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A La Carte

December 04, 2009
Hunting Tiger Woods
CJ Mahaney offers some wise words concerning the Tiger Woods situation. “Let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian’s response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.”
Cheaters and Tigers and Idiots
This article takes a much harsher line with Tiger. I certainly don’t endorse all the author says here, but I do think he gets right to the heart of things when he says, “At the end of the day, while 7th commandment violations may be their ‘sin du jour,’ I believe that the 1st commandment is where the whole deal gets started. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ These pathological narcissists break this commandment from the moment they get out of bed, because they have no functional understanding whatsoever that they are not God themselves.” This sin, like so many others, is first a violation of the 1st commandment.
The Vampire Attraction
Mary Kassian points to some interesting research on the Twilight phenomenon. “New research from the University of Missouri shows that the reason teenage girls have fallen hard for the Twilight book and film series has to do with its portrayal of a traditional, abstinent romantic relationship.”
Mormon Vampires
And while we’re on the subject of Twilight this article from Touchstone draws interesting connections between the stories and the Mormon faith of their author.
More on the Manhattan Declaration
Nicholas T. Batzig offers a useful perspective on the Manhattan Declaration. “Should we voice our opinions publically on these issues? Absolutely! Can we join with other Christians and make joint declarations? Certainly! We can also join with non-believers and make statements concerning life, marriage and religious freedom. Is it the work of the church to make such declarations? Perhaps. But let us beware of the dangers of joining forces with representatives of ecclesiastical bodies that have a different Gospel than the Gospel we have received.”
December 03, 2009
Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge
An interesting article here: “Shortly before the Manhattan Declaration came out I was very disappointed by a discovery I made at the back end of the second edition of J. I. Packer’s Rediscovering Holiness. This new edition contains an afterword entitled “Holiness in the Dark: The Case of Mother Teresa.” I scanned it quickly then, but did not make time to give it a thorough reading until this morning. Very disappointed is an understatement.”
Simeon Trust Toronto
On March 3-5 the Simeon Trust will lead workshops on biblical exposition at Bayview Glen Church in Toronto. The workshops will focus on apocalyptic portions of Scripture.

It Will Cost You Everything


Climategate
The Telegraph provides a roundup of the latest in the growing scandal surrounding climate change.
December 02, 2009
The Country Parson
Tim Keller: “Young pastors or seminarians often ask me for advice on what kind of early ministry experience to seek in order to best grow in skill and wisdom as a pastor. They often are surprised when I tell them to consider being a ‘country parson’ — namely, the solo pastor of a small church, many or most of which are in non-urban settings. Let me quickly emphasize the word ‘consider.’ I would never insist that everyone must follow this path. Nevertheless, it is worth thinking about. It was great for me.”
Free Audio Book
This month’s free audio book at ChristianAudio is The Brothers Karamazov. You and I both know you’d never read it, so why not download it and listen to it?
Google Zeitgeist 2009
Google maintains its annual tradition of releasing the year’s Zietgeist report. “Another year has come and gone, and as always, we’re taking a moment to look back at the happenings of 2009—the people, events and memories that made this year unique. Each year, we examine the billions of queries that people around the world have typed into Google search to discover the zeitgeist—the spirit of the times. As we welcome the new year, we hope you enjoy this glimpse at the past.”
Patriarch
WORLD has a profile on J.I. Packer. They break the news that in the future Packer may release a systematic theology.
NEXT 2010
NEXT has just released information about their 2010 conference (including the speaker list which, as always, is excellent).
December 01, 2009
An Interview with Michael Horton
Over at the Ligonier blog Burk Parsons is interviewing Michael Horton (who declares that he does not read any blogs—maybe that is the secret to his productivity). Part two of the interview reveals that Horton was only a teenager when he wrote the first version of Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, a long-time favorite book of mine.
The Esse of Reformed
Michael Haykin looks at what it means to be Reformed and whether Baptists can properly qualify.
The Costs of Medical Care
Thomas Sowell: “We are incessantly being told that the cost of medical care is “too high”— either absolutely or as a growing percentage of our incomes. But nothing that is being proposed by the government is likely to lower those costs, and much that is being proposed is almost certain to increase the costs.”
Tim Keller Wants to Save Your Yuppie Soul
The New Yorker has a feature on Tim Keller. “The evangelical Christian preacher says the secular holy trinity of money, ambition, and achievement is the root of all evil. So why are so many New Yorkers flocking to him?”
Pray for Matt Chandler
Keep Matt Chandler in your prayers: “I have a small mass In my frontal lobe,” Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas, wrote on his Twitter feed. “[I have a date] with the neurosurgeon early next week.”
November 30, 2009
Cyber Monday Today is “Cyber Monday,” the day that online retailers come up with deals to try to rival what brick-and-mortar retailers offer on Black Friday. Here are a few deals I noted this morning:

The big news at Amazon today is a great deal on the 8 GB iPod Touch. Today only it’s on sale for the lowest price you’re likely to see. Meanwhile they’ve got tons of other deals on a wide variety of products.

