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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

March 31, 2009
Doug Wilson on Fireproof
“If I set myself to think of couples in marriages that I think would be greatly helped by watching this movie, I would run out of fingers inside of a minute. I can also think of Christians who would be offended by the schlock, but many of them would be those who know more about how a movie ought to be made than about how a woman ought to be treated. And they would rather watch a movie about a woman being abused so long as the movie was made right than to have the woman treated right in a movie that offended their refined sensibilities.”
CT Reviews Death by Love
“Sadly, Driscoll and Breshears too often become mired in relentless proof-texting, cheap shots against “flaccid church guys,” and obsessive branding of non-Reformed theologians as heretics. Yet even so, they bravely follow Christ in his descent to hell to preach to those who are held captive by sin and death. Despite their faults, the authors take their stand at the foot of the cross as witnesses to the power of the gospel in a dark, despairing world.”
Tales of Christian Tailgaters
A little tale or parable from Ben Witherington.
Earth Hour Pictures
You don’t have to have celebrated Earth Hour to enjoy this pictures of various public locations going dark. Be sure to click the photos…
Pupils Will be Taught to Twitter
The fun in this article is in the sidebar where they have condensed many subjects into Twitter format (i.e. human reproduction or World War II in 140 characters or less).
Deal of the Day: Wii Games
Amazon is offering various Wii games at a steep discount today.
March 30, 2009
Al Gore’s Earth Hour
“President of the Tennessee Center For Policy Research Drew Johnson takes a Saturday drive by Al Gore’s during the time most environmentalists went dark. … The kicker, though, were the dozen or so floodlights grandly highlighting several trees and illuminating the driveway entrance of Gore’s mansion.”
Shaun Groves on Life in the Speck
“On your first day on the other side of the grave, do you think you’ll look back on this life and be flooded with gratitude for hours spent watching episodes of American Idol and Lost? Will you wish you’d done more of that? Do you think you’ll look back fondly on the effort and money spent remodeling the kitchen? Will you wish you’d had a nicer home?…”
Challies’ Path to Family
That’s the title of an interview Aileen and I completed with Steve and Candice Watters who interviewed us on starting our family.
Totally Looks Like
I got a laugh from this.
Deal of the Day: Reformed Expository Commentaries
Monergism Books is offering a 50% discount on all of the books in the Reformed Expository Commentaries series. This is a limited time offer, while supplies last. One each per customer.” The 50% discount applies to any of the 10 titles. This is a great time to get started on your collection of this set!
March 27, 2009
Facebook Faceoff
“I couldn’t help but wonder what he was thinking as he pulled out his iPhone and took advantage of a new Facebook application — right in the middle of the sermon. It was then that I realized the narcissistic machine that is Facebook.”
Toronto Pastors Conference
Today is the last day to register for the Toronto Pastors Conference at earlybird pricing. Come join us as we hear Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker teach about the local church.
Does Satan Exist?
You’ve probably heard by now that Mark Driscoll participated in a televised debate on this question. You can watch the debate online. Be sure to check out Deepak Chopra’s totally bling glasses.
ESV Bible Widget
Crossway has put together an ESV dashboard widget for the Mac OS X users.
9 Wackiest Tax Deductions
Here are a few not to try this year. “As audacious as these stories might be, rest assured that the Internal Revenue Service is not amused when taxpayers fail to file, misfile, underreport income or otherwise attempt to avoid taxes.”
How to Understand Huge Numbers
“As Obama proposes a $1,000,000,000,000 rescue plan, Marcus du Sautoy offers a handy guide to the mind-bogglingly big numbers being bandied about.”
The Ears of the Deaf
The discussion for the article I wrote earlier this week has become very interesting in its discussion of deaf ministry. If that is of any interest to you, be sure to read some of the comments.
March 26, 2009
Worship Planning Ideas from Calvin
“People often come to me and ask, ‘How can we improve or renew our worship?’ My response is that we should restore the central things and practice them robustly, using contemporary forms rooted in the practices of sixteenth century pastor and liturgical reformer, John Calvin. Even though Calvin is most widely known as a systematizer…and exegete…his leadership in liturgical renewal should not be ignored in the twenty-first century.”
“Where The Wild Things Are” Trailer
A childhood favorite gets the movie treatment.
Obama’s Teleprompter’s Blog
This is one of the hottest new blogs out there—written by TOTUS, President’s Obama’s teleprompter. It offers “Reflections from the hard drive of the machine that enables the voice of the Leader of the Free World.”
2009: A Book Banning Odyssey
Ed Driscoll looks at the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its effects on books published prior to 1984 (the guy is a bit on the odd side but most of his information is good). Bookshop Blog has information as well.
March 25, 2009
Tougher Sexting Laws
This article discusses new laws against cyberbullying. Some interesting facts: “A national study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy revealed that 1 in 5 teen girls or 22 percent say they have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude images online of themselves.” and “Some area school resource officers and principals estimate that at least half of the students have an inappropriate photo on their cell phone.”
Church Planting in WSJ
Wall Street Journal has an article about church planting. Rather an interesting place to read such an article, I thought…
Ligonier National Conference Video
You can watch the sessions from the recent conference which dealt with the topic of “The Holiness of God.” There were some very, very good sessions and they are well worth watching.
