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A La Carte

November 04, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Grounded in the Faith* by Ken Erisman ($3.99); What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?* by Kevin DeYoung ($4.74); The Forgotten Trinity* by James White ($1.99); Cross by John Piper ($0.99); Grounded in the Gospel by J.I. Packer ($2.99); Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell ($2.99); Preaching the Farewell Discourse by Scott Kellum ($2.99); Each for the Other by Bryan & Kathy Chapell ($1.99). (* = especially highly recommended)

My Spouse is My Best Friend

I’m not sure that I agree with all that Mark Jones says here, but I do appreciate the basic point that perhaps your spouse should not be your best friend. Read it and see if you agree.

J. I. Packer: In His Own Words

Here’s a neat little documentary about J.I. Packer. (The documentary goes along with this new biography that I am reading and thoroughly enjoying.)

China’s One-Child Policy

Joe Carter has a helpful FAQ on China’s one-child policy and the recent change to make it a two-child policy.

Porn Use as Grounds for Divorce

I am so glad to see Christians thinking and writing about this difficult topic. Here Luke Gilkerson tells how his opinion on the matter has changed over the past couple of years (which coincided with his master’s thesis on the topic).

Matt Bevin

Yesterday Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky. Denny Burk says, “As that news ripples across the country, what may not be as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach.”

This Day in 1884. C.T. Studd, one of the Cambridge Seven, meets Hudson Taylor 131 years ago today, and is accepted for service in the China Inland Mission. *


I enjoyed Lisa’s article titled simply “Thoughts.” “ ‘I don’t think stuff anymore,’ I told my husband awhile back. He assured me that I did, in fact, think, and think loads of stuff, just maybe it’s the stuff and the kind of thinking that’s changed. Not necessarily less than, just different.”

How Do Drugs Get Their Names?

Prescription drugs, that is. This video explains why one drug may have many different names, and also explains how it gets those names.

Teens and Media

Here’s one for parents to read and consider. “Teenagers spend nearly nine hours a day absorbing media and despite all the new options, music and television remain the favorites.”


God will not remove the temptation, except you turn from the occasion. —Thomas Brooks

November 03, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne ($2.99); Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax ($2.99); Pursuing Peace by Robert Jones ($3.99); Real Peace by Andy Farmer ($3.99); Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns ($3.99); Bringing the Gospel Home by Randy Newman ($3.99); The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge ($3.99); Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias & Norm Geisler ($2.99); Comfort the Grieving by Paul Tautges ($3.99); Pray for the Flock by Brian Croft ($3.99); The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens ($2.99); 90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn ($1.99).

Do You Have a Really Good Man?

While I am admittedly biased here, I think Melissa knocks it out…of…the…park…with this one. “If we will only learn to appreciate our really good men for who they are and what they do, then one day, when they leave the last Oreo for us or when they make sure our car registration is up to date or when they wink at us across a crowded room, we’ll remember that real romance is so much more than diamonds and whatever Nicholas Sparks dreams up.”

How the Doctrine of Election Fuelled Jesus’ Work

I like this one. It’s a simple look at how the doctrine of election fuelled the work of Jesus. And if he loved the doctrine, who are we to despise it?

Grace To Mozambique

For a long time now Grace Fellowship Church has supported the work of Dr. Charles Woodrow, a medical missionary to Mozambique. I would encourage you to watch this introduction to the work in Mozambique and their need for more workers.

A Church Transforming Proverb

David Murray: “If there’s one thing that would transform our churches, it’s the application of the simple principle in these two proverbs…” He’s bang on, too.

This Day in 1784. English clergyman Thomas Coke first arrived in New York City 231 years ago today. Under John Welsey’s orders, Coke was the first Methodist bishop to come to the New World. *

That Vital Moment in Every Preacher’s Week

“We want results. And we want them fast. The trouble is we often have to wait. Whether in traffic, at the deli counter, at the pharmacy, at a restaurant, in a conversation, or for a website to load–we have to wait for things.”

Church, Stop Doing so Many Good Things

This is true for individuals as well. “Good activities are often the enemy of strategic activity. There are countless good things that a church can be doing at any given time but there are only a few things that are most strategic at any given time.”

