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

memoirandremains - Apologetic Report
Friday, 17 November 2017 10:48

The Deadliness of Slander

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Using the instance of Jesus’ good works being attributed to Satan, Denney gets at the basis of why some slander those who do good. While one may take exception to his statement that this is essence of “blaspheme of the Holy Spirit”, he does get at the spiritual and psychology root...

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:57

If I only saw a miracle

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Why do the miracles provoke such extraordinary responses

Jesus gets death plots for healing a man. Mark 3:6. Peter and John are arrested after the healing of a lame man. Acts 4. What provoked such a response

“It was not the act itself of healing the lame man, but the word, the doctrine which...

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Saturday, 11 November 2017 07:53

How Narratives Work, Part 2

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After noting the plot points in the section under consideration, we should note how this particular section of Acts 4 fits into the larger narratives.  First, this scene of Peter and John before the counsel fits into a larger section running from Acts 3:1 and ending with 4:35.

The scene in...

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Friday, 10 November 2017 11:24

From a tiny human frame

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The scene is December 21, in rural England, after midnight on a small hill, on a windy night. The novel is Far From the Maddening Crowd. It is a beautiful description of solitude – not loneliness.

But there a note of extraordinary sadness in this. Hardy was an atheist, and so could only see so...

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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 10:25

What should a pastor be?

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Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, an early martyr for the faith, (c. 70–c. 155), was considered a model of the faithful pastor. Since he had, according to Irenaeus, direct and personal links with eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry, his testimony concerning the qualities requisite for...

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Friday, 03 November 2017 14:33

How Narratives Work Part 1

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The language of Psalm 39, “O LORD make me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” Has struck me (“I am mute; I do not open my mouth”).  I know the meaning and can see the psychological and emotional relationship between fleeting...

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Thursday, 02 November 2017 12:11

Epiphora

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More from Henry Peachum, The Garden of Eloquence (1593):

EPIPHORA.

Epiphora is a figure which endeth diverse members or clauses still with one and the same word.

An example: Since the tiem that concord was taken from the citie, libertie was taken away, fidelitie was taken away, friendship was taken...

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:48

Grace as God’s Response to Human Rebellion

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Grace, we might say, is a response, an application of God’s character and attributes, to human rebellion. Grace is that aspect of divine action by which God blesses his rebellious creatures, whether through preservation (common grace) or salvation (special grace). It characterizes the manner...

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 02:18

Counseling from Psalm 39, Part 2

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Continuing on with the prayer of verses 4-6. Weiser, in his comment upon this prayer, states as follows:

…in the midst of his physical and mental suffering. It is in this connection that the knowledge of the transient nature and futility of every human life and of all human effort in the...

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:28

Counseling from Psalm 39, Part 1

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Psalm 39

The Psalmist begins with self-control,

Psalm 39:1 (ESV)

I said, “I will guard my ways,

that I may not sin with my tongue;

I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,

so long as the wicked are in my presence.”

The reason is good, “that I may not sin with my tongue.”...

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Those who insist on a biblical counseling methodology begin with the Scriptures. This is their basis. Their writings are filled with biblical exposition, and psychological insights are brought in only in a secondary and tentative manner. In contrast, Christian psychologists often tend to start with...

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A common sort of argument is made that “common grace” is a basis for wisdom.  For example, John Coe makes the argument that since Proverbs 8 uses an analogy from ants as a basis to chide a sluggard, “the sage has Cosmic Wisdom setting forth the existential implications and...

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:44

What can be more truly described as worship

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There are plenty of people, of course, outside the Church who have a sincere contempt for sermons. There are plenty of people inside who would like, as they put it, to enlarge the field of interest, and to hear the minister of the Church on all sorts of literary, economical, or political questions....

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:43

The Greatest of Miracles

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John Chrysostom preaching on Acts 1: “For this would be the greatest of miracles, that without any miracles, the whole world should have eagerly come to be taken in the nets of twelve poor and illiterate men. For not by wealth of money, not by wisdom of words, not by any thing else of this...

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Monday, 09 October 2017 12:58

The Relgion of Mrs. Clenham Part 2

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Arthur Clenham comes home to the dismal, dark house of his childhood. The only decorations were framed  images of the Plagues of Egypt.  He and his father have in China on business for 20 years. His father died and has returned to London and the house of his bed ridden mother:

‘I am...

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Friday, 06 October 2017 13:59

Rhetorical Figures: Epanaphora

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Epanaphora is the repetition of a word (or perhaps words) at the beginning of a series of clauses or phrases:

The Lord sitteth above the water floods.

The Lord remaineth a king for ever.

The Lord shall give strength unto his people.

The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Psalm 29, quoted...

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Thursday, 05 October 2017 14:47

The Scope of the Fall’s Effect

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It is the human heart that is corrupt (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Ps. 14:1; Jer. 17:9; Ezek. 36:26; Matt. 15:19); from it flow the springs of life (Prov. 4:23). It is from within the human heart that all iniquities and all sorts of incomprehension flow (Mark 7:21). The mind of humans is darkened (Job 21:14;...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 22:14

Objective Humility 

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It seems that humility is often defined in terms of how one subjectively feels when in the presence of another. If after spending time with Mr X I feel assured, comfortable, at ease – particularly if Mr X speaks of his own understandable faults – there is the tendency to say that Mr X...

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Saturday, 30 September 2017 00:56

Taking the Tongue for a Walk

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“And their tongue walketh through the earth.” Leisurely and habitually they traverse the whole world to find victims for their slander and abuse. Their tongue prowls in every corner far and near, and spares none. They affect to be universal censors, and are in truth perpetual vagrants....

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Thursday, 28 September 2017 03:14

The Religion of Mrs. Clenham, Part 1

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Mrs. Clenham broods over Dickens’ novel Little Dorritwith her brutal Christless, graceless religion. Her heretical “Christianity” in the end is spurs the trouble which the Christianity of Amy Dorrit (“Little Dorrit”) resolves.

We are introduced to the religion through...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:21

One consideration more humbling than another

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If there is one consideration more humbling than another to a spiritually-minded believer, it is, that, after all God has done for him, – after all the rich displays of his grace, the patience and tenderness of his instructions, the repeated discipline of his covenant, the tokens of love...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 14:28

Book Review: Now My Eyes Have Seen You

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Fall lays the crux of Job as the question of which and why the evil? More precisely, he lays out two related questions. Is God Job’s advocate or his Satan (accuser) is God for Job or against him:

Here Job comes close to reconstructing the scene of the heavenly council in the Prologue; but he...

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Thursday, 21 September 2017 11:07

Spirituality as Neurology and Movement

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The New York Times has a story entitled How to Hack Your Brain (for $5000). The article discusses the psychological states of “flow” and a man named Wheal who sells his technique for “hacking” the nervous system, to create a physical, psychological, spiritual state...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:44

God is God in all places

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It is a curious thing, but true that even we professors (those who profess, not teachers) Christ can more easily be frightened of the knowledge of other people rather than the knowledge of God:

Examine what affections we have to God: for it is affection that makes a Christian. Single out some few...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 02:58

How flight affects consciousness

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A study reported by the BBC discusses the many which in which travel by airplane can affect our consciousness and perception:

Anxiety levels can increasewith hypoxia,” explains Valerie Martindale, president of the Aerospace Medical Association at King’s College London....

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