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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

May 12, 2009
60 Years in an Iron Lung
“Martha Mason passed away last week at the age of 71 after spending 60 years living inside an iron lung. Mason was paralyzed from the neck down due to a childhood case of polio and was one of about 30 Americans left who live full time in iron lungs. There are no documented cases of anyone living in an iron lung for as long as Mason.”
A Fetus or a Baby?
Here is an interesting article which shows how unbelievable, how ungodly, the pro-choice debate really is.
Why Mother’s Day is a Bad Idea
Dr. Mohler takes this one on and includes an interesting history of the occasion. “Mother’s Day is a bad idea because it subverts the reality of faithful mothering and robs faithful mothers of their true glory. Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God.”
John Piper @ The Basics
You can hear the first two messages from John Piper at the Basics Conference. The first is a breakout session followed by an open Q&A. The second is a keynote address.
Deal of the Day: The Minority Report
Ligonier is offering a good discount on Carl Trueman’s The Minority Report. “Carl Trueman presents a collection of essays on a wide-range of subjects, including Adolf Eichman, the iPod, Roger Beckwith, the Blues, Watership Down, American Idol, Nietzsche, Zen-Calvinism, and Augustine. His goal is to force readers to think about what they believe, how they behave, and why. With wit and wisdom, Trueman topples the idols of contemporary pop-evangelicalism and dares us to reflect on matters many of us would rather not.”
May 11, 2009
A Soldier’s Miracle
CBS News brings an interesting story of a rather unlikely recovery. “Lt. Brian Brennan is a walking, talking miracle. There are no other words for it. One year ago today, he lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and now his mother is watching him learn to run all over again…”
Just Begin to Say
Ray Ortlund quoting Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past… . Never look back at your sins again. Say, ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ.’ That is your first step…”
Why Your Baby’s Name Will Sound Like Everyone Else’s
I love articles like this one. “mma was the most popular baby girl name of 2008, the Social Security Administration announced today, supplanting Emily, which had held the slot for the past 12 years. Both names, though, reflect a much deeper and largely unnoticed naming trend, which has played out over decades.”
Babies on Hold
“Baby-making is a business best left to a booming economy. The full impact won’t be known for months, but there are signs the recession has prospective parents putting off plans to start, or expand, their families…”
Deal of the Day: Puritan Paperback Bundle
For one day only, Monergism Books is offering Banner of Truth’s complete Puritan Paperback Bundle (37 books) for 50% off.
May 08, 2009
Hand of Hope Boy
“Do you remember the famous photograph of the baby reaching out of the womb and grasping the doctor’s finger? That baby is now 9-year-old Samuel Armas. The photo has been spread around the world and even cited during congressional debates on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, but for Samuel it has personal significance…”
Social Media Adoption
“For all the talk about social media use and growth over the last several years, it’s always good to get a look at the numbers to see how far it’s come. A recent report by Harris Interactive has some interesting stats about the adoption of social networking sites Facebook and MySpace as well as the number of Americans who are on Twitter.”
The Alzheimer’s Project
From Carolyn McCulley: “HBO is debuting a four-part documentary series on Alzheimer’s starting Sunday evening, May 10. … I think it’s an appropriate subject for us all to consider as we honor those who have made such an investment in us. Alzheimer’s is said to be the second most-feared disease, after cancer. I don’t doubt that statistic. I know I have prayed about it, asking the Lord to spare me in my future, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that prayer. ”
May 07, 2009
Are Christians Overemphasizing Cultural Renewal?
Following my review of Unfashionable Christianity Today asks “a question for Christian leaders (whether in the church or elsewhere): have you found the recent Christian emphasis on “building for the kingdom” and cultural renewal to detract from evangelism? Or is it actually helping to “reach souls”?”
Shepherd Press Newsletter
Shepherd Press offers a free weekly newsletter you may like to subscribe to. “Each issue contains an article that is of importance to you and your family. Usually you will find articles about current news events as well as other pertinent issues that matter to you and your family. The idea is to show the Bible’s relevancy for every area of life, and then further, to help you talk with your children about these issues.”
Girls Gone Wise
Girls Gone Wise is a new site headed up by Mary Kassian: an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary. (HT:CM)
Piper on Physical Protection
From This Momentary Marriage: “If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her, ‘This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out. I went last time.’ And I mean that-even if your wife has a black belt in karate. After you’ve tried to deter him, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus. But you’d better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man.”
20 Minutes to Change Your Marriage
“I was sitting through a seminar the other night and the speaker, Davis Carman, made a statement that has had me think a lot. He said that there is a crucial 20 minutes of a man’s day that can really bless his wife and change his marriage.”
