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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

February 18, 2012

Treasure In, Treasure Out - R.C. Sproul Jr reflects on how his wife beautified his home and his life. “My beautiful wife loved nothing more than to beautify. She devoted herself to creating a beautiful home. She planted flowers, bushes and trees outside. Inside she hung, placed, painted and etched. Even when she was not well, this was where her heart was.”

Announcement Time - There are some good things to think about here: “I have an announcement to make: I love announcement time. Really, I do! I wouldn’t want to worship without it. But I know so many church leaders who treat announcement time as a waste of time, a necessary evil.”

Nuking Your House - This is all kinds of bizarre, but kind of interesting too.

Punctuating the Bible - Yet another reason that I’m glad that I’m not the guy in charge of translating the Bible…and another reason that I’m grateful that there are people who do such a good job of it for us.

Welcome to Earth - Here’s a roundup of some of the best and most popular time-lapse videos.

A lie is a snowball. The longer it is rolled on the ground, the larger it becomes. —Martin Luther

February 17, 2012

True Grit - I just finished listening to Donna Tartt’s amazing narration of the novel True Grit. Then I found that she had written this fantastic essay on the book.

Romance Novels - Speaking of novels, I found this an interesting article on romance novels (Note: there’s one part that goes a bit awry when the author describes the ugly plot line of an old novel). “Men must be transformed by love and enter into the woman’s realm in order to emerge as fully-realized human beings: this is the core message of romance fiction, Dixon argues. We need one another; embrace this idea, and everything will magically work out.”

The Community of Disability - Greg Lucas has some interesting thoughts about lessons he has learned from being a part of the community of disability. “The tragedy of disability is not disability itself, but the isolation it often creates. This was one of the most important lessons our family had to learn. Sadly, we learned it the hard way. But hard lessons often lead to great insights and over the past few years we have had the wonderful opportunity to gain great wisdom from several families in many different communities.”

The Books of the Bible - I love the look of this product. “The Books of the Bible Block Set is a unique and beautifully designed collection of wood blocks that represent all 66 books of the Bible.”

The MacArthur Study Bible NIV - Some have been wondering why John MacArthur would have his Study Bible printed in the NIV 2011. Phil Johnson writes about that here.

The Contraception Mandate - Joe Carter has a helpful FAQ about the contraception mandate that is all the buzz these days.

Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us. —R.C. Sproul

February 16, 2012

The Penny Paradox - This article takes something worth just 2.4 cents to illustrate the problems with cutting a nation’s budget in any substantial way. Consider this yet another good reason not to be the one in power (and to pray for the one who is).

That Lovely, Lovely Man - I love articles like this one. “I would like to let you know about a lady who belongs to the church which I serve. She can barely leave her home at present because of her physical condition, itself substantially the result of a botched operation several years ago. She has been close to death on several occasions, and is currently in hospital.” Keep reading it…

What Publishers Can Learn from Airlines - I enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek look at what publishers can learn from airlines. It seems that both industries are grappling for new models.

Miracles in the Bible and Today - Craig Keener has an article at Huffington Post that deals with modern-day miracles. His argument is interesting, but I’m guessing it probably isn’t the strongest case he makes in his recent book (which deals with this very topic).

Dawkins Is Lost for Words - I thoroughly enjoyed this little comeuppance that must have been a golden moment of radio.

The Real Rock Band - This is kind of fun. Sony has put together a soundscape meant to give you a sense of what it’s like to run onto the stage with a rock band. You pretty much need headphones to enjoy it.

Saving faith is resting faith, the trust which relies entirely on the Savior. —John Stott

February 15, 2012

An Intrusion Into the Christian Bedroom - This is great and relevant stuff from Ed Welch: “Excuse me for barging in, but it might be time for more people to intrude into the marital bedroom. Though there are some good Christian books on marital sex, most of them repeat two basic mantras…” He isn’t so sure about those mantras.

Email - This is a fascinating infographic that deals with email. Turns out we’re all drowning in email (as if we didn’t already know that!).

Band of Bloggers - Band of Bloggers is back! If you’re at T4G, why don’t you consider also coming to BoB…

Valentine the Brave - “A godly husband, then is not one who four times a year takes up the aggravating task of trying to be relational, in order to keep his wife from getting grumpy. Instead a godly husband is tasked with the constant call of communicating his love and commitment to his wife. This is not a few days a year, but every day. Too often husbands get frustrated, even offended by this hard reality. ‘Doesn’t she think I’m a man of my word? I promised ‘Until death do us part’ and I meant it.’”

Blogging and Controversy - Timothy Dalrymple has some good thoughts on blogging and controversy. 

