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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

October 08, 2009
7 Reasons I Love Youth Ministry
Austin Duncan (of Grace Community Church) offers seven reasons that he loves youth ministry.
By Thy Mercy
Indelible Grace Music has a new CD out. It is called By Thy Mercy and, like all of the Indelible Grace albums, features a selection of hymns set to new melodies. (If you want the physical CD, you can get it here. It includes two bonus tracks). (HT:Z)
Save the Children
Christopher Hitchens pens a good article about the Roman Polanski scandal. “The word tragedy has also been employed recently in the same sentence as the name Roman Polanski. In his case, it seems to me fractionally more justified. Polanski directed various tragedies on-screen and was also the victim of some hellish misfortunes in his own life. The media now say tragedy when they mean that bad things have happened to good or—even worse—famous people.”
One Man’s Faithful Service
Randy Alcorn posts a great testimony of one man’s faithfulness. (Question: I’ve heard this one before and have wondered if its perhaps apocryphal. I don’t have any good reason to doubt its authenticity, I suppose, but sometimes I do wonder about stories like this one. Does anyone know if its been verified?).
Engaging Culture with Michael Flaherty
Last spring Micheal Flaherty, President of Walden Media, visited Asbury College as part of its Engaging Culture weekend. Devin Brown interviewed him about his mission, his involvement in the Narnia films, etc.
October 07, 2009
Thinking About the Kingdom
Kevin DeYoung has been thinking and preaching about the kingdom. This is an important point of theology and one that has far-reaching implications. Here he offers just a few thinking-points that will help orient you.
Great Expectations
Mike Gilbart-Smith writes about pastors wives. “As someone who made his greatest ever decision in his life (that wasn’t effected by irresistible grace - though she’s pretty irresistible) in asking Hannah to marry me, let me give unmarried (would-be-)pastors some tips on looking for a woman who will make an exceptional pastor’s wife.”
What if Oil Weren’t Priced in Dollars?
Here is TIME’s optimistic take on what would happen if oil was no longer priced in dollars.
Paul David Tripp Audio
Sojourn Church is offering audio of a recent conference that featured Paul David Tripp. Everything is available for download.
October 06, 2009
Cash for Clunkers Fails to Help
Common sense dictated this would happen but it’s still worth reading why it failed. After all, there’s an important economic lesson in it. “In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices. The people who really belong in the junk yard are the wizards in Washington who peddled this economic malarkey.”
Letterman and the Gospel
Russell Moore: “If you pay a little attention right now to David Letterman, you could learn something critical about carrying the gospel to your neighbors, and to yourself.”
How To Be a Book Critic
“You spend all that time, years maybe, writing a book, and what does someone do? Gives it to a book reviewer. Or worse, a critic. Writers, take heart. Samuel Johnson understands, and speaks for you. Celebrating Johnson’s tercentenary, Harvard University Press has just published a fine edition of his “Selected Writings,” edited by Peter Martin. In an essay for the “Idler,” Dr. Johnson expounded on what it takes to be a book critic…”
Young Married Life
Young Married Life is a new blog courtesy of Focus on the Family and the people of Boundless Magazine.
Double-Tongued Deacons
Mounce looks at 2 Timothy 3:8 and turns it into a very interesting discussion of different Bible translation philosophies. Academics take note: Mounce does a superb job, week after week, of showing the average schmoe like myself why we need academics. If you want to start a blog as an academic, consider modeling after what Mounce does.
October 05, 2009
The Most Wholesome Family on TV
BeliefNet has quite a long interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. “Michelle and Jim Bob, who will be renewing their wedding vows on the TLC special “20 Years, 20 Duggars” on October 8th, recently spoke to Beliefnet Entertainment Editor Dena Ross about possible names for their new baby, how they keep their marriage alive, what they say to their critics, and why they won’t allow their faith edited out of the show.”
Christian Rap with Dever
From IX Marks: “Are ‘Christian’ and ‘rap’ mutually exclusive? Hardly. Shai Linne and Voice explain hip hop culture, rap music’s potential for the gospel, and why rap can’t replace preaching.”
Morality, Hollywood Style
Dr. Mohler writes about the Roman Polanski case. “Are art and artists above moral accountability? The Hollywood elite seem to believe so — and even to be willing to lend their names to the defense of the morally indefensible. Is the celebrity above the law? Watch this case closely.”
Carson on Being Homesick for Heaven
Here is an excellent clip of D. A. Carson answering a question on the kingdom of God and bringing it down to some sobering realities.
Deal of the Day: Westminster Confession
Today at Monergism Books you can get 50% off the retail price of the Westminster Confession of Faith (Hardcover). Use coupon wcf2009 at check out. Limit one per customer, valid until Tuesday Oct 6th.
October 02, 2009
Performance Artist
Phil Johnson on Rob Bell on the word “Evangelical”: “In fact, listen to Bell’s own cockamamie claim about what the term properly describes: ‘I embrace the term evangelical, if by that we mean a belief that we together can actually work for change in the world, caring for the environment, extending to the poor generosity and kindness, a hopeful outlook. That’s a beautiful sort of thing.’”
