Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

August 27, 2014

I’ve found just a couple of new Kindle deals today: In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($2.99) and Am I Called? by Dave Harvey ($0.99).

Banner of Truth Ebooks - Better late than never, right? Banner of Truth has just released their first ebooks and they include The Valley of Vision. While we’re talking books, check out the weekly deals from Westminster Books; many of them are geared to students.

5 Phone Charging Myths, Debunked - I think I’ve heard all of these myths at one time or another.

Never Resist the Urge to Pray - Summer must be over because Erik Raymond has returned from his blogging vacation. This is good news, because he was posting some great articles back in May and June.

9 Questions to Help You Steward All of Life for God’s Glory - “If the law of God can be summarized in a positive command, then we consider how to ‘run to’ God rather than merely how to ‘run from’ sin. Life is not primarily about what we avoid, but what we pursue.”

The One Thing My Mother Would Not Let Me Become - As a Canadian, I have been watching the reaction to the situation in Ferguson with some interest and very little comprehension. I found Thabiti Anyabwile’s most recent article very eye-opening. (On the same theme, here’s a perspective from an African-American who was formerly a police officer.)

7 Smartphone Photography Tips & Tricks - If you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket or purse (and you probably do), you may appreciate these tips and tricks.

A gracious wife satisfies a good husband, and silences a bad one. —George Swinnock


August 26, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: It Is Not Death to Die by Jim Cromarty ($4.99); Killing Fields, Living Fields by Don Cormack ($3.99); The Yankee Officer and the Southern Belle by Nell Chinchen ($2.99); The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($1.99).

Losing Your Voice - Here are four ways that pastors lose their pulpits.

Tangled Up in Blue - Sammy Rhodes writes about depression and the Christian life. 

Satan Does Not Hold the Keys of Death - R.C. Sproul explains in his inimitable way: “We have different vocations with respect to the jobs and tasks God gives us in this life. But we all share in the vocation of death.”

Breaking Up to the Glory of God - Deepak Reju offers counsel on how to break up well.

The Danger of Measurable Outcomes - Os Guinness provides a timely warning.

No flattery can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good one. —Thomas Watson


August 25, 2014

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson’s great list of $0.99 deals seem to still be in effect: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson; Strange Fire by John MacArthur; Jesus on Every Page by David Murray; The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick; Couples of the Bible by Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth; Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan; Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke; Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck. Here are a few deals from Crossway: His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy by Jani Ortlund ($0.99); Marriage and Family by Andreas Kostenberger ($0.99); A Family Guide to Narnia by Christin Ditchfield ($1.99); Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham ($1.99); finally, consider Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur ($3.99).

Brave and Afraid and Heading Down the Longest Road - This longform article at The Boston Globe gives a glimpse of life and family affected by mental illness.

Gospel in Life - Gospel in Life is a new site that brings together resources from Tim Keller.

God’s Great Dance Floor - This is an interesting look at modern worship music and the influence of electronic dance music. 

Dealing with Digital Cruelty - There’s a bit of psychobabble in this one, but the heart of the article is interesting. The author tries to figure out why people are so mean when they go online and what we can do when people are cruel to us.

Cultivating Your Marriage - Randy Alcorn: “Lust thrives on secrecy. There is nothing that defuses lust as effectively as exposure. Honest communication between husband and wife makes them allies, not adversaries.”

On Platforms, Self-Promotion, and Pleasure Complete - This is a good one from Timmy Brister.

Holiness in what we call small matters, is the surest test of real holiness. —Andrew Bonar


August 23, 2014

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson are having a great $0.99 sale: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson; Strange Fire by John MacArthur; Jesus on Every Page by David Murray; The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick; Couples of the Bible by Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth; Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan; Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke; Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck.

This blogger has a powerful letter he wrote to a judge as the judge prepared to sentence his son’s kidnapper.

An awful lot has been written about the situation in Ferguson; Justin Taylor’s article is one of the most helpful, at least in my assessment.

The Bridegroom’s Incredible Vow is a good piece on marriage from Jared Wilson.

