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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

January 08, 2010
Patrick Henry Hughes
I enjoyed this little video about Patrick Henry Hughes: “Patrick is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were surgically attached to Patrick’s spine to correct scoliosis.” (HT:Z)
Six Books for Children on the Bible’s Storyline
Andy Naselli points to some books that look like excellent resources for parents and children.
Little Bird
“Working in the Emergency Room is a frustrating experience, in the sense that the large majority of what comes through the doors is a complete misuse of resources. I found myself jaded and more unhappy than I had been in ages. But healthy kids are fun. And it’s impossible for me to be mad at a 3-year-old. So even when I didn’t believe in what we were doing, I could at least believe in him.”
Devils Among Us
Dean Sam Lloyd and actor Max McLean discuss Screwtape in this conversation (available in both audio and video).
Bible Reading Plan 2010
Julian outlines a great Bible reading plan that both Aileen and I are using this year. There’s still lots of time to get going with a reading plan for 2010, so why not give it a look. This one includes both a single and a couple’s version.
January 07, 2010
Church … Virtually
Leadership Journal writes about the new and growing phenomenon of virtual church. “Recently a number of churches have made the leap beyond multi-site and satellite campuses. They have launched internet campuses, making every living room, dorm room, or coffeehouse with wi-fi an extension of the church.”
Hume’s Gentle Faith
“Brit Hume’s comments on Fox News Sunday — ‘I don’t think that [Buddhism] offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” and, “My message to Tiger [Woods] would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world’ — have unleashed a torrent of criticism from the Left, including the various circus acts over at MSNBC and the Washington Post’s Tom Shales.”
Five Changes in the Way We Work
“I predict this year will be marked by five changes in the evolving relationship between those who work and those who pay to have work done. Most of these trends have been percolating for some time — many stemming back to the 1981 recession, and its then-startling lay-offs. The most recent recession accelerated and intensified the changing nature of the employee-employer relationship.”
Ad Fontes
This looks like an interesting project. “This site is designed to help small groups ‘return to the sources’ and study Reformed theology in a systematic way throughout 2010. We’ll be using John Calvin’s 1541 Institutes as our foundation. A pastor-scholar will introduce each chapter, draw connections to Scripture and the wider Reformed tradition, and point out specific issues for further discussion.”
January 06, 2010
Mohler’s Top News Stories of 2009
Dr. Mohler looks at the top news stories of 2009. “How will 2009 be remembered? Looking back over the year, ten major developments seem most important to me from this vantage point. A few years from now, 2009 might be remembered differently, but these markers stand out as 2010 begins”
The Date of the Last Day
Harold Camping has (again) figured out the date the world will end. “Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.”
From the “Isn’t That What God Said?” File
“Young children spanked by their parents may perform better at school later on and grow up to be happier, according to a controversial new study that is drawing scorn from critics. The U.S.-based research states that spanking children up to six years old made them more successful in school, more optimistic about life, more likely to take voluntary work, and more keen to attend university than their never-spanked counterparts.”
Haven’t We Seen Avatar Before?
This is good for a chuckle.
Sale at RHB
Reformation Heritage Books has quite a long list of good books being offered at a steep discount. They are on a first come, first served basis with limited quantities, so don’t wait around.
January 05, 2010
Euan Murray
This was good to read in an article about a sports star: “Euan said: ‘It’s basically all or nothing, following Jesus. I don’t believe in pick ‘n’ mix Christianity. I believe the bible is the word of God, so who am I to ignore something from it?’” He recently announced that he will no longer play games on Sunday. You can hear an interview with him at this link.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This article gives cause for concern in regards to the next Narnia movie. It seems that once again they’ve decided to excise most of the Christian content from the film. This series certainly isn’t living up to the promise of the first film.
Veith on Avatar
Veith writes about Avatar: “I went to see Avatar on New Year’s Day. It was just awful-ludicrously, unintentionally-comically awful. The story was insufferable, making a clumsy parallel with the War in Iraq, just as you commenters who saw it reported. James Cameron had the idea for this movie for years, we are told, and back then in his circles our conflict in Iraq was all about the evil President Bush and how we were just fighting the war over oil.”
January 04, 2010
You Did What?
