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A La Carte

September 21, 2016

This week’s deal from Westminster Books is a significant discount on Paul Tripp’s new book on parenting (which I intend to review shortly). They’ve got some other parenting resources discounted to go along with it.

Today’s Kindle deals include just two: Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Down and Preaching with Bold Assurance by Hershael York.

Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go

This is a good one from Jason DeRouchie: “In my years of pastoral ministry and parenting, I have regularly encountered confusion regarding the meaning of a well-known verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Let me offer some reflections on it, considering its lasting significance for the church.”

Giving to the Church Is Not Paying Your Bills

“How do you view giving in the local church? As I listen to what Christians say and read what they write I get the impression that many people think of giving simply as paying another bill. Giving is just like paying the utility or cable bill. Is this what you think?”

Watch Your Reviews

This video explains how reviews with the “free or discounted” disclaimer are often heavily biased.

Made To Flourish

Made to Flourish is an organization that “provides resources and training to empower a growing network of pastors to connect Sunday faith to Monday work for their churches.” They’ve just relaunched their website and offer lots of great resources.

Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity?

Michael Kruger has a substantial challenge to Andy Stanley’s recent suggestion that Christians need to stop basing their faith on the Bible.

This Day in 1522. 494 years ago today the first edition of Martin Luther’s German translation of the New Testament was published. *

12 Myths About Calvinism

Michael Patton attempts to dispel a few common misconceptions about Calvinism.

How Methodists Invented Your Kid’s Grape Juice Sugar High

This article is tongue-in-cheek but still informative. “If your church uses grape juice for Communion, you’ve adapted an ancient ritual by grafting in a beverage that’s roughly as old as Coca-Cola. Whether that bothers you or not, I think we all can admit that it’s still kind of…weird.”

US-Canada Border Slash

“The US-Canada border is the longest in the world. Stretching 5,525 miles from Maine to Alaska, traversing land, sea, and untouched wilderness, you’d assume that this colossal border would be left untouched by mankind, merely an invisible line on a map. You’d be wrong.”

Flashback: Did You Marry the Wrong Person?

I think most married people wonder that at one time or another. It may not be a question filled with true angst and regret, but one that may persist at the back of their mind.

Jesus Christ knows you completely. Why would you ever run from someone who knows everything about you and still loves you? —Colin Smith

September 20, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis, A Better Way by Michael Horton, Preaching by Calvin Miller, and Women and Ministry by Dan Doriani.

Samsung’s Rush to Beat Apple

I took 4 flights this weekend and on each one we were told repeatedly not to use or recharge a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on board the plane. This article tells how they ended up with such a serious but preventable problem.

10 Things You should Know about 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Sam Storms continues his excellent series by turning his attention to “10 things we should know about the most controversial passage in the Bible when it comes to the role/relationship between men and women.”

Why Complementarianism Remains Important

On a similar note, Richard Phillips tells why complementarianism remains an important subject. He says “I am … grateful for the way this controversy, though regrettably contentious, has highlighted massively important issues of theology that tend to receive little attention. At the same time, my hope is that this attempt to reform the complementarian position will not truly damage the important stand it takes.”

My Mom Grew Up in a Utopian Colony in Iowa

What an interesting story about Amana, Iowa, and the people who once lived there.

The Sent God

Fred Sanders offers a really neat reflection on the Trinity. Only in Christianity could we rightly say “God sent God and God.”

10 Things That Are True When I Confess My Sin

“Ponder these thoughts concerning God, sin, grace, forgiveness, and the sufficiency of Christ and his sacrificial work on your behalf. When I confess my sin…”

This Day in 1884. 132 years ago today Dr. Horace Newton Allen arrived in Korea where evangelizing was illegal. Refusing to flee during the Seoul rebellion, Allen was given the opportunity to tend for a prince. Grateful, the king lifted restrictions on Christianity. *

10 Ways to Practice Normal Evangelism

Sometimes we need the simple reminders.

Don’t Let Email Zombies Eat Up Your Day

Ouch: “Let’s face it: Email is killing our productivity. The average person checks their inbox 11 times per hour, processes 122 messages a day, and spends 28 percent of their total workweek managing their inbox.”

Flashback: How To Lose Your Zeal for Christ

Are you zealous for Christ? Do you have a genuine zeal to live for him and to advance his cause in the world? Or have you lost the zeal that once marked you? 

