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A La Carte

August 22, 2011

The Rise of Blogs - Trevin makes a good observation about the rise of blogs and the associated demise of traditional media. “Then it dawned on me. The mainstream media needs blogs in order to get traffic to their own websites. The real reason the reporter called on me was not primarily because of my book or my education or my pastoral experience, but because of my blog platform.”

Biblical Servant Pastor - Bob Kelleman looks at the biblical model for the servant pastor. 

Changing the Way We Learn - The Internet is changing the way we learn, and this infographic displays it.

Barfing Baby Frogs - How weird is this? “Male Darwin’s frogs engage in a behavior called mouth-brooding, where they take their own fertilized eggs into their mouth just before they hatch.  They’re not eating them.  Instead they store them in the vocal sacs that they otherwise use to make mating calls to attract females.”

Sunset - Awesome.

Insensitivity - Not quite so awesome.

The Myth of Mutual Submission - Andy Naselli links to Grudem’s take on the myth of mutual submission.

Hospital Africa - Charles Woodrow is the missionary we support at Grace Fellowship Church. This video shows the work he is doing in Mozambique.

Had I the tongue of angels, I could not sufficiently set forth the excellency of Scripture. —Thomas Watson

August 20, 2011

It’s the last weekend of the little league baseball season around here, which means that my son has between 3 and 5 games, depending on how it all shakes out. So here’s to a day spent out in the sun, watching 11-year old boys play baseball.

His Eye Is On the Sparrow - Here is the latest free hymn from Redemption Hill Music.

Moving Toward Noteless - This is an article on preaching without notes. Some of the best and some of the most disappointing sermons I’ve heard have been note-free. When done by a capable preacher, there’s nothing like it.

Muphry’s Law - I enjoyed this. “Muphry’s Law is the editorial application of the better-known Murphy’s Law.” You’ll have to read to see what this law dictates. (HT:Phil Johnson)

Book Filtering - A wise word from Alan Jacobs (via Tony Reinke).

William Carey at 250 - Timothy George: “Now, two and one-half centuries after his birth, what can we learn from Carey today? There are many lessons to be gleaned from the life of the father of modern missions, but I place these seven principles at the top of the list…”

Singing to Build Up - Read this before tomorrow’s worship service. Then go and sing with gusto!

Inside Fukushima - “Earlier this month, Kazuma Obara became the first photojournalist to gain unauthorised access to the power plant and produced an exclusive glimpse of life inside the facility.”

How Books Are Made - A video that I enjoyed. (HT)

Faith is the power of putting self aside that God may work unhindered.F.B. Meyer

August 19, 2011

A Word to the Conscience - Carl Trueman: “This increasing awareness has led me to a place where I thought I would never come: I have become more and more enamoured over the years with a modest amount of formal liturgical structure to worship services. Of course, everyone has liturgy, the same as everyone has tradition. The only differences are whether one acknowledges the fact or not, and how formally structured such is”

Why, O God? - Randy Alcorn has a book recommendation. “There’s something in this book for everyone—whether you’re looking for biblical perspective on suffering, insights on how to serve those who suffer, hands-on guidance in establishing a disability ministry in your church, or how to deal with the ethical questions in end-of-life issues.”

7 Billion - “The world population will reach seven billion later this year, with increases in the number of people in Africa off-setting birth rate drops elsewhere, according to a new French study published Thursday.”

Too Late - “It keeps happening: a controversial new book comes out, and we start scrambling to respond. It’s like playing whack-a-mole: we’re always hitting at the latest heresy. Yes, it’s important to whack moles, but is there a better way?”

Half-Aborted - Articles like this are the reason I believe abortion will eventually become taboo in our society. The immorality of abortion is just too apparent and sooner or later people will have to come to terms with the reality of what it is.

HOPE Week - Just try not to get weepy as you watch this.

God’s wounds cure, sin’s kisses kill. —William Gurnall

August 18, 2011

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Thomas Sowell takes on the riots and violence in Britain and the US of A. “Not only the trends over the years leading up to these riots but also the squeamish responses to them by officials — on both sides of the Atlantic — reveal the moral dry rot that has spread deep into Western societies.” While on the topic, St. Helen’s Bishopgate has put together a web page offering Christian thinking on it all.

