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A La Carte

April 16, 2009
When Abortion Meets Totalitarianism
Slate: “Sixteen million girls are missing in China. And now we know what happened to them: They were aborted because they weren’t boys.”
Your Federal Tax Dollars
Here is a fascinating infographic giving an overview of what happens to your tax dollars (assuming you live in the US of A).
The Truth about Children with Disabilities
Steve and Patty Burchett pen an article for Christian Communicators Worldwide. Writing about their daughter they say, “Though our lives have been altered significantly, we are not despairing. We anticipate many more challenges, but we have found Scripture to be especially precious to us recently. God has much to say about our daughter’s life, strengthening us for the long haul. If you are a parent of a disabled child, we hope these truths will encourage and inspire you…”
R.C. Sproul Abortion
This week, Renewing Your Mind, is airing Dr. Sproul’s series on abortion.
April 15, 2009
Animal Rights and Imago Dei
Walter Kaiser reacts to “an op-ed piece by Nicholas D. Kristof entitled “Humanity Even for Nonhumans” He argued that one of the great historical landmarks of the presidential election in the United States last year was not in the race or the president himself, but it was in ‘the limits of human dominion over other species.’”
Why George Frideric Handel Still Matters
NPR: “Handel has been called the first classical music superstar. His operas, oratorios and instrumental music were the toast of London for more than 30 years. And over the past two and a half centuries, interest in Handel has never waned — not for audiences or for musicians…” Be sure to listen to the audio clips they provide.
An Ark of Biblical Proportions
Hong Kong’s “three billionaire Kwok brothers have just the answer for the rising waters threatening the global economy: the world’s first life-size replica of Noah’s ark, built to biblical specifications off the coast of this recession-struck Chinese financial center.”
Our High Places
Rev. Kev is writing a series on “Our High Places” and it looks like it will be interesting. So far he has taken on our lack of Psalm singing and the worldliness of our entertainment.
Columbine Myths
An article in USA Today looks to the Columbine shootings and tries to sort through fact and fable. “Their rampage put schools on alert for ‘enemies lists’ made by troubled students, but the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren’t on antidepressant medication and didn’t target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers’ journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now.”
Deal of the Day: F.F. Bruce’s The Gospel & Epistles of John
CBD has a great deal on F.F. Bruce’s commentaries on the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John. Two volumes in one, 585 pages, for $7.99. “Dr. Bruce intended these commentaries for general Christians interested in serious Bible study, and his goal was to communicate what he learned of the message and meaning of both the Gospel of John and John’s three epistles.”
April 14, 2009
The Rape of the Song of Solomon
John MacArthur is beginning what looks to be an interesting series in which he will attempt to refute those teachers and preachers who “employ extremely graphic descriptions of physical intimacy as a way of expounding on the euphemisms in Solomon’s poem.” Says MacArthur, “In fact, Solomon’s love-poem epitomizes the exact opposite approach. It is, of course, a lengthy poem about courtship and marital love. It is filled with euphemisms and word pictures. Its whole point is gently, subtly, and elegantly to express the emotional and physical intimacy of marital love—in language suitable for any audience.” Some will regard this as anti-Driscollism; I regard it as a good and necessary discussion and look forward to MacArthur’s thoughts on it all.
Confessions of a Real Estate Agent
This article from Salon is an interesting look at the rise and fall of the real estate market. It is told through the eyes of one of the hundreds of thousands of agents who rode it up and back down. “It’s a terrible thing to come to terms with, but I am the reason the world is in an economic tailspin. Me, alone. All those foreclosures, short sales, bank failures, job losses, bailouts, plummeting stocks, the ripple effect into Europe, China, even Madoff: all my fault. Moi.”
Britain’s Worst Hour
This article describes the rapid decline of morals in England. And second and similar article says that Scotland is staring into the abyss of social collapse. It seems that England has need of a new Wilberforce.
