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

Theological Matters - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 00:20

God Stands Behind It All

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Having recently completed a discussion of Plato’s Republic with a terrific group of college students, I am once again reminded of its beauty and depth. When teaching the Republic, I am always struck by the seemingly innocent back and forth of the dialogue that inevitably entices us straight...

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Tuesday, 07 November 2017 01:28

Dear Younger Me

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In 2016, Mercy Me released the single “Dear Younger Me.” The popular song is birthed from lead singer Bart Millard’s reflections on a troublesome childhood. The message considers the advice he might offer were he afforded the opportunity to speak to the 8-year-old version of...

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Monday, 06 November 2017 00:02

Not in Church! Thoughts about Sutherland Springs

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A tragedy occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday. Something that should never happen happened as a small group of Christians gathered together to worship. A man walked into the church during worship and shot and killed 26 people—ranging in age from 5 to...

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Monday, 30 October 2017 23:30

Why, as a Philosopher, I Write Spoken Word Poetry

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As a philosopher, I love ideas. I poke and prod them all day long, in class with students, in writing during research, in the margins of books in study. Ideas are important. They have consequences, as philosophers like to say. But ideas are not all that matter. Images do too. So do the things we...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 23:30

Six Reminders for Dealing with Conflict

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You have heard the horror stories: The new pastor comes in and, within a few months, people are already clamoring for his removal. I will not try to tell you this never happens, because it does. While I do believe this happens much more rarely than most people think, I also believe it could and...

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Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes. — Proverbs 26:4-5

This passage creates cognitive dissonance for readers pining for a single, solidifying principle to answering challenging...

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The flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey damaged approximately 35,000 square feet at our church in Houston. Relief efforts focused first on those outside the church, but after about a week, the church asked for volunteers to help remove the damaged carpet. People started meeting at 2 p.m., but...

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Students who have taken my Christian Home class are familiar with a diagram I draw on the board each semester. In this diagram, I visually depict the difference between polygamy and polyamory—two marriage arrangements that contrast monogamy. I then tell my students that such arrangements will...

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Thursday, 05 October 2017 23:00

Harvey, Irma and Race Relations

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Harvey and Irma. These are the names given to the two hurricanes that have consumed our news media, prayer time and conversations. Since Aug. 25, we have witnessed the devastation and destruction of homes, land and human life.

Some meteorologists report that as a result of Harvey, somewhere between...

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The mass shooting in Las Vegas elicits many appropriate biblical responses – anger over the evil actions, grief over the assailant’s lost soul, compassion for the dead and surviving victims, and urgent prayer. There is one additional reaction that has gripped me the most –...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 23:30

Parent Taxis and Teen Baptisms

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In 1972, at the height of the Jesus Movement, the Southern Baptist Convention baptized more teenagers than ever before. From that point, baptisms of teenagers have dropped every year. If McDonalds does everything well except sell fast food, something is amiss. If the church does everything well...

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Monday, 18 September 2017 23:30

Hurricane Harvey – a reminder to endure

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It seems as though every year from about mid-August until late September, the East Coast, the Florida Coast and the Gulf Coast are pelted with tropical storms and hurricanes. This year is no different. The city of Houston and the surrounding Gulf Coast areas are facing the task of cleanup and...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 23:30

Are Apostles of Jesus Christ Among Us Today?

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An increasingly popular trend is for some within the church today to call themselves “apostles.” Pentecostals and Charismatics have used the designation for years because they want to be apostolic. Recently, however, some church planters have also used the title. They use the label...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 23:30

9/11 – The Phenomenon of Christ-like Compassion

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If you’re old enough to remember the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, you remember where you were when you heard the news. Driving down Coulter Drive in Bryan, Texas, I was on my way to a staff meeting at church. The radio broadcaster interrupted to report the shocking news that American...

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Monday, 04 September 2017 23:30

Three Keys to Experiencing Church Growth

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After hosting nearly 100 episodes of a church leadership podcast that focuses on church growth and writing more than 1,000 articles on the topic, I’ve learned that the most important trait for church growth is an undergirding of prayer and biblical fidelity. Lead the church you serve to have...

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Monday, 28 August 2017 23:30

What the solar eclipse of 2017 taught us all

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With awed wonderment, millions of faces were turned skyward on Aug. 21 to observe the awe-inspiring first total solar eclipse since 1918. If you lived in the narrow swath of the sun’s 60-mile-wide arc of trajectory from Lincoln, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., from 1:15 to 2:48 p.m. EDT, you...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 23:30

Fear and the Remedy for Racism

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Sunday, August 13, 2017. As I spoke with friends that morning after the senior adult Sunday School class I teach, a newer member and his wife approached me. He looked into my eyes and thanked me for condemning racism in all its forms so clearly. Just the day before was the white supremacist rally...

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Sunday, 20 August 2017 23:30

Tips for being a Successful Student

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This week, Southwestern Seminary begins its 110th fall semester. More than 45,000 graduates have matriculated through Southwestern’s hallowed halls. These students have either traversed their educational journey well or they have struggled. In my 27 years employed in higher education, with...

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Did Christians in the first few centuries of the church read Scripture regularly outside the formal worship gathering? While this might seem like a straightforward question, the historical complexities of the ancient literary culture make it notoriously difficult to answer.

There is little doubt...

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Monday, 07 August 2017 23:30

A ‘Miracle Cure’ for Marital Strife

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Turn on your TV. Find your favorite channel. Wait a moment, and you will be confronted with an ad that offers an immediate miracle solution to a nagging problem. Whether you need a perfect pan for your cooking woes, an unkinkable hose for your garden gloom, or a miracle medicine for your many...

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In 2016, approximately 18 million adults in the U.S. were in cohabiting relationships. This represents a 27 percent increase since 2007. While more than half of cohabiters are under 35 years old, the increase is more significant among those older than 50. This demographic has seen a 75 percent...

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Immigration, border security and citizen safety currently constitute one of the hottest issues in the American political scene. Certainly, no one can deny that this discussion was a major part of the rhetoric surrounding our last presidential election. Voices on both sides of the isle present...

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The only real constants in life are death and taxes.

This old adage in the life of American culture reflects the sentiment that some things never change and some things are always changing. For example, those who are 60 years of age or older will vividly remember seeing specific aisles at the...

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Monday, 24 July 2017 04:24

Teenagers: In Vogue vs. In Christ

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Teen Vogue, a magazine targeting 11- to 17-year-olds girls, recently published a how-to articleinstructing teens how to perform anal sex. This article is on the heels of a recent articleon how to masturbate if you are a male and a similar articleon how to masturbate if you are female. All three...

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Revivals are sometimes said to be a thing of the past, a holdover from an earlier era of the church that is no longer practical in our postmodern age. Well, the last time I checked, God is still in the business of converting souls, whether it be one at a time or through large-scale awakenings. If...

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