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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

February 03, 2009
Retrospective on 40 Years
Rick Holland interviews John MacArthur about his first forty years of ministry at Grace Community Church.
Unwavering Commitment
Holland also wrote an article about MacArthur’s unwavering commitment to preaching. “It is the proclamation of the truth from our pulpit that makes it special. Like Ezra, who read the Scripture and explained its meaning to the people, so our pastor proclaims God’s Word to us each week. As a result, the pulpit at Grace Church has an unparalleled reputation for being a place where expositional preaching meets an eager congregation.”
There Really Is a Bible Belt
Dr. Mohler comments on a new Gallup poll that asked 350,000 Americans “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” “There is much to see in this new Gallup report, and everyone from missiologists to marketers will be using the data. Political scientists will have their own interests, as will students of American religion. As for those committed to church ministry and the Great Commission — we see our national mission field in sharper view, state by state.”
How Facebook Plans to Make Money
You know all that information about yourself you’ve been entering into Facebook? Just try to imagine what this is worth to advertisers. That’s how they’re going to make their money…
Memo to Worship Bands
John G. Stackhouse writes a letter to worship bands asking them to turn down the volume just a little bit. “The contrast with the Reformation is the modern-day insistence that a few people at the front be the center of attention. We do it by making six band members louder than a room full of people. But a church service isn’t a concert at which an audience sings along with the real performers. Musicians—every one of them, including the singers—are accompanists to the congregation’s praise. They should be mixed loudly enough only to do their job of leading and supporting the congregation.”
February 02, 2009
The Shack - Four Walls, Four Reviews
The Scriptorium offers four reviews of The Shack. Of particular interest, I think, is the one written by a literary snob as he deals well with one of the book’s most obvious shortcomings. “Papa, the woman who portrays God the Father, reflects on her tendency to love everybody by saying, ‘Guess that’s jes’ the way I is.’ And before the reader can finish rubbing his eyes in disbelief, three lines later Papa says ‘Sho’ nuff!’ Though he comes perilously close, Young at least manages to keep his God character from saying ‘I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout rulin’ no universe!’”
Reflections on Young, Restless, Reformed
Collin Hansen offers some thoughts on what he would do differently if he were to start over in writing his book Young, Restless, Reformed.
Free Audio Book
This month’s free audio book is Not for Sale. “Award-winning journalist David Batstone reveals the story of a new generation of 21st century abolitionists and their heroic campaign to put an end to human bondage. In his accessible and inspiring book, Batstone carefully weaves the narratives of activists and those in bondage in a way that not only raises awareness of the modern-day slave trade, but also serves as a call to action.”
Are You Willing to be Hated?
A good article from Randy Alcorn. “It’s not our job to be popular. We are not contestants on American Idol. And we are not Christ’s speechwriters or PR team, airbrushing Jesus so He has greater appeal to people who don’t want to hear what He said about sin and hell. He’s the King, He calls the shots, we’re just His ambassadors. So let’s represent the real Jesus, the whole Jesus, not just the culturally acceptable one.”
Deal of the Day - Free Shipping
From now until Friday, Monergism Books will give you free economy shipping on orders over $25. Use this coupon code: challies0209.
January 30, 2009
40 Years of MacArthur
Congratulations to Grace Community Church and John MacArthur who together are celebrating MacArthur’s 40th anniversary of ministry at Grace. They have a weekend of special events ahead of them.
Dawn Treader Docks at Fox
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will go forward, having been picked up by Fox. They are targeting a holiday 2010 release.
Goodbye New Attitude, Hello NEXT
The New Attitude Conference has been renamed to NEXT. They have a great event planned for this May.
Win Bible Software
This site offers details of a giveaway of several Bible software packages.
With Al Due Respect, We’re Doomed
This article offers an interesting look at the reverence for Al Gore, especially among members of the government.
Liberals in Love
I enjoyed reading this interview with Bernard Goldberg, author of A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. “This is not the same old, same old. They jumped the shark this time. They really took sides and they didn’t care who knew it. That’s different from anything that happened in the past.”
Undiscovered Sampler
Some free music (of varying quality) for you to download.
