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
Friday, 22 March 2019 19:46

Day and Night - Psalm 63

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This is a childhood favorite that we sang at morning worship - yet don't let church tradition rob you of its evening worth.

Timings of references help us unearth three divisions: these provide a key to unlock the song's main thrust as David, the LORD's Anointed, cries in exile to His God.

Messiah's...

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Friday, 22 March 2019 00:31

Discipleship and the Sacraments

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Central to the church’s mission in the world is to make disciples. In biblical times a disciple was a follower of a teacher. But it’s more than the student and teacher relationship we sometimes think of in our own day. Rather, discipleship is a close-knit relationship where one follows...

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 19:00

A Magnum Opus

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A recent home movie night featured Mr. Holland’s Opus. In this 1995 film, Richard Dreyfuss plays the role of Glenn Holland, a man who finds himself teaching music in a high school for thirty years and failing to fulfill his dream of becoming a successful composer.

In the final scene, Gertrude...

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 22:00

A Guide for Bible Reading

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I hope your personal and family worship is going well! From painful personal experience, I know how easy it is to let this most basic spiritual discipline slide, especially when it feels like you're not "getting something" out of it. In recent conversations with my own kids as well as friends in...

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Monday, 18 March 2019 22:40

3GT Episode 125: The Need for Holiness

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“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” So states the letter of Hebrews. The guys meditate and discuss several questions that arise from this warning.

Why is holiness necessary for heaven? How did you avoid works righteousness in pursuing holiness? Since believers cannot achieve...

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Monday, 18 March 2019 07:00

From Pits to Praise - Psalm 40

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Another favorite from childhood - I always loved this Psalm which we used to sing to Spohr: later it enthralled, during messianic studies, when I noticed it in Hebrews.

Context

It helps to remember, as we try to grasp its meaning, that it reflects David's own experience, in union with Messiah, as the...

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Monday, 18 March 2019 00:39

Now That's What We Mean by Gentle!

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Pastor Jared Havener, minister of the Trinity PCA congregation of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, spoke in the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary chapel last week. Jared is a graduate of RPTS and serves on our President's Council. His brief message below from Matthew 11:28-30 and Galatians 5:22-23...

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There are few hymns in the Psalms that can match this song for joy - it foresees, and fore-sings, the happy outcome of God's wonderful saving plan.

Context

Employed in temple worship, this anthem to their Head reminds Jews of their role - God, the King of Creation, chose Abraham's family of faith to...

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Thursday, 14 March 2019 20:46

The Goodness and Pleasantness of Community

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A few weeks ago I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and was struck by the story with which he introduces the book.  It’s about a little town in Pennsylvania called Roseto, founded by a wave of some 1200 immigrants who came across from Italy in at the end of the 19thcentur...

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019 12:46

(Re)Incarnational Ministry?

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I’m not sure we’ve sufficiently reckoned with just how post-Christian our post-Christian culture is.  Autonomous ideologies comprise the philosophical air we breathe; they soak into our bones and our souls give them warm welcome because we’ve had autonomy inscribed upon our...

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:00

Go and Tell: Church Social Media

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Every church should understand the purpose and function of its various digital ministries. The following simple distinction helps clarify, by biblical analogy, how two common digital ministries serve in different ways:

Church website = Old Testament evangelism: Come and See

Church social media...

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 08:21

A Heart For Discipline

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There is a heart-wrenching chapter in Pat Conroy’s novel The Lords of Discipline. The roommate of protagonist Will McLean is drummed out of the Corps of Cadets. This is a solemn ceremony during which the whole corps is assembled in two lines and the guilty must walk between them while his...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 23:42

3GT Episode 124: About That UMC Vote

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Turns out the pastor spent quite a bit of time watching the deliberations (and wrote a helpful review here).  So after sharing some of the highs and lows of the meetings, the guys dig into what the vote indicates. What does its narrow margin mean? How did the international votes sway the...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 07:00

Short Story Psalm Videos

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Recently Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary had a friend encourage students via a contest to make short videos based on a Psalm that tell a story. Some of the criteria given to the students were: the video had to be between 3-5 minutes long; the message had to be clearly based on a text...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 00:34

A Survey of Kingdom Activity in Indy

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The following article chronicling God's work in the city of Indianapolis in recent decades is a guest post by Russ Pulliam. Russ is an associate editor at the Indianapolis Star, serves on the board of and contributes toWORLDmagazine, and is an elder of the Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in...

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 19:13

The Sheer Difficulty of Reconciliation

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I preached on Joseph several years ago now. This afternoon some thoughts came to crystallize in my brain.

They basically deal with the potentially-massive problem of reconciling former friends who, for various reasons, are now at loggerheads.

Its Source

This was all brought on by the allegiance of...

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Friday, 08 March 2019 22:12

Marriage proportions

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What proportion is marriage?50-50 seems like an ideal place to start. A fair input from both parties.

Maybe some read this and think “50-50?! That’s a pipe-dream! If you knew my other half, they leave all the work to me… they never…”

Or there is the other side of the...

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As you likely know by now, Roy Blackwood is home with the Lord. His funeral service will be Friday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. at Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visitation hours are Thursday, March 28 from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the church building.

In this five minute video...

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Thursday, 07 March 2019 19:00

A Church In Crisis: Reflections on the UMC

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“Closed hearts. Closed minds. Closed doors.” That’s how some people are responding to the special session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. The top legislative body met to act on a report that examined the church’s position on human sexuality and...

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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 18:00

The Everything Quilt

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Many of you have probably heard of the “everything bagel.” While they may vary from bakery to bakery, these favorites combine together many toppings which originally were found individually on bagels. Poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic, salt, etc. The general idea is that someone at some...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2019 20:57

3GT Episode 123: L E

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After Kyle assures us that theologize is really a word, he introduces the topic of this episode: L&E. Law and Economics? Nope. Labor and Employment? Naw. Rather, Leisure and Entertainment. What place do they have in the Christian life?

The 3GTers look at Scripture and draw inferences about this...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2019 19:44

Covenant Evangelism, part 2

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A couple weeks ago, I posted some thoughts about how we bring the gospel to children of the church while avoiding both revivalism and hyper-covenantalism. This has spurred good conversations with families and teenagers in our church as we encourage them to consider making their own profession of...

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Monday, 04 March 2019 23:00

Lent: Glitter or Gold?

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Every Sunday night before evening worship I meet in my study with the middle schoolers in our church to discuss the morning sermon. That goal isn't always achieved. As I've gotten to know them they have also gotten to know me. Sometimes they use that to their advantage to derail the normal topic of...

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Monday, 04 March 2019 00:35

A Prayer "Catechism" by TableTalk

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If you are familiar with TableTalkmagazine, the monthly devotional periodical produced by Ligonier Ministries, you know that each issue normally has a main theme with a handful of articles addressing it. For the March issue, the editorial team chose prayer as a theme but did something unique. They...

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Saturday, 02 March 2019 02:01

Thank God Always - Psalm 34

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This has to be one of my very favorite songs. Yet it is only really this morning that I have put it all together.

To me it reads like the Psalter's equivalent for Philippians 4. An appropriate title, therefore, might be 'Give thanks in all circumstances'.

If we break the Psalm up into three main...

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