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

Jared C. Wilson - Apologetic Report

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– “Church discipline seems strange to us because it doesn’t fit our conceptions of love.” – “Churches seem to have lost track of what the Bible says about organizing our lives together.”

New episode of the For The Church Podcast dropped this morning, in...

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imageIs there a tipping point coming in the attractional church movement?

I don’t know. I used to think so. Now I’m inclined to think not. I ask just about everybody I meet who I think may have some insight into this question. Some say yes, some say no. I keep asking,...

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Monday, 01 May 2017 14:00

“The Imperfect Disciple” Releases Today!

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My new book The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together releases today! I’d love for you to pick one up for yourself (and maybe one for a friend?).

This is perhaps my most unique book yet, a creative non-fiction approach to the gospel call to follow Jesus,...

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Sunday, 30 April 2017 14:00

Where I’ll Be, Summer 2017

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Every now and then, for those who are interested, I share some of my upcoming speaking dates. If you’re in any of these areas and able to attend, would be great to meet you.

May 11-12, 2017RightNow Media Conference. Chicago, IL. I’ll be giving another talk on the church’s...

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 14:00

Discipleship for the Rest of Us

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imageHere’s a question I used to ask people I taught in church: “What do you think of when you hear the word discipleship?”

Some people would play word-association and I’d get a string of adjectives in response: difficult, trusting, adventurous, obedient, and so on.

I don’t...

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Monday, 24 April 2017 14:00

The Lord Is Never Late

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imageReading in my friend Michael Kelley’s book Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal, about his family’s journey of faith through their young son’s battle with leukemia, I found a passage of reflection taking me back in time. I do not know the fear and grief of having a child with a...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 14:00

New Podcast: For The Church

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Over at For The Church we’re launching a brand new resource this week! Introducing: The For The Church Podcast. Hosted by yours truly and featuring some of our favorite leaders in church ministry, this new podcast is sure to make a worthy addition to your regular listens. Download, subscribe,...

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Monday, 17 April 2017 14:00

What Works?

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imageFrom Thomas Chalmers’ “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”:

“The love of the world cannot be expunged by a mere demonstration of the world’s worthlessness. But may it not be supplanted by the love of that which is more worthy than itself? The heart cannot be...

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Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:00

6 Things Christ Does With Your Sin

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imageOn this Good Friday, it is good to remember what the cross accomplishes.

Here are six things Jesus does with sin:

1. He Condemns It.

Jesus puts a curse on sin. He marks its forehead.

Romans 8:3 – “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in...

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Monday, 10 April 2017 14:00

Pastor, Don’t Waste Your Exclamation Points

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imageGenerally speaking, a church will over time become affected by, influenced toward, and transferred into whatever her preacher is most excited about.

Pastor, our people don’t usually get excited about what we tell them to be excited about. Have you figured that out yet? Instead, they get...

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Thursday, 06 April 2017 14:00

Proverbs 29:18 Is Not About Your Big Ideas

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image“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”— Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Proverbs 29:18 may be one of the most misapplied verses in all the evangelical church today. Many a church leader has used it to spiritualize his strategies and blackmail followers into supporting his...

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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 14:00

As God Lives

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imageRemain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.— Ruth 3:13

Against the backdrop of the spiritual and cultural climate detailed in the book of Judges...

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:00

Easy Like Friday Afternoon: A Manifesto on Hard-Believism

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image“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”— Matthew 7:13-14 (in the...

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Monday, 27 March 2017 14:00

Success Disagrees with Christianity

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imageI am quite fond of the 2000 piece in The New Yorker by the late John Updike titled “The Future of Faith: Confessions of a Churchgoer”, especially this bit:

My father to the day of his death, more than twenty-five years later, served that church, in various capacities, while I escaped to...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:00

When You’ve Got a Bramble for a King

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imageThe world of the book of Judges is a sordid, nasty, utterly broken place. Some of the most horrific accounts of sin detailed in the Bible are found in the book of Judges. We are told quite plainly: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 14:00

Wonder and Rationality in Calvinism (So-Called)

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John Piper’s 2012 piece “The Sovereign God of ‘Elfland’ (Why Chesterton’s Anti-Calvinism Doesn’t Put Me Off)” puts so well into words something I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about for a while. A taste:

It is a great irony to me that...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:00

Join Us for Dinner at TGC17!

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FYI, today is the last day to register for next month’s The Gospel Coalition National Conference, so sign up now or forever hold your peace. (Or until 2019 hold your peace.) And if you’re already registered, I hope you’ll consider joining me, Russell Moore, H.B. Charles, Matt...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 14:00

George Whitefield’s Gospel Wakefulness

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“I must bear testimony to my old friend Mr. Charles Wesley, he put a book into my hands, called, The Life of God and the Soul of Man, whereby God showed me, that I must be born again, or be damned. I know the place: it may be superstitious, perhaps, but whenever I go to Oxford, I cannot help...

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Monday, 13 March 2017 14:00

What Can The Church Learn From ‘Rock Dog’?

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I don’t know. Probably nothing. I didn’t see it, and it looks terrible.

Can we please stop doing this kind of thing with every pop-culture excretion?

Some works of art are, well, works of art and more readily provoke theological, philosophical, and spiritual reflection.

Some works of art...

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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 13:00

3 Thanksgivings As I Start Year 3 at Midwestern Seminary

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imageToday marks the 2nd anniversary of my first day of full-time employment at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I remember skating into town on icy roads in my 1997 Chevy Suburban in mid-February. I missed my first shot at preaching in chapel because the drive from Vermont was slower-going in...

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Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:00

Join us for The Normal Pastor Conference

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imageEver feel like the average pastors’ conference wasn’t quite for you? Wish the average pastors’ conference spoke to the pastors who were a little more . . . well, average? We’re introducing The Normal Pastor Conference for any church leader who may feel a little discouraged...

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017 13:00

A Revival Without Christ at the Center Is Not a Revival

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imageHe will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. — John 16:14

“In all companies, on other days, on whatever occasions persons met together, Christ was to be heard of, and seen in the midst of them. Our young people, when they met, were wont to spend the time in...

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:00

Prayer Isn’t Magic

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imageThe way some people talk about prayer owes more to New Age spirituality and witchcraft than biblical Christianity. I don’t want to name any names, but I recall when I was a teenager being taught about “spiritual warfare” in ways I cannot seem to find supported in the Bible....

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 13:00

God’s Grace Has a Timing of His Own

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imageBut God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. — Genesis 8:1

The chapter and verse numbers in the Scriptures are not inspired, of course, but there is something about Genesis 8:1...

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017 13:00

Why Narnia Isn’t Allegorical

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imageTim Challies’s excellent post this week on why Narnia’s Aslan is not the same as the divine characterizations in William Paul Young’s The Shack offered a literary side-note that addresses a pet peeve this English major and Lewisphile has held for a quite a while—the...

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