Last year I went to Scotland and, in one of my dispatches, mentioned a young lady who is laboring in the schemes. It was a joy to read that there is now a church plant being started in that very community.

Vance Christie has put together a challenge for you: Who’s Who in Church History?

If you’ve thought about attending the Doxology and Theology conference, you can use the coupon code CHALLIES to take the cost down to $149.

Disciplined faith is a faith that is likely to survive and lead to faith in others. —Alister McGrath


August 22, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals. To start, Cruciform Press has 5 books marked down to $0.99: Servanthood as Worship by Nate Palmer; Broken Vows by John Greco; But God… by Casey Lute; Contend by Aaron Armstrong; Innocent Blood by John Ensor. Also consider The God Who Justifies by James White ($3.03); Jesus, the Only Way to God by John Piper ($0.99).

Lead with Empathy, Love Your Neighbor, Let the Truth Come Out - Here’s Al Mohler writing on the situation in Ferguson.

Kent Brantly’s Remarks - Here is Dr. Kent Brantly speaking following his release from hospital (where he was successfully treated for Ebola).

In Defense of Dawkins - Well, kind of. (And another one teeing off Dawkins.)

Female Adult Gamers - Adult women are now among the major users of video games. “Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (36%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%).”

Which Gospel Tracts Do You Use? - Here are some recommended resources for evangelism.

How Do Tornadoes Form? - Watch this brief video and you’ll find out.

Access to God under all circumstances is guaranteed by Christ’s one sacrifice that covers all transgressions.J.I. Packer


August 21, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Rythms of Grace by Mike Cosper ($0.99); Reasons for Our Hope by Wayne House ($4.99); new from GLH Publishing is that classic The Autobiography of George Muller ($0.99).

60/50 Ocean Way the Live Room Sessions - For my fellow NEEDTOBREATHE fans: Be sure to check out the new Liveroom EP at iTunes or Amazon. It’s amazing. Also, their most recent studio album Rivers in the Wasteland is $6.99 this week (iTunes, Amazon).

Telling People What To Do - There’s some sound counsel here from Rick Thomas. I appreciate his three-legged stool approach to integrating the Word of God and the Spirit of God with the community of God.

The Most Liveable Cities - It’s good to see Toronto place right near the top of the world’s most liveable cities. It’s one of the most liveable and least churched cities in the world. We’ve got work to do.

The Wonder Working God - Westminster Books has some good book deals this week, including a new one by Jared Wilson.

Blindness, Loneliness, and the Abundant Christian Life - I enjoyed this article from a Reformation21 guest blogger. 

Corn on the Cob - Here’s a simple trick to get rid of all those annoying little threads that always hang around your cob of corn. 

Mistreating Creation - Justin Holcomb explains why it is wrong for us to mistreat creation.

The man who prays with fasting is giving heaven notice that he is truly in earnest. —Arthur Wallis


August 20, 2014

Ask R.C. Live - Today at 4 PM EST, R.C. Sproul will be answering questions via Twitter. You can click the link to get more information.

What Are Gospel Issues? - D.A. Carson takes on a phrase we may use a little too freely: “gospel issues.”

The Funniest Joke - Here’s the funniest one-liner of the year: “I decided to sell my Hoover … well it was just collecting dust.” You can read the other finalists as well.

See The Conqueror - This is a great hymn, and I do believe we may soon be singing it at Grace Fellowship Church (sans the bridge).

College Doesn’t Change Your Heart - College doesn’t change your heart; it reveals it. Sammy Rhodes writes from the perspective of a campus minister.

The Heart of Family Worship - This looks like it will be an interesting series on family worship—one of those topics where we can always use a refresh.

Sin is guerrilla warfare that is deadly. Just when you think you are in control, it seeks to devour you. —Ed Welch


August 19, 2014

Here are some Kindle deals for you: Better Love Now by Tommy Nelson ($3.99); Preaching with a Plan by Scott Gibson ($1.99); God on Sex by Daniel Akin ($2.99). That’s all I could find for today!

