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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

Thursday News Kindle Deals Headlines
December 31, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($1.99); The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson ($2.99); Hide or Seek by John Freeman ($1.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($0.99); The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler ($2.99).

3 Reminders as You Enter the New Year

These are simple but important reminders as we head into a new year.

Gluttony: Gospel Reflections for Foodies & Comfort Eaters

“Are we really going to talk about gluttony at this time of the year? Do we have to? Yes, we need to talk about it, and if your instinct is to think this discussion can only be a ‘guilt trip,’ then we need to talk about it all the more.”

Screen Time for Babies

Time: “In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete.” In other words, The American Academy of Pediatrics is reconsidering its digital exposure guidelines for children.

The One Must-Read This Year

John Piper: “I have never called any book a ‘must-read’ except one, the Bible. I suppose that’s because I take the word ‘must’ so seriously.” And so he gives his one must-read recommendation for 2016.

Just Desserts

This is an interesting (and pathetic) longform article about Sandy Jenkins, who embezzled sixteen million dollars from the company he worked for, and used it all to live a ridiculously lavish lifestyle.

This Day in 1892. 123 years ago today, Andrew Bonar died. He was moderator of the Scottish Free Church and wrote many books, including a biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. *

Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015

Christianity Today shares the top ten findings of the important excavations taking place in the lands of the Bible.

Where Illegal Food Goes

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that illegal food that gets confiscated at airports? Now you know…


Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will. —Martin Luther

A La Carte Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 30, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Art of Work by Jeff Goins ($0.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($1.99); Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower ($2.51); How People Change by Paul Tripp & Timothy Lane ($1.99); Evidence for God edited by William Dembski ($1.99). Also, if you’re looking for a New Year’s kick-off kind of book, my Do More Better is just $5.99.

2015: A Christian Music Review

Jeremy Howard has a roundup of some of this year’s best Christian music (and the most precise rating system I’ve ever seen). You’ll need to scroll all the way down to see his top-5 picks.

Why Sexual Metaphors of Jesus and His Bride Embarrass Us

John Piper unblushingly answers two questions: (1) How is sex between a husband and wife a practical example of Christ and his church? (2) Why is this truth something many are so uncomfortable with?

5 Things You Can Give to God Every Day

Here’s an article I wrote for The Gospel Coalition.

The Passion Week

The latest Visual Theology poster provides a timeline of the final week of Christ’s life.

A Deeper Devotional Life

This is a great roundup of 12 quality resources that can help spark a deeper devotional life in 2016.

The Fears of Black Fathers for Their Sons

“The death of Tamir affected more than his family, the city of Cleveland, or its police force. His death affected all Americans, especially those of African descent. The decision not to indict deepens the cut and scars the soul of any black person with enough emotional fortitude to reflect on these events and their implications. I am one of those who have chosen to reflect, and I am not alone.” (Also, I appreciated this on The Perfect Victim.)

From Timber To Tide

These artisanal videos are becoming almost cliché (and this one pushes every single button), but I continue to really enjoy them. 

This Day in 1944. 71 years ago today, a clerical “error” freed Corrie ten Boom from prison. *

Westminster Daily

Here’s a neat idea: A daily reflection from the Westminster Standards that will take you through the Shorter Catechism, Larger Catechism, and Westminster Confession over the course of the year.


There is beauty in all of creation. Even in the waves.


When we deal seriously with our sins, God will deal gently with us. —C.H. Spurgeon

News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 29, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include the whole Vintage Puritan series which offers 38 Puritan classics at just $0.99 each. Also consider Look and Live by Matt Papa, one of my favorite books of 2014 ($2.99); Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley, a very solid church history 101 book ($4.99); Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family by Michelle Anthony ($1.99); 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists by Ken Boa ($0.99); A Life Observed by Devin Brown ($1.99); A Year with C.S. Lewis ($2.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($0.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy & Spence Shelton ($2.99).

The Dior Woman and True Freedom

This is a must-read article. “Have we really reached a point where freedom is portrayed by such petty play things like a little black dress, a helicopter ride, and a man to kiss but not commit to? Is freedom merely the absence of responsibility? If that’s the definition of freedom, I don’t want it.”

Plagiarizing and Quoting in Preaching

Here are some good, realistic, and helpful thoughts on preachers and plagiarizing. “If you find a great thought in Calvin, the best thing to do is to turn it over in your mind, polish it, reduce it to something manageable and add to it for the benefit of those to whom you preach. There is no need to feel as though you must quote and cite every thought that you glean from others.”

What A World Champion Whistler Sounds Like

Don’t pretend that you’ve never wondered before what a world champion whistler sounds like.

11 Ways to Write Better

“We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blogposts, emails, tweets, or text messages, you are a writer. No matter your preferred medium, here are a few tips to help you write more effectively…” I quite appreciate tip #1!

