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December 11, 2013

Jesus, Jacob, and the Polar Express - Read this one: “We do Santa Clause at our house. There. I admitted it. Online, in a Christian blogpost to be viewed by the cyber SWAT teams of theology police. And you can take away my John Calvin signature Reformed Theology card but it still wont change the fact that the guy in the red robe has a place in our home during the Advent season.”

7 Ways Social Media Makes Pastoring More Difficult - “Facebook can be very helpful to pastors. It helps us to know how to pray. It is a great avenue for communicating your message, making announcements, establishing connections, helping people to laugh, and a host of other things. It’s also a headache.”

An Interview on Sex, Dating, and Relationships - Justin Taylor has an interview with Gerald Hiestand who co-wrote the excellent book Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach.

Plain Dressing - Why do the Amish dress the way they do? This article explains. You probably already know, but of some interest is the fact that their dress is drawn from a variety of periods of history.

Football, Warrior Culture, Manhood - Owen Strachan has some good things to say about manhood. “Warrior culture and godly manhood are not one and the same. Too often, we act as if they are.”

In Christ Alone - The Gospel Coalition interviews Keith Getty on the recent buzz around the PCUSA’s decision to exclude “In Christ Alone” from their hymnal based on the song’s reference to the wrath of God.

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies but its obedience. —Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers

December 10, 2013

Here are some new Kindle deals: What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); Bringing the Gospel Home by Randy Newman ($1.99); Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade ($1.99); Lincoln’s Battle with God by Stephen Mansfield ($2.99); Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl by Paula Hendricks ($2.99).

Interview with MLJ - Here’s an interview of Martyn Lloyd-Jones that has just been posted to YouTube for the first time. “The program was one of a series made by the television company concerned in which Joan Bakewell interviewed public figures of all stripes who were trying to change society in some form or other, and so it was not religious programming - It had a broader mandate.”

The Falls Church Anglican has two new albums out: We Will Proclaim is a live concert recording, and a really good one at that; I’ve been listening to it on repeat for a couple of weeks now. For Our Salvation is a Christmas album that is also worth checking out.

The Road to Apostasy - “When someone walks away from the faith it sends seismic ripples throughout the church. Somewhere amid the shock and emotions, we realize that we saw alarming signs but didn’t think they would materialize. I personally have seen this happen far too many times. In each case however, the steps, the path is strikingly similar. So, how does it happen? Let me walk you down the road to apostasy. This is intended to illuminate this dark and often camouflaged path.”

9 Lies the Media Tells - Frank Viola “identified nine common lies perpetuated by people in the media. Granted, there are enough vocal evangelicals to bolster each of these stereotypes, so the media isn’t completely responsible. But nuance is necessary here. Thus this post.”

Verse-by-Verse - “Verse-by-verse preaching generally gets a head nod from preaching books as a technique for the overly-zealous Bible expositors who view the Bible more as a lecture than a sermon. But I’d like us to reconsider not simply expositional, but verse-by-verse preaching as a means to bridge the gap between this generation and the millennial generation for several reasons…”

God demands the tithe, deserves the offerings, defends the savings and directs the expenses. —Stephen Olford


December 09, 2013

Today only, several Kindle readers and tablets are on sale at 20% off. The base Kindle reader is just $55, the Kindle Fire tablet is $135, and the Kindle Fire HDX tablet is $183. And then there’s a whole list of new Kindle book deals that may interest you:

The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler ($3.99); God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton ($1.99); The Kingdom of God edited by Christopher Morgan & Robert Peterson ($0.99); Tough Topics by Sam Storms ($3.99); Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper ($2.99); Bloodlines by John Piper ($3.99); The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler ($2.99); The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge ($0.99); Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur ($2.99); The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile ($3.99); Hearing the Spirit by Christopher Ash ($2.99); God Redeeming His Bride by Robert Cheong ($4.99); Six Days by Ken Ham ($3.82); Mary: Another Redeemer? by James White ($2.99); Nothing is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller (free).

When We Send a Person To His Death - John Piper: “Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday. He was 33. He was a husband and father. The leaders of his home church have given me permission to respond to his death publicly and carefully.”

Nelson Mandela and the Ironies of History - Dr. Mohler writes about Nelson Mandela and avoids the extremes some fall into. “The death of Nelson Mandela represents a landmark in terms of history. But it is also, in terms of the Christian worldview, a cause for our deepest thinking about the intersection of history and destiny, of human rights and human dignity, and of character and leadership.” Also read Clint Archer’s article about how Mandela changed him.

