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

Gentle Reformation - Apologetic Report
Saturday, 19 January 2019 03:42

Mis_ _ _ g

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Something has gone missing from our collective psyche. It used to form an essential part of our understanding of life. It helped us navigate a world where bad things happened and prompted us to take precautionary measures. It guarded us against naiveté.

Its disappearance leaves us grasping...

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In the last couple of weeks I have come across two men who professed faith just before their deaths, which has prompted me to think about the subject. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order.

1. The great and gracious good news of the Christian message is that any true conversion, no matter...

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019 18:00

Hanging in There – or Hanging onto Christ?

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Most readers are probably familiar with the phrase, “Hang in there!” It all began with a poster of a Siamese cat hanging from a bamboo pole produced by Los Angeles photographer Victor Baldwin in 1971. The posters became wildly popular and the phrase became (and continues to be) a way to...

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 19:30

Principles of Poverty, part 1

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I have never met a Christian that didn't care about the poor. I'm sure they exist, but in my limited experience, they are thankfully few. But a recent dive into the book of James has taught me that caring for the poor is worlds away from caring well for the poor. And while lots of thought goes into...

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 11:21

3GT Episode 116: Ligonier's State of Theology

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Not too long ago, Ligonier Ministries released its biennial "The State of Theology" survey results. Playing Mr. Gallup Poll himself, our pastor decides to ask the same questions to the parishioner and professor to see how orthodox they are. Given that one is a lawyer, and the other a tease, he...

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Monday, 14 January 2019 01:59

Why the Church Needs to Pray the Imprecatory Psalms

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For those unfamiliar with the term "imprecatory," that word describes sections where the wicked are cursed in the psalms ("imprecation" meaning a curse against someone). Here are a few examples.

Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there...

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Friday, 11 January 2019 21:57

Boldness for Jesus

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Introduction

I've just been working through the Gospel of Matthew in my devotions recently, and I came this morning, 15th of December, the Year of our Lord, 2018 (some four weeks ago now!), to 'Five Reasons for Preachers to Maintain Holy Boldness' in Chapter 10:24-33. The instruction Christ gives...

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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 18:30

A Sympathy for Empathy

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As I’m writing this, some dear friends of mine are continuing to endure Job-caliber suffering.  The worst of it, as is the case with all the suffering in this life, is that their personal pain involves their children.  Both parent and child are suffering life- threatening ailments...

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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 06:27

The Strength of Waiting

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The following guest article is by Jennifer Blankenship. Jennifer is a member of Second Reformed Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis and serves as the church's office manager.

I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another. You’re running late to work or some other important...

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Tuesday, 08 January 2019 20:00

A Day To Be Kept

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In the 1970s, my mother had known Christ for less than a decade. As a young wife and a new mother, she was eager to learn how to live the Christian life. The concept of consciously applying the fourth commandment was still something she was growing in: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it...

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Monday, 07 January 2019 20:51

3GT Episode 115: The Bleep

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In 1972, the comedian George Carlin did a routine on a comedy album about the seven swear words you cannot say on TV.  It led to a Supreme Court case! Yet today those words are regularly thrown around not only on TV but in routine conversation. We live in a vulgar age.

So the guys tackle the...

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Monday, 07 January 2019 07:17

Toward a More Meditative Life

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Quiet.

No, that's not an exclamated command of "Quiet!" at you. Rather, it is an offer, a place noun, hopefully an expression of a desire that you have. You need, and I need, quiet in our lives.

We do not live in a time that encourages quietness and meditation. As Thomas Friedman, columnist for the T...

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Sunday, 06 January 2019 16:35

A Thankful Heart

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A good way to start the day is by turning Psalm 103 into prayer!

This Psalm is all about the Covenant - its blessings (v1-5), LORD (v6-14), permanence (v15-19), and right responses (v20-22) to it.

This song is stirring stuff - it's meant to raise the soul to thanks. Why not turn the blessings section...

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Saturday, 05 January 2019 22:22

No Third Way

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This morning I began to teach the little ones God's songs - the theme of Psalm 1, I explained, was 'Two Ways'.

The first section, I went on, speaks of two paths - the way of the world and the way of the WORD.

The second section, I continued, had two different, telling results - the worldly life...

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Saturday, 05 January 2019 07:00

Designed for smiling

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3000 years ago King Solomon wrote:

A cheerful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13)

Solomon was a people watcher. He knew the power of cheerfulness. But as...

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Friday, 04 January 2019 11:19

The Overgrown Tree of False Theology

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Imagine a tree “run riot into three very large and overgrown branches.” The tree is ancient and gnarly with a large trunk and a canopy that fills the sky. It is impressive to behold, much more revered than the tall trees of California or the ancient oaks that sparsely populate the...

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Thursday, 03 January 2019 07:13

Why Pray for the Media?

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Why pray for the media? The answer is simple. Because God answers prayers offered up for the media.

Consider that in 2018 two of the heralded heroes of Sports Illustrated, Time, ESPNand other major media outlets were Rachael Denhollander and Tyler Trent. Both are Christians who have suffered...

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 18:00

Storing Up God’s Word as a Precious Treasure

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It was an unusually warm winter day, and I had taken the day off. My plan was to engage in some needed inside activity. Then I saw the weather report. 50 degrees? On a December day? Since it had been a pretty busy fall, we hadn’t finished the leaf blowing, and the flower beds and the driveway...

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Tuesday, 01 January 2019 21:15

The Internet's Gifts in 2018

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While probably idiosyncratic and not very comprehensive, this seemed like a good day to reflect on some of the blessings God's brought my way through the internet. Though I love a good internet-bashing session, it remains an incredible tool by which a discerning Christian can gain many good things....

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Monday, 31 December 2018 21:00

3GT Episode 114: P is for Perseverance

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As a child, the parishioner, like many in the evangelical world, went to the altar again...and again...and again. Somehow during those years, it seemed like salvation never stuck. So he raises the question, "Can a believer lose his salvation?" In response, the pastor and professor launch into a...

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Sunday, 30 December 2018 21:00

The Joy of Blogging

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I try not to blog too much about this blog, but every now and then duty calls. I wanted to make our readers aware of a few matters.

We won another "Challies" Award! Like many of our authors and readers, I love Tim Challies' blog and consider it the preeminent Christian site. So when I heard last...

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Friday, 28 December 2018 19:02

Thanks a Million

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As each December wanes, I send out notes to several people whose work was particularly helpful to me in the almost-ended year. I began this habit when I was a journalist—because I knew my work was only possible if people sacrificed their time to talk to me.

Author and Esquire editor A.J....

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Friday, 28 December 2018 18:10

Very Telling Words

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How many foolish, hasty, angry, impatient, unwise things we have said... if we know it instinctively we need to be warned of it biblically.

Jesus deals with words which are discredited, denounced and need to be discarded in an unforgettably penetrating passage in Matthew 12:33-37.

"Either make the...

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Thursday, 27 December 2018 02:42

It's Time to Write Thank You Notes

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Christmas is over and you’ve collected your gifts. Etiquette says that if you were not present to receive your gift and say, “Thank you!” in person, then you should send a handwritten card. That’s probably a good guideline, though not many of us are guilty of overdoing...

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Tuesday, 25 December 2018 12:13

3GT Episode 113: The Persecuted Church in China

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With the outbreak of persecution by the government on the Early Rain Covenant Church of China in Chengdu, the guys address this subject on this episode. They look at the incredible instructions the elders of the church, who carefully prepared themselves and their flock for suffering, left for the...

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