Read Scripture Series: Job

The Bible Project continues their “Read Scripture” series with an 11-minute illustrated summary of the book of Job.


Unbelievers can tolerate Christ only as long as he is stripped of his real identity. —R.C. Sproul

November 02, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include several from Crossway: Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt ($4.99); Disciple by Bill Clem ($4.99); Community by Brad House ($4.99); Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson ($4.99). Also consider Sermons That Shaped America by William Barker ($1.99); Bonhoeffer Student Edition by Eric Metaxas ($1.99); NIV MacArthur Study Bible ($3.99); and How God Became Jesus by Michael Bird ($2.99).

The Kindle editions of the NIV Application Commentary set are on sale for just $4.99 or less each. This is considered a very good popular-level series. I’ve asterisked volumes especially recommended by the various experts I rely on to help me sort through commentaries: Genesis*; Leviticus, Numbers; Deuteronomy*; Joshua; Judges and Ruth*; 1 & 2 Kings; 1 & 2 Chronicles*; Esther*; JobEcclesiastes, Song of Songs*; Isaiah; Jeremiah, Lamentations; Ezekiel*; Daniel*; Joel, Obadiah, Malachi; Hosea, Amos, Micah; Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah; Haggai, Zechariah; Matthew; Mark*; Luke*; John; Acts*; Romans*; 1 Corinthians*; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians*; Colossians & Philemon*; 1 & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus*; Hebrews*; James; 1 Peter*; 2 Peter & Jude*; 1, 2, & 3 John*; Revelation*.

Sex & Money

This month’s free audiobook from Christian Audio is Paul Tripp’s Sex & Money. It’s free for the taking.

We’re Burning Babies

“I’ve now gone through the second set of leaked Planned Parenthood videos [which discuss] how to dispose of the babies once they’ve been turned into corpses. I’ve seen more in my work as an anti-abortion activist than I can possibly write, but for some reason, this series has left me more nauseated and heartbroken than the worst abortion footage I’ve ever seen.”

40 Thoughts for My 40th Birthday

Jared Wilson: “Today’s my 40th birthday. As a way of reflecting on my long, unbroken track record of unsurpassed mediocrity, here is a list of things I’ve learned, discovered, and experienced, and that I now think — one for each year of living.”

Bearing Burdens

It is worth reading this short article on the ministry of bearing the burdens of other people. The payoff is in the final paragraph.

Thermonuclear Art

Here’s some amazing footage of the sun. NASA says, “Presented in ultra-high definition video (4K) the video presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”

This Day in 1533. John Calvin fled Paris 482 years ago today for calling the church to turn from their traditions and embrace New Testament ideals. *

498 Years Ago

Last week Justin Taylor interviewed Carl Trueman about Martin Luther.

The Key to a Happy Marriage

This shouldn’t be too surprising. “After interviewing 468 married individuals on relationship satisfaction, covering everything from communication habits to finances, they found that the ‘most consistent significant predictor’ of happy marriages was whether one’s spouse expressed gratitude.”


One of the saddest things about this fallen world is that an adoption can cost $40,000 and an abortion $400. —David Sitton

October 31, 2015

Here are a few new Kindle deals: The Betrayal by Douglas Bond ($0.99); Recovering the Reformed Confession by R. Scott Clark ($0.99); Tributes to John Calvin by David Hall ($1.99); Martin Luther by Stephen Nichols ($1.99); The Deity of Christ by Christopher Morgan & Robert Peterson ($4.61).

Is the Reformation Over?

If you know much about R.C. Sproul, you’ll be able to anticipate his answer to this question. His final paragraph is pure gold. I predict that as we come to the 500th anniversary of 1517, we will find a resurgence of people disagreeing with him.

An FAQ on Mysticism

Justin Taylor posted a very, very helpful FAQ on mysticism. He defines mysticism, provides historical examples, and then shows both the similarities and differences with biblical spirituality.

Daylight Savings Time

Here are the realities and myths of daylight savings time.

Absurd Creature of the Week

Here’s a bizarre and beautiful creature. “These are the rare dalcerids, also known as the jewel caterpillars, creatures of such beauty that you might just want to wrap one in a gold chain and hang it around your neck.”

