Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

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November 2012

November 27, 2012

T-t-t-talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation - Carl Trueman is talking about this generation, but thinking about the next. “One cannot truly assess a Christian leader until one can see clearly what his legacy is. That is sobering to anyone who is a minister, from the pastor of a small church to the international statesman.”

As White As Snow - We got our first snow yesterday and Dr. Haykin wrote a poem about it (he lives not too far from my home).

The Most Important Book - Westminster Books is having a big one-week sale on Bibles. Some of them are up to 65% off.

Pastoral Counseling with Tedd Tripp - From January 7-12, Midwest Center for Theological Studies will be live-streaming a course on pastoral counseling with Tedd Tripp. It’s free for all!

A Translation Conundrum - Bill Mounce always does a good job of showing just what a difficult thing it is to translate the Bible. Here he shows once again how all translators are traitors.

Uncharted Waters - I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska. This video makes me want to visit even more!

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. —G.K. Chesterton

November 26, 2012

Through the weekend that follows Thanksgiving I have been maintaining a page that provides a round-up of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that are of particular interest to Christians. This is something I have done for several years now, yet every year I do it with a bit of a guilty conscience. There are both benefits and drawbacks to publicizing deals like these. On the one hand, it is a means of connecting Christian retailers with people who may be interested in taking advantage of a few pre-Christmas deals, but on the other hand it may just feed the consumerism that is rampant both outside the church and within.

A couple of years ago Aileen and the kids teamed up to give me a Christmas gift they knew I would enjoy—a digital picture frame that I could keep at the office. I loaded it up with photos and can now enjoy looking at pictures of the family while I do my work.

We aren’t much for photography around the Challies home, and tend to haul out the camera only at special occasions. It just so happens, then, that the majority of the photos I see every day have been taken at birthdays and Christmas. Many of the shots show a child opening something. You can see the look of excitement and anticipation on the child’s face. If the shot is a wide one you might be able to spot mom or dad there, eager to catch the look of joy as the child sees that gift—that one gift he or she wanted to badly.

In most of those photos the wrapping paper has been removed enough that you can see the present beneath. It began with trucks (our son was born first), then went to Playmobil and then dolls and Lego and tea sets and easels and all kinds of other things. We do not go overboard on these occasions, but we do like to get each of the kids at least one thing they really want. So there are 11 Christmases represented there, and 27 birthdays, and all sorts of gifts.

But here’s the thing. I look at those pictures, the pictures of the presents, and realize that they are almost all long gone. They’ve all been forgotten and thrown away. Most of them, anyway. The Playmobil fell apart, the kids grew tired of it, and eventually we freecycled it. My son got bored of the trucks and we gave them to a friend. Or maybe they’re in a box somewhere in the basement. The dollhouse was just a cheap one and it didn’t last. All those things that were so exciting in the moment ended up lost and forgotten, tossed to the curb.

November 26, 2012

For the past few years I’ve made it a point to collect Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that may be of particular interest to Christians. While there are many places you can go online to find deals on electronics and other big-ticket items, I wanted to provide a place for Christian retailers to make their deals known to Christians who are trying to kick-start their Christmas shopping.

Last Update: Monday Morning

(If you’ve visited the page before, hold down the shift key and then hit “refresh” in your browser; this will ensure you’re seeing the newest version of the page)


Amazon has the Kindle Fire on sale, today only, at $30 off. Use coupon code FIREDEAL. a large selection of music on sale. You can find albums by Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Newsboys, and a lot of others (both Christian and non). Amazon sells music within the US of A only, so the rest of us get left out.

Banner of Truth

Banner of Truth has several books on sale (up to 50%) off. The rest of their inventory is priced at 30% off the usual prices.

CBD Reformed

CBD Reformed has put several of their items on sale including:

Centricity Music

Centricity Music has all of their albums at 30% off (use the code “turkey”). Among other artists you’ll find Andrew Peterson, Downhere, and Matt Papa.


