Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

July 29, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson ($2.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($4.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls by Craig Evans ($2.99); Redeeming Church Conflicts by Tara Barthel ($1.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to Christian Apologetics by Doug Powell ($2.99); Holman Quicksource Guide to Understaning Creation by Mark Whorton ($2.99); Which Bible Translation Should I Use? by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.99).

An Open Letter to the Caliph - Tim Keesee has penned an open letter that is worth reading. “You and your Caliphate are destined for failure. Of course, all empires, caliphates, and reigns of terror eventually come to an end, but something else is happening — another kind of failure in your command over the Islamic world.”

The New Face of Richard Norris - This long article about Richard Norris, who underwent a face transplant, is fascinating, and introduces some important ethical issues. (Note: the article is at the GQ site, but I’m linking to the printable page, so everything there should be family-friendly; at least it is as far as I can see.)

Making the Bible BeautifulBibliotheca is a massively successful Kickstarter project that attempts to make the Bible beautiful [again]. This matters, and here’s why.

Coffee Shops and Productivity - Here’s some guidance on when coffee shops may and may not help your productivity.

Cold Case Christianity - Cripplegate has a review of a book I really enjoyed (and recommend).

The whole life of man until he is converted to Christ is a ruinous labyrinth of wanderings. —John Calvin

Calvin

July 28, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals for you: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole ($0.99); Walking in the Spirit by Kenneth Berding ($0.99); The Holy Spirit by Kevin DeYoung ($0.99); He Who Gives Live by Graham Cole ($2.99); Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande ($1.99); Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars by Stephen Miller ($3.99); How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($1.99). (Also, today’s Gold Box deal is a tempting one: The Blu-ray extended editions of The Lord of the Rings for $37.99.)

The Loss of Pastoral Credibility in the Age of the Internet - “The Internet has introduced a new level of visibility to areas of our social life, exposing certain uncomfortable realities.” Alistair explains how the credibility of pastors is suffering as a result.

Build Character, Not Platform - There is a time for both, I guess, but I love Derwin Gray’s focus here: Worry less about building your platform, and focus more attention on character.

15 Reasons Why We Should Still Be Using Hymnals - You probably won’t agree with everything he says, but the article is well worth some reflection.

Unrequited Love - I found this interesting: Why Evangelicals feel great affection for Jews and why that affection is not reciprocated.

Preaching about Body Image - There’s something to be said for this: Pastors ought to preach about body image.

What peace can they have who are not at peace with God? —Matthew Henry

Henry

July 26, 2014

Vacations are [almost] always wonderful, but home is always best. As good as it was to be away for a while, it was even better to get back to my home and my routine and my normal life. I guess I’m kind of a boring person, but I value such things! Anyway, here is some recommended weekend reading for you:

This week saw the release of the first trailer for the forthcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie. Aimee Byrd says the whole phenomenon is 50 Shades of Strange, and especially when Christian women are unabashed in their love of the books.

My kids and most of their friends are obsessed with Minecraft, something I am largely okay with, especially when they play socially, hanging out in big packs in our living room. This article tries to get to the bottom of all that enthusiasm.

If you are on or near Canada’s East Coast, or just looking for a great excuse to go to Prince Edward Island, The Gospel Coalition Atlantic conference looks like it will be a really good event, and especially because the crowd won’t be too big. They’ve also introduced a women’s track this year. Aileen will be representing 20Schemes in the exhibitor’s area, so be sure to stop by and say hi to her.

Here’s an interactive introduction to the First World War. Isn’t it amazing to see what amazing rich content the web can bring us today?

Scott James recently wrote about The Virtue of Unread Books. I like this: “the array of books in our home is intended for ongoing, well-rounded usefulness. They’re there to show us what’s possible, not venerate what’s already been. Even the history books, which are expressly about what has already been, are there to light an inquisitive fuse and point us forward into new exploits.”

Kylie has written sweetly of those times when grief rears its painfully beautiful head

All my theology is reduced to this narrow compass – “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” —Archibald Alexander

Alexander

July 25, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99) (or the Spanish edition); Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper ($2.99); A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur ($5.99); Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas & Tom Wood ($5.98); new from GLH Publishing is The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper by Thomas Watson ($0.99). (Also, today is the last day to take advantage of Westminster Books’ deals on Dispatches From the Front.)

Myths and Misreporting with MH17 - Some of the things you’ve heard about the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down last week are not true.

