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A La Carte

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

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 04, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include several by Paul Tripp for just $4.99 each: Awe (brand new!), What Did You Expect?Dangerous Calling, Sex and Money, Whiter than Snow, and A Shelter in the Storm ($2.99). Also consider Joy by Abigail Santamaria ($2.99) and Standing Strong by John MacArthur ($0.99).

Can We Sing Too Much About the Cross?

Bob Kauflin: “The more I’ve studied Scripture, the more I’m convinced that as we worship God for his word, his works, and his worthiness, the blazing center of our praise will always be the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.”

The Reading Habits of a Latter-Day Puritan

J.I. Packer is regularly asked about the major books in his life, and the lists that he generates on those occasions fall into two categories—books that influenced him most and books that he reads every year.”

Timeline of the Twentieth Century

This is an interesting little timeline showing some of the noteworthy events of the last (and current) century.

Going to the Concert Alone

I enjoyed this celebration of friendship. “There is something about the nature of friendship. A friend calls from each of us something unique. Friends bring things out of us that otherwise wouldn’t come out. Friends embellish our experiences. We simply were not made to live life alone.”

This Day in 1965. 51 years ago today, T. S. Eliot died. Eliot was the most influential English poet of the twentieth century and was part of the Church of England. *

God Has a Reason

This is both true and important: Saying that God has a reason for everything doesn’t mean you know what that reason is.

And Then There Were None

The Economist reports on the Christian exodus from the Middle East. “Overall, the proportion of Middle Easterners who are Christian has dropped from 14% in 1910 to 4% today. Church leaders and pundits have begun to ask whether Christianity will vanish from the Middle East, its cradle, after 2,000 years.”

10 Reminders for Preachers

Preachers will benefit from these ten reminders.

DeYoung

Where information has increased, wisdom has decreased. —Kevin DeYoung

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
January 02, 2016

This weekend’s Kindle deals include just two titles: Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith ($0.99); Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell ($1.99). Also, Amazon has their usual monthly list of deals you may want to sort through. There will be a lot more deals next week.

If you have read Do More Better or are planning to, you may be interested in this Facebook group where we are discussing it and applying it.

You Can Change

Tim Chester brings some timely encouragement. “What does it mean for us to be a new creation? It means we’re re-created in the image of God. It means we’re given new life so we can grow like Christ. And being like Christ means being like God, reflecting God’s glory as God’s image.”

Dangerous Resolutions

“…we need to be careful. There is a danger in resolutions. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not advocating a wholesale rejection of all good goals. I believe Christian leaders should be living lives characterized by heartfelt discipline and healthy physical, personal, relational and ministry habits. But we need to be careful.”

The Best iPhone / iPad App For Tracking Your Bible Reading

Nathan Bingham highlights an app you may find helpful.

Dear Media: Stop Trying To Teach Christians Theology

Yes, please. Please stop trying to teach us what Christianity is all about.

Living Reasonably in an Unreasonable Age

How do Christians live reasonably in an unreasonable age? Don Bailey offers some answers.

This Day in 1921. 95 years ago today, “KDKA aired the first religious service in the history of radio” out of Pittsburg, PA. *

Abraham’s Ages at Ten Major Events

Short, simple, and helpful.

6 Questions Preachers Should Ask of Every Sermon

Here’s one for the preachers. I have found that asking the right questions of my sermons is a very important discipline.

Clarifying the Bible

Thanks to Clarifying the Bible for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Clarifying the Bible Helps Your Bible Reading.

Dibbley

We are saved as a gift of God’s grace so that we might be sent as a gift of God’s grace. —Kevin Dibbley

Friday A La Carte News Headlines Kindle Deals
January 01, 2016

Happy New Year! Last night we spent a few minutes reflecting on how God has blessed our family in 2015, and prayed together that we would continue to experience so much of his grace in the year ahead. Then we had a fun and quiet evening together as a family. God is good! Here are a few articles I thought you might enjoy.

Ten Check Up Questions for the New Year

Kevin DeYoung has ten excellent questions to consider.

Advice for Another Year of Bible Reading

Bruce Ware offers some wise counsel on another year of Bible reading.

Who Owns Antarctica?

It belongs to all of us. Kind of.

An Open Letter to You in 2016

Mike Riccardi: “As we anticipate the challenges and opportunities of 2016, I want to write an open letter of sorts that focuses on the most important realities in the world. And the addressee of my open letter is you.”

When you stop saying “Thank You”

Dan Darling: “I’ve noticed, however, that ingratitude is often the first sign of a troubled heart. When I stop saying ‘thank you’ I know that sin has overcome me.”

This Day in 2010. 6 years ago today, David Platt’s book Radical was published. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller. *

Worship Leader Resolutions: 2016

Jamie Brown gets all silly with his 2016 worship leader resolutions. “I don’t think a song without an octave jump is even worth singing. But simple octave jumps are just not enough anymore. They have lost their power. It’s time to embrace a new approach to octave jumps.”

Dibbley

The most important daily habit we can possess is to remind ourselves of the Gospel. —C.H. Spurgeon

Thursday News Kindle Deals Headlines
December 31, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($1.99); The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson ($2.99); Hide or Seek by John Freeman ($1.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($0.99); The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler ($2.99).

3 Reminders as You Enter the New Year

These are simple but important reminders as we head into a new year.

Gluttony: Gospel Reflections for Foodies & Comfort Eaters

“Are we really going to talk about gluttony at this time of the year? Do we have to? Yes, we need to talk about it, and if your instinct is to think this discussion can only be a ‘guilt trip,’ then we need to talk about it all the more.”

Screen Time for Babies

Time: “In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete.” In other words, The American Academy of Pediatrics is reconsidering its digital exposure guidelines for children.

The One Must-Read This Year

John Piper: “I have never called any book a ‘must-read’ except one, the Bible. I suppose that’s because I take the word ‘must’ so seriously.” And so he gives his one must-read recommendation for 2016.

Just Desserts

This is an interesting (and pathetic) longform article about Sandy Jenkins, who embezzled sixteen million dollars from the company he worked for, and used it all to live a ridiculously lavish lifestyle.

This Day in 1892. 123 years ago today, Andrew Bonar died. He was moderator of the Scottish Free Church and wrote many books, including a biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. *

Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015

Christianity Today shares the top ten findings of the important excavations taking place in the lands of the Bible.

Where Illegal Food Goes

Have you ever wondered what happens to all that illegal food that gets confiscated at airports? Now you know…

Luther

Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will. —Martin Luther