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A La Carte

December 26, 2011

Thomas Jefferson’s Bible - Smithsonian magazine: “Thanks to an extensive restoration and conservation process, the public can now see how Jefferson cut and pasted his own version of the Scripture.”

TGC Ontario - There is a local Gospel Coalition event coming to Ontario. You’ll find some details at the Facebook page.

When I Don’t Desire God - You can get the audio book version of John Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God free until the end of the month. Also, you can get the Kindle version of Jerry Bridges’ Holiness Day by Day for free.

Matt Hammitt - Matt Hammitt was the subject of a story in a recent issue of USA Today. “Told that his unborn son had only half a heart and little chance to survive, the lead singer of the Christian rock band Sanctus Real began pouring his fears and doubts into music.”

How Luther Went Viral - This is an interesting look at the viral nature of the Reformation. “Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation.”

The Lord’s Day - Michael Horton writes about the Lord’s Day. “The key to a Christian use of the Lord’s Day is not drawing up a list of what can and cannot be done, but to give the whole day to basking in God’s Word, loading ourselves up with the treasures of Christ. Churches themselves are making this more difficult, as they trim down the public worship to a single service of an hour or so.”

The usual rule is that the more we really know the more conscious we are of the littleness of our knowledge. —C.H. Spurgeon

December 23, 2011

House sitters are in place. The dog has been taken to a kennel. The van is all gassed up. And we are on our way to Chattanooga, Tennessee to spend Christmas with my family. We made half the drive last night, getting as far as Dayton, Ohio. We’ve got 412 miles to go.

Here is an all-video A La Carte for you (just to be different):

Advancing the Gospel - I really appreciate the work done by Frontline Missions. Be sure to watch their new video introduction.

Australia - A friend sent me this—a little song telling you why you may want to visit Australia.

The Incarnation - Here is Odd Thomas with an excellent little spoken word piece all about the Incarnation.

Hallelujah Chorus - Here’s a fun version of the Hallelujah Chorus, done by Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat 5th Grade class in Quinhagak, Alaska. I bet you can’t pronounce most of that…

Christmas in a Nutshell - This is a good video.

Let us never forget that the message of the Bible is addressed primarily to the mind, to the understanding. —D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

December 22, 2011

I’ve got a couple more Kindle deals to mention. I apologize to those who do not have a Kindle; I know I keep mentioning deals like this. But I know people who have Kindles are finding these posts helpful. Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill is a very good book dealing with homosexuality ($1.99) and The Jesus Storybook Bible is a wonderful Bible storybook for children ($3.99). Finally, Michael Horton’s For Calvinism, a brand new book, is down to $4.99.

Song of Solomon - Carl Trueman writes about pastors who preach explicitly about sex from the pulpit. Where this article shines most, I think, is where it discusses the poetic nature of Song of Solomon. “The Bible’s refusal to reduce sex to physical acts is surely one of the reasons why it uses poetry to describe it.   Poetry communicates meaning and significance which cannot be reduced simply to the reference; and the turning of the Song of Songs primarily into a sex manual is arguably a greater act of reductionism than jumping straight from the text to Christ and the church.”

The Sacrament of Feminism - Frederica Mathewes-Green explains why abortion remains the sacrament of feminism. As a former feminist herself, her perspective really rings true. She argues that feminists sought to be equal to men with respect to having a career and having a promiscuous sex-life.

We Proclaim - Here is an album you can listen to for free online (or purchase). “The common theme among all the lyrics is the preeminence of Christ and His salvation. There’s a purposeful flow to the album that’s intended to take the listener on a ‘Christological journey’ of sorts, as one gazes at the profound and moving realities of all that their Redeemer is and has done.”

The Year in Pictures - Here is part 2 of The Big Picture’s roundup of the year in pictures.

The Local Bookstore - My friend Ian gives a different perspective on the local Christian bookstore.

Surprise Adoption - This is really sweet. You’ll probably cry when you see it. Back story is here.

Eternity will be too short to exhaust our learning of God or to end our enjoyment of him. —Peter Green

December 21, 2011

My book “The Next Story” has been reduced in price to $1.99 (Kindle edition). If you haven’t yet got a copy, this is your chance. Let me mention that quite a few people have written me to say, “I thought it was going to be kind of dry…but I actually found it helpful.” So don’t give up on it if you’ve assumed it’s only for technical people. I think there’s useful material there for all of us.

Praying For and With Your Wife - Brian Croft is on target with this article. “It might not surprise you if I told you that many Christian man struggle to pray for their wives with their wives. What might shock you is if I told you many Christian pastors struggle to pray for and with their wives. I’m not talking about praying with her and the family at meal time. I am talking about a pastor sitting down with his wife, with no kids or other distractions, looking her in the eyes, and asking how she is doing and how you can specifically pray for her.”

Stent Man - Mark Altrogge has put together a funny look at a recent medical procedure.

Missing $4,155? - That missing $4,155 went into your gas tank last year…

Terrifying Awesomeness - This Slate article looks at the newest Nerf guns which truly are amazing toys.

