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

I will share my conclusion up front: of course we do!

And if we are able to settle that, the main issue now becomes one of logistics, not of theology.

First some background. Churches are offering online worship services: Bible studies; small groups. A Mennonite church in Lancaster County,...

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Friday, 20 March 2020 03:20

ME?? Stay at home because of a VIRUS!?

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As someone who does an average of 50%+ of his work from his own office, being obligated to stay at home or work full-time from home is not a chore.

However, I do appreciate that many will find it boring and bewildering, and for some, it will lead to emotional turmoil or even depression or substance...

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Friday, 13 March 2020 02:54

Coronavirus – two thoughts

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Coronavirus! Here is, I hope, the last thing I’ll say on this matter.

People are uncovering, as they always do with any and every scary event, COVID-19 buried deeply in some Hebrew code (one guy finds COVID and and the death of KOBE – as in the late basketball player – predicted in...

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I am committed to using the very best edition of the Greek New Testament. At this moment, I accept as best the Nestle-Aland 28th edition (NA-28; I do not say this to put down the SBL or the Tyndale House New Testaments, but that is an issue for another day).

Thus I am dumbfounded by sites such as...

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“My pastor doesn’t tell us how to vote! What he does is give out a score card that describes what the issues are[remember that phrase!] and then shows what each candidate stands for. But then he tells us to make up our own minds!”

Anyway, that’s the word on the street.

Le...

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020 00:44

Give to the Lord, even when it DOESN’T hurt!

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I love to write, and since I just yesterday finished drafting out a new book – and having a great time doing so! – a comment by C. S. Lewis reminded me that I should not claim to be doing some great act of self-surrender whenever I crank up the laptop. To paraphrase Plutarch from his Mor...

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 09:56

My 2019 Reading List – some of my favorites!

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Every year I join the Goodreads Reading Challenge (take a look at the wonderful site, www.goodreads.com, where you can log your reading). This year, as in the past few years, I have set the goal of reading 104 books, an average of two per week. Some are shorter novellas or tractates, some are long...

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I have written several papers on how the church of the 2nd and 3rd centuries reported that they experienced the gift of prophecy. Only in the early 3rd century did Origen observe that “since [the time of Christ and the apostles] these signs have diminished, although there are still traces of...

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Wednesday, 08 January 2020 05:37

What did Paul mean by “possess your own vessel”?

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This material adapted from 1-2 Thessalonians, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, from pages 161-66. The book is available from Amazon and as a discount from Amazon, and also from Logos, in Korean and also in Spanish.

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1 Thess 4:4 is the most complex verse in the Thessalonian...

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Tuesday, 31 December 2019 08:32

Bible in a Year – my Favorite Plan!

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Never before in human history have so many people had such easy access to the Bible – or people of any faith to their sacred books, for that matter – than we have to the Scriptures.

Reading through the entire Bible in a year is a terrific goal for any year. And my very favorite reading...

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Tuesday, 24 December 2019 04:26

Paul agrees: Christ is Immanuel, God with us

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According to Matthew 1:23 (in the form Iesous or Yeshua) means “he shall save.” Matthew also states that Christ fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 – “And you shall call his name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us.”

In 1-2 Thessalonians, Paul also reveals...

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“Morpho-syntactical exegesis”: it all sounds so mysterious! It is not.

In fact, I would go so far as to argue that there is no such thing as morpho-syntactical exegesis as such.

Morpho-syntactical analysis, on the other hand, is a thing.

Such analysis involves the identification and...

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If I remember 8th-grade math correctly, and if I am hearing some of my fellow evangelicals clearly, either they or I have transgressed a basic principle of math. I’m pretty sure they are the ones who goofed about a basic issue, our worldview.

What I mean is that, as a people, we are a priori co...

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We live in an age when every few years, someone steps up to announce a fatal comet or rogue planet or asteroid. GILL BROUSSARD (like Carlos Ferrada in Spanish a while ago, and others) is one of a long line of dreamers like Immanuel Velikovsky in 1950. And everyone says the same thing, that No, no,...

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I almost never publish links to other articles, but this one is unique, and I won’t be able to express it as clearly.

The United States is currently overrun with theologians with good degrees, who are unemployed or underemployed. Here’s some food for thought.

Click “Are PhDs...

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What do we do with this?

68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis.

Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.

87% of Christian women have watched porn (at some time). The percentage of all women (Christian or not) who watch porn is on...

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From the very beginning I was a reluctant blogger. Years ago, when my friend Mark suggested that I blog, my response was: “Isn’t that one of those things where I would go on and give random opinions and share vacation pictures?” Well, he answered, some blogs are like that, but...

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Saturday, 05 October 2019 08:33

Have I discovered a new version of the book of Acts?

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Remember that whole ‘invaders from Mars’ radio show that got Orson Wells into hot water, for panicking the cattle and stampeding the humans? In was back in ’38, but you may have learned about it in school or seen it on the History channel. Well, on advice from the boys down in...

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imageThis was originally published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society40/4 (December, 1997): 609-626. TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

Here is a summary of our conclusion:

Many of today’s cessationists rely on Warfield’s decision to tie the end of prophecy to the...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 09:10

The Book of Acts: Do the apostles always do right?

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Does the book of Acts intend to tell us a historical narrative, or does Luke tell us how we should be living? In other terms, is it just descriptive, or is it also prescriptive?

One approach is that we should follow what Acts says – or follow it more confidently – only when its narrative...

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019 03:34

Does ‘Abba’ mean ‘Daddy’?

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In short, no, the evidence suggests that in the first century AD and beyond, it just meant “father”.

Here are the three uses of the term in the New Testament:

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry,...

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Tuesday, 13 August 2019 04:32

Apostasy, Right Ahead!

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Now that two public Christians have renounced their faith, some thoughts about the other 99% of us:

Apostasy is a possibility for every single Christian.

Every single Christian is at risk.

Every single Christian is in constant risk.

Now: How can I, who believe in eternal security, say this?...

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imageI was only recently alerted to this new edition, which seems to have become all the rage in some ministries, especially Pentecostal ones. As is often the case with one-person translations, its author promotes it as the very epitome of Bible translation! I will depend here on the extensive and carefu...

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There is a whole genre of exposé literature that follows this formula: “I am an ex-[whatever] and I am going to reveal the shocking inside secrets.” Ex-Communist. Ex-Mormon. Ex-Satanist. Ex-Janitor at Area 51. Ex-Catholic priest (Charles Chiniquy, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome...

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Wednesday, 03 July 2019 03:48

Jesus goes to a wedding – and has fun!

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This is the homily I gave at the wedding of our daughter Vikky to Chris, on June 29, 2019

John 2 says that “There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding.” In John’s gospel, Jesus’ first...

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