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A La Carte

June 11, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99); Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel ($2.99); No Compromise by Melody Green ($2.99); Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99).

The Oldest Trick in the Books - Here is one for the baseball fans.

Saint Samson - David takes a look at Samson and tries to rehabilitate his reputation a little bit.

Remarkable for Being Unremarkable - This is a good reminder: “Nobody ever reports on the pastors who labor in obscurity, quietly fulfilling their ministries. They will never be known by the world, but they are known by God.”

Personal Prayer - And here’s another good reminder: The reminder of how we are to pray.

Six Days in North Korea - “For the few foreign journalists who have had repeated access to the North, the views from the window become vital, offering counterpoints to the cascade of officially arranged scenes.”

McKinney and Me - Jasmine Holmes offers what I found to be a valuable reflection on the recent situation in McKinney.

Sin is bad in the eye, worse in the tongue, worse still in the heart, but worst of all in the life. —Thomas Brooks



June 10, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Hebrews by David Allen (The New American Commentary) ($2.99); Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement: 3 Views ($0.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); A Summary of Christian History by Robert Baker ($2.99); The Great Books Reader by John Mark Reynolds ($2.99); Engaging Exposition by Daniel Akin ($2.99).

A Day Late, A Dollar Short - Carl Trueman comments on Tony Campolo as he becomes the latest Christian leader to declare for gay marriage. (Al Mohler comments as well.)

The Fallen of World War II - This video brilliantly displays the scope of the devastation of World War II.

Augustine and Miracle Reports in Church History - Nathan Busenitz responds to questions about Augustine’s claims about miracles in the early church.

Update from Athens - Daniel Wallace is in Athens digitizing New Testament manuscripts. That may sound rather boring, but his update was actually quite fascinating.

New from Tim Keller - Westminster Books is offering a great deal on Tim Keller’s latest (for which I have heard near unanimous praise).

The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon - Brandon Smith interviews Christian George about his discovery of some long-lost sermons by Charles Spurgeon.

Farewell to a Friend - You’ll enjoy reading Conrad Mbewe sweet farewell to a dear friend. 

It is a good thing God chose me before I was born, because he surely would not have afterwards. —C.H. Spurgeon



June 09, 2015

I dug up just a few noteworthy Kindle deals today: One New Man by Jarvis Williams (Foreword by Tom Schreiner) ($0.99); God Speaks by Ray Comfort($0.99); Colossians and Ephesians by Murray Harris ($0.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($2.99); Better Love Now by Tommy Nelson ($0.99).

God Wrote a Book - I think you’ll enjoy this new video from John Piper.

How Do I Make Christ Appealing? - “We aim to make Christ more appealing to the one who seems to that he is not very appealing. This usually means giving Jesus something of an extreme-makeover so that the eligible unbeliever might be won over.”

Learning for the Future from the Duggars - Wendy Alsup has some helpful things to say about the Duggars, and especially about the media’s victimizing of the victims.

Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones? - You may well have read an article like this in the past, but I found it helpful to read and consider again. “Any claim to actually know one’s religious beliefs are true is regarded as a violation of the rules of intellectual inquiry.”

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Nathan Bingham thinks about the meaning of all those selfies. “What would a 21st-century Narcissus myth involve? I suspect it would include a smartphone, selfies, and crossing the street without looking.”

Why all the Superlatives? - Mark Jones asks a valid question: Why are we using so many superlatives to describe, well, pretty much everything.

Whatever sin the heart of man is most prone to, that the devil will help forward. —Thomas Brooks


June 08, 2015

The Poverty of Nations by Wayne Grudem ($4.99); The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf ($3.99); Word versus Deed by Duane Litfin ($3.99); War, Peace, and Christianity by J. Daryl Charles ($3.99); The Book that Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi ($0.99); Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison (free).

The Faith of the Wright Brothers - David McCullough’s excellent new biography of the Wright brothers left open the matter of their faith. David Roach investigates the historical record.

Marks of Orthodoxy? - “The words ‘orthodox’ and ‘orthodoxy’ are grown-up words. … Sometimes they are wrongly used to set apart those who are orthodox in their doctrinal views from others who are orthodox in their doctrinal views.”

