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A La Carte

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful Resources
December 15, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis ($3.99); Counter Culture by David Platt ($2.51); Homiletical Handbook by Donald Hamilton ($2.99); The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99). The Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is also on sale: Exodus, LeviticusSong of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 ThessaloniansEzra & Nehemiah, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and MalachiMatthew, Ephesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John ($2.99 each). These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

Just Another Day in America

Here’s a fascinating article on modern news media. Looking at recent televised tragedies, Arthur Hunt says news has become “daily theater, which must be enhanced by a sense of urgency and crisis.”

Writing for an Audience of One

Yes to this! I post a lot online, but there is at least as much that I write and erase. I think all writers do this.

When You Unchain the Earth from the Sun

Here’s Carl Trueman doing what he does so well: “When you decide that categories of identity are merely psychological and that reality is constituted by language, you consequently have neither the right nor the ability to call a halt to the Promethean process which you have unleashed just because some of the results prove to be distasteful to you and unhelpful to your political cause.”

I Am What I’ve Been Through

I found this a moving article. In the midst of cancer treatments she asks, “What can I do now for God’s glory because of my suffering that I was unable to do before my suffering?”

This Day in 1418. 597 years ago today, “English pre-Reformer John Oldcastle is burned alive for his efforts to preserve and promote the cause of the Lollards (preachers who spread John Wycliffe’s views). Shakespeare reportedly based his character Falstaff on Oldcastle.” *

I Am Called a Cult Leader. I Really Don’t Care

Christianity Today has a well-written article about a very strange (and ugly) situation. It tells “how one of the world’s most beloved worship songs reportedly helped to fuel spiritual abuse at Wayne Jolley’s The Gathering International.”

How Does Anesthesia Work?

When under anesthesia, you can’t move, form memories, or — hopefully — feel pain. And while it might just seem like you are asleep for that time, you actually aren’t. What’s going on?

ACU 108

If you plan to do some year-end giving, Africa Christian University may be a worthy recipient. They are trying to raise $108,000 in 108 hours.

Lewis

If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it. —C.S. Lewis

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 14, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible and the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible discounted to $11.99 each. That’s more than most deals I post here but still a good value. Also consider Esther by John Piper ($2.99) and Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison ($0.99). New from GLH Publishing is True Repentance by Thomas Boston ($0.99). Finally, if you didn’t check in on the weekend, be sure to give these Kindle deals a look.

You can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book at Amazon (this deal ends today). That means you can buy Do More Better for just $6.74! Or buy any other book by starting here. Also, I just happened to notice that for one day only Amazon has The Lord of the Rings movies, in the Blu Ray extended edition, at just $27.99.

I. Howard Marshall

Ray Van Neste: “I received word this morning that I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, had passed away, a month before his 82nd birthday.” He pens a sweet tribute.

Gospel for Asia

Christianity Today covers the recent revelations about Gospel for Asia, what went wrong, and what they claim to be doing about it.

The Death Of Tiger Woods

If you are a sports fan you may enjoy this article about the decline of Tiger Woods. “Tiger, as we knew him, no longer exists. But with the rebirth of Eldrick, maybe we can cheer for Woods once more.”

Christian Rhetoric During a National Crisis

Daniel Darling offers some wise and helpful tips on responding to crisis. “The question for Christians is now twofold; how should we think about these events, and how should we respond to these events? Much ink has been and will be spilled on the former, but I’m not sure we’re giving enough thoughtful attention to the latter. Can we do better than we’ve been doing?”

This Day in 1872. 143 years ago today, John Geddie (missionary to Polynesia) died in Australia, where he had sailed following a stroke. A wooden tablet memorializes him by saying, “When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.” *

15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2015

Counsellors and/or committed readers may be interested in this list from Bob Kellemen. 

