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A La Carte

April 22, 2011

Bell’s Inferno - John MacArthur completes his series on Rob Bell. “The sad reality is that if Rob Bell does not confess the truth in this life, one day he will realize how wrong his understanding of hell really is. His view of hell will be painfully altered forever when he receives the more severe punishment reserved for those who with a Bible in their hands mock God and trample the blood of Christ underfoot.”

A Great Debt - You may have heard this story before. Regardless, it’s worth pondering again.

Christianity Explored - Christianity Explored has launched a new web site geared toward evangelism.

VIP Treatment - I believe I linked to this a while ago, but I enjoyed reading it again yesterday. It’s little stories like this that attest to the true character of a man.

Written in Stone - “The stone tablet has stood on this forested hillside since before they were born, but the villagers have faithfully obeyed the stark warning carved on its weathered face: ‘Do not build your homes below this point!’ Residents say this injunction from their ancestors kept their tiny village of 11 households safely out of reach of the deadly tsunami last month that wiped out hundreds of miles of Japanese coast and rose to record heights near here. The waves stopped just 300 feet below the stone.”

The Pacific - A reader sent me this excellent gallery of World War 2 photos.

TGC and Me - Darryl Hart posts a kind of crusty but still interesting take on The Gospel Coalition and theological boundaries.

Amazing Grace - This is a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

How do we get water from a well? Do we woo it? Do we stand at the top of the well and cry, ‘Here, water, water, water?’R.C. Sproul

April 21, 2011

Jerusalem & Hollywood - Carl Trueman recently wrote an article critiquing giant Christian conferences. Thabiti Anyabwile returned fire and Trueman took the opportunity to respond. There is some interesting (and kind-hearted) discussion there.

The Church in China - Dr. Mohler has an article that offers a little glimpse into the persecuted church in China.

Hope in Death - A friend pointed me to this article which was written a few years ago. It’s beautiful and deeply moving.

Tax Dollars - Plug in a couple of numbers and you can see what happened to all of those tax dollars you just paid.

Kindle Library Lending - This is an interesting development. “Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.”

The Hobbit - Peter Jackson takes you on a tour of the first sets for The Hobbit.

When you are in the right, you can afford to keep your temper; and when you are in the wrong you cannot afford to lose it.G.C. Lorimer

April 20, 2011

Two of my kids get to go on class trips today. My daughter is going to a concert by a French band; my son is going to the dump. And yet they are still both excited. I guess anything is better than another day in school…

At Home with the Pope - In case you’ve ever wondered what a “normal” day looks like for the pope, well, TIME will let you know.

The Hidden Exodus - While we’re on the subject of Catholicism, here’s an article from a Catholic news source on the exodus from Catholicism to Protestantism. “Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.”

Dramatic Non-Fiction - “Writing non-fiction (or speaking, teaching or preaching) doesn’t mean you can’t build in drama. Including stories as illustrations is always good, but there’s more to it than just telling the tale. Here are a few options to keep your audience with you every word of the way.”

Natural Cut Fries - Wendys new natural cut fries aren’t entirely natural. “People are saying they want high integrity ingredients, things their grandmother would have used, that don’t look like they came out of a chemistry lab,” Calwell explained in an interview with BNET. “But they’re also saying I’ve got a family to feed and can only afford to spend about $4 on my lunch, and I’ve only got about a minute or two to eat it.”

One to One Bible Reading - This brand new book from Matthias Media is on sale at Westminster Books for the next few days. “Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally.”

The Price of Everything - Carl Trueman does it again. This time he explains why the church needs pessimistic church historians.

Don’t Dress Your Girls Like Tramps - This is an interesting article from CNN. “Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.” The author nails it at the end.

Roasted Peanuts - I can’t remember who put me on to this blog, but it’s quite a good one. The author is going through old Peanuts comic strips.

The wrath of God is not ignoble. Rather, it is too noble, too just, too perfect—it is this that bothers us. —James Montgomery Boice

April 19, 2011

Social Media & Politics - According to this article “Obama set the ‘gold standard’ for use of social media, and now it’s an absolute must for candidates.” Indeed. It is tough to imagine how any political campaign could be successful today without a strong social media component.

Pastors & Social Media - Speaking of social media, Darryl Dash looks at advice being given to teachers and their use of social media. He then applies it to pastors.

The Hour of the Mad - A great site for any World War 2 buff.

TNS Blog Tour - Zondervan is putting together a blog tour for The Next Story. So if you a) have a blog and b) would like a copy of the book and c) would like to read and review the book, well, click the link at have at ‘er.

Matthew Smith - Matthew Smith has put his solo albums on sale for this week only. They are great albums! If you’ve got no money to spend, check out some free music from the Gospel Coalition hymn sing from last week.

Pillars of Grace - David Steele has a glowing review of Steve Lawson’s new book in the Long Line of Godly Men series. “Pillars of Grace is a theological tour de force.  It is essential reading for pastors who seek to integrate historical theology into the regular preaching menu.  It is essential reading for students who are investigating the roots, depth, and breadth of the doctrines of grace.”

Tempted and Tried - A good book trailer makes me want to read a good book. This one’s got snakes and mopeds. It’s hard to go wrong.

The Mountain - This is a stunningly beautiful video. Watch and enjoy!

God gets more out of your salvation than you ever will. —David Shepherd

April 18, 2011

eBook Sales - Evidence of a massive shift in publishing: “The publishing tide is shifting fast: E-book sales in February topped all other formats, including paperbacks and hardcovers, according to an industry report released this week.” Speaking of which, the Kindle now has a version that just barely tops $100.