Letting Pastors Be Real - From Christianity Today: “Dale Pyne says when we put pastors on a pedestal, they’re more likely to topple.”

One of the Biggest Mistakes Pastors Make - “Pastors, I want to talk frankly and, hopefully, with a spirit of love, about one of the biggest mistakes I see many of you make. Most pastors have little emphasis, or sometimes, even knowledge about the content that is taught in groups in their churches.”

How Can Jesus Not Know? - How can Christ say, ‘But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only’ (Mathew 24:36) when the three parts of the Trinity are one in essence and operate in perfect community/harmony?” The Gospel Coalition explains.

How Healthcare.gov Was Supposed to Work - The NY Times has a helpful graphic that shows how healthcare.gov was meant to work and where it all went wrong.

The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still. —A.W. Tozer


December 07, 2013

Here are a few new Kindle deals for you: The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile ($3.99); Hearing the Spirit by Christopher Ash ($2.99); God Redeeming His Bride by Robert Cheong ($4.99); Six Days by Ken Ham ($3.82); Mary: Another Redeemer? by James White ($2.99). Also, I keep half an eye on Amazon deals this time of year and noticed that Samsonite luggage is 78% off today only, which is a pretty amazing deal.

When I First Came to America - Carl Trueman: “The death of Paul Crouch last week brought back memories of my first extended stay — indeed, my first visit — to the USA.  It was in 1996 and I was a visiting research fellow at Calvin College in Michigan, working on my first book on John Owen.”

Steve Irwin Tribute - This is kind of silly, but kind of amazing too. It’s an autotuned tribute to Steve Irwin, celebrating the wonder he felt when observing and interacting with animals.

Scowling at the Angel - Read this one: “We sat together, just the two of us. The sun would be coming up any minute. We didn’t say much. We couldn’t. We were on the verge of bursting into tears, but neither did. What we did say was mostly of a lighthearted nature.”

The Gospel Shadow of Adoption - From Desiring God: “Aaron and Jamie Ivey were given a unique perspective on what it means to be adopted by God through their two-and-a-half-year journey to bring home their son. This is Amos’s story.”

Why Does He Look at Pornography? - “Something I have found personally helpful in counseling with both men and women through this issue is helping the counselee identify what motivates him or her to seek out pornography. In some ways we might say the actual viewing of pornography is symptomatic of a deeper worship disorder that is happening in the heart. What motivates and precedes the viewing of pornography?”

God’s wrath is his righteousness reacting against unrighteousness. —J.I. Packer


December 06, 2013

Errors of the Prosperity Gospel - Five errors of the prosperity gospel. “No matter what name is used, the essence of this new gospel is the same. Simply put, this egocentric ‘prosperity gospel’ teaches that God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy.”

How To Confess and Forgive - Thabiti Anyabwile reviews how to confess sin and how to extend forgiveness.

Generations - Here’s a gallery of multiple generations of families. It’s strangely fascinating.

The World Outside My Window - “This montage of time-lapse photography from the International Space Station is collected from many taken in Expeditions 29, 30 and 31.” You pretty much want to go full screen and HD.

12 Reasons to Pray Scripture - Andy Naselli shares twelve reasons you ought to pray Scripture.

Escaping the Cage Stage - R.C. Sproul: “My friend Michael Horton often comments on the phenomenon of ‘cage-stage Calvinism,’ that strange malady that seems to afflict so many people who have just seen the truth of the Reformed doctrines of grace. We’ve all known one of these ‘cage-stage Calvinists.’ Many of us were even one of them when we were first convinced of God’s sovereignty in salvation.”

We should not be entertained by the sins for which Christ died. —John MacArthur


December 05, 2013

Does God Listen to Rap? - The newest book from Cruciform Press is by Curtis Allen (aka “Voice”) and deals with a subject that has generated a lot of controversy over the past couple of weeks. We have marked down Does God Listen to Rap? to $1.99 for a few days (Kindle edition). Also, if you are interested in the subject James White’s Dividing Line this afternoon looks interesting. He will be joined by Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne and Ivey Conerly.

Eli to Everest! - Be sure to watch this one! “In March of 2013, Eli Reimer and a Team of 8 people spent 15 days on a Himalayan trail to Mount Everest Base Camp and back. Eli made it and in the process became the first American with Down Syndrome to do so. Here is the story and purpose behind his epic adventure.”

