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A La Carte

November 18, 2009
Turning the Bible into Toilet Paper
Denny Burk shares a sad but interesting little fact about Ian McKellen. “In an interview with Details magazine, gay actor Ian McKellen says that he tears pages out of Bibles that he finds in hotel rooms. Some of the Bible pages are hung up in his bathroom as toilet paper.”
Thankful for a Mother’s Devotion
Ed Welch pens a tribute to his mother. “I just received news that my mother died this morning. She was 84 and had been at Quarreyville Presbyterian Home in Lancaster County. Her mind had been erased by strokes over the last few years. It had been about 8 years since she recognized me or my sisters.”
Is Gambling OK?
Phil Johnson looks at the issue of gambling. “Is it a sin to gamble? There’s not an easy or instantly-obvious prooftext answer to that question. If you are looking for a ‘Thus saith the Lord: Thou shalt not gamble,’ you won’t find it anywhere. Nothing expressly forbids gambling anywhere in Scripture. Does that automatically put gambling into the realm of adiaphora, or indifferent matters? I don’t think so. I would argue that gambling is a sin, full stop.
All Of My Days
Here’s another example of why I love to read Danielle’s blog.
Mass: We Pray
Surely this has to be a joke. Someone tell me this is a joke!
Fireproof Follow-up
The follow-up to the movie Fireproof will be about fatherhood. “ ‘The title is one word: Courageous,’ said Fireproof Director Alex Kendrick, who will also direct the new film. ‘(It’s about) four fathers who are all in law enforcement—who protect and serve together—(and) go through a terrible tragedy. They begin looking at their role as fathers … and they begin challenging one another to fulfill God’s intention for fathers.’”
Deal of the Day: Amazon’s Gold Box
This is a bit random, I know, but today Amazon has a good Gold Box deal. They are offering their Pike Street down comforters at a really steep discount. Amazon keeps sending me their Pike Street stuff for review and it has impressed us as being high-quality for a great price.
November 16, 2009
The Prosperity Gospel
Canada’s The National Post featured an article this weekend on the prosperity gospel.
Themelios 34.3
The Gospel Coalition just announced the release of the latest edition of Themelios. It’s mostly for smart people but there are some things there for the rest of us as well.
Rick Mercer’s Sleepover with Stephen Harper
This is something you probably wouldn’t ever see in the US—a journalist enjoying a sleepover at the Prime Minister’s house (or President’s house as the case may be). This is a pretty good example of the Canadian sense of humor in action.
The Murder of Madalyn Murry O’Hair
Phil Johnson linked to this rather interesting article which tells of the murder of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her family.
Has Apple Blown Its Chance?
The tech-minded may enjoy this article in which Jim Jubak argues that Apple did not properly capitalize on the disaster that was Windows Vista. “If this is as good as it gets for Apple, the company has no one to blame but itself. The opportunity was there, and Apple didn’t exploit it as ruthlessly or as relentlessly as it needed to.”
Deal of the Day: Free Shipping
You can get free Shipping from Monergismbooks.com for orders over $30. Economy shipping only. Offer good through Friday November 20th at midnight. Apply coupon code - freeshipping1121- at check out.
November 13, 2009
Women Fighting
Owen Strachan looks at women who fight and says “Femininity is a contested sphere nowadays, both literally and figuratively.”
Porn in Public
An article in the Washington Post deals with the phenomenon of public porn (or drive-by porn)—inadvertently seeing porn on another person’s portable device.
Christian Publishing
Allan Fisher, writing for Tabletalk Magazine, asks “Looking for things for which to thank the Lord this Thanksgiving? Start by asking this question: Where would my church be without Christian publishing companies?”
The Greatest Scot
STV is asking people to vote for the greatest Scot of all-time. Eric Liddell is in the running, as you might expect.
November 12, 2009
Christmas Music Roundup
CT has their annual roundup of this year’s Christmas music. At the top of their list is Downhere’s How Many Kings?.
Walk Humbly
Mark Altrogge’s ninth Scripture memorization CD is now available. “Walk Humbly consists of 20 scriptures (including references) set word-for-word to contemporary music, and I don’t mean muzak…” You can download one free song at the link.
Daddy’s Home!
This video shows some unexpected reunions between children and their soldier fathers as they return home from deployment overseas.
Deal of the Day: MacArthur Study Bible
Grace Books International is offering the NAS version of the MacArthur Study Bible at a 60% discount for a limited time.
November 11, 2009
Last Words
On the Texas Department of Justice website, you can read the last words of over 400 executed human beings. Morbid, perhaps, but an interesting look into what a person thinks as he looks death in the face.
The Guy Who Has Caught 3000 Balls
Here’s an amusing video of a guy who has caught 3,000 balls at major league baseball games.
The Poverty and Justice Bible
The deluge of Study Bibles shows no signs of letting up. The latest to store shelves is The Poverty and Justice Bible. Oh boy…
Elder’s Meetings that Do Something
Jim Elliff offers some useful advice for organizing and managing elder’s meetings.
Deal of the Day: The Old Testament Explained and Applied
Evangelical Press is offering a 50% discount on this big reference volume. “This comprehensive study enables the reader to gain a clear understanding of the contents of each Old Testament book in order that the overall plan and purpose of God might be perceived. The author explains each book, drawing out its Christology and applying its message to today’s reader. Numerous diagrams and maps are used throughout. His fresh innovative approach encourages the study of God’s Word in the Old Testament.”