Desiring God Update - John Piper has an important update about Desiring God. The heart of it is this: they will no longer be stocking books, so to clear out the warehouse they’ve put everything on sale at $5. I guess that means this is a good time to stock up!

The time of every man’s death has been fixed by God. We are safe from all risk until God is pleased to call us away. —John Calvin

February 14, 2012

The Faithfulness Fallacy - Julian looks at recent situations involving John MacArthur and James MacDonald and offers some good wisdom on not falling for the faithfulness fallacy. “In logic an ad hominem attack is when you criticize a person rather than their idea. What I find fascinating in both of the above cases is that the defence being used is actually ad hominem.”

The Transforming Power of the Gospel - Jerry Bridges’ The Transforming Power of the Gospel is free for Kindle. Get it! (Note: Sorry, it’s now gone up to $4.99).

A Question of Character - Carl Trueman has some wise observations about character and behavior in the ministry and elsewhere.

The Numbers Game - On the same blog, Jeremy Walker goes back to the writing of Charles Bridges to take a look at the numbers game and the way we tend to measure success today.

Seeds Family Worship - Seeds Family Worship has a new album out today; it deals with purity. You can listen to a track below. Like all Seeds albums, this one is simply Scripture set to music.

Network - “Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network.”

If you would have the life holy before men, let the heart be pure before God. —Thomas Manton

February 13, 2012

There was so much goodness on the Net this weekend I’ve had trouble distilling it down to a few great links. But I gave it a shot and here are the ones that stood above the crowd.

The Queen of Sheba - “A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba derived her fabled treasures.”

The Scale of the Universe - This is kind of a fun graphic that allows you to zoom WAY in and WAY out. You may find that it takes a few moments to load.

Satan May Seek to Destroy You - Paul Tautges offers a list of 20 ways that Satan may try to destroy you this week.

Books on Sale - Monergism Books has some pretty good deals at the moment. They include D.A. Carson’s brand new book along with Bibles, classics, children’s books, and more.

Guns, YouTube and Parenting - A few people have asked what I think of that YouTube video that’s been getting so much attention (where a father scolds his daughter and then takes a gun to her laptop). Phil Johnson says it well.

Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker - Why does Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ make everyone cry? Science has found the formula.

The Tebow of the NBA - The Tim Tebow of the NBA has arrived, or so it would seem. If guys like this keep performing, we’ll be seeing a few more athletes in church!

Every genuine revelation of God has this mark upon it, that it makes him appear more glorious. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 11, 2012

Clarence - This is a touching article (even if it’s a mite over-stated at times). “We met you the first day we moved to Augusta. You introduced yourself as Clarence Davis, and you weren’t homeless but just ‘down on your luck’. You explained that you knew the previous owners and that you used to rake their leaves and that you were HIV positive and could we please give you a little work  You raked our yard that day and didn’t complain once about the heat, although you were sweating so much I’m not sure how you could see to finish the job.”

World Press Photo Contest - “5, 247 Photographers, 124 Nationalities, 101, 254 pictures. Three hundred and fifty images by 57 photographers of 24 nationalities were awarded prizes in nine categories.” Here are the winners.

What Compromise? - Al Mohler: “President Obama walked into the White House Press Room today and attempted to pull a political rabbit out of a hat. Faced with an avalanche of mounting opposition to his administration’s mandate that religious employers provide birth control to all employees, the President announced what his staff characterized as a ‘compromise.’ Was it?”

Faith vs Victoria’s Secret - This is a neat story: “Christian model Kylie Bisutti says her faith led to her stop working for Victoria’s Secret.”

Monumental - Monumental is a documentary from Kirk Cameron that is set to release next month.

Check Engine Light - We’re all accustomed to ignoring the check engine light, but apparently it is actually beginning to serve a useful function (beyond enriching your mechanic).

What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath. —Thomas Watson

February 10, 2012

Holy hip-hop or Christian rap has been on my mind lately. While I still feel like a complete poser when a listen to such music, I can’t deny that I quite enjoy it (as my wife would be glad to testify with a roll of her pretty eyes; she isn’t much of a fan). As I’ve been exploring this genre, which is still rather new to me, I have come across an interesting and unexpected influence on these artists: none other than John Piper. Sometimes he is the one who has inspired the song and, even more often, he actually appears within the song. Let me give you some examples.

Let’s get started with what is probably the most notable and most popular of these Piper references. Don’t Waste Your Life by Lecrae may not actually feature Piper’s voice, but it is named after one of his most popular books.

Next up is Make War by Tedashii which begins with John Piper’s battlecry of “Make War!”

From Tedashii we go to Shai Linne who begins his song All-Consuming Fire with a great quote from Piper.