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A La Carte

October 15, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Is It My Fault? by Lindsey & Justin Holcomb ($3.99); Pujols by Scott Lamb & Tim Ellsworth ($0.99); and A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliott ($1.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Gospel of the Kingdom: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew by Charles Spurgeon ($1.50).

Nobody Cares How Hard You Work

Ouch! “We chronically confuse the feeling of effort with the reality of results—and for anyone working in a creative field, that means the constant risk of frittering time and energy on busywork, instead of the work that counts.”

The 9Marks Mailbag

I really enjoy the 9Marks mailbag feature. The latest version comes with this interesting headline: “Renting Out Church Facilities; Too Busy to Elder; Transitioning to Closed Communion; Problems with Secret Societies.”

Playboy Is Too Boring to Succeed

That’s the reality, isn’t it? And it’s a powerful illustration of the nature of sin. What at first is shocking and alluring eventually and inevitably becomes bland and boring.

Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible

This is an amazing discovery. “An American scholar has found what he says is an important new clue to the earthly processes behind that masterpiece: the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators who worked on it.”

Five Distortions of Calvinism

David Murray lists five ways that we may distort Calvinist theology through our words and actions.

This Day in 1949. Joni Earickson Tada was born. A very happy sixty-sixth birthday to you, Joni!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

There are some top-notch photos from this year’s London’s Natural History Museum photography contest.

How to Diffuse the Accusation of Intolerance

This isn’t foolproof, I’m sure, but it’s at least a start.


Our prayers are heard, not because we are in earnest, not because we suffer, but because Jesus suffered. —Oswald Chambers

October 14, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few titles: Trusting the Shepherd by Haddon Robinson ($5.83); True For You, But Not For Me by Paul Copan ($2.99); A Journey Through the Life of William Wilberforce by Kevin Belmonte ($2.99); Truth Matters ($0.99) and Truth in a Culture of Doubt ($3.50) by Andreas Kostenberger; An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by David Jones ($2.99); Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation by Various ($2.99).

Patrol Your Borders

Erik Raymond discusses an important principle of time management: patroling your borders.

Parenting Persons, Not Projects

This is good: “I want to be the best mother I can be, but perhaps the most efficient way to go about this is to remove my child from the center of my universe. Perhaps then I will allow myself to be a holistic human being; and perhaps then I can grant my son that same freedom.”

Bad News, Indeed

You may have heard the rather surprising news that Playboy will no longer publish nude pictures in their magazine. Al Mohler explains why this is truly noteworthy (and not necessarily good news). “Playboy has outlived its ability to transgress and to push the moral boundaries. As a matter of fact, it was a victim of its own sad success.”

A Grief Like No Other

This article offers wisdom and counsel for comforting a friend who has lost a child. “So many of my friends have gone through the unspeakable agony of losing a child—whether in vitro, in infancy, or adolescence—but this is a lonely, solitary agony that even those closest to the parent cannot really shoulder.”

Planned Parenthood Drops Fetal Tissue Fees

This is a very small step forward, but a step forward nonetheless since it forces Planned Parenthood to admit wrongdoing.

This Day in 1735. John and Charles Wesley first set sail for Georgia to preach the gospel to the Americans. *

Book Deals

This week’s deals from Westminster Books include a few I recommend: Transforming Homosexuality, The Imperfect Pastor, and The New Pastor’s Handbook.

Warfield’s “The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity” Annotated

Fred Sanders has shared what looks like a very helpful resource—an annotated version of B.B. Warfield’s article “The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity.” It is a 20-page PDF and is free for the taking.


If your heart doesn’t ache for people who don’t know Christ, you may not know Christ yourself. —Burk Parsons

October 13, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Discovering the God Who Is by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer ($1.99); A Portrait of Paul by Rob Ventura & Jeremy Walker ($3.99); Planting, Watering, Growing by Daniel Hyde ($2.99); What Is a Reformed Church? by Malcolm Watts ($1.99); Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective by Fred Sanders ($2.99); The 11 Secrets of Getting Published by Mary DeMuth ($2.99).

Five Strategies for Daily Bible Reading

It always surprises me that something so simple can be so difficult. Yet, in my experience, it really is. Here are some strategies to help with your daily Bible reading.

Accessing Maturity

Collin Marshall explains an important link: the link between spiritual maturity and spiritual discernment.

Idolatry: A Fatal Attraction

We all struggle with idolatry in one form or another. In this article, Brad Andrews helps you take the first step in diagnosing your idolatry.

Crisis for Pope Francis

The Spectator: “A group of cardinals – including some of the most powerful figures in the Catholic Church – have written to Pope Francis telling him that his Synod on the Family, now meeting in Rome, has gone badly off the rails and could cause the church to collapse.”

This Day in 1605. Theodore Beza died. Beza was a French-born theologian, who had been widely recognized as John Calvin’s successor. *

Using Technology Wisely

Facts and Trends asked me to write an article about using technology wisely. I wrote about the importance of technology in fulfilling God’s calling on our lives.

