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A La Carte

March 18, 2015

Why Doesn’t God Just Remove that Sin? - “Every Christian I know has had the experience of coming up against the same sin—again—and wondering, ‘Will this struggle ever end? Why doesn’t God just remove this?’”

Man Does Not Live By Man Skills Alone - Paul Tripp takes a look at some of the cultural conversation about manhood and manliness.

Grief Undone - Westminster Books continually offers some great sales, and this week’s is no exception.

How TripAdvisor Is Changing the Way We Travel - “Research almost any travel destination and you’ll probably wind up on travel-industry Goliath, where passionate people praise and denounce everything from romantic getaways to cockroach-infested hotel rooms. But who can you trust?”

When Orphan Care Goes Bad - “Adoption is a beautiful, life-giving act, when taken up by those called to and equipped for it. But it does a child no good to be brought into a family that has counted their blessings but hasn’t counted the cost.”

Your Kids Are Hurting - This is a powerful letter, written by a woman raised by a lesbian couple. “I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.”

Nowhere in Scripture do we find doctrine studied for its own sake or in isolation from life. —Wayne Grudem


March 17, 2015

Reformation Heritage Books has their Reformed Historical Theological Studies series on sale at $4.99 each: The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition; Teaching Predestination; Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism; The Spiritual Brotherhood; Unity and Continuity in Covenantal ThoughtThe Theology of the French Reformed Churches. And here are a few other deals: Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Five Points of Calvinism by Edwin Palmer ($0.99); Saint Patrick by James Holmes ($0.99); Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan ($2.99).

It is St. Patrick’s Day today, and here are two videos you may appreciate: Who Was St. Patrick? and St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies.

Advice to Young Speakers and Writers - Nancy Leigh DeMoss has some wise counsel for young speakers and writers.

It’s the Little Things - ” It’s the little things that members of a church or church plant do that help the ministry thrive—and without which the growth of the local church would be greatly hindered.”

Isn’t the Christian View of Sexuality Dangerous and Harmful? - “One of the most common and significant charges leveled against the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage is that it is damaging.” Sam Allberry answers the charge.

A Tale of Two Ecumenisms - Carl Trueman reflects on Evangelicals and Catholics Together twenty years after the fact.

The Church of TED - This article in the New York Times takes a brief look at the infamous TED talks and shows how they are not far off from their own religion.

If He has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it. —C.H. Spurgeon


March 16, 2015

Crossway has several Kevin DeYoung Kindle titles on sale: Taking God at His Word ($3.99); The Hole in Our Holiness ($3.99); The Holy Spirit ($0.99); Acting the Miracle ($2.99); Don’t Call It a Comeback ($2.99). Also of interest: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 2nd Edition, by Donald Whitney ($2.99). The first two by DeYoung, plus Whitney’s book, belong in every library.

The Ultimate Scandal - CNN has a long, sad profile of D.E. Paulk.

An Age of Irrational Parenting - What I found interesting in this article is the reason why today’s parents are so overprotective: Having fewer children later in life.

The Grim Reality of Bathroom Door Locks - Here’s another fascinating article from Tanzania; it explains why bathrooms there lock from the outside, not the inside.

The Ikea Way - I enjoyed this article on Ikea’s worldwide success.

6 Advantages of Consecutive Expository Preaching - Derek Thomas shows some of the advantages to preaching through a lengthy text.

Overcoming Pornography: Choosing Obedience - Randy Alcorn: “Right now, in moments of strength, we must make choices that will serve us well in moments of weakness. If we don’t radically cut off the sources of the temptations that pursue us, then we are just playing games, and have no intention of obeying Christ.”

Gethsemane is not a place for hurried theological tourism: it is where the believer must linger, watch and pray. —Frederick Leahy


March 14, 2015

Before I Go is a powerful bit of writing from Paul Kalanithi in which he opens up about his battle with advanced lung cancer and how he is facing his own mortality. (Note: Kalanithi succumbed to cancer just days ago.)

