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
Thursday, 13 December 2018 20:39

Where the book-worm will not die #8230;

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I’m sure I was not the only one who read Andrew Wilson’s Books of the Year and imagined a paraphrase of Ecclesiastes: “Of reviewing many books there is no end, and such blog posts weary the body” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

Didn’t Jesus say something along the lines of not...

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Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:00

Trading Personhood for Power

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How is it that we live in societies of great abundance and prosperity, unparalleled in history in terms of the wealth and health we enjoy, and yet those societies are plagued by a chronic problem with loneliness? In the UK, up to 20% of people report feeling lonely most or all of the time and 75%...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 15:00

What You’ve Been Reading on Think

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In those days Google Analytics issued a report of all that had been read on Think in the entire year. (This was the eighth such report that took place while Pollock, Wilson and Hosier were governors of Think.) And everyone was intrigued by what had been going on.

And lo, a great company has been...

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Monday, 10 December 2018 15:00

What Not to Say When Someone Confesses Their Sin

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Confession: I waste an awful lot of my time. Just comparing Andrew Wilson's reading list for the year with mine puts me to shame. And I haven't written as many blog posts (or books) delivered as many sermons, or organised as many conferences as him either. Not by a long chalk! Where does he find...

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Sunday, 09 December 2018 15:00

(A Smaller Collection of) Books of the Year 2018

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I’m sure that many of us share the same mix of feelings when Andrew posts his annual summary of the best books he has read that year: a combination of gratitude for his hard work, interest in some of the titles mentioned, and a healthy dose of humility as we wonder how a list of almost 100...

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Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:30

An Interview with David Bennett

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Last month I posted about David Bennett’s new book, A War of Loves. The book tells the story of David’s journey from being a gay activist to a follower of Jesus committed to celibacy. I found one of the real strengths of David’s book to be that he gives fresh and thought-provoking...

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Tuesday, 04 December 2018 15:00

Is Advent Backwards?

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“Does Advent run backwards? The movement is from the second coming to the first coming; it doesn’t seem to make sense. The season begins with the last things and ends with the nativity in Bethlehem. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

Not really. The rhythm of the church’s...

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Sunday, 02 December 2018 15:00

Books of the Year 2018

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This is probably the best year of books that I can remember (or perhaps I've just had more practice at choosing which ones to read). Several books that would make a lot of top tens didn't quite this time around: Karen Swallow Prior's On Reading Well, Ross Douthat’s To Change the Church and...

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Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:00

The Curious Case of the Growth Conference

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I went to a conference recently that left a rather curious taste in the mouth. If you’ve been around the church for a while, especially in a leadership capacity, you may even have been to it yourself. It was called the Growth conference, and it was all about how people can get bigger. The...

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018 15:30

Why I’m Wary of ‘the Presence of God’

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There’s a lot of talk of ‘the presence of God’ these days. We want to ‘encounter the presence of God’, to ‘be filled with the presence of God’ and to ‘host the presence’. We want to be ‘carriers of the presence’, and we refuse...

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018 15:00

Can We Trust the Gospels?

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In one of the best books I've read this year, Peter Williams asks the simple question: Can we trust the Gospels? It's a question that you know will lead to an affirmative answer (it reminds me of Bruno Gianelli's comment in The West Wing: "Next week: Grandma—Friend or Foe?"), but Peter...

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Sunday, 25 November 2018 15:00

The Revenge of the East

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If you want to understand Asia today, argues Pankaj Mishra in his magnificent From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia, you have to understand that from Istanbul to Tokyo, key thinkers and activists throughout the 19th and 20th centuries were trying to respond...

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Thursday, 22 November 2018 15:30

Christmas in Context

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Christmas only makes sense in context. You quickly realise that when you start to read the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke. Who are David and Abraham and what’s the big deal about this Jesus Christ guy being their descendant? (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 1:27; 2:4) For that matter, what’s...

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:00

THINK 2019: Revelation

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It's exciting for me to launch next year's THINK conference on the book of Revelation, to be held at King's Church London from 9-11 July. You can book in here; I should warn you that over half of the tickets have already gone, so you might want to get onto it now, rather than leaving it until the...

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Monday, 19 November 2018 15:00

When I grow up ...

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For the first couple of decades of life it seems we're constantly - or at least regularly - asked what we want to be when we grow up/leave school/graduate. And in our work-obsessed culture, that's code for 'what job do you want to do?' Unsurprising, then, that by the time we have a job, people stop...

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Kyle Harper has an outstanding essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books on the Nazareth Inscription, an intriguing prohibition of the removal of corpses from tombs from the early years of the Roman Empire. This section is especially good:

The Christian proclamation is rooted in time and space. The...

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Thursday, 15 November 2018 15:00

ETS II: My Response to Tom Schreiner

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The opening section of my response to Tom Schreiner overlapped with the summary of his argument I posted on Friday, so I won’t rehash that here. Instead I’ll focus on my disagreements with him, which in the end boil down to just three things:

1) Whether all New Testament prophecy is...

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It is a huge privilege to open this discussion on spiritual gifts, with individuals from whom I have learned so much in so many areas. Thank you, Patrick, for making this possible—and for letting me go first. “The first to present his case seems right … until another comes and...

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As subtitles go, this has got to be one of the best and most intriguing. It’s the subtitle of A War of Loves by David Bennett which releases later this month (or today in the States!) I had the real privilege of spending some time with David and this year’s Newday event. He is one of...

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Sunday, 11 November 2018 15:00

The Gospel and Class: Six Struggles

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Acts 29's conference on The Gospel and Class included some incredibly insightful, and sometimes moving, sessions from Mez McConnell, Ian Williamson and others. There were all sorts of thought-provoking and challenging ideas thrown out, some of which I did not expect at all (like the repeated digs...

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Thursday, 08 November 2018 15:00

Turtles, Poppies and Jesus Only

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Has any domestic object ever gone from unobserved ubiquity to mass condemnation so quickly as the disposable plastic straw? Plastic is the enemy. We’ve all seen the pictures of turtles and other marine life gagging on the refuse of throwaway humans. We know things need to be different.

Yet a...

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Wednesday, 07 November 2018 18:46

The Identity Merry Go Round

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The news that Emile Ratelband, a Dutch ‘media personality’, is pursuing a court case to change his legal age to 49 from his biological age of 69 is amusing.

Predictably Ratelband’s case rests on the fact that biological realities are no longer considered the basis for legal...

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Tuesday, 06 November 2018 15:00

The Best Case for Cessationism

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Next week I will be in Denver for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The theme of the conference is the Holy Spirit, and on the first morning I have the huge (if very intimidating) privilege of being in a panel discussion with Tom Schreiner, Sam Storms and Ligon Duncan on...

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Thursday, 01 November 2018 17:02

Reaching Bedrock with God's Grace

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Tim Keller's The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy is one of his best books yet. It is certainly my favourite of his biblical or devotional titles, and one of those rare books whose title alone is sufficient to prompt extended reflection on the gospel of grace. (I, for one, had...

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:00

Living by the Mountain

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'Africa’s coastline? Great beaches, really, really lovely beaches, but terrible natural harbours. Rivers? Amazing rivers, but most of them are rubbish for actually transporting anything, given that every few miles you go over a waterfall. These are just two in a long list of problems which...

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