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A La Carte

October 20, 2011

Open Doors - Here’s an update from Frontline Missions. “This is the calm before the whirlwind. A time to prepare to step through the long passage that will lead to eight countries in the next few weeks.  In Ethiopia and along the banks of the White Nile, we will shoot the fifth episode of Dispatches from the Front.”

Holding Hands - “An Iowa couple who was married for 72 years died one hour apart last week in the hospital as they held hands.”

Amazonia - Some spectacular photos of the Amazon rainforest.

Lord, I Believe - A Free MP3. “Zac Hicks + Cherry Creek Worship has taken that old and largely forgotten hymn and given it new life on their album Without Our Aid.”

Airlines - This is exasperating. You kind of wish they’d just cut all the extra fees and instead just raise fares.

When the law of God is written on our hearts, our duty will be our delight. —Matthew Henry

October 19, 2011

Joy Has Dawned - The Getty’s have a new Christmas album out and they are giving away one of the tracks as a free download. The song is a nice, Irish smash-up of “Joy Has Dawned” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The whole album is well worth the purchase.

Celebrity Pastors - I appreciated reading of some of the ways that James MacDonald deals with the celebrityism that follows him. Let me attest that it’s much easier in the abstract than in the moment to know what you’d do when someone comes up to you at church and asks to have their picture taken with you (or when someone says, “Will you sign my Bible?”). I appreciate that he has thought these things through and that he tries to react well.

When Fighting Temptation - Dane Ortlund quotes C.S. Lewis on fighting temptation.

Crybabies - This is an interesting take on all of the “occupy” protests going on these days. “North America and Europe, geographic epicentres of the Occupy Wall Street movement, are the fattest of fat cats, globally speaking. For any North American, least of all a Canadian, to claim economic kinship with the globally disadvantaged is silly. Mention that to an Indian. Mention it to a Chinese. Cry me a river, will be the likely response. Followed by a wry chuckle, or perhaps an expletive.”

Succession Law - Also from the National Post, an article on the English monarchy and its succession laws. It seems increasingly likely that the Reformation-era law forbidding a monarch from marrying a Roman Catholic will soon be abolished.

Ulrich Zwingli - Speaking of the Reformation, Steven Lawson is continuing his series of blog posts looking at the Reformers with today’s entry on Ulrich Zwingli.

I fear that what will surprise us most, when we see our Lord, will be the extent of our own ingratitude. —E.B. Pusey

October 18, 2011

Monday with Mounce - Wouldn’t it be great to have mastered Greek? “One of the beauties of knowing Greek is that you get to see nuances of meaning that are often lost in translation. It’s not that the translators don’t see the meaning; it’s that they simply cannot bring it over smoothly into English.”

Top 10 Preaching Mistakes - David Murray counts down the top ten mistakes preachers make (and especially if they are new).

Are Evangelicals Dangerous? - Dr. Mohler wrote an article for CNN and it attracted a ridiculous amount of attention (not too surprisingly). “By mid-Monday, there were 75 pages of comments at the site. That tells us something about the volatility of the question.”

Surrender - I’ve been enjoying this new EP by Nate Fancher. Several of the songs offer a unique sound that I quite like.

The Debate - Trevin Wax shares how he wishes the debate on sexuality could go, just once, when a Christian pastor ends up to television discussing the issue.

Alas, if our children lose the crown of life, it will be but a small consolation that they have won the laurels of literature or art. —Charles Spurgeon

October 17, 2011

The New NIV - Mary Kassian offers ten reasons that the new NIV is bad for women. “Don’t get me wrong. I like to be hip. And I enjoy cappuccino as much as the next person. But my biggest beef with gender-inclusive Bibles is that they lack doctrinal precision. If you mess with the words, you mess with the meaning.”

Pray for James - I always enjoy reading Ali’s reflections on life on a hospital ship off the coast of Africa. “It’s strange, this life. There’s a critically ill man just below where I’m sitting, and I’m finding it hard to really care. I know that sounds awful, so please let me explain…”

No Compromise - Mike Abendroth interviews Carl Trueman.

Loving Your Wife - The demands on a pastor’s time are great.  So, naturally the challenges on the pastor’s marriage are equally great.  Sometimes we plan poorly and over commit ourselves.  Then, there are other times where seasonal church activities kick in and it is just a busy time.  How can we care for our wives as pastors when our schedules demand we are gone from home more than normal?  Maybe a better way to ask that question is, “How do I communicate a love for my wife when I am unable to be with her?” 

