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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

April 10, 2012

An Increase in Reading - “A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey. The portion of e-book readers among all American adults has increased to 21 percent from 17 percent between December and February, due in large part to a boom in tablet and e-reader sales this past holiday season.”

A Passion for the Gospel - I enjoyed reading this quick account of the faith of Bubba Watson, the winner of the Masters Tournament.

You and You - Bill Mounce: “I wish modern English had a different form for “you” plural. It would solve some sticky translation problems. So until then, I guess we all have to learn some Greek.”

9 World-Tilting Truths - Trevin Wax looks to a recent book and shares 9 world-tilting truths that are “refreshingly God-centered (thus the world-tilting image) and offers a robust yet accessible look at major biblical truths.”

4 Thoughts for T4G - Kevin DeYoung offers four thoughts for those of us who are at Together for the Gospel. Darryl Dash offers some thoughts for those who aren’t able to be here.

The Secret Life of Plankton - They exist in the trillions and are at the very bottom of the food chain.

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. —A.W. Pink

April 09, 2012

 

Missing Missing - R.C. Sproul Jr. has a poignant reflection as he remembers his wife. “She doesn’t sit beside me when I’m alone in the car anymore. She doesn’t look over my shoulder when I am typing and crying alone anymore. Somehow the more time passes, the farther she is gone, not because I am forgetting her, but because I am remembering her. The great heartbreak is that she is now becoming my past, rather than my ever present.”

The Internet Is Ruining Your Brain - Here’s an infographic that takes a rather cursory look at how and why the Internet is ruining your brain. While “ruining” may be too strong a word, there’s no doubt that brains are changing in this new, digital world.

Pixels Are People - And in a world like this one, Nathan Bingham wants to remember that pixels are people. “Pixels are people. The relationships I had via bits and bytes with folks from the US while I lived in Australia were real. Meeting people here in person for the first time wasn’t the beginning of a friendship but the continuation of an already existing one.”

Ten Boom Museum - The Ten Boom Museum website has a really amazing virtual tour. Be sure to listen to the audio at each of the different locations. (HT)

As God’s mercies are new every morning toward his people, so his anger is new every morning against the wicked. —Matthew Henry

April 06, 2012

 

Five Titanic Myths - Speaking of Titanic, here are a few myths about Titanic that have been spread by movies. “It is the tragic story that everybody knows the end to - the doomed Titanic sinks. Its final hours have become the stuff of myth - but how much have the various film versions of the story helped to create and reinforce these legends?”

Romans 7 & J.I. Packer - This blogger shares a key insight into Romans 7 that he learned from J.I. Packer.

Hotel Rankings - I was wondering about this very thing the other day: How do online hotel rankings work and why don’t they ever seem to agree? WSJ has an article worth reading before booking your next room.

Age Before Beauty - An article on aging. “Aging gracefully in Hollywood seems, to a certain point, optional these days—at least until you hit the freakish plastic surgery stage. Aniston, it is said, spends more than $141,000 a year to look as good as she does—or about $400 a day.”

Positive about Psychiatric Medications - “Biblical counseling can be positive about psychiatric medications. It depends, in part, on the person or group we have in mind. For example, if I am thinking about my father, who was overmedicated, I would say one thing. If I am thinking about another family member, who was helped by psychiatric medications, I would emphasize medication’s usefulness.”

Get Bored - Do you want to get more creative? Then maybe you need to get bored first.

To deny the great doctrine of atonement by the blood of Jesus Christ is to hamstring the gospel, and to cut the throat of Christianity. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 05, 2012

He Buried 200 Church Members - Erik Raymond: “There in his office I was struck with so many emotions. Here stood a man who has buried over two hundred of his parishoners. And here I stand, a young-buck having buried a grand total of zero of our members.”

RYM Minute - R.C. Sproul hasn’t joined Twitter, but he’s done the audio equivalent with these new Renewing Your Mind minutes—short podcasts that get straight to the point.

Praying Past Our Preferred Outcomes - You can read the whole article, or just even read the first paragraph and you’ll have something to think about. “It is one thing to be asked to pray for another person. … However, it is another thing to be told what to ask God for in the situation. I’ve noticed that often requests for prayer come with specific instructions on how to pray. I call it a ‘please pray for my predetermined positive outcome’ request.”

The Crucifixion - This is a helpful article from Stand to Reason. It clearly outlines what took place in Jesus’ last few hours.

Banning Laptops - Yesterday I spent some time with the teachers at my old high school and a lot of our conversation was around issues like this—technology in the classroom. Should it be encouraged and discouraged? Should students be able to use their laptops in class, but without Internet access? So many new questions…

Daily Life - I enjoyed this photo gallery. “Nearly 2,000 images moved across the wires last month under the category ‘daily life’.” This is a gallery of some of the most interesting from around the world.

Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God the more of God will be seen in you. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 04, 2012

The Importance of Letters - I know that I don’t write as many letters as I should (as in old-fashioned letters); this article from WORLD affirms what I already know! The author says that Christians—people of the written Word—should not lose the skill of writing letters.

How Eternity Shapes Our Mundane - “Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.”

