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A La Carte

February 21, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: My book Sexual Detox is just $1.99; The Essential Guide to Public Speaking by Quentin Schultze ($2.99); Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell ($3.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($2.99).

Smartphones Make You Tired - Take note! “For a productive day at work tomorrow, give the smartphone a rest tonight. Reading and sending work email on a smartphone late into the evening doesn’t just make it harder to get a decent night’s sleep. New research findings show it also exhausts workers by morning and leaves them disengaged by the next afternoon.” This Social Media Guard may prove helpful.

The Cult of the Visioneer - This is pretty common in the evangelical world today: “The process is simple. A church has a pastor. The pastor receives from God a specific vision and mission for his church. The church follows the visioneer.” (Here’s another Ref21 article on the same subject.)

Lecrae @ Huffington Post - The Huffington Post has a long profile of Christian rapper Lecrae.

Jamie Coots, 1971 - 2014 - You probably heard about the death of Jamie Coots, a third-generation signs-following pentecostal who handled venomous snakes in worship (and, not surprisingly, died after being bitten). Here’s a short film about his life and strange, strange ministry.

In Her Shoes - Here is some help in ministering to those who are grieving after losing a child.

A Family Mission Statement - I really like the idea behind this. I’m not sure that I’ve got the discipline to pull it off, though!

Pride is a sinner’s torment, but humility a saint’s ornament. —William Secker


February 20, 2014

At the Throne of Grace - John MacArthur’s book of prayers, At the Throne of Grace, is just $1.99 for Kindle. Plenty of other Kindle deals were listed Monday and Tuesday.

Faithful Pastor, You’re Not Crazy - Ray Ortlund.: “A text message came in from a pastor friend.  I’ve known him for decades.  He is the kind of man for whom the adjective ‘saintly’ was invented.  He pastored a thriving church for many years.  Then someone on staff stabbed him in the back and rallied others to get him thrown out.”

Deep Discounts on Books - Westminster Books offers clearance and ultra-clearance books. There are some pretty good deals to be had!

Christian Leader in the Digital Age - Al Mohler: “If the leader is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world, and that population is shrinking every minute. The clock is ticking.”

Forgetting How to Read Your Bible - Daniel Doriani explains the danger in forgetting how to read your Bible. “Once again, I wonder: How could a man who studied and knew Scripture and taught it faithfully to others, brazenly violate its most basic principle of love and self-control? Even as I ask the question, I know I’m liable to self-destructive sin too.”

The High Cost of Multitasking - Multitasking is a bad idea. This infographic explains how and why.

The Age of Ageism - I appreciate the point Bryan Loritts is making here: “We are in an age of ageism where many of the young men I meet today in the church do not know how to relate to older men in ways that honor them and God all at once.”

There can be no greater glory for man than to glorify God. —J.I. Packer


February 19, 2014

The Front Line in the Gender Wars - “The gender revolution will not be televised. Why? Because it is taking place in your local public bathroom.” A children’s bathroom, that is.

True Greatness Never Goes Viral - This is a sweet tribute to a godly man. “Despite his lack of public fame, my grandpa was truly great in God’s eyes. That’s the funny thing about true, biblical greatness. Biblical greatness almost never goes viral, because biblical greatness almost always involves doing things no one ever sees.”

The Antichrist - David Murray is writing a series on the Antichrist. Now there’s a topic we don’t talk about much anymore…

Can Orientation Be Sinful? - People often distinguish between orientation and behavior. Denny Burk examines whether that distinction holds up under scrutiny.

You’re Not a Superhero - Paul Tripp writes about some of our natural limitations and how we sometimes try to defy them.

Are Tongues Real Languages? - Nathan Busenitz is beginning a series to answer this question: 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)? Regardless of your position, I think the series is likely to be helpful.

Psalm 34 - Psalm 34 is one of several acrostic poems in the Bible. This graphic nicely shows some of what we lose in an English translation.

I would rather make bricks without straw than try to live the Sermon on the Mount in my own strength. —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


February 18, 2014

Zondervan has lowered the price on all the volumes of their Counterpoints series ($3.99 each). These are helpful books in orienting yourself in various theological dialogues: Baptism, Inerrancy, The Historical Adam, Creation and EvolutionMiraculous GiftsRemarriage After Divorce, Sanctification, The Church Growth Movement, Salvation in a Pluralistic World, Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism, Church Government, Women in Ministry, Lord’s Supper, Apologetics, Christian Spirituality, Divine Providence, The Worship Spectrum, The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Hell, The Millennium, Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology, Law and Gospel, The Book of Revelation, The Apostle Paul, The Canaanite Genocide. Also, Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson ($3.03; (If you missed yesterday’s deals from Crossway, be sure to look at them as well.)

