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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

August 22, 2012

The Internet a Decade Later - “A decade — 10 years. Doesn’t sound like much, right? But a decade ago, the big social networking story was Friendster with a whopping 3 million users. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer had 95 percent market share. And less than 600 million people were online globally … fewer than Facebook users alone in 2012.”

The Acts of the Holy Spirit - Here’s a nice new infographic from The Good Book Company. It offers a timeline of Acts and the epistles.

Modesty Glasses - “In Israel, new modesty glasses for Orthodox Jewish men blur women out of their line of sight.” It’s the most obvious solution, I guess.

God’s Amazing Grace - This article represents my sister’s first article for LifeSiteNews. She writes about a former Planned Parenthood manager who is celebrating one year as a pro-life activist.

The Threefold Use of the Law - Ligonier has a quick, helpful look at the threefold use of the law.

The weakness of man sets the stage for the display of God’s strength. —Janice Wise

August 21, 2012

A Pastor’s Monday - “Mondays are notoriously difficult for pastors. If you are not a pastor, pray for your pastor today as you read through this post. If you are a pastor, listen to the words of pastor Jared Wilson as he describes the structure of his Mondays, along with the personal challenges he faces as another week begins.”

A Plea for Prayer - I loved this article. “For those who do not know Diane [Schreiner] personally, this post is an attempt to allow you to know of this woman of God so that you will be compelled to pray for God’s miraculous and complete healing over her fragile body.  For those who are blessed to know her, nothing below will come as a surprise to you.”

The Next Story - It has been a while since I’ve read a new review of The Next Story. Here’s a kind and encouraging recent one.

Why Waiting Is Torture - This is an interesting article about a boring reality—waiting in line.

Dreams From My Father - I don’t often link to articles by Mark Steyn, and I know that this may be preaching to the choir, so to speak, but this is pretty amazing.

The Greatest Suffering, the Smallest Sin - “You have a choice. Option 1: The tiniest sin imaginable, a sin that would bring you tremendous wealth and other material pleasures. Option 2: The greatest suffering imaginable, for rejecting that one tiny sin. Your selection, please.”

National Geographic Photo Contest - Here are the winners of National Geographic’s Traveler 2012 Photo Contest.

The longer I live, the more faith I have in providence, and the less faith in my interpretation of providence. —Jeremiah Day

August 20, 2012

Trusting Christ through Trauma - Patrick Schreiner (son of theologian Tom Schreiner) writes: “On Friday morning my Mom was involved in a bike accident which was labeled by the doctors as moderate to very severe.” He writes about hope even in the middle of this situation.

Tall Buildings - Is there a limit to how tall buildings can get. Apparently yes and no. It’s an interesting article, even if no one really knows.

The Shelf Life - David Mathis writes about the shelf life of preaching the gospel to yourself. “The clock is ticking. If you’re faithfully preaching the gospel to your own soul, day in and day out, but distancing yourself from regular Bible intake, your freshness is fading. There’s an expiration date on this fruit once it’s off the vine.”

Suggestions for Theologians - Andy Naselli shares John Frame’s thirty suggestions for young seminarians or theologians. Example: “Value your relationship with Christ, your family, and the church above your career ambitions. You will influence more people by your life than by your theology. And deficiencies in your life will negate the influence of your ideas, even if those ideas are true.”

Dimwitted Discourse - This is a little bit overdone, but still instructive and funny.

Oh, if we could not die, it would be indeed horrible! Who wants to be chained to this poor life for a century or longer?C.H. Spurgeon

August 18, 2012

Pat Robertson - “In a recent broadcast of The 700 Club, a woman sent in a question about a man who wouldn’t marry her because she has children who were adopted internationally. If they were her ‘own’ biological children, he would have no problem, she said. But because they were adopted, he saw too much risk. Host Pat Robertson’s female co-host bristled and said he was acting like a ‘dog.’ Robertson disagreed.”

The Psychology of Social Networking - “Neal Postman warned that we were Amusing Ourselves to Death. Maybe today the fear is that we publicize ourselves to death. That’s the concern represented on this infographic.”

The David Barton Controversy - Marvin Olasky provides an update on the David Barton controversy.

The Second Coming Christ - Here’s a long form article from CT. “David Jang has become an increasingly influential figure in Asian and now American evangelicalism. He and his followers have founded media outlets and a Christian college and are key influencers in the World Evangelical Alliance. But…”

The Rise of License Plate Readers - “Tiburon, a small but wealthy town just northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge, has an unusual distinction: it was one of the first towns in the country to mount automated license plate readers (LPRs) at its city borders.” It won’t be the last.