Consequentialism - I appreciate what Bob Glenn says in this article. He applies it specifically to Mark Driscoll but the application can certainly go far wider than that.

D&D @ T4G - If you’re heading to Together for the Gospel and are anxious for even more, you may want to check out this pre-conference event. There will be “a pre-conference dinner from Chuy’s Tex Mex, followed by a panel discussion on Christ-centered theology and ministry. Dialogue will feature Josh Harris, Carl Trueman, Matt Pinson, Jeff Bethke and J.D. Greear, hosted by Russell D. Moore.”

The Gospel of the Bible - A couple of years ago I spoke at a conference here in Toronto that has subsequently been turned into a book. IVP has just published my contribution online. (Other contributors to the book include Andy Crouch, Ron Sider, Shane Claiborne—rather an eclectic mix.)

Free Music - Page CXVI is giving away an album for Easter.

Dirt - A unique video for an interesting song.

I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another. —D.L. Moody

April 03, 2012

 

Is Easter too Violent for Kids? - “Every year, around this time, parents and churches ponder how to communicate the Easter story to children, as something more than dyed eggs. The problem is, of course, that it’s impossible to talk about the resurrection of Jesus without talking about death. And, in the case of Jesus, it’s really hard to talk about death without talking about crucifixion.”

Pinterest - Pinterest is the latest social media phenomenon. I waited a long time before joining in, but can’t deny that I’m quite enjoying the experience. I’m collecting infographics, wallpapers, art and other things that may be of interest to Christians.

On Being a Black, Female, Christian - Trillia Newbell offers up some interesting reflections on what it means to be a black, Christian female in a predominantly white church.

Nature’s Best Photography - There are some outstanding photos here; the one you’ll see when you click is just stunning. Scroll down and you’ll find some more.

Themelios - If you’re feeling scholarly today, you may want to check out the latest edition of Themelios.

An Athlete and His Money - Ever wondered why it is that an athlete can make millions in his career and be bankrupt as soon as he stops playing? GQ explains. (The link is safe and clean but you don’t necessariliy want to go rooting around the GQ site.)

If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, he will do it according to the Scriptures, and never contrary to them. —George Muller

April 02, 2012

Women Are Not Fish - Mary Kassian looks at Gloria Steinem’s famous quip “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and says “Today’s young woman is taught to value personal power and independence. She can WIN! She doesn’t need men. Indeed, in order to truly win, she must do so without them. Men are the bad guys. They’re the ones who stand in the way of a woman reaching her full potential.”

30 Things to Remember in Seminary - Burk Parsons: “Seminary is an academic graduate school, indeed, but, more fundamentally, it is a training institution for those who believe they have been called by God to give the entirety of their lives to fulfill the Great Commission—at whatever cost. It should be no surprise, then, that it’s in the seminary where our Enemy is seeking someone to devour, accuse, and deceive.”

Don’t Do Seminary Without the Church - On the subject of seminary, Denny Burk challenges the seminarian to remain firmly planted in a local church during his studies.

The Poor and the Lottery - “The Mega Millions jackpot makes this the week to talk about lottery economics, so here’s a whopper: Households earning less than $13,000 a year spend a shocking 9% of their money on lottery tickets, Henry Blodget relays from a PBS report. Are they clueless? Are they desperate? Are they economical? Maybe, probably, and possibly.”

Quadruplets - Here’s a Monday morning laugh (or giggle, at least). ImprovEverywhere conscripts eight sets of identical quadruplets and uses them to create a surreal experience for anyone who happened to be walking through the park.

[Supposed] Myths about Revelation - The book of Revelation has been in the news lately since it is the subject of a book that has been on the bestseller lists. Here CNN shares 4 things about Revelation that the author of this book identifies as myths. It’s a classic case of a scholar speaking boldly and confidently (and wrongly!) and taking people along in her error. Like when she says that the author of Revelation was not a Christian.

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its escstasies but its obedience. —Oswald Chambers

March 31, 2012

A Suicidal Craze - John Piper discusses the folly of the lottery. He said it well in a tweet: “Can you picture Jesus playing the lottery?” In this article he says, “There are at least seven reasons you should not gamble with your money in this way — and should tell your congressmen not to support it.”

Amazon’s New Robots - This is amazing! “Amazon announced recently that they bought a company named Kiva for $775 million. In cash. Kiva makes robots for fulfillment warehouses, of which Amazon has many. When I heard this news, I was all, robots are cool, but $775 million? But this short video on how the Kiva robots work made me a believer…”

What a Writer Owes a Reader? - “As readers, do we have a right to act as if a writer owes us something? I think we do, but not in the way that we most often make the claim. As readers we are not owed something we like or with which we agree. But writers do owe us something,a whole combination of somethings, in fact.”

The Life We Long For - James Hamilton writes about Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, a very, very powerful book.

If you live in Souther Ontario, you may be interested in two conferences coming our way: Simeon Trust will be in Mississauga from May 2-4 while Gospel Coalition will be here from May 29-31.

A home with no head is a disaster, one with two is a monstrosity. —John Blanchard