ChristianAudio is having sales all day long. You’ll need to keep an eye on Twitter to find the deals.

Compass Cinema

Compass Cinema (creator of the excellent Modern Parables videos, among others) has most of their videos on sale. Coupon code BLACK25 will get you 25% off any order.

Credo House

Credo House has some significant deals on their theology courses.


Crossway is offering a site-wide 40% off sale. That includes all of their books and Bibles. Click through to see some of their top picks.

Cruciform Press

Cruciform Press has 11 books on sale at just $4.99 each (down from the regular price of $9.99). They include titles by Joel Beeke, Curtis Allen, John Ensor, and others. You can see the selection and make your order right here.

The Good Book Company

The Good Book Company has a wide variety of resources available at up to 60% off. They include books by Steve Timmis, Tim Chester, and others.

Grace & Truth Books

Grace & Truth Books has a selection of items at 30 - 35% off.

Granted Ministries

Granted Ministries has several deals going on and depending on what you purchase, you may also earn a free book or two.

Ligonier Ministries

Ligonier Ministries is is having a substantial Cyber Monday sale. Lots of books, Bibles and teaching series have been discounted.


Lifeway has a few deals on Bibles, books and music. You’ll need to hunt around a little, but will find discounts on books by Francis Chan, on The Jesus Storybook Bible ($5) and on Lecrae’s album Gravity.


NeuYear, a company that makes awesome wall calendars, has their 2013 calendars on sale. Use coupon code Challies12 to get 40% off.

New Growth Press

New Growth Press has Cyber Monday deals that include the Gospel Story Bible, Old Story New and Long Story Short, along with a few other titles. The Gospel Story Bible is buy one, get one.


P&R Publishers is offering 40% off your order with the coupon code NOV12, plus free shipping on domestic orders over $25. This deal runs from the 23rd to the 26th.

Reformation Heritage Books

Reformation Heritage Books has quite a few noteworthy deals. You can get three of Paul Washer’s new book for $10 each, the Building on the Rock series for just $20, and a 3-pack of A Puritan Theology for $90. Also, they have reduced the Kindle price of A Puritan Theology to just $9.99 (down from $29.99).

Revive Our Hearts

Revive Our Hearts has a selection of books with deep discounts. Authors include Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, and Kimberly Wagner.

Shepherd Press

Shepherd Press has their complete catalog of books on sale. All ebooks (Kindle, iPad, etc) have been dropped to $1.99. Most print editions are at $4.99, but you will have to add a book to your cart to see the lowered pricing. There is a maximum of 5 books per person at this discounted These deals will last until Monday.


Vyrso has a list of ebook deals.

Other Deals

Here are a few other deals that may be of interest:

  • Visual Verses will have everything at 40% off (use coupon code THANKS) on Friday and Saturday.
  • Significat, which offers handcrafted plaques, will have everything at 30% off with coupon code BlackFriday30.
  • HopeInk has their items at 30% off with coupon code GIVETHANKS2012.

If your company or ministry has things on sale that would fit this round-up, please do let me know.

November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday - There are lots of Cyber Monday deals available today from Christian retailers. I’ve got a round-up underway; just click the link to see some of the most notable deals. One of the big ones is Amazon discounting the Kindle Fire, today only. 

Why Can’t India Feed Its People? - I heard about India’s inability to feed its people from many of the people I spent time with in India. This story looks at the issue.

Leading in Finances - “I’m addressing this article primarily to pastors and leaders to prompt some serious thinking about our ministries and finances, but I hope it will have lots of things to say to anyone and everyone about living generously and encouraging others to do so too.”

Enjoy this Time - I think most parents will be able to identify with what Elisha says in this article. Like every parent, she is always told, “Enjoy this time…”

Marriages Falling Apart - Deepak Reju provides a list of 10 ways that Satan just loves to watch marriages fall apart.

Good News of Great Joy - Here’s a free ebook from John Piper that will help prepare you for the advent season.

