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

Exiled Preacher - Apologetic Report
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Like many people, at least in the UK, I first came across Jordan Peterson when his interview with Channel 4's Cathy Newman went viral. See here if you've been living on another planet of late and haven't yet seen it. I was impressed with Peterson's ability to hold to his own...

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Christian Focus, 2018, 231 pp 
It is a momentous thing for a man to feel that the Lord is calling him to gospel ministry. Michael A. Milton sets out to guide his readers though the various stages of responding to the Lord’s call. His work is full of practical hints and tips, often drawn...

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Thursday, 03 January 2019 22:03

Facing the Future with Hope

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Standing at the threshold of a new year is exciting and daunting for the same reason. None of us has got a clue what’s going to happen in the next twelve months. If we knew exactly what lay ahead of us, life would lack surprises. Where would be the fun in that? That we don’t know...

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 19:59

The Light of the World

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Back in November we paused to remember the end of World War One. On the eve of that conflict UK foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey remarked, ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’. With that sentiment in mind, the dry moat of the...

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Thursday, 15 November 2018 07:02

London Theological Seminary 1988-90

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Yes, I know, they've since re-Christened it 'London Seminary', but when I started there some 30 years ago, it still had the 'Theological' bit. I could have applied to what was then the 'Evangelical Theological College of Wales' in Bridgend (now Union School of Theology - confusing isn't it?),...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:00

Anniversary Services with John Stevens

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We had FIEC National Director, John Stevens, preach for our 208th Providence Baptist Church anniversary services over the weekend. He spoke very helpfully on the Parable of the Sower, Mark 4:1-20, The Parable of the Lost Sheep, Luke 15:1-7 and The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30. You can...

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Monday, 10 September 2018 19:13

Religion and Worldviews: The Way Forwards?

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The Commission on Religious Education Chaired by Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster has published its report, Religion and Worldviews: The Way Forwards. In many ways it is a solid piece of work, surveying the state of Religious Education in a fast changing educational environment. Put simply, the...

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Sunday, 09 September 2018 23:59

John Owen on excommunication and the gospel

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As Mark Dever reminds us in his Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, biblical church discipline is an essential aspect of church life. Church discipline has two main elements: 
1. Formative, which involves teaching the disciples of Jesus to observe all he has commanded us (Matthew...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 01:29

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever

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3rd edition, 2013, Crossway, 300pp
'The Turning'. It's a big thing, apparently. Started in Reading. The founder Yinka Oyekan received a vision from the Lord telling him that unless he managed to get all the churches in his locality working together on a mission, there would be no blessing....

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018 00:39

The ministry as a protected oasis

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The full-time gospel ministry is still a protected oasis. We are relieved of so many of the tensions and temptations that the men to whom we minister are meeting each day. They work with their minds and bodies in this evil world and give their hard-earned money to us so generously that we may spend...

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Sunday, 05 August 2018 20:32

All welcome?

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You would have thought that these days people would give racism short shrift. 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of black teenager, Stephen Lawrence in a racially motivated attack. In a welcome sign that things have moved on since then, there was widespread public outrage over the way...

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 17:00

School governors as public servants

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What are school governors, exactly? We aren't paid a penny for our pains, so we're amateurs. 'No way', say some. 'We're not dabbling dilettantes. Unpaid professionals, us.' I hear what you're saying, but by most definitions, being a pro means at least three things: you get paid, you're qualified,...

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Sunday, 29 July 2018 17:00

The Incredibles 2

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Our children were still young when the original Incredibles movie came out. They loved seeing it in the cinema and must have watched the DVD countless times. As did we. 
A good children's film will also appeal to adults who watch the thing through grown up eyes. The Incredibles series is a case...

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Thursday, 26 July 2018 17:00

An Introduction to the Baptists by Erroll Hulse

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Audubon Press, 2008 edition, 128pp
A friend who has been coming along to our church for a while from a Methodist/Church of England background asked if I could recommend an introduction to the Baptists for her to read. She was interested in our history and beliefs concerning the local church and...

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John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat
by Crawford Gribben, Oxford University Press, 2016, 401pp
'By their books you shall know them'. If the shelves of someone's study are adorned by sixteen white and green volumes, The Works of John Owen, they are likely to be 'Reformed'...

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Tuesday, 19 June 2018 00:03

He also glorified

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Preaching on Romans 8:30 last Sunday, I've been thinking about what it means for believers to be glorified. Glorification does not mean that that our humanity will be absorbed into the divine. That would not be the redemption of man, but his obliteration. Rather, in glorification we shall become...

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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 23:18

Meanwhile in LA Land

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No, I haven't only just watched the blockbuster Hollywood musical. Saw that ages ago. Got to keep the wife happy with an occasional chick-flick. This is about education policy. You'll get no singing and dancing here. Anyway, that's La La Land. 
'You know what's wrong with schools?' asked...

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Tuesday, 05 June 2018 02:09

Rest

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I’m probably showing my age, but I remember the days of the TV test card. It featured a girl playing Noughts and Crosses surrounded by an assortment of soft toys. People used to sit and watch the test card while they waited for programmes to start. It beat watching paint dry, but only...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 00:31

Preaching as the Word of God by Sam Chan

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Preaching as the Word of God:
Answering an Old Question with Speech-Act Theory,
Sam Chan, Pickwick Publications, 2016, 279pp
The Second Helvetic Confession expresses the high view of preaching that obtained among the Reformed churches when it says, 'The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of...

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Thursday, 10 May 2018 21:27

Some more pastor/governors?

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Now, I'm not one of those types who thinks that because they are doing something, so should everyone else. You know, the pastor who has joined the local squash club to get themselves out of the ministerial bubble. They've only been at it a month and a bit, yet that's the thing. All self-respecting...

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Wednesday, 02 May 2018 00:45

Banner of Truth Ministers' Conference 2018 Report

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When I was a younger man with a much sharper memory I used to make extensive notes of the Banner conference addresses. Partly with a view to posting blog reports. Now I'm older and can't retain so much I don't take any notes at all. I prefer to regard the messages as ministry that preaches to my...

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Thursday, 26 April 2018 05:11

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'm not sure what this film was trying to be. Could have been a 'fish out of water' flick. Posh London girl, Juliet Ashton grows to love characterful Channel Islanders. How funny. Could have been a harrowing occupation movie. Jackbooted Nazis...

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Sunday, 22 April 2018 17:00

Banner of Truth Ministers' Conference 2018

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Later today I'll be setting off for the Banner Ministers' Conference. I started to go when I was a student at the London Seminary (1988-90). Back then I was young enough to attend the Youth Conference and then stay on for the Ministers' one. Wouldn't get away with that now. 
I love the blend of...

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Monday, 16 April 2018 02:36

Facebook's Alt-Church Fail

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In a speech last year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted the social network he founded to perform the role that once used to be played by churches. He suggested that with the decline of churchgoing, “people now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else." Sounds very...

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Thursday, 12 April 2018 01:46

A Quiet Place

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It's a post-apocalyptic world. Townships are deserted. Stuff is left on shop shelves for foraging survivors. Survivors like the Abbott family. Husband and wife Lee and Evelyn (real life couple John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt), their daughter, Regan and sons, Marcus and Beau. 
Their...

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