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

Think on These Things - Apologetic Report
This handbook accompanies a student manual and is designed to lead a small group of unbelievers on a seven-week study through the Gospel of Mark.  Attention is focused on three threads that are traced throughout the Gospel.  The identity of Jesus is examined during the first two sessions;...

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Thursday, 12 April 2018 07:21

Sanctification Debates Part 2

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(Volume 24, Issue 2, April/May 2018) Liberate Theology (LT), as we saw in Part 1 of this series, is a method of sanctification which focuses on what its teachers call the indicatives of Scripture, rather than the imperatives. Indicatives are statements of fact, in this case facts related to Christ...

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Thomas Schreiner, professor of New Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, contributes this volume on Sola Fide to the 5 Solas Series, published by Zondervan and edited by Matthew Barrett.  The book is broken down into three parts, the first being a “Historical Tour of...

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This primer is published by a ministry which calls itself Q Place, which is an organization focused on evangelism and fellowship through “small groups of 2-12 people who meet to discuss questions about life, God and the Bible” (p. 7).  It is a companion to the 9 Arts of Spiritual...

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Gregory was considered one of the “big three” church fathers (along with Gregory of Nazianzus and our subject’s older brother Basil) who fought for Trinitarian theology when it was attacked in the fourth-century.  This book is a paraphrase of his fourth-century sermons on the...

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Author Kevin Swanson is attempting to trace the philosophical and literary threads that have shaped our modern Western civilization.  He believes that the ideas created by certain influential thinkers and authors are responsible for the destruction of the Christian West.  These ideas are...

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God’s Forever Family tells the story of the rise, development and influence of the Jesus People (or Freaks, as they were called at the time).  The actual movement was short lived, being birthed directly after the 1967 “Summer of Love” in Haight-Ashbury.  As the hippies...

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Perspectives follows the pattern of similar books presenting contrasting views on doctrinal issues.  In this case, the all-important doctrine of God is in focus with Paul Helm presenting the Classical Calvinistic position, Bruce Ware a modified Calvinism, Roger Olson the Classical Free-Will...

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In Follow the Master Paul Barreca is offering a helpful, concise discussion of discipleship.  He primarily follows the pattern given by Jesus in His discipleship of the Twelve.  I appreciated his observation that Jesus’ method was very similar to God’s instruction to Israel...

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Next is written by two Christian men, one being the research director for Leadership Network and the other the founder of the Vanderbloeman Search Group which connects churches and ministries with the right leadership.  The big idea is that every church and pastor needs a succession...

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Thursday, 01 March 2018 23:52

Sanctification Debates Part 1

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(Volume 24, Issue 1, January-March 2018) Throughout church history the issue of sanctification, how Christians change, grow and mature, has been hotly debated.  Those who cling to the Reformed position on salvation, that is, salvation is a gift of God based completely on His grace (sola...

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Alan Jacobs acknowledges that thinking is hard (p. 128), which explains why “relatively few people want to think” (p. 17) at all.   Thinking, as defined by Jacobs, is not the decisions we make but the process we take (p. 14): “Thinking is a power to be finely aware and...

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In What Is the Bible?, Rob Bell does for the Bible what he did for Hell in Love Wins – completely distorts it to the point that it loses all meaning and purpose.  Using his now familiar style of asking more questions than providing solutions, Bell creatively and effectively leads his...

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Thursday, 18 January 2018 06:11

Sanctification by Michael Allen

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Sanctification is one of the volumes in the “New Studies in Dogmatics” series edited by Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain.  Two other volumes have been published so far:   The Triune God and The Holy Spirit.  The series is a serious, scholarly interaction with...

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Having recently read several tomes on the subject of sanctification, as well as some popular but misguided books on the same topic, it was refreshing to turn to DeYoung’s little book dealing with the same doctrine.  The Hole in Our Holiness is gracious, readable, full of scriptural...

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The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert is a multi-layered book.  First, and most likely the reason most read it in the first place, is that it chronicles the story of a former lesbian feminist scholar whose specialty was “queer theory” (p. 2), who has radically turned to Christ...

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As a professor of apologetics and systematic theology, and an authority on the works of Cornelius Van Til, we would expect K. Scott Oliphint to be a strong promoter of presuppositional apologetics.  He is that and more.  The stated purpose for the book is “to get us to open our...

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An intermural debate of recent vintage among mostly Calvinistic/Reformed theologians centers on the Godhead.  On the one side sits classical theism, which James Dolezal, assistant professor of theology in the School of Divinity at Cairn University, champions.  On the other side sits...

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The Cure, written by three men in leadership at the Truefaced Mission, is structured like most books of this genre.    The authors try to convince readers that their lives are a mess, but the remedy for their messiness is found within the covers of their book.  In this case The...

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 03:11

Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian

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Tullian Tchividjian has been the recognized leader within the liberate theology movement which places strong emphasis on grace and the finished work of Christ in the sanctification process.  More of that in a moment, but for now it is important to note that the particular volume under review...

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There is perhaps no more controversial subject within Christianity than that of divine sovereignty and human choices.  How can God truly control all things but let people be able to make meaningful decisions for which they are responsible?  As this subject bleeds over into soteriology it...

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Friday, 17 November 2017 00:15

My Favorite Books Part V

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(Volume 23, Issue 6,November/December 2017) Since I began writing book reviews a number of years ago, it seemed to some that the majority of these reviews dealt with books that were either errant or at best mixed in their biblical accuracy.  So in August 2004 I began listing, by category, the...

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Grace Alone is part of the “Five Solas Series” edited by Matthew Barrett.  Each sola is given its individual volume, with Grace Alone written by well-respected Reformed theologian and professor at Westminster Theological Seminary Carl Trueman.  As a church historian, Trueman...

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God Took Me by the Hand is a short autobiography of the life of longtime servant of God and author Jerry Bridges.  Bridges, whose whole ministry was in conjunction with the Navigators (he recently passed away), uses his simple and clear writing skills to chronicle how an ordinary boy was...

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Jimmy Dodd is founder and president of PastorServe, an organization devoted to aiding pastors in their lives and ministries.  Survive or Thrive details how PastorServe attempts to fulfill its mission.  Dodd founded PastorServe in 1999  to “provide care, coaching and crisis...

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