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A La Carte

April 14, 2012

Fixing the TSA - “Air travel would be safer if we allowed knives, lighters and liquids and focused on disrupting new terror plots. A former head of the Transportation Security Administration, Kip Hawley, on embracing risk.”

Represent! - “What an awesome thought – Christ represents us in heaven! The perfect, spotless, Lamb of God pleads his own blood and righteousness on our behalf at the Father’s right hand. He’s the perfect representative! He doesn’t forget a single need. He never takes a break. He knows exactly what it’s like for us. He knows just what to say and ask for on our behalf. What’s amazing is that he chooses us to represent him on earth.”

Universalism, Pastors and People - “We released some new research yesterday at LifeWay Research showing 84% of Protestant pastors disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity. That view is generally called “universalism” or “pluralism.” So, based on this data, Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly not universalists. However, the same cannot be said of their church members.”

Pray for Jerry Bridges - From Desiring God: Jerry Bridges is recovering from a serious, scheduled surgery. You can read an update at the link.

31 Days - Here’s a helpful resource from Frontline Missions: “This prayer calendar, which focuses on many countries known for having the worst persecution and the least Gospel light, is now available for download. Use this calendar as a resource for your daily prayer time—and share it with others.”

I Met a Celebrity Pastor - David Murray: “I met a “celebrity” pastor at T4G yesterday. I can confidently report that he was normal. In fact, he was more normal than many “normal” pastors I’ve met. He was warm, friendly, engaged in our conversation, didn’t try to get away after the initial pleasantries, and wasn’t continually looking over my shoulder for someone more interesting or important to talk to. And I have to say that most of the well-known pastors and preachers I’ve met have been similar.”

Your Children Want You - This blog post went viral last week and, having read it, I can see why. Though it’s from a secular blog, it touches nicely on some important themes.

We often talk of unbelief as if it were an affliction to be pitied instead of a crime to be condemned. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 13, 2012

TBN Again - “A $50 million jet. Chauffeurs. Mansions in California and Florida. Clandestine affairs. Crimes and cover-up. Even a $100,000 motor home for the pet dog. These are just a few of the allegations directed against the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and its directors in a pair of lawsuits filed in February by former employees of the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting network.”

Denver Moore - If you’ve read the bestselling book Same Kind of Different As Me, you may be interested to know that Denver Moore died last weekend. (I’ve got a review of the book here.)

The Anatomy of Holiness - Kevin DeYoung has a helpful post that deals with holiness.

T4G - All of the main sessions are now available in audio format.

$5 Friday - There are a few notable deals in Ligonier’s $5 Friday this week. That includes The Holiness of God teaching series, A Taste of Heaven by R.C. Sproul and some T4G-related material. I use sales like this to stock up on resources for the church’s library and book table.

Blog Post Planner - A reader of the site sent me a link to this blog post planner. It looks like a helpful resource (especially for women since I think it may be a bit on the flowery side for most guys!).

No Vision Shift - The Christian Post has an interview with Matt Chandler and the future of the Acts 29 Network now that he has assumed leadership.

Faith is to prayer what the feather is to the arrow. —Thomas Watson

April 12, 2012

That’s Not Fair - “Sometime over the past few decades a mindset of ‘fair’ has developed, calling for everyone to finish in the exact same place and receive the exact same reward. Fair has become equity in the finish instead of equity in the process.”

MLJ Trust - Here’s some amazing news. The Martyn Lloyd-Jones trust has made 1600 of his sermons available for free online.

Famous Hymnwriters - “We church music guys — especially since the advent of the modern hymns movement — have come to think of Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, Anne Steel, and other hymnists as an almost inhumanly good collective of writers, whose every lyrical phrase was more sublime than the preceding one.” Time for a reality check.

Learning from Liberals - This article offers “7 Lessons We Should Learn from the German Liberal Theologians and Higher Critics.” Because if we don’t learn from such people, we may find ourselves blundering into their errors.

Marrying Unbelievers - The Gospel Coalition has two different takes on the question of whether a minister should marry unbelievers. Deepak Reju says “yes” while Russell Moore says “no.”

Believing is a matter of the will. A man does not believe without being willing to believe. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 11, 2012

Evangellyfish - Douglas Wilson’s humorous, satircal novel Evangellyfish is on sale in Kindle format. It has been marked down to $3.99. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something dead serious, Monergism Books is offering 800 Spurgeon sermons for $4 in Kindle and other ebook formats. You can also get Carson and Moo’s A Quick Introduction to the New Testament for free.

T4G Talks - The Together for the Gospel sessions are being added to this page a few hours after they’re delivered.

Overnight Success - This post is quite heartening. “The basic difference between successful people and the rest of us is that they’ve learned to fail well. They humbly embrace their mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn, and persevere until each shot got them nearer the bullseye.”

Titanic: The Reality - The reality of what happened aboard Titanic is very different from the stories that tend to be told. “In Cameron’s version, he depicts the wealthy as asserting their privilege over third-class passengers and crew so they could escape in lifeboats not made available to all, a depiction that plays on issues of class warfare and social inequality. In many cases, the opposite was true, according to documented historical accounts.”

Worship Leaders Are Not Rock Stars - It sounds obvious, of course, but it’s something worship leaders need to continually remind themselves of lest the lines begin to blur.

Thomas Kinkade - In this article Joe Carter introduces a Thomas Kinkade that many of us haven’t ever seen before. “Despite his extraordinary commercial success, Kinkade’s earlier work is largely unknown to audiences familiar with his later mass market works (typified by his trademark ‘cottage’ scenes).” I like his earlier work better!

