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A La Carte

September 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham; What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul; and Compassion Without Compromise by Adam Barr & Ron Citlau.

William Wilberforce’s Relentless Battle to End Slavery

“Sometimes carrying out a particular ministry that the Lord would have us to fulfill requires not just weeks or months of effort. Sometimes it demands many years or even several decades of unrelenting, determined endeavor.” Wilberforce is a sterling example of it.

Why You Should Read Through the Entire Bible as Fast as Possible

Have you ever tried to read the Bible through as quickly as possible?

Taking a Vacation from God?

“Since the command not to forsake the assembly (Heb. 10:24-25) extends far beyond geographical boundaries, one of the things that I have longed to see in our highly transitional congregation is a commitment to find a solidly biblical church in which to worship while on vacation. I assume that I am not alone in this desire.” You’re not!

Is Genesis 1 History?

“There’s a new documentary on Genesis coming out early next year that looks interesting. Del Tackett travels across the U.S. with scientists and theologians to see evidence that the book of Genesis is accurate history, from creation in six days, to a real Adam, to a global flood, to the tower of Babel. There’s a lot more info on their website if you’re interested in learning more…”

This Day in 1741. 275 years ago today George Frederick Handel finished composing “The Messiah” after only 24 days, subsisting primarily on coffee, as the story goes. *

10 Things You Should Know About Persecution

Tim Keesee rounds them up.

Every Woman’s Call to Work

“We may assume that because a woman prioritizes her home such that she has no paycheck, she is ardently opposed to any work outside of it, and we also may assume that because a woman is getting a paycheck, she disdains the work of the home. These are unkind and dangerous presumptions that create inflated divisions in Christ’s body.”

Decision Making & “I Have a Peace About It”

Here are some good thoughts about a phrase that some people may use too freely.

Flashback: 5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship

“Here are some ways I’ve seen people ruin what could have been a beautiful thing.”

God’s anger is aroused toward only one thing: what is objectively, truly, and always wrong. In other words, sin. —David Powlison

September 13, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include the entire Counterpoints series from Zondervan. Each of the Counterpoints volumes examines multiple views of a pressing theological topic. You’ll also find deals on The Lordship of Christ by Vern Poythress, a new volume from GLH Publishing, and a bunch more. Get them here.

I like to keep my ear to the ground for new products added to the Logos store. Some recent ones include a 3-volume upgrade to New Studies in Biblical Theology. God With Us by D.A. Carson is on pre-pub as is the Matt Chandler Sermon Archive if you like to have sermons in your collection.

Utopia Is Burning

Peter Jones writes about the Burning Man festival. “Burning Man sets the agenda for popular culture. In acts of shameless self-expression, they abandon all inhibition and wander around naked in the desert doing ecstasy and acid, visiting the anonymous-sex-orgy dome (open 24/7), joining in fire dancing, yoga, and meditation. No one is allowed a hint of judgmentalism.”

10 Things About Mutual Submission

Sam Storms continues his “10 things” series by looking at the concept of mutual submission.

Ground Zero Bible

How is it that I had never heard before of the Ground Zero Bible? What a neat story!

Reading for the Rest of Us

Here are some great tips for those who want to read more.

Looking for Satisfaction in All the Wrong Places

Here’s a good one from Randy Alcorn: “The world is full of desperate people thirsting for happiness. In their quest, they eagerly drink from contaminated sources of water, mistakenly believing it will satisfy their thirst.”

This Day in 1541. 475 years ago today Calvin received an uproarious welcome to Geneva after having been banished by its authorities three years earlier. *

Looking for Contentment?

“Sometimes I create in my mind a misguided picture of contentment. I imagine a fairly carefree disposition of someone who’s got her life in balance. She’s not overworked or bothered by much. She knows just the right thing to say and her relationships are full of encouragement, mutual respect, and long conversations at cozy coffee shops.”

How to Tame Your Tongue

I’m with Scott here: “I regret the foolish things I’ve said more than the foolish things I’ve done. The longer I have lived and read my Bible, the more I realized how much damage thoughtless and malicious words can do to people.”

Flashback: I’ve Never Been Mistaken for Brad Pitt

This one goes back a few years: “A couple of days ago I was driving around Los Angeles (in a hybrid car, mind you—how CA-cliché is that?) with a couple of friends (neither of whom look like Pitt or Depp) and we began to discuss celebrity culture within the church and the tough task of any but the absolute best preachers.”

