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

SharperIron - Apologetic Report
imageReposted, with permission, from bradhambrick.com. This post is a supplement to the “church discipline process” document/training posted earlier. The goal of this series is to equip churches to conduct church discipline with restorative excellence.

Dear Friend,

I appreciate you taking the...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 17:00

Theology Thursday - J.C. Ryle On Preaching (Part 2)

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Ryle, the great Anglican Bishop, continues his advice on preaching for younger ministers:1

My first hint is this—If you want to attain simplicity in preaching, take care that you have a clear view of the subject upon which you are going to preach. I ask your special attention to this. Of all...

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018 15:00

Why Preach the Older Testament?

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Reposted from The Cripplegate.

A pastor once asked me what I was preaching in church. I said “Luke in the morning and Micah in the evening.” He was flabbergasted. He admitted that if he announced any Old Testament book, his church would empty until he was back into the New...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 15:00

The Well, the Watercooler, and the Web

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Staying Connected in a Changing Culture

By Jeffrey D. Burr. Republished with permission from Baptist Bulletin.

Last year Sears Holdings Corporation announced the closure of at least 226 stores. Sears had been a fixture in American culture throughout the 20th century. It was where my family went to...

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David Beale, a longtime professor of historical theology at BJU Seminary, published his two-volume Historical Theology In-Depth in 2013. This is an outstanding work, and every pastor and interested Christian should use it as the “go to” text for a foundational explanation of key themes...

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Thursday, 17 May 2018 15:00

How Biblical is Molinism? (Part 6)

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Reposted from Analogical Thoughts, with permission. Read the series.

In this highly irregular series of posts, I’ve been considering the question, How well is Molinism supported by the Bible? As I explained in the first installment:

Molinism is a theory that purports to reconcile a robust...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 17:00

Theology Thursday - J.C. Ryle on Preaching

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In 1882, J.C. Ryle published a little booklet entitled Simplicity in Preaching. In this excerpt, he makes some introductory remarks to preachers about how to preach clear and accurate sermons:1

King Solomon says, in the book of Ecclesiastes, “Of making many books there is no...

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imageThe Battle of Jericho - Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872)

After the death of Moses on the east side of the River Jordan the responsibility for leading the fledgling people of Israel into the Promised Land fell upon Joshua the son of Nun (Josh. 1:1-2). The first indications were that...

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California Bill AB-2943 is a remarkable piece of legislation, in that it legislates “questionable” science as fraud. AB-2943 affirms LGBT identity as natural: “(a) Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of...

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Sunday, 13 May 2018 15:00

Christians Get to Grieve, Too

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A while ago I went to visit a man whose wife had died. It was a cold winter day in Maine as I drove up to the ancient farmhouse overlooking a frozen lake in a largely unknown small town in rural Maine. For anyone reading this who is not from Maine, let me tell you that he fit the quintessential...

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Thursday, 10 May 2018 15:00

10 Crucial Commitments of Effective Deacons

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By Jim Vogel. Republished with permission from Baptist Bulletin.

No church can be successful without committed leadership. It starts with pastors who are committed to the Word and the people they serve, but it includes deacons who take their role seriously and serve with genuine dedication.

As a...

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The interpretation of Romans 7 is long disputed. My wife once told me that as a Christian teen she read Romans 7:14ff in the Living Bible and thought, “That is me!” Was she wrong in her hermeneutics? Is Paul talking about his Christian or pre-Christian experience in this very...

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Tuesday, 08 May 2018 15:00

Some Notes on Daniel 7 (Part 2)

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A Time. Times, and Half a Time

The length of time that these saints are given into his hand is described cryptically as “a time, times, and half a time” (7:25). If we stand back and think a little about these words, it will become apparent that the only possible way in which...

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Monday, 07 May 2018 15:00

How and When Does Church Discipline Begin?

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Reposted, with permission, from bradhambrick.com.

This post is a supplement to the “church discipline process” document/training posted earlier. The goal of this series is to equip churches to conduct church discipline with restorative excellence.

This post examines key elements of church...

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Sunday, 06 May 2018 17:00

The Isaiah Connection (Mark 7:31-37)

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The New Testament is soaked in the glorious experiences and expectations of the Old Covenant scriptures. This is clear in Mark 7:31-37, where the entire passage hinges on understanding the miracle account in the context of the Old Covenant promises.

The prophets often warned Israelites to turn from...

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Reprinted from Faith Pulpit (March/April 2008).

“Easy believism,” as I am using this term, refers to a position held by those who define saving faith purely as intellectual agreement with the statement, “Jesus is the Son of God, and He promises eternal life to all who believe in...

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Wednesday, 02 May 2018 17:00

Theology Thursday - A 3rd Century Baptismal Liturgy

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The book Apostolic Tradition is a Christian text which dates from the 3rd century A.D. It’s traditionally attributed to a man named Hippolytus, though the work may well be an edited compilation. It describes liturgical practices from the 3rd century, so it’s a very interesting...

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Tuesday, 01 May 2018 15:00

3 Reasons Sunday Is Not the Sabbath

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imageFrom Philippe de Champaigne's Moses with the Ten Commandments

Reposted from The Cripplegate.

Here are three reasons why I teach that Christians are not under the Sabbath law of the Old Testament, and that it is unwise to call Sunday “the Christian Sabbath.”

I am a dispensationalist

The...

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Monday, 30 April 2018 15:00

All Fun and No Funerals Makes Jack a Dumb Boy

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Death is an occasion and funeral homes are a place marked by much sadness and grief. And yet, according to Holy Scripture, there is something potentially beneficial about such an occasion and such a place. As the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than...

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Sunday, 29 April 2018 15:00

Ethics Scandals and Local Church Autonomy

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The Oxford Concise English Dictionary defines autonomy as (1) the possession or right of self-government, (2) freedom of action. In other words, autonomy is the freedom to make choices according to the individual or group’s own principles and values. It’s freedom of conscience.

For...

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When faced with ethical misconduct scandals, are churches, or any other organizations, obligated to involve outside investigators? Should the volume and fervor of public outcry guide an organization’s response to ethics scandals?

I hope to be somewhat persuasive in answering these questions,...

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Not long after the apostolic era, Christian leaders began teaching that the ordinance of baptism regenerated sinners. The author of the Shepherd of Hermas, for example (ca. 100-154 A.D.),1 explained that “we went down into the water and received forgiveness of our previous sins”...

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Editor’s note: This video introduces a series on the topic of local church discipline. Subsequent installments in the series will be in article form.

The goal of church discipline is restoration. The process of church discipline should be clear, so that confusion does not create temptation...

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Monday, 23 April 2018 15:00

Some Notes on Daniel 7 (Part 1)

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imageDetail from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - Michelangelo Caravaggio

Just as there are four kingdoms represented by the materials in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-image in Daniel 2, four kingdoms are also present in Daniel’s vision of the four beasts in chapter 7. Since we find weird...

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The Hebrew word נפש (nephesh) is important for the Old Testament (and biblical) doctrine of man. The term appears over 750 times in the OT and is translated in the Authorized Version most frequently as “soul,” “life,” “person,”...

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