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A La Carte

February 25, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton ($3.99); Biblical Authority by James Draper & Kenneth Keathley ($4.99); In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($0.99); The Ever-Loving Truth by Voddie Baucham ($0.99); new from GLH Publishing is Expository Thoughts on the Gospels by J.C. Ryle ($0.99).

The Strange Story of Jesus Calling - “A ten-year-old devotional written in the voice of God suddenly became a commercial juggernaut. Now, its publisher is trying to reconcile its New Age origins with evangelical orthodoxy.”

The Secret Will of God - It’s hard to over-emphasize just how important it is to get the distinction between God’s revealed will and his secret will. Paul Tripp: “I think many Christians make the mistake of acting on what they can never be sure of rather than relying on what they can know for sure. In other words, Christians confuse God’s secret will with his revealed will.”

Resolve to Think About Death - “Death, as a concept in the Bible, is rich like blood.  It is layered with purpose, needed for life and so teeming with meaning that it is hard for many of us to look long at it.  If we would just look a little longer though, what would we discover?” Jason Leonard offers five ways we are encouraged to think about death.

Is Sexual Orientation Analagous to Race? - We hear the claim a lot today: Sexual orientation is just like race. Joe Carter asks if that really holds true.

Every Dream in the Bible - Here’s an infographic displaying every dream in the Bible.

Gospel-Sharing Books - Matthias Media is having a sale on a wide selection of gospel-sharing books.

It is sad…that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces. —Thomas Brooks


February 24, 2014

Here are a few Kindle deals to begin the day. The first four are brand new books: A Loving Life by Paul Miller ($5.99); God in the Whirlwind by David Wells ($5.99); Finishing Our Course with Joy by J.I. Packer ($3.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($4.99); Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul ($1.99); Saved From What? by R.C. Sproul ($4.46); Defending Inerrancy by Norm Geisler ($3.99).

The Ministry Is a Gospel Issue - Michael Horton offers some helpful thoughts about the important of the ministry.

Dying to Disciple - Mez lays down the challenge: “Many believers here think that I have some secret gift for getting people want to hang out with me on the scheme. But I don’t. I just pursue people. I am constantly, intentionally alert and sensitive to any and all opportunities that present themselves.”

Olympic Timekeeping - The Olympics have come and gone; here’s an article about how they manage to make the timekeeping so precise.

40 Years of Cellphone - Here’s a brief history of the cellphone. How many of these did you own?

Marriage and Friendship - Justin Taylor links to David Powlison speaking about making your marriage a better friendship.

Against Christian Hypocrisy - Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt collaborated on an awful article about Christians who refuse to provide goods and services for gay weddings. This article brings a much better perspective. Russell Moore responds as well, since they quoted (and misquoted) him.

In seeking after holiness we are not so much seeking after a thing as we are seeking a person. —Kevin DeYoung


February 22, 2014

Brian, Rob and Don - “A decade ago, they stood as the leading voices for our evangelical future. We all know what happened since. But do we know why?” Writing for Christianity Today, Kevin Miller has some ideas.

Keeping It Real - This infographic highlights the top ten reasons people prefer printed books to ebooks.

Unbroken - If the movie of Unbroken is half as good as the book, it will be fantastic. Here’s a trailer for it. (With Hollywood’s track record, half as good is probably about as good as we can hope for.)

Antinomianism - Justin Dillehay’s review of Mark Jones’ book Antinomianism is a very helpful introduction to the topic. Even if you don’t intend to read the book, you’ll benefit from the review.

Cleaner Throws Out “Rubbish” Art - This is too funny. “A cleaner has mistakenly thrown away contemporary artworks meant to be part of an exhibition in southern Italy. Works made out of newspaper and cardboard, and cookie pieces scattered across the floor as part of Sala Murat’s display were thrown out.”

Baby Rescued on Expressway - You probably heard about this one: “Traffic came to a halt on the Dolphin Expressway in Miami on Thursday night when 37-year-old Pamela Rauseo stopped her SUV, jumped out and cried for help. In her arms was her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz — and he wasn’t breathing.”

The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth are but ice in comparison to the fire of hell. —Thomas Brooks

Thomas Brooks

February 21, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: My book Sexual Detox is just $1.99; The Essential Guide to Public Speaking by Quentin Schultze ($2.99); Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell ($3.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($2.99).

Smartphones Make You Tired - Take note! “For a productive day at work tomorrow, give the smartphone a rest tonight. Reading and sending work email on a smartphone late into the evening doesn’t just make it harder to get a decent night’s sleep. New research findings show it also exhausts workers by morning and leaves them disengaged by the next afternoon.” This Social Media Guard may prove helpful.

