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A La Carte

January 19, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include God’s Will by J.I. Packer ($1.99); Gaining by Losing by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Teach Us to Want by Jen Pollock Michelle ($2.99); God Loves Sex by Dan Allender & Tremper Longman ($2.99); Divine Design by John MacArthur ($2.99); The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99); Peacemaking Women by Tara Barthel ($2.99).

Is God Sovereign Over My Free Will?

John Piper ventures into difficult territory with an answer to these questions: “Will God use His sovereignty to overwrite our free will at times to exemplify His perfect will? And if so, do we truly have free will?”

How Diverse Was Early Christianity?

I’ve really been enjoying Michael Kruger’s blog and the way he has been taking on some common charges against Christianity. “The more the label ‘Christianity’ can be tossed around indiscriminately, then the more it appears that Christians could believe just about anything (and did). It strips the word of all its meaning.”

Your Driverless Car

I guess this isn’t too surprising: “As with all utopian schemes, [the driverless car] will come bearing big-government policy interventions and control that require major economic policy justifications and macro-economic analysis to justify action.”

Living Intentionally Together as a Married Couple

There are a few suggestions here for living together intentionally as a married couple.

The FAQs: Pastor Saeed Abedini

Joe Carter does a FAQ on the long-awaited freeing of pastor Saeed.

This Day in 1563. 453 years ago today, the Heidelberg Catechism was first published in Germany. *

Great Books Selections

Jim Hamilton offers two short lists that may be helpful to those who want to explore some great books.

0.0% of Icelanders 25 Years or Younger Believe God Created the World

There is work to be done in Iceland! Do I have any Icelandic readers? I’d love to know about the church situation there. You can contact me here.

Bad Dugout Decisions

This article shows what (formerly) common baseball decisions have been proven faulty through sabermetrics. (A thought: The pitchout has been proven ineffective. But doesn’t the mere threat or possibility of the pitchout have an intangible way of slowing down runners?)

Sibbes

It would be a good contest among Christians, one to labor to give no offense, and the other to labor to take none. —Richard Sibbes

January 18, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include several volumes in the excellent Preaching the Word commentary series at $7.99 each: NumbersDeuteronomy, Judges & Ruth, JobProverbs. They are ideal for sermon preparation or devotional reading. Also consider The Law of Kindness by Mary Beeke ($1.99), Innocent Blood by John Ensor ($1.99), and The NIV Zondervan Study Bible ($4.99).

Why Daughters Need Their Dads

I needed to read this. “I have watched daughters talk to fathers. When you come in the room, they change. Everything about them changes: their eyes, their mouths, their gestures, their body language. Daughters are never lukewarm in the presence of their fathers. They might take their mothers for granted, but not you.”

The Youth Group Lessons I’ve Had to Unlearn

I don’t agree with everything in this article, but I do resonate with the three big points.

Iran Frees Pastor Saeed Abedini 

I’m guessing you caught this news already. At long last, Pastor Saeed has been freed.

A Comforting Word in the Hotel Nightstand

I thank God for the Gideons and for their passion to share God’s Word.

3 Keys to Listening During Sermons

Just think of the immense privilege that is yours to listen to a sermon every Sunday, week after week after week. Here’s some guidance on listening well.

This Day in 1951. 65 years ago today, missionary to India Amy Carmichael died. *

The Secret of Spurgeon’s Success

Charles Spurgeon was a towering figure, and this article explains the not-so-secret secret of his success.

American Missionary Killed in Burkina Faso Attack

“An American missionary and orphanage director was among the dozens killed by Al Qaeda-linked militants in the West African nation of Burkina Faso Friday night.”

Stay Messy, My Friends

Jared Wilson: “Here are three areas we can stay in the thick of the messy ministry that is fertile soil for gospel joy…”

Taylor

Do not have your concert first, and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with God. —Hudson Taylor

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
January 16, 2016

This weekend’s Kindle deals include The Law of Kindness by Mary Beeke ($1.99); The NIV Zondervan Study Bible ($4.99); Hero of Heroes by Iain Duguid ($1.99); Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought by Stephen Nichols ($1.99); Tributes to John Calvin by David Hall ($1.99); Salvation by Grace by Matthew Barrett ($1.99); Recovering Our Reformed Confession by R. Scott Clark ($0.99). Also, you can get the book being given to each attendee at the Evangelicals for Life conference next week, Innocent Blood: Challenging the Powers of Death with the Gospel of Life ($1.99).

Is It Bad to Skip Breakfast?

Apparently it’s not quite as bad as you’ve heard. But I’m still going to start every day with my toast and eggs.

A Modest Proposal for the “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God” Debate

Justin Taylor brings some much-needed reason to the debate.

A New Podcast

Podcast fans may want to check out this new one from Russell Moore.

