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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

June 08, 2009
Thank God for Bandit Country
Carl Trueman writes about on online living. “One question that I have now been asked more times than I care to remember is ‘How do you cope with all the nastiness that’s come your way on the internet over the last few years?’ The answer is pretty simple: it generally doesn’t come my way because I generally don’t read it.”
Have the Days of Christian Media Come and Gone?
Newsweek asks the question. “The real interest here, though, is more than merely economic. TCW’s death signals something much bigger: an end in America to the perceived separation between the secular and the evangelical worlds.”
Deal of the Day: Bible Giveaway
Monergism Books has a giveaway for three study Bibles. Three winners will be randomly selected from all entrants. One entry per person. Instructions and sign up at the link.
June 05, 2009
Dr. Mohler’s Summer Reading List
Every summer Dr. Mohler posts a list of recommended summer reading. This year it’s more military-based than ever, which suits me just fine.
A Graphic Worth Considering
Here’s a small graphic that gives silent commentary on our use of social media.
How to Carry Your Bible
As if to show that there is an article out there for every topic, J. Mark Bertrand, who has a whole blog dedicated to Bible design, has an article about the best way to carry your Bible.
Do I Have To Keep a Journal?
Donald Whitney writes about the importance (but non-essential importance) of journaling as a spiritual discipline.
Benefit Spending Soars
This article from USA Today is amazing in its implications. “The recession is driving the safety net of government benefits to a historic high, as one of every six dollars of Americans’ income is now coming in the form of a federal or state check or voucher.”
June 04, 2009
Everything D.A.C.
Andy Naselli has compiled an impressive list of, well, pretty much D.A. Carson has ever done. He lists all the books, articles, reviews, lyrics and edited series with which Carson has been involved. You’ll see (as I did) that Carson does more in a week than most of us do in a decade.
How I Got Comfortable Shouting To God
Mark Altrogge explains how he got comfortable overcoming his embarrassment at shouting worship to God. “I read about a man who conquered his self-consciousness by going out in the woods and shouting praises to the Lord. So I decided to try this. I lived on a farm at the time, so I tramped across a cow pasture to a stand of woods where I knew no one would hear me.”
How I Write a Book Review
Leslie, a reviewer for Discerning Reader, shares how she goes about writing a book review.
She Is Telling You Thank You
There have been a few times that I’ve linked to Ali’s blog as she works on hospital ships in Africa. After a sabbatical at home (during which she got married) she is back at it. This is a good time to start keeping tabs on her blog.
Toronto Pastors Conference Audio
The Toronto Pastors Conference has wrapped up. The audio, featuring Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker, is now available online.
Harvard’s Twitter Study
Two interesting facts about Twitter that arose from an extensive Harvard study: the top 10% of users account for 90% of all production and among average Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one.
Deal of the Day: Thabiti’s New Book
RHB is offering a 50% pre-publication discount on Thabiti Anyabwile’s new book May We Meet in the Heavenly World: The Piety of Lemuel Haynes.
June 03, 2009
Music in Recession
A look at Christian music in tough economic times. “Consider the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Now, think of the Christian music industry as the camel. As the economy continues to falter, might the straw be upon us even now?”
Education in Recession
And speaking of recession, it is offering a lot of Americans a good reason to pursue post-secondary education here in the frozen north.
Paul Tripp Blog
Paul Tripp has returned to blogging regularly (weekly). I just thought you might want to know…
Deal of the Day: Truth Endures
Grace Books is offering free shipping on Truth Endures, a collection of some of John MacArthur’s best-known and most important sermons.
June 02, 2009
Mark Dever in Toronto
If you are in the Toronto area, you may be interested in hearing Mark Dever speak at Richview Baptist Church this evening. Bring an unbelieving friend, since Mark will be preaching an evangelistic message.
The Gospel and the Gosselins
CT has a thoughtful article on the TLC show Jon and Kate Plus Eight. “It was not until the recent allegations of sexual impropriety arose that a significant number of Christians began to question whether Jon and Kate were indeed the examples of faithful living that we had imagined. Somehow most of us missed the long trajectory that was, day by day, moving them farther from a life of Christian virtue. Sexual immorality—whether actual or merely suspected—caught our attention, but the materialism, narcissism, and exploitation of children that preceded it was largely overlooked.”
Toy Story 3 Teaser
It’s a year away and already I’m looking forward to taking the kids.
