Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 22, 2015

Good morning. I write today from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We drove 824 rainy miles yesterday (with only 3 brief stops) to come down here and celebrate Christmas with family. We are glad to be in the South!

Today’s Kindle deals include Chance and the Sovereignty of God by Vern Poythress ($2.99); Center Church by Tim Keller ($4.99); Standing Strong by John MacArthur ($0.99); The Insanity of God and The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99 each); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($2.99); Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler ($2.99); Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous ($0.99); Preach by Mark Dever ($2.99); 7 Truths that Changed the World by Kenneth Samples ($1.99).

Our Relatives and Friends Without Christ

Jim Elliff has a helpful little article on your inevitable times together with unbelieving friends and family.

Stopping Before You Start

Melissa Kruger continues to encourage people to read the entire Bible in 2016. In this article she answers a series of objections.

It Was Not a Silent Night

Here’s a narrative retelling of the nativity story.

If God Is Happy, Why Does He Seem Bad-Tempered?

Randy Alcorn takes on this question.

Dear God, I Don’t Want to Serve You This Way

“Let me honor You by becoming a world-famous author! How about that? Let me do something big and impressive in my church. Let me put this college degree to use … You will be so glorified, I promise!”

This Day in 1899. 116 years ago today, D.L. Moody died. He had famously said, “Someday you will read in the papers that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.” *

Seeing One’s Need for the Savior

Vance Christie shares an interesting and life-shaping little anecdote from the life of William Carey.

The Beatles in HD

This is kind of fun—the official Beatles YouTube channel has been uploading HD videos of some of their vintage performances (though I suppose all of their performances are vintage, aren’t they?).

Carson

Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep. —D.A. Carson

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 21, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The NIV Zondervan Study Bible ($3.99); The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones ($1.99); Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley ($4.99); Strange Fire by John MacArthur ($2.99); Politics by Wayne Grudem ($3.99); What’s Best Next by Matt Perman ($2.99); Ordinary by Michael Horton ($2.99); How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee ($3.99); Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi ($2.99); The MacArthur Study Bible NKJV ($3.99); A History of Israel by Walter Kaiser ($2.99); Text-Driven Preaching and Engaging Exposition edited by Daniel Akin ($2.99 each). 

Can Hobby Lobby Buy the Bible?

The Atlantic covers Hobby Lobby and their Museum of the Bible. “In just the past six years, the evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby have amassed one of the world’s largest private collections of biblical antiquities. Why?”

Fervent

Aimee Byrd is going through some bestselling women’s books, and this time turns to Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (having also just looked at Beth Moore’s Audacious).

Muslims and Christians Do NOT Worship the Same God

Thabiti: “Our Muslim neighbors believe Christians are guilty of the greatest sin–making partners with God. Christians believe their Muslim neighbors are guilty of the greatest sin–idolatry. The two views of the nature of God are irreconcilable.”

Made to Marvel

It’s familiar territory, but a good reminder: “We were made to marvel. We were created to have our hearts drawn after beauty through our senses.”

This Day in 1946. 69 years ago today, D.A. Carson was born. Happy birthday to you, Don!

The Art of Turning Around an Airplane

An article like this satisfies my inner geek.

Robert Gagnon on Homosexuality

Here is some very direct and helpful talk from Robert Gagnon. “If Jesus is that wrong about sexual ethics, something that he regarded as the very foundation of sexual ethics and sexual purity—if he is wrong about that, I don’t know why you even bother listening to him.”

Who is a Refugee?

This little infographic shows how a refugee comes to America.

Hughes

A sin that no one else knows about, committed behind locked doors in a dark room, is actually committed in the presence of a holy God. —Kent Hughes

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
December 19, 2015

Again, Kindle deals are a bit sparse today, but here’s what I tracked down: The Power of Suffering by John MacArthur ($2.99); Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($2.99); A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel Akin ($2.99) (this is usually $30); HCSB Study Bible ($2.99).

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Al Moher: “Hard times come with hard questions, and our cultural context exerts enormous pressure on Christians to affirm common ground at the expense of theological differences. But the cost of getting this question wrong is the loss of the Gospel.”

Must Christians Believe in the Virgin Birth?

Also from Dr. Mohler is an answer to this all-important question.

Teen Mania: Why We’re Shutting Down

Teen Mania is shutting down. Here’s the story.

The Changing Face of Bible Translation

With new technology comes new advances in Bible translation.

Why Every Kid in America Learns to Play the Recorder

And in Canada too. There are some great examples in there of people playing it right.

Tomorrow in 1899. 116 years ago tomorrow, preacher and evangelist D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was born. *

Think on These Things

We’ve released another Visual Theology infographic, this one on a favorite Scripture passage.

Stop Sending Missionaries

Quite right: “To be sure, the workers are few, and the harvest is great. But that does not mean that more workers are necessarily better.”

Mommie Dearest

With the Vatican announcing they are proceeding with making Mother Teresa a saint, it’s good to go back and read what Christopher Hitchens wrote about her.

