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 Love of God - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 49; Luke 2; Job 15; 1 Corinthians 3

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Genesis 49; Luke 2; Job 15; 1 Corinthians 3

JESUS GREW UP A THOROUGHLY Jewish boy. Not only was his lineage Jewish, it was Davidic: legally, he belonged to the suppressed royal house (Luke 2:4). Imperial politics were divinely manipulated to ensure that Jesus would be born in the ancient town of...

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 48; Luke 1:39-80; Job 14; 1 Corinthians 2

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Genesis 48; Luke 1:39-80; Job 14; 1 Corinthians 2

SOMETIMES BAD THEOLOGY BREEDS reactionary bad theology. Because Roman Catholicism has gradually added more titles and myths to Mary, Protestants have sometimes reacted by remaining silent about her astonishing character. Neither approach fares very...

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Tuesday, 13 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 47; Luke 1:1-38; Job 13; 1 Corinthians 1

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Genesis 47; Luke 1:1-38; Job 13; 1 Corinthians 1

HOW DID THE CANONICAL Gospels come down to us?

At one level, it is enough to be assured that God provided them. But normally God operates through identifiable means. At no point do the canonical Gospels give the impression that they were handed down...

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Monday, 12 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 46; Mark 16; Job 12; Romans 16

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Genesis 46; Mark 16; Job 12; Romans 16

ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS to grasp is that the God of the Bible is both personal – interacting with other persons – and transcendent (i.e., above space ant time – the domain in which all our personal interactions with God take place)....

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Sunday, 11 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

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Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

IN MARK 15 PEOPLE SPEAK better than they know.

“What shall I do, then,” Pilate asks, “with the one you call the king of the Jews?” (15:12). Of course, he utters the expression “king of the Jews” with a certain sneering...

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Saturday, 10 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

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Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

UP TO THIS POINT IN THE NARRATIVE (Gen. 44), Judah has not appeared in a very good light. When Joseph’s brothers first declare their intention to kill him (Gen. 37:19-20), two of them offer alternatives. Reuben suggests that Joseph should simply be thrown...

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Friday, 09 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 43; Mark 13; Job 9; Romans 13

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Genesis 43; Mark 13; Job 9; Romans 13

CHRISTIANS HAVE OFTEN DISAGREED over the precise interpretation of Mark 13. But whatever disagreements prevail, we cannot fail to note the stunning contrast between the perspectives of the disciples when they look around the temple complex and the perspectives...

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Thursday, 08 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 42; Mark 12; Job 8; Romans 12

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Genesis 42; Mark 12; Job 8; Romans 12

THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN Jesus and some of his opponents in Mark 12:13-17 is full of interest. Mark says that Jesus’ interlocutors set out “to catch him in his words” (12:13). Doubtless that is why they begin with some pretty condescending flattery...

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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 41; Mark 11; Job 7; Romans 11

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Genesis 41; Mark 11; Job 7; Romans 11

THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN Jesus and some of his opponents, reported in Mark 11:27-33, is one of the strangest in the four Gospels. Jesus ducks their crucial question by asking one of his own, one that they cannot answer for political reasons. Why doesn’t Jesus...

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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Romans 10

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Genesis 40; Mark 10; Job 6; Romans 10

TRUSTING GOD’S PROVIDENCE is not to be confused with succumbing to fatalism. It is not a resigned sigh of Que sera, sera – “What will be, will be.” This Joseph understood (Gen. 40).

The account of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker does...

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Monday, 05 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 39; Mark 9; Job 5; Romans 9

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Genesis 39; Mark 9; Job 5; Romans 9

IT IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE to read Genesis 39 as a lesson in moral courage, a case study of a God-fearing man who rightly perceives that an attractive temptation is in reality an invitation to sin against God (39:9), and who therefore cares more for his purity...

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Sunday, 04 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 38; Mark 8; Job 4; Romans 8

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Genesis 38; Mark 8; Job 4; Romans 8

UNDER QUESTIONING, the disciples confess who Jesus is (Mark 8:27-30). Christ is the Greek form of Messiah, which has a Hebrew background. This confession triggers a flood of fresh revelation from the Lord Jesus (8:31-38). Now he teaches that the Son of Man...

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Saturday, 03 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 37; Mark 7; Job 3; Romans 7

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Genesis 37; Mark 7; Job 3; Romans 7

MANY PROTESTANTS ARE suspicious of “traditions.” In popular polemic, Protestants have often portrayed Roman Catholics as embracing the Bible plus traditions, while we ourselves simply hold to the Bible. There are several matters that need clarification...

