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

Rooted Thinking - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:54

You Don’t Want to Have a Megapastor

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The news just hit that another fabulously popular megapastor has been fired, apparently because of a long-standing, toxic culture of absolute power. I’m not very old, but I’ve already watched three cycles of this—a pastor who becomes THE guy to listen to, builds up a huge...

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Monday, 21 January 2019 01:17

Is God Punishing Me?

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My lingering trial, like any other trial we go through, has created some soul searching questions. Questions can be a good thing because asking the right questions, hopefully, leads us to right responses. Some question, though, are not easily answered. Some are gut wrenching to even ask. Like this...

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Friday, 21 December 2018 00:25

Reflections from a Hospital Visit

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One of the greatest responsibilities I have as a pastor is to prepare my people for suffering. Hardships are the norm, not the exception, in the Christian life (I Pet.4:12f). As Barnabus said, “through many tribulations we enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:23).

A dear sister in our...

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Sunday, 21 October 2018 20:30

Is It Wrong to Believe a Lie?

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I found myself feeling vexed at something that happened in the 1930s. Don’t worry—I don’t often fume over 80-year-old news. But in this case, I think my indignation was justifiable.

I had been reading a book about the events leading...

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Tuesday, 16 October 2018 00:43

Dog Paddling on the Surface

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Colossians 1:10

10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

No matter which side you take in the debate between Tozer and Lewis, the highest and holiest pursuit of our lives is to know God better than we do...

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Monday, 01 October 2018 20:30

George Muller on the Christian Life

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Known for his life of faith, power in prayer, and service to orphans, George Muller (1805-1898) was a man whose depth with Christ stands in stark contrast to the shallowness that dominates our Christian landscape. Recently, I took the opportunity to re-read through Muller’s autobiography. If...

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 09:57

Talk to Yourself Like the Psalmists Do

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A New Normal

“You have a new normal.” I have used that phrase many times when counseling individuals who are facing life changes. Now, my wife is saying it to me. (See:Chapter 4 – Trusting in the Silence) This new normal has presented us with many, “I would have never...

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Thursday, 20 September 2018 21:30

The Book of Colossians in One Graphic

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In his classic book on reading, Mortimer Adler comments, “All reading must to some degree be active…. The more active the reading the better.” His single prescription for active reading is “ask questions while you read—questions that you yourself must try to answer in...

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Tuesday, 18 September 2018 20:30

3 Questions for Bible Reading and Reflection

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Everybody loves that perfect Instagram Bible study moment! You’ve seen the pics plenty of times before. Steam rises off the fresh cup of coffee. Highlighters form a perfect splash of color to augment the mauve leather cover of your prayer journal. And every inspiring devotional thought ends...

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Sunday, 09 September 2018 21:16

Chapter 4 – Trusting in the Silence

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“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

― C.S....

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 21:30

Does God destroy people for only one sin?

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In his blisteringly skeptical book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins gives his view of the God of the Old Testament:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive,...

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Thursday, 02 August 2018 20:30

What To Do When Envy Strikes

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Merriam-Webster defines envy as the “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.” That’s a pretty good definition of what I’ve felt plenty of times. Maybe you know the feeling as well. You see someone...

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Thursday, 19 July 2018 22:18

A Decade of Marriage Already?

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This week we celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ten years ago I stood at the front of a church and cried my eyes out at the momentous decision I was making. A decade later, I understand a tiny bit of how momentous it actually was. Here, in no particular order, are things that stand out about the...

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Thursday, 05 July 2018 20:30

You’re Not Just a _______.

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“I can’t do that. I’m just a mom.”

“I’m not old enough. I’m just a teen.”

“I don’t have enough training. I’m just a high school graduate.”

“I’m too old. I’m just a grandparent.”

Have you ever made an excuse...

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018 20:30

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bonbons?

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Last Saturday it was my turn to pick up bread from a local bakery that donates its unsold goods to our church. I hauled out eight large containers full of bagels, pastries, cookies, flatbreads, and baguettes. Providentially, the text I had planned to preach the following Sunday evening was Matthew...

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My son’s eyes widened as he looked at the black squiggles in the margins of my Bible. His question was sincere. After all, when you’re six years old, and you’ve been taught not to scribble in the Bible, it can be...

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Pocket Knives, Snakes, and Stinky Tennis Shoes

Three weeks ago I took my six-year-old son Nate on an overnight trip. We clambered on rocks and roots around the James River, whittled sticks, ate ice cream, went swimming, and spent the night in a nearby hotel.

And we talked. We talked about pocket...

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Thursday, 07 June 2018 22:30

So do you wear mixed fabric?

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This is the second post on understanding the Old Testament. You can read the first post here.

In a previous post I discussed Marcion, the false teacher who jettisoned the Old Testament. What about an opposite extreme? The “Jewish Roots” movement has recently exploded, requiring believers...

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Monday, 28 May 2018 20:30

How to Shipwreck Your Theology

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A Mother’s Rebuke

Last summer, English-speaking fans of Karl Barth were rattled by an essay which shed new light on the personal life of the 20th-century giant of theology. Many had already known about Barth’s love for a woman who was not his wife, but few had read his private letters,...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 21:30

I Can… Except I Can’t

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I know few better ways to understand myself than being a father. Because kids are, after all, just little humans with all of the wonderful capacities, funny quirks, and deep brokenness that makes people what we are.

“I can’t!”

One of my children recently showed a pattern of facing...

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Recently I attended a concert of the Hangzhou Symphony Orchestra.  A violin concerto called “The Butterfly Lovers” was a part of the program. My youngest daughter, who knows about such things, told me that the piece was quite controversial, having been composed during the...

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In the very earliest days of the New Testament and hardly before the ink was dry, the church already faced a pernicious error. Marcion of Sinope felt that the Old Testament presented an angry, condemning God, not at all like the gracious God of the New Testament. Accordingly, he proposed that there...

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Sunday, 22 April 2018 22:14

She will be saved through childbearing…

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It’s entirely possible to write blog articles mechanically or artificially. This one is quite personal. My wife’s due date for our fourth child is today. Three times now I’ve stood by as my wife delivered our children. Each time I felt her pain deeply, wishing I could do my part...

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