This Day in 1517. At age 31, German Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg—which sparked the Protestant Reformation! *

The Refugees’ Journey Through Europe

What a sad, sad situation as refugees pour into Europe.

Reformed Presbyterian Theological Journal

Thanks to RPTS for sponsoring the blog this week with news of their new (free) journal. This blog depends upon sponsors to cover the various costs involved, so I am grateful to each one of them.

Why I’m Not a Christian

Cameron Fathauer was one of my summer interns this year (who, after the summer, was involved in a terrible accident). He has been released from hospital and today is leading an event meant to answer tough questions about Christianity. He invites you to participate via livestream. 


Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. —D.A. Carson

October 30, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Skeletons in God’s Closet by Joshua Butler ($2.99); Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware ($2.99); Hero of Heroes by Iain Duguid ($1.99); Double Play by Ben & Julianna Zobrist ($0.99); The Simple Gospel by Jon Cardwell ($0.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson ($0.99). Finally, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the (general market) book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield ($0.99).

The Reformation Gave Us a Seat at the Table

Kevin DeYoung: “Among all the critical rediscoveries during the Reformation, it is easy to overlook the importance of recovering the Lord’s Supper as a covenantal meal (not a re-presenting of Christ’s atoning death) with all the elements (bread and cup) distributed to every believer (no longer withholding the cup from the laity).”

He Giveth More Grace

Jamie Brown shared a new melody for a beautiful hymn of encouragement: “Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision / Our God ever yearns His resources to share / Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing / The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.”

No Creed but the Bible

I appreciate John Piper’s handling of the idea that we need no creed but the Bible. (As I’ve published quizzes on matters of doctrine, I’ve been surprised by how many people refuse to treat creeds and confessions with any kind of value or authority.)

Last Words

Ed Welch reflects on last words. “A child would not fully understand, but an adult does: with life’s uncertainty in mind, we are especially careful with our words and relationships.”

This Day in 1536. Thirteen years after Lutheran ministers came to bring spiritual renewal to its people, Denmark adopted Lutheranism as its official state religion. Today more than 80% of Danish people are adherents of the Luthern Church but less than 4% are considered Evangelical. *

The Curator

Baseball (and sports) fans will enjoy The Curator , a short film about a man with a unique job.

Activism, Apathy, or Affliction?

When the laws are changing, God’s people need to be praying (and fasting). “Perhaps we have not seriously enough considered seasons of sincere fasting and prayer among God’s people – days of affliction of the body for the sharpening of the soul.”

Fly Free Forever

“Back in 1981, in an effort to raise some quick funds, American Airlines introduced a $250,000 pass (about $641,000 today) that would allow customers to fly on its airlines for free for the rest of their lives.” It proved to be a terrible and costly mistake.


Eternity will be too short fully to recount His praise. Let us not shorten our joy by neglecting to begin on earth. —Henry Law

October 29, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include two volumes from the excellent Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series: James ($2.99) and 1 Peter ($0.99). Other deals include The Man of Sin by Kim Riddlebarger ($1.99); Made in Heaven by Ray Comfort ($2.99); An Introduction to Wisdom and Poetry of the Old Testament by Donald Berry ($0.99); The Gospels and Acts (The Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible) ($2.99); The Five Points of Calvinism by Edwin Palmer ($0.99).

Why Abortion Is Unjust Discrimination

This helpful animated video shows why abortion is unjust discrimination.

Should Christians Take Part in Halloween Celebrations?

“These kinds of disputes are not uncommon in the history of the church. In Biblical times, believers argued about all kinds of things like food, festivals, celebrations, and rules…” (If you want to know my view on it, well, we just sorted out our girls’ costumes for Saturday.)

Scary Stuff

While we’re on the subject of Halloween, Janie at Redeemed Reader says, “In general, I don’t consider horror stories to be of much value for Christians, for three reasons.” (And, as it happens, we do not allow our children to participate in Halloween as horror or occult characters.)

Why “God’s Not Dead” Resonated, and What It Missed

With God’s Not Dead 2 in the works, Trevin Wax looks at why the first movie resonated and what it missed. 

