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
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 22:00

Elihu the Preacher

Written by
image

There are many great examples for preachers in the Bible. Ezra's passion to study and obey God's Word (Ezra 7:10), Jeremiah eating the scroll (Jer. 15:16), Ezekiel's forehead "like emery harder than flint" (Ezek. 3:9), Paul's simple focus on Christ crucified (1 Cor. 2:2), Stephen's fearlessness...

Read more

image

Presbyterians baptize their babies. As members of the visible church, as  those babies grow up and become young adults, the promised-based hope is that one day they will profess their own faith in Christ. At that time, the privilege of communicant membership is conferred upon them and they are...

Read more

Monday, 01 April 2019 07:00

Feasting or Faking?

Written by
image

Introduction

Just a brief outline today on the Matthean account of the Wedding Banquet parable in 22:1-14.

Context

It seems to be the parable that lit the tinderbox of Jewish antagonism that would conclude in Calvary's Passion - the Q & A session (in 22:15-46 - on paying taxes, celestial...

Read more

Monday, 01 April 2019 03:53

A Daily Gospel Preached without Words

Written by
image

Unspoken, silent, like the language of the stars, it is there. Unknowingly acted out, a message unheard. Its natural rhythm a silent echo, a sermon without words.

Evening's shadow never fails to come, casting all into its eventual darkness. Weariness overtakes as eyelids grow heavy, minds blur,...

Read more

Saturday, 30 March 2019 08:00

Cultivating Earth and Eternity

Written by
image

Sixty years ago this year, Henry Van Til’s The Calvinistic Concept of Culturewas first published. It’s still must reading today.

Why? Because it presents a clear solution to many of the controversies we’ve seen over the relationship of Christians to culture, church to state. The...

Read more

Friday, 29 March 2019 01:54

Never let a "good" affliction go to waste!

Written by
image

In 2006, John Piper wrote a short but helpful (not to mention popular!) treatment of the spiritual value of being afflicted with cancer, provocatively entitled Don’t Waste Your Cancer1. As a cancer-survivor himself, Piper was appealing to believers to reorient their thinking regarding this...

Read more

image

One of the “feel-good” stories from the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament (aka, “March Madness”) last week was the upset victory of the 12th-seeded, Liberty University Flames over the 5th-seeded, Mississippi State Bulldogs.  Liberty is the largest...

Read more

image

Here humble hearts explode into exuberant ecstatic praise - astonished, soaring, sons of Korah bless their amazingly good God.

Outline

The structure of the Psalm is easy enough to discern: it can be summarized as follows in a brief, numbered-point, fashion.

1. Servants of the City - Title: either...

Read more

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 12:09

3GT Episode 126: Angelology 101

Written by
image

From hearing a charismatic tell the story of an angel sitting on a dashboard to reading scary Frank Peretti novels in the woods at night, Kyle has been a bit traumatized by angels since his youth. So he comes to the guys for a bit of therapy, asking all types of questions about angels.

Just what are...

Read more

Monday, 25 March 2019 22:08

Hospitality as the Body of Christ

Written by
image

A few days a week, I go to the local YMCA and step onto a treadmill. I run side-by-side with about 15 other joggers. We run with our headphones on, look straight ahead, finish our run, and go our separate ways.

We run side-by-side, but you couldn’t really say we run together.

This may be a fine...

Read more

image

On March 5-6, Dr. Carl Truman delivered a series of messages for the 2019 den Dulk Lectures at Westminster Seminary California. Entitled “And Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Reflections on Church, Seminary, and Bi-vocational Ministry,” Trueman offered analysis on these three areas of...

Read more

Friday, 22 March 2019 19:46

Day and Night - Psalm 63

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Friday, 22 March 2019 00:31

Discipleship and the Sacraments

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 19:00

A Magnum Opus

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 22:00

A Guide for Bible Reading

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Monday, 18 March 2019 22:40

3GT Episode 125: The Need for Holiness

Written by
image

“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...

Read more

Monday, 18 March 2019 07:00

From Pits to Praise - Psalm 40

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Monday, 18 March 2019 00:39

Now That's What We Mean by Gentle!

Written by
image

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...

Read more

image

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...

Read more

Thursday, 14 March 2019 20:46

The Goodness and Pleasantness of Community

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 12:46

(Re)Incarnational Ministry?

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 21:00

Go and Tell: Church Social Media

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 08:21

A Heart For Discipline

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Monday, 11 March 2019 23:42

3GT Episode 124: About That UMC Vote

Written by
image

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...

Read more

Monday, 11 March 2019 07:00

Short Story Psalm Videos

Written by

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...

Read more