November 09, 2009
Steven Curtis Chapman’s New Album
It seemed appropriate to post a link to this review since I am listening to the album at this very moment. Scott Anderson has written up a review of Steven Curtis Chapman’s Beauty Will Rise. “Simply put, this album is a musical masterpiece. It contains 12 beautifully-written, mostly acoustic songs with understated accompaniment that accents the intimate, personal nature of the lyrics. This album is primed to actively minister to all who listen to its melodies.”
Facebook Users
What would you do with an extra three days per year? Stop visiting Facebook and you can find out. The average Facebook user now spends the equivalent of three days a year on the site.
A Christmas Carol
CT has a good review of Disney’s new A Christmas Carol. “Wait. Terror? Darkness? Isn’t this a Disney film, starring a mugging Jim Carrey and directed by the guy behind the bright and fanciful The Polar Express? Yes, but families should know this is a far cry from The Muppet Christmas Carol. It will scare the stockings off of little kids.”
Q&A With Karen Armstrong
The National Post does an interview with Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God. What a load of nonsense. “Look at Christianity—it’s a perfectly good religion. But the way many people understand it today, doctrine is absolutely essential. So we talk about religious people as believers, as though accepting propositions of a creed were the main thing. Our word for belief has changed its meaning. It used to mean to love, to commit yourself, to involve yourself. It only started to mean a set of doctrines in the late 17th century. Even then it was used in a philosophical and a scientific context, but not in a religious context.”
Gospel Man
Audio for the Gospel Man conferences is now freely available. There are messages there from some great speakers.
November 06, 2009
Six Flags over Jesus
Jared Wilson writes about the new $130,000,000 building program at First Baptist Dallas. “Nobody should fault FBC Dallas or anybody else for building a building. But this isn’t a building. This, and a bunch of other stuff, is Bible Belt Disneyland. This is evangelicalism with more cowbell. This is Field of Dreams attractional church. And it stinks to high heaven.”
Inmates Save Guard
Here’s a bit of a feel-good story from behind bars. “Hillsborough County, Florida, Deputy Kenneth Moon was alone at his station at a county jail facility near Tampa when an inmate attacked him with no warning. Moon, 64, was no match for Douglas Burden, 24, in custody on various drug charges. With Moon still in his chair, Burden put him in a choke hold and pulled tight.”
A reader directed me to this list of his favorite “Carsonisms” (i.e. phrases written or uttered by D.A. Carson).
Compassion Bloggers
Compassion International is taking a handful of bloggers on a journey to see what they are doing in El Salvador (similar to how they took me to Dominican Republic a year ago. Was it really that long ago?). This time Molly Piper is going along for the journey. Be sure to check the link to find out more about the trip and to read along.
November 05, 2009
Multiple Perspectives on Multi-Site Churches
A panel at Southern Seminary discussed this topic. The participants are R. Albert Mohler Jr., Gregg Allison, Kevin Ezell, Greg Gilbert, and Daniel Montgomery.
The Day I Went to Church
I enjoyed this article simply for the perspective it offers on a person’s first strange and perhaps terrifying attempt at going to church. It is good to remember how foreign church is to people who are not accustomed to it.
Stand By Me
This is a cool little video. The producers went around the world and recorded the song as performed by an international contingent of people.
Guardian Angels
Randy Alcorn addresses this question: Do you believe in guardian angels? He answers in the affirmative.
The Case for Modesty
This article in TIME has a few good things to say about modesty and humility. “Virtues, like viruses, have their seasons of contagion. When catastrophe strikes, generosity spikes like a fever. Courage spreads in the face of tyranny. But some virtues go dormant for generations, as we’ve seen with thrift, making its comeback after 40 years in cold storage. I’m hoping for a sudden outbreak of modesty, a virtue whose time has surely come.
November 04, 2009
The Prosperity Gospel in Africa
This may make you feel sick.
Ask John Piper Live
Today from 8 to 11 CT, you can tweet your questions to John Piper. He will be answering them live. See the link for details.
Apple’s Magic Mouse
Here’s a good review of Apple’s new mouse for anyone who is thinking of making the change. “I have yet to decide whether the Magic Mouse is much of an improvement over its predecessor. The multitouch capability and lack of a scroll ball to gum up are definite upgrades, but the loss of Exposé and Dashboard support about balance that out for me.”
Gore’s Dual Role
When it comes to something like global warming, it’s always wise to “follow the money.” When you follow the money you find that a whole lot of it is leading right back to Al Gore. It’s almost like the prosperity gospel…
November 02, 2009
Logos 4
The best gets better with the release of Logos 4 which adds all kinds of great new features. Check out the link for a video introduction.
DG Free
This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is just a minor book from a little-known pastor: Desiring God by John Piper.
US Navy Ceremonial Guard
This is impressive by any measure.
Scenes from the Life of Christ
This week, for a donation of any amount, Ligonier Ministries will send you a copy of their new CD Scenes from the Life of Christ. “This recording of original chamber orchestra pieces is a survey of musical landscapes through selected biblical accounts.”