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, 29 January 2019 23:35

How Our Minds Are Built—and Broken

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I don’t know about you, but I’m fascinated by the study of the brain.

Advances in neuroscience have helped us understand why in some situations we make coolly rational decisions and in others we’re completely irrational, how the brains of liberals and conservatives are different,...

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Tuesday, 29 January 2019 20:00

Principles of Poverty, part 2

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Two weeks ago, I attempted to lay out from the book of James his Christlike and counter-cultural principles about poverty. In this post, I hope to explore some applications of those principles.

But before we dive into that, a word on definitions: What, Biblically speaking, is poverty? Although the...

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Monday, 28 January 2019 21:08

3GT Episode 118: Twitter Mob Rule

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Much like Alfred Hitchcock's horror movie The Birds,where countless flocks of birds gather and then begin to attack children, schools and homes, people can use Twitter to target and hurt others. The guys of 3GT discuss recent examples of this phenomenon, such as the vice president's wife being mob...

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Monday, 28 January 2019 01:45

About Those Angels of the Churches

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In the first chapter of Revelation, the glorified Christ appears to John to give him messages for the seven churches of Asia. In addition to the description of his shining appearance, John sees Jesus standing among seven golden lampstands, holding seven stars in his right hand. Jesus tells John...

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Saturday, 26 January 2019 18:45

Safe to Sleep - Psalm 3

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When David wrote this Psalm, he had been driven from his throne. His son Absalom rose up and, by saying what people wanted to hear, turned Israel against their king. His father left the Holy City downcast. Friends wept as enemies fired mud.

As the Psalm begins many enemies crowd round David. They...

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Friday, 25 January 2019 21:41

Thoughts on Theology of the Thief

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In the middle of the night, about 10 days ago, before my brother Warren Peel published his post, I found myself wide-awake, with my head full of 'Thoughts on the Theology of the Thief'.

On the surface of things we are told very little - the recorded words surrounding the incident of his conversion...

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 17:00

The Dangers of Confirmation Bias

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The Oxford Dictionary defines the concept of confirmation bias as, “The tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.”  This psychological phenomenon seems to be on display constantly in our public life, but there was a particularly...

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019 02:27

When to Cancel Church for Bad Weather?

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Winter Storm Harper forced some churches to cancel services from the Midwest to the Northeast in the U.S. last week. Church leaders kept an eye on the storm and faced sometimes gut wrenching decisions whether to cancel services or not.

Many questions arise when inclement weather looms. When should...

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Tuesday, 22 January 2019 02:54

Recovering from the Most Depressing Day of the Year

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Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have survived another Blue Monday, the proverbial “Most Depressing Day of the Year”.

The 3rd Monday of January brings, per the “Blue Monday Formula”, a perfect storm of bad weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failed...

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Monday, 21 January 2019 21:05

3GT Episode 117: Living in Arminianville

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While Kyle's off floating around on a cruise ship somewhere, Barry and Scott remain behind hunkered down in Arminianville. Left behind, they discuss how to survive and thrive as Calvinistic strangers in a foreign land.

To grasp a bit of the history of the town, they share briefly about the founding...

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Monday, 21 January 2019 03:43

Presenting Some Unique Opportunities on MLK Day

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One of the many joys I have in working at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh is the interactions I have with brothers and sisters in the African American community. From such things as hosting Geneva College's Center for Urban Biblical Ministry in our building, having students...

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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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