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

Joel Settecase - Apologetic Report

imageSunday I preached on James 1:9-15, and I put in some of the hardest work I’ve ever done on a sermon. From the late hours spent in prep to the physical exertion of actually preaching it, I wrestled with this passage. But like Jacob, after he had wrestled with God, out of my grappling I...

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The Law of Moses The first five books of the Old Testament contain (among other things) the record of God giving his law to the Israelite people, through the prophet Moses. Because it came through Moses, we refer to it as the Mosaic Law. In total, there were 613 commands given. It may sound like...

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“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).  “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil […]

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Sunday, 07 January 2018 20:30

Recommendations: Bible Study Tools

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On Tuesday, January 2, Dan Osborn and I did a Facebook live video to talk about some of the tools we like for studying the Bible. Without any further ado, here are some links to get your hands on some of the tools we recommended (with a couple of others thrown in for good measure). […]

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Sunday at Park Community Church (Forest Glen), Pastoral Resident Ryan Goble taught us from John 15:4-5. I was struck by how this passage, which conveys the words of Jesus to his disciples, revealed to me my own inner leaning toward that faulty belief that, somehow, my activity does something to...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 20:00

Some Last Minute Resolution Ideas

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Happy New Year! Yes that’s right, it’s January 1st! Now you know the next twenty people you see are going to ask you the same question: “So, what are your resolutions this year?” Better pick a good one–maybe even one that will stay in place longer than February...

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Sunday, 31 December 2017 03:00

My 2018 Reading List

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For the last few New Years’, I come up with a list of books I resolve to read. Full disclosure: I approach my reading list like some people approach losing that last ten pounds: I might get to most of them, but life inevitably happens, and the odds are good that there will still be […]

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 03:00

On World Relief

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Park Community Church exists to be a biblical community where the Gospel of Jesus Christ impacts the city of Chicago. And Park FG is here to make a Gospel-shaped dent on the Northwest Side of the city by making disciples right here in our neighborhoods. There are a few key organizations doing good...

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Sunday, 24 December 2017 20:00

Some Last Minute Christmas Verses

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Merry Christmas! Here are some Scripture passages to read with your loved ones around the Christmas tree this morning, or around the dinner table this evening, or anytime at all…. Advertisements

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I originally wrote this as part of my weekly letter to Park Community Church (Forest Glen). At Christmas, we celebrate God’s ultimate self-revelation: He became a human being. This teaching is known as the Incarnation, and it is what Christmas is all about. There is so much...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 03:00

On Gifts

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This was originally written as part of my weekly letter to Park FG.  The Other Kind of Gifts ‘Tis the season to invest time, money, and thought into gifts. Gifts for family, gifts for coworkers and friends, and maybe even the occasional gift for one’s self. But let’s take a...

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Monday, 18 December 2017 03:00

On Making the Most of Christmas

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I originally wrote this as part of my weekly letter to Park FG and a follow-up email exchange. Thinking About Why We Celebrate Christmas Advent starts this Sunday and lasts for four weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. But have you ever considered why we celebrate Christmas at all? After all,...

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 03:00

Dads, Lead Your Family Spiritually (New Resource)

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One of the highest callings of manhood is the spiritual leadership of a family. The same is also one of the greatest challenges and potentially one of the biggest sources of frustration, due to lack of time and uncertainty of how to start. I spoke on this topic at Park FG‘s recent men’s...

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John’s Significant Life Today I had the privilege of opening up God’s word and teaching from Luke 1:1-17 on the subject, “The Life of Significance.” In Matthew 11:11, Jesus says that of everyone born up to that point, John had been the greatest. Together as a church body, we...

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Wednesday, 29 November 2017 06:47

Introducing Advent Devos

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Dads, many of us have the desire to lead our families well spiritually. That’s a good desire. Super biblical. But picture this, and see if you can relate: you wake up in the morning with the best of intentions: you’re going to lead your family in a devotional (Bible study, discussion...

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 07:18

This is Apologetics: an Argument from Thanksgiving

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Can we talk about thanksgiving? No, not the holiday, the attitude. Or we might say, the desire. That is, there is in each of us the innate desire to be grateful for the good things in our lives. We want to give thanks. Is it possible that the gratitude we feel when we experience goodness is...

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:00

This is Apologetics: an Argument from Logic

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This fall, I’ve been leading a small group focused on evangelism and apologetics. We discuss a different topic each week, but we came to the subject of logic and reason, we ended up having to break it up into two weeks. Why? Because thinking about the way we think is hard. We usually just...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 04:52

Some Further Reflections on Community

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Yesterday I preached at Park (Forest Glen) on the subject of community from the text of Galatians 6:1-10. I opened with a story from my own life about a period when I was in dire need of the fellowship and support of a church family, but I also avoided it because of the sin in […]

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Friday, 13 October 2017 00:00

This is Apologetics: Presup Starter Pack

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As I explained in my first article, I started this blog in order to, “share with you the books and articles I’m reading, the videos I’m watching, the sermons and podcasts I’m listening to, and the discussions I’m having–in the hopes that you can use this...

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imageThis question came in via texting at Sunday’s 11AM worship gathering at Park Community Church (Forest Glen), and it’s another good one. Let’s look at the phrase, “speaking the truth in love,” in context. What it means to speak the truth in love In Ephesians 4, Paul...

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Sunday I preached from Ephesians 4 on the subject of church leadership. You can listen to the audio from my sermon here. This post is in response to a text question I received, asking, “Does the Bible make a distinction between elders and pastors?” This is a great question,...

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To the best of my recollection, when I went into full-time pastoral ministry a few years ago, the one aspect of ministry which I was least looking forward to was doing care visits–visiting and ministering to the hurting, sick, depressed, and otherwise struggling at home, in the hospital, etc....

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Monday, 25 September 2017 05:52

Some Further Reflections on “Scripture Alone”

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Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching God’s word to my church family at Park Community Church (Forest Glen).  I preached on the “content of the church,” focusing in on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura–that Scripture alone is the foundation of the church. You can...

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Thursday, 21 September 2017 23:00

This Is Apologetics: an Argument from Certainty

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Here’s a really compelling argument I heard once from Sye Ten Bruggencate about why we need to presuppose the Bible as revelation from God in order to think that we can know anything at all for certain. It’s slightly modified, but I think it still works. The Problem with Knowing...

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Last Sunday at Park Community Church (Forest Glen), we started a new teaching series. I got to preach on 1 Peter 2:4-10, answering the question, “What is the Church?” The question is a crucial one, because if we, as the church, miss God’s definition of what we are supposed to be,...

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