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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

June 04, 2015

Here are just a few Kindle deals that may interest you. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); Awakening by Matt Brown ($0.99); and Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin ($0.99).

The Duggars and the Evil Outside - Trevin Wax has some important things to say about the recent situation with Josh Duggar.

Men for God - Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be joining Conrad Mbewe and Doug Nichols at the Men for God conference in Vancouver. I’d love to see you there!

Are Muslim Terrorists Truly Muslim? - Thabiti Anyabwile offers a good answer. 

Whispers of a Self-Obsessed World - I appreciate what Melissa says here: “This is the essence of the Christian life. And, it is a daily, hour by hour, minute by minute struggle against the selfishness that plagues us as human beings.”

Canadian Jeopardy - Oh, come on now, America. You can do better than this!

The Wicked Witch - Mez McConnell offers a reflective and gut-honest response to the news that his stepmother has died. “So painful is it to even think of her name I refer to her as ‘she’ throughout my autobiography.”

Stage Two Exile - This is a long but helpful article. “The Western church is about to enter stage two of its exile from the mainstream culture and the public square. And it will not be an easy time.”

June 03, 2015

CrybabyI was actually just starting to feel a little sorry for myself. I was on the sidelines at my daughter’s soccer game while a group of parents stood behind me laughing and chatting. As the game went on they talked and talked about all the great things they’ve done, the homes they’ve bought, the vacations they’ve enjoyed, the lessons their kids have taken. One even talked about his bright yellow Corvette that was parked conspicuously nearby.

Their lives sounded pretty good. They sounded better than mine, if I was comparing. I thought about what it must cost to take that annual trip to the Caribbean. I thought about what it must cost to get that new kitchen. I thought about the difference between a second car that is a sensible, family-friendly sedan and a second car that is built purely for thrills. And for a moment I wanted it. I wanted it all.

But my pathetic little pity party lasted only a moment before it struck me: The cost of all of that stuff is the cost of generosity. At least, it is for most of the people I know. Those donations to the church, those checks to the missionaries, those gifts to the ministries, those bills slipped discreetly to the person in need—tally them up and they could equal some extra vacations. Put them together and you could probably upgrade your kitchen this year instead of five years from now, or you could go up a model or two on the second vehicle. The Christians I know choose to downgrade their lifestyle in order to upgrade their giving.

And this, I think, is the enduring power and comfort of what Randy Alcorn calls the treasure principle: You can’t take it with you—but you can send it on ahead. The money isn’t gone. The money isn’t misused. It’s simply been redirected into a different kind of investment. “If we give instead of keep, if we invest in the eternal instead of in the temporal, we store up treasures in heaven that will never stop paying dividends. Whatever we store up on earth will be left behind when we leave. Whatever treasures we store up in heaven will be waiting for us when we arrive.” We find when we commit to this kind of generosity that there is greater joy both now and then.

You can’t keep up with the Joneses when you’re committed to radical generosity, and I think that’s exactly how God intends it.

Crybaby photo: Shutterstock

June 03, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: Christianity on Trial by Mark Lanier ($2.99); Convictional Civility by Various ($0.99); The 40 Most Influential Christians by Daryl Aaron ($2.99); The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer ($2.99); Developing a Biblical Worldview by Fred Smith ($0.99); The Formation of Christian Doctrine by Malcolm Yarnell ($2.99); The New American Commentary on Isaiah 40-66 ($2.99).

A Sexual Ponzi Scheme - Carl Trueman: “A vision of personhood and freedom reduced to a series of sexual encounters designed to stave off boredom represents a somewhat childish and vacuous philosophy of life.”

The Fields Are White - Donald Whitney offers some encouragement to evangelize. “When you see few, if any, conversions in your place of ministry, it can be hard to believe that what Jesus said in John 4:35 is true.”

Thousands of New Species - Here is why (and how) thousands of new animal species are still being discovered every year.

9 Ways to Get Students Reading - Nick has some tips on getting your teens reading good books.

Pocket Guides - The “Pocket Guides” series from Christian Focus is especially helpful; it’s also on sale this week at Westminster Books.

Were Tongues Real Languages? - Nathan Busenitz takes on a question that has generated endless debate. “In New Testament times, did the gift of tongues produce authentic foreign languages only, or did it also result in non-cognitive speech (like the private prayer languages of modern charismatics)?”