Locker Room Extinction

WORLD: “At the end of 2015, two human rights commissions over 2,800 miles apart enacted new rules that could be precedent-setting for the gender battle across the nation, including giving people the right to use whichever locker rooms and bathrooms they choose.”

How the Phonograph Changed Music Forever

It’s always interesting to compare the present to the past: “Much like streaming music services today are reshaping our relationship with music, Edison’s invention redefined the entire industry…”

Notable Authors. If you’ve never checked out any books by author James White, I highly recommend you do so. I especially recommend The Forgotten Trinity and Scripture Alone

Why 734 Pastors Quit

“No sabbatical. No help with counseling. No clear picture of what’s expected. Hundreds of former evangelical pastors say these were the crucial elements missing from the final churches they led before quitting the pastorate.”

What Is Truth?

Thanks to The Master’s College for sponsoring the blog this week with “What Is Truth?

Carson

Either worrying drives out prayer, or prayer drives out worrying. —D.A. Carson

Daily News Information and Kindle Deals for Christians
January 15, 2016

It has once again been a bit of a slow time with Kindle deals, perhaps because we were spoiled so badly in December. We will hope for some more exciting deals next week. In the meantime, here are some links worth checking out.

Ten Theses on Immigration

This column from Ross Douthat has been gaining a lot of praise over the past couple of days.

J. I. Packer, 89, On Losing Sight But Seeing Christ

“Packer, 89, will no longer be able to write as he has before or travel or do any regular preaching. While for now he still retains peripheral vision, it’s doubtful he will ever regain the ability to read.”

30-Day Bible Challenge

If you are a Logos user and, like me, feel like you’re barely scraping the surface of the program, you may want to try this challenge.

Anglican Communion ‘Suspends’ Episcopal Church

Joe Carter has put together one of his FAQs on recent happenings within the Anglican church.

You Need A Safe Place To Make Mistakes

This is true of worship leaders, the audience it is written for. But it’s equally true of all kinds of ministry.

This Day in 1702. 314 years ago today, hymnwriter Isaac Watts was called as pastor to Newington. *

The Silver Chair

It’s going to take a reboot to get The Silver Chair to the big screen. But it is coming, it seems.

35 Christian Films

Speaking of films, this site rounds up 35 Christian movies coming our way in 2016. I watched quite a few of the trailers and can’t say I’d want to watch any of the movies!

7 Pro-Life Resources

This may be worth a bookmark. Each of the resources is worth exploring as well.

Sibbes

Christ refuses none for weakness, but accepts none for greatness. —Richard Sibbes

Thursday News Kindle Deals Headlines
January 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Same-Sex Marriage by Sean McDowell ($1.99); Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson ($3.99); Still Growing by Kirk Cameron ($1.99); Preaching by Calvin Miller ($1.99); Praying the Light by Andrew Case ($0.99); CrossTalk by Mike Emlet (free).

Raising Up Encouragers

“What can we learn from Barnabas to encourage us to become more able encouragers? What characterizes the life of an encourager?” Here are 5 important characteristics.

What I’ve Learned About the Bible

Tim Keller: “Today, as never before, the character of the Bible is publicly attacked as cruel and oppressive, and those who uphold the historic view of its truthfulness are seen in the same light.”

From a Clump of Cells to a Baby

Adam4d explains, in his inimitable way, how a clump of cells changes into a baby.

#TheologyNight with R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas

Here’s one to put on your calendar for tomorrow. “We are pleased to announce that on Friday, January 15 at 7pm ET, Dr. Sproul will be joined by Ligonier teaching fellow Dr. Derek Thomas for a relaxed and informative evening of theology and dialogue.” It will go out live via the Internet.

The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Now Hardest To Be a Christian

These are the nations where we ought to be focusing our prayer efforts as we pray for the persecuted church.

This Day in 1875. 141 years ago today, “theologian, medical missionary, organist, musical historian, and winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, Albert Schweitzer is born.” *

Legalism, Antinomianism, and the Gospel

Westminster Books has a sale on a couple of great books.

Germany’s Brutal Immigrant Awakening

“The mass assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, in the shadow of Germany’s most historic and beautiful cathedral, are destined to become a defining moment in the immigration debate that is tearing Europe apart.”

New-Generation Animators

This is a neat video showing old-style animators doing amazing new work.

Sanders

Salvation comes from the Trinity, happens through the Trinity, and brings us home to the Trinity. —Fred Sanders

Wednesday News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 13, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include several volumes in Zondervan’s excellent Counterpoint series at $3.99 each: Four Views on Hell, Four Views on the Historical Adam, Three Views on Creation and Evolution, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World, Four Views on the Miraculous Gifts, and Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters. Also consider That’s Just Your Interpretation by Paul Copan ($2.99).

A Plea for Poets, Plumbers, Philosophers, and Physicians

Amen to this: “The church of Jesus Christ ought to be developing our young people to serve in many fields and from a biblical and theological framework. But do we do that? Often those who are interested in theology are hurried towards seminary.”