Using Your Memory to God’s Glory

“We don’t like to memorize stuff. We find it dull, painful, and pointless. … But the funny thing is, we will memorize that which is important to us. It’s really unavoidable.”

This Day in 1876. 139 years ago today, American hymn writer Philip P. Bliss and his wife died in a train wreck. Ironically, the night before he sang, “I’m Going Home Tomorrow.” *

2016 Reading Challenge for Kids

Redeemed Reader took my 2016 reading challenge and did up a version for kids.

Pastoring a Culturally-diverse Church

Paul, pastor at Grace Fellowship Church (where I serve as an elder), shares a few reflections on pastoring a culturally diverse church in a culturally diverse city.


The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel. —Thomas Watson

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 28, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The NIV Zondervan Study Bible ($3.99); The Pastor’s Kid ($1.99) and Help My Unbelief ($3.99) by Barnabas Piper; Found: God’s Peace by John MacArthur ($0.99); Running on Empty by Barbara Bancroft ($1.99); The Forgotten God and Erasing Hell by Francis Chan ($3.99 each); Heart of the Matter by CCEF ($1.99); From Good to Grace by Christine Hoover ($1.99); When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography by Vicki Tiede ($1.99). Also, Crossway has daily devotionals on sale: For the Love of God Volume 1 and Volume 2 by D.A. Carson ($5.99); Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon & Alistair Begg ($5.99); New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp ($5.99). Finally, Amazon has a lot general market Year-End Deals you may want to sort through.

If I Suffered, It Was Worth It

“Last week I read an article called “Should the Children Suffer?” It’s about a missionary father’s struggle to trust God with the suffering his children are experiencing on the mission field.” This response comes from Amy, who grew up the child of missionaries and who is now a missionary herself.

Parenting in an Age of Awfulness

Here’s an interesting take on problems in today’s parenting.

Your Meeting Should Have Been an Email

This article shows three indicators that you probably could have just written some emails instead of calling for a meeting.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

Al Jazeera carried out an investigation of performance-enhancing drugs and posted a very interesting documentary to YouTube. Do note that there is quite a lot of bleeped-out swearing in it.

This Day in 1065. Even though it was incomplete, Westminster Abbey was dedicated 950 years ago today. *

Lordship Is Not Legalism

“Denying yourself and submitting to King Jesus, then, is true countercultural living. And though it may look like legalism to the world, submitting to his authority is in fact liberty—shocking, unexpected, subversive liberty.”

Trustworthy Teaching on the New Apple TV

Ligonier Ministries announces an app for the new Apple TV.

The Christmas Revolution

“Because the Christmas story has been told so often for so long, it’s easy even for Christians to forget how revolutionary Jesus’ birth was.” Fancy reading that in the New York Times.


People don’t fall out of love. They fall out of repentance and forgiveness. —Ligon Duncan

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
December 26, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: Saving Grace by Jack Miller ($1.99); Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($3.99); Pleasing God by R.C. Sproul ($0.99); Depression by Ed Welch ($0.99); Get Real by John Leonard ($0.99); The John MacArthur Collection Volume 1 ($5.99) and Volume 2 ($4.99); The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur ($2.99); God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace ($3.99); Heaven by Christopher Morgan & Robert Peterson ($2.99); When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($2.99); What Happens After I Die? by Michael Rogers ($2.99); A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul Tripp ($2.99).

Everlasting Father

Wait—“Everlasting Father”? Isn’t he the “child … born,” the “son … given”? Isn’t he the Son of Man and the Son of God? Isn’t it God the Father who is, well, God the Father?

I’m Stephen, By the Way

What do you do after you’ve been Canada’s Prime Minister for a decade? Basically, you just go back to normal life. These’s something so Canadian about this.

ISIS, the Persecuted Church, and Christmas In Wartime

Russell Moore and Marco Rubio team up for an article at the Washington Post.

Best Albums of 2015

Steve McCoy provides his annual roundup of the best albums of the year.

Top Ten YouTubes of 2015

And Denny Burk provides his top ten YouTube videos of the year.

This Day in 1620. 395 years ago today, the Plymouth Colony was settled by the “Mayflower” colonists. *

Less Is More

“As much as I love the ‘less is more’ principle taking root in my home, it the non-material space in my life that now holds my attention. As the clutter in my living room ebbs away, it seems that an unintended effect has been that I finally noticed the clutter that has unassumingly accumulated in other areas of my life.”

Why I Sing Psalms

Thanks to Crown and Covenant for sponsoring the blog this week with a word from my friend Rosaria Butterfield.


