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

Reformedish - Apologetic Report

image If you scan the literature, there’s been a recent boom in scholarship on Jonathan Edwards’ doctrine of the Trinity. If there’s something everyone agrees on nowadays is that whatever else Edwards is, he’s a trinitarian. One other takeaway, though, is that his trinitarianism...

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Nietzsche was the master of the ad hominem.

I’ve been thinking about arguments again, but this time with respect to the turn to first-person narratives in the broader internet landscape, and within the online, Evangelical world. One of the persistent features of these sorts of essays is...

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 22:14

Beware Quote-Tweeting Before the Mob

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The Quote-Tweet is possibly the best, and easily the worst part about Twitter. On the positive side, the humor possibilities are endless. You get to set yourself up for all sorts of ironic one-liners, dumb jokes with friends, and so forth. Also, there is the ease of RTing a story you want to share...

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Saturday, 06 May 2017 02:23

Five Ways to Spoil the Gospel

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image J.C Ryle was a prominent Anglican Bishop of Liverpool in the 19th century. An advocate of the Evangelical cause in the Church of England, he penned an insightful article laying out what he took to be the essence of Evangelicalism, clarifying confusions and myths, and proposing a road forward for...

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 01:36

Tweeting Yourself Into An Identity

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I was struck by an unoriginal thought about Twitter today. It holds for most other forms of social media as well, I suppose. It’s simply this: Twitter is not simply a medium for the self-expression of our given or chosen identity, but for the formative construction of...

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Saturday, 22 April 2017 01:01

Jesus, the Resurrected Judge, Lives in Power

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image This morning I ran across an unnerving bit of text at at the end of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. He has just spent a number of chapters encouraging their faithfulness, defending his ministry, and now he turns to warning them to put away sin before he arrives to visit:

This will be...

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 01:27

Mere Fidelity: The Resurrection of Politics

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image On this episode, Matt and I and our Mere-Orthodoxy’s friend Jake Meador discuss the implications of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for political theology. I had a lot of fun with this talk.

If you like the show, please do leave us a review on iTunes. We are also available on Google Play.

If...

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image When John Calvin settled into the work of Reformation in Geneva in the fall of 1536, it wasn’t because he was impressed with the state of affairs he found. In fact, Guillaume Farel had to threaten him with divine judgment on his studies if he should abandon the work Farel was certain...

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Friday, 14 April 2017 01:30

Two Pieces on Good Friday Preaching at TGC

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image God Doesn’t Forgive Like You

Did God really forgive sin on the cross? Did he pay the debt of sin his people owed?

One line of thinking suggests that to understand the cross as penal substitution is to deny the reality of God’s forgiveness. We usually think forgiving a debt means...

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image We’ve been going through the book of Exodus in church recently, and we just hit the section on the plagues YHWH poured out upon Egypt (sans the 10th plague on the firstborn). After listening to my pastor’s sermon on it, I was spurred to jot down a few quick thoughts on the role the...

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Friday, 07 April 2017 08:41

Assorted Thoughts on #TGC17

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image This last week I had the privilege of attending TGC’s National Conference for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There was a focus on Galatians and remembering the legacy of the Reformers for the sake of the Church of today.  I have to say, overall it was a very encouraging time....

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 23:20

Owen’s Polemical, Trinitarian Spirituality

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image Historian Richard Muller points out that if Reformed Orthodox theology had a “central-dogma”, contrary to most popular perceptions it wasn’t the doctrine of election, but that of the Trinity. That made intuitive sense to me when I read it. Even though I haven’t always...

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image The Gospel of John is typically acknowledged as having a high, divine Christology. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are far more disputed. In his recent, magisterial work, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospel Richard Hays makes a forceful case, though, that among other roles...

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image I already announced this online last week, but I’ve accepted the invitation to be a columnist for the Christianity Today print edition for the next year. The column is entitled “Confessing God”–a title I’ve taken from the late John Webster. My hope is that each piece...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 01:29

Do Not Be Anxious to Be Modern In Theology

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What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is sa...

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Friday, 03 March 2017 23:19

Basil’s Doxological Spirit

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image I’ve already written a little bit on Basil the Great’s idea of the work of the Spirit in the ministry of the Son. In that light, it’s very clear that Basil thinks of the Spirit economically, or historically. Much of On the Holy Spiritis caught up showing that the Spirit is...

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Sunday, 26 February 2017 22:24

A Note on ‘Biblical’ Simplicity

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image Some form of the doctrine of divine simplicity has long been an assumed mainstay in Christian theology. At its base, it affirms that God is not composite, or composed of metaphysical parts. In some of its most robust forms, it entails a lot more, such as the idea that God is identical...

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image One of the main principles the Church Fathers used to establish the doctrine of the Trinity was to recognize that a unity of activities person or “operations” meant a unity of being and identity. Early in the 4th Century theologians like Athanasius argued from this principle to...

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image This week on Mere Fidelity, we had the immense privilege of having Yuval Levin join us to discuss his important book The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in an Age of IndividualismIf you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. It is one of the...

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:34

Perichoresis in Aquinas: Fruit, not Foundation

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image “Perichoresis” or, in Latin, circumincessio, has been a fairly traditional term in trinitarian theology since at least the time of John of Damascus. Before he applied it to the trinitarian issue, it was used to speak of the mutual interpenetration of the human and divine...

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imageI had a few thoughts on the notion of virtue-signalling after watching this first week of the Trump Presidency, the Women’s March, and the March for Life unfold online.

Virtue is a good thing, which is why thinking yourself or being thought to possess virtue is an attractive prospect.

This...

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Thursday, 26 January 2017 07:08

Mere Fidelity: The 100th Episode

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image I have been slacking in posting links to Mere Fidelity Episodes of late. But I couldn’t fail to link to this week’s episode since it is our 100th! That’s pretty wild when I think about it. Somehow people have been listening to us for 100 episodes. (Or, maybe it’s just a lot...

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image Early on in my theological reading, I gained the impression that contextualizing our presentation gospel was a new concept that Lesslie Newbigin came up with in the 1970s and 80s. It’s not. Understanding the unique challenges that each culture, or sub-culture, or philosophic and religious...

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image I suppose I’ll begin with a bit of a confession: I’ve been a devoted N.T. Wright fan since I was 20, or about 10 years now, during which I’ve read all his major monographs and most of his popular works (excluding the commentaries, of which I do own the majority). Surprising as it...

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Sunday, 01 January 2017 23:06

Work Unto the Lord, Not Unto the Advocate

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image Advocating for justice is a difficult business at the best of times. This is not only because we are fallen sinners, but because we are finite and the world is a complex place. Moral discernment takes hard-won wisdom, passion, and a great deal of humility. Acting on it takes even greater courage...

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