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A La Carte

August 06, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: The Gospels and Acts by various authors is a great value at $2.99; Love into Light by Peter Hubbard is a very helpful book about homosexuality ($2.99); Why Jesus? by Ravi Zacharias ($2.99); KnowOrphans by Rick Morton ($2.99); The Little Style Guide to Great Christian Writing and Publishing by Leonard Gross ($0.99).

Learning to Think for Yourself - “There is one characteristic (common to all great theologians and pastors throughout church history) that young ministers, especially those in seminary, must learn to cultivate–namely, the ability to think for themselves.”

There is No Pro-Life Case For Planned Parenthood - I love to see this in the New York Times. “Tell the allegedly ‘pro-life’ institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.”

Books on Sale This Week - Westminster Books has some great deals this week, including Rosaria Butterfield’s new one. There are 5 or 6 other good books on sale along with it.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions - Here is some missing perspective on killing lions.

Breathtaking Photos - The U.S. Department of the Interior manages the most breathtaking lands in America and they have the photos to prove it. This site has highlights from their Instagram account.

What Is Fire? - Now there’s an interesting question. PBS has an answer. (And speaking of fire, here’s an interesting video of firefighters doing what they do.)

Mad Dash - Whats the difference between a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash? This video explains.


The Church is perishing today through the lack of thinking, not through an excess of it. —J. Gresham Machen

August 05, 2015

There are a few new Kindle deals for you today: Get Real by John Leonard ($1.99); Hide or Seek by John Freeman ($2.99); Grief Undone by Elizabeth Groves ($1.99); A Model of Christian Maturity by D.A. Carson ($3.99).

Pretty well the whole Holman Commentary set is on sale at $2.99 each in Kindle format. This is a pretty good, Evangelical, entry-level set. The volume on 1 Corinthians is considered especially good; also note that Steve Lawson wrote the volumes on Psalms. Here they are, in order: GenesisExodus, Leviticus, Numbers; Deuteronomy; Joshua; Judges & Ruth1 & 2 KingsEzra, Nehemiah, Esther; Job; Psalms 1-75; Psalm 76-150; Proverbs; Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs; Isaiah; Jeremiah & Lamentations; Ezekiel; Daniel; Minor Prophets; Nahum-Malachi; Matthew; Mark; Luke; John; Acts; Romans; 1 & 2 Corinthians; Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians; 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, & Philemon; 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John & Jude; Hebrews & James.

The Anatomy of Sexual Sin - When you think about the sheer prevalence of sexual sin both inside and outside of the church, you realize how important it is to know the anatomy of such sin.

Confessions of a Bibliophile - I enjoyed Keith Mathison’s reflections on a life spent reading.

Gentle Selfishness - “The kind of behavior we usually think of as selfish is obvious: lying, cheating, stealing, hurting, etc., to get what we want. Everyone recognizes it for what it is. But a gentle selfishness, because of its very gentleness, is subtle, deceptive, and far more difficult to detect than the blatant kind.”

The Gates of Gaza - “A recent excavation in Israel has uncovered the historic fortifications and monumental gate of a Biblical-era city called Gath.” You’ll recognize it as home to the infamous Goliath.

The Tricky Ethics of the Lucrative Disaster Rescue Business - You may be interested in this longform article that focuses on the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Nepal.

The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day - This is a helpful breakdown of the different kinds of work that can fill each workday.

Patagonia 8K - This video offers an eye-popping trip through Patagonia. Do it full-screen and HD if you can.


Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you. —Sinclair Ferguson

August 04, 2015

Several of the Holman Old Testament and New Testament commentaries are on sale for Kindle at $2.99 each: Ecclesiastes & Song of SongsDaniel, Nahum-MalachiRomans. Also consider Old Testament Survey by Eric Mitchell & Archie England ($2.99); Exemplary Life by Andy Chambers ($0.99); Helps for Counselors by Jay Adams ($1.99); Enjoy Your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Recovering the Real Lost Gospel by Darrell Bock ($2.99).

Reflections on Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill Implosion - John Piper reflects a bit on the rise and fall of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll. “[God] didn’t drop the ball, he’s not sweating, he’s not anxious. He is totally in charge of this war. He permitted a tactical defeat for the gospel. He has done it.”

Planting Churches in Japan - This is a fascinating article with missionary and church planter Dan Iverson. (Also, you can download the new issue of Tabletalk magazine free for your digital device.)

Why Are Weddings So Expensive? - This video offers some answers (and a couple of solutions).

Should I Leave an Inheritance to my Children? - In general I agree with much of what Randy Alcorn says in this video. There may be better things to do with your money than leaving it to your children.

California Wildfires - The Big Picture has a collection of amazing photos from the California wildfires.

After One Year - I’ve said before that missionary blogs are some of my favorites. Here Stacey reflects on her family’s first year in Cameroon.

