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A La Carte

September 12, 2011

Suspicious Minds - Nancy Pearcey: “Republican presidential candidates have been put on notice: Your theological convictions are fair game in the upcoming election. Bill Keller, executive editor at the New York Times, fired the first shot in a fiercely debated column and blog in which he proposed ‘Tougher Questions for the Candidates.’” Nancy answers critcisms he made against her book.

Deadliest Pandemics - An infographic outlining the world’s deadliest outbreaks.

Maccabee’s: The Movie - “Mel Gibson, the Oscar winner who has defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism, is developing a film for Warner Bros. about the life of Judah Maccabee, the warrior whose ancient victory is celebrated by Hanukkah.”

Check-In to Church - Nathan Bingham argues that there is good value in checking-in to church on Facebook.

Water: The New Oil - “Human consumption of water isn’t yet fully demonized and politicized, but Water: The Exhibition — mounted in association with the American Museum of Natural History and other institutions — clearly aims to nudge water onto the political map. With graphics, voiceovers, videos, morally loaded language, eerie music and a few live animals, the water exhibit builds its message: Water is a limited resource that is threatened and wasted around the world, and it is time we all did something about it.”

The Briefing - Matthias Media has moved its magazine The Briefing online. It’s definitely worth adding to your list of sites to visit.

How much of the staple of our conversation consists in complaint!C.H. Spurgeon

September 09, 2011

Attention Span - This is a very interesting and significant blog post. Bit.ly shares how information flows today via social media. When I link this post on Twitter and Facebook, it will receive the majority of the clicks in the first 2.8 hours. After that it will be lost in all the Internet noise. No wonder we feel the need to check in constantly.

$5 Friday - You’ll want to check out this week’s edition of Ligonier’s $5 Friday. They’re offering one of my favorite books by R.C. Sproul—The Truth of the Cross—for just $5. It’s a great one to give as a gift or to save and give away around Easter. The deal is valid for 24 hours beginning at 8 AM EST. Stock up!

The Full Picture - This article points out a couple of big oversights from all the 9/11 memorials. “How is it possible that the critical element of the day known as 9/11 — that it was a deliberate attack by Islamic death stars upon civilians living in one of the most vibrant and diverse democracies in the world — and the single most important people, the city’s beloved firefighters, have been forgotten, or if not quite that, then elbowed aside, in modern parlance, marginalized? How can that possibly have happened?”

Getting the Most Out of Preaching - Nancy Leigh DeMoss offers counsel on how to get the most out of your pastor’s sermon.

Nursing Mothers Training Pastors - In this blog post David Murray suggests that one of the best seminary classes a pastor or trainee pastor could attend is to spend time with a nursing mother. While that may be overstating it a wee bit, I quite enjoyed the way he drew the connection between Paul and nursing mothers.

1 Donor, 150 Offspring - Here is a strange moral conundrum that comes with the modern world.

Keller and the Exclusivity of Christ - I believe the guys at Cripplegate are right to respectfully question Tim Keller on his recent interview with Martin Bashir. “My goal is twofold: (1) I want to respectfully—and hopefully, humbly—voice some serious concerns with how Keller handled this question; and (2) I want to demonstrate the unhelpfulness of how some of his defenders are responding.”

Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. —C.H. Spurgeon

September 08, 2011

Where Rock Stars Go to Die - Ted Kluck writes about Christian music. “I’m at Acquire the Fire, a huge, arena-level conference for teens. I have been told, in all earnestness, by a 19-year-old security guard wearing jeggings and six necklaces, that the only rules for being backstage at Acquire the Fire are ‘Don’t talk to the VIPs’ and ‘Don’t bother the VIPs.’”

What Is the Mission of the Church? - I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time. Westminster Books is offering it at a really good discount.

Preaching from a Manuscript - I would imagine that this one will only interest pastors, but I found it quite interesting and quite encouraging. Timmy Brister simply writes about the benefits he has found in preaching from a complete manuscript.

When Others Mistreat You - Here is an excerpt from Jeremiah Burroughs on how you should react when others mistreat you.

