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

Erik Raymond - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 11 December 2018 05:00

Focus on What God Has Revealed, Not Concealed

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One of the hidden gems of pastoral ministry is watching God turn the lights on in a Christian’s mind. And, when he turns the lights on, he also turns on the heat. God is kind to open minds to understand the Word of God, and as he does, he enflames hearts to rejoice in the God of the Word....

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Saturday, 08 December 2018 19:27

God Woke Me Up

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It was a regular day. I got out of bed to an alarm. My warm feet from a night’s sleep recoiled slightly from the cold morning floor. Barely ambulatory, I made my way toward the living room. After making my coffee, I sat down in the chair I sit in nearly every morning, opened my Bible and...

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Thursday, 06 December 2018 05:38

Why Must Jesus be both Human and Divine?

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Recently someone who is just beginning to investigate Christianity asked me an important question. As they are wading through the biblical data, the question came up, Why was Jesus both human and divine? Is this an important detail? 

This is an important question. It’s vital that we...

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Monday, 03 December 2018 05:30

Do You Reflect God’s Love?

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Each year the calendar flips to December, and the Advent season arrives. Like waves landing on a beach, the season comes to us with familiarity and beauty. The details of the incarnation are not new to us. But, isn’t true that each year (or each day) there is something fresh to grasp your...

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018 20:30

Run Into the Tension

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If you are like most people you don’t like tension. We usually try to avoid it and keep things nice and smooth. But what I find fascinating is that Jesus doesn’t avoid tension, especially theological tension. He tends to run right into it—and he invites others to do the same. ...

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018 18:49

Logos Bible Software Continues to Excel

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Over a decade ago I faced some questions I felt were very important and would affect many subsequent decisions for ministry training — one of these questions related to my growing library with significant space restrictions. I did not have the room to accommodate my ambition....

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018 06:04

Living on Mission Means Living on Purpose

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Evangelism is something that we know we are called to do but often struggle doing. In a 2012 Lifeway study, 80 percent of those surveyed believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but more than 60 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the...

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When talking about the biblical teaching on justification occasionally people will point back to a Hebrew understanding of the concept and then conclude that the forensic or legal understanding of the doctrine is incorrect. I found Berkhof’s opening words in his section on justification to be...

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Most pastors work hard to preach their sermon with personal application. It’s admittedly a trying task. We may have our exegesis tight but struggle to press home the implications for the widow or teenager sitting in the pew. I have found Keller’s book on preaching, particularly the...

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018 20:50

Christ’s Shocking Pleas for Mercy

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It’s one of the most arresting scenes in the history of literature. It’s filled with instruction and intrigue. But it doesn’t stop with my mind; it also gets after my heart and my will. Every time I read it I am humbled and compelled to change.

“And Jesus said, “Father,...

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Saturday, 20 October 2018 21:03

There Are Burdens We Can’t Bear

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If you are like me, you often overestimate your ability and underestimate your tasks. Giving ourselves too much credit, we bite off more than we can reasonably chew. In time this pattern can not only hurt our productivity and efficiency, but it begins to weigh us down.

If this is true with projects,...

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Thursday, 18 October 2018 20:26

We Hear the Rooster Crow Too

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We’ll likely never walk on water. This is a safe bet.

Often, I read the Gospel narratives and imagine what it would be like to share some of the Apostle Peter’s experiences. He walked on water, watched the dead raised, saw bread multiplied to feed thousands, hosted Moses and Elijah on a...

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018 07:15

Stung Again by a Familiar Passage

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When I was younger, I would see a tree and want to climb it. Now, a bit older I may consider the same tree useful to lean upon or as shade to rest. It’s interesting how our perspective changes with time.

I’ve noticed something similar now after twenty plus years of being a Christian. I...

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 01:36

It’s Not Fair

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“It’s not fair.”

Can you remember a time when you said these words? They reveal our expectations. We want something to go a certain way and believe it should. We have expectations. And, when it doesn’t, we often utter the familiar phrase, It’s not fair.

I believe...

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Monday, 13 August 2018 05:31

I Want Christlike, Bible Reflexes

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When the whirlwind of questions come to you about various hot-button social issues, where do you turn?

If we’re honest, we’re often tempted to strike a deal, blending our biblical conviction with what’s culturally palatable. It’s tempting to try to salute the contemporary...

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Forgiveness is central to our experience as Christians. It is at the heart of our relationship with God and our relationship with others. Jesus talks about forgiveness a lot and even inscribes it on the template for our prayers (Matt. 6:9-13). At the same time, forgiveness is hard. It’s...

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It’s as humbling as it is fascinating to consider that God advances his kingdom agenda through the prayers of his people. Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for the kingdom to come (Matt. 6:10a). And the coming kingdom is the undying burden of God’s people. Those who love the King...

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Thursday, 26 July 2018 04:30

Is It Wrong to Desire to Be Loved? 

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I am reading through Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God and have been regularly left pondering some thoughtful questions and answers. To the least, I’m enjoying the book and want to share one such experience.

Crabtree asks, “Is it wrong to...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 23:34

Hate Sin and Its Effects

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Jesus uses famously shocking language to arrest our attention. He wants to cut through the deceptive fog machine of the human heart to penetrate and hit the real you. So, he says in Matthew 17:8-9, “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better...

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Monday, 23 July 2018 06:05

Are We Allergic to Insignificance?

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Can you imagine if all of your conversations were recorded? Certainly, some things we’ve said would embarrass us a bit if they became public record.

The early disciples had one of those conversations. Looking back years later, I’m sure they cringed at the memory. In Matthew 18 they were...

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Thursday, 19 July 2018 06:47

The Wonderful Accessibility of the Word

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“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

The Bible often gets a bad rap. Being an ancient book there are cultural, historical, and theological hurdles to mount when we decide to study it. But, we should not take this to mean that...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 14:05

Book Review- Kiss the Wave

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I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” – Charles Spurgeon

Dave Furman knows first hand what it’s like to kiss the wave of suffering that dashes him against the Rock of Ages; in this book, he teaches us how. 

As you read through the...

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Navigating the ethics of life in light of the kingdom of God is often difficult. It can be like driving on a hilly bike path with hairpin turns. Consider for example, that you are free in Christ; this is a position of tremendous liberty. However, at times what you have the right to do is not the...

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Sunday, 01 July 2018 14:05

Christ, the Delight of God and the Godly

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If we spent some time together it’s likely we’d soon learn what each other is passionate about. We make it known by what we say and how we say it. Imagine, you were able to run all of your words spoken in a month through a concordance software, what would be the most common word you...

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Tuesday, 01 May 2018 14:02

They Never Saw This Coming

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Have you ever noticed that the eyesight that leads you into sin is blind but the eyesight to lead you out is presumed to be 20/20? This is the case with Joseph’s brothers. They have a plan to get out of trouble, but it’s shortsighted and poorly designed. What’s more, they...

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