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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

June 19, 2009
Got $100? Buy a Home in Detroit!
“If an e-mail popped up in your inbox promising a house for $100, you’d expect to see it sent from a guy in Nigeria asking you to wire him several thousand dollars first. But this depressed housing market dream is real. And Detroit, Michigan, artist Jon Brumit and his wife, Sarah, are living it.” This is amazing: in Detroit “the average home price dipped to $11,533 in April…”
Outside the Lines: Evangelicals and Sports Celebrities
This is an interesting article from ESPN which covers Randy and Paula White and their “ministry” to sports stars.”In the early to mid-1990s, White said, he frequently placed the professional athletes in his church on a pedestal, parading them for the benefit of starstruck members. Athletes were given the option of preferential parking, preferred front-row seating and private time with the Whites, something that became increasingly rare for regular church members as the Whites’ collective star rose in the world of Christian televangelism. ”
Prints for Adoption
As a means to raise funds to adopt a child from Uganda, Jason Kovacs is selling some great prints featuring some of his best photography.
Calvin the Charismatic
The Bayly Blog dispels the myth that Calvinists cannot be expressive in worship, kneeling in prayer or raising hands. They turn to Calvin himself to prove this.
June 18, 2009
Rare Prenatal Testing Court Case
This is awful on several different levels. “In the months before their daughter was born in 2007, Deborah and Ariel Levy worried the baby might have Down syndrome. … A doctor at the Legacy Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine assured them that a sample of tissue taken from the placenta early in the pregnancy ruled out the developmental disability. … But within days of the birth of their daughter, the Southwest Portland couple learned the baby did have Down syndrome. Had they known, they say, they would have terminated the pregnancy. Now they’re suing in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeking more than $14 million…”
Solo Sex
The most recent CCEF podcast features Winston Smith discussing solo sex (masturbation) and what’s sinful (if anything) about these supposedly “victimless” indulgences.
Should Christian Creatives Work for Free?
This article opens a worthwhile can of worms, asking whether Christian creatives, those who work for churches designing brochures, working on websites, and so on, should be paid or do their work on a volunteer basis.
Deal of the Day: The True Story of Noah’s Ark
RHB has this title on sale today only. “This stunning account of the flood and Noah’s ark is true to the biblical record and its timeline of events with added insight as to what it might have been like to be in Noah’s shoes. The artwork is fantastic and gives a feeling of awe to realize what a tremendous undertaking the ark actually was. This is great reading for the entire family.”
June 17, 2009
Ref.ly Makes Sharing the Bible Easier
Logos Bible Software just launched a new website called ref.ly (think bit.ly). It allows you to share Bible verses as links via Twitter and other places where you have a limited number of characters and want to keep the URL as short as possible.
Megachurch Survey
“The report - “Not Who You Think They Are: The Real Story of People Who Attend America’s Megachurches” - is based on data from a national survey that drew 24,900 responses from 12 carefully selected megachurches across the country. It is claimed to be the largest national representative study of megachurch attendees conducted by any researchers to date.” There are quite a few interesting facts to glean from this study.
Calvin Birthday Countdown Clock
Just for fun, here is a clock that counts down the minutes until John Calvin’s birthday.
Deal of the Day: CCEF Resources
Because CCEF recently updated their series of biblical counseling books, Peacemaker Ministries is selling off the older versions at a steep discount. These are great little books and great to give away.
June 16, 2009
Christian Audio Twice Yearly Sale
My friends at Christian Audio have begun their twice yearly sale on digital downloads. Most books are now available for download at just $7.49.
Wendy Shalit Reviews Dirt
Wendy Shalit reviews a book about housekeeping, of all things. “Frenzied and oppressed though grandma may have been, she managed to survive without a nanny, Martha Stewart’s recipes or a professional organizer to “declutter” her home. Nor did she feel the need to line up at the Container Store to purchase cedar sock organizers and $69 linen-covered boxes. Who has really won this particular generational struggle? “Dirt” inadvertently suggests an answer.”