The shadow of the cross looms over the manger. When you understand that, you understand Christmas. —John MacArthur

Daily News Information and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 24, 2015

The Kindle deals are fading pre-Christmas, but I did find a couple of books by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. These are not Christian books, but they are very thought-provoking: When to Rob a Bank: …And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants ($1.99) and Think Like a Freak ($4.99).

How C.S. Lewis Made Christianity Seem Like Common Sense

I was surprised to find this little article in the National Post.

Inside Chipotle’s Contamination Crisis

This is quite an interesting look at Chipotle’s crisis with their contaminated food. “Almost 500 people around the country have become sick from Chipotle food since July, according to public-health officials. And those are just the ones who went to a doctor, gave a stool sample, and were properly diagnosed.”

New York To Berlin

You’ll enjoy this illustrated version of a flight from New York to Berlin.

Why I Disagree with John Piper

Yesterday I linked to John Piper’s challenge to Jerry Falwell Jr. Today I am linking to a very level-headed response by Bob Thune. (Remember: I’m Canadian so am far outside this discussion since firearms are already heavily regulated here.) Also, here is another respectful rejoinder.

This Day in 1912. 103 years ago today, famous missionary to China, Lottie Moon died. *

Fancy that. Noam Chomsky Was Right about Porn

It’s not only Christians who are protesting pornography.

Should the Children Suffer?

“The incarnation has always provided me incredible motivation for mission. Jesus willingly left heaven, comfort, glory, and his Father. He made his home among us and gave himself for us. There could be no greater example of missionary life.” But what about a missionary’s children?


God didn’t send a program or a plan, he sent a himself. —Darrin Patrick

Wednesday News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 23, 2015

It is slim pickings today when it comes to Kindle deals. Timothy George’s Theology of the Reformers is $2.99 and Elisabeth Elliot’s Let Me Be a Woman is $4.37. You may want to try Westminster Books and check out their weekly deals, which include a few noteworthy titles.

I Have Parkinson’s and I Am at Peace

Wayne Grudem shares some difficult news and tells of the hope he has through it.

The Church Comes First

This is a timely word from Nick Batzig. “As we come to the end of the year and press into yet another new year, it is always beneficial for us to evaluate our commitments and priorities from the past year—noting the ways in which we have, by God’s grace, grown in certain areas and the ways in which we desperately need to grow in other areas.”

Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?

John Piper provides a level-headed response to Jerry Falwell Jr. and his call for Christians to arm themselves.

Who Decides to End a Life?

Remember when those who worried about “death panels” were mocked? Well, it’s no joking matter now.

9Marks Mailbag

The most important Q&A in this 9Marks mailbag is a comparison of the way pastors on the one hand, and business-savvy people on the other, may think wrongly about church finances.

This Day in 1569. 446 years ago today, Ivan the Terrible murdered Philip of Moscow for refusing to bless a “horrible massacre.” *

If I Had Known Then What I Know Now…

Geoff Thomas reflects on fifty years of ministering to one small congregation.

The Cost And Beauty Of Marriage

Darryl Dash: “There’s suffering in this thing called marriage, but there’s more joy than you can imagine. Somehow they exist together.”


The Law tells us what to do. The Gospel tells us what God has done for us in Christ. —Michael Horton

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 22, 2015

Good morning. I write today from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We drove 824 rainy miles yesterday (with only 3 brief stops) to come down here and celebrate Christmas with family. We are glad to be in the South!

Today’s Kindle deals include Chance and the Sovereignty of God by Vern Poythress ($2.99); Center Church by Tim Keller ($4.99); Standing Strong by John MacArthur ($0.99); The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99 each); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($2.99); Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler ($2.99); Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous ($0.99); Preach by Mark Dever ($2.99); 7 Truths that Changed the World by Kenneth Samples ($1.99).

Our Relatives and Friends Without Christ

Jim Elliff has a helpful little article on your inevitable times together with unbelieving friends and family.

Stopping Before You Start

Melissa Kruger continues to encourage people to read the entire Bible in 2016. In this article she answers a series of objections.

It Was Not a Silent Night

Here’s a narrative retelling of the nativity story.

If God Is Happy, Why Does He Seem Bad-Tempered?

Randy Alcorn takes on this question.

Dear God, I Don’t Want to Serve You This Way

“Let me honor You by becoming a world-famous author! How about that? Let me do something big and impressive in my church. Let me put this college degree to use … You will be so glorified, I promise!”

This Day in 1899. 116 years ago today, D.L. Moody died. He had famously said, “Someday you will read in the papers that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.” *

Seeing One’s Need for the Savior

Vance Christie shares an interesting and life-shaping little anecdote from the life of William Carey.

The Beatles in HD

This is kind of fun—the official Beatles YouTube channel has been uploading HD videos of some of their vintage performances (though I suppose all of their performances are vintage, aren’t they?).


Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep. —D.A. Carson