Exercising authority does not increasse my status or value, any more than submitting to authority reduces my status or value. —Christopher Ash

September 12, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a bunch by Matthias Media! I don’t think I’ve ever seen deals from them before. Many of these books are top-notch: The Trellis and the Vine and The Vine Project by Colin Marshall & Tony Payne; How To Walk Into Church by Tony Payne; The Archer and the Arrow by Philip Jensen & Paul Grimmond. You’ll also find Crossway’s entire Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition Series on sale.

How Can I Know Which Bible Promises Apply to Me?

Stand to Reason: “Because of two recent posts on wrongly applying biblical promises to ourselves (Jeremiah 29:11 and Exodus 14:14), we’ve been receiving questions about how to determine which promises do apply to us.” That’s a great question.

Why Arminianism Won’t Preach (And Calvinism Won’t Sell)

I’m not sure I agree entirely, but these are some interesting observations (and challenges) by Michael Patton. “Thesis: Calvinists have  a corner on theologically-themed conferences. Arminians have apologetically-themed conferences.”

Oddly-Named Towns

Here’s a list of particularly oddly-named towns in each of the 50 states. Here are a few from Alabama: Scratch Ankle, Screamer, Shorter, Smut Eye, The Bottle, Warrior.

Why Write a Book About Pot?

This upcoming book from Cruciform Press explores a question that’s sure to become only more relevant over time, in ever more churches.

Should Christians Worry in These Times?

Ligon Duncan writes about an appropriate response to troubling times.

This Day in 1972. 44 years ago today Rose Horton, missionary to Kenya, died. She was largely responsible for translating the Bible in Kambla and had been nicknamed “Happy” by her Kenyan friends. *

Do Some Christians Pray with More Power?

“All true believers are justified equally by the same righteousness of the same Mediator, Jesus Christ. But do all Christians pray with the same power or efficacy?” Mark Jones answers.

The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever

Yes, it’s about bowling. But it’s well-written and very entertaining. “In a bowling alley one night, Bill Fong came so close to perfection that it nearly killed him.”

It’s No Way To Run a Business

Alan points out that even though it’s no way to run a business, it’s the way the Kingdom of God operates.

Flashback: Do You Have a Personal Relationship with Satan?

However, as much as we emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we tend to view Satan and his evil forces as an abstraction. We believe that we need to relate personally to the Savior but that we can relate impersonally to the enemy as if Jesus is a person while Satan is merely an idea. 

Loss of interest in the word of God is loss of interest in God. —John Piper

September 10, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just one lonely little title: The Puritans Daily Readings edited by J. Randell Pederson. Switching to other news, if you’re in the Toronto or Hamilton areas (or anywhere else in Southern Ontario), you may be interested in attending Gospel North with Derek Thomas. It will be held at Redeemer University.

Some Things That Have Helped Me In My Struggle With Anxiety

Adam4d follows up the article he wrote right here on my site (Some Things You Should Know About Christians Who Struggle With Anxiety).

Why Sunday Should Be a Day of Rest

Here’s a great distinction: “According to the Law, we are to work first, and then we are granted rest. Jesus reversed this pattern for us when he perfectly obeyed all of the Ten Commandments and kept the law on our behalf. By living the perfect life, Jesus has met God’s perfect standard.”

Why the Purple Skittle Tastes Different Outside America

Well, now I need to buy some Skittles when I’m in the UK next month.

Gospel Centered vs Attractional

Jared Wilson on “the essential defining characteristics of the church model I call attractional, followed by some constructive alternative hallmarks of gospel-centered churches. Hopefully they will bring more clarity to thinking through the relevant issues in evangelical ecclesiology. These are important times to get this sorted.”


Here’s an interesting and disturbing article from New York magazine that deals with this new category of microaggressions and how they are taking off on college campuses.

Kids, Broccoli, and Jesus

There’s a good message here for anyone who has the privilege and responsibility of teaching the gospel to children.

This Day in 1869. 147 years ago today a Baptist minister invented the ricksha in Yokohama, Japan. *

Are Apple Cores Poisonous?

I remember hearing this rumor as a kid. Turns out it’s kind of true.

9 Things You Should Know About the 9/11 Aftermath

Joe Carter lists them.

Flashback: If Only You Knew What I Know

think it may be the Calvinist in me, or maybe it’s the inner bibliophile, but for some reason I’m quietly convinced there is no problem that can’t be solved with a few facts. If only you knew what I know, you’d change your behavior. 

