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A La Carte

October 27, 2009
Open Tax Records
How strange is this? “In a move that would be unthinkable elsewhere, tax authorities in Norway have issued the ‘skatteliste,’ or ‘tax list,’ for 2008 to the media under a law designed to uphold the country’s tradition of transparency.” In other words, they release the income statements of everyone in the country.
Benny Hinn on Nightline
Benny Hinn tries to play the game on Nightline. He seems to be trying harder to be seen as a mainstream Christian preacher. And yet he continues to preach heresy and to enrich himself at everyone else’s expense.
Attack of the Ginormous Study Bibles
Broadman & Holman have a new Study Bible coming out, and they have a bit of fun contrasting it with the size of the ESV Study Bible.
October 26, 2009
Teen-Friendly Dawkins
Atheist Richard Dawkins “is penning a new book which will target his most impressionable audience: teens. The controversial atheist, scientist and avid Darwin supporter, is planning to write, What is a Rainbow, Really?, an illustrated book which will take a myth-busting approach to questions about the natural world.” Dawkins ought to read Mark 9:42 before sending the book to his publisher.
The Next Fireproof
“The makers of the surprise hit Fireproof (Provident Films/Provident-Integrity Distribution) plan to reveal their follow-up to the top independent movie release of 2008 next month.” I find these words a bit troubling: “Their prayer hasn’t been for a good movie; it’s been for a God movie…”
Abortion and Genocide
This is both startling and sickening: “Abortion kills more black Americans than the seven leading causes of death combined, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2005, the latest year for which the abortion numbers are available.”
Deals of the Day
Here are a few deals that made their way into my inbox overnight. While We Sojourn is giving away t-shirts in honor of Reformation Day. 22 Words is giving away ESV Study Bibles an giving you 22 ways to win. And Monergism Books is offering free shipping on orders over $30 sent to US addresses. Use coupon code reformationday.
October 23, 2009
The Problem With Our Economy
As usual Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) gets it just about right.
The USS New York
This is a brilliant PR move, not to mention a great way of reusing material. “The Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, the USS New York was built with 24 tons of scrap steel recovered from the World Trade Center attacks. New York Governor George Pataki requested that the ship, one of five which was already under construction at the time, be named in remembrance of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.”
The Answer to Everything
Julian talks about background research for a sermon series and how it led him to the Apostle Paul’s answer to, well, everything!
Friday Deals at Amazon
In case you’re not aware, Amazon always has different items for sale on Fridays. It is always an eclectic group of items (varying this week from candles to mechanic’s gloves). The usual caveat applies: if you buy something you weren’t otherwise going to buy, you’re not saving yourself any money!
October 22, 2009
Should Christians Say Their Aim Is Conversion?
John Piper asks this question—a good and fair question in today’s climate.
Beware Your Seminary Professors
Jonathan Leeman offers some good reasons to have a certain wariness toward seminary professors. “None of the rules for academic engagement are bad, per se. But they become bad in the Christian academy when they’re divorced from pastoral sensibilities. This struck home, to speak frankly, by the utter lack of pastoral carefulness demonstrated by many of the speakers, a carelessness which I’ve witnessed too often in Christian academic circles.”
What if I Can’t Have Children?
This question comes up at the True Woman blog as this month they focus on children. Mindy Kroesche: “I’m not writing this post to tell you how painful infertility can be. You already know that. Instead, I want to share some ways to cope and ways God used this suffering in my life to shape and mold me into the woman He wants me to be.”
October 21, 2009
Modern Day Lepers
Ali writes about women afflicted with vesico-vaginal fistulas (VVFs). This is a problem almost unknown in the first world but epidemic in the third world. It leaves the women as social outcasts, utterly rejected by their families.
Social Media in Real Time
This site offers amazing counters, showing just how quickly social media is growing.
Hitchens & Wilson at Huffington Post
Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson both write for Huffington post on whether religion is absurd. “Last fall, we went on tour debating the topic “Is Religion Good For The World?” Our arguments were captured on film for a new documentary, Collison. Are our morals dictated to us by a supreme entity or do discoveries made by science and reason, make Atheism a natural conclusion? You decide.”
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.”