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A La Carte

March 01, 2011

One month from today my book will release. That’s pretty exciting. Kind of. It’s also a little bit intimidating; I don’t always do well under the weight of expectations. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to finally holding a copy of it in my hands. It’s been a long time coming.

Sex Is Cheap - Here’s an interesting article from Slate with a look at today’s sexual economics. “Despite the fact that women are holding the sexual purse strings, they aren’t asking for much in return these days—the market ‘price’ of sex is currently very low.”

Kenya’s Mentally Ill - A sad article from CNN, focusing on the fate of the mentally ill in Kenya.

Black Swan - Mary Kassian comments on the Oscar-winning film Black Swan and the false messages it contains about sexuality. “It’s Oscar week — the time of year when we have to endure Hollywood’s painful, unending fascination with itself. I didn’t watch the Oscars, nor did I see most of the movies that were nominated. But reading this morning’s paper, I did take note that Natalie Portman won an Oscar for best actress for her role in Black Swan. To me, this is a telling sign of current ideas surrounding female sexuality.”

Speed Kills - John Dyer has a similar but better-articulated article on the Rob Bell situation (compared to the one I wrote). In today’s world, when something important happens there is no searching for a notepad, no finding a pen that works, no saying, “Aw shucks, the mailman already came today. I guess I’ll have to sleep on it.” Instead, we are surrounded by dozens of shiny buttons enticing us to “publish,” “post,” “comment,” and “send.”

The Extra Trillion - AOL tries to figure out what that extra trillion dollars in the US budget is going to. This is a natural follow-up to an article I linked to yesterday.

Robertson McQuilken - Here’s a stirring testimony of a husband’s love for his wife. “Although thoroughly enjoying his role as president at Columbia, McQuilkin resigned from his post in 1990 to care for his wife who had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease since the early 1980′s.” (HT:TB)

The shortest road to an understanding of the Bible is the acceptance of the fact that God is speaking in every line. —Donald Grey Barnhouse

February 28, 2011

It’s the last day of the worst month of the year. And fittingly, it’s several degrees above the freezing mark with a steady rain starting to obliterate the snow. Spring is nigh. Tomorrow I’ll have a collection of desktop wallpapers to bring some spring cheer to your desktop.

5 Things I Can’t Find - R.C. Sproul Jr writes about 5 things he’s surprised that he can’t find in the Bible.

Discovery - One of the space shuttle Discovery astronauts is taking photos of Discovery’s last mission and putting them on Flickr. There are some really amazing ones there.

USA 2010 Income Statement - This isn’t good.

Commentary Sale - Today only Monergism Books has several volumes of the (excellent) Reformed Expository Commentary series on sale. Each one is 50% off: Hebrews, Jonah & Micah, Zechariah, The Incarnation in the Gospels.

American Idol - This blogger writes about his near-tragic experience with the other American Idol: gluttony.

Manslater - I caught this on Josh Harris’ blog and got a laugh out of it. Or a chuckle, anyway.

Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds. —Thomas Brooks

February 26, 2011

After a busy week and just prior to what is bound to be a busy Sunday, we are looking forward to a nice, quiet day at home. Tim Keller’s King’s Cross showed up in the mail yesterday and it looks like just the kind of thing I’d love to kick back and read on a Saturday afternoon. Beautiful.

Talk to Kids About Sermons - Joe Holland has a list of 8 tips for talking to your children about the sermon.

A Disturbing Trend - Unfettered Bloke (interesting blog name) writes about pastors and their ministry saying “Behind our responsibility to God, our responsibility to our family is our #1 priority above all else. If our family fails, everything else fails with it.”

Ask R.C. Live - Ligonier Ministries recently hosted another episode of “Ask R.C.” You can watch the video here.

Dead Island - This video gamer writes about a rather ugly trend in game design—more and more games involve destroying children.

How to Encourage Your Pastor - Thom Rainer has a good list of ways you can encourage your pastor.

Said Musa - Said Musa has been released (as you have probably heard by now). Praise God! And now let’s pray that he doesn’t immediately get thrown onto an international Christian stage because you know there are book offers already being sent his way!

Parenting Through Snow Days - Here’s some biblical advice on dealing with snow days.

A Sequence of Lines - On one hand this is about the most boring video you’ll ever see. But on the other hand, it is strangely fascinating to see how things change over time—how each of us can think we are faithfully copying something when, in reality, there has been massive though unintentional deviation.

No man can give at once the impressions that he himself is clever and that Jesus Christ is mighty to save. —James Denny

February 25, 2011

Standing at the gas pump this morning watching the numbers add up I decided to try a little math. If you factor in the metric to imperial conversion and then factor in the Canadian dollar to US dollar conversion, I am now paying almost $5 per gallon of gas. That just isn’t right.

Signs You Are Growing in Grace - Timmy Brister provides a round-up of tweets from Scott Smith. Who says Twitter can’t carry significant content?

The Day I Became Catholic - Rick Thomas speaks of the moment he (functionally) converted to Roman Catholicism. It’s worth reading.

Benny Hinn - Benny Hinn is in trouble. “Televangelist Benny Hinn is being sued by Strang Communications, a publishing company that alleges that Hinn violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with Without Walls pastor Paula White.” May his money perish with him.

Technology and Values - Some interesting thoughts on the morality of technology (a topic I happened to discuss in an interview yesterday): “It’s important to remind ourselves that technology is not such a villainous force. It’s not a force at all. No technology – good or evil, exceptional or mundane – is built in a vacuum. No technology is built without human intervention.”

Who Owns the Job? - Douglas Wilson offers a few comments on collective bargaining, placing it within a biblical context.

