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, 13 September 2019 18:33

Testifying on Treadmills...

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Just back from the gym after a 4 kilometer run: I'd planned to slip in and out before many people were up.

It had been a sleepless night - I was pacing the boards from 4 - and after getting back into bed about 5, I woke at 7 pretty washed out.

So, I wasn't at my strongest or my most alert, but I...

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Friday, 13 September 2019 09:38

Suicide and Christian Truth

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I was in junior high when our guidance counselor ushered me and my classmates into the band room. He shared with us the sad news that one of our peers had to rush home because his grandpa had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. That was, as best as my memory serves, my first exposure to...

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 21:00

"After Further Review ..."

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I'm humbled and honored to share the first in-depth review of my recently published book, God Breathed:  Connecting through Scripture to God, Others, the Natural World, and Yourself(Pittsburgh: Crown and Covenant). This review comes from Laura Cerbus, a fellow teacher and a writer on...

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 07:02

What Is A Girl Worth?

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“What is a girl worth?” That's the question Rachael Denhollander asked at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar. Nassar, the gold standard of sports doctors for gymnasts, was accused and pled guilty to child pornography and sexual assault charges affecting hundreds of women and...

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 01:53

A Young Man's Vision

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What follows is a short excerpt from a letter written by the late Roy Blackwood to Miss Margaret Graham who would later become his wife. In this 1948 letter, the 23 year-old Roy shared his growing vision for the church with the woman with whom he wanted to share his life. The summer was winding...

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019 02:00

Why We Started Back An Evening Service

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In 2015 after a long hard summer in our church, we made the regrettable decision to end our regular evening worship service. Part of the reason was that attendance had dropped off to abysmal levels. We had also started a new Wednesday Family Night program, and it was doing well. It was reaching our...

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Monday, 09 September 2019 02:57

The Poker Table

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The table sat in the back corner of my parents' large family room, surrounded by the paneled walls and sitting on the shag carpet so prevalent in the seventies. Seated on a wood base, the octagonal top had a vinyl pad with felt underneath to protect the wood. Four low-set wooden chairs, with...

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Saturday, 07 September 2019 03:22

Self-Examination

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As I get ready for communion I've just penned a few thoughts about how to self-examine...

A Testing Question

Paul tells the communion church that they have to examine self. What sort of examination is required of Christ’s communicants?

Spiritual Examination

This exercise is not designed to...

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Thursday, 05 September 2019 14:01

Wine Juxtaposed with Wine

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The use of wine is seen both positively and negatively in the Scriptures and two paintings by Jan Steen at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California illustrate these two sides.

The faces of joy and laughter, celebration and dance are easily seen in the 1676 Jan Steen oil painting The Marriage...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 19:00

Common Does Not Mean OK!

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“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man” - 1 Corinthians 10:13 (emphasis mine).
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The verse above reminds us that as we face temptations, we do so as part of the fallen condition of sinful man. I’d like to think today about a common pattern of sin that is very...

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Tuesday, 03 September 2019 22:00

God's Genius in Communion

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Many are familiar with 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, where Paul lays out how Jesus' instructions for the Lord's Supper. In fact, you may have heard it so many times you could quote it by heart. But how many know the context of those important verses? It's in the context where we see how beautifully God...

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Have you ever had one of those “aha!” moments where one statement brings clarity to so many past experiences?  For me, one of these statements came from the lips of a dear mentor and friend: “Rachel, women feel threatened by differences.”  These few words have...

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Monday, 02 September 2019 01:10

A Letter to a Reader about the Battle against Sin

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Recently a regular reader of Gentle Reformationwrote me asking some questions about sin in the life of the believer. In particular, he asked in so many words, "How can someone know if they are a legitimate Christian struggling with sin versus an unbeliever in sin? And what should a Christian...

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Saturday, 31 August 2019 12:47

Loving Discipline

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Proverbs 12:1 – "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."

I remember it well; my very first Presbytery meeting—not because it was my first—but because a pastor was under discipline and in the process of being stripped of his credentials due...

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I recently saw video clip featuring Alistair Begg describing different types of preachers—poor preachers: The Cheerleader (always looking applause), The Conjuror (pulling things out of the text which aren’t there), The Storyteller (lots of stories; little teaching), The Entertainer (the...

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Thursday, 29 August 2019 01:39

The Diet of Devotion

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A year ago this month, a pediatric neurologist told me our 5-year-old son had epilepsy—and would live with it the rest of his life.

I walked out of the doctor’s office dazed and depressed. But it was, I see now, the best thing that could have happened.

Today my son’s brain, helped...

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019 20:22

Abundant Life, Abundant Suffering

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What kind of life has Jesus promised his people? Abundant life. That’s his promise in John 10:10, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

With what does the abundant life abound?

The Scripture assures us that the Christian life abounds with joy, with love, with grace, with...

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Why should I study theology if I'm just a ordinary church member?

In a newly-translated foreword to Herman Bavinck'sMagnalia Dei (known in English as Our Reasonable Faith), Bavinck richly engages this question.

Over the course of this year, I've been leading a church book discussion onOur...

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Monday, 26 August 2019 21:54

3GT Episode 146: When a Fool Becomes King

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After another week away due to some summer fun, the guys are back at it in real fashion. For they tackle the subject of foolish rulers.

In a refreshing change for Barry, Scott and Kyle first discuss all the titles they would like to be called. After that is settled, Domine Borg leads the guys toward...

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Monday, 26 August 2019 13:27

The New of the Gospel

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The main building in Pittsburgh in which RPTS is housed was formerly known as the Horne Mansion, constructed in 1898. Durbin Horne, who had the home built, was the son of Joseph Horne, the founder of a regional chain of department stores in Western Pennsylvania that bore his name. Located in Point...

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Friday, 23 August 2019 20:58

The Shepherd in Shadowlands

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Needing the Good Shepherd

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It's dark, very dark. You're scared, very scared. Bleak, black, bad describes your circumstance that surrounds. Perhaps it's due to stress, depression, unemployment or divorce; or maybe crushing disappointment or frightful loneliness; romance now in ruins, failure in a...

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Thursday, 22 August 2019 05:09

Seven Things the Lord Hates

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These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.(Proverbs...

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:00

Connecting with Local Churches

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It's easy for reformed churches, and Christians in those churches, to feel isolated from other Christians in their communities. Because of the doctrinal differences, the depth of theological convictions, and the distinctiveness and simplicity of our worship, it can be difficult to connect and...

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Monday, 19 August 2019 08:44

The Legend of the Lone Pastor

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Clearly history testifies that certain men have risen and, as the Lord called for, stood "in the gap before Me" in pastoral ministry (Ezek. 22:30). Jonah was sent alone into the heart of the great city of Ninevah to preach a message of repentance. Titus was apparently left by himself for a period...

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Monday, 19 August 2019 07:00

Power to Produce

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Some thoughts I typed just over a week ago...

A Turn in Weather

It clouded over today so we decided to explore - we spent an hour walking along the beach at the side of the lake, then rising up from the water's edge at Garda, we ambled lazily and randomly around local lanes and fields.

A Time to...

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