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A La Carte

November 06, 2013

Here are a few Kindle deals: The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon is free. Understanding Spiritual Warfare, a Four Views book, is $3.99. Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ by John Bunyan is the latest book from GBH Publishing ($0.99). John Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching is $2.99.

Public Prayers - This pastor reflects on one of the things every pastor has to do: pray publicly. “This may come as a surprise but one of my least favorite things to do as a pastor is offer public prayer. I have, I believe, good reasons for my dislike of public prayer.”

Bad Samaritans - Are our cell phones and other devices turning us into bad Samaritans? This article at the Wall Street Journal is worth reading and considering.

Olive Tree - If you are an Olive Tree user, you may like to know that The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is down to $5.99. There’s a load of other material marked down here.

Marriage, Sex and Cultural Counterfeits - If you are in Southern Ontario, you might be interested in this event. Denny Burk and I will be speaking at Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church on Saturday, November 30.

How to Pray for a Future Husband - Christians are called to pray for everything and anything. So what might a prayer for a future husband sound like?

10 Sanctification Errors to Avoid - Kevin DeYoung offers 10 errors related to santification and the gospel.

Am I Lord of My Wife? - Mounce looks at 1 Peter 3:6 and asks whether Peter means to say that a husband is lord of his wife.

A lion in God’s cause must be a lamb in his own. —Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry

November 05, 2013

Here are a few Kindle deals worth checking out: Michael Emlet’s CrossTalk is free today only. Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis ($2.99); Tough Topics by Sam Storms ($3.99); On the Grace of God by Justin Holcomb ($2.99).

Ordinary Cook, Unlikely Hero - “He is history’s most widely read preacher outside of Scripture. More written material exists from him than from any other Christian author, living or dead. It’s estimated he preached to more than 10 million people during his lifetime. The ripple effect of his life and ministry is immeasurable.  And he got his theology from an old school cook.”

Multisite Evolution - Ed Stetzer reflects on the multisite revolution. “Whatever your opinion of multisite may be, there can be no doubt it is the new normal. Multisite has joined a list of models and approaches that were once out of the mainstream and now is commonplace— most of us know of one or more multisite churches.”

10 Love Challenges - Imagine if each person in your church accepted each of these 10 love challenges from David Murray.

How I Shut Down Two Porn Shops - The title is a little bit cheeky, but I enjoyed the article.

Satan’s Permission - Paul Tautges offers some thoughts on Satan requesting permission to sift Peter like wheat.

A Better Country for Old Men - A big thumbs up to David Mathis’ plea to older Christian men.

There is no place like the feet of Jesus for resolving the problems that perplex our hearts. —G.B. Duncan


November 04, 2013

The Scandal of Preaching - “By now it is old news that we live in a world marked by postmodernity.  In such a world, truth is not something that is outside ourselves, but something that is self-determined. Each of us constructs our own private, personal realities. What’s ‘true’ for you is not ‘true’ for me.” Michael Kruger shows how preaching will uniquely reach this generation.

Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower - “Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I’d be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.”

An Evangelical Orphan Lover - “Sometimes I am bewildered. In the past number of weeks, I have read a number of articles that seem to be distinctly anti-adoption.  Have you sensed this too?” Amy declares herself an Evangelical orphan lover, even in the midst of all that criticism.

GoThereFor - Tony Payne of Matthias Media introduces a new web site and a new effort. This looks like a site worth bookmarking. Here is a new article at the site that lays down a great challenge for pastors.

An Interview on Technology - I was recently interviewed for the Christian Music Blog podcast and mention it because I want to offer a writing topic for someone to take on: What makes some music excellent for congregational singing? How do we define “congregational?” What makes a song easy to sing?

5 Reasons to Write in Your Books - Here are five good reasons to write in your books.

The measure of our love for others can largely be determined by the frequency and earnestness of our prayers for them. —A.W. Pink


November 02, 2013

Steve Lawson’s book The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon is free for Kindle all month long. You know what to do! Also, Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions edited by Ken Ham is $4.99, as is The Tower of Babel by Bodie Hodge.

The High Cost of Negligence - WORLD: “When pastors, churches, and other caregivers fail to report sexual abuse, they may aid and abet crime–and in some states are subject to prosecution themselves–along with subjecting abuse victims to lifelong trauma.”

Prayer for the Persecuted Church - Read Tim Keesee’s article which anticipates tomorrow, a day that marks the international day of prayer for the persecuted church.

A Visit Means More Than a Text - Here is a helpful little reminder: “In these days of emails and texts and instant messaging, it’s so easy to contact someone and think we’ve done what needs to be done.” Yet sometimes a text just doesn’t quite say it well enough.

Hospital Visit Tips - Here for pastors is a helpful list of tips for your next hospital visit.

Science and Coffee - Here’s what science says about the best time to drink your coffee.