June 02, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Evangelical Theology by Michael Bird is a great value at $5.99; Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh ($2.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($1.99); Rediscovering Holiness by J.I. Packer ($2.99); Hitler in the Crosshairs by John Woodbridge ($0.99); The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill by Helen Shores Lee ($0.99); Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen ($2.99).

The Only One Who Wants Them - It’s this simple: “They believe that God is the only one that wants them. And so they want him.”

Sarah, Honor, and Infertility - In response to an article I wrote last week, this blogger offers a look at infertility from a different cultural perspective.

How to Be a Man - Here’s some simple but sound guidance on the challenge of being a man.

Dr. Mohler’s Summer Reading List - Al Mohler’s summer reading list is one annual blog tradition I always look forward to. (This year I have already read two of them!)

How the State Serves Salvation - Jonathan Leeman: “Don’t put too much hope in government. But don’t give up on it either. Churches need good governments.”

8 Ways to Honor Marriage - David Murray provides a short list that packs a punch.

I sure do miss those daily quote graphics. —Me

June 01, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke ($2.99); Going Public by David & Kelli Pritchard ($2.99); Jesus Unmasked by Todd Friel ($4.68). Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series is on sale ($5.99 each): Sojourners and Strangers by Gregg Allison; No One Like Him by John Feinberg; The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest; He Who Gives Life by Graham Cole; To Know and Love God by David Clark. (Amazon also has a collection of $3.99 monthly deals you can sort through.)

Being a Dad Who Leads - This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur.

Who Are Leaders Accountable To? - “Leaders seeing themselves not as lords over those they lead, but as their servants who are therefore accountable to them is central to the nature of true and humble Christian leadership.” Amen!

Connected Fools - “The secret to preventing children from simply becoming another ‘connected fool’ isn’t by keeping them from connecting, but by instructing them in wisdom.”

The Problem with Personality Tests - Yes, indeed. “Everyone wants to believe that the mere possession of a particular personality type gives them some sort of privileged access to or claim upon reality, society, or set of skills.”

Jesus Isn’t Looking for Flashy - “Sometimes it crosses my mind–aren’t there more lofty callings I’m equipped for? What about the other gifts God has given me?”

A Pocket Guide to the Papacy - I enjoyed Chris Castaldo’s review of a new book titled A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy: Its Origin and Role in the 21st Century.

Just one more week and my graphic artist will return. When she returns so will the quote graphics.

May 30, 2015

Here are some new Kindle deals: Finally Alive by John Piper ($3.99); A Neglected Grace by Jason Helopoulos ($3.99); The Gospel of Grace by R.C. Sproul ($4.99); Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($0.99).

John Piper offers a solid answer to this question: How Much of My Sinful Past Should I Tell My Children?

Hymnals and Catechisms are on sale at Westminster Books. (The hymnal is quite a neat one, geared specifically for youth and youth groups.)

5 Ways to Rise Above Internet Outrage is a good start on tackling a prevalent issue.

Do you really think that avoiding worship will be the means by which your heart will changed, prepared to engage in worship? Can disconnecting from the means of grace somehow bring about a revival of the heart? Here’s help for those times When Your Heart Isn’t In It.

David McCullough: By the Book is an interview with one of my favorite authors. 

The one thing Aileen and I have never been able to do well is cook rice. Here’s help.

Whether or not you agree with all of the conclusions, there are some good points to ponder in The Age Of Disinformation.

Thanks to HCSB for sponsoring the blog this week with Textual Criticism and Bible Translation.

May 29, 2015

Leaving and Cleaving - “Leaving and cleaving does not negate honouring father and mother: it produces a mature honouring that uses parental training and teaching to contribute to church and society.”

Behind the Bow Tie - You might enjoy this short profile on Dr. Robert Plummer of Southern Seminary. (HT:JT)

$5 Friday - Don’t forget that every Friday Ligonier puts a selection of items on sale at $5 each. There are some good books and teaching series there today.

My Father Killed My Mother - Joel Lindsey tells his story of both tragedy and beauty.

Praying Most For What You Love the Most - “Your prayer-life is a measure of your spiritual maturity. … Your prayer lives exposes you to the reality that what is nearest and dearest to your hearts are those things for which you pray the most. It is an inescapable rule.”

