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

image While reading several of Robert Murray McCheyne’s letters this morning, I came across one he wrote to a stranger in 1840.  McCheyne’s friend told him of a man he knew that might benefit from an evangelistic letter.  So McCheyne sent a letter since he wasn’t able to...

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image As I was re-reading parts of Love God With All Your Mind, I came across this great section I had marked up – a section of the book where Moreland talks about the loss of the Christian mind in American Christianity.  I’ve posted it here before, but it is for sure worth noting...

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Friday, 19 May 2017 07:02

Not Giving Up On A Sinner (Spencer)

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image Sometime around the middle of the 19th century, a woman spoke to Rev. Ichabod Spencer about the things of the Christian faith.  After the discussion, the woman was interested in becoming a Christian.  Spencer met with her many times over the next two years.  Over and over Spencer...

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Thursday, 18 May 2017 05:59

Freedom of the Will? (Horton)

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image The Bible teaches that the human heart is deceitful above all things and that everyone who sins is a slave to sin (Jer. 17:9; John 8:34).  It teaches that apart from grace, a person is dead in sin (Eph. 2:1).  These texts and others like them are where Reformed theology gets the...

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 06:35

No Reason to Complain (Brooks)

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image When we face trials and afflictions, sometimes we complain.  We grumble why such and such is happening to us, we complain that other people deserve the trial, or we murmur at the pain and hardship of it all.  Even mature Christians sometimes grumble when trials come.  If the trial...

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image(This is a re-post from April, 2010)

This section of Os Guinness’ book, God in the Dark, came to mind when I was recently studying the repeated command of YHWH to his people: Remember the day you came out of Egypt…  Remember that the LORD your God redeemed you… Do not forget...

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Monday, 15 May 2017 01:42

The Danger of Idols (Lints)

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Not many people in our American culture worship and bow down to physical images and statues.  Instead, our idols are things like money, entertainment, sports, sex, health, fitness, image, relationships, and work.  But whether the idol is an actual statue or something like football or a...

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Saturday, 13 May 2017 01:55

Servants Bowing Before the Word (Monod)

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 image  Adolphe Monod was a French preacher in the first half of the 19th century.  After serving as a pastor for some years, he became very ill and could no longer preach.  Yet even on his sick bed he would write sermons and preach sermons to the people who came to visit. ...

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Friday, 12 May 2017 04:56

A Good Theologian or a Bad One? (Sproul)

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image These are some helpful words from R. C. Sproul in his 1977 publication, Knowing Scripture. It was true 40 years ago; it’s still true today:

“Countless times I have heard Christians say, ‘Why do I need to study doctrine or theology when all I need to know is Jesus?’  My...

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Thursday, 11 May 2017 05:39

Cage Phase Calvinists (Newton)

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image Sometimes Calvinists are arrogant jerks.  They learn about predestination, limited atonement, etc., and this leads them to arrogantly think they know it all.  They don’t show much love, patience, or tenderness when talking about the things of God.   This is what has been...

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image In the era of celebrity pastors and famous preachers who have thousands of “likes” and (sadly) even fans, it’s very important to remember that Christ’s church is greater than her pastors.  Pastors serve for 10, 20, or 30 years; maybe sometimes they even serve 50 or 60...

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 06:46

The Rewards of Heaven (Hodge)

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image Below is a helpful way to talk about justification through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone and the rewards of heaven promised in Scripture (Mt. 6:4, Mk. 9:41, 1 Cor. 3:14, etc.).  They are not contradictory!  I appreciate the emphasis on grace and Christ’s work:

…...

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Monday, 08 May 2017 01:21

Judged According to Works? (Vos)

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image The Bible teaches that sinful people cannot earn salvation or contribute to their salvation.  Justification and eternal life are free gifts of God received by faith alone in Christ alone (Rom 4:1-8, Gal. 2:15-16, Eph 2:8, etc.).  Or as the Heidelberg Catechism says, the good we do...

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Saturday, 06 May 2017 00:52

With His People in the Wilderness

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image  When God’s people were in the wilderness, one thing that stands out is how God was always with them.  In his faithfulness and despite their sinful stumbling, God never left his people nor did he forsake them.  I like how Timothy Laniak describes how Yahweh was with his people...

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image After a cursory reading of two texts that seemingly contradict each other, many New Testament critics simply say the Bible has errors.  Their logic usually goes like this: “Mark said one thing, Matthew said another.  Both can’t be right.  Therefore, the Bible has errors...

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Tuesday, 02 May 2017 04:49

On Skipping the Second Service (Newton)

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image In the history of Protestantism, many churches have had two worship services on the Lord’s Day.  There is biblical warrant for this: the morning and evening prayers/offerings in Scripture and the fact that the risen Jesus met with his disciples on the morning and evening of the first...

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image A pastor’s marriage is a very important part of his life and ministry.  A pastor should be an excellent Christian example of what it means for a husband to serve, cherish, nourish, and love his wife in a humble, Christ-like way.  Samuel Miller(d. 1850) gave some outstanding advice...

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Saturday, 29 April 2017 01:19

Children at the Lord’s Supper? (Bavinck)

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image Historic Reformed and Presbyterian churches typically do not serve the Lord’s Supper to young children.  There are good biblical, theological, and practical reasons for this.  I appreciate Herman Bavinck’s discussion of this topic, which sounds like other Reformed...

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:48

To Christians Who Suffer

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image Some Christians suffer more than others.  God, in his mysterious sovereignty, has given some of his children a more difficult lot and heavier load than others.  Depression, chronic illness, handicaps, intense family conflict, mental illness, and other trials are the hard lot of some...

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 06:08

Know These Two Things: Law and Gospel

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image Here’s a wonderful section of Walter Marshall’s 1692 publication, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:

The most effectual knowledge for your salvation is to understand these two points: 1) the desperate sinfulness and misery of your own natural condition, and 2) the alone sufficiency...

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Monday, 24 April 2017 05:15

American Revivalist Hymns (Marsden)

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image (This is a repost from February, 2012).

Many aspects of today’s shallow American hymnody are rooted in the 19th-century revivals.   This is a huge topic, of course, but to get a little glimpse I like how George Marsden writes about it in Fundamentalism and American Culture.

“The...

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Saturday, 22 April 2017 06:41

Why God Allows Satan’s Temptations (Watson)

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image Why does God allow Satan to tempt Christians?  If he is sovereign, why doesn’t he just make some kind of force field around us, so to speak, so that Satan can’t touch us?  Temptations are a hard part of the Christian life, so why does our heavenly Father allow us to be...

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 06:06

Rational but not Rationalistic (Guinness)

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image As I’ve mentioned here before, Guinness’ God in the Dark is my favorite book when it comes to tackling doubt from a solid Christian perspective.  I was reading part of it again this morning and came across a helpful section on reason and faith and how they relate to doubt.

Guinness...

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image Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (recently reprinted by Lexham Press) is an excellent resource to have when studying Matthew 5-7.  The language/translation is a bit dated, but it is outstanding and well worth the effort.  Today I read the following, which I...

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Monday, 17 April 2017 05:04

In the Pastoral Ministry… (Miller)

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image Samuel Miller was a Presbyterian pastor in New York City and Princeton Seminary professor from around 1793-1850. Below is one example of his excellent pastoral teaching.  It is still applicable for pastors today:

In preaching the gospel, and in all your ministrations, whether public or...

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