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 Sword and the Ploughshare - Apologetic Report
Friday, 29 September 2017 07:32

Richard Hooker Responds to Jay Adams

Written by

While reading through the works of Richard Hooker today, I had the good fortune to come across an obscure and forgotten treatise where he attacks the form of “biblical” approach to psychology and counseling that has in our own era been advocated by Jay Adams and the “nouthetic...

Read more

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 08:48

The Perilous Business of Pastoring

Written by

imageI am grateful to Doug Wilson for his thoughtful response to my post yesterday on the matter of binding consciences. It offered a good opportunity, I think, to move the conversation forward in clarifying the central issues at stake, both for the purposes of the present kerfluffle and any others that...

Read more

imageIt’s tough being a pastor. I know because I’ve never dared try, but I’ve watched others try. Sure, you can always avoid preaching on anything so concrete and close to home as to ruffle any feathers, and some ministers have perfected the art of doing so for years on end. But as...

Read more

imageI had a curious experience last week when I put up my not-very-nice review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option(in a nutshell, my review suggested that TBO offered just basic Christianity repackaged as a marketing gimmick, and one resting on a not-very-apropos historical allusion at that)....

Read more

image In a refreshingly honest moment on page 142 of The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher quotes Leah Libresco Sargent saying,

“People are like, ‘This Benedict Option thing, it’s just being Christian, right?’ And I’m like, “Yes! You’ve figured out the koan!’ But...

Read more

Thursday, 16 March 2017 04:56

The Benedict Option in 43 Propositions

Written by

imageI’m working on a review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, which seems to be all the rage  right now—whether you love it or hate it. While I have no great beef with most of Dreher’s arguments or suggestions, I also can’t see quite what the big fuss is...

Read more

Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:20

Letter to a Christian Climate Skeptic

Written by

Dear Incertus,

In your last communication, you offered three main reasons for your reflexive skepticism about climate change. As each of these reasons, in my experience, reflects deep-seated suspicions and doubts among many American Christians on this issue, I wanted to take some time to...

Read more

imageAs Trump’s shocking campaign promises have given way to the even more shocking realization that he actually meant them, our country’s already fevered political polarization has intensified to the boiling point. This polarization, and its occlusion of the possibility for meaningful...

Read more

In this third installment of my review, I want to turn to consider what is, perhaps more than anything else, at the heart of Leithart’s argument in this remarkable book: his notion of the “deliverdict.” In the last installment of this review (and see here for the opening summary), I argued that in places, Leithart’s


In this second installment of this review of Leithart’s Delivered from the Elements of the World, we turn from mere synopsis to critique, or at least to pointed queries about some of Leithart’s more provocative claims. In this post I will be considering one of my general methodological concerns—the addiction to

Delivered from the Elements of the Worldis vintage Leithart: extraordinary in scope, dense, multilayered, intertextual biblical exegesis, and literary flair. Leithart’s aim with this book is about as bold as a work of theology can get: to answer afresh the basic question of the Christian faith, which St. Anselm framed as Cur Deus Homo?

Thursday, 14 January 2016 16:53

Hooker Meets Trumpism: A Diagnosis of Disgruntled Radicalism Featured

Written by

The essay which follows is adapted from a presentation given last weekend to the Davenant Trust Toronto Regional Convivium at West Toronto Baptist Church. Thanks to Ian Clary and Justin Galotti for their hospitality.

The Anatomy of Trumpism

In this paper, I want to sketch Richard Hooker’s remarkably prescient diagnosis of Trumpism 423 years in

An excerpt from Chapter Two—”Richard Hooker: The Man”—of my new book Richard Hooker: A Companion to His Life and Work.

In itself, the life of Richard Hooker is perhaps remarkable above all for its unremarkableness. As mentioned already, his was much more the contemplative than the active life, unlike the thunderous

The following is an excerpt from chapter 6, (“Hooker as Philosopher”) of my new book, Richard Hooker: A Guide to His Life and Work.


When Hooker says that “nature hath need of grace,” he does not merely have in mind fallen human nature’s desperate need for the redemption promised in Christ. To be

Monday, 12 October 2015 10:03

Excerpt from “Richard Hooker: The Myth”

Written by

The following is an excerpt from chapter 1 (“Richard Hooker: The Myth”) of my new book, Richard Hooker: A Companion to His Life and Work.  You can buy the book from Cascade or Amazon.

“Hooker,” it has been aptly said, “is the name of a book rather than the name of a man.”[1] And it is true that

A couple weeks ago, I shared the endorsements of my new book from Paul Avis and Torrance Kirby, both leading Anglican scholars, for which I was profoundly grateful. But as I have been eager all along to get Hooker on the radar of not just Anglican Christians, but Reformed folks and evangelicals more generally, I was particularly gratified to

Monday, 05 October 2015 15:47

My Book is Now Published!

Written by

I’m pleased to announce that my book, Richard Hooker: A Guide to His Life and Work is now published and available to order from Cascade Books. Here’s the description from the back cover:

Although by common consent the greatest theologian of the Anglican tradition, Richard Hooker is little known in Protestant circles more

Thursday, 24 September 2015 09:06

Endorsements for my book on Richard Hooker

Written by

I am pleased to announce that my book, Richard Hooker: A Companion to His Life and Work, should be coming off the presses at Cascade Books within the next couple weeks.  Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting some excerpts and summaries, Lord willing, but first, it is with deep gratitude that I share the kind endorsements of


From Preface, Chapter 2, paragraph 2:

It was the manner of those times (whether through men’s desire to enjoy alone the glory of their own enterprises, or else because the quickness of their occasions required present dispatch), so it was, that every particular Church did that within itself, which some few of their own thought good, by

Monday, 31 August 2015 06:26

Self-possession and the Folly of Idolatry

Written by

Luke Timothy Johnson’s book Sharing Possessions (Eerdmans, 2011) has one of the most searching and profound discussions of idolatry that I have ever come across.  I hope to be sharing more from this extraordinary book in the weeks to come, but for now, here’s one powerful and convicting passage that every Christian

Thursday, 27 August 2015 13:42

Everyman’s Hooker #1: “To Pass Away as in a Dream…” Featured

Written by

This week, I am beginning a new project here at this blog, which I hope to keep up with on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.  I’m calling it “Everyman’s Hooker,” and it’s an attempt to make the thought of Richard Hooker, specifically his Laws of EcclesiasticalPolity, accessible to general

Last week, in response to some heated discussions I had observed on Facebook, I tried to weigh into the whole discussion over the Planned Parenthood videos with “Seven Thoughts on the Planned Parenthood Outrage.” My post was more a reflection on how we in evangelical communities have responded, and should respond, to the Center for