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A La Carte

August 06, 2014

I’ve got just a few new Kindle deals for you today: Learn to Read New Testament Greek by David Alan Black ($7.99); Calvinism by Brad Waggoner & Ray Clendenen ($2.99); Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer & Mike Dodson ($2.99)

Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity? - Here is a good and helpful article from 9Marks.

Can There Be Thrills in Heaven? - If there is no risk in heaven, can there still be thrills? Randy Alcorns answers.

Perfect For Me - I like this: “My father-in-law has a profound little saying that sums up a biblical attitude spouses should have for one another. She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect for me.”

Top 15 One-Album Wonders - You’ll probably only enjoy this if you’ve been listening to Christian music for a long time.

9 Things You Should Know About Hamas - Courtesy of Joe Carter, here are 9 things you should know about Hamas.

It’s Okay to Believe the Bible - Yes, it is!

A repeated, fundamental assumption in the New Testament is that if you let Jesus into your heart you will let strangers into your home. — Sam Allberry


August 05, 2014

Today’s Kindle deals: Surprised by Suffering by R.C. Sproul (free); The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther by Andrew Lindsey ($3.99); Walking Like Jesus Did by Larry McCall ($3.99). Zondervan has some great deals: PROOF by Danial Montgomery & Timothy Paul Jones ($3.99); What’s Best Next by Matt Perman ($3.79); Raised? By Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson ($3.99); The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger & Greg Gilbert ($3.99); The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission by John Dickson ($3.99); The God I Don’t Understand by Christopher Wright ($3.79); Know the Heretics & Know the Creeds and Councils by Justin Holcomb ($3.99 each). (Also, Amazon has the Kindle Fire HDX at $130 off today.)

The Longest Brooding Period - “Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years—longer than any other known animal.”

2 Bible Belt Filmmakers - “It’s the Hollywood ending every studio wants: Low-cost production and high returns at the box office.” Christian films are showing the ability to do that very thing.

This Is What Anne Frank’s Arrest Looked Like - Here’s an excellent article on the tragic life and death of Anne Frank.

Feelings Are Real - “I don’t have anything against feelings. They are a gift from God. But I’m grateful that early on in my Christian life I heard a truth that helped me immensely: Feelings are real but they are not necessarily the truth.”

Mini Sermons For the Soul to Sing - Yes! “I’ve come to enjoy thinking of the great hymns of the church as ‘mini sermons for the soul to sing.’ This is one of the main reasons why we should study, cherish and preserve hymn-singing in our churches.”

A Fine Line - I enjoyed this article from Aimee Byrd. And this line: “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore looking like an idiot.”

The role of a pastor is not to grow a big church. The pastor’s role is to grow mature disciples who make disciples. — Rick Howerton


August 04, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: The Case for Classical Education by Douglas Wilson ($1.99); The Liberal Arts by Gene Fant ($0.99); When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper ($1.99); Liberal Arts for the Christian Life edited by Jeffry Davis & Philip Ryken ($1.99); The Christian Encounters series is on sale as well: Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Winston Churchill, Sergeant York ($0.99 each). Be sure to check out Saturday’s deals if you missed them.

Stumbling into the Future - Tim Keesee writes about the uncertainties of the past and the certainties of the future.

Not Exactly Rocket Science - You’ll have to look past a bit of evolution talk so you can marvel at the intricacies of the human body.

10 Myths About Lust - “If you embrace these 10 myths about lust, then you will find no remedy for your lust. Instead, you will dive into a ‘black hole’ of sin. Embrace Truth; reject these 10 myths…”

Your Work + My Life = Balance - This one is thought-provoking.

Pray For Your Husband - Mike Leake is hosting a thirty-one challenge of inviting wives to pray for their husbands.

A Closed Door - Kim Shay writes about closed doors and God’s will.

The custom of sinning takes away the sense of it, the course of the world takes away the shame of it. —John Owen


August 02, 2014

I am looking forward to spending some time this week in Indiana, speaking at the Association of College Ministries National Student Conference. That’s a mouthful! I will be speaking about technology, pornography, the will of God, and a few other subjects. It should be fun! But before I head to the airport, here are some book deals and some recommended reading.

