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A La Carte

September 30, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include a new title from GLH Publishing: John Owen’s Communion with God ($0.99). You might also consider: 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli ($2.99); Christian Worship by Segler & Bradley ($2.99); Perspectives on Christian Worship by various ($2.99); and The Remarkable Wisdom of Solomon by Henry Morris ($2.99). Also, The Paradox of Choice isn’t a Christian book, but is interesting nonetheless ($2.99).

Sooner Count the Stars

Today marks the release of Sooner Count the Stars, a new album from Sovereign Grace Music. I’ve listened to most of it and have really enjoyed it.

James Is, You Know, in the Bible

Rick Phillips says it well: “I can think of few messages more urgently needed by our worldly churches today than the necessity of pursuing practical holiness through obedience and good works.”


Randy Alcorn has a new book out titled Happiness. He is also hosting a webcast and Twitter chat this afternoon and invites you to participate.

Popular Popes and Priestly Pretenders

Nate Busenitz’s article “addresses one of the many reasons why evangelicals should neither endorse nor applaud the office of the papacy.”

Mars and the Majesty of Christ

“The vastness and beauty of the Milky Way should elicit a response from us. That response should be neither one of pagan nature worship nor greedy utility, but of wonder and awe at Christ Jesus in his infinite vastness and immeasurable beauty.”

This Day in 1953. Bruce Ware was born. Happy 62nd birthday, Bruce!

Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox

When and if you run up against GMail’s limits, this article will help you get cleaned up.

The Difficulty of Prayer (and a Solution)

Mark Jones admits the difficulty and works toward a solution.


Our marriages preach. They preach a message that either attracts or repels our children. —William Farley

September 29, 2015

There are lots of Kindle deals today. Defending Inerrancy by Norm Geisler ($2.99); Handbook to Scripture by Kenneth Boa ($0.99). The New American Commentary series is also on sale with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an askterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, Mark, Luke*, John 1-11, John 12:21, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians*, Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy/Titus, James, 1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 John, Revelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11, Exodus, Leviticus*, Numbers*, Deuteronomy, Joshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra/Nehemiah/Esther*, Job, Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Isaiah 1-39, Jeremiah/Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea/Joel, Amos/Obadiah/Jonah, Micah-Zephaniah, Zechariah, Haggai/Malachi.

What Pastors Wish Their Worship Leaders Knew

Bob Kauflin offers quite a good list of things pastors wish their worship leaders knew.

Advice for a Young Man Dating a Young Woman

I think this is a tremendously helpful collection of wisdom for the young man pursuing the young lady. My favorite line: “Whether she’s your future wife, or someone else’s, her body is not for your touch and your touch is not ready for her body.”

McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast

McDonald’s all-day breakfast is pretty much the best thing ever. Except for the part about it not being available in Canada! Anyway, this article explains how it came to be.

Step Into the Page

I enjoyed this video of Glen Keane (who animated many of Disney’s best-loved characters) doing what he lives to do, but in virtual reality.

This Day in 1770. George Whitefield preaches his last sermon—the day before he died. He said, “Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not of it.” *

ESV Thinline

Westminster Books has cut the prices on the Thinline edition of the ESV. It’s cheap enough that you can buy it in quantities and give it away! 

The Puritan Influence on the Press

Marvin Olasky: “Publications in the 17th century usually put out only news that would make the king or his officials look good, but New England Puritans encouraged the reporting of bad news because they saw everything, good and bad, as a message from God.”


When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. —C.H. Spurgeon

September 28, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include God’s Design for Man and Woman by Andreas & Margaret Kostenberger ($2.99); The Joy of Calvinism by Greg Forster ($2.99); Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half by Rick Johnson ($1.99); Taking the Bible at its Word by Paul Wells ($3.99).

Ashokan Farewell

“When the documentary The Civil War debuted 25 years ago, it gave a new life—and old history—to a gorgeous melody.” It really is both distinctive and beautiful.

No Hay Otro

The conference I was at last weekend had its own theme song called “No Hay Otro.” You’ll need a bit of Spanish to get it, but I think you’ll find it’s a good one. Here’s hoping for an English translation.

Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible

This article from Christianity Today has received some well-deserved attention.

What Christmas Carols Get Right (and Wrong)

“Most of us love our Christmas traditions, especially singing the old, familiar carols. From time to time, however, we might well wonder about the correctness of some of the things we’re singing so gustily.”

Medieval Monsters

It is perhaps a little overdone, but this short film on medieval monsters (backyard insects, actually) is entertaining. Plus, God does commend staring at ants at least now and again.

This Day in 1895. “At a convention in Atlanta, three Baptist groups merged to form the National Baptist Convention. It is today the largest African-American denomination in America and the world.” *

Churches in Ruin

Here’s a photo essay of church buildings in Europe that have been left in ruin. It’s a good reminder that the church is the people, not the buildings they inhabit.

How to Read the Bible and Do Theology Well

D.A. Carson: “It’s been said that the Bible is like a body of water in which a child may wade and an elephant may swim. The youngest Christian can read the Bible with profit, for the Bible’s basic message is simple. But we can never exhaust its depth.”


God answers the prayer we ought to have made rather than the prayer we did make. —J.I. Packer

September 26, 2015

It would be difficult for me to explain just what a blessing it has been to spend time with the Christians here in Dominican Republic, and especially at Iglesia Bautista Internacional. Sadly, I have to make my way home today. But I sure hope I can return in the future. God is at work here and it is a joy to see.

Injury Interrupted My Idolatry

Landry Fields: “I hobbled on one crutch to grip my cell phone from my back pocket. I was a starter for the New York Knicks and then the Toronto Raptors. And then I got injured, and then injured again, and then injured again.”

Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible

Mark Galli reminds us “It’s time to turn to Scripture as our final authority.”

What Happens Next Will Amaze You

This article probably goes on for too long, but the first half or so is a fascinating look at the state of Internet security and what happens with all the data you leave behind.

From Antichrist to Brother in Christ

Lifeway reveals the results of a poll in which they asked Protestant pastors for their view of Pope Francis. More than half say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ. (Note: Here are some comments Al Mohler made on CNN.)

This Day in 1861. “A fast day is observed in the northern United States by order of President Abraham Lincoln.” *

Blood Moons and Biblical Discernment

Should we be concerned about the pattern of blood moons that so many people are all worked up about? No. This article tells why.

It Can Wait

This powerful little video is meant to convince you not to text while you drive. I’d say it’s quite effective.

Finally, thanks to RPTS for sponsoring the blog this week with an article for pastors called “Dry and Stale?


Followers of Jesus who count the cost and are willing to take up their crosses after him must have broad shoulders. —Os Guinness

September 25, 2015

Thanks to all who prayed for me and for the Se Hombre conference here in Santo Domingo. A couple of thousand men attended with thousands more watching the livestream. The Lord is at work in Latin America and it’s wildly encouraging. I preach one more time this evening, then head home tomorrow.

Revive ’15

Women may be interested in catching the livestream of Revive ’15 with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and others. The event begins this afternoon.

Hosting and/or Accepting Speaking Engagements

Jared Wilson has some helpful advice for conference speakers and for the people who invite them.

The Lunar Eclipse

Here’s your guide to when and where to watch this weekend’s lunar eclipse.

The Fastest Camera

“A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second. Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.”

This Day in 1929. J. Gresham Machen delivers the inaugural address at Westminster Seminary to a class of fifty students. *

Being Offended and Being Persecuted

Russell Moore distinguishes between offence and persecution.

Nothing Explicitly Christian

Denny Burk listened to the pope’s speech yesterday and provides a few reflections.

Why Don’t Protestants Have a Pope?

Kevin DeYoung turns to Bavinck for the answer.


Too often we confuse popularity with success, and obscurity with failure. —Chris Larson

September 24, 2015

Reformation Heritage Books has their excellent “Cultivating Biblical Godliness” series of minibooks on sale for Kindle at just $0.99 each: How Should Men Lead Their Families?What Is a Christian?Why Should I Fast?, Why Should You Deny Yourself?, How Do I Kill Remaining Sin?, What Is Experiential Calvinism?, What Does It Mean to Love God?, How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship?, How Should Teens Read the Bible?, How Do Preaching and Corporate Prayer Work Together? You might also consider Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell ($3.03).

