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A La Carte

October 20, 2009
Just by way of FYI, I noticed today as I opened up my blogging software that this is my 1000th A La Carte entry. It is a feature I began rather on a whim, but I guess it has had legs. I always get cranky emails when I skip a day or two, and I take that as quite a good sign.
A.J. Hamilton Testimony
“Pastor Bubba Jennings interviews Pastor AJ Hamilton at the Ballard campus on Oct. 4th, 2009. Pastor AJ shares his testimony and gives a strong encouragement for women considering abortion that God can redeem any situation.”
Finance Committee Bill
The Finance Committee bill has been filed. Maybe it would be fun to see who can come up with the best one-sentence summary of the 1502 pages of the bill.
The Pursuit of Holiness
Barry shares an illustration Jerry Bridges uses in his classic book The Pursuit of Holiness. “As we grow in the knowledge of God’s holiness, even though we are also growing in the practice of holiness it seems the gap between our knowledge and our practice always gets wider. This is the Holy Spirit’s way of drawing us to more and more holiness…”
Do We Worship a Bully?
Pulpit Magazine answers Richard Dawkins who says, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
October 19, 2009
Who Is Francis Chan?
Christianity Today features Francis Chan. “According to one comment he made in a sermon, Chan gives away about 90 percent of his income (though his church administrator preferred the phrase “most of his income”). Chan doesn’t take a salary from his church, and his book royalties, which total about $500,000, mostly go to organizations like International Justice Mission, which rescues sex slaves in foreign countries. The Chans often open their home to families who need a place to stay. One of Cornerstone’s community pastors, Bill Lucas, lived with Chan for nine months, and says he ‘lives out what he says.’”
Pictures from the World of Medicine
New Scientist provides a round-up of the year’s best pictures from the world of medicine.
Evangel is a new evangelical group blog sponsored by First Things Magazine.
Hoping to Win the Lottery?
Chris Brauns points to a story about Jack Whittaker who won the Powerball lottery but whose life very quickly completely fell apart.
Deal of the Day: Counterfeit Gods
Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller is 45% off the retail price at Monergism Books. Use the coupon code counterfeitgods at check out. This is the best price you’ll find anywhere and it applies to only one copy of the book per order. The sale lasts until Wednesday Oct 21st at midnight.
October 15, 2009
Finding Time for God
True Woman blog addresses the always-difficult issue of finding time for God as a busy mom. “Let me give you a little peek into my life. I have eight children and two in heaven I never got to meet. My kids are currently 32, 30, 27, 23, 21, 18, 15 and 13. I also take care of my mom who has Alzheimers and have four grandchildren age 2 and under! Although I’m not exactly in your shoes right at this moment, I do know what it feels like and I so understand what ‘tired’ means.”
Facebook’s Server Farm
This article describes the incredible amount of infrastructure Facebook requires to serve there 300,000,000 user accounts.
A Pomo Apology Slip
Just like the title says, a postmodern apology slip.
Benny Hinn: Charlatan or Man of God?
FoxNews asks the question. I think we all know the answer.
Send a Gift, Get a Gift
Ligonier is offering a pretty good deal. If you order somebody a gift subscription of Tabletalk Magazine, Ligonier will send you a free gift of a book of your choice.
October 14, 2009
How Piper Became a Pastor
JT has the full scoop on this, the 30th anniversary of Piper’s decision to become a pastor. I think I can speak for all of us when we say that we’re glad he was obedient to God’s call!
DeYoung, Restless and Reformed
Kevin DeYoung, like Justin Taylor, has pulled up roots and moved his blog to The Gospel Coalition. Will the madness never end? Who is next?
Parents, Obey Your Children?
Dr. Mohler on an interesting phenomenon: “In ‘The Defiant Ones,’ a recent essay published in the New Yorker, Daniel Zalewski argues that picture books for children now reflect a world turned upside down in terms of the relationship between parent and child. As he explains, in the newest picture books for children, the kids are solidly in charge.”