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Friday, 02 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 35-36; Mark 6; Job 2; Romans 6

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Genesis 35-36; Mark 6; Job 2; Romans 6

IN MARK’S ACCOUNT of the feeding of the five thousand and of Jesus’ subsequent walk on the water (Mark 6), one finds a small aside that stirs up profitable reflection. As soon as Jesus climbed into the boat in the midst of the raging storm, the wind...

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Thursday, 01 February 2018 16:00

Genesis 34; Mark 5; Job 1; Romans 5

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Genesis 34; Mark 5; Job 1; Romans 5

REVENGE MOVIES AND REVENGE BOOKS are so endemic to popular culture that we rarely think about the ambiguous, corrosive nature of sin. There are only good guys and bad guys. But in the real world, it is far from uncommon for sin to corrupt not only those who do...

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Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 33; Mark 4; Esther 9-10; Romans 4

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Genesis 33; Mark 4; Esther 9-10; Romans 4

THE SO-CALLED PARABLE OF THE SOWER (Mark 4:1-20) might better be called the parable of the soils, for the variable that gives the parable life and depth is the variation in the land onto which the seed is thrown.

Because Jesus provides the interpretation of...

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 32; Mark 3; Esther 8; Romans 3

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Genesis 32; Mark 3; Esther 8; Romans 3

WHAT A TRANSFORMATION IN JACOB (Gen. 32)! Superficially, of course, not much has changed. He left Beersheba for Paddan Aram because he was afraid for his life; his brother Esau had reason enough, according to his own light, to kill him. Now he is returning...

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Monday, 29 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 31; Mark 2; Esther 7; Romans 2

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Genesis 31; Mark 2; Esther 7; Romans 2

THE THREE MOST COMMON ACTS of piety amongst many Jews were prayer, fasting, and alms-giving (i.e., giving money to the poor). So when Jesus’ disciples seemed a little indifferent to the second, it was bound to provoke interest. The Pharisees fasted, the...

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Sunday, 28 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 30; Mark 1; Esther 6; Romans 1

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Genesis 30; Mark 1; Esther 6; Romans 1

WHEN I WAS A CHILD IN SUNDAY SCHOOL, I learned the names of the twelve tribes of Israel by singing a simple chorus: “These are the names of Jacob’s sons: Gad and Asher and Simeon, Reuben, Issachar, Levi, Judah, Dan, and Naphtali – Twelve in...

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Saturday, 27 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 29; Matthew 28; Esther 5; Acts 28

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Genesis 29; Matthew 28; Esther 5; Acts 28

THE CLOSING SENTENCE OF Matthew 28 is striking: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (28:20). Of course, this is a grand promise from the resurrected Christ to his people, on the verge of his ascension. But the context...

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Friday, 26 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 28; Matthew 27; Esther 4; Acts 27

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Genesis 28; Matthew 27; Esther 4; Acts 27

THE NAME BETHEL MEANS “house of God.” I wonder how many churches, houses, Bible colleges and seminaries, Christian shelters, and other institutions have chosen this name to grace their signs and their letterheads.

Yet the event that gave rise to...

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Thursday, 25 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 27; Matthew 26; Esther 3; Acts 26

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Genesis 27; Matthew 26; Esther 3; Acts 26

ALL FOUR OF THE PASSAGES contribute to the theme of the providence of God.

Genesis 27 is in many ways a pathetic, grubby account. Earlier Esau had despised his birthright (25:34); now Jacob swindles him out of it. In this Jacob is guided by his mother...

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 26; Matthew 25; Esther 2; Acts 25

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Genesis 26; Matthew 25; Esther 2; Acts 25

THE PARABLE OF THE sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46) focuses attention on the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and those in prison. It speaks volumes to us in a culture where the poor, the wretched, and the unfortunate can easily be ignored or...

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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 25; Matthew 24; Esther 1; Acts 24

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Genesis 25; Matthew 24; Esther 1; Acts 24

IN TUMULTUOUS TIMES, Christians have often been tempted to set dates as to when the Lord would return — almost always saying that he would return within a generation of the one making the prediction. In Matthew 24:36-44, however, Jesus insists that the...

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Monday, 22 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 24; Matthew 23; Nehemiah 13; Acts 23

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Genesis 24Matthew 23; Nehemiah 13; Acts 23

THE LANGUAGE IN Matthew 23 is frankly shocking. Jesus repeatedly pronounces his “woe” on the Pharisees and teachers of the law, labeling them “hypocrites,” calling them “blind guides” and “blind fools,”...

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