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A La Carte

March 14, 2015

Before I Go is a powerful bit of writing from Paul Kalanithi in which he opens up about his battle with advanced lung cancer and how he is facing his own mortality. (Note: Kalanithi succumbed to cancer just days ago.)

C. Michael Patton outlines 4 Characteristics of Legalism.

Yes, you can Be Happy When Someone Leaves Your Church, even if it’s difficult. How? There’s really only one church – and that’s Jesus’ church.

Deepak Reju has A Marriage Preparation Inventory that looks like an excellent tool for pre-marriage counselling.

Gavin Peacock says that the modern day litmus test for inerrancy is marriage. “Marriage is so intrinsically linked to the image of God, the authority of God and the gospel that to deny it is to deny the truth about God.”

Does Your Schedule Know You’re a Christian Dad? Steve Watters offers some good counsel in this article from CBMW.

Thanks to MereChurch for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Three Roads to Joy in Bi-vocational Ministry.

Here are 5 Things People Blame the Church For, but shouldn’t.

A message of grace will attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them. —Jared Wilson

Wilson

March 13, 2015

Amazon has begun another of their The Big Deal sales, where they mark down hundreds of Kindle books across all genres. Christian deals include: Lit! by Tony Reinke ($1.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($1.99); Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian ($1.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($2.99). You’ll also find a selection of volumes in the HCSB commentary series at $1.99 each: Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra - Esther, Nahum - Malachi, Mark, Luke, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians - Colossians, 1 Thessalonians - Philemon, 1 Peter - Jude.

Cage-Stage Calvinism - R.C. Sproul: “Cage-stage Calvinists are identifiable by their insistence on turning every discussion into an argument for limited atonement or for making it their personal mission to ensure everyone they know hears—often quite loudly—the truths of divine election.”

Why Some Pregnant Moms Don’t Wait to Announce - “Greater openness around miscarriage has us rethinking first trimester etiquette.”

All About a Number - I admit that this short film is a bit melodramatic, but you’ll probably see at least a glimpse of yourself in it.

Revival at Yale - Vance Christie does what he does so well in this short article.

Gospel Transformation Bible - If you’ve been after a Gospel Transformation Bible, Westminster Book has them deeply discounted for a few days.

Chameleon’s Colour Magic - And it just evolved that way, right?

Ten Punctuation Mistakes - You’ve been warned.

The whole business of Christianity contradicts sense. We give up the visible for invisible rewards. —Thomas Manton

Manton

March 12, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Intellectuals Don’t Need God and Other Modern Myths by Alister McGrath ($0.99); Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper ($0.99); How To Be a Christian in a Brave New World by Joni Eareckson Tada ($0.99); There Is a Plan by Ravi Zacharias ($0.99); The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones ($0.99); Biblical Words and their Meaning by Moises Silva ($1.99).

Google’s CFO Retires - There is some wisdom in this memo from Patrick Pichette in which he explains why he has chosen to retire.

Shells for Jesus - “A couple of times my family went to the beach, where we hunted for shells and shark’s teeth. I thought of the Christians who struggle with such frivolity. How can a Christian collect shells when people are going to hell?”

Biblical Eldership - Biblical Eldership is a web site that offers an impressive collection of resources on an important topic.

A Taste of Austria - Here is a stunning timelapse video of Austria.

From Lesbianism to Complementarianism - Jackie Hill Perry tells her story.

Shepherds’ Conference 2015 - All of the video from the recent Shepherds’ Conference Inerrancy Summit is now available.

A Brief Defense of Infant Baptism - While I continue to hold to believer’s baptism, I do appreciate Kevin DeYoung’s defense of infant baptism.

We must not be concerned only with that which troubles us, but with all that troubles God. —John Owen

Owen

March 11, 2015

I dug up a few new Kindle deals today: Introducing the New Testament by D.A. Carson ($0.99); The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2 ($1.99); Unleashing the Word by Max McLean ($0.99); Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon ($0.99); The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley ($4.99); The Gospel Commission by Michael Horton ($3.99); The Promises of Grace by Bryan Chapell ($1.99); Raised? by Jonathan Dodson ($0.99).

