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A La Carte

June 22, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include three deals from Christian Focus. This include A Fistful of Heroes by John Pollock ($2.99) and two of the Trailblazers biographies for young people: David Brainerd and D.L. Moody ($1.99 each). Also consider Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil by Colin Duriez ($2.99), Teach Us To Want by Jen Pollock Michel ($2.99), and the NIV Lifehacks Bible by Joe Carter ($3.99). If you are a Kindle user, be sure to check out Bookcision, a neat little service to easily download your notes and highlights.

Be sure to check out Westminster Books’ deal on The Life We Never Expected. There are other books discounted as well. Also, Grace and Truth Books now has the complete inventory of Richard Belcher’s “A Journey In…” theological novels. Some are heavily discounted.

Logos has the NICOT and NICNT series on sale for just $19.99 each which is a great deal. If you’re like me and love good study Bibles, you may want to get the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible notes which has only just been added.

The Church Praying

The current issue of the 9Marks Journal considers prayer in the life of the church. All the articles are free to read.

5 Things to Pray for the EU Referendum

Tomorrow is a big day for the UK and many are struggling with how to vote. “But God’s Word has not left any of us struggling to know what to pray for. And those who aren’t voting on Thursday still have the privilege of praying—and praying earnestly—for the referendum.”

10 Things You Should Know about Shame

“Let’s start bringing up the problem of shame in our small groups and Sunday school classes and sermons, so that the light of the gospel can begin to free God’s people from its dark grip.”

The Civil War Prisoner Camp That Became a Place of Horror

“The Confederate Civil War prisoner camp in Andersonville, Georgia, was an utter nightmare for the many soldiers held within. It was dangerously overcrowded, rife with disease, and food and medical supplies were always in short supply.” This short video describes it.

Should Christians Support Gun Control?

Thomas Kidd provides an answer by going to history first.

This Day in 2012. 4 years ago today, The Gospel Coalition hosted their first Women’s Conference in Orlando. (And, as it turns out, they just hosted another Women’s Conference last week.) *

A Gift From Schoolchildren

“In 1946, a group of Russian children from the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organisation (sort of a Soviet scouting group) presented a carved wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States to Averell Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.” But it was much more than a mere gift!

One Critical Conviction

This is very good and very important: One critical conviction about God and his Word.

Flashback — The Bestsellers: Jesus Calling

Two years ago I featured Jesus Calling in my series “The Bestsellers.” It continues to dominate the bestseller lists and has now sold more than 10 million copies.

MacArthur

Our security doesn’t depend on our ability to stay saved, but on God’s ability to keep His promise. —John MacArthur

June 21, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Reign of Grace by Scotty Smith ($3.99) and Who Is Jesus? by Darrell Bock ($3.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Atonment by Francis Turretin ($0.99).

What I Can’t Know If I Don’t Know the Trinity

“It’s not only that a proper understanding of the Trinity is some sort of arid proposition we need to check off a list of ‘need to know’ facts to be ‘good Christians.’ Rather, it’s that without a knowledge of the Trinity, we are simply robbed of all of the chief comforts of Christian faith…”

From ‘Caustic’ to ‘Blinding’

Here’s a guy who travels far and wide to get stung by insects and report on which stings are the worst. Here’s his entry for the tarantula hawk: “Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has been dropped into your bubble bath. A bolt out of the heavens. Lie down and scream.”

10 Things You Should Know About What the Roman Catholic Church Believes Regarding Mary

Sam Storms rounds them up.

The Sin of Retaliation

“When someone crosses us or makes demands on us our initial reaction is to respond in the same way. Why not? This is the way we’ve heard that the world works. Right? Retaliation is sinfully seductive and bitterly sweet.”

What Is an “Accurate” Translation?

Bill Mounce demonstrates what a difficult question this is. 

This Day in 1607 and 1579. 409 and 437 years ago today respectively, the first Anglican parish in America was founded, and the first Anglican service in the world was held. *

The Evolution of the Book

What makes a book a book? Is it just anything that stores and communicates information? Or does it have to do with paper, binding, font, ink, its weight in your hands, the smell of the pages? TED-Ed takes a look in this video.

Should Christians in America Fight for the Religious Liberty of Muslims?

