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

By Faith We Understand - Apologetic Report

A friend and reader who has good training in linguistics wrote to ask me to evaluate a claim she found in an article online. Here’s what the writer said (and I won’t link to it because I don’t want to seem to be critical of this writer in particular—hers is a very common...

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 13:11

Review: Ember Rising

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imageEmber Rising by S.D. Smith My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it. So did the kids. (And the illustrations, by my respected friend Zach Franzen, were also excellent.)

For a good while I was thinking that this book is The Benedict Option for kids—and for adults who dutifully read Dreher’s...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 20:00

Find the False Friends!

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I’m editing some Puritan prayers for a new Lexham Press project, and I’m really enjoying the edification provided by these wonderfully eloquent, godly Christians of yore. But I am most certainly keeping my thinking cap on as I read (that’s my job), because the project includes a...

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Friday, 14 December 2018 04:46

Review: Educated, by Tara Westover

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imageMy heart goes out to Tara Westover. I rooted for her and felt defensive for her during 100% of the story. Other people’s epistemological sins harmed her. Precisely because of her love for her parents, those sins maintained a hold on her far, far into a life that, on the outside, looked...

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Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:05

An Authorized Milestone

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I’ve just achieved a milestone with Amazon reviews of Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. I now have every important kind of review there is. I have five-star reviews, I have one-star reviews, and I have just gotten the coveted “my book showed up as...

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Monday, 10 December 2018 23:13

Prescriptivist Descriptivism

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This is exactly where I’m at:

Either you smugly preen about the mistakes you find abhorrent – this makes you a so-called prescriptivist – or you show off your knowledge of language change, and poke holes in the prescriptivists’ facts – this makes you a descriptivist....

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Thursday, 06 December 2018 12:20

Interview Questions for Iain Provan of Regent College

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imageIn your book, The Reformation and the Right Reading of Scripture, you pointed out that the early church father Irenaeus did not argue based on his episcopal authority but on the basis of what Scripture said. You drew a contrast here with Martin Luther’s theological opponents, who, you said,...

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Wednesday, 21 November 2018 14:00

Where Should I Train for Ministry?

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I just posted the following in a Facebook group composed largely by pastors who graduated from KJV-Only institutions. One asked which schools group members would recommend for a youth pastor. I jotted out some thoughts I’ve been wanting to send to the KJV-Only community for a while—not...

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imageIt’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies by Mary Eberstadt My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a diligent concatenation of stories of anti-Christian liberal prejudice in the modern West. Not one was new to me. Every one was alarming, but not (to my mind) told in an...

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I won’t argue textual criticism with those who insist on the exclusive use of the King James Version. But that doesn’t mean I won’t argue textual criticism. Here’s the tack I’m taking nowadays, something I’ve been working on for a while. It coincides with a paper...

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Sunday, 11 November 2018 20:00

How Do We Treat Machines?

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When Alexa is talking to me, I feel no compunction interrupting and basically telling her to shut up.

Me: Alexa, what’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?

Alexa: Look for partly cloudy weather, with a high of 63º and a…

Me: Alexa, stop.

And Alexa stops. It doesn’t record in...

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Friday, 09 November 2018 20:00

Can People Learn to Read the English of the KJV?

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One Sunday a few years ago I asked the teens I was teaching in Sunday School to read some verses out loud, and one of them read from the KJV. This is what he said—and I quickly took note of his pronunciation errors and saved them, because I thought they raised a good question.

He hath shooed th...

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It’s been really, really hard to get responsible, unsympathetic people to offer critiques of Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible. I have come to feel that a patient and careful response from one’s opponents is one of the rarest honors accorded to a writer these days....

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Thursday, 08 November 2018 13:54

Why Does the World Need the Church?

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When popular Harvard political theorist Michael Sandel was a graduate student at Oxford in the 1970s, men and women were still separated into different colleges. Further befitting a staid institution such as Oxford, male visitors were not permitted to remain overnight in women’s rooms.

By...

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 09:33

Why do I have to learn this stuff?!

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I recently preached a message at the opening for a Christian school in my town, one several church members have attended. It answers the perennial question, “Why do I have to learn this stuff?!”

Authors: Mark Ward...

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Monday, 17 September 2018 15:29

Cheap Sex: A Review

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imageCheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy by Mark Regnerus My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A quick check of the Goodreads reviews for Cheap Sex by sociologist Mark Regnerus suggests to me that everyone has strong feelings about this book—which tends to support the...

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A few years ago I had one of those little formative experiences. I was leaving a long-term evangelistic ministry to teenagers in which I participated at my church. After six years of Friday nights, after countless hours of work I loved and loved sharing with other church members, it was time to...

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Wednesday, 01 August 2018 22:00

Does My Argument in Authorized Apply to Old Hymns?

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imageA pastor friend in urban Chicago asked a great question:

How does the case you make in your book regarding [unintelligible language in] the KJV apply to our hymnody? I’m editing our Sunday slide presentation and am finding that the “thees” and “thous,” while beautiful...

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It seems that the phrase “grandfathered in”—as in, “Smokers who were already working at the company were grandfathered into the new health plan, but new hires won’t be able to get on if they smoke”—has its origins in overtly unjust, racist practices. This...

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imageBy page 3 of most self-help books, I start hearing a cheery person intoning in the background, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough. By page 10: And, doggone it, people like me! Without denying that I should Win Friends and Influence People, go from Good to Great, and work harder at Getting...

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Friday, 20 July 2018 02:39

A Funny False Friend

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The ESV (2000s) of 1 Thessalonians 5:22:

Abstain from every form of evil.

Wycliffe’s translation (1380s) of the same verse:

Absteyne you fro al yuel spice.

Why did Wycliffe take a very general command—the most general command possible—and focus it on a very specific sin that, I would...

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I was asked by Dr. Mike Harding to deliver an address titled “The Legitimate Concerns of the Next Generation (An Objective Analysis”) at the Foundations Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI) annual meeting in Troy, Michigan, June 12–13, 2018.

A few prefatory comments: this is...

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Saturday, 16 June 2018 09:25

Paul’s Positive Religious Affections

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imageSomeone recently asked me for an abstract of my dissertation, Paul’s Positive Religious Affections, and I realized I’d never written one up. Here goes.

Six times in the NT the Spirit of the Lord led Paul to tell his readers to imitate him (2 Thess 3:7; 1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; Phil 3:17; 4:9; 2...

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