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A La Carte

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

February 19, 2011

February is weird. Yesterday as I drove home from the office it was twelve degrees above freezing; my son was playing outside without a coat on. Overnight we had 100 km winds. Today it’s five degrees below and snowing a bit. Tomorrow we’re supposed to get 4 or 5 inches of snow. A bit of everything, I guess.

High School Wrestler Defaults - This story has been making the rounds. “After a standout season in which he went 35-4, Joel Northrup had every reason to dream of winning an Iowa wrestling championship this year, but he gave it all up before his first state tournament match Thursday. Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who competes for Linn-Mar High School, said his religious beliefs wouldn’t allow him to wrestle Cassy Herkelman, a pony-tailed freshman from Cedar Falls who is one of the first two girls to qualify for the tournament in its 85-year history.”

Long Term Exposure - Shaun Groves pens some interesting thoughts about the potentially harmful long term effects of Christian worship music. Food for thought.

Become an Online Influencer - This article from Mashable shares some interesting ideas about how to become an online influencer.

Jesus Died for Me - This is a neat video.

Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby’s premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home. —Justin Bieber (What’s amazing about this quote is that anyone actually cares what the kid thinks)

February 18, 2011

Another weekend is upon us, and a long weekend at that. Here in Ontario it wil be Family Day on Monday, a day most of us get off. It’s a new holiday and a made-up one just because someone figured we needed a day off in February. So we’ll take it, I guess.

Modern Analogies - A comic I enjoyed.

Why Bookstores Matter - Dr. Mohler: “Even the best-managed book stores are in trouble. The emergence of Amazon as a vast, online book-selling machine with discounted prices and the sudden popularity of electronic readers and digital books have already changed the book business from top to bottom—and the revolution has hardly started.”

Bush’s Liberal Legacy - Denny Burk points to an interesting article about George W. Bush. “In short, the column argues that liberals were wrong for excoriating President Bush for his desire to see democracy spread in the middle east. In fact, Bush’s ideals seem to be coming to reality.”

One Poodle’s Journey - There’s something strangely gross about this photo essay about one of the dogs that was at the recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The Intolerance of Tolerance - D.A. Carson speaks about the incoherence of postmodern tolerance.

Slothful and lazy souls never obtain one view of the glory of Christ. —John Owen

February 17, 2011

Yesterday I got to see the final cut of the commercial they’ve made for my book. I’ll try to debut it here at the blog early next week. I think you’ll enjoy it…

God at the Grammys - WSJ had an interesting article last week about popstars and their beliefs. “Believing that God wants you to be famous actually improves your chances of being famous. Of course, from the standpoint of traditional theology, even in the Calvinistic world of predestination, God is much more concerned with the fate of an individual’s soul than his or her secular success, and one’s destiny is unknowable. So what’s helping these stars is not so much religion as belief—specifically, the belief that God favors their own personal, temporal success over that of almost everyone else.”

Ask R.C. Sproul Live - Tonight at 8:00 PM R.C. Sproul will be live online answering questions from you and me. You can ask questions by Twitter or Facebook.

11 Theses on Birth Control - Douglas Wilson has some great things to say about birth control in this blog post. For example: “There are no promised covenantal blessings for the self-absorbed proprietors of stud farms.”

Couch Surfing - Here’s an interesting application of social media. CouchSurfing.com “aims to connect travelers, or ‘surfers,’ with hosts willing to offer a free place to stay, has some similarities to Facebook in that it includes user profiles, photos and friend requests.” Of course the service begins with a faulty premise: “We believe that people are fundamentally good, and our service is designed around that premise…”

How Much Information? - Here’s an attempt to figure out how much information the world contains. “If a single star is a bit of information, that’s a galaxy of information for every person in the world. That’s 315 times the number of grains of sand in the world. But it’s still less than one percent of the information that is stored in all the DNA molecules of a human being.”

Teg Haggard on Restoration - Matthew Paul Turner has a few reflections on a recent interview with Ted Haggard.

When I have any money I get rid of it as quickly as possible, lest it find a way into my heart. —John Wesley

February 16, 2011

I’m running a bit late today, so let’s get to the links.

Correction - Justin Taylor shares some wisdom in a brief article titled “When Is an Issue Important Enough to Correct Someone?”

Space Shuttle - NASA’s space shuttle program has ended. This article rounds up some of the most important shuttle missions.

Exegetical Malpractice - Get Religion has an assessment of Newsweek’s ridiculous article “What the Bible Really Says About Sex.”

Facebook + Valentine’s Day - This is good stuff: “If someone you know is posting pictures of their hot date on Facebook, I guarantee you weren’t missing out on anything. The last time I turned up the heat, I wasn’t thinking about Facebook.”

Modesty - Bob Kauflin addresses front of the room modesty for worship teams. “One of the topics in the church that leaders rarely address is modesty. It’s awkward. You can be accused of legalism. People can be offended. It can seem politically incorrect. But that doesn’t mean it should never be addressed, nor that there’s not a gracious way to do it.”

One-armed Legless Man - Some news stories are just too bizarre to believe. A friend sent me this one: “A male nurse had to be rushed to the emergency unit after being badly injured by a disabled patient who had no legs and only one arm.”

Prayer Request for Egypt - Michael Horton shares some notes from a conference call with Christians leaders in Egypt.

God punishes his enemies but chastises his children. —Alistair Begg

February 15, 2011

It’s an early start today, so let’s get right to those links…

Nation Somehow Shocked - The Onion has the occasional good one. Yesterday was one of them. “As more details emerged of Friday’s horrible but relatively commonplace manifestation of human nature in Brandon, SD, citizens nationwide somehow managed to enter a state of shock, apparently struggling to comprehend an act that, throughout history, has happened thousands upon thousands of times.”

Lectures with Richard Bauckham - From SBTS: “Professor Richard Bauckham will deliver the Spring 2011 Julius Brown Gay Lectures on February 15-16. Professor Bauckham is Professor Emeritus at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and is a renowned New Testament scholar.” You can watch them live online at sbts.edu.

Pre-Order - Just a reminder that my book The Next Story is now available for pre-order. I’m not above begging. Don’t make me beg!

World Press Photo Winners - Boston.com has a roundup of some of the best shots from the 54th World Press Photo Contest.

Wiki Leaks and Judgment - Douglas Groothuis shares a guest post written by Ajith Fernando, author and minister in Sri Lanka. Fernando looks at Wiki Leaks and says it “is an instructive foretaste of a terrifying disclosure which will take place some day! Whoever thought that money stashed in secret accounts Swiss banks would be made public? The Bible says, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, withe very secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:1).”

What’s a Strong Tower? - Mounce looks at Proverbs 18:10 and asks “What’s a strong tower”? A tower that possess the quality of strength? What does that mean? A tower that is built with a strong door? Strong straps?”

Tears of Hope - A while back I mentioned Zac Smith. Here is an update from his wife one year after his death.

I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds … Satan is quite aware of the power of silence. —Jim Elliot

February 14, 2011

Today is the day that the Blue Jays’ pitchers and catchers report for their first day of training. The 2011 season is coming up fast. And I just can’t wait.

What Lincoln Meant to the Slaves - There has been near-endless research and speculation about this. An op-ed in the New York Times is worth the read.

Adultery Incorporated - Albert Mohler looks at the adultery industry and offers some useful analysis of it. Yes, there actually is such an industry.

Answers for Pastors - 9Marks has a useful feature at their web site—a section of questions and answers for pastors.

Conan 2.0 - You don’t have to like Conan O’Brien to find this article interesting (disclosure: I’ve never seen his show and know little about him beyond what I’ve been reading in the media). It tells “how a late-night Luddite accidentally fought his way back into bedrooms (and computers, smartphones, and tablets) across America.”

How does the Gospel Conquer Pornography? - Tim Keller and D.A. Carson answer.

To search for wisdom apart from Christ means not simply foolhardiness but utter insanity. —John Calvin

February 13, 2011

It has been an interesting weekend and along the way the weekend edition of A La Carte has been bumped from Saturday to Sunday. I guess that happens.

Justin Bieber @ Church - Groan. “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never hits theaters this weekend, and, God willing, could be the topic of many conversations come Sunday — at least that’s what Paramount, the studio behind the 3-D documentary’s release, is hoping. Paramount has held 20 screenings in 20 markets at the end of January for Christian leaders, some of whom then offered written endorsements, arranged group ticket sales for their fellowship, or requested a copy of the study guide produced for the movie titled Never Say Never: For Nothing Is Impossible With God.”

Despite Us, God Works - Michael Oh: “If it had been one year earlier I would have been at Daytona Beach to join in the partying. As it was, God had intervened mercifully in my life before going to college, and I was there for a beach evangelism project. Christians sure know how to almost have fun.”

Sexualization of Young Girls - Red Book reports on the increased sexualization of young girls.

Lady Gaga & “Born This Way” - This is an interesting analysis (with commentary) on Lady Gaga’s new song “Born This Way.” “I believe that issues related to sexuality, particularly same-sex attraction and same-sex experimentation, are the most pressing issues we must address in youth ministry over the course of the next 12 to 24 months. It’s crucial. Lady Gaga’s new song reminds us of just how important this is.” (HT:Z)

Solar Death Ray - Didn’t we all dream of creating something like this when we were younger?

I have learned that God’s silence to my questions is not a door slammed in my face. I may not have the answers—but I do have him. —Dave Dravecky