MLB.com is offering 20% off your entire order for today.

Christian Book Distributors has a long list of Christmas-themed products on sale.
Black Friday
Speaking of Black Friday, check out this photo essay of the pandemonium from last Friday. This reminds me why I prefer to shop online.
Eid al-Adha and the Hajj
And speaking of photo essays, The Big Picture offers one of this year’s Hajj and observance of Eid al-Adha.
Uncle Jay Explains
A little while ago a reader alerted me to Uncle Jay Explains. It’s since become one of my favorite Monday traditions.
Jake and USC
This will make you cry.
Nineteen questions for signers of “The Manhattan Declaration”
Dan Phillips has nineteen questions to ask the people who signed “The Manhattan Declaration.”
November 27, 2009

A special edition of A La Carte today, one geared toward trying to find the best Black Friday deals. Here are a few that I’ve scrounged up already at some of the places I shop at (I love me a good deal…):

Amazon Gold Box: Nuvi Garmin GPS
Amazon’s Gold Box deal today is the Garmin nüvi 285W/285WT 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic. It’s 48% off the retail price and just about $50 less than it was yesterday. Be sure to keep an eye on the Lightning Deals as well (on the same page).
Black Friday Music Sale
Amazon also has a lot of their music on sale today. There are plenty of all-day deals and a succession of Lightning Deals.
Black Friday @ Amazon
And finally, Amazon has a large list of Black Friday specials that you may want to look at. They range from DVDs and electronics to pots and pans. Again, some are all-day deals while others are Lightning Deals, available for only a short time. It’s probably worth checking in a couple of times over the day if you’re really hunting for bargains.
Deals @ Monergism Books
You can get 7% off at Monergism Books today if you spend over $25. Simply use the coupon code thanksgiving2009.
Black Friday @ Vision Video
Purchase $75 or more at Vision Video and save $25. Simply enter promotional code “BF4DAY” at step 4 of checkout and $25 will be deducted automatically. Vision Video has a huge variety of Christian DVDs.
Black Friday @ Reformation Heritage Books
RHB has quite a few good deals. They have cut prices on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Iain Murray, George Whitefield by Arnold Dallimore, Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges and Romans by R.C. Sproul (among others).
Black Friday @ CBD
CBD has specials spread throughout the site. Check “This Week’s Specials” at the top of the main page along with “Fab Friday” and “Red Hot Deals” in the middle of the page. You might also want to check out the “Current Promotions” button.
November 25, 2009
The Final Nail?
It is probably a bit too early for this, but we can hope. “If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet.”
Picture Show: Breach
“In the Spring of 2009, the photographer Richard Mosse traveled to Iraq, where he captured arresting images of U.S. soldiers working and living in what used to be palaces of Saddam Hussein. These visions of western soldiers at rest in imperial palaces are both intensely jarring and oddly playful, and they underscore the seemingly ineffable experience of downtime during a military occupation. The transformation of an imperial palace into a site of temporary housing also speaks to the notion that our histories are constantly being rewritten—architecturally, sociologically, globally, and locally.”
When Your Child is Disobedient
Z offers a list of 10 things to remember when your child is disobedient.
Deal of the Day
I’m keeping an eye on Amazon (and other sites) this week just because of all the deals. Today at Amazon you can get a LG Blu-ray player for under $100. That’s hard to beat! “Get superior audio performance and full HD 1080p output with the LG BD270 Blu-ray Disc Player. This Blu-ray player not only plays DVD discs, but Blu-ray Discs as well and it features an HDMI with Cinema mode and 7.1 channels with Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, and dts-HD.”
November 23, 2009
The World’s Children
This photoblog shows pictures of just a few of the world’s impoverished children. “Twenty years after the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, multitudes of children across the globe are still suffering from poverty, abuse and disease.”
Thanksgiving Giveaway
Monergism Books is sponsoring a Thanksgiving giveaway of some great resources. To enter the draw you need to fill out a short survey.
Commentary Giveaway
Speaking of giveaways, J.C. Ryle Quotes is giving away a set of Ryle’s commentaries on the gospels. Entering is simple so check the link to give it a shot.
Children Who Front Dawkins’ Campaign
