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June 12, 2012

Dispatches from the Front - The excellent Dispatches from the Front DVDs are on sale at Westminster Books for just 72 hours. You can get episode 2 for just $5 and the whole series of 5 for $30 (60% off). You ought to buy a set and donate it to your church library.

Raising Gospel-Centered Children - Luma Simms does a really good job of describing what it means to raise your children in a truly gospel-centered way. The second paragraph really lays out the challenge and the ugly alternative.

In Conversation with Geoff Dennis - This is a short, good conversation with Geoff Dennis, COO of Crossway. He explains some of the history and philosophy of that publisher/ministry.

The Apple of God’s Eye - You’ll be encouraged and challenged by Mark Altrogge’s latest article. “What does God most delight in after himself? What brings him more pleasure than all the beauty of the forests and mountains and waterfalls and fields? What does he care about more than all the art in all the museums, All the books that have ever been written, All the technology and accomplishments of mankind?”

Familial Curses - R.C. Sproul Jr. provides a helpful answer to this question: Do familial curses still exist? The answer is quite clear, but there is joy in the journey.

The Meaning of Marriage Study Guide - David Murray has shared an unofficial study guide for Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. It’s free for the taking.

Boredom and Creativity - I think there’s something to this: creativity requires some measure of boredom. “I have to use all these programs that cut off the internet, force me to be bored, because being bored is an essential part of writing, and the internet has made it very hard to be bored.”

The true gospel is a call to self-denial. It is not a call to self-fulfillment. —John MacArthur

June 11, 2012

Not Just a Sinner - “I don’t ever want to hear you say, ‘I’m just a sinner saved by grace!’” I think there’s some wise counsel in this blog post from Trevin Wax.

Summer Reading - Al Mohler has shared his annual summer reading list. There are at least a few on there that I’m going to pick up.

How the NT Books Were Chosen - Here’s a good little refresher on how the books of the New Testament were chosen.

Misdating - I’ve seen a few articles along these lines lately. “Scientists are accused of distorting theory of human evolution by misdating bones. Briton says Spanish researchers are out by 200,000 years and have even got the wrong species.”

The Millennials - “In order to gain a better understanding of the Millenial generation, Glenn T. Stanton and Andrew Hess of Focus on the Family produced a report that ‘examines a number of important aspects of this current generation while comparing it with other recent generations of Americans.’”

Nine times out of ten, declension from God begins in the neglect of private prayer. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 09, 2012

Beautiful Photographs, Beautiful Cause - JT highlights the work of David Sacks. “David has recently produced a beautiful coffee table book of photographs he has taken there. It’s called True Africa. All of the proceeds go to benefit their work of partnering with churches to serve orphans in word and deed.”

Job the Film - The film adaptation of John Piper’s Job is now avaiable in the iTunes store.

Work as Worship - Why not read about work on your weekend? 

When Are We Going to Grow Up? - Here’s a long but interesting article on the juvenalization of American Christianity. It applies to Canada just as much.

Congregations and Ministers - I appreciated what Paul Levy has to say to both pastors and congregations in this article. It deals with the way a pastor is compensated for his work.

False Prophet Fiasco - A fiasco indeed.

History is a story written by the finger of God. —C.S. Lewis

June 08, 2012

TGC Atlantic - If you’re out on the east coast, or are looking for a good excuse to be, Kevin DeYoung, Mike Bullmore and I will be speaking at The Gospel Coalition Atlantic. It will run from August 7-9 and will be in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Dull Meets Boring - It may sound like the description of one of my sermons, but it’s actually a news headline. 

3500 Genetic “Faults” - “Scientists could soon be able to routinely screen unborn babies for thousands of genetic conditions, raising concerns the breakthrough could lead to more abortions.” This will do more than raise concerns—it will positively guarantee many more abortions.

Learning About Life - Adrian Warnock offers an account which shows what “a child with Down’s syndrome can teach you about life.”

The Locavore’s Dilemma - This looks like an interesting book that promotes not the trendy 100-mile diet, but what the authors say is the far more helpful and sustainable 10,000 mile diet.

Prioritizing Church Planting - Erik Raymond: “While I am thankful for the resurgence in church-planting we are not comitted to it because it is popular but because it is biblical. I really believe that it is right and that it is effective. As leaders we have attempted to create a culture that prayerfully and purposefully longs and plans for church planting.” He offers a list of reasons.

There is a burden of care in getting riches; fear of keeping them; temptation in using them; guilt of abusing them; sorrow in losing them; and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them. —Matthew Henry

June 07, 2012

Answering Objections - STR: “I was listening to a sermon by Tim Keller that addressed common objections to the Bible as God’s Word, and I thought this was a very clever point.  He has a way of turning an objection into a virtue.” They describe how he does that.