Marrying Young - Here are five reasons why getting married young can be a good thing.

Why the Last 5 Years Have Disappeared - I’m not sure if I buy this or not. But it would explain a thing or two. “The symmetry of clocks lulls us into believing that time is a fixed commodity, but studies indicate that’s not the way it’s experienced. Time speeds up as we age. And the older you get, the more quickly it appears to vanish.”

The Myth of God’s Silence - This is good stuff from Ed Welch: “If the Father appeared and spoke with us face to face, his words would have no more weight in our hearts than the ones he has already spoken. If we find his words in Scripture to fall short, we would also find his personal visitation unsatisfactory.”

22 Facts About Sleep - Here are 22 facts about sleep.

The Border Crisis Personalized - Ronnie Floyd: “The news stories and pictures of the border crisis in Texas all became personalized for me on Tuesday. The children and young people we saw are real children and real young people.”

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. —George Muller

Muller

July 24, 2014

Defending Tony Dungy’s Right to Have an Opinion - Ted Kluck: “As soon as I saw Tony Dungy’s recent quotes about the Michael Sam situation, saying that he wouldn’t have drafted Sam because he ‘wouldn’t want to deal with’ the baggage, I knew he would be publicly castigated. Dungy deviated from our culture’s de facto ‘Things That Are Acceptable to Say About Michael Sam’ talking points…”

Is Plan B an Abortifacient? - Is Plan B actually an abortifacient? This series of articles answers the question.

Other people’s pornography - Jeremy Walker highlights a growing concern. 

Prioritizing Church Attendance - Yes! You will never regret prioritizing attending the gatherings of your church.

The Kind of Complaint That’s Pleasing to God - There is at least one time we can bring our complaints—or something like complaints—before God.

About Beauty - The beauty discussion continues on and on. Here are some good and level-headed points about beauty.

A casual relationship with the Word of God reflects a casual relationship with the Son of God. —Anonymous

Anonymous

July 23, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: The God Who Justifies by James White ($3.49); Choosing Forgiveness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss ($2.99); The 11 Secrets of Getting Published by Mary DeMuth ($4.97). B&H has a long list of biographies on sale: Adoniram Judson by Jason Duesing ($2.99); Andrew Fuller by Paul Brewster ($2.99); James Robinson Graves by James Patterson ($2.99); John A. Broadus by David Dockery ($2.99); 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli & Ted Olsen ($2.99); Sgt. York by John Perry ($2.99); 

Dispatches from the Front - Westminster Books is offering a great deal on the newest Dispatches from the Front DVD. At $5, it’s pretty much a steal. We watched it with our whole family and loved it.

What We Talk About When We Talk About ‘Birth Control’ - Karen Swallow Prior: “I suspect one of the greatest obstacles to constructive dialogue on the questions about birth control raised by the Hobby Lobby case is the imprecision of the terms being discussed. Perhaps, then, the first step toward finding agreement—or at least correctly identifying at the points on which we can agree to disagree—is to employ common definitions.”

KJV Study Bible - This fall Reformation Heritage Books will be publishing a KJV Study Bible; judging by the list of contributors it will be excellent.

Credo Magazine - There is a new issue of Credo magazine available as a free download or online read.

What Makes Marriage So Hard? - Who knew marriage could be so hard? And painful? And beautiful.

Welcome to “The Matrix” - This article describes what happens at the FedEx sorting facility in Memphis every night when 140 planes land there. I found it fascinating!

Look at the Book - Here’s an early look at what John Piper hopes to accomplish through his new Look at the Book conferences.

Your Redeemer is bigger than your past. —Robert Jones

Jones

July 22, 2014

Here’s a handful of new Kindle deals: John A. Broadus by David Dockery ($0.99); The Gospel Commission by Michael Horton ($3.99); Five Points by John Piper ($5.99). The next two I’m not familiar with, but they may be worth a look: Effective Staffing for Vital Churches by Bill Easum & Billy Tenny-Brittian ($3.99); Five Secrets Great Dads Know by Paul Coughlin ($0.99). If you’re in the market for a Kindle, Amazon has the 7” Kindle Fire HDX at $100 off today only.

Gavin Peacock’s Moment - CBMW is venturing into longform writing and they get it started well with this article.

9 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day - Rich versus poor is not the world’s most important distinction, but I did find these 9 differences quite interesting.