South Korea’s Rock Star Teachers

Why do South Korea’s teachers get treated like rock stars? WORLD looks at a new documentary and explains.

Evernote, the First Dead Unicorn

I’m a big fan of Evernote, so hope this article proves false. But it’s a good read nonetheless.


Sin forsaken is one of the best evidences of sin forgiven. —J.C. Ryle

October 12, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals are headlined by 3 J.I. Packer titles: Taking God Seriously, Growing in Christ, and Keeping the Ten Commandments ($2.99 each). Continuing the theme, Sam Storms’ new book Packer on the Christian Life is $5.99. Also consider: Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur ($3.99); What the Bible Means to Me by Catherine MacKenzie ($1.99); The Fruitful Wife by Hayley DiMarco ($2.99).

More than the Five Points

David Murray provides a couple of interesting facts about Calvinism, including this: “The five points of Calvinism did not originate with John Calvin, and do not provide a comprehensive summarize of his teaching.”

The Inner Workings of Becoming One Flesh

Melissa has a gift for describing the Christian life as it is. “Marriage is an on-going exercise in making fools of ourselves for love’s sake.” Amen to that!

Why Gospel for Asia Got Kicked Out of ECFA

I mentioned last week that Gospel for Asia was removed from the financial accountability organization ECFA. This article explains why it happened and how GFA is responding.

Historic Flooding in South Carolina

This photo gallery shows the devastation in parts of South Carolina.

Sometimes Africa Scares Me

Let articles like this one remind you to pray for those serving the Lord overseas. “Will this election mirror other African countries? Will there be rioting and violence? Just a few years ago, 1000 people were killed in election violence in Kenya, our neighbor to the north.”

Today. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. In 1957 Parliament declared the second Monday of October to be “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Be sure to do that!

Building Church Community the Right Way

WORLD magazine has an extended excerpt from The Compelling Community, an excellent book from Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop. This excerpt gets right to the heart of the book. (For further information, here is my review: The Compelling Community.)

Hoo Ba Ba Kanda

Take a bit of autotune and some old Robert Tilton clips and you’ll be singing Hoo Ba Ba Kanda all day long.


Begin early to teach, for children begin early to sin. —C.H. Spurgeon

October 10, 2015

Thanks to all who read and replied to yesterday’s article The Major Life Decision That Put My Theology to the Test. The response was very encouraging and, in its own way, very confirming. Thank you.

Can the Devil Read My Mind?

R.C. Sproul answers this question.

Lean In To Boredom

“Boredom is not tragic. Properly understood, boredom helps us understand time, and ourselves. Unlike fun or work, boredom is not about anything; it is our encounter with pure time as form and content.”

Reignite Your Prayer Life

This article from Don Whitney is essentially a summary of his book Praying the Bible.

Wise to What’s on the Internet

I was recently a guest on TechTonic podcast. We talked about ad blocking and protecting yourself and your family from pornography.

Your Husband Is Looking at Pornography

Here is some counsel on how to respond if you learn that your husband is looking at pornography or has been involved in other sexual sin. “The question is, now what do you do? How do you deal with this? I want to help you, Christian wife and woman, to see this sin through the eyes of the Lord and the Gospel.”

This Day in 2003. 12 years ago today, Desiring God hosted their first National Conference.

Comic Books as Modern Mythology

This is an interesting argument: “The comics of today are American versions of Greek mythology complete with origin, philosophy, psychology, and religion.”

Why the Reformation Study Bible?

Thanks to Ligonier Ministries for sponsoring the blog this week with an article titled Why the Reformation Study Bible?.


By faith we expect rich harvest fields and breaking nets, for the gospel is specifically designed to bear fruit. —Jack Miller

October 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include two from Christian Focus, a trusted publisher: How Prayer Impacts Lives by Catherine MacKenzie ($1.99) and Input Output by Jo Boddam-Whetham ($0.99). You may also be interested in I Will by Thom Rainer ($2.99).

Andrew Peterson’s Newest Album Is Now Available

You can now purchase Andrew Peterson’s latest album, The Burning Edge of Dawn.

Everlasting Way

And while we’re on the subject of music, a reader pointed me to this EP by Dan opdeVeigh. You can listen to it for free on Bandcamp. My only complaint is that there are only 4 songs.

Were Early Christian Scribes Untrained Amateurs?

Michael Kruger takes on a common fallacy. “In the ongoing debates about the reliability of early Christian manuscripts, and whether they have been transmitted with fidelity, it is often claimed that early Christian scribes were amateurs, unprofessional, and some probably couldn’t even read.”

5 Warning Signs for the Church in a ‘Facebook Culture’

Sticking with Michael Kruger, he has also written on a very different topic: “What effect does ‘social media’ technology have on the way we view the church? On the way we conceive of life in Christ’s body?”

