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A La Carte

October 31, 2008
Deal of the Day: Amazon’s Kindle
Just in case you missed it last weekend, you’ve got until tomorrow to get $50 off Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Click for the details.
Give your Pastor the WORLD
WORLD magazine is offering a special to pastors. “To help your work in ministry, thoughtful donors have made it possible for us to offer you 6 full months of WORLD Magazine absolutely free.”
Richard Dawkins and Harry Potter
“Harry Potter has become the latest target for Professor Richard Dawkins who is planning to find out whether tales of witchdraft and wizardy have a negative effect on children. ”
Christian Science Monitor goes Online-Only
“In 2009, the Monitor will become the first nationally circulated newspaper to replace its daily print edition with its website.”
Northampton Press Titles for Cheap
Don Kistler’s Northampton Press is offering it’s five titles at a steep discount if purchased together. Click on Catalog and then look for the holiday package.
October 30, 2008
Deal of the Day: Reformation Heroes
Reformation Heroes Here’s a new feature for A La Carte—the deal of the day. I’ll be working with a variety of retailers to try to work out some special deals for the readers of this site. Today Reformation Heritage Books is offering the excellent illustrated children’s book Reformation Heroes for a mere $15.17.
Fireproof vs. Religulous
This blog compares the numbers for Fireproof and Religulous. “On their respective opening weekends (one week apart), the barely advertised Fireproof earned $6.8 million while the highly advertised Religulous earned only $3.4 million. As of the date of this post the numbers are $23.6MM vs $10.6MM. And let’s not even get into the profit margin side of things. Fireproof had an ROI of $46 for every dollar spent while Religulous earned $4 for every dollar (probably less, if marketing is considered).”
Pray for Liam
Our friends Kim and Jason have been a model of faith in the days leading up to their young son’s brain surgery. I’d encourage you to read through some of Kim’s blog posts and to pray for Liam next week.
Apple, Google, Gay Marriage
A strange article to find in a mainstream magazine: “Ever since the T-Mobile G1 launch, Apple and Google have gotten into bed together to bring more Google features to the iPhone. The tech titans are also collaborating on pushing for equality of same-sex marriages.”
Pastor Appreciation
Matthias Media would like to offer your pastor a free 6-month subscription to their magazine The Briefing. Click for details!
John Piper on Justification
Here is an interview with John Piper on the subject of justification.
Worldliness for Free
You can get a free copy of C.J. Mahaney’s Worldliness for your pastor.
October 29, 2008
Living on Less
Canada’s McLeans magazine looks at frugality for a new generation. “But even beyond a deep economic recession, there are signs that meaningful social change is brewing. As environmental fears push us from Hummers to hybrids, and a younger, tech-savvy generation rebels against the “Bigger is Better” boomer mantra, a long-overdue cultural shift could be in the works, say observers.”
Reformation Study Bible for Any Amount
Celebrate Reformation Week with a genuine leather Reformation Study Bible (ESV) for a donation of any amount.
Principles for Voting
Ligonier offers both audio and text of R.C. Sproul discussing principles for voting.
Fireproof Shouldn’t Be Critic-Proof
I thought this article from WORLD, even if it slightly overstates the issue, offers a fair warning. “We do the Kendrick brothers no favors when we grant them a “pass” based on good intentions. I learned this lesson as a writer many years ago. I am not the greatest writer in the world, but (I assure you) I am much better than I was last year, and I am much, much better than I was a decade ago. I improved because of tough feedback from teachers, mentors, and—sometimes—critics.”
Americans and Climate Change
This article offers some interesting facts on what Americans believe about climate change. “Only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.” “73 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening. But when you look at this finding by political party affiliation, only one-half (54 percent) of Republicans believe it is happening, versus 90 percent of Democrats.”
Jesus Christ is Stronger
James MacDonald offers some gospel encouragements.
October 28, 2008
William P. Young Responds
In an interview with the Christian Post, the author of The Shack responds to critics of his book. “ ‘These men do not know me at all,’ he said of critics such as Mohler, Challies, and Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle who Young said had not even read the book before criticizing it. ‘[B]ut in the process,’ he continued, “what they have written have actually told us much more about them than about the book.’”
Fireproof
Rick Pearcey writes an excellent article on Fireproof. “No one is confusing Fireproof with Hamlet. But the creative rebels in that church in Georgia are crafting a humane entertainment alternative that has Hollywood scratching its head. There’s no telling where they will end up, but they’re heading in the right direction. Should they pass by C.S. Lewis, he’ll no doubt wave. We look forward to their next stop.”