The Summer Brain Drain
“A teenager I happen to know quite well (seeing that he lives in my house) announced last week that summer is time off for his brain. Well, nothing fires up the parental learning plans like a teenager who announces his plans to learn as little as possible over the summer. Suffice it to say that the young man has a wonderfully enriching summer on his way. And — I promise you this — he will enjoy it. Like I say, I know the kid.”
Denny Burk on Headship at Home and at Church
Scot McKnight has invited readers to respond to a letter that he received concerning women in leadership. Denny Burk does so in this brief article.
Deal of the Day: Ephesians
Evangelical Press is offering more than 50% off Harry Uprichard’s commentary on Ephesians.
June 15, 2009
O Pulpit, Where Art Thou?
Erik Kowalker visited over thirty churches in the Portland area and noticed a conspicuous absence of pulpits. He combines this observation with the traditional centrality of the pulpit in Reformed churches and it leads to some interesting food for thought.
The Rise of Child Abuse as a Result of Abortion
Randy Alcorn: “My belief is that when people believe it’s okay to kill a child before he’s born, because an adult has rights over his life, then inevitably it will become more acceptable to beat him up once he’s born.”
Classical Music with Shining Eyes
A talk from TED: “Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. ”
Where Do All the Colors Go at Night?
Al Mohler: “One of the most lamentable aspects of modern life is the disappearance of silence. Throughout most of human history, silence has been a part of life. Many individuals lived a significant portion of their lives in silence, working in solitude and untroubled by the intrusion of constant noise.”
Chuckle du Jour
This may be the first time I’ve posted a joke in a la carte. In this case, it’s worth it. (HT: Amy)
Deal of the Day: A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards
“50% off A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George M. Marsden. At checkout insert the coupon code - edwards - and $3 will be removed from the price of the book. One copy per customer. Coupon lasts until June 17th or while supplies last.”
June 12, 2009
You’ve Got Lies
Beth Spraul, who attends Capitol Hill Baptist Church, has written a very good article about chick flicks and the lies they brings.
A Review of N.T. Wright’s Justification
Guy Waters has a thorough and excellent review of N.T. Wright’s latest book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision. It all leads to this unsurprising conclusion: “What is clear from Justification is that the fundamental concern of Wright’s Reformational readers remains unallayed and firmly in place: Wright’s views on justification have parted company with the teaching of the apostle Paul.”
The Trinity in Contemporary Worship Songs
I enjoyed listening to this lecture by Lester Ruth: “Lex Amandi, Lex Orandi: The Trinity in the Most Used Contemporary Christian Worship Songs.” He analyzes the most popular contemporary Christian worship songs and goes looking for evidence of trinitarian theology.
Cal.vini.st First Anniversary Giveaway
Cal.vini.st is giving away two copies of BibleWorks 8, each valued at $349.
Rain City Hymnal
Rain City Hymnal Volume 1 is a collection of a fresh approach to 12 ancient hymns. A product of Re:Sound, it features 5 different bands and is available for [free] download at NoiseTrade.
June 11, 2009
Paying Down Debt
Randy Alcorn answers a question about paying down debt. The question is a bit long and involved, but starts like this: “The question I have is that we are reaping consequences from bad choices. My husband and I have a young family and are still paying down $100,000 of student loans from both of us going to a private university.”
This blogger shares a shocking, sickening story of her experience with pre-natal screening.”This month marks a strange anniversary of sorts for me. It was 2 years ago this month that I was sitting in a chair looking at my unborn baby in 4D. She was precious! We had previously found out that our baby had several “markers” for down syndrome and had enlarged kidneys which may have required surgery upon birth.”
Total Cost of Ownership
Here’s something to think about when pondering a new cell phone. It’s amazing how expensive they really are…
Mobile Phones and Shabbat
This article is simply amazing. “The issue of working on Shabbat presents a difficult dilemma for the ultra-orthodox workers and volunteers of the Magen David Adom emergency services. A recently-issued halachic ruling now permits on-call volunteers to activate their mobile phones on weekends, provided that they do so using their teeth.”
