Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

January 15, 2010
Mars Hill at Fourteen
Mark Driscoll offers reflections on the fourteen years since he started planting Mars Hill Church. “They say that dogs age much faster than humans. This month Mars Hill is fourteen years old in human years, and roughly seventy in dog years, which is what it really feels like.”
The Future of the Newspaper
This article shows what the future of newspapers probably will not be. “The figures are almost impossible to question: The vast majority, that’s 77%, of those surveyed said their price limit for paying for online newspapers was zero (East coasters were more definite about this with an 81% figure.) That’s terrible news for those in the industry who think that future revenues lie in bricking up their news content behind a pay wall. And it gets worse…”
Diploma Mills
Wired looks at diploma mills, those companies that sell vast amounts of fake degrees.
Does God Hate Haiti?
Dr. Mohler: “Does God hate Haiti? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations. But that means that every individual and every nation will be found guilty when measured by the standard of God’s perfect righteousness. God does hate sin, but if God merely hated Haiti, there would be no missionaries there; there would be no aid streaming to the nation; there would be no rescue efforts — there would be no hope.”
Airline Baggage Fees
“It is my fervent wish that the airline industry, particularly the legacy carriers, becomes abundantly profitable in the not-too-distant future. It is the industry’s wish too, I dare say. The problem, as ever, is the manner in which the airlines hope to attain this elusive status — by once again sticking it to the customer.”
From 35000 to 15000 Feet
J.D. Payne has just released a study that shows the concentrations of Evangelicals in the U. S. and Canada. “This report is an attempt to provide the Church with a glimpse of what are the realities at the state/province, county, and metro levels. It is an attempt to zoom-in from our current ‘high altitude’ perspective to a lower level. The closer we get to the ground, the better our understanding of reality.”
January 14, 2010
Why Remembering Is Such a Big Deal
Z quotes David Powlison on why remembering is such a big deal in the Bible.
Last Words
Over at 10MillionWords I wrote a review of George Carlin’s autobiography Last Words. “In the end, Carlin did not live long enough to finish his memoirs. Someone had to piece together his notes, fill in the relevant details, and send them out to the publisher. He died in 2008 at the age of 71. He went to stand before the God he denied, the God he despised (funny, isn’t it, how you can so despise someone you insist does not exist), the God he made a career out of mocking and belittling.”
I Am Not Who You Think I Am
Writing at CT, Katherine Jeffrey situates The Shack in the Christian literary landscape. It’s quite a good review.
Michael Oh On Reconciliation
“Michael Oh uses his own history of anger toward the Japanese to explain that reconciliation begins with a personal conviction of sin. As a Korean-American pastor and missionary to Japan, he has learned that we who are loved undeservedly must love unreservedly.”
January 13, 2010
The Man With 400 Children
“[Kirk] Maxey, 51, happens to be one of the most prolific sperm donors in the country. Between 1980 and 1994, he donated at a Michigan clinic twice a week. He’s looked at the records of his donations, multiplied by the number of individual vials each donation produced, and estimated the success of each vial resulting in a pregnancy. By his own calculations, he concluded that he is the biological father of nearly 400 children, spread across the state and possibly the country.”
God’s Grace to Technology
“A venerable British church has done what email addicts and workaholics have been doing for years - invoking the Almighty’s blessing on their high-tech gadgets. The Rev. Canon David Parrott blessed a symbolic heap of laptops and smartphones on the altar of London’s 17th-century St. Lawrence Jewry church Monday.” No comment!
9Marks eJournal
Thabiti provides a roundup of the content from the latest 9Marks Ministries eJournal.
Giving the Nook a Look
Dr. Mohler looks at Barnes & Noble’s Nook, their competitor to the Kindle in the growing e-book market. Here’s what he says: “I do like the Nook. It is good for Amazon to have competition for the Kindle. Do I think the Nook will displace the Kindle? No. Amazon has been at this longer and the Kindle is a really fine technology. Nevertheless, the Nook is really handsome and may over time reveal advantages not yet fully appreciated.”
January 12, 2010
Top Ten Signs Your Sermon Isn’t Going Well
Here’s an early morning LOL for you.
The Age of Privacy Is Over
I think we all know that there are growing concerns about the internet and privacy. Here Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says as much. And just think how much information Facebook has about all of us.
Deeper Into Depression
I’m not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to economics. This article says that in December “The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3pc. That is the one that matters.” And yet most people are saying that we are well past the worst of it all. While on the subject of economics, check out this chart which shows the nations that hold US debt.
The Name of Jesus
Mounce looks at the meaning of the name of Jesus and Phil 2:10.
Thinking Green
Dr. Mohler writes about environmentalism taking over as religion on some people’s lives: “Now the secular world still has to make sense out of its own invisible, psychological drama—in particular, its feelings of guilt and indignation. Environmentalism, as a substitute for religion, has come to the rescue.”
January 11, 2010
Prayer Cross
This comes from the “truth is stranger than fiction” file.
Secret History of America
This sounds like some outrageously revisionist history. “Director Oliver Stone’s upcoming Showtime documentary miniseries ‘Secret History of America” promises to put mass murderers such as Stalin and Hitler ‘in context.’ ‘Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy — these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,’ Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena.”
John Piper’s Q&A at Angola Prison
Here is Q&A with John Piper at Angola Prison.
Al-Qaeda’s New Strategy
“Al-Qaeda’s newfound vitality is the product of a fresh strategy that plays to its networking strength and compensates for its numerical weakness. In contrast to its plan on Sept. 11, which was to deliver a knock-out blow to the United States, al-Qaeda’s leadership has now adopted a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ approach.”
January 08, 2010
Patrick Henry Hughes
I enjoyed this little video about Patrick Henry Hughes: “Patrick is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to correct scoliosis.” (HT:Z)
Six Books for Children on the Bible’s Storyline
Andy Naselli points to some books that look like excellent resources for parents and children.
