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

One of the most exciting programs over the  last few years at RTS Charlotte is the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry (IRCM).  The IRCM is designed to equip our students for the challenges that are unique to campus ministry–and there are many.  The college campus is one of the most critical battle grounds in our world

The issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage just won’t go away these days.  Thus, Christians need to make sure they are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the post-Christian world we find ourselves in.

There have been many good books written to address this subject, but one of the most original I have seen is the recent volume

One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century.  No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told.  He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to be a God.

Over the last number of years, God has really used RTS Charlotte to help train folks headed into campus ministry (or coming from campus ministry).  In fact, we have an entire institute designed to do just that: the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry (IRCM).

The IRCM has allowed us to connect with campus ministries like RUF, CRU, Campus

For some critical scholars, the most important fact about early Christianity was its radical theological diversity. Christians couldn’t agree on much of anything, we are told. All we have in the early centuries were a variety of Christian factions all claiming to be original and all claiming to be apostolic.

Sure, one particular

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 05:30

Believe it or Not, I am Now on Facebook

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One of my favorite cartoons is a picture of man sitting in his library in an isolated chair, reading a book and sipping his brandy. He is an intellectual looking fellow with a sweater vest and glasses.

The caption reads: “Eccentric internet holdout Delbert T. Quimby passes another day non-digitally.”

I laugh at the cartoon because I see

“God has spoken to me.”

There are few statements that will shut down debate more quickly than this one.  If Christians disagree over a doctrine, a practice, or an idea, then the trump card is always “God has spoken to me” about that.  End of discussion.

But, the history of the church (not to mention the Scriptures

It goes without saying that this country has experienced a monumental cultural and ethical shift in the last 5-8 years. What was once seen as wrong is now seen as right.  And what was seen as right is now seen as wrong.

One is reminded of the woe in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light

Now that 2015 is coming to a close, everyone is starting to talk about cranking up the yearly Bible reading for 2016.

But, if you are looking for more than just a link to a good Bible reading program, you will want to check out the great 4-part series my wife Melissa did over at TGC on her blog Wit’s End.  She provides the bigger picture

Well, its that time of year.  Christmas is almost a week away and we are already seeing various media channels releasing stories, articles, and documentaries on Jesus.  And when the dust settles, they all make the same point: the real Jesus is a lot different than you think.

As some might recall, this same sort of thing happened last

Monday, 14 December 2015 05:00

My Review of “How the Bible Became Holy”

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This past week, my review of Michael Satlow, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014) appeared in the latest volume of Themelios.

As the title suggests, this is yet another book (in a long list of predecessors) that insists that the idea of an authoritative Scripture is a late invention of Christians.

According to Satlow, the Bible was not originally

RTS has started a new video series called Wisdom Wednesday where our faculty share their advice on a number of important practical and theological issues. Keep an eye out for it on Twitter in weeks to come (@ReformTheoSem#WisdomWednesday).

Below is my video from yesterday’s installment on how seminary students can keep their devotional life

We certainly have no shortage of books defending and upholding the authority of Scripture. In fact, I recently posted my list of top ten books on this subject.

And the reason we have so many of these books is not hard to find.  The world continues to attack the Bible. And many Christians continue to doubt the Bible.

But one thing we do have a

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 05:00

Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

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When it comes to the question of how to preach, there is no shortage of books, articles, and blog posts offering advice and guidance. And once you start sifting through these materials, it becomes apparent that there is no shortage of disagreement about the particulars of the preaching task.

With that broader context in mind, I am hesitant to jump

As many know, the last two years I have been teaching a weekly women’s Bible study at RTS Charlotte designed to reach the community outside the formal seminary classroom. Every Wednesday, 120 plus women gather together to study the book of Romans, and it has been a delight.

We made it to the beginning of Romans 11 before stopping for the

Tomorrow I head to Atlanta for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.  This is always a great occasion to catch up with old colleagues, meet new ones, and network with scholars from around the country.

In addition to a full slate of meetings, I will be involved in the following three sessions:

1. On 11/18 at 10:40AM I will

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