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A La Carte

July 13, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Don Whitney’s brand new Praying the Bible is $7.99. Other deals include Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler ($2.99); Perspectives on Family Ministry by Timothy Paul Jones ($0.99); The Whole Bible Story by Wiliam Marty ($1.99); Christian Growth from A to Z by Doug Lowery ($1.99).

5 Ways Mission Agencies Stretch the Truth - “I read a lot of e-mails and newsletters from mission agencies, and I get to see how many of them use statistics to recruit staff, missionaries, and donors. Sadly, in my experience, many exaggerate the truth and undermine the good work God does in the world.”

Sex Has Become Pervasive and Tedious - I quite agree with the major point of this article: That it’s time to end the cultural and media obsession with sex and sexuality.

An Eternal Perspective Changes Everything - Truly, it does. Randy Alcorn says, “Having an eternal perspective is in many ways the key to living a true Christ-following life.”

The Dog Days of Summer - Why do we refer to these as the “dog days” of summer? National Geographic explains.

Why I Love the Church - John MacArthur explains why he loves the church so much.

Why a Greece Bailout Matters - You’ve heard a lot about Greece in the news recently. Here is why the little economy of a little nation has such importance.

I cannot have God in my heart if he is not in my head. Before I can believe in, I must believe that. —R.C. Sproul



July 11, 2015

A movie reviewer at Christianity Today was not a big fan of the film Minions. “Probably, you’d be better off doing almost anything with your kid than taking them to see Minions, especially considering Inside Out is also in theaters.”

It’s a common question: What about those have never heard of Jesus? Justin Taylor provides Francis Schaeffer’s brilliant answer.

What is it like to be profoundly face blind? This article looks at a strange but interesting condition. “The issue is how I remember faces. It doesn’t matter if I know the person: I’ve walked right past my husband, my own mother, my daughter, my son, without being able to recognize them.”

I live with a couple of worriers and have observed that worry does not always respond well to reason. But do consider Tim Witmer’s counsel on what to do Instead of Worrying.

Ever wonder what happened to the Emerging Church? Michael Patton looks back and tries to piece it together.

It seems there is a growing Case Against Laptops in the Classroom. “Yet as Shirky points out, social media software is hypnotically diverting, like a tropical bird in mating season – noisy, seductive, colorfully-plumed. How could a bored undergraduate resist?”

Rodney Stark explains why religions are not basically all the same. He makes a compelling case.

Thanks to Books at a Glance for sponsoring the blog this week.

Legalism lacks the supreme sense of worship. It obeys but it does not adore. —Geerhardus Vos



July 10, 2015

There is lots of news on the e-book front. Crossway would like to give you Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word for free and today only Ligonier wants to give you 2 free books about John Calvin. Meanwhile, Westminster Books has some good discounts on various titles. And then at Amazon: Basic Christianity by John Stott is $3.74 and Reformation Heritage’s Reformed Historical-Theological Studies series is on sale: The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition ($2.99); Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism ($2.99); The Theology of the French Reformed Churches ($3.99); Teaching Predestination ($3.99); Unity and Continuity in Covenantal Thought ($3.99); The Spiritual Brotherhood ($3.99).

The Death of Bees - You have probably been hearing about bees dying en masse. This video explains why this is such a problem.

How the Gospel Ended My Same-Sex Relationship - This is a powerful piece of writing. “I just want to tell a little of my story, with the hope that maybe someone out there will hear me differently than so many of the aforementioned sound bites circulating right now. Warning: You may not like the way my story turns out.”

The Rising of the Beast in America? - Rick Phillips: “One of the most regrettable legacies of 20th century evangelicalism is the marginalizing of the book of Revelation as a guide to spiritual warfare during the church age.”

The History of Braces - “How did orthodontia—expensive, painful, and often medically unnecessary—become so popular?” It’s a reasonable question to ask.

Skinflints and Slackhands - “One of the great advantages of being in a church is that you may well know lots of useful people, people who know how to do stuff.” So we can take advantage of that, right?