Public Outbursts
The LA Times looks into the glut of public outbursts we’ve seen recently—Serena Williams, Kanye West, Joe Wilson, etc.
Deep Church
Kevin DeYoung offers a review of this book which seeks to find a third way beyond (between?) emerging and traditional.
The Baseball Call of the Year
Here’s one for the baseball fans.
Christians and Tithing
Randy Alcorn looks at the issue of tithing. “Christ fulfilled the entire Old Testament, but he didn’t render it irrelevant. Old Testament legislation demonstrated how to love my neighbor. Although the specific regulations don’t all apply, the principles certainly do, and many of the guidelines are still as helpful as ever.”
October 01, 2009
An Interview with Keith Mathison
Burk Parsons has a really interesting two-part interview with Keith Mathison. You can check out the first part of it here.
Faith Beyond Belief
This series of talks may be of interest to Calgarians. “The series is meant to challenge our thinking about the Christian faith and to equip Christians to be able to explain their faith more clearly to others. The talks are not a set of lectures on the newest evangelism techniques. Neither are they going to cover new projects that Christians can do to prove to our neighbours how much we love them.”
Miracle in Franklin
Z shares a great little video.
The Next Culture War
This NYT op-ed is worth the read. David Brooks writes about the morality of debt, both personal and national. “Our current cultural politics are organized by the obsolete culture war, which has put secular liberals on one side and religious conservatives on the other. But the slide in economic morality afflicted Red and Blue America equally. ”
The History of Browsers
This, a graphic showing the history of the web browser, may appeal to your inner geek.
Christians and Politics
David Porter is writing a series of posts taken from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Sunday school class at Scottsdale Bible Church. “In this class, Dr. Grudem is taking us through his forthcoming book: Politics: According to the Bible.”
September 30, 2009
Reel Discernment
I’m really enjoying Focus on the Family’s new feature “Reel Discernment. This week “hosts Bob Waliszewski and Cheryl Wilhelmi discuss new releases Fame, Surrogates, and Bright Star, as well as new DVD release X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Dan Brown’s Errors
“Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, says that his books, while fictional, are grounded in fact. We look at 50 of his claims. ”
U2’s Tour
This article about U2’s current world tour has some incredible information in it. “Whether we’re playing or not, the overhead is about $750,000 daily. That’s just to have the crew on payroll, to rent the trucks, all that. There’s about 200 trucks. Each stage is 37 trucks, so you’re up to nearly 120 there. And then the universal production is another 50-odd trucks, and there are merchandise trucks and catering trucks.”
September 28, 2009
The Universe of Electronic Books
E-books are all the rage today. The people at Techflash have “mapped out the known universe of e-books — spanning content, devices, mobile apps, wireless providers, acquisitions, and more.”
Through the Gyre
You may have heard of the massive patch of plastic floating around in the Pacific Ocean. Here’s an interesting infographic telling what it is, how it got to be there, and the potential danger it poses.
Desiring God Conference Audio
The annual Desiring God National Conference has wrapped up. Lots of audio resources are available at the DG site.
Deal of the Day: Gospel Driven Life
Today only you can get 50% off the retail price of Michael Horton’s brand new book The Gospel-Driven Life. Use the coupon - gospeldriven - at checkout. Limit one per customer.
September 25, 2009
Photos That Make You Say ‘Wow’
Here is a roundup of some of the winners in the inaugural British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Toronto Pastors Fellowship
Monday marks the season’s first Toronto Pastors Fellowship. If you are a Toronto-area pastor, you will want to check it out.
The United States’ Credit Score
‘Loans and Credit’ figures out the US’ credit score based on FICO criteria. Things aren’t looking particularly good.
My Church or Kingdom?
Ray Ortlund: Suppose I said, “My passion isn’t to build up my marriage. My passion is for Marriage. I want the institution of Marriage to be revered again. I’ll work for that. I’ll pray for that. I’ll sacrifice for that. But don’t expect me to hunker down in the humble daily realities of building a great marriage with my wife Jani. I’m aiming at something grander.”
Why You Should Learn Biblical Languages
Here are a couple of video clips in which Westminster Seminary professor Elizabeth Groves explains why learning the biblical languages is so important.
September 24, 2009
I Do Not Permit…
There are some people who have the ability to so easily and succinctly refute an argument. D.A. Carson does that in this short video clip which deals with Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2 where he says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man…”
The Pharmaceutical Umbrella
This article, a very interesting one, shows how the whole world benefits from America’s free market health care system. “Imagine that it’s 1962, the hottest point of the Cold War, and that you’re reading a report comparing two countries’ strategies for resisting the Soviet menace. The United States, the report points out, spends billions of dollars a year on troops, tanks, warships, and missiles, while France spends a tiny fraction of that. Nevertheless, France and America are both unscathed by Soviet bombs. Therefore, the report concludes, France’s Cold War strategy is far more efficient than America’s.”
Ed Stetzer Interview
I enjoyed reading this brief interview with Ed Stetzer in which he speaks about technology, the future of seminaries, family life and higher education.
Microsoft’s Tablet
Speaking of technology, I’m loving all the talk today about tablets. I can see a device like this one playing a very important role in my life in the near future (though here’s hoping that Apple delivers something even better).

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