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

Bible and Mission - Apologetic Report
In Jesus’ High Priestly prayer to His Father in John 17, he prays for several things, including unity.  While anecdotal, it certainly seems that most Christians think of this chapter in John’s Gospel as primarily about unity.  This is, however, one of several themes in the prayer.  Moreover, the pa...

Read more

In Ephesians, Paul has an interesting turn of phrase when he speaks of ‘learning’ (manthanō) Christ and being ‘taught’ (didaskō) ‘in’ Him: Ephesians 4.20-24 But that is not the way you be  learned Christ!— 21assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,...

Read more

The calling of Christian counsellors and pastors is a spiritual calling and a missionary calling, rooted in the very Great Commission of Jesus to 'teach [disciples of Christ] to obey everything that He has commanded [in the Word of God] (Matthew 28.18-20).  This calling for nurturing ministries...

Read more

Answering this question is full of challenges, but I would like to suggest that there is such a thing as ‘right’ music for congregational worship.  The question is, ‘Will I, or anyone, convince anyone else about this?’  After all, if ‘beauty’ is in the eye of the beholder, and if worship is one’s gi...

Read more

Was there a crisis over a supposed ‘delay’ of Christ’s reappearing—His Second Coming—in the early Church?  Did the early Church set itself up one way only to have to reorient itself later in the 1st century when believers’ initial enthusiasm about an imminent return of Christ was thwarted?  The purp...

Read more

Several conundrums in the Hebrew Scriptures are resolved in the New Testament.  They are such that they require solutions that are not offered in the Hebrew Scriptures but that are offered in the New Testament.  Ten of these will be noted here. First, the Hebrew Scriptures present God as one and...

Read more

Friday, 10 May 2019 13:19

The Rise of Identity Ecclesiology

Written by
Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Read this passage in the Modernist,...

Read more

The popular understanding of the Pharisees is that they were legalists.  This is not, however, Jesus’ criticism of their ethics, even though the charge of Pharisaic legalism comes from a (mis)reading of the Gospels.  The Pharisees are cast in popular imagination as the quintessential example of leg...

Read more

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 03:24

An Ethic of the Heart and Faith in Jesus

Written by
Introduction In Matthew 15, two adjacent pericopae (episodes) suggest an important theological relationship: the connection between ethics and theology or, more particularly, between an ethic of the heart and faith in Jesus Christ.  The first pericope involves an incident when Jesus’ disciples ar...

Read more

Thursday, 31 January 2019 12:14

On the Soul: A Dialogue on Abortion

Written by
Does the unborn child have a soul?  Let us imagine a conversation between Aristotle (the 4th c. BC Greek philosopher) and some contemporary politician calling for abortion at any time up to the moment of birth.  We’ll call her ‘H’.  H. and A. are watching the recent news on television about abortion...

Read more

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 00:44

The Forgiving Grace and Transforming Grace of God

Written by
We tend to read Romans as a theological explanation of our salvation, a clarification about how we are justified or made righteous.  This is a part—a large part—of what Romans teaches.  If you check in your English Standard Version translation of Romans, for instance, you will find that Romans menti...

Read more

The purpose of this brief essay is to offer a different basis for freedom than that given in post-Enlightenment, free societies of the West.  The argument presented is that freedom understood as a universal human right ends up with various conflicting views and fails in a variety of ways.  C...

Read more

In Martin Luther’s day, a list of proposed theses would be posted somewhere in public (like the church door) so that they could be read ahead of a debate.  Day in and day out, I am involved with discussions or debates about theological education—its curriculum, its costs, its goals, its modes of del...

Read more

The subject of this essay is the need for, and the relationship between, the institutional Church and the missional movement.  In light of recent turmoil in Protestant, mainline denominations and the emergence of independent, non-denominational, local churches and small fellowships of churches, the...

Read more

The Senate Judicial Committee's hearings on the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were painful enough to watch.  Yet they captured social pressure points throughout society.  The elephant in the room was the Roe v. Wade decision that unborn children lack personhood and may b...

Read more

The Modernist, Western era has pursued, with considerable advantages at times, an approach to ethics through ‘rights.’  The USA added an addendum to the Constitution of ten amendments, called the ‘Bill of Rights.’  The United Nations’ charter was written in the language of certain ‘rights’.  This ‘r...

Read more

The Judiciary Committee’s hearings around the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh raise questions about what the Bible says about false testimony, sexual violence, and the responsibility of victims to speak out immediately.  The following quotations (from the English Standard Version) are offered f...

Read more

Since the 1980s, Judicial Committee hearings for Supreme Court justices have provided a window into cultural changes in the United States.  The postmodern turn in Western culture involved moving from a modernist understanding of truth as objective to understanding truth as local and constructed.  I...

Read more

Bill Muehlenberg yesterday reminded us of J. Gresham Machen's fight in the culture wars of his day, the early 20th century ('Notable Christians: J. Gresham Machen,' Culture Watch (August 28, 2018; online at: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/08/28/notable-christians-j-gresham-machen/).  Machen's b...

Read more

The early 2nd-century Christian document, the Didache, includes advice about charity.  The last word offered on the teaching is, 'Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give' (ch. 1).  In this blog, I would like to redirect readers to an article by David Virtue on Glo...

Read more

Introduction Romans 8 seems to include a reflection on several Old Testament passages.  While only one is directly quoted, Psalm 44.22 in Romans 8.36, two others have been missed by commentators.  All three Old Testament texts have to do with suffering and pose a problem that needs resolution. ...

Read more

My previous post addressed the 'Spiritual Friendship' and Revoice Conference (coming shortly in July, 2018).  The conference is being offered to support the recently developed 'Spiritual Friendship' view, which advocates a view of 'gay identity' without engaging in homosexual relations. Dr. Robert G...

Read more

Introduction This blog post addresses the distinction sometimes made between desire and acts.  Some have used this distinction to suggest that only actions are sinful whereas the desire is not.  Such a distinction fails rather roundly in the court of Scripture, as this blog post will d...

Read more

Saturday, 23 June 2018 09:12

GAFCON the ‘Ginger Group’

Written by
The third Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met in Jerusalem this past week.  It was the largest gathering of Anglicans since 1963’s Pan Anglican Congress in Toronto, with ‘some 1,966 [representatives coming] from 52 countries,’ including 472 from Nigeria, 367 from the United States, 232 fr...

Read more

The 21st century is well upon us—and how the world has changed in just 18 years!  The world of Western, Protestant, Evangelical missions has also changed remarkably.  I have been involved in missions all my life, especially since my own first mission assignment in the mid-1980s.  The following refl...

Read more

Page 1 of 2