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A La Carte

September 29, 2011

In case you missed it, Amazon announced yesterday that they will be going head-to-head with Apple in the tablet market. That kind of competition can only be good for us, the consumers. Amazon will be releasing new Kindles (as low as $79) and a new tablet in November. If you’re at all interested, you’d do well to order now to preserve your place in line. Demand will be through the roof. Click here to order or learn more.

Amazon Takes on Apple - On that note, “Let’s start with the bottom line: Amazon’s announcements this morning were the most important in the gadget world since Apple announced the iPad on January 27, 2010. With the announcement of a $79 regular Kindle, $99 touch-enabled Kindle, and $199 Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon set itself up for a Christmas clash with Apple’s iOS juggernaut. While many tablet contenders have come at Apple, few can throw as many punches as Amazon.”

Nicene Christianity - Carl Trueman looks at James MacDonald’s claim that T.D. Jakes’ trinitarian theology is essentially orthodox.

Preaching Notes - Josh Harris is doing another round of preaching notes blog posts (in which he shares the preaching notes of various pastors). Up first is Steven Lawson.

Too Much - A photo gallery from The Big Picture. “Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010.”

Consuming Technology - I’ve seen this too: “I was at a conference recently where often, when there was a break, the participants tended not to get up, stretch, get a cup of coffee, chat with those nearby or even go to the bathroom. Instead they sat there. They were not mesmerized by the presentation they had just heard. They were mesmerized by their screens—handheld or laptop—checking email, tweets, Facebook, news feeds and more.”

Knowledge without humility is vanity. —A.W. Tozer

September 28, 2011

The ‘Religious People’ Boogeyman - This is a fantastic response to some of the discussion surrounding Perry Noble. “ ‘Pharisee,’ ‘legalist,’ ‘religious person’ is the church version of racist or Nazi. It is the rhetorical nuclear option specifically designed to shut up anyone with questions and paint them among their brothers and sisters as graceless jerks. But I think it actually works the other way around…”

Multi-Site Is from Satan - Thabiti Anyabwile offers a tongue-in-cheek title but a serious article about some of the drawbacks to the multi-site model of doing church.

Iranian Pastor May Be Executed - “This seems a huge story to me, but has been ignored by all but conservative media outlets. Apparently, an Iranian pastor may soon be executed for apostasy because he refuses to recant his Christian faith.”

The Perseus Collection - Logos has announced that they are giving away 1,500 free books to whoever cares to download them. “The Perseus Collections are focused primarily on Greek and Latin classics, like Aristotle and Plato. They also cover the history, literature, philosophy, and culture of the Greco-Roman world—important contextual sources for biblical scholars.”

Why Can’t I Own Canadians? - Michael Horton writes a response to an open letter written to Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Long story. Just read it.

Lost - John Piper speaks.

The godly have some good in them, therefore the devil afflicts them; and some evil in them, therefore God afflicts them. —Thomas Watson

September 27, 2011

Unpragmatic Pragmatism - Bob Glenn: “If it works to achieve our ends, then it’s right. The logic goes like this: We want more people to hear the gospel. People will only come to hear the gospel if you dress up like a Transformer or ride a white horse. Therefore, dressing up like Bumblebee or becoming Will Rogers is a perfectly legitimate way of doing church.”

180 - 180 is a new documentary from Ray Comfort. Just 33 minutes long, it’s worth watching. Comfort does battle with moral relativism on the issue of abortion. (On the critique side, I sure wish he did a better job of getting to the gospel)

Galatians and Gospel - This is kind of a neat post from Thabiti Anyabwile. You’ll just have to read it because I can’t quite explain it.

The Lost Girls - “China’s One-Child policy is an epic disaster. Why does it have so many cheerleaders?This grisly reality is behind the Associated Press’s happy talk about China being a paradise for girls. The relative scarcity of girls has meant that women are prized and treated exceptionally well by parents, who can devote all their resources to them, and suitors who want to marry them. Things really are great for Chinese girls—if they survive until birth.” (HT)

Is the Reformation Nearly Over? - Carl Trueman: “Medieval Catholics liked to obtain the body, or even just a fragment, of a saint for their church building in order to make it an authentic church, or a better church than the one in the neighbouring town (see. the undignified fight for the corpse of St. Anthony of Padua; today we need a virtual piece of a famous preacher in our locale to have access to the magic.”

No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. —Charles Spurgeon

September 26, 2011

eBooks and Reading - Here’s an interesting ramification of the move to ebooks: “If the transition to eBooks is complete — and with libraries being among the most significant buyers of books, it now seems inevitable — the flexibility of book ownership will be gone forever. Knowledge, in as much as books represent it, will belong to someone else.”

Incredible Eyes - Here are some amazing photographs of eyes. Yes, eyes. And not just human eyes, either.

Google Ruins Memory - “If you think your memory has fallen off a cliff over the past ten years or so, it might not be memory loss due to aging. It might be due to the way Google restructures how our brains archive knowledge.”

