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A La Carte

February 14, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Thrive by Lina AbuJamra ($2.99); When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz ($2.99); New from GLH Publishing is Thomas Goodwin’s Christ Set Forth ($0.99); Also, time is running out to get these 5 volumes in the excellent Preaching the Word commentary series (ideal for study or devotional reading): GalatiansEphesians; Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon; 1-2 Timothy and Titus; 2 Corinthians ($2.99 each).

When We Talk About God - I’m with Jared Wilson here: “I think a lot of the rejections in evangelicalism today of God’s sovereignty and biblical infallibility are not unrelated to the more recent conversations about the need to attend regular local church services. They are all simply manifestations of a rejection of authority…”

Beyond the Worship Set - Matt Merker has a really helpful article about a feature of our worship services that we may take for granted: the worship set.

Beyond Male and Female - Facebook announced that they have moved beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’ with custom gender options. You can now customize your gender and your preferred pronoun.

Family Devotions in Real Life - CBMW: “We asked Jodi Ware what family devotions looked like in their home during the training years of their own two daughters. Her husband, Bruce Ware, is the author of the excellent discipleship book Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God.”

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - I like this explanation: “Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fears of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fears of turning in something terrible.”

What and How You Read - Rosaria Butterfield: “I’m culpable. The blood is on my hands. The world of LGBTQ activism on college campuses is the world that I helped create. I was unfaltering in fidelity: the umbrella of equality stretching to embrace my lesbian identity, and the world that emerged from it held salvific potential. I bet my life on it, and I lost.”

Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise. —C.H. Spurgeon


February 13, 2014

Here are three Kindle deals from Christian Focus: To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams ($2.99); A Cord of Three Stands by Diana Lynn Severance ($2.99); Radical Dating by Diane Montgomery, Gabrielle Pickle & Sarah Bubar ($2.99). Finally, the classic Holiness by J.C. Ryle ($4.61).

A Young(er) Wayne Grudem - This is fun: “I love a good vintage theology book. Vintage, in this usage, means late 70′s or early 80′s, and I’m mainly talking about cover aesthetics. The particularly book pictured even comes with sweet character sketches of each of the authors before their respective essays. We’re talking about back when D. A. Carson had a mustache and Wayne Grudem still had his hair.”

5 Lies About Your Body - Here are five lies our culture tells us about how we should perceive our bodies—and five truths from Scripture to help shift our perspective.

The Fathers - My Mentors - I appreciate Michael Haykin’s perspective on the church fathers. (Don’t be intimidated by the talk of church fathers: it’s a very short article.)

What Are We Fighting About? - Brad Hambrick says there are really just four types of disagreements that a couple can have. He discusses each of them.

460 Years Ago Yesterday - Justin Taylor writes about Lady Jane Grey who died 460 years ago yesterday. She represents a fascinating little piece of history.

Happy 75th R.C. - Ligonier Ministries has a brief article about R.C. Sproul to mark his 75th birthday. If you’d like to wish him a happy birthday, there is a place for you to do that there.

The doctrines of grace humble a man without degrading him and exalt a man without inflating him. —Charles Hodge


February 12, 2014

Here are some Kindle deals for you: Love or Die by Alexander Strauch ($3.99); God on Sex by Daniel Akin ($2.99); Deacons by Henry Webb ($2.99); Christian Leadership Essentials ($3.99); Church Administration by Robert Welch ($2.99); Church Administration Handbook by Bruce Powers ($2.99); Al Mohler’s The Conviction to Lead has fallen to $4.39; Andrew Davis’ An Infinite Journey is back on sale ($4.99).

Crucifying Defensiveness - Jared Wilson: “The biggest problem in my life and ministry is me. And the biggest problem among my many idiosyncratic problems is the impulse toward self-defense and self-justification.”

Baby Iver - This story made headlines in Canada yesterday; once again, it highlights our culture’s contradictory view of unborn life. We can read it and celebrate the joy of life even amidst the grief of death.

Gifts of the Spirit in the Old Testament - Here is an article about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

Facebook Fraud - This video explains why Facebook likes may not be all that valuable, and why you definitely shouldn’t pay for them.

The Story That Writes Itself - Kevin DeYoung has a tongue-in-cheek Mad Lib that should save sports journalists a lot of time in the years ahead.

D.A. Carson on Good Commentaries - “In honor of the recently released seventh edition of D. A. Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey (Baker Academic), we asked The Gospel Coalition’s co-founder and president a few questions about commentaries—what makes a good one, what they can’t do, common pitfalls, how much time we should give them, and more.”

To forsake Christ for the world, is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow. —William Jenkyn


February 11, 2014

HarperCollins has discounted a list of works by C.S. Lewis ($3.99 each): The Discarded Image; Image and Imagination; An Experiment in Criticism; Studies in Words; The Allegory of Love; Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature; Selected Literary Essays. Also, consider: Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuard Scott & Heath Lambert ($2.99); The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton ($3.99); Holman QuickSource Bible Atlas ($2.99); Holman QuickSource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls ($2.99).