You may have heard about the ax-wielding Muslim who tried to kill infamous Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. He was at home caring for his granddaughter when a man broke in seeking to kill him. This part blew my mind: “He did not have time to collect the child from the living room before locking himself into a ‘panic room’, a specially fortified bathroom.” So he ran to the bathroom to save his life and left his five year-old grand daughter out there with a terrorist? Unbelievable!
Technologies That Will Rock 2010
TechCrunch has a roundup of ten technologies they think will rock 2010. “So many new technologies are ready to make a big impact this year. Some of them will be brand new, but many have been gestating and are now ready to hatch. If there is any theme here it is the mobile Web. As I think through the top ten technologies that will rock 2010, more than half of them are mobile. But those technologies are tied to advances in the overall Web as well.”
As the Nation’s Pulse Races
Maureen Dowd in the NYT in an article titled “As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His.” ” Even before a Nigerian with Al Qaeda links tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet headed to Detroit, travelers could see we had made no progress toward a technologically wondrous Philip K. Dick universe. We seemed to still be behind the curve and reactive, patting down grannies and 5-year-olds, confiscating snow globes and lip glosses.”
Ephesian Terrace Houses
Ben Witherington: “Probably the most exciting of all the archaeological developments in Turkey is what has been uncovered on a hill overlooking the Celsus Library in Ephesos by the Austrians. And the Austrians are both meticulous and thorough, and their work on the terraced houses is spectacular. They have even built a state of the art roof over the hill and a walkway and stairway so one can climb around and see the site without interfering with the work. I was fortunate enough to be given a private tour of the site before it became a public tourist attraction and as the year comes to the end, I thought I would share some of my favorite shots.”
Reformation Art Moving Sale
Reformation Art is having a huge moving sale and offering up some great bargains. Take a look at the link to see what’s on sale.
December 31, 2009
How Protestant Pastors Spend Their Time
Ed Stetzer writes, “A new study coming out of Lifeway Research shows that ‘Protestant pastors in America are working long hours, sometimes at the expense of relationships with church members, prospects, family and even the Lord.’”
Sand Drawing
“Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of ‘America’s Got Talent.’ She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and ‘sand painting’ skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.’” It is really an amazing video.
Counseling Solutions
This site, run by Rick Thomas, offers some good articles dealing with tough topics. “The Counseling Solutions Group is a worldwide non-profit organization helping people who are in situational difficulties. This is accomplished by using Christian principles to train leaders to competently counsel as well as by providing practical and compassionate counseling to individuals in need.”
What You See
What you see isn’t always what you get. This video highlights some surprising uses of green screen technology in television and movies.
December 30, 2009
Flying High
Christopher Hitchens on the latest terrorist attempt: “It’s getting to the point where the twin news stories more or less write themselves. No sooner is the fanatical and homicidal Muslim arrested than it turns out that he (it won’t be long until it is also she) has been known to the authorities for a long time. But somehow the watch list, the tipoff, the many worried reports from colleagues and relatives, the placing of the name on a “central repository of information” don’t prevent the suspect from boarding a plane, changing planes, or bringing whatever he cares to bring onto a plane.”
Voyage
Christine Dente, formerly of Out of the Grey, has just released a new album that is based on The Valley of Vision. Though it looks intriguing, I haven’t been able to find it at iTunes (it is supposed to show up there in January).
The Joy of the Reformed
Anthony Selvaggio: “I did my own assessment of my Reformed experience and, I must admit, I had to agree that ‘joyful’ was not one of the first adjectives that came to my mind to describe it. Then I began to contemplate why the Reformed church seems to be lacking in the joy department.”
How To Destroy the Book
In this article Cory Doctorow writes about new realities confronting readers as books increasingly become digital. I loved this bit of it: “If you’re making a short film, and you want to illustrate a society that’s falling into tyranny, you can just cut away to a scene of a pile of books burning, and everyone will know exactly what you meant. If you want to indicate that a character in a book is very sympathetic, and you mention how much she loves reading and going to the library, then your readers will immediately show sympathy for her. Books have this penumbra of virtues, they ooze virtue, and it’s long beyond anything rational or reasonable, because all of you who are people of the book know that there are many books that are absolutely unworthy of that virtue, and yet—and yet—when I worked in a bookstore and had to strip paperbacks to send them back, it was painful to tear the covers off of books. I can barely bring myself to recycle the phone book every year.”
