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, 13 October 2018 01:13

Excluding Our Righteousness (Buchanan)

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image When it comes to justification, the terms “the righteousness of God” and “his righteousness” are very important (Rom 3:21-22, 2 Cor 5:21, etc.).  These phrases have to do with the fact that an ungodly sinner is not justified by his own righteousness, but by the...

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Thursday, 11 October 2018 01:36

Critical Calvinists and Pride (Hughes, Bridges)

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image   One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the fact that some Calvinists are also very critical of others.  I know that some people in general are critical by nature, but to me it seems worse when someone who holds to the doctrines of grace is always super critical about...

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018 01:33

Identity Politics (Anderson)

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image Here’s a helpful book about what it means to find your identity in Christ: Identity Theft edited by Melissa Kruger.  It is specifically aimed at women, but I’ve found it helpful as a resource for my sermons on image and identity.  There are ten chapters on biblical...

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Monday, 08 October 2018 00:48

The Spirit, the Church, and Mission (Horton)

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image I always appreciate Michael Horton’s balanced approach to biblical doctrine and theology.  Here’s one example of how Horton strikes a biblical balance concerning the topics of church, mission, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Note how he explains that we cannot separate the...

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Thursday, 04 October 2018 22:50

The Whole Curse Spent on Him (Bunyan)

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image One of the wonderful and comforting truths of the Christian faith is the fact that a sinner is justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  This truth is full of hope, peace, joy, happiness, and assurance.  One aspect of justification is what Scripture teaches...

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Thursday, 04 October 2018 05:54

Which Jesus Do You Worship? (Machen)

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image Many people will say something positive about Jesus.  I’ve heard someone who didn’t profess to be a Christian tell me he thought Jesus was a good guy.  I also had a Mormon get upset with me because I told him the Mormon religion and the Christian faith are worlds apart....

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 05:15

Diehard Sins: A Brief Review

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image Here’s a newer and very good resource on fighting sin and growing in grace: Diehard Sinsby Rush Witt.  I have to admit when I first got this book I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve read similar books on the topic – some good, some not so good.  This is...

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Monday, 01 October 2018 01:32

Jesus: A Contentless Banner?? (Schaeffer)

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image Many Christians have noted a dichotomy in modern thought.  On the upper level is value; on the bottom level is fact.  On the upper level is faith; on the bottom level is reason.  On the upper level is religion; on the bottom level is science.  On the upper level it is...

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image In Hebrews we learn “because he himself[Jesus] suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (2:18 NIV).  In Hebrews we also read that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (5:8 NIV).  Yes, it says that Jesus learned...

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image (This is a re-blog from July, 2012)

I’ve heard about Phillip Johnson’s book, Darwin on Trial, but until recently I haven’t read it.  And I’m very glad I finally did. This book does not deal with superficial issues.  It gets right to the heart of the matter by...

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image Our culture today has very subjective and illogical views on what it means to be a person.  For one of several examples, some say that an unborn baby with Down syndrome is not a person.  In fact, as many of our readers know, pregnant women can have tests to see if their unborn baby...

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Monday, 24 September 2018 06:15

The Man Put to Shame for Me! (Bunyan)

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image We’re doing a study of The Pilgrim’s Progress for adult Sunday school this Fall/Winter.  I did read it quite a few years ago; reading it again and studying it in some depth has been a treat!  Here’s the song Christian sang after the burden fell off his...

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Friday, 21 September 2018 06:18

Perfectionism, Pride, and Grace (Winter)

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image This is one of those books I keep coming back to even though I read it quite a few years ago: Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winter.  It really is worth the read if you need a resource on the topic of trying to be perfect (having the perfect job, the perfect kitchen,...

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Thursday, 20 September 2018 05:34

Come: Eat and Drink for Free!

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image Isaiah 55:1-2 is beautiful biblical poetry that calls all people drink freely from the well of living water:

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. &n...

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image Since I’m doing a sermon series on image and identity, I picked up Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey.  I’ve mentioned it here several times in the past month or two.  I also recently picked up Body and Soul: Human Nature and the Crisis in Ethics by J. P....

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Sunday, 16 September 2018 22:08

Losing God’s Love? (Sibbes)

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image  There are times in the Christian life when, for various reasons, we don’t feel God’s love.  Sometimes the Christian doesn’t feel loved by God because of certain sins committed, because of a brutal affliction that weighs heavy, or because of something else.  Andrew...

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 06:07

The Spirit Gives Life (Boston)

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image I really like the way Thomas Boston explained how the Holy Spirit gives life (cf. John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6).  I’ve updated the language slightly:

[Jesus said] “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.” (John  6:37) Now, this also belongs to the promise of the...

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Monday, 10 September 2018 23:11

Spirit-Baptism, Second Blessing??

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image Some people talk about a “second blessing” or a “baptism of the Spirit” that not all Christians receive.  This view is based on several places in Acts where some people were baptized and then later received the Holy Spirit.  For example, in Acts 19 a group of...

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Friday, 07 September 2018 23:27

Our Wills: Created and Corrupted (Owen)

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image In Reformed theology, following Augustine and ultimately Paul/Scripture, we deny the Arminian position that all people have free will which gives them the power and innate ability to believe in Christ as they wish.  John Owen brilliantly countered this Arminian position of free will in...

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image I’m one of those Presbyterian pastors who believes that celebration of the Lord’s Supper should be done frequently.  In the church I served before, we celebrated Holy Communion once per month.  In the church I serve now, we celebrate it weekly.  To be honest,...

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imageIn the early part of 1555, some important men of Berne, Switzerland heard that John Calvin was causing problems in the church by being something of a maverick in the areas of ceremonies, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and other aspects of church life and liturgy.  When Calvin found out that...

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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 00:56

Parents, Children, Smartphones (Turkle)

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image Smartphones have helped us communicate and keep in touch better than ever before.  There is upside to this.  I can text my wife and tell her I’ll grab a pizza for supper.  She can respond and remind me to get milk.  The list goes on.  There are also downsides to...

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image Charles Hodge left behind several hand written sermons he gave on various passages from Romans.  They are quite good to say the least!  I just finished his sermon called “Glory of Salvation” based on Romans 11:33-36.  At one point in the sermon he says that these...

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Friday, 31 August 2018 22:43

Three Great Acts of Imputation (Machen)

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image The Westminster Shorter Catechism, summarizing the biblical teaching on the topic, says that all mankind sinned in Adam, “and fell with him in that first transgression.”    Because Adam was in a covenant situation, our representative, his trespass led to our condemnation...

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Friday, 31 August 2018 06:01

How/Why Can Faith Resist Satan? (Watson)

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image In his exposition of the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer (lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one), Thomas Watson explains how faith can be so strong as to resist Satan’s temptations in such a way that he flees from us (cf. James 4:7):

[Faith can resist...

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