Three Neglected Aspects of Bible Study - Here are 3 areas of Bible study you may be neglecting. Each one is quite simply remedied.

Gay Marriage Is Not About Gay Marriage - This is a very helpful article from David Murray. Be sure to read to the end where you will hear about the great value of a good conscience.

Eternity Set in Our Hearts - Randy Alcorn talks about the constant yearning of the human heart.

How Should Christians View World History? - R.C. Sproul talks about the importance of properly understanding history.

Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan. —John Bunyan 



June 06, 2015

I’ve got just a few new Kindle deals for you: The Penguin Classic edition of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan ($2.60); Making a Difference in Preaching by Haddon Robinson ($2.99); New from GLH Publishing is To Be Near Unto God by Abraham Kuyper ($0.99).

Tim Keller has written a long article that reviews a couple of the most prominent books insisting the Bible allows for same-sex relationships and marriage.

Jared Wilson says it well: “One of the most valuable sentences in a pastor’s arsenal is ‘I don’t know’.” And there’s no point pretending otherwise.

Every few weeks someone has a different opinion on this one: Should you take notes on a laptop or by hand? This article says you do better when you stick with paper and pen.

Matt Perman has an article on How to Get Things Done in Seminary.

What are parents to do in a world of smartphones and tablets? Russell Moore offers some counsel.

Here are 5 Valuable Lessons for Young Men—the kind that young men (and older ones) need to hear again and again.

Thank you to Eternity Bible College for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Re-Imagining Education.

June 05, 2015

Good morning from the West Coast. I am out here in beautiful Vancouver B.C. (with Aileen!) for the Men for God Conference, and am looking forward to meeting new friends and speaking to them about our great God. But first, let’s get to today’s A La Carte.

Bruce or Caitlyn? - Denny Burk is attempting to carefully and biblically answer a pressing question: Should Christians accomodate transgender naming? I think he is well on his way to a solid response. On a similar topic, the link between transgenderism and gnosticism is an important one to consider.

Remember His Goodness - This article seems to go well with what I wrote yesterday and with the Puritan classic I’ve been reading (The Mystery of Providence). Remember to remember God’s goodness!

The Internet Doesn’t Exist - This author makes an interesting point: The Internet doesn’t really exist. At least, not in the way we often speak of it.

ESV Study Bible - Westminster Books must have too many ESV Study Bibles because they’re selling them at half off. It’s a great graduation gift if you still need one.

Emotions of Pixar - This video shows just how good Pixar is at conveying emotion. And it reminds me that I still haven’t seen Brave, something I ought to remedy forthwith.

5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel - I’m sure there are more, but 5 is a good place to begin.

No, I Won’t Bless the Food - Here is a good and timely reminder from Don Whitney.

June 04, 2015

Here are just a few Kindle deals that may interest you. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); Awakening by Matt Brown ($0.99); and Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin ($0.99).

The Duggars and the Evil Outside - Trevin Wax has some important things to say about the recent situation with Josh Duggar.

Men for God - Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be joining Conrad Mbewe and Doug Nichols at the Men for God conference in Vancouver. I’d love to see you there!

Are Muslim Terrorists Truly Muslim? - Thabiti Anyabwile offers a good answer. 

Whispers of a Self-Obsessed World - I appreciate what Melissa says here: “This is the essence of the Christian life. And, it is a daily, hour by hour, minute by minute struggle against the selfishness that plagues us as human beings.”

Canadian Jeopardy - Oh, come on now, America. You can do better than this!

The Wicked Witch - Mez McConnell offers a reflective and gut-honest response to the news that his stepmother has died. “So painful is it to even think of her name I refer to her as ‘she’ throughout my autobiography.”

Stage Two Exile - This is a long but helpful article. “The Western church is about to enter stage two of its exile from the mainstream culture and the public square. And it will not be an easy time.”

