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
Thursday, 11 January 2018 10:12

Richard Sibbes, The Art of Self-Humbling.2

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Now to the “what” of humility.

Humility (before God) is a proper realization of our sinfulness before God. No degree of pomp, wealth or power can free us from selfishness, covetousness, anger, lust, greed. This is the cognitive realization which is the basis for our humility:

To begin...

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018 10:10

Richard Sibbes, The Art of Self-Humbling.1

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Sibbes sermon, “The Art of Self-Humbling” sets forth the “what”, “how” and “why” of humility: why should we humble ourselves.  We should not that “humiliation” and humbling are not matters which are prized by our culture. In...

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Sunday, 07 January 2018 12:04

Why sleep (it’s rather dangerous)

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No one knows:

In a way, it’s startling how universal sleep is: In the midst of the hurried scramble for survival, across eons of bloodshed and death and flight, uncountable millions of living things have laid themselves down for a nice, long bout of unconsciousness. This hardly seems conducive...

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Saturday, 06 January 2018 12:20

Pelagius on the Human Will

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[Some more from the draft of an article on the psychological effects of the Fall and whether common grace can provide a sufficient response]

Indeed, Pelagius held that the human will is wholly within one’s own power. While the matter under consideration is particularly the question of whether...

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Friday, 05 January 2018 10:08

Ethics as esthetics

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How ethics are easily manipulated as a matter of looking like everyone else:

Today, people act as if they have a “right” to revenge, even as they have a “right” never to be offended. Here, it would be impossible to underestimate the influence of mass media, a source of...

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 09:14

Pelagic Psychology and Integration

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In research the question of the psychological effects of the Fall (essentially, the Fall fundamentally transformed human psychology: our cognition, affections, behavior and will have all been changed as a result of the Fall; therefore, only a remedy which addresses the injury of the Fall will be...

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 14:23

God has acted

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So what does this mean for us today? The first practical point we should note is this: when we gather as a church, a biblical understanding of God’s grace means that we are only there because God has acted. Indeed, our gathering as the church is the action of God and not of ourselves. If we...

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 10:58

Book Review: The College Choice

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Todd M. Sorrell, has quite a background: a former partner with an international law firm, a business man and published author. He is also an ACBC certified counselor and an adjunct professor of Biblical Counseling at The Masters University.  HIs book The College Choice began as a...

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Saturday, 23 December 2017 09:07

Loyalty to the Saints

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This sermon (“Loyalty to the Saints”) by James Denney is based upon Psalm 78:15, ” If I had said, I will speak thus; Behold, I had dealt treacherously with the generation of thy children.”

This sermon concerns the “generation of God’s children”, the...

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I am working on an essay for the Journal of Biblical Soul Care on the matter of common grace. If anyone has a comment, I would appreciate it. [Sorry for the formatting oddities]

Schematic representation of (1) why Biblical Counseling holds that the Scripture and the Spirit are sufficient...

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Monday, 18 December 2017 09:17

Dribble down the page

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Brenda Shaughnessy’s emo-drenched poems dribble down the page like a freshman term-paper. Indeed, the longest poem in So Much Synth revisits, in the poet’s middle middle-age, her angsty teen diary. Proust’s diary might have been interesting at fourteen, or John Stuart...

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Friday, 15 December 2017 14:56

1 Kings 9 the Definition of Legalism

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Sinclair Ferguson in his book The Whole Christ has an extremely useful explanation of “legalism”:

Gerhardus Vos well expresses this in another context:

Legalism is a peculiar kind of submission to God’s law, something that no longer feels the personal divine touch in the rule...

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 10:03

This is How God Works

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For to each repentant one the valley of lowliness and sorrow becomes a door of hope; especially where God chastens for our sins will He comfort and heal. It is a strong word, “scourgeth.” He “scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” Look again at the sinning sons of Jacob....

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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 10:10

How Narratives Work Part 5

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There is an interesting knot in Acts 4: the story concerns authority. The rulers are exercising authority over Peter and John. They want to know what authority gave Peter and John the power to heal someone. Peter takes authority by speaking. They demand obedience and Peter asks whether he should...

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Monday, 04 December 2017 14:49

Robot Therapy

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My therapist wanted to explain a few things during our first online session:

“I’m going to check in with you at random times. If  you can’t respond straight away, don’t sweat it. Just come back to me when  you’re ready. I’ll check in daily.”

“D...

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Saturday, 02 December 2017 11:58

How Narratives Work, Part 4

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Now that one has understood the plot line (and with biblical narratives, the sensitivity to the various levels of plots: the individual stories are part of larger narratives), and has undertaken to understand the look and feel of the story from the inside; there is a need to learn why the story is...

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Wednesday, 29 November 2017 13:34

The Need for the Creator’s Perspective

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In spite of the multiplication of academic disciplines in the twentieth century that focus on the biological, social, psychological, and evolutionary understanding of the human creature, these modern approaches provide a very limited perspective from which the human person can understand the human...

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:19

Science

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Cornell University has launched an investigation into the work of Brian Wansink, the food behavior and marketing expert who has come under fire for scientific misconduct allegations over the last year, BuzzFeed News has learned.

“An internal investigation by the University is underway, in...

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:16

How Narratives Work, Part III

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Having fully worked through the plot points, it is necessary next to consider the details. The biblical narratives are extremely spare. Consider for example, Acts 4:7a, “And when they had set them in their midst”. The scene is told with exceeding brevity. Peter and John had been...

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Saturday, 25 November 2017 09:45

Men and Women’s Brains Wired Differently

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Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men’s brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better...

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“And that brings us back to the point from which we started. It is because we have this to lean upon that we dare aspire so high. It is only as we lean upon it that our calling to be God’s becomes credible, practicable, real. They are the two most wonderful things in the world, the most...

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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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