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, 04 October 2017 15:12

Book Review: Uncomfortable, by Brett McCracken

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Brett McCracken, Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community. Crossway, 2017. 224 pp, $15.99. 

 

“Medium roast coffee beans, please.”

The counter was splendorous, arrayed with a vastness of choice. Picking and choosing the beans I’d...

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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 07:21

How does preaching look in your context?

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The ways we preach in our community might be frowned upon in most seminaries or places that teach you how to “preach correctly.” We’re serious about the Word but have a much more relaxed style.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Mark Dever’s session at the 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, which aims to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. (Also available on iTunes.)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Panel discussion at the 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, which aims to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. (Also available on iTunes.)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

Read more

Panel discussion at the 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, which aims to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. (Also available on iTunes.)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

Read more

Panel discussion at the 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, which aims to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. (Also available on iTunes.)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

Read more

Panel discussion at the 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, which aims to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. (Also available on iTunes.)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

Read more

Monday, 02 October 2017 10:45

Episode 21: On Missions

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Jonathan Leeman sits down with Mark Dever to talk about how local churches can more wisely support overseas work.

(Download or listen on iTunes)

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:53

Episode 20: On the Reformation

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[View on iTunes or download]

In conjunction with the Fall 2017 Journal “The Reformation and Your Church,” Jonathan Leeman interviews Mark Dever on the Reformation and its usefulness for Christians today.

Authors: Daniel Gardner

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:27

The Reformation and the Glory of God

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The Protestant Reformation was fundamentally a controversy with the Roman Catholic Church over how helpless we really are in our deadness and guilt. The Reformers believed that only gracecould raise us from the dead, and only Christ could become our punishment and our perfection. These two...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:27

The Sunday Before the 95 Theses

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The chime rang out from the bell tower. Time to gather for Mass.

Yet this was not a regular Sunday. Someone told us we would hear a homily. Usually we only heard homilies at Lent or Advent, as well as on the feast day of our church’s namesake. But this was October, and we weren’t sure...

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Luther’s story is well known; Calvin’s less so. Luther was wrestling with the concept of the righteousness of God, and had come to hate it; Calvin had an immense thirst for a secure knowledge of God, but had not found it. While not the whole truth, there is something in the notion that...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:23

Wise Men are Men, and Truth is Truth

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No impulse is so deeply embedded in human nature as the urge to worship. And it is ever so much easier to worship flesh and blood than an invisible spirit. As young children, we are tempted first to worship our fathers—“My dad knows everything!” Then, when they fail us, we worship...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:22

Should Pastors Today Care about the Reformation?

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Pastors devoted to their ministry have so many things to do. Apart from the careful preparation week by week of fresh sermons and Bible studies, hours set aside for counseling, care in developing excellent relationships, careful and thoughtful (and time-consuming!) evangelism, the mentoring of...

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Anglican theologian Paul Avis observes, “Reformation theology is largely dominated by two questions: ‘How can I obtain a gracious God?’ and ‘Where can I find the true Church?’ The two questions are inseparably related.”

Evangelicals have not been particularly...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:21

Martin Luther: Reformer of Pastoral Counseling

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Compelled by intense pastoral concern, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That same day, Luther dispatched a cover letter to Cardinal Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz, outlining his pastoral motivation for this reformation...

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Almost certainly, the most striking practical change at the time of the Reformation was the rise of expository preaching in local churches.

PRE-REFORMATION PREACHING

In the centuries preceding the Reformation, preaching had been a practice in steady decline. Eclipsed by the Mass and rendered...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:20

The Reformation’s Restoration of the Sacraments

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The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century restored the gospel to the sacraments and the sacraments to the congregation.

Why did the sacraments need restoring? Penance, purgatory, indulgences, the cult of the saints—these all added up to a system in which the sacraments enabled...

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On April 3, 1963, as Martin Luther King Jr. sat frustrated in the musky confines of a Birmingham jail cell, he took issue not so much with the hatred of the world but the apathy of the church. King had just received a letter signed by eight concerned clergy that encouraged the Negro citizens of...

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Think of a three-legged stool.

Now imaginatively label one of those legs “Scripture,” label the second leg “Tradition,” and label the third leg “Magisterium” (I’ll explain these labels in a bit).

You now have a mental picture of the threefold authority...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:19

Did the Reformation Recover the Great Commission?

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It is well known that the Reformation entailed a recovery of core New Testament doctrines regarding salvation and worship. Did it also involve a recovery of the Great Commission? In one sense, no. The Roman church had been involved in a variety of missional enterprises throughout the Middle Ages....

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Late Medieval Background

The Reformation began with Martin Luther, but he was influenced by doctrine and pastoral practices that preceded him by centuries. We need to begin by understanding some of the main currents that impacted Luther’s Reformation breakthrough.

1. Others had seen problems in...

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There have been various debates over the centuries regarding the differences between Catholic and Protestant doctrine. These disputes have ranged from topics such as justification by faith, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the veneration of the saints, and the way in which a church should be...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:18

Four Ways the Reformation Changed Church History

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Martin Luther has a complex legacy. Many laud him as a historical and theological hero—the German reformer who drove a nail through the heart of works-based righteousness. Others lambaste him as a derisive, ego-driven anti-Semite. And still others champion Luther as the humanist’s...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 14:18

A Brief Look at John Calvin on Imputation

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One of the contributions of the Reformation is a clear understanding that righteousness is imputed to us. Here we think of John Calvin since he represents a clear understanding of this doctrine. Righteousness can’t come from ourselves since even our best works are still marred by sin. Our...

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