The War of 1812 - Gene Veith points to an interesting article about an interesting and largely forgotten war—the War of 1812. “The war ended in a draw, but the contest to conduct the most comprehensive commemoration isn’t even close. The Canadians have appropriated millions, the Americans hardly anything. At this rate, the Canadians will appropriate the war entirely, at least for the next several years. Which brings us to a lesson for our time: Even forgotten wars can be lost 200 years later.”

October 14, 2011

The Reformation - In the days leading up to Reformation Day, the Ligonier blog will be sharing profiles of some of the leading men behind the Reformation. Each has been written by Steven Lawson.

Ampersand - Yes, a whole infographic dealing with only the ampersand. You probably need to be a bit unusual to enjoy it.

Words That Shaped My Life - I really enjoyed this article over at the True Woman blog, and not just because my mother wrote it. The words that shaped her life eventually shaped mine as well. So I guess I can say that what she says is true—these really were life-shaping words.

An Infallible Sermon - I’ve seen a few videos like this recently—people memorizing the entire book of Hebrews and preaching it as a sermon. Love it!

101 East - This is a strange but interesting documentary about the North Korean film industry. What an odd, odd country that is.

Missionolatry - I woke up this morning thinking about church planting and various issues surrounding it. I was glad to then see this article from the Cripplegate blog. “The error is that sanctification gets sacrificed on the altar of mission. It is an error I have made in my ministry, being so fixated on getting people in, I have neglected those who are already there.”

To feel that we are ignorant is the first beginning of all saving knowledge. —J.C. Ryle

October 13, 2011

Local Ministry - Bob Kellmen takes a look at an article I wrote recently in which I compared the local church and the speaking circuit. Bob gives a slightly different take.

Parents, Give Clear Instruction - Here is a valuable little excerpt from a forthcoming title from Joel Beeke. “A child thinks very differently from an adult, often what the adult says by implication does not get through to the child. The child may interpret an order in a way not intended by the parent.”

Celebrity Pastors - Jonathan Leeman is grateful for the idea of celebrity pastors and in this article he explains why.

21st Century Excommunication - “When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.”

Twilight Zone - Paul Levy has a good word for pastors (and everyone else) in regards to the strange world the Internet creates. He looks at James MacDonald and T.D. Jakes and goes from there.

Mormonism 101 - Kevin DeYoung gives the basics about Mormonism.

Grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint. —Matthew Henry

October 12, 2011

Courageous Christianity? - The film Courageous has received near-unanimous praise in the Christian world. White Horse Inn has a more critical take. “Art being reduced as a vehicle for sermonizing is problematic enough, but even more so is the type of sermon being preached. The emphasis on personal morality and simplistic transformation turn this film into a superficial lecture rather than a robust exploration of life as a Christian father. Our personal piety, our self-improvement, and our ‘courage’ forms the fabric of the story.”

Social Media Statistics - You say you can’t get anything done these days? Maybe this is why.

Confessionalism, Boundaries and Discipline - D.A. Carson and Tim Keller have penned a long article that (essentially) addresses The Gospel Coalition and The Elephant Room.

Secret Church - David Platt has an upcoming Secret Church simulcast that may be of interest to you. Click the link for more information or click here to register. “During Secret Church on November 4, 2011, we will explore how the gospel uniquely affects our understanding of family, marriage, sex, and host of related (and controversial) issues that are ultimately foundational for the display of the glory of God in our lives, in the church, and in the world.”

Mohler on Mormonism - Dr. Mohler comments on Mormonism now that it is becoming a political consideration. “There are numerous ways to frame these questions wrongly. Our responsibility as evangelical Christians is to think seriously and biblically about these issues.”

Man’s will is free to follow his inclinations, but fallen man’s inclinations are always and invariably away from God. —R.C. Sproul

October 11, 2011

John Piper Quotes - Jamsco has another of his roundups of witticisms from John Piper. A personal favorite: “I cannot imagine that it would be satisfying to become an itinerant conference speaker. Yuck.”

Celebrity Rock Star Pastors - Thabiti Anyabwile is on a roll lately over at his blog. Today he is talking about the rock star, celebrity pastor.

American Politics - David Murray makes a rare foray into American politics and I think I pretty much agree with what he’s saying about Mitt Romney. The press has conveniently forgotten that he is a Mormon. If he gains the Republican nomination, they’ll suddenly remember.

Old, Settled and Reformed - Doug Wilson wonders where the young, restless, Reformed will be when they’re not so young anymore. “The young, restless and Reformed movement has all the hallmarks of the kind of thing we tend to do in waves. As a certified alumnus of the Jesus movement, I sometimes feel like I am living in Deja VuVille.”

The Love of God - A free MP3 of “The Love of God” by Redemption Hill Music.

I Am Second - Lecrae shares his testimony.

Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had. —Matthew Henry