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A La Carte

September 17, 2016

I’m spending the weekend down here in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet a few of you today at The Forging Men Conference or tomorrow at Bible Church of Little Rock.

How To Get Logos 7

Purchasing Logos Bible Software can be a little bit complicated. This article explains the various options.

I Was a Teenage Pastor

H.B. Charles Jr. (a preacher I always love to listen to) on “What diving into church leadership at 17 taught me about building a ministry that lasts.” You might want to skip up to the 8-minute mark to skip the banter between the hosts.

What Is a Vector?

You’ve probably heard the word “vector” used in various contexts. This little video explains what they are and why they are so useful.

Would You Kiss Your Bride Through a Veil?

There’s a great title for an article on the importance of knowing the original biblical languages.

Stop the Revolution. Join the Plodders

Kevin DeYoung levels an important challenge.

This Day in 1575. 441 years ago today Swiss reformer Henry Bullinger died. Bullinger had arguably the greatest influence on second-generation Reformers after John Calvin. *

Don’t Be a 9Marxist!

9Marks has a kind of warning against misusing their material. “9Marks talks a lot about authority in the church—authority in preaching, authority in membership and discipline practices, authority among the elders. The thing is, sinners like us easily abuse the authority that God gives. So even as 9Marks encourages churches to avoid the squishy complacency of nominal Christianity, we also don’t want churches to err in the direction of being doctrinaire and authoritarian.”

A Family Affair

Carl Trueman looks at a situation of a mother and daughter who are in trouble for marrying one another. This leads to an examination of consent as the ultimate determiner of morality.

Millennials Don’t Need Your “Cool”

My thanks goes to CLC Publications for sponsoring the blog this week.

Flashback: Compromising God’s Standards for Sexuality

“As Christians we are adept at looking at the culture around us and seeing how it is violating God’s good standards when it comes to sexuality. Not too long ago, though, I was asked to reflect on the ways in which Christians may compromise God’s standards for sexuality…”

Open transgression of God’s law slays its thousands, but wordliness its tens of thousands.J.C. Ryle 

September 16, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Unseen Realities by R.C. Sproul; NIV Zondervan Study Bible edited by D.A. Carson; MacArthur Study Bible NKJV or NASB; NIV Archaeological Study Bible; Four Views of the End Times by Timothy Paul Jones; The History of Protestantism by J.A. Wylie.

Westminster Books is having a clearance sale to clear out some titles they’ve got too many of. There are some really good deals to be had.

Desiring to Rule Over Genesis 3:16

Nick Batzig lays out the different interpretation options for Genesis 3:16. 

The Invention That Changed the World

I guess there have been a few inventions that have changed the world, but this video presents one you probably wouldn’t think of.

3 Ways Spurgeon Conquered His Secret Sin

“For the past century, Charles Spurgeon’s strengths have often overshadowed his weaknesses. His biographers are largely to blame, painting the preacher as a superhero incapable of vice or vulnerability. Yet warts reveal as much as dimples do. Spurgeon had both. He experienced seasons of success, but he also harbored hidden faults — secret sins that sought to undermine his ministry.”

The Racial Heresy in Southern Baptist History

Timothy Paul Jones: “The founders of the Southern Baptist Convention and of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were zealous defenders of biblical orthodoxy. They were also heretics.” 

Seven Principles for Angry Parents Disciplining Angry Children

Here’s Kevin DeYoung: “In Ephesians 6:4, God tells fathers—though I think it’s okay for moms to listen in—to raise children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He also warns against provoking our children to anger. So how do we do one without the other? How do we discipline exasperating kids without in turn exasperating them unnecessarily?”

This Day in 1672. 344 years ago today Puritan Anne Bradstreet, America’s first noteworthy poet, died. *

​The Seven Fears Controlling Controllers

David Murray says “Although controlling/authoritarian/obsessive people often seem intimidatingly strong and confident, at heart they are insecure people who are controlled by a number of fears.”

Highway in the Sky

I love these Wendover Productions videos. This one discusses highways in the sky.

Free OIA Summary Booklet

OIA Bible study is a wonderful tool. With this tool, anyone can get to know the Lord Jesus by learning to study his word.” Here’s a free booklet to introduce you to a great method.

Flashback: I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian

I get the books. I read the articles. I see the news. Christianity seems ready to move on. And I realize anew: I am an old-fashioned kind of Christian.

We are never more than poor beggars telling other poor beggars where there is bread.D.A. Carson

September 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of new ones: How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin and Pastors in the Classics by Leland Ryken. As always, you can find today’s deals and deals from the past few days at the Kindle Deals for Christians page.

On the ESV’s Rendering of Genesis 3:16

Denny Burk offers some thoughts on the ESV’s new rendering of Genesis 3:16.

5 Key Realities the Bible Teaches about God’s Love

D.A. Carson teaches about God’s love.

Less Redeeming Things and More Enjoying Them

I appreciate this: “As I’ve gotten older, slightly less annoying, and, hopefully, more godly, I’ve come to see that in most leisure situations, the most godly thing to do is simply sit back and experience joy.”

The Long View: Developing Faithfulness

“Mature, steady, faithful people are a precious commodity.”

God May Postpone Your Relief for His Glory

“As you ponder God’s delay, as you wait for his answer, remember that he is with you. He will glorify himself in your waiting.”

This Day in 1648. 368 years ago today the Larger and Shorter Westminster Catechisms were approved by the British Parliament. Watch Chad Van Dixhoorn discuss the Westminster Confession. *

Shorter Sermons

Josh Buice makes a case for shorter sermons. And, in general, I agree with what he says.

Don’t Live for a Compliment from Your Husband

This is equally applicable to husbands waiting for compliments from their wives.

Flashback: A Failure of Worship

“We are neither taught nor inclined to think of addicted persons as being actively and passionately engaged in the pursuit of the good life. We tend to think of them as persons who have checked out of the game or who are positively bent on destruction. But this is not so.”

I cannot comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called.C.H. Spurgeon

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