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A La Carte

November 11, 2015

Thomas Nelson has a series of biographies called The Generals and the Kindle versions are on sale at $1.99 each. The series covers Patton, Sherman, Pershing, Washington, Jackson, and Lee.

Also, I wanted to make another mention of my campaign over at Patreon. I am very encouraged by the early results, I thank all who have chosen to participate, and I invite you to consider it. And now, without any further ado, enjoy some interesting articles, videos, and music:

Why Your Body Is AMAZING!

You will enjoy this little video that simply describes some amazing facts about the human body.

Debunking Stupid Statements about the Bible

Greg Gilbert takes on ignorant statements like this: “No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.”

One of the Strangest Commands in the Bible

“Why in the world would God tell Israel to hamstring captured horses? Does he have something against horses?”

Sex Offenders in the Pews

“One of the many horrors about child sexual abuse is the inability to definitively assess who poses a danger to our children.” We need to understand the danger and properly equip our churches.

Rain for RootsNew Album. Today marks the release of Waiting Songs, a new album by Rain for Roots. It is a collection of 10 songs for children exploring the themes of Advent. You can listen to the whole thing at Bandcamp (maybe begin with Isaiah 11) and purchase it right here.

Why a Friend Is Suing Me

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, explains why she felt she could not sell flower arrangements for a gay friend’s wedding.

Christian Mingle Inspector

This is a pretty good bit of parody.


Whoever marries the spirit of this age will become a widow in the next. —William Inge

November 10, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include the classic (and still relevant) Christianity and Liberalism by Gresham Machen ($0.99); Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($5.99); Heresy by Alister McGrath ($3.99); and In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($0.99).

My Abortion Story

“I had an abortion years ago. For the most part, I don’t even let my mind go there for fear of the terrible sadness that will follow. I know that others, like me, must be feeling the same pangs of grief.” She pens a moving letter to her child.

Three Reasons to Not Make Sexually Immoral Jokes

This is simple but important.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ Wedding

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is getting married this Saturday and is inviting you to watch the ceremony via livestream.

You Cannot Domesticate Pride

It’s very true and deadly dangerous.

The New Intolerance of Student Activism

There’s a scary little glimpse of our culture there at Yale. “It is no surprise that the students behave like bullies even as they see themselves as victims.”

Underprogram Your Church

Jared Wilson offers 10 reasons you should underprogram your church.

This Day in 1871. 144 years ago today, Henry Stanley finds David Livingstone at Ujiji, Lake Tanganyika, one of the most famous moments in missionary history, supposedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.” *

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage

“What can a couple do to preserve the joyful loving intimacy of their marriage? Consider these seven gospel-centered principles.”

New Teaching Fellows

Ligonier Ministries announces a pair of new teaching fellows. I really appreciate the direction the ministry has taken with its teaching fellows.


The greatest dangers to the church will always come from within the church. —Kevin DeYoung

November 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include God’s Kingdom Through Covenant by Stephen Wellum & Peter Gentry ($2.99); The First Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger & Alexander Stewart ($4.99); The Presence of God by Ryan Lister ($4.99); The Incarnation of God by John Clark & Marcus Peter Johnson ($4.99); Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Volume 2 by Ken Ham ($2.99); Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason ($2.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God by Jonathan Edwards ($0.99). Also, several Kindle devices are on sale today.

When Life Gives You Oranges

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are raising two young children, both of whom have severe autism. They invite us into the surprising world of parenting children with special needs.

Is a ‘Spectrum’ the Best Way to Talk About Autism?

And, while we are on the subject of special needs, Is a ‘spectrum’ the best way to talk about Autism?

If Richard Dawkins Is Right

“Nobody knows who the four evangelists were, but they almost certainly never met Jesus personally. Much of what they wrote was in no sense an honest attempt at history. The gospels are ancient fiction.” If Dawkins is correct, one might imagine the following conversation…

Is All Worship Equally Acceptable to God?

Tim Barnett: “I have become increasingly concerned at the cavalier attitude many people have about how they approach God. There are many people who believe that it doesn’t matter how you come to God, so long as you come.”

6 Assassins of A Man’s Contentment

“You have enemies as you try to live as a content man. Most of the time we think the enemies are from without—people around us and circumstances upon us. But the true enemies of contentment are within in us, which is where contentment is either fed or starved.”

This Day in 1793 and 1895. Missionaries William Carey and Amy Carmichael each arrive in India (222 years ago and 120 years ago respectively). *

Hating Queerness Without Hating the Queer

This is quite an interesting review of Al Mohler’s new book We Cannot Be Silent. “The views of religiously conservative Americans no longer dominate U.S. culture or law. How will LGBT supporters engage with their perspectives on sexuality?”

How to Keep Your iPhone from Destroying Your Relationships

Sherry Turkle recently spoke with Christianity Today about the constant interruption of digital notifications, how we became so uncomfortable with boredom, and why we should stop using our smartphones as alarm clocks.


