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
Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:00

A Missions Trip to Remember

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When my wife Toni and I first came to Arizona with three small sons almost nineteen years ago to pastor what today is Southeast Valley Bible Church, the believers there agreed that I would invest several weeks a year in international mission’s work. As we’ve grown over the years, SVBC...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:00

Theology Thursday - Slavery and the Bible (ca. 1850)

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The following essay appeared in the September 1850 issue of DeBow’s Review,​ which was one of the most important antebellum journals in the South. It appeared just as Congress was debating and passing what became known as “the Compromise of 1850.” The author is anonymous,...

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imageAbraham and Melchizedek. Juan Antonio de Frías y Escalante (1633-1670)

Part One: The Loud Silence

The writer to the Hebrews (perhaps Apollos?) is trying to convince tottering Jewish believers to remain true to Jesus Christ. He is also trying to comfort these believers who are shaken up because...

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From DBSJ 21 (2016); posted with permission. Read the series so far. This installment continues the exegetical study of 5:3-16.

Enrolling Widows in the Church: Verse 9–10

Χήρα καταλεγέσθω μὴ...

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A theological system ought to be the product of exegetical study of Scripture, not a preface to exegetical work. Hermeneutical principles are first observed in the Scriptures themselves, even in a cursory and casual reading. Those principles are then applied in actual study of the text in the...

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:00

What Is a Prophet? (Part 2)

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imageElijah Fed by an Angel - Ferdinand Bol, 17th Century

Read Part 1.

Prophecies of Far Future Events

The ministries of Samuel (see 1 Sam. 3:9-18), Elijah (2 Ki. 1:3-4), Micaiah (1 Ki. 22:17-20), and Elisha (2 Ki. 3:14-19) included short-term predictions which could be verified. But there were also...

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 17:00

Theology Thursday - When Should We Separate?

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Some wisdom from Douglas MacLachlan’s book Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism (pgs. 132-133):

If there is no clear cut, “Thus saith the Lord,” we shouldn’t judge and neither should we separate (Rom 14:10-13).

Authors: TylerR...

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From DBSJ 21 (2016); posted with permission. Read Part 1.

Exegetical Study

With the historical and literary context addressed, it is now possible to look more closely at the passage itself. Verse three provides the underlying principle for the passage. In verse four, Paul gives his initial...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 15:00

9 Reasons to Reject Racism: Reasons 1-5

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Does American society have a racism problem? Does the the church? Lately, everybody seems to claim or assume the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” but maybe those who preach, teach, and lead in churches and ministries have the same job to do either way—to ensure that the...

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Sunday, 10 September 2017 17:00

Jesus Sends the Apostles (Mark 6:7-13)

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image"The Appearance of Christ on the Mountain in Galilee," by Duccio di Buoninsegna (14th century)

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 15:00

Why Students of the Bible Should Read Poetry

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Reposted with permission from Dispensational Pubishing House.

The following is an exert from A Christian’s Guide to Kipling, co-authored by Randy White and published by Trust House Publishers, a division of Dispensational Publishing.

I’m not the first to suggest that poetry is...

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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 17:00

Theology Thursday - Calvin on the Errors of the Separatists

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John Calvin is most often known for his views on soteriology, anthropology and theology proper. He actually wrote a great deal more than this, of course. However, many Christians have not bothered to read anything else from him. In this excerpt, Calvin explains what a Christian’s duty is...

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Tuesday, 05 September 2017 15:00

What Is a Prophet?

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imageElijah Fed by an Angel - Ferdinand Bol, 17th Century

A draft excerpt from the book “The Words of the Covenant” (forthcoming, DV)

It is commonly asserted within biblical scholarship that the main focus of the prophet was on proclamation; that only incidentally was he (or she)...

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From Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary’s DBSJ 21 (2016); posted with permission.

by Benjamin G. Edwards1,2

Paul’s instructions in his first epistle to Timothy are an invaluable resource to believers. They serve as a superb foundation for knowing how the church is to be organized and to...

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Sunday, 03 September 2017 15:00

From the Archives: Why Do Excellent Work?

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I once heard a story—I don’t recall where—of a builder who was commissioned by his employer to build a house. The builder’s employer gave specific instructions regarding the quality of the house. He wanted it to be excellent, but the builder tried to save money and effort...

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What is the nature of Christ’s incarnation? How did the Messiah’s divine and human natures work together? Much has been written on this, of course. Theology students (and their teachers) have always been intrigued by this question. When this question comes up, the Bible...

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 15:00

Understanding the Purpose of the Church, Part 2

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Republished from Baptist Bulletin March/April 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved. Read Part 1.

Instruction

The saints need instruction, and for this purpose the Lord has not only sent the Holy Spirit and His Word, but has given as gifts to the churches...

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 15:00

Understanding the Purpose of the Church, Part 1

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Republished from Baptist Bulletin March/April 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

By Paul R. Jackson

Soon after entering the ministry, I heard a man who had graduated from a modernistic seminary say, “The primary business of the church is to equalize the...

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Read Part 1.

Why did God choose to use preaching and teaching in the life of the church? Having given us the Scriptures, why did He not simply command us to read them together? After all, the only words uttered in a church gathering that are guaranteed to be perfect every time are those read...

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Sunday, 27 August 2017 17:00

Jesus the Angry Nazarenes (Mark 6:1-6)

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imageChrist Preaching in the Nazarene Synagogue (ca. 14th century), Visoki Decani Monastery, Kosovo

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching...

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imageDonald Pfaffe, "Views Of New Evangelicalism," CENQ 02:2 (Summer 1959)

In the spring of 1959, Ernest Pickering wrote an article for the Central Bible Quarterly entitled “The Present Status of the New Evangelicalism.”1 This was only one of the first in an eventual avalanche of articles...

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017 15:00

Saving Faith and Assurance

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When considering assurance of salvation, sooner or later we come to the question of saving faith. The ultimate issue concerns the nature of my faith, is it genuine or spurious? If I didn’t have some kind of faith, I wouldn’t be concerned with assurance at all. I wouldn’t even...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 15:00

John Owen on Inspiration Preservation

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Introduction

The greatest British theologian of the 17th Century was, in the opinion of many, John Owen. Owen made distinctive contributions in a number of theological loci. His book on the mutual relationship within the Trinity and our communion with each of the Divine Persons is still the best...

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Sunday, 20 August 2017 15:00

Review - The Vanishing American Adult

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Reposted with permission from The Cripplegate.

by Eric Davis

I typically do not read books from contemporary politicians. Recently I made an exception...

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Thursday, 17 August 2017 15:00

Witnessing Better Than Knowing the Future

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A Sermon (No. 2330) Intended for Reading on Lord’s-Day, October 15th, 1893.

Delivered by C.H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington on Thursday Evening, August 29th, 1889.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again...

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