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 17:00

Doctrinal Triage for Worship Featured

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Many years ago, Al Mohler published a widely-read article on doctrinal triage, a method for evaluating the seriousness of doctrines. Kevin Bauder then pointed out that this approach was something that mainstream fundamentalists had espoused for many years, with possibly more sophistication.

I’v...

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Monday, 25 May 2020 17:36

Live Images Are Not Living Persons Featured

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Our technologies have come a long way from when John wrote, likely using a reed-pen on a papyrus sheet, “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.” (3 Jn. 1:13-14)

In the centuries since...

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Friday, 22 May 2020 22:25

Disembodied Christianity Featured

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During the week, I read one man rage at ‘conservative Christians’ for their desire to re-open churches. He then proceeded to point out that Hebrews 10:25 does not really prove that churches need to gather in physical buildings, and that all Christians who call for re-opened churches...

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Sunday, 10 May 2020 17:40

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens Featured

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“John, we’d love it if you and Susan would join us for a meal on Thursday evening.”

“Uh…well, Mike, thanks but…isn’t that illegal? I mean, doesn’t the lockdown prohibit that kind of social gathering?”

“Oh, no, I don’t mean that you...

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Monday, 27 April 2020 21:56

Ten Mangled Words: Conclusion Featured

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Words are not just names. If they were, we’d have no problem swapping out one label for another. No, words are things. Yes, they are man-made things, concatenations of syllables created by human cultures, and their particular meanings have been shaped through convention and association. But...

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Monday, 20 April 2020 21:39

“Hate” – A Word Like “Atheism” Featured

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His name was Polycarp, and he was a disciple of the apostle John. He later became the pastor of the church at Smyrna. When he was very old, the vicious persecutions of Christians in Smyrna turned on him. He was arrested and told to deny Christ. He refused. He was brought into the stadium to be...

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Monday, 06 April 2020 23:09

The Crucifixion: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday? Featured

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The exact day of the week of Christ’s death has been debated for centuries. The day, while not fundamental to the gospel, is of some import, especially in countries like South Africa which celebrate Good Friday as a public holiday. Churches hold Good Friday services (were we allowed out the...

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Monday, 30 March 2020 17:00

Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship Featured

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When Israel lost its Temple in A. D. 70, you might imagine it would have prompted much soul-searching and repentance among the rabbis that had rejected Jesus as Messiah. In fact, the rabbis had known for forty years before that date that something was amiss. Yoma 39b of the Talmud records the...

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Monday, 23 March 2020 22:20

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could) Featured

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Left-click the bread icon to consume the bread.  >Click<

>>>  Thank you. You have eaten the bread.

Left-click the cup icon to consume the cup.  > Click<

>>> Thank you. You have drunk the cup.

Sound preposterous? Why shouldn’t we do virtual Lord’s...

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Monday, 16 March 2020 17:00

The Complexity of Hating What God Hates Featured

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No one should love what God hates. No one should hate what God loves. But, as we have seen, God has the ability to love and hate at the same time. It is this conscious simultaneity that we lack, and which adds such difficulty to our understanding of hate.

We have seen the kind of hate which is...

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Monday, 09 March 2020 17:00

God Loves (and Hates) You Featured

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Does God hate the sin and love the sinner? We have seen it is more biblical to say that God both loves and hates the sinner. Several theologians have suggested just that.

Augustus Strong wrote, “These passages show that God loves the same persons whom he hates. It is not true that he hates the...

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Monday, 02 March 2020 15:00

Does God Hate Sinners? Featured

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God’s hatred is a necessary part of His love. Whatever opposes, harms, defiles or otherwise threatens what He loves experiences His displeasure, often erupting in righteous indignation: a divine demand for change. We could say that God’s hatred is an ally of His love, destroying those...

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Monday, 24 February 2020 15:00

The Hate That God Hates Featured

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God does not hate all hate. Some hate is actively encouraged by God. Indeed, if hate exists as the opposite of love, it follows that in many cases we must hate the opposite, or the destroyer, of what we love.

