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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

December 07, 2011

Shepherd Press eBooks - Shepherd Press has many of their books on sale in Kindle format; they are just $1.79 each. Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Instructing a Child’s Heart, Don’t Make Me Count to Three have all been marked down for a limited time.

The Size of the Universe - WIRED takes a shot at helping us picture the size of the observable universe. Turns out it’s really, really big. “To try imagining how big, place a penny down in front of you. If our sun were the size of that penny, the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, would be 350 miles away. Depending on where you live, that’s very likely in the next state (or possibly country) over.”

Does Tech Feed Self-Centered Control? - One of the true joys of writing a book is seeing how other people interact with it and improve upon it. Paul Tautges has been doing just that. He looks at a particular bit of the book and says, “Let’s counsel ourselves by asking 8 idol-shattering questions about the love of control…”

Google: Behind the Numbers - Infographic du jour. Turns out that Google is big, too (but not quite as big as the universe).

Darwinism and the Next Generation - I enjoyed this article from Sean McDowell. I don’t advocate Intelligent Design, but what he says about Darwinism and materialism is really good.

Malcolm Gladwell: Collected - How did I not know about this set of books? Gladwell is an amazing author and these books are beautifully designed and illustrated.

Don’t Strive to Be Great - This is some great advice for preachers: don’t strive to be great. “What I am arguing against is the actual attempt to develop into a preacher with a reputation for being so unusually wonderful that people flock to you. There is a fine line here, to be sure: typically, gifted men attract larger audiences. Nothing wrong with that per se.”

Faithfulness is our business; fruitfulness is an issue that we must be content to leave with God. —J.I. Packer

December 06, 2011

Why We Need Jesus - Michael Horton has an article in the December issue of Christianity Today. He says that reason and morality cannot show us a good and gracious God. For that, we need the Incarnation.

Lovers on the Edges of the Twilight - My friend Michael Krahn has just released a great little EP titled Lovers on the Edges of the Twilight. It’s nothing to do with the Twilight books, in case you’re concerned. It really reminds me of the music of Jim Cuddy (you may need to be Canadian to know who that is).

Xmas - Every year I link to this article to encourage everyone to just calm down about xmas.

Stop Submitting to Men - Russell Moore: “Those of us who hold to so-called “traditional gender roles” are often assumed to believe that women should submit to men. This isn’t true. Indeed, a primary problem in our culture and in our churches isn’t that women aren’t submissive enough to men, but instead that they are far too submissive.”

Does Antiporn = Anti-sex? - Does antiporn = anti-sex? That’s the question asked by this article at the Covenant Eyes blog. 

Shopping Prank - I bet this video makes you LOL.

Heaven will not fully be heaven to Christ till he has his redeemed with himself. —A.W. Pink

December 05, 2011

The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God is free on Kindle for a limited time. This is yet another reason to buy a Kindle. And really, with the Kindle entry point down to $79, you will more than pay for it with the money you’ll save on books like this one.

Branch Out! - Aaron Armstrong gives you 3 good reasons to vary your reading diet in 2012.

Historical Inaccuracies - This article points out “5 Inaccurate ‘Historical’ Stories That Ended Up In History Books.”

Francis Schaeffer and Gospel-Centered - Trevin Wax has done a good job here of suggesting what Francis Schaeffer might say to the gospel-centered movement within today’s church.

Loving the 1% - Here is an interesting perspective on the “1%.” Despite a massive missionary movement that has penetrated every nation on earth, the upper class remains enormously unreached, even in countries that now boast large evangelical populations.

Free eBooks - Monergism has a list of 32 free ebooks. They are there for the taking. Be sure to right-click on them and save them to your computer (don’t use the left-click).

Finishing Well - This is love. (HT)

I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today and was coming back tomorrow. —Martin Luther

December 02, 2011

How to Shrink Your Church - Some good thoughts on church from the Huffington Post, of all places. “Pastors and churches spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year attending conferences, buying books, hiring consultants, advertisers and marketers, all to try and accomplish one thing: to increase attendance — to be a bigger church. I’m absolutely convinced this is the wrong tack.”

What Did You Expect? - Paul Tripp’s excellent book What Did You Expect? is on sale (Kindle version) for just $2.99.

Free Audio - ChristianAudio has 2 books available for free this month: From Pearl Harbor to Calvary and A Christmas Carol

What Tebow Can’t Do - An enjoyable article on the Tebow phenomenon.

Hallelujah Chorus Trainwrecks - Truly horrifying Messiah moments.

Stupid and Graceless - “Bob Costas carves the selfish idiots who make a spectacle of themselves after they do something good on the football field.”

Old age is a blessed time. It gives us leisure to put off our earthly garments one by one and dress ourselves for heaven. —Ray Palmer

December 01, 2011

Celebrity Pastors - This article from TGC has some good things to say about celebrityism and celebrity pastors. “But celebrity comes for a variety of reasons. It’s worth differentiating between the kinds of celebrities generally, and between celebrity pastors in particular.”

What the Tolerant Must Tolerate - “To be a serious Christian in modern Western culture is to be the favoured easy target of every progressive thinker and every half-witted comedian. It is to have your sensibilities and your deepest beliefs on perpetual call for taunts, mockery and desecration. At a time when all progressives preach full volume for inclusivity and sensitivity, for the utmost care in speech when speaking of others with differing views or hues, Christians, as Christians, are under a constant hail of abuse and disregard. There is nothing too low or too vulgar.”