‘Close Your Eyes and Pretend to Be Dead’

Here’s a long, sad, account of what really happened two years ago in the bloody attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.

Your Rights as a Christian in a Public School

If your children attend a public school, it may be helpful to review their rights.

A Glass Half Full

This is helpful: “I know, we don’t want to be accused of going soft on total depravity, the reality of remaining sin and the temptation to exchange worship of the true God for something in creation. But we have more biblical categories to work with than those, as important as they are.”

Re-ignite Bible Reading That’s Become Boring

David Murray offers some helpful ideas for when you find your Bible reading boring.

MacArthurNow Available. Tom Schreiner has just published an important book on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. This is the first in what will eventually be a 5-part series called The 5 Solas Series. You can now order it at Amazon or Westminster Books.

Print Is Far From Dead

For a while now we have been hearing that print books are doomed. But the statistics just don’t bear that out.


Sin doesn’t stop where we want it to. It keeps taking us further. —Sam Allberry

September 23, 2015

I would appreciate your prayers over the next few days. I am currently heading to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), to speak at Se Hombre. Please pray for safe travels and that I would simply and confidently preach God’s Word.

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine ($2.51); How People Change by Timothy Lane ($2.99); One Anothering by Simon Schrock ($2.99); Mormonism Unmasked by Phillip Roberts ($2.99); The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky ($0.99).

Are We Together?

Ligonier Ministries is giving away R.C. Sproul’s excellent book Are We Together? In it “R.C. Sproul takes his stand for the cardinal doctrines of Protestantism in opposition to the errors of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Is Pro-Life Winning?

Russell Moore: “It’s hard to remember a mobilization of pro-life coalitions like the one we’ve seen in the months since the release of the first video. Planned Parenthood’s human trafficking operations have reignited our political and cultural discussions about abortion and human dignity, and many have testified of the videos’ having a profound—and in some cases, definitive—affect on their views.”

Open Air Preaching

Geoffrey Kirkland says, “As I frequent the streets to open air preach to the masses, I need to review biblical goals of open air preaching so I remember why I do what I do and to guard me from veering off track.”

Volkswagen’s Scandal

This article explains what Volkswagen did, and how they got away with it. (Note: one or two swear words.) “It sounds like the sinister plot of some straight-to-DVD movie. Since 2009, Volkswagen had been installing elaborate software in 482,000 ‘clean diesel’ vehicles sold in the US, so that the cars’ pollution controls only worked when being tested for emissions.”

This Day in 1950. Happy birthday to Tim Keller, who turns 65 today! You can wish him a happy birthday at @timkellernyc.

10 Surprising Facts About LEGO

The article is total clickbait, but still fun.

Reading Better, Retaining More

Trevin Wax has some tips for you.

Hard Not to Cry

It’s hard not to cry watching this video of a man serenading his wife with their old love songs.


While you are unfit to die, you can have no true enjoyment of life. —John Newton

September 22, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: Not a Chance by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($3.99); Old Story New ($0.99) and Long Story Short (free) by Marty Machowski; Living as a Christian by A.W. Tozer ($1.99). Also, while we’re on the subject of Amazon, they’ve got lots of BBC documentaries and dramas on sale today only.

Women in Combat

Writing for Canada’s National Post, this columnist makes some valid (and completely counter-cultural points). He asks, “Why are we determined to put women in combat alongside men when we absolutely refuse to do it in sports?”

Debauching Kermit

This is a sign of the times, I suppose. “What were previously sly winks to a grownup audience are now grotesque full-body grimaces, delivered with depressing sledgehammer brutality.”

How ‘Faith-Based Film’ Became a Dirty Term

“Hollywood is getting hip to the Christian box-office boost, but the directors of movies like Captive don’t want to be lumped in with the religious flops of the past.”

Why You Need To Preach the Song of Songs

James Hamilton has recently completed a commentary on Song of Songs and in this article explains why every church should consider preaching through the book.

5 Ways to Read a Blog Post Without Getting Your Jimmies Rustled

We all need the occasional refresher here.

