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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

October 28, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three titles by Joel Beeke: Family Worship, The Family at Church, and Bringing the Gospel to Covenant Children ($0.99 each). Also consider The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Recovering the Real Lost Gospel by Darrell Bock ($2.99); Safe? by Frank Retief ($1.99); No Tears in Heaven and Mother, Sister and Follower by Charles Spurgeon ($1.99 each).

Also, the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is on sale today in the Kindle versions ($2.99 each): Exodus, Song of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians; Ezra & Nehemiah, Matthew, MarkEphesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John. These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

Theologians (and pastors) take note.

New Planned Parenthood Video

The eleventh video from the Center for Medical Progress was released yesterday and it just continues the horror.

Six Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness and Joy

Mark Altrogge: “As we make gratitude a habit by practicing it over and over, it becomes part of us. Natural. As natural as complaining. And eventually thankfulness will drive out that demon of grumbling and we’ll experience more and more consistent joy.”

Before Galaxies Stood Forth, He Knew You

“The cosmic love and wisdom of God should be a truth that collides with our heart (for it is personal to us) and explodes in our soul (for it will stir you to worship).”

This Day in 1646. At age 42, colonial missionary John Eliot (“Apostle to the New England Indians”) conducted the first Protestant worship service for the Native Americans. He was the first to preach a sermon to them in their own language. *

Debunking 4 Myths About Religious Freedom

Russell Moore debunks a few common myths.

Why Study Hebrew (or Greek)?

I really appreciate David Murray’s answer here.


It is no less difficult to have great abilities than great riches without trusting in them. —John Newton

October 27, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include a lot of R.C. Sproul: The Promises of God ($1.99); How Then Shall We Worship? ($1.99); Pleasing God ($1.99); The Work of Christ ($2.99); and The Dark Side of Islam ($2.99). It’s never the wrong time to read an R.C. Sproul book! Also, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and Gregg Allison’s accompanying Historical Theology are both marked way down at $7.99.

A Praying Man

This is beautiful: “It is a blessing to my heart to know that this father in the faith is storming heaven on my behalf day by day, that I need only to drop him a note with a particular request and he is sure to take it to the Lord.” Don’t we all want a praying man or woman in our lives?

Bedeviled by My Wife’s Dementia

Douglas Groothuis writes movingly about his wife’s dementia and his deep struggles in and through it.

The Neglected Pastoral Priority

Brian Croft says (rightly no doubt) that prayer is the most commonly neglected pastoral priority. “Ironically, a pastor can be so busy caring for his people that he never makes time to stop and pray for them.”

Eight Life-Changing Things Someone Taught Me

Lore shares eight important lessons she has learned along the way.

This Day in 1978. Today marks 37 years since the New International Version (NIV) Bible was first published. *

Can a Word Be a Punctuation Mark?

I love these articles. In this one Bill Mounce asks whether it is okay to translate a Greek word with an English punctuation mark.

The Cowboy and The Shepherd

Southern Seminary: “Enjoy this brief glance into the life of Southern Seminary Alumnus, Texas Pastor John Powell, who’s learned how to be both a cowboy and a shepherd.”

And, while we’re on the subject of Southern Seminary, you may be interested to note that today Al Mohler has a new book, a new (or redesigned, at least) web site, and a new app.


Always and everywhere the servants of Christ are under orders to evangelize. —J.I. Packer

October 26, 2015

Reformation Day is coming up this week, and these two Kindle deals will remind you what it’s all about: The Reformation by Stephen Nichols ($2.99) and John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor by Robert Godfrey ($2.99). Both are short, accessible introductions to their subject. You may also be interested in God’s Love by R.C. Sproul (free) or The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey ($5.99).

This Is a Story About Loss

I really enjoyed this story about the Unclaimed Baggage Center. The author does a great job of discussing her own life and struggles even as she writes about a business.

The Largest-Ever Image of Space

“Space is big, but it’s never been quite this big. This composite image … is, they claim, the largest image of space to date. It shows a long swathe of the Milky Way, photographed piece by piece over a period of five years from the university’s observatory in the Chilean desert.”

Tips for Being a False Teacher

Interested in becoming a false teacher? This tongue-in-cheek article will give you the guidance you need.

Peggy Noonan’s Education in News Craft

Here’s an interesting and biographical column from Peggy Noonan.