In the Rearview Mirror - There are good thoughts here from Staci Eastin: “Not long ago I was talking with a young mom who was discouraged by her husband’s long work hours. This happens to be a subject with which I’m familiar. Until just after our second child was born, my husband worked seven days a week for most of the year.”

In our sufferings for Christ there is joy, not so when we suffer for our sins. —John Trapp

November 25, 2012

This is the thirteenth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, faith, pride, election, and revelation.

Stated simply, atonement refers to the act by which someone or something is cleansed from sin.

The concept is first introduced in reference to the installation of the priesthood and the consecration of the tabernacle for Israel’s worship (see Exodus 29:35-37).

Atonement is then applied to the rest of the nation when God institutes the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) in Leviticus 16. This is the day every year when, through animal sacrifices and a scapegoat, the high priest would symbolically cleanse the priests and tabernacle from the defilement of sin, and then do the same for all the people of Israel.

As the storyline of Scripture progresses, we begin to hear of a greater atonement that God is preparing for his people, one that will fully and finally deal with sin and be eternally effective (see Ezekiel 16:59-63). We see in the New Testament that this sacrifice is the death of Jesus Christ.

The author of Hebrews links the death of Christ to the old covenant concept of atonement, and then shows how much greater Jesus’ sacrifice is:

Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:11-14)

The glory of Christ’s atonement is that it is no longer limited to a particular nation (Israel) or location (the tabernacle) and neither is it merely symbolically represented through animal sacrifices. By his own blood Jesus has reconciled us to God genuinely and forever, and he holds out this reconciliation to all who trust in his sacrifice on their behalf.

November 24, 2012

Squeezing Harder Than That - This is some very good writing from Douglas Wilson. “Now I can understand a vote against women bishops as a preliminary move to try to undo the ordination of women priests. And I can understand a vote for women bishops as the next logical step after having established the practice of ordaining women priests. What I don’t get is the affirming the ordination of women priests and opposing them as bishops. The pig, once swallowed by the python, has to move on down the line.”

NFL Long Shot - This is a long article but a very interesting read. It describes the hard life of an NFL long shot.

Too Introspective - Trevin Wax wrote an article on the danger of Puritan-like introspection. Both Jeremy Walker and Carl Trueman have offered helpful responses.

Twice-Yearly Sale - ChristianAudio is having their twice-yearly sale, which means that they’ve got a lot of good audio books that have been reduced in price. (Lots of bad ones, too…)

Was Spurgeon Off His Rocker? - “It was a stretch you might say. A 19th century British preacher apprehended a 3,000-year-old psalm for peace and courage in the midst of dire circumstances. Andree Seu Peterson tells the story in a recent article…”

There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. —Jonathan Edwards

November 23, 2012

Free Stuff Fridays

This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by CBD Reformed. CBD is offering some great Black Friday deals today and you may want to check them out. In the meantime, also be sure to sign up for this giveaway. Today they are giving out five prizes, each of which will contain the following three items:

  • ESV Global Study BibleESV Global Study Bible (Hardcover) - Retail price $29.99
  • Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges - Retail Price $19.99
  • Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur – Retail Price $22.99

That’s a pretty good collection of great books, so sign up now!

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.

November 23, 2012

It’s Black Friday today, and for the past few days I’ve been trying to put together a list of deals that may be of particular interest to Christians. You can find that page right here. There are lots of deals on books, music and other items.

Black Friday Deals to Avoid - There are some good reasons to hit the stores on Black Friday, but this article gives a few items that tend not to be worth it.

The Moment of Salvation - Here are ten things that happen at the moment of salvation.

Anti-Santy Ranty - I don’t make it a habit to beat up on Santa (since, after all, he’s a pretty easy mark). But I did enjoy this poetic comparison of Santa and God.

Truth has no degrees or shades. A half truth is a whole lie, and a white lie is really black. —John MacArthur