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
Monday, 15 January 2018 21:41

Affliction, Purpose, and Mercy (Bruce)

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image I’m enjoying this book of Robert Bruce’s sermons on Isaiah 38 (Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery).  In his first sermon, Bruce explained how the suffering of God’s people is not exactly the same as the suffering of those who are not God’s people....

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Saturday, 13 January 2018 00:32

Faith in Faith? (Schaeffer)

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image Many people today talk about the need for faith.  “You just gotta have faith” is Hallmark card spirituality, as if faith is some kind of inner strength that will get you through hard times.  Diagnosed with a serious illness?  Just believe, and you’ll make it....

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Friday, 12 January 2018 05:46

Exegetical Helps/Summaries

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image For the last few years, I’ve been using the various volumes of the “Exegetical Summary” series.  It’s a set of books that provide an exegetical commentary on biblical texts.   These exegetical summaries are published by SIL (the Summer Institute of Language)....

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Thursday, 11 January 2018 06:01

Saved and Being Saved (Warfield)

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image The Bible talks about salvation in many different places.  It also uses different tenses when it talks about the salvation of God’s people.  For example, we have been saved (Eph 2:5).  We are being saved (2 Cor. 2:15), and we will be saved (Mt. 24:13).  This language...

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018 05:17

The Truth of God: Not Trendy (Groothuis)

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image I find myself going back to this book several times each year in my studies: Truth Decay by Douglas Groothuis.  In chapter three Groothuis gives a nice summary of the biblical view of truth.  I appreciate them all, but number five sticks out to me right now:

The truth of God is...

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Monday, 08 January 2018 05:09

Taking the Roof Off (Francis Schaeffer)

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image (This is a post from January, 2016.)

I was recently re-reading part of Francis Schaeffer’s book The God Who is There.  Specifically, I studied section 4 – the part where Schaeffer talks about “taking the roof off” of people’s lives.  What he...

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image Here’s a helpful commentary by Leon Morris on Paul’s discussion of God’s anger or wrath being revealed against man’s ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18):

It is, of course, true that God is love. But it is not true that this rules out any realistic view of...

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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 01:42

Idolatry and Ingratitude (Luther)

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image Luther’s lectures on Romans were given during the years 1515-1516 at the University of Wittenberg.  During this time, Luther himself was still learning and reforming, so his later lectures and writings are more developed than what you find in his work on Romans.  However, in...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 22:29

For the Establishment of True Religion (Calvin)

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image I realize many evangelicals do not like the term “religion” and even use it primarily in a negative way.  However, we have to remember that the word is found in Scripture (e.g. James 1:26).  Granted, we do have to define it properly, but we shouldn’t by default...

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image One absolutely wonderful part of being a Christian is having a clear conscience before God and others.  It all has to do with what Jesus did for me: he lived a perfect life for me, died on the cross for me, and was raised from the dead for me.  Because of this, by faith I receive...

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 05:36

Suffering and One Foot In Front of the Other

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image For those of you who know what it means to go through a very hard trial, you probably understand sayings like this: “One day at a time,” and “I’m just putting one foot in front of the other.”  Trials and suffering are the mud and muck of life that slow you...

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 05:30

Grace: More Than Unmerited Favor!

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image Since I read this around ten years ago, I’ve really been helped and even comforted by Meredith Kline’s explanation of saving grace.  He noted that “in the biblical proclamation of the gospel, grace is the antithesis of the works principle.”  Later he wrote,

&ld...

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image Augustine clearly taught unconditional election; it did not originate with Calvin.  They both rejected the teaching of conditional election, that God elects people because he foresaw faith in them.  Furthermore, both Calvin and Augustine found unconditional election in Scripture....

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Friday, 22 December 2017 05:26

Tongues Now Passed Away (Augustine)

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image I enjoy reading Augustine’s various writings.  Even though I don’t always agree with him, his insight is helpful, his writing is stimulating, and he was gifted to explain the truth in a captivating way.  This morning when I was reading his comments on 1 John 3:23-24 I...

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image Earlier I referenced Proverbs 27:2 as a good text for those of us who are on social media (link). While studying Proverbs in sermon preparation, I found another one I thought was helpful for social media users: Proverbs 26:17.  It has to do with meddling in an argument not your own....

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 05:41

A Hypocrite Will Come to Church (Watson)

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image When we pray the Lord’s prayer we ask our Father to “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (NASB).  This is what Paul was getting at in Ephesians 4:32: “…forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (NASB)....

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 02:00

Logos’ New Bible App (6.0.3)

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image  For the past week or so I’ve really enjoyed using Logos Bible Software’s updated app (version 6.0.3). If I remember correctly, this is one of the biggest and most extensive updates to their app.  And let me say it is quite significant!  I did use the Logos app in the...

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image I’ve always appreciated Francis Turretin’s discussion of justification by faith alone.  Here are some of his quotes on this topic that I’ve found quite comforting:

For the righteousness of Christ alone imputed to us is the foundation and meritorious cause upon which our...

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image The Heidelberg Catechism says that the Christian’s good works help in the assurance of faith: “we do good so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits” (Q/A 86).  The Westminster Larger Catechism notes under assurance that the Holy Spirit enables Christians...

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 04:48

The Lutheran Confessions: Concordia

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image  (This is a re-blog from November 2009)

Concordia is an outstanding Reformation resource.  It is handsome, sturdy, well-formatted, and easy to use.  The subtitle is correct: it is A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord.  Editorial props go to Paul McCain,...

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Monday, 11 December 2017 04:33

Not Trusting My Own Merits (Calvin)

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image  Those whom God justifies he also sanctifies.  These two truths are twin truths.  Where one is the other will also be.  We don’t want to separate justification and sanctification.  On the other hand, we don’t want to mix them together.  We need to make a...

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Saturday, 09 December 2017 00:38

Sola Scriptura: What It Isn’t (Muller)

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image The Reformation teaching of sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) does not mean that the Christian alone reads the Bible alone and interprets it alone.  Sola Scriptura does not at all mean we should be lone rangers when studying, interpreting, and applying God’s Word.  According to ...

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Friday, 08 December 2017 05:44

Worldview: Idols Have Consequences (Pearcey)

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image So far I’m very much enjoying this book by Nancy Pearcey: Finding Truth.  It’s a great Christian resource for evaluating various worldviews in light of Scripture.  In this book Pearcey gives five biblical principles for unmasking idolatrous “-isms” like...

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Thursday, 07 December 2017 04:51

Pride, Celebrity, Self-Flattery, and Donkeys

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image Andreas Kostenberger has a nice section about humility in his book Excellence.  He notes that humility is one of the “cardinal virtues in the Christian life and in academic work.”  In the chapter Kostenberger quotes Calvin:

I was always exceedingly delighted with...

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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 22:26

Marriage Conflict and Separation

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image No marriage is perfect.  Husbands and wives sin.  Every marriage has at least some conflict from time to time.  I probably don’t need to explain this fact since most of us know it from experience!  Sadly, however, some marriage conflict is destructive and dangerous....

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