Welcome to the SharperIron Blogroll.

The Blogroll is a collection of blogs that are often of interest and help to SI readers. SharperIron does not create the content of these blogs and the views expressed in them are those of their respective writers.

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  • Ben Edwards - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 11:42am
    As we embark on a new decade, it can be helpful to consider what has occurred over the previous decade(s) to consider what we might expect in the coming one. I recently read a thought-provoking argument that may have some insight into apologetics efforts in the coming years. The article (NOTE: contains mild language) is... Read More
  • Mark Snoeberger - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 8:45am
    Christian media outlets have a lot to say these days about the idea of shame, mostly trying to convince us that shame is bad. And in many circumstances, they are right. For instance, (1) we need not be ashamed before God for sins committed in our pre-conversion past: Christ’s work on the cross not only cancels... Read More
  • Tim Miller - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 8:42am
    Some of my favorite classes at DBTS are the seminars. They tend to be explorative, going deeper into a topic than any normal class would go. For instance, a few semesters ago we had a seminar on Advanced Greek. On one of the weeks we were able to seriously consider the concept of deponency (an... Read More
  • Kyle Dunham - Thu, 12/26/2019 - 12:06pm
    In my first post, I began to explore the notion of a “missionary mandate” for Israel in the Old Testament. Last time, I considered the background for this idea, namely, the theme of God’s concern for the nations in the Pentateuch. In this post, I survey the perspective of the Psalter and the prophet Isaiah.... Read More
  • Ben Edwards - Mon, 12/16/2019 - 2:09pm
    In thinking about the gospel, one of the truths that is often forgotten is that Jesus, as the Messiah/Christ, came to fulfill God’s promises of salvation. The early disciples focused much of their evangelistic witness on identifying Jesus as the Christ. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made... Read More
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Religious Affections (about)

  • Christopher Ames - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 3:01pm
    We usually hear about churches embracing lasers, fog machines, and other gimmicks and experiencing massive swelling in attendance. We occasionally hear about other churches that have grown tired of such gimmicks. In many of those cases the tendency is to pirate older practices from stable traditions and turn them into new gimmicks: this is why […]
  • Jon Pratt - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 11:45am
    Jon Pratt Here at Central Seminary we are fast approaching our annual MacDonald Lecture Series. Readers of the Nick of Time will be greatly encouraged by joining us on February 11 for this year’s set of talks on the writings of Andrew Fuller, the pre-eminent British Baptist pastor of the late eighteenth century. My good […]
  • Becky Aniol - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 7:00am
    If you’re headed to Scotland–and especially if you’re headed to the famed Isle of Skye–please, please leave time in your itinerary, hop on the ferry, and head to the Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. We had the opportunity to spend an idyllic month on Lewis, and I want to share some […]
  • Scott Aniol - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 7:00am
    The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict over worship. Genesis 4:3–8 relates how Abel’s offering to the Lord’s was accepted, while Cain’s was not. These offerings were important because they were God’s means for at least temporarily and partially restoring communion with his people. Yet for some reason that is not explicit […]
  • David de Bruyn - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 7:00am
    Church leaders find themselves today harangued and prodded to build an “online presence”. This usually means a busy Facebook page, a Youtube channel, a Twitter account, a static website, live-streamed services and more. Without these, we’re told, a church is mostly “invisible” to the world, and is “failing to reach its community”. It is even […]
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Thoughts on Theology (about)

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Stuff Out Loud

  • Sat, 01/11/2020 - 9:41am
    Some years ago, fifteen actually, I started this blog with the idea of writing. Back then, I explained that I wanted to write to become a better speaker, a better communicator. I wanted to write for me.

    So I did.

    I wrote. Rewrote. Unwrote. Rewrote some more. Unwrote a lot more.

    I posted first drafts that had no rewriting. I sat on drafts that had extensive rewriting.

    I wrote when I wanted to and only when I wanted to.

    I wrote about things that interested me.

    And then I slowed down.

    And then I stopped.

    I am not sure why. It wasn't because I didn't have anything I wanted to say. There were lots of articles in my mind, some of which made it on to my computer. I think it is because I didn't want to take time to say it.

    It is, at times, easy to write. The words flow like water off a duck's back.

    It is, at times, hard to write. Words flow like water up a duck's back.

    You know, the image just isn't the same, is it?

    But perhaps it illustrates the issue as well as any. Finding the right words can be hard, particularly if one is writing out of necessity rather...

