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A La Carte

March 17, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Bible’s Promises for Life ESV ($0.99); The Bible’s Promises for Women ESV ($0.99); Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian ($5.99); Contentment by Lydia Brownback ($1.99). And the ones you missed on Saturday: The Essential Works of E.M. Bounds ($0.99); Supernatural Living for Natural People by Ray Ortlund ($3.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); He Gave Us a Valley by Hellen Roseveare ($3.99); The Life of A.W. Tozer by James Snyder ($2.99). You’ll also find a whole lot of Tozer’s works on sale: Living as a Christian ($2.99); Experiencing the Presence of God ($2.99); Reclaiming Christianity ($2.99); The Purpose of Man ($2.99); The Crucified Life ($1.99); And He Dwelt Among Us ($2.99); The Dangers of a Shallow Faith ($2.99).

The Fate of Richard Dawkins - There is a lot to think about in this article about Richard Dawkins and his presence on Twitter. “We are seeing how Dawkins’s mind works prior to his exercise of thought and self-editing, and it isn’t pretty.” Could the same be said of you?

God’s Not Dead - Here’s a 5-minute video you may enjoy: “Is God dead? Not in academia. As someone who teaches philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Vince Vitale is well placed to know what the top scholarship says about God. Vince shows how in the fields of philosophy and sociology, God is very much alive. If you think intellectual objections undermine belief in God, Vince suggests that you may be unaware of the arguments at the highest level.”

Raised? - Raised? is a 4-part film that ties in to a new book of the same title. It’s well worth watching.

The Word of God: Jesus or the Bible? - If Jesus is the Word of God, can we still call the Bible the Word of God? What’s going on here? Derek Rishmawy provides a sound answer.

Idolatry in Corporate Worship - Bob Kauflin offers guidance in answering this question: What’s your greatest hindrance to worshiping God as you gather with the church for corporate worship?

Stop Binge-Watching, Start Binge-Reading - While I don’t think we ever want to let go of self-control (as the word “binge” indicates), I think there’s a lot to be said for what Phil Edwards says in this article.

Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can. —J.C. Ryle

JR Ryle

March 15, 2014

There are a bunch of new Kindle deals today: The Essential Works of E.M. Bounds ($0.99); Supernatural Living for Natural People by Ray Ortlund ($3.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); He Gave Us a Valley by Hellen Roseveare ($3.99); The Life of A.W. Tozer by James Snyder ($2.99). You’ll also find a whole lot of Tozer’s works on sale: Living as a Christian ($2.99); Experiencing the Presence of God ($2.99); Reclaiming Christianity ($2.99); The Purpose of Man ($2.99); The Crucified Life ($1.99); And He Dwelt Among Us ($2.99); The Dangers of a Shallow Faith ($2.99).

You’re Free to Toke Up - Andy Crouch: “With the recreational use of marijuana now legal in Colorado and Washington (and the Obama administration disinclined to enforce federal laws against it), it’s only a matter of time before it is completely legal coast to coast to toke up. This is a great opportunity—not to use pot, but to reflect on the true nature of Christian freedom.”

Why We Argue Like Jerks - There’s food for thought here. “It seems like peaceful, dissenting discourse proves itself more challenging by the day. A recent story in The Atlantic about Frank Luntz, a veteran political consultant, comments not only on the increasing divide between Americans, but the nature of the conversation. Luntz tells us that ‘[Americans] want to impose their opinions rather than express them’.”

Books at a Glance - This may be a helpful resource for the pastor who is too busy to read every book. It is, essentially, executive summaries of good Christian books.

Evangelism Is Like Baseball - I appreciate the point of this article: It’s okay to hit a single.

Leon Morris at 100 - “Leon Morris was born 15 March, 1914. So today marks the centenary of his birth. If you don’t know his name, he is one of foremost biblical scholars Australia has ever produced.” Here’s a brief remembrance.

Kindness makes a person attractive. If you would win the world, melt it, do not hammer it. —Alexander MacLaren


March 14, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals to consider: The King James Version Debate by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Toward an Exegetical Theology by Walter Kaiser ($4.99); Five Points by John Piper ($5.69); Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias ($1.99); The Kingdom of the Occult by Walter Martin ($3.99).

Hiding Place - Matthew Smith (of Indelible Grace fame) has a new album out titled Hiding Place. It’s more of what we’ve come to love and expect from him: a collection of retuned hymns.

Logos Reformed - Logos has just begun offering Reformed base packages. If you’ve ever looked at the software and wanted a higher percentage of the base resources to be theologically relevant to you, well, here to go. You can use the coupon code CHALLIES5 to get 15% off.

Growing Older - Randy Alcorn writes about different perspectives on age and aging.

Single vs Married Pastors - Steve Dewitt was a single pastor for quite a long time before marrying. In this article at TGC he writes about the advantages of each. “I am happy to be married. And it was a joy to serve the church as a single man. Too often this debate forces us to choose sides. But the Bible doesn’t rank them; it honors both sides. The church should as well. As a man who now has lived in both worlds, I would urge churches and search committees to evaluate men for pastoral ministry based on their character, gifts, and maturity, not on their marital status.”

The Missing Jet - This special feature at the Washington Post tries to show the scale of what’s involved in finding Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Faith and Healing Observations - Here are seven brief observations about faith and healing in the Bible.

Familiarity with vice does not produce disgust, it produces attachment. —John MacArthur


March 13, 2014

Prayer is Ridiculous - On the face of it, prayer is absurd. This post shows us why it would be absurd, except for the involvement and invitation of a kind and loving God.

What You Really Need in Marriage - I really appreciate what Mark Altrogge says in this post.

Who Was St. Patrick? - This short video explains who St. Patrick was and wasn’t. Interestingly, he wasn’t Irish, a saint, or a snake charmer.

Various Kinds of Tongues - Whether or not you agree with Nathan Busenitz’s cessationist position, his series on biblical tongues will at least give you a sensible cessationist explanation of key passages used by continuationists.

What Every Parent Must Do - Elisha Galotti went to J.C. Ryle’s article The Duties of Parents, and finds 17 things every parent must do.

Learn to Fly in the Fellowship - David Mathis: “The koinonia — the commonality, partnership, fellowship — which the first Christians shared wasn’t a common love for pizza, pop, and a nice clean evening of fun among the fellow churchified. It was their common Christ, and their common life-or-death mission together in his summons to take the faith worldwide in the face of impending persecution.”

The greatest contest between God and us is whose will shall stand: God’s will, or ours? —Thomas Manton


March 12, 2014

Here are a few Kindle deals: An Infinite Journey by Andrew Davis ($4.99); Center Church by Tim Keller ($2.99). They aren’t Christian books and will require some discernment, but Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and The Tipping Point are $3.99 while Susan Cain’s Quiet is $2.99.

The Church’s Identity - Erik Raymond looks at the way society allows people to customize gender today, and then compares that to the church. It’s an apt comparison.

Passion Week Infographic - Josh Byers has a pretty good infographic on the Passion Week that may interest you.

Arms Wide Open - Here’s a longform article about Rio’s Christ the Redeemer. It’s makes for quite an interesting read.

Made For Another World - “This is as good as it gets!” I said out loud as I raised my glass to toast the Creator. “A true masterpiece! Thank you!” Paradise restored! My spot on the new earth—no visible sin, no stress, no disability, no pain, sorrow or depression. This…is as good as it gets! And that’s when it happened.

The Battle Against Busyness - J.D. Greear offers four ways to win the battle against busyness.

Germany Needs the Gospel - Germany needs the gospel. That’s the obvious takeaway from this article from Newsweek (HT:JT).

The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men. —John Owen


March 11, 2014

Here are a couple of new Kindle deals: Finally Free by Heath Lambert is one of the best books out there on battling pornography ($3.99); The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley & Nora Shank is brand new ($0.99—today only); Interpreting Gospel Narratives ($0.99); Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton ($3.99).

Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord - Johnny Farese has gone to be with the Lord. If you’ve never heard of him, be sure to click the link and check out the videos.

Rain for Roots - Rain for Roots produces great music for kids. They have a new album releasing this week titled The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like This.

Thabiti Makes an Announcement - Thabiti Anyabwile: “Yesterday my family and I announced the most difficult and emotional decision we’ve ever made in Christian ministry. We shared with the spiritual family and congregation we love our plans to transition from FBC Grand Cayman to return stateside to plant a church East of the River in Washington, D.C.”

Gender, Discrimination, Marriage - This is worth thinking about: “In the name of equality, same-sex marriage seeks to codify gender discrimination. But marriage welcomes everyone: husband and wife, father and mother, grandfather and grandmother.

Should We Expect More from Our Teenagers? - “My oldest daughter was talking to me yesterday about how some of her friends buy their likes on Instagram.” It sounds pathetic until you realize that many adults do something similar.

If It Looks Like Rome… - This article looks at some church practices gaining in popularity that owe more to Rome than Geneva.

Christ took our humanity so that he might take our sins. —David Wells


March 10, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace (Free!); Precious Blood edited by Richard Phillips ($1.99); Raised with Christ by Adrian Warnock ($1.99); Salvation Accomplished by the Son by Robert Peterson ($2.99); One with Christ by Marcus Johnson ($2.99). While it’s not a Christian book and while undoubtedly require some discernment, I’ve heard lots of good feedback on Daniel Kahnmen’s Thinking Fast and Slow ($2.99).

