminded us in 1976, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” We are, in many respects, now living in George and Judy’s world. What was once considered impossible...

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Tuesday, 27 December 2016 10:06

The Minister’s Grit

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You discovered his music years before any of your friends or the mainstream media had ever heard of him. You saw him perform in a venue that held 50-100 people. You were excited the first time you heard one of his songs playing on a commercial or being covered by someone on...

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Monday, 19 December 2016 08:40

Sinful Anger: Its Cause and Cure

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Pride fuels self-righteousness, self-righteousness fuels sinful anger and sinful anger fuels destructive thoughts, words and actions. Who among us has not known what it is to have sinful anger in our hearts? Who among us has not harbored a sinful longing for ill-will or revenge...

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016 13:23

Joseph Did You Know?

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I recently spent some time driving around our community in order to see the way in which Joseph was portrayed in the various nativity scenes that people set up in their front yards. There was everything from cartoon bug eyed Joseph to haloed Joseph to–and this was most interesting–a...

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Monday, 12 December 2016 18:32

Keeping Our Church Vows

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When we examine and receive members in our local churches in the Presbyterian Church in America, we ask those coming for membership to take five vows:

1. Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?

2....

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Tuesday, 06 December 2016 06:30

Low Expectations…

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“I really like the music;” “the community is wonderful;” “there are so many ways to get involved;” “their children’s ministry is great;” “God really seems to be moving here.” These are among the most common reasons I’ve heard...

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Saturday, 26 November 2016 16:40

The Kinsman Redeemer

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In the Law, God made a provision for his people to experience something of a typical redemption–through a close relative–from the burden of sin and misery. The story of Ruth is the well known story of redemption by the kinsman redeemer. In his excellent commentary on Ruth, Iain D....

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