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A La Carte

March 04, 2014

There is a bunch of great new Kindle deals today: The Final Days of Jesus by Justin Taylor & Andreas Kostenberger is brand new ($5.99); How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis & Jonathan Parnell ($1.99); The Man Christ Jesus by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness by Brian Vickers ($1.99); Who’s Tampering with the Trinity? by Millard Erickson ($5.68); The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Stephen Altrogge ($0.99).

Don’t Be the Team that Refuses to Shower - Here, from the mission field, comes part one of a look at the plusses and minuses of short-term missions. Here are some shocking examples of how not to do it!

Legalist! - Daniel Doriani explains four different ways we use the word “legalist.” 

Governments that Criminalize Homosexuality - Russell Moore takes on this pressing question: What should Christians think of governments that criminalize homosexuality?

If the World Had 100 People - Here is a series of images that explain the world by reducing its population to 100 people.

Spiritual Schizophrenia - Paul Tripp: “I want to write today about something that I call Spiritual Schizophrenia. I can summarize it with a question: does the public persona of your faith live in harmony with the private realities of your life?” Uh oh.

Turning a New Page - The current issue of Tabletalk magazine has an interesting interview with Allan Fisher who has spent most of his life involved in publishing Christian books.

Our work is great, our time short, and our Master urgent. —Thomas Watson


March 03, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: The Purpose of Man by A.W. Tozer ($4.99); Captivated by Thabiti Anyabwile ($5.99). And, in case you missed it on Saturday: Center Church by Tim Keller ($2.99); How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas (Free); Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas ($2.99); The MacArthur Daily Bible ($2.99).

What’s Missing in Son of God - “Herein lies the problem for any filmmaker daring enough to take on the Bible: how to portray Jesus? How does one visually communicate the truth about who He is? How does one make Him stand out from the crowd? Unfortunately, this film took the same road as too many others: they made him tall, pretty, and ‘spiritual’.”

The Terms of Our Surrender - Ross Douthat pens an important column: “It now seems certain that before too many years elapse, the Supreme Court will be forced to acknowledge the logic of its own jurisprudence on same-sex marriage and redefine marriage to include gay couples in all 50 states.”

Pre-Marital Mentoring Program - Brad Hambrick has provided “everything you need to provide every engaged couple in your church with a mentor couple who can walk them through a comprehensive pre-marital program. We also want to see the experienced marriages in your church enriched as they invest in engaged couples who are just beginning their marital journey.”

10 Reasons to Avoid Sexual Immorality - Here, drawn from Proverbs, are 10 good really good reasons to avoid sexual immorality.

Is Keller Weak on Wrath? - Tony Reinke did some research on how Tim Keller speaks and preaches about wrath.

Hobbies: Gift or God? - “Are hobbies evil? Absolutely not! But when hobbies become obsessions they flip the created order, where man exercises God-given authority and dominion over creation, and instead place man in subjection to the creation.”

Regret feels bad about past sins. Repentance turns away from past sins. —Kevin DeYoung 


March 01, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Center Church by Tim Keller ($2.99); How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas (Free); Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas ($2.99); The MacArthur Daily Bible ($2.99). Amazon also has a wide selection of books, movies and soundtracks on sale today. Free from Logos is Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians.

Care For Your Family Into Eternity - Ray Ortlund: “After my dad’s death in 2007, I found in his desk a letter he had written to the family several years before.  Here is one way a saintly man can care for his family so that it lasts forever…”

Moving Huge Blocks - This man has figured out how to move huge blocks using only the most rudimentary of tools. It’s impressive even in really low definition video.

How to Speak Postmodern - This is an oldie but a goodie. “First, you need to remember that plainly expressed language is out of the question. It is too realist, modernist and obvious. Postmodern language requires that one uses play, parody and indeterminacy as critical techniques to point this out.”

Red Letter Nonsense - Kevin DeYoung uncorks on the red letter nonsense.

OOOOOPSI - Justin Taylor highlights the OOOOOPSI model of American media outrage coverage.

There is no pride so dangerous, none so subtle and insidious, as the pride of holiness. —Andrew Murray


February 28, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Faith Alone by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson ($3.99); What Does the Lord Require? by Walter Kaiser Jr. ($3.99); A Little Book for New Theologians by Kelly Kapic ($4.93). While we’re on the subject of books, Westminster Books has great deals on two new books about work and getting things done: What’s Best Next by Matt Perman and The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger & Greg Gilbert.

The Economics of Sex - I guarantee this is one of the most interesting things you will encounter all day. 

Get the Bigger Pizza - I guess we can file this under “stewardship.” “The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple: A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius. So, for example, a 16-inch pizza is actually four times as big as an 8-inch pizza.” 