The Environmental Movement

Conrad Black (yeah, I know, I know) has quite a good article on climate change. “Where is there evidence of climate change, other than the endlessly repeated divinations of professedly clairvoyant people such as Prince Charles and Al Gore (who also told us that he invented the Internet and that the Pacific island country of Tuvalu would be submerged by now — the water level there has actually declined slightly)?”

Spurgeon

The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything. —C.H. Spurgeon

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
December 12, 2015

Cruciform Press has 6 Kindle books marked down to $1.99: Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Al Martin, The Good News About Satan by Bob Bevington, Friends and Lovers by Joel Beeke, Hit List by Brian Hedges, Broken Vows by John Greco, and Brass Heavens by Paul Tautges. There are also several little books by John Piper at $2.99: Good News of Great Joy, The Marks of a Spiritual Leader, Doctrine Matters, Love to the Uttermost, and Captive to Glory. Also consider The ISIS Crisis by Charles Dyer ($3.50); Prepare by Paul Nyquist ($3.50); Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke ($1.99).

Also, you can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book (until December 14). Click here to get started.

There are a couple of new reviews of Do More Better that may interest you: A Productivity Coach, Not a Guru by Paul Tautges and this review by Jeremy Walker.

On Disputable Matters

D.A. Carson writes on an issue that is always pressing. “Every generation of Christians faces the need to decide just what beliefs and behavior are morally mandated of all believers, and what beliefs and behavior may be left to the individual believer’s conscience.”

Imprint of King Hezekiah’s Seal Found in Jerusalem

Here’s a neat story from the world of biblical archeology. “The royal seal of an ancient biblical king has been unearthed near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

How Jane Austen’s Emma Changed the Face of Fiction

“The story of a self-deluded heroine in a small village, Jane Austen’s Emma hardly seems revolutionary. But, 200 years after it was first published, John Mullan argues that it belongs alongside the works of Flaubert, Joyce and Woolf as one of the great experimental novels.”

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child

Here’s a sweet bit of writing that will be good for any parent to read.

This Day in 1841. 174 years ago today, J.C. Ryle was ordained in the Church of England. *

The World War 2 Meme That Circled the World

My grandfather used to draw Kilroy on every birthday or Christmas card. Now I know why.

Reformed Baptist Seminary

My gratitude goes to Reformed Baptist Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week.

Piper

We belittle God when we go through the outward motions of worship and take no pleasure in his person. —John Piper

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 11, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three by Matt Chandler: The Mingling of Souls ($4.16); Creature of the Word ($3.50); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain ($3.90). Also consider I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Scott Wellum ($2.99).

C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent

What!? “A recent discovery unveils an unknown chapter in the life of the famous Oxford Don.”

The History of the Christmas Card

We take the Christmas card for granted, but where did this tradition actually come from? Smithsonian.com tracks down the answer and even shows the very first card.

Top Tourist Attractions

Here’s a fascinating list of the world’s top tourist attractions.

Reflections on the Top 25 Christian Classics

Keith Mathison is well qualified to evaluate Christian History’s recent list of the top 25 Christian classics.

NASA Launch in 4K

NASA shares an ultra-high definition video of a recent rocket launch.

This Day in 1792. 223 years ago today, Jacob Mohr, author of the carol “Silent Night,” was born. *

6 Ways Not to Preach the Birth of Jesus

If you have the privilege of preaching this Christmas, don’t commit any of these errors. Please.

Stormscapes

Here’s some beautiful footage of some remarkable weather.

Hughes

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

Daily News Information and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 10, 2015

I found one, and only one, Kindle deal today: Joel Beeke’s Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation. I expect there will be more tomorrow. And now, here are your daily links:

Visual Theology

This week we have been adding new products to our Visual Theology store. We’ve added brand new posters displaying the Books of the Bible, The Attributes of God, and The Trinity.

Seven Situations Where Your Church Should Not Have Greeters

Thom Rainer is especially good at this kind of article.

The Doctrine of Scripture: Defining Our Terms

Any discussion is only as good as the definitions of the terms being used. This article at Ligonier defines important terms related to the doctrine of Scripture.

