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A La Carte

July 17, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals that may be worth a peek: The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky ($0.99); The Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles Quarles ($0.99); Raising Responsible Teens in a Digital World by Brian Housman ($0.99); A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Enhanced edition) ($0.99); Key Words of the Christian Life by Warren Wiersbe ($0.99). (If you are especially interested in knowing or praying the Psalms, take a look at Westminster’s deal on the ESV Psalter.)

Long-Term Fruitfulness or Short-Term Flashiness - Jamie Brown has something for you to consider if you are involved in leading music at your church.

The Pacific Crest Trail in Three Minutes - It’s not the best video you’ll ever see, but it’s still a stunning look at what you’ll encounter if you hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Grotesque Business of Planned Parenthood - “It’s hard to have an honest debate about abortion in this country, when the issue is so often shrouded in evasion and deception. That’s why we all owe a debt to Deborah Nucatola. She is willing to tell it the way it is.”

So Cute, So Creepy - Here’s some amazing photographs by a guy who loves to take pictures of caterpillars. Yes, caterpillars. And the photos are stunning.

Focus on Flow - Email really is amazing disruptive to your creative work. This article calls you to focus on flow rather than email.

Online Bible Resources - Nathan Busenitz provides a list of free, bookmark-worthy resources that will help with Bible study or sermon preparation.

The Day After a Bad Night - Here’s what to do the day after you’ve had a sleepless night.

Jesus had every reason to be proud yet he was humble, and we have every reason to be humble yet we’re proud. —Burk Parsons 



July 16, 2015

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and the Conscience of a Nation - You will benefit from reading Dr. Mohler’s analysis of the breaking news surrounding Planned Parenthood. His conclusion: “A nation that will allow this, will allow anything.”

Thank You, Mark Oppenheimer - Like Andrew Walker, I tend to believe that the sexual radicals are overplaying their hand.

The Sanctified Introvert - Here’s a brief, wise word that applies to introverts (and extroverts, I suppose).

Why Is Evolution so Widely Believed? - We have all wondered this one, I think: If there are so many good scientific arguments against evolution, why is it so widely believed?

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage - There is lots of wisdom in this article.

How I Started Praying the Bible - Here’s a good follow-up to yesterday’s review of Don Whitney’s new book Praying the Bible (my review).

This Is Not Natural - You eat a lot of chemicals. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

How great an injustice it is to know about eternal suffering and do nothing.  —Michael Oh



July 15, 2015

Today is Prime Day at Amazon. They have a Black Friday level of deals, including deals on several of their Kindle tablets and e-readers. You will also find a handful of new Kindle deals: The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens ($1.99); Toxic Charity and Theirs Is the Kingdom by Robert Lupton ($1.99 each).

Meeting Elisabeth Elliot - I am quite sure you will enjoy reading this little story of Elisabeth Elliot extending kindness.

How Should Christians Comment Online? - “Reading people’s comments online is an interesting and sometimes troubling study in human nature.” Which is one of the reasons I am increasingly turning them off.

Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling - Russell Moore writes of an undercover operation which proved Planned Parenthood’s top doctor is selling the body parts of aborted children. The most important part of this complementary article is in the last couple of paragraphs. Finally, John Piper invites you to join him in fasting and praying about this at lunch today.

Praying the Bible - Westminster Books is offering a solid deal on Donald Whitney’s new book which I am just about to review. 

You May Be Getting More Sleep Than You Think - This is heartening to those of us who struggle in this way.

What Is a Calorie? - What are these calorie things we obsess about?

Creations Groans Are Not Meaningless - Tim Keller writes truly that “Sooner or later, every believer wonders if being a Christian is worth it.”

Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not. —Tim Keller



July 14, 2015

Zondervan is having a “Dive Into the Bible eBook Sale” that includes some useful titles. Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays is $9.99, down from the usual $32.99. Other titles include Journey Into God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays ($3.99); How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth and How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee ($3.99 each); NIV Proclamation Bible ($2.99). Also consider Alone with God and Saved Without a Doubt by John MacArthur ($0.99); What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul ($2.99).

7 Areas of Unbiblical Conscience Binding - This article is an especially good one on an especially important area. “To be sure, we should all be zealous to teach and exemplify every principle of holiness taught in Scripture; but more often than not, individuals who are most zealous for holiness fall into the trap of teaching their personal applications of a biblical–or a supposedly biblical–principle of holiness rather than simply teaching the principle.”

The Blessing of Catechizing Our Children - I wouldn’t want what I wrote yesterday (about how we do simple family devotions) to convince people there is no value in catechizing their children.

Facebook’s News Feed - “The end goal for the world’s largest social network isn’t just to guess what you’ll click on when you’re bored. The company wants to show you the things you care about most in your life, both online and off.”

Fake News - Last week was (another) embarrassing week for Christians sharing fake news. Ed Stetzer gives some advice to consider before you hit that “share” button.

The Christian Passport - “Heaven’s passport is not given because we are religious, moral, wealthy, educated, Protestant, or any other qualification. This passport is given by the grace of God bringing us to birth through the gospel.”

The Art of Discontentment - We need to be both content and discontent. “The world is discontent with less and says, ‘You will find contentment with more.’ God says, ‘Learn to be content with less, and learn to be discontent with more.’”