C. Michael Patton outlines 4 Characteristics of Legalism.

Yes, you can Be Happy When Someone Leaves Your Church, even if it’s difficult. How? There’s really only one church – and that’s Jesus’ church.

Deepak Reju has A Marriage Preparation Inventory that looks like an excellent tool for pre-marriage counselling.

Gavin Peacock says that the modern day litmus test for inerrancy is marriage. “Marriage is so intrinsically linked to the image of God, the authority of God and the gospel that to deny it is to deny the truth about God.”

Does Your Schedule Know You’re a Christian Dad? Steve Watters offers some good counsel in this article from CBMW.

Thanks to MereChurch for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Three Roads to Joy in Bi-vocational Ministry.

Here are 5 Things People Blame the Church For, but shouldn’t.

A message of grace will attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them. —Jared Wilson


March 13, 2015

Amazon has begun another of their The Big Deal sales, where they mark down hundreds of Kindle books across all genres. Christian deals include: Lit! by Tony Reinke ($1.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($1.99); Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian ($1.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($2.99). You’ll also find a selection of volumes in the HCSB commentary series at $1.99 each: Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra - Esther, Nahum - Malachi, Mark, Luke, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians - Colossians, 1 Thessalonians - Philemon, 1 Peter - Jude.

Cage-Stage Calvinism - R.C. Sproul: “Cage-stage Calvinists are identifiable by their insistence on turning every discussion into an argument for limited atonement or for making it their personal mission to ensure everyone they know hears—often quite loudly—the truths of divine election.”

Why Some Pregnant Moms Don’t Wait to Announce - “Greater openness around miscarriage has us rethinking first trimester etiquette.”

All About a Number - I admit that this short film is a bit melodramatic, but you’ll probably see at least a glimpse of yourself in it.

Revival at Yale - Vance Christie does what he does so well in this short article.

Gospel Transformation Bible - If you’ve been after a Gospel Transformation Bible, Westminster Book has them deeply discounted for a few days.

Chameleon’s Colour Magic - And it just evolved that way, right?

Ten Punctuation Mistakes - You’ve been warned.

The whole business of Christianity contradicts sense. We give up the visible for invisible rewards. —Thomas Manton


March 12, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Intellectuals Don’t Need God and Other Modern Myths by Alister McGrath ($0.99); Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper ($0.99); How To Be a Christian in a Brave New World by Joni Eareckson Tada ($0.99); There Is a Plan by Ravi Zacharias ($0.99); The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones ($0.99); Biblical Words and their Meaning by Moises Silva ($1.99).

Google’s CFO Retires - There is some wisdom in this memo from Patrick Pichette in which he explains why he has chosen to retire.

Shells for Jesus - “A couple of times my family went to the beach, where we hunted for shells and shark’s teeth. I thought of the Christians who struggle with such frivolity. How can a Christian collect shells when people are going to hell?”

Biblical Eldership - Biblical Eldership is a web site that offers an impressive collection of resources on an important topic.

A Taste of Austria - Here is a stunning timelapse video of Austria.

From Lesbianism to Complementarianism - Jackie Hill Perry tells her story.

Shepherds’ Conference 2015 - All of the video from the recent Shepherds’ Conference Inerrancy Summit is now available.

A Brief Defense of Infant Baptism - While I continue to hold to believer’s baptism, I do appreciate Kevin DeYoung’s defense of infant baptism.

We must not be concerned only with that which troubles us, but with all that troubles God. —John Owen


March 11, 2015

I dug up a few new Kindle deals today: Introducing the New Testament by D.A. Carson ($0.99); The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2 ($1.99); Unleashing the Word by Max McLean ($0.99); Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon ($0.99); The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley ($4.99); The Gospel Commission by Michael Horton ($3.99); The Promises of Grace by Bryan Chapell ($1.99); Raised? by Jonathan Dodson ($0.99).

Preparing for Easter - This week’s deals from Westminster Books will help you get ready for Easter.