New Eric Alexander Website
“Ronald Alexander, son of the Rev. Eric J. Alexander has constructed a website in honor of his father’s life and ministry. You will find a biography, sermons he preached at St. George’s Tron during his 20 year ministry , and links to other resources.”
Deal of the Day: The Complete Works of Beethoven
Had I $49.99 to spend today, I’d spend it on this: the complete works of Beethoven. Today only, 784 works on 87 CDs for $49.99. Though it has no reviews on Amazon, the Bach, Mozart and other collections in the series all have 4.5 or 5 star ratings. It sounds like an amazing deal to me!
April 13, 2009
Doctrine IS Practical
A good word from John MacArthur: “Practical insights, gimmicks, and illustrations mean little if they’re not attached to divine principle. There’s no basis for godly behavior apart from the truth of God’s Word. Before the preacher asks anyone to perform a certain duty, he must first deal with doctrine. He must develop his message around theological themes and draw out the principles of the texts. Then the truth can be applied.”
Messy Marriages and a Gracious God
AFA Journal interviews Paul Tripp about marriage.
Recent Scenes from Afghanistan
Boston.com has a collection of interesting photos snapped recently in Afghanistan.
A Baby Gap of 32 Million
“A bias in favor of male offspring has left China with 32 million more boys under the age of 20 than girls, creating ‘an imminent generation of excess men,’ a study released Friday said.” Just begin to imagine the forthcoming sociological ramifications of such a fact…
Crisis Prep 101
Carolyn McCulley: “I’ve heard many wise pastors say that the time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. When faced with a sobering diagnosis, the loss of a job, the rejection of an unbelieving friend, the criticism of a non-Christian culture — these are not the times you want to dig deep into your faith only to discover shallow roots.”
Facebook Fans Do Worse in Exams
“Facebook users may feel socially successful in cyberspace but they are more likely to perform poorly in exams, according to new research into the academic impact of the social networking website. The majority of students who use Facebook every day are underachieving by as much as an entire grade compared with those who shun the site.”
April 10, 2009
Good Wednesday?
Walter C. Kaiser Jr. explains why Good Friday until Easter Sunday really is three days.
Red Envelope Day
Motte Brown writes about Red Envelope Day. “The ultimate goal of this symbolic gesture is to change the president’s heart on abortion. Otto writes, “This is a message to [the president] that God hears the cry of innocent blood.” Time will tell if it has its desired effect on the president. But according to a report from World Net Daily, at least his vision of flooding the White House was realized. ”
The Road to Area 51
Here’s an interesting article about Area 51. “Area 51. It’s the most famous military institution in the world that doesn’t officially exist. If it did, it would be found about 100 miles outside Las Vegas in Nevada’s high desert, tucked between an Air Force base and an abandoned nuclear testing ground. Then again, maybe not— the U.S. government refuses to say. You can’t drive anywhere close to it, and until recently, the airspace overhead was restricted—all the way to outer space. Any mention of Area 51 gets redacted from official documents, even those that have been declassified for decades.”
Humanity for Non-Humans
“Yet however we may answer these questions, there is one profound difference from past centuries: animal rights are now firmly on the mainstream ethical agenda.”
Facebook Hits 200 Million Users
Facebook is a fascinating cultural phenomenon. It has just seen it’s 200 millionth user subscribe to its services.
Deal of the Day: Great Deals at Logos
For just one more day, you can get some great deals on Logos resources. For example, you can get Schaeffer’s complete works at 75% off.
April 09, 2009
Meet Carlos Contreras
C.J. Mahaney continues his interview series by interviewing Carlos Contreras, who ministers in Juárez, Mexico. “If you are current with the news, you probably know that Juárez has become a violent front line in the war on drugs. Between January 2008 and March 2009, almost 2,000 drug-related murders have taken place in the city as a war rages that involves the drug cartels, local police, and Mexico’s military.”
Risking the Truth
Martin Downes shares Sinclair Ferguson’s Foreword to his new book Risking the Truth. It looks like quite an interesting book!