Thresholds of Violence

If you are up for a longer read, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s article on how school shootings catch on.

This Day in 1751. Philip Doddridge died 264 years ago today. He is famous for his book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, which led William Wilberforce and others to Christ. He also wrote the hymn, “O Happy Day” (among hundreds of others). *

Fabulous Fall Foliage

Now that I’ve actually seen fall colors, I’m a bigger fan than ever. Here’s a photo gallery of fall at its finest.

Communicating with the Spirits

There are lots of interesting historical tidbits in this video. It displays some of the ways people have tried to communicate with the dead over the years and, as it does that, it shows the human fear of death and desperation to know what lies beyond it.


I love the sinner by telling telling them how much God hates their sin. —Mez McConnell

October 24, 2015

I have just two Kindle book deal to share today: The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias is $0.99; new from GLH Publishing is J.C. Ryle’s must-read classic Holiness which is also just $0.99.

Historical Is Not Enough

Carl Trueman says it well here: “Christians must be self-consciously historical in both thought and life.” Some people like historical Christianity, but without really believing it.

Relevant, Old Paths

Burk Parsons: “My father’s values were old, traditional values. But just because they were old and traditional didn’t necessarily make them good. They were good values because they were biblical values, and biblical values are relevant in every generation.”

UP In Real Life

This is fun: A couple celebrating their sixtieth anniversary by playing the theme song from UP.

What To Pay

You may have heard of Dan Price who decided to pay all 120 of his employees at least $70,000. This article talks about what he did, why he did it, and how it suddenly became a worldwide news story.

Anti-Secrecy Site Releases Abortion Industry Videos 

WORLD: “An online news site that emphasizes publishing information ignored by mainstream media has obtained and posted to YouTube 11 Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos a judge ordered the pro-life group not to release.”

This Day in 1826. Ann Hasseltine Judson, wife of Burma missionary Adoniram Judson, died on the field 189 years ago today. 6 months later, their daughter would also die. *

The First Person To Run A Marathon Without Talking About It

Here’s a good little bit of satire: A profile of the first person to ever run a marathon without telling everyone about it.

The Story of Philosophy

Thanks to P&R and John Frame for sponsoring the blog this week with “The Story of Philosophy.”


The more we get to know God, the more we want to know him better. —D.A. Carson

October 23, 2015

Today I am heading home from Germany—a process that will consume 15 hours or so. Thanks to all who prayed for me. It was a sweet time of teaching and fellowship and I leave here having made several new friends. I hope to tell you more about it in the near future.

Far Side Christians

WORLD magazine interviews Albert Mohler on what we can learn from two unorthodox sources about responding to crises of faith.

Reflections on the New Spurgeon Library

Donald Whitney gives an interesting report on the dedication of the new C.H. Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

If the Bible Rarely Talks About It

I appreciate Mark Cortez’s comments on this subject: “In my theology classes, we often find ourselves wrestling with questions about which the Bible has relatively little to say. And students always wonder if that means these issues aren’t that important. If the Bible doesn’t have much to say about it, should we?”

When Routines Become Idols

Oh, shoot. I’m guilty as charged. “How do we know if our routines are an idol? The ways we respond to interruptions in our routines are a good indicator. If we have a strong emotional reaction or resistance to the disruption of our routines, it should give us pause to stop and consider whether our routines have turned from a good thing to a counterfeit god.”

Letter to a Perplexed Eleven-Year-Old

John Piper posts a public response to a note he received.

This Day in 877. Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople, died 1,138 years ago today. *

Carl Trueman’s Lecture

I haven’t had time to listen to it yet, but I’ve heard really good things about this lecture by Carl Trueman.


There is more grace in Christ than sin in you. —Burk Parsons

October 22, 2015

Here are a couple of new Kindle deals. The big one is the brand new NIV Zondervan Study Bible (edited by D.A. Carson) at just $7.99. The Church: Why Bother? by Jeff Johnson is a bargain at $0.99.

Ten Dangers of Passive Sanctification

David Murray: “Having highlighted Five Attractions of Passive Sanctification, here are ten dangers that accompany this error.”