The Cult of the Visioneer - This is pretty common in the evangelical world today: “The process is simple. A church has a pastor. The pastor receives from God a specific vision and mission for his church. The church follows the visioneer.” (Here’s another Ref21 article on the same subject.)

Lecrae @ Huffington Post - The Huffington Post has a long profile of Christian rapper Lecrae.

Jamie Coots, 1971 - 2014 - You probably heard about the death of Jamie Coots, a third-generation signs-following pentecostal who handled venomous snakes in worship (and, not surprisingly, died after being bitten). Here’s a short film about his life and strange, strange ministry.

In Her Shoes - Here is some help in ministering to those who are grieving after losing a child.

A Family Mission Statement - I really like the idea behind this. I’m not sure that I’ve got the discipline to pull it off, though!

Pride is a sinner’s torment, but humility a saint’s ornament. —William Secker


February 20, 2014

At the Throne of Grace - John MacArthur’s book of prayers, At the Throne of Grace, is just $1.99 for Kindle. Plenty of other Kindle deals were listed Monday and Tuesday.

Faithful Pastor, You’re Not Crazy - Ray Ortlund.: “A text message came in from a pastor friend.  I’ve known him for decades.  He is the kind of man for whom the adjective ‘saintly’ was invented.  He pastored a thriving church for many years.  Then someone on staff stabbed him in the back and rallied others to get him thrown out.”

Deep Discounts on Books - Westminster Books offers clearance and ultra-clearance books. There are some pretty good deals to be had!

Christian Leader in the Digital Age - Al Mohler: “If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute. The clock is ticking.”

Forgetting How to Read Your Bible - Daniel Doriani explains the danger in forgetting how to read your Bible. “Once again, I wonder: How could a man who studied and knew Scripture and taught it faithfully to others, brazenly violate its most basic principle of love and self-control? Even as I ask the question, I know I’m liable to self-destructive sin too.”

The High Cost of Multitasking - Multitasking is a bad idea. This infographic explains how and why.

The Age of Ageism - I appreciate the point Bryan Loritts is making here: “We are in an age of ageism where many of the young men I meet today in the church do not know how to relate to older men in ways that honor them and God all at once.”

There can be no greater glory for man than to glorify God. —J.I. Packer


February 19, 2014

The Front Line in the Gender Wars - “The gender revolution will not be televised. Why? Because it is taking place in your local public bathroom.” A children’s bathroom, that is.

True Greatness Never Goes Viral - This is a sweet tribute to a godly man. “Despite his lack of public fame, my grandpa was truly great in God’s eyes. That’s the funny thing about true, biblical greatness. Biblical greatness almost never goes viral, because biblical greatness almost always involves doing things no one ever sees.”

The Antichrist - David Murray is writing a series on the Antichrist. Now there’s a topic we don’t talk about much anymore…

Can Orientation Be Sinful? - People often distinguish between orientation and behavior. Denny Burk examines whether that distinction holds up under scrutiny.

You’re Not a Superhero - Paul Tripp writes about some of our natural limitations and how we sometimes try to defy them.

Are Tongues Real Languages? - Nathan Busenitz is beginning a series to answer this question: In New Testament times, did the gift of tongues produce authentic foreign languages only, or did it also result in non-cognitive speech (like the private prayer languages of modern charismatics)? Regardless of your position, I think the series is likely to be helpful.

Psalm 34 - Psalm 34 is one of several acrostic poems in the Bible. This graphic nicely shows some of what we lose in an English translation.

I would rather make bricks without straw than try to live the Sermon on the Mount in my own strength. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


February 18, 2014

Zondervan has lowered the price on all the volumes of their Counterpoints series ($3.99 each). These are helpful books in orienting yourself in various theological dialogues: Baptism, Inerrancy, The Historical Adam, Creation and EvolutionMiraculous GiftsRemarriage After Divorce, Sanctification, The Church Growth Movement, Salvation in a Pluralistic World, Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism, Church Government, Women in Ministry, Lord’s Supper, Apologetics, Christian Spirituality, Divine Providence, The Worship Spectrum, The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Hell, The Millennium, Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology, Law and Gospel, The Book of Revelation, The Apostle Paul, The Canaanite Genocide. Also, Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson ($3.03; (If you missed yesterday’s deals from Crossway, be sure to look at them as well.)

Sara’s Story - This is a powerful story of God’s grace. This is particularly beautiful: “I had tried long and hard and still simply could not believe until I could. It was nothing I did or didn’t do; I just woke up one day and awoke.”

Good Works vs Good Deeds - Bill Mounce introduces us to another of those translation conundrums that most of us never have to face.

Video Games and Men - Here’s a different view on videogames (at least it’s different from what we usually hear): “Videogames now provide such rich and varied experiences that it is now just as probable that playing them can genuinely make one a better, more well-rounded person, just as a powerful film or a dense and rich novel might.”

