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A La Carte

August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs - I guess you’ve heard by now that Steve Jobs has had to retire as CEO of Apple. This article offers a look at his impact of his career. “Most people are lucky if they can change the world in one important way, but Jobs, in multiple stages of his business career, changed global technology, media and lifestyles in multiple ways on multiple occasions.”

The Oncology Waiting Room - In this month’s issue of Tabletalk, Mike Pohlman writes about the gospel and the oncology waiting room.

Insect Portraits - This is amazing stuff. “The ‘portraits’, taken with a scanning electron microsope (SEM) by Steve Gschmeissner, reveal the tiny world that surounds us, yet still evades our view.”

Who’s Your Daddy? - I must be getting old. “The freshmen class entering college this Fall has no remembrance of what life was like before the Internet, what this whole Communist Party fuss was about in Russia, and that Amazon was once just known as a river in South America. Ferris Bueller is old enough to be their dad, and they probably don’t know the name of the bar where everybody knows your name.”

Don’t Eat the Placentas! - It’s not the article I am linking to here as much as one of the paragraphs; it struck me as being near-brilliant. “Most of the time I regard magazines as a treat. I read them when I’m taking a bath, when I’m traveling, or when I’m having a meal alone. They’re the potato chips of my reading life: I can grab a handful, feel a twinge of self-indulgence, and yet feel good about not destroying my appetite for more serious stuff.”

Consecutive Expository Preaching - David Murray writes about the pros and cons of consecutive expository preaching (i.e. preaching through books of the Bible in a verse-by-verse fashion).

Dominionists - Douglas Groothuis: “In the August 15 issue of The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza asserts that Bachmann has been ideologically shaped by ‘exotic’ thinkers of the dominionist stripe who pose a threat to our secular political institutions. The piece—and the much of the subsequent reaction to it the media—is a calamity of confusion, conflation, and obfuscation.”

If you would have God hear you when you pray, you must hear him when he speaks. —Thomas Brooks

August 24, 2011

Gospel-Centered Family - Westminster Books has Tim Chester’s Gospel-Centered Family on sale for just $3.99. “Many books aim to raise up competent, balanced parents and well-trained, well-rounded children. But Tim Chester and Ed Moll focus on families growing God-knowing, Christ-confessing, grace-receiving, servant-hearted, mission-minded believers-adults and children together.”

9 Core Principles of Writing - Matt Perman offers up 9 core principles that will be useful to any writer.

Settle Down - John MacArthur has another article for the Young, Restless and Reformed crowd. I suspect that this one will ruffle fewer feathers than the last two.

Earthquake Tweets - Here is a round-up of the top politically-themed earthquake tweets from yesterday. A favorite: “Breaking: Obama administration points out they ‘inherited’ fault lines from previous administrations.”

Reading “Pinocchio” on Paper - Scott Simon, writing for WSJ, tells about the joy of reading a book to his daughters. As in a real, printed-on-paper kind of book.

4-Year Old Preacher - This is awful on so many different levels. “He’s only a pre-schooler, but Kanon Tipton has become a YouTube sensation with his pentecostal preaching. … Damon Tipton, who has been pastor of The Pentecostals of Grenada since 2008, believes it’s a little of both mimicking and a calling.”

Table Manners - Russell Moore’s article on the importance of fencing the Lord’s Table makes for a thought-provoking read.

Worry over poverty is as fatal to spiritual fruitfulness as is gloating over wealth. —A.W. Pink

August 23, 2011

A few people have asked about updates to Friends of the Blog. I’ve got good news. On September 1 there will be some great new items for the taking, including a $15 gift certificate from Westminster Books along with a new book from DayOne. So be sure to check in on September 1.

Reformed and Charismatic - I love Michael Horton’s emphasis on the ordinary means of grace (which was also, of course, an emphasis of the Reformers) as he considers the charismatic gifts. “Obviously, those who believe that miraculous prophecy continues after the apostolic age should not be lumped together with radical movements like the New Apostolic Reformation. Nevertheless, it does provide an occasion to think carefully about the compatibility of Reformation theology with Charismatic emphases.”

The Prayer of the Lord - Here’s another entry in the “great quotes” series I’m posting over at the Ligonier blog. Speaking of Ligonier, they’ve just welcomed the first class to Reformation Bible College. “Even though the Ligonier staff has been working diligently for several years, this college is 452 years in the making.”

