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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

March 25, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals for you: Putting Jesus in His Place by Robert Bowman & J. Ed Komoszewski ($1.99); Rich by Peter Dickson & David Gibson ($3.99); Totally Sufficient by Ed Hindson & Howard Eyrich ($3.99); Expository Preaching with Word Pictures by Jack Hughes ($3.99); The Shape of Faith to Come by Brad Waggoner ($2.99); A Better Way by Michael Horton ($3.99); 

World Vision and the Gospel - Here is Russell Moore’s reply to World Vision’s suprise annoucement “that they would now hire persons who are in same-sex marriages. The organization said, further, that this was no capitulation, just a recognition that some groups supporting World Vision have differing views on sex and marriage.”

Pray for Hobby Lobby - Today is the day the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two very important cases involving religious liberty and the freedom of conscience.” ERLC invites you to pray for Hobby Lobby today.

What I’m Looking For - Here’s a video of Jenny & Tyler doing their amazing rendition of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

How Pastors Can Care for their Children - This is a helpful article: “My young pastor wisely wanted to think about overcoming those challenges while his children were still young. So I offered him these reflections based on years of experience.”

Grammar’s Great Divide - Here’s a short video about grammar’s great divide: the Oxford comma.

If All Religions Are True - If all religions are true, then God is cruel. Here’s why…

At the end of the day, the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians who don’t share the gospel. —Albert Mohler


March 24, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals, some of which are for brand new books: The Storytelling God by Jared Wilson ($5.99); Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson ($4.99); Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ by John Piper ($4.99); Now That I’m a Christian by C. Michael Patton ($5.99); Joy for the World by Greg Forster ($5.99); The World Is Not Ours to Save by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson ($2.99); Jesus the Evangelist by Richard Phillips ($5.68).

The Most Consequential Christian Liberty Case - Denny Burk: One of the most important religious liberty cases in a generation will come before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties will be making their final appeal for an exemption from Obamacare’s coercive ‘contraceptive’ mandate.”

Noah - If you were planning to go and see the film Noah, well, this review gives you an idea of what you’ll see. Not much that’s even vaguely related to the true story, apparently.

Why Thieves Steal Soap - I enjoyed this little lesson on economics. It explains why in some areas they need to lock up the soap. “It’s well known that pharmacies need to protect their stores of cold medicine, which methamphetamine cooks like Jesse Pinkman can use to make product. But why soap? Is a $6 bottle of Dove body wash really worth the squeeze?”

Books at a Glance - I want to give another shout-out to Books at a Glance, a service that will provide synopses of important Christian books. If you’re a pastor or a Christian reader, you might as well try the free trial and see if you find it helpful.

Top Children’s Books of 2013 - Have you wondered what kids are reading these days? Here are the top kids’ books from 2013.

Flee Youthful Passions - “The ‘youthful passions’ in this context are not sexual.  Paul has in mind the passion for controversy, that feeling inside that relishes a fight and loves to be proved right and even prophetic.”

A man’s destiny on Judgment Day will depend not on whether he has known God’s will but on whether he has done it.A.M. Hunter


March 22, 2014

If you have a Kindle and are into Christian fiction, you may like to check out today’s Gold Box Deal at Amazon. They are offering the first novel in a whole list of series for $1.99. Also on Kindle you can get Alexander Strauch’s Men and Women: Equal Yet Different for $4.99.

Lost - Al Mohler says you should watch this video. He’s right.

Fred Phelps and the Anti-Gospel of Hate - Speaking of Al Mohler, he has written about the death of Fred Phelps. “The announcement was made on his church’s website. The wording was simple: ‘Fred W. Phelps Sr. has gone the way of all flesh.’ Thus brings to an end one of most bitters lives in modern history — and one of the most harmful to the Gospel.”

Set Adrift - WORLD magazine has a long profile on Douglas Phillips whose ministry exploded in the midst of scandal. The writer goes looking for lessons in the midst of it all.

God’s Not Dead - I was able to watch the new movie God’s Not Dead a few days before it came out and chose not to review it. I agree with just about all the points in this review, and especially this: “There are countless sub-plots, and each takes every available chance to unfortunately stereotype, almost to the point of offensiveness, every people group represented.”

New and Old Calvinism - Rick Phillips has begun a series on the New and Old Calvinism. He will suggest these four points: “Old Calvinism should avoid being overly critical but should rejoice in the New; Old Calvinism should not be threatened by or feel pressure to conform to the New; Old Calvinism should humbly listen to the New, benefiting from its insights and critiques; Old Calvinism should zealously seek to serve rather than to undermine the New.”

God Had a Plan - Rebecca writes about her plans for her day, and God’s plan for her day.

I never knew a man escape failures in either body or mind who worked seven days a week. —Robert Peel


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