Marriage in America - “This week Americans celebrate National Marriage Week, a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture. Here are nine things you should know about marriage in America.”

What Can Miserable Christians Sing? - Carl Trueman reflects on an old article titled “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?”

Truth and Tone - Erik Raymond looks to John Newton to encourage pastors to remember that truth and tone go hand-in-hand.

Addicted to Social Media - Kids are addicted to social media, but it’s not their fault. It’s your fault! And here’s why.

Growing Pains - Tim Chester (with some help from Tim Keller) writes about some of the growing pains that come with bigger churches.

They Do It Better - Tim Brister learned some discipleship lessons from someone who seems to be doing it quite a bit better than most Christians. It’s worth thinking about!

I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the gospel if you can eat it all by yourself. —C.H. Spurgeon


February 10, 2014

Crossway has discounted the Kindle editions of several volumes in the excellent Preaching the Word commentary series (ideal for study or devotional reading). These 5 volumes are an amazing deal at just $2.99 each: GalatiansEphesians; Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon; 1-2 Timothy and Titus; 2 Corinthians. Also, Eric Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer is $2.99.

Al Mohler on Strange Fire - In his Ask Anything program, Al Mohler talks about the Strange Fire book and conference. I appreciated his perspective. 

Only Two Pastoral Problems - This is a short quote, but a good one. It comes from John Owen via Sinclair Ferguson via R.W. Glenn.

Who Is Fittest? - So of all these athletes competing at the Olympics, which are fittest? Discovery provides an answer (though not a particularly satisfying one).

But there Is a Problem - Carl Trueman talks about evil and suffering and the way Calvinists may not speak rightly about them.

Lessons from a Lifetime of Pastoring - In this video Sinclair Ferguson gives lessons he has learned from a lifetime of pastoring.

Reaching the Poor with the Gospel - Here are just a few tips on reaching the poor with the gospel (and, having worshiped at this church, I can tell you that they are succeeding at this very thing).

Love is fundamentally a Person — a who, and not a what. —Winston Smith


February 08, 2014

Here are just a few Kindle deals: Zondervan’s A to Z Guide to Finding It in the Bible can be a helpful resource ($1.99); Hip Hop Redemption by Ralph Basui Watkins ($2.99); Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes ($2.99).

How Olympians Have Changed - Here is a quick look at how olympians—and their increasingly specialized bodies—have changed over the years.

Our Most Significant Decision - I enjoyed reading this article from Hershael York. He tells about the most significant spiritual decision he and his wife ever made.

The In Between - R.C. Sproul Jr has written another poignant article about love and loss.

Al Mohler and Jay-Z - “Dr. Al Mohler is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His interests appear to include: reading, classical music, ties, and world affairs. Jay-Z is one of the most prolific rappers of the last decade. Jay is known for his platinum albums, flashy lyrics, Illuminati allegations, and being a hip-hop mogul.Yet, these two men share a common skill.”

The OT and NT in 10 Minutes - Here are two videos, one of them a 10-minute overview of the Old Testament and the other a 10-minute overview of the New Testament.

Churchill’s Time Management - Matt Perman writes about the cornerstone of Winston Churchill’s legendary ability to get things done. 

God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives. —J.I. Packer


February 07, 2014

Here are three new Kindle deals: Dining With the Devil by Os Guinness ($2.99); The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler ($4.99); Making a Difference in Preaching by Haddon Robinson ($3.99). I don’t know much about the third book, but the first two are excellent.

Lessons Learned in the School of Suffering - Darryl shares a few of the lessons he has learned in the school of suffering.

Create a Culture of Evangelism - Here is some wisdom on how to create a culture of evangelism.

Two Men Who Marked My Life - I love reading tributes like this one. “One of my earliest prayers as a Christian was, ‘Lord, bring me someone to teach me Your Word.’ … God graciously answered my prayer by bringing many people into my life, but two of the most influential have been Tommy Nelson and Mark Dever. I was recently blessed with the opportunity to see these men come together for an evening, which gave me a good reason to reflect on how they have marked my life—which I hope in turn will mark yours as well.”

Lessons from the Ham vs Nye Debate - Rick Phillips found the Ham vs Nye debate to be interesting and provides three observations.

The Tension of the Christian Life - Jason Helopoulos writes about some of the tensions we feel as we live this Christian life.

