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A La Carte

October 10, 2011

Too Polite - This article from Gawker raises some important points about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs—things that other people are too polite to say. “Truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.”

Mormonism Isn’t a Cult? - Richard Mouw, writing for CNN, tries to explain how Mormonism is not a cult and that it may be a lot closer to evangelicalism than most people think. “My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction.” I hardly know what to say!

What’s So Great About Siri? - “Apple announced speech recognition for the next iPhone. Big deal. Android’s had it for more than a year. Apple is just playing ‘catch-up’ and the feature’s not really earth-shattering anyway. Right? Wrong. Everything in that opening paragraph is wrong, except the sentence that reads ‘big deal.’ Siri is a very big deal, the biggest of deals.”

Rightly Divided - When I was in Los Angeles I sat down with Lane Chaplin to do a video interview about a variety of issues.

7 Types of Creative Block - There is some useful advice here about overcoming writer’s block.

Landscapes - More amazing timelapse goodness. It’s full HD so you can full screen it and enjoy it.

Reproofs should be as oils or ointments, gently rubbed in by the warm fire of love. —George Swinnock

October 08, 2011

Small World Photomicography - “The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope.”

Humble Pie - James MacDonald writes more about The Elephant Room. I’m glad to see that Mark Dever has taken himself off the roster of speakers.

Epic Tech Fails - How many of these do you remember?

Mohler on Driscoll - David Murray posts an interesting excerpt from a Q&A with Al Mohler. “Mohler was asked a question that concerns many pastors: ‘I work with college students…and one of the big influences on their lives right now is Mark Driscoll. What do you think the effects of sitting under Driscoll on Youtube or on his website, and what kind of things do I need to be prepared for ministering to college students listening to his teaching?’”

A Sample Prayer Plan - Worth reading: “I drafted a sample prayer plan some time ago to add structure to my own personal worship times. I’d like to share it with you, dear Cripplegate readers, not as something to be rigidly followed, but as a suggestion to help get you into—or back into—a thriving, regular, consistent time of worship and communion with God in prayer.”

Bloodlines - “Pastor John’s newest book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, is now available. Earlier this year Crossway traveled with Pastor John to his hometown of Greenville, SC to revisit the world in which he grew up. This 18-minute documentary takes us through his experience of racism in the 1960’s American South.”

Sex involves the entire life and personality, and to misuse sex is to abuse oneself as well as one’s partner. —Harold P. Wells

October 07, 2011

I am down in Dallas, TX for the day. Or Fort Worth. Or Keller or something like that. Frankly I don’t know where I am. But I know why I’m here—to speak at a Psalm 119 conference. Unfortunately I can only be here for the first day of the conference as I’ve got a wedding to attend tomorrow. So if you’re at the conference, be sure to say “hello” today.

Marrying Cohabiting Couples - CT asks a range of pastors and other people if they would perform a marriage for a cohabiting couple. The responses are really quite interesting (and varied).

Steve Jobs - Writing for The Gospel Coalition, John Dyer writes about the life and impact of Steve Jobs. “His death represents the end of the first era of computing when, under his guidance, the computer went from a thing nerds built in their garage to a friend everyone carries in their pocket. Sometimes called the Leonardo Da Vinci of our times, he made the computer personal, the phone smart, and the mouse magical.”

Jobs, Abortion, Adoption - This article looks at Steve Jobs and then wonders how many Steve Jobs have been lost to abortion. 

$5 Friday - Ligonier is offering a couple of books at just $5 today. The best of the bunch is Sinclair Ferguson’s In Christ Alone. Richard Philip’s Jesus the Evangelist is also available in ebook formats.

C.S. Lewis, Patron Saint - Andy Naselli summarizes an essay by Phil Ryken who suggests that C.S. Lewis is the patron saint of American evangelicalism. Ryken gives several reasons that Lewis is so popular among American evangelicals which are really, really interesting.

What I Learned in 2 Years - I enjoyed this husband’s reflections on what he has learned from his wife in just 2 years of marriage. Imagine what he will have learned in another 10 or 20!

The right manner of growth is to grow less in one’s own eyes. —Thomas Watson

October 06, 2011

William Tyndale - Glen remembers the death of William Tyndale. “This year I have marvelled at the beauty of so many ‘King James phrases’.  Yet on closer examination the great majority turn out to be Tyndale phrases.  Only around 20 of the 365 phrases I have been considering this year are original to the King James Bible.  And Tyndale has provided the bulk of the rest.”

Kicking and Screaming - Al Mohler reflects on Piers Morgan’s interview with Joel Osteen. Suffice it to say that he’s not a fan.

Tiger Woods - What a fascinating chart.

Why I Dumped My iPhone - These are some good reflections on what the iPhone adds to life and what it takes away.

10 Ways Steve Jobs Changed the World - Love him or hate him, he has certainly left his mark on the world he’s now left behind. Speaking of Jobs, here’s a tweet from the Phelps family announcing that they’ll be picketing his funeral. Take a look at how that tweet was produced.

The real horror of being outside of Christ is that there is no shelter from the wrath of God. —Eric Alexander

October 05, 2011

3 Rules for Polemics - Tim Keller offers some sound counsel on publishing polemics. I believe this is an urgent issue in our digital age because polemics have the ability to go so wide so fast. We’ve got to get this stuff right!

