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A La Carte

February 10, 2011

Yesterday I got to see the rough cut of the commercial/trailer they are making for my book The Next Story. I was really impressed. I can’t wait for it to be finalized so I can show it to you. Hopefully soon…

To Be Forgotten - Darryl Dash reflects on this: “Daniel, the senior pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, says his vision statement is, ‘Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.’”

Living With Regrets - At the CCEF blog Ed Welch writes about living with regrets. “It feels so right – so spiritual – to live with regrets. It means you feel bad for the wrong things you have done or think you have done, and that sounds like a good thing. If you forget those wrongs, you are acting like they were no big deal.”

Sexual Detox - David writes an encouraging review of Sexual Detox. “Sexual Detox makes a thoroughly biblical theological attack on the poison that is pornography. In doing so, it strikes at the root of the problem: the sinful human heart.” Meanwhile, here is a great review of Don’t Call It a Comeback.

R.C. Sproul’s Position on Creation - In this article R.C. Sproul explains his position on Creation.

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger - Mark Altrogge offers up a list of ways that parents can sin against their children and provoke them to anger.

Questions about the Superbowl - Have I told you lately how much I enjoy what Carl Trueman writes? “As usual, the Superbowl generates more questions for me than answers.  How did a game of one hour develop over time into a game of between three and four hours?  Who ever decided that a bunch of predominantly overweight men who stand around doing little other than posing in spandex should come to be regarded as `elite athletes’ [sic]?  (And, in my opinion, nobody over 200 pounds should even be allowed in a spandex shop, let alone be encouraged to wear the merchandise.”

What Used to Be Normal - A friend posted this video under the caption “Things That Seem Insane That Used To Be ‘Normal.’”

Anxiety is not only a pain which we must ask God to assuage but also a weakness we must ask him to pardon—for he’s told us to take no care for the morrow.C.S. Lewis

February 09, 2011

A La Carte is running a little bit late today because I was recording a podcast. Busy day! Stay tuned a few minutes from now and I’ll also be posting an interview with John MacArthur.

Don’t Call it a Comeback - The Jude 3 Project has the first review I’ve seen of the book I contributed to. “Don’t Call it a Comeback is a uniquely accessible and entertaining theology text. That’s right, it is probably the theology text with the overall coolest title in the history of Christian publishing!”

Behind the Wheel - Andree Seu: “My son who lives in the heart of Philly says it’s no good now with everybody packing a cell phone and moving their lips as they walk down the street alone: ‘You can’t tell who the crazies are anymore.’”

Custom Domain Suffixes - This article deals with a new development on the Web and one that actually has very far-reaching implications. “The pillar of the basic Web address - the trusty .com domain - is about to face vast new competition that will dramatically transform the Web as we know it. New Web sites, with more subject-specific, sometimes controversial suffixes, will soon populate the online galaxy, such as .eco, .love, .god, .sport, .gay or .kurd.”

A New Kind of False Intimacy - This blogger suggests that Facebook offers us a new kind of false intimacy.

Please Don’t Use Google! - Andy Unedited wants writers to stop using Google. “Why should writers and speakers stop using Google as a supposed source of statistical authority? Much like using dictionary definitions…” You’ll have to click the link to read his reasons.

The seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills. —Richard J. Needham

February 08, 2011

I’m at the church office today and am looking at an old book I found hanging around here. It’s titled Thrills and Chills of a Locomotive Engineer. The back of the book says, “Each day, while running the big powerful engines, I saw new ways in which the rules and principles of railroading paralleled those of living the Christian life.” Huh.

The Size and Scale of Earth - I posted something like this once before, but I think this one does an even better job of showing the size and scope of our world. Things like this compel me to worship.

How Does Worship Transform Us? - Mark Driscoll says that true worship demands that you must smash your idol, not modify your behavior.

Forgeries - Bestselling author Bart Ehrman is ramping up his accusations against the Bible, now claiming not just that the Bible is full of errors, but that many of the New Testament books were written as deliberate forgeries.

Fighter Verses for your iPhone - Children Desiring God has made an iPhone app available that helps you memorize weekly Fighter Verses.

