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A La Carte

December 27, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($2.99); Evangelism Handbook by Alvin Reid ($0.99); Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($2.99). Those who enjoy military books may want to click here and scroll down for a list of popular ones at $1.99 each.

We all know that it’s going on, but this article actually explains Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer. The short answer: The worse the normal experience, the greater the likelihood you’ll pay for upgrades.

Is Your Church Functionally Liberal? It’s not always as simple as we make it. “The liberal churches I’ve known are not openly hostile to the Bible. They like the Bible. They want their preacher to use the Bible.”

This is a fascinating article about the way Tom Brady prepares himself and keeps himself going. Paul must have been thinking of guys like this when he used all those athletic metaphors in his epistles.

Here is another powerful article from Lore Ferguson. Her theme: You Ask Not Because You Have Received Not.

Don’t miss this article from Gavin Ortlund: What Kind of a Thing Is the Bible?

If you’re up for some more longform reading, here’s a good one: What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried To Be Steve Jobs? Hint: It didn’t go well.

Thanks to Reformed Presbyterian Theology Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week with the article So What Are You Waiting For?

The question shouldn’t be, “Is it okay for me to have some nice stuff?” The real question is, “If I don’t have nice stuff, will my spirit be okay with that? —Dave Ramsey

December 26, 2014

We know how to do the holidays up here in Canada. After Christmas, we double down and award ourselves a second public holiday called Boxing Day. So I’m going to take it a bit easy today. Here’s A La Carte and I’ll be back shortly with Free Stuff Fridays.

Publishers know a lot of people got Amazon gift cards yesterday, and here’s how they’ll help you spend them: The Message of James [an excellent little commentary] by Alex Motyer ($2.99); Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney ($2.99); The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer ($0.99); The Sending Church by Pat Hood ($0.99); Transformational Church by Stetzer & Rainer ($2.99); Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath ($2.99); One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian ($3.74); The Concise A to Z Guide to Finding it the Bible ($0.99); The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts ($3.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($0.99. 

B&H has put most of their excellent New American Commentary Studies on sale for $4.99 each. I suppose the couple that haven’t fallen in price yet will soo enough: Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; Future Israel by Barry Horner; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce; Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles; Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen; God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik; The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; That You May Know by Christopher Bass.

Three great history books are on sale as well at just $2.99 each: Johnstown Flood (David McCullough), No Ordinary Time (Doris Kearns Goodwin), and The Wise Men (Walter Isaacson).

Jack Miller has a helpful little illustration of how Jesus came to save us: He Entered the Water.

One of the reasons I love being Canadian is its sheer diversity. The world is coming to Canada! Last year Canada welcomed 260,000 new citizens.

You may have read Newsweek’s awful article on the Bible. Michael Kruger absolutely destroys Newsweek’s nonsense in this fiery response. I am looking forward to part 2.

This is probably the weirdest sentence I’ve ever written: Be sure to listen to this phenomenal recording of “Oh Holy Night” by Puddles the Clown.

WORLD magazine has a review of Unbroken and they, too, lament the incompleteness of the story. If you haven’t done so yet, read the book.

David Platt wants to talk through Our Obligation to the Unreached.

December 24, 2014

I suspect we will see lots of good Kindle deals after Christmas. For now, here are a few to consider: When Will My Life Not Suck? by Ramon Presson (bad title, good book) ($2.51); The Great Books Reader by John Mark Reynolds ($2.99); A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas ($3.82); Prayer, Praise, & Promise by Warren Wiersbe ($1.99).

Did Someone Else Write Shakespeare’s Works? - Ken Jennings says Shakespeare did it all himself.

How to Change Your Mind - Here’s one Bible reading plan to consider in the new year.

Beautiful Libraries - Some libraries are just amazingly beautiful.

Pride - Bradford Littlejohn wraps up an excellent series on 7 deadly sins in a digital age with a look at the granddaddy of all sins.

Discipling Relationships - Here is how one person selects and schedules his discipling relationships. And while we’re on the subject, this is What Disciple-Making Is Not.

How an Airplane Is Made - This YouTube video gives you a glimpse inside Airbus’ plants.

The parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand, and pulling down with the other. —J.C. Ryle

December 23, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals for your consideration: Preaching by Calvin Miller ($1.99); You’ll also find Justo Gonzalez’s two-part history of Christianity marked down: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation ($3.99) and The Reformation to the Present ($3.99). It is known as being a particularly good set.

14 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2014 - Bob Kellemen rounds up 14 books that will be of special interest to counselors.

Craftsman - It is a joy to watch just about any craftsman at his trade. This is a fascinating video of a jeweler doing what he does.

Unbroken - Christianity Today has a review of Unbroken which opens in a couple of days. This reviewer didn’t love it. Smithsonian has a copy of the original Air Force report of the crash.

On Being Extra-Scrooge-y - “When our friends are bearing weights of longing unfulfilled and broken promises. When thousands of children die daily from things like diarrhea. When our brothers and sisters have no home for the holidays, or families are torn apart from years of pain? How do we celebrate in the midst of all these things?”

Winter Solstice - I am a couple of days late with this one, but better late than never, I guess.

Material Goods and the True Meaning - You may enjoy this article on balancing material goods with the true meaning of Christmas.

Religious excellence will not earn you a place at God’s table. Your own efforts will never merit you a seat of honor. —Michael Horton

December 22, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Bloodlines by John Piper ($0.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($0.99); The Poverty of Nations by Wayne Grudem & Barry Asmus ($2.99); To the Ends of the Earth by Michael Haykin ($0.99); Reaching the Lost by Bobby Jamieson ($0.99); Gifted Hands by Ben Carson ($2.99); Joni and Ken by Joni & Ken Tada ($2.99); HarperCollins Atlas of the Bible ($3.99); New from GLH Publishing is God’s Light on Dark Clouds by Thomas Cuyler ($0.99).

The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand - The New York Times has a brilliant profile of author Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit and Unbroken.

7 Myths About a Pastor’s Workweek - Thom Rainer dispels a few myths.

Peter Jackson Must Be Stopped - I agree. And what bothers me most of all is that it will be a long time (I think) before we will have someone do The Hobbit properly. He has totally wasted a beautiful opportunity.

Top Ten Theology Stories of 2014 - Collin Hansen rounds up his top ten theology stories of 2014.

Are You Sitting Too Much? - Probably. What can you do about it? Not much.

A Dangerous Passion for Growth - It’s an interesting perspective: “The most dangerous people in our Christian community are the leaders and evangelists who not only long to see growth but who also have the closest sympathy with the needs and concerns of the sinners we are seeking to reach.”

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

December 20, 2014

There are some good Kindle deals today, including: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini ($3.99); Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($2.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($0.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($2.99); The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99).

Also, Amazon has their cheapest Kindle down to $59 and that includes free two-day shipping to get it there before Christmas. The Kindle Paperwhite has the same offer.

The 9Marks blog has some good Advice for a New Elder.

Thanks to Logos for sponsoring the blog this week with their article 3 Easy Ways to Get Logos 6 (and Special Gifts!). Sponsors help cover the costs associated with hosting and maintaining this site.

This probably won’t be a shock, but family-friendly TV isn’t so family-friendly.

Capitol Hill Baptist Church just released some sweet congregational singing they recorded while honoring Mark and Connie Dever for 20 years of service there.

Looking at the mess that is Sony right now, this editorial says it well: The Media Fiddles While Sony Burns.

For the next two weeks there will be no quote graphics. They will return in January. So enjoy this last one until 2015!

Had any other condition been better for you than the one you are in, Divine Love would have put you there. —C.H. Spurgeon


December 19, 2014

Friday is here, and it brings a brand new edition of Free Stuff Fridays. This week’s sponsor is Shepherd Press and they are giving away some great new products. There will be 5 winners this week, and each of the winners will receive the following items:

  • ShepherdingShepherding a Child’s Heart. You have probably heard of Tedd Tripp’s book before, but there is now a DVD to go along with it. The DVD is a seminar recorded before a live audience. This package includes the The Shepherding a Child’s Heart DVD, along with a copy of the book, the Parent’s Handbook, and the Leader’s Guide. It is recorded in English and subtitled in both English and Spanish. “In this newly-recorded edition, Tedd Tripp presents his Shepherding a Child’s Heart seminar in twelve sessions. Tedd has refined this material over two decades, resulting in a presentation that is practical and accessible. He draws on his wealth of experience as a parent, school administrator, and pastor as he guides viewers through the principles of biblical parenting.” (Learn more)
  • HarveyWhen Sinners Say “I Do.” And that’s not all. You will also receive a package based around Dave Harvey’s excellent book When Sinners Say “I Do.” This package will include the teaching DVD, a copy of the book, and the Study Guide. “In this eight-session video series, Dave engages his audience with humor and honesty as he speaks about sin and the power of the gospel to overcome it. He opens the delightful truth of God’s word and encourages the reader to see more clearly the glorious picture of what God does when sinners say ‘I do.’” (Learn more)

For anyone who is interested, the following products will be discounted 30% using the coupon code CHALLIES (valid through 11:59pm EST, Monday 12/22).

Enter to Win

All you need to do to enter the draw is to drop your name and email address in the form below. (If you receive this by email, you will need to visit challies.com to enter.)

Giveaway Rules: You may enter one time. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.


December 19, 2014

There are not a lot of new Kindle deals today, though I did find PROOF by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones ($3.51) and Gospel by J.D. Greear ($2.99). And don’t forget some of the better deals from earlier in the week: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine; The Power of Suffering and Strange Fire by John MacArthur; Ordinary by Michael Horton.

An Unforgettable Christmas - It is so true: “Kids learn to love what brings their parents delight.” There is direct application for the Christmas season.

Embiggening English - It has been many, many years since I’ve watched an episode of The Simpsons. But I did enjoy reading this article about its impact on the English language.

Bloodlines - There may be no better time than now to read John Piper’s book Bloodlines. Westminster Books has marked it way down.

Ligonier - Ligonier also has some good books on sale today for $5 each, and they include a favorite: R.C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross. There are several other deals as well.

The Everything Books - “Amazon won the book war. In a series of rare interviews, the company tells us what’s next.”

The Thank You Project - “Ten years after a tragic car accident, Kellie wants to find the heroes that saved her son’s life and thank them.”

Christian theology stands or falls with a historical Adam and a historical fall. —Michael Horton


December 18, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Money, Greed, and God by Jay Ricards ($3.79); Theologians of the Baptist Tradition by Timothy George ($2.99); Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi ($3.99); Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton ($3.99). There are also several titles by C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters ($2.99); The Weight of Glory ($1.99); The Great Divorce ($3.99); Virtue and Vice ($0.99); George MacDonald ($1.99); The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Illustrated) ($1.99); The Magician’s Newphew (Illustrated) ($3.99); Yours, Jack ($3.99); The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis Volume 1 ($3.99). Finally, The 40 Most Influential Christians by Daryl Aaron (free).

The Weight of Perfection in Marriage - This is a very enjoyable and challenging article on marriage.

Pharma Spam - Ever wondered who’s behind all those spam emails you get that try to sell you cheap pills? This article explains.

Through the Eyes of Spurgeon - This new documentary looks at the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon.

Unbroken - “A new documentary chronicling the remarkable life story of the late Louis Zamperini will be released on Christmas day to coincide with the highly anticipated release of Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’.”

The Hobbit - To some degree Peter Jackson is a victim of his own success.

Jehovah’s Witnesses - Here’s how to very simply prove the existence of the Trinity to a Jehovah’s Witness.

Winning arguments does not create spiritual transformation. —Paul Wartman


December 17, 2014

I’ve got just a couple of new Kindle deals for you today: The updated-English version of Jonathan Edwards’ The End for Which God Created the World is $1.99; What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert is $0.99.

Free Bible Study Tools - Jacob Gerber shows where to find and how to use some excellent free Bible study tools.

The Things of Earth - Westminster Books is offering good discounts on some new books, including one that comes highly recommended by John Piper: The Things of Earth.

The Dumbest Thing - Here’s the dumbest thing he said: “Christianity is so easy. I don’t see what the big deal is.”

Is it Ridiculous? - Is it ridiculous to believe in a literal Adam and Eve? No more ridiculous than any other explanation of our origins.

Immediately Mom at Christmas - “For moms, sometimes days are just a series of ‘immediately’s.’ This is especially true during the holidays…”

Trials in life are meant to take our eyes off of our trials and fix them on Christ. —Burk Parsons