Institute for Nouthetic Studies Blog (about)

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Institute of Biblical Leadership(about)

ChurchWorksMedia Blog (about)

  • Chris Anderson - Wed, 01/01/2020 - 11:46am

    God has given my wife Lori and me four amazing daughters. Raising them has been the most important thing I’ve done or will do. I love being a pastor. I look back fondly on my years as a church planter. And I’ll always be an aspiring writer. But there’s nothing like being a father—except, of […]

    The post Parenting with Authority, Affection, and Affirmation appeared first on Church Works Media.

  • Chris Anderson - Wed, 12/25/2019 - 5:47am

    I love nativity scenes. My family has several, from a porcelain “Avon” series to a colorful “Cracker Barrel” collection, to an unbreakable “Little People” set made for little hands. None of it is fine art, but it wouldn’t feel quite like Christmas without it. At our house, we usually put the wise men across the […]

    The post Wise Men: Gentiles Who Sought the Savior appeared first on Church Works Media.

  • Chris Anderson - Tue, 12/17/2019 - 9:42am

    You could argue that everybody but Jesus is an “extra” in the Christmas story. The narrative of the incarnation has but one Hero. But that’s not to say that those with supporting roles were chosen at random. No, every detail of Christ’s coming was significant, from the lowly shepherds (“Nobody and Everybody,” as we considered […]

    The post Angels: God’s Faithful and Former Messengers appeared first on Church Works Media.

  • Chris Anderson - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 10:57am

    We give a lot of thought to “staging” in the modern world. Weddings are choreographed to look “just so.” Events like graduations are designed and rehearsed to be both beautiful and meaningful. Every “State of the Union” address features some individual with a symbolic story seated next to the President’s family. It’s expected, and nevertheless, […]

    The post The Shepherds: Nobody and Everybody appeared first on Church Works Media.

  • Chris Anderson - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:43am

    We just introduced Gospel Meditations for Young Adults (available now to preorder). Here is a preview of Day 4 from Chris Anderson. Read Psalm 90. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) I have vivid memories of high school and college. Talks, events, and even […]

    The post Time Flies appeared first on Church Works Media.

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Strength for Today (about)

  • Diane - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:11pm

    I love old architecture. There was a pride in craftsmanship years and centuries ago that has been sacrificed in a desire to have economical structures, built fast.

    Something I have often marveled at is the attention to detail in such things as hinges.  The filigree on this painstaking 18th century work of art will only be seen when the door is ajar…and that may not be often.  Why spend such time on a seemingly inconsequential piece of hardware? Perhaps it was only that it was commissioned. I remember in my reading over the years, coming across an account of a carpenter who said it didn’t matter if any other human being saw the meticulous work he had secreted off in obscure corners…because God saw.

    The secluded beauty of this hinge reminds me of this:

    Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4

    Indeed, the work of select ancient craftsmen could be identified by such signature...

  • Diane - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 12:31am

    I wanted to put this review on the blog (since we homeschool, it is part of our life journey…so periodically I’ll post reviews and other items) before my role on the Advisory Board for Power Homeschool becomes official. I didn’t want it at all to seem as if I had been paid to say what I want to share. We’ve been using the program for about a semester…I just realized I’d never written a review!

    First, be aware that Acellus Academy and Power Homeschool are both secular in nature. So you will encounter some things like evolution in the courses. You will also, surprisingly enough, see biblical events and quotations alluded to from time to time; but it’s not part of any sort of religious slant. We plug in our own biblical world view in the form of Bible class, devotional reading, scripture copywork, and discussion.

    I will say that I can’t offer much in the way of first-hand insight regarding Acellus Academy, since we’ve never used that option. It is an accredited program with certified teacher guidance, conducted online.  It is much the same as K12 Virtual Academy, although I’m not sure all the same...

By Faith We Understand (about)

  • Mark Ward - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 8:44pm

    The subtitle for this blog used to be “Bible, Tech, Bible Tech.” I haven’t blogged about tech much in a long time. But I still love it. And it’s time for a break from heavy stuff.

    One particular piece of tech I love is my new-to-me 12.9-inch iPad Pro. I got it a few months ago, and I got it basically brand new at almost half off the full price—the best tech deal I think I’ve ever scored. (Guy on OfferUp just didn’t find it did what he needed it to do, whatever that was. It was such a good deal that it made me wonder if he was legit, but he was.)