The Humility to Be an Example - I’ve often reflected on this, the humility of putting yourself forward as an example.

Undivided Attention - “What captures the attention of toddlers and infants most at Disneyworld? The costumes? The animations? The rides? The toys? Nope, none of these things. According to a recent study, it’s their parents cellphones!”

VeggieTales and Moralism - Gene Veith drew my attention to an interesting article that I guess I had missed until now. “Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, went bankrupt in 2003, sold the franchise, and turned to other ventures.  In an interview with World Magazine, he says how he realized that the ‘Christian’ message of those talking vegetables was not Christianity at all.”

I Accused My Wife of Infidelity - “I accused my wife of infidelity last year. No, there was no evidence. No, there was no change in our relationship. No, it is not characteristic of her in the slightest. However, I had my reasons … Getting ahead of myself.”

When thou sleepest, think that thou art resting on the battlefield; when thou walkest, suspect an ambush in every hedge. —C.H. Spurgeon

June 06, 2012

Snake-Handling Believers - This is a fascinating article from The Tennessean: “Since the early 1900s, a handful of true believers in East Tennessee and other parts of Appalachia have practiced the so-called signs of the gospel, found in a little-known passage in the King James Version of the Gospel of Mark.”

What Every Husband Needs to Know - Gloria Furman tells us what every husband needs to know about stay at home moms. (Here’s another article on a similar subject)

Was Solomon a Good King? - “The reign of King Solomon is traditionally viewed as the Golden Age of Israel’s history. A king known for his great wisdom, Solomon oversaw an era of peace and prosperity, expanded Israel’s boundaries in every direction, and ordered the construction of the Temple.” But there’s more to the story.

Rural Ministry - When so many church planting and church growth strategies insist upon the importance of the city, it’s important to affirm that rural ministry is not second rate.

Southern Baptists and Salvation - You may have heard of that recent document titled “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” Al Mohler tells us what it is, why it matters, and why he can’t sign it.

Those that will not be governed by God’s scepter will certainly and justly be devoured by his sword. —Matthew Henry

June 05, 2012

Christianity, Unplugged - “In the twenty-first century, being alone and withdrawing mean much more than being the only person in the room. They mea n being unplugged. In our appreciation for the help that technology can bring, we have perhaps been unaware of its more subtle dangers.”

Teaching Preaching - Pastors and church leaders may want to take a look at this article from The Briefing. It describes how one man went about teaching his future leaders to preach.

C.H. Spurgeon Quotes - Charles Spurgeon may well be the most quotable preacher in the history of the church. This is a new site dedicated to sharing some of his best quotes. Most of them are around a paragraph in length.

Acorn Antenna - I love YouTube because it allows me to see things like this.

Maintaining Stability in China - Gene Veith excerpts the most important bits of an interesting article that discusses what it means to “maintain stability” in China.

Isaiah by the Day - Collin Hansen has an interesting interview with Alec Motyer who recently published Isaiah by the Day. Motyer talks about the book of Isaiah, how to understand it, and so on.

Satisfied In You - Brian Eichelberger’s adaption of Psalm 42 is really powerful.

The only certain proof of my election is that today I am following the Lord. —R.C. Lucas

June 04, 2012

Grace to You - The June issue of Tabletalk magazine has an interview with John MacArthur. I think the most interesting bit comes at the end where he discusses his friendship with R.C. Sproul.

That Dog Walking to Two Legs - In this article Carl Trueman writes about a research service meant to help pastors prepare their sermons. Even though I do not use such a service and don’t know anyone who does, I still found it a valuable read because of the way Trueman argues against it.

The Daniel Diet - Michael Horton writes about the Daniel Diet, the subject of a recent article in TIME and a diet that Rick Warren is endorsing (and using at Saddleback).

The Seduction of Pornography - This is a very helpful article from Dr. Mohler, primarily because of his discussion of the ways in which a husband “earns” the privilege of sex within marriage. “When I say that a husband must regularly ‘earn’ privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.”

Tim Keller’s Top-Ten Evangelism Tips - “A while ago on our elder retreat we listened to a talk Tim Keller gave at Lausanne. As part of that talk he gave 10 tips to help our lay folk in their evangelism. They were so helpful I wanted to put them down somewhere, so here they are…”

Fred Luter - The L.A. Times profiles Fred Luter, the man who will soon be the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

A Marriage Sermon - Jim Hamilton raves about Denny Burk’s sermon on marriage. I listened to it this morning and found it well worth the listen. It serves as a great marriage refresher. Do yourself a favor and don’t read the poem on Jim’s site until you’ve heard it in the sermon.

No attribute of God is more dreadful to sinners than his holiness. —Matthew Henry