Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Raiders of the Lost Ark scene

There is a famous scene in the first Indiana Jones movie in which Jones, fresh off a fast-moving battle against a dozen attackers, is suddenly confronted by one more adversary: a massive, sword-wielding warrior. The director had planned a final, climatic fight with Indiana’s whip pitted against the sword of his opponent.

Instead, Harrison Ford simply pulled out a hidden pistol and shot the huge swordsman in the chest.

Ford knew his character was too tired to play around in that scene. He needed his best weapon against a dangerous adversary.

Being a Christian in a fallen world means you and I are also surrounded by dangerous adversaries, but too often we start the fight by tossing away our most powerful weapons. The problem is ultimately one of faith. The Bible calls us to arm ourselves with righteousness, faith, and prayer, but these don’t look very impressive arrayed against the world’s wisdom and power—so we throw down the weapons with “divine power to destroy strongholds” (II Cor 10:4) and snatch up the world’s shiny tin swords.

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Thursday Roundup (5/25/17)

Thursday Roundup

Today’s video responds to the atheist argument that “I can be good without God.” The podcast episode asks whether a fetus is a person in our continuing survey of Life’s Work by Dr. Willie Parker. And the links of the week talk about the local church, unspoken prayer requests, wasting your life by following your passion, “doing history wrong,” and much more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“If [God] were not wrathful against sin, we would question whether He is personally good. What would it mean for Him to say that He is committed to oppose evil if He refused to judge it?”
~ Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence

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Some New Developments

Light on the road ahead

I wrote my first post for this blog back in November 2008. I had recently begun teaching logic and Christian worldview to homeschooled students and the blog was just a hobby hosted on my business website. A few years later, in 2013, the blog got its own home at A couple years after that, I published my first book, The Truth With Love. Then, last summer, I got the chance to devote a couple days per week just to writing and podcasting here. (To those friends whose generosity made that possible, you know who you are. Thank you, more than I can say.)

I am now excited to announce the next step in God’s developing plan: Lord willing, I’ll be going to seminary next year!

Read moreSome New Developments

Thursday Roundup (5/11/17)

Thursday Roundup

Today’s video looks at whether Revelation’s 144,000 are who Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are. The podcast continues our survey of Dr. Willie Parker’s Life’s Work, taking a first look at a key question: “What is it?” And the links of the week look at patience and liturgy, mentoring and discipleship, the debate over sexual morality, Trump’s religious liberty executive order, and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“The great doctrine of the second advent has in a sense fallen into disrepute because of… this tendency on the part of some to be more interested in the how and the when of the second coming rather than in the fact of the second coming.”
~ Martin Lloyd-Jones

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Bible ‘Contradictions’ and the Goldilocks Principle


One of my first dates with Leah was a rafting trip on the Nolichucky River back in the summer of 2012. If you ran into me at church today and I was feeling talkative, I might tell you about how I enjoyed guiding our raft down the river, showing her the sights and hoping she was impressed that I kept us above water through the dangerous whitewater of Quarter-Mile rapid. Then I might talk about how I enjoyed the drive home with her afterward, talking about everything and nothing in particular.

But supposing you had rafting on your mind after talking with me and mentioned it to one of my friends from church, you might be puzzled. My friend would tell you that our whole church went on that rafting trip on the Nolichucky in summer 2012. He might casually mention that the Nolichucky is such a challenging river that we had to have professional guides; no self-guided boats allowed. And he might mention feeling sorry for me and Leah when he noticed that we ended up in different vehicles for the drive home.

Now you’d be confused, so you might ask another of my friends. He would say he remembers that trip vividly, because he enjoyed driving back home with me, Leah, and Leah’s sister, whom he ended up marrying a few years later. He might also mention how skilled his raft’s professional river guide was and how he had wished he could direct the boat, even though it wasn’t allowed.