A Free Film - Subscribe to David Murray’s new blog and you’ll get a free download of his film CrossReference: The Angel of the Lord.

Opal Ring and Piping Bullfinch - A great little anecdote from the life of Charles Spurgeon.

Soul Surfer - Jared Wilson has a review of the film Soul Surfer. “Here’s my beef, and I’m sure I will take some flack from somebody for this. Bethany Hamilton’s story is inspiring and encouraging, and I’m sure she has real saving faith in Jesus Christ, but the message of the movie Soul Surfer appears to be ‘I can do all things through moralistic therapeutic deism which strengthens me.’”

Deselecting Our Children - “Here’s a recent Danish headline: ‘Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society.’ The Danes want to promote aborting fetuses with Down syndrome, so their society will be free of such people around 2030. One bioethicist describes it as a ‘fantastic achievement.’”

Freshman 15 - “Dining hall food gets a bad rap, but incoming college freshmen don’t seem to have a problem packing on the infamous ‘freshman 15.’ Honoring that tradition, here are 15 ways incoming freshmen (or upperclassmen for that matter) can seek to glorify God as they head off to college this month.”

Triple Play - It doesn’t get much weirder than this.

When we cannot, by searching, find the bottom, we must sit down at the brink and adore the depth. —Matthew Henry

August 22, 2011

The Rise of Blogs - Trevin makes a good observation about the rise of blogs and the associated demise of traditional media. “Then it dawned on me. The mainstream media needs blogs in order to get traffic to their own websites. The real reason the reporter called on me was not primarily because of my book or my education or my pastoral experience, but because of my blog platform.”

Biblical Servant Pastor - Bob Kelleman looks at the biblical model for the servant pastor. 

Changing the Way We Learn - The Internet is changing the way we learn, and this infographic displays it.

Barfing Baby Frogs - How weird is this? “Male Darwin’s frogs engage in a behavior called mouth-brooding, where they take their own fertilized eggs into their mouth just before they hatch.  They’re not eating them.  Instead they store them in the vocal sacs that they otherwise use to make mating calls to attract females.”

Sunset - Awesome.

Insensitivity - Not quite so awesome.

The Myth of Mutual Submission - Andy Naselli links to Grudem’s take on the myth of mutual submission.

Hospital Africa - Charles Woodrow is the missionary we support at Grace Fellowship Church. This video shows the work he is doing in Mozambique.

Had I the tongue of angels, I could not sufficiently set forth the excellency of Scripture. —Thomas Watson

August 20, 2011

It’s the last weekend of the little league baseball season around here, which means that my son has between 3 and 5 games, depending on how it all shakes out. So here’s to a day spent out in the sun, watching 11-year old boys play baseball.

His Eye Is On the Sparrow - Here is the latest free hymn from Redemption Hill Music.

Moving Toward Noteless - This is an article on preaching without notes. Some of the best and some of the most disappointing sermons I’ve heard have been note-free. When done by a capable preacher, there’s nothing like it.

Muphry’s Law - I enjoyed this. “Muphry’s Law is the editorial application of the better-known Murphy’s Law.” You’ll have to read to see what this law dictates. (HT:Phil Johnson)

Book Filtering - A wise word from Alan Jacobs (via Tony Reinke).

William Carey at 250 - Timothy George: “Now, two and one-half centuries after his birth, what can we learn from Carey today? There are many lessons to be gleaned from the life of the father of modern missions, but I place these seven principles at the top of the list…”

Singing to Build Up - Read this before tomorrow’s worship service. Then go and sing with gusto!

Inside Fukushima - “Earlier this month, Kazuma Obara became the first photojournalist to gain unauthorised access to the power plant and produced an exclusive glimpse of life inside the facility.”

How Books Are Made - A video that I enjoyed. (HT)

Faith is the power of putting self aside that God may work unhindered.F.B. Meyer

August 19, 2011

A Word to the Conscience - Carl Trueman: “This increasing awareness has led me to a place where I thought I would never come: I have become more and more enamoured over the years with a modest amount of formal liturgical structure to worship services. Of course, everyone has liturgy, the same as everyone has tradition. The only differences are whether one acknowledges the fact or not, and how formally structured such is”

Why, O God? - Randy Alcorn has a book recommendation. “There’s something in this book for everyone—whether you’re looking for biblical perspective on suffering, insights on how to serve those who suffer, hands-on guidance in establishing a disability ministry in your church, or how to deal with the ethical questions in end-of-life issues.”

