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

Ligonier Ministries - Apologetic Report
Monday, 07 September 2015 02:00

How Sinful Is Man?

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Imagine a circle that represents the character of mankind. Now imagine that if someone sins, a spot—a moral blemish of sorts—appears in the circle, marring the character of man. If other sins occur, more blemishes appear in the circle. Well, if sins continue to multiply, eventually the entire circle will be filled with spots and

Saturday, 05 September 2015 02:00

The Methods vs. The Message

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Many Christians go their entire lives without being used by God to be the human instrument and means by which a person comes to Christ. My own calling is not as an evangelist, but seeing another human being come to Christ is the most meaningful ministry experience I've ever had.

I once was hired by a church to be the minister of theology, which

Friday, 04 September 2015 02:00

Faith Has Its Reasons

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Christians from every theological tradition have for centuries confessed their faith by reciting the Apostles' Creed. Elsewhere I have taught on the actual content of this creed, but if there is one aspect of this confession that we often fail to reflect on, it is the creed's opening words: I believe.

Here I want to consider faith in relation to

Thursday, 03 September 2015 02:00

Study Bibles: Soli Deo Gloria

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Here's an excerpt from Study Bibles: Soli Deo Gloria, Burk Parsons' contribution to the September issue of Tabletalk:

Upon my return to the States, Dr. Sproul, Chris Larson (president of Ligonier Ministries), and I discussed our need to get the Reformation Study Bible translated into Spanish and other major world languages as soon as we could

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:00

John Calvin's Conversion

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Ian Hamilton describes what we know of John Calvin's conversion in this excerpt from his new teaching series, Calvinism and the Christian Life.

Transcript

It's uncertain when Calvin was actually converted to the Lord Jesus Christ, probably between the years 1530 and 1533.

Calvin remarkably says almost nothing about the circumstances of his

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 02:00

Youth-Driven Culture

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Maybe it began earlier than the 1950s and '60s, but those decades seem to mark the rise of the fascination with youth in American culture. The famous line that celebrates all things young, often wrongly attributed to James Dean, declares, "Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse behind."

Popular music, that telling barometer of

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 02:00

Columns from Tabletalk Magazine, September 2015

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The September issue of Tabletalk considers the purpose and importance of study Bibles, providing an apologetic for their development and use. Study Bibles have a rich history among God's people, and their use has promoted great spiritual growth among Christians through the years. This issue of Tabletalk looks at the history of study

Monday, 31 August 2015 21:00

Crucial Questions: 22 Free eBooks from R.C. Sproul Featured

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To further help Christians know what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it, in May 2013 we made the ebook editions of R.C. Sproul's Crucial Questions series free forever. We continue to publish new ebooks in this series and this year have added Can I Lose My Salvation? and What Is the Great Commission

Monday, 31 August 2015 02:00

The Biblical Basis for Missions

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What is mission, and what is the principal foundation for the mission of the church? The word mission itself comes from the Latin verb missio, which means "to send." So, literally, missions has to do with sending. In the Scriptures, we see the verb to send being used over and over, in a multitude of ways. But there's a sense in which the whole

Saturday, 29 August 2015 02:00

Carnal Peace

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The message of the false prophets of Israel was one of peace. But their peace was an illusion. They preached peace when there was no peace, or what Luther called a carnal peace. Luther said that when the gospel is preached with passion and with accuracy, it does not bring peace. In fact, our Lord Himself said, "Do not think that I have come to

Friday, 28 August 2015 02:00

The Importance of What We Do in Secret

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According to Jesus, it is what we do in secret that matters most. Jesus is not suggesting that the outward is unimportant—far from it. "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?" (James 2:14).