    My iPad Pro hasn’t replaced my laptop or my desktop; I still need at least a desktop both for graphic design and for serious work at the office and at home. But it the iPad Pro has bridged the laptop and tablet worlds and created something new: a powerful device that can do almost everything I need, but that does those things differently enough that I find myself working differently. It’s always fast. It’s always available; the battery lasts all day. It’s really great for reading Logos and other books: the stylus is a big help. It’s light and barely noticeable and therefore can (and does) go with me anywhere. The...

  • Mark Ward - Thu, 01/09/2020 - 2:49am

    Chuck Surrett has recently released a short white paper of sorts, arguing in some detail but in admirable brevity that the Bible teaches perfect preservation of the Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture. It teaches, he says, “the certainty of the words” (Prov 22:20–21). I have been asked by nearby pastor Jonathan Beazley to evaluate Surrett’s arguments. I beg the reader’s indulgence in starting with a somewhat lengthy introduction; these matters are complicated, and I need a little time and space. Let’s begin.

    There are two major issues involved in debates over English Bibles: 1) text and 2) translation.

    The debate divides into many smaller issues, but it is at its heart—and, actually, a lot like a heart—irreducibly binary. Defenders of exclusive use of the King James Version (by English speakers) such as Charles “Chuck” Surrett, longtime Academic Dean at Ambassador Baptist College, have to “win” debates on both 1) text and 2) translation if they hope to establish their KJV-Only viewpoint.

    If someone like Surrett argues successfully that 1) the KJV is based on the best Hebrew and Greek texts, he must then argue that...

  • Mark Ward - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 5:14pm

    I love my brothers and sisters in Christ who insist on the exclusive use of the King James Version, because we have a “like precious faith” in the biblical gospel—and because certain of those brothers and sisters showed great love to me in high school. They continue to do so.

    I wrote Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible to appeal to the great majority of people who use the KJV and no other Bible translation—people who, in God’s good providence, have no facility with Greek or Hebrew and little or no direct knowledge of textual criticism, Bible translation philosophy, or other difficult topics caught up in debates over English Bible versions.

    But some Christians who insist that the KJV is the only truly trustworthy English Bible have studied the original languages; they’ve also done some reading on translation philosophy and textual criticism. They put forth some serious points and have cited Scripture in favor of the Textus Receptus underlying the KJV, and against contemporary translations which are based on other editions of the Greek New Testament. They deserve to be answered.

  • Mark Ward - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 2:00pm

    We visited grandparents and great grandparents and a rarely-seen uncle in Ohio over Christmas and New Years. Our Saturday-afternoon flight from Cleveland to Denver (departure scheduled for 4:37 pm) was delayed for four hours by a mechanical fault. We had to deplane with all our stuff (and with three children after a two-week trip in Ohio that included Christmas presents, that’s a lot of stuff), only to get back on the plane with all that same stuff and sit in exactly the same seats. We therefore missed our connection in Denver, and United put us up in a nice hotel. We got there very late, but we got there. The next flight out to Everett, WA, was the next morning (Sunday), but it was booked solid. We were put on an evening flight (Sunday).

    So we spent the day Sunday in Denver. I wanted to go to church, and I looked up options—I always like to see what other churches are like whenever I happen to be traveling on a Sunday. But the family was too exhausted. We had a nice, restful morning at the Gaylord Resort, a beautiful place with a view of the Rockies, and we rented a car for the afternoon to go do a wildlife drive and see downtown Denver. (Don’t tell the Colorado...

  • Mark Ward - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 4:02pm

    I was asked by a friend to write this. 30 minutes later, here it was:

    1. Watch less TV. Don’t let it be your default evening activity. Love higher and better things.
    2. Don’t let social media be your default activity either. I periodically delete my Facebook app, and I have it set to turn off after thirty minutes of use daily (which is still probably too much).
    3. Think of your mind as a colander with a tight mesh; your goal is to keep filling it full of broth. Yeah, most of it leaks out, because it’s a colander. But as long as you keep filling it it will be full. And some good bits of the broth will stick to the edges and become encrusted on the mesh—and then make more good bits stick to them as time passes. (This metaphor is kind of gross, but it works for me.)
    4. Count audiobooks as books—as long as the kinds of books you’re reading through audio are the kinds of books that you can really receive in in that medium. Some books are too hard for audio. I tried listening to Religious Affections years ago, and I just couldn’t keep up. But just about any fiction book on double speed (or even triple, depending on the reader) is something I...
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Emeth Aletheia


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