The life of a Christian is wondrously ruled in this world, by the consideration and mediation of the life of another world. —Richard Sibbes

September 19, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a pretty good selection from Crossway (Ancient Word, Changing World by Stephen Nichols & Eric Brandt; Understanding Scripture edited by Wayne Grudem; Why Trust the Bible? by Greg Gilbert; Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? by James Hoffmeier) and Matthis Media (Saving Eutychus by Gary Miller & Phil Campbell; Wisdom in Leadership by Craig Hamilton; One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm; etc). Browse them all here.

A Trillion First Responders

“It’s the largest security force in the world. A teeming network of first responders that live on nearly every surface of your body, inside and out. They’re not part of the body, like your immune system—they’re immigrants—but they’re still naturalized citizens, and without them your world couldn’t function.”

The Frozen Standard Version

Alan Jacobs provides his take on the final text of the ESV (both the reality of a final text and the actual text they chose to finalize).

The Mystery of Van Gogh’s Final Breakdown

“Researchers and biographers have speculated for years what exactly caused his mental deterioration, but no one has been able to definitively say, though a recent analysis by a team of experts concluded that Van Gogh suffered from repeated ‘psychosis’ in his final 18 months.”

Find a Friend to Wound You

“After the initial assault on my pride, a wave of gratitude and relief washed over me. Finally, the truth I had been evading — the God I had been evading — caught me. God used a friend’s honesty to awaken me from spiritual slumber.”

What Is Preaching Anyway?

Jared Wilson: “Contrary to popular wisdom, good preaching has little to do with eloquence, fashion, or the length of a sermon. Good preaching is all about content and posture.”

This Day in 1853. 163 years ago today James Hudson Taylor set sail from England to China where he later founded the China Inland Mission. *

Why Do We Say “Roger” or “Roger That?”

Here’s the orgin of “roger” or “roger that” as a form of confirmation.

The Biggest Temple in Town

David Mathis: “Many Christians aren’t allured in the least by spectator sports. God bless you. But for those of us who claim Jesus as Lord and also get hyped about our favorite teams, we need a regular soul-check. And especially at the onset of football season.”

Flashback: How an App Revitalized My Prayer Life

It has been at least a couple of years since I made the move from organizing my prayers in a book to organizing my prayers in an app, and, at least for now, I don’t ever see myself going back.

God loves you right now. He doesn’t love some future version of you that tries harder or is more obedient. —Justin Holcomb

September 17, 2016

I’m spending the weekend down here in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet a few of you today at The Forging Men Conference or tomorrow at Bible Church of Little Rock.

How To Get Logos 7

Purchasing Logos Bible Software can be a little bit complicated. This article explains the various options.

I Was a Teenage Pastor

H.B. Charles Jr. (a preacher I always love to listen to) on “What diving into church leadership at 17 taught me about building a ministry that lasts.” You might want to skip up to the 8-minute mark to skip the banter between the hosts.

What Is a Vector?

You’ve probably heard the word “vector” used in various contexts. This little video explains what they are and why they are so useful.

Would You Kiss Your Bride Through a Veil?

There’s a great title for an article on the importance of knowing the original biblical languages.

Stop the Revolution. Join the Plodders

Kevin DeYoung levels an important challenge.

This Day in 1575. 441 years ago today Swiss reformer Henry Bullinger died. Bullinger had arguably the greatest influence on second-generation Reformers after John Calvin. *

Don’t Be a 9Marxist!

9Marks has a kind of warning against misusing their material. “9Marks talks a lot about authority in the church—authority in preaching, authority in membership and discipline practices, authority among the elders. The thing is, sinners like us easily abuse the authority that God gives. So even as 9Marks encourages churches to avoid the squishy complacency of nominal Christianity, we also don’t want churches to err in the direction of being doctrinaire and authoritarian.”

A Family Affair

Carl Trueman looks at a situation of a mother and daughter who are in trouble for marrying one another. This leads to an examination of consent as the ultimate determiner of morality.

Millennials Don’t Need Your “Cool”

My thanks goes to CLC Publications for sponsoring the blog this week.

