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A La Carte

June 22, 2012

St. Andrews Hymns - I’ve been enjoying this new album of reimagined hymns. You can listen to the whole thing at the site. There are a few well-known ones, and a few that you may not have sung before. (lyrics are here)

Is Obama a Christian? - Owen Strachan writes about how Christians might think about the Gospel and the President, suggesting that there is little evidence that he is a Christian. Another writer responds and disagrees.

$5 Friday - This week’s $5 Friday at Ligonier is a good one. There’s a Sinclair Ferguson book for $5 (in hardcover, even) and several R.C. Sproul teaching series.

The 2012 SBC Convention - Al Mohler shares some reflections on the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention. From what I’ve been reading, it seems like it was a particularly noteworthy event.

Acknowledging Daily Mercies - Part of the joy of doing Reading Classics Together is in seeing how other people respond to the books we read. Here’s a reflection I enjoyed on a chapter in The Hidden Life of Prayer.

Aging Biblically - Here’s a word from Francis Chan on aging biblically. This is an urgent issue when you consider that the people who watch the most television (something like 7.5 hours a day!) are those 65 and older. Too few people use their later years well.

Stop Stealing from Your Children - “There’s a crime wave going on in your neighborhood—possibly even in your own home. It’s a crime wave that won’t make it to the nightly news, but not because it isn’t serious, for it scars generations and teaches them to commit the same crime.”

Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world. —Francis Schaeffer

June 21, 2012

Why I Love Marilynne Robinson - In The New Yorker, Mark O’Connell writes about his love for Marilynne Robinson’s novels. “When I say that I love Marilynne Robinson’s work, I’m not talking about half of it; I’m talking about every word of it.” (Here’s my review of Gilead)

McDonald’s Photo Shoot - Why does the picture of a Big Mac always look so much better than the Big Mac you get from the store? This short video explains it all.

The Curse of Motivational Speaking - Conrad Mbewe, speaking of an occasional visitor to his church, says, “On this visit, he asked that I help him to overcome a failure in his life, and it was a failure to progress. He said that his greatest problem is that he does not believe in himself. Could I help him believe in himself so that he could become successful?”

Data Per Minute - This infographic shows just how much data we are creating every minute of every day. Example: in one minute there are 2,000,000 Google searches, 48 hours worth of YouTube uploads, and 204,000,000 email sent.

Bible Memorization - Here is a veritable smorgasbord of tips about how to memorize Scripture, whether long or short passages.

West Coast Conference - “On June 8–9, more than 3,000 saints gathered in Seattle to stand firm for the central doctrines of the Christian faith. Drs. Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, and R.C. Sproul boldly proclaimed the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, the exclusivity of Christ, justification by faith alone, the mortification of sin, and the existence of God.” The messages are now available online.

I tell you our strength, whenever we have any, is our greatest weakness, and our fancied wisdom is our real folly. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 20, 2012

Steve Saint: The Next Chapter - Steve Saint was recently in a bad accident and may now be permanently paralyzed. Randy Alcorn shares a video from Steve’s hospital bed. You can read details of the accident here.

TGC Women’s Conference - You can watch the Gospel Coalition women’s event live online starting Friday at noon.

The All-Sufficiency of Christ - For the rap fan, here’s a new, free track from Timothy Brindle. He speaks of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. On a similar note, you may enjoy this article from Christianity Today (PDF).

Our Eugenic Past and Future - Here’s an article from the New York Times that traces our eugenic past and future. “Having left behind pseudoscientific racial theories, it’s easy for us to look back and pass judgment on yesterday’s eugenicists. It’s harder to acknowledge what we have in common with them. First, a relentless desire for mastery and control, not only over our own lives but over the very marrow and sinew of generations yet unborn. And second, a belief in our own fundamental goodness, no matter to what ends our mastery is turned.”

And What Remains - I enjoyed this short film, though I kept hoping for a good, gospel punch!

Libraries, Studies, Writing Rooms - The Art of Manliness has a gallery of the libraries, studies and writing rooms of famous authors.

A Little World Made Cunningly - We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made. And that includes being indwelt (or ondwelt) by a myriad of other fearfully and wonderfully made little creatures. “The ancients talked about the human body as a microcosm, as a little world.  Now scientists have shown just how true that is, how each of us is a world with millions of inhabitants.”

We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.A.W. Tozer

June 19, 2012


New Commentary Series - Danny Akin just announced a new series of expositional commentaries and several of them look like great fits—Mark Dever with 1 Peter, Al Mohler with Hebrews, Russell Moore with Genesis, Thabiti Anyabwile with Luke, etc. I’m not so sure about Francis Chan in James, but I’m willing to keep an open mind! This series certainly has the celebrity factor going for it.

The Gospel According to Prometheus - Thabiti Anyabwile has an interesting look at the new film Prometheus. “Here’s a movie that puts the question of origin and God’s existence center stage–perfect for an outing with that neighbor or friend that does not yet believe in the Lord.”

Profile of an Abuser - “In his book, Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse, Steven R. Tracy identified four general characteristics of abusers. If we hope to protect our children and society from abusers,  we need to be aware of the traits that make up the profile of an abuser.”

Google Taking Over - Here’s a quick, visual take on how much room Google now takes up in its search results.

Short-Term Missions - “Contrary to popular belief, most missions trips and service projects do not: empower those being served, engender healthy cross-cultural relationships, improve quality of live, relieve poverty, change the lives of participants [or] increase support for long-term missions work.” Ouch!

