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

Churches Without Chests - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 18:58

Purchasing Without Paying

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Websters Dictionary:

Expropriate1: to deprive of possession or proprietary rights2 : to transfer (the property of another) to one’s own possession

Compensationpayment, remuneration

Let’s try that definition in circumstances other than land. I enter your shop. I wish to transfer the goods...

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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:47

Nailing Your Isms to the Mast

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If you have come across (or perhaps been) one of those people who boasts that he or she doesn’t subscribe to any –ism, refuses any denominational –ist, and is somehow above the fray of doctrinal positions, then Charles Spurgeon had some wise words in response.

“I like a...

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 18:02

Prayer – George Herbert

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Prayer the church’s banquet, angel’s age,God’s breath in man returning to his birth,The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earthEngine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tow’r,Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing...

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Monday, 11 June 2018 15:23

God My Only Happiness

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God my only happiness. Psa. 73:25

My God, my portion, and my love, My everlasting all! I’ve none but thee in heav’n above, Or on this earthly ball.

What empty things are all the skies, And this inferior clod! There’s nothing here deserves my joys, There’s nothing like my God.

In...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 23:49

Unicultural Uniformity

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Of the little pilot-fish words that swim alongside the more commonly mangled word, culture, two of the more frequently heard are multicultural and diversity. In fact, these have become unquestioned, and probably unassailable holy-words in modern culture. A competitive company will have somewhere on...

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Monday, 30 April 2018 19:07

Pagan Culture and Apostate Culture

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In discussions of evangelising the post-modern West, something is often forgotten. Those cultures which were formed by Christianity and have since abandoned it are not reverting to paganism. They are not pagan cultures. They are apostate cultures, and an apostate culture is a much scarier animal...

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Sunday, 15 April 2018 21:14

Missionaries and Culture

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Missionaries do their work in a perilous environment. Such has been the rise of ideas such as “multi-culturalism”, that many missionaries now go by a different title: aidworkers, social-workers,educators, or even consultants. Opting for different titles is understandable. In the...

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Monday, 02 April 2018 16:00

We Don’t Want Your White Man’s Religion

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In Africa, particularly where black nationalist sentiments arise, it is not uncommon to hear the title of this post thrown around in conversation. Similarly, half-formed sentiments are uttered about missionaries who replaced the harmonious earth-religion of the peaceful indigenous people with their...

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Monday, 26 March 2018 03:52

Christian Culture in Church History

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A common error in the study of church history is to seek to find a version of one’s present branch of Christianity in the past. Since Christian doctrine and practice develop over the centuries, trying to find oneself in church history is like trying to find out how people in...

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Monday, 12 March 2018 17:34

Two Tests and Two Questions

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I present my children with two written tests. They open the envelope of the first, and see the heading, “Dad Orthodoxy”. A series of questions about me follows, which they find delightfully easy. “What is your father’s first name?” “What colour are your...

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Monday, 29 January 2018 17:42

Culture, Not Race

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Scripture does not define the word culture, but it certainly describes the phenomenon of culture-making. Humans are meaning-making creatures, who fashion their world after their values, religions, and world-views.

The Bible also describes the behaviour or way of life that comes from a certain...

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 16:37

Culture – More Than Creation

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If the word culture is to be useful, it must define something. It must name and describe a discrete phenomenon in the world. A useful definition must limit its subject, so that we could easily say what is not culture.

The problem with many definitions found in Evangelical literature is that they...

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 23:42

Ten Mangled Words: “Culture”

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Jackhammers are not the ideal tool for mixing cake batter. Some mess will almost certainly result. Evangelical Christians using the word ‘culture’ often remind one of a baker with a such a power tool. When most Evangelicals begin writing or speaking on culture, one winces. A migraine is...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:31

The Unexpected Adoration of the Magi

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In Kevin T. Bauder’s essay “The Completeness of the Incarnation“, he echoes and explains a series of insightful observations made by Leo Steinberg, writing for Harper’s Magazine in March of 1984. In explaining Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Adoration of the Magi, Steinberg...

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Wednesday, 29 November 2017 18:14

Relevance in the Eye of the Beholder

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A book on chastity may not seem relevant to teenagers necking in a parked car. First-aid kits don’t seem relevant to two boys beginning a scuffle. Wedding vows don’t appear relevant to a person plunging into an affair. When we are morally committed to a course of action, it narrows the...

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 18:54

On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals

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“Why this waste?”, said the greediest member of the Twelve. Judas’ supposed concern with helping the poor and for efficient use of ministry finances was really a facade for his unvarnished envy. Judas wanted money, and like every jealous soul, disliked money being spent lavishly...

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Sunday, 05 November 2017 13:39

On the Value of (Most?) Internet Discussions

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One day, the owner of a disreputable inn, The Dog-Fighter, approached a preacher. “Come and preach at my inn. I think your message is important and should be heard by more people.”

The preacher hesitated. “I am not sure. From what I have seen, the patrons of your establishment...

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 20:50

Relevance and Notoriety

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One of the powerful spells cast over the modern world is the charm of celebrity. One quipped that a celebrity is someone who is famous for being famous, but few stop to notice that. Celebrity culture is the true opiate of the masses, and if it were not so, the word paparazzi would never have become...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 19:44

Relevance and Intelligibility

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Modern Christian champions of relevance mean many things by the term. One use is the concept of intelligibility. When calling for the church to be relevant to this generation, they mean that its message must be understandable, clear, and intelligible.

Thus far, no objection. No command exists to...

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Monday, 16 October 2017 19:22

Relevance and Importance

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When some people speak of “making Christianity relevant”, they are referring to demonstrating Christianity’s importance and applicability. They fret over the fact that unbelievers and the wider culture dismiss Christianity and religion so easily. Secularism provides people with...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 20:02

Relevant or Current?

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When some people speak of the importance of relevance, they don’t mean relevance at all. After all, relevant, strictly speaking, merely means ‘pertinent to the matter at hand’. Relevance needs an object: relevant to whom or what matter?, we may ask.

The fact that some people use...

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Monday, 11 September 2017 22:56

Ten Mangled Words – “Relevant”

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Perhaps one of the great put-downs today is to be told that your church is not relevant, or that your preaching is not relevant to “the issues people are facing”. Being called irrelevant cuts a little deeper than being called intolerant; for if you’re cited for being intolerant,...

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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 17:43

Without Wax

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To recover the word sincerity from its current mangled form, we might remember some etymology. The etymology of sincerity is a favourite among preachers, and for good reason – it’s an interesting tale. It seems in the Graeco-Roman world, unscrupulous merchants had found a nifty way to...

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 23:22

As Real As I Feel

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An assumption of a generation intoxicated with authenticity is the notion that feelings don’t lie. Given their spontaneous and often uncontrollable nature, emotions are seen as the inevitable and unstoppable eruptions of the heart. Breaking through the surface layer of ‘masks’,...

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Monday, 21 August 2017 17:33

Sincerity and Profanity

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Many pastors and Christian leaders believe they are purifying Christianity and worship when they remove any kind of formality from corporate worship. Formal dress, an exalted tone in prayer, or reverent music are eschewed for a more casual and informal approach. They appear to believe that...

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