We are to order our lives by the light of His Law, not by our guesses about His plan. —J.I. Packer

April 10, 2012

An Increase in Reading - “A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey. The portion of e-book readers among all American adults has increased to 21 percent from 17 percent between December and February, due in large part to a boom in tablet and e-reader sales this past holiday season.”

A Passion for the Gospel - I enjoyed reading this quick account of the faith of Bubba Watson, the winner of the Masters Tournament.

You and You - Bill Mounce: “I wish modern English had a different form for “you” plural. It would solve some sticky translation problems. So until then, I guess we all have to learn some Greek.”

9 World-Tilting Truths - Trevin Wax looks to a recent book and shares 9 world-tilting truths that are “refreshingly God-centered (thus the world-tilting image) and offers a robust yet accessible look at major biblical truths.”

4 Thoughts for T4G - Kevin DeYoung offers four thoughts for those of us who are at Together for the Gospel. Darryl Dash offers some thoughts for those who aren’t able to be here.

Earthen Vessels - Matthew Lee Anderson’s book Earthen Vessels is on sale in Kindle format for just $4.99.

The Secret Life of Plankton - They exist in the trillions and are at the very bottom of the food chain.

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. —A.W. Pink

April 09, 2012

Holiness by Grace - Bryan Chapell’s Holiness by Grace has been marked down to $2.99 in Kindle format. I always have to check Chapell’s name to see if it’s got a double p or a double l. I always get it wrong, too.

Missing Missing - R.C. Sproul Jr. has a poignant reflection as he remembers his wife. “She doesn’t sit beside me when I’m alone in the car anymore. She doesn’t look over my shoulder when I am typing and crying alone anymore. Somehow the more time passes, the farther she is gone, not because I am forgetting her, but because I am remembering her. The great heartbreak is that she is now becoming my past, rather than my ever present.”

The Internet Is Ruining Your Brain - Here’s an infographic that takes a rather cursory look at how and why the Internet is ruining your brain. While “ruining” may be too strong a word, there’s no doubt that brains are changing in this new, digital world.

Pixels Are People - And in a world like this one, Nathan Bingham wants to remember that pixels are people. “Pixels are people. The relationships I had via bits and bytes with folks from the US while I lived in Australia were real. Meeting people here in person for the first time wasn’t the beginning of a friendship but the continuation of an already existing one.”

Ten Boom Museum - The Ten Boom Museum website has a really amazing virtual tour. Be sure to listen to the audio at each of the different locations. (HT)

As God’s mercies are new every morning toward his people, so his anger is new every morning against the wicked. —Matthew Henry

April 06, 2012

Let’s get started today with a few ebook deals. eChristian has all of Francis Chan’s books available for free in all ebook formats. Over at Amazon you can get Randy Alcorn’s Heaven for Kids along with Francis Chan’s books Crazy Love, Forgotten God and Erasing Hell all for free. Titanic: Ship of Dreams, a kids’ book from Christian Focus, is down to $2.99. Finally, be sure to check out Ligonier’s $5 Friday as they’ve got some really good deals today in ebooks, printed books and teaching series.

Five Titanic Myths - Speaking of Titanic, here are a few myths about Titanic that have been spread by movies. “It is the tragic story that everybody knows the end to - the doomed Titanic sinks. Its final hours have become the stuff of myth - but how much have the various film versions of the story helped to create and reinforce these legends?”

Romans 7 & J.I. Packer - This blogger shares a key insight into Romans 7 that he learned from J.I. Packer.

Hotel Rankings - I was wondering about this very thing the other day: How do online hotel rankings work and why don’t they ever seem to agree? WSJ has an article worth reading before booking your next room.

Age Before Beauty - An article on aging. “Aging gracefully in Hollywood seems, to a certain point, optional these days—at least until you hit the freakish plastic surgery stage. Aniston, it is said, spends more than $141,000 a year to look as good as she does—or about $400 a day.”

Positive about Psychiatric Medications - “Biblical counseling can be positive about psychiatric medications. It depends, in part, on the person or group we have in mind. For example, if I am thinking about my father, who was overmedicated, I would say one thing. If I am thinking about another family member, who was helped by psychiatric medications, I would emphasize medication’s usefulness.”

Get Bored - Do you want to get more creative? Then maybe you need to get bored first.

To deny the great doctrine of atonement by the blood of Jesus Christ is to hamstring the gospel, and to cut the throat of Christianity. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 05, 2012

He Buried 200 Church Members - Erik Raymond: “There in his office I was struck with so many emotions. Here stood a man who has buried over two hundred of his parishoners. And here I stand, a young-buck having buried a grand total of zero of our members.”

RYM Minute - R.C. Sproul hasn’t joined Twitter, but he’s done the audio equivalent with these new Renewing Your Mind minutes—short podcasts that get straight to the point.

Praying Past Our Preferred Outcomes - You can read the whole article, or just even read the first paragraph and you’ll have something to think about. “It is one thing to be asked to pray for another person. … However, it is another thing to be told what to ask God for in the situation. I’ve noticed that often requests for prayer come with specific instructions on how to pray. I call it a ‘please pray for my predetermined positive outcome’ request.”

The Crucifixion - This is a helpful article from Stand to Reason. It clearly outlines what took place in Jesus’ last few hours.

Banning Laptops - Yesterday I spent some time with the teachers at my old high school and a lot of our conversation was around issues like this—technology in the classroom. Should it be encouraged and discouraged? Should students be able to use their laptops in class, but without Internet access? So many new questions…

Daily Life - I enjoyed this photo gallery. “Nearly 2,000 images moved across the wires last month under the category ‘daily life’.” This is a gallery of some of the most interesting from around the world.

Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God the more of God will be seen in you. —C.H. Spurgeon