Audio of Phil Johnson at OBC
“In this session Phil, while rockin’ his team pyro t-shirt under his coat, gave an overview of five major heresies that the church has battled against (Judiaziers, Gnosticisim, Arianism, Pelegianism, and Socinianism).” There is also an interview with Phil.
The Empty Tomb and the Emptied Urn
Russell Moore takes a look at cremation. “While speaking of the Christian belief in the resurrection of the flesh, I called my hearers to reconsider what their funeral plans testified about their hope for the future. I reiterated a position — long-held in the history of the church — that burial, not cremation, best pictures the imagery of death as a sleep from which one is awakened at the last trumpet.”
A Review of Titanic
I just had to share this laugh out loud review of Titanic (scroll down the page about half way and look for bold type). An excerpt: “Anyway, our hero Jack puts Rose on a lifeboat. Of course, being safe is not enough, so she jumps back onto the sinking ship — a prime example of great decision-making. After it goes down, Jack is safe on a door of some sort, but he has to give up his spot to save Rose. Now Rose is on the door, and Jack is stuck in the freezing waters. So in a sense she kills Jack in a slow, frigid, painful way — sort of like the experience I felt while watching this movie.”
The Dark Side of Dubai
A fascinating article on Dubai. “Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing - at last - into history.”
Deal of the Day: Practical Works, Vol 1: The Christian Directory
RHB has this volume by Richard Baxter on sale today for fully 50% off its usual price.
April 08, 2009
The Challenge of Islam
Dr. Mohler offers some level-headed thinking about Islam and about President Obama’s remarks about it. “I criticize President Obama, not for stating that America is not at war with Islam, but for failing to be honest in clarifying that we do face a great civilizational challenge in Islam. Islam is, in effect, the single most vital competitor to Western ideals of civilization on the world scene.”
The Hunt for Gollum
Ray Fowler brings a bit of information about a movie by fans and for fans that takes place in the world of Middle Earth. “he production values look impressive for a home-made film. (I read somewhere they did this for only $3,000? That doesn’t seem possible.) Started over two years ago, the 45-minute film will be available for free download or live streaming at the official Hunt for Gollum website on May 3, 2009.”
Of Kellie Martin and Breast Pumps
6YearMed brings another funny little tale from the hospital. “Last week, I took care of a little boy referred from a few hours away by a doctor who visits his Amish community. The beginning of our encounter could have truly been a scene out of a made-for-TV-movie starring Kellie Martin.”
Missing the Woman I Fell in Love With
I enjoyed this poignant article by Josh Lerman (posted at Parenting.com). “Somehow in the past ten years or so since our first daughter was born, in the mad swirl of breastfeeding and colic, of Pull-Ups and wipes, dinners and playdates, car repairs and sweeping, versions of each other that we used to take for granted — versions of our relationship — have gone missing.”
The Paul Edwards Program
Yesterday I was a guest on the Paul Edwards program, talking about technology. I was on after a rather interesting interview with atheist Christopher Hitchens. The audio is available here if you feel like listening in. I came on around an hour and a half into the program, I believe.
Editing Memory
The Times has rather an interesting article about a scientific “advance” that is really spooky in its potential ramifications. “Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain. Could make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, even a bad habit.”
April 07, 2009
An Interview with Ligon Duncan
“Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III came to Australia in April 2009 as the guest speaker for the 150th Anniversary of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. This provided an opportunity to request an interview with him. Graciously, he agreed…”
The Best Prepared Award
This article explains why Canada is uniquely placed as we encounter this economic downturn. A good quote: “And the most impressive thing of all about Canada’s position is that you are probably reading about it for the first time. Canadians are so sensible they even have the sense not to brag, in case things turn out badly for them after all. ”
That’s Easter
Here are two videos courtesy of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate. They are evangelistic and meant to be viewed around Easter.
