Posts by William Boekestein

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Apologetic conversations aren’t about hypothetical truths, but about life’s most important matters. We mustn’t simply stick to the scripts of critics; we must see ourselves as God’s prophets “anointed to confess his name” and reveal the mysterious “counsel and will of God concerning our deliverance...
Christian apologists give reasons that substantiate the faith. But sometimes Christians are the reason people find the Christian message implausible. People object to Christianity because of their sense—accurate or not—that the gospel doesn’t make people better and, in fact, seems to make some...
Statistics indicate that scientists are three times less likely to attend weekly religious services than non-scientists. [1] Less than ten percent of American scientists believe in a personal God. To atheist Richard Dawkins these statistics prove “that the more intelligent, rational, and...
The people of Israel were starving. Their land was rich, but their enemies devoured the produce (Judges 6:4). A young man named Gideon summed up the crisis: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (6:13). That is the problem of evil. And it is one of the most obvious...
Apologetics requires certainty and confidence. Its basic purpose is conquering doubts cast on the Christian faith. But what about the doubts of Christians? How do we defend a faith that we are not always certain of? Doubt is not a virtue; it is a serious problem. Doubt is dishonorable. God wants us...
One of Billy Graham’s early crises of faith was over whether he could totally trust the Bible. After much struggle he prayed to God, “I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.” [1] Graham’s conclusion sets a good...
Apologetics is often associated with the so-called proofs of God’s existence: ontological, cosmological, teleological—and already my head is spinning. But the quest to prove God has several problems. First, it ignores that all people already know God. Even animals can tell us that God created the...
All Christians are apologists. All of us must be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). But God not only demands that we defend the faith, he also defines how we must defend it. By demanding confidence, love, and holiness (1 Peter 3:...
Note: This article kicks off reformation21's latest series, "Christian Apologetics." Join us each Friday as William Boekestein outlines how we can prepare to make a defense for the hope that is in us. From the earliest days, Christians needed to defend not worshiping like their neighbors. The...
Popular opinion concerning sexuality is changing rapidly. “It took more than a century for the homosexual movement to win cultural affirmation. Transgenderism’s acceptance happened much more speedily, partly due to the path carved out by the homosexuality movement.” [1] The traditional boundaries...
Struggling Christians should get in the habit of calling their elders for prayer. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders” to pray for God’s healing (James 5:14). Do you? Or do you treat this invitation as a throw-back to a pre-scientific era in which a “spiritual cure” was a sick...
It's six o'clock Wednesday evening. Your church's mid-week Bible study starts in one hour, but you don't feel like going. The trouble is, you can't think of a fresh excuse and you don't dare to say what you, (and several others) would like to say: "Is this really what a Bible Study is supposed to...
How is it that our perceived contentment can fluctuate so dramatically? The new clothes we used to love now seem hopelessly out of date. We appreciated that pay-raise until we acclimated to new spending habits. We thought we had a fine home until we visited that friend’s house that makes ours feel...
In 1754, Benjamin Franklin published a cartoon called “Join or Die.” It pictured a snake cut into eights representing the British colonies in the New World. Franklin argued that unless the colonies formed one body, they would never be able to resist the powerful threat of the French and their...
"I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is 'deconstruction,' the biblical phrase is 'falling away.' By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian." So was the recent confession by former pastor, Joshua Harris...
Lois Lowry tells a story about how a utopian state required that all of the community's memories going back through the generations be committed to a single person, a receiver. The elders engineered a society where no one but the receiver had to feel or remember. Life was safe and comfortable. The...
Lois Lowry tells a story about how a utopian state required that all of the community's memories going back through the generations be committed to a single person, a receiver. The elders engineered a society where no one but the receiver had to feel or remember. Life was safe and comfortable. The...
Lois Lowry tells a story about how a utopian state required that all of the community's memories going back through the generations be committed to a single person, a receiver. The elders engineered a society where no one but the receiver had to feel or remember. Life was safe and comfortable. The...
Lois Lowry tells a story about how a utopian state required that all of the community's memories going back through the generations be committed to a single person, a receiver. The elders engineered a society where no one but the receiver had to feel or remember. Life was safe and comfortable. The...
There is a lot to like about the story of John Newton . And Simonetta Carr and Amal tell and illustrate it beautifully (Reformation Heritage Books, 2018). Newton first told the story himself in an 18 th century best-seller. A young man with a dead mother and hard-to-please father pursues riches and...
There is a lot to like about the story of John Newton . And Simonetta Carr and Amal tell and illustrate it beautifully (Reformation Heritage Books, 2018). Newton first told the story himself in an 18 th century best-seller. A young man with a dead mother and hard-to-please father pursues riches and...
