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A La Carte

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



July 08, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals: Make, Mature, and Multiply by Brandon Smith ($0.99); Called Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson ($0.99); The Stories We Live by Sean Post ($0.99); everPresent by Jeremy Writebol ($0.99); Reading God’s Story Chronological Bible ($2.99); HCSB Digital Reference Bible ($2.99); The Keys to the Chronicles by Marvin Hinten ($0.99); Mere Humanity by Donald Williams ($2.99).

NeuYear Calendars - Over at Facebook I am giving away 10 of those awesome NeuYear calendars. These are academic year calendars designed specifically for students.

Sing to the Lord a Simple Song - There is something to be said for this (though I wish the author had given a few examples). I believe there is a place for simple songs, like “The Gospel Song.”

Theological Fitness - The theme of this week’s deals at Westminster Books is theological growth and health (for women in particular).

Indelible Grace - Indelible Grace is touring this fall and may be coming to a city near you. Unfortunately they aren’t coming to Toronto…

How a Film Projector Works - I found this downright fascinating. “Bill Hammack tears apart a film projector to reveal the amazing mechanisms used in the pre-digital age to trick the mind into seeing a moving image.”

Catching Sleep and Catching Revival - John Starke has a helpful reflection on revival. “Smith uses the analogy of sleep to help us think about rhythms of discipleship, but what if the dynamic of sleep is the same for spiritual awakening in our churches?”

Only the Gospel goes deep enough to effect real hard change. Everything else is just behavior modification. —Jared Wilson



July 07, 2015

Grace To You Bible App - The Grace To You Bible app launches today. The app is free and includes the ESV Bible and lots of MacArthur resources. If you like you can purchase the MacArthur Study Bible notes as an extra.

Climbing a Tree - It’s just a mother raccoon teaching its baby to climb a tree.

Praying Backwards - Praying Backwards, one of my favorite books on prayer, is on sale in the Kindle edition ($1.99).

Christian Bakers Face $135K Fine - You’re probably already read about this story, but Joe Carter will get you caught up with the relevant information.

The Prayer Meeting Revival - Vance Christie tells the story of an amazing revival. Why would we doubt that God can do this again?

Pastors Who Don’t Delegate - Delegation is a difficult skill to learn, but a crucial one for leaders.

The World’s Deadliest Animals - As usual, we tend to fear all the wrong things.

It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration. —John MacArthur



July 06, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Note to Self and Experiencing the Trinity by Joe Thorn ($3.99 each)—both are excellent and good additions to any library; Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99); An Introduction to Wisdom and Poetry of the Old Testament by Donald Berry ($0.99); Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas ($1.99).

R.C. Sproul on the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - R.C. Sproul has recorded some thoughts on the recent ruling on same-sex marriage.

Japan’s Suicide Rate - Here’s an interesting line from a sad article: “Japan has no history of Christianity…so here suicide is not a sin. In fact, some look at it as a way of taking responsibility.”

The Original Bohemian - Andrew Wilson writes about Jan Hus who was martyred 600 years ago today.

When to Baptize Believing Children - I found this quite a helpful distinction: “I think we Baptists should move away from the language of a ‘credible’ profession of faith when it comes to our children and teens, and instead speak in terms of a ‘mature’ profession of faith before baptizing.”

When the World Doesn’t Recognize Who You Are - Melissa draws an important and applicable lesson after spending some time at Disney World.

What If He’s Not Healthy? - This is one mom’s reflections on pregnancy and all that really matters.

Right is right though all condemn, and wrong is wrong though all approve. —Charles Spurgeon