Greek and Hebrews Reader’s Bible
John Dyer offers this resource which looks very helpful for students of the original languages. (HT:JT)
An Interview with William Black
This interview is very, very interesting. Bill Moyer interviews William Black who suggests that this economic crisis had its origins in the outrageous greed of a very few people and that the government is simply making it worse. And all this from a vocal Obama supporter.
April 06, 2009
Read to Save Your Life
This is the kind of article I like to read: “Well, here is a health alert we can all understand. Researchers at the University of Sussex have determined that the very best way to relieve stress, both physical and mental, is to read a book. Got your attention?”
Making Exhibitions of Ourselves
Carl Truemen offers some good food for thought in this article about the weird, exhibitionist culture we live in.
Derivatives Explained
We hear a lot of talk about derivatives and their impact (and yet-to-come impact) on the economy. This little parable helps explain them, at least to a point. “Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).”
Dubai: How Not to Build a City
This is totally random, I know, but I found this article quite interesting. It describes the rise (and potential coming fall) of Dubai. “Its vast wealth notwithstanding, the things that make Dubai liveable are those that happened when the planners weren’t looking. But life will out, even in a city built by oil-fuelled hubris.”
An Article on Ben Zobrist
Tim Ellsworth, writing for Baptist Press, has written a couple of stories on Ben Zobrist who plays professional baseball for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Deal of the Day: Bookends of the Christian Life
Today only, Monergism Books is selling Jerry Bridge’s new book The Bookends of the Christian Life for half off the regular price. It’s a good book and definitely worth that price!
April 03, 2009
The Magician’s Nephew
Russell Moore writes about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Magician’s Nephew and gives his take on which comes first. I agree with him. “The Magician’s Nephew is what would be called in today’s film lingo a “prequel,” rather than a beginning. The narrative takes place chronologically before the other stories. But it makes sense only when read after them. That’s because it ties together loose ends and throws further light on the origins behind some of the characters and plotlines readers have already grown to know.”
ESV Free for Kindle
The ESV is currently available for the Kindle for free!
The Europeanization of America
Mark Steyn: “Most Americans don’t yet grasp the scale of the Obama project. The naysayers complain, oh, it’s another Jimmy Carter, or it’s the new New Deal, or it’s LBJ’s Great Society applied to health care… You should be so lucky. Forget these parochial nickel’n’dime comparisons. It’s all those multiplied a gazillionfold and nuclearized - or Europeanized, which is less dramatic but ultimately more lethal.”
The Modesty of Personal Restraint
Lydia Brownback pens a fantastic article about single women and the modesty of personal restraint. Though most people, when they think of modesty think of necklines and hemlines, “We are just as prone—if not more so—to overexpose what’s under our skin. Revealing too much about ourselves is immodest too.”
The Public Rebuke of False Teachers
James MacDonald: “I do not view Brian as an ‘erring weaker brother,’ worthy of sympathy or olive branches, but rather as a dangerous false teacher who repackages mainline liberal theology. (Have the past 50 years not been adequate to see how liberal theology empties churches and damns souls?) More dangerous still is that McLaren packages his false teaching and denials of Scripture as solutions to some of the excesses currently plaguing evangelicalism—the danger being his winning over of young people who have legitimate complaints about the current church, but who lack the discernment to see that his solutions are often unbiblical even when his critiques are fair.”
Easter and Commercialism
Slate suggests why Easter stubbornly resists the commercialism that swallowed Christmas. “So what enables Easter to maintain its religious purity and not devolve into the consumerist nightmare that is Christmas? Well, for one thing, it’s hard to make a palatable consumerist holiday out of Easter when its back story is, at least in part, so gruesome. Christmas is cuddly. Easter, despite the bunnies, is not.” And incisive quote: “Easter is an event that demands a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ There is no ‘whatever.’”
With the Debt, I Thee Wed
Owen Strachan looks to the reality of so many young couples entering marriage burdened with huge debts.
The Blackaby View of God’s Will
Dan Phillips is looking at Henry and Richard Blackaby’s very popular but very faulty view of God’s will and making decisions.

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