Tim Tebow: Blasphemer? - Collin Hansen is a fantastic writer and this article was a joy to read.

Generational Conflict - D.A. Carson writes about generational conflict in ministry in his editorial for the most recent issue of Themelios. There are other good articles and reviews that you can access here.

37 Ways - Paul Tautges goes to the Bible to find 37 ways to love one another. This would make a really good personal or small group study.

Come to Me - I found this an interesting little study. This person studied all of the verses where God says “come to me.” “I noticed patterns in these verses and decided to chart out these passages. … I thought I’d post the chart. Here it is.”

Remembering the Berlin Wall - The Big Picture: “Here are images from this past weekend’s recognition of the construction of the wall 50 years ago, as well as historic images.”

Digital Free Ride - “The public hasn’t lost its appetite for television, journalism or film; shows, articles and movies reach more consumers than ever online. The problem is that, although the internet has expanded the audience for media, it has all but destroyed the market for it.”

I think the greatest miracle that God can do is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world, and make that unholy man holy and put him back in an unholy world and keep him holy. —Leonard Ravenhill

August 17, 2011

Gold Box - Just about every day I check Amazon’s gold box deal just to see what’s there. 99% of the time I’ve got no interest in what they are offering, but today’s deal looks like a really good one. It’s a Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Cordless Drill and Fork Meter Combo Kit for $139 off the regular price. While on the subject of deals, Westminster Books has the Gospel Coalition series of booklets discounted this week.

Democrats and Universities - Here’s an infographic asking why Democrats outnumber Republicans in the academy. “Some argue that the lack of diversity among professors leads to an unbalanced and one-sided education, while others argue that conservatives self-select themselves out of this liberal profession. We dived into this issue, and the research suggests that this might not be an either-or situation.”

Adam and Eve - NPR recently did a story on the existence of a historical Adam and Eve. I’ve said often that this may well be the big theological challenge we will find ourselves facing over the next few years. There are many people, even those who consider themselves evangelical, who want to deny that Adam and Eve ever existed.

The Male Gossip - I found this article challenging. “Close your eyes and picture a gossip. Whom do you see? I see a cluster of spinsters in old lace gloves sweetly spitting vitriol over tea. Perhaps I read too much Agatha Christie. But even if you don’t have visions of British spinsters, your vision is most likely female. Am I right? Counter to our preconceived notions, in my (unfortunate) experience there are just as many male gossips as female gossips.”

Bored with Social Media - This is interesting but not surprising to me: “A key group of young users of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users are using the site less and less, according to new research. One in four 18-29 year-olds told Gartner that their use of social media had declined since they signed up, with many citing boredom as their reason for the decline.”

Guarding Your Soul - I was recently a guest on the Haven Today radio program. If you listen in, you’ll hear me talking about guarding your soul in a digital age.

Depression - Yesterday I posted a review of David Murray’s book on depression. Here’s a short video in which he discusses depression.

Hope is the only tie which keeps the heart from breaking. —Thomas Fuller

August 16, 2011

Individuals Interpreting Scripture - Bill Mounce: “2 Pet 1:20-21 are important verses for our doctrine of Scripture, and so it should come as no surprise that there are some differences of opinion on the meaning of the passage.”

Mind Your Ens and Ems - Bloggers would do well to read this article from Smashing Magazine. “Handling these typographic details on the Web brings new challenges and restrictions that need to be considered. Below are a few rules of thumb that will have you using typography more lucidly than ever before.”

Single Column Week - Here’s an issue I can get behind, from one of my favorite niche blogs. “Why am I so passionate about single column settings? It’s simple, really. Books we read are set in single columns. Books we look stuff up in are set in double columns. Reading = single. Reference = double.”

Was Blind But Now I See - Read it. “You may have read about my daughter Violet being born blind. As you can imagine a ton of emotions and fears and hopes have been working through our family the last month or so. I’d love to share with you some great news and hopefully encourage your heart a bit.”

