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

Latest Headlines: - Apologetic Report
Monday, 22 February 2010 09:17

What is a sermon for, and is it right for us to judge a poor one?

My friend James kindly posted some thoughts in response to my How to diagnose a sermon article. That article gave a three-step diagnostic (courtesy of the Issues, Etc. radio programme) for reviewing sermons. You can read his comments in full on that article, but his three main points were:

  1. That I...

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Written by doulos
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 16:22

Luther’s Small Catechism on the Ten Commandments: Introduction

In times past, many Christians used to educate their children and new converts in the basics of the Christian faith by way of catechisms.

Some still do.

The rest of us might want to give the idea some serious thought, for our times are not so very different from those in which Luther found himself:

Th...

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Written by doulos
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 11:52

What if? (Absolute truth)

Many people in the Church seem to be asking ‘What if’ questions. Which started me thinking…

What if…there exists a truthwhich is absolute?

What if…it is true thatthere is a God?

What if…this God madethe heavens and the earth?

What if…He made humankindin...

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Written by doulos
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 06:24

Marilene, Eva, and Paulo

BRAZIL—Laura and Lynell use The Story of Hope in their evangelism and discipleship ministries in Campo Grande, Brazil. Here are three "Good Soil" stories resulting from their ministries: Marilene, whom Lynell met in a mechanic's shop; Eva, who asked Laura to lead her through a Bible study;...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 11:52

The point of the ‘sheep and the goats’ passage is NOT that we should try harder to do good works

During his Olivet discourse, Jesus tells His disciples of the coming day of judgment when He shall separate the sheep from the goats:

31When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before...

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Written by doulos
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 03:49

Am I wasting my time studying 2,000 year-old texts?

Someone called Bill left a comment on my previous post. Bill asks a good question, namely this:

Is it worthwhile for us to spend significant amounts of time studying the Bible, the newest parts of which were written over 1,900 years ago?

Yes! In every way.

Why do I believe this?

  1. Having examined the...

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Written by doulos
Monday, 11 January 2010 05:00

The Story of Hope in Family Evangelism

BRAZIL—Since taking the Good Soil training course in discipleship and evangelism at our church (New Life Baptist Community in Bauru, Brazil) in October, I had been praying that God would give me a chance to use what I had learned with people I meet.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Sunday, 10 January 2010 09:52

An exercise in paying close attention to the text – should elders be married and have children?

I’m guessing that your church’s elders/pastors/shepherds/overseers/bishops – Biblically, all the same office – are not required to have children, right?

Given that opening question and the title of this article, you might be expecting me now to try and convince you that they...

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Written by doulos
Monday, 04 January 2010 08:16

A listener’s guide to the pulpit

Most of the preachers were dynamic, engaging, interesting and even entertaining. Most of their sermons were terrible.

I’ve just come across this magnificent article, written by Pastor Todd Wilken of the Issues, Etc. radio program. It clearly shows the difference between a good and bad sermon....

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Written by doulos
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 00:44

Why the Human Will Cannot Overcome Sin: A Study of Paul's Commentary on the 10th Commandment

By Bob DeWaay

Authors: Critical Issues Commentary...

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Written by Critical Issues Commentary
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 09:45

The challenge: give a talk on the birth of Christ as the fulfilment of prophecy. Oh, and keep it to 5 minutes

I was asked to talk on this topic for a carol service at the local sheltered housing complex just before Christmas. What a great subject! But, how to do it justice in ‘about 5 minutes’? Give me an hour, and no problem. But a mere 300 seconds? That’s hard!

And how in that short time...

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Written by doulos
Saturday, 12 December 2009 23:32

Thoughts on Biblical Theology

Here are some key quotations from an 1894 essay by Dr. Geerhardus Vos (1862-1949), the leading evangelical theologian in the early development and popularization of the discipline of Biblical Theology. The entire essay is available in the Resources section of this site--The Idea of Biblical...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 11 December 2009 13:00

Good Soil E D in a Local Church

We often say that Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship (E&D) is not a program—it’s a theology of evangelism and discipleship for which we have created some complementary implementation resources. In our training and promotions, we have resisted the term “program”...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Thursday, 03 December 2009 13:00

Should The Way to Joy Be in a Narrative Form?