Gospel-Centered Husbandship - “The opposite of a gospel-centered husband, I think, is a comfortable husband.” I might just agree.

Lost in New Zealand - New Zealand is just about at the top of places I want to visit, and this video shows why. You know what to do: HD and full screen.

May 28, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals that may be of interest: A Bundle of Joy: Six Books on Christian Happiness by David Murray ($2.99); In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($0.99); By God’s Design by Judith Hartzell ($2.99); Gospel by J.D. Greear ($2.99).

Push Function Quit - Douglas Wilson does a really good job of addressing the question of boys (and girls) and their video games.

17 Questions with J. Mark Bertrand - Whether or not you care for the subject matter of fine Bibles, this interview with J. Mark Bertrand is some good reading.

What You See When You Read - Trevin Wax shows how where you live changes what you see when you read the Bible. (Did you see that? I used how, where, what, and when in a single sentence!)

What Missionaries Aren’t Telling You - I appreciate Amy’s honesty and candor in this article (and the one that came before it).

Treasuring the Presence of God by Faith - “Learning to trust is a key part of becoming a Christian – without it we won’t be able to worship. Worship is an expression of faith in God. … The faith that is expressed and nurtured as we worship takes at least three forms, which the songs we sing should reflect…”

Are All Christians Hypocrites? - “The revelations about Josh Duggar have brought to the forefront a much broader discussion about Christians and hypocrisy.”

May 27, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: How to Talk to a Skeptic by Donald Johnson ($1.99); Encountering Christ in the Covenants by Daniel McManigal ($0.99); Love Worth Finding by Joyce Rogers ($0.99); The Ever-Loving Truth by Voddie Baucham ($0.99); Biblical Authority by James Draper ($2.99); If God Made the Universe, Who Made God? ($2.99).

Thigh, Breast or Door? - “Hey, can you go close the thigh? Oh, I mean the…breast? Nope…the door…that’s it…the door!” Missionary blogs are among my favorites, and here’s an interesting one. Be sure to listen to the audio recording.

The Christian Life - Westminster Books has the “Theologians on the Christian” life series on sale this week (including the volume I interviewed Tony Reinke about yesterday). Be sure to scroll down for a few more Newton-related deals.

A Pastoral Perspective on Illegal Immigration - Nathan Busenitz shares Grace Community Church’s position on illegal immigration.

Romance and Tragedy - You may well have read of this couple before, but it is worth reading again. “It was not until three years after her mother died in 1990 that DeRonda Elliott opened the suitcase containing the letters her parents exchanged during World War II.”

The Creators - I was Stephen Altrogge’s guest in the first episode of a new podcast he is doing called “The Creators.” We talked about creativity and all kinds of other stuff.

Servant Leadership - Matt Perman highlights the 7 characteristics of servant leadership.

May 26, 2015

In case you missed it yesterday, Crossway has put the Kindle versions of their Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series on sale at $2.99 each: Christian Worldview; The Liberal Arts; Art and Music; Philosophy; The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking; Political Thought; Ethics and Moral Reasoning. Also consider Grounded in the Gospel by J.I. Packer ($2.99).

A Dad’s Life - This article makes you click “next page” twice and throws in some pop-under ads. Despite all that, it’s still well worth reading.

Letter to a Teen Unboxing Their First Smartphone - Here’s an article I wrote for Desiring God. It’s intended for the teen who is just getting a smartphone for the first time.

How Batteries Work - You’ve always wondered, haven’t you?

Seeing the Invisible God - “I have often thought that just one, brief, sensory-filled visitation from the Lord would be the most effective way for me to be changed. It could be accomplished in a minute or less and would, I think, inspire greater obedience, less wavering or dullness of faith, more vivid hope, and tireless evangelistic zeal. That doesn’t seem too much to ask.”

Risen - I suppose we will be hearing a lot more about this movie in the days to come. Rumor has it that it is an unofficial sequel to The Passion of the Christ.

A Week with the Watch - My friend Nathan reflects on his first week with an Apple Watch.

20 Lessons in 20 Years - Brian Croft has just completed 20 years of ministry and takes some time to reflect on lessons he has learned.

My graphic designer is on vacation; quote graphics will return in 2 weeks.