Preparing for Easter - This week’s deals from Westminster Books will help you get ready for Easter.

A Good [Wo]man is Easy to Find - Yes! “Whenever I have languished around wishing and hoping and dreaming for mentors, I have found myself lacking them. Yet when I have engaged in the ministry of mentorship myself, I find myself in an abundance of counselors.”

Why Salvation Is Far from Some People - “One characteristic of those the Bible describes as ‘wicked’ is that they do not seek God’s statutes, God’s Word. For that reason, ‘Salvation is far from’ them since the way of salvation—the way to God—is found only in the Word of God.”

The Cost of Relativism - “We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.”

The Dreadful Loneliness of Life Without Scripture - Here’s a good article with a great title.

An African Ordination - You’ll enjoy reading this little glimpse into an African ordination service.

It is better to go bruised to heaven than sound to hell. —Richard Sibbes

Sibbes

March 10, 2015

Making it Clearer - This is a fantastic bit of writing from Jeremy Walker as he responds to a series on the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. You may need to read a couple of other articles for context.

A True Modern Marvel - Sometimes those things we take for granted are actually real marvels—things like the aluminum can.

4 Keys to Evangelism in Honor-Shame Cultures - Cross-culture evangelism just fascinates me. This author writes about how to share the gospel in honor-shame cultures.

Who Should Raise Your Children? - Trevin Wax goes back in history a little to look at the problems with universal day care.

Complementarianism & The Single Woman - Katie Van Dyke: “I am single. I am complementarian. A lot of times people don’t see how those things go hand in hand.”

9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church - Kevin DeYoung offers 9 marks of a church that isn’t doing so well.

What keeps most of us from God is not the sin we know we have, but the righteousness we think we have. —Nate Larkin

Larkin

March 09, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert ($3.99); Covenantal Apologetics by K. Scott Oliphant ($3.99); Jesus or Nothing by Dan DeWitt ($2.99); Apologetics for the Twenty-First Century by Louis Markos ($3.99); Can You Believe It’s True? by John Feinberg ($5.99). If you didn’t check in on Saturday, take a look at the Christian Focus Kindle deals.

A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions - A couple of weeks ago I linked to part 1 in this series. Parts 2 and 3 are also worth reading.

Leave It To Beaver - Mary Kassian’s article is titled, “Leave It to Beaver, Sex and the City, and a Woman’s Happiness.”

Is There a Future? - Is there a future for the impossibly hopeless people in our communities? Mez McConnell answers the question.

4 Types of Sermons to Avoid - Derek Thomas provides the list.

Looking Forward to Heaven - TGC interviews Randy Alcorn about heaven. “What difference is heaven supposed to make in our lives now? Why do you think many Christians don’t look forward to heaven any more? What are some of the biggest misconceptions about heaven?”

The Gospel According to Pinterest - “Projects I will never tackle, recipes I will never cook, and homemade cleaning solutions I will never try - they all mocked me horrendously. Staring at all the amazing things other women are doing, I felt ashamed.”

Because of the gospel, I no longer live for approval; I live from approval. —Dave Harvey

Harvey

March 07, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Preaching? by Alec Motyer ($3.99); Your Future Other Half by Rebecca Vandoodewaard ($2.99); The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace by Richard C. Barcellos ($3.99); Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul ($1.99).

This grieving grandmother writes that This is NOT a Disney World… ” I got a phone call from my son. He told me that his two-year-old daughter (who doesn’t live with him) had somehow gotten out of the house the night before into the bitter Wisconsin winter.”

David Prince offers A Simple Guide to Reading and Applying the Bible with Jesus as the Hero.

Canadians may be interested in this article from Macleans that tells what happened on Parliament Hill on October 22 (the day Nathan Cirillo was shot).

