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A La Carte

October 17, 2011

The New NIV - Mary Kassian offers ten reasons that the new NIV is bad for women. “Don’t get me wrong. I like to be hip. And I enjoy cappuccino as much as the next person. But my biggest beef with gender-inclusive Bibles is that they lack doctrinal precision. If you mess with the words, you mess with the meaning.”

Pray for James - I always enjoy reading Ali’s reflections on life on a hospital ship off the coast of Africa. “It’s strange, this life. There’s a critically ill man just below where I’m sitting, and I’m finding it hard to really care. I know that sounds awful, so please let me explain…”

No Compromise - Mike Abendroth interviews Carl Trueman.

Loving Your Wife - The demands on a pastor’s time are great.  So, naturally the challenges on the pastor’s marriage are equally great.  Sometimes we plan poorly and over commit ourselves.  Then, there are other times where seasonal church activities kick in and it is just a busy time.  How can we care for our wives as pastors when our schedules demand we are gone from home more than normal?  Maybe a better way to ask that question is, “How do I communicate a love for my wife when I am unable to be with her?” 

The War of 1812 - Gene Veith points to an interesting article about an interesting and largely forgotten war—the War of 1812. “The war ended in a draw, but the contest to conduct the most comprehensive commemoration isn’t even close. The Canadians have appropriated millions, the Americans hardly anything. At this rate, the Canadians will appropriate the war entirely, at least for the next several years. Which brings us to a lesson for our time: Even forgotten wars can be lost 200 years later.”

October 14, 2011

The Reformation - In the days leading up to Reformation Day, the Ligonier blog will be sharing profiles of some of the leading men behind the Reformation. Each has been written by Steven Lawson.

Ampersand - Yes, a whole infographic dealing with only the ampersand. You probably need to be a bit unusual to enjoy it.

Words That Shaped My Life - I really enjoyed this article over at the True Woman blog, and not just because my mother wrote it. The words that shaped her life eventually shaped mine as well. So I guess I can say that what she says is true—these really were life-shaping words.

An Infallible Sermon - I’ve seen a few videos like this recently—people memorizing the entire book of Hebrews and preaching it as a sermon. Love it!

101 East - This is a strange but interesting documentary about the North Korean film industry. What an odd, odd country that is.

Missionolatry - I woke up this morning thinking about church planting and various issues surrounding it. I was glad to then see this article from the Cripplegate blog. “The error is that sanctification gets sacrificed on the altar of mission. It is an error I have made in my ministry, being so fixated on getting people in, I have neglected those who are already there.”

To feel that we are ignorant is the first beginning of all saving knowledge. —J.C. Ryle

October 13, 2011

Local Ministry - Bob Kellmen takes a look at an article I wrote recently in which I compared the local church and the speaking circuit. Bob gives a slightly different take.

Parents, Give Clear Instruction - Here is a valuable little excerpt from a forthcoming title from Joel Beeke. “A child thinks very differently from an adult, often what the adult says by implication does not get through to the child. The child may interpret an order in a way not intended by the parent.”

Celebrity Pastors - Jonathan Leeman is grateful for the idea of celebrity pastors and in this article he explains why.

21st Century Excommunication - “When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.”

Twilight Zone - Paul Levy has a good word for pastors (and everyone else) in regards to the strange world the Internet creates. He looks at James MacDonald and T.D. Jakes and goes from there.

Mormonism 101 - Kevin DeYoung gives the basics about Mormonism.

Grace does not run in the blood, but corruption does. A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint does not beget a saint. —Matthew Henry

October 12, 2011

Courageous Christianity? - The film Courageous has received near-unanimous praise in the Christian world. White Horse Inn has a more critical take. “Art being reduced as a vehicle for sermonizing is problematic enough, but even more so is the type of sermon being preached. The emphasis on personal morality and simplistic transformation turn this film into a superficial lecture rather than a robust exploration of life as a Christian father. Our personal piety, our self-improvement, and our ‘courage’ forms the fabric of the story.”

Social Media Statistics - You say you can’t get anything done these days? Maybe this is why.

Confessionalism, Boundaries and Discipline - D.A. Carson and Tim Keller have penned a long article that (essentially) addresses The Gospel Coalition and The Elephant Room.

Secret Church - David Platt has an upcoming Secret Church simulcast that may be of interest to you. Click the link for more information or click here to register. “During Secret Church on November 4, 2011, we will explore how the gospel uniquely affects our understanding of family, marriage, sex, and host of related (and controversial) issues that are ultimately foundational for the display of the glory of God in our lives, in the church, and in the world.”

Mohler on Mormonism - Dr. Mohler comments on Mormonism now that it is becoming a political consideration. “There are numerous ways to frame these questions wrongly. Our responsibility as evangelical Christians is to think seriously and biblically about these issues.”

Man’s will is free to follow his inclinations, but fallen man’s inclinations are always and invariably away from God. —R.C. Sproul

October 11, 2011

John Piper Quotes - Jamsco has another of his roundups of witticisms from John Piper. A personal favorite: “I cannot imagine that it would be satisfying to become an itinerant conference speaker. Yuck.”

