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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train accidents, and a lack of funding and political will to improve the rail system has made it inefficient and outdated.”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

October 06, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($2.99); Ordinary by Tony Merida ($2.99); Preparing Expository Sermons by Ramesh Richard ($2.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($2.99); My Daily Pursuit by A.W. Tozer ($1.99).

Ten Commandments for Pastors

Joel Beeke has ten wise and helpful commandments for pastors.

The Vine Journal

I’m excited about this! GoThereFor, a ministry connected to Matthias Media, has announced The Vine Journal, a new journal they will be publishing 3 times a year. The first issue is free to download. (You can read the announcement and rationale here.)

A Lack of Confidence

This article was written specifically for worship leaders. But even though I’m no worship leader, it still slapped me across the face. “One issue that can sink worship leaders is a lack of confidence. And when I say ‘confidence’ I mean a confidence in the power of God’s call on you, the power of the Spirit within you, and the power of the gospel no thanks to you.”

Joy - An Irish Christmas

Don’t wait to get your tickets for this year’s Christmas tour with the Gettys (since many of the shows will sell out!). I went last year and enjoyed it thoroughly. If you’re going to the Toronto concert, I’ll see you down at Roy Thompson Hall. If you’re going to the Louisville concert, you’ll get to support 20schemes.

This Day in 1536. William Tyndale is martyred at the stake in Antwerp for his Protestant views and for his efforts to translate the Bible into English. *

The Perspicuity of Scripture

As Burk Parsons points out, “what is so hard about the hard sayings of Jesus is not our inability to understand them fully but to believe them fully and obey them fully.”

ECFA Strips Gospel for Asia’s Membership

I am not certain if this will be relevant to any of my readers, but it may be good to know that The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated the membership of Gospel for Asia Friday for violations of ECFA standards.


You and your sins must separate, or you and your God cannot come together. —C.H. Spurgeon

October 05, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($5.99); The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson ($2.99); and What’s Best Next by Matt Perman ($3.99). I especially recommend Pearcey’s book if you haven’t yet gotten a copy.

Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity

This year’s ACBC conference gets underway today and you can stream all of the plenary sessions. The theme of the event is Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity.

Lenny’s Garage

I always enjoy seeing interesting people in action. Like Lenny. “Lenny Shiller is a lifelong Brooklyn resident and classic car collector. He has amassed a staggering 58 rare classic cars, while he also owns hundreds of vintage bikes, motorcycles, and memorabilia.”

Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons

I appreciate Jared Wilson’s measured thoughts on taking notes while listening to a sermon.

Don’t Panic

This article tells why you shouldn’t panic about new technologies, and how people have been getting it wrong all the way back to Gutenberg.

Are Apple Stores the New Temples?

We used to have temples. “Nowadays, we have Apple Release Day—the Feast of St. Jobs—when faithful customers gather outside Apple stores and await the renewal of a next generation iPhone.”

MachowskiNow Available for Pre-Order. New Growth Press is about to publish another book with Marty Machowski. This book is a systematic theology for kids in the form of “a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.” You can now pre-order it.

The Bithynian Option

Paul Carter has a long and fascinating article about Christians and cultural engagement. He critiques some of the prevailing views and offers an alternative. It’s a long but worthwhile read.

When Can A Child Respond to the Gospel?

“Few issues weigh more heavily on Christian parents than the salvation of their children. For credobaptists this issue takes on a special significance as we hold to the idea that our children must be converted in order to become Christians.”


Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell. —C.T. Studd

October 03, 2015

Kindle deals today include: Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.50); Contending with Christianity’s Critics by Paul Copan ($3.50); Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell ($3.03); Discerning Truth by Jason Lisle ($2.99).

What “Orwellian” Means

Most people use the word wrong. This is a great little video that describes what it really means (and why we want to use it rightly).

A Quick And Easy Guide To The Planned Parenthood Videos

Mollie Hemingway provides a quick and easy guide to the 10 videos that have been released to this point.

Don’t Neglect the Work of Speck Removing

Are we actually supposed to remove the speck from a brother’s eye? And can we see clearly enough to do that? John Piper answers in his inimitable way.

FactChecker: The Umpqua Community College Shooting

Joe Carter: “In an attempt to help dispel and clarify some of the claims being made I’ve put together what we know so far. There is still much we do not know about this mass killing, and even most of what we know is tentative so I’ll update this article as necessary.”

Why Four Gospels?

Why did God give us four gospels instead of just one? It’s a valid question.

Tomorrow in 1692. Increase Mather published his “Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits,” which ended the Salem Witch Trials. *

The Execution of Alfredo Prieto

“It is undeniably disturbing to drive to the scheduled killing of another.” This article tells how an execution actually unfolds.

Don’t Leave Jesus Behind

Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week with “Don’t Leave Jesus Behind.” Sponsors play a crucial role in helping keep the blog going, so I am grateful for each one.


Can you have any greater assurance that you are praying the will of God than when you are praying the Word of God? —Don Whitney

October 02, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: The Kind of Preaching God Blesses by Steve Lawson ($3.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($1.99); Church Zero by Peyton Jones ($1.99); Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd ($1.99). Also, don’t forget to stock up on the New American Commentary series while they are just $2.99 each.