Politics and Catholicism - Denny Burk pointed out that Michael Gerson has a thoughtful column in The Washington Post about Roman Catholicism’s impact on American politics.

Mila’s Daydreams - A friend sent this along. What a cool idea.

Boasting is an evidence that we are pleased with self; belittling, that we are disappointed in it. Either way, we reveal that we have a high opinion of ourselves.A.W. Tozer

February 07, 2011

Super Bowl this, Super Bowl that. It’s tough to get too excited about the Super Bowl when your church has an evening service that overlaps kickoff. And when you don’t have cable. And when you don’t have a favorite team. And I’m okay with this (especially after catching some video of that unspeakably awful half-time performance).

Can a Computer Win Jeopardy? - We’re about to find out in what should be a rather interesting (and probably anti-climactic) contest.

Poured Concrete for the Soul - The American Spectator reviews Nancy Pearcey’s latest book: “In Saving Leonardo, Nancy Pearcey illumines the answers to those questions and much more besides. Although a great portion of the book discusses the arts, in one sense that is not her real subject at all. Her subject is the intellectual underpinnings of Western society over the past 250 years, how those underpinnings have radically shifted, and how those shifts affect — well, everything, including not just the arts, but culture, morals, and even our concepts of truth and reality.”

Where Have all the Presbyterians Gone? - Russell Moore pens an op-ed for the WSJ. “Are we witnessing the death of America’s Christian denominations? Studies conducted by secular and Christian organizations indicate that we are. Fewer and fewer American Christians, especially Protestants, strongly identify with a particular religious communion—Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc. According to the Baylor Survey on Religion, nondenominational churches now represent the second largest group of Protestant churches in America, and they are also the fastest growing.”

Me Tarzan, You Jane? - Girls Gone Wise: “t’s all over twitter. It’s discussed in detail in all the recent dating and relationship books. It screamed at us from reality television. Every  successful TV matchmaker positively demands it. Men are hunters. Women are responders.”

Hitting the Mark - This is pretty amazing. According to Wired, this guy has made 800 jumps and has never missed the mark.

The faintest whisper of support and encouragement uttered by a Christian in the ears of his fellow believer is heard in heaven. —John J. Murray

February 05, 2011

I do believe this is the first Saturday in many, many months for which we have absolutely nothing planned. I hardly know what to do with myself.

The Social Costs of Pornography - Anthony Bradley writes about the results of a study on pornography that “summarizes a consultation of 54 scholars held in Princeton, N.J. in December 2008 sponsored by the Witherspoon Institute and co-sponsored by the Institute for the Psychological Sciences.” It ain’t pretty.

Too Easily Pleased - Amy writes about her new life: “Before we bought the farm, our family lived on an island on Florida’s Space Coast. It was a typical suburban set-up: the grocery store, church, Little League, and Target all nearby. Now that I live over an hour away from Target, I do not think suburban is a bad word.”

CyberTyranny - Gene Veith writes about Egypt cutting off Internet access. Of course as one wag put it, if you want people to stay home and do nothing, it seems like cutting off the Internet is pretty much the wrong thing to do.

Stretch Your Brain - It’s an oldie but a goodie. Give your brain a stretch with this one.

Kill Multi-Tasking - “What’s the outlook for productive creativity in the coming year? In two phrases: Multi-tasking is dead! Long live single-minded focus!” Sounds good to me.

Soteriology simplified: God saves us by himself from himself unto himself for himself. —Burk Parsons

February 04, 2011

Oops. I mistakenly hit the “publish” button a little prematurely on this one. So you can enjoy A La Carte 2/4 on ⅔.

$5 Friday - You asked for it and now you’ve got it. Today only you can buy R.C. Sproul’s commentary on John for just $5 (book or e-book). The retail price on the book is $27 so that’s quite a deal.

CCEF Booklets - I linked to this yesterday but at the New Growth Press site. Westminster Books also has these CCEF counseling booklets (great to have at the back of the church) on sale.