Pop Stars Who Are Pastors’ Kids - Relevant rounds up ten pop stars who are sons or daughters of pastors.

My Girlfriend’s Sexual Past - This is a question I have been asked many times: How can I deal with the hurt of my [significant other’s] past? Boundless provides a helpful answer.

Understanding Ukraine - The situation in Ukraine is, like all conflicts, difficult to understand. This video introduces at least some of the background issues.

When People Choose the Headlines - Here is an experiment in what would happen if people, rather than editors, chose the front page new stories.

Five Things We Miss - Here are five things we miss if we don’t give, and especially to the needy.

Calories at Starbucks - Here is the calorie count for a selection of drinks at Starbucks. That Peppermint White Chocoloate Mocha has as many calories as almost 4 cans of Coke!

The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world! —Phillip Brooks


March 08, 2014

The Root of Idolatry - R.C. Sproul Jr on watching the trailer for Son of God: “I had a profound, deep, emotional, religious experience, fueled by a man made, false presentation of Jesus. Much like the children of Israel had a profound, deep, emotional, religious experience, fueled by a man made, false presentation of God, in the form of a golden calf.”

Church Planting Success - I appreciate much of what Mez McConnell says in this article, and especially his thoughts about fear of failure.

Menlo Park Leaves the PCUSA - “Members of one of the largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted to leave the denomination, despite facing an $8.89 million cost for leaving.”

An Open Apology - Here, from Christianity Today, is Katelyn Beaty’s open apology to the local church. She draws out some important and valid points.

What Works for Us - Here is a quick look at how just one family does their time of family worship. What works for them might work for you.

10 Technological Breakthroughs - Here are 10 recent technological breakthroughs that may just change the world.

A man with God is always in the majority. —John Knox   


March 07, 2014

There’s just one new Kindle deal today: The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($3.99). Time’s running out for these deals I shared earlier this week: The Final Days of Jesus by Justin Taylor & Andreas Kostenberger is brand new ($5.99); How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis & Jonathan Parnell ($1.99); The Man Christ Jesus by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness by Brian Vickers ($1.99). If you’re into print books, you may want to check out this sale from Westminster Books.

When the Power Goes Out - I enjoyed reading this: “I’m in Los Angeles at Grace Church for the Shepherds’ Conference along with 3,000-plus other pastors, and mid sermon the power went out. The place went black with only emergency lights dimly shining in the cavernous brick auditorium that is Grace Church. What did John MacArthur do? He grabbed a flashlight and just kept on preaching…”

In Praise of Long Pastorates - H.B Charles Jr.: “I still believe it is best for pastors and congregations when a man plants his flag and determines to serve a local church for the long haul.”

Four Reasons for Addictions - Ed Welch describes four different kinds of addicts.

Buying Your Way to the Bestseller List - I appreciate Jared Wilson’s take on people who use various techniques to buy their way onto the bestseller lists.

15 Pointers for Preachers - There is lots of wisdom in these 15 pointers for preachers.

Defend the Bible? I’d sooner defend a lion! Turn it loose, and it will defend itself. —C.H. Spurgeon


March 06, 2014

There are just a couple of new Kindle deals today: 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold ($2.99); Finding God in Hidden Places by Joni Eareckson Tada ($0.99).

You’re Going to Die - This is good stuff from Jared Wilson: “You know, it’s possible that God’s plan for us is littleness. His plan for us may be personal failure. It’s possible that when another door closes, it’s not because he plans to open a window but because he plans to have the building fall down on you. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Will Christ be enough?”

A Hostile Culture - Randy Alcorn offers a great answer to this question: What is your advice on how believers should deal with a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christianity?

Young, Restless, and Reformed Homeboys on Lenten Fasting - I enjoyed this article. “Packiam is endemic of how most Lent-adopters talk about church history: They denigrate (explicitly or implicitly) their low-church Evangelicalism as unmoored from tradition and underscore how adopting the liturgical practice connects them to the historic church.”

Rediscovering Jesus’ Hymnbook - Joe Holland offers a good list of reasons to sing the psalms, along with some advice on how to get started.

Inferior Technology - Is the printed book inferior technology to the ebook? Maybe not.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners - “As precious as this truth is—that Jesus is a friend of sinners—it, like every other precious truth in the Bible, needs to be safeguarded against doctrinal and ethical error. It is all too easy, and amazingly common, for Christians (or non-Christians) to take the general truth that Jesus was a friend of sinners and twist it all out of biblical recognition.”

The place where God has supremely destroyed all human arrogance and pretension is the cross. —D.A. Carson