Little Bird
“Working in the Emergency Room is a frustrating experience, in the sense that the large majority of what comes through the doors is a complete misuse of resources. I found myself jaded and more unhappy than I had been in ages. But healthy kids are fun. And it’s impossible for me to be mad at a 3-year-old. So even when I didn’t believe in what we were doing, I could at least believe in him.”
Devils Among Us
Dean Sam Lloyd and actor Max McLean discuss Screwtape in this conversation (available in both audio and video).
Bible Reading Plan 2010
Julian outlines a great Bible reading plan that both Aileen and I are using this year. There’s still lots of time to get going with a reading plan for 2010, so why not give it a look. This one includes both a single and a couple’s version.
January 07, 2010
Church … Virtually
Leadership Journal writes about the new and growing phenomenon of virtual church. “Recently a number of churches have made the leap beyond multi-site and satellite campuses. They have launched internet campuses, making every living room, dorm room, or coffeehouse with wi-fi an extension of the church.”
Hume’s Gentle Faith
“Brit Hume’s comments on Fox News Sunday — ‘I don’t think that [Buddhism] offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” and, “My message to Tiger [Woods] would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world’ — have unleashed a torrent of criticism from the Left, including the various circus acts over at MSNBC and the Washington Post’s Tom Shales.”
Five Changes in the Way We Work
“I predict this year will be marked by five changes in the evolving relationship between those who work and those who pay to have work done. Most of these trends have been percolating for some time — many stemming back to the 1981 recession, and its then-startling lay-offs. The most recent recession accelerated and intensified the changing nature of the employee-employer relationship.”
Ad Fontes
This looks like an interesting project. “This site is designed to help small groups ‘return to the sources’ and study Reformed theology in a systematic way throughout 2010. We’ll be using John Calvin’s 1541 Institutes as our foundation. A pastor-scholar will introduce each chapter, draw connections to Scripture and the wider Reformed tradition, and point out specific issues for further discussion.”
January 06, 2010
Mohler’s Top News Stories of 2009
Dr. Mohler looks at the top news stories of 2009. “How will 2009 be remembered? Looking back over the year, ten major developments seem most important to me from this vantage point. A few years from now, 2009 might be remembered differently, but these markers stand out as 2010 begins”
The Date of the Last Day
Harold Camping has (again) figured out the date the world will end. “Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.”
From the “Isn’t That What God Said?” File
“Young children spanked by their parents may perform better at school later on and grow up to be happier, according to a controversial new study that is drawing scorn from critics. The U.S.-based research states that spanking children up to six years old made them more successful in school, more optimistic about life, more likely to take voluntary work, and more keen to attend university than their never-spanked counterparts.”
Haven’t We Seen Avatar Before?
This is good for a chuckle.
Sale at RHB
Reformation Heritage Books has quite a long list of good books being offered at a steep discount. They are on a first come, first served basis with limited quantities, so don’t wait around.
January 05, 2010
Euan Murray
This was good to read in an article about a sports star: “Euan said: ‘It’s basically all or nothing, following Jesus. I don’t believe in pick ‘n’ mix Christianity. I believe the bible is the word of God, so who am I to ignore something from it?’” He recently announced that he will no longer play games on Sunday. You can hear an interview with him at this link.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This article gives cause for concern in regards to the next Narnia movie. It seems that once again they’ve decided to excise most of the Christian content from the film. This series certainly isn’t living up to the promise of the first film.
Veith on Avatar
Veith writes about Avatar: “I went to see Avatar on New Year’s Day. It was just awful-ludicrously, unintentionally-comically awful. The story was insufferable, making a clumsy parallel with the War in Iraq, just as you commenters who saw it reported. James Cameron had the idea for this movie for years, we are told, and back then in his circles our conflict in Iraq was all about the evil President Bush and how we were just fighting the war over oil.”
January 04, 2010
You Did What?
You may have heard about the ax-wielding Muslim who tried to kill infamous Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. He was at home caring for his granddaughter when a man broke in seeking to kill him. This part blew my mind: “He did not have time to collect the child from the living room before locking himself into a ‘panic room’, a specially fortified bathroom.” So he ran to the bathroom to save his life and left his five year-old grand daughter out there with a terrorist? Unbelievable!
Technologies That Will Rock 2010
TechCrunch has a roundup of ten technologies they think will rock 2010. “So many new technologies are ready to make a big impact this year. Some of them will be brand new, but many have been gestating and are now ready to hatch. If there is any theme here it is the mobile Web. As I think through the top ten technologies that will rock 2010, more than half of them are mobile. But those technologies are tied to advances in the overall Web as well.”
As the Nation’s Pulse Races
Maureen Dowd in the NYT in an article titled “As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His.” ” Even before a Nigerian with Al Qaeda links tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet headed to Detroit, travelers could see we had made no progress toward a technologically wondrous Philip K. Dick universe. We seemed to still be behind the curve and reactive, patting down grannies and 5-year-olds, confiscating snow globes and lip glosses.”
Ephesian Terrace Houses
Ben Witherington: “Probably the most exciting of all the archaeological developments in Turkey is what has been uncovered on a hill overlooking the Celsus Library in Ephesos by the Austrians. And the Austrians are both meticulous and thorough, and their work on the terraced houses is spectacular. They have even built a state of the art roof over the hill and a walkway and stairway so one can climb around and see the site without interfering with the work. I was fortunate enough to be given a private tour of the site before it became a public tourist attraction and as the year comes to the end, I thought I would share some of my favorite shots.”
Reformation Art Moving Sale
Reformation Art is having a huge moving sale and offering up some great bargains. Take a look at the link to see what’s on sale.

Pages