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August 2010

August 27, 2010

Free Stuff Fridays

What a week. I’m glad Friday is here, though it looks like our weekend is going to be even busier than the week that was. Nevertheless, I always look forward to a good weekend and this one is no exception. But first things first.

Andrew Case writes unique books, which is saying something when hundreds of thousands of new titles are being published each year. He writes books of prayers—prayers that are drawn almost entirely from Scripture. Each book is targeted to a very specific readership and contains prayers uniquely suited to that type of person. Today he would like to give you a couple of his books: Setting Their Hope in God and your choice of Water of the Word or Prayers of an Excellent Wife.

Setting their Hope in GodSetting Their Hope in God is a practical prayer-book designed to help parents intercede for their children consistently and biblically. Here’s a blurb I wrote as an endorsement: “As a father, I continually feel inadequate to the task of praying for the three precious children God has entrusted to me. I understand that I need to pray and I genuinely want to pray. Yet I am so often lost when it comes to knowing how. In Setting Their Hope in God, Andrew Case turns to the ultimate prayer book, the Bible, to craft prayers for parents who want to see their children turn to the Lord, to live for the Lord, to honor him with their lives. I am convinced that this book will prove an indispensable resource to many mothers and fathers as they seek to hold up their children before the throne of grace.”

Water of the Word is a practical prayer-book designed to help husbands intercede for their wives consistently and biblically while Prayers of an Excellent Wife is the equivalent book for wives. Of the former, Bruce Ware says “Andrew Case has provided an ingenious and glorious tool for Christian husbands, one that has the potential of binding husbands and wives ever closer together while these prayers seek more intimate relationship between their wives and their God. By employing themes, principles, promises, and pleas from Scripture itself, Case has crafted hundreds of rich and meaningful prayers that any and every Christian husband can pray for his own wife.” And of the latter, Mary Mohler writes “Prayers of An Excellent Wife provides a template that if used properly will indeed produce excellent wives who faithfully and passionately pray God’s word for their precious husbands.”

Case Books


Giveaway Rules: You may only enter the draw once. Simply fill out your name and email address to enter the draw. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.

August 27, 2010

Biblia - From the folks at Logos: “Introducing the Biblia.com beta release: a super-simple Bible for the web that’s backed up by the incredible technology (and massive library!) of Logos Bible Software. What makes Biblia.com so cool?” You’ll have to read the post to find out…

A Good Monkey - I found this review of a new documentary a great commentary on society (not to mention a great reminder of why we cut cable a few years back): “Anew Michael Jackson documentary airing this weekend is not about his music, or his family. It’s not about his strange private life, or the criminal and civil allegations that dogged him for his last 15 years. It’s about a monkey.”

How Did EPM Begin, Part 2 - Randy Alcorn continues telling the tale of how Eternal Perspectives Ministry began.

August 26, 2010

Today we come to our second-to-last reading in Arnold Dallimore’s life of Charles Spurgeon. I’m grateful that some of you continue to read along with me even at this plodding pace of a couple of chapters per week.

This week’s chapters focused on just two aspects of Spurgeon’s life—his writing and the so-called Down-Grade Controversy.

Spurgeon was a prolific author. I’ve long been under the impression that the majority of the books published under his name were simply sermons that had been repurposed, but according to Dallimore he did write a very large number of original works. Of course his books of sermons were his most popular writings, being distributed in the hundreds of millions and being translated into all kinds of different languages from around the world. Among the most popular of his books were The Treasury of David, Commenting and Commentaries and John Plowman’s Talk. And, of course, we can’t forget the devotional works Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening, classics that are read and treasured today.

Besides the 140 books and thousands of sermons he preached, Spurgeon also wrote monthly for The Sword and the Trowel and maintained voluminous correspondence, typically writing some 500 letters each week (and, as Dallimore points out, he had to do this with a pen that had to be dipped in ink every few seconds…and he often had to do this while suffering from terrible arthritis). Biographers who wish to reconstruct the life of the man have a vast and almost insurmountable amount of writing to turn to.

August 26, 2010

Christian Hosoi - Denny Burk shares a video testimony from one of his childhood heroes who later came to know the Lord.

God’s Technology - My friend (and podcast co-host) David Murray recently created a video presentation called God’s Technology. It has been available for download for a couple of weeks but is now also available on DVD. And whlle I’m talking about David, he’s also got a new book out called Christians Get Depressed Too. I suppose the subject is self-explanatory once you read the title.

Living Without Physical Intimacy - Carolyn McCulley shares an article that’s worth reading. “I believe that one day, I will look at my life and say with confidence that the single greatest blessing I have experienced of singleness has been pain of learning to live without physical intimacy.”

Digital Diversions - Here’s an article about the ways in which gadgets and other new technologies distract teens and give them yet another reason to get way too little sleep. “The abundance of digital diversions has only amped up the usual tug-of-war between generations about when the lights go out, and worried parents can lose sleep just trying to keep up.”

