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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

March 02, 2012

 

The Forgetting Pill - Consider a pill that could take away our worst memories. “In the very near future, the act of remembering will become a choice. … Psychiatry never cures anything—all we do is treat the worst symptoms. But this new treatment could be the first psychiatric cure ever.”

Meet Fred Luter - WSJ has an introduction to Fred Luter, the man who this spring will likely become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

On Controversy - “A minister, about to write an article criticizing a fellow minister for his lack of orthodoxy, wrote to John Newton of his intention. Newton replied as follows…”

Open Journalism - The Guardian describes what it means to pursue open journalism—one of the realities of life in this digital world.

Of what use is it to have many irons in the fire if the fire is going out? —Eric Roberts

March 01, 2012

5 Dangers of Fallible Prophecy - Nathan Busenitz looks at a recent debate between Wayne Grudem and Ian Hamilton and points out 5 dangers inherent in Wayne Grudem’s view of ongoing, fallible prophecy.

Elements in True Reformation - Did you know that J.I. Packer once wrote a book titled Hot Tub Religion? Anyway, Randy Alcorn quotes it here, giving an interesting and important excerpt on the elements of true reformation.

Poetry in Single Columns - Here’s something I’ve noticed before. J. Mark Bertrand offers an explanation as to how poetry is printed in English Bibles.

Percentage of the Population - “It’s often said that if you repeat something loud enough and long enough, people will begin to believe it. Such is the case with the claim that 10% of the population is gay. Though it’s commonly believed, the figure is rarely questioned.”

A Pastor’s Neglect - Brian Croft writes about a couple of the consequences for the pastor who neglects his family for the sake of ministry.

World Record - This is phenomenal. 

Take care of your life and the Lord will take care of your death. —George Whitefield

February 29, 2012

The Best Thing - What’s the best thing you can do for your pastor? “Compliment him on his outstanding, almost Charles Spurgeon-like sermon? Give money to the church? Give your time and skills to the church? Not heckle him? Admire him for his manly beard? While those are all wonderful things, they are not the best thing that you can do for you pastor.”

The Joy of Calvinism - Westminster Books is offering a one-week sale on the new book The Joy of Calvinism. There are a few other good deals there as well.

Translating Son of God - John Piper looks at some forty-year-old wisdom on how to translate “the Son of God,” a raging debate in the Muslim world.

Luther Insulter - Click the link and Martin Luther will insult you. You know you want to…

The Relief of No Career - “I have never had a ‘career.’ When my kids’ friends were asked what I ‘did,’ my kids would say, ‘She’s my mother.’ Unlike most women, I don’t have an identity to add to the designation of mother, Christian woman, or wife.”

An Ancient Tomb - “In an ancient tomb located below a modern condominium building in Jerusalem, archaeologists have found ossuaries — bone boxes for the dead — bearing engravings that could represent the earliest archaeological evidence of Christians ever found.”

All He Does Is Lin - Here’s a fun take on the Lin phenomenon.

Be careful how you spend your time: Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of. —Richard Baxter

February 28, 2012

Little Miss Red Shoes - A heart-wrenching article from the field. “Little Miss Red Shoes goes to school with her friends. She’s in second grade. She lives with her mother and an aunt. Her father left the family years ago, though she thinks she saw him sometime in the last year. Her mom is HIV positive on treatment, sells little bits of beans and corn for a living, and often turns to the local church for assistance.”

Theology Refresh - Theology Refresh is a helpful new series from Desiring God. You can watch or listen in as pastors and theologians address a particular issue with each episode. Remarkably, they even manage to keep it short!

How to Listen to a Sermon - Reformation21 has an interesting article from Philip Ryken who offers wisdom on how to listen to a sermon.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - This is really powerful.

The Gift of Discouragement - “Some people in the church seem to have the spiritual gift of discouragement.  It’s all that guy can do – discourage others. Truthfully, we are all ‘that guy’ far too often.” Here’s how to turn it around!

Rise O Buried Lord - This album from Redeemer Church of Knoxville is on sale until Easter. You can also listen to it here if you want to give it a try.

Making a Wrong Decision - Does God have a plan b for my life if I make a wrong decision?

The Christian’s task is to make the Lord Jesus visible, intelligible and desirable. —Len Jones

February 27, 2012

The Santorum Predicament - I enjoyed Dr. Mohler’s take on The Santorum Predicament. “Rick Santorum is still a long shot for the Republican nomination, but his candidacy and its coverage in the mainstream media tell us a great deal about the fate of conservative candidates and conservative convictions in the public square.”

