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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

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

May 10, 2012

Evolution’s End? - Dr. Mohler writes about President Obama’s evolution toward this new “historic and tragic milestone.” “An incumbent President of the United States has now called for a transformation of civilization’s central institution. And yet, no observer of this president could be surprised. The arrival of this announcement was only a matter of time.”

The Next Story - Matthias Media’s The Briefing has a kind and encouraging review of The Next Story. I guess it was a year ago now that the book released. Tempus fugit.

The 39 Clues - The 39 Clues series of books have been really popular with kids, including my own. Book Moms has been working their way through the series and reviewing them. They write a review and also offer a list of talking points.

Remember Your Creator - Here is a list of four reasons to remember your Creator in the days of your youth. Our enemy says, “Youth for pleasure, middle age for business, old age for religion.” The Bible says, “Youth, middle age, and old age for your Creator.”

Beyond Prevention - Brad Hambrick of The Summit Church has put together a Sexual Abuse Response Policy for Churches. “This policy is being shared publicly to serve as a resource for churches. Sexual abuse against children is frequent enough that the church must be prepared to respond. The well-being of children is at stake. The faith of generations in a family and entire communities are at stake.”

How Big Is the Universe? - Here’s another infographic’s take on how big (and how small) the universe is.

I believe nothing merely because Calvin taught it, but because I have found his teaching in the Word of God. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 09, 2012

Her Primary Ministry - I’ve been enjoying Gloria Furman’s series on the pastor’s wife. Looking to the New Testament she asks, “But where is the list of qualifications to be an elder’s wife? Scripture-based ecclesiology offers no explicit job description for the office of pastor’s wife, because there is no such office.” Her answer is very helpful.

The Quotable Elizabeth - While we’re on that topic, I really enjoyed this interview with Elizabeth Bass, a pastor’s wife. In this interview, and in part one, she is refreshingly honest about what she does, what she doesn’t do, where she is prone to sin, and so on.

The North Carolina Vote - Ryan T. Anderson writes about the way the vote in North Carolina is being framed. “How we talk about an issue affects how we think about it… . Today’s vote in North Carolina is not about banning anything. Nothing will be made illegal as a result.” (HT)

A Disturbing Trend in Publishing - This is, indeed, a disturbing trend. Unfortunately I’m not sure that it’s likely to end with anything less than the disappearance of the hardcover book. 

What Sermon Prep Looks Like - I can identify with some of this, though I typically work extra hard to make sure that my sermon’s done by Friday afternoon. I guess that doesn’t keep me from tinkering with it on Saturday night and Sunday morning…

Heavenly Mindedness - Randy Alcorn writes about the value of being heavenly minded. “If you lack a passion for heaven, I can almost guarantee it’s because you have a deficient and distorted theology of heaven (or you’re making choices that conflict with heaven’s agenda). An accurate and biblically energized view of heaven will bring a new spiritual passion to your life.”

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl - N.D. Wilson’s DVD Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, which makes rather a good graduation gift, has seen a price drop at Amazon. It’s worth checking out.

You can have a head full of Scripture and a heart full of sin. —Vance Havner

May 08, 2012

Honor the Vanilla Men - Carl Truemen on the apostle Paul: “What he advocates is the appointment of rather bland, non-descript, respectable men as elders.  These vanilla men, basically competent and with no skeletons in the cupboard, are to be entrusted with keeping the church on the straight and narrow.”

One Remarkable Marriage - This is a powerful video that you just need to watch. John Piper says, “I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things.”

Leave it to the Imagination - This article looks at stories and fiction and talks about some of the things that are best left to the imagination.

Supermoon - The Big Picture has a gallery of amazing photos of the recent supermoon. Guess who forgot to go outside that night? Sigh.

Frequent Fliers - If you’ve got the time and interest, this is an interesting article about American Airlines’ ill-advised effort to sell lifetime passes.

Mothers Day and the Infertile - Russell Moore: “Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don’t even know it. This is true even in congregations that don’t focus the entire service around the event as if it were a feast day on the church’s liturgical calendar. Infertile women, and often their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows.”

As to breach of unity, nothing has ever more largely promoted the union of the true than the break with the false. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 07, 2012

Things Introverts Dread in Church - I can identify with all of these, though I’ve learned to enjoy at least a couple of them. This is a list of The Top 5 Things Introverts Dread about Church (written so extroverts may understand).

Canada Stops Making Cents - We’re so progressive up here in Canada. We’ve finally done what everyone’s been talking about and have gotten rid of the penny.

Terminology for the Web - This article looks at the way the web is changing our language and adding to our lexicon. And speaking of new words, here are some you may like to add to your vocabulary. They come courtesy of the new volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English.

Gospel Coalition Ontario - A Gospel Coalition conference is coming to Ontario at the end of the month. For those interested, they are now offering day passes as well as conference passes.

Avoid Burnout - David has a really helpful infographic that shares six simple ways to avoid burnout.

History in 15 Cars - Here’s the history of America in fifteen cars.

Aren’t You Being Intolerant? - How can we answer people when they say that we are intolerant? Greg Koukl provides a useful answer.

In Christ Jesus heaven meets earth and earth ascends to heaven. —Henry Law

May 05, 2012

You Belong to Christ - I appreciate what Luma gets at in this article about motherhood. “I am NOT anti-motherhood, I am for Christ-centered motherhood! It is because I have lived at the two extremes of neglecting family, and making family my idol, that I can say some of the hard things I’m going to say. God willing with a gracious spirit speaking the truth in love.”

The Campus Tsunami - “What happened to the newspaper and magazine business is about to happen to higher education: a rescrambling around the Web.”

Read More Fiction - Here, from The Art of Manliness, is an explanation of why men ought to read more fiction. I don’t know that I buy all of it, but there are some good points there.

How’s Your Mongolian? - This is an interesting post that introduces quite a unique blog.

Most Read Books - Here’s an infographic displaying the top ten most read books in the world over the last 50 years.

Gritty NYC - “Almost a million images of New York and its municipal operations have been made public for the first time on the internet. The city’s Department of Records officially announced the debut of the photo database. Here are a few highlights.”

Will - This is a powerful little movie. It is beautifully animated as well.

A world without God is a world without fear, without law, without order, without hope. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 04, 2012

Muscular Christianity - Michael Horton has penned a good and interesting article in which he takes issue with the idea that Christianity needs to be masculine and muscular. It’s a bit dense and the font is pretty small, but make your way through it anyway!

The Downside of Cohabitation - It could be that the most important thing about this article is that it is from the New York Times. “Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.”

Student Reading - Truth for Life has put together a helpful list of recommended reading for students. Also, if you make a donation to TFL, you can receive a copy of Don’t Call It a Comeback, a book I contributed to.

Jon Will’s Gift - This is a sweet and powerful article from the Washington Post. “When Jonathan Frederick Will was born 40 years ago — on May 4, 1972, his father’s 31st birthday — the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome was about 20 years. That is understandable.” (HT)

The Larger Catechism - Danny Hyde is beginning a blog series on the Westminster Larger Catechism. It ought to be an interesting series.

The Bible, The Whole Bible - Ligonier Ministries did an interview with Eric Alexander that is well worth the read. He talks about preaching, the call to ministry, how Christians can prepare themselves for the Lord’s Day, and so on. While on the subject of Ligonier, you may want to check out their $5 Friday deals since there are some good ones this week.

Nobody has understood Christianity who does not understand the word ‘justified.’ —John Stott