The Confederate Flag Controversy - Joe Carter considers his “9 Things You Should Know” series with a look at the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag.

The one thing the gospel never does is nothing. —Ray Ortlund



July 09, 2015

Don’t Put God in a Box - I know you’ve heard this one before: Don’t put God in a box (when it comes to the miraculous gifts). Erik Raymond has a good response.

The Origin of OK - Where does the word “OK” come from? This video will tell you the origins of a word you’ve probably never thought about before.

Why I Am Relentlessly Committed to Expository Preaching - Just like the title says.

Dying Thoughts - GLH Publishing has just released a new classic work in Kindle format: Dying Thoughts by Richard Baxter. It’s yours for $0.99.

Good Fruit - This catchy little song for kids will get stuck in your head. The video nicely complements it.

When to Cover, When to Confront - Ray Ortlund has wise counsel about when to cover a sin and when to confront it.

Verses App - Verses is my favorite Bible memory app. It’s just gone free (for the KJV) with paid upgrades for other translations.

It’s Okay to Be Bored - Yes, it is okay for your kids to be bored in church.

To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything. —Tim Keller



July 08, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals: Make, Mature, and Multiply by Brandon Smith ($0.99); Called Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson ($0.99); The Stories We Live by Sean Post ($0.99); everPresent by Jeremy Writebol ($0.99); Reading God’s Story Chronological Bible ($2.99); HCSB Digital Reference Bible ($2.99); The Keys to the Chronicles by Marvin Hinten ($0.99); Mere Humanity by Donald Williams ($2.99).

NeuYear Calendars - Over at Facebook I am giving away 10 of those awesome NeuYear calendars. These are academic year calendars designed specifically for students.

Sing to the Lord a Simple Song - There is something to be said for this (though I wish the author had given a few examples). I believe there is a place for simple songs, like “The Gospel Song.”

Theological Fitness - The theme of this week’s deals at Westminster Books is theological growth and health (for women in particular).

Indelible Grace - Indelible Grace is touring this fall and may be coming to a city near you. Unfortunately they aren’t coming to Toronto…

How a Film Projector Works - I found this downright fascinating. “Bill Hammack tears apart a film projector to reveal the amazing mechanisms used in the pre-digital age to trick the mind into seeing a moving image.”

Catching Sleep and Catching Revival - John Starke has a helpful reflection on revival. “Smith uses the analogy of sleep to help us think about rhythms of discipleship, but what if the dynamic of sleep is the same for spiritual awakening in our churches?”

Only the Gospel goes deep enough to effect real hard change. Everything else is just behavior modification. —Jared Wilson



July 07, 2015

Grace To You Bible App - The Grace To You Bible app launches today. The app is free and includes the ESV Bible and lots of MacArthur resources. If you like you can purchase the MacArthur Study Bible notes as an extra.

Climbing a Tree - It’s just a mother raccoon teaching its baby to climb a tree.

Praying Backwards - Praying Backwards, one of my favorite books on prayer, is on sale in the Kindle edition ($1.99).

Christian Bakers Face $135K Fine - You’re probably already read about this story, but Joe Carter will get you caught up with the relevant information.

The Prayer Meeting Revival - Vance Christie tells the story of an amazing revival. Why would we doubt that God can do this again?

Pastors Who Don’t Delegate - Delegation is a difficult skill to learn, but a crucial one for leaders.

The World’s Deadliest Animals - As usual, we tend to fear all the wrong things.

It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration. —John MacArthur



July 06, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Note to Self and Experiencing the Trinity by Joe Thorn ($3.99 each)—both are excellent and good additions to any library; Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99); An Introduction to Wisdom and Poetry of the Old Testament by Donald Berry ($0.99); Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas ($1.99).

R.C. Sproul on the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - R.C. Sproul has recorded some thoughts on the recent ruling on same-sex marriage.

Japan’s Suicide Rate - Here’s an interesting line from a sad article: “Japan has no history of Christianity…so here suicide is not a sin. In fact, some look at it as a way of taking responsibility.”

The Original Bohemian - Andrew Wilson writes about Jan Hus who was martyred 600 years ago today.

