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A La Carte

January 25, 2012

Nagging in Marriage - From the WSJ: “It’s more common than adultery and potentially as toxic, so why is it so hard to stop nagging?” I’m always fascinated by articles like this that diagnose and attempt to cure sin but without reference to anything spiritual.

Tainted Saint - “The death of journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens last month gave those familiar with his work a chance to revisit one of his more controversial subjects: the Albanian nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa.” This article explains how her path to sainthood has run into the Roman Catholic sex scandals.

Hymn to God the Father - Denny Burk shares a musical adaptation of a favorite poem by John Donne.

James MacDonald and TGC - James MacDonald explains why he has resigned from The Gospel Coalition.

60 Hours Per Minute - YouTube has just released this amazing statistic: Every second its users upload one hour of video. 60 hours per minute. That is just astounding.

United Bases of America - Here’s an infographic that displays American military presence across the world.

8 Profitable Ways to Read the Bible - Here is some old but timeless wisdom from J.C. Ryle on reading the Bible.

And finally, a quote that could almost (almost!) be from the book of Proverbs:

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. —Winston Churchill

January 24, 2012


The Jobs Aren’t Coming Back - Here’s an interesting account of a conversation between Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Jobs says that the manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back to the US and says why this has to be the case.

Marrying a Man with Porn Struggles - Russell Moore offers up a great response to this question: Should I marry a man who struggles with pornography?

Group Bible Study - This is a helpful article on effective group Bible study. “It’s six o’clock Wednesday evening. Your church’s mid-week Bible study starts in one hour but you don’t feel like going. The trouble is, you can’t think of a fresh excuse and you don’t dare to say what you, (and several others) would like to say: ‘Is this really what a Bible Study is supposed to be like?’”

Interview with Groothuis - City of God blog has an interview with Douglas Groothuis who has recently published his magnum opus, a textbook on Christian Apologetics.

Family Worship Month - I’m not one who tends to participate in things like family worship month or family worship Sunday. Neither am I one to sign declarations. But I did want to draw attention to this site, this effort, and this declaration.

Mordecai - This is a great little video. The band is playing away when a bird shows up for the concert.

The nearer men are to being sinless, the less they talk about it. —D.L. Moody

January 23, 2012


Your Child and Porn - “Let’s say a dad came to see you for advice about his teenage son. He tells you his son has been sneaking out of bed late at night looking at porn on the computer. He’s put filters in place but his son seems to be able to get around them. How might you start advising this father?”

Abortion eBook - Desiring God has released a short, free ebook from John Piper called Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion. Also, here’s an article giving eight ways to live as pro-life Christians under a pro-choice President.

Alcorn and Guinness - Randy Alcorn has just wrapped up a three-part interview with Os Guinness. You can start here if you’d like to read it through. Guinness talks about living for the Audience of One, and the relationship between calling, markets, and morality.

Jesus Isn’t Safe - I like this! Matt Papa, who writes some great and weighty music, is going after Christian radio. “Mainstream christian radio is altogether banal and shallow in both a musical sense and a spiritual sense.  The songs are man-centered and the DJ’s and radio programmers are man-pleasers…..they play the songs that will attract the most listeners to their station, period.  Christian radio is like Joel Osteen in musical form….safe, happy, and untruthful.  It is the TBN of music…a large-scale, embarrassing presentation of Christianity to the world.” (here’s part two)

Not ignorance, but the ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge. —Alfred Whitehead

January 20, 2012

The Stalking of the President - Smithsonian has an interesting account of the stalking and assassination of President Garfield (and, perhaps worst of all, the medical treatments he received).

Apple’s Education Tools - Apple just unveiled a whole new set of education tools. It looks like interactive learning through tablets and digital textbooks are on the way in.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God - Here’s a video worth watching.

Items Tech Will Kill - Here’s a video that shows the items that technology will replace in the years to come. Many of them won’t be missed; a few will.

Gospel in an Abortion Culture - “As the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision approaches, most Christians recognize, and rightly so, the loss of millions of unborn human lives. What we often forget is the second casualty of an abortion culture: the consciences of countless men and women.”

It’s a Girl - These are the three deadliest words in the world.

Self-examination is not the same as self-pity, which can be addictive as alcohol, and just as deadly. —Nigel McCullough

January 19, 2012

Mrs. Blackburn - After writing about preaching ordinary sermons, I received a link to this article which carries on the theme quite nicely. It is a tribute to a very ordinary Sunday school teacher who left an indelible mark.

The Chicken of the Sea - Dr. Mohler has written a wonderful article about the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia and the actions of its cowardly captain. Mohler compares this captain to the captain of another vessel that sank years ago. While we are on the subject, The Big Picture has a photo gallery of the ship and the efforts to rescue its passengers.

Mercy Teams - I really appreciated Ali’s perspective on the value of short-term missions teams. “And you know what? It wouldn’t matter if these guys and girls never even talk to a single Togolese person while they’re here. They’ve blessed and encouraged and strengthened those of us who will be here for the long haul. We’ll go into this Field Service energized by their energy, more ready than ever to pour out our lives for the people here in West Africa.”