There is a lot to like about the story of John Newton . And Simonetta Carr and Amal tell and illustrate it beautifully (Reformation Heritage Books, 2018). Newton first told the story himself in an 18 th century best-seller. A young man with a dead mother and hard-to-please father pursues riches and...
In 1754 Benjamin Franklin published a cartoon called “Join or Die.” It pictured a snake cut into eights representing the British colonies in the New World. Franklin argued that unless the colonies formed one body they would never be able to resist the powerful threat of the French and...
The reformation anniversary confetti has all been swept up. Some of us have heard a lot lately about the reformers and how God used them to help move the church toward greater faithfulness in their day. But what will it look like to be a reformer today? Perhaps we can learn from Swiss reformer...
Speaking on the matter of Christian freedom John Calvin said, “This is a slippery place, and there is great danger of falling on either side.”1 Too true! Christians face the duel temptation of excessive rule-making and inappropriate freedom-flaunting when it comes to matters that the...
“They don’t write songs like that anymore.” It is not uncommon to hear an elderly man or woman utter these words whenever he or she thinks back on the “good ol’ days” of music. In a sense, this phrase is every bit as applicable in the church as it in the secular...
How do church deacons help establish God’s kingdom? Many of us might struggle to answer that question. For a number of reasons, the diaconate is often viewed as a non-spiritual administrative committee. Because deacons oversee church money and property we might mistake them simply for...
When Jesus sent out his twelve disciples to minister the gospel he told them how they should conduct themselves as kingdom servants (Matt. 10:5–15). But he also spoke of the responsibility of the people to receive these ministers as his official representatives. Jesus insists that the way...
The woman had conspired with her husband to commit a slew of treasonous murders. Now, as she looked at her hands, she wondered if she would ever again have a clear conscience. “What, will these hands ne’er be clean?” She asked. “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All...
"Little One Lost" by Glenda Mathes (Reformed Fellowship, 2012) is greatly needed today precisely because there doesn't seem to be a great need for it. I certainly wouldn't have felt its importance if not for a personal trek through the valley of the shadow of infant death. When our son was born my...
Shane Lems, The Doctrines of Grace: Student Edition. Phillipsburg , NJ : P&R Publishing, 2014. 143 pp. $9.99/₤6.99 In recent years the so-called Five Points of Calvinism have received increased attention and adherence. The Five Points seem to have a growing number of defenders, or at least...
Shane Lems, The Doctrines of Grace: Student Edition. Phillipsburg , NJ : P&R Publishing, 2014. 143 pp. $9.99/₤6.99 In recent years the so-called Five Points of Calvinism have received increased attention and adherence. The Five Points seem to have a growing number of defenders, or at least...
Simonetta Carr, Lady Jane Grey (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), $18.00, hardcover. One of the most encouraging trends in Christian children's literature is the publication of more stories that our kids will not like. If our children like all their books in the same way they like...
Simonetta Carr, Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2011). In the interest of disclosure this review was written by a thirty-something-year-old man with the help of two young ladies under age five and a six year old boy. I mention this because...
In 1941 Winston Churchill stood before an eager audience at an all-boys school in war-torn England and spoke these famous words, "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in." (1) Churchill's words echo the thrust of the...
In 1941 Winston Churchill stood before an eager audience at an all-boys school in war-torn England and spoke these famous words, "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in." (1) Churchill's words echo the thrust of the...
It's six o'clock Wednesday evening. Your church's mid-week Bible study starts in one hour but you don't feel like going. The trouble is, you can't think of a fresh excuse and you don't dare to say what you, (and several others) would like to say: "Is this really what a Bible Study is supposed to be...
It's six o'clock Wednesday evening. Your church's mid-week Bible study starts in one hour but you don't feel like going. The trouble is, you can't think of a fresh excuse and you don't dare to say what you, (and several others) would like to say: "Is this really what a Bible Study is supposed to be...
Learning from Peter's Preaching If you have young children or grandchildren in your family, perhaps you've seen the Disney-Pixar film, A Bug's Life . The movie imaginatively portrays life in an ant colony which is visited annually by a group of marauding grasshoppers who consume the food...
A Call to Add Church History to a Healthy Spiritual Diet Many of us may struggle with the feeling that the church is already too old-fashioned. If so, why should we study church history? Shouldn't we stop looking backward to the 16th century and start living in the 21st century? Contrary to our...
A Call to Add Church History to a Healthy Spiritual Diet Many of us may struggle with the feeling that the church is already too old-fashioned. If so, why should we study church history? Shouldn't we stop looking backward to the 16th century and start living in the 21st century? Contrary to our...