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March 15, 2011

I decided I wouldn’t watch Rob Bell’s big interview last night. Then I decided I would. But shortly after I logged in my Internet service choked so I only watched about 2 minutes. I think it worked out well.

Tsunami - This is an amazing and shocking video of the tsunami. Carolyn McCulley offers comment on it. The Big Picture has another horrifying round-up of photographs. And here’s Earthquakes 101 from National Geographic.

Simple Explanation - Speaking of all that has happened in Japan, this web site offers a measured look at what is going on with the nuclear reactors. From today’s update: “We have damage that probably could have been avoided, and reporting of almost stunning inaccuracy and ignorance. Still, the odds are that no one will be hurt from radioactivity — a few workers from falling or in the hydrogen explosions, but tiny on the scale of the damage and killing around it.” This article from the Nuclear Energy Institute is worth reading.

Made-Up Words - Mounce writes about how we can have confidence in knowing what the Bible’s made-up words mean.

Cleaning Toilets - I enjoyed this article by Brian Croft. I’m new to pastoral ministry, but already I’m surprised at how much it involves doing things just like this.

Rid of My Disgrace - Aaron Armstrong has a review of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. He says “Authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb provide a compelling, thoughtful and hopeful answer…as they apply the gospel to this horrendous crime.”

Christian Web Conference - I greatly enjoyed last year’s Christian Web Conference. You may be interested in checking out this year’s version.

Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.C.S. Lewis

March 14, 2011

When I was in the US I made my first ever visit to a 5 Guys burger joint. I assume they call it “5 Guys” because they give you enough food to feed 5. Either way, they are beginning to expand into Canada and have just opened 3 restaurants in this area. If I was a betting man I’d say they’ll be gone within a year. Decent food, but not the kind Canadians are going to line up for. You heard it here first.

Not Many of You Should be Bloggers - John Dyer: “I’m not attempting to defend mean-spirited, polemical debate. I’m just saying that it’s old news. The debates are still important, but what is even more important is how social media has changed the way those debates take place among everyday Christians.”

God Is Still Holy - Kevin DeYoung has posted a long (20-page) review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Denny Burk has posted a long but not quite as long (11-page) review. Both are available to read online or to download in PDF format. Mark Driscoll has posted an article excerpting one of his books where he discusses the doctrine of hell. Carl Trueman looks at the situation and is an accidental optimist.

Metaxas on Bonhoeffer - In this interview, Eric Metaxas responds to criticism about his portrayal of Deitrich Bonheoffer. As you remember, several Bonhoeffer scholars have said that he has created an evangelical-friendly version of his subject. Metaxas disagrees.

25 Ways to Pursue Joy in Christ - Mark Altrogge offers them up.

The Big Picture - Boston.com has put together a gallery of photos from Japan. The devastation there is simply unimaginable.

Power - This video shows some of the power of the tsunami that hit the coast of Japan.

Too many church members are starched and ironed but not washed. —Vance Havner

March 11, 2011

I’m on the way to South Carolina to speak at one of the Psalm 119 conferences on discernment. I’m looking forward to spend time with guys like Todd Friel and Trevin Wax. And of course, sharing a couple of messages on why to be discerning and how to be discerning well.

The Prince of Wales and John 14 - “Prince Charles has read from John chapter 14 as part of an online version of the King James Bible. The idea is the brainchild of the King James Bible Trust and is the latest event to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the translation.”

How to Have a Good Argument - Yes, it’s another article about Rob Bell. But skip to the second half of the article and this blogger has some good things to say about a good argument.

100 Shares - It was 25 years ago that Microsoft went public. Here’s an article about what you’d be sitting on if you had been one of the buyers.

Shedding the Spines - Sometimes evolution pretty much parodies itself. “Genetic comparison with chimps suggests that losing chunks of DNA – including one associated with penis spines and facial whiskers – played a crucial role in making us human.” Seriously?

