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A La Carte

August 17, 2009
We Will Care for Any Baby
“Last weekend an Atlanta pastor made a promise that stunned his congregation and most of the people who heard it. In a speech that discussed abortion, the President, and the sanctity of life, the most provocative statement from Pastor Vic Pentz of Peachtree Presbyterian Church came towards sermon’s end: ‘I make a promise to you now and I don’t want you to keep this a secret,’ the pastor pronounced, ‘the Peachtree Presbyterian Church will care for any newborn baby you bring to this church…’”
I Refuse To Be Bored
Jollyblogger on Ben Franklin and boredom: “The experience of ‘boredom’ says far more about the one claiming to be bored than about the speaker, the event or whatever the alleged cause of the boredom. ”
Pray the Bible
Be sure to take a look at this new site. “The aim of the online publication of this ‘old-made-new’ monograph is to assist and encourage modern Christians in both public and private prayer.”
JC is not PC
John MacArthur is a guest voice in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” column. “Let’s be brutally honest: most of Jesus’ teaching is completely out of sync with the mores that dominate our culture.”
Office Hours: A Podcast
Office Hours is a new podcast that comes courtesy of Westminster Seminary in California. “Season I of Office Hours introduces you to the faculty of WSC through personal, 30-minute interviews, discussing biblical and exegetical questions, historical and theological questions, pastoral matters, and Christian living. ”
Redeemer Seeks New President
Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario, is seeking a new President. Information at the link for those interested.
Deal of the Day: Banner of Truth Sale
For a limited time, Monergism has reduced the prices on all of their Banner of Truth titles to the lowest you’ll find anywhere online.
August 14, 2009
Tweet Tweet
I enjoyed this article by David Sills. He writes about Twitter and other social media: “Someone has said that humility is not thinking less of yourself, just thinking of yourself less. Enter Twitter and Facebook. Humility used to guide believers to wait and let others praise them and not do it themselves. The heroes of yesteryear who reluctantly received the crowd’s adulation have been replaced with shameless personal promoters who peddle their self-made brand to as many as possible by all means possible—under the guise of social networking. I will admit that these folks seem to be larger than life superstars with all the news that’s fit to tweet, if it’s all true, but seriously, all this genuflecting is making my pants baggy.”
Coffee Drinking
Owen Strachan’s article on coffee drinking is worth the (humorous) read. “What you find on many websites is some kind of description like this: ‘I love reformed theology, U2, anything by Steven Soderbergh, and a fresh cup of joe.’ Or maybe: ‘My interests are theology, issues of social justice, Beastie Boys, and an Americano from (fill in neighborhood coffee shop here).’ Or perhaps: ‘Can’t resist a good Bonhoeffer quotation, Edwardsean philosophy, and a venti mocha with light whip.’”
Bonuses Break the Bank
This might make you mad.
Religious Book Sales Fall
“Sales of religious books saw a significant decrease of 22% in June continuing a yearlong trend, as overall book sales increased by 21.5% to $942.6 million, according to The Association of American Publishers (AAP).”
August 13, 2009
The Lost Art of Reading
Here’s an interesting essay on reading. “Reading is an act of contemplation, perhaps the only act in which we allow ourselves to merge with the consciousness of another human being. We possess the books we read, animating the waiting stillness of their language, but they possess us also, filling us with thoughts and observations, asking us to make them part of ourselves”
Eternity in Our Hearts?
Ed Welch looks at some well-known words from Ecclessiastes and wonders if we’ve been missing what they really mean.
Tribute to a Friend
Mike Delorenzo, missionary with Africa Inland Mission, remembers a friend. Frank Toews, an AIM pilot, was killed in a plane crash just a week ago, leaving behind a wife and four children. Be sure to also check out the WORLD article Mike links to.
Deal of the Day: Systematic Theology
Today RHB is offering a discount on Robert Reymond’s A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. It “expresses a fully biblical Reformed faith, showing its enduring appeal, coherence, and truthfulness. Faithful to historic Calvinist convictions, this new benchmark of Reformed theology covers all the main teachings of the Bible and engages contemporary theological issues with the resources of biblical revelation and sound historical reflection so that the light of the Reformation continues to illumine the life of Christ’s church today.”
August 12, 2009
Standing Up for the Lord’s Day
Dan Walker is a presenter for BBC Sport and BBC Sports News. In this article he explains how and why he has always refused to work on Sundays.
Bubble Babies
Reader’s Digest looks with a skeptical eye at all of the gear being sold today to protect babies. “When your baby-goods store is selling saline-soaked, aloe-treated, grape-scented tissues designed to ‘ease’ the process of blowing your kid’s nose, it is safe to say: There is no kiddie problem too small, no discomfort too negligible, no danger too remote, that some manufacturer won’t come along and peddle a pricey product to prevent it.”