For the Girls Who Are Waiting - “I don’t regret a single non-kissed moment of my teen years. I don’t regret a single non-sexual moment. If you haven’t been kissed or haven’t had a boyfriend, good. Don’t worry about that.”

What Celebrity Pastor Should I Be Most Concerned About? - “Celebrity Pastors do not simply build themselves. They are built with the help of fans. It’s not wrong or idolatrous to get a photo with a person you admire. Nor is it dangerous to love the preaching or teaching of a particular leader. But at some point admiration turns into allegiance, and allegiance gives birth to adoration, and adoration, when it is full grown, produces idolatry.”

Teach Believers What Happened - Yes! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. We need to carefully teach believers what happened to them and in them when they were saved.

Love Japan - It’s great to see what looks like a great conference in Japan. It looks like an interesting format too…

Wisdom Is A “Who” More Than A “What” - Exactly so! “Jesus is Wisdom. He is the Proverbs wrapped in flesh. They are animated and fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.”

The Goal of the Christian Life - “When asked what is the goal of the Christian life, a typical mantra heard in evangelical circles is the knee-jerk response, ‘To become Christ-like’.” Daniel Wallace takes issue with that response and offers an alternative.

If you will not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him one day a week. —A.W. Tozer


August 18, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Healing for a Broken World by Steve Monsma ($2.99); Confronting Kingdom Challenges edited by Samuel T. Logan ($1.99); Why Cities Matter by Stephen Um & Justin Buzzard ($1.99); Political Thought by Hunter Baker ($0.99); The Problem of Evil by Jeremy Evans ($2.99); The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer ($2.99).

Wrongful Birth - This is the awful story of a couple suing because pre-birth tests failed to discover their daughter’s genetic abnormality. Had they know it, they would have aborted her.

Iceland’s Aerial Landscapes - Here are some beautiful photographs from Iceland, just for a visual treat.

There Will Be No Sea - R.C. Sproul explains why the Bible says there will be no sea in the new heaven and new earth.

10 Grammar Rules It’s Okay to Break - Most grammar rules are okay to break, at least occasionally. This is a list of 10 of them.

The Ways We’re the Same - We’ve all been there, I guess. Here’s what not to do in an awkward social situation.

The Sin in Our Cynicism - Cynicism is not a Christian virtue or a godly character trait.

The most significant gifts in the church’s life in every era are ordinary natural abilities sanctified. —J.I. Packer


August 16, 2014

Summer is quickly winding down, isn’t it? We have two weeks of summer vacation remaining up here in Canada, and then, the day after Labour Day, life goes back to normal. As a person who is very dependent upon routine, I’m looking forward to it!

Here are just a few Kindle deals for today: A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Israel by Daniel Block ($2.99); Abortion by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); it’s not a Christian book, but it’s a good one by one of my favorite authors: The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough ($2.99).

Thanks to Books at a Glance for sponsoring the blog this week. I depend upon sponsorships to balance out the expenses the blog incurs, and am grateful to Books at a Glance for their support.

I appreciate these 8 Tips for Talking To Your Kids About Sex.

Every now and again—usually a couple of times a year—Amazon puts board games on sale for 24 hours. Today’s the day for a selection of strategy games. Power Grid, Dominion, Pandemic, 7 Wonders, Diplomacy—these are some of the best games you can buy. Check out the list here.

Aileen and I visited Niddrie last year, and we each left a bit of our heart there. I love what the Lord is doing there, in calling people to respond to the gospel. He Was a Rat is a powerful testimony to God’s grace.

Joe Thorn, in his series on The Lord’s Supper, says something I fully agree with: Sip It, Don’t Dip It. “I know that some of you will read this and think that this is straining out a gnat, missing the forest for the trees, or spending too much time on a trivial matter. But in my estimation this is an important matter we should consider seriously.”

Can we really find joy in suffering? Yes, it is actually possible.

Here’s how to make the perfect paper airplane. You know you want to try it.

No soul shall ever come to Heaven, but the soul which has Heaven come to it first. —Jeremiah Burroughs