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

Reformation21 - Apologetic Report
Since the early 19th Century the American church has largely taken for granted the necessity and legitimacy of mission agencies, both church and para-church. By the mid 20th Century they were as firmly entrenched as any feature of American church life. But a surprising deja-vu moment occurred...

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In his remarkable book, The Suffering Savior, Frederick Krummacher made the astonishing observation that by Jesus' prayer for mercy from the cross for those who crucified him, we can conclude that "while offering up the Lord Jesus, [those crying out for his death] unconsciously pay the ransom...

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019 22:17

Rhyme Thee to Good (Bret Saunders)

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In the first post in this short series on the theology of the seventeenth Anglican poet, George Herbert, we considered the centrality of salvation by grace in the altar poem. It shows up throughout his other poems as well. But of course the Gospel is only good news if preceded by the bad news of...

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Sunday, 14 April 2019 21:29

How Can We Know God? (Amy Mantravadi)

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In my first article on the topic of theology proper, I discussed why we must know the God who created us. I will now explain how we can know that God whose ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Christianity is a religion of revelation, and our God...

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Friday, 12 April 2019 23:33

Dr. Watts' Scheme (Nick Batzig)

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Isaac Watts wrote nearly 600 hymns in the 18th Century. Churches around the world still sing many today. For instance, if you visited a congregation on any given Sunday in the English speaking world, it would not be a surprise for you to hear believers singing one the following hymns penned by the...

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I recently read a short article on Biologos entitled On What Basis Should A Scientist Accept The Resurrection? A composite piece written by a number of Biologos contributors, the article sets out an argument for the basis for and authority upon which the scientist should accept an historical...

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 22:30

When Our Voices Fail (Rob Looper)

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Three weeks ago this past Thursday (March 21), I decided it was probably best, because of my mother's serious health situation, for me to head home to South Carolina after worship on the coming Sunday to be with her. The next day, Friday, I received a text from my brother telling me that things had...

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Thomas Boston is one of my favorite authors. Through his sermons, memoirs, and other writings, the prolific theologian and humble pastor of a small rural church in the Scottish border country has become one of the pastors of my soul. I admire Boston for his spiritual devotion--what Boston himself...

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Johannes Maccovius, in his Theological Distinctions, treated the subject of the Divine providence toward the righteous and toward the wicked with the maxim, "In this life, what happens to good people is never bad and what happens to bad people is never good." He then appealed to the 14th...

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It is well documented that a staggering number of pastors leave the ministry each year. Conflict and burnout are numbered as some of the top reasons. Conflict between pastors and the congregation are common. In addition, the pastor's inability to resolve bitter disagreements among members can be...

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Reading through some old notes on Calvin's Institutes made me realize what always gets dropped when life feels like one giant game of whirlyball: prayer. Calvin says that if we do not pray, we are like a man who "neglect[s] a treasure, buried and hidden in the earth, after it had...

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Our society celebrates the openness with which it accepts homosexuality and transgenderism. It contrasts our present enlightened times with past eras when what are now called "sexual minorities," LGBTQers, were once consigned to the closets, forced to keep their "sexual identity" hidden. Now those...

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When I was in my early 20s, I met a college friend of my parents for the first time. After a short conversation, she smiled and commented, "You're just like your dad!" She wasn't just referring to my appearance, but to my personality, mannerisms, and demeanor. She was talking about what I was like....

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Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:36

Questioning Our Preaching (Matthew Bradley)

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The transition from preaching occasionally to preaching weekly came for me a little more than three years ago as I was called from an associate pastor position to lead a church plant. My preaching courses in seminary and the books I'd read had focused on style and content. How to exegete the text,...

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 00:16

Don't Waste Your Privileges (Nick Batzig)

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The 2020 Presidential race is underway. Americans everywhere are now sitting back and bracing themselves for tedious recitals of attacks and scandals. The first attack has come in response to Beto O'rouke's statement about sometimes helping his wife raise their three children. Numerous political...

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On the surface, Paul's observation in Philippians 1:14 that "most of the brothers" in Rome--where Paul was chained to a member of the imperial guard awaiting the outcome of his judicial appeal to the emperor Nero--had become "more confident in the Lord" and "more bold to speak the word without...

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Thursday, 14 March 2019 22:32

A Horror of Theology (Nick Batzig)

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The noisy gongs of acerbic and judgmental discernment bloggers, podcasters, vloggers and conference speakers are scattered throughout our social media feeds...and they're here to stay. The uncharitableness with which such individuals speak online immediately ought to leave a bad taste in the mouth...

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:49

Promoting the Work of Others (Christina Fox)

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I have a dear friend who is an artist. Her work covers the walls of my home. I love learning about her creative process, the various mediums she uses, and what she is learning through her work. Most of all, I love how she images God and points to him through her creativity. No matter how hard I...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 22:58

A Reformed Demonology? (Bruce Baugus)

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The rather measured and restrained work by John Livingston Nevius (1829-1893), Demon Possession and Allied Themes; Being an Inductive Study of Phenomena of Our Own Times, delivers exactly what the title promises, though what it promises is rather unusual by the author's own admission. Nevius...

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Is it appropriate for Protestants to embrace the observance of Lent--or, even further, any of the Orthodox holy days and seasons? Members of Protestant and Evangelical churches in our day have made these frequently asked and widely disputed questions. Others have thoughtfully raised the issue of...

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The general contours of the doctrine of Scripture are familiar. Orthodox Protestants confess that Scripture has God as its primary author and is self-authenticating, supremely authoritative, necessary for this age, clear enough to be understood by the masses, and sufficient as a rule of faith and...

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Tuesday, 05 March 2019 04:46

Why Not All at Once? (Nick Batzig)

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Christ, by his perfect life, atoning death and resurrection from the dead, secures the believers calling, regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification. Older Protestant theologians frequently referred to the order of the application of the benefits of redemption (i.e. the...

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Last week in St. Louis, representatives of the United Methodist Church from around the world gathered together for a special session of their General Conference. The delegates to the meeting collectively represented over 12 million church members, worldwide. Called for the purpose of considering a...

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Friday, 01 March 2019 23:55

The Peacemakers (Dustin Benge)

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With each passing beatitude in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, it becomes more and more clear that a person cannot be a genuine Christian without have their attitudes and actions completely and radically transformed from the inside out. Regardless the extent of your exegetical gymnastics,...

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Thursday, 28 February 2019 21:14

PCRT Anthology Giveaway (Editors)

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Since its inauguration in 1974, the Philadelphia Conference of Reformed Theology has hosted some of the most gifted and trustworthy pastors, theologians and speakers from around the world in order to teach God's word and sound doctrine. Among the celebrated speakers at PCRT have been James Boice,...

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