When to Baptize Believing Children - I found this quite a helpful distinction: “I think we Baptists should move away from the language of a ‘credible’ profession of faith when it comes to our children and teens, and instead speak in terms of a ‘mature’ profession of faith before baptizing.”

When the World Doesn’t Recognize Who You Are - Melissa draws an important and applicable lesson after spending some time at Disney World.

What If He’s Not Healthy? - This is one mom’s reflections on pregnancy and all that really matters.

Right is right though all condemn, and wrong is wrong though all approve. —Charles Spurgeon



July 04, 2015

Thomas Kidd writes of The Final Break Between God and Country. “As proud as we may be of the American tradition, our nationalistic mixing of faith and state can make it difficult for us to see when the nation has gone wrong. It can also make it hard for us to know what to do when the nation has patently wandered from the truth.”

This site digs up the old question: How Did President Zachary Taylor Actually Die? It is a question that has perplexed people for some time now. But it seems there’s probably no mystery or conspiracy there.

The GTY Bible App is coming soon. Very soon. And it looks excellent.

Mike Wittmer is struck by our cultural leaders’ lack of sympathy for a religious perspective. And he draws an important lesson from it.

R.C. Sproul Jr. reflects on an interview he and I recently recorded together. (It will be out in the fall) He says that each of us is a Student in a School of Fools.

David Prince says Don’t Manuscript Your Sermons, and he says it in response to an article from 9Marks that advocates manuscripting. Between the two articles you’ll get the two sides of that discussion.

Winston Smith, a Christian counselor with CCEF, watched Inside Out and really enjoyed it. Here’s his review and analysis.

Thanks to NavPress for sponsoring the blog this week with Stealing from God.

There are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done. —Hudson Taylor 



July 03, 2015

There haven’t been a lot of notable Kindle deals this week, but you may want to take a look at Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas which is just $1.99—it’s a solid biography of the always-fascinating William Wilberforce.

The Afternoon Slump - You can’t avoid that afternoon slump, so you may as well learn to work around it.

Distinguishing the Spirit from the Serpent - Sinclair Ferguson: “How do we distinguish the promptings of the Spirit of grace in His guiding and governing of our lives from the delusions of the spirit of the world and of our own sinful heart?”

Three Scenes - How will you and your church contribute to the ministry of adoption? This article may help get started.

How Dangerous Is Turbulence? - How dangerous is the turbulence your plane experiences? Not very, it turns out, as long as you wear your seatbelt.

Calling to Ministry - The question of whether you are called to ministry should really become “Has God called me to be a leader in the church?” or “Does God want my specific ministry to be helping other people to minister?”

Mark it down—your progress in holiness will never exceed your relationship with the holy Word of God. —Nancy Leigh DeMoss



July 02, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: Reckless Abandon and Hard Fighting Soldier by David Sitton ($0.99 each); Raised? by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson ($1.99); The Little Handbook to Perfecting the Art of Christian Writing by Don Aycock ($0.99); Walking with Lincoln by Thomas Freiling ($1.99).

Everhard Jabach and His Family - I think you will enjoy watching this 5-minute film on the repair and restoration of Charles Le Brun’s painting Everhard Jabach and His Family.

Apple Music - Apple is offering 3 months of free access to their new streaming service which competes directly with Spotify and its alternatives. If you sign up, you may want to follow these steps to make sure you won’t be charged at the end of your trial.

Four Appeals to Christians - Gavin Ortlund offers 4 appeals to Christians who are embracing gay marriage. Here’s a great line: “Panic and pessimism are out of order for a worldview anchored in belief in an omnipotent God, irresistible grace, and an eternal heaven.”

Baptism and a Theology of Children - There has been a bit of interesting blog-based discussion of baptism over the past few days. Jonathan Leeman has a round-up and reply.

You’re Not a Leader If… - This one hurts a little bit: “You are not a good leader if you never tell people you are sorry.”

Sin corrupts even our good deeds. We injure our shoulder trying to pat ourselves on the back. —D.A. Carson