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

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 23:32

How Small Are Your Ten Commandments? Featured

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Jake Meador addresses the question of whether to support impeachment of President Trump on the basis of the Decalogue (as the Christianity Today editorial did implicitly). After all, if you argue that Trump lied and broke the 9th commandment, what about other presidents who were not exactly...

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Friday, 10 January 2020 03:44

What Would It Take for Christians to View the World Like This? Featured

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Instead of character, the virtues recommended by the Founders, God’s law, or deviations from it, what about war, American workers, and U.S. involvement in the Middle East?

Like a certain percentage of his voters, I had supported Trump in great part because he challenged the Bush, Cheneyite...

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When Barack Obama was the most Christian POTUS in US history:

I am also intrigued by the way this speech is saturated with Christian theology and Biblical references (including multiple references to Jesus Christ). I have said this before, but if we evaluate Obama’s faith in the same way that...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 05:05

Putting the Nationalism in Denominationalism Featured

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Colin Hansen makes an arresting admission in his piece about having grown up a Methodist and how he left the communion:

As a former United Methodist, I thank God for these friends and co-laborers in the gospel, even if I no longer share all their theological views. I recognize my spiritual debt....

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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 05:51

How Did it Become So Easy to Get Out of a United Church? Featured

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In the United States, we put “the union” in USA. We are as much a republic as France, though we are still in our first iteration (some say Lincoln started our second republic) and the French are up to five. But in a few weeks, POTUS will deliver not “The State of the...

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Wednesday, 01 January 2020 00:46

Machen Death Day 2019: Elites in the Ancient Church Featured

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It must be remembered that what Paul in Gal. ii. 1-10 desires most of all to prevent is the impression that he is appealing to the Jerusalem apostles as to a higher instance. He is not basing the authority of his preaching upon any authorization that the apostles gave him; he is not saying that he...

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Friday, 20 December 2019 01:29

The Significance of Jesus’ Birth Featured

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From J. Gresham Machen’s “magnum opus”:

Even without the infancy narratives we should have much upon which to rest our faith. Christ would still be presented in the New Testament as both God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever; the significance of His Cross...

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Wednesday, 18 December 2019 06:09

Not Exceptional, But Not Abysmal Featured

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David French thinks American conservatives have a race problem (but, of course, he is not one of those conservatives):

In powerful right-wing populist circles—talk radio, Fox prime time, etc.—the absolute last thing you can argue is that right-wing populism has a race problem. The last...

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Monday, 16 December 2019 06:07

Moderate Presbyterians, Irish or American Featured

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Seeing the looks on Ben Preston and Craig Lynn’s faces last week while recording a session on J. Gresham Machen, I worried not only that American indelicacy had run up against Irish sensitivities, but also that the Orthodox Presbyterian habit of being opinionated had offended the moderate...

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Thursday, 05 December 2019 00:53

Doing Politics as a Presbyterian Has Always been Rough Featured

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From Michael Winship’s Hot Protestants (on the Presbyterian predicament after regicide and at the beginning of Oliver Cromwell’s government):

Some Presbyterians . . . focused their hope for reformation on their beheaded king’s nineteen-yer-old son Charles, in exile in the...

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Monday, 02 December 2019 05:26

What Was Jesus Thinking? Featured

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You might have thought that Jesus was not exactly interested in social justice when you read Luke’s account of Christ’s interaction with the Capernaum centurion:

After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 Now a centurion had a servant who...

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Thursday, 28 November 2019 01:57

Is This how Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving? Featured

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It is a long way to go in Raising Arizona to arrive at the closing “dream of the future,” but if you are pressed for a movies with an obscure reference to our national holiday, the Coen brothers’ second production may hit the spot:

 

Authors: D. G. Hart...

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019 01:31

Did Meredith Kline Believe in Paedo-Communion? Featured

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Steven Wedgeworth characterizes the first period of Federal Vision’s development this way:

The first stage worth discussing actually goes back to Westminster Theological Seminary in the 1970s. While the seminary had been founded as something of a continuing “old school”...

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Friday, 22 November 2019 05:01

The Wrong Question Featured

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In his review of Thomas Kidd’s new book, Who Is an Evangelical, Samuel James begins with this anecdote:

Many years ago I was sitting in the basement of my Southern Baptist church in Louisville, Kentucky, when a friend asked: “Do you think it’s a sin to vote for John Kerry?”...

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Thursday, 21 November 2019 03:33

Taking Every Fluid Ounce Captive Featured

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Churches have specific associations with bodies of water. This Lutheran Church Missouri Synod writer claims the Mississippi (but I wonder if Mark Twain would let him not to mention what Lutherans in Germany might think about rivers in the United States):

A lot of evangelicals are swimming these...

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Thursday, 14 November 2019 20:37

Number 11: Don’t Read One Corinthians Featured

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Dwight Longenecker tries to walk Roman Catholic converts back from overly high expectations for the Roman Catholic Church in the manner of Joe Carter (where Carter produces 9 points, Father Dwight adds a tenth). That is a tad rich given the way some conversion stories go. But at least Longenecker...

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Friday, 08 November 2019 00:27

The Logic of Comfort Featured

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The folks who like to draw attention to obedience in the Christian life do not seem to consider the source of believer’s comfort. Consider the following:

Since the Bible doesn’t restrict the word “gospel” to a very precise meaning, we shouldn’t either. This is not to...

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Wednesday, 06 November 2019 06:29

Laughing In the Face of Evil Featured

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Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast on chutzpah contended that it was more audacious for Joseph Columbo to form the American Italian Defamation League than it was for Al Ruddy to pitch the idea of Hogan’s Heroes to executives at CBS. The audacity or chutzpah in both cases was huge. Columbo was...

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I was listening to the Quick to Listen interview with Thomas Kidd about his new book, Who is An Evangelical, and heard a startling advertisement. Just about 32 minutes into the discussion, I heard Truett Seminary, the Southern Baptist institution for training ministers at Baylor University, plug...

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Thursday, 31 October 2019 07:18

Still Protestanting Featured

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Heck, we were even kicking and bellyaching back in Rome’s post-Vatican II glory days (from the forum, “We Protest,” a series of reflections on the legacy of John Paul II in the October, 2005 issue of the Nicotine Theological Journal):

The Pastor with the Funny Hat

With the passing...

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Tuesday, 29 October 2019 22:18

Celebrity Bible Teacher Culture Featured

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Some are worried about the culture of Christian patriarchy that allows John MacArthur to disparage Bible teachers like Beth Moore. But as the Christianity Today feature story on the Southern Baptist celebrity teacher indicated, Moore also inhabits a culture that protects her from criticism (not to...

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Thursday, 24 October 2019 06:56

Interpreting the Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School Featured

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Word of Walter Kim’s appointment as the president of the National Association of Evangelicals could have an upside if Dr. Kim studied with Harvard’s Jon Levenson. The pastor at Trinity PCA in Charlottesville completed a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard,...

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:54

An End Run Featured

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Imagine you are a Reformedish Protestant around the time of George W. Bush’s election. You have entered the world of Reformed Protestantism by way of the biblical theology (which leaned Federal) of Peter Leithart and James Jordan, you agree with a number of Doug Wilson’s critiques of...

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Monday, 21 October 2019 07:57

When Congregationalists Were Woke (150 years ago) Featured

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Observations about the Boston Council of Congregationalists in 1865:

Even mild and bespectacled Alonzo Quint, who had just returned from service as a Union army chaplain, burst out in protest during a discussion of the civil rights of rebels, declaring them “uncommonly stupid and...

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