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A La Carte

September 16, 2009
Dying in America
An article like this one raises some very good questions about end-of-life care in our society. “When you’ve lived to be 91, death is not untimely. It is not a tragedy. And my grandmother’s death, in particular, should not have been so cruel. Money was not an issue. She had great insurance, and enough savings to pay for anything that Medicare and her insurance company would not. She had signed all the right forms. And she had the support of her family to die on her terms, as peacefully as possible.”
Michael Yon offers up another excellent photo essay, this one showing the work of the Air Force Pararescue in Afghanistan.
Christ Formed in You
Christ Formed in You is a forthcoming book authored by Brian Hedges. He and his editor, Kevin Meath, are blogging together to show how a book gets through the writing and the editing stages.
The Official Chuck Norris Factbook
Christian publisher Tyndale House will soon release The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book: 101 of Chuck’s Favorite Facts and Stories. I’m (mostly) speechless.
September 15, 2009
A Long Journey in Church Discipline
Thabiti links to a series of three articles by Tom Ascol. “They are stirring posts about a man lovingly disciplined by his church over 15 years ago. After 15 years of continuing in unrepentance, Ascol and the Grace Baptist Church family saw this man restored in repentance and love a few weeks back.” It is a great testimony to God’s grace.
Sex, Lies and Abortion
Dinesh D’Souza pens a good article for Christianity Today, placing abortion in its proper context as a part of the sexual revolution. “Abortion is the debris of the sexual revolution. We have seen a great shift in the sexual mores of Americans in the past half-century. Today a widespread social understanding persists that if there is going to be sex outside marriage, there will be a considerable number of unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is viewed as a necessary clean-up solution to this social reality.”
The Hope You Need
The Hope You Need is the long-awaited follow-up to Rick Warren’s megaselling The Purpose Driven Life. It is coming our way in November of this year.
Storm Chaser
The Guardian has some incredible photos taken by professional storm chaser Jim Reed.
Trinity and Gender
CBMW has audio for a recent panel. “The panel discussion is a helpful dialogue between Drs. Randy Stinson, Bruce A. Ware, and Gregg Allison. If you are unfamiliar with the debate concerning the Trinity and gender issues, this discussion would be a good place to start. The participants are clear with their position, as well as fair to those with whom they disagree.”
CBD’s Autumn Sale
Bargain hunters will enjoy sorting through the virtual bargain bin that is CBD’s annual Autumn Sale. I spent a few minutes sorting through the products and spotted quite a few good deals.
September 14, 2009
Global Warming Takes a Break
I am beginning to see more and more articles claiming things like this: “It is increasingly clear that global warming is on hiatus for the time being. And that is not what the UN, the alarmist scientists or environmentalists predicted. For the past dozen years, since the Kyoto accords were signed in 1997, it has been beaten into our heads with the force and repetition of the rowing drum on a slave galley that the Earth is warming and will continue to warm rapidly through this century until we reach deadly temperatures around 2100.”
How Jeremiah Burroughs Learned Contentment
Timmy Brister prints a guest column by Phil Simpson who is writing a biography on Burroughs. Simpson demonstrates how it is that Burroughs learned to be content.
High Speed Internet vs. Carrier Pigeon
I love the originality of this experiment. “An IT company, Unlimited IT, set up the race between an 11-month-old bird named Winston and the ADSL service of the country’s biggest Web firm, Telekom. Winston took two hours to carry a 4GB data stick 60 miles; in the same time, 4 percent of the data had been transferred via ADSL.”
Pulpit Magazine Returns
I think this may mark the second time Pulpit Magazine has made a comeback (Pulpit is a ministry of The Shepherds’ Fellowship). Anyway, it’s back (again). This week they are focusing on the difference between a Catholic and Protestant understanding of justification.
Free Shipping at Monergism Books
Monergism Books is offering free economy shipping for all orders over $25 in the USA. The deal ends Tuesday evening at midnight. Use coupon code sept2009 at check out to get the deal.