Farther Along - Christianity Today has given their album of the year award to Josh Garrels’ Love & War & The Sea Inbetween. You can download the whole album for free (legally!) from JoshGarrels.com.

The Hobbit - Here is the first trailer for The Hobbit, coming our way a year from now.

What a man is on his knees before God, that he is—and nothing more. —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

December 20, 2011

Havel & Jong-Il - Joe Carter penned an article for Gospel Coalition reflecting on the deaths of these two men. “The history books, judging by the standards of men, will record that Havel was a noble hero and Jong-il a wretched villain. They will be remembered on earth for the legacies they left behind. But both men now stand before the supreme magistrate who will measure them against the only truly righteous standard: Jesus Christ.”

Worship Music Criticism - “I am coming to the understanding that nit-picking at music and especially music that encourages us to offer praise and thanksgiving to God and reflect on his greatness can actually discourage the praise we are commended to offer. This motivates me to ask a few questions with regard to why we find it necessary to be over-critical of worship music, to the extent that it can appear to have no redeeming value.”

The Year in Pictures - Here is the year in pictures from The Big Picture. It was quite a year.

Trends that Will Impact Your Ministry - Drew Goodmanson has an interesting list of 3.0 trends that will impact your ministry in the near future.

Put no confidence in the mere fact that you hold to an orthodox faith, for a dead orthodoxy soon corrupts. —C.H. Spurgeon

December 19, 2011

Podcast Pastor - “When I am talking to young evangelicals, often who are in ministry, and I say, “Who has been really influential upon you in ministry and on learning to preach and to do the things of ministry?” ten years ago, most people would have given me the name of a local pastor who had mentored them and worked with them. Now they are mentioning a disembodied voice that they have heard on a podcast. That’s a very dangerous thing…”

Questioning Your Pastor - Mark Altrogge: “Help your pastor. Help him preach more accurately. Help him see how to lead and care for people better. Encourage him.  And if you have questions, feel free to ask.”

Denise Sproul - Pray for the Sproul family today. R.C. Sproul Jr’s wife Denise went to be with the Lord on Sunday. Grieving her death are R.C. Jr and their 8 children (age 2 up to age 18).

Accomplish More by Doing Less - Tony Schwartz offers some good and practical advice on accomplishing more by doing less.

White Christmas - Here is a gallery of some beautiful, snowy scenery.

He’s Here - From The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Knowing God is your single greatest privilege as a Christian. —Sinclair Ferguson

December 17, 2011

Tattoo Regrets - This is a really interesting article about the tattoo fad that has taken off in the past few years. “According to the Pew Research Center, more than 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo. Getting a tattoo, once the province of sailors rather than suburbanites, is so mainstream that tats are inked at the mall and seen on everyone from Middle American mothers to H Street hipsters to Hollywood starlets.” Not surprisingly, a lot of those people now have regrets.

50 Best Photos - The Big Picture’s 50 best photos from the natural world (taken in 2011, that is).

Getting Back in the Race - Christian Book Notes has a glowing review of Joel Beeke’s new book. “You can never go wrong with a resource by Joel Beeke even if you disagree with him on a specific doctrine. Getting Back in the Race is a book most Christians need to read but do not know it. Get a copy and see for yourself. I am grateful (as will you be) for Cruciform Press taking this next step as a publishing company and to do so with this particular title is excellent. I unreservedly recommend this book to all Christians.”

My Favorite Atheist - R.W. Glenn writes about Christopher Hitchens—his favorite atheist. 

Dribbble - This Dribbble account shows off some of Chris Koelle’s amazing art from the Revelation graphic novel he’s been working on.

Your Pastoral Life - Carl Trueman goes after Ed Young in this blog post.

Jesus, Joy of Highest Heaven - The Getty’s doing what they do.

Love is the queen of all the Christian graces.A.W. Pink

December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens Has Died - Douglas Wilson has a must-read obituary. “Christopher knew that faithful Christians believe that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that the Judgment. He knew that we believe what Jesus taught about the reality of damnation. He also knew that we believe—for I told him—that in this life, the door of repentance is always open. A wise Puritan once noted what we learn from the last-minute conversion of the thief on the cross—one, that no one might despair, but only one, that no one might presume.”

R.C. Sproul on John - Ligonier has the hardcover edition of R.C. Sproul’s commentary on John at just $5, today only (beginning at 8 AM). I do believe you can use the coupon code STORE15 to save another 15%.

5 Lessons I Learned Along the Way - “Years ago my wife surprised me with a direct question about my use of pornography. What followed that question is known in our marriage as ‘The Confession.’ The brutal truth of my long addiction came to light and a long, painful journey of healing began. As God has brought healing into my life, there are five key lessons I have learned, and each one has been crucial to my freedom.”

NeuYear - Yesterday we drew the winners of the NewYear calendar. For those who didn’t win, here is a coupon code that will save you 20% if you’d like to order one. Just use CHALLIES.

Homelessness - This is a really moving photo essay of homelessness around the world.

How We Googled - Google has their annual Zeitgeist, telling us what we googled in 2011. It’s a fascinating reflection of us. All of us.

In the order of creation, pleasures are meant to serve as pointers to God. —J.I. Packer