Bethlehem Succession Plan - It’s interesting to read about Bethlehem Baptist Church’s succession plan for John Piper. It is an unusual process to have to go through—to seek to replace a preacher like John Piper (who intends to step down from his preaching role in the summer of 2014).

Praying During Sermon Prep - Here’s one for the pastor: a guide on how to pray during sermon preparation. It can also help the non-preacher know how to pray for the guy preparing the sermon!

And While Preparing to Lead Worship - Inspired by the previous article, Matt Boswell has come up with a list of 8 ways to pray while preparing to serve as a worship leader.

Evaluating Movies - There is no one way to evaluate movies that will always filter the good from the bad, so I’m always interested in hearing how others go about it. Here is Randy Alcorn’s take.

Our old man is crucified, but he is long at dying. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 25, 2012

To Praise Bands - James Smith recently penned an interesting and controversial letter to praise bands. I don’t agree with all he said, but I do appreciate the way he has stimulated my thoughts on the matter. It’s a conversation worth having.

The Land of My Heritage - Luma Simms has an article on her family’s heritage in Iraq, a nation they fled in the ‘70’s.

Landscapes - This is an amazing photo gallery of landscapes. I don’t think you need to connect on Google+ in order to view it.

I Asked the Lord - This is a lesser-known hymn from Newton, but a very powerful one. 

Slum Dwellers - “One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services.” The Big Picture has a photo gallery.

Born that Way? - Stand to Reason offers a way to engage with people who say “I was just born this way.”

4 Preaching Tips - “I have never met a preacher who did not want to increase the effectiveness of his sermon. The question is where to start? We often, and rightly so, head over towards the practical application of the Word itself. We spend more time praying, reading, studying, writing, and thinking. These are good and right. I encourage all of this. But the focus of this post is a little different.”

A God who could pardon without justice might one of these days condemn without reason. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 24, 2012

7 Marks of Humility - God’s leadership principles are the complete opposite of man’s. Paul Tautges goes to Philippians and shows that in God’s economy the way up is down.

The Best Chess Player in the World - Here’s an interesting profile of the world’s best chess player. The money quote: “I enjoy it when I see my opponent suffering.” Don’t we all?

A Lentendud - This is the time of year that those of us who don’t mark Lent feel really superior about ourselves (or the opposite, depending on your context). Douglas Wilson writes about Lent, those who celebrate it, and what they need to be aware of.

$3.5 Million in the Attic - “When Michael Rorrer found 345 comic books neatly stacked in a basement closet as he cleaned out his great-aunt’s Virginia home after her death, he thought they were cool but didn’t think much about their value.” But that wouldn’t make the news, so there must be more to the story…

Dating Tebow - I love stories like this one.

Tax Dollars - It’s always a bit depressing to know where all your tax dollars go. This infographic displays it nicely. And speaking of infographics, here’s one that looks at e-reading and e-readers.

Take a saint, and put him into any condition, and he knows how to rejoice in the Lord. —Walter Cradock

February 23, 2012

Visual Theology - If you are interested in purchasing some of those Visual Theology infographics/posters, you can get 20% off your order by using the code JUMP20.

Google Glasses - What is this world coming to? “People who constantly reach into a pocket to check a smartphone for bits of information will soon have another option: a pair of Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time.” This is even worse: connected cars.

Books on Prayer - Andrew Case’s books on prayer are all available for free in ebook formats. There are three: one for husbands, one for wives, and one for children. Each one focuses on praying Scripture while interceding for the one(s) you love.

The Apostles - The current issue of National Geographic has a major story about the Apostles. Unfortunately (and, I suppose, not surprisingly) it’s a bit of a mess of mysticism, speculation and poor theology. “They were unlikely leaders. As the Bible tells it, most knew more about mending nets than winning converts when Jesus said he would make them ‘fishers of men.’ Yet 2,000 years later, all over the world, the Apostles are still drawing people in.”

Real Books - Kevin DeYoung hopes that real books will never die. But they probably will anyway. Still, I pretty much agree with most of what he writes.

Conversation with Bezos - Amazon’s publishing model: “All along the way he’s stayed with his strategy of losing money to achieve that domination. His latest effort in this regard is well-known in publishing and was nicely summarized in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek piece. Bezos is going head to head with publishers—offering huge advances to authors and promising astronomical royalty rates that no publisher can maintain.”

Grace for Today - “I’m also learning that God gives grace for today. Period. I will meet troubles today and God will give me grace for those troubles. He does not give me grace today for troubles that will come tomorrow. God doesn’t give me grace for imaginary troubles, he gives me grace for real troubles.”

Philosophy and religion may reform, but only the Bible can transform. —Brian Edwards