Why Gay Guys are Churchier
“A new survey of 9,000 gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans from George Barna, a well-known evangelical pollster, showed that 70 percent of gay adults describe themselves as Christian and 60 percent say their faith is ‘very important’ in their lives. Granted, those figures are lower than the population as a whole, which register 85 and 70 percent on those rankings, respectively. But Barna, himself a Bible-believing, born-again Christian, points out that the numbers demonstrate that ‘popular stereotypes about the spiritual life of gays and lesbians are simply wrong.’”
Amazon Grab Bag Sale
Amazon has a “DVD Grab Bag” sale going on now. There are some pretty good deals available (including the set “When We Left Earth” that I’m watching and enjoying). (Obviously there’s a lot of junk there, too)
August 11, 2009
Perinatal Hospice
What an amazing idea! (And what a great alternative to abortion) “Perinatal hospice honors life. The woman carrying the disabled child receives extensive counseling and birth preparation involving the combined efforts of MFM specialists, OB/GYN doctors, neonatologists, anesthesia services, chaplains, pastors, social workers, labor and delivery nurses, and neonatal nurses. She carries the pregnancy to its natural conclusion.”
Learn to Put up With a Few Things
Here is some good advice from Mary Kassian’s mom as she looks forward to celebrating her 60th(!) wedding anniversary. “If you’re going to be married for 60 years, you have to learn to put up with a few things!”
Happier Talking Online
This article ought to concern parents of the MySpace generation. “Young people are taking refuge from reality in cyberspace, with more than a third feeling better able to talk about themselves online, new research indicates. A survey of British MySpace users aged 14 to 21 found that 36 per cent found it easier to talk about themselves online than in the real world and thought their online friends knew more about them than their off-line ones.”
How Fail Went From Verb to Interjection
The NY Times, in a pop culture primer, tells how the word “Fail!” went from being a verb to being an interjection as in “A conservative blog posts an image of a United States-Russian diplomatic agreement with the president’s name spelled ‘Barak Obama’ and calls it “White House Spellcheck FAIL.”
Fetus Models
Take a look at the photos of this new technology which allows the “printing” of 3-dimensional models of a fetus.
America’s Credit Card Mess
I’m mostly linking to this article because of the final paragraph which gave me a chuckle: “During the Roman Empire, the first anti-usury law—and I think this says it all—was found in the Council of Nicea in the 4th century. It states that no clergyman could practice usury, so you can get a pretty good idea of what was going on then—lending to the flock. The odd part is, the Council of Nicea was also the council that confirmed the concept of the Trinity. Those are probably two of the most unlikely pieces of legislation you could find in the same piece of canon law.”
Deal of the Day: Vision Video
Vision Video is clearing out some DVDs and there are a few good deals to be had.
August 10, 2009
Taking Charge of Television
Randy Alcorn: “With summer here, and kids out of school, many Christians, and especially those who are parents, might be wondering: How do I take charge of the television? The fact is, you and your children will inevitably adopt the morality of the programs, movies, books, magazines, music, Internet sites, and conversations you participate in. GIGO—garbage in, garbage out; godliness in, godliness out. The cognitive is basic to the behavioral—you become what you choose to feed your mind on.”
Dr. Mohler writes about polyamory, a necessary consequence of our society’s widespread acceptance of homosexual marriage.
Nigeria’s Online Scammers
I linked to a similar article a short while ago. This one also deals with those online scammers, largely from Africa, who try to bilk you out of your money with promises of great wealth. “I’m selling greed,” said Felix, 29, an e-mail swindler. “You didn’t apply for any lotto, and all of a sudden you just see a mail in your mailbox that you’re going to win money? That means you have to be greedy.”
Crazy Contract Clauses
If you’re a baseball fan, you may enjoy this article, outlining some of baseball’s stranger contract clauses. My favorite is the guy whose contracted included a bulldozer if he won a World Series game.
The World’s Cleverest Bird
It took humans a long time to figure out the principle that this bird seems to understand!
Deal of the Day at Monergism Books
Monergism Books has a few titles on sale while supplies last: The Fracture of Faith: Recovering the Belief of the Gospel in a Postmodern World by Douglas Vickers 50% off; Life’s Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy by Ronald Nash 50% off; Shared Life: The Trinity and the Fellowship of God’s People by Donald Macleod 69% off.
August 07, 2009
Whither Evangelicalism?
Phil Johnson: Evangelicalism regularly comes under attack from all sides, and let’s face it: a lot of the criticism leveled against evangelicals is well deserved. Although I hold firmly to historic evangelical doctrine, I thoroughly despise what the contemporary evangelical movement has become.
Evangelism: Joy, Planting and Watering
My buddy P-Mac, a new blogger, has already figured out the value of getting other people to do his blogging for him. Today Steve F., also a good friend, offers “An Encouraging Reminder to Keep Planting and Watering.”
The First Lady’s Staff
This article is completely overstated, but the information it contains is really interesting. It simply lists the staff retained by the First Lady. You’ll be surprised at how many are involved in staffing this unpaid position!
Can Homosexuals Change?