“The two children chosen to front Richard Dawkins’s latest assault on God could not look more free of the misery he associates with religious baggage. With the slogan ‘Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself’, the youngsters with broad grins seem to be the perfect advertisement for the new atheism being promoted by Professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association. Except that they are about as far from atheism as it is possible to be. The Times can reveal that Charlotte, 8, and Ollie, 7, are from one of the country’s most devout Christian families.”
Useless Around the Home
According to this interesting article, “the trend of the female high achiever and the male slacker is a tall story that women tell each other to compensate for the fact that most career-orientated women feel an “overwhelming sense of guilt” over their role and less of a mother and a wife.”
Amazon Black Friday Deals
Amazon is doing a Black Friday Week this week. They are going to have a lot of deals offered over the course of every day of the week. Click the link, bookmark it, and return a few times if you’re interested in tracking down some deals.
Deal of the Day: Polk Soundbar
In terms of sheer dollars and cents, this is the best deal I’ve seen in Amazon’s Gold Box ($500 less than yesterday’s price). “Polk Audio SurroundBar 360-degree DVD Theater is a complete home entertainment system. It incorporates the enveloping sonic benefits of SurroundBar SDA technology and patented PowerPort bass venting technology with the convenience of a control console that is a DVD/CD player, amplifier, and an AM/FM radio.” I spent some time with one of these things once and they are pretty amazing.
November 20, 2009
Be the Church?
A long time ago I was part of a church that began to say “Don’t go to church; be the church.” Jeff Purswell has written an article showing why this is not good theology. “Now, despite the element of truth (God’s people are the church), there are all kinds of things wrong with this statement. But behind the words is obviously someone’s disappointment (and possibly disillusionment) with organized Christianity. And although I’d guess that many Christians would reject this false choice, their attitude to Sunday gatherings of the church may reveal a similar apathy.”
Praying Scripturally
Ligon Duncan is beginning what looks like an interesting series of blogs. It will deal with praying scripturally. “Few of us, probably, are satisfied with our private, family, and corporate prayer habits. And surely we all recognize that the Church of our day, at least in our land, is weak in the way of prayer. We do not pray often. We do not pray with Scriptural proportion, nor does our prayer much reflect the language and thought of the Bible. We do not pray fervently.”
The Personal Promise Bible
After a while I hardly even know what to say anymore. “Have you ever inserted your name as you read the Bible to make it more personal? Now you can experience the reality of God’s love and promises in a way you never thought possible. In the Personal Promise Bible, you will read your first name personalized in over 5,000 places throughout the New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, over 7,000 places throughout the complete Old and New Testaments.” So I could have a version of the Bible that translates 2 Peter 1:4, “By which He has granted to Tim His precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these Tim may become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
The Bible by Numbers: Multiples of Eleven
Just for fun, here is a list of significant numbers in the Bible, each of which is a multiple of eleven.
15 Google Interview Questions to Make You Feel Stupid
Here are the kinds of questions you might be asked if you try to get a job with Google…
November 19, 2009
Christians and Vampires
Oh boy. “Vamping Up: Christians Bite into Vampire Market” is a headline in Publishers Weekly’s Christians Bookline. Looks like Christians need their vampire fix, too.
Illustration Challenge
Lukas VanDyke, photographer extraordinaire, decided to take on a strange but cool little project. He read through the five most recent posts on my blog and then went out and snapped a photo related to each. You can check out the (pretty amazing) results at the link.
The Kindle in Canada
The Kindle finally comes to Canada. Strangely, though, it’s only for sale from amazon.com, not amazon.ca.
R. Crumb’s “Genesis”
Dr. Mohler writes about R. Crumb’s graphic novel retelling of Genesis. I spotted this in the store recently and was thinking about buying it. As luck would have it, when I flipped it open I was at the story of Lot and his daughters. That one page was enough to convince me that I wasn’t going to let my kids see the book!
Words and the Word of God
Mounce does what he does so well at Koinonia Blog. This week he discusses a little Greek word and asks what it tells us about verbal, plenary inspiration.
Eight Great Date Nights
There are some good ideas in this list. “Tired of the old dinner-and-a-movie routine, but not sure what else to do on your date nights? Try these eight ideas to get your creative juices flowing!”

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