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

Cannon Fodder - Apologetic Report

Last week I began a new blog series (see first post here) addressing the theme of unity and diversity in early Christianity, particularly as it pertains to the well-known work of Walter Bauer.

Essentially, Bauer argued there was no such thing “heresy” or “orthodoxy” during...

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In 1934, the German scholar Walter Bauer wrote a landmark work entitled Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity.  The problem was that no one yet knew it was a landmark work.  The Germans (and the world) had other things on their mind during this phase of European history.

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But, in...

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Well, Oct 31st, 2017 is finally here.  All year long, churches and organizations around the world have (rightly) been celebrating this amazing thing we call the Protestant Reformation.

One of the foundational convictions of the Reformers was, of course, this doctrine we call Sola Scriptura (Scri...

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There’s a lot of protesting going on in our culture today.  Seems like everyone is upset about something.  And they are quite willing to let the world know about it.  Indeed, even in the evangelical Christian world, it seems like protesting has become the thing to do.

The key...

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“What’s the difference between Canon Revisited and The Question of Canon?”

When it comes to my books, this is one of the most common questions I get.  I have answered it so many times over the last few years, that I thought it might make a useful blog post.

While both these...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 02:02

Codex and Canon: A Response to John Meade (Part 2)

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The conversation between myself and John Meade continues.  He offered an initial critique of chapter 7 of Canon Revisited, to which I responded.  And now he has respondedto my response. (I know, the back-and-forth is hard to keep up with!).

I appreciate Meade’s interaction with my...

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Over at Evangelical Textual Criticism, John Meade has posted an article reviewing chapter seven of my book,Canon Revisited.  In particular, he challenges a number of the arguments I use to show how NT manuscripts may illumine our understanding of the development of the NT canon.

Meade focuses...

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Did the New Testament authors think Jesus was God?

Some critical scholars would say no.  Jesus, they would argue, is just presented as an ordinary man who has been given an exceptional role as God’s chief emissary and representative.  He is messiah perhaps.  But not God.

Of...

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One of my favorite things about books is not just reading them but holding them.  Especially old books.  I love the feel of a book in my hand that many people have read before me.  There’s that musty bookish smell when you flip through the pages.  There’s the worn...

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As many of you know, from 2014 to 2016 I led a women’s Bible study on the RTS Charlotte campus on the book of Romans–42 installments in all. The HD videos of the study (with handouts) are available here.

We continue to be encouraged to hear that the videos are being watched by folks all...

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Last week, I postedthe first of a two-part response to a recent Pew study which claimed that modern Protestants sound more like Catholics when it comes to issues like sola scriptura and sola fide.

While modern Protestants certainly have some significant theological weak spots, I pushed back against...

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Mark Twain once quipped, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Ah statistics.  They can be very helpful. Or very misleading.  And much of it depends on how the questions are asked.

Last week it was announced that a new Pew foundation study demonstrat...

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Sunday, 27 August 2017 22:57

Taking Back Christianese: The Complete Series

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This past Summer, I completed the ten-part series, “Taking Back Christianese.”  Below is the complete and final list of articles.

The motivation for this series was that our Christian lingo–“Christianese” if you will–can sometimes be mistaken.  Or at...

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Note:  I post the article below every year as seminary students arrive. I hope it will prove helpful for a new group of readers (or maybe even prior ones!)

A few weeks ago, a new crop of seminary students began the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek.   And, like all...

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As you now know, my book on the second century has just been released in the UK: Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK, 2017).  It will be released in the US with IVP Academic in the Spring.

Since it has been released, folks have been...

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I have argued in numerous places–articles, blog posts, books–that Scripture played a central role in the life of early Christians.  They not only read and preached from these books, but they copied and distributed them in great numbers.

An additional (and rather curious) example of...

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For those reading this blog, I trust you’ve benefited from the variety of posts that deal with issues related to the origins of the NT canon. I have written those posts with a wide audience in mind, hoping they are helpful for just about anybody who wants to learn more.

At the same time, I...

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As many of you know from prior posts (for example, see here), I have a forthcoming book on the second century entitled, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK, 2017).

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I am excited to announce that it is now available! (technically July...

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There’s been a lot of chatter about “fake news” in recent months.  Some stories, even though they have no basis in fact, are told so often, and with such conviction, that large numbers of people end up believing them anyway.

And some of these fake news stories even dupe...

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One of the perennial questions for all theologians (and all human beings) is “Why do we suffer?”  And, “If God is good and sovereign, why does he allow suffering?”

While most of us have these questions, we don’t really have to deal with them until we experience...

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Sunday, 25 June 2017 22:00

The Importance of Being a Pastor’s Wife

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Since we live in a world that doesn’t view pastoral ministry as a high calling, it is probably no surprise that many do not view pastor’s wives as having a high calling either (including some pastor’s wives!).

I suppose there are many reasons why this is the case.  Some people...

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One of the things that makes the RTS Charlotte campus distinctive is the number of missionaries we have sent out over the years.   For whatever providential reasons, God has allowed the Charlotte campus to be a fruitful training ground for folks headed to the mission field.

This missions...

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When it comes to shepherding God’s flock, there is little doubt that pastors spend a disproportionate amount of time addressing marriage problems in their congregations. Since marriage is a foundational institution created by God (Gen 2:23-25), it is perhaps no surprise that Satan attacks it...

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Well, Rachel Dolezal is in the newsagain.

You might recall her story from a couple of years ago.  Dolezal was the civil rights activist and the former head of the NAACP in Spokane, WA.  But, there was one little problem.

She wasn’t black.

Although she presented herself as African...

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When it comes to finding good commentaries, one of the challenges is that most commentaries are limited by the the niche they are designed to fill.

Some commentaries are devotional.  Some are exegetical.  Some are practical/pastoral.  And others are highly academic.

Rare is the...

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