Sara’s Story - This is a powerful story of God’s grace. This is particularly beautiful: “I had tried long and hard and still simply could not believe until I could. It was nothing I did or didn’t do; I just woke up one day and awoke.”

Good Works vs Good Deeds - Bill Mounce introduces us to another of those translation conundrums that most of us never have to face.

Video Games and Men - Here’s a different view on videogames (at least it’s different from what we usually hear): “Videogames now provide such rich and varied experiences that it is now just as probable that playing them can genuinely make one a better, more well-rounded person, just as a powerful film or a dense and rich novel might.”

Humility - I enjoyed this article on humility. “Have you ever had one of those moments of ‘clarity’? A moment when the dust of this life lifts for just an instant providing you a view of truth, the world, and yourself like you’ve never seen it before. A moment when all you’ve read and studied of the scriptures becomes so brilliantly clear. Often they aren’t very pleasant.”

My Beautiful Woman - This short film is worth watching (even if Denny slightly over-stated its impact).

God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine. —David Nicholas


February 17, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($1.99); Dig Deeper by Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach ($1.99); Feelings and Faith by Brian Borgman ($1.99); Fools Gold? by John MacArthur ($1.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); The Answers Book 2 by Ken Ham ($4.99); The Answers Book for Kids Volume 1 by Ken Ham & Cindy Malott ($1.99); How Do We Know the Bible Is True? by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge ($3.99); Flood by Design by Mike Oard ($2.99).

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Zina Lahr - This is an interesting article about a fascinating young girl. “When 23-year-old Lahr went missing on a trail outside Ouray, Colorado, the world lost an amazing young talent.”

I Like Words - “When copywriter Robert Pirosh landed in Hollywood in 1934, eager to become a screenwriter, he wrote and sent the following letter to all the directors, producers, and studio executives he could think of.” It’s pretty amazing.

Hot Bods, the Bible, and the Brain - It will take a few minutes to read, but this article helpfully lays out the brain’s role in porn addiction.

Technology Extinction - Here’s some wisdom on how to avoid investing in technology that will soon disappear. Nook owners will probably be especially interested in reading it.

In the Path of Grace - I enjoyed this reflection on God’s grace: “His grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply. We can’t make the grace flow, but God has given us circuits to connect and pipes to open in case it’s there.”

Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct. —J.C. Ryle


February 15, 2014

6 Factors That Do Not Affect Inerrancy - C. Michael Patton gives six factors that do not affect inerrancy. This is an important subject at a time when people work hard to discredit the Bible.

Redeeming Valentine’s Day - I enjoyed reading Bob Kauflin’s tale of how he and his wife, Julie, met and married.

What You Don’t Need to Forgive - “Not everything that bothers or annoys us needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness is only for moral offenses. When we try to use forgiveness as the method to resolve relational irritants that are not moral in nature several bad things happen.” This article lays it out.

Biblical Womanhood for Pariahs - This is an important subject: “A few years ago, a friend in the process of divorce encouraged me to write on the topic of pariahs in the church. These are the believing women around us whose life circumstances make us uncomfortable – the Ruths and Naomis in our culture.”

The Ideal Modern Marriage - “The secret of a happy marriage has changed, reports the UK’s Independent … In former times, marriage was for food, shelter, and physical safety. Then, as society moved from a rural economy to an industrial one, marriage involved men as providers, women as homemakers. Now, in our post-industrial world, marriage is all about each partner finding their own potential.”

The Most Satisfying Thing - Kenny Sailors is 91 years old. He is credited with inventing the jump shot as an alternative to the two-handed, flat-footed set shot. He talks about what has been most satisfying in his life.

It is your duty to believe and to teach what the Bible teaches, not what you want it to teach. —R.C. Sproul


February 14, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Thrive by Lina AbuJamra ($2.99); When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz ($2.99); New from GLH Publishing is Thomas Goodwin’s Christ Set Forth ($0.99); Also, time is running out to get these 5 volumes in the excellent Preaching the Word commentary series (ideal for study or devotional reading): GalatiansEphesians; Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon; 1-2 Timothy and Titus; 2 Corinthians ($2.99 each).

When We Talk About God - I’m with Jared Wilson here: “I think a lot of the rejections in evangelicalism today of God’s sovereignty and biblical infallibility are not unrelated to the more recent conversations about the need to attend regular local church services. They are all simply manifestations of a rejection of authority…”

Beyond the Worship Set - Matt Merker has a really helpful article about a feature of our worship services that we may take for granted: the worship set.

Beyond Male and Female - Facebook announced that they have moved beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’ with custom gender options. You can now customize your gender and your preferred pronoun.