Offensive Play
Malcolm Gladwell has penned an interesting article on football, dog fighting and football.
October 13, 2009
How To Set Up Your Desk
Matt Perman kicks off another series dealing with things that most of us don’t think enough about. This time he begins by looking at how you should set up your desk to maximize productivity.
Literate Parents
Here’s a web site I’m looking forward to tracking. Sara is providing short reviews of books for children and offering some talking points and potential objections for each. This will undoubtedly be very helpful for parents!
Dying Well - Lessons from a Baseball Legend
Jeff Robinson writes about Ernie Harwell, the legendary announcer of Major League Baseball games, and his deep commitment to God. “I’ll never forget where I first heard a Christian speak cogently about the sovereignty of God. It wasn’t any of my theological heroes. It wasn’t J.I. Packer or John Piper or R.C. Sproul or John MacArthur or John Calvin or Jonathan Edwards. It wasn’t my seminary professors. No, I first heard about God’s ‘absolute control of all events and all people’ as the children’s catechism puts it, from Ernie Harwell…”
Professor Claims God Is not Creator
Darrell Bock answers a recent article that claimed “Genesis 1:1 is not about creation of the material world but separation within it, removing God from being the Creator in line with the rest of the Bible and the literature of Mesopotamia.”
October 09, 2009
1 in 4 Humans is Muslim
According to a new Pew study, just about 1 in 4 humans in the world is now Muslim. “There are a lot of interesting facts from the 62-page study. One example is that Russia has more Muslims than Jordon and Libya combined. Another is that the Pew Forum estimates the United States Muslim population to be only 2.5 million. That’s 4.5 million less than President Obama stated in his speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University this past June.”
John Calvin: Myths and Urban Legends
“This year we Calvinists have been busy baking birthday cakes with 500 candles on them in honor of John Calvin whose influence has been noted, lamented or celebrated by figures as divergent as the sociologist and economist Max Weber, the journalist G. K. Chesterton and the novelist Marilynne Robinson. As a public service to all non-Calvinists, I have assembled a myth-busting primer on the Protestant Reformer.”
BibleMesh Beta
“Would you like to be able to view a free Christ-centered narrative walkthrough of the Bible by Tim Keller? Would you like to read hundreds of clear, concise, authoritative articles about the core story, doctrines, people, events and ideas of Scripture? Would you like to be able to take unbelievers and young believers through this content?” Then check out the link…
Touched By a Vampire
You knew it had to come—a Christian book about the Twilight series. “People around the world are asking the same question, enraptured with Edward and Bella’s forbidden romance in the Twilight Saga, a four-book serial phenomenon written by Stephenie Meyer. The bestsellers tell the story of a regular girl’s relationship with a vampire who has chosen to follow his “good” side. But the Saga isn’t just another fantasy-it’s teaching girls about love, sex, and purpose. With 48 million copies in print and a succession of upcoming blockbuster films, now is the time to ask the important question: Can vampires teach us about God’s plan for love?”
The Zorilla Test
This one’s for baseball fans only. But since Ben Zobrist has been mentioned a few times around this site, I thought I’d draw your attention to this article, arguing that last year he was one of the most valuable and underrated players in all of baseball.
October 08, 2009
7 Reasons I Love Youth Ministry
Austin Duncan (of Grace Community Church) offers seven reasons that he loves youth ministry.
By Thy Mercy
Indelible Grace Music has a new CD out. It is called By Thy Mercy and, like all of the Indelible Grace albums, features a selection of hymns set to new melodies. (If you want the physical CD, you can get it here. It includes two bonus tracks). (HT:Z)
Save the Children
Christopher Hitchens pens a good article about the Roman Polanski scandal. “The word tragedy has also been employed recently in the same sentence as the name Roman Polanski. In his case, it seems to me fractionally more justified. Polanski directed various tragedies on-screen and was also the victim of some hellish misfortunes in his own life. The media now say tragedy when they mean that bad things have happened to good or—even worse—famous people.”