Wayne Grudem on What We Mean by the Phrase “Word of God”

Thanks to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with ‘Wayne Grudem on What We Mean by the Phrase “Word of God”.’

To love is to give yourself to another. To lust is to want to take from another. Love gives, lust takes. —Burk Parsons

September 09, 2016

I wasn’t able to pull up any significant Kindle deals today, so we’ll hope for better things tomorrow. There are definitely some good ones coming next week. In the meantime, enjoy these articles:

Teaching as Joyful Rebellion

Carl Trueman: “For me, this kind of teaching is an act of rebellion in this present age—an attempt in some small way to convey the idea that the world is given, not constructed, and that meaning is to be found, not created. A good teacher must always be driven by conviction—that the world is and that it has meaning, and that it is so much bigger than any one person can ever apprehend.”

Why Apple Killed The Headphone Jack

It’s no small thing to kill off the headphone jack on the new iPhone. Here is Apple’s defense of an unpopular but widely expected decision.

4 Practical Guidelines for Reading Old Testament Stories

George Guthrie: “The Old Testament narrative material is great literature, and the people, events, power struggles, personal crises, and hope we find in these stories often are as relevant as this morning’s news. Thus, the Old Testament stories, read in the right way, form an indispensable resource for Christian living.” He offers some tips on reading those stories the right way.

Survivor’s Guide

Marvin Olasky has a survivor’s guide for higher education. “How, then, should Christian students prepare to be active but not belligerent in class discussions? (And, let’s be frank: Students who want to glorify God still do not want to be academic-suicide bombers stuck with scarlet F’s on their transcripts.) Here are seven pieces of advice…” 

This Day in 1912. 104 years ago today young millionaire William Whiting offered himself to China Inland Mission. After touring the world at 16, Whiting woke to the desperate need of bringing the gospel to Chinese Muslims. *

ESV Permanent Text Edition (2016)

Looks like the ESV has reached its final edition with 52 last word changes. “All future Crossway editions of the ESV, therefore, will contain the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible—unchanged throughout the life of the copyright, in perpetuity.”

Falling Man

Here’s the story behind one of the most well-known photos of 9/11.

The NT Scholar From Down Under

Thomas Schreiner provides a brief biography (based on a longer biography) of a man many of us have encountered through his commentaries: Leon Morris.

Inner Revolution Podcast

I was recently a guest on the Inner Revolution podcast. You can listen in if you’re interested.

Flashback: On Nude Celebrities, Virtual Voyeurs, and Willing Victims

As Christians, we ought to have the highest compassion for people who are victims of sin. 

Surprisingly, the key to a good marriage is not to pursue a good marriage, but to pursue the honor of God. —Christopher Ash

September 08, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith, Presbyterian and Reformed Churches by James McGoldrick, Still Growing by Kirk Cameron, Why Won’t They Listen? by Ken Ham, and When Missions Shapes the Mission by David Horner.

Andy Stanley and Old Liberalism

David Prince tells how Andy Stanley’s recent comments and sermons show that he is teaching the old, familiar liberalism.

Three Ways of Looking at Pastoral Ministry

David Murray gives three different ways to understand the qualifications of those who would be pastors.

Why Paper Cuts Hurt So Much

Why do those little cuts hurt so bad? BBC explains.

What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

Matt Smethurst takes on this difficult question. “The man on the island. Perhaps you’ve encountered him in a friend’s argument against Christianity. Maybe you’ve even voiced the objection yourself. How could a good and loving God condemn to hell someone who’s never heard of him?”

5 Distinctives of Biblical Leadership

Even if you just read the headings on this one you’ll get a good overview of what makes biblical leadership different from any and every other kind.

This Day in 1636. 380 years ago today Massachusetts Puritans founded Harvard College, America’s first higher education institution, with the intent of training future ministers. *

What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?

Kevin DeYoung: “In short, the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to Christ.” He builds his case via three building blocks.

Beauty Out of Ashes

Paul Tautges shares some sweet, encouraging words from Jerry Bridges.

Flashback: The Curse of a Godly Wife

On further reflection, I should probably have put the word “curse” within quotation marks.

Today we’ll either fix our eyes adoringly on Jesus, selfishly on ourselves, or critically on others. Let’s choose wisely! —Scotty Smith

September 07, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a selection of books highlighted by the Holman Old Testament and Holman New Testament Commentary series. There is also quite a good selection of other books. You can find it all here.