Watch the Film, Save a Life - On world AIDS day, Carolyn McCulley asks you to watch a film and save a life.

Six Helps for Sufferers - Ray Ortlund says “Elisabeth Elliot disclosed six ways she has found help in the midst of loss and sorrow.” Naturally, he goes on to share those six ways.

Women and Scripture Reading - In my post from yesterday I mentioned that the Scripture readers in our church are all men (because we regard this as a teaching ministry). Jesse Johnson considers that a little bit.

Character Doesn’t End at the Bedroom Door - Dr. Mohler looks at Herman Cain and says, “We live in a morally confused age, but there is little confusion about the fact that sexual behavior and personal character are inseparable.”

The best morality in the world will not prove a man to be a Christian, but if a man has not morality, it proves that he is not a child of God. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 30, 2011

Songs for the Supper - Free music. Need me to say more than that? Cardiphonia: “Songs for the Supper is the 3rd in a collaboration of songs dedicated to serving under-emphasized themes in our worship music. … Some of these songs are quiet meditations, others look to the great rejoicing of the Lamb’s Feast. All of them reflect the incredible diversity of postures and approaches to our Lord’s table. “

Joel Osteen and Reality TV - Oh boy. “More than 10 million people watch Joel Osteen’s television broadcast each week, and soon viewers will be able to see how the pastor of America’s largest church lives outside of Lakewood. A new reality show will follow the Osteens’ ministry as they serve and inspire people across the U.S., Lakewood confirmed.”

Utopia Is Creepy - Nicholas Carr: “I’ve noticed the arrival recently of a new genre of futuristic YouTube videos. They’re created by tech companies for marketing or brand-burnishing purposes. With the flawless production values that only a cash-engorged balance sheet can buy you, they portray a not-too-distant future populated by exceedingly well-groomed people who spend their hyperproductive days going from one screen to the next. (As seems always to be the case with utopias, the atmosphere is very post-sexual.)”

In Your Arms - This is pretty cool. “22 months, 1,357 hours, 30 people, 2 ladders, 1 still camera, 288,000 jelly beans.” All that for one music video.

The Great Tech War of 2012 - So true: “There was a time, not long ago, when you could sum up each company quite neatly: Apple made consumer electronics, Google ran a search engine, Amazon was a web store, and Facebook was a social network. How quaint that assessment seems today.”

The essence of sin is arrogance; the essence of salvation is submission. —Alan Redpath

November 29, 2011

Critical Appreciation - When I grow up, I want to be able to write like Carl Trueman. “The death of John Stott has led to a veritable flood of accolades and uncritical adulation over the last few months. A recent example was the memorial service for him at Wheaton College which raised a number of questions in my mind. One was the issue of what Stott himself would have thought of it.”

Child or Fetus? - This was very interesting to read. A father speaks about the language used to describe his unborn child when he was healthy and then when he was thought to be ill.

Alcohol vs Narcotics - David does a nice job of answering one of the comments that arose yesterday after I wrote about alcohol: What’s the difference between alcohol and narcotics?

Living in the Next Story - It has been a while since I linked to a review of The Next Story. This one was really encouraging!

McDonald’s - A while back I posted a link to that map of every McDonald’s restaurant in the US of A. This site has a video showing a person trying to find the spot (the exact spot!) that is farthest from any McDonald’s in the whole country.

Out of Darkness - Z linked to a powerful article from the New York Times. “Two years ago, when Giulia and I were 27 and in our third year of marriage, she suffered a psychotic break. She had no history of mental illness preceding the abrupt arrival of delusions and paranoia. It was a bewildering decline that snowballed from typical work stress to mild depression to sleeplessness to voices speaking to her in the night…”

Nearer My God to Thee - Another video, similar to the one I posted yesterday.

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

November 28, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us, we’ve got Cyber Monday. I’ll have a post in a few minutes rounding up some of the deals. The places to begin, though, are Amazon, Crossway, and Westminster Books. Details to follow. In the meantime, here are things I came across this weekend.

Loving People at School - Jean Williams offers up a great list of ways to love the people at your local public school.

Stoning, Imprisonment, Marry Your Rapist - Absolutely horrifying: “Lawyers in Afghanistan recently came to the conclusion that the best way to strike a plea bargain for a rape victim is to grant her the option to marry the man who raped her.  This option, they assure, will reduce her criminal incarceration from 12 years to three years at the Badambagh Prison located outside of Kabul.”

The Devil’s Playbook - Ray Ortlund says that the Bible reveals to us Satan’s playbook, and he gives the 4 plays.

Ramabai - Paul Levy: “In the endless pursuit of sermon illustrations for tomorrow I came across the inspiring story of Pandita Ramabai, Rowland Ward writes about her here.”

A Lesson in Lyrics - You’ll have to be wary of bad language (it is, after all, an article about rap music), but this article is rather interesting. It tracks disillusionment in President Obama through the lyrics of rap music.

Michael Meets Mozart - This is pretty neat.

Doubt thee, my Lord? I could doubt all except thee; and doubt myself most of all. —C.H. Spurgeon