Stand to Reason points to a journal article in the Journal of Human Sexuality that provides some counter-cultural facts. “There is substantial evidence that sexual orientation may be changed through reorientation therapy; Efforts to change sexual orientation have not been shown to be consistently harmful or to regularly lead to greater self-hatred, depression, and other self-destructive behaviors; There is significantly greater medical, psychological, and relational pathology in the homosexual population than the general population.”
The Gospel Man
At this site you can download audio from three different Gospel Man conferences held in the last year.
August 06, 2009
It’s SO Over
It seems that many adolescents are abandoning social media sites. “From uncles wearing skinny jeans to mothers investing in ra-ra skirts and fathers nodding awkwardly along to the latest grime record, the older generation has long known that the surest way to kill a youth trend is to adopt it as its own. The cyberworld, it seems, is no exception.”
The Death of Handwriting
TIME mourns the death of handwriting in general and cursive in particular. “I am a member of Gen Y, the generation that shunned cursive. And now there is a group coming after me, a boom of tech-savvy children who don’t remember life before the Internet and who text-message nearly as much as they talk. They have even less need for good penmanship. We are witnessing the death of handwriting.”
Jesus Is a Friend of Mine
You remember that silly song “Jesus Is a Friend of Mine” that recently surfaced on YouTube. The album it was drawn from is now for sale (for the first time since the 70’s). CT has a review.
Clunker Cash is Anything but Smart
This article is interesting for its perspective on the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The basic point is this: “As Bastiat showed 150 years ago, you don’t create wealth by destruction.” In other words, by destroying older cars (which still have some value) you do not, in the end, create wealth. Meanwhile, this second article suggests that the actual cost per vehicle may be in the tens of thousands of dollars (since many of the cars being purchased with the rebate may well have been purchased anyway).
Sexting Craze on the Rise
Though this article is UK-focused, I’m sure it’s entirely applicable in North America. “A growing number of British teenagers are swapping sexually explicit images of themselves on mobile phones leaving them open to bullying and victimization by their peers, police and a children’s charity said on Tuesday.” This is of particular concern: “Girls were particularly vulnerable, the charity said, with evidence showing they were being bullied into taking and sharing intimate pictures by boyfriends.”
Deal of the Day: Reformation Heroes
Reformation Heritage Books has released a second edition of the book Reformation Heroes which now includes a study guide.
August 05, 2009
Alcorn’s Rescue Story
Randy Alcorn shares a story (complete with video) that happened exactly twenty years ago. “Well into the flight we were cruising over a beautiful waterfall at three thousand feet, when suddenly the engine lost power. Smoke billowed, oil splashed on the windshield. Seeing that there was no oil pressure, Barry had to shut off the engine, which looked like it was about to burn. Suddenly we were descending rapidly in a rough mountain pass where there was no place to land. It looked like we wouldn’t make it.”
Carson on Inerrancy
D.A. Carson explains what inerrancy is and whether or not it is an essential Christian belief.
Calvin on Discernment
Monergism shares some wise words from Calvin on discernment, showing that discernment is wholly lost until we are regenerated.
Kindle and the Future of Reading
The New Yorker writes about Amazon’s Kindle. This is a favorite line from the article: “Here’s what you buy when you buy a Kindle book. You buy the right to display a grouping of words in front of your eyes for your private use with the aid of an electronic display device approved by Amazon.”
August 04, 2009
Monergism Announces Redesign
Monergism has redesigned their site. This is phase 1 of what they hope will be a 2-stage overhaul. It looks good!
Bad Boys Turned Christian
Owen Strachan: “A recent NYT article chronicled an encouraging if unexpected development: a bunch of professional skateboarders and bike riders are boldly witnessing to their faith in Christ.”
A Hymn for Ordinary Christians
Bob Kauflin writes about “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” “The story behind Great is Thy Faithfulness should encourage every Christian who thinks of their life as ordinary. There’s no tragic story (think “It Is Well” by Horatio Spafford) associated with this hymn. It’s just the fruit of a faithful man with a simple faith in a faithful God.”
Rose, Laura and Little House
This article at the New Yorker tries to understand the working relationship of Rose Wilder Lane and Laura Ingalls Wilder as they sought to write the books that Laura has become known for.
The Case for Early Marriage
Dr. Mohler discusses an article in the latest edition of Christianity Today. “In ‘The Case for Early Marriage,’ sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas in Austin argues that far too many American evangelicals have attempted to deal with sex without understanding marriage. In particular, he asserts that the ‘prevailing discourse of abstinence culture in contemporary American evangelicalism’ has run aground.”
Too Critical? On the Contrary…
I enjoyed this article in The Globe and Mail about critical book reviews. “As Philip Marchand, one of this nation’s few critics willing to appear negative, once put it: ‘If I have erred as a critic, I have erred by being too appreciative. I don’t think there’s a single negative word about any author’s book that I would take back, but I seriously wonder about some of the praise I have dispensed.’”
How Whitefield Studied the Bible
Looking to Dallimore’s biography of Whitefield, Ray Ortlund shows how Whitefield studied Scripture.