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A La Carte

March 21, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: The God Who Justifies by James White, an excellent book ($3.99); It’s All How in You Tell It by Haddon Robinson ($2.99); How People Change by Timothy Lane & Paul Tripp (free); Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K.A. Smith ($2.99). New from GLH Publishing is Richard Sibbes’ classic The Bruised Reed ($0.99).

How Real Is “Heaven Is For Real”? - I appreciated John Piper’s to this question: How real is the book Heaven Is For Real?

Job: A Champion of Faith by Grace - I really enjoyed Charlene’s poem based on the book of Job. Be sure to read it aloud! (You can read about why she wrote the poem here.)

Friend of Sinners - I think you’ll appreciate Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ thoughts on Jesus, the friend of sinners.

Your Options in Infertility - This is a really helpful article. “It’s difficult for those on the outside to understand an infertile couple’s level of suffering. But some sense of the desperation can be gauged from the efforts many make to overcome their problem: the time and money spent, and the stress and pain of fertility treatment.”

3 Ways to Recognize Bad Statistics - Ed Stetzer gives you 3 ways you can recognize bad statistics.

The Baby Hatch - This is heartbreaking. “One of China’s controversial ‘baby hatches’ has been forced to shut down, at least temporarily. The facility in the southern city of Guangzhou opened in January but has been overwhelmed with abandoned infants, forcing a suspension of services.”

Gospel and Pornography - Here is David Platt with some simple, powerful words about the gospel and pornography.

Over-value not the manner of your own worship, and over-vilify not other men’s of a different mode. —Richard Baxter


March 20, 2014

Five Things We Teach Our Kids When We Don’t Know They’re Watching - This is good: “As adults we often tend to believe that kids aren’t paying attention.  But, we teach them so many things when we don’t even realize that they’re tuned in.  And, for the record, kids are always tuned in, even when they seem mesmerized by the TV.  Here are five things we teach our kids when we don’t know they’re watching.”

Genuine Repentance - What does genuine repentance look like? Jared Wilson offers twelve marks.

The Osteenification of American Christianity - Hank Hanegraaff: “Joel Osteen is the prime provocateur of a seductive brand of American Christianity that reduces God to a means to our ends. A message that beckons multitudes to the table of the Master, not for the love of the Master but for what is on the table. He is the de facto high priest of a new brand of Christianity perfectly suited for a feel-good generation.”

Whither the Prosperity Gospel? - “So, the question remains, where are all the people who once thronged the Crystal Cathedral. The Charlottesville correspondent explains to the American scholars: ‘They are at home, having their self-esteem puffed up by a new breed of prosperity-Gospel preacher, including Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and T.D. Jakes’.” (HT)

Some Things Are Worth Dying For - “Friendship is war because friendships are hard! The culprit is a dark enemy that keeps men from knowing each other and being known. This enemy is not what we usually think of — busyness, introverted personalities or lack of opportunity. The dark enemy that fights against our friendships is the Dark Trinity of Satan, our flesh, and the world.”

Six Reasons to Read Women of Faith and Courage - Vance Christie is an excellent biographer. In this article he gives you six good reasons to read his new volume Women of Faith and Courage which shares short biographies of five women.

When it comes to killing my sin I don’t wait for the miracle, I act the miracle. —John Piper

Acting the Miracle

March 19, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Answer Book for Kids Volume 3 by Ken Ham ($2.51); The Defender’s Guide for Life’s Toughest Questions by Ken Ham ($3.99); Raised With Christ by Adrian Warnock ($1.99); God on Sex by Daniel Akin ($2.99). Also today, if you’re in the market for a Kindle device, the certified refurbished 8.9” Kindle Fire is on sale for $70 off.

Predestination: Should We Even Talk About It? - Daniel Hyde is beginning a promising series of articles on predestination. “Yes, we should talk about predestination. We should talk about it in a way that leads sinners to Jesus Christ, which brings God eternal glory, and which brings God’s people eternal comfort.”

Books for Women - Westminster Books is having a sale on a handful of books written for women, including a new one from Carolyn Mahaney & Nicole Whitacre.

The Accidental Complementarian - Jen Pollock Michel calls herself an accidental complementarian and tells how she came to accept the label.

Some Wise Words About Facebook - Here are some wise words about Facebook. While directed specifically at women, men will benefit as well.

Captain Context - Here’s another good strip from Adam4d.com.

Who Knows You? - Paul Tripp asks, Who knows you? As in, Who actually, really knows you?

Does God Harden Hearts? - Tony Reinke takes on this question: Does God harden a believer’s heart?

We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at His unspeakable love. —John Owen


March 18, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper ($1.99); Come to the Waters by James Montgomery Boice ($2.99); Christian Doctrine by W.T. Conner ($0.99); The Big Story by Justin Buzzard ($2.99).

Gospel-Centered Reduction - There is a lot to think about in this article by Nate Claiborne. I think he is expressing what others have tried to say before him about the rise of the phrase “gospel-centered.”

Mark Driscoll Retracts Bestseller Book Status, Resets Life - Christianity Today: “In response to recent controversies, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll has written a candid letter to his congregation that attempts to clarify the significant staff turnover at Mars Hill Church and the controversial marketing campaign that gave Real Marriage bestseller status.”

Dear Future Mom - Go ahead and try not to get a bit emotional when you watch this video about Down syndrome.

Gary & Peggy - You’ll enjoy this short film. “In 2001, Gary and Peggy Ifft lived in Bloomington, IL. They had normal jobs, a normal home, a normal life. Then God called them out of the normal and into His mission.”

The Francis Effect - This article from the New York Times looks at “The Francis Effect” in the Catholic Church and says that Pope Francis has changed the attitudes, but not the behavior, of Catholics.

Are Visits to Heaven For Real? - John MacArthur writes about all those books (and now, that movie) about people who went to heaven and back.

Where one thousand are destroyed by the world’s frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world’s smiles. —Thomas Brooks

Thomas Brooks

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