Of Straw Men and Shameful Speech - I think this is a conversation the church needs to have and I am looking forward to seeing how it progresses. “Here are the main arguments I continue to hear played over and over for why the church ought to regularly engage in sexually explicit dialogue with Christian married couples…”

Making Necessary Distinctions - Michael Horton has put together an important article on discernment and the necessity of making theological distinctions.

The Day the Internet Went Dark - It was interesting to see the SOPA protests in action yesterday. This page gives you some information about what happened and who participated.

God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, acts with a hand that never fails. —C.H. Spurgeon

January 18, 2012

The Big Day - Michael Horton writes about the Superbowl and churches that have a Superbowl party: “Typically, in the reports I scanned, pastors were justifying their decision by appealing to the mission opportunity. Somehow, having the building full with people who want to be there for a game, but not for God’s saving service to sinners, is ‘missional.’”

Full Circle - I was recently a guest on “Full Circle,” a show that airs on CTS (Canada’s Christian TV channel). You can see it here, if you’re interested. I think I show up around 6 or 7 minutes in.

How to Be a Miserable Comforter - Paul Tautges goes to Job to find some “wisdom” on how to be a miserable comforter or counsellor.

Four Stages of New Tech - This is an interesting and easy-to-read article about how technology gets introduced and eventually accepted in society.

Explore - The Good Book Company has released a new app called “Explore” (available for iOS or Android). It contains daily Bible readings with questions to help you engage with the Bible.

Raising Readers - Reedemed Reader has an interview with Alan Jacobs who recently wrote the excellent little book The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. They ask him about children, distraction, homeschooling, and more.

Blood Test at 5 Weeks - This is another medical innovation that will inevitably be used for evil: “A non-invasive method of detecting a fetus’s sex as early as five weeks into pregnancy has been developed.” Speaking of which, also check out this pro-life conversation from Sam Crabtree.

Stories of Change - Here are stories of change set to the song “May Your Power Rest On Me.”

Only in obedience can we discover the great joy of the will of God. —Sinclair Ferguson

January 17, 2012

I checked in with Twitter this morning and saw a few mentions of the fact that today is my 3,000th consecutive day of blogging. What’s funny to me is that I had no idea. But that little counter at the bottom right of the page just kept incrementing and I guess a few people noticed. I’ll have to wear a party hat all day today, I suppose.

A No-Win Scenario - Mounce talks about some of those verses that simply cannot be translated well (at least not if you care about trying to make things sound less than awkward).

The Worst Passwords - Forbes has a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. Take a look at the list and if you use any of those passwords, change them right away!

On Media and Messages - Carl Trueman brings out some good thoughts about reductionism here. I’m not sure that I agree with him all the way, though. I find that there is a lot of value in trying to take a complex idea and compress it down to 140 characters. That certainly isn’t then sufficient, but it helps you sharpen your own understanding (similar to the way teaching a concept to a child forces you to understand it better).

CT and Spanking - Denny Burk writes about the editors of Christianity Today and their new stance on spanking. Regardless of what you believe about spanking, this is an important issue because of the hermenuetical implications. “The CT editorial relies almost entirely on William Webb’s trajectory hermeneutic—a way of interpreting the Bible that says modern readers sometimes need to move beyond the ethical instruction of scripture to an ethic that supercedes it.”

Empty Praise - Well here’s a shocker: “For decades, the prevailing wisdom in education was that high self-esteem would lead to high achievement. The theory led to an avalanche of daily affirmations, awards ceremonies and attendance certificates — but few, if any, academic gains.”

The Phone Stack - I love this idea! “We usually take a pretty hard line against phones at dinner, but a new trick just popped up that gives us hope for the future. It’s called a phone stack, and it’s a buzzing, flashing reminder of every phone-etiquette rule the world seems to have forgotten.” (HT)

Christianity is no more a bondage to men than wings are to birds. —O. Palmer Robertson

January 16, 2012


Pastors and Conducting Weddings - Brian Croft: “I am consistently asked about the circumstances surrounding weddings.  What makes it permissible or not to conduct a wedding in ”this or that” situation?  I am very aware that there are strong opinions and lively disagreements about whether an evangelical pastor should marry Christians, non-Christians, and everything in between.”

Pastors Oppose Evolution - “Pastors overwhelmingly believe that God did not use evolution to create humans and think Adam and Eve were literal people, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research.”

The Man with the Golden Voice - Here is an update on Ted Williams, the (formerly) homeless man with the golden voice.

High-Speed Animals - “With good lighting and a little luck, amateur videographers can use inexpensive digital cameras to transform blurred flight into breathtaking glimpses of animal behavior.” WIRED showcases some examples.

Ordo Salutis - That infographic of the ordo salutis has been translated into Portuguese and is free for the download.

Your Brain on Technology - Mike Wittmer read a bunch of books on technology (including my own) and provides 5 big takeaways. 

The snow covers many a dunghill; so doth prosperity many a rotten heart. —Thomas Brooks