Bedtime and Depression
From the “that should be pretty obvious” file: “Teens whose parents let them stay up after midnight on weeknights have a much higher chance of being depressed or suicidal than teens whose parents enforce an earlier bedtime, says research being presented today at a national sleep conference.”
Deal of the Day: Thomas Watson
RHB is offering a great price a three volume set of Thomas Watson’s writings: A Body of Divinity, The Ten Commandments, and The Lord’s Prayer.
June 10, 2009
An Open Letter to Mike Tyson
Ted Kluck writes an open letter to Mike Tyson: “As a fellow parent (two boys, 6 and 3) I was deeply saddened by the news of your loss this week. To be honest, I always cringe a little when I see your face in newspapers and magazines, feeling as though it can’t be good. And I’m always glad when said face isn’t accompanied by your obituary, as you have often compared your life to Sonny Liston’s - another ridiculously powerful, intimidating fighter who made big mistakes, lived fast and died young.”
Puritan Picks
Puritan Picks is a brand new service that is probably best described as a Christian Netflix. They offer lots of fantastic DVDs (movies, kids programs, conference sets, documentaries, etc, etc).
The Fire
Here is an earnest plea for people who are convinced they are Christians to examine themselves to determine if they truly love the Lord. (HT:DD)
P&R Editorial Project Manager
If I lived just a little closer to New Jersey, I might be all over this. P&R is looking for a new Editorial Project Manager. You can get details at the link.
Gender Test Spurs Abortion Fears
Gender selection at home: “A new test to reveal the gender of a fetus in early pregnancy has sparked a row over whether it will lead to sex-selection abortions. The American-designed IntelliGender test kit, which can be used from eight weeks after conception, went on sale in Australia last month. Its Australian distributor hopes to launch it in New Zealand within a fortnight.”
June 09, 2009
Master Scripture Index for New Studies in Biblical Theology
I can’t imagine how long this took. Andy Naselli has compiled a master Scripture index for the entire series “New Studies in Biblical Theology.”
How Tim Keller Found Manhattan
CT writes about Tim Keller in their most recent issue. “Standing 6’4”, with a bald head, glasses, and a coat and tie, Keller, 58, does not look hip. Nor is his sermon funny, charming, or daring. He preaches from the first chapter of Genesis, on the doctrine of Creation.”
‘CheneyMan’ And ‘SuperFrau’
“The extent to which we’re in an Age of Worship can be gleaned from a howler at the D-Day commemoration, in which Gordon Brown—woefully overpromoted as Britain’s prime minister—referred to Omaha Beach as “Obama Beach.””
A Review of My Book
Mary Kassian has posted a kind review of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment.
Life and Death
Here is an interesting article from WORLD Magazine. ” The death peddlers here and abroad seek to remove legal protection from pro-life doctors who refuse to perform abortion, refer for abortion, or participate in euthanasia. Euphemisms like “reproductive freedom,” the “right to choose,” and “death with dignity” justify the assault on our patient’s lives and our rights of conscience. But in the midst of this inversion of right and wrong, pro-life doctor groups worldwide are banding together to form a Hippocratic Registry of Physicians. ”
June 08, 2009
Thank God for Bandit Country
Carl Trueman writes about on online living. “One question that I have now been asked more times than I care to remember is ‘How do you cope with all the nastiness that’s come your way on the internet over the last few years?’ The answer is pretty simple: it generally doesn’t come my way because I generally don’t read it.”
Have the Days of Christian Media Come and Gone?
Newsweek asks the question. “The real interest here, though, is more than merely economic. TCW’s death signals something much bigger: an end in America to the perceived separation between the secular and the evangelical worlds.”
Deal of the Day: Bible Giveaway
Monergism Books has a giveaway for three study Bibles. Three winners will be randomly selected from all entrants. One entry per person. Instructions and sign up at the link.