Here Is Your God - “Here Is Your God,” is the latest worship album from Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada. It features songs drawn out of the book of Isaiah.

August 25, 2010

Here is this week’s episode of the Connected Kingdom podcast. This week we have a guest on the show—Daniel Hyde, author of Welcome to a Reformed Church. We talk to Danny about how he came to know the Lord, about the church he planted in California, about what it means to be Reformed and about sitting uncomfortably close to David. I was particularly glad to discuss what it used to mean to be Reformed and what it means today.

If you want to give us feedback on the podcast or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or another program. As always, feedback and suggestions for future topics are much appreciated.

August 25, 2010

Not Just a Guy’s Struggle - At the True Woman blog is a discussion about the growing problem of girls and pornography.

Bible Summary - An interesting Twitter project: “I’m summarising the Bible - one tweet per chapter, one chapter per day. Visit www.biblesummary.info for the archive, the blog, to comment and to get in touch.”

The Crisis of Capitalism - This is one more reason I need to learn more about economics. Can someone in the know give a few comments on this presentation?

Songs in a Minor Key - Zach Nielsen, whose blog I link to quite frequently, has just released an album under the name Zach Nielsen Trio. Jazz fans will want to give it a listen.

August 24, 2010

The Archer and the ArrowThe Trellis and the Vine was 2009’s surprise hit (read my review). Written by Collin Marshall and Tony Payne, the book described a ministry mind-shift that the authors assured the reader could change everything—everything related to ministry, that is. The book stood upon its simple metaphor of a trellis, an apparatus used to support something, and of a vine, the object that is supported by that trellis. The trellis referred to the administrative work within a church, those tasks that, though important, are not actually directly related to discipling people. Vine work, on the other hand, is those tasks of working with the vine, drawing people into the kingdom through evangelism and then training them to grow in their knowledge of God and their obedience to him. Though the book may not have been groundbreaking, it somehow managed to pull together a lot of ideas and collect them all within this simple metaphor. It was a powerful and effective combination and it sold very well. Even better, it impacted pastors and those engaged in gospel work, helping them better understand the task the Lord has given them.

The follow-up to The Trellis and the Vine is called The Archer and the Arrow. While it comes from Matthias Media, the same publisher, it is written by different authors: Phillip Jensen and Paul Grimmond. Though the volume is co-authored, its purpose is primarily to make Jensen’s “wisdom about preaching available to a wider audience—wisdom acquired over almost four decades of faithful biblical ministry.” I do not know if the book was conceived as a follow-up to The Trellis and the Vine or not, but regardless, it works as a sequel. Where the first book focused on ministry through a wide lens, the second focuses on the essential heart of ministry—the preaching of the gospel.

The book is framed around what the authors describe as the preacher’s mission statement: “My aim is to preach the gospel by prayerfully expounding the Bible to the people God has given me to love.” They break this statement into its component parts and expound it over the course of several chapters. This takes them from the theoretical to the practical, from the purpose of preaching a sermon to the actual delivery of it.

Let me say a word about the book’s title. The metaphor speaks of the archer (the preacher) and the arrow, which is the sermon. Firing the arrow corresponds to the act of preaching. The arrow itself is formed by three parts—the head, the shaft and the feathers. “At the point of the arrowhead is the gospel, the declaration that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour. The cutting edges of the arrowhead are the implications of that reality. This can include things like ethics, philosophy, apologetics, personal godliness and kategoria.” The shaft corresponds to the exegesis of the passage around which a sermon is formed. And the feathers “correspond to issues like systematic theology, biblical theology, church history, philosophy and the like. The feathers are like the big categories of thought that tie the whole message of the Bible together.”

August 24, 2010

The Future of CCM - Patheos features an interesting article about the past, present and future of Christian music.

Evangelicals and Atheists Together - Phil Johnson: “Last month several regular contributors over at the BioLogos blog wrote a series of posts exploring the question How Should BioLogos Respond to Dr. Albert Mohler’s Critique? … Evidently, the gentlemen at BioLogos have finally settled on their best strategy for replying to Dr. Mohler: Publish something at the Huffington Post accusing Dr. Mohler of dishonesty.”

Tell Us Your Stories - Collin Hansen asks older Christians to serve the younger ones by telling their stories. “Your stories give us the perspective we haven’t yet gained with experience. We don’t yet understand how much we don’t know. Our youthful bluster masks insecurity. We stand tall against withering attacks from our peers, but we’ve hardly been tested..”

Connecting Church and Home - Connecting Church and Home is a recent conference held at Southern Seminary. You can now access the video for each of the sessions.

How did EPM Begin? - At the 20th anniversary of Eternal Perspective Ministries, Randy Alcorn remembers how the ministry began. “Some of you who read my blog might not know much about EPM, so thought I’d share in two blog posts about the abortion clinic lawsuits that led to my resignation as a pastor and to the beginning of EPM.”

How Can God Allow Suffering? - D.A. Carson answers.