Ted Haggard’s Facebook
This is an interesting article from someone who knew Ted Haggard well. “I was hoping — against hope — that The Trials of Ted Haggard would document his walking into the light. It doesn’t. It captures his attempt to reenter the limelight.”
Mohler on Those Who Have Had an Abortion
Paul excerpts some powerful words from Dr. Mohler as he speaks to those who have had an abortion.
Mohler on Abortion Q&A
Here is a great Q&A session with Dr. Mohler as he answers questions about abortion (What about women who are raped? What about pregnancies where the mother’s life is at risk? Etc…).
January 29, 2009
That’s My King!
Yes, you’ve probably heard/seen this before. But it’s worth listening to again. Don’t watch the slides—just listen to the words.
What Are They Buying?
A wise article from Thomas Sowell looks at the bailout package. He says ” Using long, drawn-out processes to put money into circulation to meet an emergency is like mailing a letter to the fire department to tell them that your house is on fire. ”
Deidox
Deidox seeks to bring compelling stories to life through short documentary films. “Our hope is that these short films will inspire you to realize anew how big and active God is, how He is reaching and changing lives in all countries and using His people to accomplish His work.”
Driscoll on Nightline
Nightline recently did a feature on Mark Driscoll. You can watch it here.
Pragmatism over Principle
Chuck Colson looks with some alarm at a number of Obama’s early decisions and shows how he is already choosing pragmatism over principle.
Deal of the Day: Practical Works, Vol 1
Reformation Heritage Books has greatly reduced the price on Richard Baxter’s Practical Works, Vol 1: The Christian Directory.
January 28, 2009
Sovereign Grace Sale
As they did last year, Sovereign Grace is having a sale in February. Books, CDs and even shipping will be heavily discounted.
Rites of Passage
The Point has a good article on pop culture and the hyper-sexualization of young girls and new rites of passage.
ECPA Book Award Nominees
“The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announces the finalists for the 2009 Christian Book Awards. Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Awards honor titles in six categories: Bibles, Bible Reference & Study, Christian Life, Fiction, Children & Youth, and Inspiration & Gift. ”
Rick Warren Goes Quarterly
“He has written one of the best-selling books in history. But can pastor Rick Warren sell a magazine? The test starts this week, with the debut of Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly publication from Reader’s Digest Association to be sold as part of a bundle of multimedia products its backers hope will connect Christians to each other and God. A subscription includes access to a Facebook-like Christian social-media Web site and DVD guides for leading a prayer group.”
The Good Book Company Goes American
“We are pleased to announce the launch of a new, Bible-centered, Christian resource provider in North America. From the 2nd February 2009, The Good Book Company will make available its full range of resources to churches and individuals in North America from its new US-based website.”
Children are not an Economic Burden
Matt Perman interacts with Nancy Pelosi’s comments indicating that she feels children are a burden on the economy.
What the Web Knows About You
“She had me at hello … or just about. Our conversation had barely started when privacy activist Betty Ostergren interrupted me to say that she had found my full name, address, Social Security number and a digital image of my signature on the Web….”
January 27, 2009
Christianity Today Book Award Winners
Over the course of the week, CT will be releasing the list of their top books of 2008. They’ve announced the first two winners already…
Equipping the Saints Through Blogging
Yesterday I contributed to a radio program dealing with blogging. You can hear the audio here.
Trial by Fury
The Washington Post has a story on Ted Haggard. He’s going to be in the media spotlight a whole lot in the days to come.
Unsold Car Gallery
Here is a sign of the times. The Guardian has put together a gallery of photographs showing the multitudes of unsold cars around the world.
How To Use Greek Properly
Mounce answers the question of how to best use Greek in the pulpit. He has some good things to say! Here’s just one: “Do not correct the English Bible. Ever! Never say, “the translators got this wrong.” The damage you can do to a person’s trust in Scripture is unimaginable.”
Being Pro-Life in a Culture of Death
T-Wax interviews Russell Moore on being pro-life in a pro-death culture and on dealing with the specifics challenges brought about by Barack Obama.
January 26, 2009
A New Series on Revive Our Hearts
Nancy Leigh Demoss has begun a new series on Revive our Hearts radio. The subject is “Discerning Truth in a World of Deception.” It promises to be a very good series.
