Letters to the Editor (The Shack, Christian Coloring Books)

Not surprisingly, I suppose, my comments on The Shack led to an outpouring of letters—literally hundreds of them. I will share a selection from readers who agreed and who disagreed with my position. The most common question I received is “What about Narnia?” and I hope to address that next week. Also, my comments that “It’s wrong to portray Father and Spirit as human beings” were interpreted by some to say, “It’s fine to portray Father and Spirit as a …

Sex on the Silver Screen: What Would a Victorian Christian Say?

Regular readers of this site will know that for some time I’ve been writing articles under the banner of “Sex on the Silver Screen.” These articles grapple with the morality of scenes of nudity and sexuality in film and television. While there has been a long association between sex and the silver screen, only in recent times has it become almost a foregone conclusion that a new film or television series will display it. Meanwhile, more and more Christians are …

Weekend A La Carte (February 18)

Today’s Kindle deals include just one lonely little book. But it’s a good one, at least. The True Friendship That Saved Abraham Lincoln’s Life I’m quite sure I don’t agree with all of Charles Strozier’s reading of the friendship between Lincoln and Speed, but he does draw out some interesting details and interpretations. A Just Silence I consider this a very important article, and I’m glad someone has finally said it well. “We’ve all felt the pressure to speak out about …

Free Stuff Fridays: MacArthur’s Systematic Theology

This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Crossway and they are giving away a brand new book that I think you’re going to enjoy a lot—John MacArthur’s new systematic theology Biblical Doctrine (which was co-written by Richard Mayhue). There will be 5 winners this week, and each will receive a copy of it. Here’s how Crossway describes the book: “Doctrine isn’t just for theologians—it’s important for every Christian because it shows us who God is and how we should …

6-Year-Old Girls Already Have Gendered Beliefs

Lin Bian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, wanted to understand how and when gender stereotypes develop, and especially the old stereotype that boys are smarter than girls. The results of her study were stark. “Among the 5-year-olds, both boys and girls associated brilliance with their own gender. But among those aged 6 or 7, only the boys still held to that view. At an age when girls tend to outperform boys at school, and when children in general …

A La Carte (February 17)

Today’s Kindle deals include a new title from GLH Publishing which is discounted for the first week. You’ll find a couple of other interesting titles as well. Westminster Books has deals this week on Reformed confessions and a few other noteworthy works. Why Joel Osteen Is So Appealing Nautilus asks this: “What is it that makes Osteen different from the rest of us? What is the source of his magical magnetism?” Surprising Advice From Two Older Saints Darryl Dash: “I’m fascinated by the …

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Book Reviews

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Your Calling: Bring Order from Chaos

Every afternoon at 3 PM, the house is calm and quiet and orderly. It is neat and tidy, the front entranceway is clear, the coat hooks are organized, the horizontal surfaces are clear. But by 3:30 it is approaching the status of a full-out disaster area. Backpacks, hats, and mitts leave a trail down the hall and into the living room. The kitchen is cluttered with snacks and lunch bags. People are sprawled out all over the furniture. The whole house has been transformed. …

A La Carte (February 16)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few titles, but they may be worth a quick look. Sam Allberry on the Life-Giving Message of Jesus You’ll want to cheer for Sam Allberry after hearing him here at the Church of England synod. Eat, Pray, Lent Here’s what American abstain from during Lent. Also, don’t observe Lent—you’re a Protestant, silly! 12 Trillion Locusts In one year, 12 trillion locusts devastated the Great Plains—and then they went extinct. The Evil of Sin “Deeper …

Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie

The day The Shack sold its hundred thousandth copy, it became likely there would be a movie adaption. The day it sold its millionth, it became practically guaranteed. And, sure enough, it comes to theaters March 3, starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw. For some time, I have been considering whether I should see and review it. I am quite sure that watching and reviewing The Shack would prove to be a wise business decision. I could get …

A La Carte (February 15)

Today’s Kindle deals include a bit of Sproul, a bit of MacArthur, as well as some other good picks. When Assurance of Salvation Is Fleeting “Assurance proves to be one of the greatest benefits of the Christian faith and the rightful inheritance of the child of God. In its enjoyment is found peace, hope, and joy unsurpassed in this fallen world.” The US President’s $2,614 Per Minute Transport System (Video) This video is one President out of date, but still …

Final Call

Welcome to Final Call, a brief, hand-picked selection of news, articles, videos, and curiosities from the Internet and beyond. Mini-Review: A Time for Confidence It is clear that we are living at a time of seismic societal change. Things we recently considered the highest good are now considered the greatest evil; things we used to consider aberrant we now declare normal and noble. “Enormous pressure to cower, to capitulate, and to cave closes in on us like the unstoppable walls of a …

Practicing the Power

Matt Chandler says he has been waiting for this book for fifteen years. Mike Bickle assures the potential reader it “combines sound theology with inspiring personal examples.” Jack Deere describes it as “an immensely practical” work while Gregg Allison believes it is just what his church needs to experience a deeper outpouring of God’s grace. The book is Sam Storms’s Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit In Your Life. Over the past couple of decades, the …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More


A La Carte (February 14)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of new titles. Also, several Kindle devices have been discounted for those looking for one. The Story Behind John Piper’s Most Famous Attack on the Prosperity Gospel This is a really interesting article about John Piper’s famous, unplanned attack on the prosperity gospel. Please Stop Saying — “God Told Me” Yes, please. “Although the ‘God told me’ method of communicating makes for interesting, suspenseful, and entertaining stories, what people need most is to hear …

4 Essentials of Running Your Church Website Well

This sponsored post was provided by MereChurch. Are you pondering a redesign of your site, or struggling with managing your site? We can take care of the technical headache of running a church website so you can focus on your ministry. Get in touch with MereChurch to get started. I have been working on church websites for about sixteen years. I have worked with hundreds of organizations, some of them through many iterations of their sites, and I’ve noticed a thing …

Deadly Doctrines: The Pattern and Protection

We have learned that the church of every age is plagued by false teachers and their deadly doctrine. We have met seven of those false teachers and seen the devastation they bring. We have identified five tests we can apply to any doctrine to determine whether it is false or true. But this leaves us with some important questions: How does a church come to reject sound doctrine? How do we guard ourselves against false teachers and their deadly doctrines? …

A La Carte (February 13)

Today’s Kindle deals include just three books, but they are all by or about J.I. Packer. That means they are all worth checking out. Who Is the Subject of Your Bible Study? Jen Oshman has a good article directed to women. “If that Christian book on your nightstand or if your women’s bible study points you back to you, then may I please encourage you to put it down and give it some thought?” Marital Love Must Be Sexual I’ve enjoyed …

Faith Alone

Here we are, five hundred years past Luther. You have to wonder to what degree that first protester would recognize today’s Protestantism. But you don’t have to wonder what he would think about contemporary attempts to bridge the gap he helped create. He, of all people, knew the necessity of defending the true gospel by separating from false gospels. That doesn’t mean others haven’t tried. In 1994, Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus co-founded Evangelicals and Catholics Together in an …

God Hates Wicked People

Over the past few weeks I have been exploring what God hates. I have done this by looking to the Bible to search for those things God flat-out says he hates or things that he describes as “despicable” or “abominable.” We have seen that God hates idolatry, sexual immorality, injustice, hypocrisy, deceit, pride, and evil thoughts. Today we will wrap up by looking at God’s hatred for the wicked. God Hates Wicked People Psalm 11:5 puts it bluntly: God hates …

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