Westminster Books is offering a great deal on David Powlison’s new book Good & Angry (which I’ll be reviewing very soon).

10 Spurgeon Quotes for Wounded Christians

Charles Spurgeon had a massive ministry that reached millions. “But Spurgeon himself was very much mortal. The preacher was anything but bulletproof. In fact, for most of his life Spurgeon nursed deep wounds and struggled to cope with a myriad of emotional and physical maladies.” 

My One Suit and One Gospel

Erik Raymond: “I have one suit. And I’ve worn it for every event that required a suit over the last ten years. The other day as I was preparing for a wedding and picking out a shirt and tie, I began recounting some memories in the suit. There have been so many weddings with their tears of joy. And there have been funerals with their tears of grief.”

Old Donkeys Needed!

I appreciate this plea from a church planter who is pleading with older Christians to get involved in work like theirs. “How will a bunch of young couples from middle-class backgrounds engage elderly people from a scheme who have no church background? We’re going to struggle. How do you display a gospel that breaks down the dividing barriers of age, class, or race, when your group has no diversity in age, class, or race? We’re going to struggle.”

Treat Yourself to the Voice of God

This is so true: “One of the biggest scams Satan has running is the lie that reading the Bible is a chore.”

One of the Most Difficult Words to Translate

You might be surprised to learn one of the most difficult words to translate across different langauges.

This Day in 1949. 67 years ago today Ray Ortlund was born. Happy birthday, Ray!

Everything You Need To Know About Digital Photography

Aileen and I have actually been considering this course for the past few days. “If you’ve been itching to learn photography but aren’t sure where to start, former Stanford professor and Google teacher Marc Levoy has released his entire course, which includes video lectures, slides, and more online for free.”

The Whole Sentence Matters

Kim Shay discusses one of those verses we like to memorize on its own. Yet the verse has an important, overlooked context that really matters.

More Protein Than You Need

I’ve recently noticed that food packaging is now boasting about the amount of protein that food contains. Turns out you don’t actually need all that much protein and it’s mostly just savvy marketing.

Flashback: Teach Me How to Pray

I wrote this a number of years ago, shortly after I was ordained. I appealed to some older, wiser pastors to teach me to pray. Here is one wise response.

It is a reading age, a preaching age, a working age, but it is not a praying age.C.H. Spurgeon

September 06, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger, It’s All in How You Tell It by Haddon Robinson, The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions by Norman Geisler, Living Forward by Michael Hyatt, and The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. If you were too busy not working to read blogs yesterday, you’ll want to check out yesterday’s Kindle deals since there were some good ones.

Also from yesterday:

  • My book Do More Better is available heavily discounted for Kindle at Amazon or in print from Cruciform Press (use coupon code laborday-dmb at Cruciform Press to get the print version for just $3.99!).
  • Logos users: Be sure to check out these “6 at 60” deals from Zondervan. There are some great resources at 60% off. The NIVAC has some must-have volumes and both the Old Testament and New Testament dictionaries are great resources.
Praying Through the Scriptures: Genesis 1

Chad Van Dixhoorn models how to pray through a passage of Scripture and he begins right at the beginning.

Focusing on the Family

Here’s some interesting interaction with Voddie Baucham’s book Family-Driven Faith and the general philosophy it espouses. “To put it simply, I would suggest that the next generation does not need a family-driven faith. It needs a faith-driven family. We should never reverse the order.  Here are a few ways I believe that family ministry leaders are tempted to do so.”

10 Things You Should Know About Submission

Sam Storms follows up last week’s post which taught 10 things you should know about male headship.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to Us?

You probably know the answer, but the point here is to hear Greg Koukl’s reasoning behind his answer.

What Is the Longest Book of the Bible?

It’s all in how you measure it, of course. Justin Taylor tells the best measure and then which book is the longest.

This Day in 1651. 365 years ago today Obadiah Holmes was given 30 lashes in Boston Commons for preaching Baptist doctrine during which he joyfully exclaimed, “You have struck me with roses!” *

Christianity Falling Down

Michael Patton shows that the Christian faith is not a house of cards.

When Eating Is Sinful

Kelly Needham writes about being held captive by food. “I assumed I just had bad habits that needed to be reformed, but God made it clear that I was an idolater who needed forgiveness, a slave to sin who needed a Liberator.”

Faithful, steadfast love is the heart of marrage, for faithful, steadfast love is the heart of the universe. —Christopher Ash