Did Judas Receive the Bread and the Cup?

Maybe you have wondered this before: Did Judas also receive the bread and the cup?

J.I. Packer’s Library

John Richard Allison Library in Vancouver has made available a collection of rare Puritan books, many of which are from J.I. Packer’s personal library. (J.T. has more.)

Perplexing Passages: Romans 7

TGC: “This is the first installment in a special three-part ‘Perplexing Passages’” forum examining the long-debated Pauline passage, Romans 7:13–25. In part 2, John Piper will defend the view that Paul was speaking of his struggle with indwelling sin as a believer. The final part will offer a third view from Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

How to Be Spiritually Miserable

This article contains spiritual insight and a genuine challenge.

This Day in 1501. 515 years ago today, the world’s first hymnbook printed in the vernacular was published in Prague. *

The Not-So-Quiet Quiet Time

“Evangelical Christians have long talked about having a ‘quiet time.’ A quiet time is an excellent thing, and I hope you have made a commitment to have a regular quiet time this year. But my question is: What are you going to do in that time?”

Cliff-Diving Geese

This is the strangest thing: Geese that have to do a ridiculous cliff-dive to survive.

Tripp

God’s commands are not designed to rob you of life or to plunder your freedom, but to graciously protect you from harm. —Paul Tripp

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 12, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Christian Writer’s Market Guide ($4.99); The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff ($1.99); Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement by Andy Naselli ($0.99); Colossians & Philemon by Murray Harris ($0.99). New and free from Desiring God is Think It Not Strange. It is available in several electronic formats.

22 Ideas to Help Your Children Study And Love the Bible

“For the last few years, I’ve been gathering the ideas we’ve found helpful for nurturing our children’s interest and skill in reading the Bible. … perhaps some of our approaches may encourage you to try some new ideas with your own family.”

All the Money in the World

Here’s a chart showing all the money in the world. Should we be nervous about how much of it is derivatives?

The Most Important Thing

Ray Ortlund tells the most important thing his dad taught him.

Should Evangelicals Hijack Black Lives Matter?

This is a long but important look at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the possibility of Evangelical support for it.

Let Wheaton and other Christian colleges be Christian

Yes, exactly! “Is it not time that journalists just accepted the fact that Wheaton College is an evangelical Protestant covenant community of higher education and stopped being ‘shocked, shocked’ every time a case arises regarding what the standards of faithfulness are or ought to be in this community?”

This Day in 1871. 145 years ago today, Henry Alford died. Alford was an Anglican priest, hymnwriter, and poet. * He also had a fantastic beard.

Does the Bible Endorse Slavery?

“Have you ever faced a skeptic—maybe a family member or a friend at work—who threw slavery at you as evidence that the Bible can’t be trusted?” Denny Burk shows why this is false reasoning.

17 Lessons I Learned From Christian Books In 2015

I love this as a way to summarize a year’s worth of reading.

Exhale 4k

This is yet another stunning timelapse video.

Inside GM’s Deadly Ignition Switch Scandal

If you’re in the mood for some longform reading, you may find this one interesting. 

Leake

God’s promises fully match our best, highest, and innermost desires. —Mike Leake

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 11, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include 4 from The Gospel Coalition priced at $2.99 each: Here Is Our God, The Scriptures Testify About MeHis Mission: Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, and God’s Love Compels Us. You may also be interested in Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls ($2.99) and ‘Til We Meet Again by Ray & Betty Whipps ($2.99).

Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness

R.C. Sproul draws an important distinction. “Spirituality and piety are not ends in themselves. In fact they are worthless unless they are means to a higher goal. The goal must go beyond spirituality to righteousness.”

Why We Keep Playing the Lottery

There are a few interesting takeaways from this article. The first is the sheer marketing manipulation that goes on to encourage people to play the lottery. The second is how much more compelling it is to speak in the Christian language of heart idolatries than in the language of evolution when we explain the lottery fixation. (Also, try this Powerball simulator.)

When Life Feels Like Drudgery

“Faithfulness in drudgery is what faithfulness is all about. Most of life is drudgery, isn’t it? The messes, the commute, the weeds that keep growing, the bellies that need feeding, the clothes that need washing.” Yup. Most of us live most of life right there.

How Credit Cards Tax America

“How much money did you send your bank this year when you used your credit card? Did you notice that you paid a $400 fee—one of the highest in the world?”

How to Read Calvin’s Institutes and Why You Should Seriously Consider It

Justin Taylor offers encouragement and assistance.

This Day in 1946. 70 years ago today, John Piper was born. You can wish Pastor John a happy 70th birthday on Twitter!

The Lost Generation

A friend linked to this article which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. There are some great drawings and watercolors there to boot.

Third Wave Coffee

Here’s a brief video on the history of all these fancy coffees we’re drinking today.

Spurgeon

If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. If you do not slay sin, sin will slay you. —C.H. Spurgeon