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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

July 21, 2009
Same-Name Couple to Wed
“This October, Kelly Hildebrandt will vow to share her life with a man who already shares her name. This is no joke. Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, 20, and Kelly Carl Hildebrandt, 24, expect just over 100 guests at a ceremony at the Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club in South Florida, where they will become husband and wife.”
Making Silence Together
Mark Dever on leaving times of silence in a church service. “I’m a sound addict. Even as I write about silence now, I’ve got Paganini blasting in my study! But yesterday morning in church during one of our silences, I became aware of how corporate a labor such public silence is.”
Turkish Penitents Compete in a Gameshow
“It sounds like the beginning of a joke: what do you get when you put a Muslim imam, a Greek Orthodox priest, a rabbi, a Buddhist monk and 10 atheists in the same room? Viewers of Turkish television will soon get the punchline when a new gameshow begins that offers a prize arguably greater than that offered by Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
July 20, 2009
Can Kindle Take Your Books Away?
Can Amazon’s Kindle just take your books away? They sure can! James Grant has the story. “This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.”
When the Boat Comes In
Four-and-a-half centuries of Scotland’s social and religious history was closed yesterday, but only a couple of dozen people turned up to publicly mourn the passing of strict Sabbath observance. Around 200 people, however, came to cheer the first-ever scheduled sailing of Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferry Isle of Lewis from Stornoway to Ullapool yesterday afternoon.
Why Winning Athletes Are Getting Bigger
I can’t say much about this person’s theory, but some of the facts in the story are interesting. “Specifically, while the average human has gained about 1.9 inches in height since 1900, Charles’ research showed that the fastest swimmers have grown 4.5 inches and the swiftest runners have grown 6.4 inches.”
Christian Conferences in Canada
Canadians will want to check out the Sola Scriptura site to see some of the conferences that are coming to Canada this year.
Deal of the Day: NASB Wide Margin Reference Bible Monergism Books is offering 40% off Cambridge NASB Wide-Margin Reference Bibles, Black Goatskin Leather, Black French Morocco Leather & Hardcover. Cambridge Wide-Margin Reference Bibles also available in ESV.
July 17, 2009
Former Drug Lord Finds the Lord
Here’s an interesting story from Christian Week. “The extravagant wealth and power former gang member Michael “Bull” Roberts had as one of Canada’s wealthiest drug lords reads likes a fantasy. But the road which led him there is the stuff of nightmares.”
Dug Down Deep
Josh Harris gives the title and topic of his forthcoming book.
Crocs on their Last Legs
The world’s ugliest shoes may soon be no more. “The company had expanded to meet demand, but financially pressed customers cut back. Last year the company lost $185.1 million, slashed roughly 2,000 jobs and scrambled to find money to pay down millions in debt. Now it’s stuck with a surplus of shoes, and its auditors have wondered if it can stay afloat. It has until the end of September to pay off its debt.”
Fabulous Fridays
CBD has a couple of noteworthy deals in their Fabulous Friday this week. Alistair Begg’s Pathway to Freedom is on sale for just $3.99, the collector’s edition of Fireproof is on for $14.99 and there is a book and CD gift set of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for just $4.99.
July 16, 2009
A Tech Bill of Rights
“Where is the line when it comes to appropriate cell phone behavior? Is it ok to talk in a crowded restaurant? An elevator? How about interrupting an actual, you know, face-to-face conversation to answer a call? Then there’s non-voice communications: Is it acceptable to walk while emailing, bumping into people on the sidewalk en route? Texting at the urinal: It’s potentially messy and definitely gross, but is it acceptable? Is it rude to keep reaching into your pocket whenever your BlackBerry buzzes?” There are some interesting stats here about how many of us feel others are being rude with their cell phone behavior but how few of us think we are being rude ourselves…
The Tribune on Christian Novels
The Chicago Tribune went to IRCS and has a story about Christian fiction. “The undisputed industry leader is so-called Amish fiction — typically, romances and family sagas set in contemporary Amish communities. They’re a surprise hit with evangelical women attracted by a simpler time, curiosity about cloistered communities and admiration for the strong, traditional faith of the Amish.”
Blessed Are the Green of Heart
Writing for First Things, Alan Jacobs has a review of The Green Bible.
God’s Will and Your Marriage
Over at the Ligonier Ministries blog we’re posting a series by R.C. Sproul on “God’s Will and Your Marriage.”
Deal of the Day: Assured by God
Reformation Heritage Books (on their brand new web site) are offering this book, edited by Burk Parsons, for just $10. Contributors include Joel R. Beeke, Jerry Bridges, John MacArthur, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and R. C. Sproul.