Preachers may want to consider these 3 Questions for Managing the Heart. I especially like this one: On Monday morning, do you believe what you prayed Saturday night?

Douglas Groothuis explains why we shouldn’t use the word porn for anything but smut.

Thanks to HCSB for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Let’s Be Clear: Clarity in Bible Translation.

We must show sympathy with sinners, but not with their sins. —C.H. Spurgeon

Spurgeon

March 06, 2015

I’ve got just a few new Kindle deals today: Identity by Eric Geiger ($0.99); Defending Inerrancy by Norman Geisler ($1.99); A Year of Prayer by John MacArthur ($4.99); New from GLH Publishing is The Character of a Genuine Theologian by Herman Witsius ($0.99).

The Difference Between Outrage and Accountability - Yes! “For the Christian, shame and outrage can never be ends in themselves. While we value accountability, Christian accountability should always be oriented toward reconciliation and restoration - and seasoned with humility and love.”

What It Means And Does Not Mean To Honor Our President - Mark Altrogge follows up.

Let Boys be Non-Medicated Boys - “Even the goodness of boyhood energy is broken by the fall. But in most cases, what if we are getting the diagnosis wrong?  What if ADHD seems more like God-given characteristics of what it means to actually be a boy?”

The Man in the Van - ESPN has a great profile of one of the quirkiest players in Major League Baseball.

The Life and Theology of Paul - Ligonier Ministries is putting together a great selection of courses; the latest one looks at the life and theology of Paul; the first lecture is free. (Also consider their $5 Friday sale which has some good books and commentaries.)

The Secret Shame of Abortion in the Church - “In the church, we face the challenge of upholding the sanctity of life, while simultaneously ministering to women who feel overwhelming shame about their abortions.”

Because of Jesus the sin we cannot forget God does not remember. —Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian

March 05, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals: B&H has put their “Perspectives” series on sale for $2.99 each (each offers multiple perspectives on an issue): Christian Worship, Our Struggle With Sin, Family Ministry, Tithing, Church Government, Spirit Baptism, Children’s Spiritual Formation, the Doctrine of God, Your Child’s Education, Sabbath, Election, the Ending of Mark, Christian America.

Three Christian Misconceptions About Muslims - “When the average Westerner hears ‘Muslim,’ a number of images come to mind—mostly negative. But most Muslims would be just as horrified as we are at the assumptions entertained about them.”

We Are Called to Be Irritating - “The writer of Hebrews is emphasizing an intentional provoking or promoting of ‘love and good works’.”

The Internet Is Public Space - Mike Wittmer offers some thoughts on the Internet.

What Scares the New Atheists - “The vocal fervour of today’s missionary atheism conceals a panic that religion is not only refusing to decline – but in fact flourishing.”

Do Women Look at Porn? - Covenant Eyes shares some stats.

Guard and Repair - Here are 7 ways to guard and repair relationships.

Morality may damn as well as vice. A vessel may be sunk with gold as well as with dung. —Thomas Watson

Watson

March 04, 2015

You Don’t Need a Bucket List - Randy Alcorn explains that because of the resurrection you do not need to have a bucket list.

Everything a Child Should Know About God - Westminster Books has a great sale on an excellent new book meant to teach the basics of theology to young kids. I read through it a while ago and am glad to recommend it.

Lord, Make Me a Generous Father - “It takes my breath away to consider that, whether they know it or not, the primary way my kids are learning about their Father in heaven is through their father on earth.”

10 Ways to Hate People - It’s a quick, bulleted list, but each of them merits some thought.

MereChurch - MereChurch is a new company that wants to help good churches have good and cost-effective web sites.

Worship Is More Important than Your Small Group - I completely agree.

How We Study the Bible - This is helpful: 5 people offer a short explanation as to how they read the Bible day-by-day.

Man was never meant to be a god, but he is forever trying to deify himself. —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Lloyd Jones

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