A Culture of Reading - Mark Dever has some very helpful things to say about creating a culture of reading in your church. (HT)

The shop, the barn, the scullery, and the smithy become temples when men and women do all to the glory of God! —C.H. Spurgeon

June 18, 2012

This is a slightly abbreviated A La Carte. I was away on a Father and Son’s retreat this weekend and am still in catch-up mode. Here are a few of the links I was able to collect after all the burning , shooting, throwing and other manly things were done.

Teen Video Consumption - Here’s an infographic that displays just how much online video teens are consuming these days. Answer: a lot.

Off the eBook Shelf - The revolution is underway and there’s no going back! “Readers are voting with their wallets: The eBook is winning. In the US, eBooks sales are now topping hardcovers for the first time.”

Tuning the Preacher’s Ear - I appreciated this article from Cornelius Plantinga. He writes about how  good reading helps good preaching.

God Is Love - Monergism Books has God Is Love by Gerald Bray on sale for 50% off. “This volume is unique from others in that Bray traces the common theme of God’s love through the Bible categorically—from God’s love for himself and his creation to the cross as the ultimate expression of God’s love, among other categories.” Remember as well that Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology lectures are still available there for free. 

A praying Christian is a useful Christian in the world. —Jeremiah Burroughs

June 15, 2012

Sharing the Gospel - This was a fun and encouraging little story. A pastor went to Office Depot to have some of the Visual Theology posters printed and it led to a great witnessing opportunity.

Regret Over Pornography - What having a child can do. “Martin Daubney, who worked as an editor with Loaded magazine for eight years, admitted that the birth of his son in 2009 brought home the reality of the damage that he had caused, as his magazine not only objectified women but also promoted and normalised pornography before a young audience.”

A Letter to Sam Harris - This blogger pens an open letter to Sam Harris. It’s worth reading.

Data Art or Science - The growing field of data visualization is putting quantitative evidence to what used to be a guy feeling. In some ways I liked the old way better.

Captivated - “If you’re reading this blog, and you probably are, you need to watch this movie. Even if you’re not reading this blog, you need to watch this movie.”

Leading Your Family Well - “All of us know tragic stories of wives and children of pastors, church planters, and missionaries who grow up to hate the church. These stories could have been avoided, in many cases, if the leader in the home had not neglected his family.”

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. —John Calvin

June 14, 2012

16 Ways to Find a Wife - This article from the Westminster Seminary blog outlines 16 ways to find a way according to the Bible. It’s pretty funny. For example, there’s the ultra-romantic “Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 21:11-13)”

Barna’s Statistics - I like Mike’s take on Barna and his statistics. “A new study shows that 100% of Barna statistics are skewed to lend credibility to his anti-church bias. … I am not doubting that we can gain some benefit from Barna research and that some of it is actually legit and could be helpful. However, I have become very leery of accepting anything that Barna throws at us.”

The Social Network Gospel - This is interesting to consider: “Lamar Vest, president and CEO of the American Bible Society (ABS), says we’re witnessing ‘a revival of Bible engagement. For too long we have judged our effectiveness by the number of Bibles distributed. We are determined to no longer judge our effectiveness by tonnage but by impact.’”

Care or Counsel? - I appreciate the reasoning here: “In the fall of 2011, I (Robert Cheong) made a strategic decision to replace the word ‘counsel’ with ‘care’ within our church culture.”

The Nowness of Obedience - Desiring God continues their excellent series on “Grace at Home” with a reflection on obedience. “Have you ever noticed that obedience is actually only possible in the present?”

Free eBooks - Monergism has a growing collection of excellent, free ebooks, including one by John Piper that they’ve just added.

He that is down needs fear no fall, He that is low, no pride. —John Bunyan

June 13, 2012

The Hymn Sing - To celebrate a successful Kickstarter campaign that has funded a new album, Indelible Grace has released their live album The Hymn Sing on NoiseTrade. It’s there for free or for a donation of any amount.

Polygamy in the Bible - The Briefing has an article about polygamy in the Old Testament. “Sure, the narrators never pause to say, ‘Oh by the way, please, don’t be a polygamist.’ But why should they? The stories make the point all by themselves…”

As a Child - I enjoyed reading the transcript of this conversation between Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss (there’s also audio if you prefer). They talk about God’s revelation of himself as Father.

Christianity Explored for Youth - CY, the youth edition of Christianity Explored, is on sale. At least, the  sample pack is on sale if you’d like to get a feel for it. We’ve used it at our church and have found it a helpful resource.

What Comes Naturally - Greg Koukl looks at homosexuality in the animal kingdom to answer those who say this proves that homosexual behavior is natural.

Racial Justice and the Gospel - Russell Moore explains why racial justice is a gospel issue. “One of my earliest memories is of a substitute Sunday school teacher in my Southern Baptist church chastening me for putting a coin in my mouth. ‘That’s filthy,’ she said. ‘Why, you don’t know if a colored man might have held that.’”

As Long As It’s Healthy - Food for thought from John Knight: “Every couple experiencing pregnancy gets this question: do you want a boy or a girl?  Many will respond this way, ‘we don’t care, just as long as it’s healthy.’ But ‘healthy’ exists on a spectrum of possibilities just like disability.  And that spectrum is becoming narrower with every year that passes.”

The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible. —D.L. Moody