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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

February 25, 2009
An Approach to Family Devotions
Z gives a roundup of Mark Driscoll’s approach to family devotions. I’m always interested in seeing how other people manage this time of family worship.
Every Student an A Student
Owen Strachan has a couple of interesting articles on the phenomenon of grade inflation and the kind of mindset that goes with it.
The Kind of Men God Used
From Ray Ortlund: “Horatius Bonar, writing the preface to John Gillies’ Accounts of Revival, proposes that men useful to the Holy Spirit for revival have been marked in these nine ways…”
Dead Sea Scrolls in Toronto
My fellow Torontonians may be interested in knowing that a selection of the Dead Sea Scrolls are coming to the Royal Ontario Museum beginning in June of this year. “They include portions of the books of Genesis, Deuteronomy and Psalms. In addition, there will be a fragment of the Ten Commandments on display for a limited time.”
Begg on the Beatles
“Discover the extent of Alistair Begg’s Beatles knowledge, as well as the nature of his true accent.”
February 24, 2009
When Missing Your Free Throws is a Good Thing
Ray Fowler shares a feel-good sports story.
Win a Calfskin ESV Study Bible
A Boomer in the Pew wants to give you a calfskin ESV Study Bible. Take a look to see how you can win it.
Reading Leviticus
Julian Freeman: “If you’re on my Bible reading plan (there are at least two of you that I know of :)) or any other similar plan, there’s a good chance you’re finding yourself smack-dab in the middle of Leviticus right now. That’s not an easy place to be.” He gives three helpful tips for enjoying Leviticus.
Families and Technology Seminar
Matt McAlvey (of Parkside Church) and I are teaming up to lead a seminar on families and technology at Five Points Community Church in Auburn Hills, MI. I’ll be leading sessions for the adults while Matt leads sessions for teens. If you’re in the area, think about attending!
Social Websites Harm Children’s Brains
This is a good warning (though you’ll find scientists who say the opposite as well). “Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.”
February 23, 2009
An Illuminating Housing Chart
“Here’s the big problem with almost all the current rhetoric about the housing crisis: It presumes that the goal should be to get house prices rising again. The problem with that idea is that, even after a 25% decline, house prices are still way too high.”
Flight 1549 Interview
“You heard the miraculous news of the US airplane going down in NYC. Did you know there was a CMDA student on board? Listen to how God worked in and through this catastrophe in this first person account.”
What Does coram Deo mean?
If you read Tabletalk you’ve undoubtedly heard this phrase many times. In a brief article R.C. Sproul explains what it means.
Everyone Loves Google…
…until it gets too big. “ ‘You almost feel sorry for Google,’ said Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land. ‘They’re doing a good job and people are turning to them. But when they pass 70 percent share, people are going to be uncomfortable about Google becoming a monopoly.’”
February 20, 2009
The Divine Egotist?
Dr. Mohler provides a bibilical answer to this common series of questions: “Is the God of the Bible the supreme egotist? That question arises when human beings contemplate the meaning of the truth that God does everything for the sake of his own glory. Is God then a megalomaniac?”
My Dad the Christian
Joe Thorn writes a great little article about his father’s conversion. “So, my dad is a Christian. I’ve prayed for hs salvation for 19 years and am now focused on helping him to grow in grace. I just hope I can keep up with him!”
The Obamateur Hour
This article by Mark Steyn is worth reading just for the zingers. “President Obama chose to nominate Tim “Indispensable” Geithner and Tom “Home, James!” Daschle, men whose enthusiasm for the size of the federal budget is in inverse proportion to their urge to contribute to it.” “The hideous drooling blob of toxic pustules dignified as “stimulus” is something the incoming Obama had months to prepare for…”
D.A.C.@ B.B.C.
This sounds like a great opportunity for anyone in the Minneapolis area. D.A. Carson will be at Bethlehem Baptist Church teaching “a fourteen-part series aimed at providing an overview for the Bible and the gospel message. There will be times for Q & A. Christians and non-Christians alike are invited to come and hear D. A. Carson teach through the entire Bible message in two weekends.”
Anger: The Image of Satan
An article at Boundless. “When I grow angry I find myself losing belief. I lose faith in God’s goodness amid my circumstances. I lose belief in his promises, that ‘he works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose’ (Rom 8:28).”
February 19, 2009
An Adoption Success Story
The Washington Post shares the interesting story of C. Kenneth Johnson. “He has adopted eight children since 1983. Three daughters and two grandchildren still live with him. He has taken in another 144 foster children, most for a few days but some for as long as three years.”
A Twelve-Year Old’s Abortion Speech
“Despite facing threats of disqualification, a 12-year-old girl took first place in a speech contest when she eloquently argued for the rights of unborn children - after an offended judge quit. ”
Students do not Know the Bible
“The Poet Laureate says it is becoming increasingly difficult to teach English Literature because students do not know the Bible or classical mythology. Andrew Motion told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the lack of knowledge made it “difficult to even get beyond go” when teaching some of his recent students.”
The Gift of an ESV Study Bible
From Global Training Network: “One of the greatest privileges that our GTN Staff members had at the 2009 Uganda conference was to give out 150 ESV Study Bibles that had been graciously paid for by a donor.”
Why I Don’t Hate Big Church
I enjoyed this article by Gerald Hiestand. It explains how he overcame his aversion to “big church.” “On the surface, one might think that a smaller church would more naturally lead to relational connectedness. But I’ve since come to realize that intentionality—more than anything else—is the key to robust community.”
Facebook Privacy Settings
This article has a good roundup of some Facebook privacy settings you may not be aware of.
Deal of the Day: The Law of Kindness
Reformation Heritage Books is offering Mary Beeke’s book on kindness for a mere $5.
