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

The Christward Collective - Apologetic Report
Monday, 18 February 2019 21:27

The Bewildering Mr. Brainerd

Written by
image

I have, for the first time, finally read through David Brainerd's Diary. I'm not sure why it took me this long to get around to it. I now understand why this man, who lived such a short life, has had such an enormous impact on the church and the world of missions. Consider a few of the...

Read more

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 21:04

Regret or Repentance

Written by
image

This was probably a familiar scenario either when you were a child or now as an adult. Some instruction has been given by an authority. Let’s say, for example, “Do not eat the cookies.” The cookies look really tasty. They smell fantastic. And you really really want one. Likely,...

Read more

Thursday, 24 January 2019 20:43

God's Word in Your Child's Mind

Written by
image

A few years ago, at the start of a new school year, I announced to the kids that we would be memorizing the book of James.

“The whole book?” one son asked, eyes wide with surprise.

“That’s the goal,” I responded.

“Impossible!” he declared.

Up to that point, my...

Read more

Saturday, 19 January 2019 20:40

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Written by
image

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23, NASB, 1977)

These are the words of Matthew immediately after he wrote, “Now all this took place that what...

Read more

Friday, 11 January 2019 02:03

Ways to Share the Way

Written by
image

My car was in the shop this week to fix an evolving A/C apocalypse. When the work was finished, a kind mechanic from the place picked me up to take me to my car. On the way, we talked about the things of God, and he asked me how could God send a good Jewish Rabbi to Hell? After all, he said, the...

Read more

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 21:43

Misplaced Presumptuous Tenderness

Written by
image

We live in a day of comfort. Every new product boast a greater measure of ease than that which preceded it. Our public discourse insists that the highest form of virtue is that we do not make others feel uncomfortable about their beliefs or lifestyles. Then we read the Bible and, in many places, we...

Read more

Sunday, 30 December 2018 22:06

The 2018 Top Ten

Written by
image

As we come the the end of 2018, the Alliance wants to thank you for another year of faithful readership and continued support of the Christward Collective. We look forward to 2019 and the ways in which the Lord will continue to work through us to help provide resources for the building up of His...

Read more

Friday, 28 December 2018 03:56

Calvin's Institutes for 2019

Written by
image

"For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness...

Read more

Thursday, 27 December 2018 08:25

Blasphemy Trials

Written by
image

In Scotland there is a blasphemy law on the books. It has been around for hundreds of year. However, the last person to get brought up on blasphemy charges was a couple hundred years ago. Right now there is a debate in the larger society (and it has made its way into the government) as to whether...

Read more

image

As we bring this short series on the Whole Gospel in the Songs of Christmas (see part 1 and part 2) to an end, the following are a few more carols and songs with often overlooked verses or Gospel imagery. In the first example, O Holy Night,the difference I want to highlight is...

Read more

Thursday, 20 December 2018 19:22

Good News in the Minor Prophets

Written by
image

Without doubt, the Minor Prophets are the books in the Bible that frighten us the most. So many visions, so many details, so many things seem so unclear. Many Christians never brave these books. This, however, is a great tragedy. The Minor Prophets--though in many places hard to understand--provide...

Read more

image

“Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ.” So begins the Cambridge Declaration. 

What a difference it would make if Christians really believed and understood the great doctrines that are essential to the...

Read more

image

In the previous post, we began to consider the gospel content of some Christmas carols. Again, it is important to remember that some of the best Christmas carols not only speak of Jesus as the child in the manger, but also the gospel reason for why the Christ had to come—the presence of sin...

Read more

Sunday, 09 December 2018 19:48

Leading Them Well (Part 2)

Written by
image

When church staff are being properly shepherded and led, when they know the expectations that the leaders have of them, when they have a clear sense of their purpose and significance within the greater body of the church, when they are appreciated and given adequate feedback, and when they are...

Read more

image

The season leading to Christmas is a wonderful time to draw attention some of the all-too-familiar lyrics of some Christmas carols. Some of the best Christmas carols not only speak of Jesus as the child in the manger, but also the gospel reason for why the Christ had to come—the presence of...

Read more

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 21:39

A Spiritual Aesthetic

Written by
image

In this age, the Church is perennially confronted with the challenge of maintaining a kingdom identity in the midst of a fallen world. How do we live as “foreigners and exiles” (1 Pet. 2:11) while remaining in our culture so that we can bear witness to the gospel? How do we “shine...

Read more

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 21:32

The Missing Strings of Sanctification

Written by
image

When I was fourteen, I picked up a guitar and taught myself to play. I functionally sacrificed my high school education on the altar of seeking to impress girls with my supposed singing/songwriting abilities. I took a guitar to just about every party or gathering to which I went. I could tune it by...

Read more

Friday, 09 November 2018 00:48

When Our Idols Fail Us

Written by
image

One of my son’s favorite Bible stories is that of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to visit the site where that event took place. As we stood on Mount Carmel and looked across the Jezreel Valley, it was surreal to think of the great altar where...

Read more

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 07:06

Approaching the Throne of Grace

Written by
image

As we think about the Protestant Reformation, one topic that I think about often is the intercession of Christ. Regarding this topic, the Westminster Larger Catechism states the following:

Q. 55: How doeth Christ make intercession?

A: Christ maketh intercession, by His appearing in our nature...

Read more

Thursday, 01 November 2018 22:11

Leading Them Well

Written by
image

Leading and managing church staff can be one of the most challenging and exhilarating aspects of pastoral ministry. Unfortunately, staff can develop relational tension with other staff or volunteers. They can become resentful or bitter toward the leadership of the church. Sometimes, they can even...

Read more

Sunday, 28 October 2018 21:38

The Grace of Grieving

Written by
image

I recently read Ezra 9 in my morning devotions and was struck by the character of Ezra’s sorrow over the sins of God’s people. His grief was intense; it was profound. His sorrow over the sins of God's people had tangible evidences to it and true effects on God’s people. There are...

Read more

Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:22

It's Not Until...

Written by
image

God's word is so rich and full, we will never be able to exhaust its wisdom, instruction, correction, comfort, encouragement and restorative power in this life. There is much in Scripture that we will never experientially appropriate into our lives until God has placed us in a particularly...

Read more

image

The previoustwo posts in this series argued that one of the reasons we have trouble understanding the Bible is because we do not read it in the ordinary way that books are to be read. We assume that because the Bible is the Word of God (which it most definitely is), and because it is therefore...

Read more

Friday, 19 October 2018 23:25

The Least Mentioned Sin?

Written by
image

"You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours." This familiar idiomatic phrase sometimes simply refers to the way in which people with differing skills and abilities seek to care for one another out of a sense of need and gratitude. However, more often than not, it represents the way in which people are...

Read more

image

Understanding the biblical text in light of the person and work of Christ and eschatological fulfillment in him does not simply provide an additional meaning and application of the text to be added to a non-Christocentric reading. A non-Christocentric approach often yields a fundamentally different...

Read more

Page 1 of 4