Stay-at-Home Mome with Missionary Hearts - “Have you ever watched someone else living your dream, the thing you really, really wanted for your life? As I cut the crusts off my kids’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I listened to my young, single friend talk passionately about her upcoming trip back to Cambodia. Before her furlough she’d worked with children in an orphanage and discipled teenage girls. Now, she’ll use her nursing degree in a medical clinic, building relationships, and sharing about Jesus…”

Sovereignty characterizes the whole being of God. He is sovereign in all his attributes. —A.W. Pink

AW Pink

February 06, 2014

Here are just a couple of Kindle deals: True Friendship by Vaughan Roberts is an excellent little book ($2.99); From the same publisher is Will You Be My Facebook Friend? by Tim Chester ($2.99) and The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller ($1.62).

God at Three O’Clock - Here’s one especially for the moms. “Have you been there? In those 3am moments? When it feels like the whole world is sleeping soundly, but you are up wringing your hands or watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with a miserable baby or crying out to God that He will take away your pain, take away your child’s pain, hear you when He feels so far away?”

Delaying Marriage and Same Sex Attraction - Lore Ferguson wonders about the connection: “The longer marriage is delayed into the 30s and later, the more I have women especially coming and confessing SSA or the existence of a SS relationship in which they have engaged.”

A Consensus on Airplane Seat Reclining - I quite agree: We need guidelines on when, if ever, it’s OK to recline one’s seat. Mostly, never.

Dear Donald Miller - Lots of people took the time to respond to some recent comments from Donald Miller. This was probably my favorite.

So Much More Than Manners - Julian Freeman: “I want to provide you with my compilation of New Testament texts and teaching on thankfulness. I think the best way to use it is to download the PDF, print it, go through the texts one-by-one and make notes on them. That being said, I know that many of you (a) won’t do that, or, (b) won’t do that without convincing, so I’m going to offer a few highlights here.”

An Imperfect Mom Is Still a Good Mom - I guess every mom gets to this point: “Perfect Mother was out of the question.  My blotted record had shown me that already.  But maybe Good Mother could be enough for my little ones.”

Waiting for an answer to prayer is often part of the answer. —John Blanchard


February 05, 2014

The Church About Nothing - Here’s some good counsel: “What do we want to do when we want to learn about a church? Well, typically, we read their websites and maybe listen to a sermon or two. This is definitely helpful. However, I’d like to suggest another option: listen to members talk.”

Preaching the Wrath of God - Steve Lawson: “Faithful pulpit ministry requires the declaration of both judgment and grace. The Word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword that softens and hardens, comforts and afflicts, saves and damns.”

Remember Who Your Children Really Are - This is a really good and helpful reminder. “These daughters whom I adore will remain my children for this life only. I am the father of Hannah and Skylar until death, but—inasmuch as they embrace the Gospel—I will remain their brother for all eternity. Put another way, if your children stand beside you in the glories of heaven, they will not stand beside you as your children but as your blood-redeemed brothers and sisters…”

The Ham-Nye Debate - Al Mohler has a substanial recap of last night’s debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. (And while we’re talking Al Mohler, you may also like to read his article on The New American Religion)

Who Owns the Pastor’s Sermons? - Here’s a modern conundrum the New Testament church probably didn’t have to face. “Who owns the pastor’s sermon? Church or pastor? When sermons become books that make millions in royalties, the answer is important.”

Romans 1-7 For You - Westminster Books has some good deals this week, including Tim Keller’s Romans 1-7 For You, and two other books I’ve read and recommended in the past couple of weeks.

The basic needs of the human heart never change. The answers to that need never change. —William G. Hughes


February 03, 2014

Here are just a couple of new Kindle deals. New for Kindle from GLH Publishing is A Lifting Up for the Downcast by William Bridge ($0.99); Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell ($0.99). Also, most of the Kindle tablets are on sale for a short time; you can see details at Amazon.

When Neighbors Begin - Doug Wilson responds to Rachel Held Evans and her thoughts on when life begins. “The size of these tiny people only affects the clarity of the situation if we define the humanity of others on the basis of our limited eyesight. But why is the question of a soul connected to size, as though the naked eye were in charge of these things?”

Forged in Forgiveness - “This is a remarkable story. Erik Fitzgerald was a youth pastor in Georgia when he awoke one day to the terrible news that his wife and son had been killed in a car accident.” A video tells what happened after he met the man driving the other car.

Happily Ever After - I guess this is one for women: “Even at my age I still love princess stories. Growing up I was committed to my role as princess whenever playing dress up. Honestly, I wish we still dressed in big flowing gowns. I am all for chivalry, I love movies with happily-ever-after endings, and am totally into reading Monarchical History. I am a romantic through and through.”

Bible Translations and Bible Reading - Here are some helpful distinctions in Bible translations and helpful counsel in Bible reading and studying.

Amazing Olympic Facts - I think “amazing” might be overselling it; “random and interesting” is more like it.

Ask R.C. Live - Here’s a link to the recording from last week’s “Ask R.C.” online event; there’s also a list of all the questions he answered if you’re looking for something in particular.

May your character be not a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock. —C.H. Spurgeon

Spurgeon Rock