One Man’s Faithful Service
Randy Alcorn posts a great testimony of one man’s faithfulness. (Question: I’ve heard this one before and have wondered if its perhaps apocryphal. I don’t have any good reason to doubt its authenticity, I suppose, but sometimes I do wonder about stories like this one. Does anyone know if its been verified?).
Engaging Culture with Michael Flaherty
Last spring Micheal Flaherty, President of Walden Media, visited Asbury College as part of its Engaging Culture weekend. Devin Brown interviewed him about his mission, his involvement in the Narnia films, etc.
October 07, 2009
Thinking About the Kingdom
Kevin DeYoung has been thinking and preaching about the kingdom. This is an important point of theology and one that has far-reaching implications. Here he offers just a few thinking-points that will help orient you.
Great Expectations
Mike Gilbart-Smith writes about pastors wives. “As someone who made his greatest ever decision in his life (that wasn’t effected by irresistible grace - though she’s pretty irresistible) in asking Hannah to marry me, let me give unmarried (would-be-)pastors some tips on looking for a woman who will make an exceptional pastor’s wife.”
What if Oil Weren’t Priced in Dollars?
Here is TIME’s optimistic take on what would happen if oil was no longer priced in dollars.
Paul David Tripp Audio
Sojourn Church is offering audio of a recent conference that featured Paul David Tripp. Everything is available for download.
October 06, 2009
Cash for Clunkers Fails to Help
Common sense dictated this would happen but it’s still worth reading why it failed. After all, there’s an important economic lesson in it. “In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices. The people who really belong in the junk yard are the wizards in Washington who peddled this economic malarkey.”
Letterman and the Gospel
Russell Moore: “If you pay a little attention right now to David Letterman, you could learn something critical about carrying the gospel to your neighbors, and to yourself.”
How To Be a Book Critic
“You spend all that time, years maybe, writing a book, and what does someone do? Gives it to a book reviewer. Or worse, a critic. Writers, take heart. Samuel Johnson understands, and speaks for you. Celebrating Johnson’s tercentenary, Harvard University Press has just published a fine edition of his “Selected Writings,” edited by Peter Martin. In an essay for the “Idler,” Dr. Johnson expounded on what it takes to be a book critic…”
Young Married Life
Young Married Life is a new blog courtesy of Focus on the Family and the people of Boundless Magazine.
Double-Tongued Deacons
Mounce looks at 2 Timothy 3:8 and turns it into a very interesting discussion of different Bible translation philosophies. Academics take note: Mounce does a superb job, week after week, of showing the average schmoe like myself why we need academics. If you want to start a blog as an academic, consider modeling after what Mounce does.
October 05, 2009
The Most Wholesome Family on TV
BeliefNet has quite a long interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. “Michelle and Jim Bob, who will be renewing their wedding vows on the TLC special “20 Years, 20 Duggars” on October 8th, recently spoke to Beliefnet Entertainment Editor Dena Ross about possible names for their new baby, how they keep their marriage alive, what they say to their critics, and why they won’t allow their faith edited out of the show.”
Christian Rap with Dever
From IX Marks: “Are ‘Christian’ and ‘rap’ mutually exclusive? Hardly. Shai Linne and Voice explain hip hop culture, rap music’s potential for the gospel, and why rap can’t replace preaching.”
Morality, Hollywood Style
Dr. Mohler writes about the Roman Polanski case. “Are art and artists above moral accountability? The Hollywood elite seem to believe so — and even to be willing to lend their names to the defense of the morally indefensible. Is the celebrity above the law? Watch this case closely.”
Carson on Being Homesick for Heaven
Here is an excellent clip of D. A. Carson answering a question on the kingdom of God and bringing it down to some sobering realities.
Deal of the Day: Westminster Confession
Today at Monergism Books you can get 50% off the retail price of the Westminster Confession of Faith (Hardcover). Use coupon wcf2009 at check out. Limit one per customer, valid until Tuesday Oct 6th.