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, 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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Tuesday, 17 April 2018 14:05

Why Did Jesus Make So Much Wine?

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The miracles of Jesus certainly provoke awe and reverence, but they also prompt questions. One such scene is Jesus’ first public miracle at the wedding at Cana (John 2). In this passage, Jesus was at a wedding, and the hosts ran out of wine. After some discussion with Mary, his mother, Jesus...

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Most readers of this site would cringe at any suggestion that they might have liberal theological beliefs. But what about a liberal theological application? We all know that our real theology is what is applied. How we live over time communicates what we genuinely believe. Therefore, since you...

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Over the winter break, I was trying to trace down a couple of answers to some questions. On both occasions I found myself answering the question by uncovering some key historical developments around the history of evangelicalism. The term “evangelical” seems to have surprising...

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Prophet, Priest, and King. Those three words have Christological tonnage tethered to them. Each communicates the person and work of Jesus with succinct theological clarity.

The Heidelberg Catechism picks up this thread in question 31 (emphasis mine):

Q: Why is he called “Christ,”...

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Thursday, 05 April 2018 14:05

Book Review- Some Pastors and Teachers

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Recently someone asked me which pastors and writers have been most influential in my life. In my top three, I listed Sinclair Ferguson. Later that night I was reflecting on what particular resource has left such a mark. While his books have certainly been impactful, I think it was his preaching...

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Tuesday, 03 April 2018 14:05

Slay Sin by Savoring Christ

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One day, as a young boy, I was surprised to remember that I had a pet toad. Faced with the mounting responsibilities of a five-year-old in the early 80’s, I simply forgot about it. Days (weeks?) later I remembered and ran outside to the bucket by my back steps. With all of the zeal a...

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Monday, 02 April 2018 14:05

A Personal Update

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As I flip the calendar from December to January I often think to myself, I never saw last year coming. This practice has served to remind me of the unexpected paths of providence. This past year was no different.

This brings me to some news. I have accepted an offer to serve as the Senior Pastor at R...

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Tuesday, 06 March 2018 13:05

How Do You Evaluate a Pastor?

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I recently read an interesting comment by a seminary president about the ministry. He said that the hardest thing about being a pastor today is the confusion about what it means to be a pastor.

If this is true, and I wouldn’t rush to argue with him, think about how unsettling and unacceptable...

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I am preaching through Genesis right now and have come to my favorite part of the book, the story of Joseph (Gen. 37-50). I love this portion because it demonstrates God’s loving and all-wise providence. Even though Joseph went through the ringer, he was able to look back through the lenses...

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:05

Trials, Our Blessed Chauffers

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We don’t often think of trials as our servants. But surprisingly, they drive us from our insufficiency to God’s all-sufficency. Like a spiritual uber driver, they chauffer us to God’s blessings.

One biblical example of this is in Psalm 16. It begins with an undercurrent of...

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Monday, 22 January 2018 13:05

Revisit God’s Promises

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What are the most significant events that happened in your life? Graduating school? Getting your first job? Getting married? Having children? (If you are younger, what are the big events you are looking forward to?) The reason why these events are so big is because of how they affect us. These are...

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 13:05

The Ice Returns Every Morning

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As I write this our city is enveloped in what feels like an evil cold. Sub-zero temperatures await me as I go out to my car for my commute. I know from experience that I need to allow some extra time to warm the car up. It’s also likely that the windows will be adorned with the glittering...

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Monday, 15 January 2018 13:05

Comfort Is a Deadly Compass

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I am the type of guy who can get lost in a field with two trees. To say that I am directionally challenged is an understatement. When in a new environment I habitually am scanning for landmarks so I can leave myself breadcrumbs to get back to where I started. There have been times where I’ve...

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018 20:05

He Muzzled the Roaring Lion with the Bible

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Imagine the scene: Jesus Christ is face to face with the devil. Satan is assaulting him with temptations in order to flip him or at least take his eye off the ball. But, unlike all others after Adam, this one is different. He responds differently. And, the outcome is different.

There are a few...

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Tuesday, 09 January 2018 13:05

What Do We Do with Dreams?

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In our Christian lives, we often encounter experiences we can’t explain. Recently I had a dream that surprised me and left me wondering about its significance. It was startling because I rarely remember my dreams, and it pertained to something that was not immediately on my radar. In the...

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The ministry is a tricky thing for pastors. When things seem to go well, we can be tempted to think we have it all together, and when a rocky patch emerges, we can feel like total failures.

The fulcrum in both scenarios reveals the problem: our selfishness. Isn’t this a commentary on the...

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Sunday, 07 January 2018 13:05

Heaven’s Mariner Brings Us Home

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“Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (Gen. 6:17c-18)

Amid the rampant rebellion, God responds in judgment. But it’s not the wrath that...

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Thursday, 04 January 2018 13:05

Cut Again by the Blades of Mercy

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It happened again. I was reading a familiar passage of Scripture—one I have read and even preached many times—and was cut afresh, surprisingly so, by the blades of mercy.

The story is likely familiar to you also. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, we are brought face to face with the...

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 13:05

What if Herod Succeeded in Killing Baby Jesus?

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“Ruthless, barbaric, and depraved.” This is a healthy reaction to the reading of Herod’s decision to kill all of the male children in Bethlehem who were age 2 and younger (Matt. 2:16). He was angry about the news of the birth of Christ and was seeking to destroy him.

But the event...

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Often when we read the first psalm, we are struck by the qualities of a life characterized by delight in God’s Word. The life marinated in the Scriptures leads to a life that is faithful to God. The faithful give themselves away in fruit-bearing service to God and others.

But there is...

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Monday, 01 January 2018 13:05

The New Creation in the New Year

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It’s customary as we embark on a new year to look back at the previous year. This healthy process helps us evaluate who we have been and what we want to do in light of our goals. Sometimes there are encouraging points that need to be continued, other times, unflattering reminders that our...

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Sunday, 19 November 2017 06:23

Church Members Must Keep an Eye on Their Elders

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In elder-led congregational polity, church members have a number of important responsibilities; two main areas converge in the responsibility to guard the gospel. We guard the content of the gospel by ensuring that right doctrine is being preached. And we guard the testimony of the gospel by...

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Most people are aware of the process of church discipline outlined in Matthew 18 (vv. 15-18). In order to promote the purity of the church and the testimony of the gospel, Christians must ensure that the other members of their church are living in a way that reflects submission to Christ’s...

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Sunday, 05 November 2017 02:15

God’s Promises Are Music to Our Souls

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I remember years ago, our oldest son stumbled onto something. He noticed the positive effect of music on his mom. In the course of some of the hard days that accompany life, he would put on certain types of music in the car as they drove. He noticed that he could encourage, cheer, and make her...

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