A Good [Wo]man is Easy to Find - Yes! “Whenever I have languished around wishing and hoping and dreaming for mentors, I have found myself lacking them. Yet when I have engaged in the ministry of mentorship myself, I find myself in an abundance of counselors.”

Why Salvation Is Far from Some People - “One characteristic of those the Bible describes as ‘wicked’ is that they do not seek God’s statutes, God’s Word. For that reason, ‘Salvation is far from’ them since the way of salvation—the way to God—is found only in the Word of God.”

The Cost of Relativism - “We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.”

The Dreadful Loneliness of Life Without Scripture - Here’s a good article with a great title.

An African Ordination - You’ll enjoy reading this little glimpse into an African ordination service.

It is better to go bruised to heaven than sound to hell. —Richard Sibbes


March 10, 2015

Making it Clearer - This is a fantastic bit of writing from Jeremy Walker as he responds to a series on the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. You may need to read a couple of other articles for context.

A True Modern Marvel - Sometimes those things we take for granted are actually real marvels—things like the aluminum can.

4 Keys to Evangelism in Honor-Shame Cultures - Cross-culture evangelism just fascinates me. This author writes about how to share the gospel in honor-shame cultures.

Who Should Raise Your Children? - Trevin Wax goes back in history a little to look at the problems with universal day care.

Complementarianism & The Single Woman - Katie Van Dyke: “I am single. I am complementarian. A lot of times people don’t see how those things go hand in hand.”

9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church - Kevin DeYoung offers 9 marks of a church that isn’t doing so well.

What keeps most of us from God is not the sin we know we have, but the righteousness we think we have. —Nate Larkin


March 09, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert ($3.99); Covenantal Apologetics by K. Scott Oliphant ($3.99); Jesus or Nothing by Dan DeWitt ($2.99); Apologetics for the Twenty-First Century by Louis Markos ($3.99); Can You Believe It’s True? by John Feinberg ($5.99). If you didn’t check in on Saturday, take a look at the Christian Focus Kindle deals.

A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions - A couple of weeks ago I linked to part 1 in this series. Parts 2 and 3 are also worth reading.

Leave It To Beaver - Mary Kassian’s article is titled, “Leave It to Beaver, Sex and the City, and a Woman’s Happiness.”

Is There a Future? - Is there a future for the impossibly hopeless people in our communities? Mez McConnell answers the question.

4 Types of Sermons to Avoid - Derek Thomas provides the list.

Looking Forward to Heaven - TGC interviews Randy Alcorn about heaven. “What difference is heaven supposed to make in our lives now? Why do you think many Christians don’t look forward to heaven any more? What are some of the biggest misconceptions about heaven?”

The Gospel According to Pinterest - “Projects I will never tackle, recipes I will never cook, and homemade cleaning solutions I will never try - they all mocked me horrendously. Staring at all the amazing things other women are doing, I felt ashamed.”

Because of the gospel, I no longer live for approval; I live from approval. —Dave Harvey


March 07, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Preaching? by Alec Motyer ($3.99); Your Future Other Half by Rebecca Vandoodewaard ($2.99); The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace by Richard C. Barcellos ($3.99); Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul ($1.99).

This grieving grandmother writes that This is NOT a Disney World… ” I got a phone call from my son. He told me that his two-year-old daughter (who doesn’t live with him) had somehow gotten out of the house the night before into the bitter Wisconsin winter.”

David Prince offers A Simple Guide to Reading and Applying the Bible with Jesus as the Hero.

Canadians may be interested in this article from Macleans that tells what happened on Parliament Hill on October 22 (the day Nathan Cirillo was shot).

Preachers may want to consider these 3 Questions for Managing the Heart. I especially like this one: On Monday morning, do you believe what you prayed Saturday night?

Douglas Groothuis explains why we shouldn’t use the word porn for anything but smut.

Thanks to HCSB for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Let’s Be Clear: Clarity in Bible Translation.

We must show sympathy with sinners, but not with their sins. —C.H. Spurgeon