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, 05 December 2017 15:00

Books of the Year 2017

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It is a huge privilege of my job that I get to read a lot of books, for which I am grateful to God and to the members of King's Church London, and a huge privilege of being alive today that a lot of them are well written, thought-provoking, helpful and cheap. Many of those I read this year were...

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One of the best books I've read this year has been Martin Meredith's sweeping The Fortunes of Africa: A 5000 Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour. It might sound foolhardy, or plain foolish, to try and write the history of an entire continent in one book, and clearly both writer and reader...

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Sunday, 26 November 2017 15:00

In Search of Ancient Roots

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Some leave evangelicalism in search of something older, and either swim the Tiber or head for Constantinople. Others leave evangelicalism in search of something newer, and experiment with less dogmatic, less historically tethered forms of Christian worship. But when they do, what are they actually...

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Thursday, 23 November 2017 20:14

My Latest Book Is Now Out

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A revised version of my PhD thesis, The Warning-Assurance Relationship in 1 Corinthians, has just been published by Mohr Siebeck in WUNT II. It's so exciting to see seven years work come to fruition! The basic idea is summed up on the back of the book:

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians...

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:00

The End of Tyranny

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In what was perhaps the pithiest statement of the week veteran Zimbabwean campaigner David Colthart observed, “We have removed a tyrant but not yet a tyranny.”

It is good when tyrants fall. The resignation of Robert Mugabe deservedly caused huge celebrations on the streets of Harare...

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 15:00

Tips and Tongues

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The gift of tongues, or (as I prefer to call it) the gift of languages, is the most controversial of the all the spiritual gifts we find in the New Testament, and that's saying something. It attracts more extreme comments than any other gift, from both sides of the aisle. Many Pentecostals regard...

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Sunday, 19 November 2017 15:00

What A Beautiful Name

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Reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my son again last week, I was struck once more by the glorious moment when the children first hear the name "Aslan." My son, who has read the book once before, had asked me in chapter three when the Lion would come into the story, so by the time we...

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Thursday, 16 November 2017 15:00

Your Emotions are a Gauge, not a Guide

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Pastoral wisdom here from Jon Bloom, Don't Follow Your Heart:

God designed your emotions to be gauges, not guides. They’re meant to report to you, not rule you. The pattern of your emotions (not every caffeine-induced or sleep-deprived one!) will give you a reading on where your hope is,...

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:00

Dear Phillip

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Maths teacher Joshua Sutcliffe has been suspended from his school during an investigation into him misgendering a pupil. Sutcliffe was interviewed by Phillip Schofield on the This Morning show and a lot of comment was generated. Rather than simply adding to the comment, I decided to write Phillip a...

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:00

Give To Those Who Beg From You

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Should we give to everyone who begs from us? Jesus said we should, after all (Matt 5:42; Luke 6:30). It's an interesting question, because very few people want to disagree with Jesus; at the same time, very few people actually think you should give to literally everyone who asks you for something...

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Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:00

Bourgeois Religion

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R. R. Reno has an excoriating assessment of the current papacy, and the Roman Catholic hierarchy in general, in the most recent edition of First Things. That, given that Reno is himself a devout Catholic, is interesting in itself. But what makes the article such a good read for Protestants is how...

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Thursday, 09 November 2017 15:00

On Confessing Sins and Physical Sickness

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I've often been puzzled by the connection between physical sickness and confessing sins. When James 5:16 says, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed," I find myself quickly wanting to apologise for it. Not that physical sickness is a result of...

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Tuesday, 07 November 2017 15:00

Reformation, Causality and History

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Carl Trueman joined us this week on the Mere Fidelity podcast, and it's probably my favourite episode so far. We mainly focus on the way the Reformation is interpreted, engaging with Roman Catholic writers like Brad Gregory, Christian Smith and Charles Taylor, but branch out into all kinds of...

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Thursday, 02 November 2017 17:00

Lecrae on Grace

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In the responses that followed Lecrae's recent interview on Truth's Table, most of the attention focused on his "divorce" from white evangelicalism. Christianity Today's coverage, John Piper's response to Lecrae, Raymond Chang's open letter, and Brian Loritts' follow up (among others) all engaged...

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Thursday, 02 November 2017 02:21

Abortion is not the only issue

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The 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act has provoked a slew of comment (not least Phil’s excellent contribution on Think). But abortion is not the only ethical issue affecting babies and women’s bodies.

Recently I’ve noticed that when teaching on ethics people are beginning to ask...

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:00

Hermeneutics as Apprenticeship

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There's a recent book about hermeneutics that has been endorsed by Stanley Hauerwas, Kevin Vanhoozer, Michael Gorman, Douglas Moo, Craig Blomberg and Joel Green. It is written by an Australian, which is always fun. It engages with an impressively wide range of biblical scholarship on numerous...

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Sunday, 29 October 2017 17:00

Why Insist on Justification by Grace?

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With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation tomorrow, it's a good time to reflect on the importance of justification by grace. Few places in Scripture insist on it so emphatically, and state the basis of salvation more succinctly, than Titus 3:4-7:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God...

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Thursday, 26 October 2017 17:00

How Holocausts Happen

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This summer, I spent a difficult day at the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. I stepped inside the gas chambers where the Nazi prison guards killed 1.5 million people in two short years and, like the other tourists who stood there with me, I wondered how such a holocaust could have...

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017 17:00

When Hermione Granger Is Black

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Here's Reni Eddo-Lodge, in her recent Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race:

As an adult Harry Potter fan, I’d begun to think of Hermione Granger, with her house-elf liberation campaign, as a well-meaning but guilty-feeling white liberal, taking on a social justice cause with...

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Thursday, 19 October 2017 17:00

A Response on Baptism

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On Wednesday I asked my fellow credobaptists how they (we?) would respond to a convinced and persuaded paedobaptist—John Calvin, say—who wanted to join our local church. A number of friends got in touch with answers, and I think the best one pointed me to this response from John Piper:

I...

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017 17:00

A Question for My Fellow Credobaptists

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Here's a question for my fellow credobaptists. It seems to me that the following statements cannot all be true (at least if the word "baptism" is used in the same way in each case). Which of them do you *not* affirm?

1. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

2. John Calvin (like most...

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Sunday, 15 October 2017 17:00

Bible Reading That Satan Leaves Alone

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Bible reading that only collects, or relieves a guilty conscience, or gathers doctrinal arguments, or titillates aesthetic literary tastes, or feeds historical curiosities—this kind of Bible reading Satan is perfectly happy to leave alone. He has already won the battle.

But reading that hopes...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:12

The Problem With Liberal Education

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Mark Lilla's new book The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics is short, punchy, pithy and provocative. In three well-written and brief essays, he summarises the fragmentation and individualism of the American right since Reagan (chapter one), the corresponding disintegration of the...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 17:00

Debunking Girard

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René Girard is intriguing for several reasons, but for me the most intriguing is that so many people take his famous mimetic theory seriously. I've been pointed in his direction numerous times by well-meaning readers (often, it must be said, eager to dissuade me from preaching...

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Thursday, 05 October 2017 17:00

Taking Comfort From Theresa

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Sometimes I think I am surrounded by imbeciles. Despite my best efforts, constant complaining and hectoring, the ‘serving’ teams at Ring of Bright Water seem incapable of turning on a microphone without feedback, putting up song words without a typo or taking up the offering without...

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