The Perfect Christmas Gift For Your Pastor

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

Lawson

The hard sayings of Jesus are not hard to understand, just hard to swallow. —Steven Lawson

A La Carte Friday News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 18, 2015

This is the rare day when I was not able to track down any interesting Kindle deals. There have been lots of good ones over the past days, though, so if you haven’t seen them, check the A La Carte archives. And now, some links:

A Date Night Fool’s Gold

J.A. Medders has a helpful follow-up to my recent article called You Don’t Need a Date Night. He says, “If you stack up all of the time you spend as a married couple, date nights are a puny fraction of time in your married life. The piled up moments during the week can be just as, if not more, thrilling and fortifying than a faux candlelight dinner and overpriced cheese board.”

Christ-Centered Silence for the Noisy Advent Season

“We all have extra events in December. Whether for work, school, church, or the community, seasonal social opportunities keep us occupied. We assume everyone is ‘crazy busy.’ It’s a noisy season, one of music and cheer. To enjoy the season to its fullest, then, one of the most significant disciplines we can practice both individually and corporately is ‘Christ-centered silence.’”

Did Jesus Even Exist?

Michael Kruger responds to the most recent attack on the historicity of Jesus. “The reason most Christmas articles simply want to rewrite the story of Jesus is because virtually all scholars agree–liberal and conservative alike–that there is little reason to doubt his existence.”

7 Ways to Become a Better Sermon Listener

Almost all of us need help here, don’t we?

This Day in 1953. 62 years ago today, Ed Welch was born. Happy Birthday, Ed!

Shepherd the Flock of God That Is Among You

I very much appreciate what Darryl communicates here.

Does Your Church Need to Die?

Ray Ortlund levels the challenge: “If you are not satisfied that your church is living proof of the risen Lord, here’s a crazy thought. Maybe your church needs to die, in order to live. And I don’t mean change the style of music. I mean something deeper.”

Ad Blockers Will Force Reforms in Online Marketing

This is a good article on the prevalence of ad blockers and the problems that cause people to use them.

Tripp

God eternal became a child so that through his life, death and resurrection, we would become the children of God. —Paul Tripp

I’ve got 20 codes for a free download of the audiobook of Do More Better. Click here and use coupon code CHALLIES. If it works, you’re in the first 20. If not, sorry!

News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 17, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Matthew and Hebrews & James in the Holman New Testament Commentary series ($2.99 each); The World of Jesus by William Marty ($0.99); A Theology for the Church by Daniel Akin ($2.99). Amazon has some good deals today—kids’ board games, gifts for the audiophile, etc.

Email and Time Management

This article (actually, a letter) contains a really important principle about the battle between email and creativity.

How to Love God by Getting More Sleep

Joe Carter writes about something I’m really bad at: Sleep. “My poor sleep hygiene was affecting my family, my work, and my physical health. And it was also affecting me spiritually.”

Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Awards

There are some very good (and some very not-good) books in Christianity Today’s annual book awards.

The New Perspective on Paul

Ever wondered what the New Perspective on Paul is all about? 5 Minutes in Church History tells you in, you guessed it, five minutes.

Christmas…The Real Story

You’ll enjoy watching John MacArthur tell the real story of Christmas.

This Day in 1843. 172 years ago today, Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol was first published. *

Seeing Color

When I was in Germany this fall I was able to try some enChroma glasses, allowing me to see red and green for the first time (I’m red-green color blind). I just found the video on my phone and put it on Facebook.

Don’t Play Hard to Get in Marriage

Melissa: “It’s you he wants. All of you. It’s just one (essential) way to show your husband how much you love him. And, whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of sex to help you feel wanted and needed and loved by your husband. Sex is for both of you.”

DeYoung

Perhaps the most common reason people don’t believe in God is simply this: They don’t want anyone telling them what to do. —Kevin DeYoung

Wednesday News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 16, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Going Beyond the Five Points by Rob Ventura ($2.99); The Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles Quarles ($2.99); Jane Austen by Peter Leithart ($0.99); Mere Apologetics by Alister McGrath ($2.99); All That Jesus Asks by Stan Guthrie ($1.99); Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken ($1.99). A selection of Holman Old Testament commentaries are on sale at $2.99 each: Exodus & Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua1st & 2nd Chronicles, 1st & 2nd Kings, Job, Psalms 1-75, Psalms 76-150, ProverbsIsaiahDaniel, Hosea - Micah.

I’m really thankful for Andy Naselli’s encouraging review of Do More Better. While he was already well-organized and productive, he lays out some specific ways he found it helpful. Also, the book is now available in Audiobook format.

Pray

Here’s a new page and video from John Piper and Desiring God. Piper models how to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Star Wars and the Ancient Religion

Peter Jones writes about the worldview implications of the new Star Wars film. “The appearance of a new episode of the Star Wars film series is an important moment for Christian witness.”