I’ve got lots of great Kindle deals for you today: Scripture Alone by James White ($3.49); The God Who Is There by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Excellence by Andreas Kostenberger ($0.99); King Solomon by Philip Ryken ($0.99); The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Andreas Kostenberger & Michael Kruger ($1.99); Understanding English Bible Translation by Leland Ryken ($0.99); The entire collection of R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series is free in ebook formats; they’ve got the complete list for you here. Happy clicking!

If you’re not into reading, Amazon has several BBC collections on sale today, including some classics.

Tony Reinke writes about The Van Gogh that Breaks My Heart. I know nothing about Van Gogh, so enjoyed the way Reinke set the context as he looked at the painting. 

R.C. Sproul Jr. compares attending a megachurch to living in the city—it is easier to hide in a crowd than in a smaller group. “Like mega-cities, monstrous churches not only carry the temptation of invisibility, but such is one of their selling points.”

Only someone as rooted in church history as Vance Christie can bring neat little devotionals like this: Coming to God with Empty Hands.

I enjoyed this brief interaction in which Ryan Anderson responds to a question about the redefinition of marriage.

One of the most common questions I receive is “What program do you use you to make your daily quote graphics?” My “program’s” name is Kate, and she’s a great designer. You can check out her work here and you can find the complete collections of quote graphics she has made at Pinterest.

Matt Heerema offers One Simple Rule for Applying Old Testament Narratives. And it’s a good one: let them help you fix your eyes on Jesus. Don’t go looking for the moral of the story; look for Jesus in the story.

Peace is the smile of God reflected in the soul of the believer. —William Hendricksen


August 01, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi; The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur ($5.98); God’s Lineup by Kevin & Elizabeth Morrissey ($2.99); How Do We Know the Bible is True? by Ken Ham ($2.99); you may want to rummage through Amazon’s monthly collection of books at $3.99 or less.

This month’s free book from Logos is Creation and Fall, from the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer; free from ChristianAudio is Anna and the King of Siam.

Westminster Books is giving you a $5 coupon, good for anything in the store, if you watch a 5-minute video (about a product that looks really good).

Emotional Bullying - Emotional bullying is not an effective means of leading children to Christ.

Should You Wait Until You Can Afford Kids? - We are told that we should wait to have kids until we can afford them. Is that sound counsel?

The Five Strangest Rules in Baseball - This one is for the sports fan.

Fact-Check the Sermon - “Preachers love to drop statistics and historical tidbits into their sermons. Too bad so many of their facts are untrue.”

Bring Back the Holy Kiss - Food for thought. (R.C. Sproul says the same thing in his excellent book A Taste of Heaven.)

We belong to Jesus because He has purchased us by His blood. He will not return or exchange what He has bought. —Anthony Carter


July 31, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Jesus, the Only Way to God by John Piper ($0.99); Faithful to the End by Terry Wilder ($0.99); Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary ($4.99); Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath ($4.99).

The Next Chapter for Christian Publishing - Here’s one person’s take on the future of Christian publishing.

Moving In and Moving On - A couple of key highlights from this one: “As cohabitation has grown more common, cohabiting couples have become less likely to transition into marriage.” And “Cohabitation seems to be moving toward being a form of dating with no implications about a couple’s odds of marrying.”

Welcome to the Nuclear Command Bunker - NPR was given a relatively rare look inside a nuclear command bunker. “At its heart, this is what nuclear deterrence comes down to: two officers, 60 feet underground. Working, watching movies, and waiting.”

The Use and Abuse of Video Church - Rick Phillips explains why you ought to be physically present in a church instead of watching it via video.

Wisdom Is Content and Experience - There is more to wisdom than just blurting out a phrase from the Bible.

Axiety and Depression - “Though I wouldn’t wish anxiety or depression on anyone, I am strangely thankful for the unique way this affliction has led me, time and again, back into the rest of God.”

He Wears a Medal of Honor - This is the story of Sammy Davis, who received the Medal of Honor many years ago.

Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. —Jaroslav Pelikan


July 30, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: A Fistful of Heroes by John Pollock ($3.99); Taking the Bible At Its Word by Paul Wells ($3.99); Table Grace by Douglas Webster ($3.99); Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller ($1.99); Preaching With a Plan by Scott Gibson ($1.99).

The Parable of the Lawn Mower - Here’s a helpful little parable to help explain why we must preach the gospel rather than only attempting to display it.

The Gospel and the Shower Curtain Liner - Read this one for the great illustration of the shower curtain liner, and the idea of cleaning up ahead of the cleaner.

Two Questions - Kevin DeYoung has offers two questions that may just help your church’s ministry.

