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A La Carte

August 26, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Old-Earth Creationism On Trial by Chaffey & Lisle ($2.99); Mary—Another Redeemer? by James White ($1.99); Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie ($2.99); Faith and Learning by David Dockery ($2.99).

Another 50 Livers a Week

The Center for Medical Progress has released their eighth video, which shows a meeting with StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer. WORLD has the video and the story along with some analysis.

Pro-Life? There’s An App For That

I think most people on the pro-life side have already understood this. But it is still interesting to consider the vast chasm between the way we speak of an unborn child if we want that child versus if we do not.

When Culture Feels Scary

In the midst of all kinds of bad and scary news in the world, Tim Lane has some genuine encouragement. It came to me like a breath of fresh air.

Which Major Has the Most Expensive Textbooks?

Maybe you want to keep this in mind as you nudge your kids toward college.

This Day in 1708: Ebenezer Erskine was converted. He would soon create, and live by, this covenant: “I offer myself up, soul and body, unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I flee for shelter to the blood of Jesus. I will live to Him; I will die to Him. I take heaven and earth to witness that all I am and all I have are His.” *

Should Women Wear Head Coverings?

Writing for The Gospel Coalition, Benjamin L. Merkle offers a helpful answer to the question of head coverings. He argues that there are both cultural and transcultural issues at play, and carefully separates them.

4 Simple Ways Fred Elliot Discipled His Children

Fred was the father of Jim, of course. And this article describes 4 simple but effective ways that Fred discipled his children. “Because the saying is true that disciples aren’t born they’re made, it is difficult to understate the influence Fred had on Jim’s spiritual formation.”


God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in him he is altogether well pleased with us. —C.H. Spurgeon

August 25, 2015

There are lots of good Kindle deals today. Begin with this refreshed two-part Puritan work called “Building a Godly Home”: A Holy Vision for Family Life and A Holy Vision For Raising Children ($2.99 each). Then consider some of B&H’s “Perspectives” series: On the Extent of the Atonement (new and just $0.99); On Family Ministry ($2.99); On Your Child’s Education ($0.99); On Christian Worship ($2.99); On Election ($2.99); On the Sabbath ($2.99). And a few others that are worth checking out: Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland ($2.99); In My Father’s House and Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian ($2.99 each); Divine Design by John MacArthur ($2.51).

9 Things You Should Know About Margaret Sanger

For a variety of reasons, Margaret Sanger’s name is back in the news. Joe Carter gives you 9 things you ought to know about her. (Be sure to read points 7 and 8 since we do not further our cause by passing along incomplete or incorrect information about her views on race.)

Friends of a Certain Age

Perhaps this has been your experience: “In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply.”

Teaching Our Children the Raw Parts of Scripture

Nick has some counsel on teaching our children the raw parts of Scripture—the parts we may find ourselves eager to skip over.

NIV Zondervan Study BibleNew Book Release: Today marks the release of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, edited by D.A. Carson (and not to be confused with the venerable NIV Study Bible). You can learn more about it at NIVZondervanStudyBible.com and buy it at Amazon.

Convictions and Cultural Change

This afternoon at 3 PM EST Ligonier Ministries will be hosting a Google hangout featuring Dr. John MacArthur and Stephen Nichols. You can find information at the link.

Making Ocean Water Drinkable

California’s Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will start operating later this year, will process more than 104 million gallons of seawater daily, turning about half that into drinking water. Here’s how they do it.

Organic Food, Essential Oils, and the Gospel of Grace

Quite right: “While eating organic foods and using non-traditional medicine certainly can be valuable, the danger comes when we develop a sense of superiority to go along with it.”

Encouraging Parents of Prodigals

“What could be more grievous to Christian parents than to have their adult child reject the Gospel?” This article offers encouragement to those parents.


I would rather fail in the weakness of the Spirit than succeed in the power of the flesh. —Ray Ortlund

August 24, 2015

This week Crossway is offering John Piper’s “The Swans Are Not Silent” series at just $3.99 each. These are excellent short biographies of key Christian figures. The Legacy of Sovereign Joy; The Hidden Smile of God; The Roots of Endurance; Contending for Our All; Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ. You will also find Heaven by Christopher Morgan & Robert Peterson for $3.99, and Matt Chandler’s To Live Is Christ to Die Is Gain for free.

You Really Don’t Need To Work So Much

“The past fifty years have seen massive gains in productivity, the invention of countless labor-saving devices, and the mass entry of women into the formal workforce.” So why do we all work so many hours?

Reflections on a Planned Parenthood Protest

John Piper reflects on Saturday’s Planned Parenthood protests. You may also want to read this article from a different source but dealing with the same subject: Now We Know Why Reporters Won’t Cover The Planned Parenthood Videos.

