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A La Carte

September 04, 2009
Morning and Evening Podcast
ChristianAudio offers a podcast of Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening [twice] daily devotional.
Phil Wickham Online
ConversantLife is streaming a concert tonight featuring Phil Wickham. “Phil will be playing acoustic versions of songs from his forthcoming record, Heaven & Earth, explaining the unique stories behind each of them and how they weave together in his fast-approaching new release.”
Reel Discernment
From Focus on the Family: “We’re excited to announce the premiere of our new movie review for young adults called Reel Discernment featuring Plugged In’s Bob Waliszewski and Cheryl Wilhelmi. Each week Bob and Cheryl will give us a quick look into what we can expect from the new releases.” The first episode is very well done and I look forward to making this a weekly stop!
Deal of the Day: Fab Fridays
CBD has some good deals in this week’s Fab Friday. They’ve got John MacArthur’s From Ordinary to Extraordinary: A Yearlong Devotional to Discover What God Wants to Do with You as well as The Truth War for just $3.99. They also have the hardcover ESV Study Bible on at $24.99.
September 03, 2009
Southern California Wildfires
Boston.com has some amazing photographs of the wildfires currently tearing through southern California.
Moralism is Not the Gospel
Dr. Mohler: “In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.”
Shopping for Time Free!
Kindle users (or iPhone/iPod Touch users who have installed the Kindle app) can download the Kindle version of Shopping for Time (by the Mahaney ladies) for free.
Google Book Search: Disaster for Scholars
This rather interesting article points out some of the shortfalls of Google’s effort to add every book ever written to their index.
Interview With Douglas Moo
Darryl Dash has an interview with Douglas Moo. They cover the recent announcement that the TNIV will be discontinued in favor of a revision of the NIV.
Deal of the Day: Calvin Resources
Last week Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference on Calvin. This week they are offering some great discounts on Calvin-related materials.
September 02, 2009
Updated NIV in 2011
Everyone’s talking about it. “Biblica, the Committee on Bible Translation and evangelical publisher Zondervan jointly announced the newest New International Version Bible — and acknowledged they were still singed by the fire and brimstone cast down on earlier update efforts.” In other words, the TNIV will disappear and will be replaced by a new revision of the NIV. Check out CBMW for reactions by Randy Stinson, Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan.
Media Ignoring Conservative Dominance
This article shows how the media is ignoring the obvious conservative dominance of the New York Times list of bestsellers. “The left is reeling from this regression to the pre-Bush days, which also saw conservative dominance of the bestsellers lists. From 1991 to 2001, there were eight overtly conservative books that topped the NYT list, while only two liberal authors, Al Franken and Hillary Clinton, managed to publish number-one bestsellers.”
Quitting Social Media
Owen Strachan looks at an article in the Times which tells about how and why people are quitting Facebook and other social media.
Deal of the Day: Free Audio Bible
This month’s free download from ChristianAudio is GOD’S WORD Heard! New Testament audio bible. I am not familiar with the translation so cannot vouch for its accuracy (or lack thereof).
September 01, 2009
The Resurgence of the R-Word
I’ve noticed this trend, that the “r-word” is back in full force. “Actress Lindsay Lohan uses it, comedian Chris Rock says it, and last year’s Ben Stiller movie Tropic Thunder took it to a new low, when it mocked actors who play disabled characters, using the phrase ‘going full retard.’ It’s also reappeared on comedy shows as a trendy way to describe those with special needs — no writer would be brave enough to use the N-word to describe an African, but the mentally disabled are easy game.”
The End of the Hardcover?
The world will not be the same without hardcover books, but some publishers are suggesting that economics (related to e-books) will dictate it. Say it isn’t so!
Christian Improv
Philip Ryken linked to this strange article in which a TIME reporter participates in an improv performance at Saddleback Church. “Their goal, Barnes explained, was to give people a way to get friends to the church who have turned down an invitation to a service. This made sense until I thought about the kind of person who would say, ‘I’m not interested in eternal salvation, but I’d love to spend a Saturday night in a small conference room watching Christian improvisational comedy!’”
Faith and Technology
I’ll be leading a couple of Faith and Technology seminars at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, OH in a couple of weeks. I’ll speak to parents on Wednesday and teens on Thursday. See the link for details if you are interested.
Choosing Thomas
Just watch it.
A Pastoral Charge
Martin Downes provides a pastoral charge “given by Professor John Murray to Wayne F. Brauning at his ordination and installation as pastor of the Fifth Reformed Presbyterian Church, Phila., PA on October 13, 1960.”
Deal of the Day: The Road Sessions
Matthew Smith (the Indelible Grace guy) has released The Road Sessions Collection, a collection of 11 hymns. If you buy a copy (for just $6.99) he’ll also send a copy to your pastor.
August 31, 2009
Too Great a Good for Caesar
John Mark Reynolds offers a good perspective on health care. “Even fans of the President should be hesitant to give the government such powers. The Obama plan may be passed with great intentions, but Obama will not be President forever. Worse men may come to power and use increased government control of health care to enforce their will. Caesar naturally wants more power, but the same government that runs the police, the armed forces, and the prisons should not also come to dominate medical choices. Reasonable citizens must not plan for the saints who will govern us, but for the great sinners.”
The Perfect Body
Here is something for parents to think about. “According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, children as young as 10- and 11-years-old already have notions about the ideal body. An analysis of more than 4,000 students from Nova Scotia revealed that young girls’ happiness with their body image is directly linked to how thin they are. Boys, on the other hand, were happiest when they were neither too lean, nor too heavy.”
