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

Gospel Relevance - Apologetic Report
Note: This guest contribution by Amy Simpsonis an excerpt from her book, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission.

If you want to help your church be more faithful and effective in ministering to those with mental illness and overcoming its related stigmas, what do you do?...

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Monday, 08 July 2019 22:00

On Taking Preaching Advice

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Bob and Barry are two preachers you admire. You want to seek their wisdom on preaching, so you individually invite them out to coffee. You promise to pick up the tab as long as they’ll be open to your questions. They agree. You meet for coffee with both men excited to fire off your questions,...

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Monday, 01 July 2019 22:00

John Stott’s Daily Prayer

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Our church is about to go through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). One resource I will use for this series isCultivating the Fruit of the Spirit by Christopher J.H. Wright. I’ve read and enjoyed multiple Wright books in the past so I’m eager to jump into this one. In the...

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“When did you receive your call to ministry?”

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I’ve been asked this a lot lately. When asked this question, I feel a mild sense of pressure to share a hyper-spiritual experience that will captivate my listeners and validate my calling. After asking the question, the inquisitor leans...

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If you’re thinking about seminary, below you can find six things to consider to help you choose the right one. I have in mind those interested in the Master of Divinity program.

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In no particular order:

1. The Faculty Factor

Many will tell you to choose a seminary based on the seminary faculty....

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Monday, 10 June 2019 22:00

Spiritual Fruit Grows Slowly

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I have braces. As a result, I must see an orthodontist every month. My conversation with her goes something like this:

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She asks me how’s it going. I tell her it’s not going well. She asks me why. I tell her I’m not seeing any results. She affirms me that I am. I affirm her that...

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Sunday, 02 June 2019 22:00

A Personal Update

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There’s been a lot going on lately. As much as I dislike writing about my personal life on my public blog, I want to give a quick update to inform readers of this site about some life changes. This personal update mostly consists of two things: a degree and a pastoral ministry call.

A Degree

For...

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Monday, 27 May 2019 21:52

How to Read and Understand a Difficult Book

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imageI’ve spent the past couple of years reading difficult books. Most of them have been rigorously academic. They can be tough to read, but if you learn how to read them well, there’s gold on the other side.

But why read a difficult book?

Why Read Difficult Books

The goal is to read hard books...

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Monday, 20 May 2019 22:35

Top 20 Best Books I Read in Seminary

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I did it — I’m officially a Master of Divinity graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary. I walked across that stage Friday of last week, and I feel honored to have been able to formally study theology at a great institution. Don’t get me wrong — I’m exhausted. These...

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Note: This is an excerpt from Benjamin Vrbicek’s book,Don’t Just Send a Resume: How to Find the Right Job in a Local Church. Used with permission.

One of the best things you can do in the job-search process is ask questions. I have created some of the questions below from scratch and...

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Sunday, 05 May 2019 22:02

3 New Books on Calvinism

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From my finite perspective, 2019 has been a pretty good year so far for Christian books. In March and April we particularly saw a flurry of good books in part because of The Gospel Coalition conference, and the influence TGC has on both Christian readers and publishers. One of the trends I’ve...

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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:07

Book Blurbs (January – April 2019)

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Book Blurbs is a segment on the blog where I list books I’m reading along with a brief blurb about each book. The aim is to help you identify new authors and potential books of interests. Maybe I didn’t read every word of every page, but I read enough to mention them. You can find...

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Thursday, 18 April 2019 01:02

Was Jesus Rejected by The Father on The Cross?

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It’s passion week. On Good Friday, Christians tend to think more about the cross than usual. One thing I’ve heard from many over the years is that when Jesus died on the cross, the Father rejected him. When Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”...

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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:01

The Storyline of Scripture

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The Bible is not one book. Rather, the Bible consists of 66 books: 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. When you first start reading the Bible, it can seem like a bunch of isolated messages. But there is a continuity to the whole thing. The more you study it, the more you’ll...

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 23:57

How the Church Can Help with Mental Illness

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Note: This is a guest contribution by Amy Simpson. She is the author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission.

My mother has seen multiple psychiatrists, counselors, and other mental-health professionals. She has seen the inside of more than one mental-health hospital,...

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Sunday, 31 March 2019 23:36

Why We Get Overwhelmed

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It sounds like the beginning of a painfully obvious question, but I want to ask it anyway: Why do you get overwhelmed? I’ve been thinking more about this as my responsibilities have grown over the past year. It’s encouraging to know that an overwhelming season of life is something we...

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Sunday, 24 March 2019 23:11

John Piper’s Regrets in Ministry

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I love watching or reading interviews with Christian leaders. Interviews give us an opportunity to learn real and raw information about someone, often because the one being interviewed is caught off guard. Who you truly are is revealed when you are surprised. Sometimes I re-watch interviews because...

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Monday, 18 March 2019 00:03

The Blessing of the Gift of Prayer

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about the benefits of being a Christian. There are so many that I hardly know where to start. I can easily write about the gifts of justification, sanctification, or adoption (and many others similar to it). But in this post, I want to keep it simple. I want to...

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You might be able to list the ten commandments in order, but do you know what they forbid and promote?

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I used to think I knew the ten commandments pretty well. “Thou shall not steal.” Got it. Won’t steal anyone’s stuff. As long as I do that I’m good, right? Not...

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Sunday, 03 March 2019 22:49

7 Best Theology Books for Beginners

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Theology is for every Christian — not just pastors and ministry leaders. It is my belief that, if accompanied by prayer and obedience, the discipline and practice of studying theology will be one of the primary means of sanctification in your life. But with so many books available on the...

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Sunday, 24 February 2019 22:36

The Best Book of the Bible for New Believers

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You are a new Christian. Or someone that you know is a new Christian. You (or they) want to start reading the Bible. Where should you begin? In other words, what’s the best book of the Bible for new believers?

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The word “best” here is subjective. What I think and what someone else...

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Do you treasure books of the Bible like 1 Chronicles? If you follow a Bible reading plan you’ll read through the Old Testament. But there’s a difference between having to read something and feeling like you get to read something. And for many, certain Old Testament books feel obligatory...

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Sunday, 10 February 2019 23:00

Why You Believe What You Believe

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Do you believe in infant baptism or believers baptism? Are you Reformed? Concerning the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, are you a continuationist or a cessationist? The answers to these questions sum up some of your theological convictions. You may know what you believe. But do you know how...

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“What books are you reading in seminary?” This is a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past couple of years. As often as I’ve been asked this question, I thought it might be helpful to put together the entire list of books.

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Couple caveats:

1. This list is required reading...

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Sunday, 27 January 2019 23:23

Your Tears Are Not in Vain

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Last week, I wrote about how I became a daddy. I have a son now and I’m in full swing on the dad life. I love it and I love to see him happy. But I hate to see him cry. Call me a newbie, but I’m just not used to all the crying. When he cries, I hurt for him. I want to help. I know I...

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