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A La Carte

December 01, 2009
An Interview with Michael Horton
Over at the Ligonier blog Burk Parsons is interviewing Michael Horton (who declares that he does not read any blogs—maybe that is the secret to his productivity). Part two of the interview reveals that Horton was only a teenager when he wrote the first version of Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, a long-time favorite book of mine.
The Esse of Reformed
Michael Haykin looks at what it means to be Reformed and whether Baptists can properly qualify.
The Costs of Medical Care
Thomas Sowell: “We are incessantly being told that the cost of medical care is “too high”— either absolutely or as a growing percentage of our incomes. But nothing that is being proposed by the government is likely to lower those costs, and much that is being proposed is almost certain to increase the costs.”
Tim Keller Wants to Save Your Yuppie Soul
The New Yorker has a feature on Tim Keller. “The evangelical Christian preacher says the secular holy trinity of money, ambition, and achievement is the root of all evil. So why are so many New Yorkers flocking to him?”
Pray for Matt Chandler
Keep Matt Chandler in your prayers: “I have a small mass In my frontal lobe,” Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas, wrote on his Twitter feed. “[I have a date] with the neurosurgeon early next week.”
November 30, 2009
Cyber Monday Today is “Cyber Monday,” the day that online retailers come up with deals to try to rival what brick-and-mortar retailers offer on Black Friday. Here are a few deals I noted this morning:

The big news at Amazon today is a great deal on the 8 GB iPod Touch. Today only it’s on sale for the lowest price you’re likely to see. Meanwhile they’ve got tons of other deals on a wide variety of products.

MLB.com is offering 20% off your entire order for today.

Christian Book Distributors has a long list of Christmas-themed products on sale.
Black Friday
Speaking of Black Friday, check out this photo essay of the pandemonium from last Friday. This reminds me why I prefer to shop online.
Eid al-Adha and the Hajj
And speaking of photo essays, The Big Picture offers one of this year’s Hajj and observance of Eid al-Adha.
Uncle Jay Explains
A little while ago a reader alerted me to Uncle Jay Explains. It’s since become one of my favorite Monday traditions.
Jake and USC
This will make you cry.
Nineteen questions for signers of “The Manhattan Declaration”
Dan Phillips has nineteen questions to ask the people who signed “The Manhattan Declaration.”
November 27, 2009

A special edition of A La Carte today, one geared toward trying to find the best Black Friday deals. Here are a few that I’ve scrounged up already at some of the places I shop at (I love me a good deal…):

