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A La Carte

April 04, 2012

The Importance of Letters - I know that I don’t write as many letters as I should (as in old-fashioned letters); this article from WORLD affirms what I already know! The author says that Christians—people of the written Word—should not lose the skill of writing letters.

How Eternity Shapes Our Mundane - “Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.”

Consequentialism - I appreciate what Bob Glenn says in this article. He applies it specifically to Mark Driscoll but the application can certainly go far wider than that.

D&D @ T4G - If you’re heading to Together for the Gospel and are anxious for even more, you may want to check out this pre-conference event. There will be “a pre-conference dinner from Chuy’s Tex Mex, followed by a panel discussion on Christ-centered theology and ministry. Dialogue will feature Josh Harris, Carl Trueman, Matt Pinson, Jeff Bethke and J.D. Greear, hosted by Russell D. Moore.”

The Gospel of the Bible - A couple of years ago I spoke at a conference here in Toronto that has subsequently been turned into a book. IVP has just published my contribution online. (Other contributors to the book include Andy Crouch, Ron Sider, Shane Claiborne—rather an eclectic mix.)

Free Music - Page CXVI is giving away an album for Easter.

Dirt - A unique video for an interesting song.

I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another. —D.L. Moody

April 03, 2012


Is Easter too Violent for Kids? - “Every year, around this time, parents and churches ponder how to communicate the Easter story to children, as something more than dyed eggs. The problem is, of course, that it’s impossible to talk about the resurrection of Jesus without talking about death. And, in the case of Jesus, it’s really hard to talk about death without talking about crucifixion.”

Pinterest - Pinterest is the latest social media phenomenon. I waited a long time before joining in, but can’t deny that I’m quite enjoying the experience. I’m collecting infographics, wallpapers, art and other things that may be of interest to Christians.

On Being a Black, Female, Christian - Trillia Newbell offers up some interesting reflections on what it means to be a black, Christian female in a predominantly white church.

Nature’s Best Photography - There are some outstanding photos here; the one you’ll see when you click is just stunning. Scroll down and you’ll find some more.

Themelios - If you’re feeling scholarly today, you may want to check out the latest edition of Themelios.

An Athlete and His Money - Ever wondered why it is that an athlete can make millions in his career and be bankrupt as soon as he stops playing? GQ explains. (The link is safe and clean but you don’t necessariliy want to go rooting around the GQ site.)

If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, he will do it according to the Scriptures, and never contrary to them. —George Muller

April 02, 2012

Women Are Not Fish - Mary Kassian looks at Gloria Steinem’s famous quip “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and says “Today’s young woman is taught to value personal power and independence. She can WIN! She doesn’t need men. Indeed, in order to truly win, she must do so without them. Men are the bad guys. They’re the ones who stand in the way of a woman reaching her full potential.”

30 Things to Remember in Seminary - Burk Parsons: “Seminary is an academic graduate school, indeed, but, more fundamentally, it is a training institution for those who believe they have been called by God to give the entirety of their lives to fulfill the Great Commission—at whatever cost. It should be no surprise, then, that it’s in the seminary where our Enemy is seeking someone to devour, accuse, and deceive.”

Don’t Do Seminary Without the Church - On the subject of seminary, Denny Burk challenges the seminarian to remain firmly planted in a local church during his studies.

The Poor and the Lottery - “The Mega Millions jackpot makes this the week to talk about lottery economics, so here’s a whopper: Households earning less than $13,000 a year spend a shocking 9% of their money on lottery tickets, Henry Blodget relays from a PBS report. Are they clueless? Are they desperate? Are they economical? Maybe, probably, and possibly.”

Quadruplets - Here’s a Monday morning laugh (or giggle, at least). ImprovEverywhere conscripts eight sets of identical quadruplets and uses them to create a surreal experience for anyone who happened to be walking through the park.

[Supposed] Myths about Revelation - The book of Revelation has been in the news lately since it is the subject of a book that has been on the bestseller lists. Here CNN shares 4 things about Revelation that the author of this book identifies as myths. It’s a classic case of a scholar speaking boldly and confidently (and wrongly!) and taking people along in her error. Like when she says that the author of Revelation was not a Christian.

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its escstasies but its obedience. —Oswald Chambers

March 31, 2012

A Suicidal Craze - John Piper discusses the folly of the lottery. He said it well in a tweet: “Can you picture Jesus playing the lottery?” In this article he says, “There are at least seven reasons you should not gamble with your money in this way — and should tell your congressmen not to support it.”

Amazon’s New Robots - This is amazing! “Amazon announced recently that they bought a company named Kiva for $775 million. In cash. Kiva makes robots for fulfillment warehouses, of which Amazon has many. When I heard this news, I was all, robots are cool, but $775 million? But this short video on how the Kiva robots work made me a believer…”

What a Writer Owes a Reader? - “As readers, do we have a right to act as if a writer owes us something? I think we do, but not in the way that we most often make the claim. As readers we are not owed something we like or with which we agree. But writers do owe us something,a whole combination of somethings, in fact.”

