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, 22 June 2017 17:00

Coming Down the Mountain

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“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.” (Exodus 34:29)

I love a mountaintop experience! Moments of profound encounter with the Lord are to be relished...

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 17:00

Faithful & Joyful in the Secular West

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Jonathan Sacks writes, “You can be a minority, living in a country whose religion, culture, and legal system are not your own, and yet sustain your identity, live your faith and contribute to the common good.” Christians in the west have long been used to living in countries where the...

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 17:00

Humanism and Flying Saucers

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The political philosopher John Gray has written a remarkable essay called "Humanism and Flying Saucers," which appears in his volume of collected writings, Gray's Anatomy. He takes Leon Festinger's famous study of a flying saucer cult, and the cognitive dissonance they experienced when their hopes...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 19:55

The Shack: Reposted

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Below is a post (lightly edited) that I published on my personal blog in the days before Think. In that post I anticipated the release of a movie of The Shack and as that has now happened it seems appropriate to rerun the post.

I realise I am way behind the curve on this one, but I have just read The...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 01:48

Standing Firm in the Secular West

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Tim Farron’s decision to stand down as leader of Liberal-Democrats because he was “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader” demonstrated in stark terms the challenges faced by Christians in entering the public sphere. Farron’s...

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Friday, 16 June 2017 08:18

Through the Church

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Dulles Airport, Washington DC. Andrew & I are on the same flight back to the UK but we lost each other somewhere in security. I expect he is elsewhere on the concourse writing a blog post.

Opposite me a woman is reading The Economist: headline, “A gamble gone wrong.” Even in America...

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The UK General Election has defied many of our expectations, and the electorate has now spoken in terms that are difficult for anyone to respond to. I’m not keen on the idea of a hung parliament, especially with difficult negotiations on Brexit lying up ahead. However, the immediate prospect...

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 17:00

Nephilim, Anakim, and Why We Care

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I take it as read that the Nephilim (Gen 6:1-4) were the results of sexual relations between angels and women. Many don't, and I used not to, but I now find the Jewish and early Christian witness compelling, the alternatives (Sethites and Cainites? Kings and harems?) quite unconvincing, and the...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 17:00

The Apologetic of Art

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Why should we care about the arts? What is their unique contribution to humanity? And even more importantly, what is their worth for those of us who follow Jesus?

These are questions that are asked by artist and non-artist alike. Artists, often questioning whether it’s worth bothering with the...

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Thursday, 08 June 2017 17:00

Capitalism and the Conquest of Clothes

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Niall Ferguson is a smart man. As part of my goal to learn more about the eighteenth century this year, I've read histories by C. A. Bayly and Eric Hobsbawm, but Ferguson's writing is at another level. In his provocative book Civilization, he seeks to explain why the West have dominated the Rest in...

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During my years at Bible College, the cessationist faculty, in their endeavour to squash any interest in charismatic life, would argue that only the irresponsible, immature and flamboyant Corinthians were involved in a preoccupation with charismata. From their point of view spiritual gifts could...

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Thursday, 01 June 2017 17:00

The Differences Between Male and Female Brains

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This is a fascinating article in Stanford Medicine on the differences between male and female brains:

... over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and...

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One of my goals for this year has been to learn more about the eighteenth century. And one of the fascinating thought experiments to have emerged from all that—at least, I find it fascinating—is this: what would happen if we picked up the political categories of the eighteenth century,...

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 17:00

Screwtape on Old Books

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C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter 27:

Only the learned read old books, and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so. We have done this by inculcating the Historical Point of View.

The Historical Point of View, put briefly,...

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017 17:00

Disentangling Privilege

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Privilege is being talked about more and more these days, which makes it increasingly important to have a wise, considered and biblically informed perspective on it. Here are three (hopefully) helpful resources to help with that.

First, Jonathan Leeman has written a superb piece on identity...

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This election is surely going to be remembered as the Brexit Election. It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Theresa May manages to get that landslide majority that she wants for the EU negotiations already underway.

There is the drumbeat of possible independence from the United Kingdom as a...

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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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