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A La Carte

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

September 18, 2015

Let’s talk Kindle deals. First off, Amazon has a new Kindle Fire tablet that will do just fine for reading books while setting you back only $49.99. As for books, consider The Immigration Crisis by James Hoffmeier ($4.79) and The End of Christianity by William Dembski ($0.99). (To review the rest of these week’s deals, just click here.)

The Solar System

This took a lot of effort and ingenuity: “On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.”

The Desire to Be Desired

This is good stuff from Ed Welch. “At the heart of the romance novel is the thrill of being desired—irresistibly, intoxicatingly desired. And since that genre is the most frequently visited Internet category among women, there is a lot of ‘desiring to be desired’ out there. A lot. Since men’s idolatries get most of the attention, this is a short meditation aimed at bringing fairness to this imbalance.”

The Rise of Victimhood Culture

I appreciated this article’s description of the culture of victimhood we see around us today. “A recent scholarly paper on ‘microaggressions’ uses them to chart the ascendance of a new moral code in American life.”

The Most Misread Poem in America

This is an entertaining interpretation of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” and an explanation as to why most people get it wrong.

This Day in 1905. Scottish clergyman and novelist, George MacDonald, who would influence many through his writings, including C.S. Lewis, dies in England. *

Is Baptism Required for Church Membership?

Whether or not you agree with the major premise of this article about baptism and church membership, I think you’ll benefit from reading it. (For what it’s worth, I need to think more about it, but am generally inclined to agree with most of what he says.)

Ambition and a Future Target

I have been thinking about ambition a lot, and appreciate what Dave Harvey calls for here. “God wants to rescue ambition. But not to build future monuments to our own glory. I’m talking about an instinct that looks for new ways to glorify God through our dreams.”


I didn’t invite Jesus into my heart; he gave me a new heart. —Scotty Smith

September 17, 2015


Life Is Best

Be sure to check out this new 13-episode program coming this fall. “Lives are at stake. Souls hang in the balance. Some Christians are engaged in the battle, most are not. Life Is Best will thoroughly equip and inspire you to join the fight for lives and souls.”

Truths and Tips for Engaging with Families in Your Church

Timothy Paul Jones shares truth and helpful tips for families.


I don’t mind admitting that McDonald’s breakfast is one of my favorite meals. (Has anything ever so perfectly mastered the salt / sugar / fat combination as a McDonald’s hash brown?) So I quite enjoyed this article on the company and its franchisees.

The Next Story

If you’ve never gotten around to reading my book The Next Story, this review will let you know about its strengths and weaknesses. If you buy it, be sure to get the second edition.

The New Socialists and the Social Ownership of Money

Joe Carter talks about Bernie Sanders and the social ownership of money.

MacArthurPre-Order Worthy. Next month will see the release of John MacArthur’s book Parables. “Master expositor and Bible commentator John MacArthur has spent a lifetime explaining the Word of God in clear and comprehensible terms. In Parables he helps Christians understand the essential lessons contained in the most famous and influential short stories the world has ever known.” Pre-order at Amazon.

Pascal’s Triangle

If you’ve got a math brain, or even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy this video. “Pascal’s triangle, which at first may just look like a neatly arranged stack of numbers, is actually a mathematical treasure trove. But what about it has so intrigued mathematicians the world over?”

Icons and Symbols of Catholicism

This photo essay about the icons and symbols of Catholicism will remind you why the Reformers were so set on simplicity of worship.


Jesse Johnson reviews the new movie Captive which is all about “a jail break 10 years ago that helped make Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life one of the best selling books of all time.”


When God has given you your heart’s desire, what have you done with your heart’s desire? —Jeremiah Burroughs

September 16, 2015

New from GLH Publishing is Martin Luther’s Explanation of the Lord’s Prayer ($0.99). Other Kindle deals include Creation & Evolution by Jay Seegert ($2.99); Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior ($1.99); The Love of Money by Rodney Ballance ($1.59); Galileo by Mitch Stokes ($1.99); Defiant Joy by Kevin Belmonte ($1.99).

Tissue Sales or ‘Donation for Remuneration?’

WORLD has a description of the latest undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress. Apparently fetal tissue procurement companies that pay Planned Parenthood for pieces of aborted babies are making a “donation for remuneration…”

2016 Ligonier Ministries National Conference

Ligonier Ministries just announced their 2016 National Conference. In addition to the regular conference sessions, they are also hosting an apologetics seminar for youth and families, with the aim of preparing young people to defend the truth of the gospel in an increasingly hostile culture. I look forward to leading one of those sessions.

Protect Your Children

This week, Westminster Books has deals on some very important books about a very important topic: Protecting your children from abuse (and, additionally, helping those who have suffered abuse).

How Can We Best Love the Poor?

I appreciated this boots-on-the-ground reflection on how we can best love the poor. “It was much easier to consider this while living in the States where there were no people living in houses made of mud and sticks right next door to me.”

This Day in 1620. The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England to the New World with 102 passengers—some of which are Separatist Pilgrims. *

Hoax Hunter

I enjoyed reading about this hoax hunter who busts people who fake illnesses (or entire lives and families) online. “A few of the hoaxers were scammers trying to make money, but the majority manipulated people online just for the attention that comes when you have a sob story.”

Inerrancy and the Death by a Thousand Qualifications

Here is why you don’t need to fear the task of qualifying what you mean by inerrancy or other theological terms.

A Tribute to R.C. Sproul

I appreciate this kind tribute to R.C. Sproul and could echo many of the same things. God is good to give us teachers and role models, and we do well to acknowledge them.


One of these days you may be unable to get rid of those habits which you are now forming. —C.H. Spurgeon