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
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 12:10

Maintaining Christian Freedom (Bolton)

Written by

image (This is a repost from March, 2014)

Near the end of his excellent exposition of Christian liberty, Samuel Bolton (d. 1654) explained how Christians are to stand fast in the liberty which Christ has won for us (cf. Gal. 5:1).  Here’s one helpful paragraph from that section.  I...

Read more

Sunday, 13 August 2017 23:16

Christ Our Brother (Sibbes)

Written by

image In his book A Heavenly Conference, Richard Sibbes has a great section about Christ our “brother” (cf. Mt. 25:40; Heb. 2:11-12; 17).  Sibbes was talking about Christ’s words to Mary in John 20:16-17, where Jesus told her to “go to my brothers” and tell them...

Read more

image Legalism is not a rare thing in Christian circles.  It’s not confined to a certain denomination, age, gender, race, or class.  Legalism is not rare because it’s the default mode of the sinful human heart.  Thomas Boston said it is “engrained in man’s corrupt...

Read more

Thursday, 10 August 2017 05:48

God’s Free Grace Made the Difference (Henry)

Written by

image There’s an old hymn called, “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place.” When we sang it last Sunday during worship, the following lines stuck out:

Why was I made to hear Your voice, and enter while there’s room, when thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come?

&ls...

Read more

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 06:59

Every Work Excluded (Colquhoun)

Written by

image One of the great themes of the Reformation – and of the Apostle Paul – was that a sinner is justified not by works, but only by faith in Christ.  In other words, a sinner is justified by faith alone in Christ alone, not by any sort of obedience to the law in any way, shape, or...

Read more

Monday, 07 August 2017 23:08

Augustine and Love (Oberman)

Written by

image This is an excellent resource: The Reformation: Roots and Ramifications” by Heiko Oberman.  I just finished reading the chapter that covered mysticism in the medieval church; it was quite helpful.  It’s too detailed to summarize in one blog post, so for now I’ll...

Read more

 image William Cunningham (d. 1861) was a Scottish pastor and also a professor of theology and church history.  Some of his lectures were published after he died, including a series of lectures on the first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Here’s a short section from...

Read more

image I always enjoy reading John Murray’s sermons.  I recently read a brief sermon Murray gave on John 6:37, where Jesus said, “All those that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (NIV).  Here’s a helpful section in...

Read more

Thursday, 03 August 2017 05:11

Calvinism Has No Use for Such Drivel (Bavinck)

Written by

image Some have said that the Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian view of God, evil, election, salvation, and damnation is more kind and loving than the Calvinist view.  If you’ve heard that, it’s completely false.  I usually like to keep posts shorter than this, but Herman Bavinck’s...

Read more

imageMiroslav Volf’s Exclusion and Embraceis a very thoughtful and interesting book on identity, reconciliation, oppression, justice, and so forth.  I don’t agree with everything Volf says, but I am enjoying the book.  This morning I ran across his section on forgiveness, which was...

Read more

Monday, 31 July 2017 00:47

Election and Sovereign Grace (Boston)

Written by
image In Ephesians 1 and Romans 9-11 Paul teaches what has been called unconditional election.  That is, the reason God has chosen some for salvation in Christ but not others is found in him and in his sovereign will.  Election is not based on man’s choice or faith, but on God’s...

Read more

imageHere’s a helpful illustration on the perseverance of the saints by Augustus Toplady:

Arminianism represents God’s Spirit, as if he acted like the guard of a stage-coach, who sees the passengers safe out of town for a few miles; and then, making his bow, turns back, and leaves them to...

Read more

image The following paragraph is from a radio address that J. G. Machen gave in 1937.  It is highly relevant even in 2017:

“…We have seen in the newspapers recently a good deal of discussion about ‘mercy-killing’ or ‘euthanasia’. Certain physicians say very...

Read more

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 02:30

Specific Aspects of Self-Denial (Brakel)

Written by

image Self-denial is a big part of what it means to follow Jesus.  On several occasions, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24 NIV).   Self-denial is something that doesn’t come easily since even as...

Read more

image One aspect of the doctrines of grace is the insistence that man, by nature, is unable and unwilling to come to Jesus in repentance and faith. Apart from saving grace, a sinner is corrupt in every part of his being and morally incapable of doing good in God’s sight.  Although he...

Read more

Friday, 21 July 2017 06:44

Good That I Was Afflicted? (Newton)

Written by

image Sometimes during a hard and heavy trial there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Just when you think the trial may be going away like a storm passing, just when you think the sun might finally be coming out, another dark cloud blows in and the trial is back –...

Read more

Thursday, 20 July 2017 05:32

Is Predestination Central in Calvinism?

Written by

image There’s much more to Reformed theology than the doctrines of grace (TULIP).  Similarly, there’s more to the doctrines of grace than predestination.  This needs to be said and repeated since some say that the central dogma of Calvinism is predestination, that predestination is...

Read more

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 02:00

Motives at Work in Sexual Sin (Powlison)

Written by

image Last week I mentioned David Powlison’s forthcoming book, Making All Things New.  Today I want to highlight part of it that is quite helpful in thinking of the nuts and bolts of sexual sin, whether it be adultery, pornography, homosexuality, or lust (and so on).  Below are various...

Read more

Sunday, 16 July 2017 23:03

Self-Absorbed in Worship? (Boice)

Written by

image We’ve all heard the contemporary praise song that says “I will” more than a few times.   Phrases like “I will celebrate,” “I will sing to God,” “I will praise God,” are sung and repeated many times in the same song.   Here are Jam...

Read more

image Simon Goulart was a Reformed theologian and pastor from France who served in Geneva in the middle of the 16th century.  His preaching and teaching were solidly biblical, clearly doctrinal, and very applicable.  One example of this is his biblical comfort he gave to Christians on their...

Read more

image Here’s a paragraph I appreciated from David Powlison’s forthcoming book, Making All Things New.

“I’ve heard arguments against the biblical sexual ethic that say, ‘There are only six Bible verses that mention homosexuality,’ and then proponents wiggle the...

Read more

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 22:11

Our Foundation of Grace (Owen)

Written by

image In one part of his exposition of Psalm 130, John Owen discussed receiving forgiveness and being assured of it.  One of his “rules” was this: “Mix not foundation and building-work together.”  By this Owen meant that the Christian’s foundation of forgiveness...

Read more

Monday, 10 July 2017 05:07

Women of the Reformation (VanDoodewaard)

Written by

image The Protestant Reformation wasn’t simply a male movement.  Many Christian women were also heavily involved in the Reformation.  In fact, a new book called Reformation Women gives readers a glimpse into the lives of 12 various women God used to help bring the church back to a...

Read more

image Over the past 15+ years I’ve come to a pretty strong conviction that an understanding of redemptive history is of utmost importance in the pulpit ministry.  Preaching that has no understanding of redemptive history is preaching that lacks.  There are nuances to this discussion of...

Read more

image Many of us are familiar with the biblical truth that God is good, or benevolent, to all.  “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mt. 5:45 NASB).  “The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all...

Read more

Page 1 of 12