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
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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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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