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, 11 September 2019 14:46

Book Review: A Company of Heroes, by Tim Keesee

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Tim Keesee, A Company of Heroes: Portraits from the Gospel’s Global Advance. Crossway, 2019. 284 pages.

You need this book. Your congregation needs this book.

We all live downstream from the Spirit-filled headwaters of the book of Acts. Across all nations and cultures, Christ alone can restore...

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Monday, 09 September 2019 02:08

Pastor, Don’t Waste Your Spiritually Dry Seasons

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Every Christian—and every pastor—has spiritually dry seasons. These moments range from mildly annoying to living in a pre-Aslan Narnia where it’s “always winter but never Christmas.” Some pastors are embarrassed by this experience, which further complicates the matter....

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Thursday, 05 September 2019 14:00

4 Reasons You Should Preach through the Gospel of Luke

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Almost all pastors have preached from Luke’s Gospel, but only some have preached all the way through. Consider how many times you’ve heard a sermon on the Prodigal Son. Or consider the birth stories of Jesus; they’re preached every year during Christmas.

Pastors, even though Luke...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 17:00

Book Review: J-Curve, by Paul Miller

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Paul E. Miller, J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life.Crossway, 2019. 327 pages.

In Philippians 2:5, the Apostle Paul instructs us to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

In this verse, Paul reminds me of two realities I routinely forget. The...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 03:59

What is pastoral authority and how can we steward it?

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Pastors have no authority in and of themselves. Instead, their authority is derived from God, it’s rooted in his Word, and it should be shared among a plurality of elders.

— Juan Sanchez

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Monday, 02 September 2019 22:47

Still Not Ashamed: A Response to Jackson Wu

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Since the publication of our article on penal substitution in honor / shame cultures, there have been some questions and concerns raised about our characterization of proponents of honor / shame contextualization, most notably by Jackson Wu (here and here). We feel honored(no pun intended) that...

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Wednesday, 28 August 2019 14:42

Book Review: Orthodox Radicals, by Matthew Bingham

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Matthew Bingham, Orthodox Radicals: Baptist Identity in the English Reformation.Oxford University Press, 2019.

Were there any Baptists in England in the middle of the 17th century?

Matthew Bingham wants you to think twice before you answer that question, and then think again about your answer....

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019 23:36

8 Lessons about Church Budgets

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Jamie Dunlop, author of Budgeting for a Healthy Church, shares eight important lessons he’s learned after nearly a decade of putting together a church budget. It ends with 25 minutes of Q&A.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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The task which I have set myself in this lecture is to focus and explicate a belief which, by and large, is a distinguishing mark of the word-wide evangelical fraternity: namely, the belief that the cross had the character of penal substitution, and that it was in virtue of this fact that it...

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Someone recently asked if I knew what it felt like to have my life taken from me. It was a rhetorical question. I answered anyways, “Yeah, I really do.”

A SNAPSHOT OF MY SUFFERING

Almost four years ago, my husband and I contracted Lyme disease with its accompanying co-infections, viruses,...

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At the center of the Christian faith hangs a bloody, broken man. Beaten, humiliated, scourged and put to death in one of the most barbaric, cruel punishments devised by men. It’s one of the things that makes the Christian faith so distasteful to unbelievers. But, if people find that hard to...

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Over the years, I’ve realized that not all songs about the cross are created equal. Some use the word “cross” without explaining what it means. Others see the cross merely as a selfless act of love for our encouragement. Others give voice to an appropriate response of devotion...

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For centuries, the church has affirmed that penal substitutionary atonement stood at the heart of the gospel. Yes, the cross also demonstrates the love of God, his hatred of sin, and his commitment to ransom his people. But behind all of these ideas stands the logic of the cross, in which an...

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Covenantal headship, also known as federal headship, refers to a relationship in which an individual represents a larger group and the actions of the representative are imputed onto the larger group. This idea is central to Paul’s argument in Romans 5:12–21. In explaining covenantal...

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I was a murderer.

When I was twenty-five I became pregnant. Unsaved, unmarried, and raised in a church that taught that babies weren’t human until they were born, the solution to my “problem” was nauseatingly simple. So, I made an appointment, had the procedure, took a few days off...

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“Liberal charismatics.”

That’s how my friend described the teenagers in his church’s youth group. As he described them, these youths would outstretch their arms during corporate worship, and sing at the top of their lungs about their longing for God. At the same time, they...

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That Jesus died for our sins is the most common, and perhaps most basic, statement of the Christian gospel. The Apostle Paul described his evangelistic proclamation in much the same way: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in...

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Vincent Taylor wisely conceded, “The attempt to say how Jesus interpreted his death is an ambitious inquiry. No apology is needed if it is accomplished only in part.” [1] Let me add my hearty “Amen” to Taylor’s concession as I invite you to explore with me...

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If you grew up in church, there’s a decent chance that you take penal substitution for granted. In other words, if your background is solidly evangelical, you might assume that everyone naturally affirms the atonement as the act by which Christ satisfied the law’s demands, assuaged the...

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Monday, 19 August 2019 11:13

What Is Penal Substitution?

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According to the apostle Paul, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the “first things” of the gospel (1 Cor 15:3–4). [1] Christians have debated both of these first things throughout the history of the church. Regarding Jesus’ death, they have debated whether...

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Perspectives on Jesus have been offered from all over the world, but the voice of the man closest to the cross of Christ has rarely been heard. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). How could this thief view a beaten, bloodied, and crucified criminal as one...

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The (assigned!) topic raises a question. Particular redemption receives enough hostile press already. So, is 9Marks overly scholastic in suggesting that the “What?” of the atonement (penal substitution) and the “For whom?” (particular redemption) are inextricably linked?

The...

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Trying to capture all that our Lord Jesus Christ achieved in his glorious work is not easy given its multi-faceted aspects. John Calvin sought to summarize the comprehensive nature of Christ’s work by the munus triplex—Christ’s threefold office as our new covenant head and...

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The substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the Bible and of Christian theology. Substitutionary atonement was foreshadowed in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, accomplished in the New Testament, and has been preached, believed, and treasured...

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We, the authors, were born, raised, born again, and currently live and serve in what may be appropriately labeled as honor-shame cultures. The prevailing view among many theologians and missiologists concerning our cultural context is that presenting Christ’s atonement in terms of penal...

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