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A La Carte

October 03, 2011

Collateral Damage - Thabiti Anyabwile has written a very strong article on James MacDonald inviting T.D. Jakes to speak at The Elephant Room. “This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren.  This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad.  This invitation gives a platform to a heretic.  It’s imprudent and counter-productive–witness already the Trinity-related confusions and obfuscations happening since announcing Jakes’ involvement.” Carl Trueman also writes more about the controversy.

Desktop Wallpapers - In case you missed it on the weekend, here is this month’s roundup of free desktop wallpaper calendars.

Think - John Piper’s book Think is this month’s free audio book from ChristianAudio.

The Home Advantage - An infographic about homeschooling.

You Love Your iPhone - “With Apple widely expected to release its iPhone 5 on Tuesday, Apple addicts across the world are getting ready for their latest fix. But should we really characterize the intense consumer devotion to the iPhone as an addiction? A recent experiment that I carried out using neuroimaging technology suggests that drug-related terms like ‘addiction’ and ‘fix’ aren’t as scientifically accurate as a word we use to describe our most cherished personal relationships. That word is ‘love.’”

Dividing the Load - Brian Croft writes about dividing the ministry load between paid and unpaid elders. Practical advice for ministry leaders.

Tearjerker Alert - Sloan Churman, 29, was born deaf and had never heard the sound of her own voice—until last week.

Let God have your life; he can do more with it than you can. —D.L. Moody

September 30, 2011

A Night of Twists and Collapses - “In a spellbinding frenzy of baseball at its unpredictable, unforgiving best, a labyrinth of twists took place across 4 hours 55 minutes at ballparks in Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Houston. Only one game was tidy — the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-0 victory over the Houston Astros. In each of the other games, a team lost the lead with two outs in the ninth inning, and never got it back.”

$5 Friday - Ligonier has a couple of good deals in this week’s $5 Friday, including books by Steven Lawson and Thomas Foxcroft.

Nothing Like the Church - I really enjoyed this article from the October issue of Tabletalk. “We must remember that there is but one institution in this world that will also exist in the world to come. It is not one’s country; it is not even one’s family. It is the church of God.”

Innocent Blood - Aaron Armstrong reviews John Ensor’s new book Innocent Blood, concluding “Innocent Blood is perhaps the most personally convicting and challenging book I’ve read this year—so much so that I’m still wrestling with what needs to change, of what I need to repent and how to move forward. You will not enjoy reading this book, but you would do well to do so.”

The Time is Ripe - Randy Alcorn says that the time is ripe for Courageous, which opens today at theatres everywhere.

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls - Just like the title says, you can view digitized versions of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The New World Trade Center - “Piranha was commissioned by Silverstein Properties to create a short film depicting the completion of The New World Trade Center site.”

This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection but the preparation for it. —Richard Baxter

September 29, 2011

In case you missed it, Amazon announced yesterday that they will be going head-to-head with Apple in the tablet market. That kind of competition can only be good for us, the consumers. Amazon will be releasing new Kindles (as low as $79) and a new tablet in November. If you’re at all interested, you’d do well to order now to preserve your place in line. Demand will be through the roof. Click here to order or learn more.

Amazon Takes on Apple - On that note, “Let’s start with the bottom line: Amazon’s announcements this morning were the most important in the gadget world since Apple announced the iPad on January 27, 2010. With the announcement of a $79 regular Kindle, $99 touch-enabled Kindle, and $199 Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon set itself up for a Christmas clash with Apple’s iOS juggernaut. While many tablet contenders have come at Apple, few can throw as many punches as Amazon.”

Nicene Christianity - Carl Trueman looks at James MacDonald’s claim that T.D. Jakes’ trinitarian theology is essentially orthodox.

Preaching Notes - Josh Harris is doing another round of preaching notes blog posts (in which he shares the preaching notes of various pastors). Up first is Steven Lawson.

Too Much - A photo gallery from The Big Picture. “Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010.”

Consuming Technology - I’ve seen this too: “I was at a conference recently where often, when there was a break, the participants tended not to get up, stretch, get a cup of coffee, chat with those nearby or even go to the bathroom. Instead they sat there. They were not mesmerized by the presentation they had just heard. They were mesmerized by their screens—handheld or laptop—checking email, tweets, Facebook, news feeds and more.”

Knowledge without humility is vanity. —A.W. Tozer

September 28, 2011

The ‘Religious People’ Boogeyman - This is a fantastic response to some of the discussion surrounding Perry Noble. “ ‘Pharisee,’ ‘legalist,’ ‘religious person’ is the church version of racist or Nazi. It is the rhetorical nuclear option specifically designed to shut up anyone with questions and paint them among their brothers and sisters as graceless jerks. But I think it actually works the other way around…”

Multi-Site Is from Satan - Thabiti Anyabwile offers a tongue-in-cheek title but a serious article about some of the drawbacks to the multi-site model of doing church.

Iranian Pastor May Be Executed - “This seems a huge story to me, but has been ignored by all but conservative media outlets. Apparently, an Iranian pastor may soon be executed for apostasy because he refuses to recant his Christian faith.”

The Perseus Collection - Logos has announced that they are giving away 1,500 free books to whoever cares to download them. “The Perseus Collections are focused primarily on Greek and Latin classics, like Aristotle and Plato. They also cover the history, literature, philosophy, and culture of the Greco-Roman world—important contextual sources for biblical scholars.”

