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

A Brick in the Valley - Apologetic Report
Friday, 10 November 2017 00:49

A Gift Idea for a Leader in Your Life

Written by

image

Give this Proverbs journal (Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation) as a gift and ask for it back when the recipient is through. You will both be blessed: eternally

The book of Proverbs is a gift that God has given to help us find our way through the maze of life. In a...

Read more

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:52

Colin Smith: When God Can’t Forgive

Written by

If you’re unpacking forgiveness — and we all are in a broken world — then I highly recommend Colin Smith’s sermon, “When God Can’t Forgive.”

Colin Smith: When God Can’t Forgive Part 1

Colin Smith: When God Can’t Forgive Part 2 

Consider:

  • His...

Read more

Thursday, 05 October 2017 01:10

Hypocrisy and Illinois Governors. The Beat Goes On.

Written by

imageChristians in the Land of Lincoln (and elsewhere!) will be interested in Dr. Albert Mohler’s 10/5/17 podcast that summarizes what has Archbishop of Chicago calling out Governor Rauner of Illinois. 

I would encourage our church family to listen to Dr. Mohler in an ongoing way. He...

Read more

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 10:58

J.I. Packer: An Outline of the Gospel Message

Written by

If you have questions about the relationship between God’s sovereignty and our sharing of the gospel, I highly recommend J.I.Packer’s classic, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

Below I have outlined J.I. Packer’s summary of the gospel message. Keep in mind, this is abridged....

Read more

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 06:40

Compare “Religion” and the Gospel

Written by

Which column describes your approach to the Christian life: religion? or the Gospel? 

The below table taken from Tim Keller’s, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City, page 65). 

If you have more questions about what is meant by “the...

Read more

Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:34

What does the Bible really teach about giving?

Written by
image

2 Corinthians 8-9 offers a gold mine of teaching on giving.

Help with sermon prep by making observations on giving found in 2 Corinthians 8-9. Share those with me via the comments or via email. Together let’s clear up some misconceptions about what the Bible really teaches about giving. 

Su...

Read more

Thursday, 08 June 2017 13:21

Sabbatical Update: Working at Resting

Written by

imageSunday (6/4/17) Jamie and I were blessed by a sermon from Pastor Bruce McKanna on Sabbath rest. Bruce gave this beautiful challenge: “Don’t give yourself permission to rest so much as hear God’s permission.”

The first Sunday of my sabbatical, I preached in the GSOI. June 4th...

Read more

imageOne of my summer sabbatical goals is to read widely. Below is a book I would recommend for those looking for Christian beach reading. It is written at a level that is easily followed and offers a fresh look at apologetics.

Skeel, David. True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World....

Read more

Thursday, 01 June 2017 04:03

Paul Tripp: Parenting is Gospel Ministry

Written by

One of the first videos every parent should watch — whether their children are three or thirty. The audio is available here.

The post Paul Tripp: Parenting is Gospel Ministry appeared first on A Brick in the Valley.

Authors: Chris

Read more

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 12:35

Sabbatical Notes: Working at Resting

Written by

image I’m thankful for the opportunity to recharge! 

A week into my sabbatical and here is some of how I’m working at recharging:

  • Memorizing and meditating on Romans 11:33-36. I can’t believe I haven’t previously memorized.
  • Lots of Scripture review and meditation.&nbsp...

Read more

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 01:57

How do I forgive someone who refuses to say sorry?

Written by

Watch the below video with Dr. Jeremy Pierre. If I ever issue a revised copy of Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds I’m going to pay my own gas money to buy Dr. Pierre lunch so we can talk biblical forgiveness. He interacts with hard...

Read more

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 00:12

Haddon Robinson Study Retreat 2017

Written by

imageI am again privileged to be part of the Haddon Robinson Study Retreat. This we are studying the Old Testament books of Hosea, Amos, and Micah under the instruction of Wheaton’s Danny Carroll.

Each year a group of pastors gather for a week of intense study Covenant Harbor Camp near Lake Geneva,...

