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

1517 The Legacy Project - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 04:32

You Are Already Dead! So Live!

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“The only way for a soldier to not be afraid of wars is to accept the fact that he is already dead.” — Lt. Col. Ronald C. Speirs, 101st Airborne, E Company as portrayed in “Band of Brothers.”

Speirs gave this remarkable advise to soldiers preparing for battle. He...

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Monday, 24 July 2017 06:02

True Saving Faith Is ‘Blasphemous’

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The little girl finds out that her dad is dying of cancer having months to live. A perfectly happy, strong family loses a mother to a car accident. Do we not have enough fatherless and motherless homes in this world?! A father leaves his family out of the blue, leaving the children wondering...

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Friday, 21 July 2017 05:27

The Devil’s Music?

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In a BBC Newshour report on a day in May, just two years ago, I heard a sad but beautiful report by journalist Colin Paterson. The sad report was that legendary blues guitarist and singer B.B. King was dead. The beauty was in Paterson’s moving biography of the music legend’s early life...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 03:08

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?

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John 6:60-69Lord, to whom shall we go?

My cohost on my podcast, Let the Bird Fly!, likes to argue that John’s is the best Gospel. I personally argue for Mark and have written a little about it. It’s all in good fun, of course. We like all the Gospels. That being said, it’s hard to...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 02:12

Find True Christianity in the Verbs

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First, the elephant in the room. All my articles are about Christ for you as gift. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find an article on this blog that isn’t about Christ for you as gift. Why is that? It sometimes appears as though there are as many confessions of Christianity on the...

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Monday, 17 July 2017 02:30

Meeting Melanchthon: The Conclusion

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The Search

Thus, we are at the end of our brief investigation of Philip Melanchthon; his theology, teaching, writings (especially the Loci Communes), work as a theological ambassador, reformer, and good friend of Martin Luther. Too, this short series has attempted...

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Friday, 14 July 2017 04:03

Christian Patriotism

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“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2)

&l...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 04:30

Jesus Doesn’t Need You to March for Him

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Last week in our local 4th of July parade, our church’s float (which consisted of a tight three piece band, including myself, playing Johnny Cash tunes) was followed by a large number of people wearing red shirts with the words “March for Jesus” on them.

What does that mean? What...

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The apostle writes that, “God’s power is made complete in weakness.” In the Bible, we’re taught that God’s cruciform grace is enough. That’s why God’s power isn’t respectable by any earthly measures. It’s too weak. Too passive. Too offensive to...

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The Reformation was firmly ensconced in the German lands and began to move to other countries. It even reached France. In 1534, Melanchthon was invited to France to defend the Lutheran position to King Francis, who seemed to favor the Reformation. Melanchthon responded that he would do what...

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Thursday, 06 July 2017 05:19

Unicorns in Heaven

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“Mommy, are unicorns going to be with me in heaven?” Her soft brown eyes adorably blinked in wonder and a hopeful smile grew with every word she spoke. I watched her thoughtful countenance grow more and more excited. I could almost see the sparkly marshmallow clouds she envisioned....

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Wednesday, 05 July 2017 04:10

Reflections on Taking the Lowest Seat

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I love Robert Capon’s reference to Luke 14 as containing the Party Parables of Jesus. Luke reports Jesus at a dinner engagement instructing His Pharisee host and guests about the kind of party etiquette that reflects feasting in the Kingdom of God. As a prelude to telling the parable of the...

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By the 1530s, the Lutheran Reformation was ensconced in most of Germany. This time marks an interesting development in Melanchthon’s life and career. From this point forward, he was called upon to defend the faith in the halls of princes and before political...

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Friday, 30 June 2017 05:12

It Has Nothing To Do With Salvation

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It’s hard for me to comprehend that any words of Christ should be dismissed as being of no importance with such a trite mantra. Yet, these are the words I so often hear when discussing what Jesus has to say about the sacraments.

Christ is our salvation, His word is truth. Anything Jesus Christ...

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Thursday, 29 June 2017 03:02

Do You Want to Watch the Game?

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When I was in seventh grade I did not take my confirmation classes very seriously. I failed my first test, which, I’ve discovered, is not all that uncommon for confirmation students. The trouble was, my dad was the pastor at the church and it didn’t look all that great to have his son...

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With so many others, I once thought that e-books were the future. Imagine owning something that moth and worm cannot touch, and thieves cannot steal! But a decade or so on, and I find myself reaching for the real thing.

Hardcover. Softcover. I’ll take either.

Ornate. Cheap. I love them both.

Bran...

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Thursday, 22 June 2017 04:09

A Better Altar Call

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I still remember visiting a friend’s church. A fine church, I suppose. Bible based they kept telling me. It’s the very word of God, the preacher proclaimed. Some music pumped us up. Some were crying and raising their hands. Nothing wrong with that.

Then something strange happened. A...

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 04:32

The Promised Future

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On a recent Sunday in my congregation, it was The End Of The World as we know it (REM).  Well, okay, it wasn’t the actual end of time, nor did Jesus return bodily. But, we did have a glimpse into the last day for a young boy who was baptized. We actually heard the final verdict of his...

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 04:54

Full to Bursting

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When a plant doesn’t bear fruit, we don’t blame the seed. Instead, we acknowledge that the plant refuses to do what the seed had in mind for it. The plant is missing it’s full fruitfulness. It’s missing, in the deepest sense, it’s own life. It goes this way with us...

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Monday, 19 June 2017 02:42

Meeting Melanchthon: A Man of Trouble

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The First Missteps:

Melanchthon was the consummate tinkerer and was never completely satisfied with anything he authored. Directly after the presentation of the Augsburg Confession and the publication of the Apology, Melanchthon began to make changes to the Augsburg...

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We All Love a Good Controversy

The late 1520s brought controversy to the budding Lutherans and Melanchthon. Among them was what would come to be known as the Antinomian Controversy. Johan Agricola, a colleague and preacher, had begun to argue that the Law no longer needed to be preached to...

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Friday, 16 June 2017 06:08

Mind The Gap Between Dreams and Reality

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They didn’t say anything about this in the books, I thought, as the snow blew in through the gaping doorway and settled on my naked back. I lay face down on the cobbled floor in a pool of nameless muck, my arm deep inside the straining cow, my feet scrabbling for a toe hold between the...

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By Order of the Emperor

To develop a united front against the Turks, Emperor Charles V decreed that an imperial diet would convene at Augsburg to deal with the “evangelical problem,” among other things. The emperor announced that the diet would convene on April 8, 1530.

Prior to the diet,...

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A long while back—see here, here, and here—I started a series on the classic positions given by theologian/philosopher Ian Barbour (d. 2013) regarding the relationship between science and theology. I never finished. Today I bring closure to that series of posts by discussing the...

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 03:00

When God Becomes A Tropical Fish

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Men, alienated from their God, behave violently. What is the value of money, beauty, and status if we believers are disconnected from deity? Why struggle to achieve happiness while we go unacknowledged by divinity? Why risk dying in service to a godly calling when we’re disconnected from the...

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