Is 1 Corinthians 13 Poetry?
Mounce looks at the passage this week. “We had an interesting experience on the ESV translation committee when we were doing 1 Cor 13. We were working really hard on the passage, perhaps especially hard since it was such a famous passage. Famous passages are difficult since changes have a greater impact on people: “how dare you change my favorite passage!” as if we own the text.”
WORLD on Up
WORLD Magazine looks at Pixar’s success stories and how they refuse to sell out to merchandisers. ” Yet there’s something about the studio’s creations that make Wall Street uncomfortable. The New York Times reported on April 5 that investors and toy merchandisers are ‘griping’ about Up in the same way they did with Wall•E and Ratatouille, fearing that the film’s artistic excellence will end up costing it in commercial appeal.”
Common Mistakes by Young Preachers
James MacDonald takes this on in a short video clip.
Deal of the Day: If There’s a God, Why Are There Atheists?
Ligonier Ministries is offering R.C. Sproul’s book If There’s a God, Why are There Atheists? at a pretty good discount (just $3.50 per copy).
June 01, 2009
Gideon’s Fleece
Daniel Block on thinkingly rightly about Gideon’s fleece: “Practices that appear in the Bible may at times seem very strange to us. When we encounter them we may at times supply our own intuition to what they mean as we seek to interpret the passage. In a case such as Gideon’s use of a fleece, we may even infer that since his strategy was successful, that it can stand as an approved procedure today. Before we draw such conclusions, it would be wise to examine the ancient world to see if we can understand more about this procedure.”
AIG Insurance Bailout
I love infographics and this one does a pretty good job of showing what has happened to all of that AIG bailout money.
Humility Study Guide
Dr. Michael Haykin has put together a brief study guide that can be used with C.J. Mahaney’s Humility. It is available as a free download.
Could Pixar’s Up House Really Fly?
Just for fun, Wired does the math to determine if the house from the movie Up could actually fly.
Expositors’ Conference 2009
Steve Lawson’s Expositors’ Conference is back again for 2009. “The conference this year will feature Dr. Steven Lawson and Dr. Joel Beeke, and is designed to strengthen church leadership’s committment to biblical ministry, model expository preaching, and be an encouragement through personal fellowship. In addition, it gives the attendees a unique opportunity to interact directly with Joel Beeke and Steve Lawson on a ministry and personal level.”
Deal of the Day: KJV Cornerstone UltraThin Bible
KJV Cornerstone UltraThin Bibles (Black Bonded Leather) are only $6 each, 80% off retail price at Monergism Books. One per customer. Registered customers will need to type the code ultrathinkjv in coupon box at checkout. One day only while supplies last.
May 29, 2009
Divorcing Fact From Fiction
MacArthur does a good job answering the claim that divorce rates are no better among Christians than among others. “I don’t believe it, and in fact, I believe that is to dishonor the Lord, to say that the power of Christ is zero in a marriage—the power of the Holy Spirit in a marriage. I don’t believe that. I do not believe that true Christians get divorced at the same rate that non-Christians do.”
The Riskiest Search Terms on the Net
Here is a round-up of search terms that, if you search for them, are going to lead you into trouble. “Some of the riskiest searches on the Internet currently have to do with finding items for free, or looking for work that can be done from home, according to a new report from McAfee.”
Using Twitter During Church
Josh Harris writes about using Twitter in church. And don’t think that people aren’t doing it!
To The Sources!
Thirsty Theologian quotes Burk Parsons (who quotes somebody else—this is getting confusing): “We must be “Bible Calvinists” not “system Calvinists.” We can all too easily get sucked into what we feel is a neat system of thought, and forget that we ought to make everything that we believe compatible with Scripture, even if that means jettisoning ideas that flow well in a purely logical sense but are nonetheless incompatible with what the Bible teaches.”
Abortion Debate Changing
This is a rather interesting column in which a secular humanist explains why he has become pro-life. “As an atheist and a secular kinda guy, I practice moral relativism regularly. Still, I’ve always struggled mightily with the ethics and politics of abortion. Apparently, I’m not alone.”
May 28, 2009
Preaching Curriculum
Biblical Preaching looks to a book called “Explosive Preaching, where the author describes the one-year curriculum he helped to design for a house-church movement in China. The radical design is worth sharing, not only for those who share my fascination with things academic, but for all of us as a good nudge in our level of preparation for preaching.” It’s quite an amazing curriculum.