The Meaning of Marriage

Westminster Books has a great deal on the book, study guide, and DVD for Tim Keller’s excellent book The Meaning of Marriage.

Direct Revelation and Marriage Proposals

And speaking of marriage, we have all heard of these marriage proposals, right? “God told me we should get married,” Jacob said with enough strength to mean it—and with enough of a pause between, “God told me” and “we should…” for Lisa to deduce that he wasn’t so sure about what he was saying.

This Day in 1971. Russell Moore was born. Happy 44th birthday, Russell! You can wish him a happy birthday at @DrMoore.

Restaurant Conveyer Belt

If this is the future of restaurants, I think I’ll just eat at home, thanks.

The Frightening Promise of Self-Tracking Pills

And if this is the future of medication, I think I’ll just take my chances without. Yet a few years from now, both will probably seem perfectly normal.


The Bible simultaneously pictures God as utterly sovereign, and as a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. —D.A. Carson

October 08, 2015

Yesterday’s test on the Trinity was surprisingly popular, with 21,000 people completing it by the end of the day! I can’t see individual results but I can see trends. I may write an article or two to address the most common mistakes (which may also have just been badly worded questions). In the meantime, enjoy today’s links:

A Songwriting Rant

You will probably appreciate Andrew Wilson’s songwriting rant. “I’m not really ranting about songwriters, but about the pastoral carelessness, verging on negligence, shown by a fair few guardians of the church simply because someone is holding a guitar. For most modern charismatics and evangelicals, our hymnody is our liturgy - a problem which is the subject of a whole other post - and that makes thinking it through carefully extremely important.”

The Raging Waters

Derek Thomas brings an update from South Carolina. “Our beautiful city has been ravaged, more than a dozen lives have been lost and thousands have been displaced and ruined; and as I write, further threats are in view.”

Fixing India’s Railways

In world news: “[India’s] railway, often dubbed as the ‘Lifeline of the Nation,’ shuttles more than 23 million people a day via 12,000-plus trains across some 7,000 stations. But congestion, frequent train accidents, and a lack of funding and political will to improve the rail system has made it inefficient and outdated.”

Christian Album Covers

Here’s a roundup of some of the most ridiculous and hilarious Christian album covers. Personally, I think Petra’s More Power To Ya was pretty awesome.

Be Kind To Yourself

I just love this new song and video from Andrew Peterson. His new album comes out in just 2 days. About this song he says, “I wrote this for my daughter, and the day I sang it for her I realized it was for me, too.” (Also, you can read an interview with him at The Gospel Coalition.)

This Day in 451. The first meeting of the Council of Chalcedon opened, near Constantinople. Dealing primarily with the Eutychian Christological heresy, the council created a confession of faith which has been regarded as the highest word in early Christian orthodoxy. *

The Most Spoken Language

A study has found that in 2050 the world’s most spoken language may just be French. That’s largely because of the high birth-rate in African nations where French is the dominant language.

Ditching the Rhythm

As a person who loves routine and who is trying to learn some new routines, I appreciated this article.


Inerrancy means the word of God always stands over us and we never stand over the word of God. —Kevin DeYoung

October 07, 2015

There are a few excellent Kindle deals today, including Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($1.99); Roman Catholic Theology by Gregg Allison ($4.99); Run to Win the Prize by Thomas Schreiner ($2.99); The Underestimated Gospel edited by Jonathan Leeman ($0.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Precious Things of God by Octavius Winslow ($0.99).

How Do I Know That God Loves Me?

“How do we know God loves us, and what does His love look like? How we answer these questions, and we all hold answers to those questions whether we are aware of them or not, is what determines our view of God and the health of our faith.” 

Five Questions about Sanctification and Good Works

This promises to be a good series from Kevin DeYoung. Over the course of 5 days he will answer 5 questions about sanctification and good works. It’s not the easiest reading, but worth pushing yourself, I think. (Also, here is part two.)

‘Captive’ and the Christian Film Industry

This article may be a bit too harsh toward Christian movies, but I think the main point is valid. “No non-Christian is going to see one of these films and think ‘hey, I should follow Jesus now.’ They will watch them and either laugh, or nod off.” God’s Not Dead was an especially bad offender.

This Day in 1873. Extraordinary missionary Lottie Moon arrives in China. She once said, “If I had a thousand lives, I would give them all for the women of China.” *

New Planned Parenthood Video

This is beyond horrifying. “New undercover video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) shows a Planned Parenthood abortionist describing how she tears away preborn babies’ ‘lower extremities’ in an effort to get at their torsos.”

Why Annihilationism is Wrong

Gavin Ortlund: “The traditional doctrine of hell is currently undergoing significant challenges from both within and without the church. Many question the reality of hell outright, while many others opt toward annihiliationism—the belief that the damned won’t suffer eternally but will instead have their consciousness extinguished at some point.”

The Preacher and His Technology

David Murray talks about the preacher and his technology. In the bottom part of the article he discusses how he uses various technologies in his sermon preparation.


Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart. —Paul Miller