Hurricane Katrina Photos

This is very interesting. “10 years on, Getty Images photographer Mario Tama has been back to New Orleans to revisit the scenes of his iconic images to see how the once obliterated areas have changed.” He has done so through some during and after photos.

A New Song: “We Are Not Overcome” by Bifrost Arts is a song you may enjoy. We have adapted (simplified) it for use in our worship services and it is quickly becoming a favorite.

Keep on Welcoming

There’s some wisdom here on welcoming people to your church. This is the one I most needed to hear: “Weeks three, four, and beyond are also key.”

Ashley Madison: Faithfulness

There are some important takeaways in Mark Jones’ article on the Ashley Madison fiasco. “Basically, Paul describes ‘Ashley Madison’ long before computer hackers made many of us aware that such a website existed.” Also read Scotty Smith’s meditative prayer based on Proverbs 7.

Go, and Be

This little tribute to the Scottish highlands may be a little bit overdone but, oh my, is the scenery ever beautiful!


The true convert does not receive the gospel as an addition to his previous life, but in exchange for it. —Paul Washer

August 22, 2015

Today we will see protests against Planned Parenthood all across America. If you have time this morning, why don’t you consider attending. They will run from 9am to 11am, and you can find location information at ProtestPP.com.

What Causes Cage-Stage Calvinism?

We’ve all seen it, I think. Most of us have probably fallen into it at one time or another. R.C. Sproul Jr. explains why and how.

The Danger of Comparison

I am one of those people who is prone to the comparison trap, so I enjoyed this article. “Jealousy dethrones God’s sovereignty by feeling entitled to another person’s blessings in life. Jealousy makes everyone a thief of what you should have.”

How Big Is a Blue Whale’s Heart?

This video will show you. The answer, not surprisingly, is “very big.”

3 Things to Remember Before You Criticize Someone’s Theology

Justin Taylor offers 3 important reminders. “Critique done poorly—whether through overstatement, misunderstanding, caricature—is a losing proposition for all. It undermines the credibility of the critic and deprives the one being criticized from the opportunity to improve his or her position.”

Meditation and Sermon Preparation

“The difference between a message that is a ‘Bible study’ and a message that is a ‘sermon’ is the additional meditative substance in the latter, by which God speaks through His word, and through the preacher.”

Mastering the Giant Comma

One of my weaknesses in writing is properly using semicolons. So I needed to watch this.

Why You Need a Fighting Faith

Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week. Sponsors are integral to the ongoing operation of this site, so I am grateful for each one.


I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him. —C.H. Spurgeon

August 21, 2015

New from GLH Publishing is a Kindle edition of Jonathan Edward’s must-read book Religious Affections at just $0.99. Also consider Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($0.99); Pleased to Dwell by Peter Mead ($5.64).

Planned Parenthood: Invitation, Explanation, Indignation

John Piper: “I am writing with an urgent invitation, a personal explanation, and renewed indignation.” He calls you to protest Planned Parenthood tomorrow.

Why I Am Going to Protest Planned Parenthood

In a similar vein, J.A. Medders explains why he will be participating in this weekend’s Planned Parenthood protests.

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election

Here’s an interesting fact of the modern world: “Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.”

Is There Any Demand for Same-Sex Marriage?

Joe Carter: “One question the Court ignored—and which few people ever truly considered—was whether there is an actual demand for same-sex marriage.”

This Date in 1741: George Frideric Handel began to compose his great work Messiah. He would finish the work 23 days later. It would become his most famous composition and, as you know, is still treasured today. *

Ad Blockers and the Nuisance at the Heart of the Modern Web

This article dives into the problem at the heart of the modern web: So many banner ads are ugly, evil, and intrusive, and yet they are also at the heart of the online economy.

Snake Island

Did you know that there’s an island off the coast of Brazil that has so many venomous snakes on it that people are forbidden from even docking there?


Holiness is not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome temptation. —G. Campbell Morgan

August 20, 2015

Here are some Kindle deals: Hebrews in The New American Commentary series ($2.99); Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace ($0.99); One Race One Blood by Ken Ham ($2.99); Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles ($2.99); The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker ($2.99).

What Are We to Make of Donald Trump?

Tom Ascol offers some thoughtful reflections on Donald Trump. “In some sense it is like a car accident—you just can’t look away no matter how hard you try.” Be sure to read the final lines before flaming Ascol (or me).

Guardian Angels?

Do we have guardian angels? “While many other objections may be raised … of this much we can be sure–God will not spare to send the entire host of heaven to the aid of His people if He so chooses.” 