Are Daily Fantasy Leagues Immoral?

Daily fantasy leagues are in the news a lot today. Brad Hambrick looks at the phenomenon from a counselor’s perspective and asks whether they are something that Christians should participate in.

This Day in 1837. Statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper was born 178 years ago today. “So strongly was his Christian touch felt in his native land that the nation came together to celebrate his seventieth birthday.” *

The History of Western Philosophy

Westminster Books is offering a steep discount on John Frame’s massive new work.

Reformation Reminders

Eric Davis offers a series of Reformation Reminders to remind us why the Reformation was a necessity. (I may say more about this later, but touring the grand cathedrals in Germany and Austria and seeing the relics and superstition, was shocking to this Protestant.)


God is good to all in some ways and to some in all ways. —J.I. Packer

October 28, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three titles by Joel Beeke: Family Worship, The Family at Church, and Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children ($0.99 each). Also consider The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Recovering the Real Lost Gospel by Darrell Bock ($2.99); Safe? by Frank Retief ($1.99); No Tears in Heaven and Mother, Sister and Follower by Charles Spurgeon ($1.99 each).

Also, the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is on sale today in the Kindle versions ($2.99 each): Exodus, Song of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians; Ezra & Nehemiah, Matthew, MarkEphesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John. These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

Theologians (and pastors) take note.

New Planned Parenthood Video

The eleventh video from the Center for Medical Progress was released yesterday and it just continues the horror.

Six Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness and Joy

Mark Altrogge: “As we make gratitude a habit by practicing it over and over, it becomes part of us. Natural. As natural as complaining. And eventually thankfulness will drive out that demon of grumbling and we’ll experience more and more consistent joy.”

Before Galaxies Stood Forth, He Knew You

“The cosmic love and wisdom of God should be a truth that collides with our heart (for it is personal to us) and explodes in our soul (for it will stir you to worship).”

This Day in 1646. At age 42, colonial missionary John Eliot (“Apostle to the New England Indians”) conducted the first Protestant worship service for the Native Americans. He was the first to preach a sermon to them in their own language. *

Debunking 4 Myths About Religious Freedom

Russell Moore debunks a few common myths.

Why Study Hebrew (or Greek)?

I really appreciate David Murray’s answer here.


It is no less difficult to have great abilities than great riches without trusting in them. —John Newton

October 27, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include a lot of R.C. Sproul: The Promises of God ($1.99); How Then Shall We Worship? ($1.99); Pleasing God ($1.99); The Work of Christ ($2.99); and The Dark Side of Islam ($2.99). It’s never the wrong time to read an R.C. Sproul book! Also, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and Gregg Allison’s accompanying Historical Theology are both marked way down at $7.99.

A Praying Man

This is beautiful: “It is a blessing to my heart to know that this father in the faith is storming heaven on my behalf day by day, that I need only to drop him a note with a particular request and he is sure to take it to the Lord.” Don’t we all want a praying man or woman in our lives?

Bedeviled by My Wife’s Dementia

Douglas Groothuis writes movingly about his wife’s dementia and his deep struggles in and through it.

The Neglected Pastoral Priority

Brian Croft says (rightly no doubt) that prayer is the most commonly neglected pastoral priority. “Ironically, a pastor can be so busy caring for his people that he never makes time to stop and pray for them.”

Eight Life-Changing Things Someone Taught Me

Lore shares eight important lessons she has learned along the way.

This Day in 1978. Today marks 37 years since the New International Version (NIV) Bible was first published. *

Can a Word Be a Punctuation Mark?

I love these articles. In this one Bill Mounce asks whether it is okay to translate a Greek word with an English punctuation mark.

The Cowboy and The Shepherd

Southern Seminary: “Enjoy this brief glance into the life of Southern Seminary Alumnus, Texas Pastor John Powell, who’s learned how to be both a cowboy and a shepherd.”

And, while we’re on the subject of Southern Seminary, you may be interested to note that today Al Mohler has a new book, a new (or redesigned, at least) web site, and a new app.


Always and everywhere the servants of Christ are under orders to evangelize. —J.I. Packer