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Thursday Roundup (5/4/17)

Thursday Roundup

Today’s video takes a careful look at Matthew and Luke’s different genealogies of Jesus to see if they are a Bible contradiction. The podcast episode starts a new series on Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by self-professed “Christian abortionist” Willie Parker. And the links of the week include feasting as war, anger at God, Sunday morning conversations, modesty, environmentalism and “anti-science,” and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“Certainly every Christian ought to be praying and working to nullify the abominable abortion law. But as we work and pray, we should have in mind not only this important issue as though it stood alone. Rather, we should be struggling and praying that this whole [godless worldview] can be rolled back with all its results across all of life.”
~ Francis Schaeffer

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Love Without Law

Love is Love graffiti

All You Need Is Love. It’s the title of a classic Beatles song, but it’s also more or less what Jesus said when a religious teacher asked him what was the greatest commandment in the Law. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself, Christ answered. “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matt 22:40).

In other words, if we could only understand what love for God and love for our neighbor means, we could safely throw out all the rest of the commands of Scripture and just love. It’s not unreasonable to ask, in light of Jesus’ own words, why God didn’t edit the Bible down to a single page with the admonition “Love Yahweh and everyone else” embossed on the front and maybe a few Psalms on the back.

Perhaps more than any other part of the Bible, the book of Judges helps to answer that question.

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Thursday Roundup (4/27/17)

Thursday Roundup

If you’d like to know more about Mormonism and how to share the gospel with LDS missionaries at your door, there’s still time to sign up for the three-evening online class I’m teaching on Mormonism, starting tonight.

While we’re on the topic of Mormonism, today’s video was inspired by an advertisement from the LDS church which argued that Mormon temples are a faithful continuation of how God’s people built temples in the Old Testament. The Answers for Ambassadors episode is a callback from the first season, looking at the possibility of morality in a godless world. And this week’s collection of links looks at how sin affects our thinking, when Paul remembered Mary, broken wolves, complementarianism and hospitality, preachers with presence, and more!

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“The law may express sin but it cannot suppress sin.”
~ Thomas Adams

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Men, Church, and ‘Laboring Alongside’

Men working

I have a challenge for men out there: Spend a couple hours working with another guy on some project at which you’re both pretty competent. It doesn’t matter what it is. While you’re working you are not allowed to talk about yourselves or about anything other than the project itself. Just pound in the nails or debug the code or do whatever it is you’re doing. Then, when you’re done, try not to feel a sense of respect and comradery with your work-buddy.

I doubt you’ll be able to prevent it.

It has become almost a cliché to point out that men naturally relate to one another side by side, while women relate face to face. Generally speaking, men bond though shared effort. Women bond through shared emotion. It’s not an absolute distinction, of course, but it’s a strong tendency. It’s just how we’re built.

It’s worth thinking about how this affects our faith and our churches. When you think of church, what comes to mind? A loving, welcoming, friendly place? What about when you think of God? A loving heavenly Father who welcomes our worship and listens when we talk to him? American Christianity has a lot of face to face, but not much side by side.

Read moreMen, Church, and ‘Laboring Alongside’

Thursday Roundup (4/20/17)

Thursday Roundup

Want to know more about Mormonism? My next online class, “Mormonism: Understanding and Apologetics,” starts Thursday, April 27! Click here to learn more or register. (Yes, it’s recorded in case you miss a live class.)

This week’s video looks at early indications of God’s trinitarian nature in the very first chapter of Genesis. The Answers for Ambassadors podcast is on pause this week as we shift to a new series, but check out the photo of the new book we’ll be surveying! And, of course, I have lots of links: reasons for trusting the Bible, challenging implications of “love your neighbor,” fighting workaholism, the importance of lay Christians, and more.

(If you receive these posts by email and aren’t seeing the video and podcast, just click the “Thursday Roundup” title to view the original post on my site.)

“The discipline of time alone with God should not be looked at as another thing to put on your ‘to do’ list. This attitude will only lead to resentment from the added pressure that it produces. It should be viewed as a gift from a gracious and kind God. He cares so much for you and me that He is not just interested in our accomplishments but also in shepherding our hearts.”
~ Bill Thrasher

Read moreThursday Roundup (4/20/17)