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
Monday, 15 October 2018 17:41

A Catechism of Judgement in Worship

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How are we to worship God?We should worship in all of life, but we have been told most explicitly to worship God corporately through the following:– The reading of Scripture– The preaching of Scripture– The singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs– The offering of public...

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Monday, 24 September 2018 16:00

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

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Reading Spurgeon is a sheer delight to the heart. At the same time, it is often faintly discouraging to the preacher. How could a preacher manage such eloquence? His sentences are positively dripping with imagery, his prose saturated with trope and metaphor. It seems impossible for such poetic gold...

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Monday, 17 September 2018 16:50

The Many Meanings of “Reformed”

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I find it quite amusing these days to be classified by some as “Reformed”, when I’d barely heard the term for most of my Christian life. I grew up in Baptist circles that didn’t use the term Reformed. In fact, the first time I heard it used of my church was when a student...

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Monday, 10 September 2018 22:30

The Scholar-Pastor

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A few years back a book came out, pointing out the need for pastors to be more scholarly and for scholars to be more pastoral. Coming from someone like D. A. Carson, the exhortation is easy to receive, given how he has modeled both. It is rare to find both in one. Pastors should certainly be given...

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Tuesday, 04 September 2018 17:54

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

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Below are two works of Christian imagination. Both attempt to depict what it means for Christ to invite sinners to Himself, and how sinners should understand themselves. On closer examination, however, they are nearly opposite in meaning. We do not see the same Christ, the same Gospel and the same...

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Sunday, 26 August 2018 18:45

Ten Mangled Words – “Equality”

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Equality is one of those ideas whose basic meaning is understood, but whose presence is demanded where it cannot possibly be expected. After all, equality is a fairly simply concept: when two amounts are equal, neither is greater or lesser than the other. But while equality in mathematics is a...

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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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