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A La Carte

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

May 14, 2012


Pray With, Pray For - Why should a mother pray for her children with her children? Brian Croft gives an answer.

How Much Water? - How much water is there is, on and above the earth? Here’s an interesting and surprising visualization.

The German Sniper - Here’s a short video that details just a short little scenario from the Second World War.

National Parks by Night - This is a beautiful photo gallery showing America’s national parks by night.

Your Ministry Is Not Your Identity - Paul Tripp: “I was a pastor in the process of destroying his life and ministry, and I didn’t know it. I wish I could say that my pastoral experience is unique, but I have come to learn in travels to hundreds of churches around the world that sadly, it is not.”

Every time you draw your breath, you suck in mercy. —Thomas Watson

May 12, 2012

The Hunger Games - Mark Meynell introduces an interesting two-part review of The Hunger Games. “What got me really fired up about the books was the surprise of how political they are. There are cultural and mythological references aplenty, and Suzanne Collins clearly draws on a wealth of dystopia writing. But it was thinking about that fact that reminded me of Neil Postman’s great opening discussion in his seminal book Amusing Ourselves To Death…”

Seven Key Ideas from C.S. Lewis - Dr. Art Lindsley: “I have heard it said that many well-known thinkers have only two or three key ideas that they develop from various angles throughout their lives. It might be asked: What are C.S. Lewis’s key ideas? I have chosen seven to summarize in this essay.”

What Is Church Membership? - Jonathan Leeman offers up a short and helpful definition of church membership. “Church membership is a formal relationship between a local church and a Christian characterized by the church’s affirmation and oversight of a Christian’s discipleship and the Christian’s submission to living out his or her discipleship in the care of the church.”

Hindus Want Yoga Back - “The Hindu American Foundation launched the ‘Take Back Yoga’ campaign not to convert Westerners to Hinduism or urge them to cease practicing it altogether, but to remind people that yoga is rooted in Hindu philosophy.”

A Baby Born Blind - “People ask her why she didn’t choose to abort her boy. They stare at both of them. They talk behind their back. But none of that matters because this mother knows that her boy is beautiful just the way he is.” You’ll enjoy this video!

It Makes a Lot of Sense - Michael Horton looks at the prevailing philosophy today and says that same-sex marriage makes a lot of sense.

The more purely God’s word is preached, the more deeply it pierces and the more kindly it works. —William Gouge

May 11, 2012

Josh Hamilton - “I sometimes get nervous when I listen to Christian athletes talk about their faith on the big stage. While I appreciate their desire explicitly give glory to Jesus during interviews, they can come off as glib, token, or perfunctory. … This is why Josh Hamilton’s appearance last night on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption made such an impression on me.”

YouVersion - YouVersion is celebrating the 50 millionth install of its app. I’ve downloaded it many times on many devices and use it pretty much every day. They’ve got lots of interesting statistics to share.

Church Clothes - If you’re into Christian rap music, you’ll want to grab this new and free mixtape from Lecrae.

What Is Better? - This article is really good! In just a few short paragraphs it looks at the ideas of orientation and choice and sin and the gospel.

The contented man is never poor, the discontented never rich. —George Eliot