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
Monday, 15 January 2018 22:30

Some Observations about a Prisoned Bible

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It was the first day of my Bible Study Methods class … in prison. After passing through all the security checkpoints, I entered a musty room filled with 40 convicted felons in white jump suits, ready to study the Bible.

During my first few years at Southwestern, I was fortunate enough to...

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Sunday, 14 January 2018 22:30

We Cannot Walk Alone

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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday we have observed since 1986 that commemorates the efforts of the Civil Rights movement in our country, and especially one of the most important voices: Martin Luther King Jr. Though Dr. King spoke and wrote much, it is his “I Have a Dream”...

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Tuesday, 09 January 2018 01:54

Rest and Remember

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The tendency to forget is as natural as sinning since the Fall. Yet, we are called in Scripture to remember the Lord our God. Aging seems to be an enemy of our ability to remember, but it is not the only hindrance. The busyness of our lives demands mental attention. Mental focus often ebbs and...

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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:50

Discovering the art of following Jesus

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Growing up, I was the salutatorian of Vacation Bible School. I could have easily been valedictorian had it not been for Emily being “gifted” and “more spiritual” than me. One year, a simple question was posed: Who do you want to be in the Bible? As an accidental Pharisee,[1]...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 22:30

SBC’s Call to Prayer Month

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The people of God need to pray, we ought to pray, we MUST pray. Great movements of God are normally preceded by great movements of prayer by God’s people. We see this pattern throughout Scripture and throughout the history of the church. God does not need us to pray in order to move. But in...

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Monday, 25 December 2017 22:30

You are beautifully made by God

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This summer, I was visiting my son Thomas and his wife Holley, who are missionaries in Belgium. Besides longing to see them, I was interested to see a local expression of the European attitude to Christianity and religious belief. Thomas and Holley had already put a lot of work into speaking...

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Monday, 18 December 2017 22:30

But I’m no good with languages!

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As a Biblical Hebrew teacher, I have heard many reasons why people don’t study languages—or at least do not do so with excellence. Top of the list: I’m no good with languages! This reason betrays several assumptions. These assumptions, however, fall flat when met with substantive...

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 22:30

Top 5 SHP titles of 2017

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Seminary Hill Press is the publishing arm of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, publishing works by the institution’s faculty and alumni. In 2017, the press produced multiple titles that would make great Christmas gifts for theologians and laypersons alike. Here are the year’s...

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Monday, 11 December 2017 22:30

Complicated Salvations

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Dry dusty roads led into the village. Worshipers gathered. As a missionary guest that day, I preached at that church. Lively music and dancing are typical of African worship. This day was no exception. It came time for an evangelistic invitation. A sub-chief walked the aisle for a decision. That...

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Monday, 04 December 2017 22:30

Just Say What the Bible Says

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Every pastor deals with a certain reality every single week. I’ve heard it referenced as the “relentless return of Sunday.” You preach your heart out, pour yourself empty, and exhaust yourself physically and emotionally only to wake up on Monday or Tuesday and realize the process...

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Monday, 27 November 2017 22:30

The Soul Issue

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The insightful Enlightenment philosopher Blaise Pascal notes that “the immortality of the soul is something so important to us, something that touches us so profoundly, that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent to knowing the facts of the matter.”[1] Most thinkers, Christian...

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Monday, 20 November 2017 22:30

Strong Advice on Channeling Your Inner Pope

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Augustus Hopkins Strong—Baptist theologian, seminary president, and pastor from generations past—stated of those in Christian ministry, “The natural tendency of every minister is to usurp authority and to become a bishop. He has in him an undeveloped pope” (Strong ST 898)....

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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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