The Life We Long For - James Hamilton writes about Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, a very, very powerful book.

If you live in Souther Ontario, you may be interested in two conferences coming our way: Simeon Trust will be in Mississauga from May 2-4 while Gospel Coalition will be here from May 29-31.

A home with no head is a disaster, one with two is a monstrosity. —John Blanchard

March 30, 2012

Rescued - I didn’t cry while reading this article. I just had something in my eye. Honest. “When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me, but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn’t know how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.”

Goodnight Moon - A strange and unexpected article, this. “For all the years that I had been reading Goodnight Moon to some child or another, I had been picturing its author as a plump, maternal presence, someone like the quiet old lady in the rocking chair whispering, ‘Hush’.” The truth is quite surprising.

Greater Than Our Hearts - In honor of the birthday of Charles Wesley, Matthew Smith is offering a Wesley track as a free download. Get it today because tomorrow will be too late!

United Families Dividing Churches - I find this article a kind and helpful introduction to and critique of the Family Integrated Church movement. 

A Currency Without Currency - Canada is getting rid of the penny. Do you see how progressive and cool we are?

Pilgrim’s Progress for Kids - Over at Redeemed Reader you can now download A Children’s Guide to The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Keeping Up to Date with Greek - I forgot almost all my Greek years ago, but I have it on good authority that many others try to keep it up. This article deals with the subject.

Begin early to teach, for children begin early to sin. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 29, 2012

Keeping Priorities in View - “Bible scholar Don Carson cautions us about parental hypocrisy by recalling the enduring impact of his parents’ prayerful example.” This is a beautiful article.

The Kokomo Krusade - I loved reading this short anecdote from the life of James Montgomery Boice. “Like a call from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, back when I was a young pastor years ago the secretary of  James Montgomery Boice, the famous pastor whom I had never met, called and asked if I would like for Dr. Boice to preach for us in Kokomo.  I could not believe it then, so perhaps you do not believe me now.  So here’s the story.”

Are Your Sermons Too Long? - Denny Burk shares some wisdom from Charles Spurgeon.

The View - “Recently a Texas judge upheld a law that requires a woman to be shown an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. His decision was discussed on The View and Joyce Behar and Barbara Walters made the following stunning statements…”

Christian Book Awards - Christian Book Awards tend to be as unhinged from reality as every other awards, but they’re still interesting. ECPA has just released its list for 2012.

Unexpected Joy - Watch it!

Prayerfulness is Calvinism at its best. It is a simple, open, honest declaration in the presence of God of total helplessness. —Martin Holdt

March 28, 2012

John Piper’s Successor - “The Bethlehem elders are announcing to the congregation their candidate for Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision and, God willing, John Piper’s eventual successor as the church’s senior pastor. Jason Meyer, 36-year-old Assistant Professor of New Testament for Bethlehem College and Seminary, is the elders’ recommendation for congregational consideration and vote at a special May 20 all-church meeting.”

Gratefulness for Your Spouse - Brian Croft: “ I have discovered a wonderful antidote when especially young married couples lose sight of the gratefulness all Christians should have in the joy of Christian marriage and instead try to nitpick their spouse with an ungrateful heart.”

If You Were a Missionary - “I had a great visit with a church member recently. In our discussion he hit on a point that I believe many Christians have a burden for. Essentially he was concerned with intentionally integrating Christ in all that he does, in particular his work environment.”

When Is it Right to Argue? - When is it right to argue with referees or officials? 

He who obeys sincerely endeavors to obey thoroughly. —Thomas Brooks

March 27, 2012

Britain’s Got Talent - I’m never sure if people are clapping for the performers or just because they know they’ve found the next big story, but this is still fun.

Mohler and Carter - Al Mohler: “Today’s Thinking in Public program features my interview with former President Jimmy Carter. The conversation was remarkable, and I was honored to have this interview with the 39th President of the United States. The focus of the interview was on the Bible, a book that has framed President Carter’s life from his earliest memories. Even now, he remains the world’s most famous Sunday School teacher.”

Geraldo and the Hoodies - Thomas Sowell comments on the Trayvon Martin case, saying “Practical advice, not race baiting, shows real concern for minority youth.” He urges caution and warns against jumping to conclusions because “playing with racial polarization is playing with fire.”

The End of the World - This infographic provides a pragmatic argument for not predicting the end of the world.

Psalm 119 - I really enjoyed this way of displaying Psalm 119; it’s very helpful to see it laid out that way.

Next 2012 - This year’s Next conference, the last Next, features a great list of speakers. If you’re in the right demographic, you may want to consider going.

The Christian ministry exists for the promotion of holiness. —Donald MacLeod