David Prince provides an answer.

Flashback: God Does Not Owe Us a Happy Ending

We love stories and viral videos that have happy endings. Yet so often the stories in our own lives do not have such happy endings… 

Stetzer

Never value ability over character. Character eventually catches up. —Ed Stetzer

June 20, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a selection from Crossway by Vern Poythress: Inerrancy and Worldview and Inerrancy and the Gospels ($2.99 each); Redeeming Science, Redeeming Sociology, Redeeming Philosophy ($4.99 each), and Redeeming Mathematics ($3.99). Also consider The ESV and the English Bible Legacy by Leland Ryken ($2.99) and Putting Jesus in His Place by Robert Bowman & J. Ed Komoszewski (free).

My Father

My good friend Sam writes movingly about fatherhood and fatherlessness. “I’ve come to accept that I am probably never going to meet my father. I know that I am probably never going to shake my father’s hand—or give him the most awkward hug in history. I am never going to get to ask him the questions I’ve been wanting to ask since I was old enough to have questions.”

10 Unforgettable Lessons on Fatherhood

Ray Ortlund shares ten lessons on fatherhood he drew from his dad. “In no particular order, here are ten lessons on fatherhood I learned from watching him, each lesson living on in my life from memories of his care for me.”

Sexual Desire and the Single Girl

“Imagine keeping a lion in a small cat-carrier. For years. Day after day. Night after night. He roars. He eats. (A lot.) His energy is endless. And yet you keep him caged.” That’s how Colleen Chao describes sexual desire as a single girl.

Raising Christian Kids in a Public School

If your children are in public schools, you may appreciate Melissa’s thoughts on her family’s experience.

On Dancing and the Regulative Principle

Andrew Wilson and Jonathan Leeman are discussing dancing in worship services and whether it is wise or permissible. In this first article Leeman tells why he is not in favor.

This Day in 1974. 42 years ago today, Matt Chandler was born. Happy birthday Matt!

California on Fire

This is some amazing footage of wildfires in California.

Our Best Life Yet to Come

Randy Alcorn offers some encouragement: “Our perspective today is informed by the reality that resurrection awaits God’s children. This means we’ll never pass our peaks. The best is yet to come! No need for bucket lists, because the adventures awaiting us in the New Heavens and on the New Earth will far exceed the greatest thrills of this life.”

Flashback: 7 Marks of a False Teacher

False teachers have been present in every era of human history, they have always been a plague and have always been in the business of providing counterfeit truth. While their circumstances may change, their methods remain consistent. Here are seven marks of a false teacher.

Price

Christianity can been seen as a system of morality or ethics. In fact, it is the opposite, it is a declaration of moral and ethical failure. —Tom Price

June 18, 2016

The only new and notable Kindle deal I found is The Narnian by Alan Jacobs ($1.99). There is also a day-long sale on certain kids’ series, though I’m not familiar with the books. See here for the list.

Christian Audio

Christian Audio is holding their twice-yearly sale. This is a great time to try out their service. During this sale even brand new books are heavily discounted.

Why Sex Isn’t the Best Thing Ever

Lore Ferguson: “One of the best blessings to me in my singleness were friends who did not make marriage an ultimate thing in my eyes by only telling me the beautiful parts of their marriage, but who told me the difficulties of it as well. They also prayed for me actively to someday have the gift of marriage. I hope I am doing the same for my still single friends who desire the gift.”

A Swimming Pool in the ICU?

Here’s an interesting little story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

The Two Words Fathers Should Say to Their Children

As theologian D.A. Carson says, “Do you ever say to a young Christian, ‘Do you want to know what Christianity is like? Watch me!’ If you never do, you are unbiblical.”

God Permits Evil, But Does Not Cause It

Sometimes the fine distinctions make a world of difference.

Tomorrow in 1939. 77 years ago tomorrow, pastor John MacArthur was born. Happy birthday, Dr. MacArthur!

It’s Going to be an Issue

“Biola University, located in Southern California and one of the country’s most well-known and prestigious evangelical colleges, now finds itself arguing for its right to be evangelical.”

The Death of Dawson Trotman

60 years ago today the founder of Navigators died while saving a girl’s life. Here’s what happened.