Broader Interests - Ed Stetzer writes about pastors who give up pastoring a local church to dedicate their time to broader interests (like writing and speaking).

The X-Factor - The doctors advised Pamela Cook to abort her baby when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She refused. See the rest of her story above.

[Believers] have joy and comfort—that joy that angels cannot give, and devils cannot take. —Christopher Fowler

September 23, 2011

Rob Bell Moves On - Mars Hill has just announced that Rob Bell will be leaving. “Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.”

In-Vitro - This is quite an interesting article from Canada’s National Post. “What the IVF industry is doing is creating a population of sick babies … that is impacting all society,”

What Cohabitation Does for Marriage - “But how wise of an idea is cohabitation? Is there a track record to examine? These are critical questions to ask because many millions of people are doing it and in dramatically increasing numbers. Well, the good news is we don’t have to wonder about strong, reliable answers to those questions.”

Sunday Matches - Great story! “Devout Christian Euan Murray has questioned the need for Rugby World Cup matches to be played on Sundays. The Glasgow-born prop, 31, has chosen to prioritise his faith this weekend, meaning he will miss Scotland’s Pool B clash with Argentina on Sunday.”

5 Internet Monitoring Approaches - Luke Gilkerson offers 5 approaches to monitoring Internet use in the family.

500 Years of Female Portraits - “’500 Years Of Female Portraits In Western Art’ is intriguing in its ability to trace how representations of women have changed throughout art’s history. Watch as Johnson delicately weaves together famous portraits to show what traits and characterisitcs of the female figure have been deemed ‘ideal’ from epoch to epoch.” (HT:Phil Johnson)

He may look on death with joy who can look on forgiveness with faith. —Thomas Watson

September 22, 2011

Kids, Meet World - “Fear is probably the most commonly used parenting model among Christians. While it is wrongheaded, I certainly understand why parents fret over their children. I have children and I don’t want them to rebel against God or reject Him in any way. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that I think daily about the faith/fear tension in my heart when it comes to parenting my kids.”

Church in a Tech Society - This is a thought-provoking article: “Whatever our reasons for using technology, we must make a deal. We must sign a contract with technology. Technology wants efficiency, and if we agree to its terms, we can use it for whatever goals we have. But technology’s methods alter our own practices and in the process often transform our goals.”

Forever - Westminster Books has a great sale on the new book by Paul David Tripp. They’ve got a few other items on sale as well. Meanwhile, CVBBS is also having a site-wide sale.

Who Pays for Your Spouse’s Sin? - I believe I may have linked to this article in the past, but I find it well worth another read. Even the title is worth pondering. Who pays for your spouse’s sin? Your spouse, or Jesus Christ?

Quotes - Here is a round-up of some of the best Christian quote sites.

Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests. Look beyond the rod to the All-wise hand that wields it!A.W. Pink

September 21, 2011

The Most Dangerous Person at Your Church - “Sure, we all can spot the unbeliever who doesn’t fluently speak the language of Zion, we can identify the person from doctrinally anemic backgrounds because they keep cutting themselves with the sharp knives in the theology drawer, and of course any Calvinist can sniff out an Arminian within 20 seconds. But I submit that these types of people are not the most dangerous people that attend your church. At least, they are not in my experience.”

Questions for Better Care - “People often fail to ask their doctors questions that could lead to fewer medical errors and better outcomes—and doctors don’t routinely encourage them to do so. That’s despite years of efforts to improve doctor-patient communication.”

White Pass & Yukon - This is an amazing photo gallery from the White Pass & Yukon Railroad.

How You Spend Your Day - The American Time Use Survey asks thousands of American residents to recall every minute of a day. Here is how people over age 15 spent their time in 2008…

Overcoming Sexual Sin - Bob Kellemen shows how Jesus dealt with sexual sin not as an addiction but as a worship disorder.

Family Worship - Reformation Heritage Books has several titles on sale that deal with family worship.

A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles. —Samuel Chadwick

September 20, 2011

6 Reasons to Be a Faithful Member of a Local Church - “It is our conviction that every Christian should be an active member of a Bible-teaching local church. As believers in Christ, we are members of His body and must discipline ourselves to be actively involved in ministry as a way of life. Here are some specific reasons why you should be a committed member of a solid, Bible-teaching local church.”

Funniest Analogies - These will make you laugh. This is probably my favorite: “Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.”

Was Paul Married? - Here is Bill Mounce’s Greek-centric take on whether the Apostle Paul was at one time a married man.

Augustine and Pelagianism - Monergism is offering Warfield’s Augustine & The Pelagian Controversy as a free download.

What Books Should All Christians Read? - It’s a good list, I’m sure. But most of us aren’t smart enough to ever read those books.

The Cosmonaut - I enjoyed this short film, though I’m not sure that I really got it. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God. —John Owen