Virtually Divorced from Reality
From the Courant: “There are plenty of assaults on marriages these days, but the attack from cyberspace is rapidly widening. And as the prevalence of Internet obsession grows, it is turning up more and more as a factor in divorce cases.”
Deal of the Day: Sproul Commentaries
RHB has R.C. Sproul’s two new commentaries (John and Romans) at 50% off. They aren’t likely to last long at that price…
December 29, 2009
The Wonder of Apple’s Tablet
You can tell that I’m excited by this product. MG Siegler has an article explaining why the tablet is such an intriguing product and why you shouldn’t immediately write it off.
Top Theology Stories of 2009
Collin Hansen offers up his top ten theology-related stories of 2009.
Where Have All the Evangelicals Gone?
There is an interview with Guinness over at Evangel. “This foundational member of the Evangelical Manifesto was gracious enough to talk about what it truly means to be an Evangelical, the future of the church, and why styling oneself a ‘post-evangelical’ is ‘absolutely ludicrous.’”
Tintinabulation
The Times has an article about Herge, the man who created the Tintin books.
December 28, 2009
Climategate and Wikipedia
Gene Veith offers good reason to use Wikipedia only with some hesitation: “This also raises questions about the nature of Wikipedia. Yes, it assembles a vast amount of information and makes it easily accessible. But since virtually anyone can change that information, unreliability is built in. (Let all students beware.) I understand the theory behind it, how it is self-correcting by drawing on collective knowledge. But isn’t it really predicated on the assumption that knowledge is a social construction, conveniently giving a platform for that to happen?”
2010: The Year of Digital Distraction
Writing for CNN Pete Cashmore asks “Between Facebook status updates, Tweets and new mobile applications that deliver breaking news on our phones, will we be driven to distraction in 2010? ”
iTablet
This little bit of satire and silliness actually raises some good points about Apple’s (supposedly) forthcoming tablet device. “You aren’t going to be buying a ‘book’ on the iTunes store. You’re going to be buying a ‘story’ one chapter at a time, whether it’s Wind in the Willows or Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, everything is going to be just a chapter in a story.” Sounds crazy…but isn’t that how we buy music today?
Snowy Scenes
Another great photo essay from Boston.com.
Monergism Year-End Sale
Monergism Books is having a year-end sale. You can get 10% off your order until Tuesday, December 29th. Place at least $30.00 in cart, type the word - end2009 - in the coupon box and click apply.
December 22, 2009
Reforming Christian Weddings
I was very interested in this article from Conrad Mbewe. It is a call for the reforming of Christian weddings within an African context and shows some of the issues they are battling on that continent.
J.C. Ryle Quotes
Erik Kowalker of J.C. Ryle Quotes: “Beginning Monday December 21st through Christmas Eve, I will provide a quote a day from J.C. Ryle regarding the example of the often overlooked wise men who came to worship the infant Christ and, how we as Christians, can emulate their humility.”
Christians and Copyright
“American retailers sell about $4.6 billion worth of Christian products annually, and some are spoofs or spinoffs of commercial logos or brand names. Many such goods are illegal, trademark attorneys say, but companies often are unaware their names are being copied or don’t put up a fight for fear of being labeled anti-faith.”
Best and Worst Brand Identities of 2009
I enjoyed this roundup of some of the best and worst brand identities of the year that was.
What People Do and Do Not Believe In
“A new Harris Poll finds that the great majority (82%) of American adults believe in God, exactly the same number as in two earlier Harris Polls in 2005 and 2007. Large majorities also believe in miracles (76%), heaven (75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (73%), in angels (72%), the survival of the soul after death (71%), and in the resurrection of Jesus (70%).”
Gospel on the GO Bus
My buddy Paul (you can call him P-Mac) shares an ordinary but interesting evangelistic encounter when traveling by bus from Toronto to Guelph.
What Part of the Body?
Francis Chan made me laugh.
Deals @ Heritage Books
Heritage Books has lots of really good deals on lots of really good books, including some complete sets from Puritan writers. Click the link to see what they’ve got.

Pages