February 18, 2009
Meet Thabiti Anyabwile
C.J. Mahaney continues his interview series by talking to Thabiti Anyabwile, the most famous preacher in all of Grand Cayman.
Scot McKnight on the NeoReformed
“I have been using the term “NeoReformed” now for a year or two and a few of my friends have asked me what I mean and why I don’t just calls such folks “Reformed”. This post will sketch who they are and why I call them “Neo” Reformed.”
Taking Apart the $819 Billion
This graphic helps make sense of all that money. Sometimes it is awfully useful to see such things.
Walking Out on the Speaker
Andy Unedited writes about something I’ve observed as well. “It used to be that once people arrived at a session, they stayed till the end. There was none of this meandering in and out. To leave would be “walking out on the speaker”—a kind of protest or sign of disagreement with what was being said. Staying in your seat was a matter of respect for the presenter and a courtesy to the other attendees. Those quaint, formal days, my friends, are over.”
Down with Old Books
The Point had an interesting link to something I’m sure most people overlooked. “A recent law has troubling implications for children’s books published before 1985, among other things.”
February 17, 2009
20 Qualities of Good Listeners
Here’s a good roundup of qualities that make a person a good listener. For example, “Good listeners recall their own subjectivity and finitude as a listener. They make evaluations with the humility that corresponds to seeing parts, not the whole. They consider the angle and point of view from which they are listening.”
The Age of Designer Babies
Dr. Mohler says that the age of designer babies is upon us. “Until very recently, genetic technologies related to the screening of embryos were entirely negative. In other words, these tests screened for the genetic markers for certain diseases. Now, at least some fertility clinics promise to offer testing that will allow parents to choose positive, non-medical traits for their children.”
Frank Schaeffer’s Letter to Obama
Last week Frank Schaeffer wrote an open letter to President Obama. “As you showed us again at your press conference of Feb 9, you are a brilliant, articulate and decent man. Your Republican opponents are not decent people but ideologues bent on destroying you. To quote the biblical adage sir, don’t cast your pearls before swine. ”
Historical Character Studies
Colin has a round-up of some historical character studies that look well worth the download.
How America Decreased Its Abortion Rate
“Marvin Olasky shares some key findings from his book, Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America (Crossway) in the current issue of World magazine.”
The Central Problem of Our Age
Rick Pearcey quotes Francis Schaeffer on the central problem of our age. “The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them.”
February 13, 2009
Love is in the Details
Rev. Kev. points to an interesting blog at First Things. “In a age where romantic love equals sex and sentimentality, and on the eve of the eve of Valentine’s Day, I found the article’s depiction of marital love to be quite moving, in spite of (or is it because of?) the earthiness of the subject matter.”
A Review of The Shack
This one is short and just plain funny.
Indulgences Return
This piece at the NY Times has generated a lot of buzz. I believe indulgences have been available all along, even if they haven’t been publicized. “The announcement in church bulletins and on Web sites has been greeted with enthusiasm by some and wariness by others. But mainly, it has gone over the heads of a vast generation of Roman Catholics who have no idea what it means: “Bishop Announces Plenary Indulgences.””
Saying Goodbye to Facebook
Newsweek: “I was so addicted to my imaginary playgroup, I put the Facebook application on my BlackBerry. That way I could know immediately when some kid who used to pick on me in elementary school was reaching out across the years to remind me that I still had cooties.”
February 12, 2009
Charles Darwin and the Modern Mind
On this, the two hundredth anniversary of Darwin’s birth, Dr. Mohler offers “a list of annotated links from my past writings and radio programs — all related to Darwin or Darwinian evolution.”
And Baby Makes How Many?
Here is an interesting article from the New York Times looking at large families. “But as families have shrunk, and parents helicopter over broods tinier yet more precious, a vanload of children has taken on more of a freak show factor. The families know the stereotypes: they’re polygamists, religious zealots, reality-show hopefuls or Quebecois in it for the per-child government bonus. ”
Giveaway: Discipleship Explored
Monergism is giving away a copy of Discipleship Explored. Visit the link for details.
Deal of the Day: Freedom of the Will
Reformation Heritage Books is offering 50% off a new printing of Jonathan Edwards’ masterpiece Freedom of the Will.
February 11, 2009
Meet John Piper
John Piper does not do a lot of interviews, but he has made an exception for C.J. Mahaney. You can read a brief interview here.
Finally Alive: A Review
Speaking of John Piper, ReformedBooks.net (i.e. Monergism.com) has a review of his new book Finally Alive. “Finally Alive cannot fail to have a dramatic impact on our understanding of what a Christian really is, how we can examine our own hearts to discern if we are truly in the faith, and how we can labor more passionately and effectively for the gospel-accomplishment of regeneration in the hearts of those all around us and across the world who are still dead in trespasses and sins.”
The Reformed Love Books
An excerpt from a forthcoming volume on Calvin. “This bookish contentment distinguishes both Calvin and those who followed after him. Reformed Christians removed all else from their churches in order to direct attention only to the Word, and they cleared all else from their shelves to make room for books.”
Fieldy
According to this forthcoming biography, a second member of the band Korn has become a believer (after Brian “Head” Welch). “By all appearances, Fieldy had the life. But he was on the dark path of excess, alienating friends, families, and loved ones, nearly destroying himself and the band. It took an unexpected tragedy to straighten him out: the death of his father, a born-again Christian, to a mysterious illness.”
MacArthur and Ware Audio
The Nashville Conference on the Church and Theology has made available the keynote addresses by John MacArthur and Bruce Ware.
ESV Loose-Leaf
Henrickson is publishing a loose-leaf ESV Bible. It will be released in May.
Deal of the Day: Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong
This book by John MacArthur and the staff of Grace Community Church is on sale at Grace Books International. You can get it for $8.99.

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