​"I like the narrative approach in The Story of Hope—why don’t you do something similar with The Way to Joy?" We've been asked this question a few times. In some rare cases, this concept is even presented quite strongly as a convictional matter, rather than just a question of...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 13:00

“Aha! Moments” in ChronoBible Evangelism

​“Aha! moments” are uniquely delightful experiences. In the Good Soil seminar, we reflect briefly on several other “Aha! moments.”

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 02:30

Finding Hope in His Final Days

USA—About a month ago, I received a phone call from a friend in our neighborhood whose name is Dave. I had been trying to build a redemptive relationship with Dave since we moved into the neighborhood, 16 months earlier.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Thursday, 29 October 2009 02:44

Oprah Winfrey Promotes Pantheist Eckhart Tolle: How Biblically Illiterate America is Being Deceived

By Bob DeWaay

Authors: Critical Issues Commentary...

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Written by Critical Issues Commentary
Saturday, 10 October 2009 11:30

Training Children’s Workers in Eastern Europe

EASTERN EUROPE—It was my privilege to travel recently to a communist country where it is illegal to teach children about Jesus Christ, and also to a Muslim country. In both countries, I chose to present The Story of Hope to Christian children’s workers who want to reach and disciple...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Saturday, 03 October 2009 00:46

Worldview Evangelism on Mars Hill - Lessons for Today

The exposition of Acts 17:16-34 by D.A. Carson is a valuable resource for anyone involved in evangelism with unbelievers in any non-Christian worldview context.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 02 October 2009 14:00

Importance of the Bible’s Story Line in Evangelism with Pluralists

It is crucial that we present the gospel to informal pluralists within the framework of the Bible's story line.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Thursday, 01 October 2009 14:00

Repentance and Faith = Two Sides of Turning

It is necessary to turn from in order to turn to. Repentance and faith are different sides of the same turning. Neither repentance nor faith are meritorious: repentance is the fulfillment of a negative duty, faith is the fulfillment of positive duty; the merit is in Jesus Christ and His death,...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 14:00

Confronting Pluralism with the Bible’s Story

Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) was a Church of Scotland missionary to South India from 1936 to 1974. Although he was a leading figure in the World Council of Churches, he certainly did not succumb to the error of pluralism, as have many in the ecumenical movement. Upon returning to Britain from...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Sunday, 27 September 2009 14:00

Worldview Transformation in Conversion

This book is not necessarily an easy read. But chapter 11 (pages 307-333), which bears the same name as the book's title, is worth reading by anyone interested in evangelism in non-Christian religious worldview contexts.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:00

Selection Criteria for TSOH Events

How many unique events or stories are there in the Bible? That's really impossible to answer for sure, since it's often difficult to determine where one event or story begins and another one starts. But any way you look at it, there are hundreds of events or stories in the Bible. So how does a...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:00

End-Focus for The Story of Hope

Evangelistic chronological Bible teaching resources all begin with the creation account in Genesis. They continue through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the gospels, but many of them stop there. Our Good Soil E&D resources (The Story of Hope and The Roots of Faith, for example)...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Monday, 21 September 2009 09:54

Combative, opinionated, and highly recommended – the Fighting for the Faith radio programme

I consider Fighting for the Faith to be essential listening. Chris Rosebrough, the show’s host, examines the trends and fads of today’s church, comparing what people say in God’s name with what is taught by Scripture.

Although entertainingly polemical, Chris doesn’t just poke...

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Written by doulos
Monday, 21 September 2009 09:12

How to diagnose a sermon

The excellent Issues, Etc* radio programme has this very handy diagnostic for reviewing sermons:

  1. How often is Jesus mentioned? Keep a simple running tally. It’s a problem if He is mentioned only a few times, or tucked in at the beginning or the end. If He is mentioned, even only once, go on to...

