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Tim Challies

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A La Carte

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

A La Carte Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 09, 2016

This weekend’s Kindle deals include just a couple of new ones: A Year with G. K. Chesterton ($0.99); Mind Your Own Mortgage by Robert Bernabe ($0.99). Today’s the last day to get these $4.99 deals on books by Paul Tripp: Awe (brand new!), What Did You Expect?Dangerous CallingSex and MoneyWhiter Than Snow, and A Shelter in the Storm ($2.99).

We Lost a Child, and Gained Something Greater

“Our pastor, Matt Chandler, always says: ‘Your life can change with one phone call. You’re not exempt.’ The problem is that I always thought I was. I thought my friends were, too.”

Scientific Instruments of Yore

This video shows a collection of old and bizarre medical instruments.

Worship Leaders Don’t Lead People Into God’s Presence

This is so true and so important.

What I’ve Learned In 20 Years of Ministry

Russell Moore shares some really helpful reflections on 20 years in ministry.

This Day in 1569. 447 years ago today, Philip of Moscow, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, was murdered by Czar Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the Terrible). *

More Women Sue Bill Gothard and IBLP

Christianity Today has an update on this situation: “Five more women have added their complaints to a lawsuit accusing Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) founder Bill Gothard, now 81, of sexual abuse and harassment.”

The History of Christian Music Quiz

If you have been listening to Christian music for a long time, you may enjoy this quiz.

How a Wind Up Music Box Works

I really enjoy these videos from the Engineer Guy. Here he explains how a wind up music box works.

Blowing the Dust Off the Ol’ Website

Thanks to Strider for sponsoring the blog this week with their article “Blowing the Dust Off the Ol’ Website.”

Hamilton

To be always mindful of the Word of the Lord is to be always mindful of the Lord himself. —James Hamilton

A La Carte Friday News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 08, 2016

Once again, there are not a lot of good Kindle deals to be had today. Alton Gansky’s 30 Events That Shaped the Church may be of interest at $1.99. The Penguin Classics edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress is $2.39 while this family-friendly one (which we are currently reading as a family) is also $2.39.

Overcome Porn: 40 Day Challenge

This new app from Covenant Eyes may be of interest to those who struggle with pornography or those attempting to help someone else through a struggle.

Explainer: Wheaton College Moves to Remove Professor

Joe Carter explains the current controversy between Wheaton College and Dr. Larycia Hawkins, associate professor of political science.

Minimize Student Debt, Maximize Christian Mission

“Within families, the burden is increasingly falling on students, two-thirds of whom are now carrying debt. The average borrower in the class of 2015 walked the stage $35,000 in the hole.” Alex Chediak offers solutions.

Aviance: A Mother’s Hope for Her Daughters

I enjoyed this short film from Deidox. “Recently, we were blessed to meet a single mom, Aviance, who in spite of her financial challenges was doing all she could to make sure her twin daughters were getting a good education by paying for them to attend Hope Academy. Hope Academy is a private, faith-based middle school that is focused on helping students who are in poverty.”

Hypocrites in the Church

R.C. Sproul makes an important point about hypocrites in the church. “Admittedly, the church is full of sinners. In fact, I know of no other organization in the world that requires a person to be a sinner in order to join it.”

This Day in 1956. 60 years ago today, missionaries Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming were killed by the Ecuadorean Indians they sought to evangelize. *

A Map Geek’s Tour of the World

This self-professed map geek sees the world in interesting ways.

The Banality of Abortion

Mike Cosper: ‘In the practice of abortion, we don’t talk about “dead babies,” we talk about “aborted fetuses” and the “products of conception.” We don’t talk about “organ harvesting,” but “tissue donation.” We don’t talk about “heads,” but “calvarium.”’

Watson

The hypocrite deceives others while he lives, but deceives himself when he dies. —Thomas Watson

Thursday News Kindle Deals Headlines
January 07, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Forgotten Songs by Ray Van Neste ($2.99); Introducing the New Testament by Joe Blair ($0.99); Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias ($1.99); Bonhoeffer Speaks Today by Mark Devine ($2.99); Buried Hope or Risen Savior? by Charles Quarles ($0.99).

Also, Westminster Books is offering 50% off all of their 2015 bestsellers. There are some great books on that list!

Messages That Move

The Good Book Company wants to give you Messages That Move for free (in ebook format). Visit their Facebook page for details.

Finding Forgiveness After My Abortion

Garrett Kell: “When I was 20 years old, I loved my life. It was carefree and full of good times. School, sports, parties, and girlfriends filled my mind most days. Until one day that changed my life forever.”

Nine Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory

This is good stuff.

Too Much Bible?!