September 11, 2009
Praying for More than a Few Minutes
In this small article Paul describes why, at Grace Fellowship Church (aka my church) we set aside days of prayer. “When Grace Fellowship Church began we were one dependent lot. We had no money, no building, no people, and no guarantee of success. Yet, reading of two personalities from the past had recently impacted me…”
Recommended Systematic Theologies
Keith Mathison provides a round-up of some of his highest recommendations for systematic theologies.
The Heavens and the Hubble
Dr. Mohler tells how the Hubble telescope is looking to the heavens and telling of God’s glory. “The images are simply amazing, even to a non-astronomer. These visions have never been seen by human eyes before. In these and so many other ways, this generation has glimpsed the grandeur of the creation like no generation before us.”
It Is Not Death To Die
Tullian Tchividjian writes movingly of his father who is in critical condition following a liver transplant. “When I walked into the ICU, I gasped. I cried. He was heavily sedated; tubes coming in and out of everywhere. Bloody bandages all over the place. He was bloated. He looked dead. Even though his eyes were closed and filled with tears, he would grimace in pain from time to time. I think he knew I was there-I’m banking on it, anyway.”
September 09, 2009
Eight Years After 9/11
Michael Yon posts an interesting photo essay of the war in Afghanistan, eight years after 9/11.
WorshipGod MP3s Available
Twenty four seminars from WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation are now available at the Sovereign Grace Ministries website. And they’re all free. Bob Kauflin has the details.
Placebo Buttons
I hate elevators at the best of times, but I read this article and came away even more disillusioned. “In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deception—to disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command.”
6 Useful Books on Writing
Andy Naselli provides six book recommendations to help you become a better writer.
Deal of the Day: Midweek Markdowns
CBD has a couple of good deals in their Midweek Markdowns. Most notably, they are offering Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology at about the lowest price I’ve seen for it.
September 08, 2009
President Obama’s Speech
Dr. Mohler comes through with a very level-headed explanation of why there is so much controversy surrounding President Obama’s speech to the students of America (and why people should stop worrying about it).
Fan Feels Uplifted After Fall
Here’s a feel-good story from the world of baseball: “He lay on his back in the dirt of the Pittsburgh ballpark. His neck hurt. Striking his face on the crushed rock along the first-base side felt like breaking through glass. He was bloodied. And the foul ball was gone. He had missed it, missed his one chance to grab a game ball for his son on the boy’s 21st birthday…”
What’s His is Her’s
The Tribune has an article about Christian couples who, in an effort to not keep secrets from one another, share an email account.
Fixed NIV fixed by fixers with a New new NIV
I appreciated Gordon Cheng’s concern about the New New NIV. “Secondly, and more to the issue at hand, if the Bible translation you had produced was as accurate and as to the mark as originally claimed, why in God’s name would you bow to popular pressure within less than a decade of announcing your work to the sound of glory and trumpets, and go off and fix the bits you had already fixed? Especially if the fixes you had brought in to fix had fixed the problem that you had thought was there in the first place. If you take my meaning.”
September 04, 2009
Morning and Evening Podcast
ChristianAudio offers a podcast of Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening [twice] daily devotional.
Phil Wickham Online
ConversantLife is streaming a concert tonight featuring Phil Wickham. “Phil will be playing acoustic versions of songs from his forthcoming record, Heaven & Earth, explaining the unique stories behind each of them and how they weave together in his fast-approaching new release.”
Reel Discernment
From Focus on the Family: “We’re excited to announce the premiere of our new movie review for young adults called Reel Discernment featuring Plugged In’s Bob Waliszewski and Cheryl Wilhelmi. Each week Bob and Cheryl will give us a quick look into what we can expect from the new releases.” The first episode is very well done and I look forward to making this a weekly stop!