The Real Population Threat
Dr. Mohler: “For well over a century, many prophets of doom have predicted world overpopulation would lead to ecological disaster, famine, poverty and other woes. As Philip Longman points out in the March 24, 2009 edition of USA Today, the world’s population is expected to hit 7 billion by 2012, up from the 6 billion mark set in 1999. So, is overpopulation a real threat? Not hardly.”
March 24, 2009
Sermon Jams: Volume 5
1031 Sermon Jams has released a new volume of their sermon jams. You are free to download, burn and distribute the files. DD)
Writers’ Rooms
Here is a neat photo essay (with an audio track by the photographer) sharing photographs of various writers’ rooms. They range from the stark to the cluttered and everything in between.
Free Audio Books from Jim Elliff
Audio versions of Jim Elliff’s books Pursuing God and Wasted Faith are available for free download at his web site.
Solving Sudoku Mathematically
I’m glad to hear that someone has found a way of solving Sudoku. Now maybe people can stop cluttering magazines with it…
How Publishing Shapes Us
Andy Le Peau has a short but good article on how publishing shapes us. “What does publishing make possible and impossible? Famously, it made the Reformation possible—or at least possible to spread more quickly and widely. It makes the dissemination of information and opinion to great swaths of the population possible. This may be obvious. What is perhaps less obvious is what publishing makes impossible or very difficult.”
Connecting Church and Home
“This weekend, Brentwood Baptist Church hosted a conference on family ministry titled Connecting Church and Home. The speakers were mainly connected with Southern Baptist churches but their purpose will be shared by all Christians.” Though I haven’t read through (or listened to) these talks yet, they come highly recommended.
March 23, 2009
One Trillion Dollars
You’ve probably seen this already; I have too. But I just can’t get over it, so thought I’d post it so you can see it again.
The Sin of Infant Baptism
Mark Dever has stepped up to defend his view that infant baptism is sinful. I’m not sure why this is controversial, but it seems to be!
Getting Good Digital Audio of Sermons
This article offers some useful pointers for getting good digital audio recordings of sermons.
Advance 09
This conference looks like it’s going to be a good one (or, at least, one would assume so from the topic and the list of speakers).
March 19, 2009
Why the Time Magazine Trumpeting of New Calvinism Is a Bad Thing
Thabiti Anyabwile offers seven quick but good reasons on why we should react carefully to this article.
Driscoll’s New Calvinism
Paul Grimmond, writing for The Sola Panel, offers some interesting thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s comments about the new versus the old Calvinism.
Band of Bloggers Book Giveaways
Timmy Brister has organized another Band of Bloggers event to be held at this year’s Gospel Coalition Conference. He just provided a list of the free books that will be given away. Looks like it will be worth coming just for the books!
Canada’s Science Minister is a Creationist
And so, of course, there is plenty of outrage. “Jim Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said he was flabbergasted that the minister would invoke his religion when asked about evolution.”
What I Can and Cannot Live With as a Minister
Mark Dever has put together a list of “What I CAN and CANNOT Live With as a Pastor.” “Let me throw out a bunch of different examples that are relevant to my particular situation: organs, female elders, universalism, altar calls, humor, multi-site campuses, drums, the KJV, stained glass, racism, infant baptism, no formal membership, sermons limited to 10 minutes, large and high pulpits, TV studio-like acoustics. My goal in what follows is not to give you a sacrosanct playbook, but to illustrate how I go about thinking through practical matters.”
March 17, 2009
iPhone Bible Reader
This Bible reading software for the iPhone is getting better and better.
How to Be a Reader (When You Can’t Afford Books)
Here is some advice by T-Wax on how to read a lot even when your budget can’t support constant book buying.
Calvinism Old and New
R. Scott Clark says “Rather than respond point by point to Pastor Driscoll’s original post I want to challenge the premise on which it rests, namely that his theology, piety, and practice is genuinely “Calvinist” and second, that “Calvinism” can be reduced to the doctrine of predestination that can be re-contextualized in congregations which are at odds with the Reformed confession.”
Deal of the Day: March Mania CBD is having “March Mania” this month. You’ll have to look to find the deals, but there are some to be had. See especially under the Academic link if you want deals on some great reference books.
March 16, 2009
Digital Etiquette
“This is a friendly call for creators of MP3’s to follow some very simple guidelines that will make end users lives easier, and be a testimony to the messages we preach & teach. If you value the material you post publicly on the Internet, please demonstrate it’s value by following these 3 very simple guidelines.”
Meet David Powlison
C.J. Mahaney turns his interview series to David Powlison.
Reading Technology
A snarky cartoon that looks at the great user interface and other features of books.
Driscoll’s Confusion on the Old Calvinism
James Grant has some wise correctives to Mark Driscoll’s statements comparing the New Calvinism to the Old Calvinism.
US Dollars in Circulation
This video from Glenn Beck shows how many US dollars have entered circulation in the past few months. This is shocking stuff!
Deal of the Day: Literary Study Bible
Monergism Books is offering a 40% discount on the really nice-looking TruTone, Brown/Parchment version of the ESV Literary Study Bible.

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