If you’ve experienced God’s forgiveness, others will experience your forgiveness. —Burk Parsons

November 07, 2015

Let me begin with a few personal updates. First, thanks to all who have chosen to support me through Patreon; your support is much appreciated. Second, I had a very productive week finishing off a book on productivity; it should be available soon. Finally, by popular request I am working on PDF versions of the theological quizzes I have been sharing; they should be ready by next week. And now, here are today’s links.

Women Preachers?

Perry Noble recently made the case for women preachers. Tom Schreiner provides a measured and helpful response.

The Celebrity Pastor Factory

This is a strong article. “Celebrity pastors are not a new phenomenon, nor is our human tendency to exalt our leaders to unsustainable heights. What is new is the number of celebrity pastors and the speed at which they are being created and corrupted.”

What Makes Muscles Grow?

This little video explains how and why muscles grow.

The Blind Eyes of Abortion

John Knight, whose son was born without eyes, tells of his sorrow in hearing Planned Parenthood abortionists laughing together about tearing babies apart (and seeing eyeballs fall out).

Pastors Are Holding Up Just Fine

Ed Stetzer: “Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve published a couple of blog posts in an attempt to further squelch the false idea that pastors are constantly miserable and that thousands of them are leaving the church each year. The fact is, they are doing just fine.”

This Day in 680. 1,335 years ago today, an ecumenical council held at Constantinople condemned monethelitism, the teaching that Christ’s human will is superceded by his divine will. *

What His Daughter Remembered

Randy Alcorn: “Some years ago, I sat with my daughters at a wonderful father/daughter banquet at our church. Someone at the table asked my youngest daughter, Angela, what I’d done that made the biggest impression on her. I had no idea what she would say, but of course I hoped for something spectacular.”

Paying for Air

“Ever opened a seemingly full bag of crisps to find it mostly empty space? One artist was so frustrated with the problem that he decided to size up some of the worst offenders.”

Christian Leaders: It’s Time for More Content Ministry

Thanks to GradLime for sponsoring the blog this week. Their support is much appreciated!


Nobody stands under the wrath of God save those who have chosen to do so. —J.I. Packer

November 06, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include several titles in the excellent New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology series: The Messianic Hope ($0.99); The Ten Commandments ($2.99); Future Israel ($2.99); and Sermon on the Mount ($2.99). Also consider How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($1.99) and A Simple Christianity by John MacArthur ($2.99).

Where Are the Mature Women Writers?

Aimee Byrd asks some good questions. “Has the Reformed church invested so little into their women that there are only a few that can contribute on a deeper theological level? I don’t think that is the case. But have we adequately shown that we need and value their insight and teaching?”

This Glorious Grace

You may be interested in this new album from Austin Stone Music. I’ve really been enjoying it.

Pray For Your Church 31 Day Challenge

Mike Leake is leading another 31-day prayer challenge. “Whatever local church God has placed you in, I want to challenge you to spend the next 31 days praying for the local body of Christ where God has placed you.”

Long Term Scripture Memorization

Chris Brauns shares the system he uses to memorize Scripture and to remember it for the long haul.

The Grizzly Toll

WORLD: “In a recently released Center for Medical Progress (CMP) video, a Michigan Planned Parenthood executive encourages her colleagues to stop ‘denying the reality’ of pro-life images of aborted babies and start acknowledging abortion does involve violence and the killing of persons.”

This Day in 1935. American revivalist Billy Sunday died 80 years ago today. Sunday was a baseball player who became one of America’s most famous evangelists. *

TSA Remains Terrible

I think the more you fly the more you come to suspect this: “Unfortunately, as lots and lots of evidence has shown, the TSA needs to get lucky to actually stop anyone. That’s backed up by a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General.”

The Transgender Movement and Government Overreach

ERLC covers disturbing news out of Illinois. “The federal government’s actions in Palatine, Illinois is government overreach at its worst.” Indeed. (And, on a similar note, you may be interested in Adam4d’s comic Intolerant.)


The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace where good things happen to bad people. —Ray Ortlund, Jr.

November 05, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include 8 titles from Cruciform Press that have been marked down to just $1.99: The Most Encouraging Book on Hell Ever by Thor Ramsey, Cruciform by Jimmy Davis, Reclaiming Adoption by Dan Cruver, Torn to Heal by Mike Leake, Anchored in Grace by Jeremy Walker, Awaiting a Savior by Aaron Armstrong, Does God Listen to Rap? by Curtis Allen, Innocent Blood by John Ensor.

Duties of the Minister of the Gospel

Geoff Kirkland has a helpful article for ministers. He simply reminds pastors of their essential duties.

Seven Discoveries to Define and Ignite Passion for Missions

Julian: “As we prepare for a new missions course at GFC, I wanted to learn how John Piper and the elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church laboured to create a vision and passion for missions in their local church. Here are seven discoveries and truths they have learned and taught.”

Seven Myths of Contextualization

Bob Kauflin discusses the always-hot topic of contextualization.

Failure Deconstructed

I would have liked Ed Welch to go a bit deeper into his examination of failure, but what he shares here is at least a good start.