We allow in our minds what we would not allow in our actions, because other people cannot see our thoughts. —Jerry Bridges


November 01, 2013

Why I Married A White Girl - I enjoyed this post from Trip Lee: “Whenever I post pictures of my family on social media, the responses are always fun. The most common are, ‘Your son is so handsome!’ or ‘What a beautiful family!’ But one of the other common responses is, ‘Is your wife white?’”

One Vital Lesson - Douglas Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries recently resigned because of “lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman.” David Murray reflects and warns.

Chartbeat Rising - Ever wonder what the Internet is talking about? Chartbeat Rising attempts to display it in real-time.

Logos - Logos users will want to grab The Works of Richard Sibbes (volume 1) which is this month’s free book from Logos.

Book Reviews for Parents - If you’ve got kids who read, you should make Redeemed Reader a regular stop. Here they review “history in graphic format.”

The Christian Traveller - Jeremy Walker looked around the airport and saw every manner of person making a statement by his dress or behavior. And he wondered, “By what means should I, as a Christian traveller, communicate my personal identity and spiritual allegiance?”

A Word to Crazy Busy Parents - CBMW shares a helpful and funny excerpt from Kevin DeYoung’s Crazy Busy.

Hollywood and the Bible - “Studios and filmmakers are rediscovering a classic text as source material for upcoming mainstream films: the Bible.” Sarah Pulliam Bailey lists a lot of the upcoming Bible-based films.

There are two things to do about the gospel: believe it and behave it. —Susanna Wesley

Wesley Gospel

October 31, 2013

Here are a few new Kindle deals: A Walk with God by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); Crossway has a few volumes of the excellent Preaching the Word commentary set on sale for $3.99 each: Deuteronomy, 1-3 John, Proverbs, and The Song of Solomon. Don’t forget about the huge lists of deals from Tuesday and Wednesday.

Will We Drink Coffee? - As Randy Alcorn says in this article, a question like “Will we drink coffee in heaven?” is “a revealing test of whether we’re more influenced by biblical teaching or Christoplatonism.”

Luther and the Reformation - In honor of Reformation Day, here’s a free teaching series from Ligonier. And while on the subect of Reformation Day: What Is Reformation Day All About?.

Thy Word Is Still Truth - Thy Word Is Still Truth is an important new volume on Scripture and, for a limited time, Westminster Books has it at a deep discount.

The Gift of Fasting - “Fasting isn’t usually a word that conjours up ideas of blessing. In western cultures, it’s more associated with hair shirts, self-flagellation, and shaved heads. In the Protestant church, we look at it more as a tool to refocus. But it’s a whole lot more than that.”

The Call to Ministry - Bobby Jamieson has begun an interesting-looking series on the call to ministry. “This series of posts is geared toward men considering or pursuing pastoral ministry. It’s also geared toward the churches which encourage and assess them—which, in one way or another, is every church.”

A Call to Resurgence - Andrew Wilson, writing for The Gospel Coalition, reviews Mark Driscoll’s A Call to Resurgence. He says it is “sometimes insightful, sometimes amusing, sometimes stirring, and sometimes exasperating.”

Halloween: Trick or Treat? - You may enjoy this excellent video from 10ofThose.

The real horror of being outside of Christ is that there is no shelter from the wrath of God. —Eric Alexander


October 30, 2013

Here are a few more Kindle deals (see yesterday’s huge list here): Pilgrim Theology by Michael Horton ($7.99); The Christian Faith by Michael Horton ($19.99); Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem ($19.99); The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson ($6.99); Center Church by Tim Keller ($8.99); Church History (Volume 2) by John Woodbridge ($9.99); A Better Way by Michael Horton ($3.99); 10 Who Changed the World by Daniel Akin ($2.99); Breaking the Islam Code by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Reading the Gospels Wisely by Jonathan Pennington ($4.99); What Christians Believe by Jonathan Gould ($3.99); What the Bible Means to Me by Catherine MacKenzie ($2.99).

Parents, Require Obedience - John Piper: “I am writing this to plead with Christian parents to require obedience of their children. I am moved to write this by watching young children pay no attention to their parents’ requests, with no consequences.”

Quotes on Creeds and Confessions - Here are ten good quotes from Carl Trueman on the importance of creeds and confessions.

PrayerMate for Android - PrayerMate is a fantastic prayer app. Currently it’s only available for iOS, so if you’re an Android user, you may want to look at this Kickstarter project.

The Myth of “I’m Bad at Math” - No, you’re not. You just didn’t try hard enough.

5 Differences Between Catholic Theology and the Gospel - “With Reformation Day this week, it is a good time to remind ourselves of what exactly the differences are between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants. Certainly on just about every single area of theology there are differences, but here are what I think are the five most glaring and significant issues that separate the Catholic Church from the gospel of grace…” 

Remove an Emphasis - I continue to be a big fan of Bill Mounce’s series on Bible translation conundrums. Here he expresses concern over a missing emphasis.

