Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

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

June 01, 2012

Able to Teach - Here is help from Thabiti Anyabwile on what the Apostle Paul meant when he said that an elder or pastor must be “able to teach.”

Economics for Everybody - This looks like a fascinating new teaching series from R.C. Sproul Jr. It should be available this summer. “Everybody talks about it. The news is full of it. But most Christians know very little about it. Economics: it’s everywhere, influencing everything, and so rarely understood.” I asked really nicely and they made the first episode free for you to watch.

Just Go Outside - I’m not sure what the organization is all about, but this commercial is pretty clever. It offers the cure for social media addiction.

20 Things - Here are twenty things that every counselor hears from the people he speaks with. Do you know how to answer these things?

How Fear Robs Me - This is a helpful reflection on all the fear of man can rob from you.

The Driving Force of Your Prayer Life - I enjoyed this article on the petition “Hallowed be your name.” “This is the highest request we could ever attain to make of God, for it is this which is His own most foundational and most ultimate commitment. He Himself has stated that He does all He does with a chief regard for the glory of His own name.”

The grace of God does not find men fit for salvation, but makes them so. —Augustine

May 31, 2012

Challies, Voskamp, and All Us Girls - There have been a lot of reactions to my review of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gift, ranging from the outrageous to the encouraging. I found this one from The Christian Pundit particularly helpful.

7 Evils of a Grumbling Spirit - BJ Stockman goes to Jeremiah Burroughs and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment to find the seven evils of a grumbling spirit. (HT)

Dear Digital Son - A father writes a clever letter to his graduating son. “As you prepare to graduate, I hope you’ll remember there’s more to life than the Kardashians, 46-pound cats and texting in incomplete sentences.”

Fifty Shades of Grey - “Undoubtedly, the series portrays BDSM in the context of an engaging, passionate, tender, romantic relationship that culminates in the characters falling in love, and the conflicted girl assuaging the billionaire’s troubled soul. But it doesn’t matter to me how the author sweetens it up. The tasty red Kool-Aid doesn’t offset the bitter poison. Smut is still smut.”

Works and Words - This article explains why you can’t preach the gospel with deeds. “When it comes to the enduring question of word versus deed in the Christian’s calling, the issue is always one of balance. How are Christians to think about the relative roles of words (proclaiming the gospel) and deeds (loving action) in what Christ has called his people to be and do? We need to set our scales to a balance that matches Scripture.”

There are no non-religious activities; only religious and irreligious. —C.S. Lewis

May 30, 2012

Indelible Grace - “Indelible Grace is making a new CD this summer!  We are going into the studio this summer to make Indelible Grace VI, a new collection of old hymn texts set to new music.” They have a kickstarter campaign underway to fund the album

Planned Parenthood - “A hidden camera disclosed a PP worker counseling a patient about sex selective abortion. The patient claimed that she only wanted a boy and that she intended to kill the unborn child if an ultrasound indicated it was a girl. The worker showed the patient exactly how to get this done.” Denny Burk discusses the problem and response.

Going to Church - Christine Jensen writes down some of her top tips on going to church as a family.

Defending Polygamy - People have long said that once homsexual marriage has been accepted (thus unmooring it from its biblical foundation) polygamous marriage cannot be far behind. Here’s an article that suggests this very thing.

The Journal of Biblical Counseling - A new edition of The Journal of Biblical Counseling is available for (free) download or reading in your browser. It’s always worth a read.

If a man tells me that he is humble, I know him to be profoundly proud. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 29, 2012

Why We Lie - This is a thoroughly secular, but still interesting take on why it is that human beings lie. “We like to believe that a few bad apples spoil the virtuous bunch. But research shows that everyone cheats a little—right up to the point where they lose their sense of integrity.”

Colosse - It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a couple of minutes of music and animation.

What Mentors Should Model - “Dave Kraft writes about his early mentor Warren Myers, what he learned from this man who had a significant impact on his life, and the value of having strong Christian mentors.”

Am I Called to Preach? - This is a helpful framework to help answer that question.

Is the Bible Reliable? - Here is some helpful counsel on how to answer when someone says that the Bible is not reliable.

Porn and Marriage - Dr. Mohler is writing a two-part series on the seduction of pornography and the integrity of Christian marriage.