I don’t want to live in this body for the rest of eternity. I can’t see. My wife thinks I can’t hear. I can hear, but my wife thinks I can’t. It’s the fan! It’s the fan! —John Piper

February 24, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake - The Big Picture shows the devastation in Christchurch.

The Face of the Moon - Here you can see and download one of the highest-resolution photos anyone has ever taken of the moon.

Five New Feelings - Here are five new feelings our digital technologies bring us. “There are some pretty specific feelings that can only happen in the Internet age, as a consequence of it. Or, at least, as a consequence of our angst about it, in the shadow of the self-obsession it facilitates, even encourages.”

Positive Impacts - Of course the impact of social media and digital technology is not all bad, is it? This article shares some of its benefits. “The Internet doesn’t steal our humanity, it reflects it. The Internet doesn’t get inside us, it shows what’s inside us. And social media isn’t cold, it’s just complex and hard to define.”

Wretched - In a couple of weeks I am going to be speaking at one of Todd Friel’s Wretched conferences in Lexington, SC. You know, just in case you’re looking for a conference to attend on March 11 or 12. I’ll be speaking on how to be discerning without becoming a complete jerk.

Disappearing Languages - National Geographic seeks to document disappearing languages. “Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth—many of them not yet recorded—may disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and the human brain.”

Organizing the Bookcase - This is brilliant. (HT)

Man fell by a desire to be independent of God, and now man wishes to be equally independent of God in returning to him.T.C. Hammond

February 23, 2011

In case you missed it yesterday (because I posted it a little later in the day), be sure to check out the special giveaway I wrote about. You could win a manuscript of a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon. It’s a great little collector’s item.

Where Have the Good Men Gone? - This is an interesting article from the WSJ. “But for all its familiarity, pre-adulthood represents a momentous sociological development. It’s no exaggeration to say that having large numbers of single young men and women living independently, while also having enough disposable income to avoid ever messing up their kitchens, is something entirely new in human experience.”

The Feeling of Reading - I enjoyed this article about the feeling of reading a book. “As I held books that were thirty years old yesterday, flipping the dusty pages, reading autographs and inscriptions, and admiring cover art, I realized I’m missing something. There’s something, something I can’t explain, about the way a book feels to hold and read that no digital version can match. Yesterday I felt like I was holding a story, an entire world ready for me to explore—I’ve never felt that way on my iPad.”

Vatican Files - Reformation21 is beginning what looks to be an interesting series. The series, titled “Vatican Files,” will look at Catholicism in the 21st century.

8th Grade - Gene Veith looks at a test for eighth graders from 1895. I wouldn’t do so well on it.

Update on Said Musa - Denny Burk offers an update on Said Musa, the man imprisoned in Afghanistan. “Smeitana says that Said’s wife and children have already fled the country, that Said has been moved to a safer prison, and that the Afghan authorities are feeling the pressure from American officials to release Said himself.”

Piper on Technological Distraction - John Piper speaks on the growing problem of technological distraction and its relation to prayer.

We must never talk about the failure of Christianity. It is impossible for Christianity to fail. What fails is the shabby counterfeit to the real thing that we are willing to put up with. —Geoffrey King

February 22, 2011

Thanks to all who viewed and shared the trailer for my book yesterday. It is much appreciated.

Nigerian Religious Junk - Conrad Mbewe: “Nation after nation reported on the arrival of ‘Nigerian religious junk’ that was changing the landscape of what there once was of evangelicalism. One or two of the countries were blessed exceptions. Evidently, this junk originated from mega-churches in the USA and then found ready soil in West Africa, and especially in Nigeria. Having given it an African flavour, it is now being exported across Africa at a phenomenal rate.”

Love Your Wife More Than Seminary - The current issue of Towers has a good article for seminarians. “Nothing will throw off your gradu- ation date like a divorce. Does a husband’s subjective call to ministry relativize his objective, biblical command to love his wife? Regardless of how I might have answered this question in a theologi- cal paper, the true answer of my heart was exposed by my actions. “

Baptizing Small Children - Trevin Wax offers some advice and guidelines for baptizing small children.

Billy Ray Knows Best - The National Review looks at Miley Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray.

Mario Kart - This video gave me a laugh (since my wife and kids love Mario Kart). (HT:KD)

The devil has more knowledge than any of us, and yet is no better for it. J.C. Ryle

February 21, 2011

It’s Family Day today—a holiday recently bestowed upon us by our Provincial Government. We’ll take it. The funny thing is that it’s not a Federal (National) holiday. So national services such as mail continue today. Stores are closed, banks are closed, the post office is open. I always make sure to make fun of my mailman for having to work today.

Sharing With Your Wife - Brian Croft has an article targetted at pastors and elders and answering this question: How much information should you share with your wife?

King’s Cross - Tim Keller’s King’s Cross releases today and Westminster Books is offering what I believe is the best price on it—60% off for your first copy, 45% off for subsequent ones.

Christian Divorce Rate - I’m glad that someone is taking on this ridiculous statistic. “Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world! It’s one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it’s perhaps one of the most inaccurate. Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population”

Best Science Pictures - National Geographic offers a gallery of the best science pictures of 2010.

Dawn Treader - This blog offers up some interesting snippets of reviews of Voyage of the Dawn Treader focusing on its religious aspects.

God’s Providence in Salvation - Tom Martin is the (new) husband of a friend. It was great to hear his testimony as recorded at Covenant Life Church. Be encouraged as you hear how the Lord saved him.

Be laid aside in bed for a week. You will soon know whether you are a Christian or not. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones