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, 18 May 2017 17:00

Jesus Learned Obedience

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Hebrews 5:8 says of Jesus: "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered." It's a puzzling text, because it sounds like it means that Jesus did not know how to obey until he started suffering. It sounds like Jesus was naturally disobedient, like we are, until the experience...

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 20:53

Who Shapes the Canyons?

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"The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them ... May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will...

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 15:11

A Short Theology of Financial Giving

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This short interview with Steve Tibbert, senior pastor at King's Church London, is a masterclass on how to talk about money. Many of us struggle to handle the subject briefly: it can be hard to balance theological nuance with a bold ask, and we can end up either fudging it, or manipulating people....

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Thursday, 11 May 2017 17:00

Kingdom, Hope and the End of the World

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Ian Paul has written an excellent little booklet on eschatology called Kingdom, Hope and the End of the World. Considering how complicated (and controverted) the subject is, Ian does a great job navigating the choppy waters, and expressing a biblical perspective on the end times briefly, clearly...

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Regular readers will know that I think there are two types of "teaching" in the New Testament: a kind which is doctrinally definitive for a church and should be delivered by its accredited leaders (represented in James 3:1 and the Pastorals), and a looser kind that can be exercised by anyone who...

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Thursday, 04 May 2017 17:00

Responding to Open Theism in Fourteen Words

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Because of the controversy over open theism twenty years ago, there is a huge range of books and articles out there, both critiquing it and defending it. Greg Boyd’s website is a fount of free resources in defence; Crossway’s generosity means that in many ways the most significant...

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 17:00

Fighting the Myth of Redemptive Violence

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THE KID Who gets Humperdinck? GRANDFATHER I don't understand. THE KID Who kills Prince Humperdinck? At the end, somebody's got to do it. Is it Inigo? Who?...

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Tuesday, 02 May 2017 17:00

What Is Open Theism?

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So what is open theism? It is the idea that God does not exhaustively know the future, because the future is “open”: what will happen tomorrow is not yet fully determined, but depends in part on the free decisions of God’s creatures. Here’s Richard Rice in The Openness of God...

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Sunday, 30 April 2017 17:00

We Need to Talk About Open Theism

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Open theism is complicated, much-debated and slightly dated, which might make it a strange subject to write about here. It is complicated: there are many varieties of open theism, which means that a response to one strand is not a response to all. It has been much-debated: in books, articles,...

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 17:00

We Do Not See the Answers to Our Own Prayers

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We arise from our holy meeting with God in prayer, we expect a real answer, and we look for it hour by hour. But nothing happens. The illness and distress that have prompted us to pray take their natural course. No almighty hand seems to stay their ravages! What disappointments! What...

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 17:00

Ten Theses on the Benedict Option

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If a book about cultivating Christian virtue hits #7 on the New York Times bestseller list, we should all take notice. That means Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option is worth knowing about. A huge amount has been written about it, especially in the US, but it remains largely unknown in the UK (and in...

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 04:36

Finishing Strong (in 146 seconds)

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Sometimes there's no better metaphor for discipleship than riding a bike...

Authors: Matthew Hosier...

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I think this is an absolutely stunning video. Admittedly I am not unbiased, but the music, cinematography and graphics are superb, and it packs a substantial theological punch, on an important and often controversial issue, in a very short space of time. Hats off to Sam Arnold, Adam and Ellie...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:33

How to Live in an Illiberal Liberalism

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Once upon a time there was a cake. Or rather, there wasn’t. It is perhaps the most talked about non-existent cake in the history of the world.

I expect you’ve heard of it. It was a cake that a family of bakers were asked to bake and decorate with a message supporting gay marriage. They...

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:00

On Acts 29 and Spiritual Gifts

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There's an intriguing discussion taking place within Acts 29 at the moment over whether, and to what extent, miraculous spiritual gifts (like prophecy or healing) continue today. Sam Storms, an Acts 29 pastor who will be known to many readers, has recently released a book called Practising the...

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Thursday, 13 April 2017 17:00

Behold the God-Man

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Some soul food this Good Friday from Gregory of Nazianzus, The Third Theological Oration: On the Son 1, 19-20:

He was tempted as Man, but he conquered as God. He hungered, but he fed thousands. He thirsted, but he cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” He was...

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017 17:00

"On The Night He Was Handed Over" - But By Whom?

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Tonight we remember the handing over of Jesus after the Last Supper: "who, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it ..." (1 Cor 11:23). That Jesus was "handed over" or "betrayed" (paradidomi) that night is at the centre of our faith. But "handed over" or...

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Brett McCracken is one of the most interesting and thoughtful Millennial writers emerging from the USA. Among others, he has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and CNN.com, and brings a clear Christian voice to contemporary issues. I recently caught up with...

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Monday, 27 March 2017 17:00

On Not Having Your Cake, but Eating It

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There’s something weird going on out there in liberal-land. It’s causing a clash of individualisms that would be laughable if it wasn’t so damaging to so many.

It’s all to do with how you know whether someone is a boy or a girl.

If they’re in the womb, the doctor can...

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Monday, 20 March 2017 16:18

Keep Off the Grass: An Allegory

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Once upon a time, in a college somewhere in England, there was a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass’. Most people, being obedient types, kept off the grass, though once in a while someone did cut across a corner of it, or even run right across the middle if they felt the consequences of not...

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:00

Anglican Observations

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The recent selection, and then withdrawal, of Philip North as Bishop of Sheffield generated a lot of spilled ink and emotional-blood among Anglican commentators. North’s withdrawal seems to mean that it will no longer be possible for a ‘traditionalist’ who disagrees with the...

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:00

Sam Allberry, Synod and Same-Sex Attraction

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I don't know why this only appeared in my twitter feed last Friday, but it's a follow-up Q&A by Ravi Zacharias Ministries after 'that' speech at the Church of England Synod last month. (If you don't know to which speech I'm referring, just click through, the short video clip is reproduced...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 15:00

Sympathy for Jonah

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David Benjamin Blower is a musician, writer and community theologian from south Birmingham, UK. For the last ten years he’s been making apocalyptic junk-folk music – sort of protest music in the spirit of the biblical prophets - writing books and, as he puts it ‘experimenting with...

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:00

A Little Communion W(h)ine

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In Andrew's annual Lenten absence from this blog, I feel obligated to try harder than usual to find things to blog about, and since he often posts other people's posts with a bit of commentary, I think I'll give that a go.

This, by Luke T Harrington, is an excellent (in the sense that it agrees with...

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Sunday, 26 February 2017 15:00

What Did the Tearing of the Temple Curtain Mean?

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I've always taught, and assumed, that the meaning of the temple curtain at the moment of Jesus' death is fairly straightforward: it removes the barrier between God and man. I wrote a whole chapter in my book GodStories about this, and it honestly never occurred to me that anything else might be...

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