July 15, 2009
Why Bus Stops?
My buddy PMac, summer evangelist at our church, explains why he likes to find people and talk with them as they wait at bus stops (as opposed to going door-to-door through the neighborhood).
The Day Facebook Changed
Here is a change to look out for and one with very far-reaching effects. In just a short while Facebook will make profiles public by default (instead of making them available only to friends as they are now). Just imagine all of the information about you that will now be available to the world…
Is Masturbation Sin?
Relevant has discussed this issue over the past couple of weeks. I found this article particularly compelling as it came from a person who once took the opposite stance. “If I could go back to the 23-year-old that wrote those words, I would first punch his throat because a dude trying to justify his own sin is a dangerous dude and deserves a good throat punch. Then, I would encourage him to not share his thoughts publicly yet.” You’ve got to give him points for style, anyway.
Michael Jackson’s Real Legacy
I think this article does a good job of tapping into Michael Jackson’s real legacy. I won’t give it away, but suffice it to say that it’s got little to do with fame, fortune, dancing or music.
The Master of Ancient and Modern Myth
Albert Shepherd provides a review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s latest posthumous release, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. “In these days when anyone can write a book and slap it together quickly to make some quick cash, “The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun” rises as an instant classic. The shallow-minded may soak up the soft drink that is the “Twilight” series or the “Inheritance Cycle”, but Tolkien’s writing, like a fine wine, refreshes those looking for deeper, more meaningful fare.”
July 14, 2009
Why Are Americans So Fat?
The New Yorker takes on this question. “In just ten years, they showed, Americans had collectively gained more than a billion pounds. ‘If this was about tuberculosis, it would be called an epidemic,’ another researcher wrote in an editorial accompanying the report.” Wade through the Darwinian stuff and there is some interesting information.
Broken Down House
Over at Discerning Reader, Mark Tubbs has a review of Paul David Tripp’s Broken Down House. “Broken-Down House is a book for everyone and everything. Everyone in that no one is exempt from its message, and everything in that there is not a single aspect of the human condition (that I could think of) absent from this book. Even more importantly, it is a piece of work whose cornerstone is Christ, and whose chief architect is God himself. Read it and weep, read it and rejoice.”
More Stimulus!
George F. Will has a good op-ed in the Washington Post. He points out “…a $168 billion stimulus — this was Stimulus I — would be the “booster shot” the economy needed. Unemployment then was 4.8 percent. … In January, the Obama administration, shiny as a new dime and bursting with brains, said that unless another stimulus — Stimulus II wound up involving $787 billion — was passed immediately, unemployment, which then was 7.6 percent, would reach 9 percent by 2010. But halfway through 2009, the rate is 9.5.”
Marvin Olasky on Francis Collins
Olasky writes about Francis Collins, Obama’s pick to head the National Institutes of Health. ” Let’s be clear here: Collins is not an atheist like many Darwinians. He told the New Yorkers that “atheism is the least rational of all the choices.” He’s not a deist: He believes not only that God got the ball rolling, but that miracles can happen, although not very often. He believes in Christ’s resurrection. But he doesn’t seem to have a high view of Scripture, which is where we primarily learn about Christ’s resurrection.”
Deal of the Day: Give Praise to God
Ligonier is offering a good discount on Give Praise to God. “In this volume, contributors including Edmund Clowney, Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, R. Albert Mohler, and others explore various aspects of worship. They discuss the regulative principle, the sacraments, expository preaching, music, public worship, private worship, and they call the church to always conform her worship to the Word of God.”
July 13, 2009
America’s Hidden Treasures
Saturday Evening Post has a photo essay of some of America’s lesser-known scenic locations. Some of the photos are stunning.
The American Patriot’s Bible
A Canadian paper writes about The American Patriot’s Bible. It is “designed for the decent, hardworking core of America, the ordinary man or woman who loves this nation and believes it springs from godly roots. … its commentaries are heavy on conservative icons like Ronald Reagan, Second Amendment rights and manifest destiny.”
Abortion Violence
Political Math does the math on abortion violence and shows how the press portrays the “string of bombings and shootings…”
Does Google Know Too Much?
Here is another in a succession of articles asking whether Google knows too much about us. “Google tracks your online behavior to deliver relevant advertising; the company inadvertently controls a large amount of what you see online through its search results; it’s amassing the greatest library since Alexandria; it has a huge share of the online video market; and offers a wide range of services that bring more and more of your daily online habits into its online sphere. Heck, Google has even flirted with offline advertising.”
