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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.

February 10, 2012

A First Century Manuscript? - Dan Wallace: “On 1 February 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman at UNC Chapel Hill on whether we have the wording of the original New Testament today. … I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year.”

A Month of Junk - Over the next month PluggedIn will be looking at all of those new reality shows that buy, sell, trade or auction other people’s junk. What a strange phenomenon that so many of today’s most popular shows deal with this premise, of all things.

What If I Don’t Feel Love? - “Over the years, I have had people tell me they want to be married because they love each other and I’ve had people tell me that they want out of their marriages because they no longer feel love for their mate. This has led me to ask some serious questions about the nature of love. What is love? Is it something we can fall into and fall out of? Is it chemistry? Infatuation? Is it an emotional response or a choice?”

Spam Works - This is quite an amazing infographic dealing with the spam industry.

An Interview - My pal Darryl Dash interviewed me recently, asking me about being and becoming a pastor, the relationship between blogging and pastoring, and so on.

Judges in the American Canon - Ever since I got my Audible account, I have been using some of my credits to explore the works of Cormac McCarthy. John Piper once said “Cormac McCarthy is to the American literary canon what Judges is to the the biblical canon.” I have found that to be true. In this article Mike Cosper reflects on those books.

$5 Friday - Ligonier has a couple of good deals in this week’s $5 Friday. Look for books by R.C. Sproul and Michael Haykin. 

It is never said, “whom the Lord loveth he enricheth,” but it is said, “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”C.H. Spurgeon

February 09, 2012

Receiving Criticism - Dane Ortlund: “Seems to me there are two wrong ways to receive criticism and one right way. By ‘criticism’ I have in mind love-sent but hard words from a believing brother or sister that are meant for our good, in the spirit of so many NT passages (neglected by many today, first and foremost by me) that call us to exhort, rebuke, and sharpen one another.”

9 Good Purposes in Suffering - Rebecca has a helpful list, taken from scripture, of good results that come from the suffering of believers.

Radiant Inspiration - There are some nice Christian-themed wallpapers at this site.

Joke of the Year - “Comedian Tim Vine has cemented his reputation as king of the one-liners after he won the prize for joke of the year at the annual Lafta awards.” Some of the jokes here are pretty clever…

10 Digital Commandments - David has been reading a book about leadership in the digital age and provides what he is calling the 10 digital commandments. There’s some real wisdom there.

You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too late. —Thomas Fuller

February 08, 2012

Keller on NYC’s Decision to Ban Churches from Schools - “I am grieved that New York City is planning to take the unwise step of removing 68 churches from the spaces that they rent in public schools. It is my conviction that those churches housed in schools are invaluable assets to the neighborhoods that they serve. Churches have long been seen as positive additions to communities.”

Asperger’s - “Psychiatrists working on the latest edition of their profession’s diagnostic manual are thought to be tightening the definition of autism and dispensing with Asperger’s completely.”

There Was No Cross - It’s amazing how often this subject comes up in scholarship. And somehow people react like the person is breaking new ground. “Jesus may not have died nailed to the cross because there is no evidence that the Romans crucified prisoners two thousand years ago, a scholar has claimed.”

Spiritual Cardio - Erik Raymond shares some wisdom from Jonathan Edwards and compares prayer to spiritual cardio.

Women Are Better at Parking - Well would you look at that. “Covert surveillance of car parks across Britain show women are better at manoeuvring into parking spaces.”

ISS Night Flight Over USA - This is pretty interesting—a short timelapse film of the International Space Station flying over the US of A.

To see a man humble under prosperity is one of the greatest rarities in the world. —John Flavel

February 07, 2012

The Cross and the Crescent - Michael Horton: “Newsweek‘s current cover-story is ‘The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World,’ by Ayann Hirsi Ali, who fled her native Somalia and served in the Dutch Parliament before taking a position at the American Enterprise Institute. As the article points out, widespread anti-Christian violence is exploding even in countries with Muslim minorities. How do we respond wisely as Christians to this growing threat?”

The Holy Superbowl - This is an interesting article to find in a secular publication. “To my way of thinking the Super Bowl is holy if by holy we refer to something that garners the simultaneous attention, interest, commitment and passion, of imponderably large numbers of people.”

Social Media Explained - This explains it all.

The Journal of Biblical Counseling - CCEF is bringing back The Journal of Biblical Counseling. The information hasn’t been posted yet, but check in at the CCEF site and it should be there this morning.

More Women Priests - “More female priests are joining the Church of England than male ones for the first time ever, it can be disclosed as it takes another step towards the introduction of women bishops.”

Sproul and Ferguson - “On January 20, 2012, Saint Andrew’s was the location for ‘Theology Night with Sinclair Ferguson and R.C. Sproul.’ Topics addressed included the doctrines of grace, when to leave a local church, Tim Tebow, dispensationalism, free will, and the peccability or impeccability of Jesus.”

Coffer - I like the way this guy rolls.

Is there nothing to sing about to-day? Then borrow a song from to-morrow; sing of what is yet to be. Is this world dreary? Then think of the next.C.H. Spurgeon