Why Can’t I Own Canadians? - Michael Horton writes a response to an open letter written to Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Long story. Just read it.

Lost - John Piper speaks.

The godly have some good in them, therefore the devil afflicts them; and some evil in them, therefore God afflicts them. —Thomas Watson

September 27, 2011

Unpragmatic Pragmatism - Bob Glenn: “If it works to achieve our ends, then it’s right. The logic goes like this: We want more people to hear the gospel. People will only come to hear the gospel if you dress up like a Transformer or ride a white horse. Therefore, dressing up like Bumblebee or becoming Will Rogers is a perfectly legitimate way of doing church.”

180 - 180 is a new documentary from Ray Comfort. Just 33 minutes long, it’s worth watching. Comfort does battle with moral relativism on the issue of abortion. (On the critique side, I sure wish he did a better job of getting to the gospel)

Galatians and Gospel - This is kind of a neat post from Thabiti Anyabwile. You’ll just have to read it because I can’t quite explain it.

The Lost Girls - “China’s One-Child policy is an epic disaster. Why does it have so many cheerleaders?This grisly reality is behind the Associated Press’s happy talk about China being a paradise for girls. The relative scarcity of girls has meant that women are prized and treated exceptionally well by parents, who can devote all their resources to them, and suitors who want to marry them. Things really are great for Chinese girls—if they survive until birth.” (HT)

Is the Reformation Nearly Over? - Carl Trueman: “Medieval Catholics liked to obtain the body, or even just a fragment, of a saint for their church building in order to make it an authentic church, or a better church than the one in the neighbouring town (see. the undignified fight for the corpse of St. Anthony of Padua; today we need a virtual piece of a famous preacher in our locale to have access to the magic.”

No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. —Charles Spurgeon

September 26, 2011

eBooks and Reading - Here’s an interesting ramification of the move to ebooks: “If the transition to eBooks is complete — and with libraries being among the most significant buyers of books, it now seems inevitable — the flexibility of book ownership will be gone forever. Knowledge, in as much as books represent it, will belong to someone else.”

Incredible Eyes - Here are some amazing photographs of eyes. Yes, eyes. And not just human eyes, either.

Google Ruins Memory - “If you think your memory has fallen off a cliff over the past ten years or so, it might not be memory loss due to aging. It might be due to the way Google restructures how our brains archive knowledge.”

Broader Interests - Ed Stetzer writes about pastors who give up pastoring a local church to dedicate their time to broader interests (like writing and speaking).

The X-Factor - The doctors advised Pamela Cook to abort her baby when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She refused. See the rest of her story above.

[Believers] have joy and comfort—that joy that angels cannot give, and devils cannot take. —Christopher Fowler

September 23, 2011

Rob Bell Moves On - Mars Hill has just announced that Rob Bell will be leaving. “Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.”

In-Vitro - This is quite an interesting article from Canada’s National Post. “What the IVF industry is doing is creating a population of sick babies … that is impacting all society,”

What Cohabitation Does for Marriage - “But how wise of an idea is cohabitation? Is there a track record to examine? These are critical questions to ask because many millions of people are doing it and in dramatically increasing numbers. Well, the good news is we don’t have to wonder about strong, reliable answers to those questions.”

Sunday Matches - Great story! “Devout Christian Euan Murray has questioned the need for Rugby World Cup matches to be played on Sundays. The Glasgow-born prop, 31, has chosen to prioritise his faith this weekend, meaning he will miss Scotland’s Pool B clash with Argentina on Sunday.”

5 Internet Monitoring Approaches - Luke Gilkerson offers 5 approaches to monitoring Internet use in the family.

500 Years of Female Portraits - “’500 Years Of Female Portraits In Western Art’ is intriguing in its ability to trace how representations of women have changed throughout art’s history. Watch as Johnson delicately weaves together famous portraits to show what traits and characterisitcs of the female figure have been deemed ‘ideal’ from epoch to epoch.” (HT:Phil Johnson)

He may look on death with joy who can look on forgiveness with faith. —Thomas Watson

September 22, 2011

Kids, Meet World - “Fear is probably the most commonly used parenting model among Christians. While it is wrongheaded, I certainly understand why parents fret over their children. I have children and I don’t want them to rebel against God or reject Him in any way. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that I think daily about the faith/fear tension in my heart when it comes to parenting my kids.”

Church in a Tech Society - This is a thought-provoking article: “Whatever our reasons for using technology, we must make a deal. We must sign a contract with technology. Technology wants efficiency, and if we agree to its terms, we can use it for whatever goals we have. But technology’s methods alter our own practices and in the process often transform our goals.”

Forever - Westminster Books has a great sale on the new book by Paul David Tripp. They’ve got a few other items on sale as well. Meanwhile, CVBBS is also having a site-wide sale.

Who Pays for Your Spouse’s Sin? - I believe I may have linked to this article in the past, but I find it well worth another read. Even the title is worth pondering. Who pays for your spouse’s sin? Your spouse, or Jesus Christ?

Quotes - Here is a round-up of some of the best Christian quote sites.

Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests. Look beyond the rod to the All-wise hand that wields it!A.W. Pink