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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

May 23, 2012

Dictionary of the Old Testament - The final volume in the Dictionary of the Old Testament series has been released and for the next couple of days Westminster Books is offering it at a great price.

Rulers of Israel and Judah - Here’s a nice new infographic that displays the rulers of Israel and Judah in the time of 1 Kings and 2 Kings.

An Unexpected Ministry - I enjoyed this interview with Justin Reimer. He discusses his ministry, The Elisha Foundation. 

Does Facebook Wreck Marriages? - “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg changed his status to ‘married’ Saturday and received over one million ‘likes’ from his followers. But the site he founded isn’t always so marriage-friendly.  In fact, lawyers say the social network contributes to an increasing number of marriage breakups.”

Where Are They Now? - This article tracks down some of Harold Camping’s followers and, in the aftermath of his failed predictions, asks, Where are they now?

Are You Mom Enough? - This article is a great read for moms. It deals with the mommy wars. “But I am on the frontlines of another war. The battles are raging and the casualties could be my children, my husband, or myself. This war isn’t about me being mom enough. This war is about God being ‘God enough.’”

Christ is so in love with holiness, that at the price of his blood he will buy it for us. —John Flavel

May 22, 2012

Overcoming Temptation - D.A. Carson talks about some simultaneous steps to take for overcoming temptation, including a deepening delight in Jesus.

A Crossway Opportunity - Crossway is not only a publisher but also a not-for-profit ministry that relies in part on gifts from people like you to accomplish major ministry projects worldwide. They have a unique opportunity they want you to help with.

Four Marks of Fruit-Bearing Christianity - Here’s some wisdom from J.C. Ryle. “The Christianity which I call fruit-bearing, that which shows its Divine origin by its blessed effects on mankind—the Christianity which you may safely defy unbelievers to explain away–that Christianity is a very different thing. Let me show you some of its leading marks and features.”

False Promises - Thomas Sowell is at his quotable best in this article. “The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, but a reflection on us.” “What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away.”

A Week in the Life - I found this a very helpful article. Stephen Um simply describes what his week looks like when he is preaching the following Sunday.

God does not do many things that he can, but he does all things that he will. —George Swinnock

May 21, 2012

Deep Roots Library - I really like what I’m seeing out of Deep Roots Library, which “exists to serve the Church by  making writings from Christian history accessible, readable, affordable, and searchable. We believe that there is great value in fellowship among believers, even if they are centuries removed from where we are today.” Today only you can get 25 ebooks for free just for visiting the site.

6 Principles for Giving - Are you wiser than a miser? This article from Clint Archer provides six principles for giving your money generously.

Measuring the Universe - The Royal Observatory in Greenwich describes the process of measuring things that are very, very big and/or very, very far away.

Credo Magazine - A new issue of Credo Magazine is now available (for free). “The title of this May’s issue … is “Chosen by Grace.” Contributors include: Timothy George, Paul Helm, Matthew Barrett, Bruce Ware, Fred Zaspel, Greg Gilbert, Thomas Nettles, R. Scott Clark, David Murray, Thomas Schreiner, Graham Cole, Greg Forster, and many others.”

Quotes from Pastor Meyer - This blogger creates regular roundups of funny things John Piper says. “Now that the vote is in and Pastor Jason is being called to be our new pastor (with 99% affirming the call), I have compiled the amusing quotes from Pastor Meyer’s season of candidating and posted them here.”

What Shall I Preach on Next? - Here’s a helpful article for pastors. It gives some guidance on how to choose what you’ll preach next.

What we think about when we are free to think about what we will – that is what we are or will soon become. —A.W. Tozer

May 19, 2012

Discrimination Against Women - Mary Kassian provides an interesting perspective on the he-turned-she beauty pageant contestant who recently competed to be Miss Canada. If you expand the logic, it means that men turned women should also be able to compete against women in athletics.

Evangelize, Not Indoctrinate - “We get this idea we have authority over our children’s hearts. We demand right responses to theological questions. We put in biblical material and expect biblical results. We catechize them to perfection under the assumption if their answers are right so too are their hearts. In short we indoctrinate them.”

Cellphone Neglect - “Do your kids complain you are on your smartphone too much? Do you set a boundary on use when you’re at home?” This article from The Globe and Mail looks at some of the costs of neglecting family for the sake of connectivity.

Sermon Preparation - Ray Ortlund writes about sermon preparation, breaking it down into three aspects: the technical, the rhetorical and the personal.

J.I. Packer Interview - Carl Trueman has a nice, short interview with J.I. Packer.

When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words without a heart. —John Bunyan

May 18, 2012

5 Ways to Improve Your Preaching - Here are five ways to immediately improve your preaching.

Best Books on Reading and Writing - Someone recently sent me this, a list of nine recommended books on reading and writing. The writer says it is “a collection of timeless texts bound to radically improve your relationship with the written word, from whichever side of the equation you approach it.”

