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A La Carte

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

August 17, 2015

I have some Kindle deals for you but first, if you’re after a Kindle device, the Kindle Fire HD 6 is on sale today at just $69. And now here are some book deals: Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully by John Piper ($3.99); A Christian Guide to the Classics by Leland Ryken ($4.99); Lit! by Tony Reinke ($4.99); Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch ($0.99); God With Us by Glenn Kreider ($5.88); 

Why Gay Marriage Can’t Be Christian Marriage

Ben Witherington shows from the Bible why gay marriage can never be Christian marriage. “At the end of the day either we realize that gender matters, and gender difference is essential to a real Christian marriage, or we totally change the definition of what counts as marriage, what counts as husband and wife, what counts as mother and father Biblically speaking.”

Don’t Give Up

Tim Chester provides some helpful guidance for battling that sin you’re struggling with.

Sexual Orientation is Fluid?

Gene Veith points to a growing trend in the wider world: Claiming that sexual orientation is fluid. “Instead of the view that homosexuality is a fixed, permanent, non-alterable state, the word now, including among gays, is that sexual preference is ‘fluid’ and exists along a continuum.”

Wasps vs Bees

You know you’ve wondered at one time or another: What’s the difference between a wasp and a bee?

Today in 1761: William Carey was born. He would become that generation’s most influential voice on Christian mission and usher in the age of Christian missions. In 1793 he set sail to India where he would give 41 years of his life to translating the Bible and sharing the gospel. *

Los Angeles

You can experience some of the best and most interesting bits of Los Angeles with this impressive video.

Warren Harding

Warren Harding just can’t stay out of the news. But this historian says “If we weren’t so obsessed with Warren G. Harding’s sex life, we’d realize he was a pretty good president.”


Perfect holiness is the aim of the saints on earth, and it is the reward of the saints in Heaven. —Joseph Caryl

August 15, 2015

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi ($2.99); The New American Commentary (Isaiah 40-66) by Gary Smith ($2.99); Jesus and the Gospels by Craig Blomberg ($1.99); Logged On and Tuned Out by Vicki Courtney ($2.99); Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully by John Piper ($3.99).

The True Purpose of Microsoft Solitaire, Minesweeper, and FreeCell

This is fascinating if true. “But as fun as these games were, they weren’t actually designed for entertainment. At least not in their Windows incarnations.”

Explosions Shock China’s Tianjin Port

The Big Picture travels to the scene of devastation in China.

On This Day in 1964: Helen Roseveare was taken captive by Congolese rebels. Treated barbarically, she would later say “In my heart was an amazing peace, a realization that I was being highly privileged to be identified with [Christ] in a new way, in the way of Calvary.” I have previously written about this here*

Should Women Be Police Officers?

Whether or not you quite agree with him, you’ll probably appreciate hearing John Piper’s attempt to sort through what the Bible says on a question like this.

Why Gay Marriage Proponents Can’t Appeal to the Abolitionist Movement

It’s a favored tactic, but it just doesn’t hold. “So, for Vines, the church was basically supportive of slavery throughout history until the 19th century, when ‘experience’ brought about a reinterpretation of Scripture. But is this a fair historical account? Most importantly, does it do justice to the authority of Scripture?”

How Does a Jellyfish Sting?

And just as importantly, what do you do about it?

Your Church Needs a Great Website

Thanks to MereChurch for sponsoring the blog this week.


The first step to mercy, is to see our own misery; the first step toward heaven, is to see ourselves near hell. —Thomas Brooks

August 14, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include many of B&H’s “Perspectives” books which are down to $0.99 each: Perspectives on the Sabbath; Perspectives on the Ending of Mark; Perspectives on Your Child’s Education; Perspectives on Family Ministry; Perspectives on the Doctrine of God; Perspectives on Election; Perspective on Children’s Spiritual Formation; Perspectives on Church Government; Perspectives on Christian Worship. Also consider Preaching in the Holy Spirit by Albert Martin ($3.99); Found: God’s Peace by John MacArthur ($1.99); How to Study the Bible by John MacArthur ($4.61).

We’re All Sadists Now

Carl Trueman: “DeSade’s ideal world is that to which we appear to be heading. Like him, we deny any intrinsic moral significance to sexual activity whatsoever and thus see it as something which is of no more ethical importance than buying a cup of coffee or eating a sandwich.”

The Story

You will enjoy this video which tells how it all began and how it will never end.

Exposing the Hate

“Abortion, racism, violence, moral apathy, and political posturing. This is the suffocating and nauseating smog that dominates American News. It makes Christian’s pray, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Lord.”

This Day in 1822: James Strong was born. The great labor of Strong’s life would be Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The concordance, which would take him thirty-five years to complete, is still widely used today. *

What To Do After You Preach

Dave Harvey has some wise counsel for preachers. “The conclusion of a sermon is a dangerous moment for the preacher.”

The Coddling of the American Mind

There are lots of interesting takeaways from this article about trigger warnings and the coddling of the American mind. “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”

What It’s Like When You Publish a Book

Nick’s experience of publishing his first book sounds an awful lot like mine.


There are many who preach Christ, but not so many who live Christ. My great aim will be to live Christ. —Robert Chapman

August 13, 2015

Here’s a Kindle deal that will interest you: Adoption: What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us about This Countercultural Choice by Russell Moore is free, today only. Also consider 60 People Who Shaped the Church by Alton Gansky ($1.99); Introduction to Global Missions by Zane Pratt ($2.99); Missiology by John Mark Terry ($2.99).

