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

Whenever I teach textual criticism to my seminary students, I usually get two very different responses.  For some students, their eyes glaze over and they tune out as soon as they hear the word “paleography” for the first time.

For others, they find themselves fascinated by how texts were transmitted and copied in the ancient

In popular religious discourse, one of the most common claims is that all religions are pretty much the same.  They all tap into the same general truth and offer a (partial) glimpse into the reality of the divine.  Thus, it is argued, no religion can claim to be the only right one.

I was reminded afresh of this claim the other day when my

Having been at a professor at RTS Charlotte for nearly 14 years, and the president for 3 of those years, I can tell you that this is a special place to be.

We are blessed with an incredible faculty, an exceptional student body, and a fantastic city in which to serve and minister.

And all these factors are highlighted in our new video about the RTS

One of the most enjoyable aspects of speaking to different groups on the reliability of the Bible is the Q&A time. It is an exciting (and risky) affair because you never know what you are going to get.

Then again, sometimes you do know what you are going to get. Over the years, one question has been asked more than all others combined:

Monday, 26 October 2015 06:11

New Book on the Authority of Scripture

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If we learn anything from church history, its that the church fights the same battles over and over again.  Until Christ returns and redeems His church, this reality is, to some degree, inevitable. And one of those reoccurring battles is the issue of biblical authority.  For a variety of reasons, this topic continues to pop up again and

One of the exciting aspects of life at RTS Charlotte is seeing all the female students come through and head off into various kinds of ministry.  God is using these students in special ways, whether in college ministry, youth ministry, missions, women’s ministry, or counseling.

Our ministry to women is exemplified in Tari Williamson

In the study of the New Testament canon, scholars like to highlight the first time we see a complete list of 27 books.  Inevitably, the list contained in Athanasius’ famous Festal Letter (c.367) is mentioned as the first time this happened.

As a result, it is often claimed that the New Testament was a late phenomenon.  We

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 05:56

New Book on Early Christian Apocrypha

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Over the last number of years, scholarly (as well as popular) interest in Christian apocryphal works has continued to grow. Folks just can’t seem to get enough of “lost” Gospels and other books that did not make it into the New Testament.

My own interest in this area goes back to my thesis at the University of Edinburgh under

Thursday, 08 October 2015 05:00

Were Early Christian Scribes Untrained Amateurs?

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In the ongoing debates about the reliability of early Christian manuscripts, and whether they have been transmitted with fidelity, it is often claimed that early Christian scribes were amateurs, unprofessional, and some probably couldn’t even read.

In Michael Satlow’s recent book, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014), this same sort of

By now, many have heard the exciting announcement that Greg Lanier (RTS Charlotte class of 2013) has been appointed as the Assistant Professor of New Testament at RTS Orlando. You can read more about that announcement here.

It has been a joy to watch Greg’s academic career since he was here at RTS Charlotte (and was my TA), and is now

It is clear by now that we are living through one of the most monumental cultural shifts in the history of America.  While most cultural changes are slow and plodding, this one has been a rapid, raging flood wiping out everything in its path.

Christianity, while once the defining influence on American culture and policies, has now become

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 05:00

Where Are They Now? RTS Charlotte Alumnus Hobie Wood

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When students graduate from seminary and are looking for a call, they typically go one of two routes: (a) look for an established church that matches their vision and values, or (b) plant their own church that will (hopefully) embody their vision and values.

Although there is nothing wrong with these two options, they both presume that you take a

This past Friday it was announced that my wife Melissa’s blog, Wit’s End, has been moved over to The Gospel Coalition website.  This is very exciting news.

Melissa’s blog does a great job of talking about substantive theological topics while, at the same time, exploring practical nuts-and-bolts aspects of women’s

Over the last year or more, I have been involved in a number of publishing projects, including several academic articles (as chapters in books), and a volume on Christianity in the second century.  But, I am particularly excited about the forthcoming volume I am editing entitled, A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament (Crossw

On the heels of the TGC video I did on surviving a university religion class, I have had an influx of inquiries into this topic. People have been asking all sorts of questions about how to prepare their high school student for what’s to come, or how to encourage their college student in the midst of struggles.

Last Thursday, I was invited to

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 05:00

Where Are They Now? RTS Charlotte Alumnus Jake Hunt

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When students graduate from RTS Charlotte, they head out into all sorts of ministries–they become pastors, counselors, missionaries, professors, etc.  In addition, they head into all sorts of locations. We have alumni all over the world, in places like Malaysia, China, Japan, Morocco, Peru, Mexico, and beyond.

One of the most exciting

Monday, 31 August 2015 06:11

How to Survive a University Religion Class

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It is a story that everyone has heard.  Evangelical high school student, who is involved in the youth group and committed to Christ, heads off to the local university.  As a freshman, he takes an introductory religion class–probably intro to the OT or NT.

The professor is a critical scholar, deeply skeptical about the historicity of

One of the classic debates among New Testament scholars pertains to the state of the New Testament text in the earliest centuries (2nd-4th).  Was the text transmitted in a “wild” and “uncontrolled” fashion? Or did it exhibit a degree of stability and tenacity (as the Alands would put it)?

My friend Chuck Hill and I

Monday, 24 August 2015 05:30

Bumper Sticker Worldviews: Do They Make Sense? Featured

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Since the Christian worldview is largely on the defensive these days, it is easy to forget that non-Christians also have a worldview.  They are not neutral or undecided about the nature of reality, but have a network of beliefs that is designed to explained the way the world works, or more importantly, the way they think it ought to work.

Some

Last week I finished a key portion of one of my research projects.  And then I did what I normally do during such times (indeed, it is coming a bit of a tradition)–I cleaned up the colossal mess that I had made.

Before it was all said and done, books were strewn all over my desk, across my computer table, on the floor (on both sides of

Much has been said about Planned Parenthood over the last few weeks due to the release of numerous behind-the-scenes videos.  These videos have revealed what Christians have know (and said) for years, namely that abortion is one of the most barbaric, callous, and tragic practices of the modern world.

Hidden behind sanitized words like

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

In another month or so, a new crop of seminary students will begin the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek.   And, like all seminary students before them, they will

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