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

In American evangelicalism over the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in what might be called “deed” ministry.  Christians should not be concerned only about evangelism, it is argued, but also about caring for the practical, day-to-day needs of our unbelieving neighbors.

This sentiment is captured in a phrase

This week I am off to the PCA General Assembly in Mobile, AL.  There are a number of interesting (and some controversial) overtures on the docket this year, so it should be a busy week. But aside from the formal business, one of the most profitable aspects of GA is connecting with old friends, classmates, and colleagues.

If you are a RTS

It has been a while since the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has been in the headlines.  It was originally unveiled by Karen King at Harvard (here), but quickly exposed as a likely forgery. I have also written on the fragment (here and here).

While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain

Over the last several years, I have been running a RTS Charlotte alumni series called “Where Are They Now?” (see the complete series here).  Since this is the time of year for alumni reunions at the various denominational gatherings, I thought I would add the latest installment.

This post highlights one of our best and brightest,

Over the last ten years, especially in Reformed circles, there has emerged a vision of the Christian life where one of  the defining characteristics of a believer has now become transparency.  A Christian is someone who is authentic, real, and open.

While prior generations might have suggested the essential mark of a Christian was

Last week it was announced that Reformed Theological Seminary has released the first installment of its new online journal.  It is entitled Reformed Faith and Practice (RF&P) and can be accessed here.

The launch of the new journal coincides with the 50th anniversary of RTS (the seminary opened its doors in 1966).  Other 50th

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 05:00

New Series: Taking Back Christianese

Written by

“Christians talk funny.”

This is a sentiment I’ve heard from many a non-Christian over the years.  The truth is that Christians have their own lingo and their own vocabulary.  Sometimes it can be alienating to folks. Sometimes it is quite hilarious–if we are honest enough to admit it (as in this video here).

But our

Preaching is hard work.

To those sitting in the pews, preaching can look relatively effortless–especially when it is done well.  But do not be fooled.  Preaching exhausts the body and the soul in ways that are incommensurate with its duration.  I could work in the yard all day in 90 degrees of heat and (somehow) feel less

I just received a Fed-Ex package that contained the latest volume I’ve been working on: A Biblical Theological Introduction to the New Testament (Crossway, 2016).

This volume collects together contributions from NT professors at Reformed Theological Seminary, both past and present. I edited the volume and contributed chapters on John and the

Evangelical Christians have been making the same point for so long, we are running out of ways to say it.

We’ve tried the following phrases/statements:

  • The intolerance of tolerance.
  • There is a lack of diversity in the push for diversity.
  • Those complaining the loudest about discrimination, are often the most discriminatory.
  • Liberals are not really

If one accepts the dating of some modern scholars, the earliest canonical gospel–the Gospel of Mark–was not written until 70 AD or later.

This means there was a gap of time of about 40 years between the life of Jesus and our earliest Gospel that records his words and deeds.

What happened to the stories of Jesus during this period of

One of the scariest aspects of pursuing a Ph.D. (aside from thesis defense) is the poor job prospects on the other side.  After slogging through many years of intense research, late nights writing, spouse working, and no money, it is a bit discouraging to realize the job opportunities are few and far between.

Of course, I always warn my own

Monday, 18 April 2016 06:00

Was Early Christianity Hostile to Women? Featured

Written by

Since we live in a culture that is obsessed with gender identity and gender issues, it is not surprising to find Christianity on the receiving end of serious criticisms regarding its view of women.

Christianity–particularly if it embraces a complementarian theology–is viewed by many in our culture as oppressive and harmful to

There’s even a term for it.  “Genetic Sexual Attraction.” GSA.

GSA is when a mother and her biological son, or a father and his biological daughter, and are in a sexual relationship.

I had never heard this term before, but I suppose it sounds better than the word that really describes such relationships: incest.

And now GSA

Monday, 04 April 2016 05:00

Did Papias Know the Apostle John?

Written by

I just received in the mail the latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.  And I noticed that it contained my review of Monte Shanks’ recent volume, Papias and the New Testament (Pickwick, 2013). (I can’t keep track of when my book reviews appear!).

Seeing this review reminded me of one of the key debates

Over the last number of years, God has really used RTS Charlotte to help train folks headed into two strategic areas: campus ministry and church planting.

In fact, we have an entire institute designed for the former, the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry (IRCM), and we just announced the Center for Church Planting to help prepare folks for the

As many of you now know, our beloved Dr. Doug Kelly, Richard Jordan Professor of Theology, will be retiring May 31, 2016.

Although someone like Dr. Kelly can never really be “replaced,”  a press release will be going out today announcing our excitement that D. Blair Smith, a RTS Charlotte grad, will be taking up that position in

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention recently spoke at RTS Charlotte for the annual Harold O.J. Brown Lectures.

He gave two lectures, the first on pro-life ministry and the second on adoption ministry.  This was followed by an extended (and very

As many of you know, just a short time ago RTS Charlotte launched a new Masters degree program in biblical counseling. This has been a very exciting venture for us and we believe it will meet a real need in the body of Christ.

We have already seen a tremendous outpouring of support and interest in the new program, and a number of our alumni are


Just the name of that church conjures up all sorts of images in our mind.  It was a church that was tepid, bored, and apathetic–overconfident in their own spiritual condition.  In short, they were lukewarm.

And, as we all know, Jesus told them plainly, “Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit

Tomorrow March 8th, 11AM-2PM, the RTS Charlotte campus is pleased to welcome Dr. Russell Moore to our campus. Dr. Moore will be delivering our annual Harold O.J. Brown Lectures.

Lecture one (11AM) will be on the topic of “Pro-Life Ministry in the Local Church.” Lecture two (1PM), will be on the topic of “Adoption Ministry in the

I have just finished reading Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior (HarperOne, 2016), and Brian Pitre’s The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (Image, 2016).

And I can’t imagine two books about Jesus more

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 05:20

Was Jesus Neither a Democrat Nor a Republican?

Written by

Well, the political season is upon us again.  And it’s time for all sorts of Christian stock phrases about politics to be used and reused.  One of my favorite is the phrase, “Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican.”  This is one of those phrases that is used so frequently that no one really bothers to ask

A number of my recent posts (e.g., see here) have been dealing with Walter Bauer’s 1934 book Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity which insists that Christianity was wildly diverse in the earliest centuries and that the heretics outnumbered the orthodox. It was not until the 3rd and 4th centuries, it is argued, that the orthodox

Monday, 08 February 2016 07:59

New Center for Church Planting at @RTSCharlotte

Written by

I am very excited to announce that in fall, 2016, RTS Charlotte will launch the new Center for Church Planting.  The new center will include a MDiv emphasis in church planting along with a host of other types of specialized training for church planters.

In many ways, this new center is driven by what God is already doing in the city of