Was Bonhoeffer Gay? - A recent biography of Bonhoeffer has focused on his sexuality and suggested he had same-sex attraction. Trevin Wax responds.

Why a Lustful Man Doesn’t Want a Woman - Denny Burk highlights a particularly brilliant quote from the particularly brilliant C.S. Lewis.

An Abandoned Dog - Here’s your feel-good video du jour.

The Dangers and Duty of Confessing Sin to One Another - Nicholas Batzig looks at the dangers and the duty of obeying the Bible’s command to confess your sins to one another.

The world is filled with God’s glory. You can’t turn without bumping into it. —R.C. Sproul

Sproul

July 21, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($1.99); Faithful Women and the Extraordinary God by Noel Piper ($1.99); The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook by Various ($2.99); The Gospel As Centered edited by Tim Keller & D.A. Carson ($2.99); To the Glory of God by James Montgomery Boice ($1.99); The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($1.99); A Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig ($3.99).

Testing Your Faith in Divine Intervention - Sandy Grant writes about some of the evil events in the news today and assigns the blame accordingly.

3 Scriptures for Financial Hardship - Here are three passages (out of many) that may console in times of financial hardship.

Being a Better Online Reader - The New Yorker has some tips on being a better online reader.

Through Heaven’s Doorway - Randy Alcorn has an encouraging (yes, encouraging!) post about death.

Convert, Pay the Tax, or Die - “Islamist insurgents have issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, according to a statement distributed in the militant-controlled city of Mosul.”

Ministering to Families Battling Cancer - Here is how (and how not) to minister to families battling cancer.

The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. —C.H. Spurgeon 

Spurgeon

July 19, 2014

Our vacation continues, though we’re reaching the end. We left South Carolina yesterday and drove almost due north to spend the last few days in Pennsylvania. I’m due to be back in my office by Wednesday, so time is running out! We really enjoyed our time in South Carolina and I, at least, would rank it as one of my favorite states.

And now, without further ado, here are some links for your weekend reading:

Europe 24 is a beautiful look at European air traffic over the course of a day.

This article looks at Why Some Preachers Get Better while others do not.

One excursion I made this week was to Traveler’s Rest, SC, to meet Tim Keesee. His new Dispatches from the Front DVD releases next week. It is fantastic.

Ligonier Ministries is giving away 200 copies of R.C. Sproul’s Everyone’s a Theologian. All 200 copies will go to one person to distribute at his or her church. Enter the draw here.

You know by now that I enjoy infographics. Well, here is one that displays the timeline of the book of Acts.

Third World Osteen overlays Joel Osteen’s quotes with pictures of the poorest of the poor. I find it quite effective in displaying the weakness of what he teaches. If you visit, be sure to read this article as well.

I agree with this Dating Advice You Actually Need from Derek Rishmawy.

Aimee Byrd looks at a sad article to reflect on Your Naked Truth.

When I see Thee as Thou art, I’ll praise Thee as I ought. —John Newton

Newton

July 18, 2014

I’ve got some new Kindle deals for you: Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites by Bradley Wright ($3.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($1.99); Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); Reasons for Belief by Norman Geisler ($1.99). At Cruciform Press we’re doing a $0.99 sale on 5 of our books: Brass Heavens by Paul Tautges; Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Al Martin; Does God Listen to Rap? by Curtis Allen; Cruciform by Jimmy Davis; Smooth Stones by Joe Coffey.

Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? - This long article from Christianity Today explains that today’s controversy is far more complicated that religious freedom versus LGBT rights.

5 Insights Into Idolatry - J.D. Greear offers five valuable insights into idolatry. Since we are all idolaters on some level, we should all pay attention!

Do Planes Really Fly Themselves? - Here’s a (kind of angry) pilot explaining that despite what you’ve probably heard on the news, commercial airliners don’t come close to flying themselves.

5 Specific Prayers for Unsaved People - Here are five specific prayers for the unsaved people in your life.

Tattoo Removal Surges - Something to think about before getting that tattoo: Revenue for tattoo removal has surged 440% over the last decade. Not surprisingly, the main customers are people in their 30s or 40s.

The 8 Steps of Sin - An old sermon on Hebrews 3 traces the 8 steps of sin.

The Road to Jericho and the Border Crisis - Russell Moore comments on the current border crisis.

On this side of the cross misery persists, but the scales are tipped in favor of joy. —Ed Welch

Welch

Pages