Kids and the Bible - Erik writes about how he helps his children read and understand the Bible.

iPad 2 - Daring Fireball, the source for Apple news and reviews, gives his take on the iPad 2.

Planned Parenthood - This is a horrible video, but that’s kind of the point. (HT:Z)

The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man.R.A. Torrey

March 10, 2011

Yesterday was a busy day, with somewhere around 50,000 more people than usual dropping by the blog to read the review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins. And somehow my server stayed alive and healthy throughout. That has to be a first.

Plain Fear - Do you remember my proposal for a Christian Amish Vampire End Times novel (Cassidy: Amish Vampiress of the Tribulation)? Well, Plain Fear gets pretty close.

The Next Story: The First Review - This is, to my knowledge, the first review of my book The Next Story. And it’s encouraging: “If The Next Story has the same effect on you that it had on me, it will cause you repent of some of your technological habits, to refine many others, and to refocus your attention on the true goal of all that you do, both online and off – to bring glory to God.”

5 Questions to Ask a Depressed Person - David Murray offers some good starting points for counseling a person suffering from depression.

That Guy - You know when you watch a movie and see an actor you know you’ve seen before…but you don’t know who he is? Here’s a listing of some of the common character actors. (HT)

How a Calvinist Shares the Gospel - John Piper provides a little dialog that describes how a Calvinist might share the gospel.

Can a Person Be Evangelical and Not Believe in Hell? - R.C. Sproul Jr. answers that question, obviously a pertinent one today. “The difficult truth of the matter is that language, while actually having the ability to communicate, is not static. Words have real meanings, but those meanings are grounded both in history and in usage. Sometimes those two come apart, and a word is caught in the tension. ‘Evangelical’ is just one of those words.”

The Hand that Feeds Us - Michael Horton offers a brief reflection on technology and its proper place in our lives and churches.

Villanova’s Student Managers - A great little video clip.

Too many are willing to sit at God’s table, but not work in his field. —Vance Havner

March 09, 2011

In a couple of hours David Murray and I will be recording a podcast in which we’ll try to answer questions from people who listen to it (or people who just want to ask a question). So if there’s something you’d like to have us take a stab at answering, just leave a comment below.

Calling Men on International Women’s Day - Mary Kassian: “The message is that ‘true equality’ requires that women be treated exactly the same as men. Women will not be equal until the sexes have interchangeable roles, interchangeable jobs, interchangeable responsibilities … and even an interchangeable identity. Equality means interchangeablity.”

Band of Bloggers - Timmy Brister has put together another Band of Bloggers. This year’s edition will be held at Gospel Coalition. And I get to be one of the panelists. Fun!

Highest-Paid Players - A little baseball to brighten your morning. MLBTradeRumors (a must-visit site for the baseball fan) has a roundup of the biggest salaries from today, ten years ago and twenty years ago. It’s more than inflation.

High Fascism - This op-ed at the Times offers an interesting take on the fashion industry. A recent blow-up by a famous fashion designer invites “consideration of the curious relationship between French fashion and fascism.”

The Break with Bell - Denny Burk writes about why Zondervan broke up with Rob Bell and stopped publishing his books.

Livingstone Online - “Livingstone Online is an ongoing project that provides access to the medical and scientific writings of the missionary, doctor and African explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873). We currently offer detailed transcriptions of many of his letters and we aim to make all his medical and scientific writings freely available online.” (HT:PJ)

Video Games Aren’t Sinful - No, they’re just stupid. That’s what Mark Driscoll says in this video:

Morality may damn as well as vice. A vessel may be sunk with gold as well as with dung. —Thomas Watson

March 08, 2011

The price of The Next Story ebook has fallen to $8.99. Just as promised, enough people pre-ordered it to get the price to drop. If we get another 200 pre-orders, the price will fall again (and everyone who pre-ordered will be charged this lower price). So please, if you intend to buy it, buy it now and save everyone some money!