Photographing the President
TIME offers this neat little movie sharing the reflections of two of the men who spent eight years (or longer) photographing President Bush.
1 in 3 ‘Christians’ says ‘Jesus sinned’
WND comments on a new Barna poll which finds that half of Americans who call themselves “Christian” don’t believe Satan exists and fully one-third are confident that Jesus sinned while on Earth.
Abortion Talking Points
John Piper offers fifteen pro-life truths to speak. These make for good conversation points with Christians and non-Christians alike.
Shepherds’ Fellowship Media Vault
The Shepherds’ Fellowship media vault has been opened wide. All of the past sessions and seminars from the Shepherds’ Conference are now free to download.
Deal of the Day: ESV Study Bible
Monergism Books has the ESV Study Bible Genuine Leather Black and Burgundy both for 50% off while quantities last.
January 23, 2009
Four Reasons You Might Be Aborted
Joe Carter writes an open letter to fetal humans explaining four reasons they might be aborted.
Newsbusters on Obama’s Million Ghost March
Newsbusters looked at the satellite photos, did the math, and determined that the estimates were massively inflated. “I doubt it would surprise anyone here that the media would go to their best lengths to over-estimate the number of people at Obama’s inauguration. But just how far? Try a million people.”
22 Weeks
You’ll likely be hearing more about this movie, 22 Weeks, in the coming weeks and months.
Are You Good at Multitasking?
Congratulations! You’re hopelessly inefficient. Matt Perman shares a quote from a book I almost purchased last night when I saw it at the local bookstore.
Today is John Donne’s Birthday
Fred Sanders offers a brief overview of the life of this great poet and preacher.
The Year’s Weirdest Headline
I’ll grant that it’s only January 23, but what are the changes you’ll see a more bizarre headline than this all year? “Clinically Depressed Poodle Mauls Former French President Chirac.”
January 22, 2009
The President, the Passengers, and the Patience of God
Here’s John Piper doing what he does so well. “When King David pondered how many were God’s “wondrous deeds,” he said, “I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told” (Psalm 40:5). That’s the way I feel watching God’s public mercies in the last few days. ”
The Terry Schiavo Story
This forthcoming DVD from Franklin Springs Media looks like it should be very interesting. “The Terri Schiavo Story, a compelling new documentary film, helps to define the issues and investigate the facts, framing an important consideration of the life and death of Terri Schiavo.”
Abortion: The Moral Issue of Our Day
As it is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Ligonier is offering streaming video of Dr. Sproul’s series, Abortion. “If you would like to be able to present an intelligent, well-reasoned defense of the unborn without engaging in a shouting match, this series can help.”
Polite Britons Died on the Titanic
Just an interesting little snippet of history here. “More British passengers died on the Titanic because they queued politely for lifeboats, researchers believe. A behavioural economist says data suggests Britons in that era were more inclined to be “gentlemanly” while Americans were more “individualist”. ”
Why Disney Dropped Narnia
This story gives the inside scoop and offers hope that another company will pick up the next film.
January 21, 2009
Praying for the President
Ligon Duncan has a wise post about praying for the President (though there is much to glean from it even for non-Americans like myself).
Echoes of Babel
T-Wax offers an interesting perspective on America’s new national sin. “The truly troubling aspect of the new era we have just inaugurated is the underlying assumption among so many in our country that now, finally, we have truly arrived. A new age has dawned!” And if appears like this to an American, imagine how all the rhetoric appears to non-Americans…
Promoting Schoolwork
A new series at the Shepherd Press blog deals with schoolwork. It answers this question: ” I’d like to see you address the topic of motivation in schoolwork sometime on your blog. How do we use the Scriptures to instill in our kids a motivation to do their best in their studies? What form should discipline take for children who do not apply themselves the way they should?”
Facebook Terms of Use
Most of us don’t read the terms of use when we sign up with a new site. This person did when signing up for Facebook and found something interesting. We should probably read these boring documents a little more diligently…
ESV Bookmark Hack
This blog shows how to hack an ESV Bible in order to add extra ribbon bookmarks to it.

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