Deal of the Day: Fab Fridays
CBD has some good deals in this week’s Fab Friday. They’ve got John MacArthur’s From Ordinary to Extraordinary: A Yearlong Devotional to Discover What God Wants to Do with You as well as The Truth War for just $3.99. They also have the hardcover ESV Study Bible on at $24.99.
September 03, 2009
Southern California Wildfires
Boston.com has some amazing photographs of the wildfires currently tearing through southern California.
Moralism is Not the Gospel
Dr. Mohler: “In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.”
Shopping for Time Free!
Kindle users (or iPhone/iPod Touch users who have installed the Kindle app) can download the Kindle version of Shopping for Time (by the Mahaney ladies) for free.
Google Book Search: Disaster for Scholars
This rather interesting article points out some of the shortfalls of Google’s effort to add every book ever written to their index.
Interview With Douglas Moo
Darryl Dash has an interview with Douglas Moo. They cover the recent announcement that the TNIV will be discontinued in favor of a revision of the NIV.
Deal of the Day: Calvin Resources
Last week Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference on Calvin. This week they are offering some great discounts on Calvin-related materials.
September 02, 2009
Updated NIV in 2011
Everyone’s talking about it. “Biblica, the Committee on Bible Translation and evangelical publisher Zondervan jointly announced the newest New International Version Bible — and acknowledged they were still singed by the fire and brimstone cast down on earlier update efforts.” In other words, the TNIV will disappear and will be replaced by a new revision of the NIV. Check out CBMW for reactions by Randy Stinson, Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan.
Media Ignoring Conservative Dominance
This article shows how the media is ignoring the obvious conservative dominance of the New York Times list of bestsellers. “The left is reeling from this regression to the pre-Bush days, which also saw conservative dominance of the bestsellers lists. From 1991 to 2001, there were eight overtly conservative books that topped the NYT list, while only two liberal authors, Al Franken and Hillary Clinton, managed to publish number-one bestsellers.”
Quitting Social Media
Owen Strachan looks at an article in the Times which tells about how and why people are quitting Facebook and other social media.
Deal of the Day: Free Audio Bible
This month’s free download from ChristianAudio is GOD’S WORD Heard! New Testament audio bible. I am not familiar with the translation so cannot vouch for its accuracy (or lack thereof).
September 01, 2009
The Resurgence of the R-Word
I’ve noticed this trend, that the “r-word” is back in full force. “Actress Lindsay Lohan uses it, comedian Chris Rock says it, and last year’s Ben Stiller movie Tropic Thunder took it to a new low, when it mocked actors who play disabled characters, using the phrase ‘going full retard.’ It’s also reappeared on comedy shows as a trendy way to describe those with special needs — no writer would be brave enough to use the N-word to describe an African, but the mentally disabled are easy game.”
The End of the Hardcover?
The world will not be the same without hardcover books, but some publishers are suggesting that economics (related to e-books) will dictate it. Say it isn’t so!
Christian Improv
Philip Ryken linked to this strange article in which a TIME reporter participates in an improv performance at Saddleback Church. “Their goal, Barnes explained, was to give people a way to get friends to the church who have turned down an invitation to a service. This made sense until I thought about the kind of person who would say, ‘I’m not interested in eternal salvation, but I’d love to spend a Saturday night in a small conference room watching Christian improvisational comedy!’”
Faith and Technology
I’ll be leading a couple of Faith and Technology seminars at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, OH in a couple of weeks. I’ll speak to parents on Wednesday and teens on Thursday. See the link for details if you are interested.
Choosing Thomas
Just watch it.
A Pastoral Charge
Martin Downes provides a pastoral charge “given by Professor John Murray to Wayne F. Brauning at his ordination and installation as pastor of the Fifth Reformed Presbyterian Church, Phila., PA on October 13, 1960.”
Deal of the Day: The Road Sessions
Matthew Smith (the Indelible Grace guy) has released The Road Sessions Collection, a collection of 11 hymns. If you buy a copy (for just $6.99) he’ll also send a copy to your pastor.