The Epidemic of Male Body Hatred - These are some helpful thoughts on men and their bodies. “Health is not the issue here. There is a huge gap between being healthy and meeting our culture’s ideal of ‘hot.’ And in that space lies any and every resource for a man to hate his body.”


Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you. —J.I. Packer

August 03, 2015

Crossways excellent “Theologians on the Christian Life” series is on sale this week at $5.99 per volume: Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Newton, John Wesley, J.I. Packer, John Calvin, Francis Schaeffer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and B.B. Warfield. Here are a few more deals: Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott & Heath Lambert ($2.99); HCSB Study Bible ($2.99); God Is Red by Liao Yiwu ($1.99); The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey ($1.99); The Bible Answer BookThe Bible Answer Book Volume 2, and The Creation Answer Book by Hank Hanegraaf ($1.99 each).

Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - Be sure to grab this month’s free book from Christian Audio: Rosaria Butterfield’s Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.

The Briefing is Back - Dr. Mohler’s The Briefing makes its return today after a month off. I missed it, and am glad to see its return.

When To Stop Having Children - Deepak Reju offers 15 wisdom principles on when to stop having children.

The Timmy Brothers - The Timmy Brothers and their artisanal water—this video is a near-perfect parody of all the videos out there pitching artisanal products.

Evidence for the Historical Jesus - Here’s a free, updated PDF of Gary Habermas’ book Evidence for the Historical Jesus.

Satan and Sodomy - John Piper: “The supernatural monster who orchestrates the kidnapping, enslaving, and thousand-fold drugging, selling, raping, and killing of girls around the globe, is the same one who has masterminded the murderous cultural delusion — from the highest court to the lowest porn-flick — that the practice of sodomy is delightful, not deadly.” (On a related note but by a different author, you may want to read The Darker, Dangerous Side of Homosexuality.)

While You’re Waiting on God - What do you do while you’re waiting on God? This article offers some biblical answers.

The Gospel in India - The Gospel Coalition continues their look at Christian advance around the world by speaking to a few pastors in India. This is a helpful series.


It is usually considered good practice to examine a thing for one’s self before echoing the vulgar ridicule of it. —J. Gresham Machen

August 01, 2015

Here are some deals to start your month: The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves ($2.99); Double Play by Ben Zobrist ($0.99); The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Jason Lisle ($2.99). You’ll also find a new list of books spanning all genres in their list of monthly deals.

Free from Christian Audio this month is Rosaria Butterfield’s excellent Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.

It’s Board Game Day at Amazon and they’ve got lots of good ones on sale. We love Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Smallworld, Dominion, and others. 

I rather enjoyed this article titled A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared. It is all about a company owner who decided to offer every one of his employees at least $70,000 per year. Who would have thought that move would make people mad?

This TED talk (which has quite a lot of rough language, especially in the tweets it displays on the screen) shows How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life. The Internet outrage machine can destroy people’s lives.

Logos users will be interested in this New Source for Free Logos Training. I think most of us only barely scratch the surface of Logos’ power.

Jamie Brown has a massively sarcastic article about nonsensical worship music: Flammable Sound And Its Implications.

The Art of the Interchange shows the unexpected beauty in highway interchanges. Yes, I said highway interchanges.

Mark Altrogge offers some pastoral words: There Are No Accidents With God. “Wherever we find ourselves and whatever we have to deal with we can know that God in his infinite wisdom has designed it for our good and to make us like Christ and bring him glory.”

Thanks to The Good Book Company for sponsoring the blog this week with Raising Real Kids, Not Fakers.

What Should We Do When They Stray? Nick Batzig says, “There are many difficult and painful experiences that ministers face, but the spiritual rebellion of a child of a believer weighs heavily on the heart of any true minister of the Gospel.”


The church is not a career path. It’s a place you go to give your life away. —Dave Harvey

July 31, 2015

New from GLH Publishing is one of my all-time favorite Puritan works: Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. It’s at just $0.99. Also consider Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Essential Bible Companion by John Walton ($5.99); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($0.99).

Exceptionally Ordinary - We need to be reminded of this often. “The assumption is that God will be really pleased if we do something massive (on a human scale) for him. Really? Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills?”

The Children of Strangers - The New Yorker has a long, interesting, and sad article about a couple that adopted twenty children.

10 Quick, Important Developments On The Planned Parenthood Scandal - And still the major news outlets are quiet about it.

Our Wilberforce Moment - The comparison to Wilberforce is a strong one. Josh Howerton says that this is our culture’s Wilberforce moment, and I am inclined to agree.

When Success Outgrows Character - This is a very helpful article from Eric Geiger. “When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside.” (I have previously written about this here.)

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do - “My fear is that we can fall down that slippery slope that an awesome worship experience equals the Holy Spirit.”

New York City Transit - Did you know that much of the technology driving the New York City subway system is nearly 100 years old? Here’s a look at the past, present, and future.


Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth. —Matthew Henry

July 30, 2015

How Driscoll’s Is Hacking the Strawberry of the Future - I enjoyed this article on the art and science of growing the perfect strawberry. It’s mostly science, I suppose.

