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April 09, 2014

Moralism Is Not the Gospel - Mohler: “In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.”

Internet Porn and the Decline of Faith - Joel Miller: “Since the early 1990s, there has been a significant uptick in Americans abandoning their faith. After crunching the numbers, one researcher says contributing factors such as upbringing and education only explain part of the increase. What about the rest?” Could it be related to porn?

When Does Christian Get Saved? - Justin Taylor asks Jim Orrick, professor of literature and culture at Boyce College, when in Pilgrim’s Progress Christian gets saved.

Grumbling and Complaining - Lore Ferguson: “My heart has been a grumbling one recently. I could give you a few reasons I think why my grumbling is necessary or warranted, but the truth is that even talking about those situations would invite more grumbling.”

How the Secret Police Tracked My Childhood - I really enjoyed this article from the BBC: “Fighting the system used to be dangerous anywhere in Eastern Europe. For one protester from a small Romanian village it was disastrous - and also for his family, whose every word was recorded by the secret police. Carmen Bugan, who found the transcript of her childhood, tells their story.”

Nothing that man can present to God by way of sacrifice can ever purchase the blessing of forgiveness.C.H. Spurgeon


April 08, 2014

There are lots of Kindle deals today! Exalting Jesus in Matthew (a commentary) by David Platt ($2.99); Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler ($2.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); HCSB Study Bible ($2.99); The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley ($2.99); Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($2.99); Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax ($2.99); Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger ($4.99); Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart by J.D. Greear ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger ($0.99); Christless Christianity by Michael Horton ($3.99); 

Together for the Gospel - The Together for the Gospel conference begins today, which is why I’m on my way to Louisville right now. You can watch it live beginning this afternoon.

English is Crazy - Yes it is. This poem explains.

31 Days of Purity Ebook - If you want to have the 31 Days of Purity in ebook format, visit the link and have at it.

Inerrant Word - InerrantWord is a new web site from John MacArthur dedicated to the always-important subject of inerrancy. It is part of the lead-up to next year’s Shepherds’ Conference Summit on Inerrancy.

Whisperings - Here is some counsel for pastors and church leaders who find themselves the subject of gossip.

Fall in Love Again - This is a good one from Paul Tripp.

Stop Forgiving Those Who Don’t Want Forgiveness - David writes about those who say they forgive others, even when they don’t want forgiveness. “I understand the motive, and also the desire to present an attractive witness about Christian forgiveness to the world. But it’s not a faithful witness to God. It does not reflect how God forgives, which is to be our pattern and model. Here’s why: God does not forgive those who do not want forgiveness.”

Scanning and Skimming - You’ll want to give this one a quick skim. “Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say.” I put it at the end of today’s links just to make you feel guilty…

The truth of our Lord Jesus Christ is what is worth living for, and what is worth dying for. —W. Robert Godfrey


April 07, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Gray Matters by Brett McCracken ($1.99); The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile ($3.99); A Passion for Faithfulness by J.I. Packer ($3.99); Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology by Together for the Gospel speakers ($3.99); Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem ($1.99); The Message of the New Testament by Mark Dever ($0.99); Stand by John Piper & Justin Taylor ($3.99). Zondervan has a big list of reference works and other resources on sale: The New Matthew Henry Commentary ($4.99); Dictionary of Biblical Imagery by John Beck ($5.99); Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary ($5.99); Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5 ($6.99 each); Dictionary of Bible and Theology Words ($3.99); How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens by Michael Williams ($3.99); How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Fee & Stuart ($3.99); How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Fee & Stuart ($3.99).

How to Identify False Teachers - Denny Burk has a great little article on identifying false teachers.

Without God, Without Hope - I appreciated Charlene’s article in which she remembers her youth and says, “When I hear myself say things like what is wrong with people these days?,’ shake my head in disgust and marvel that human beings could be so rebellious, so foolish, so crass, so arrogant, it is a good sign that I am not remembering where I came from.”

The Greatest Infographic - I enjoy the YouTube channel Numberphile. In this video they discuss what may be one of the greatest infographics ever. “in 1862 Charles Joseph Minard created a much-praised infographic depicting Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.” It’s pretty amazing.

Is Online Church Really a Church? - No. Ed Stetzer explains.

Portraits of Reconciliation - This is a moving photo essay. “Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus.”

Teaching Your Children Politeness - Here are some pointers on teaching your children to be polite. 

The Lord Jesus has as great an interest in the weakest saints as the strongest. —Thomas Brooks


April 05, 2014

Do We Want Christ? Or To Be Wonderful Christians? - I appreciate what Elisha asks in this article: “Do I want to be a wonderful Christian, or do I want Christ? Does my soul long to be a better Christian or does my soul long for the living God? Do I simply want to grow in Christlike character or do I want deeper intimacy with the Person of Christ.”