Be assured, there is nothing new in theology except that which is false. —C.H. Spurgeon



July 13, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Don Whitney’s brand new Praying the Bible is $7.99. Other deals include Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler ($2.99); Perspectives on Family Ministry by Timothy Paul Jones ($0.99); The Whole Bible Story by Wiliam Marty ($1.99); Christian Growth from A to Z by Doug Lowery ($1.99).

5 Ways Mission Agencies Stretch the Truth - “I read a lot of e-mails and newsletters from mission agencies, and I get to see how many of them use statistics to recruit staff, missionaries, and donors. Sadly, in my experience, many exaggerate the truth and undermine the good work God does in the world.”

Sex Has Become Pervasive and Tedious - I quite agree with the major point of this article: That it’s time to end the cultural and media obsession with sex and sexuality.

An Eternal Perspective Changes Everything - Truly, it does. Randy Alcorn says, “Having an eternal perspective is in many ways the key to living a true Christ-following life.”

The Dog Days of Summer - Why do we refer to these as the “dog days” of summer? National Geographic explains.

Why I Love the Church - John MacArthur explains why he loves the church so much.

Why a Greece Bailout Matters - You’ve heard a lot about Greece in the news recently. Here is why the little economy of a little nation has such importance.

I cannot have God in my heart if he is not in my head. Before I can believe in, I must believe that. —R.C. Sproul



July 11, 2015

A movie reviewer at Christianity Today was not a big fan of the film Minions. “Probably, you’d be better off doing almost anything with your kid than taking them to see Minions, especially considering Inside Out is also in theaters.”

It’s a common question: What about those have never heard of Jesus? Justin Taylor provides Francis Schaeffer’s brilliant answer.

What is it like to be profoundly face blind? This article looks at a strange but interesting condition. “The issue is how I remember faces. It doesn’t matter if I know the person: I’ve walked right past my husband, my own mother, my daughter, my son, without being able to recognize them.”

I live with a couple of worriers and have observed that worry does not always respond well to reason. But do consider Tim Witmer’s counsel on what to do Instead of Worrying.

Ever wonder what happened to the Emerging Church? Michael Patton looks back and tries to piece it together.

It seems there is a growing Case Against Laptops in the Classroom. “Yet as Shirky points out, social media software is hypnotically diverting, like a tropical bird in mating season – noisy, seductive, colorfully-plumed. How could a bored undergraduate resist?”

Rodney Stark explains why religions are not basically all the same. He makes a compelling case.

Thanks to Books at a Glance for sponsoring the blog this week.

Legalism lacks the supreme sense of worship. It obeys but it does not adore. —Geerhardus Vos



July 10, 2015

There is lots of news on the e-book front. Crossway would like to give you Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word for free and today only Ligonier wants to give you 2 free books about John Calvin. Meanwhile, Westminster Books has some good discounts on various titles. And then at Amazon: Basic Christianity by John Stott is $3.74 and Reformation Heritage’s Reformed Historical-Theological Studies series is on sale: The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition ($2.99); Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism ($2.99); The Theology of the French Reformed Churches ($3.99); Teaching Predestination ($3.99); Unity and Continuity in Covenantal Thought ($3.99); The Spiritual Brotherhood ($3.99).

The Death of Bees - You have probably been hearing about bees dying en masse. This video explains why this is such a problem.

How the Gospel Ended My Same-Sex Relationship - This is a powerful piece of writing. “I just want to tell a little of my story, with the hope that maybe someone out there will hear me differently than so many of the aforementioned sound bites circulating right now. Warning: You may not like the way my story turns out.”

The Rising of the Beast in America? - Rick Phillips: “One of the most regrettable legacies of 20th century evangelicalism is the marginalizing of the book of Revelation as a guide to spiritual warfare during the church age.”

The History of Braces - “How did orthodontia—expensive, painful, and often medically unnecessary—become so popular?” It’s a reasonable question to ask.

Skinflints and Slackhands - “One of the great advantages of being in a church is that you may well know lots of useful people, people who know how to do stuff.” So we can take advantage of that, right?

The Confederate Flag Controversy - Joe Carter considers his “9 Things You Should Know” series with a look at the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag.

The one thing the gospel never does is nothing. —Ray Ortlund



July 09, 2015

Don’t Put God in a Box - I know you’ve heard this one before: Don’t put God in a box (when it comes to the miraculous gifts). Erik Raymond has a good response.

The Origin of OK - Where does the word “OK” come from? This video will tell you the origins of a word you’ve probably never thought about before.

Why I Am Relentlessly Committed to Expository Preaching - Just like the title says.

Dying Thoughts - GLH Publishing has just released a new classic work in Kindle format: Dying Thoughts by Richard Baxter. It’s yours for $0.99.

Good Fruit - This catchy little song for kids will get stuck in your head. The video nicely complements it.

When to Cover, When to Confront - Ray Ortlund has wise counsel about when to cover a sin and when to confront it.

Verses App - Verses is my favorite Bible memory app. It’s just gone free (for the KJV) with paid upgrades for other translations.

It’s Okay to Be Bored - Yes, it is okay for your kids to be bored in church.

To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything. —Tim Keller