Adopted for Life
RHB is offering Adopted for Life, a new book from Russell Moore, at a significant discount. It is “A stirring call to Christian families and churches to be a people who care for orphans, not just in word, but in deed.”
May 06, 2009
Biblical Productivity Series
C.J. Mahaney’s “Biblical Productivity” series is now available as a single PDF file if you’d like to download and read the whole thing.
Free Downloads from Truth for Life
Alistair Begg: “In conjunction with [The Basicss] conference, we will be announcing the latest venture from Truth For Life. On May 11, 2009, we are making our archives of downloadable MP3 messages available for free. Let me encourage you to take immediate advantage of this and also to make it as widely known as you possibly can. This plan is in keeping not only with our stated purpose, but also with the expressed desire of the apostles to make every effort to proclaim the Gospel.”
Who is Coming to America?
This infographic is a look at the 20 countries from which the most people came to America in 2008, how many immigrants already had family there, and how many received asylum when they arrived on its shores.
Complacent Repentance
From Burk Parsons: “The church at the beginning of the twenty-first century is not eager to repent because we are not eager for the return of Christ. What is more, the church is not eager for the return of Christ because we are not eager to repent.”
May 05, 2009
Counter-Cultural Lips
Dr. Mohler writes about “True Lips Wait” and the move to hold off kissing until marriage. “There is no explicit biblical ban on premarital kissing, but any honest person knows that there are kisses than can only be considered sexual, naturally leading to the sex act itself. These young Christians are not afraid of their bodies, they are afraid of sinning against God and losing something precious to themselves as well.”
Saved Through Childbirth
Mounce takes a look at 1 Tim 2:15, undoubtedly one of the strangest and most difficult verses in the Bible.
Tweeting the Gospel
9Marks wants to know how you would tweet the gospel (using 140 characters or less). There are prizes for those who do the best job!
Obituary: The Emerging Church
Michael Patton writes an obituary for the Emerging Church and offers four reasons for its death. “They assumed that Evangelicals would listen and exit the building with them. But what happened was not unlike a disrespectful teenager who thought that he suddenly had it all figured out through a series of unadulterated epiphanies. He tugged on the shirt of his parents letting them know how much more he knew than them and he was blown off because of arrogance. ‘Tsk, tsk’ was the reply, ‘I remember when I thought I knew it all.’”
When Reporters Rise for the President
Yesterday lots of people were talking about a video showing how reporters rise for Obama when they did not for Bush. This article tells why. I post it simply because I bet the vast majority of us did not “believe the best” when we saw that video yesterday.
Deal of the Day: The Gagging of God
Ligonier Ministries is offering just about half off the price of D.A. Carson’s excellent The Gagging of God. “This clear, critically-acclaimed, scholarly response to that question affirms the deep need for the Gospel’s exclusive message in today’s increasingly pluralistic global community. In The Gagging of God, D.A. Carson offers an in-depth look at the big picture, shows how the many ramifications of pluralism are all parts of a whole, and then provides a systematic Christian response. ”
May 04, 2009
Spurgeon on What You Watch on TV
“Those who can look with delight or any degree of pleasure upon the sins of others are not holy. We know of some, who will not themselves perpetrate an unseemly jest, yet, if another does so, and there is a laugh excited upon some not over-decent remark, they laugh, and thus give sanction to the impropriety. If there is a low song sung in their hearing, which others applaud, though they cannot quite go the length of joining in the plaudits, still they secretly enjoy it; they betray a sort of gratification that they cannot disguise; they confess to a gusto that admires the wit while it cannot endorse the sentiment…”
Free Audio Book
ChristianAudio’s free download of the month is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Simply use the coupon code MAY2009 and the book is yours for the taking.
Saving the Planet With a Thesaurus
“The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is ‘global warming.’” This article at the NY Times tells of some of the ways people are trying to sell global warming using some new and seemingly innocuous terms.
5 Distortions of the Gospel in Our Day
James MacDonald tells of five distortions of the gospel we tend to hear today. He closes with a warning: “Do you understand the implications of a distorted gospel? What horror to imagine many people thinking they are ready to meet God only to find out they never were because they believed a distorted gospel.”
The Expanded Bible
Here is a new translation of the Bible courtesy of Thomas Nelson. Of greater interest to me than the translation itself is the marketing they are using to try to raise awareness. They are relying on Twitter and other social media to do the job…
Undressing Pornography
This article, though it’s a few years old, is very useful when it comes to thinking properly about pornography.