Some hate, however, is condemned by God. In the following verses, hate is the opposite of...

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Monday, 17 February 2020 15:18

Ten Mangled Words: Hate Featured

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Hate has become the only sin the left recognises. To them, it is apparently not possible to sin sexually, and any and every form is to be celebrated publicly. Slaughtering innocents (perhaps the most heinous form of murder) is to be cheered and encouraged. Stealing other people’s property is...

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Monday, 10 February 2020 16:26

Taste and Preference: A Last Word Featured

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Why are there such different “tastes” among people? Is the debate over music in worship simply a “preference issue”? Are matters of music, dress, recreation merely matters of “personal style”? We have tried to sort out the meanings of the word...

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Monday, 03 February 2020 15:50

Taste Formed and Deformed by Culture Featured

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Taste is never shaped in isolation. We learn to love what we love from our family, our church, our school, and our society. In other words, taste is largely shaped by culture.

Culture can be defined as T. S. Eliot suggested, “the incarnation of a religion”. At the heart of any culture is...

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Monday, 27 January 2020 15:46

Taste Spoiled By Sweetness Featured

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A discussion of taste is one of the most difficult (and unrewarding) ones to have, for most people are unreflective about their likes. “I know what I like!” is supposed to end the discussion, followed up with “different strokes for different folks”.

Aesthetic immaturity is...

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Monday, 20 January 2020 17:59

Good Taste and Christian Taste Featured

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Even atheists used to believe in good taste. The infamous David Hume wrote in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals “In many orders of beauty, particularly those of the finer arts, it is requisite to employ much reasoning in order to feel the proper sentiment; and a false relish may...

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Sunday, 12 January 2020 21:16

Church Visibility or Church Publicity? Featured

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Church leaders find themselves today harangued and prodded to build an “online presence”. This usually means a busy Facebook page, a Youtube channel, a Twitter account, a static website, live-streamed services and more. Without these, we’re told, a church is mostly...

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Monday, 23 December 2019 21:00

Royal Presents Featured

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The off’rings of the Eastern kings of old Unto our lord were incense, myrrh and gold; Incense because a God; gold as a king; And myrrh as to a dying man they bring. Instead of incense (Blessed Lord) if we Can send a sigh or fervent prayer to thee, Instead of myrrh if we can but provide Tears...

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Monday, 16 December 2019 20:00

The Magi Featured

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Sometimes I wish that Balthasar Had not been gazing when that star Appeared, so many years ago. We were younger then and bold, though Not so rash as to dash our lives For sudden changes in the skies.

But nightly we watched their motions. Their dance soon cast out all notions Of conjunctions we...

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Monday, 02 December 2019 15:00

New Children’s Book: The Mirror Who Wanted To Be Someone Featured

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I’m pleased to announce the release of a children’s book, The Mirror Who Wanted To Be Someone. Lovingly illustrated by Diane Shearer with hand-drawn illustrations, this is a fairy tale of the Christian story of creation, fall, redemption and restoration.image

A happy Mirror becomes confused...

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Monday, 25 November 2019 13:02

Christian at the Movies (3) – Magic and Fantasy Featured

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Many Christians are alarmed at books or movies that involve magic or fantasy. They feel that the one is dabbling in the occult, and the other is immersing oneself in what is unreal and possibly even false. They wonder that any Christians could read or watch something containing magic, wizards or...

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Monday, 18 November 2019 12:13

Christian at the Movies (2) Featured

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The laziest form of “discernment” about movies or television looks for the easy targets of occultism, sex, nudity, bad language and gratuitous violence. Certainly, Christians are right to avoid these things. But as we have seen in our last post, discernment is not as simple as using...

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Sunday, 10 November 2019 13:54

Christian at the Movies (1) Featured

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I was about ten when the first Rock ‘ Roll evangelists came to town. They weren’t proselytising on behalf of Iron Maiden. They were there to tell us about the rampant satanism and occultism in contemporary rock and pop.

To rapt audiences, they played snippets of songs backwards:...

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