Banish the Honeymoon
This is good food for thought: “But what if the whole idea of going on a honeymoon is mistaken? Consider the underlying message this sends. After what is usually a public ceremony with friends and family, the newly minted husband and wife abruptly escape from the very community that helped them consecrate their vows.”
The Next Disney Star
WSJ talks about the next Disney star, showing how Disney is manufacturing the successor to Hannah Montana.
What Good Deed Must I Do?
We had the privilege of having Thabiti Anyabwile preach at Grace Fellowship Church yesterday. It was a powerful message that combined exposition with personal testimony. It’s well worth the listen!
Deal of the Day: Death Penalty on Trial
Monergism Books is offering a good discount on Ron Gleason’s The Death Penalty on Trial.
August 28, 2009
Jennifer Knapp To Make a Comeback?
Well isn’t this a good bit of news. Several years after falling off the face of the earth (having released a collection of very good albums) Jennifer Knapp appears ready to try again.
Unpacking Forgiveness
Chris Brauns: “I’ve been thinking recently about something television star Kelsey Grammer said. It’s not because I saw a rerun of Cheers. Unfortunately, the context is tragic. Grammer has me thinking about well intentioned people who end up “packing unforgiveness.” Where deep wounds are concerned, there are those who try and do what they believe faith requires. Yet, they end up hurting all the more.”
Questions To Ask a Potential Church
Colin shares a list of questions that may be useful for a prospective pastor to ask a church that is interested in having him minister there.
Snow Leopard
Mac users will want to know that Snow Leopard (the next version of the Mac Operating System) is now available. And it’s cheap. Amazon seems to have pricing that is as good as anyone else…
August 27, 2009
The Kindle Can’t Scare Me
A small publisher of a very niche kind of book has some interesting things to say about Amazon’s Kindle. What it does well, what it does poorly and what it will do in the future.
Do We Have Free Will?
Andy Naselli answers this one over at Reformation21. It’s not one you can just skim, so bookmark it and read it when you’ve got a few minutes!
Quote from Dave Ramsey
Z shares a fantastic quote from Dave Ramsey: “As long as Americans are comfortable with debt, we will elect officials/politicians who are too.” That’s worth thinking about.
Piper, Tornadoes and Godwin’s Law
John Dyer applies Godwin’s law (As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.) to John Piper’s recent comments about the Minneapolis tornado and all of the comments ensued.
August 26, 2009
Wikipedia To Make Changes
I find this very interesting (and a good lesson on human nature). “Wikipedia, one of the 10 most popular sites on the Web, was founded about eight years ago as a long-shot experiment to create a free encyclopedia from the contributions of volunteers, all with the power to edit, and presumably improve, the content. Now, as the English-language version of Wikipedia has just surpassed three million articles, that freewheeling ethos is about to be curbed.” It seems that even Wikipedia cannot overcome human nature.
BibleWorks, Logos, Accordance
Keith Mathison has reviewed all three of these packages and he offers up a comparison of them along with recommendations of which is best.
Clothing Tips for Ministers
I somehow stumbled across this article by Don Whitney and quite enjoyed reading his tips on how a minister should go about building up a wardrobe.
Family Worship Guide
This site, set to officially launch in just a couple of days, looks like it will be a very good resource for any families seeking to begin or to improve their times of family worship.
Of First Importance
Greg Gilbert has a must-read article at the 9Marks blog in which he articulates some things about a whole strain of contemporary Christian thinking. “Time after time, in book after book coming off of Christian presses, the highest excitement and joy is being ignited by something other than the sin-bearing work of Christ on the cross, and the most fervent appeals are for people to join God in doing this or that, rather than to repent and believe.”
August 21, 2009
Chernobyl Then and Now
Here is an interesting series of photos showing Chernobyl back in 1984 and showing what it looks like today.
The Greenback Effect
Warren Buffet, in an op-ed at the Times, shares some staggering facts. “Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in; the deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP; the debt is growing by 1% a month; the US is borrowing $1.8 trillion a year.”
Josh Harris in Towers
Josh Harris is featured in SBTSTowers magazine (is it a magazine? a publication? whatever…).
30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
That’s the name of a challenge you can read about at Revive our Hearts. It is “a challenge to speak positively to and about your husband each day.”
The Senior Pastor Model
STR writes about (another) scandal involving (another) pastor and uses it as a bridge to discuss the potential failings of the senior pastor model.
August 20, 2009
Reformation Study Bible iPhone App
The Reformation Study Bible is now available as an iPhone app. Ligonier’s blog has the details.
A Quiet Circumvention of Morality
Dr. Mohler writes about women being involved in combat situations in the U.S. military. “From a Christian perspective, the concern about women in combat goes far beyond the pollsters’ questions. If we truly believe that God created man and women for different but complementary roles and shows his glory in the faithfulness of men as primary protectors and women as primary nurturers, the entry of women into combat roles is an open rejection of God’s purpose.”
The Tornado, the Lutherans, and Homosexuality
John Piper writes about a rather amazing situation in Minneapolis. “On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected…a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts—most saying they’ve never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city: Minneapolis.”
Why Read Christian Biography?
Biographer Faith Cook answers the question. “And strange as it may seem, the reading of Christian biography is one way to set before ourselves noble standards, goals and aspirations which can only help the Christian man or woman to make progress, not to gain any earthly accolades, but towards that ultimate prize of our heavenly calling - the glory to come.”
The Smallest Change, the Biggest Difference
Shaun Groves talks about the benefits to his family that came from getting rid of cable TV.

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