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
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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Heroes or Villains?

When I read a novel or watch a movie, I like the protagonist to be good—morally upright, virtuous, a role model. And I like the villain to be bad—flesh-crawlingly ugly, repulsive, and unlikable. Think of the difference between heroes and villains in Peter...

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Friday, 22 December 2017 22:26

Worship With the Heavenly Angels

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Whatever else we would say about Luke’s story of the angels and the shepherds, it’s definitely memorable. But less clear is the point. Why did it happen? What does it mean?

I’m going to argue that there’s something huge going on here. I’m going to argue that this event...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 20:37

Who were the Magi?

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One day, out of nowhere, well-dressed men wearing expensive suits and dark sunglasses get out of Mercedes limos in a massive motorcade. They walk up to you asking, “where is he? Show us where he is.”

This, recast in 2017 garb is the story of the Magi. We think we know what it’s all...

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Sunday, 03 December 2017 20:30

Bibles are not talismans. It’s about the words.

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There’s a very striking story about a man who never learned to read but who had a well-worn Bible. Someone asked him why the pages were so worn and his answer was that since he couldn’t read it, over the years he thought he might as well count the words. It’s a fantastic...

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Monday, 20 November 2017 22:55

What is thanksgiving anyway?

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Each year at thanksgiving I feel a certain mental tension. If I go through the exercise of listing the things for which I’m thankful, I feel like somehow it should be filled with more “spiritual” things. But truthfully a good number of the things that come to my mind first are in...

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Harvey Weinstein. Roy Moore. Louis C. K. And now Bush 41. These men—all successful in their careers—will always be associated with the allegations of sexual misconduct. For some, these accusations will eclipse any other successes they had enjoyed.

The career-shattering effect of these...

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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 21:25

Our First Four Years—A Retrospective

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Four years ago today my family arrived at our new home in the Philippines. Everything seemed strange, opaque; a new, inscrutable reality in which everything took endlessly longer to navigate. And yet by sheer fiat of our decision to become missionaries, this place that we by no means understood,...

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Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:51

Finish Your Year With a Bang—100 Day Challenge

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We’ve written before about binge reading the Bible—the idea of getting through the entire book in a short enough time that you can still remember the beginning when you get to the end. There are all kinds of ways to do it and it’s not as extreme as you think it is. For instance, a...

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 21:00

Embodying Masculinity in a World that Rejects It

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I was recently invited to speak for a weekend conference for men, discussing our roles in the family and the church. Topics like this kill me. The preparation quickly turned into an exercise in personal conviction and repentance. How to speak on being a good husband and father when at every...

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