Celebrity Rock Star Pastors - Thabiti Anyabwile is on a roll lately over at his blog. Today he is talking about the rock star, celebrity pastor.

American Politics - David Murray makes a rare foray into American politics and I think I pretty much agree with what he’s saying about Mitt Romney. The press has conveniently forgotten that he is a Mormon. If he gains the Republican nomination, they’ll suddenly remember.

Old, Settled and Reformed - Doug Wilson wonders where the young, restless, Reformed will be when they’re not so young anymore. “The young, restless and Reformed movement has all the hallmarks of the kind of thing we tend to do in waves. As a certified alumnus of the Jesus movement, I sometimes feel like I am living in Deja VuVille.”

The Love of God - A free MP3 of “The Love of God” by Redemption Hill Music.

I Am Second - Lecrae shares his testimony.

Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had. —Matthew Henry

October 10, 2011

Too Polite - This article from Gawker raises some important points about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs—things that other people are too polite to say. “Truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.”

Mormonism Isn’t a Cult? - Richard Mouw, writing for CNN, tries to explain how Mormonism is not a cult and that it may be a lot closer to evangelicalism than most people think. “My Mormon friends and I disagree on enough subjects that I am not prepared to say that their theology falls within the scope of historic Christian teaching. But the important thing is that we continue to talk about these things, and with increasing candor and mutual openness to correction.” I hardly know what to say!

What’s So Great About Siri? - “Apple announced speech recognition for the next iPhone. Big deal. Android’s had it for more than a year. Apple is just playing ‘catch-up’ and the feature’s not really earth-shattering anyway. Right? Wrong. Everything in that opening paragraph is wrong, except the sentence that reads ‘big deal.’ Siri is a very big deal, the biggest of deals.”

Rightly Divided - When I was in Los Angeles I sat down with Lane Chaplin to do a video interview about a variety of issues.

7 Types of Creative Block - There is some useful advice here about overcoming writer’s block.

Landscapes - More amazing timelapse goodness. It’s full HD so you can full screen it and enjoy it.

Reproofs should be as oils or ointments, gently rubbed in by the warm fire of love. —George Swinnock

October 08, 2011

Small World Photomicography - “The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope.”

Humble Pie - James MacDonald writes more about The Elephant Room. I’m glad to see that Mark Dever has taken himself off the roster of speakers.

Epic Tech Fails - How many of these do you remember?

Mohler on Driscoll - David Murray posts an interesting excerpt from a Q&A with Al Mohler. “Mohler was asked a question that concerns many pastors: ‘I work with college students…and one of the big influences on their lives right now is Mark Driscoll. What do you think the effects of sitting under Driscoll on Youtube or on his website, and what kind of things do I need to be prepared for ministering to college students listening to his teaching?’”

A Sample Prayer Plan - Worth reading: “I drafted a sample prayer plan some time ago to add structure to my own personal worship times. I’d like to share it with you, dear Cripplegate readers, not as something to be rigidly followed, but as a suggestion to help get you into—or back into—a thriving, regular, consistent time of worship and communion with God in prayer.”

Bloodlines - “Pastor John’s newest book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, is now available. Earlier this year Crossway traveled with Pastor John to his hometown of Greenville, SC to revisit the world in which he grew up. This 18-minute documentary takes us through his experience of racism in the 1960’s American South.”

Sex involves the entire life and personality, and to misuse sex is to abuse oneself as well as one’s partner. —Harold P. Wells

October 07, 2011

I am down in Dallas, TX for the day. Or Fort Worth. Or Keller or something like that. Frankly I don’t know where I am. But I know why I’m here—to speak at a Psalm 119 conference. Unfortunately I can only be here for the first day of the conference as I’ve got a wedding to attend tomorrow. So if you’re at the conference, be sure to say “hello” today.

Marrying Cohabiting Couples - CT asks a range of pastors and other people if they would perform a marriage for a cohabiting couple. The responses are really quite interesting (and varied).

Steve Jobs - Writing for The Gospel Coalition, John Dyer writes about the life and impact of Steve Jobs. “His death represents the end of the first era of computing when, under his guidance, the computer went from a thing nerds built in their garage to a friend everyone carries in their pocket. Sometimes called the Leonardo Da Vinci of our times, he made the computer personal, the phone smart, and the mouse magical.”

Jobs, Abortion, Adoption - This article looks at Steve Jobs and then wonders how many Steve Jobs have been lost to abortion. 

$5 Friday - Ligonier is offering a couple of books at just $5 today. The best of the bunch is Sinclair Ferguson’s In Christ Alone. Richard Philip’s Jesus the Evangelist is also available in ebook formats.

C.S. Lewis, Patron Saint - Andy Naselli summarizes an essay by Phil Ryken who suggests that C.S. Lewis is the patron saint of American evangelicalism. Ryken gives several reasons that Lewis is so popular among American evangelicals which are really, really interesting.

What I Learned in 2 Years - I enjoyed this husband’s reflections on what he has learned from his wife in just 2 years of marriage. Imagine what he will have learned in another 10 or 20!

The right manner of growth is to grow less in one’s own eyes. —Thomas Watson