Westminster Books is offering a steep discount if you buy one or more cases of Russell Moore’s book Adoption (about $1.75 each) or Scott Klusendorf’s The Case for Life ($4.99 each). Both are excellent and worthy of wide distribution.

The Orphan Without a Face

Here’s a sad bit of biography. “When a horrifying bacterial infection disfigured my newborn face, my parents abandoned me right there in my hospital bed. The only thing more painful than knowing they left me behind was finding them 38 years later.” (Note: The article contains a small amount of bad language.)

Elisabeth Elliot Memorial Service

Here is a recording from the Elisabeth Elliot Memorial Service held at Wheaton College, Sunday, July 26, 2015.

Protest Planned Parenthood

There are lots of #ProtestPP protests coming up. This site offers a listing.

This Day in History: James Stewart lands in Capetown, South Africa to work with David Livingstone. He soon grows weary of Livingstone and decides to open a school for African children, founding what soon became a premiere educational establishment. *

Extreme Means

This article details some of the extreme means pet owners are taking to keep their pets alive. Pet health care is getting as sophisticated as the two-legged variety.

Had a Miserable Day

There can be a danger in forgetting that even our heroes were imperfect. Tim Keesee digs into William Carey’s journals and shares a couple of his bad days.

Do We Alienate Our White Brothers and Sisters?

Earlier in the week I shared an article from the Reformed African American Network and this one from the same site seems like an appropriate complement to it.


If truth were told, most of us spend longer each day on personal cleanliness than on practical godliness. —Alistair Begg

August 12, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: I’ve heard nothing but good about Karen Swallow Prior’s Fierce Convictions ($1.99). Also consider: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson ($1.99); Cross edited by John Piper ($1.99); The Gospel According to Daniel by Bryan Chapell ($3.99); 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists by Ken Boa & Robert Bowman ($0.99); A Short World History of Christianity by Robert Mullin ($4.99); In God We Trust by Steve Ham ($2.99).

The Biggest Story

Westminster Books has a great deal on a book you can’t buy anywhere else right now: Kevin DeYoung’s new The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden. It’s a great book to read to your kids.

9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb offer 9 practical things you can do to protect children from sexual abuse. Be sure to check out their forthcoming kids’ book God Made All of Me. I’ve read it; it’s excellent.

12 Things That Every First Time Dad Should Know

Deepak Reju: “So your wife is expecting? How kind of God to give you a child. There are many things to think about as you prepare for fatherhood. Here are 12 for you to consider as you get ready to meet your son or daughter.”

Compelling Interest

Here’s a bonus free audiobook from Christian Audio. “In Compelling Interest, author Roger Resler draws on original sources, including the actual transcripts for oral arguments, the majority and minority opinions, and comments by the lawyers and others involved to take a careful look at the real story behind the historic Roe v. Wade decision.”

Against the Grain

Here’s why it’s so important to cut your steak against the grain rather than with the grain.

This Day in 1812: Archibald Alexander became the first professor at the newly founded Princeton Theological Seminary. For the first academic year he would serve as the only professor, before being joined the next year by Samuel Miller. *

Unanswered Prayer

Why does God sometimes choose not to answer prayer? Tim Lane has a possible answer.

Stories of God’s Grace: Stephen and Ellen

Here’s an encouraging little video about Stephen and Ellen, parents of quintuplets. “Our life is a testimony to the strength that God gives you when you think you have nothing…”


None can know their election but by their conformity to Christ; for all who are chosen are chosen to sanctification. —Matthew Henry

August 11, 2015

I am trying out a slightly revised format for A La Carte. If you receive this via RSS or email, the formatting ought to improve over the next few days, so bear with me.

Reformation Heritage Books has some good biographies on sale in Kindle formats: An All-Surpassing Fellowship: Learning from Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Communion with God ($2.99); The Life and Times of Arthur Hildersham ($4.99); Calvin, Theologian and Reformer ($3.50); A Life of Gospel Peace: A Biography of Jeremiah Burroughs ($4.50); Living Blessedly Forever ($3.50); Anne Steele and Her Spiritual Vision ($3.99); Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow’s Experimental Preaching ($4.99).

An Abortion Testimony: It Matters to This One

This powerful and moving account was written by Latayne Scott, author of The Mormon Mirage.

How America’s Lost Colony Vanished

Artifacts suggest that some members of the ill-fated English settlement on Roanoke Island survived and assimilated with Native Americans.


Here’s a fascinating visualization of nuclear detonations from 1945 to present.

This day in 1778: Pastor and hymnwriter Augustus Toplady died from tuberculosis. The day he died he was crying out “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!” His best-known hymn remains a favorite today: “Rock of Ages.” (read more)

9Marks Mailbag

The 9Marks mailbag is always worth reading. This time around Jonathan Leeman comments on: Why “Disowning” Family Members Isn’t an Option; Term Limits for Elders; Expedited Church Discipline; and Can I Leave My Family’s Church?

Missing the Target

“Over the weekend, Target became the next corporate power, after Amazon, to rid themselves of all gender designations and labels for children’s toys and bedding.” Grant Castleberry comments for CBMW.

Hope for the Unhappily Single

“There is a new and widespread epidemic in our nation and even in our churches. It’s called the not-yet-married life.”


It is better to preach five words of God’s Word than five million words of man’s wisdom. — C.H. Spurgeon