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

Monday, 01 June 2020 04:33

A Lament

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Remember my affliction and my wanderings,    the wormwood and the gall!

My soul continually remembers it    and is bowed down within me.But this I call to mind,    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; &...

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When is the last time you heard a sermon that suggested that a motive for our obedience should be the rewards we receive in heaven?  I imagine for most of us it has been a long time, maybe even never. Whenever a sermon (or book) provides a motive for obedience, it is almost always thankfulness...

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There’s been a lot of chatter the last couple years over “de-conversion” stories. Most recently, of course, is the story of well-known pastor and author Joshua Harris, as well as the Youtube comedians Rhett and Link.

I’ve written on this phenomenon myself in a number of...

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A number of years ago, RTS Charlotte launched a two-year Master of Arts in Christian Counseling degree (MACC) and it has been wonderful to see how it has grown.  We believe that solid, Christ-centered, biblical counseling is critical to the health of the church.

Last week we announced the hire D...

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In my opinion, some of the most overlooked portions of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy are the chapters right after the final battle in The Return of the King.  In these chapters, Tolkien expresses a vision for cosmic renewal that closely mimics the one laid down in the biblical accounts...

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One of the perennial questions for all theologians (and all human beings) is “Why do we suffer?” And, “If God is good and sovereign, why does he allow suffering?”

While most of us have these questions, we don’t really have to deal with them until we experience suffering...

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Few would doubt that the last twenty years has seen a remarkable surge of interest in Reformed Theology. So much so, that many younger evangelicals, as opposed to prior generations, would now be comfortable identifying themselves as reformed (in some way).

Indeed, this has been wonderfully...

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Given that many of us are self-quarantined and/or working from home these days, we may find that we have more free time than ever before. Indeed, the internet is filled with stories of “bored” folks stuck at home with nothing to do, searching for some way to entertain themselves.

Under...

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“You do you.”

Perhaps there’s no phrase that captures our current cultural moment better. Back in 2015, Colson Whitehead of the New York Times Magazine, lamented this phrase, arguing that it “perfectly captures our narcissistic culture.”

Indeed, it is hard to disagree....

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Sunday, 01 March 2020 23:08

Should You Preach from a Full Manuscript?

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Just last week, I was asked the question again by seminary students. It comes up multiple times every year. And since I keep getting asked this question, I thought it would be worth addressing.

And that question is, “Should I preach from a full manuscript?”

By “full...

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A number of years ago, Everett Kalin wrote a well-known doctoral dissertation arguing that the early church fathers did not see inspiration as something that was uniquely true of canonical books.  Why?  Because, according to Kalin, the early Church Fathers saw their own writings as...

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A number of years ago, RTS Charlotte launched a two-year Master of Arts in Christian Counseling degree (MACC) and it has been wonderful to see how it has grown.  We believe that solid, Christ-centered, biblical counseling is critical to the health of the church.

Two years ago we also announcedt...

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For our annual Harold O.J. Brown Lectures at RTS Charlotte, we are pleased to Welcome Dr. Phil Ryken, president of Wheaton College.

On Feb 11, 11AM-2PM, Dr. Ryken will be giving two lectures (with a provided lunch in between) on the theme of “Messiah Comes to Middle Earth: Images of...

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The Old Testament has run into some hard times as of late.  It’s seen by many as a curmudgeonly, legalistic, violent, confusing, and, maybe most of all, boring sort of book. As the atheist Richard Dawkins famously opined, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most...

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When deciding what to believe about the Bible, who should we listen to?

That’s a rather basic question, and I suppose there are many possible answers. We could listen to our friends—maybe a roommate or a co-worker.  Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings....

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Have you ever had a time in your life when you really (I mean really) doubted the truth of the Bible? Maybe you wondered whether everything you ever believed was a lie. Anyone who’s gone through such an experience, and come out on the other side, knows how much their spiritual health is tied...

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I am pleased to announce my new book has just been released: The Ten Commandments of Progressive of Christianity (Cruciform Press, 2019).

As most readers will know, I did a blog series on this theme a couple of years ago. Tim Challies, who runs Cruciform Press, approached me about expanding the...

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Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:22

@RTSCharlotte 2019 Year in Review

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Well, it’s New Year’s Eve.  It’s the time of the year to be inundated with “Best of” stories and “Year in Review” segments, dutifully cataloging everything that happened in pop culture or politics.

But, what if a “Year in Review” was about...

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Bah, humbug.

That’s probably one of the most well-known lines in literary (and now, cinematic) history. Everybody immediately recognizes the curmudgeonly voice of Ebeneezer Scrooge as he pours cold water all over our Christmas spirit.

And his point is still made today by some, albeit in...

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Monday, 09 December 2019 05:38

How on Earth Did Jesus Become God?

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Two weeks ago, I posted my tribute to Larry Hurtado upon his death from a long bout with cancer. Since, others have offered tributes as well, including those by Chris Keith, Greg Lanier, Tommy Wasserman, John Stackhouse, Helen Bond, Michael Bird, as well as by Larry’s own Doktorvater, Eldon...

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I woke up today to the very sad news that my Doktorvater and friend, Larry Hurtado, had passed away after a long bout with cancer. So, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the impact he had on my life.

In the fall of 1999, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin my Ph.D. work in New Testament...

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Next week, I head to beautiful San Diego for the 71st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, the largest gathering of evangelical scholars in the world. The theme this year is “Christ in All Scripture.”

This year I will be delivering the presidential address at the...

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Monday, 28 October 2019 23:23

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac?

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Armenia. Cambodia. Rawanda. Bosnia. Darfur. All well-known modern examples of genocide where entire people groups were wiped out (or almost wiped out).  These are awful tragedies, worthy of our sorrow and grief.

And yet, ask the critics, is the God of the Bible really any different? When the...

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Over the last year or so, I’ve been encouraged by the many different reviews of (and interactions with) my book, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church.  For a list of some of those reviews, see prior post here.

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One of the reasons I wrote...

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Ok, so we all know the main Bible verse about money: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil” (1 Tim 6:10).  In fact, we know it so well that we rarely let it sink in.image

If we ponder it for just a brief moment, we would realize that money, though it can be a blessing, can...

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