“For the Christian the deluge can include Bible information. We may have woeful gaps in our Bible knowledge, but at the same time Christians in church cultures focused on expository preaching receive a lot of Bible teaching.” Could it be too much?

The Waning of the ‘Worship Wars’

Christianity Today shares the results of a huge study of American congregations. Not surprisingly “Praise bands and informal style are on the rise, along with Hispanic church leaders and unaffiliated congregations.”

This Day in 367. 1,649 years ago today, church father Athanasius wrote a letter containing a list of what he thought should be considered the canon of Scripture. Over time, his list would be accepted by the church. *

National Geographic Photo Contest Winners

Here are the winning entries in National Geographic’s 2015 photo contest. As you would expect, many of the entries are stunning. Many are available to download as wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Is the Existence of the NT Canon Incompatible with Claims of New Revelation?

“ ‘God has spoken to me.’ There are few statements that will shut down debate more quickly than this one.  If Christians disagree over a doctrine, a practice, or an idea, then the trump card is always ‘God has spoken to me’ about that.  End of discussion.”

Vassar

One of the signs of Christian maturity is the ability to disagree with other Christians on secondary matters without vilifying them. —J.R. Vassar

Daily Reading Links and Kindle Deals for Christians
January 06, 2016

There isn’t much to report by way of Kindle deals today, so we will just move on to some recommended reading. Here are some links you may find interesting:

Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery

John Piper lists them. I especially appreciate his first point: Playing the lottery is spiritually suicidal.

Significant Books for Pastors in 2015

Jeff Purswell rounds up some of last year’s especially notable books for pastors.

God’s Wonderful Plan for Your Life

Destinationism is the American myth: “God has a wonderful plan for your earthly life – He has a purpose for you. He has a destination for your life here and now, and when you reach it, all will be well.”

Across the Race Divide

Kevin DeYoung asks how America can bridge the deep race divide. “The short answer is: I don’t know. The slightly longer answer is that we can start by trying to understand what things look like from both sides. And by ‘sides’ in this case, I mean the law enforcement community and the African American community.”

The Universe in One Image

Here you go: It’s what the universe looks like from above, or below, or something. Whatever it is, it’s phenomenal. (Click here for a much bigger version of the graphic.)

This Day in 1850. 166 years ago today, preacher Charles Spurgeon became a Christian at the age of 16. *

CCEF Now

CCEF Now 2016 features articles from four of our faculty members and an interview with one of our contract counselors—David Powlison, Ed Welch, Winston Smith, Alasdair Groves, and Melissa Clemens.” It’s free for the taking.

Nomads of Mongolia

This one is very interesting to watch: “Life in Western Mongolia is an adventure. Training eagles to hunt, herding yaks, and racing camels are just a few of the daily activities of the nomadic Kazakh people. I spent a few weeks living with them and experiencing one of the most unique cultures in the world. Saddle up and enjoy the ride.”

Keller

The opposite of joy is not sadness. It’s hopelessness. —Tim Keller

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 05, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Essential Theological Terms by Justo Gonzalez ($3.99); The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Theology and Practice of Mission by Bruce Ashford ($2.99); Which Bible Translation Should I Use? by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Community of Jesus by Kendell Easley ($0.99).

If you have read (or are reading) Do More Better, you may be interested in this Facebook Group. Over 1,000 people there are reading the book and applying its principles. If you’ve got questions, we’d love to help.

NIVAC Software

The NIV Application Commentary series is on sale for Accordance, WORDsearch, Olive Tree and Logos. (Logos users will need coupon code NIVAC16).

We Are Getting Closer

Yes, we are! “We are closer to faith becoming sight and the day when we will walk in Immanuel’s land. Think about this truth: with the turn of the calendar from 2015 to 2016 we are that much closer to dwelling in the everlasting kingdom of Christ!”

10 Resolutions for Christian Parents

Greg and Grace Gibson share 10 important resolutions.

The 12 Golden Rules of Email Courtesy

12 rules may be a few too many. But I appreciate this article from T. David Gordon. If we could all abide by these rules, the world would be a better place.

I’m Thinking It Over

Alan Jacobs discusses his decision to withdraw from social media.

This Day in 1743. 273 years ago today, George Whitefield and Welsh Calvinist Methodists formed the first Methodist association at Wadford, Wales. *

Top Ten Risks to the World

“The Eurasia Group’s annual list of the political and geopolitical trends that threaten stability focuses on the weak relationship between the US and Europe.”

Inside Out: Outside Edition

Here’s a fun one: Inside Out without all the “inside” stuff. What’s funny is that it still stands as a cohesive enough story of a girl adjusting to a new life.

Hansen

It is better to fail in the eyes of the world than to succeed without the Lord. —Collin Hansen