Flashback: Leading in Love

Wayne Grudem allows a little glimpse inside his marriage to see how complementarianism plays out in real life.

Give Me Your Heart

I’m thankful to Ligonier Ministries for sponsoring the blog with the article “Give Me Your Heart.”

Spurgeon

The more empty I am, the more room is there for my Master. The more I lack, the more He will give me. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 17, 2016

 

Did Jesus Have a Wife?

This is a fascinating bit of investigative journalism from The Atlantic. Please note that it is a little PG-13 at times as the reporter chases down his story. “A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript suggests Christ was married. But believing its origin story requires a big leap of faith.” (Also, New Testament scholar Michael Kruger comments and Karen King responds.)

Airplane Black Boxes

Ever wondered about those black boxes they talk about after a plane crash? This video tells all about them.

Making Sense of the Trinity Debate

Here’s another reader-friendly overview of the current Trinity debate.

4 Ways to Reach a Child’s Heart

Richard Phillips explains how a godly father plants good things in the hearts of his children.

Sermons on Marriage

Here are the collected (and free!) sermons of Alistair Begg on marriage.

Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity

Yes, this is exactly the case. “The result is bigotry running two ways — an unreasoning, irrational hatred of American Christians and a comprehensive denial of Muslim moral agency. American Christians are responsible for things they don’t believe. Sharia-observant Muslims, by contrast, aren’t responsible for the things they do believe.”

Available Now! Keith and Kristyn Getty’s new album, Facing a Task Unfinished, is now available. I’ve listened to it a hundred times already and love it!

What the Hook-up Culture Has Done to Women

This is difficult to read, but very important. As the author says, “It is no coincidence that the top two prescribed drugs at our state university’s health center are anti-depressants and the birth-control pill.”

G3 Conference

Next January’s G3 Conference is getting bigger and better all the time. If you’re looking for a 2017 conference, you may be interested in a trip to Atlanta.

Flashback: Setting Up My Kids for Salvation

“When it comes to my kids, I seem to want to believe that God’s action is dependent upon my action. I believe that for God to save my kids, I first need to do the right things. If I want God to save them, I need to cross the spiritual t’s and dot the spiritual i’s…”

Horton

Ironically, it is only when we know how to die properly that we finally have some inkling about how to truly live here and now. —Michael Horton

June 16, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Going Beyond the Five Points by Rob Ventura ($3.99); The Six Days of Genesis by Paul Taylor ($2.99); Comfort the Grieving by Paul Tautges ($3.99); and Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men by Stephen Mansfield ($1.99).

How Fast Does a Christian Grow?

How fast does a Christian grow? Not fast enough for our satisfaction! “If you come to Christ as a teenager or adult, some practices might be obvious (if painful) to change. But Christian maturity is more about the heart than it is about behavior. Our trust, hopes, and desires need to change, and good behavior follows.”

What Book Shall I Preach on Next?

Here is some sensible advice on choosing what books to preach. The same questions could be helpful for choosing a book to read for personal or family devotions.

Lecrae and The Washington Post

The Washington Post has quite a long article on Christian rapper Lecrae. “This generation doesn’t have a Billy Graham,” said LaDawn Johnson, a sociologist at Biola University, an evangelical school outside Los Angeles where Lecrae performed in April. “We’ve lost any kind of significant evangelical leader people could point to, and Lecrae is in a position where he could definitely for many young people be that voice and be that model.”

The Debate so Far

If you’re interested in getting oriented in the ongoing discussion/controversy of the eternal subordination of the Son, here’s a good place to start.

The Gift of Being Limited

“God = limitless goodness and faithfulness. Me = limited in every way. God-designed limits for me = God’s goodness and faithfulness to me.”

This Day in 1855. 161 years ago today, William and Catherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army, married, having fallen in love the first night they met. *

Involuntary Sins

Can you really be held responsible for those sins that flow out of instinct or ignorance?

The Secret Anti-Counterfeit Symbol

“You can’t copy money. Like really, it’s not just illegal, you just can’t do it on a photocopier.” This video explains why.

Flashback: Making the Case Against Abortion

How can we make a case against abortion? How can Christians convince others that abortion is wrong? Here’s one tactic.