3 Critical Truths on Money - J.D. Greear: “In Zacchaeus, we see a stingy, fiscally corrupt man become one of the most generous people in the entire Bible. Zacchaeus teaches us three critical truths about our money…”

The Word Works, Even When It Doesn’t - This is an important article. “Over the past year of ministry I’ve come to recognize a troubling tendency in myself. It’s a tendency toward what you might call vicarious faith. My confidence in the power of God’s Word—of its truth, its beauty, its relevance—is far too closely tied to the visible faith of those I serve as they respond to the Word.”

Finals Week, First Things and Unfavorable Times - This is a reminder we all need, though students will especially benefit from it.

Adultery Prevention - This article nicely complements what I wrote yesterday. Rebecca VanDoodewaard writes from a woman’s perspective on how to prevent adultery in marriage.

There was never a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior. —C.H. Spurgeon


December 04, 2013

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Atheism Remix by Al Mohler ($2.99); The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler ($3.99); Lost and Found by Ed Stetzer ($2.99); Risk Is Right by John Piper ($1.99).

December 03, 2013

Here are a couple of Kindle deals: Marriage Matters by Winston Smith (free); A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture by Keith Mathison (free); The Millennials by Thom Rainer ($0.99); Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell ($3.99); When Missions Shapes the Mission by David Horner ($2.99); Scripture Alone by James White ($3.99); Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton ($3.99); Basics for Believers by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Why Cities Matter by Stephen Um & Justin Buzzard ($2.99)

Family Worship and its Benefits - This is true for so many: “Family worship. I know your reaction when you read those two words. I used to have the same response! Whenever that term or one like it was mentioned, I would inwardly cringe. Similar to the reaction many of us have when the word evangelism is uttered. Guilt begins to creep in, our shoulders begin to ache, and our spirits sink.”

3 Queens - Here is a celebration of 3 stay at home moms in 3 different regions of the country. But it’s a little bit better than that. (HT)

The Calvinist - Here’s a new poem by John Piper titled “The Calvinist.” It’s set to video and read by Matt Chandler, R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg and others…

The Drone Hype - I tend to agree with this guy: “Jeff Bezos’s ‘plan’ for drone deliveries is little more than a publicity stunt – timed for the biggest online shopping day of the year.”

John Shear’s Courage - This is a good story of a 90-year-old man saving the life of a little girl. (HT)

Flatterers look like friends as wolves look like dogs. —George Chapman


December 02, 2013

I’m always sharing deals on Kindle books, but today, for Cyber Monday, Amazon has discounted their flagship Kindle devices by $50 each: Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HDX. There’s a big list of Kindle deals here: Cyber Monday Kindle Deals for the Christian Reader. You can find other deals here: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Christians.

Genderqueer Rising - This is a fascinating but distressing article on the weird things that happen when people try to eliminate gender.

How Shall I Go To God? - Logos users will want to go and get their free book of the month: Horatius Bonar’s How Shall I Go To God?

Petra Live, 1978 - You’ll enjoy this if you’re a Petra fan: It’s a live concert from 1978!

Thinking About Rap - Al Mohler is thinking about rap. And Bach.

My Ministry Is Harder Than Yours - Mez McConnell has some good thoughts about difficult ministry.

That’s Not Ironic - Here’s a word we misuse an awful lot.

Meet Derrick - Ligonier Ministries: “The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this story of God’s grace with you. Meet Derrick.”

No time is so well spent in every day as that which we spend upon our knees. —J.C. Ryle


November 30, 2013

I continue to update Black Friday Kindle Deals for Christian Readers and Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013 Deals for Christians as I learn about new and interesting bargains.

9 Recommended Books on Leadership - Matt Perman has a list of 9 books on leadership you may want to consider reading. He also provides a helpful defense of reading general market books on leadership.

Engagements: The New Weddings - Yes, engagements have turned public and competitive. “It used to be that the most important decision a man had to make (after choosing the girl) was what type of ring to buy. Now he’s got to plan a knockout proposal—at least something cool and clever enough to go viral on YouTube.”

Does God Listen to Rap? - Justin Taylor: “Recently a panel answered a question on reformed rap.” He offers some resources and points to a new book by Curtis Allen you may want to check out. Mike Cosper also adds to the conversation, though I think parts of his reaction may be a little too strong.

Clara’s Heart - Jesse Johnson shares a sweet video: “Joe and Jo Portnoy are part of Immanuel Bible Church (the church I pastor), and this year they have been through a tremendous trail with their only child, Clara. On Thanksgiving they told our church how thankful they are for God’s goodness, for God’s salvation, and for the constant reminder that no story ends in this life.”

Free Speech - Here’s a good, short video on the value of free speech. Real free speech, that is.

Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell. —David Platt