Certainty, Openness and Theological Wisdom

Ray Ortlund: “Some Christians seem ‘all certainty.’ Maybe it makes them feel heroic. But they see too few gray areas. Everything is a federal case. They have a fundamentalist mindset. Other Christians seem ‘all openness.’ Maybe it makes them feel humble.  But they see too few black-and-white areas. They have a liberal mindset—though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty.”

A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology

Justin Taylor points to some good resources on better understanding Islam.

This Day in 1520. 495 years ago today, German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X’s bull Exsurge Domine, which demands that Luther recant his “heresies,” including justification by faith alone. *

The World’s Most Popular Bible Verses

The Bible app is an incredible success story. Here’s what people did with the app in the last year. “In the app [every second], three bookmarks are created, four verses are shared, and 18 verses are highlighted. More than 50 Bible chapters are listened to, and 342 chapters are read.”

Seminaries Reluctantly Selling their Souls

I do not agree with everything in this article (Online education is a great alternative to those who simply cannot attend a seminary) but still think it is worth considering.

Manton

Divisions in the church always breed atheism in the world. —Thomas Manton

Daily Reading Links and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen ($2.99); The Peacemaking Pastor by Alfred J. Poirier ($1.99); Real Christianity by William Wilberforce ($1.99); But Don’t All Religions Lead to God? by Michael Green ($0.99); Already Gone by Ken Ham ($2.99).

Almost all of The New American Commentary volumes are on sale with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an asterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, MarkLuke*, John 1-11John 12-21ActsRomans1 Corinthians2 Corinthians*, Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon1&2 Thessalonians1&2 Timothy/TitusJames1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 JohnRevelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11, Genesis 11-50ExodusLeviticus*, Numbers*, DeuteronomyJoshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 ChroniclesEzra/Nehemiah/Esther*, JobProverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of SongsIsaiah 1-39Jeremiah/LamentationsEzekielDanielHosea/JoelAmos/Obadiah/JonahMicah-ZephaniahZechariahHaggai/Malachi.

The reviews for Do More Better continue to come in: Here’s The Cripplegate, Aaron Armstrong, and Travis Peterson.

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Josh Buice takes on a difficult topic and does very well with it. I take a very similar view to the one he arrived at.

Ministry Leaders and Burnout

Eric Geiger offers 5 reasons that burnout is so prevalent for those in ministry. I think #2 is especially prevalent: “The work (even the overwork) can feel holy.” The hardest things to say “no” to are the things that are just so good.

Nine Consequences of Debt

Randy Alcorn lays out some of the serious consequences of allowing yourself to get into debt. Here’s food for thought: “The more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t.”

The Twice-Yearly Sale

Christian Audio is having their twice-yearly sale. You can get most of their products for just $7.49.

The Ethical Dilemma of Self-Driving Cars

Ted-Ed covers a few of the ethical dilemmas related to self-driving cars.

This Day in 1608. 407 years ago today, English poet John Milton is born in London (most famous for his epic Paradise Lost). *

The #vtReading Challenge

If you are joining in with the 2016 Reading Challenge I posted the other day, be sure to check out this group at Goodreads.

Slow, Rusted, and Still in the Air

The B-52 bomber is an incredible piece of military technology that is still going strong, even thought it was supposed to retire decades ago. And it has no natural successor. “Today, there is a B-52 pilot whose father and grandfather flew the plane.”

Carson

Christians are to be as holy as pardoned sinners can be this side of eternity. —D.A. Carson

News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 08, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Upper Room by John MacArthur ($2.99); Jesus on Every Page by David Murray ($1.99); Compassion Without Compromise by Adam Barr ($1.99); Mormonism 101 by Mill McKeever ($2.99); 52 Words Every Christian Should Know by Kendell Easley ($0.99); Preparing for Jesus’ Return by A.W. Tozer ($1.99); The Big Idea of Biblical Preaching edited by Scott Gibson ($1.99); 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli ($2.99); A History of Israel by Walter Kaiser ($2.99).