11 Steps to Memorizing an Entire Book of the Bible

“How do we go about memorizing an extended section or an entire book of the Bible? Here are 11 basic steps I’ve followed and commend to others…”

The Church is Not a Drive-Through Restaurant

“Because of cultural influences on the church in America in our time, we tend to treat the church like a drive-through restaurant.” It’s true of Canada, too.

The Pleasure of Pleasing God

“God so cares about us as a Father, that he finds happiness in our obedience and sadness in our disobedience.”

This Day in 1746. The charter for the College of New Jersey—whose Board of Trustees included men from William Tennent’s Log College—was granted to revival leader Jonathan Dickenson 269 years ago today. The College would later become Princeton University. *

Five Steps to Meditating on the Bible

“To meditate is to think deeply about what God has said to us in the Bible and to prepare our minds and hearts for prayer. Scripture is the foundation of our praying; meditation readies us for it by helping us focus, understand, remember, worship, and apply.”

Preach As If You Would Die & Go to Heaven When You’re Finished

“If it were revealed to you that you were about to preach the last sermon you would ever give, how would you preach and what would you do different?” Here is some sound counsel.


Our experience of temptation is both a consequence and demonstration of our fallenness. —Sam Allberry

October 21, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Kindle devices: The base model is down to $59.99 and several others are discounted as well (including the Paperwhite). As for books, try Faith Speaking Understanding by Kevin Vanhoozer ($2.99), Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards ($2.99), or Eight Twenty Eight by Ian & Larissa Murphy ($0.99).

The Ology

The Ology is a neat new resource for kids from Marty Machowski. It is on sale this week at Westminster Books. It is also available at Amazon.

Single You Will Be the Married You

“Joining a gym won’t instantly transform your physique. Starting a blog won’t immediately make you a good writer. Purchasing a piano won’t make you a musician. The same principle is true for marriage. Getting married will not make you a good spouse or a better person.” Indeed.

Her Heart So Kind and So Weary

Barry York wrote a sweet tribute to his mother.

Five Attractions of Passive Sanctification

“Passive sanctification is an error that has stalked and hurt the Christian church and many Christian lives through the years. The basic idea is that personal holiness is achieved without any personal activity, without any physical effort.” David Murray shows why this is attractive.

This Day in 1885. The martyrdom of two Christians in Africa inspired James Hannington to offer himself as a missionary 130 years ago today. *

The Reformation & the Rediscovery of Christian Assurance

Assurance is such a powerful and important doctrine.

How Confidence Makes Us Kind

“How do we engage the culture with convictional kindness? How do we remain compassionate and loving, even in the face of intense opposition and hostility? If we’re going to be obedient in this, we must have confidence.”


Unless you point to the good news of God’s grace people will not be able to bear the bad news of God’s judgement. —Timothy Keller

October 20, 2015

I’ve got just a couple of Kindle deals for you today: Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath ($3.99); Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper ($3.99); I’m not familar with this one, but it looks like it may be worth at least a look: The Quick-Reference Guide to Counseling on Money, Finances & Relationships by Tim Clinton ($3.03).

Sexual Orientation Doesn’t Mean Anything

“Laws backed by substantial fines and penalties, not to mention the potential for publicly shaming violators, require some form of objective clarity.” But there is no clarity as to what sexual orientation actually means.

6 Marks of Healthy Sexuality

This is a really good article from Gary Thomas. He asks, “What are the markers of a wholesome sexual experience that is accomplishing God’s relational intent?”

Did Jesus Have a “Gospel-Centered” Ministry?

Rick Phillips went looking through the gospel of Mark to see if Jesus had a gospel-centered ministry (according to at least one conception of the term “gospel-centered”).

Overcoming Discouragement in Ministry

Here are some takeaways from a meeting of pastors as they discussed discouragement in ministry.

This Day in 1949. The Inklings—which included the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams—met for their final time 66 years ago today. *

Why Doesn’t Mark Say Anything About Jesus’ Birth?

J. Warner Wallace: “If the virgin conception was an historical event that was well known to the earliest Christians, why wasn’t it mentioned by Mark?”

The Earliest List of the NT Canon

Michael Kruger: “It is often claimed that the New Testament was a late phenomenon. We didn’t have a New Testament, according to Athanasius, until the end of the fourth century.” But that isn’t quite the case.


Confession of sin shuts the mouth of hell and opens the gates of paradise. —Thomas Watson