Writing Tips from an Editor - Here are ten useful (and short) writing tips from a real-life editor.

Don’t Stop Speaking - John Knight links to a sad, sad article. “The title reveals exactly what it is about: I saw my son’s bleak future and knew I had to abort him.  Note: this article is very descriptive about what happened to her, including the abortion process. Please use care.”

The Church on the Arabian Peninsula - “The sheikh may threaten to destroy churches here, but Jesus, the Sheikh of sheikhs and Lord of lords, promised to build them, and he is doing just that. There are encouraging signs among English- and Arabic-speaking congregations in Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere. In view of the massive ministry needs and opportunities here, more followers of Jesus should move to Arabia to plant their lives, build solid churches, preach the gospel, and reach the nations.”

A circle cannot fill a triangle; no more can the whole world fill the heart of man. —Thomas Brooks

May 17, 2012

Satan’s Desire for Mothers - I think Julian draws out some important points in this article, and especially so under his second heading, “Satan says mothering is too good for you. Gone are the days (seemingly) when mothering is bad and career is good. Now we have entered the days of ‘Super-Moms’, where mothering is not for the faint-of-heart.”

How We View the World - I appreciated this take on the different ways we are prone to see the world (and not only because it borrows its analogy from baseball). 

The Facebook-Free Baby - “When it comes to my son, who is 3 months old, I am doing away with privacy settings altogether—by abstaining. That means my wife and I won’t be posting photos or discussing him online publicly (more on that later). Like a kid born into a vegetarian or Amish family, that is just the way it will be.”

Family vs. Ministry - “God has a design for your family and ministry so that faithfulness in the family enhances faithfulness in the church, and faithfulness in the church enhances faithfulness in the family.” Of course if God has a plan, so too does Satan…

Hunger Games Is Flawed to the Core - I really enjoyed reading N.D. Wilson’s take on The Hunger Games. He points out Some of the book’s greatest moral flaws (Though I don’t think he is saying not to read it).

Plywood - If A La Carte is a collection of things I enjoyed yesterday, then it’s only right that I include this video tribute to plywood.

What We Believe About the Bible - A quick, simple reminder of what Christians believe to be true about the Bible.

None reverence the Lord more than they who know him best. —William Cowper

May 16, 2012

Google in Africa - One of Google’s growing successes is bringing Africa online. “This burgeoning connectivity is making Africa faster, cleverer and more transparent in almost everything that it does.” The implications of this are almost difficult to overstate.

Share the Gospel with Muslims - This article outlines some ways you can share the gospel with Muslims.

Reality TV and Baby Names - Religion and reality TV are apparently the top sources of baby names today.

Time-Lapse of Europe - Here is a time-lapse video from ca 1000 AD until 2003 that shows Europe’s shifting borders, alliances, unions, territories, occupied land, and so on.

Rain for Roots - “Rain For Roots is a collective of songwriters, young mothers and friends who came together around a single vision to make new scripture songs for children. Inspired by traditional folk melodies, this band of four set out to make new, timeless songs about the old gospel Story.” (Use coupon code CHALLIES and you can get an easy 10% off.)

The New Normal - Erik Raymond writes about the new sexual normal.

Patience! patience! you are always in a hurry, but God is not.C.H. Spurgeon

May 15, 2012

Are You For Your Husband? - Rick Thomas lets women into a secret: “Men are needy. Your husband is not as independent and self-reliant as he may want you or others to think. If he can get over himself and this macho image thing he is wrapped up in, he will tell you how much he needs you–how much he desires your affection.”

Systematic Theology - “With the generous permission of Dr. Wayne Grudem, Monergism Books is giving away for free his complete class on systematic theology, a total of 119 class lectures.” All they ask is that you pitch in for the shipping. While you’re at Monergism, it’s never a bad idea to click on their “Sale Items” link to see their deals.

Internal Time - “’Six hours’ sleep for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool,’ Napoleon famously prescribed. This perceived superiority of those who can get by on less sleep isn’t just something Napoleon shared with dictators like Hitler and Stalin, it’s an enduring attitude woven into our social norms and expectations, from proverbs about early birds to the basic scheduling structure of education and the workplace.” 

Halfway Herbert - It’s always nice when a book review can be a teaching tool. That’s the case with this review of Francis Chan’s Halfway Herbert. The reviewer shows how a book can subtly tip away from the gospel and into human effort.

News and Algorithms - Can a computer algorithim write a better news article than a human? Perhaps not yet, but some people believe that it won’t be long. At the very least, more and more of our day-to-day news will soon be prepared for us by a computer. 

They do not love Christ who love anything more than Christ. —Thomas Brooks