You Want to #EndIt? - Lore Ferguson: I’m glad to see respected voices of men and women publicly denouncing human trafficking. … You have to act. And acting on this stuff is not as hard as we make it seem—or as easy as marking a red X on your hand or buying a tshirt or retweeting a tweet. There are actual things you can do in your home and life to end slavery in our lifetime.”

Avoid Every Appearance of Evil - “Avoid every appearance of evil. It’s 1 Thes 5.22 and it puts a damper on everything. Wait a minute. Does it really mean this? Does it really mean that even if something looks like it’s evil to some, we can’t enjoy it? Hardly.”

Pursuing Your Wife - Here is an article for the husbands (or future husbands) to consider.

The “Well, maybe…” of Redemption - This is a great little overview of the Old Testament and, really, an overview of man’s attempts to live without a Savior.

Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God. ― Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Lloyd Jones

February 27, 2014

There’s just one new Kindle deal today: God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew ($1.99). Before the week ends and prices return to normal, you may want to revisit Crossway’s sale on some of their new books: A Loving Life by Paul Miller ($5.99); God in the Whirlwind by David Wells ($5.99); Finishing Our Course with Joy by J.I. Packer ($3.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($4.99).

Reading Reimagined - You can probably read way faster than you think you can. Click the link, then click on the cell phone to give it a try. 

For Moms Stuck Inside - Here’s an article for moms who are feeling cooped up during a long winter. “But once Christmas is behind you and you are facing a couple months or more of bad weather, it’s easy to feel down. This is especially true if you’re a mother of young children and you are more confined to your house than usual.”

Surface Appearances - Doug Wilson on Son of God: “[W]e have yet another Jesus who perpetuates our perennial and mule-headed idea that holiness consists of one part anemia, one part effeminacy, two parts stoner-mystique, and one part slight constipation, this time with a British accent. But I don’t want a Russell Brand Jesus.”

Jo’s Story - Here’s a sweet two-part article on fostering (here’s part two). (Note: the blogger is my sister and Jo is my cousin, so this is an all-family affair!)

What Put Blockbuster Out of Business? - This is a fascinating infographic that shows the battle between Netflix and Blockbuster.

The Jesus Lens or the Jesus Tea-Strainer? - Andrew Wilson: “I don’t think Steve Chalke, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Rob Bell and co are reading the Bible through a Jesus lens, as much as they are reading Jesus through a selective, progressive postmodern lens, and then reading the rest of the Bible through that.”

If you’re a beast in the pulpit but a coward in your neighborhood, something has gone wrong. —Matt Chandler


February 26, 2014

Mohler at BYU - Al Mohler was asked to speak at Brigham Young University. Here’s some of what he said: “The presence of the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary behind the podium at Brigham Young University requires some explanation. I come as an evangelical Christian, committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the trinitarian beliefs of the historic Christian faith…”

Casting Out the Devil - Craig Keener writes about the decision of the people who made Son of God to eliminate the devil from the story.

Preparing Your Teens - Westminster Books has some great sales this week, including Alex Chediak’s new book: Preparing Your Teens for College.

Bible in the Original Geek - Christianity Today takes us “the world of the new Bible coders—and how they will change the way you think about Scripture.” It’s funny to think about, but coders may be as important in the future as scholars have been in the past.

The Artistry of Sex - Thabiti says it well: “What was once shocking and offense has become ‘entertainment’ and mainstream. One sad consequence is an accompanying loss of beauty in sexual things. With loss of beauty comes also a loss of worship.”

Pascal’s Method - I enjoyed this article from Tim Keller; he writes about Pascal and his method for speaking about truth with unbelievers.

Whole Foods, the Temple of Pseudoscience - I’m not willing to grant the premise here that Creation Museum represents pseudoscience, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in this article which asks why people utterly reject Creation Museum, but embrace Whole Foods.

As a husband, your love for your wife has a specific goal: her holiness. —Winston Smith


February 25, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals: Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton ($3.99); Biblical Authority by James Draper & Kenneth Keathley ($4.99); In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($0.99); The Ever-Loving Truth by Voddie Baucham ($0.99); new from GLH Publishing is Expository Thoughts on the Gospels by J.C. Ryle ($0.99).

The Strange Story of Jesus Calling - “A ten-year-old devotional written in the voice of God suddenly became a commercial juggernaut. Now, its publisher is trying to reconcile its New Age origins with evangelical orthodoxy.”

The Secret Will of God - It’s hard to over-emphasize just how important it is to get the distinction between God’s revealed will and his secret will. Paul Tripp: “I think many Christians make the mistake of acting on what they can never be sure of rather than relying on what they can know for sure. In other words, Christians confuse God’s secret will with his revealed will.”