Board Games - Once a year or so Amazon puts a lot of board games on sale. Today’s the day! Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, Dominion, Axis and Allies, Forbidden Island, etc, are all heavily discounted.

The New Calvinism - PBS did a feature on the New Calvinism, focusing on the SBC. It’s not like they discovered anything we didn’t already know, but it’s still interesting enough, I guess.

Young, Restless, Reformed - While we’re on the subject of the New Calvinism, Collin Hansen’s book Young, Restless, Reformed is on sale for Kindle ($3.99).

The British Isles in Accents - This is pretty neat: A tour of the British Isles through its accents.

Distracted from Shepherding a Child’s Heart - There is food for thought in this article, though I’m not convinced the problem is quite as bad as he makes it out to be.

The NSA Spying Machine - Here’s an interactive graphic meant to show what we know that NSA is able to do.

Reporting Abuse - Here’s an important article on pastoral wisdom and the mandate to report abuse.

Do you know who you need to be saved from? You need to be saved from God. —Voddie Baucham


April 04, 2014

There are a couple of new Kindle deals for you: Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor is one of my favorite books from D.A. Carson ($3.99); The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric J. Bargerhuff is well worth the reading as well (free!). You’ll have to get it from the IVP site, but John Stott’s commentary on 2 Timothy is free. And here are a few deals from earlier in the week: United by Trillia Newbell ($2.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Alone with God by John MacArthur ($0.99); Rid of My Disgrace by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb ($1.99); Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt ($3.99); The Scriptures Testify About Me edited by D.A. Carson ($2.99); 12 Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever ($1.99).

God’s Pursuit of a Bank Robber - Shon Hopwood: “It didn’t take a moment of genius introspection to realize that doing life my way had led to nothing but disaster and destruction. It was the summer of 2009, and I had just completed an almost 11-year sentence in federal prison for my role in five bank robberies I had committed as a foolish young man.”

World Vision’s Flawed Vision - Jesse Johnson says “last weeks gay-marriage flop-flip with World Vision did not come out of left field. But this was a schism that was a long time coming, and illustrates a profound danger inherent in mercy ministries that are not built upon a theological foundation.”

6 Lessons in Good Listening - “Listening is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, and one of the hardest.” Yup. Here are some good tips on doing it better.

Till Conscious Uncoupling do us Part - Mary Kassian takes on the new term “conscious uncoupling” which is Newspeak for “divorce.”

Logos March Madness - Logos users will want to check out their March Madness sale where you can get 75% off books by D.A. Carson. There are lots of other good deals. All readers will want to consider Kevin DeYoung’s new book Taking God at His Word which is on sale at Westminster Books.

Noah: A No Holds Barred Review - If you want to know what the Noah movie is really all about, here’s a long, no holds barred review.

If you will bear the cross, it will bear you. —Robert Murray M’Cheyne


April 03, 2014

When Scripture Is the Controversy - “If we learned anything from last week, maybe it’s that the real controversy among evangelicals in the coming days will be about the Bible, not homosexuality.” Exactly so.

Where Everyone in the World is Migrating - This fascinating and beautiful chart shows the mass migration of people today.

Good Friday in Toronto - If you live in or near Toronto, you may want to consider coming to the Toronto Gospel Alliance Good Friday service at U of T. 

Late Night @ T4G - And if you’re planning to be at Together for the Gospel next week, why don’t you consider this late-night event with 20Schemes. 

The Tongues of Angels - Nathan Busenitz continues to write about the gift of tongues and to offer a cessationist perspective. I’ve found the series both helpful and clarifying.

Extra Special Revelation - In this podcast Carl Trueman and the rest of his Mortification of Spin crew have a discussion about Sarah Young’s mega-selling, mega-problematic Jesus Calling.

Do Your Duty - Gene Veith: “Duty is one of those words that used to carry great weight but really doesn’t anymore. It is still an important concept in military circles, but elsewhere doing something because it’s your duty has acquired a negative connotation. ‘You just say you love me because you think it’s your duty.’ ‘They just go to church out of a sense of duty.’”

Village Hub - This is a fascinating video. “An easy to copy but patented sugar palm factory Smits has developed, demonstrates how community capacity-building and community empowerment can promote economic development while conserving the natural environment.”

God gives the grace of forgiveness in order to receive the glory of worship. —Rhett Dodson


April 02, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Rid of My Disgrace by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb ($1.99); Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt ($3.99); The Scriptures Testify About Me edited by D.A. Carson ($2.99); 12 Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever ($1.99); Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($7.99). New from GLH Publishing is Jeremiah Burrough’s A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness ($0.99).