10 People a Pastor Should Fear
This one should be filed primarily as entertainment, but there is still some good to glean from it.
When Medicine and Faith Collide
Dr. Mohler does here what he does so well—bring Scripture and plain reason to bear on an important cultural issue. “Recent cases involving parents who claim a religious reason to refuse medical treatment for children have cast this issue back into the Public Square — and right into the headlines.”
The Blessing of Unanswered Prayer
“My disappointment and doubt when my prayers are unanswered show what’s in my heart. I think that God should see things my way. I think that he exists to make my path smooth. But where in the Bible am I given such a small view of God—a God whose thoughts are, well, my thoughts (Isa 55:8-9)? Where am I promised that every stone and bump in the road will be levelled before my feet?”
Is Democracy Good for Christianity?
John MacArthur, through an old Q&A session, answers this one. “Having absorbed the world’s values, Christianity in our society is now dying. Subtly but surely worldliness and self-indulgence are eating away the heart of the church. The gospel we proclaim is so convoluted that it offers believing in Christ as nothing more than a means to contentment and prosperity. The offense of the cross (cf. Gal. 5:11) has been systematically removed so that the message might be made more acceptable to unbelievers. The church somehow got the idea it could declare peace with the enemies of God.”
May 27, 2009
A Life of Humility
Doug Nichols, founder and international director emeritus of Action International Ministries, shares a great little story from his life (and the life of Francis Schaeffer).
50 Factors Within Nations that Determine Their Wealth or Poverty
This looks like a very interesting series. It was taught by Dr. Wayne Grudem over four weeks at Scottsdale Bible Church. (HT:Boomer)
Spanking Stories
Here’s a post by Douglas Wilson in which he reflects on all the spanking stories he has heard. “Godly discipline, spanking included, is an act of love. Children who are disciplined appropriately know that they are being loved, and they know that the world is a secure place. Boundaries exist, and those boundaries are defended by parents who love the boundaries, just as they love their children.” (Is it just me or does the color scheme of that site do funny things to the eyes?)
Study Scripture at Home with Ligonier Academy
“The Ligonier Academy Certificate tracks in Biblical Studies are structured programs intended to help believers come to a better understanding of the content and message of Scripture. A solid grasp of the content of the Bible is absolutely crucial for our spiritual growth and daily life. Ligonier Academy offers three different Certificates in Biblical Studies…”
NEXT Resources
You can now download the addresses from this year’s NEXT Conference. Speakers include Joshua Harris, Sinclair Ferguson, CJ Mahaney, D.A. Carson and Kevin DeYoung.
Newsflash: Modern Women Are Unhappy
Owen Strachan: “New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has just penned a provocative piece called “Liberated and Unhappy” that briefly analyzes a new study entitled “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness” by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers.” Owen writes about the study and its implications.
Deal of the Day: Matthias Media
Matthias Media is offering a 33% discount on all of their Guidebooks for Life. There are some great resources there!
May 26, 2009
Memorial Day 2009
Boston.com has another one of their great photo essays, this one commemorating Memorial Day 2009.
A Mother’s Heart for Two Brave Children
A year after the tragic death of Maria Chapman, her mother, Mary Beth Chapman, reflects on all that the last year has brought.
Ida: Humankind’s Earliest Ancestor! (Not Really)
TIME Magazine offers some perspective on Ida (though they do so from an evolutionary perspective). “All of which renders the press release touting a ‘revolutionary scientific find that will change everything’ absolutely true — as long as by ‘everything,’ you mean ‘whether the branch of the primate family that includes monkeys, apes and humans comes from the suborder strepsirrhinae or the suborder haplorrhinae,’ according to the PLoS One paper. And by ‘change,’ you mean ‘adds information that may or may not help settle the question, but whose implications won’t be known for a long time in any case.’”
Two Inches of Providence
John Ensor, writing in WORLD, offers a real-life perspective on providence. “Baby Jack, our 3-month-old grandson, was rocking away peacefully when terror struck. Our daughter-in-law thought a tornado was hitting them. What she really heard was a multi-ton, mighty tall oak tree cracking and crashing onto their old, wooden house, directly and immediately above baby Jack.”
Amusing Ourselves to Death
Stuart McMillen has written up a comic of sorts that conveys the introductory chapter to Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death (HT).
Humility: The Heart of Righteousness
Doug Groothuis offers a good post on the always-relevant subject of humility.

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