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

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

Laodicea.

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?

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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

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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

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