Scandals, Sandals & Biblical Epics

This article provides a brief biography of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who led a fascinatingly contradictory life.

The Prosperity Gospel Has Gone Viral

“Regrettably, the prosperity gospel has gone viral. Being more nuanced and subtle than you may think, it is very active in the church. Like a computer virus it is draining vitality and productivity in the covenant community. And you know what the worst part is? You may not even know that you are impacted by it.”

Tabletalk Magazine

Here are the highlights of this month’s issue of Tabletalk magazine. There are several columns you can read online (though you’ll need a subscription to read all of them).

Seeking Revival in Ontario

Here’s an article and interview about a new Gospel Coalition chapter forming right here in Ontario. Be sure to check out the conference (October 16-17).

What Does Pope Francis Believe?

Ross Douthat, himself a Roman Catholic (though not a great fan of the current pontiff), tries to piece together what pope Francis believes.

This Day in 1792. The Baptist Missionary Society was founded in London, England by 21-year-old William Carey. He later became England’s first great Protestant missionary to India. *

The NFL Commissioner Has a Gambling Problem

Very interesting: “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated repeatedly his opposition to legalized gambling, asserting that the league’s opposition will not change because of vigilance in protecting the integrity of the game on his watch.”


If you’ve ever tried writing a full-length book in Microsoft Word you’ve undoubtedly realized that it’s just not up to the task. Scrivener is many people’s preferred option, and it’s on sale this week at a 56% discount.


When we bring God’s word directly into our praying, we are bringing God’s power into our praying. —Joni Eareckson Tada

October 01, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include: Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower ($2.99); On Guard by Deepak Reju ($3.99); Reformed Means Missional by Samuel Logan ($2.99); Running on Empty by Barbara Bancroft ($1.99); Multiply by Francis Chan ($4.99); Replant by Darrin Patrick ($1.99); Picture Perfect by Amy Baker ($0.99); Wilberforce by John Pollock ($1.99); Mindscape by Timothy Witmer ($2.99). You will also find that Amazon has a long list of monthly deals for a wide variety of books at $3.99 or less.

This month’s free audiobook from Christian Audio is David Platt’s Follow Me. It is free for the taking. Logos users may want to grab this month’s free Logos book: Luther in English.

Building the 787-9 Dreamliner

Here’s a neat time-lapse video showing how a Boeing 787 is built.

The First Rung of Christianity

In this short video Paul Washer comments briefly but powerfully on the porn plague.

Two Ways to Sing to God

“Psalm 81:1 commands us to ‘sing for joy.’ How does this command play itself out practically in our worlds, particularly when we feel joyless? I want to propose that to fully embrace this command, we must learn to sing in two ways: from affection and for affection.”

The Last Enemy

“Death rises to testify that life is absurd and God, if He exists, is either indifferent or impotent or perhaps both. No wonder the Apostle Paul calls it an enemy. The last enemy.”

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?

You’ve probably heard the little saying before. Al Mohler thinks it through.

This Day in 1883. A.B. Simpson founded the first school in America to train missionaries. Called the Missionary Training Institute in 1894, its name was changed to Nyack College in 1972. *

Knowing Christ

Knowing Christ is the title of a new book by Mark Jones that was inspired by J.I. Packer’s classic Knowing God. It is on sale at Westminster Books. And you can see Jones and Packer in conversation in this video.

A New Book on the Life and Theology of Martin Luther

New from Cruciform Press (the publishing company I co-founded) is Charles E. Fry’s book, A World Upside Down: Four Essays on the Life and Theology of Martin Luther, with a Foreword from Jerry Bridges.


To call a Christian a theist is roughly equivalent to calling the space shuttle Atlantis a glider. —R.C. Sproul

September 30, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include a new title from GLH Publishing: John Owen’s Communion with God ($0.99). You might also consider: 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli ($2.99); Christian Worship by Segler & Bradley ($2.99); Perspectives on Christian Worship by various ($2.99); and The Remarkable Wisdom of Solomon by Henry Morris ($2.99). Also, The Paradox of Choice isn’t a Christian book, but is interesting nonetheless ($2.99).

Sooner Count the Stars

Today marks the release of Sooner Count the Stars, a new album from Sovereign Grace Music. I’ve listened to most of it and have really enjoyed it.

James Is, You Know, in the Bible

Rick Phillips says it well: “I can think of few messages more urgently needed by our worldly churches today than the necessity of pursuing practical holiness through obedience and good works.”


Randy Alcorn has a new book out titled Happiness. He is also hosting a webcast and Twitter chat this afternoon and invites you to participate.

Popular Popes and Priestly Pretenders

Nate Busenitz’s article “addresses one of the many reasons why evangelicals should neither endorse nor applaud the office of the papacy.”

Mars and the Majesty of Christ

“The vastness and beauty of the Milky Way should elicit a response from us. That response should be neither one of pagan nature worship nor greedy utility, but of wonder and awe at Christ Jesus in his infinite vastness and immeasurable beauty.”

This Day in 1953. Bruce Ware was born. Happy 62nd birthday, Bruce!

Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox

When and if you run up against GMail’s limits, this article will help you get cleaned up.

The Difficulty of Prayer (and a Solution)

Mark Jones admits the difficulty and works toward a solution.


Our marriages preach. They preach a message that either attracts or repels our children. —William Farley