June 03, 2015

CrybabyI was actually just starting to feel a little sorry for myself. I was on the sidelines at my daughter’s soccer game while a group of parents stood behind me laughing and chatting. As the game went on they talked and talked about all the great things they’ve done, the homes they’ve bought, the vacations they’ve enjoyed, the lessons their kids have taken. One even talked about his bright yellow Corvette that was parked conspicuously nearby.

Their lives sounded pretty good. They sounded better than mine, if I was comparing. I thought about what it must cost to take that annual trip to the Caribbean. I thought about what it must cost to get that new kitchen. I thought about the difference between a second car that is a sensible, family-friendly sedan and a second car that is built purely for thrills. And for a moment I wanted it. I wanted it all.

But my pathetic little pity party lasted only a moment before it struck me: The cost of all of that stuff is the cost of generosity. At least, it is for most of the people I know. Those donations to the church, those checks to the missionaries, those gifts to the ministries, those bills slipped discreetly to the person in need—tally them up and they could equal some extra vacations. Put them together and you could probably upgrade your kitchen this year instead of five years from now, or you could go up a model or two on the second vehicle. The Christians I know choose to downgrade their lifestyle in order to upgrade their giving.

And this, I think, is the enduring power and comfort of what Randy Alcorn calls the treasure principle: You can’t take it with you—but you can send it on ahead. The money isn’t gone. The money isn’t misused. It’s simply been redirected into a different kind of investment. “If we give instead of keep, if we invest in the eternal instead of in the temporal, we store up treasures in heaven that will never stop paying dividends. Whatever we store up on earth will be left behind when we leave. Whatever treasures we store up in heaven will be waiting for us when we arrive.” We find when we commit to this kind of generosity that there is greater joy both now and then.

You can’t keep up with the Joneses when you’re committed to radical generosity, and I think that’s exactly how God intends it.

Crybaby photo: Shutterstock

June 03, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: Christianity on Trial by Mark Lanier ($2.99); Convictional Civility by Various ($0.99); The 40 Most Influential Christians by Daryl Aaron ($2.99); The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer ($2.99); Developing a Biblical Worldview by Fred Smith ($0.99); The Formation of Christian Doctrine by Malcolm Yarnell ($2.99); The New American Commentary on Isaiah 40-66 ($2.99).

A Sexual Ponzi Scheme - Carl Trueman: “A vision of personhood and freedom reduced to a series of sexual encounters designed to stave off boredom represents a somewhat childish and vacuous philosophy of life.”

The Fields Are White - Donald Whitney offers some encouragement to evangelize. “When you see few, if any, conversions in your place of ministry, it can be hard to believe that what Jesus said in John 4:35 is true.”

Thousands of New Species - Here is why (and how) thousands of new animal species are still being discovered every year.

9 Ways to Get Students Reading - Nick has some tips on getting your teens reading good books.

Pocket Guides - The “Pocket Guides” series from Christian Focus is especially helpful; it’s also on sale this week at Westminster Books.

Were Tongues Real Languages? - Nathan Busenitz takes on a question that has generated endless debate. “In New Testament times, did the gift of tongues produce authentic foreign languages only, or did it also result in non-cognitive speech (like the private prayer languages of modern charismatics)?”

June 02, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Evangelical Theology by Michael Bird is a great value at $5.99; Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh ($2.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($1.99); Rediscovering Holiness by J.I. Packer ($2.99); Hitler in the Crosshairs by John Woodbridge ($0.99); The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill by Helen Shores Lee ($0.99); Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen ($2.99).

The Only One Who Wants Them - It’s this simple: “They believe that God is the only one that wants them. And so they want him.”

Sarah, Honor, and Infertility - In response to an article I wrote last week, this blogger offers a look at infertility from a different cultural perspective.

How to Be a Man - Here’s some simple but sound guidance on the challenge of being a man.

Dr. Mohler’s Summer Reading List - Al Mohler’s summer reading list is one annual blog tradition I always look forward to. (This year I have already read two of them!)

How the State Serves Salvation - Jonathan Leeman: “Don’t put too much hope in government. But don’t give up on it either. Churches need good governments.”

8 Ways to Honor Marriage - David Murray provides a short list that packs a punch.

I sure do miss those daily quote graphics. —Me