So Will His Righteousness - Your sin will eventually find you out, but so will Christ’s righteousness.

The Lost World of Adam and Eve - Steve Ham of Answers in Genesis has written a long and thorough response to John Walton’s The Lost World of Adam and Eve.

The Speechwriter - The New York Times did a review of a book I read recently and really enjoyed: The Speechwriter by Barton Swaim. It’s an inside look at working for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

The Spanish Inquisition - Stephen Nichols offers a brief history of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.

Why Planned Parenthood Can’t Donate Tissue Harvested From Babies - I continue to pray that this situation serves as the tipping point in culture’s view of abortion.

The Tragedy of iTunes - I don’t have as much classical music as I’d like, but I completely agree with this author that Apple’s new music service is utterly appalling. And I say that as a committed Apple fanboy.


We are too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand. —C.H. Spurgeon

July 29, 2015

The Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is on sale today in the Kindle versions: Exodus, Song of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians ($0.99 each); Ezra & Nehemiah, Matthew, MarkEphesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John ($2.99 each). These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

The Calvary Option - Carl Trueman has some level-headed reflections on all of the cultural turbulence around us. “The tomb is still empty.   And my ministry will continue to be made up of the same elements as that of my of spiritual forefathers: Word, sacraments, prayer.”

What Are Natural Flavors? - It’s a good question to ask since they are in so many of our foods.

One Simple Way to Encourage Your Pastor - This is a great word from Kevin DeYoung. 

The Gospel-Centered Parent - This week’s deals from Westminster Books revolve around Christian parenting.

Reflections on Gay Marriage - Randy Alcorn recommends this short series of videos reflecting on gay marriage and homosexuality.

The Point of Hospitality - This is an important reminder that we too often forget when it comes to hospitality.

Iron Mountain - Here is a rare look inside Iron Mountain, an incredible place that houses some of America’s greatest treasures.


You can’t confuse childlike faith with childish thinking. —John MacArthur

July 28, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace ($1.99) (He also has a new book out next week called God’s Crime Scene); A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada ($0.99); The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff ($1.99); Preaching by Calvin Miller ($1.99).

SCOTUS: Too Much and Too Little - Rosaria Butterfield: “I have no right to complain. The blood is on my hands. For a decade, I lived as a lesbian who advanced the cause of gay rights. The world we see today is the one I helped create.”

God Doesn’t Need My Kid To Beat the Odds - This is a powerful and comforting article: “It was so definitive, those conclusive words of the neurologist: ‘He will never walk or talk. In many ways he is incompatible with life.’”

Does The Bible Say Anything About Sleep Habits? - Nothing is more mundane than sleep, but few things have a deeper impact on life.

Tim Tebow, Reinvented - Sports fans may appreciate this article about Tim Tebow’s ongoing attempts to prove that he can be an NFL quarterback.

How to Launch a Nuclear Missile - Well, it’s a little bit melodramatic, but you’ll still enjoy seeing how to launch a nuclear missile.

The Only Bad Word Left - Melissa talks about the only bad word that’s left in our vocabulary.

A Call to Teenagers To Be Free - John Piper puts out the call to teenagers. “Be wise and strong and free from the slavery of culture-conformity. To put it another way, I am calling teenagers to a radical, wartime lifestyle.”

The gospel is not made more powerful by a dynamic preacher or a rockin’ band; the gospel cannot be improved. —Jared Wilson



July 27, 2015

Happy Monday! Crossway has some good deals this week on the Kindle versions of 3 excellent marriage books: No Ordinary Marriage by Tim Savage ($3.99); What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp ($3.99); and This Momentary Marriage by John Piper ($3.99). (From a different publisher, Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say “I Do” is $1.99.)

Looking Away From Abortion - Ross Douthat has a good and powerful editorial on the situation surrounding Planned Parenthood.

Why Fireflies Glow - You know that they glow, but scientists are only just figuring out why they glow.

The Frequency of English Words - Here’s an interesting video that talks about one of my favorite things: words.

Don’t Pray About the Book of Mormon - Mormon missionaries often ask you to take the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. This article explains why you shouldn’t do that.

Don’t Blame Trump, Blame America - I usually try to avoid politics (and especially U.S. politics) but I think Canada’s Rex Murphy says a lot of insightful things in this article. He places Trump’s popularity in the middle of today’s cultural and ethical mess.

TGC Church Directory - The Gospel Coalition has a very helpful (and newly updated) directory of associated churches. It’s a great place to begin the search when you’re traveling or relocating.

We Will Not Bow - “Last Sunday night (July 19), John MacArthur addressed the church’s response to an American society that is growing increasingly hostile to biblical morality and the truth of the gospel.” You can read, listen, or watch as you see fit.

The ungodly are not half so restrained in their blasphemy as we are in our praise. —C.H. Spurgeon