Future Leaders - Brian Croft has a useful article on how pastors can identity future leaders within the church.

Where We Can’t Follow Jesus - This blogger went looking for “human character issues that Jesus did not and cannot model for us.” He came up with an interesting list.

3 Cups of Tea - “Greg Mortenson’s books have made him a publishing phenomenon and sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit, where he has attained a cult-like status. He regularly draws crowds of several thousand people and $30,000 per engagement.” But increasing evidence says he may be a bit of a fraud.

Did Lincoln Believe in God? - The latest in a debate that won’t end until the Lord returns. “A newly resurfaced letter from the 19th century is raising questions once again about the 16th president’s relationship with God. The three-page letter, which was written by Lincoln’s old law partner, William Herndon, and just went up for sale for a price of $35,000, claims that Honest Abe was driven not by faith, but by politics.”

Lame Christian Movies - A writer for Salon asks why Christian movies are so lame. Here are some comments on Soul Surfer: “It’s a trite, sentimental puddle of sub-Hollywood mush, with mediocre photography, weak special effects and an utterly formulaic script that somehow required seven (!) credited writers. Believe me, I have learned, over and over again, that ordinary moviegoers, a lot of the time, want to see a story that’s positive, predictable and not all that challenging, but even measured on that yardstick this one is pretty awful.” I don’t agree with all the author says, but he raises some valid points.

April 16, 2011

Deer Stands Guard - Don’t we all like stories like this one? “It’s a scene right out of a Disney movie, mother goose has lost her lifelong mate and is now left alone to create and tend to her nest in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.  She spends the day sheltering her eggs from the cool spring air inside an empty urn she has chosen as home.”

Mall Madness ‘89 - It’s a blast from the past: the hair, the pants…

Harold Camping - Robert Godfrey has worked up a short series of posts about Harold Camping and his predictions about the end of the world. There are three parts to it.

Holy Week Visualization - This is an interesting timeline visualization of the last week of Jesus’s life.

An Adoption Story - Adopting a 15-year old. “You can look up the statistics for yourself.  Even if you don’t, with little effort, your imagination will carry you to the dark and horrific circumstances that are the reality for a sixteen year old girl, with no family and no resources, on the streets of Russia. This is the story that my wife heard from our friend, which she then relayed to me.  What could we do?  We had to make a decision and we didn’t have the luxury of time.”

Every Life - For a video that ends with a person hugging a cow, this is quite powerful.

Many learned men, with all the rich furniture of their brain, live and die slaves to the spirit of this world. —William Law

April 15, 2011

Again, I apologize for the lack of blogging over the past 3 days. I had assumed that I would have lots of things to blog about at The Gospel Coalition. Instead I found myself running around with barely any chance to write. But as of today things should pretty much be back to normal.

Terminal - This is a powerful article from a man whose daughter has been diagnosed with a terminal disease. “We have discovered some significant abnormalities on the brain.” The most frightful statement a doctor can say to a father about his daughter…”

Japan One Month Later - A photo essay from The Big Picture.

Is Hell Dead? - TIME’s cover story this month is on hell. Not surprisingly, it has a lot to say about Rob Bell and that whole controversy. Dr. Mohler covers it on his blog.

Kindle DX - The Kindle DX is on sale today only at Amazon (it’s the big Kindle).

A Wolf to Avoid? - John MacArthur asks if Rob Bell is a brother to embrace or a wolf to avoid. “If Christopher Hitchens or Deepak Chopra penned a book that scoffed at the biblical teaching on hell, we would not be surprised. So why would anyone be shocked or confused when Rob Bell writes Love Wins? Has Bell shown any more commitment to gospel truth, or any more devotion to the principle of biblical authority than Hitchens or Chopra?”

Timelapse - This is pretty cool. A guy pointed his camera out the window of an airplane and captured some great images of the aurora borealis.

Happier to be chained in a dungeon with a Paul than reign in the palace with an Ahab.C.H. Spurgeon

April 12, 2011

Before The Next Story released I had a few people send emails to tell me not to link to reviews of the book. They thought this could only be done in arrogance. I disagree. I think (and hope) it’s not pride that leads me to link to reviews. I see it as a form of gratitude to those who took the time to read the book and pen a review. So here are two more: The Gospel Coalition Reviews and David Steele. Both are really encouraging. I know I keep saying that, but seriously, I am surprised and humbled at the positive reception I am seeing. Also, the book should now finally be available (in printed format) at Amazon. I know some have been waiting…

And now, on to the links…

What Is a Reformed Baptist? - Though I consider myself one, I’ve asked the same question. Mike Dewalt links to a list of potential answers.

Sigh No More - I’ve found Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons a particularly intriguing album. This review at Plugged In puts into words some of what I’m feeling.

A Warm Blanket - Here is a preview of the first post-Charles Schultz Peanuts cartoon.

Happy Birthday Jake - Greg Lucas writes about his son turning 18. “If I had a hundred lives to live, I would live every one of them as Jake’s dad, and I would choose to stand in no other place…rather, I would choose to run in no other race, than the perfect providence of God’s great grace.”

Useless - This is an interesting short film. A wee bit cliche, but still good. Note: the word damn is used once.

Old Cell Phone - They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Let family worship be short, savoury, simple, plain, tender, heavenly. —Richard Cecil