This Day in 2006: Christianity Today published Collin Hansen’s pivotal article, Young, Restless, Reformed. The article gave a name and definition to a new but discernible movement.

The Man Who Got No Whammies

Here’s a fascinating article about a guy who beat the show Press Your Luck. “Something was very wrong. Here was this guy from nowhere, and he kept going around the board and hitting the bonus boxes every time. It was bedlam, I can tell you. And we couldn’t stop this guy.”

Daniel Norris

There’s little doubt about it: Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Daniel Norris is one of the most interesting people in baseball.


It is treason against the King of kings to tone down the word of the Lord. —C.H. Spurgeon

September 21, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Crossway has 2 excellent Jon Bloom titles on sale: Things Not Seen and Not By Sight ($5.99 each). Also consider Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland ($2.99); His Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke by The Gospel Coalition ($2.99); On Guard For Students by William Lane Craig ($2.99); Onward by Russell Moore ($7.99). New from GLH Publishing is Keeping the Heart by John Flavel ($0.99).

Private Sin, Public Fallout

It is so important that we face this fact: “An inescapable characteristic of the sin of believers is that it always affects other people. Since all believers are part of a community—the Body—even the most personal of sins always spawns devastating public fallout.”

They All Look Alike to Me

Fascinating: “It is not bias or bigotry, the researchers say, that makes it difficult for people to distinguish between people of another race. It is the lack of early and meaningful exposure to other groups that often makes it easier for us to quickly identify and remember people of our own ethnicity or race while we often struggle to do the same for others.”

When You Have to End Support

“One reality of the missionary life is that missionaries will lose supporters. According to Ask A Missionary, most missionaries lose 5-15% of their support during their first two years on the field.” Here’s guidance on ending that support.

3 Objections to the Doctrine of Election

Tim Keller answers 3 common objections to the doctrine of election.

This Day in 1953. C.J. Mahaney was born. Happy birthday to C.J., who turns 62 today!

4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don’t Need to Worry About

Just like the title says, because not all grammatical rules are created equal.

Your Child Is Your Neighbor

On the one hand it’s obvious, but on the other it’s profound: Your child is your neighbor. And the Bible says a lot about how you treat your neighbor.


Jesus isn’t an escape from life’s trials, but he’s our closest friend through them. —Burk Parsons

September 19, 2015

I haven’t been able to track down any Kindle deals that are particularly exciting or noteworthy, so I suppose I will wish you a good weekend, and get straight to some interesting links.

An Earth More Beautiful than Beautiful

Jared Wilson reflects on beauty, and beauty to come.

How to End a Conversation

Because we’ve all been there a few times. Another option is to feign death until the person awkwardly walks away.

What’s Really in the Planned Parenthood Videos?

Amy Hall on the Planned Parenthood videos: “We need to be careful about how we talk about these videos. If you give people even the smallest thing to quibble with (even if it’s not ultimately relevant), that is what they will focus on, and they’ll use it to justify dismissing everything in the videos. This is what I’m seeing happen now.”

The Communist Roots of No-Fault Divorce

“Before the marriage revolution came to America, it came to Russia. And it came as a result of another revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution.” This is a really interesting article from Joe Carter.

Cultivating the Kingdom

I was recently able to be a guest on Cultivating the Kingdom podcast with Allison Burr. You can listen in if you like.

This Day in 1853. At age 21, “James Hudson Taylor sets sail from England for China where he will found the China Inland Mission” (now known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship). *

Consumerism Keeps Us Fed and Starving

“With each visit to the United States, we can never quite predict what will stand out to us. It’s been different things over the last seven years. I remember one time when I was intrigued by the mysterious new section in all of the grocery stores: Organic. On other trips, my children have had their curiosity piqued by women bus drivers, by vending machines, by the presence of church buildings, by people walking dogs in their neighborhoods, and by the dizzying varieties of Oreos.”

The Benefits of Good Posture

This will probably make you feel bad about yourself. But if posture is really that important, it’s probably worth watching.

A Large Need for Small Congregations

Thanks to MereChurch for sponsoring the blog this week.


Unbelief seizes truth, grasps it roughly, silences its voice and twists it away from God’s intended purpose. —Os Guinness