Hymns That Keep on Going - An article from CT. “There are many ways to identify the most lasting or best loved hymns among American Protestants. But what would we find by looking at all 28 hymnals published by mainline Protestant denominations from the late 1800s to the present? Out of almost 5,000 hymns, how many would appear in all 28 hymnals?”

Free eBook - Crossway is giving away the ebook version of Steve Monsma’s Healing for a Broken World: Perspectives on Public Policy.

Exclude Visitors - I’ve always been interested in Capitol Hill’s policies regarding membership. Here Michael McKinley calls churches to protect themselves by excluding visitors (from many parts of church life).

Doing Away With Hell - Dr. Mohler has been on TV talking about hell and now he’s blogging about it as well. “The pressing question of our concern is this: Whatever happened to hell? What has happened so that we now find even some who claim to be evangelicals promoting and teaching concepts such as universalism, inclusivism, postmortem evangelism, conditional immortality, and annihilationism–when those known as evangelicals in former times were known for opposing those very proposals?”

Breaking the Bread Code - Information you need. Well, not really, but it’s good to know.

I’m Reading a Book - Bizarre. But strangely amusing. (HT)

One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. —A.T. Robertson

March 07, 2011

Yesterday at church I was asked for a recommendation for a book on guidance. So I went to my office and pulled down Decisions, Decisions by Dave Swavely—still my favorite on the subject. I cracked it open and out fell a small gold coin dated 1791. Weird.

Saving Faith - Monergism Books is offering a free download of the e-book version of A.W. Pink’s Saving Faith.

Charlie Sheen is God - This blog (done in video form) raises some interesting points as it discusses Charlie Sheen and his god complex. This guy is right—Sheen is one of the few celebrities courageous enough to just say it: “My life is so much better than yours because I’m so much richer than you’ll ever be.”

Inveitable Ruin - I’ve heard good things about this message Don Whitney gave at a recent conference. It’s called “The Inevitable Ruin of Every Minister and How to Avoid It.”

What Shapes Our Language - Here’s your infographic du jour. This one provides a look at some of the things that shape a language.

Nyiragongo Crater - The Big Picture has a great photo essay of an active volcano at Nyiragongo Crater. Understatement: “Approaching 282 million cubic feet of lava requires extensive protections.”

Sheen, Beck or Qaddafi? - Another fun game. I got 9 out of 15.

iPad 2 Notes - This is a thoughtful article for those wanting to get some big-picture thinking on the iPad 2.

The World’s Most Typical Person - National Geographic tells you who that is.

It is a dangerous crisis when a proud heart meets with flattering lips. —John Flavel

March 05, 2011

My boy turns 11 today. Double 11 and you end up at 22. I was 22 years old when we found out that Aileen was pregnant with that boy. I feel old.

Too Missional for Abortion - Anthony Bradley writes about abortion in NYC. “The number one social justice issue for African-Americans in New York City is abortion. Period. The city’s abortion rate is twice the nation average, with 41 percent of all pregnancies ending in abortion. According to recent data, the rate for blacks is even higher: 59.8 percent. For Hispanics it’s 41.3 percent, Asians 22.7 percent, and whites 20.4 percent. In 2009, unmarried women accounted for 84 percent of the abortions in the city.”

Pirate Ship Bedroom - This is pretty much every boy’s dream bedroom. (HT:@Phil_Johnson_)

Church Streaming License - CCLI (those copyright people) have just released a new license that allows churches to legally stream their worship music over the Internet.

Abstinence Rising - “The National Survey on Family Growth released a report yesterday on sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the U.S. Of all the trends profiled in this report, one has captured the attention of most media: abstinence is on the rise among young adults.”

MC DAC - Denny Burk: “It’s my own jubilant tribute to some lyrical madness that Dr. D. A. Carson laid down on a track for Curtis ‘Voice’ Allen.” You’ve got to listen to the very end for the punchline.

Baseball Flow Chart - Here is a flow chart that will help you know which baseball team you should be cheering for.

Sound Guy - I used to be a sound guy (many years ago). I never had it quite this bad.