History is silent about revivals that did not begin with prayer. —J. Edwin Orr

May 28, 2012

I trust that my American readers will enjoy their Memorial Day today (and presumably most of them will enjoy the day by not spending a lot of time online). For the rest of us, here are some links worth checking out:

Six Ways of Minimizing Sin - “I found these six ways of minimizing sin to be very instructive regarding gospel-centered sanctification/mortification of sin. Take a moment and examine your fight against sin, the ways you are prone to minimize sin, and develop an intentional strategy to renounce them.”

Honoring a Sufi Saint - I looked at this photo gallery and realized that it shows why religious experience is not inherently trustworthy. Here are people having genuine religious experience, but in honor of a pagan.

Author vs Author Putdowns - “One man’s Shakespeare is another man’s trash fiction.” Here are some of the most scathing author vs author putdowns of all time. This makes an interesting study in envy…

The Best Funeral Sermon - Paul Levy says, “This sermon should be read by every preacher regardless of what you think of John Stott. Let me give you a quote and his concluding applications.”

In his natural state, every man born into the world is a rank idolater. —John Wesley

May 26, 2012

As Good As It Gets - Phillip Jensen: “ ‘This is as good as it gets’ the man assured me. I was initially shocked, but then deeply saddened by his statement. It was an astonishing statement—but there was no doubting the sincerity with which he was speaking.” This is a great article.

The Man Who Took on Amazon - Here’s a story of a guy who took on Amazon and managed to win. “Certain business ideas seem doomed to fail. You can walk into a restaurant or retail chain and know instantly that its days are numbered. That’s the gut sense I had when I learned that someone new had bought the Harvard Book Store – a comforting oasis for bibliophiles and casual browsers – just a few blocks from my office in Cambridge.”

The Appalachian Region - Here’s a fascinating photo essay. “Getty Images photographer, Mario Tama, spent time in and around Owsley County, Kentucky documenting the life and times of some of it’s 5,000 residents. The 2010 U.S. Census listed Owsley County as having the lowest median household income in the country outside of Puerto Rico, with 41.5% of residents living below the poverty line.”

The World’s Nicest Prison - “Founded in 1982, Bastoy Prison is located on a lush, 1-square-mile island of pine trees and rocky coasts, with views of the ocean that are postcard-worthy. It feels more like a resort than jail, and prisoners here enjoy freedoms that would be unthinkable elsewhere.”

My Wedding Day - “May 26, 2012. It was supposed to be a momentous occasion–the day I would walk down the aisle in my mother’s lace wedding gown, peonies in hand, best friend at my side, family and friends looking on with joy. It was supposed to be the day I started a new chapter, the day my dreams would be fulfilled. Little did I know, God had other plans.”

Fake Love, Fake War - Russell Moore on the porn and video gaming phenomenon that has overtaken a whole generation of young men.

It is not your hold of Christ that saves, but his hold of you!C.H. Spurgeon

May 25, 2012

Costly Faithfulness - “It was the Anglican congregation’s firm stance on the authority of God’s word and the moral wrong of homosexuality that cost the 4,000-member church nearly everything they owned. Six years ago when the mainline Episcopal Church ordained an openly practicing homosexual bishop, 90 percent of The Falls Church congregation voted to break with the denomination and align with the conservative branch of the worldwide Anglican church.”

The Hidden Life of Prayer - In case you didn’t catch it yesterday, Christian Audio is giving away to the readers of this site the audiobook of The Hidden Life of Prayer, the book I will be leading us through in Reading Classics Together. It’s free for the taking whether or not you intend to read it with me. Just click the link and apply the coupon code HLOP12.

Singing About the Gospel - Bob Kauflin pulls a good old article out of the archives to say that singing about the gospel should never become rote.

Lame Prayers - Tony Reinke writes about the cure for lame table prayers.

41% of Americans Are Pro-Choice - “The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as ‘pro-choice’ is at the lowest point ever measured by Gallup, according to a new survey released Wednesday.” Owen Strachan gives his take on what this means.

In Jesus Name - A chaplain wrote Russell Moore to ask whether he always has to pray in the name of Jesus. Moore pens a helpful response.

A Wife’s Perspective on Seminary - This article will prove helpful to any wife whose husband is exploring seminary or currently attending.

The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve its purity. —Matthew Henry