The Exclusivity of Treasure Pursuit - Paul Tripp distills it all the way down: “it’s spiritually impossible to pursue the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of self simultaneously.”

Books for Pastors - Westminster Books’ sales this week are geared toward pastors. There are lots of good titles there at very reasonable prices.

Am I in Trouble? - Here is some encouragement for those who haven’t opened their Bibles in too long.

The love language of all marriages is self-denial. —Burk Parsons


July 29, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($4.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls by Craig Evans ($2.99); Redeeming Church Conflicts by Tara Barthel ($1.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to Christian Apologetics by Doug Powell ($2.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to Understaning Creation by Mark Whorton ($2.99); Which Bible Translation Should I Use? by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.99).

An Open Letter to the Caliph - Tim Keesee has penned an open letter that is worth reading. “You and your Caliphate are destined for failure. Of course, all empires, caliphates, and reigns of terror eventually come to an end, but something else is happening — another kind of failure in your command over the Islamic world.”

The New Face of Richard Norris - This long article about Richard Norris, who underwent a face transplant, is fascinating, and introduces some important ethical issues. (Note: the article is at the GQ site, but I’m linking to the printable page, so everything there should be family-friendly; at least it is as far as I can see.)

Making the Bible BeautifulBibliotheca is a massively successful Kickstarter project that attempts to make the Bible beautiful [again]. This matters, and here’s why.

Coffee Shops and Productivity - Here’s some guidance on when coffee shops may and may not help your productivity.

Cold Case Christianity - Cripplegate has a review of a book I really enjoyed (and recommend).

The whole life of man until he is converted to Christ is a ruinous labyrinth of wanderings. —John Calvin


July 28, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole ($0.99); Walking in the Spirit by Kenneth Berding ($0.99); The Holy Spirit by Kevin DeYoung ($0.99); He Who Gives Live by Graham Cole ($2.99); Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande ($1.99); Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars by Stephen Miller ($3.99); How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($1.99). (Also, today’s Gold Box deal is a tempting one: The Blu-ray extended editions of The Lord of the Rings for $37.99.)

The Loss of Pastoral Credibility in the Age of the Internet - “The Internet has introduced a new level of visibility to areas of our social life, exposing certain uncomfortable realities.” Alistair explains how the credibility of pastors is suffering as a result.

Build Character, Not Platform - There is a time for both, I guess, but I love Derwin Gray’s focus here: Worry less about building your platform, and focus more attention on character.

15 Reasons Why We Should Still Be Using Hymnals - You probably won’t agree with everything he says, but the article is well worth some reflection.

Unrequited Love - I found this interesting: Why Evangelicals feel great affection for Jews and why that affection is not reciprocated.

Preaching about Body Image - There’s something to be said for this: Pastors ought to preach about body image.

What peace can they have who are not at peace with God? —Matthew Henry


July 26, 2014

Vacations are [almost] always wonderful, but home is always best. As good as it was to be away for a while, it was even better to get back to my home and my routine and my normal life. I guess I’m kind of a boring person, but I value such things! Anyway, here is some recommended weekend reading for you:

This week saw the release of the first trailer for the forthcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie. Aimee Byrd says the whole phenomenon is 50 Shades of Strange, and especially when Christian women are unabashed in their love of the books.

My kids and most of their friends are obsessed with Minecraft, something I am largely okay with, especially when they play socially, hanging out in big packs in our living room. This article tries to get to the bottom of all that enthusiasm.

If you are on or near Canada’s East Coast, or just looking for a great excuse to go to Prince Edward Island, The Gospel Coalition Atlantic conference looks like it will be a really good event, and especially because the crowd won’t be too big. They’ve also introduced a women’s track this year. Aileen will be representing 20Schemes in the exhibitor’s area, so be sure to stop by and say hi to her.

Here’s an interactive introduction to the First World War. Isn’t it amazing to see what amazing rich content the web can bring us today?

Scott James recently wrote about The Virtue of Unread Books. I like this: “the array of books in our home is intended for ongoing, well-rounded usefulness. They’re there to show us what’s possible, not venerate what’s already been. Even the history books, which are expressly about what has already been, are there to light an inquisitive fuse and point us forward into new exploits.”

Kylie has written sweetly of those times when grief rears its painfully beautiful head

All my theology is reduced to this narrow compass – “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” —Archibald Alexander