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  • Does Christening and Confirmation Count?

    As the pastor of a Baptist church I frequently encounter this recurring couplet of questions posed by prospective members: Since I was baptized as an infant, and then later (in my denomination’s confirmation ceremony) confirmed publically that I trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, why do you believe I [...]

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  • Financing the Lie

    I have come to suspect that there is a disconcerting mercantile imbalance in the spiritual war between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Our side sometimes seems to be underfunded. If an economic discrepancy is observed, surely it would be in our [...]

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  • Do you grieve over sin?

    If you were to line up all 15 billion or so people who have ever lived in order of most godly to most vile, whereabouts would you place Jonathan Edwards? I’m not asking for exactitude, just a rough estimate, rounded off to the nearest billion. [...]

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  • Truth Decay: the ethics of lying

    I once tried to visit Canada without lying. As a South African citizen I needed a visitor’s visa to set foot on their delightful tundra. I was vacationing in Michigan with a friend who suggested it would be very jet-set of me to add Canada [...]

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  • Shades of Grey: 3 ways to deal with ethical dilemmas

    “Knock, knock.” -“Who’s there?” “Nazis.” -“Nazis wh—” [slap!] “Vee vill ask de questions” Many a debate about ethical systems gets illustrated by the Corrie Ten Boom conundrum posed by Nazis knocking on your door to ask whether you are hiding innocent Jews in your home. You can either [...]

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  • 5 Signs of Spiritual Maturity

    Let me start by saying that it’s not wrong for a new believer to be immature any more than it’s wrong for a child to be childish. Puerility is only annoying in an adult. When a four year old dons a cape and wears his [...]

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  • Heaven: From someone who’s been there

    Claims of sight-seeing return trips to Heaven and Hell are still in vogue among publishers today. However, I swear A Visitor’s Guide to Hell (Sterling Ethos, NY, 2014) is not a book vying to join that growing club. Launching from Jesus’ teaching about the rich man in Hell and [...]

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  • The high cost of free speech: Charlie Hebdo and Christianity

    My American friends who were born into a bastion of free speech sometimes take their First Amendment privilege for granted. But I was raised in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. We were taught brainwashed that freedom of speech was a destabilizing ideology held by Liberals, Communists [...]

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"Who having been called to be a preacher would stoop to be a king?" - Puritan Thomas Carlyle