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
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At some point during my tenure as a pastor at Grace Baptist, I decided I needed a succinct, memorable expression of the gospel—a phrase I could repeat frequently in a variety of contexts until members of the flock would recall it reflexively.

What I came up with is pretty much straight from 1...

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This series continues as Gregg Strawbridge examines some common arguments against contemporary music styles in the church.

The Natural Law Argument

Bill Gothard (1986), a well-known critic of CM says, “There is no such thing as amoral music.” He diagrams an analogy between other...

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 21:38

Is the 1689 Baptist Confession Sufficiently Missional?

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Evangelistic outreach and missions is of prime importance to the church. But neither the Westminster Confession (WCF) nor the Second London Baptist Confession (2LCF) gives much expression or emphasis to the church’s responsibility to take the gospel to all the nations. The chapter “Of...

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019 15:00

9/11 and the Rapture

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Most likely you remember where you were when you first learned of the terror that came to America’s shores on the morning of September 11, 2001.

It is not at all difficult for me to remember, as I first heard of the attacks after teaching a class on the book of Daniel at Maranatha Baptist...

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Monday, 09 September 2019 15:00

Review – What Is Girl Worth, by Rachel Denhollander

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It’s occasionally difficult to distill any book, particularly one of this weight, into words. This is a book that...

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Sunday, 08 September 2019 17:00

Some Thoughts About the End-Times

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Several months ago, the teens at church asked three questions during Sunday School as the teacher covered 2 Thessalonians 2, and I wrote up a brief response to augment the teacher’s answers. These were their questions:

  1. Was Old Testament salvation by faith, or by works?
  2. Did the Holy Spirit...

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Thursday, 05 September 2019 15:00

8 Elements Common to Answered Prayers

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Reposted from The Cripplegate.

Eos fell in love with the mortal man, Tithonus, and asked Zeus to make him immortal. Zeus granted the request—with a catch. Eos forgot to specify her request as wanting eternal youth for her beau. So Tithonus did live forever but kept aging until he was so old...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 17:00

The Confessions

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In this excerpt from Augustine’s Confessions,1 he explains his own struggles as a Christian with the allure of praise from men.

“I am poor and needy,” yet better am I while in secret groanings I displease myself, and seek for Thy mercy, until what is lacking in me be renewed and...

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Tuesday, 03 September 2019 15:00

Disheartening Defections

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It happened again recently, twice actually. Two prominent Christians renounced their faith publicly. Whenever this occurs, and it seems to be happening with greater frequency, many Christians are affected adversely. Reactions range from simple discouragement and sorrow, to self-questioning, and...

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Monday, 02 September 2019 15:00

Jeremiah’s Great Eschatological Vision (Part 2)

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Read the series.

The Locus Classicus of the New Covenant

Then we arrive at the prophecy about the New covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). The verses are immediately followed by a Divine guarantee of future fulfillment (Jer. 31:35-37). So it behooves us to look at it carefully:

Behold, the days are coming, says...

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Sunday, 01 September 2019 15:00

Five Reasons to Preach a Series on Work

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In my five decades of attending Bible-preaching churches I’ve heard precisely one sermon series on work. It was my own, and was pretty weak.

It’s possible that the topic has been receiving systematic attention all over the place all these years, and I’ve just managed to miss nearly...

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Thursday, 29 August 2019 15:00

The Source of America’s Love for Israel

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imageGeneva Bible (Wikimedia)

In a previous blog post, I surveyed the highlights of statements made by presidents of the United States regarding America’s efforts to be a blessing to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

Our nation has a rich legacy of support for Israel, for which we should...

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By Gregg Strawbridge. Posted by permission from the author.

Abstract

As an analysis of music style, this paper offers a succinct theological synthesis of the Biblical information on music. The writer summarizes a mini-theology of music and addresses a current issue relevant to evangelical worship,...

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imageDetail from The Prodigal Son, Nikolay Losev, 1882.

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Several rejoinders may be offered to the “anthropopathic” interpretations represented above.

1. God is Not Pretending

One may affirm that the text has a rhetorical function while also insisting that the human...

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Read Part 1.

Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets includes the prediction that the New Covenant would replace the older Mosaic Covenant.

This does not mean Jesus’ New Covenant instruction is contrary to what Moses said. While God’s moral standards existed before the Mosaic Law was...

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Sunday, 25 August 2019 17:00

Review: "The Evangelicals" by Frances Fitzgerald

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Frances Fitzgerald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a B.A. in Middle Eastern history. She has written numerous books. In 2018, she published The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (730 pgs). This book is particularly interesting for several reasons. First, Fitzgerald is a...

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Thursday, 22 August 2019 15:00

Jeremiah’s Great Eschatological Vision (Part 1)

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Excerpts from the book The Words of the Covenant: A Biblical Theology (forthcoming)

As far as biblical covenantalism goes, the prophecies in Jeremiah 30 through 33, supported by chapters 34 and 35 are critical.1 After the prophet is heard in his own right, the covenantal picture that has been...

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019 15:00

From the Archives: What Is New Covenant Theology?

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Reprinted with permission from Faith Pulpit (Oct-Dec, 2010).

New Covenant Theology (NCT) is a rather new theological movement.1 Its proponents come from the local church rather than academia, and the majority of its adherents are found within the local church. Its proponents include Tom Wells, Fred...

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019 15:00

Has God Blessed America for Blessing Israel?

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imageReagan and Begin, 1981. (Reagan Library. Wikimedia.)

With the following words, America’s 40th president, Ronald W. Reagan—still in the first year of his presidency—greeted Menachem Begin, the sixth prime minister of the modern state of Israel:

We’re proud to stand beside you...

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imageDetail from The Prodigal Son, Nikolay Losev, 1882.

Read Part 1.

The Objections Addressed

Some object to the exegetical and theological conclusions above. On the basis of texts like Psalm 115:3, they argue that God’s desires must be coterminous with God’s decrees. That is, all that God...

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imageDetail from The Prodigal Son, Nikolay Losev, 1882.

Unlike you and me, God has both the power and prerogative to bring all his desires to fruition. “Our God is in the heavens,” declares the psalmist, “he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). Nevertheless, the Sovereign God of...

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Thursday, 15 August 2019 15:00

Illustrations in Preaching, Part 7

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Third Series of Lectures to My Students

The Art of Illustration: Being Addresses Delivered ot the students of The Pastor’s College, Metropolitan Tabernacle

By C. H. Spurgeon, 1905

Lecture 1: Illustrations in Preaching [Continued. Read the series.]

Elaboration into minute points is not commendable...

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By David Gunn

Recent events have thrust the issue of abortion back into the public spotlight. Now the culture war’s battle lines are being redrawn in familiar places as pundits, partisans, and politicians line up to yell at and talk past one another. That’s unfortunate, because this...

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Tuesday, 13 August 2019 15:00

Practical Eschatology

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Reposted from The Cripplegate.

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in...

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With Matthew 5:21-48 Jesus quoted the OT seven times. Six of these involve an OT command from the Law of Moses followed by the statement “But I say to you .  .  .” A seventh concerns a statement that Jerusalem is “the city of the great King,” a reference to Psalm...

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