Dangerous Swimming - Is it dangerous to swim after eating?

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. —C.S. Lewis

August 17, 2012

Are We All Braggarts? - From the WSJ: “Boasting isn’t just a problem on the Internet. In a society of unrelenting competition—where reality-show contestants duke it out for the approval of aging celebrities and pastors have publicists—is it any wonder we market ourselves relentlessly?”

I Choose Grace - Here is one man’s response when a registered sex offender moved into his neighborhood.

A Closing Plea - Spurgeon knew how to bring it. Here is a closing plea from one of his sermons.

The Amish Population - The Atlantic writes about the exploding Amish population.

Miss Moose, Hit Bear - Yet another reason I love the Internet—so I can read stories like this: “A Norwegian driver who swerved his car on a rural road to avoid running into a moose hit a bear instead, authorities said on Thursday.”

God sweetens outward pain with inward peace. —Thomas Watson

August 16, 2012

Enough Already! - Actress Jodie Foster penned an interesting article (Note: it contains a couple of profanities). She writes about how horrendous it is to grow up in the public eye and defends a kid’s right to be a kid. It’s interesting because, as a star actress, she has had a hand in creating the very culture she hates. Either way, good food for thought.

The Precious Word - I enjoyed this article, a recounting of a lot of street evangelism during the Olympics.

What I’ve Learned Along the Way - A pastor provides a skimmable list of some of the things he has learned over 21 years of ministry. Here’s a sampling: “Sheep bite. Faithful preaching does not guarantee church growth. Just because there is a crowd does not mean there is a church.”

Fitted Sheets - This is very instructional.

The Greatest Olympian - “Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in he modern incarnation of the Olympic Games.  But is he the ‘greatest Olympian’ ever?  It’s partly a question of definitions, but I would argue that he is not.”

There was never a sinner half as big as Christ is Savior. —C.H. Spurgeon

August 15, 2012

What’s Wrong with Patriarchy - D.A. Carson: “In their defense of complementarianism, several Council members in The Gospel Coalition have been known to preface their remarks with the insistence that complementarianism is not to be confused with either patriarchalism or with mere traditionalism in men/women relationships. To some observers, however, all three expressions are roughly synonymous. So why do we insist on the difference?”

Gospel Fellowship - Be sure to read this short article from Dane Ortlund.

Good News for Bad Preachers - Russell Moore talks to young preachers: “Your first few sermons are always terrible, no matter who you are. If you think your first few sermons are great, you’re probably self-deceived. If the folks in your home church think your first few sermons are great, it’s probably because they love you and they’re proud of you.”

The Cross and the Electric Chair - You’ve heard this line before: “For Christians to wear crosses around their necks is like us wearing a symbol of an electric chair.” Glenn Stanton shows why this isn’t a good thing to say.

The LEGO Story - Here’s a short, fun, animated film about the origins of LEGO.

Abortions for the Health of the Mother - “A report to Parliament has revealed abortions performed in the United Kingdom to save the life of the mother are a stunningly low 0.006 percent of procedures.”

How To Tell a Liar - Forbes distills a whole book down to a few useful pointers and tells you how to spot a liar.

A golden coffin will be a poor compensation for a damned soul. —C.H. Spurgeon

August 14, 2012

To Suffer Faithfully - “We sometimes tend to focus on those aspects of the Christian life (spontaneity, starry-eyed-ness, passionate intensity…) in which the younger seem to have an advantage over the older, but there are a bunch of other aspects in which the very experiences that knock some of the shine off our youthful naivety are exactly the things that equip us to be better at enduring.”

Guidelines to Narrative - “If you’ve ever begun to read through the Old Testament and been filled with more questions than answers, you’re not alone. Many of the stories of the OT are hard to understand and hard to apply.” Julian offers some helpful guidelines.

Why Batman Knows Jesus - I really enjoyed Bob Glenn’s quick (three paragraphs) look at Batman and Jesus. Take a look; you’ll find that it’s not your typical article on the subject.

Rich Toddlers and Fashion - There isn’t a lot of value in this article, but I did find this line particularly revealing: “Her mother, Dara Sandler, says she dresses her daughter in the latest fashions because Juliet is a reflection of her — even though her daughter can’t spell the names of the designers, let alone pay for their clothes.” She makes her self-centered motive clear.

Duties of Church Members - Here is a shortened version of Benjamin Keach’s list of the duties of church members to pastors.

God’s Glory, Our Excellence - Writing primarily to pastors, Paul Tripp explores the connection between excellence and awe. “We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe. Awe amnesia is the open door that permits mediocrity in.”

In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are. —C.S. Lewis