Flashback: Compromising God’s Standards for Sexuality

“As Christians we are adept at looking at the culture around us and seeing how it is violating God’s good standards when it comes to sexuality. Not too long ago, though, I was asked to reflect on the ways in which Christians may compromise God’s standards for sexuality…”

Open transgression of God’s law slays its thousands, but wordliness its tens of thousands.J.C. Ryle 

September 16, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Unseen Realities by R.C. Sproul; NIV Zondervan Study Bible edited by D.A. Carson; MacArthur Study Bible NKJV or NASB; NIV Archaeological Study Bible; Four Views of the End Times by Timothy Paul Jones; The History of Protestantism by J.A. Wylie.

Westminster Books is having a clearance sale to clear out some titles they’ve got too many of. There are some really good deals to be had.

Desiring to Rule Over Genesis 3:16

Nick Batzig lays out the different interpretation options for Genesis 3:16. 

The Invention That Changed the World

I guess there have been a few inventions that have changed the world, but this video presents one you probably wouldn’t think of.

3 Ways Spurgeon Conquered His Secret Sin

“For the past century, Charles Spurgeon’s strengths have often overshadowed his weaknesses. His biographers are largely to blame, painting the preacher as a superhero incapable of vice or vulnerability. Yet warts reveal as much as dimples do. Spurgeon had both. He experienced seasons of success, but he also harbored hidden faults — secret sins that sought to undermine his ministry.”

The Racial Heresy in Southern Baptist History

Timothy Paul Jones: “The founders of the Southern Baptist Convention and of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were zealous defenders of biblical orthodoxy. They were also heretics.” 

Seven Principles for Angry Parents Disciplining Angry Children

Here’s Kevin DeYoung: “In Ephesians 6:4, God tells fathers—though I think it’s okay for moms to listen in—to raise children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He also warns against provoking our children to anger. So how do we do one without the other? How do we discipline exasperating kids without in turn exasperating them unnecessarily?”

This Day in 1672. 344 years ago today Puritan Anne Bradstreet, America’s first noteworthy poet, died. *

​The Seven Fears Controlling Controllers

David Murray says “Although controlling/authoritarian/obsessive people often seem intimidatingly strong and confident, at heart they are insecure people who are controlled by a number of fears.”

Highway in the Sky

I love these Wendover Productions videos. This one discusses highways in the sky.

Free OIA Summary Booklet

OIA Bible study is a wonderful tool. With this tool, anyone can get to know the Lord Jesus by learning to study his word.” Here’s a free booklet to introduce you to a great method.

Flashback: I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian

I get the books. I read the articles. I see the news. Christianity seems ready to move on. And I realize anew: I am an old-fashioned kind of Christian.

We are never more than poor beggars telling other poor beggars where there is bread.D.A. Carson

September 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of new ones: How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin and Pastors in the Classics by Leland Ryken. As always, you can find today’s deals and deals from the past few days at the Kindle Deals for Christians page.

On the ESV’s Rendering of Genesis 3:16

Denny Burk offers some thoughts on the ESV’s new rendering of Genesis 3:16.

5 Key Realities the Bible Teaches about God’s Love

D.A. Carson teaches about God’s love.

Less Redeeming Things and More Enjoying Them

I appreciate this: “As I’ve gotten older, slightly less annoying, and, hopefully, more godly, I’ve come to see that in most leisure situations, the most godly thing to do is simply sit back and experience joy.”

The Long View: Developing Faithfulness

“Mature, steady, faithful people are a precious commodity.”

God May Postpone Your Relief for His Glory

“As you ponder God’s delay, as you wait for his answer, remember that he is with you. He will glorify himself in your waiting.”

This Day in 1648. 368 years ago today the Larger and Shorter Westminster Catechisms were approved by the British Parliament. Watch Chad Van Dixhoorn discuss the Westminster Confession. *

Shorter Sermons

Josh Buice makes a case for shorter sermons. And, in general, I agree with what he says.

Don’t Live for a Compliment from Your Husband

This is equally applicable to husbands waiting for compliments from their wives.

Flashback: A Failure of Worship

“We are neither taught nor inclined to think of addicted persons as being actively and passionately engaged in the pursuit of the good life. We tend to think of them as persons who have checked out of the game or who are positively bent on destruction. But this is not so.”

I cannot comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called.C.H. Spurgeon

September 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham; What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul; and Compassion Without Compromise by Adam Barr & Ron Citlau.