A Tale of 4 Alcorns - Some light-hearted but enjoyable fare from Randy Alcorn.

A Purpose in the Pain - Every month Tabletalk magazine features an interview. This month that interview is with Joni Eareckson Tada. 

The Hunger Hoax - I always enjoy it when Thomas Sowell goes at an issue and offers a voice of reason (even if it’s a kind of frustrated and angry voice of reason). In his latest column he goes after the hunger myth. “We have now reached the point where the great majority of the people living below the official poverty level have such things as air conditioning, microwave ovens, either videocassette recorders or DVD players, and either cars or trucks.”

A Day Off? - Should a pastor have a day off? Seems like an obvious question, but not everyone believes it.

Lion Cub - Fun photos of a mother lion rescuing her cub.

You Must Be Born Again - A few days ago I mentioned that in Ray Comfort’s new film 180 the gospel is incomplete. David does a good job of explaining. (Note that this is a minor quibble—it doesn’t mean that the video is bad or that I don’t recommend it).

Hurricane Irene - I found this an interesting, every man’s perspective on the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

There is nothing destroyed by sanctification but that which would destroy us. —William Jenkyn

October 04, 2011

Sin Is Cosmic Treason - Resurgence offers an article from R.C. Sproul on the treasonous nature of sin. Speaking personally, understanding sin as a form of treason (the greatest form of treason) has been very helpful in my understanding of human depravity.

Double and Dangerous - Nathan Bingham, a self-proclaimed geek who loves gadgets, compares what Tim Keller says about idolatry in the big picture to what I say about it (in The Next Story) as it relates to technology.

Manipulating a Profession of Faith - Andy Naselli looks to an old book and what it prescribes for leading people to make professions of faith.

50 Greatest Moments - The greatest moment in playoff history was actually given only the #2 spot. If this had been any American team, it would be #1.

A Depressing Report on Depression - David Murray summarizes a new report. 

100 for $5 - Amazon has 100 albums on sale for just $5 each. There’s a lot of junk, but some good ones as well (like The Heat by Needtobreathe—one of my favorites).

Clarity from Piper - Paul Martin shares a brief excerpt from one of Piper’s biographies that provides a reminder that the truth of biblical language must be vigorously protected with non-biblical language.

Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years. —C.H. Spurgeon

October 03, 2011

Collateral Damage - Thabiti Anyabwile has written a very strong article on James MacDonald inviting T.D. Jakes to speak at The Elephant Room. “This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren.  This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad.  This invitation gives a platform to a heretic.  It’s imprudent and counter-productive–witness already the Trinity-related confusions and obfuscations happening since announcing Jakes’ involvement.” Carl Trueman also writes more about the controversy.

Desktop Wallpapers - In case you missed it on the weekend, here is this month’s roundup of free desktop wallpaper calendars.

Think - John Piper’s book Think is this month’s free audio book from ChristianAudio.

The Home Advantage - An infographic about homeschooling.

You Love Your iPhone - “With Apple widely expected to release its iPhone 5 on Tuesday, Apple addicts across the world are getting ready for their latest fix. But should we really characterize the intense consumer devotion to the iPhone as an addiction? A recent experiment that I carried out using neuroimaging technology suggests that drug-related terms like ‘addiction’ and ‘fix’ aren’t as scientifically accurate as a word we use to describe our most cherished personal relationships. That word is ‘love.’”

Dividing the Load - Brian Croft writes about dividing the ministry load between paid and unpaid elders. Practical advice for ministry leaders.

Tearjerker Alert - Sloan Churman, 29, was born deaf and had never heard the sound of her own voice—until last week.

Let God have your life; he can do more with it than you can. —D.L. Moody

September 30, 2011

A Night of Twists and Collapses - “In a spellbinding frenzy of baseball at its unpredictable, unforgiving best, a labyrinth of twists took place across 4 hours 55 minutes at ballparks in Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Houston. Only one game was tidy — the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-0 victory over the Houston Astros. In each of the other games, a team lost the lead with two outs in the ninth inning, and never got it back.”

$5 Friday - Ligonier has a couple of good deals in this week’s $5 Friday, including books by Steven Lawson and Thomas Foxcroft.

Nothing Like the Church - I really enjoyed this article from the October issue of Tabletalk. “We must remember that there is but one institution in this world that will also exist in the world to come. It is not one’s country; it is not even one’s family. It is the church of God.”

Innocent Blood - Aaron Armstrong reviews John Ensor’s new book Innocent Blood, concluding “Innocent Blood is perhaps the most personally convicting and challenging book I’ve read this year—so much so that I’m still wrestling with what needs to change, of what I need to repent and how to move forward. You will not enjoy reading this book, but you would do well to do so.”

The Time is Ripe - Randy Alcorn says that the time is ripe for Courageous, which opens today at theatres everywhere.

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls - Just like the title says, you can view digitized versions of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The New World Trade Center - “Piranha was commissioned by Silverstein Properties to create a short film depicting the completion of The New World Trade Center site.”

This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection but the preparation for it. —Richard Baxter