A Memo - This ordinary pastor continues what I think is a fascinating exchange between John MacArthur and the Young, Restless, Reformed crowd. “After an early morning meeting with our leaders in our church plant, I was driving home. My phone began erupting with messages about a certain article written by one of my living heroes in the faith where he referenced me unfavorably.” GTY responds here.

Where’s the Methane? - Interesting, this. (Hey, it’s been a while since I let my global warming skepticism show) “One of the major greenhouse global warming gases is methane. Scientists have discovered that there is not nearly as much methane in the atmosphere as their computer models predicted there should be.”

Have You Eaten? - Tim Hawkins makes me laugh.

If you’re not accountable in life that means ultimately that your life doesn’t count. —R.C. Sproul

August 15, 2011

4 Kinds of People - According to Tim Keller, there are four kinds of people in the world. Read the article to find out who they are and what they believe.

Lonely Me - “I am lonely. Any echo in your own heart, or is it just me? Those who know me casually might be surprised to see such a confession. After all, I am a pastor leading a bustling church, and my life is a swirl of people and relationships. On any given night, there are hundreds of homes I could call or stop by for a warm welcome. I am living proof that you can be lonely in a crowd.”

Sola 2011 - I’m really excited to see this conference coming to Quebec. “November 17 to 19, 2011, hundreds of Christians from evangelical Churches and youth groups all over Quebec will be meeting at the Palais des congres de Montreal to declare the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and strengthen their foundations in this glorious message.”

WW2 in Photos - This excellent photo retrospective continues.

Earth Landscapes - On a cheerier note, here are some beautiful landscape shots.

Only One Right Person - Joshua Harris on a day we all look forward to: “Everybody else in heaven will be wrong in a million different ways about a million different things. The Bible tells us that only those who trusted in Jesus Christ, who turned from sin and believed in him, will be in God’s presence. But on a host of secondary matters, we’ll all discover how much we got wrong.”

There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.  —Elizabeth Elliott

August 13, 2011

We’ve got one more day in the South before we begin to head north again. We’ll miss the people, but probably won’t miss the intense heat. Not that Toronto is all that much better this time of year. But still, a degree here and a degree there can make all the difference.

Dangerous Influences - Nancy Pearcey: “The take-away from Ryan Lizza’s hit piece on Michele Bachmann in the New Yorker is this: ‘Dominionist’ is the new ‘fundamentalist — the preferred term of abuse, intended to arouse fear and contempt, and downgrade the status of targeted groups of people.Bachmann told Lizza that a major influence on her thinking was my book Total Truth (‘Bachmann told me [it] was a ‘wonderful’ book’), along with the work of Francis Schaeffer, who I studied under.”

Legal Considerations - “Some of our pastoral staff recently attended a seminar for pastors provided by a trusted law firm in our area. Although our applications from this seminar might be different in other parts of the world, I thought I would share three action points we plan to take. I don’t offer any of these as legal counsel but as items worth considering.”

Not Able to Pastor - Jim Elliff writes about what happens (and what can be done) when a pastor can’t pastor his people.

Train the Untrained - I love the title of this one (the content is pretty good too): “Train the Untrained to Reach the Unreached.” “Why take the time train people to be faithful teachers of Scripture when untold millions are going to hell? That is a helpful question for me to wrestle through as I spend a good deal of my time training international pastors and church leaders.”

The Business of the Church - Eric Landry was at the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit, an annual event hosted by Willow Creek Community Church and its pastor, Bill Hybels; he files an interesting report.

Dadaab Refugee Camp - “I first went to the Dadaab refugee camp, close to the border between Kenya and Somalia, at the end of 2006. Strangely enough, the camp was flooded then. The same parched ground recorded in my photographs was covered by 3 feet of water. Then, people were fleeing from the camp, not fleeing to the camp as they are today. Dadaab has become the largest refugee camp in the world, and Kenya’s fourth largest city: 440,000 people have gathered in makeshift shelters, made of branches and tarps.”

When sin is your burden, Christ will be your delight. —Thomas Watson