Deal of the Day: A New Systematic Theology
Today (while supplies last) Monergism Books is offering A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, 2nd ed. by Robert Reymond at a 50% discount.
May 01, 2009
Less Conversation, More Action
Hershael York offers some needed balance on swine flu. “You might be surprised to know that the common flu that we are familiar with causes about 35,000 deaths per year in the United States, and between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths worldwide. The numbers from the swine flu are paltry compared to that.”
Piracy, Islam, and the Modern Age
“In a recent column in The Wall Street Journal, Prothero argues that one cannot understand the current crisis of piracy off the coast of Somalia without understanding the religious roots of this resurgence.”
New Riverside Pastor’s Compensation Splits Congregation
Rather an interesting case here simply because a pastor’s compensation is being taken before a judge. And for good reason, it seems. “Dr. Braxton’s compensation package includes an annual base salary of $250,000; a monthly housing allowance of $11,500; pension and life insurance benefits; entertainment, travel and “professional development” expenses; an equity allowance for the future purchase of a home; money for a full-time maid; and private school tuition for his 3-year-old daughter.”
Why Google Wants You to Google Yourself
“These days, Big Brother isn’t just watching you — he wants to know your superpower and the name of your childhood pet. And he already knows you like to Google yourself, so don’t try to deny it.”
Deal of the Day: Fab Friday
CBD has a couple of noteworthy deals in this week’s Fabulous Friday list. You can get the Baker Commentary Set (Kistemaker and Hendrickson—a great basic set to own) for only $79.99—the lowest price I’ve ever seen for it. They also have a couple of ESV Study Bible’s at pretty good discounts.
April 30, 2009
T4G and TGC
Ligon Duncan is taking a couple of blog posts to explain the differences between Together for the Gospel (registration for 2010 opens in a day or two!) and The Gospel Coalition.
Twitter Retention
“We’re hearing some pretty amazing statistics about Twitter (Twitter reviews) these days: growth from February 2008 to February 2009 was reportedly 1382%, with the incline increasing yet further in recent months. But like many social networks, it seems many people lose steam with the service. Stat tracking firm Nielsen reports today that a full 60% of users who sign up fail to return the following month.”
Just Put a Ring on It
Carolyn McCulley looks to a pro-marriage article in The Washington Post. “It’s a piece about trends, so please don’t be tempted to despair if you (or someone you love) are no longer twenty-something and still hoping for marriage. I posted this because I think it’s good that we as a society rethink the value of marriage and reconsider the benefits of this God-ordained institution.”
Pastor and Scholar Media
All the audio and video from The Pastor As Scholar and the Scholar As Pastor (featuring D.A. Carson and John Piper) is now available.
Sexual Intimacy and the Rights Over a Spouse’s Body
John Piper looks to 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 and offers some wise application. “What is paradoxical and delicate about this text is that logically it doesn’t work. What it does is call the couple to a profound effort to please the other without settling who will wind up getting the most pleasure, especially because each person will get pleasure in not asking the other to do what the other finds unpleasurable.”
April 29, 2009
How Much is Watching TV Costing You?
“To put it into perspective, if you watch an average of 31.5 hours of TV each week (which the average person in the US does) and you value your time at minimum wage of $5.85 an hour, you are spending nearly $800 a month ($798.53) to watch TV. That comes to nearly $10,000 ($9582.30) a year.”
An Interview at Gospel Coalition
Dr. David Murray of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary took a few minutes recording this video interview with me at the Gospel Coalition Conference.
Like Father, I Pray Like Son
Patrick Schreiner, son of theologian Tom Schreiner, shares a tribute to his father. “I want to encourage imitation of my Dad by telling three stories. I could praise him for his knowledge of Greek, or his numerous books, or his pastoral heart, or his hospitality, but I want to focus on things that few people know. I want to focus on the things that happened after he came home from work. The things that are done at home, these things make men who they are. ”
A Pro-Life Pastor Chooses Jail
Z shares the story of a pastor who, by all accounts, was unfairly accused and convicted of a crime and who chose to serve time in jail. “On Feb. 19, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing sentenced Walter Hoye, a Missionary Baptist minister, to 30 days in jail after Hoye refused a plea deal that included three years’ probation, a small fine, and an order that he stay at least 100 yards away from Family Planning Specialists, an Oakland abortion clinic.”
Inside a BSL-4 Lab
Popular Mechanics has an article about what you’d find inside a Biosafety Level 4 Lab (where they study the most contagious diseases and viruses in the world).
Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference
The annual Banner of Truth Ministers’ is coming up. Registration increases in just a few days, so if you are going to go, register now. Speakers include Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg, Walter Chantry and others.

Pages