Deal of the Day: A Praying Life
Monergism Books is selling Paul Miller’s A Praying Life (and it’s a really good book) and 40% off. Just use the coupon code “prayinglife” to get the discount.
July 10, 2009
For That Special Grad
Here is a t-shirt for that special grad in your life.
A John Calvin Birthday Special
Jim Elliff offers a tongue-in-cheek special for John Calvin’s birthday. “In celebration of John Calvin’s 500th birthday (July 10), CCW is offering a copy of our book on baptism FREE (Going Under: Discussions on Baptism by Jim Elliff) if you order any other book(s) from CCW (except Restoring Those Who Fall)! This special lasts until Friday, July 17th. ”
National Debt Road Trip
This is a helpful illustration of how America’s debt has increased over the years.
Endure Conference
This conference in West Frankfort, IL looks like it will be a good one: “The purpose of the ‘Encouraged to Endure Conference,’ is to strengthen and challenge Christians from all walks of life: the church leader facing opposition at every turn, the lay person starving to be part of a healthy church, the spouse desiring a Biblecentered home, the student openly living a Christcentered life.”
Francis Collins Nominated to Head the NIH
“Yesterday President Obama nominated Dr. Francis Collins to be the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Collins is highly regarded for his pioneering work in guiding the Human Genome Project to completion. If confirmed by the Senate, he will oversee the NIH’s operations and (in 2009) its $31 billion annual budget dedicated to scientific research. Collins is also a born-again Christian…”
July 09, 2009
Kindle Price Drop
If you’ve been waiting to get a Kindle, the time has never been better. The price has just fallen to $299 for the new generation of the reading device.
Calvin Downloads
In honor of Calvin’s 500th birthday, Christian Audio is offering great deals on a list of Calvin-related audio books.
Prime Minister Harper and Transubstantiation
“At a recent funeral for a Canadian dignitary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was televised at the altar of a Roman Catholic church about to take the Eucharist. Instead of ingesting the host, Harper slipped it into his pocket. This created a furor amongst leading Canadian Catholics.” My buddy Ian has the story and video.
Next Live Available for Download
Bob Kauflin: “The Next 2009 conference took place in Baltimore, Maryland May 30-June 2. Over 2500 people gathered to worship Jesus Christ in song, to study his Word, and to rediscover who he is and what he has done. I had the privilege of leading the songs along with three different bands: the Na Band, Reilly, and Zelos. Some of the sessions also featured a 14 piece string section. We were able to record the event and are now offering Next 2009 Live, a 13 song download for $5. That’s right - 13 songs for 5 bucks. Where else are you going to find a deal like that?”
Is Hurt Mail the New Hate Mail?
Carl Trueman takes this on one in his latest column.
Deliberate Mortgage Defaults
I found this article from TIME rather interesting. “Up to 26% of U.S. homeowners who stop paying their mortgage may be doing so intentionally, not because they can’t make the payments but because they don’t want to put money into a house that’s worth less than what they owe.”
Deal of the Day: The Hope Fulfilled
RHB has The Hope Fulfilled on sale today. “In honoring Dr. Owen Palmer Robertson who is a scholar, pastor, church planter, seminary professor, author, and missionary-administrator, this collection of essays seeks to embody both the Reformation and Westminster tradition flavors of Old Princeton theology and Old Southern Presbyterianism.”
July 08, 2009
MJ’s Religion Thriller
Boston.com tries to unravel Michael Jackson’s religious beliefs. “In those days since the King of Pop died, I’ve now seen so many items about his faith that my head is starting to spin. He was a Jehovah’s Witness. A Muslim. He accepted Jesus before he died. The Vatican loved him, but was that right? There’s even a Jewish angle of sorts. Not to mention the unending discussion of what it means to call him an icon, or an idol. Some folks have suggested that his funeral will shed some light on his final faith practices, but I’m not holding out much hope for that. ”
True Woman ‘10
Next year there will be not one but three True Woman conferences (could we say it’s kind of equivalent to a Together for the Gospel directed specifically at women?). The 2008 version of the event was excellent. Click the link for information and a video.
How Bad Are Auto Sales?
TIME answers the question in this brief article.
Why Palin Quit
Here’s an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal: “People close to Sarah Palin say national political reporters and pundits have missed the real reasons for her surprising decision to resign as Alaska governor. The national media have dismissed or downplayed her real motives, which had little to do with any plans to run for president in 2012.”
Self-Help is No Help
“Bridget Jones is not alone in turning to self-help mantras to boost her spirits, but a study warns they may have the opposite effect. Canadian researchers found those with low self-esteem actually felt worse after repeating positive statements about themselves.”