Are Evangelicals Addicted to Pseudo-Events and Media Outrage?

Joe Carter asks (and answers) the question. “As Christians, we’re expected to take an eternal perspective, viewing events not just in their historical context but also in their eschatological context. But we can’t do that while focusing on the pseudo-events and social media outrages of the last 24 hours.”

Four Productivity Lies

Desiring God ran an article I prepared. “As Christians, we can think about productivity in the best and highest terms. We can be motivated to live for the good of others and the glory of God, and structure our lives to do this.” Also, thanks to David Murray for “Do Less Better,” his encouraging review of Do More Better.

Bible-Reading Booklets for Kids

David Murray has (finally!) begun selling his little Bible-reading booklets for children. “Each book has about 100 days of Bible reading, each day has a brief question, and each week has an area for prayer points.” My kids have used the older print-it-yourself version for a long time and have done well with them.

Daily Bread

I’m looking forward to the rest of this little series from Mellisa Kruger. She’ll be writing about the value of reading God’s Word every day.

Relativity, Moral Relativism, and the Modern Age

Al Mohler: “Moral relativism and the rejection of absolute truth now shape the modern post-Christian mind. Indeed, relativism is virtually taken for granted, at least as an excuse for overthrowing theistic truth claims and any restrictive morality.”

This Day in 1691 and 1934. Today marks the deaths of both Puritan Richard Baxter and missionaries John and Betsy Stam (324 years ago and 81 years ago respectively). *

The Cure for College Student Narcissism

Alex Chediak suggests a simple solution to the problem of student narcissism.

When God was Silent

Just because God was silent for the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments doesn’t mean he wasn’t at work. Diane explains.

Themelios

For those interested, a new issue of Themelios has been released with 193 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews.

Winslow

David’s pen never wrote more sweetly than when dipped in the ink of affliction. —Octavius Winslow

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful Resources
December 07, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three Crossway titles by or about Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Walking with God Day by Day and The Christ-Centered Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by the man himself, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century by Christopher Catherwood. Also consider Jesus and the Feminists by Margaret Kostenberger ($2.99); J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne ($1.99); Tactics by Greg Koukl ($3.99); Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower ($3.99); Grief Undone by Elizabeth Groves ($1.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Caught Off Guard by William Smith ($0.99). Also Amazon is offering a good discount on Certified Refurbished Kindle Fires today.

What True Love Does

I really appreciated this article. “Sometimes it’s easiest to serve those far from us. Sometimes we can be so concerned about another’s problem while neglecting the problems God has put right under our noses.” Guilty as charged!

Without

A grieving grandfather writes beautifully and powerfully about the too-brief life and too-soon death of his grandson. “Without reaching out a hand, Grayson touched us, and warmed us, and reminded us of the beauty and fragility of life; showing us God’s great gift. Without a smile, he brought joy. Without a cry, he brought tears.”

Google Performing Arts

Google Performing Arts allows you to experience the performing arts in an immersive way.

Two New Christian Books on Productivity

I enjoyed this dual review of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next along with my Do More Better. Several people have asked me about the difference between the books, and this review explains it well.

This Day in 1941. 74 years ago today, Japanese soldiers attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It forever changed Japan, America, and the world. *

Grandparent Gift-Giving

Jen Wilkin addresses the parents who are concerned about OGS this Christmas (with “OGS” standing for Over-indulgent Grandparent Syndrome).

Church at the Cross Reading Plan

If you’re looking for a new Bible-reading plan for 2016, you may want to look at this one. I respect any plan that builds in catch-up days.

Ten Church Planting Proverbs

Darryl shares ten helpful little church planting proverbs.

Finally, please welcome Julie-Ann as the new designer of the daily quote graphics! She begins this week with this one:

Horton

Everyone wants to save the world but no one wants to do the dishes. —Michael Horton