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
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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Wednesday, 27 February 2019 23:21

Why I "Youth Group"

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By many measures, I am an unlikely candidate to be running a youth group.  I am the pastor of a Reformed church that subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith and takes its theology very seriously.  I am not a fan of the goofy, evangelical impulse to separate children away from...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 05:25

3 Keys to Meaning at Work

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Far too many people find no meaning in their work.

This problem even affects Christians—who know the Source of all meaning but struggle to connect their faith to their labor.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find an insightful essay last week in The New York Times on how Americans struggle to...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 04:02

The Case for Kids

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I sometimes think that the Church of Jesus Christ has complicated the whole matter of candidature for baptism.

No doubt there is a place for minuscule debate, but surely it is sad if we lose sight of the big picture.

It appears to me both scriptural and sane to try to keep this simple for sheep who...

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Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:58

3GT Episode 122: The Lord's Presence in His Supper

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The Apostle Paul asked, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" (I Cor. 10:16) Paul goes on to add that participation in the Lord's Supper is to show that the church is one....

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Monday, 25 February 2019 19:36

A Guide to (Un)Fruitful Ministry

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“We needed that loss more than a win.” When I played high school basketball, I often heard a message like that after an unacceptable loss. The idea seemed to be that a team was prepared for future success by losing important games they should’ve won.

Somehow, the message...

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Monday, 25 February 2019 02:46

Loving Reflections on Roy

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Yesterday afternoon I received the news of Dr. Roy Blackwood's passing into glory. I can only imagine the joy he had in joining his beloved Margie around Christ's throne. Last night after the evening service, I read out loud to my wife and daughter Russ' article that captures so well Roy's life,...

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