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, 24 January 2019 15:00

Three Features of Christian Prophecy

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Richard Bauckham identifies three features of Christian prophecy, which I find very helpful in thinking on the subject: discernment, prediction and response.

First, there is discernment of the contemporary situation by prophetic insight into God’s nature and purpose. We have noticed...

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 15:00

The Freedom of the Gender Binary

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There was a time in my childhood when I thought I was a girl. Though externally I looked like a boy, and everyone thought I was a boy, I believed that internally I was a girl. I remember being afraid that one day I would get pregnant (obviously before I understood how these things work!) and that...

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This piece is a response of sorts to the conversation over at Mere Orthodoxy between Gavin Ortlund and Jonathan Leeman (both Baptists) who discuss the theological conundrum of church membership and the Lord’s Supper in relation to differing views of baptism (all links can be found here)....

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Thursday, 17 January 2019 22:56

Is having a child a right?

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Is having a baby that results from a loving relationship the same as having a baby being created via a business transaction?

That is a question posed by Mirah Riben. Surrogacy is becoming an increasingly important ethical issue, with governments around the world, including the UK, indicating that...

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Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:00

When Did Britain Become Post-Victorian?

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David Cannadine's Victorious Century: The United Kingdom, 1800-1906 strikes me as a fairly old-school sort of history book: a careful account of politicians and laws, men in suits and the Acts they passed. It is top-down history, and the contrast with bottom-up accounts of similar periods, like...

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019 15:01

When the tricks of the trade don't work

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On Tuesday, Andrew Bunt posted some of his ‘tricks of the trade’ in wrestling with knotty ethical issues. The first was to focus on what the Bible says before working out how to apply it.

To many of our readers, I imagine that seemed obvious. Yes, we might forget it sometimes, and...

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 15:00

Would You Excommunicate Tim Keller?

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There has been a fascinating discussion recently over whether, and in what circumstances, Baptist churches should welcome paedobaptists into membership and/or to the Lord's Supper. (That "and/or" is crucial to the discussion, as we shall see.) Gavin Ortlund says yes and yes, on the basis that...

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Monday, 14 January 2019 15:30

Some Tricks of the Trade

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I recently spent a few sessions helping a group of pastors to think through their position on a complex ethical issue. At the end of one of these sessions, one of the group came up to me and asked if something I had kept doing in the discussion was one my tricks. (He then realised what he had said...

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Sunday, 13 January 2019 14:27

Jon Haidt, Tim Keller and Me

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Recently I had the privilege of having two fascinating conversations with writers I admire: Jon Haidt, on his books The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind, and Tim Keller, on his The Prodigal Prophet. The former, on Justin Brierley's excellent show Unbelievable, was about why...

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Thursday, 10 January 2019 15:00

A Movement is Afoot

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"A movement is afoot," says Tim Challies in his (very encouraging) review of Spirit and Sacrament, which released on Tuesday. Until now, Tim explains, there have been a substantial number of professing charismatics in what he calls "New Calvinist" circles—John Piper, Don Carson, Wayne Grudem,...

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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 15:00

Dementia in the Trans-Physical Age

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My dad can’t remember my name any more. It’s unspeakably sad, not least because he is only in his mid-sixties. He knows he likes me, and even trusts me, but he’s not sure why. He often affirms that I’m ‘a good man’and I respond by telling him that I love him,...

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Tuesday, 08 January 2019 15:00

Reparations: Four Thought Experiments

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Reparation is defined as "the action of making amends for a wrong one has done, by providing payment or other assistance to those who have been wronged." That sounds like something Christians should be into, as and when we have wronged others; it sounds like what John the Baptist told people to do...

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Monday, 07 January 2019 15:00

Film Review of 2018

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Another year has passed, another selection of critically acclaimed films that I didn’t see. As I, once more, missed some of the biggest critical hitters, it’s worth asking whether my opinion on the best films of the year is valid. (Short answer: it isn’t).  I haven’t...

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Sunday, 06 January 2019 22:43

TGC Reviews Echoes of Exodus

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Justin Dillehay has a great review of Echoes of Exodus over at The Gospel Coalition today. Here’s the conclusion:

First, the exodus highlights both our liberty and also our responsibility. The Israelites weren’t delivered from Egypt in order to “wander off and do their own...

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Thursday, 03 January 2019 15:00

What is the Difference Between Play and Work?

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What is the difference between play and work? Consider this comment from George Orwell's marvellous The Road to Wigan Pier—which, as with most of Orwell's writings, is both profound and beautifully written—and then I'll mention three things I find interesting about it.

What is work and...

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Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:35

Sunshine for the Soul

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This is the exchange which out of his measureless goodness he has made with us: that, receiving our poverty unto himself he has transferred his wealth to us; that taking our weakness upon himself he has strengthened us by his power; that having received our mortality he has given us his...

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Tuesday, 01 January 2019 14:56

2019: A Look Ahead

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“You do not know what tomorrow will bring,” warns the apostle James. “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” In that spirit,...

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Thursday, 20 December 2018 18:15

On Earth As In Heaven

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Fifty years ago today an event happened that changed our view of the world forever. Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders were blasted into space on the Apollo 8 mission and became the first human beings to see the dark side of the moon and the first to witness “Earthrise.”

That...

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Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:04

Global Glory

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“…who, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really thought that the shame of the cross was the worst thing about it. Yet sitting reading some other section of the Bible one morning last month,...

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018 15:00

Making Sense of Sexuality

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For many people, the Bible’s teaching on sexuality and gender just doesn’t make sense. (And that probably includes a lot of people in our churches!) 'How can God expect people to live in such a way that they have to deny who they really are?' 'How can such oppressive ideas claim to be...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 22:25

The Real Review of the Year

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With Andrew’s review of 2018 recommending R-rated movies and clips with four-letter words it once again falls to me to restore order and decorum to this blog. My hopes for Brother Wilson showing a growth in decency, as well as intellect, in 2019 are strong, despite being so often dashed...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 15:00

Review of the Year 2018

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At the end of every year I offer a few highlights, which are usually as arbitrary as they are personal. I've already posted my list of books (which I tend to do at the start of December, partly to make recommendations in time for Christmas); this is more of a personal Oscars. Make of it what you...

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Sunday, 16 December 2018 15:00

Dying well this Christmas

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One of the privileges of being a pastor is watching people die.

That might seem a strange thing to say. We live in a culture which while parading any number of gruesome ways to die in its entertainment is remarkably shy about facing the reality. We have removed death from the home and placed it in...

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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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