The answer is emphatically no. Still, it is also possible to have outward works but

Thursday, 27 August 2015 02:00

A Kingdom of Priests

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Here's an excerpt from A Kingdom of Priests, Kelly M. Kapic's contribution to the August issue of Tabletalk:

As sons and daughters of the One who is both the eternal King and High Priest, we have assurance that we will never be forgotten or abandoned. We do not need to be absorbed with self-preservation or self-promotion; we are free to live lives

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 08:00

Glory to the Holy One Concert in Nashville

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I would like to extend an invitation to you to join us at what is the result of one of the highlights of my life and ministry. On November 2, we are presenting a sacred music concert in Nashville that will provide a special time of worship and reflection on the beauty of the Lord.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 02:00

Good Works and the Christian Life Featured

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Good works aren't bad. They are good. As Christians, we should want to do them. Just because we are not saved according to our works doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about pursuing a life of joyful obedience to God's Word. Jesus emphatically states, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Obedience, however frail

Here's an excerpt from Planting Churches in Japan, an interview with Dan Iverson from the August issue of Tabletalk:

Tabletalk: What can churches outside Japan learn from the Japanese Church?

Dan Iverson: First, the focus on the common good. Living in Japan has given me a new perspective on "American rugged individualism." A "common grace" virtue of

Monday, 24 August 2015 02:00

Can I Be Sure I'm Saved? Featured

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At a practical level, people who are struggling with their assurance of salvation often approach me and ask, "How can I know I am saved?" In response, I ask them three questions.

First I ask, "Do you love Jesus perfectly?" Every person to whom I have asked that question has responded candidly, "No, I don't." That's why they are not sure of the

"Cage-stage" describes an all too common phenomenon wherein a believer comes to embrace the doctrines of grace, and for a time becomes an obnoxious lout in defending the doctrines to all comers, whether they are interested or not. It suggests that such a newbie should spend some time in a cage until they calm down. If you are a Calvinist, you

There are many reasons why we must evangelize. John Calvin offers the following:

1. God commands us to do so. "We should remember that the gospel is preached not only by the command of Christ but at his urging and leading."

2. We want to glorify God. True Christians yearn to extend God's truth everywhere so that "God may be glorified."

Thursday, 20 August 2015 02:00

Praying for Pastors' Kids

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Here's an excerpt from Praying for Pastors' Kids, Barnabas Piper's contribution to the August issue of Tabletalk:

A pastor's family often functions as the "first family" of the church, setting the bar in all things spiritual and moral. They are the exemplars of ministry and life. They're always being observed, and with that comes expectations. The

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 02:00

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty Featured

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It was years ago now, but I still remember the discussion. I was making my way out of our church building some time after the morning service had ended, and was surprised to find a small group of people still engaged in vigorous conversation. One of them turned and said to me, "Can Christians eat black pudding?"

To the uninitiated in the mysteries

Many people around us misunderstand the Christian faith, and we might be the only ones who will ever show them the truth.

That's why Ligonier Ministries has a special resource for you this month: the full 32-part series Defending Your Faith on DVD and a DVD-ROM featuring the audio version of the series and a study guide. This resource is yours when

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 02:00

Room 101

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Here's an excerpt from Room 101, R.C. Sproul Jr.'s contribution to the August issue of Tabletalk:

In our day, the danger is social ostracism, especially regarding the issue of sexual morality. With each passing day, the biblical sexual ethic is looked upon more and more as not merely quaint and old fashioned but oppressive, bigoted, and immoral.

Monday, 17 August 2015 02:00

The Church Is Not a Ghetto

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I've long been fascinated with those moments in Jesus' life when the veil of His human flesh gave way to a vision of His refulgent glory as the Son of God. What must it have been like to be one of His disciples and to know Him as a man but then to see with clarity His deity in an encounter of dazzling light? The most spectacular of these

Saturday, 15 August 2015 02:00

The Rest of the Story

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I'm tired as I write this, but, I suspect, not half as tired as I will be as you read. 48 hours from now I will be just 8 hours into a 35 hour trip to Indonesia, 28 of which will be in the sky. I'm usually quite comfortable flying, avoiding the grouchiness that plagues so many frequent fliers. I'm quite comfortable as well on my morning walks. But

Friday, 14 August 2015 02:00

Worthy Eating and Drinking

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One of our Scottish preachers used to say that the believer has three looks at the Lord's Table. There is, first, a retrospective look. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a commemoration, a celebration of an event in the past. It is an aid to us in remembering the pivotal, redemptive point of history, the point at which the Son of God died for