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

1517 The Legacy Project - Apologetic Report
Sunday, 17 September 2017 23:32

Gospeling Souls Right into Hell

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A 1517 / Jagged Word Crosspost

I recently heard a preacher say that it is possible for preachers and teachers to “Gospel souls right into hell.” I really don’t wish to mischaracterize or impugn what the preacher was trying to communicate, but, needless to say, I was a bit shocked.

I...

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Friday, 15 September 2017 03:39

The Ghosts of Sins Past

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I am not much for ghosts. I don’t believe we get visits from the dead, at least not in any sort of positive way (Samuel was no fan of being called forth by Saul, after all). But, there are nights I find myself awake and frightened by things I long thought dead. Sins of the past haunt me. That...

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Thursday, 14 September 2017 05:37

The Only Sane Man in Gerasenes—An Excerpt

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imageThis is a selection from our new book by Dr. Wade Johnston, “A Path Strewn With Sinners” (p. 33-36)—a short sermonic/devotional study of the book of Mark. Mark is the shortest of the Gospels but packs a wallop and this little book follows suit in every respect. You can pick...

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 01:58

The Gospel of Happy

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You know, God never gives you more than you can handle. When He closes a door, He opens a window. He will wipe away every tear and restore you to your best life, now. He has a plan and a purpose for your life, and of course—God wants you to be happy.

The other day, I looked for this in the...

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 02:12

A Nap Before Dinner

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Sin does not take a coffee break. Death does not care that we feel better when it is not around. We can adjust ourselves to new conditions and discoveries. We can make ourselves pliable. We can invent new myths that make us over into gods with acid reflux. We can unlearn the teachings of the...

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Since we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, I thought we could look at a vital question of the era that brought sharp division; and in fact, divided the German reformers from the Swiss.

The question: Can something without limits (God) inhabit something with...

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Thursday, 07 September 2017 01:03

Spiritual Anorexia

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Recently a woman asked me, “do you think I’m a Christian?” She had recently become obsessed with this question. She is a regular church goer. She participates in a bible study and other groups. Anyone on the outside would quickly answer her question with “Well of course...

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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 02:09

Psalm 1 – Wide Open

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“It seems likely that [Psalm 1] was specially composed as an introduction to the whole Psalter. Certainly it stands here as a faithful doorkeeper…”[1] And so opens a popular commentary on the Psalms as it shares a conviction that is widely held.

But I ask this: If Psalm 1 acts as...

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Tuesday, 05 September 2017 04:13

Not The What, But The Who…

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It isn’t “what” Christians confess, but “Who” we confess that makes all the difference. What distinguishes Christians from other religions is the “Who” of our confession. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:5-11), Christ Jesus is...

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Friday, 01 September 2017 01:12

The Restoration of Hell

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The problem with reason is that it is progressive. The structures of arguments are progressive in that they lead you from premises to conclusions. Even in deductive arguments, where the premises perfectly entail the conclusion, you learn something via the arrangement of premise to conclusion. Your...

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Luther’s Bondage of the Will has made people uncomfortable since he wrote it, even people in his inner circle. Luther didn’t set out to write it on his own. He might have never written it, in fact, had he not been prodded. Bondage of the Will is a reply to a challenge from the most...

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 02:49

Who’s Afraid of Statistics?

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Have you heard the news? The church is dying! At least, that’s what every ecclesiastical demographic study is telling us. You’ve read the fear-mongering headlines, right? They all read something like this: “Millennials Are Leaving the Institutional Church in Record Numbers,”...

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 04:04

Faith Praises God As Giver

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Every confession of Christian faith erupts from the fact that God is a giver. Therefore, to say “giver God” is the same as saying “gracious God” and to say God is gracious is to say “faith”. That is, God is trustworthy because He is a gift-giving God. To confess...

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Monday, 28 August 2017 01:42

What the Christian Life Looks Like

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It’s a phrase that is constantly thrown around. From several online conversations it seems that, well, Paul wasn’t afraid to tell people what the Christian life looks like. But he never actually uses that phrase. He actually says something quite the opposite, he says your life is hidden...

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“When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness.” (Flannery O’Connor, Habit of Being, pg. 354)

A couple of days ago a member of my congregation said she was...

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Thursday, 24 August 2017 04:53

Who’s Your Canaanite?

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When I was a kid on the playground we would get into rather vicious games of four square, kickball, and handball. I have not reflected on playground behavior in a long time, but it was vicious. Less than stellar plays were rewarded with complete humiliation from everyone playing and watching the...

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017 02:54

A Pastor May Have The Holy Spirit in Two Ways

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What is a Christian to do whose pastor abuses the office of the holy ministry for self-benefit? When a man exploits the pastoral office in service to self-interest how are Christians to distinguish between the person and the office? The answer is simple: a pastor may have the Holy Spirit in two...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 05:12

Gently Abused Faith

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Even the mention of a “godly woman” sends my stomach on a sickly spin deep inside. I had learned, over the years, how to freeze a neutral smile on my face as those words advanced on me during the course of a conversation. It would usually begin innocently enough: good friends, good...

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Friday, 18 August 2017 01:41

Pastor, That’s Not Your Wife

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She is very attractive for you, isn’t she? And you can’t seem to leave her alone. You love being the center of her attention. When she compliments you, you feel like you can conquer the world. You’ve even become an expert on wooing those compliments...

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Thursday, 17 August 2017 06:09

There Despite the Grace of God Go I

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I used to think that what set Christianity apart from other religions was that in the other religions, people worked toward salvation on their own power, while we had the help of the Holy Spirit empowering us. Then I read an astute Puritan who showed how even the Pharisees credited God with their...

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017 04:35

Extra Nos (Outside Ourselves)

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The pillars of the Reformation are Latin phrases called the solas. These are Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), and Solus Christus (Christ alone). Together, these describe the formula of justification usually articulated; the Christian is justified...

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 03:57

One Victim, One Trauma, One Violent Death

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What is it about modern American society that is so dispiriting to people? Even at home, there are great stresses that contribute to a person’s isolation even when he is surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors. For most modern Americans, a close-knit family, intimate friendships, and...

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Monday, 14 August 2017 03:05

About Preaching Good Works

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Ok boys and girls, it is time for our lesson on how to listen and respond when Servants of the Word start preaching about good works. I want you to listen to some, but, walk away from others. If they go soft on good works you need to walk. What do I mean by soft, Virginia*? Going soft on good works...

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Friday, 11 August 2017 04:40

Look Upon the Tree

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Here’s a dose of optimism for you. It comes from Henry David Thoreau writing beside Walden Pond when this nation was not yet 100 years-old:

If the moon looks larger here than in Europe, probably the sun looks larger also. If the heavens of America appear infinitely higher, and the stars...

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Thursday, 10 August 2017 02:07

Stay in the Boat!

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Many people, even those who are remotely familiar with Christianity, know the popular story of Peter walking on the water. Oh sure, Jesus was more successful at this miraculous task, but we are far more excited about Peter’s experiment right?

Matthew tells us that one evening Jesus told the...

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