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

The Calvinist International - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 19 March 2019 02:07

Luther on Marriage (1)

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Martin Luther’sLarge Catechism, 1 the current text for Reformed Theological Seminary’sPaideia Center reading groups,is a wonderful source of simple, practical, straightforward exposition of the essentials of the Christian faith, covering the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’...

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Friday, 15 March 2019 04:20

Dostoevsky’s Unintended Reformation

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Fyodor Dostoevsky’s characters, like Fyodor Dostoevsky himself (surprise!), often betray a hostility to Protestantism, and to Western Christendom in general.

One can see this inThe Brothers Karamazov. For instance, in “The Grand Inquisitor” Ivan refers to “a terrible new...

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“Article 36 of the Belgic Confession Vindicated against Dr. Abraham Kuyper”.by P. J. Hoedemaker Ruben Alvarado (Translator) Pantocrator Press (2019)

 

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) rightly stands as a towering figure in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Moreover, he is known for key...

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Augustine is well known for the degree to which he was influenced by Neoplatonism in the first phase of his career. (It is sometimes assumed–incorrectly–that this makes his early works insufficiently “Christian.”) In the preface to his first completed extant work, for...

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This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort. Thus, I was not surprised to come across another article on its Canons. I am always one who is encouraged to find popular Reformed authors defending the Reformed confessions of the 16th and 17th centuries. In fact, if there is one document...

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Anyone familiar with the Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie, knows that old-fashioned Presbyterians did not celebrate holidays. Even Christmas was seen as illegitimate, and Christmas was not celebrated in early Puritan America. This stance has given way pretty decisively, and in the present day,...

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Thursday, 24 January 2019 03:25

Isaac Watts in Moby-Dick

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In Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, the Pequod‘s journey gets underway on Christmas Day. Captains Peleg and Bildad accompany the ship out of harbor.

Bildad takes the first watch. As he does so, he sings. Ishmael, the narrator, describes it, in Chapter 22 (“Merry...

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Tuesday, 22 January 2019 05:00

Imitating the Imitators of Christ

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John Calvin was what you might call “a fan, bigly” of the proper use of the motif of the imitation of Christ. He mentions it in various places; but one that is particularly illuminating is found in his comments on 1 Corinthians 11.1, where Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am...

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Friday, 18 January 2019 04:28

Shall Children Listen to Sermons?

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I’ve been pastoring in Vancouver for roughly twelve years now, preaching close to 1000 sermons, to over 50 nationalities, with people of various backgrounds and theological understanding in the pews. And 100s of children (ages 0-13) have been present.

We are a Presbyterian church and, as such,...

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One of the dangers inherent in “complementarianism” is the perception that ordination to ecclesiastical office is a matter of semi-arbitrary positive law and private zones of jurisdiction, that male leadership in church is only a question of ordination or specific church polity and only...

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Sunday, 06 January 2019 19:54

Should We Be Celebrating Frank Reich?

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On Social Media, I came across this article on Frank Reich, the former President at RTS Charlotte and now head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The article was promoted by several men I know and respect. I do, however, have some questions I’d like to ask about how we are to view Frank...

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Monday, 17 December 2018 01:56

The Legacy of Protestant Education

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A little over a year ago, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I commented in ashort piece on the salutary effect that event had on education. The general historical picture is clear enough without detailed statistical analysis; but statistical evidence can help...

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Tuesday, 04 December 2018 22:51

Melanchthon’s Aristotle: Civic Virtue

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Philip Melanchthon is nothing if not consistent in the way in which he handles the appropriation of classical, and particularly Aristotelian, thinking about virtue for the benefit of Christians (a topic treated recently at Mere Orthodoxy). Melanchthon finds Aristotle (or an eclectically re...

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This paper was originally delivered as a lecture to All Saints Church in Lancaster Pennsylvania on Feb. 18, 2017 as a part of a conference on church history and education. The audio from the entire conference is available here.

 

Like all catechisms, the Heidelberg Catechism has a section...

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018 02:17

Do You Believe in Magic?

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Talk of the supposed “disenchantment” of the world of “modernity” continues apace, providing (as it has always done) a cottage industry for academics and connoisseurs of Angst–and little else.

I thought it might be useful to have a quick look at the history of the word,...

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Friday, 19 October 2018 00:19

“The Year of Our Lord 1943” (1)

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I’m reading Alan Jacobs’ recent book The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis. I’m more persuaded by some aspects of it, less so by others, and stimulated by all. I likely will not have time to write up a full review, which would in any case probably...

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 02:27

What Should Christians Think About Halloween?

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I grew up with a very normal American view of Halloween. It was a day where I dressed up like cartoon characters or cartoonish or campy monsters in order to have a few laughs and get some candy. There really was no weighty “significance” behind it. It was just good clean fun.

As I got...

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 01:19

John Adams’ Reply to Rush

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In response to yesterday’s post on Benjamin Rush, a colleague in History, Matt Gaetano, points to more on this issue among early Americans as recorded in Ellis Sandoz’s book Republicanism, Religion, and the Soul of America. Today we’ll look at one brief episode in the...

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Tuesday, 02 October 2018 01:22

Obviously Protestants Ruin Poetry

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The folks over at Sententiae Antiquae recently posted a passage worth reading from a letter of Benjamin Rush to Ashbel Green from 1807. Therein Rush says:

No more Latin should be learned in these schools than is necessary to translate that language into English, and no more Greek than is...

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Monday, 24 September 2018 02:50

The Mode and Meaning of Baptism

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Christians have not agreed on the proper mode of baptism. Many believe that the only proper way to baptize someone is by the full submersion of the body under water. They typically argue that baptizo means immerse and they also appeal to Romans 6 as a watertight (pardon the pun) argument proving...

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It’s time to bring our series on the identity and government of the church to a conclusion. You can find the previous installments here:

Part 1: The Crisis of Rome and Its Claims of Ultimate Authority

Part 2: Church Origins and Officers in the New Testament 

Part 3: Bishop-Elders and...

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As we move into the third century, the relevant body of Christian literature grows considerably. The episcopalian structure of government has become more universal, and all of the writers of this period reference a singular bishop as holding a place of authority. They also largely repeat...

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God changes us over time. That change begins with the lesson–which may take a lifetime to learn in the way that it really needs to be learned–that the first thing we must do is to give up trying to justify, or vindicate, ourselves. Abandoning the desire for self-justification is the...

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We are continuing our look at the way the early church organized itself. You can see the earlier posts here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. This post will highlight some of the more important development that would eventually lead to the Roman Catholic claims about the relationship between Peter and...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 03:21

Scripture as Mother

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Augustine talks a lot about moms in the Confessions: particularly his own mother and the church as the mother of the faithful–though not Mary. This is unsurprising, because Augustine knows nothing of Marian devotion.

But it is not only the church who is the mother of believers; Scripture...

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