Amazon Gold Box: Nuvi Garmin GPS
Amazon’s Gold Box deal today is the Garmin nüvi 285W/285WT 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic. It’s 48% off the retail price and just about $50 less than it was yesterday. Be sure to keep an eye on the Lightning Deals as well (on the same page).
Black Friday Music Sale
Amazon also has a lot of their music on sale today. There are plenty of all-day deals and a succession of Lightning Deals.
Black Friday @ Amazon
And finally, Amazon has a large list of Black Friday specials that you may want to look at. They range from DVDs and electronics to pots and pans. Again, some are all-day deals while others are Lightning Deals, available for only a short time. It’s probably worth checking in a couple of times over the day if you’re really hunting for bargains.
Deals @ Monergism Books
You can get 7% off at Monergism Books today if you spend over $25. Simply use the coupon code thanksgiving2009.
Black Friday @ Vision Video
Purchase $75 or more at Vision Video and save $25. Simply enter promotional code “BF4DAY” at step 4 of checkout and $25 will be deducted automatically. Vision Video has a huge variety of Christian DVDs.
Black Friday @ Reformation Heritage Books
RHB has quite a few good deals. They have cut prices on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Iain Murray, George Whitefield by Arnold Dallimore, Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges and Romans by R.C. Sproul (among others).
Black Friday @ CBD
CBD has specials spread throughout the site. Check “This Week’s Specials” at the top of the main page along with “Fab Friday” and “Red Hot Deals” in the middle of the page. You might also want to check out the “Current Promotions” button.
November 25, 2009
The Final Nail?
It is probably a bit too early for this, but we can hope. “If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet.”
Picture Show: Breach
“In the Spring of 2009, the photographer Richard Mosse traveled to Iraq, where he captured arresting images of U.S. soldiers working and living in what used to be palaces of Saddam Hussein. These visions of western soldiers at rest in imperial palaces are both intensely jarring and oddly playful, and they underscore the seemingly ineffable experience of downtime during a military occupation. The transformation of an imperial palace into a site of temporary housing also speaks to the notion that our histories are constantly being rewritten—architecturally, sociologically, globally, and locally.”
When Your Child is Disobedient
Z offers a list of 10 things to remember when your child is disobedient.
Deal of the Day
I’m keeping an eye on Amazon (and other sites) this week just because of all the deals. Today at Amazon you can get a LG Blu-ray player for under $100. That’s hard to beat! “Get superior audio performance and full HD 1080p output with the LG BD270 Blu-ray Disc Player. This Blu-ray player not only plays DVD discs, but Blu-ray Discs as well and it features an HDMI with Cinema mode and 7.1 channels with Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, and dts-HD.”
November 23, 2009
The World’s Children
This photoblog shows pictures of just a few of the world’s impoverished children. “Twenty years after the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, multitudes of children across the globe are still suffering from poverty, abuse and disease.”
Thanksgiving Giveaway
Monergism Books is sponsoring a Thanksgiving giveaway of some great resources. To enter the draw you need to fill out a short survey.
Commentary Giveaway
Speaking of giveaways, J.C. Ryle Quotes is giving away a set of Ryle’s commentaries on the gospels. Entering is simple so check the link to give it a shot.
Children Who Front Dawkins’ Campaign
“The two children chosen to front Richard Dawkins’s latest assault on God could not look more free of the misery he associates with religious baggage. With the slogan ‘Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself’, the youngsters with broad grins seem to be the perfect advertisement for the new atheism being promoted by Professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association. Except that they are about as far from atheism as it is possible to be. The Times can reveal that Charlotte, 8, and Ollie, 7, are from one of the country’s most devout Christian families.”
Useless Around the Home
According to this interesting article, “the trend of the female high achiever and the male slacker is a tall story that women tell each other to compensate for the fact that most career-orientated women feel an “overwhelming sense of guilt” over their role and less of a mother and a wife.”
Amazon Black Friday Deals
Amazon is doing a Black Friday Week this week. They are going to have a lot of deals offered over the course of every day of the week. Click the link, bookmark it, and return a few times if you’re interested in tracking down some deals.
Deal of the Day: Polk Soundbar
In terms of sheer dollars and cents, this is the best deal I’ve seen in Amazon’s Gold Box ($500 less than yesterday’s price). “Polk Audio SurroundBar 360-degree DVD Theater is a complete home entertainment system. It incorporates the enveloping sonic benefits of SurroundBar SDA technology and patented PowerPort bass venting technology with the convenience of a control console that is a DVD/CD player, amplifier, and an AM/FM radio.” I spent some time with one of these things once and they are pretty amazing.
November 20, 2009
Be the Church?
A long time ago I was part of a church that began to say “Don’t go to church; be the church.” Jeff Purswell has written an article showing why this is not good theology. “Now, despite the element of truth (God’s people are the church), there are all kinds of things wrong with this statement. But behind the words is obviously someone’s disappointment (and possibly disillusionment) with organized Christianity. And although I’d guess that many Christians would reject this false choice, their attitude to Sunday gatherings of the church may reveal a similar apathy.”
Praying Scripturally
Ligon Duncan is beginning what looks like an interesting series of blogs. It will deal with praying scripturally. “Few of us, probably, are satisfied with our private, family, and corporate prayer habits. And surely we all recognize that the Church of our day, at least in our land, is weak in the way of prayer. We do not pray often. We do not pray with Scriptural proportion, nor does our prayer much reflect the language and thought of the Bible. We do not pray fervently.”