Resolve to Think About Death - “Death, as a concept in the Bible, is rich like blood.  It is layered with purpose, needed for life and so teeming with meaning that it is hard for many of us to look long at it.  If we would just look a little longer though, what would we discover?” Jason Leonard offers five ways we are encouraged to think about death.

Is Sexual Orientation Analagous to Race? - We hear the claim a lot today: Sexual orientation is just like race. Joe Carter asks if that really holds true.

Every Dream in the Bible - Here’s an infographic displaying every dream in the Bible.

Gospel-Sharing Books - Matthias Media is having a sale on a wide selection of gospel-sharing books.

It is sad…that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces. —Thomas Brooks


February 24, 2014

Here are a few Kindle deals to begin the day. The first four are brand new books: A Loving Life by Paul Miller ($5.99); God in the Whirlwind by David Wells ($5.99); Finishing Our Course with Joy by J.I. Packer ($3.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($4.99); Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul ($1.99); Saved From What? by R.C. Sproul ($4.46); Defending Inerrancy by Norm Geisler ($3.99).

The Ministry Is a Gospel Issue - Michael Horton offers some helpful thoughts about the important of the ministry.

Dying to Disciple - Mez lays down the challenge: “Many believers here think that I have some secret gift for getting people want to hang out with me on the scheme. But I don’t. I just pursue people. I am constantly, intentionally alert and sensitive to any and all opportunities that present themselves.”

Olympic Timekeeping - The Olympics have come and gone; here’s an article about how they manage to make the timekeeping so precise.

40 Years of Cellphone - Here’s a brief history of the cellphone. How many of these did you own?

Marriage and Friendship - Justin Taylor links to David Powlison speaking about making your marriage a better friendship.

Against Christian Hypocrisy - Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt collaborated on an awful article about Christians who refuse to provide goods and services for gay weddings. This article brings a much better perspective. Russell Moore responds as well, since they quoted (and misquoted) him.

In seeking after holiness we are not so much seeking after a thing as we are seeking a person. —Kevin DeYoung


February 22, 2014

Brian, Rob and Don - “A decade ago, they stood as the leading voices for our evangelical future. We all know what happened since. But do we know why?” Writing for Christianity Today, Kevin Miller has some ideas.

Keeping It Real - This infographic highlights the top ten reasons people prefer printed books to ebooks.

Unbroken - If the movie of Unbroken is half as good as the book, it will be fantastic. Here’s a trailer for it. (With Hollywood’s track record, half as good is probably about as good as we can hope for.)

Antinomianism - Justin Dillehay’s review of Mark Jones’ book Antinomianism is a very helpful introduction to the topic. Even if you don’t intend to read the book, you’ll benefit from the review.

Cleaner Throws Out “Rubbish” Art - This is too funny. “A cleaner has mistakenly thrown away contemporary artworks meant to be part of an exhibition in southern Italy. Works made out of newspaper and cardboard, and cookie pieces scattered across the floor as part of Sala Murat’s display were thrown out.”

Baby Rescued on Expressway - You probably heard about this one: “Traffic came to a halt on the Dolphin Expressway in Miami on Thursday night when 37-year-old Pamela Rauseo stopped her SUV, jumped out and cried for help. In her arms was her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz — and he wasn’t breathing.”

The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth are but ice in comparison to the fire of hell. —Thomas Brooks

Thomas Brooks

February 21, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: My book Sexual Detox is just $1.99; The Essential Guide to Public Speaking by Quentin Schultze ($2.99); Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell ($3.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($2.99).

Smartphones Make You Tired - Take note! “For a productive day at work tomorrow, give the smartphone a rest tonight. Reading and sending work email on a smartphone late into the evening doesn’t just make it harder to get a decent night’s sleep. New research findings show it also exhausts workers by morning and leaves them disengaged by the next afternoon.” This Social Media Guard may prove helpful.

The Cult of the Visioneer - This is pretty common in the evangelical world today: “The process is simple. A church has a pastor. The pastor receives from God a specific vision and mission for his church. The church follows the visioneer.” (Here’s another Ref21 article on the same subject.)

Lecrae @ Huffington Post - The Huffington Post has a long profile of Christian rapper Lecrae.

Jamie Coots, 1971 - 2014 - You probably heard about the death of Jamie Coots, a third-generation signs-following pentecostal who handled venomous snakes in worship (and, not surprisingly, died after being bitten). Here’s a short film about his life and strange, strange ministry.

In Her Shoes - Here is some help in ministering to those who are grieving after losing a child.

A Family Mission Statement - I really like the idea behind this. I’m not sure that I’ve got the discipline to pull it off, though!

Pride is a sinner’s torment, but humility a saint’s ornament. —William Secker