7 Billion - “The world population will reach seven billion later this year, with increases in the number of people in Africa off-setting birth rate drops elsewhere, according to a new French study published Thursday.”

Too Late - “It keeps happening: a controversial new book comes out, and we start scrambling to respond. It’s like playing whack-a-mole: we’re always hitting at the latest heresy. Yes, it’s important to whack moles, but is there a better way?”

Half-Aborted - Articles like this are the reason I believe abortion will eventually become taboo in our society. The immorality of abortion is just too apparent and sooner or later people will have to come to terms with the reality of what it is.

HOPE Week - Just try not to get weepy as you watch this.

God’s wounds cure, sin’s kisses kill. —William Gurnall

August 18, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Thomas Sowell takes on the riots and violence in Britain and the US of A. “Not only the trends over the years leading up to these riots but also the squeamish responses to them by officials — on both sides of the Atlantic — reveal the moral dry rot that has spread deep into Western societies.” While on the topic, St. Helen’s Bishopgate has put together a web page offering Christian thinking on it all.

Tim Tebow: Blasphemer? - Collin Hansen is a fantastic writer and this article was a joy to read.

Generational Conflict - D.A. Carson writes about generational conflict in ministry in his editorial for the most recent issue of Themelios. There are other good articles and reviews that you can access here.

37 Ways - Paul Tautges goes to the Bible to find 37 ways to love one another. This would make a really good personal or small group study.

Come to Me - I found this an interesting little study. This person studied all of the verses where God says “come to me.” “I noticed patterns in these verses and decided to chart out these passages. … I thought I’d post the chart. Here it is.”

Remembering the Berlin Wall - The Big Picture: “Here are images from this past weekend’s recognition of the construction of the wall 50 years ago, as well as historic images.”

Digital Free Ride - “The public hasn’t lost its appetite for television, journalism or film; shows, articles and movies reach more consumers than ever online. The problem is that, although the internet has expanded the audience for media, it has all but destroyed the market for it.”

I think the greatest miracle that God can do is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world, and make that unholy man holy and put him back in an unholy world and keep him holy. —Leonard Ravenhill

August 17, 2011

Gold Box - Just about every day I check Amazon’s gold box deal just to see what’s there. 99% of the time I’ve got no interest in what they are offering, but today’s deal looks like a really good one. It’s a Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Cordless Drill and Fork Meter Combo Kit for $139 off the regular price. While on the subject of deals, Westminster Books has the Gospel Coalition series of booklets discounted this week.

Democrats and Universities - Here’s an infographic asking why Democrats outnumber Republicans in the academy. “Some argue that the lack of diversity among professors leads to an unbalanced and one-sided education, while others argue that conservatives self-select themselves out of this liberal profession. We dived into this issue, and the research suggests that this might not be an either-or situation.”

Adam and Eve - NPR recently did a story on the existence of a historical Adam and Eve. I’ve said often that this may well be the big theological challenge we will find ourselves facing over the next few years. There are many people, even those who consider themselves evangelical, who want to deny that Adam and Eve ever existed.

The Male Gossip - I found this article challenging. “Close your eyes and picture a gossip. Whom do you see? I see a cluster of spinsters in old lace gloves sweetly spitting vitriol over tea. Perhaps I read too much Agatha Christie. But even if you don’t have visions of British spinsters, your vision is most likely female. Am I right? Counter to our preconceived notions, in my (unfortunate) experience there are just as many male gossips as female gossips.”

Bored with Social Media - This is interesting but not surprising to me: “A key group of young users of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users are using the site less and less, according to new research. One in four 18-29 year-olds told Gartner that their use of social media had declined since they signed up, with many citing boredom as their reason for the decline.”

Guarding Your Soul - I was recently a guest on the Haven Today radio program. If you listen in, you’ll hear me talking about guarding your soul in a digital age.

Depression - Yesterday I posted a review of David Murray’s book on depression. Here’s a short video in which he discusses depression.

Hope is the only tie which keeps the heart from breaking. —Thomas Fuller