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

9Marks - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 18:49

Book Review: Evangelism as Exiles

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Elliott Clark, Evangelism as Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in our Land.The Gospel Coalition, 2019. 157 pp.

The American church has a problem.

She just can’t give up the idea that success and prosperity are what God ought to give her. Even we who strongly denounce the prosperity gospel,...

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“You preached those sermons on church membership and discipline point by point through the Bible . . . and I hated it!”

The chairman of the deacons at North Possum Baptist Church (fake name) spoke those words to a former pastor of mine (Sam). He’d just finished a series of sermons...

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Those duped by the prosperity gospel don’t just need arguments against the texts they misunderstand. They need healthy churches that explain to them the entire revelation of God, and how that narrative is working toward something quite glorious.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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I’ve pastored my church for over twelve years. We’ve always had two morning services, and I never gave them much thought. And even if I did think about them, I thought of them positively. To me, they were both a marker and a means of growth. More Sunday services meant more success.

They...

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Christopher Ash, The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read (but is too embarrassed to ask).The Good Book Company, 2019. 126 pages.

This review has two authors.

One is a pastor (Mark) and one is a deacon (Tim). They are both members of the same church (Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY). One...

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019 07:23

Preach a Sermon, Not a Self-Help Talk

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If we leave off the gospel in our sermons and only preach moral imperatives, then we reduce our message to moralism. Our sermons will become self-help talks that leave out the motivation, the means, and the model for Christian living: Christ himself.

— Erik Raymond

Authors: Daniel Gardner...

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“I agree with every word, but only Roman Catholics read creeds.”

A member of our congregation said this to me after I’d just finished discussing why our church reads creeds and confessions during congregational worship. To him, the issue was at once simple and decisive: our church...

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019 23:58

Four Reasons You Should Preach through Zechariah

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Do you remember participating in the old “Sword Drill” Bible game as a kid? I do, and I also remember being duped by the obligatory joke, “Turn to . . . Hezekiah 6:2. DRAW YOUR SWORDS!”  All of us flipped vainly through our Bibles looking for the book of Hezekiah, only...

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Michael A. G. Haykin and C. Jeffrey Robinson Sr., To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy. Crossway, 2014. 144 pages.

After conversing for several minutes about election and Ephesians 1, we were at an impasse. The churchgoer finally asked me in an exasperated voice,...

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Sunday, 16 June 2019 23:59

Pastoring and the Art of Balance

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God’s promise of a transformed community (Jer. 3:17) comes with a promise of competent pastoral care: “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (v. 15).

The Lord here pictures church officers as shepherds who care...

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Friday, 14 June 2019 00:08

Book Review: The Unsaved Christian

Written by

Dean Inserra, The Unsaved Christian: Reaching Cultural Christianity with the Gospel, Moody Publishers, 2019. 203 pages. $14.99

In April 2018, my family and I made a big move. After nearly five years in New England, where I had been serving as a pastor, we returned to the south to pastor a church in...

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Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019 03:46

The State of the SBC | #SBC19

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Monday, 10 June 2019 03:55

Ask 9Marks Anything | #SBC19

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A live Q&A recorded during the Southern Baptist Convention.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Sunday, 09 June 2019 23:28

What Lay Elders Need to Know

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I served as a lay elder for over five years. When I was ordained, I was in my twenties and had much to learn about shepherding—and of course I still do.

A few years back, my family moved to a town about 45 minutes away from our church, and though we’d remain members at our church, I knew...

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On the death of Jonathan Edwards, his wife wrote to their daughter, Esther:

My very dear child, What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him so long. But my God lives; and he has my heart. O what a...

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Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2019. 224 pages.

When tragedy strikes, we often don’t know what to do next. Yet, when the Lord’s hand of judgment fell on Israel; when the temple was leveled by pagans; and when the most...

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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 22:50

Praying through ACTS for the church

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Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013. 288 pages.

Frost and Hirsch are gravely concerned with the state of the modern church. They warn in The Shaping of Things to Comethat “the sky...

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Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019 00:07

Raising Up Leaders in the Schemes of Scotland

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Thursday, 23 May 2019 22:51

4 Reasons You Should Preach Through Haggai

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One of the biggest challenges of preaching Haggai is simply finding it in our Bibles. When people spend time in the Old Testament, they usually gravitate toward the Pentateuch, maybe the Psalms, or one of the major prophets. Few venture into the labyrinth of minor prophets and, once there,...

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Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Preaching as Reminding: Stirring Memory in an Age of Forgetfulness. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2017. 166 pages.

What is preaching? How you answer that question determines not only what you do as a preacher but how you do it. While affirming commonly-accepted definitions...

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Friday, 17 May 2019 00:59

4 Reasons You Should Preach Through Zephaniah

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We can take great joy in the God who takes joy in us. Nestled in a little-read part of the Old Testament, the book of Zephaniah calls God’s people to relentless hope in the God of justice and joy.

If you preach Zephaniah to your congregation, what will they hear?

1) They’ll hear about the...

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019 19:00

Book Review: Disruptive Witness, by Alan Noble

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Alan Noble, Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age. InterVarsity Press, 2018. 180 pages.

What should evangelism look like in the modern world? How can believers work to make the gospel heard above the din of smart phone notifications and competing visions of the good life? And...

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