Prayer at Ground Zero - Michael Horton cuts to the heart of the issue of Christians praying at Ground Zero. “It’s not a question of whether prayer at public occasions of this kind is sanctioned by our Constitution, but, for Christians at least, whether we can participate (much less encourage) such acts of ‘non-sectarian’ worship.”

Thoughts on Preaching - I appreciate much of what James MacDonald says here: “For all the difficult trade-offs that come with living your Christian life in public, we get the joy of holding God’s Word in our hands, rightly dividing the Word of truth, and watching it change lives. That’s so much bigger than having free weekends.”

The Doctrine of Propitiation - Bob Glenn explains it.

An idle life and a holy heart is a contradiction. —Thomas Brooks

September 07, 2011

For those who are enjoying all the recent Kindle deals, here are a few more that are worth checking out: Living in God’s Two Kingdoms by David VanDrunen, Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn and Stand, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, can all be had for $2 or $3.

Wrestling with an Angel - Dan Cruver writes, “Greg Lucas’ Wrestling with An Angel: A Story of Love, Disability and the Lessons of Grace is one of the top 5 books I have read over the past 12 months. Few books are able to take the reader on a journey further into the Gospel as you move through their pages.” He goes on to interview Greg Lucas.

The Mechanic Muse - This is a great article from the NY Times. I’m not sure that I agree that the greatest feat of the printed book is allowing us to read non-linearly (though certainly anyone who has tried to skim a book on a Kindle has seen how much more difficult is). Still, the article is a great read and gives words to what a lot of us are thinking about the transition from printed books to ebooks.

An Exemplary Recipient of Grace - Parents will do well to read this and to ponder it a little bit: “One of the biggest struggles I have as a father to three boys and a girl is fighting the urge to pretend that I have it all together. To reduce what it means to lead my children and be their example to merely keeping all the rules myself.” (HT)

Reverent Contemplation - Things like this are always a little bit forced, but they are also a good opportunity to do some reverent contemplation.

9/11 Ten Years Later - You can download the most recent issue of Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine for free if you like. It reflects on 9/11 ten years later.

In My Seat - Speaking of 9/11, here is a video about the man who should have been piloting American Airlines Flight 11. He has a powerful testimony.

In an effort to get the work of the Lord done, we often lose contact with the Lord of the work. —A.W. Tozer

September 06, 2011

Yesterday at dinner I asked the kids for their favorite summer memory. My son went with winning the baseball championship with his little league team. My 8-year-old daughter went with spending time with family in Georgia and Tenneesee. My 5-year-old daughter went with watching movies in the car on the way to Georgia and Tennessee. Sigh.

A Great Kindle Deal - You can get Eric Metaxas’ award-winning Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy on Kindle for just $1.99. This may be a one-day deal, so take advantage now!

A Bible on the Moon - “The first lunar Bible traveled to Earth’s satellite on February 5, 1971, on board Apollo 14. Lunar Module Pilot Edgar D. Mitchell brought the Bible with him to honor Apollo 1 astronauts Ed White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee who died in a cabin fire during testing of the Apollo 1 vehicle. It had been a dream of White’s to bring a Bible to the moon’s surface. Mitchell turned that dream into a reality.”

Roots and Wings - This documentary on Indelible Grace looks really interesting. You can view a trailer here.

Grace To Muslims - This is pretty cool and definitely worth praying for: “Renowned preacher and author John MacArthur opened the four-day ‘Truth Matters’ conference Thursday evening by announcing that his evangelistic television program began satellite TV broadcasting to the entire Muslim world for the first time that afternoon.”

Four Deadly Food Disasters - “Hurricanes in the northeast are pretty rare and can leave people at a loss for how to prepare for extraordinarily severe conditions. At the very least, there are standard pieces of advice you can use to more or less muddle through a nasty situation. But perhaps even rarer are freak events involving food that cause a lot of damage. Those with an appetite for tragic tales might enjoy the following…”

Sermon Hymns I - This is an interesting presentation. “ ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’ is the first movement of a planned multi-movement composition entitled Sermon Hymns. This composition is a multimedia work for piano with electronic audio and video playback.” Be sure to give it a fair listen as it begins to really swell near the conclusion.

