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Tim Challies

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November 2009

November 25, 2009
The Final Nail?
It is probably a bit too early for this, but we can hope. “If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet.”
Picture Show: Breach
“In the Spring of 2009, the photographer Richard Mosse traveled to Iraq, where he captured arresting images of U.S. soldiers working and living in what used to be palaces of Saddam Hussein. These visions of western soldiers at rest in imperial palaces are both intensely jarring and oddly playful, and they underscore the seemingly ineffable experience of downtime during a military occupation. The transformation of an imperial palace into a site of temporary housing also speaks to the notion that our histories are constantly being rewritten—architecturally, sociologically, globally, and locally.”
When Your Child is Disobedient
Z offers a list of 10 things to remember when your child is disobedient.
Deal of the Day
I’m keeping an eye on Amazon (and other sites) this week just because of all the deals. Today at Amazon you can get a LG Blu-ray player for under $100. That’s hard to beat! “Get superior audio performance and full HD 1080p output with the LG BD270 Blu-ray Disc Player. This Blu-ray player not only plays DVD discs, but Blu-ray Discs as well and it features an HDMI with Cinema mode and 7.1 channels with Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, and dts-HD.”
November 24, 2009

Going Rogue.jpgI kind of like Sarah Palin. I did, really, from the moment she burst onto the international scene as John McCain’s running mate. Of course I live in Canada so she would never have been my Vice President but still, I found in her qualities that I admired. Mostly I appreciated her common sense approach to politics and her aw shucks, hockey mom persona. It was attractive mostly by virtue of how approachable it made her, how normal she seemed. She compares very favorably in this way to the many career politicians who seem completely out-of-touch with the rest of us—men and women who have lived their whole lives in the upper tier of society and who can’t imagine life on the other side of the Forbe’s lists.

November 23, 2009

Last week I wrote a review of the excellent new book Who Made God? by Edgar Andrews. This book is an intelligent, insightful response to many of the claims of today’s new atheists. I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Andrews and wanted to share that interview with you today.


What do all of those letters after your name actually stand for?
The first three (BSc, PhD and DSc) are earned academic qualifications while the remainder (FInstP, FIMMM, CEng and CPhys) are professional qualifications. My Bachelor’s degree was in theoretical physics; the ‘doctor of philosophy’ degree was awarded for research, and the ‘doctor of science’ degree is a higher doctorate awarded for eminence in a given field, as judged by the quality of peer-reviewed publications.

November 23, 2009
The World’s Children
This photoblog shows pictures of just a few of the world’s impoverished children. “Twenty years after the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, multitudes of children across the globe are still suffering from poverty, abuse and disease.”
Thanksgiving Giveaway
Monergism Books is sponsoring a Thanksgiving giveaway of some great resources. To enter the draw you need to fill out a short survey.
Commentary Giveaway
Speaking of giveaways, J.C. Ryle Quotes is giving away a set of Ryle’s commentaries on the gospels. Entering is simple so check the link to give it a shot.
Children Who Front Dawkins’ Campaign
“The two children chosen to front Richard Dawkins’s latest assault on God could not look more free of the misery he associates with religious baggage. With the slogan ‘Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself’, the youngsters with broad grins seem to be the perfect advertisement for the new atheism being promoted by Professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association. Except that they are about as far from atheism as it is possible to be. The Times can reveal that Charlotte, 8, and Ollie, 7, are from one of the country’s most devout Christian families.”
Useless Around the Home
According to this interesting article, “the trend of the female high achiever and the male slacker is a tall story that women tell each other to compensate for the fact that most career-orientated women feel an “overwhelming sense of guilt” over their role and less of a mother and a wife.”
Amazon Black Friday Deals
Amazon is doing a Black Friday Week this week. They are going to have a lot of deals offered over the course of every day of the week. Click the link, bookmark it, and return a few times if you’re interested in tracking down some deals.
Deal of the Day: Polk Soundbar
In terms of sheer dollars and cents, this is the best deal I’ve seen in Amazon’s Gold Box ($500 less than yesterday’s price). “Polk Audio SurroundBar 360-degree DVD Theater is a complete home entertainment system. It incorporates the enveloping sonic benefits of SurroundBar SDA technology and patented PowerPort bass venting technology with the convenience of a control console that is a DVD/CD player, amplifier, and an AM/FM radio.” I spent some time with one of these things once and they are pretty amazing.
November 22, 2009

Jerry Bridges has long been a great gift to the church. His books, especially the classics like The Pursuit of Holiness and The Discipline of Grace, have impacted millions of Christians. His speaking ministry has taken him across the world, allowing him to bless countless thousands more. A couple of years ago I was privileged to spend a half hour or so with him backstage at a conference and enjoyed the opportunity to just sit and enjoy his company. He is just the kind of Christian I want to be when I grow up.

Next month Jerry will celebrate his 80th birthday. One of his friends contacted me recently to see if I would like to send along some form of congratulations and of course I wanted to. We then discussed how we could allow others to do the same and thought that it might work best to simply give you the ability to do so right here.

So if you would like to wish a happy birthday to Jerry Bridges and, even better, if you would like to encourage him in his ministry or thank him for it, you can do so by filling out the form below. All replies will be be kept confidential and given to him by his wife on his birthday.

November 21, 2009

A few days ago I wrote about late merging and, not unexpectedly, got a lot of feedback. This is, after all, a universal experience. What amused me was the anger many of the early mergers feel toward the late mergers. Many people make this into a moral issue or a spiritual issue, as if God has offered us a “thus saith the Lord” when it comes to the ethics of merging. As Tom Vanderbilt says in the book Traffic, there seems to be a whole worldview contained in early merge or late merge strategies. The conventional merge, the situation we all find ourselves in every time we drive in traffic, “tosses the late mergers and the early mergers together in an unholy tempest of conflicting beliefs, expectations, and actions. Perhaps not surprisingly, it performs the worst of all.”

Having done the legwork and having consulted with the experts, here is Vanderbilt’s conclusion on how to best handle merging. I thought I would post it today just to tie up the loose end of that conversation.

The next time you find yourself on a congested four-land road and you see that a forced merge is coming, don’t panic. Do not stop, do not swerve into the other lane. Simply stay in your lane—if there is a lot of traffic, the distribution between both lanes should be more or less equal—all the way to the merge point. Those in the lane that is remaining open should allow one person from the lane to be closed in ahead of them, and then proceed (those doing the merging must take a similar turn). By working together, by abandoning our individual preferences and our distrust of others’ preferences, in favor of a simple set of objective rules, we can make things better for everyone.

So there you have it. Traffic will flow best if there is an even distribution of late mergers to early mergers and if everyone does their best to alternate. Just stay in the lane you are in until it makes most sense to come together. You need the late mergers and the early mergers to work together if you want traffic to flow with the fewest interruptions.

November 20, 2009

Free Stuff Fridays

This week’s sponsor is christianaudio.com. “The mission of christianaudio is to shape Christian hearts to think and do right. We are in the business of making contexts in which Christians can think properly about God, themselves, and the world. We believe that spiritual growth occurs within the framework of proper beliefs - the contexts that allow Christians to go about enjoying God and serving others.” I have met the guys behind christianaudio on several occasions and have always enjoyed their kindness and their desire to serve the church.