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

The Reformed Reader - Apologetic Report
Saturday, 22 April 2017 06:41

Why God Allows Satan’s Temptations (Watson)

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image Why does God allow Satan to tempt Christians?  If he is sovereign, why doesn’t he just make some kind of force field around us, so to speak, so that Satan can’t touch us?  Temptations are a hard part of the Christian life, so why does our heavenly Father allow us to be...

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 06:06

Rational but not Rationalistic (Guinness)

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image As I’ve mentioned here before, Guinness’ God in the Dark is my favorite book when it comes to tackling doubt from a solid Christian perspective.  I was reading part of it again this morning and came across a helpful section on reason and faith and how they relate to doubt.

Guinness...

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image Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (recently reprinted by Lexham Press) is an excellent resource to have when studying Matthew 5-7.  The language/translation is a bit dated, but it is outstanding and well worth the effort.  Today I read the following, which I...

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Monday, 17 April 2017 05:04

In the Pastoral Ministry… (Miller)

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image Samuel Miller was a Presbyterian pastor in New York City and Princeton Seminary professor from around 1793-1850. Below is one example of his excellent pastoral teaching.  It is still applicable for pastors today:

In preaching the gospel, and in all your ministrations, whether public or...

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Friday, 14 April 2017 03:37

Read the Bible Like Whom?

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I recently saw a Christian book advertisement that said, “How to Read the Bible Like (famous pastor’s name here).”  Now, the book is probably decent, and the pastor is a solid Christian man, but the advertising line was troubling to me for several reasons.  First, it...

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Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:13

The Pastorate: More Than The Pulpit (Bridges)

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image The pulpit is only part of a pastor’s ministry.  Of course, it is a major and central part of the ministry, but the pulpit is not the only part.  A pastor also has pastoral work to do; this too is an essential part of his ministry.  I appreciate how Charles Bridges explained...

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image Christian liberty is one of those great biblical truths the Protestant Reformers recovered.  The papacy had made all sorts of rules, regulations, doctrines, and so forth that were neither commanded nor taught by Scripture.  The Reformers, thinking of texts like...

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Sunday, 09 April 2017 23:41

He Will Not Send You To Purgatory (Ryken)

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imagePhilip Ryken’s When You Prayis a very helpful resource for studying the Lord’s Prayer and for learning more about prayer and praying.  When I recently studied the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer (“forgive us our debts...”), I found the following paragraphs...

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Friday, 07 April 2017 00:07

One Key to Sanctification? (Powlison)

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image God sanctifies his people in various ways.  As he makes his people more like Christ, he does so using different methods and means.  Of course, God is the one who sanctifies his people, and the ways he does so are his ways.  Primarily, he sanctifies his people through his Word, the...

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 22:19

Contribute to Our Salvation? (Luther)

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imageThe following quote by Martin Luther, from The Bondage of the Will, is one of the main points of the Reformation, the biblical truth that the salvation of sinners belongs completely and wholly to the Lord:

“A man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly...

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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 00:28

Love Rightly Ordered (Augustine)

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image When Augustine was commenting on how the “sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful” and married them (Gen. 6:2 NIV), he made a brilliant observation on God-given beauty and love rightly ordered:

And thus beauty, which is indeed God’s handiwork, but only a...

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Saturday, 01 April 2017 02:12

God’s Decrees Are… (Boston)

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image The Bible teaches that God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:11 NIV). This means that whatever God decrees comes to pass and whatever comes to pass God has decreed.  This includes the details of creation, predestination, providence, and so...

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Friday, 31 March 2017 06:32

Prayer: Often, Short, Strong (Luther)

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image  Martin Luther was quick to point out the spiritual abuses and unbiblical practices in many monasteries of his day.  In his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 6:7-13, Luther noted how many monks thought of prayer as a work:

Therefore they have themselves said that...

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 06:14

A Prayer for Reading Scripture (Geneva)

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image For around 75 years (1536-1609) Geneva had a sort of Bible study group called the Congregation.  It was something like an in-depth public Bible study where pastors, professors, and students would take turns explaining, interpreting, and applying Scripture and also answering questions. ...

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 06:24

A Truth Worth Dividing The Church (Sproul)

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image At the heart of historic, confessional Reformed teaching and preaching is the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone.  An essential part of justification sola fide is the truth of imputation.  R. C. Sproul’s words on this doctrine are outstanding and edifying.

“If...

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image The Protestant Reformers did not make up their teaching about God’s foreknowledge, sovereignty, and divine purpose.  Here’s Augustine:

“Now God foreknew everything, and therefore could not have been unaware that man would sin.  It follows that all our assertions about...

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image Here’s a new resource I’ve been reading and studying: Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary.  It’s a scholarly collection of historical and theological articles by various teachers/theologians in the Reformation tradition.  I haven’t read every single essay,...

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017 01:00

Pastors Staying Put (Miller)

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image I’ve come to appreciate this wise advice Samuel Miller gave to a young pastor laboring in a town called Frederick in 1854.  I’ve taken the word “Frederick” out of the quote and left it blank so fellow pastors can apply it to their own location:

I was especially...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 06:12

No Condemnation (Hodge)

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image Here’s a nice excerpt from a sermon Charles Hodge gave on Romans 8:1 (Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. NASB):

Behold, O Christian the deed of thy inheritance.  …Jesus Christ came down from heaven to seek and save his people, to accomplish...

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Friday, 17 March 2017 23:39

The Simplicity of Reformed Worship

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image Historic Reformed churches worship the Lord in simplicity.  That is, Reformed churches do not include ceremonies, festivals, crucifixes, processions, incense, relics, images, vestments, altars, and so forth in their worship services.  Reformed worship simply consists of the Word (read,...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 07:00

Calvin’s Company of Pastors

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image I’m very much looking forward to reading this book after finishing the introduction.  Here’s an edited snippet from the intro:

The reader will encounter three important themes wending their way through the chapters of this book:

First, the ministers of Geneva cannot be understood...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:07

Israel, the Church, and Replacement Theology

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image I appreciate and agree with Iain Duguid’s discussion of “replacement theology” in his commentary on Numbers 24:

Some Christians believe that Old Testament promises that speak of “Israel” are only intended for ethnic Israel and not for the church. For them,...

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017 04:23

The Right to Choose?

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image We’re all aware of the pro-choice rhetoric about the “right to choose.”  Those who defend abortion say a woman has the right to choose whether to have the baby or terminate it in the womb.  However, this “right to choose” rhetoric is not at all...

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Monday, 13 March 2017 06:58

Faith Seeking Understanding (Anselm)

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image Over the years, I’ve enjoyed Bengt Hagglund’s History of Theology.  Here’s a section from chapter 17, specifically on Anselm.

“Anselm, like Augustine before him, represented that position with respect to faith and reason which was customarily characterized by the...

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Friday, 10 March 2017 23:49

Imitating Christ: Good, but not Gospel

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image God’s people should seek to be like Christ.  As Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).  But our imitating Christ is not the gospel.  J. G. Machen explained this well:

“It seems never to have occurred to the...

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