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

Founders - Apologetic Report

My wife and I have been catechizing our children for the better part of 15 years, but an impatient part of me has always wondered: Are they benefiting from this?

They fidget. They struggle to maintain focus. Sometimes they ask, “When are we going to be done?” This is no...

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:06

The Reformation: Loosening the Lid Featured

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This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Reformation

Whenever I open a jar that Margaret, my wife, has been struggling with for a while, she will say, “Well, I loosened it for you.” In fact, part of her technique is to tap it gently on the counter all around the tight lid to relieve...

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 00:30

Laughing When I Should Be Crying Featured

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This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

I caught myself laughing. I couldn’t help it. I know that I should have been crying but the irony of the comment jarred me as so absurd that I laughed. What was so funny? A notable “Traditionalist” lamented the...

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Wednesday, 09 August 2017 02:20

VBS and the Mission of the Church Featured

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When Jesus said, “I’ll make you fishers of men,” do you picture an individual sitting on the edge of a pier with a rod and reel? Or do you imagine a group of fishermen, each one leaning over the side of a boat holding their part of a large net?

1. A Short Theology of Corporate...

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Monday, 07 August 2017 00:33

Erroll Hulse (1931-2017), A Beautifully Proportioned Life Featured

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This week I was brought to a new sense of the greatness even of the disembodied state of those who die in the Lord. Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Though he did not want to be unclothed but longed for an immediate transfer to a state of glory in the body like...

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Saturday, 05 August 2017 01:04

Introduction: Are Explanations Irrelevant? Featured

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How do human free agency and responsibility relate to divine effectuality? This question sets up one of the most challenging discussions in theological literature. In Baptist thought today, particularly among Southern Baptists, the issues of divine decrees and libertarian free will are drawing...

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Friday, 04 August 2017 01:09

Of Free Will Featured

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Second London ConfessionChapter IX

The Second London Confession [2LC] affirms free will plainly. “God hath indued the Will of Man, with that natural liberty, and power of acting upon choice; that it is neither forced, not by any necessity of nature determined to do good...

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Thursday, 03 August 2017 03:35

The Man Converted through His Own Preaching Featured

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In the late seventeenth century, a son of the famous English Baptist pastor Benjamin Keach came to America. Although he was unconverted, Elias Keach posed as a minister to support himself. However, his plan backfired and he came under conviction while preaching one of his fraudulent sermons....

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Thursday, 03 August 2017 01:24

Of Effectual Calling Featured

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Second London ConfessionChapter X

Anne Marie Grimball could not have been happier chasing the frivolous lifestyle of a typical Southern belle in colonial Charleston, South Carolina. Among her many “flattering prospects,” the young woman counted an “amiable and...

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Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:31

Infant Election Featured

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Second London ConfessionChapter X; Paragraph 3

Though scarcely preached from the Sunday morning pulpit, the subject of infant salvation is an intensely personal and pastoral issue deserving of proper treatment in the Baptist church. It is not so explicit in Scripture...

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Monday, 31 July 2017 11:48

Christian Freedom and the Law of God Featured

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The relationship between freedom and law is an intricate one. It is far too easy to have a message on Christian freedom degenerate into one in which Christians are taught they are free to do whatever they want: “no rules equals freedom.” On the other hand, it is far too easy to hear...

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Sunday, 30 July 2017 22:00

Some Problems with Libertarian Freedom Featured

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This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

The principle of libertarian free-will, also called contra-causal freedom, that governs responsible moral action in the theology of the Traditionalist thinker fails at several critical points. These failures are severe enough to...

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Thursday, 27 July 2017 22:00

God Who Cannot Lie Featured

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This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

“I will give thanks to Your name … for Your truth” – Titus 1:2 and Psalm 138:2

Having foresight into the implications of this idea of freedom, the anti-necessarians seek to maintain a commitment to the real...

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 22:00

Inclined but not Incapacitated Featured

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This entry is part 11 of 10 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

I read where a group of Southern Baptist thinkers said “libertarian free will” is essential to morally accountable action. Libertarian free will also has been called “contra-causal” or...

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 21:55

Symbol of Chalcedon "A Summary" Featured

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This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The Symbol of Chalcedon

When the council of Chalcedon met, a committee was appointed to finalize its statement of orthodoxy. The committee considered several documents that had been produced during the controversy between Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of...

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This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

Yoo shal nót behr fols wit-nus; so said phonetically. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (NASB; consult Jesus, Luke 10:29–37, on the meaning of neighbor). “You shall not give false...

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Thursday, 20 July 2017 22:00

"I am for Peace, but when I speak . . . " Featured

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This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

Recently I read that someone said, “But I don’t think we should start a shooting war over it.” He was talking about a war over the apparently increasing influence of Calvinism and Calvinists in the Southern Baptist...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 22:00

The Lousy Preacher was You Featured

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This blog post is mere hypothesis, of course. You clicked the link for the same reason you skim a first–hand account of climbing Everest. It’s not that you’ll ever experience what you read, but you’re curious what it’s like. That is, what if you didn’t...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 02:52

Seven Fundamentals of Biblical Preaching Featured

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Whenever I step behind the pulpit to preach, I am reminded of the sacredness of the task and the holiness of the moment. It didn’t used to be this way for me, since I did not have a good understanding of what it means to preach God’s Word. So what does it mean to be a biblical preacher?...

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 01:48

Does God Love Everyone the Same? Featured

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One of the most common theological questions I’ve been asked as a pastor and professor goes something like this: Does God love everybody in the same way? In other words, did he love Nero to the same degree he loves Billy Graham? Does he love those who reject him the same he loves his redeemed...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 15:00

Drs. Mohler and Hankins Featured

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This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

“Just as Calvinism is attaining this incredible popularity, the best conservative biblical, theological, and philosophical scholarship is actually obliterating the foundation upon which Calvinism sits.” — Eric...

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Saturday, 08 July 2017 07:31

On Controversy Featured

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Here is John Newton’s response to a minister who was preparing to write an article criticizing another minister for his lack of orthodoxy.

Dear Sir,

As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with a natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me...

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Friday, 07 July 2017 04:30

Deceitful Calvinists and an Evil God Featured

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This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

Recently I read something someone said about the resurgence of Calvinism in SBC life. He said that “There was no conspiracy” or “cloak and dagger” but that all “they’ve believed and done has been in...

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Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:00

Of Seminary Graduates, Serving Church, and Calvinism Featured

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This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

When I graduated from seminary and moved to my first pastorate, I honestly didn’t have a clear theological system. My seminary training seemed more a-theological than robustly theological. My preaching reflected it. While...

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Thursday, 06 July 2017 01:41

Is There Really No Biblical Support for Unconditional Election? Featured

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This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Southern Baptist Theology

Christians have often disagreed over the exact nature of the biblical doctrine of election. Reasonable believers are willing to state their arguments for their views while acknowledging that others, who disagree, have their own,...

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