Bonhoeffer

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

June 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Gaining by Losing by J.D. Greear ($3.99); God’s Will by J.I. Packer ($1.99); The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99). Many of the volumes in the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series are on sale at $0.99 - $2.99—these are good commentaries for general readers.

Westminster Books is having a mix and match sale where they offer quantity discounts on a whole selection of books.

His Wife, Not His Mother

Melissa: “I know that many of you who are reading this are thinking that you wouldn’t treat your husband like a child if he didn’t act like one. I get that. I really do. But, as long as we are slipping into the role of being his mother instead of his wife, we are only perpetuating the cycle.”

Unpretty

It was a joy to see my friend Dorcas writing a great article for RAAN

Know Your Flock

Jared Wilson explains why a pastor’s preaching depends upon actually knowing his flock.

Men for God

If you’re in or near Vancouver, I’d love to see you at the Men for God Conference next weekend.

Should I Finish School Before I Marry?

I appreciate John Piper’s handling of this question.

Southern Baptists and the Confederate Flag

Russell Moore writes about the Southern Baptist Convention voting yesterday to repudiate the display of the Confederate flag.

This Day in 1520. 496 years ago today, Leo X condemned Martin Luther on 41 of counts of heresy, branding him an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. *

Orlando: The Reichstag Fire

This seems a little alarmist, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Rod Dreher says “Orlando is a ‘Reichstag fire’ event, I predict, because it is a genuine and appalling atrocity that will lead to the demonization, in law and in custom, of orthodox Christians and any who disagree with whatever LGBTs and their allies want.”

The Engineering of a Disposable Diaper

I’m so glad that the Engineering Guy is back after a hiatus. In this video he tells why that simple disposable diaper we take for granted is actually an engineering marvel.

Flashback: So You Got Your First Smartphone…

Here’s a letter to a teen who just got her very first smartphone.

Horton

Legalism is simply separating the law of God from the person of God. —Sinclair Ferguson

June 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy by Jani Ortlund ($2.99); Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles by Kathy Keller ($1.99); The Pastor’s Family ($2.99) and The Pastor’s Ministry ($3.99) by Brian Croft; The Unbelievable Gospel by Jonathan Dodson ($2.99); How God Became Jesus by Michael Bird ($3.99).

You can download a free album called When Trials Come. It was put together for The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference but is free for anyone who cares to download it.

Why You Should Care About Theology

David offers three good reasons that you should care about theology. “God has graciously revealed himself through his Word, and every follower of Christ should take pains to know him well. Every Christian, therefore, is a theologian.”

The Gospel: 2016 West Coast Conference

Ligonier has posted the audio and video of the 2016 West Coast Conference. You’ll find a long list of sessions there, including five short ones I did with Nathan Bingham that focus on life in a digital world.

18 Theses on the Father and the Son

Fred Sanders, who has written an excellent book on the Trinity, provides 18 theses on the Father and the Son.

Planned Obsolescence

I’m sure you’ve heard of devices that have planned obsolescence built right into them. This article discusses how it works. “For a fully modern example, consider smartphones. These handsets often get discarded after a mere couple years’ use. Screens or buttons break, batteries die, or their operating systems, apps, and so on can suddenly no longer be upgraded. Yet a solution is always near at hand: brand new handset models, pumped out every year or so, and touted as ‘the best ever’.”

Crafting Expository Sermons

H.B. Charles has a helpful article on crafting an expository sermon. “Expositional preaching gets a bad rap for being dry, boring, and lifeless. But zombie preachers should be indicted, not expository preaching.”

This Day in 1936. 80 years ago today, G.K. Chesterton, an influential Roman Catholic apologist and wit noted for his use of paradox, died at age 62. *

Patience

This guy spent two years shooting timelapses across Europe. In just two minutes he shows off some of his favorites.

No Automatic Holiness

D.A. Carson explains how knowing the Bible does not automatically produce personal holiness.

Flashback: How Should Christians Fast?

Here are six quick guidelines for Christian fasting.

Horton

Evil is not a principle in creation itself but is the willful distortion of good gifts into an arsenal deployed against God’s reign. —Michael Horton