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

Old Life - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:33

Professional Historians Don’t Do Religion

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That is one way to explain why the editors of the American Historical Review, the flagship journal for professional historians in the United States published by the American Historical Association, let Randall Balmer, a long time student of American evangelicalism, open his book review of Darren E....

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 06:24

How Did Nancy MacLean Miss Calvinism?

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The Duke historian’s book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America has generated lots of attention and the debate appears to be one more indication of how much the United States resembles Turkey. For those who missed it, here is how the...

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Amy Mantravadi wanted to know what’s the matter with Tim Keller around the same time that David Robertson decided to make Keller the test for loyalty to gospel ministry. Amy makes careful evaluations (charitable) of Keller. Robertson sneers at anyone who takes issue with Keller.

And that is...

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Saturday, 22 July 2017 04:12

More of Those (were the) Days

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And we think contemporary public schools suffer. They had challenges even before Richard Nixon:

The super-science of pedagogy, that fairest flower of the New Thought, has achieved its greatest triumphs in the reclamation of the erring, or, as the old-time schoolmasters had it, the bad. Those...

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Thursday, 20 July 2017 22:42

The Surprising Admissions Converts Make

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David Mills tries to defend being casual about sin, though he rebrands it as familiarity:

In the Protestant world of my youth, nearly everything was a matter of life or death. The Evangelicals made your salvation a drama that depended on you making a decisive commitment. They loved the drama of a...

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Thursday, 20 July 2017 06:21

Improving Disagreement since 2009

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Old Life may not be every Protestant’s pint of IPA. But at least critics can’t fault Old Lifers for attributing the worst to non-Old Life Protestants (sorry if that sounds like the Pharisee’s prayer). Consider:

ad hominem is a problem, but if you watch cable news, or follow...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 07:32

We’re Laughing With not At You

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I imagine that was Peter Sagal’s defense for this bit of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (an episode I heard while driving in New England):

SAGAL: Tom, this week, listeners also wrote in, saying we were way too mean to Mitch McConnell. What was the specific insult our listeners were upset by?...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 04:34

America’s Elite Class

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Daniel Drezner does not wince when talking about elitism in the United States. His inspiration was the David Brooks column on Italian sandwiches, about which Drezner writes:

Brooks argued that “The educated class has built an ever more intricate net to cradle us in and ease everyone else out....

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 03:49

Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong

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In 1872 the Protestant churches in Scotland handed over all their schools to the State on the explicit condition that Scottish State Education should continue to be Christian. From that day on the Scottish Education system (unlike the American one) has officially been Christian. The Catholics,...

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I am not sure why Eugene Peterson’s flip-flop on gay marriage is such a big deal. But (all about mmmmmeeeeEEE) I’m not in the habit of taking my cues any more from popular Christian authors or personalities. That could be age, temperament (naysayer), or wisdom — and in the right...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 07:54

Talk Radio Matters Now More than Eh-vuh

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Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot, so says one of the U.S. Senators (has Ben Sasse got a book for him). Rush is also sometimes funny, but mainly annoying, grating, predictable, and verbose. Whenever the missus hears Rush (and she’s a captive audience on road trips), she cannot believe how...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 04:28

Jesuits Make Stuff Up

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So you thought the evil Steve Bannon was objectionable for his ties to rad-trad Roman Catholics:

Before becoming White House chief strategist, Bannon — who is Catholic — was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which he called a “platform for the alt-right.” That’s...

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:59

You Can Make This Up

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Father Z explains the old and new rules for becoming a saint after the Vatican’s recent expansion of the categories of beatification:

In the Church we have had the ancient teaching and tradition of “red” or bloody martyrdom for the sake of charity whereby the martyr dies giving...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 23:48

If You Can Take Passion Out of Sex

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Why do you want to keep it in worship?

Garrett Kell explains that sex is not supposed to be all zowie and pizzazz:

God created sex to be a bond between a husband and wife that strengthens over time. Married couples make love on their honeymoon and after a miscarriage. They make love to conceive...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 07:21

The White Man’s Burden

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With all the talk of intersectionality and white privilege, it now turns out that white men themselves can play the victim card. We too are oppressed and marginalized as Pete Enns recently discovered:

White male privilege really is a thing, I never see it from the outside in, and I was never...

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In her review of Philip Gorski‘s American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present, Susan Wise Bauer concludes with a distinction between the earthly and the spiritual that clearly out the arteries (spiritually, of course) of an Old School Presbyterian’s...

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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 21:57

What’s Next, Women Bishops?

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The Vatican is apparently pleasantly disposed to the decision of the Reformed Churches (the modernist and always modernizing ones) to sign on to the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification:

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has...

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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 05:07

How to Love America

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Noah Millman proposes this (while meditating on G. K. Chesterton):

People feel an attachment, and a willingness to fight to protect, their homes, and their communities. That can take noble and ignoble forms — sometimes fighting to defend your community means committing injustice (as, for...

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Monday, 03 July 2017 07:26

Franklin and the French

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When Ben Franklin made Philadelphia great:

In 1776 Franklin was the most potent weapon the United States possessed in its struggle with the greatest power on earth. Lord Rockingham observed at the time that the British ministers would publicly play down Franklin’s mission to France, but...

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Saturday, 01 July 2017 21:28

Social Justice according to Peter Berger

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What Richard Mouw heard (not sure he learned) from the sociologist who died last week:

In an informal group discussion at Hartford Seminary, back in the ’70s, we were discussing social activism, and I made this comment: “Every Christian,” I said, “is called actively to work...

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 22:22

Theology of Glory

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Lutherans canread the times through the lens of the theology of the cross:

But it’s an entirely different question whether churches should be participating in state-run programs like that one — when they consider their own self-interest.

Secularists worry that when federal or state money...

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So why is it that some tweeters choose to block followers? If you want to have a private conversation on social media I believe we still have email, discussion list-serves, and even password protected blogs. But if you are in the business of trying to enlighten as many as possible about how...

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Does word-and-sacrament ministry (or Sunday worship) have a shelf life? Put differently, do you go to church to have your spiritual batteries recharged? If so, will the charge last for an entire week? Or do we need a mid-week service to revive our spiritual energy?

This may be one reason for...

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Sunday, 25 June 2017 21:58

First Princeton, Now Yale

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The PCA keeps coming up short (the OPC is not even on radar).

Remember Craig Barnes, president of Princeton Theological Seminary? Here was how he stood in opposition to the PCA at the time that women objected to Tim Keller receiving the Kuyper Prize:

Our seminary embraces full inclusion for...

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Saturday, 24 June 2017 04:43

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It

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Why does so much confusion surround the so-called Alt-Right while so many people are absolutely certain they oppose it? The Southern Baptist Convention seemed to set the standard for establishing indignant distance from the Alt-Right and its associations with white supremacy. At the same time,...

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