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
Friday, 13 October 2017 02:42

1518 The Legacy Project?

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The image of a German monk nailing a revolutionary document—The 95 Theses—is inspiring and iconic. For this reason, some who don’t know much about Martin Luther and his legacy turn first to those theses from 1517. When they do, they are often confused. At this stage in...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 05:00

Piercing Evangelism

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In a recent movie on Emily Dickinson, I was reminded of the vast difference between the faith of the Lutheran Reformation, and many forms of American religion that followed in its wake. The other forms held sway for a long time, but biting portrayals by novelists dismantled the evangelistic...

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 01:41

Taking Ground

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On the evening of May 24th, 1539 Martin Luther stood before a crowd at the Castle Pleissenburg, Leipzig. The following morning would mark the inauguration of the Reformation in Ducal Saxony. Another part of the world had been won over by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That ground had not been won...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 02:38

The Aim And Goal of The Law

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Love God and love your neighbor. That’s the whole law in a nutshell. The aim and goal of all laws and commands is love. Love is the law. We Christians know this about the law because it is revealed to us through Christ Jesus. Through Jesus’ words and work we know that we are judged by...

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Monday, 09 October 2017 04:00

Sinners are the Heirs of the Reformation

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I have been told many times that the future of Lutheranism lays in the hands of those who have not grown up Lutheran. Being an ex “Fundagelical” myself, I tend to smile when I hear these things, especially when new wars over a proper understanding of Law and Gospel are being waged. The...

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Friday, 06 October 2017 01:29

Apple Watch Faith

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For the last three years, I have been wearing an Apple Watch. One of the critical features of the watch is fitness tracking. Using a very accurate heart rate monitor and a set of motion tracking sensors, the watch can determine if and when I exercise, as well as how many calories I have burned. I...

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Thursday, 05 October 2017 02:33

I Am That Guy

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“Why evil?,” asks everyone from long time church going folk to militant atheists preaching on the Internet.  It’s a good question. This world is messed up. A pastor or leader should never play it down, or pretend not to sympathize with his neighbor. It can eat at the...

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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:09

Unsavory Grace from an Unsavory Lord

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Robert Farrar Capon made the excellent point that the parables of Jesus need to be understood as riddles—riddles that, when solved or unlocked, illustrate elements of the radical and sometimes outrageous nature of God’s grace. The challenge is to bring to the parable the right...

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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 04:24

Cursing in Defense of The Gospel

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Why does Jesus curse His accusers (Psalm 109:20), but say, “bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you”? (Matthew 5:44) Jesus did not curse anyone from the cross. Instead, He prayed for everyone who cursed Him, slandered, mocked, and spit on Him. Does God contradict...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 05:17

My Father, Bo Giertz (Part I)

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By Birgitta Giertz Translated by Bror Erickson

At various occasions in life I have been asked what it was like to be Bo Giertz’s daughter. The implicit reason was that it must have been something special. Those who have asked often did so from either a sense of admiration or repudiation, Bo...

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Friday, 29 September 2017 01:53

Hugh Hefner’s Vicious Manifesto

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For some reason, American culture tends to venerate dead celebrities, whatever their contribution to society. Still, I was surprised to see so many in the media telling the story of “the Hef’s” life in a way that presents him as a hero.  Despite the praise he is receiving in...

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Thursday, 28 September 2017 03:30

Bo Giertz, A “Regular Priest”

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I was first introduced to the work of Bo Giertz in Rome. It was in that city that Bo Giertz had promised his queen that he wanted to be nothing, and would be no more than a “regular priest.” We would say pastor, but in Sweden Lutherans still call their pastors priests. Bo Giertz was...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 01:43

The Tolkien Option, Part 2: Recovery

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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 02:38

Days of Trouble

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For many Christians, sitting still while “days of trouble” threaten to overwhelm us is more of a strain on our conscience than direct action. More than that, when we can identify the source of trouble, our inclination is often to rage against attacks to our body or property. And it is...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 03:58

Theology Science: Necessary Tensions

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In my quest to understand and articulate a dialogue position between science and religion, I have come to understand one thing clearly—tension is the de facto state of affairs between faith and reason, science and theology. Science and theology are akin to the Scylla and Charybdis of...

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Friday, 22 September 2017 02:51

Object Fixation and Christian Sexuality

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imageWhen I was dean of theology at an interdenominational evangelical university, some of the freshmen guys started sharing their frustrations with me about a popular phenomenon: young men’s study groups centered on a book by Stephen Arterburn, Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual...

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Thursday, 21 September 2017 04:30

No Longer A Mystery! David Lynch and Jesus

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A couple of weeks ago, the brilliant T.V. revival, Twin Peaks: The Return, came to a close. The writer and director David Lynch baffled his giddy audience with 18 episodes of near absurdity, robbing nostalgic fans of their desire to return to the past.

While Lynch’s goal was certainly to...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 04:07

Photoshopping Death

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Funeral homes specialize in doing everything necessary to whitewash the very basis of their existence. They pretty up the corpse to make it appear as non-dead as possible. The architecture is neutral. The building could just as easily pass for First State Bank or the Law Firm of Douglas McSuehappy....

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:10

God’s Final Sentence and Judgment

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All Scripture points to the suffering of Christ Jesus. As Jesus says (Luke 24:46-47), Scripture holds up a picture of God before us that promises grace and forgiveness of sin through His innocent suffering and bloody death. As a consequence, whoever believes in His words and works will be saved...

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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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