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, 18 August 2018 01:07

More than Conquerors? (Carson)

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imageWhat does it mean in Romans 8:37 when Paul says that followers of Christ are “more than conquerors” (ESV) or “have complete victory” (NET)?  D. A. Carson gives some good answers to this question based on the context of Romans 8:

First, the “us” to whom the...

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Thursday, 16 August 2018 05:50

He Inclines Their Wills (Augustine)

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image In 1 Kings 12 Solomon’s son Rehoboam had just become Israel’s new king.  Israel begged him to lighten the yoke of hard service.  To make a longer story short, Rehoboam flatly refused and told them that he’d instead add to the hard service (1 Ki 12:11, 14)....

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image I’ve been studying up on image and identity in preparation for a sermon series on these topics.  Since our culture has a pragmatic feelings-based view of image and identity, I thought it would be good to talk about what Scripture says about these things.  One book I’m...

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image In the years following the Protestant Reformation there were groups who believed that God was still speaking directly and immediately to them.  thought that this inner word from God was equal to or sometimes even above Scripture, so they would follow and submit to the inner word....

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image In Kampen on November 28, 1889, Herman Bavinck gave a lecture to seminary students at the theological school there.  The lecture was called “Eloquence” and it was all about Christian preaching.  Due to demand, Bavinck wrote this lecture out and it was later published....

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image I recently got a copy of Petrus Van Mastricht’s newly translated Theoretical-Practical Theology: Prolegomena (vol. 1)I agree with Michael Horton: this is a remarkable gem!  Van Mastricht was a Dutch Reformed theologian who was quite influential in his day and...

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image Romans 5 is a great passage in Scripture that compares and contrasts Adam and Christ.  Paul uses legal and covenantal language to explain how Adam was a type of Christ.  For example, here’s verse 19: For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made...

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image In his book on the controversies surrounding law, gospel, and grace in England around the year 1700, Herman Witsius (d. 1708) gave an excellent defense of justification by faith alone in Christ alone, based on God’s grace alone.  At one point he talked about the errors of legalism,...

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Saturday, 04 August 2018 02:09

The Death of Christ for Us (Turretin)

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image Francis Turretin (d. 1687) did a very good job of summarizing Scripture’s account of Christ’s atonement as satisfying the justice of God.  In his section called “The Necessity of the Satisfaction,” he wrote the following (I’ve edited it slightly):

Sin, which...

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Friday, 03 August 2018 05:00

Abortion and Dehumanization (Pearcey)

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image I’m very much enjoying Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Love Thy Body.  I’ll come back to it again later, but for now I wanted to share an insightful observation of Pearcey’s in the first chapter:

If you favor abortion, you are implicitly saying that in the early...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 05:41

A Theological Problem of Theonomy (Kline)

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image  One of the more profound and, in my opinion, helpful critiques of theonomy was written by Meredith Kline in volume 41 (1978/79) of the Westminster Theological Journal.   In this article called “Comments on an Old-New Error”, Kline is interacting with Greg Bahnsen’s...

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image  I enjoyed this book by Mark Boda called Return to Me: A Biblical Theology of Repentance.  As the title suggests, it is a summary of the Bible’s teaching on repentance from Genesis to Revelation.  Each chapter is called something like this: “Repentance in the...

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Monday, 30 July 2018 01:15

Christ Our Mediator (Chrysostom)

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image While studying 1 Timothy 2:5 (For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus... [NASB]) I ran across these helpful comments by Chrysostom:

Now a mediator ought to have communion with both parties between whom he is to mediate. For this is the property of...

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image In a sermon on John 1:29, John Newton discussed definite atonement and the free offer of the gospel.  He admitted there is mystery in this area of Scripture’s teaching:

“I am not disheartened by meeting with some things beyond the grasp of my scanty powers in a book which I...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:32

He Knew All Your Sins (Goodwin)

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image The saving work of our mediator, Christ Jesus, is something deep, wide, rich, and beautiful in ways that are beyond our fallen and finite minds.  It isn’t an exaggeration to say that in Christ we find absolutely everything we need for salvation and for our Christian life....

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Sunday, 22 July 2018 22:44

Sunday Sickness?!? (Morbus Sabbaticus)

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image From time to time I read and utilize sermon illustration books.  Sometimes the illustrations aren’t good or helpful.  Sometimes they are helpful.  Other times they just make me think.  Here’s a humorous one that stuck out this morning in my studies:

“Morbus...

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image God’s promise to perfect his children even extends to Christians who are backsliding or languishing in the faith.  Even in them God will restore and revive the principles of spiritual life.  This is proved by comparing Hebrews 13:20-21 with 1 Peter 5:10.  Thomas Goodwin...

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image Sometimes people say that the doctrines of grace get in the way of evangelism.  They say that Calvinism is a detriment when sharing the gospel.  However, when approached biblically, the doctrines of grace actually help us share the gospel better in various ways.  For one...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 06:17

Legalism Indulges the Sinful Nature (Bridges)

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image “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free” (Gal. 5:1; 13 NIV).  One awesome outcome of Christ’s death and resurrection is that we are free in Christ.  Now it is true that sometimes Christians flaunt...

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Monday, 16 July 2018 22:56

Legalism, Love, and the Law

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image One of my favorite shorter articles on Christian ethics is John Murray’s contribution simply called, “The Christian Ethic.”  At one point in this article he discussed how God’s law and love relate in Christian ethics.  He gave three specifics: The primacy of...

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Friday, 13 July 2018 05:51

Making the Legalist in Us Squirm (Luther)

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image Martin Luther’s comments on Galatians 4:3 will make the legalist in us squirm.  But they will also help explain what “Christ alone” means for the guilty conscience:

The law does tell me to love the Lord my God, but it does not enable me to do so or to lay hold of Christ.

I...

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image John Murray’s article, “The Finality and Sufficiency of Scripture” is a wonderful explanation of those twin biblical truths about Scripture.  One section of this article that I read today had some comments in it that are still applicable for us in our setting:

Here, I...

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image When you read through the Gospels you often find that certain people are not named.  For one of many examples, Matthew does not give us the name of the rich young man in 19:18.  Critics sometimes use these instances of anonymous persons to cast doubt upon the accuracy or veracity of...

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Monday, 09 July 2018 01:20

Christian Warfare and Depression (Welch)

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image Satan and his wicked army often attack Christians and try to get us to believe lies.  Sometimes we believe the lies and our lives go downhill in various ways.  We stumble into sin, we hurt someone, we go through a period of depression, and the list goes on.  What do we do when...

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image Dark magic has been around for a long time.  When Israel was going into the Promised Land the LORD told his people not to dabble in the pagan occultic practices of the Canaanites (Dt. 18:9-14).  They were to avoid omens, fortunes, divination, spiritists, sorcery, psychic readings,...

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