The Uniqueness of Christian Parenting

This is a top-notch article from Jason Helopoulos. “Christian parenting is an odd endeavor and Christian parents are a rare breed. Here are some of the things that make Christian parenting a unique thing in this fallen world…”

Striving for a More Intentional Life of Prayer

Erik Raymond lays out one way (though certainly not the only way) to have an intentional life of prayer.

A Day in the Life of Americans

This is an amazing data visualization. 

This Day in 1867. 148 years ago today, missionary to India Amy Carmichael was born. *

Can You Read My Lips?

This is a really interesting video about the experience and day-to-day challenges of deafness.

Wheaton College Suspends Hijab-Wearing Professor

You may have heard of the Wheaton College professor who decided to wear a hijab to show Advent solidarity with Muslims and who made some startling comments about Islam. Christianity Today tells about the college’s response.

Spurgeon

There is nothing in the law of God that will rob you of happiness; it only denies you that which would cost you sorrow. —C.H. Spurgeon

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful Resources
December 15, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis ($3.99); Counter Culture by David Platt ($2.51); Homiletical Handbook by Donald Hamilton ($2.99); The Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness ($1.99). The Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is also on sale: Exodus, LeviticusSong of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 ThessaloniansEzra & Nehemiah, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and MalachiMatthew, Ephesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John ($2.99 each). These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

Just Another Day in America

Here’s a fascinating article on modern news media. Looking at recent televised tragedies, Arthur Hunt says news has become “daily theater, which must be enhanced by a sense of urgency and crisis.”

Writing for an Audience of One

Yes to this! I post a lot online, but there is at least as much that I write and erase. I think all writers do this.

When You Unchain the Earth from the Sun

Here’s Carl Trueman doing what he does so well: “When you decide that categories of identity are merely psychological and that reality is constituted by language, you consequently have neither the right nor the ability to call a halt to the Promethean process which you have unleashed just because some of the results prove to be distasteful to you and unhelpful to your political cause.”

I Am What I’ve Been Through

I found this a moving article. In the midst of cancer treatments she asks, “What can I do now for God’s glory because of my suffering that I was unable to do before my suffering?”

This Day in 1418. 597 years ago today, “English pre-Reformer John Oldcastle is burned alive for his efforts to preserve and promote the cause of the Lollards (preachers who spread John Wycliffe’s views). Shakespeare reportedly based his character Falstaff on Oldcastle.” *

I Am Called a Cult Leader. I Really Don’t Care

Christianity Today has a well-written article about a very strange (and ugly) situation. It tells “how one of the world’s most beloved worship songs reportedly helped to fuel spiritual abuse at Wayne Jolley’s The Gathering International.”

How Does Anesthesia Work?

When under anesthesia, you can’t move, form memories, or — hopefully — feel pain. And while it might just seem like you are asleep for that time, you actually aren’t. What’s going on?

ACU 108

If you plan to do some year-end giving, Africa Christian University may be a worthy recipient. They are trying to raise $108,000 in 108 hours.

Lewis

If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it. —C.S. Lewis

Daily News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 14, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible and the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible discounted to $11.99 each. That’s more than most deals I post here but still a good value. Also consider Esther by John Piper ($2.99) and Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison ($0.99). New from GLH Publishing is True Repentance by Thomas Boston ($0.99). Finally, if you didn’t check in on the weekend, be sure to give these Kindle deals a look.

You can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book at Amazon (this deal ends today). That means you can buy Do More Better for just $6.74! Or buy any other book by starting here. Also, I just happened to notice that for one day only Amazon has The Lord of the Rings movies, in the Blu Ray extended edition, at just $27.99.

I. Howard Marshall

Ray Van Neste: “I received word this morning that I. Howard Marshall, professor emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, had passed away, a month before his 82nd birthday.” He pens a sweet tribute.

Gospel for Asia

Christianity Today covers the recent revelations about Gospel for Asia, what went wrong, and what they claim to be doing about it.

The Death Of Tiger Woods

If you are a sports fan you may enjoy this article about the decline of Tiger Woods. “Tiger, as we knew him, no longer exists. But with the rebirth of Eldrick, maybe we can cheer for Woods once more.”

Christian Rhetoric During a National Crisis

Daniel Darling offers some wise and helpful tips on responding to crisis. “The question for Christians is now twofold; how should we think about these events, and how should we respond to these events? Much ink has been and will be spilled on the former, but I’m not sure we’re giving enough thoughtful attention to the latter. Can we do better than we’ve been doing?”

This Day in 1872. 143 years ago today, John Geddie (missionary to Polynesia) died in Australia, where he had sailed following a stroke. A wooden tablet memorializes him by saying, “When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.” *

15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2015

Counsellors and/or committed readers may be interested in this list from Bob Kellemen. 

The Environmental Movement

Conrad Black (yeah, I know, I know) has quite a good article on climate change. “Where is there evidence of climate change, other than the endlessly repeated divinations of professedly clairvoyant people such as Prince Charles and Al Gore (who also told us that he invented the Internet and that the Pacific island country of Tuvalu would be submerged by now — the water level there has actually declined slightly)?”

Spurgeon

The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything. —C.H. Spurgeon