The Personal Promise Bible
After a while I hardly even know what to say anymore. “Have you ever inserted your name as you read the Bible to make it more personal? Now you can experience the reality of God’s love and promises in a way you never thought possible. In the Personal Promise Bible, you will read your first name personalized in over 5,000 places throughout the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, over 7,000 places throughout the complete Old and New Testaments.” So I could have a version of the Bible that translates 2 Peter 1:4, “By which He has granted to Tim His precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these Tim may become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
The Bible by Numbers: Multiples of Eleven
Just for fun, here is a list of significant numbers in the Bible, each of which is a multiple of eleven.
15 Google Interview Questions to Make You Feel Stupid
Here are the kinds of questions you might be asked if you try to get a job with Google…
November 19, 2009
Christians and Vampires
Oh boy. “Vamping Up: Christians Bite into Vampire Market” is a headline in Publishers Weekly’s Christians Bookline. Looks like Christians need their vampire fix, too.
Illustration Challenge
Lukas VanDyke, photographer extraordinaire, decided to take on a strange but cool little project. He read through the five most recent posts on my blog and then went out and snapped a photo related to each. You can check out the (pretty amazing) results at the link.
The Kindle in Canada
The Kindle finally comes to Canada. Strangely, though, it’s only for sale from amazon.com, not amazon.ca.
R. Crumb’s “Genesis”
Dr. Mohler writes about R. Crumb’s graphic novel retelling of Genesis. I spotted this in the store recently and was thinking about buying it. As luck would have it, when I flipped it open I was at the story of Lot and his daughters. That one page was enough to convince me that I wasn’t going to let my kids see the book!
Words and the Word of God
Mounce does what he does so well at Koinonia Blog. This week he discusses a little Greek word and asks what it tells us about verbal, plenary inspiration.
Eight Great Date Nights
There are some good ideas in this list. “Tired of the old dinner-and-a-movie routine, but not sure what else to do on your date nights? Try these eight ideas to get your creative juices flowing!”
November 18, 2009
Turning the Bible into Toilet Paper
Denny Burk shares a sad but interesting little fact about Ian McKellen. “In an interview with Details magazine, gay actor Ian McKellen says that he tears pages out of Bibles that he finds in hotel rooms. Some of the Bible pages are hung up in his bathroom as toilet paper.”
Thankful for a Mother’s Devotion
Ed Welch pens a tribute to his mother. “I just received news that my mother died this morning. She was 84 and had been at Quarreyville Presbyterian Home in Lancaster County. Her mind had been erased by strokes over the last few years. It had been about 8 years since she recognized me or my sisters.”
Is Gambling OK?
Phil Johnson looks at the issue of gambling. “Is it a sin to gamble? There’s not an easy or instantly-obvious prooftext answer to that question. If you are looking for a ‘Thus saith the Lord: Thou shalt not gamble,’ you won’t find it anywhere. Nothing expressly forbids gambling anywhere in Scripture. Does that automatically put gambling into the realm of adiaphora, or indifferent matters? I don’t think so. I would argue that gambling is a sin, full stop.
All Of My Days
Here’s another example of why I love to read Danielle’s blog.
Mass: We Pray
Surely this has to be a joke. Someone tell me this is a joke!
Fireproof Follow-up
The follow-up to the movie Fireproof will be about fatherhood. “ ‘The title is one word: Courageous,’ said Fireproof Director Alex Kendrick, who will also direct the new film. ‘(It’s about) four fathers who are all in law enforcement—who protect and serve together—(and) go through a terrible tragedy. They begin looking at their role as fathers … and they begin challenging one another to fulfill God’s intention for fathers.’”
Deal of the Day: Amazon’s Gold Box
This is a bit random, I know, but today Amazon has a good Gold Box deal. They are offering their Pike Street down comforters at a really steep discount. Amazon keeps sending me their Pike Street stuff for review and it has impressed us as being high-quality for a great price.
November 16, 2009
The Prosperity Gospel
Canada’s The National Post featured an article this weekend on the prosperity gospel.
Themelios 34.3
The Gospel Coalition just announced the release of the latest edition of Themelios. It’s mostly for smart people but there are some things there for the rest of us as well.
Rick Mercer’s Sleepover with Stephen Harper
This is something you probably wouldn’t ever see in the US—a journalist enjoying a sleepover at the Prime Minister’s house (or President’s house as the case may be). This is a pretty good example of the Canadian sense of humor in action.
The Murder of Madalyn Murry O’Hair
Phil Johnson linked to this rather interesting article which tells of the murder of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her family.
Has Apple Blown Its Chance?
The tech-minded may enjoy this article in which Jim Jubak argues that Apple did not properly capitalize on the disaster that was Windows Vista. “If this is as good as it gets for Apple, the company has no one to blame but itself. The opportunity was there, and Apple didn’t exploit it as ruthlessly or as relentlessly as it needed to.”
Deal of the Day: Free Shipping
You can get free Shipping from Monergismbooks.com for orders over $30. Economy shipping only. Offer good through Friday November 20th at midnight. Apply coupon code - freeshipping1121- at check out.
November 13, 2009
Women Fighting
Owen Strachan looks at women who fight and says “Femininity is a contested sphere nowadays, both literally and figuratively.”
Porn in Public
An article in the Washington Post deals with the phenomenon of public porn (or drive-by porn)—inadvertently seeing porn on another person’s portable device.
Christian Publishing
Allan Fisher, writing for Tabletalk Magazine, asks “Looking for things for which to thank the Lord this Thanksgiving? Start by asking this question: Where would my church be without Christian publishing companies?”
The Greatest Scot
STV is asking people to vote for the greatest Scot of all-time. Eric Liddell is in the running, as you might expect.

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