William Wilberforce’s Relentless Battle to End Slavery

“Sometimes carrying out a particular ministry that the Lord would have us to fulfill requires not just weeks or months of effort. Sometimes it demands many years or even several decades of unrelenting, determined endeavor.” Wilberforce is a sterling example of it.

Why You Should Read Through the Entire Bible as Fast as Possible

Have you ever tried to read the Bible through as quickly as possible?

Taking a Vacation from God?

“Since the command not to forsake the assembly (Heb. 10:24-25) extends far beyond geographical boundaries, one of the things that I have longed to see in our highly transitional congregation is a commitment to find a solidly biblical church in which to worship while on vacation. I assume that I am not alone in this desire.” You’re not!

Is Genesis 1 History?

“There’s a new documentary on Genesis coming out early next year that looks interesting. Del Tackett travels across the U.S. with scientists and theologians to see evidence that the book of Genesis is accurate history, from creation in six days, to a real Adam, to a global flood, to the tower of Babel. There’s a lot more info on their website if you’re interested in learning more…”

This Day in 1741. 275 years ago today George Frederick Handel finished composing “The Messiah” after only 24 days, subsisting primarily on coffee, as the story goes. *

10 Things You Should Know About Persecution

Tim Keesee rounds them up.

Every Woman’s Call to Work

“We may assume that because a woman prioritizes her home such that she has no paycheck, she is ardently opposed to any work outside of it, and we also may assume that because a woman is getting a paycheck, she disdains the work of the home. These are unkind and dangerous presumptions that create inflated divisions in Christ’s body.”

Decision Making & “I Have a Peace About It”

Here are some good thoughts about a phrase that some people may use too freely.

Flashback: 5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship

“Here are some ways I’ve seen people ruin what could have been a beautiful thing.”

God’s anger is aroused toward only one thing: what is objectively, truly, and always wrong. In other words, sin. —David Powlison

September 13, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include the entire Counterpoints series from Zondervan. Each of the Counterpoints volumes examines multiple views of a pressing theological topic. You’ll also find deals on The Lordship of Christ by Vern Poythress, a new volume from GLH Publishing, and a bunch more. Get them here.

I like to keep my ear to the ground for new products added to the Logos store. Some recent ones include a 3-volume upgrade to New Studies in Biblical Theology. God With Us by D.A. Carson is on pre-pub as is the Matt Chandler Sermon Archive if you like to have sermons in your collection.

Utopia Is Burning

Peter Jones writes about the Burning Man festival. “Burning Man sets the agenda for popular culture. In acts of shameless self-expression, they abandon all inhibition and wander around naked in the desert doing ecstasy and acid, visiting the anonymous-sex-orgy dome (open 24/7), joining in fire dancing, yoga, and meditation. No one is allowed a hint of judgmentalism.”

10 Things About Mutual Submission

Sam Storms continues his “10 things” series by looking at the concept of mutual submission.

Ground Zero Bible

How is it that I had never heard before of the Ground Zero Bible? What a neat story!

Reading for the Rest of Us

Here are some great tips for those who want to read more.

Looking for Satisfaction in All the Wrong Places

Here’s a good one from Randy Alcorn: “The world is full of desperate people thirsting for happiness. In their quest, they eagerly drink from contaminated sources of water, mistakenly believing it will satisfy their thirst.”

This Day in 1541. 475 years ago today Calvin received an uproarious welcome to Geneva after having been banished by its authorities three years earlier. *

Looking for Contentment?

“Sometimes I create in my mind a misguided picture of contentment. I imagine a fairly carefree disposition of someone who’s got her life in balance. She’s not overworked or bothered by much. She knows just the right thing to say and her relationships are full of encouragement, mutual respect, and long conversations at cozy coffee shops.”

How to Tame Your Tongue

I’m with Scott here: “I regret the foolish things I’ve said more than the foolish things I’ve done. The longer I have lived and read my Bible, the more I realized how much damage thoughtless and malicious words can do to people.”

Flashback: I’ve Never Been Mistaken for Brad Pitt

This one goes back a few years: “A couple of days ago I was driving around Los Angeles (in a hybrid car, mind you—how CA-cliché is that?) with a couple of friends (neither of whom look like Pitt or Depp) and we began to discuss celebrity culture within the church and the tough task of any but the absolute best preachers.”

Exercising authority does not increasse my status or value, any more than submitting to authority reduces my status or value. —Christopher Ash