The Everyday Question of Motherhood

I think Christine Hoover is bang-on here: “As a mother, there is a constant, uncomfortable battle that rages inside of me. It is not the big or dramatic…”

Tools for Evangelism

This week’s deals from Westminster Books will help equip your evangelistic efforts (as an individual or as a church).

This Day in 1920: Seven men, including the now-legendary Jim Thorpe, gathered to organize a professional football league. Has ever a sport had a greater impact on Christians and (American) Christianity than football with its Sunday schedule? *

God For Us, or God Against Us?

Is God for us or against us? Ray Ortlund says, “If we are in Christ, the answer is: maybe both. God is certainly for us, and God might also be against us.”

The Gruesome Reality of Fetal Organ Harvesting

Here’s WORLD’s recap of the new and 7th video in the series exposing Planned Parenthood. (Stand to Reason also has a good article on the matter.)

Finally, here is a challenging and encouraging word from Charles Spurgeon:


Sin is a sovereign till sovereign grace dethrones it.C.H. Spurgeon

August 19, 2015

There are once again some good Kindle deals to be had: The Pastor’s Family and The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft ($3.99 each); The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity by Alex McFarland ($1.99); Compelled by Ed Stetzer & Philip Nation ($2.99); Colossians & Philemon by Murray Harris ($0.99); Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce ($0.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George ($2.99).

Little Screens and Corporate Worship

I’m not sure I agree with everything H.B. Charles Jr says here about corporate worship and digital devices, but I do think his article is worth reading and considering.

When Is Divorce a Sin?

Christianity Today interprets a recent study on Christian views of divorce. As is so often the case, it seems to me that the questions are too broad to be very helpful. Is divorce sinful when spousal abuse has occurred. How could people answer confidently without knowing other details like the kind of abuse and the extent of the abuse? Still, it’s worth looking at.

Credo Magazine

A new issue of Credo magazine is ready for free download or online reading. This issue “brings together some outstanding contributors to teach both parents and those in ministry alike how to better approach children so that they know God in a saving way.”

This Day in 1662: Blaise Pascal died at the age of 39. A French scientist by trade, he is remembered today primarily for his Pensées, an apologetic for Christianity. *

The Divisive Person

Jared Wilson on the true nature of division: “It isn’t those who believe the Bible when it says sin is sin that are being divisive; it is those who are introducing the idea that some sins aren’t.”

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

Sinclair Feruguson offers guidance on properly exercising Christian liberty.

When You Get the Raw End of the Deal

It happens to all of us at one time or another, doesn’t it? “You’ve been mistreated. Gotten the raw end of the deal. Unjustly overlooked in a promotion. Spent many hours trying to help someone only to be rejected…”


Hell is full of people who think they deserve heaven. Heaven is full of people who know they deserve hell. —Trevin Wax

August 18, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Jesus, the Only Way to God by John Piper ($0.99); Reformed Means Missional by Samuel Logan ($4.99); Saving Grace by John Miller ($2.99); Running on Empty by Barbara Bancroft ($2.99); Preaching with a Plan by Scott Gibson ($2.99).

7 Signs You Were Raised as an Evangelical

I think you’ll probably get a chuckle out of this list. Like #3: “You know the chorus to the song “Friends Are Friends Forever” — even though it came out in 1983.” Yup.

The Way Is Hard, But He is Strong

“Devils know no chivalry. They are cruel, and conceal their cruelty in the Trojan horses of pleasure and comfort, ‘wisdom’ and ‘security,’ flattery and shame.”

What Happens to Your Luggage

They skipped the part about the guy rifling through it to steal your valuables, but other than that, this is a remarkable look at what happens to your baggage once you drop it at the airport.

Songs We’ve Been Trying To Tell You About

Jesusfreakhideout is quite a good Christian music site. They’re celebrating their 19th anniversary by offering a free downloadable compilation album full of indie artists you may enjoy.

This Day in 1917: Cameron Townsend set sail for the mission field. His career as a missionary would be difficult, but would eventually lead to the founding of Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of the foremost missions organizations in the world. *

A Legal History of Exposés

Later this week, a judge will hear arguments in a case against pro-life journalists brought by StemExpress. WORLD offers a history of this kind of exposé.

How Apps Make Money

This may be good to consider before you let your child download that next “free” app. Personally, I find most of the app gaming economy pretty gross.

Rats in the Toilet

I apologize in advance for sharing this video which shows just how easily rats can make their way into your toilet. For all our loathing of them, they are remarkable creatures. But now you’ll never sit down in the dark again…


They that know God will be humble, and they that know themselves, cannot be proud. —John Flavel