Looking for a Mentor? - Yes! “We hope that a mentor will share their life with us, speak truth, lead us to pray and worship, share with us a greater knowledge of Scripture and offer insight into living a godly life. I believe that a great book can do some of these things. Your shelves can be overflowing with mentors.”

Sympathy for the Devil - Now this is a flat-out fascinating review of Noah.

The Truth of the Cross - Ligonier Ministries is giving away the audiobook of R.C. Sproul’s The Truth of the Cross. You know what to do…

Aiding and Abetting Apathy - Erik Raymond wants you to think through your response when someone tells you this: “I need to get back in the Word.” or “My prayer life has been kinda dry lately.”

Your Dad Is Messed Up - Here’s a dad writing a letter to his unborn son…

Platt Wasn’t Enough - I enjoyed this one: “I pastor a fantastic church. My congregants are passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ, robust biblical preaching, and family-inclusive discipleship. But there’s also something a bit unique about my church.  Before I became their lead pastor in August of 2013, their previous preacher was Dr. David Platt!”

The Oldest Tricks in the Book on Motherhood - This cracked me up—especially #1 and #20.

People fall in private, long before they fall in public. —J.C. Ryle


April 01, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: United by Trillia Newbell ($2.99); Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt ($3.99); Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($7.99); Too Good to Be True by Michael Horton ($4.99); Adoniram Judson by Jason Duesing ($0.99); The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones ($3.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Alone with God by John MacArthur ($0.99). Because it’s a new month, Amazon has a whole new list of general market books at $3.99 or less.

Ministering to the Sexually Broken - This month’s interview in Tabletalk magazine is with John Freeman of Harvest USA and deals with ministering to the sexually broken.

How Autism Can Land You a Job - WSJ reports that some employers increasingly are viewing autism as an asset and not a deficiency in the workplace.

Cruciform’s Easter Sale - Cruciform Press has two short, inspiring books that can help you meditate on the glorious salvation secured by our resurrected Savior. Use them for pre-Easter reading or to give to others for outreach. You may also be interested in Redeeming Church Conflict by Tara Barthel & Dan Edling which is just $6.98 at Amazon.

The Love Life of John Knox - “It isn’t often that someone in the rough and tumble of ministry in Reformation Scotland would even think of finding a  wife. But our Presbyterian founder, John Knox himself, found in God’s providence, two wives who were willing to take his life as their own.”

Cutting to the Heart of Self-Injury - I find cutting and other forms of self-injury one of the most perplexing practices. This article deals with it well.

Sleep Your Way to Success - As a chronic insomniac, this one hurts a bit. But David’s right: “it’s not just sleep your way to success, but sleep your way to health, strength, and happiness.”

He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave. —Matthew Henry


March 31, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur ($2.99); Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper ($5.99); The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias ($4.99).

Yes, You Are Under Surveillance - This is worth pondering: “At first, the information age promised to empower individuals with access to previously hidden information. We could comparison shop across the world for the best price, for the best bit of knowledge, for people who shared our views. But now the balance of power is shifting…”

The Midrashiest Midrash - Denny Burk provides a spoiler-free review of Noah. Ken Ham provided a review for TIME.

Arranging a Deck of Cards - How many ways can you arrange a deck of cards? Probably a few more than you’d expect.

Things Unseen - Here’s a moving article about the loss of a little one.

How Do You Prepare for Sunday? - It’s a good question to ask. “How do you prepare to gather with your church family? Is your preparation limited to the frenetic collecting of your children, snacks, and diapers? Do you spend your time trying to convince yourself that going is better than sleeping in? Or maybe you don’t even think to prepare, because it’s just another routine that you’ve developed?”

What About Life Insurance? - Randy Alcorn thinks through life insurance from a biblical perpsective. 

God is not wanting you to make sacrifices. He wants you to be a sacrifice. —Derek Thomas 

Derek Thomas

March 29, 2014

Is Church Membership Really Required? - “With such benefits, you’d think church membership would be held in infinitely high esteem. But for many reasons, Christians seem to think less of it than ever before. If you’re one who looks upon church membership lightly, then I invite you to reconsider.”

National Geographic Traveler Contest - National Geographic has begun their annual Traveler Photo Contest. Some of the early entries are nothing short of spectacular.

Do Christians Hate Gay People? - Denny Burk shares an unpublished excerpt from Salvo magazine’s recent interview with Robert George of Princeton University.

6 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told My Church - Byron Yawn reflects on an installation service. “If I could go back over a decade ago, here are six things I wish someone would have said to my congregation.”

7 Tips for a Happy Christian Marriage - Here are 7 marriage tips from a Christian couple who has been married for 67 years.

Questions & Answers from Ligonier - Here is a round-up of questions and answers from the speakers at the recent Ligonier Ministries National Conference.

Satan knows that if he can get us to laugh at things we believe we would never do, our defenses will fall. —Kent Hughes