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Written by doulos
Saturday, 29 August 2009 01:52

The Power of ChronoBible Evangelism

EAST ASIA—The power of chronological Bible teaching became clearly evident to us in East Asia in one semester, as ten of the 12 participants in our house church Bible study repented of their sin, recieved Christ as their Savior, and were baptized in the spring.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Saturday, 29 August 2009 00:50

Training to Use The Story of Hope

EAST ASIA—From a trainer in East Asia: This past spring we conducted training for several house church groups in how to use the Story of Hope.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 28 August 2009 02:44

Providence and Promise: How God Rules His Universe for the Good of His People

By Bob DeWaay

Authors: Critical Issues Commentary...

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Written by Critical Issues Commentary
Friday, 17 July 2009 03:06

Hope and Joy in the Hospital

NORTH AMERICA—In early 2009, I was sent to a special hospital for multiple daily antibiotic infusions to fight a staph infection I had contracted after a surgery. I was also to undergo physical therapy. Realizing that every experience is an opportunity from God to bring His love to others, it...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 17 July 2009 03:02

The Story of Hope in School Assemblies

ENGLAND—Doug and Linda minister at Quedgeley Baptist, a church plant in their community. They often have the opportunity to participate in public school assemblies. Recently, they were teaching a series of lessons at their church on The Story of Hope and decided to create a Story of Hope...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Sunday, 26 April 2009 14:16

‘The Calvin I Never Knew’ seminars by Dr Frank A. James III (audio)

I’d like to share with you another gem on iTunes U from the Reformed Theological Seminary. Dr Frank A. James III gives a refreshing, and perhaps unexpected, perspective on John Calvin. If you have iTunes installed, you can find the seminars here. Give them a try — you’ll be...

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Written by doulos
Friday, 24 April 2009 02:21

Eight People from Nepal Respond in Faith to the Story of Hope

FAR EAST—One of the most practical ways we've been helped recently has been the development of The Story of Hope chronological evangelistic Bible study. On Easter Sunday, we visited a nearby ministry that reaches out to the large Nepalese community living in our city. During the message, I...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 17 April 2009 05:29

The Life of a Young Mother Transformed

BRAZIL—Ariane, a young mother and wife in Brazil, learns that Jesus Christ brings meaning to life and she places her faith in Him.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:55

Basic Discipleship in Papua New Guinea

PAPUA NEW GUINEA—James, a Papua New Guinean young man disciples six of his friends using The Way to Joy.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 06 March 2009 03:45

“Aha” Good Soil Training Experiences Among Leaders of the Pemon Indian Tribe

VENEZUELA, SOUTH AMERICA—We just finished studying the Good Soil material with 25 Indian pastors and several women from the Pemon Indian Tribe in Venezuela. I can tell you that our people will never be the same.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Monday, 24 November 2008 05:42

The Way to Joy Used to Disciple Deaf Students

BRAZIL—The Way to Joy - This is “a course that has Biblical content and is simple to understand” Pastor Valdir says.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Monday, 27 October 2008 22:00

Cultivating Good Soil For the Long Haul

ASIA—A seed, planted five years earlier, takes root and bears fruit in the life of an Asian businessman.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Friday, 12 September 2008 03:25

Hope Spreading in Morada do Vale

BRAZIL—God calls Dauri to build a church through a dream. He later is led to Christ through The Story of Hope and The Chronological Bridge to Life.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Thursday, 11 September 2008 03:53

From Buddha to Jesus: A Good Soil Faith Response

RESTRICTED ACCESS COUNTRY—Linh, a Buddhist, makes a faith response to receive Jesus Christ after studying The Story of Hope with a missionary.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 03:55

Understanding Relational Evangelism

SOUTH ASIA—A missionary in South Asia is reminded that sharing the gospel is never an event, but rather a process.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Tuesday, 09 September 2008 03:57

Learning How to Speak to Unbelieving Hearts

SOUTH ASIA—An evangelist learns the importance of becoming a friend of sinners, and of keeping the Bible open and allowing it to speak to the unbelieving heart.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Monday, 08 September 2008 03:58

Zimbabweans Added to the Church in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA—A church in Cape Town is using The Way to Joy to disciple new believers from Zimbabwe.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship
Sunday, 07 September 2008 04:01

The Ripple Effect of Discipleship

UNITED STATES—A pre-field missionary uses the Good Soil materials to disciple high school and college students, who in turn are discipling others.

Authors: Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship...

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Written by Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship