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

Think Theology - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 17:00

"Righteous Lot"?

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It always sounds wrong when you read 2 Peter 2 and find that reference to "righteous Lot." How on earth can a man who offers his virgin daughters to gang rapists, in lieu of the angelic guests he is unknowingly entertaining, be described as "righteous"? Is Peter commending this behaviour? Are we...

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Monday, 13 August 2018 17:00

Is the Old Testament Dying?

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A few weeks ago I sat in a room in Durham where around 100 Old Testament scholars and postgraduate students had gathered for the summer meeting of the Society of Old Testament Study. The first paper was presented by Brent Strawn, Professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology, Emory...

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Yesterday, I looked at the first five arguments in Eric Davis' article, 'Why there is no such thing as the gift of tongues'. Today I look at the remaining six.

6. The similarities between Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14

Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 14 speak of the same gift and therefore 1 Corinthians 14...

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The gift of tongues is weird. Let's be honest. But I've always believed in it. I've grown up in a church culture where the gift was believed to be for today and was expected and enjoyed. I've also never seen how a biblical case can be made that the gift isn't for today. So, as you can image, when I...

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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 17:00

Reformation Worship

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Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey's Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present is a remarkable collection. They have collated a huge range of resources—from Luther, Oecolampadius, Zwingli, Farel, Coverdale, Bucer, Calvin, Cranmer, Knox, and a number of others—which...

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Sunday, 05 August 2018 17:00

Soundbites for the Sexual Revolution

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In the huge changes western society has gone through in attitudes to sex the church has tended to be very poor both at telling the deep story of human sexuality and at providing soundbites that catch the attention. On Think we’ve often tried to do the former; here I have a go at the latter.

Wh...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 17:00

Mindfulness: A Guest Post from Rachel Ruddy

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Mindfulness is the buzzword in mental health at the moment. It is the panacea that will make all things right (a bit like cognitive behavioural therapy ten years ago). There are mindfulness groups in workplaces, it has entered our schools and there is even a mindfulness group in the Houses of...

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 17:00

The Square and the Tower

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I was four hundred pages into Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower before it paid off. I don’t usually give books that long, but I’ve enjoyed lots of Ferguson’s writing before, and I wanted to see where this one was going. For the most part, it’s a bitty...

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Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Society of Old Testament Study’s summer meeting. SOTS is a gathering of around 100 Old Testament scholars and PhD students (of which I am neither – but thankfully there is also some leeway for prospective PhD students) who meet twice a year...

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Sunday, 29 July 2018 17:00

Taming Technology

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Last week I received an email from my kids’ school explaining why from September phones & other mobile devices are going to be banned:

• While technology can bring advantages to teaching and learning its use in schools has been shown to have a negative impact on working memory. •...

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Recently I came across a stirring and powerful message from a woman whom I greatly respect. She was calling the Church to celebrate the vital place of women in Christian mission and ministry, and to recognise the ways in which we have (whether intentionally or accidentally) marginalised the...

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018 17:00

Andrew, Roger, Sam amp; Wendell

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That as he approaches the significant point of turning 40 Andrew should be developing a more mature political philosophy is reassuring – perhaps all my efforts have not been in vain after all.

As Andrew identifies, there is difference between a conservative philosophy and a Conservative party...

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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 17:00

Seven Satanic Strategies

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The Dragon in Revelation has seven diadems (12:3). For James Jordan, these correspond to the seven names Satan has in the book, and thus to the different ways in which Satan attacks the Church:

- Wormwood (8:11). He poisons, so that the gifts God has given to edify and refresh us (especially the...

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Sunday, 22 July 2018 17:00

The Case for Conservatism

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Roger Scruton's Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition is a short, clear and beautifully written exposition of conservatism. (Matt Hosier will raise his eyebrows at an opening sentence like that; he has assured me for years that I will switch from left to right at age 40, and I've only...

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I don't know how Justin Brierley does it, but he gets the most fantastic guests on his show Unbelievable. In this clip from a forthcoming episode, Tom Holland explains to Tom Wright why he changed his mind about Christianity: specifically, how he came to realise that his assumptions about liberty,...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 16:42

How to Spot a Spiritual Mother

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Suppose, per the recent THINK conference, we grant that the church should be a family, and that male and female roles and relationships within that family will be analogous to father and mothers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters (and I realise that isn’t a given for all my...

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Facebook is a BUMMER, argues Jaron Lanier. So is Google. So are Instagram, and Twitter, and Snapchat, and even WhatsApp. They are all based on the BUMMER system, in which Behaviors of Users are Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent, and Lanier, a Silicon Valley pioneer-turned-sceptic, makes a...

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Another awards ceremony, another celebrity name-checking God. At the Brits, it was Stormzy, at the recent MTV awards, it was Chris Pratt, whose nine rules for life caused quite a stir in internetland.

Pratt certainly went a bit further than your typical ‘I want to thank God, for without him...

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Sunday, 15 July 2018 17:00

A Hurtado Cortado

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Larry Hurtado's work on early Christian devotion to Jesus has been enormously influential, and provides important correctives to alternative academic (Bousset) and popular (Ehrman) genealogies. But because it has been communicated through multiple scholarly monographs, rather than popular...

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Thursday, 12 July 2018 17:00

Writing as Measurement

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Here's Peter Leithart on the word κάλαμος ("reed") in Revelation 11:1 (emphasis added):

κάλαμος can refer to a writing implement, a pen. Having eaten and digested the heavenly book, [John] is ready to take up the...

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The THINK conference 2018 was, as regular readers will know by now, on The Future of Complementarity. Your perception of any topic is shaped by your experiences, but that of complementarity is perhaps more so than most. From our earliest moments our brains are forming the patterns of understanding...

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018 17:16

Keller in Parliament

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If you haven't seen (or listened to) Tim Keller's recent address at the parliamentary prayer breakfast, it's well worth twenty-five minutes. It is a superb example of winsome apologetics, and concludes with two thoughtful exhortations: to the church, that we should use the premises of the...

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Sunday, 08 July 2018 17:00

Resources on Diversity

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Since moving to join the team at King's Church London two years ago, the subject that I have had the most to learn about has been the subject of diversity. I didn’t know much history (of Africa, empire, white supremacy, slavery, the civil rights movement, more recent developments in America...

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Saturday, 07 July 2018 19:05

Who's Converting Who?

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The Government's announcement that it intends to ban 'gay-conversion therapy' has won plaudits. But whether it is a move that will really help people or is rather merely a case of virtue signalling ("We're gayer than you are so we can't be the nasty party anymore") is debatable. In a very helpful...

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Thursday, 05 July 2018 17:00

Similarity, Vulnerability and Complementarity

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We’ve had a wonderful time at THINK this week, on The Future of Complementarity. The main sessions will be posted here over the next few weeks, but lots of people have already asked for Jen Wilkin’s outstanding message which we showed in our opening session, in which she talks about the...

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