Kaleidescope
I think some of the most interesting and poignant blog posts come from overseas. In this case it comes from Ali who is “a pediatric nurse with Mercy Ships on board the world’s largest non-governmental hospital ship, the M/V Africa Mercy.”
Dangerous Time to Be a Black Baby
This is tragic. “Currently, white women’s rates of abortion have declined to 10.5 abortions per 1,000 women while black women’s rates are an alarming 50 abortions per 1,000 black women. Put in terms of actual pregnancies, the figures are shocking: Nearly half of all African American pregnancies end in abortion. Since 1973, the number of abortions by African American women has totaled more than twelve million. ”
Jerry Bridges on The Beatitudes
Jerry Bridges recently preached four messages on “The Beatitudes: Humility in Action.” They are available here for free download.
The Osteens as Spiritual Midgets
Newsweek’s Lisa Miller has a reflection on the Osteens based on “Love Your Life,” the new book by Victoria.
Palin Deserves Respect
I thought this was an interesting article. It is written by the director of Women’s Watch Inc., a nonprofit women’s advocacy group based in Cape May. She laments the sexism that has been so evident in the Sarah Palin saga. “Instead of engaging Palin on the issues, critics attacked attributes that are specifically female. It is Hillary’s pantsuit drama to the power of 10. Palin’s hair, her voice, her motherhood, and her personal hygiene were substituted for substance. That’s when it was nice.”
October 27, 2008
Free Spurgeon
This month’s free download for ChristianAudio is All of Grace by C.H. Spurgeon. It is yours for the taking.
Visualizing Uncle Sam’s Debt
Mint.com tries to make sense of it. “Below are the top seven foreign lenders, visualized as credit cards, while the image at the top shows the total of foreign lending. All numbers have been brought down to the U.S. median household scale. Just imagine your household with these balances and you will have a better perspective on just how large these debts really are.”
Schuller vs. Schuller
“Crystal Cathedral founder Reverend Robert H. Schuller has removed his son as preacher on the church’s weekly “Hour of Power” syndicated TV broadcast. Schuller said in a statement read to some 450 congregants Saturday by church president Jim Coleman that he and his son, Robert A. Schuller, ‘have different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry.’”
Bar Stool Economics
Some lessons on economics courtesy of Douglas Wilson.
Three Ways to Spoil the Gospel
Andy Naselli quotes Graham Cole who shares three ways that we can spoil the gospel.
October 24, 2008
New Piper Book
You probably don’t know that Piper has a new book called This Momentary Marriage. I don’t quite know what’s going on, but it seems that it’s available now on the Desiring God site (to buy or to download in full for free) and that another edition will be published by Crossway in the spring (judging by the 2009 Crossway copyright).
Get Chosen by God
R.C. Sproul’s classic can be yours for free if you sign the Ligonier guest book.
Amazon News
Amazon is not unaffected by the economic downturn, it seems. And this article has a bit of news about the next version of the Kindle (mostly that we shouldn’t expect it too soon).
I’m Not Voting for a Man
From Randy Alcorn: “On Tuesday November 4, don’t think you are merely expressing a preference between two men, choosing who you like, who you’d enjoy hanging out with. You’re not voting for a friend, a dinner companion, a dance partner, someone to sit next to at a ball game or to be seen with at a party. Don’t allow yourself to vote as if this were American Idol. In the arena of an unborn child’s right to live, these candidates stand for things far bigger than themselves. And when it comes to the right to life of coming generations of unborn children, they stand for two polar opposites.”
A Happy Wife is a Happy Life
Ligon Duncan points to an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. “The general consensus of sociologists is that, whereas a woman’s marital satisfaction is dependent on a combination of economic, emotional and psychological realities, a man’s marital satisfaction is most determined by one factor: how happy his wife is. When she is happy, he is. Working within this framework, most husbands are unwilling to dig in their heels on any issue unless they have a tremendous incentive to do so.”
October 23, 2008
Climate Revolt
I found this story very interesting. “To prevent a financial crisis from turning into an economic calamity, the European Union has pulled the emergency brake on green policies.” So just how important are green policies if they are the first thing to go in times of crisis?
Why Women Are Weaker Than Men
Gerald Hiestand: “Too often the complementarian/egalitarian debate gets lost in a discussion about what should be, rather than embracing what is. Peter is not saying that women should be vulnerable before men; he is saying that they are. There is nothing that we can do to change this reality.”
Civics 101
“Every four years, the world looks with bafflement at the United States as the country goes through its curious process of electing its President. Truth be told, the system is far from obvious, and remains misunderstood and controversial even within the U.S.A. A brief primer on how it all works.”
Financial Armageddon
I should have seen this coming. John Hagee takes on the financial and global economic downturn in his new book Financial Armageddon. Hagee claims to have written it in less than three weeks. He also offers advice about how people can protect their personal finances and claims many of the current events were “spelled out in stunning detail by prophetic writings penned more than two thousand years ago.”
Vocation Plans
“A hundred years ago young adults did not have anywhere near the mind-boggling and almost debilitating number of options available today. In general, sons took on the line of work of their fathers, and girls adopted whatever domestic, social, and vocational roles their mothers held. It wasn’t so much about “finding your calling” as it was about your calling finding you.”
The Prodigal God
Tim Keller writes about his new book (due next week—I should have a review shortly).
October 22, 2008
Advent Songs For Free(ish)
Sojourn’s Advent Songs album is now available on NoiseTrade. You can pay what you want or get it for free by telling five friends about it. There are a some great tracks on the album!
What’s the Best Way to Go Bald?
I post this link for the benefit of some of my friends. You know who you are!
Top Ten Ways to Write Bad Worship Songs
Bob Kauflin gives a list of ways to write a really bad worship song.
Douglas Wilson on The Shack
Doug Wilson takes a brief shot at The Shack. “And this brings me to the way in which this book was simply terrible, blasphemous. But before going on, I have to hasten to add that it is a peculiar form of evangelical blasphemy, one that is well-intentioned and naive.”
Paulson’s Instant Gratification
A few weeks ago Philip Klein wrote a sobering article about the economic crisis and the American mindset that has caused much of it. (HT: Lydia)
Resurrection Letters Volume 2
CT reviews Andrew Peterson’s latest album. It’s good, though I don’t think it’s quite as good as some of his previous ones. Personally I’m a big fan of Love & Thunder
October 21, 2008
Expelled on DVD
Today Ben Stein’s Expelled releases on DVD.
Jurassic Trailer Park
Jurassic Trailer Park is the strange name of a good article (and/or photo essay) by Michael Yon. He writes about just one little experience in Afghanistan.
Service
While on the subject of photo essays, here is a great one from the New Yorker.
Pastors Conference Begins Today
The Ligonier Ministries Pastors Conference begins today and you can watch it all live on the web…
Mirror
From a hospital ship in the waters off the African coast comes an article from Ali who writes about Musa, a man who underwent an operation there.
Resurrection Letters: Volume II
Billy wants to introduce you to this album (which is a good one very much similar to Peterson’s previous albums).
John Piper’s Candidating Sermon
Desiring God has added the manuscript for John Piper’s Candidating Sermon at Bethlehem Baptist.
Has eBay Hit Its Twilight?
I sure hope so. Remember when it was actually worth shopping it?
October 20, 2008
A Father’s Funeral Address
You’ve read a few times here about Terry Stauffer, whose daughter was murdered a few weeks ago. He just posted the address he delivered at Emily’s funeral. “When Emily’s death was confirmed on Saturday night, I was shocked and bewildered. All I could pray was, ‘O Lord, Help! Help! Help!’ As I was on my knees, a thought came to me: ‘If all my talk about the Gospel and God’s goodness is not true now, then it was never true.’ That was a great comfort, for I know this great good news is true. I stand with my wife and family in a long line of Christians who have suffered loss yet look ahead to a “city not made with hands” and the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life to those who trust Christ. We will see Emily again…But the first face I will see in Heaven will be the face of Jesus.”
Challies Jr.
My son Nick has started his blog for the upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic. We’re hoping lots of kids can follow along through his blog!
The Shack
Stephen Yuille offers an excellent review of The Shack. “Whenever I get a book, I immediately glance at the recommendations. To be honest, I’m looking for names like Don Carson, J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, Sinclair Ferguson, John Piper, etc. - not because I think these men are infallible, but because I trust their discernment. Well, I didn’t find any recommendations from these men, but I did find one from Kathie Lee Gifford. You may think it’s unfair of me to say this, but I offer it for what it’s worth: a recommendation from Kathie Lee Gifford doesn’t instill confidence - not in me, anyway!”
The Best Animated Films
Rotten Tomatoes has a roundup of history’s best animated films. #1 was a bit of a surprise to me, but I guess I can’t disagree too strenuously.
A Boy’s Life
“Since he could speak, Brandon, now 8, has insisted that he was meant to be a girl. This summer, his parents decided to let him grow up as one. His case, and a rising number of others like it, illuminates a heated scientific debate about the nature of gender—and raises troubling questions about whether the limits of child indulgence have stretched too far.” What Warren Buffet is Doing
Warren Buffet explains how he is planning on doing with his money through the economic downturn.

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