Were the Earliest Christians Illiterate?

In the 1979 film Rocky II, the newly famous Rocky Balboa, fresh off his split-decision loss to Apollo Creed, is hired to do a TV commercial. During the filming of the commercial it quickly becomes clear that he can’t read the cue cards. The director, frustrated by how long the filming is taking, ruthlessly mocks Rocky: “You cost us thousands of dollars because you can’t read!”

Rocky is humiliated and embarrassed. Why? Because in our modern, western society most people can read. Reading is the norm. Illiteracy is the exception. It doesn’t matter how famous you are, or how talented you are. If you can’t read, you feel like an …

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Remembering Tim Keller

One year ago on this day, we said goodbye to Tim Keller. In honor of his passing, I am reposting my original tribute to him below.

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By now, you have heard the sad news. Tim Keller has just passed away.

I still remember the first time I heard a Tim Keller sermon. It was the mid-90’s, and I happened to be in New York City. Having just graduated from seminary, I had heard all the buzz about this new pastor in Manhattan who had (incredibly) built a thriving, growing church in the midst of one of the world’s most liberal cities. Since it was a Sunday, I figured I …

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Does it Matter Whether Seminary Education is In-Person or Online?

Ever since I became the president of the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS)—now more than a decade ago—I’ve been committed to a basic practice. It might not seem like much. It’s not anything extraordinary. But I think it has proven to be one of the most meaningful things I do.

Here’s my practice: I have a sit-down, face-to-face meeting with every single prospective student that visits our campus.

Sure, there are more efficient ways to connect with prospective students. I could dash off an email, or send them a form letter, or point them to the website to learn more. And given the number of student visitors we …

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Is Marriage a Good Thing?

Marriage has fallen on hard times of late.

As of 2020, US News and World Report documented how the US marriage rates have dropped to historic lows. Indeed, since records were kept from the early 1800’s, at no point in our history have people been married so infrequently.

But it’s not just declining rates—the people who are getting married are getting married later. Just let these numbers sink in: In 1978, the number of people between 18 and 34 who were married was nearly 60%. As of 2018, that number felt to 29%.

Now, it would be all too easy to look at these numbers and declare we just live …

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A Wonderful New Book on Parenting Teens

Ok, let’s just get it out there. Parenting is hard. And parenting teens is particularly hard. Even more, parenting teens in our current cultural moment is exceptionally hard.

While every generation has “new” challenges, it is fair to say that the current generation has more than its fair share. We are faced with an increasingly secular culture, unprecedented social media pressures (and temptations), and record-breaking rates of depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, Christian reactions to this matrix of challenges is not always healthy. Some parenting models become super aggressive, overly restrictive, and operate out of a fear-based mentality, sometimes exacerbating the very problem they are trying to solve. More than ever, …

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