Humility - I enjoyed this article on humility. “Have you ever had one of those moments of ‘clarity’? A moment when the dust of this life lifts for just an instant providing you a view of truth, the world, and yourself like you’ve never seen it before. A moment when all you’ve read and studied of the scriptures becomes so brilliantly clear. Often they aren’t very pleasant.”

My Beautiful Woman - This short film is worth watching (even if Denny slightly over-stated its impact).

God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine. —David Nicholas


February 17, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Dig Deeper by Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach ($1.99); Feelings and Faith by Brian Borgman ($1.99); Fools Gold? by John MacArthur ($1.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); The Answers Book 2 by Ken Ham ($4.99); The Answers Book for Kids Volume 1 by Ken Ham & Cindy Malott ($1.99); How Do We Know the Bible Is True? by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge ($3.99); Flood by Design by Mike Oard ($2.99).

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Zina Lahr - This is an interesting article about a fascinating young girl. “When 23-year-old Lahr went missing on a trail outside Ouray, Colorado, the world lost an amazing young talent.”

I Like Words - “When copywriter Robert Pirosh landed in Hollywood in 1934, eager to become a screenwriter, he wrote and sent the following letter to all the directors, producers, and studio executives he could think of.” It’s pretty amazing.

Hot Bods, the Bible, and the Brain - It will take a few minutes to read, but this article helpfully lays out the brain’s role in porn addiction.

Technology Extinction - Here’s some wisdom on how to avoid investing in technology that will soon disappear. Nook owners will probably be especially interested in reading it.

In the Path of Grace - I enjoyed this reflection on God’s grace: “His grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply. We can’t make the grace flow, but God has given us circuits to connect and pipes to open in case it’s there.”

Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct. —J.C. Ryle


February 15, 2014

6 Factors That Do Not Affect Inerrancy - C. Michael Patton gives six factors that do not affect inerrancy. This is an important subject at a time when people work hard to discredit the Bible.

Redeeming Valentine’s Day - I enjoyed reading Bob Kauflin’s tale of how he and his wife, Julie, met and married.

What You Don’t Need to Forgive - “Not everything that bothers or annoys us needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness is only for moral offenses. When we try to use forgiveness as the method to resolve relational irritants that are not moral in nature several bad things happen.” This article lays it out.

Biblical Womanhood for Pariahs - This is an important subject: “A few years ago, a friend in the process of divorce encouraged me to write on the topic of pariahs in the church. These are the believing women around us whose life circumstances make us uncomfortable – the Ruths and Naomis in our culture.”

The Ideal Modern Marriage - “The secret of a happy marriage has changed, reports the UK’s Independent … In former times, marriage was for food, shelter, and physical safety. Then, as society moved from a rural economy to an industrial one, marriage involved men as providers, women as homemakers. Now, in our post-industrial world, marriage is all about each partner finding their own potential.”

The Most Satisfying Thing - Kenny Sailors is 91 years old. He is credited with inventing the jump shot as an alternative to the two-handed, flat-footed set shot. He talks about what has been most satisfying in his life.

It is your duty to believe and to teach what the Bible teaches, not what you want it to teach. —R.C. Sproul


February 14, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Thrive by Lina AbuJamra ($2.99); When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz ($2.99); New from GLH Publishing is Thomas Goodwin’s Christ Set Forth ($0.99); Also, time is running out to get these 5 volumes in the excellent Preaching the Word commentary series (ideal for study or devotional reading): GalatiansEphesians; Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon; 1-2 Timothy and Titus; 2 Corinthians ($2.99 each).

When We Talk About God - I’m with Jared Wilson here: “I think a lot of the rejections in evangelicalism today of God’s sovereignty and biblical infallibility are not unrelated to the more recent conversations about the need to attend regular local church services. They are all simply manifestations of a rejection of authority…”

Beyond the Worship Set - Matt Merker has a really helpful article about a feature of our worship services that we may take for granted: the worship set.

Beyond Male and Female - Facebook announced that they have moved beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’ with custom gender options. You can now customize your gender and your preferred pronoun.

Family Devotions in Real Life - CBMW: “We asked Jodi Ware what family devotions looked like in their home during the training years of their own two daughters. Her husband, Bruce Ware, is the author of the excellent discipleship book Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God.”

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - I like this explanation: “Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fears of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fears of turning in something terrible.”

What and How You Read - Rosaria Butterfield: “I’m culpable. The blood is on my hands. The world of LGBTQ activism on college campuses is the world that I helped create. I was unfaltering in fidelity: the umbrella of equality stretching to embrace my lesbian identity, and the world that emerged from it held salvific potential. I bet my life on it, and I lost.”

Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise. —C.H. Spurgeon