This Day in 1858. 157 years ago today, John and Mary Paton arrived on the island of Tanna (now called Vanautu). Mary died soon afterwards. *

10 Ways to Create Unhealthy Schism Over The Extent of The Atonement

These are worth thinking about.

How To Walk Into Church

I will have a review of this book soon. For now, check out the sale at Westminster Books. This is one to purchase in bulk and give out at your church.

Joel Osteen or Fortune Cookie?

For those who don’t keep up on social media, you may enjoy this revised quiz I shared yesterday. I made it 5 years ago but updated and quizzified it yesterday. It’s easy: You read the quote and tell me whether it’s from Joel Osteen or a fortune cookie. (And, to further prove the point, maybe try Paul Washer or Fortune Cookie?)


To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust him in the dark—that is faith. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 04, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Grounded in the Faith* by Ken Erisman ($3.99); What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?* by Kevin DeYoung ($4.74); The Forgotten Trinity* by James White ($1.99); Cross by John Piper ($0.99); Grounded in the Gospel by J.I. Packer ($2.99); Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell ($2.99); Preaching the Farewell Discourse by Scott Kellum ($2.99); Each for the Other by Bryan & Kathy Chapell ($1.99). (* = especially highly recommended)

My Spouse is My Best Friend

I’m not sure that I agree with all that Mark Jones says here, but I do appreciate the basic point that perhaps your spouse should not be your best friend. Read it and see if you agree.

J. I. Packer: In His Own Words

Here’s a neat little documentary about J.I. Packer. (The documentary goes along with this new biography that I am reading and thoroughly enjoying.)

China’s One-Child Policy

Joe Carter has a helpful FAQ on China’s one-child policy and the recent change to make it a two-child policy.

Porn Use as Grounds for Divorce

I am so glad to see Christians thinking and writing about this difficult topic. Here Luke Gilkerson tells how his opinion on the matter has changed over the past couple of years (which coincided with his master’s thesis on the topic).

Matt Bevin

Yesterday Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky. Denny Burk says, “As that news ripples across the country, what may not be as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach.”

This Day in 1884. C.T. Studd, one of the Cambridge Seven, meets Hudson Taylor 131 years ago today, and is accepted for service in the China Inland Mission. *


I enjoyed Lisa’s article titled simply “Thoughts.” “ ‘I don’t think stuff anymore,’ I told my husband awhile back. He assured me that I did, in fact, think, and think loads of stuff, just maybe it’s the stuff and the kind of thinking that’s changed. Not necessarily less than, just different.”

How Do Drugs Get Their Names?

Prescription drugs, that is. This video explains why one drug may have many different names, and also explains how it gets those names.

Teens and Media

Here’s one for parents to read and consider. “Teenagers spend nearly nine hours a day absorbing media and despite all the new options, music and television remain the favorites.”


God will not remove the temptation, except you turn from the occasion. —Thomas Brooks

November 03, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne ($2.99); Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax ($2.99); Pursuing Peace by Robert Jones ($3.99); Real Peace by Andy Farmer ($3.99); Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns ($3.99); Bringing the Gospel Home by Randy Newman ($3.99); The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge ($3.99); Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias & Norm Geisler ($2.99); Comfort the Grieving by Paul Tautges ($3.99); Pray for the Flock by Brian Croft ($3.99); The Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens ($2.99); 90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn ($1.99).

Do You Have a Really Good Man?

While I am admittedly biased here, I think Melissa knocks it out…of…the…park…with this one. “If we will only learn to appreciate our really good men for who they are and what they do, then one day, when they leave the last Oreo for us or when they make sure our car registration is up to date or when they wink at us across a crowded room, we’ll remember that real romance is so much more than diamonds and whatever Nicholas Sparks dreams up.”

How the Doctrine of Election Fuelled Jesus’ Work

I like this one. It’s a simple look at how the doctrine of election fuelled the work of Jesus. And if he loved the doctrine, who are we to despise it?

Grace To Mozambique

For a long time now Grace Fellowship Church has supported the work of Dr. Charles Woodrow, a medical missionary to Mozambique. I would encourage you to watch this introduction to the work in Mozambique and their need for more workers.

A Church Transforming Proverb

David Murray: “If there’s one thing that would transform our churches, it’s the application of the simple principle in these two proverbs…” He’s bang on, too.

This Day in 1784. English clergyman Thomas Coke first arrived in New York City 231 years ago today. Under John Welsey’s orders, Coke was the first Methodist bishop to come to the New World. *

That Vital Moment in Every Preacher’s Week

“We want results. And we want them fast. The trouble is we often have to wait. Whether in traffic, at the deli counter, at the pharmacy, at a restaurant, in a conversation, or for a website to load–we have to wait for things.”

Church, Stop Doing so Many Good Things

This is true for individuals as well. “Good activities are often the enemy of strategic activity. There are countless good things that a church can be doing at any given time but there are only a few things that are most strategic at any given time.”

Read Scripture Series: Job

The Bible Project continues their “Read Scripture” series with an 11-minute illustrated summary of the book of Job.


Unbelievers can tolerate Christ only as long as he is stripped of his real identity. —R.C. Sproul