The smallest tract may be the stone in David’s sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant soul. —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

September 05, 2011

Justine’s Story - I think it is good for us to read stories like this every now and again, lest we forget the horror and devastation of abortion. “On the 23rd anniversary of her abortion, Justine Kyker warns others of side effects and regrets.”

Loving Christ…Practically - Erik Kowalker looks to J.C. Ryle to find some practical implications of loving Christ.

The Sermon, One Hour Later - Here is a question I asked Brian Croft, and he was kind enough to answer it at his Practical Shepherding blog: “How does a pastor evaluate his sermon one hour after preaching it?” In other words, if someone comes to me shortly after preaching and says, “How did your sermon go?,” how do I answer?

Electronic Self-Projection - Dane Ortlund asks some good questions about social media and its tendency to make us into self-promoters. “And the amount of self-foregrounding that takes place on these media—by Christians—by pastors—is troubling. Promotion of our own books, letting everyone know where we’ve been and whom we’ve met, drawing attention to what others are saying of us—how easily we Corinthianize and employ the world’s mindset for ostensibly kingdom purposes.”

9/11’s Spiritual Impact - Just about everyone is looking back to 9/11 and trying to understand its impact, 10 years later. Here is one of many attempts to guage its spiritual impact.

Astronomy Picture of the Day - This is a fascinating picture if, for no other reason, simply because there is so much going on at once. 

What fools are they who, for a drop of pleasure, drink a sea of wrath. —Thomas Watson

September 03, 2011

Pull the Plug! - Randy Alcorn: “Here is a sad and bewildering commentary that captures in one example the utter inefficiency and sometimes craziness of a government that talks about controlling spending, but never seems to actually do it even when it would appear so easy—as in JUST PULL THE PLUG!”

Sola Scriptura - Canadians (or Americans who live close to the border) may want to take a look at this year’s Sola Scriptura conferences. They will be held in London, Toronto and Vancouver.

The O.T. on One Page - Here is David Murray’s attempt to sum up the contents of the Old Testament books on one page.

The Book of Revelation - John Dyer’s article on the writing of Revelation is well worth the read: “John didn’t just look up passages that supported his point. And he didn’t memorize a few powerful proof texts to argue and impress. He knew the Scriptures. He lived the Scriptures. The words of God were a part of him that couldn’t help but flow from his pen.”

There Never Was Such Another - Kevin DeYoung was was moved by this touching description of Charles Hodge with his fifty-one year-old dying wife Sarah. You probably will be too.

The Speed of Information - Funny and pretty much true.

Christ is so in love with holiness, that at the price of his blood he will buy it for us. —John Flavel

September 02, 2011

The Gospel at Ground Zero - Here is Russell Moore’s cover story for the September issue of Christianity Today.  As you might expect, it deals with 9/11. Speaking of which, the September issue of Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine deals with the very same topic.

$5 Fridays - Don’t forget to check in every week with Ligonier’s $5 Fridays. This week they’ve got 2 excellent books that you’ll want to add to your collection.

Destroy a Culture - Joe Carter writes about how to destroy a culture in 5 easy steps.

The Sinful Tragedy of Boredom - Nathan Bingham writes about boredom, saying, “To be bored is to fail to see the many and varied good gifts God has given us, not the least of which is in creation.”

Book Notes - David Mays pretty much boils The Next Story down to its essence in this summary. So if you’ve been wondering what the book is all about, you won’t do a whole lot better than this.

4 Myths about the Crusades - “Many on the cultural Left use the crusades as an argument for secularism, or at least the muffling of (conservative) religious voices in the public square. They strongly imply that America in particular and Western Culture in general are to blame for most of the ills around us. Some even insinuate that we deserve the scorn of Islamic terrorists, though to be clear, the Left believes that the terrorists take their scorn too far in resorting to violence. “

Thomas Brooks, a Brain and Me - This blogger has been reading the works of the Puritan Thomas Brooks. He also read The Next Story and in this blog post he kind of pulls the two together in trying to understand distraction and silence. It’s kind of hard to explain without actually reading it…

While all men seek after happiness, scarcely one in a hundred looks for it from God. —John Calvin