Wickedness Warring Against Women - Thabiti links to a couple of horrifying video stings of Planned Parenthood. “A man posing as a pimp along with a female associate approach different Planned Parenthood clinics seeking abortion, STD, and contraceptive advice from clinic workers.  They do not hide the fact that they are “managing sex workers” and that some of their girls are as young as 14 or 15.  The videos reveal Planned Parenthood workers bending federal guidelines, offering advice on how to care for girls brought to the country illegally, and how to get abortions for underage girls without parental consent or notice.”

The Big Picture in Egypt - The Big Picture has a photo essay from Egypt. It pictures all of the turmoil going on there.

Piper’s Journal - Desiring God has shared John Piper’s journal entry from January 27, 1987, the day he first received a copy of Desiring God.

Sex Marks the Spot - This article is a little bit crass as it attempts to connect with a Super Bowl crowd. But it’s worth the read. “What Super Bowl would be complete without a player using it as a moral platform? Last year, it was Tim Tebow and his pro-life commercial. This year it’s Pickett. Green Bay’s defensive tackle not only wants to stop the Steelers this Sunday. He wants to stop pornography.”

The Force - Everyone’s talking about this Volkswagen commercial, so I figured I’d post it.

Profanity is the use of strong words by weak people. —William A. Ward

February 03, 2011

This whole “snowpocalypse” and “snowmageddon” thing was way overblown. We got a pretty good snowstorm, but within a few hours the roads were clear and life went on. For which I’m grateful.

Minibook Blowout - New Growth Press (a.k.a. CCEF) has put all of their minibooks on sale for a week only. You can buy the 5-book sets for just $10.

Google Art Project - In case you haven’t seen it before, well, this is well worth browsing through.

Chicago Blizzard - These are amazing photographs of the blizzard that buried Chicago.

Intentional Parenting - Here is a review of the latest book from Cruciform Press: Intentional Parenting. “This book is a fantastic introduction to gospel-centered family discipleship.  I am the pastor for discipleship at our church and I plan to recommend (if only I could require!) this book to every parent in our congregation.  I will especially be looking for opportunities to use this to train new and young parents.”

Groothuis on Social Media - Douglas Groothuis has posted a recent contribution from The Christian Research Journal. He writes about the world of social media.

Earth From Above - Another great photo essay, this one showing pictures of earth from above (as you may have guessed).

The United Kingdom Explained - This short video tries to make sense of the United Kingdom. It’s more interesting than it sounds.

Of all the things in the world that stink in the nostrils of men, hypocrisy is the worst. —C.H. Spurgeon

February 02, 2011

It’s a snow day today—the first one in 2 years. Special thanks to the local school board for calling us at 6:30 AM to tell us that it is a snow day (and for making sure that the children couldn’t sleep in…).

Most Popular in 2010 - ECPA has released a list of the top 50 Christian books from 2010 and another list of the top 20 Christian authors from 2010.

Trafficking in the Shadow of the Superbowl - Carolyn McCulley: “Just in time for the Super Bowl in Dallas comes this important campaign. This article was brought to my attention by Shared Hope International, which I support, and was originally posted on the End Human Trafficking blog by Amanda Kloer.”

Crazy February Sale - Bob Kauflin announces Sovereign Grace’s annual sale in which they drastically lower prices on all their CDs and many of their books. It’s time to stock up!

Church in a Post-Feminist World - This is an interesting interview with Mary Kassian in which she talks about the church in a post-feminist world.

What if I’m Not a Gifted Evangelist? - “I understand there are many obstacles to evangelistic practice; I know this because I’ve used them all as excuses avoid evangelistic opportunities. Given the opposition of the world, my clumsy or even failed attempts, and the challenge of my sinful heart, evangelism seems best left to winsome religious professionals who have silver tongues and the backing of large religious organizations. They just seem so … gifted at it. But what is being ‘gifted at evangelism,’ anyway?”

Playing Chikin - “The chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A is owned by devout Christians who close their stores on Sundays and give lots of money to Christian causes.  The company gave some free sandwiches to a meeting of a ‘pro-family’ group. Since that group opposes gay marriage–even though Chick-fil-A has not said anything about that issue–some bloggers are calling for a boycott.”

I sometimes think that the very essence of the whole Christian position and the secret of a successful spiritual life is just to realize two things … I must have complete, absolute confidence in God and no confidence in myself. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones