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
Thursday, 21 June 2018 05:56

Do Not Forget Le Chambon (Guinness/Hallie)

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image I’ve been impressed with Os Guinness’ book – more of a study guide – called When No One Sees: The Importance of Character in an Age of Image.  It’s basically a study guide on character: the importance of character, character in the crucible, cultural...

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image I’m convinced that face-to-face seminary training is a highly valuable part of the path to gospel ministry.  And of course rigorous studies are a very important part of seminary training.  Future pastors need to know the languages, systematic theology, church history,...

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Monday, 18 June 2018 00:49

Afflictions as Sermons (Ursinus)

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image This morning I happend to run across Zacharias Ursinus’ discussion about affliction in his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism.  The entire section is helpful and worth reading.  Here’s a small sample, one that I thought was especially edifying.  I’ve...

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Saturday, 16 June 2018 04:44

A Unified Answer to Life (Schaeffer)

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image I haven’t read this whole book yet, but what I have read is quite good: Escape from Reason by Francis Schaeffer.  Here’s one helpful section I read this morning:

…Christianity has the opportunity, therefore, to speak clearly of the fact that its answer has the very...

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image I grew up in Dutch Reformed circles with the Blue Psalter Hymnal (as we called it).  I came to love many of the Psalms and hymns in that book.  I can still remember my piano teacher assigning me #1 (Psalm 1) for a lesson: “That Man is Blest.”   As a pastor in the...

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018 05:40

Don’t Give Up On A Sinner! (Spencer)

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imageI was recently reading part of A Pastor’s Sketches again and I found a paragraph I had marked up quite a bit.  Turns out I had blogged on this already (May 2017), so I thought I’d post it again.  Here it is:

Sometime around the middle of the 19th century a woman spoke to...

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Sunday, 10 June 2018 21:38

Knowledge, Love, and Wisdom (Huss)

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image  John Huss (b. 1369) was one of the forerunners of the Reformation.  Well before Luther’s day Huss called out many of the abuses and errors in the church: hypocrisy, corruption, the sale of indulgences, and so forth.  Huss was a very powerful preacher and a bright student of...

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Saturday, 09 June 2018 01:38

The Object of Faith (Warfield)

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imageB.B. Warfield has a great section on “faith” in the collection of his writings called “Biblical Doctrines.”  Here’s a helpful part of it where he talks about the object of true faith.   I appreciate the redemptive-historical way he talks about faith:

It is,...

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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 22:18

The Answerable Comfort of God (Sibbes)

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image In Christ, we know our heavenly Father as the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3).  The Heidelberg Catechism puts it so well: our only comfort is that we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, in life and in death to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ.  There is abundant comfort in...

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image I’m enjoying this book by Christopher Hutchinson called Rediscovering Humility.  It’s an engaging read that walks through the different dynamics of biblical humility in a gospel centered way.  I’ll write more about it later, but for now I wanted to share these...

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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 05:06

Inquiring after the Weeds (Owen)

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image I appreciate this section in John Owen’s “Of The Mortification of Sin in Believers”:

There are two things that are suited to humble the souls of men, and they are, first, a due consideration of God, and then of themselves; of God, in his greatness, glory, holiness, power,...

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Friday, 01 June 2018 23:14

Gospel Promises and Perseverance (Owen)

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image One of John Owen’s many volumes is called “The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed.”  As you might guess, it’s a great exposition of the “P” In “TULIP.”  I haven’t read it all yet, but so far...

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018 06:46

The Repentance of a Sinning Saint (Warfield)

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image Here’s a great snippet of a great sermon by B. B. Warfield on Psalm 51:

Thus we perceive that in its conception of God, of sin, of salvation alike, this Psalm stands out as attaining the high-water mark of Old Testament revelation. It was by a hard pathway that David came to know God and...

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image As I’m reading through Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham, I’m realizing that I probably should have read this book ten years ago.  But, as they say, better late than never!  So far I’m really enjoying it.  Here’s a brief synopsis...

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Friday, 25 May 2018 23:56

Culture’s Bipolar View of Violence

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image Our culture has a bipolar view of violence.  On the one hand, we are completely against it.  The media is constantly pointing out all the violence in our culture: rape, shootings, homicides, etc.  Our culture is always speaking against these things and the media highlights them...

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 05:54

Predestination and the Promise (Bunyan)

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image  Not much in our lives is certain.  We could lose our job and have to move in a month.  We could get into a car accident that makes the rest of our life quite difficult.  Or we could face a diagnosis that immediately brings tears to our eyes and ache to our heart.  Much of...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 04:48

Books for Kids: Update May 2018

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I finally got around to adding a few more books to my “Books for Kids” page *HERE*.  I don’t read books to my boys any more since they’re older (almost all teenagers!), but I will start reading to my young daughter this summer.  Stay tuned!  I hope to add some...

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018 06:11

…Less of Our Hearts (Wilberforce)

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image I appreciate the following section of William Wilberforce’s book called “A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity.”  I’ve edited it slightly:

True...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 00:55

Evil: An Unjustifiable Mystery (Blocher)

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image I really appreciated Henri Blocher’s book Evil and the Cross.  It’s a helpful discussion about the problem of evil from a Christian perspective.  I’ve blogged about it before so I won’t go into details.  However, reading through parts of this book...

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Friday, 18 May 2018 05:11

The Blessings of Bible Study (Witsius)

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image Don’t let anyone convince you that those older Reformed theologians were dry, dispassionate teachers who were only concerned about bare doctrine and orthodoxy.  Read what Herman Witsius (d. 1708) had to say about the blessings of Bible study. I take it he’s speaking from...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 05:04

The Law/Gospel Distinction (Olevianus)

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image The Reformers understood the difference between the law and the gospel.  It wasn’t just Luther who made this important distinction.  For one example, here’s how Caspar Olevianus (d. 1587) explained it (as quoted by Otto Thelemann):

“With reference to the relation...

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Monday, 14 May 2018 21:05

10 Reasons Why I Will Never Go to Rome

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image  I’ve been re-reading parts of Rome’s Catechism and the Canons/Decrees of Trent again recently, which reminded me why I’m Reformed and not Roman Catholic.  Here’s a post I wrote in February 2013 on this very topic:

For the past eight years or so, I’ve had the...

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image In his treatise on the steps of humility and pride, Bernard does a good job of explaining how pride and the love of hearing the self talk go hand in hand.   What was true in the 12th century is true today.  Do you know anyone who likes to hear himself or herself talk too much? ...

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 23:09

Doctrinism and Antinomianism (Newton)

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image Here’s a section from one of John Newton’s sermons on those who are orthodox in doctrine but destitute of good works.  Or, in other words, their doctrine is right, but they have no deeds that show their faith to be true.  Maybe we could call this...

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image Those who believe that infants and young children should partake in the Lord’s Supper often appeal to the Passover in the Old Testament, which, they say, included the participation of very young children.  This paedocommunion view also argues that not including children in the...

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