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

memoirandremains - Apologetic Report

As a young man of 22, Charles Hodge, the great Princeton theologian, was extremely self-reflective about his spiritual affections. He intently searched his emotions and thoughts to gauge his spiritual state. Then, he seems at one point (recorded in his journal) to realize that such introspection...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 05:33

Why Eve was Made From Adam’s Rib

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Theophilus gives two reasons: Theological, to prove that Adam and Eve were not created by different gods. Anthropological: increase their affection:

And Adam having been cast out of Paradise, in this condition knew Eve his wife, whom God had formed into a wife for him out of his rib. And this He...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 04:09

Some brief thoughts on Hebrews 13:17

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(These notes are brief and not “tidied-up”.)

Hebrews 13:17 is often and easily abused passage. It has been more than once to justify lording over the congregation and making the pastor and other leaders beyond question.  However, that is not what it means.

Summary:

The congregation...

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John Patton (1824-1907) was a missionary to the New Hebrides. With the rather common attack upon Christianity in the West as somehow being degrading of women, it is interesting to read Patton’s observations about an explicitly non-Western and non-Christian culture on this point:

Amongst the...

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Theophilus next commences with a  long discussion of the Creation. It is interesting that he takes Creation as the great distinction between the pagan and Christian worldviews. Interestingly, Peter Jones makes exactly the same distinction as the “bedrock” for the difference between...

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There is a sense in which the doctrine of justification by faith only is a very dangerous doctrine; dangerous, I mean, in the sense that it can be misunderstood. It exposes a man to this particular charge. People listening to it may say, ‘Ah, there isa  man who does not encourage us to...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 09:37

Theophilus of Antioch: Inspired by Demons

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Theophilus then proceeds to speak of the difference between the biblical and pagan understanding of the world: their inspiration:

And without meaning to do so, they acknowledge that they know not the truth; but being inspired by demons and puffed up by them, they spoke at their instance whatever...

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The previous post on the Apology of Theophilus may be found here

In chapters V, VI & VII, Theophilus takes his pagan reader to task by listing out all the various things the poets have said about the beginning of the gods and the world, and all the strange and confused genealogies.  He...

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The poet begins with a seemingly impossible scene: a King of unsurpassed glory who blazes like the sun (whose crown a bunch of sunbeams was). Even his throne is made of life (sat on a cushion all of sunshine clear). The palace itself is a mass of precious stones.

Was there a palace of pure gold, all...

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PREPARATION FOR SUFFERING IN AN EVIL DAY:

SHEWING HOW CHRISTIANS ARE TO BEAR SUFFERINGS, AND WHAT GRACES ARE REQUISITE THEREUNTO SUITED FOR ALL CHRISTIANS IN THIS PRESENT TIME

Edward Polhill, 1682.

The first post in this series may be found here.

Polhill ends his treatise on preparing for...

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The previous post in this series may be found here

The tenth thing needed to bear “an evil day” is patience.  Patience has a peculiar bearing to the evil day:

We are not only to do other commands by obedience, but, when providence calls us to it, we are to do that of taking up...

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Saturday, 24 June 2017 08:12

Reading Scriptural Narrative

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I am working through Biblical Doctrine by MacArthur and Mayhue. I am going to have a criticism of a single sentence, so I should put this into context. The work over all is quite good. The greatest strength of the work lies with the marshaling of biblical evidence.  When it sets forth a...

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J.H. Bavinck:

As long as he is occupied with himself only and looks no further, he can fancy himself to be self-sufficient. But as soon as he becomes aware of his relationships, he becomes stupefied, and asks: What am I in this great cosmos? What am I over and against the norm, that strange...

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Thursday, 22 June 2017 13:48

The Spiritual Chymist, Meditation LI

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MEDITATION LIUpon First Fruits and Gleanings

What the apostle says of the heavenly bodies, that one start differs from another star in glory (1 Cor. 15:40-41) is also true of the heavenly laws and commands of God, as well ceremonial as moral, that they differ from each other in their weight and...

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 13:23

Van Til: There is no Third Possibility

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An interesting aspect of post-modernism is the acute realization that everyone is reading the world through a grid. This is precisely the point of presuppositional apologetics: Everyone “reads” the world through some means (there is no naive, uninterpreted world for the human being)....

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(The previous post in this series on Edward Polhill’s A Preparation for Suffering in an Evil Day may be found here)

 

Polhill next explains that obedience to God’s will before we suffer, will prepare us to persevere through suffering when it comes. We are fitted to God’s...

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Friday, 16 June 2017 07:37

William Taylor: An Earnest Preacher

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William Taylor in his 1876 work The Ministry of the Word lists three qualities of the preacher of an effective sermon, earnestness, courage & tenderness.

Earnestness springs from two sources: a personal conviction of the truth proclaimed and the certainty that those hearing need to know...

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Thursday, 15 June 2017 02:45

Thomas Manton on helps to obedience

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Thou has commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. Ps. 119:4

In this fifth sermon on the 119th Psalm, Manton begins by providing a help to obedience. There would be no need to speak of obedience, if it were “natural” to use. What then keeps us from obedience? Manton begins here:

Doctri...

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This is a continuation of a Study Guide on Jeremiah Burroughs The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. The previous post may be found here:

There is a Great Deal of Grace in Contentment:

The second point made by Burroughs has to do with the “grace” which is poured out in contentment.

T...

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Having explained that a “blessed man” is not perfectly holy, Manton next takes up the related question: If a believer is not perfect, then how does a believer differ? Or as he puts, “”Wherein doth grace now discover itself, where is the difference?”

He lists six ways in...

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In sermon IV from his sermons on the 119th Psalm, Manton, “How far may sin be in a blessed man, a child of God?” The verse under consideration reads, “They do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.” Having discussed the blessing which comes from avoiding sin (for instance,...

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Tuesday, 06 June 2017 11:05

Nature is out of joint

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HAMLET

Rest, rest, perturbèd spirit!—So, gentlemen,
With all my love I do commend me to you,
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out...

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Saturday, 03 June 2017 08:49

If we believed this firmly

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“But he is the head, and all his people are his body, his members, of his flesh, and of his bones, Eph. 5:30. A marvellous word! Can the flesh be torn, and the bones be broken, and the head not feel it? Though he be glorified above what we can conceive, he is a living, sensible, and...

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Friday, 02 June 2017 07:21

The Spiritual Chymist, Meditation L

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(From William Spurstowe’s 1666, The Spiritual Chymist. The previous post in this series may be found here)

Upon the Vanity of Wishes

True and perfect happiness is a good with neither the light Nature can discover nor its endeavors obtain; it being as impotent to the acquiring of it, as it...

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:58

How to Have Hope

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Romans 5:1–5 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we...

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