Read more

Saturday, 06 May 2017 02:37

Tim Keller on Why We Should Catechize Our Children

Written by

Jamie and I didn’t formally catechize our children. Though we did spend a great deal of time with them in theological instruction and dialogue. But I agree with Tim Keller’s points and if we had it to do over again, I think we would. 

The post Tim Keller on Why We Should Catechize...

Read more

Witness how a grandfather sees color for the first time. Then consider how great will be the Christian’s joy when not just one malady is cured, but EVERY hurt is healed– in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52). 

Christ’s resurrection assures Christians that we will...

Read more

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 05:48

St. Titus “The Tough”

Written by

imageSpiritual leadership requires guts and grit. You have to be tough to lead. Consider the biblical example of Titus.

When I left the corporate world and went to seminary, I pictured spiritual leaders as clean cut guys in starched white shirts and blue suits. I understood that spiritual leadership...

Read more

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 01:54

Piper on the Glory of Christ in His First Coming

Written by

Second Corinthians (2 Cor 4:6), encourages believers with the truth that God who created all things has shown us “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” In his book, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love...

Read more

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 01:31

Lent: Questions and Answers

Written by

imageLent – What is it? 

Lent is the 40 period (less Sundays) before Easter and is based on Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness. Some Christians fast, think soberly about their faith, and focus on repenting of their sins during this period.

Does The Red Brick Church ob...

Read more

Thursday, 23 February 2017 08:04

Such an Important Article: Man in the Middle

Written by

image I started reading this the article, Man in the Middle, by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra because I have long appreciated Dr. David Dockery’s leadership in evangelicalism. But as I began reading, I realized that this piece tells a far bigger story than Dr. Dockery’s personal...

Read more

Thursday, 23 February 2017 03:04

Sanctification: Selected Passages and Quotes

Written by

Sunday (D.V.), I am preaching on 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, and the pattern of sanctification. Below are some of my favorite passages on sanctification as well as key quotes that summarize what we believe about how Christians are sanctified or increasingly conformed to the image of Christ. It took me...

Read more

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 02:23

Murray on the Lack of Exultant Joy Amongst Many Christians

Written by

imageThe great theologian John Murray explained that an unwillingness to preach judgment inevitably leads to a lack of biblical joy. 

Many Christians would agree with the assessment that there is a lack of joy amongst Christians. But fewer would agree with John Murray’s explanation of why we...

Read more

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:18

Read Proverbs 43% of the Time (The Rest of Your Life)

Written by

imageWisdom is the saw we use to cut our way through life. Without sharp saws, life is like cutting through a piece of oak with a butter knife.  So how do we sharpen our saws? Answer: By spending ongoing time reading and meditating on Proverbs. 

All of us make decisions that have great...

Read more

Friday, 17 February 2017 10:09

Plugging Into God’s Power

Written by

imageIn Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines David Mathis helps Christians understand how they can grow by God’s grace rather than wearing out in their own strength.

The key to growing as a Christians is to understand how to grow through God’s strength rather...

Read more

Monday, 13 February 2017 10:17

Why?

Written by

image “Why?” we cry out when we suffer. While we cannot understand all the reasons for pain. There are comforting answers to consider.

Many of you have prayed recently for our niece Michelle who underwent major surgery last week. Michelle (the daughter of one of my wife’s many sisters)...

Read more

Friday, 27 January 2017 11:02

Trip Lee: Is “Church Membership” Found in Scripture?

Written by

Our church stresses “meaningful membership” in an ongoing way. Sometimes people counter, “But I don’t find the phrase in the Bible.” Here Trip Lee speaks to this objection.

The post Trip Lee: Is “Church Membership” Found in Scripture? appeared first on A...

Read more

Friday, 27 January 2017 09:39

Why Read Great Literature?

Written by

imageRead this article by Philip Yancey and your motivation for reading great literature — especially Dostoyevsky — will grow.

Many are aware that there is a collection of “great books” and that our minds and hearts benefit from reading them. We’ve heard comments like,...

Read more

Page 1 of 4