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
Friday, 17 November 2017 20:59

The Father’s Grace (Bunyan)

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image The phrase “saved by grace” is one that is rich with meaning and comfort.  John Bunyan noted well that saying “saved by the grace of God” means “saved by the grace of the triune God.”  He then took some time to explain the grace of the Father, the...

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Friday, 17 November 2017 04:27

Grace Efficacious, Grace Unlosable (Hoekema)

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image God’s saving grace is sovereign grace. That means so many things!  It means that election is gracious rather than meritorious (Eph 1:6); election is unconditional because it is all of God’s gracious good pleasure.  Regeneration is gracious: we were dead in sin, but God...

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 22:58

Reigning Grace (Or: Cast Your Idol Works Away)

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image  John Newton’s hymns cover many different Scripture texts and themes.  One biblical theme that often comes up in his hymns is grace – the fact that salvation from start to finish, beginning to end is all of grace, only by grace, and of grace alone (Eph. 2:5).  Here...

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:02

Grace: Radically Excluding All Merit (Bavinck)

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image Here’s a helpful brief discussion of grace by Herman Bavinck:

…His (God’s) election and guidance, his rescue and redemption, and all the benefits that Israel received in distinction from other peoples, can only be attributed to God’s grace (Exod. 15:13, 16; 19:4;...

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Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:29

Grace Knows No Human Contribution (Murray)

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image John Murray’s article called “The Grace of God” is a wonderful brief summary of how Scripture talks about the sovereign grace of God in salvation (election, the atonement, justification, and sanctification).  Here are a few parts I especially appreciated:

The grace of...

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Thursday, 09 November 2017 22:09

The Workings of our Remaining Sinful Nature

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image Those who have true faith have truly been given new life in Christ.  If a person believes in Christ, he or she has been “born of God” (1 John 5:1).  Regeneration means that someone who was dead in sin is now alive in Christ (Eph. 2:4-5).  However, new birth...

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Thursday, 09 November 2017 06:06

Purgatory, Grace, and Works (Hodge)

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image The Roman Catholic Church still believes and teaches that purgatory is real.  Paragraph 1030 of Rome’s catechism says this:

“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they...

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Tuesday, 07 November 2017 21:49

The Hiding Place of His Righteousness (Toplady)

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image Here’s a wonderful section of a letter Augustus Toplady wrote in 1767 to a friend who was very ill:

I hope, sir, you are enabled to trust your soul to Christ, and to cast your care on God. Satan, no doubt, will be ever ready to bring in the indictment, and conscience cannot help pleading...

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image The way we react or respond to the gospel is not the gospel.  My feelings and emotions about Christ are not good news.  The empty tomb does not depend upon how much I treasure Jesus.  My delighting in Christ is not at the heart of the apostolic preaching of the cross.  The...

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Friday, 03 November 2017 01:18

On Disciplining Your Children: Do It!

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image It seems that from one perspective disciplining our kids isn’t a kind or nice thing to do.  Think about it.  If your child disrespects you, you might take his dessert away for a week.  If company comes over, they’d all get dessert, but your kid won’t.  Seems...

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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 06:31

Justification Can Never Be Lost (Watson)

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image This is very good, very biblical, and very comforting:

Justification is ‘inamissibilis;’ it is a fixed permanent thing, it can never be lost.  The Arminians hold an apostasy from justification; today justified, tomorrow unjustified; today a Peter, tomorrow a Judas; today a member...

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 04:23

Family Visitation > Small Groups

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image If done wisely, small groups can be a benefit to Christ’s church.  On the other hand, small groups can sometimes get in the way of the church’s ministry.  It takes wisdom, patience, grace, and work to ensure that small groups help rather than hinder spiritual growth in the...

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Monday, 30 October 2017 01:39

Our Souls Need to Feed on Christ (Horton)

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image The Lord’s Supper is a great blessing for Christians.  In it, the Lord condescends to feed us with the body and blood of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit by the faith he’s graciously given us.  Paul called it a “participation” or “sharing” in...

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Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:45

The Man of Sin Sitting in the Temple of God

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image 2 Thessalonians 2:4 – a statement about the Man of Sin – is no easy verse to interpret: “He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship.  He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (NLT). ...

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Thursday, 26 October 2017 04:50

John Wesley’s Hatred of Predestination

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image I was recently reading Lee Gatiss’ collection of essays on Reformed theology and history when I ran across his article called, “Strangely Warmed: John Wesley’s Arminian Campaigns.”  I have to admit I have not read much of Wesley’s writing (though what I have read...

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image Christians are not loners who plow through life by themselves – at least they shouldn’t go it alone!  Since we believe in the fellowship of the saints, there are times when one Christian has to talk to another Christian about his or her sin.  If it is done out of love, if it...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 22:40

Causes of Spiritual Decline (Newton)

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image Sadly, there is such a thing as backsliding in the Christian life.  It’s also called wandering from the path of following Jesus.  Indeed, we are prone to wander!  There are various reasons why Christians do sometimes wander or backslide.  We could put it in the form of a...

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Saturday, 21 October 2017 02:21

Rome and Reading Scripture (Muller)

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image It’s very hard for most  Christians in the West to imagine what it would be like if they didn’t have a Bible at home to read.  It’s even harder to imagine the church telling us not to read the Bible and not wanting it to be translated into common languages. ...

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Friday, 20 October 2017 06:18

Truth Is Obscured Nowadays (Pascal)

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image This is one of those books that I don’t always agree with, but it does always make me think: Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft.  It’s basically a modern commentary on some of Pascal’s Pensees.  Here’s one part that got me thinking about truth;...

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image As I’ve said before, Impossible People by Os Guinness is an excellent book in many ways.  One reason I appreciate it is because Guinness calls the church to stand firmly, carefully, and purposefully on the truths and teachings of Scripture.  He laments how some evangelicals have...

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017 07:41

Wisdom and Worldview (Goldsworthy)

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image Here’s a nice section from Graeme Goldsworthy’s book Gospel and Wisdom:

“The Christian rejects this [naturalistic] assumption of a universe which is shut up against the God of the Bible.  He accepts rather that God is self-sufficient, personal, and in complete control. ...

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Monday, 16 October 2017 01:27

The “Broken” Evangelical Buzzword (Wells)

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image I recently finished reading a very popular evangelical Christian book.  It wasn’t too bad, but when I finished reading it struck me that the author used the terms “broken” or “brokenness” way too much.  After doing a word search on my Kindle, I found that...

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Saturday, 14 October 2017 01:29

Antichrist(s)

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image This is an excellent, balanced, and biblical resource on an often misunderstood teaching of Scripture: The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist. I marked the following paragraphs (among many others) that are worth sharing:

“The biblical writers do indeed foretell of...

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Friday, 13 October 2017 07:16

The Mentality of Abuse

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image In the past few years, I’ve written several posts on church bullies andabuse(also here).  These two topics overlap and I’ve studied them on and off for some time.  Another resource that has to do with these topics is Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and...

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:31

Pray Hard, For You Are Quite A Sinner (Luther)

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The following paragraph is from a famous letter of Martin Luther to Phillip Melanchthon.  I’ve posted it on this blog before, but it’s worth doing again.  This letter shows two things: 1) Luther well understood Rome’s unbiblical doctrines [note the...

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