There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials. —C.H. Spurgeon


October 29, 2013

There are a lot of new Kindle deals today: The Next Story by me ($3.99); Historical Theology by Gregg Allison is a great deal at $5.99; Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem ($3.99); Worship by the Book by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Don’t Stop Believing by Michael Wittmer ($2.99); Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas & Tom Wood ($2.99); A God-Sized Vision by Collin Hansen & John Woodbridge ($3.99); Telling the Truth edited by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Is Hell for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven? edited by Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson ($2.99); Culture Making by Andy Crouch ($4.99); A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton ($2.99); For Calvinism by Michael Horton ($2.99); Unleashing the Word by Max McLean ($2.99); Preaching & Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones ($2.99); Bound Together by Chris Brauns ($4.99); Joni & Ken by Joni & Ken Tada ($2.99) How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens by Michael James Williams ($2.99); The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have to Preach by Bryan Chapell.

A More Boring Writer - Matthew Lee Anderson offers nine tips on how to become a more boring writer.

Strange Fire - New Testament scholar Tom Schreiner reviews MacArthur’s Strange Fire (book). “I have traveled a road in which I was a cessationist in my early years as believer. I then became a non-cessationist and taught accordingly for a number of years. Finally, in the mid 1990s I slowly returned to a cessationist position. I am sympathetic, then, to the case MacArthur makes for cessationism.” He offers both commendations and critique.

Perils Facing the Evangelical Church - R.C. Sproul offers his take on the three most critical perils the church faces today.

Family: The Original Small Group - Timothy Paul Jones: “In my research for the book Family Ministry Field Guide, I found that only one-third of churched parents read or discussed Scripture with their children at least once a week. If that’s the predominant pattern, it seems unlikely that the typical teenager in an evangelical church would identify his or her parents first as teachers of God’s Word.”

A Plea to Pastors and Elders - Aimee Byrd: “Pastors, elders, is there something more we could be doing in the church to equip the congregation with discerning reading skills? Good, Christian people are being deceived. Sadly, sometimes it is those in leadership who recommend such books. The so-called Christian author can actually be a potential predator of orthodoxy in the church.”

Christ-Centered Preaching and Teaching - Here is a new, free e-book from The Gospel Project.

The great of this world are those who simply loved God more than others did. —A.W. Tozer


October 28, 2013

Here’s a handful of Kindle deals to start your week: The Man of Sin by Kim Riddelbarger ($3.99); Heroes and Monsters by Josh James Riebock ($1.99); Magnifying God in Christ by Tom Schreiner has fallen a bit further to $4.39. Playing God by Andy Crouch is brand new; I haven’t read it yet, though I hope to ($4.99).

Dude! - I may have a slightly abnormal interest in etymology, so maybe I’m the only one who cares about this. But here’s an article on the origins of the word “dude.”

Is Chastity Even Possible? - “Is the teaching of the Bible on human sexuality even possible to fulfil? Is it simply inhuman to say that the only context for human sexual expression is a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman?” Michael Jensen answers.

The Verbal Backspace Button - We’ve all wished we could hit “backspace” when we’ve uttered a careless word. Hence this article from Lindsey.

Amish Farm - It is rare that a photographer is allowed to take pictures of the Amish. This one was allowed and has quite an interesting photo gallery as a result.

Strange Fire - All of the audio for the Strange Fire conference is now available if you want to catch up.

Airline Seats - I knew this was happening, but it’s good to see the proof! “Airlines’ push to lure high-paying fliers with flatbed business seats and premium economy loungers is leaving economy-class passengers with less space.”

We discern the growth of grace as the growth of plants, which we perceive rather to have grown than to grow. —John Flavel


October 26, 2013

There are a couple of new Kindle deals to be aware of today: Contend by Aaron Armstrong ($0.99); 10 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe (free).

Initiating and Declining - This is a very good article from Brad Hambrick. He talks about initiating and declining sex within marriage and offers some sound, practical counsel.

Better Selfies - Here are 4 quick tips for taking better selfies.

9 Things About Down Syndrome - Joe Carter: “October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Here are nine things you should know about the condition.”

Greatest Innovations Since the Wheel - Lists like this are always a little bit silly, but interesting nonetheless.

The Elusive President - I enjoyed this article at the New York Times about JFK and the surprising lack of good biographies of the man. “An estimated 40,000 books about him have been published since his death, and this anniversary year has loosed another vast outpouring. Yet to explore the enormous literature is to be struck not by what’s there but by what’s missing. Readers can choose from many books but surprisingly few good ones, and not one really outstanding one.”

Redeeming Social Media - I enjoyed this interview with Nathan Bingham as he discusses Christians, ministry, and social media.

We must come to good works by faith, and not to faith by good works. —William Gurnall

Faith and Works