Family Devotions in Real Life - CBMW: “We asked Jodi Ware what family devotions looked like in their home during the training years of their own two daughters. Her husband, Bruce Ware, is the author of the excellent discipleship book Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God.”

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - I like this explanation: “Most writers manage to get by because, as the deadline creeps closer, their fears of turning in nothing eventually surpasses their fears of turning in something terrible.”

What and How You Read - Rosaria Butterfield: “I’m culpable. The blood is on my hands. The world of LGBTQ activism on college campuses is the world that I helped create. I was unfaltering in fidelity: the umbrella of equality stretching to embrace my lesbian identity, and the world that emerged from it held salvific potential. I bet my life on it, and I lost.”

Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise. —C.H. Spurgeon


February 13, 2014

Here are three Kindle deals from Christian Focus: To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams ($2.99); A Cord of Three Stands by Diana Lynn Severance ($2.99); Radical Dating by Diane Montgomery, Gabrielle Pickle & Sarah Bubar ($2.99). Finally, the classic Holiness by J.C. Ryle ($4.61).

A Young(er) Wayne Grudem - This is fun: “I love a good vintage theology book. Vintage, in this usage, means late 70′s or early 80′s, and I’m mainly talking about cover aesthetics. The particularly book pictured even comes with sweet character sketches of each of the authors before their respective essays. We’re talking about back when D. A. Carson had a mustache and Wayne Grudem still had his hair.”

5 Lies About Your Body - Here are five lies our culture tells us about how we should perceive our bodies—and five truths from Scripture to help shift our perspective.

The Fathers - My Mentors - I appreciate Michael Haykin’s perspective on the church fathers. (Don’t be intimidated by the talk of church fathers: it’s a very short article.)

What Are We Fighting About? - Brad Hambrick says there are really just four types of disagreements that a couple can have. He discusses each of them.

460 Years Ago Yesterday - Justin Taylor writes about Lady Jane Grey who died 460 years ago yesterday. She represents a fascinating little piece of history.

Happy 75th R.C. - Ligonier Ministries has a brief article about R.C. Sproul to mark his 75th birthday. If you’d like to wish him a happy birthday, there is a place for you to do that there.

The doctrines of grace humble a man without degrading him and exalt a man without inflating him. —Charles Hodge


February 12, 2014

Here are some Kindle deals for you: Love or Die by Alexander Strauch ($3.99); God on Sex by Daniel Akin ($2.99); Deacons by Henry Webb ($2.99); Christian Leadership Essentials ($3.99); Church Administration by Robert Welch ($2.99); Church Administration Handbook by Bruce Powers ($2.99); Al Mohler’s The Conviction to Lead has fallen to $4.39; Andrew Davis’ An Infinite Journey is back on sale ($4.99).

Crucifying Defensiveness - Jared Wilson: “The biggest problem in my life and ministry is me. And the biggest problem among my many idiosyncratic problems is the impulse toward self-defense and self-justification.”

Baby Iver - This story made headlines in Canada yesterday; once again, it highlights our culture’s contradictory view of unborn life. We can read it and celebrate the joy of life even amidst the grief of death.

Gifts of the Spirit in the Old Testament - Here is an article about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

Facebook Fraud - This video explains why Facebook likes may not be all that valuable, and why you definitely shouldn’t pay for them.

The Story That Writes Itself - Kevin DeYoung has a tongue-in-cheek Mad Lib that should save sports journalists a lot of time in the years ahead.

D.A. Carson on Good Commentaries - “In honor of the recently released seventh edition of D. A. Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey (Baker Academic), we asked The Gospel Coalition’s co-founder and president a few questions about commentaries—what makes a good one, what they can’t do, common pitfalls, how much time we should give them, and more.”

To forsake Christ for the world, is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow. —William Jenkyn


February 11, 2014

HarperCollins has discounted a list of works by C.S. Lewis ($3.99 each): The Discarded Image; Image and Imagination; An Experiment in Criticism; Studies in Words; The Allegory of Love; Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature; Selected Literary Essays. Also, consider: Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuard Scott & Heath Lambert ($2.99); The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton ($3.99); Holman QuickSource Bible Atlas ($2.99); Holman QuickSource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls ($2.99).

Marriage in America - “This week Americans celebrate National Marriage Week, a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture. Here are nine things you should know about marriage in America.”

What Can Miserable Christians Sing? - Carl Trueman reflects on an old article titled “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?”

Truth and Tone - Erik Raymond looks to John Newton to encourage pastors to remember that truth and tone go hand-in-hand.

Addicted to Social Media - Kids are addicted to social media, but it’s not their fault. It’s your fault! And here’s why.

Growing Pains - Tim Chester (with some help from Tim Keller) writes about some of the growing pains that come with bigger churches.

They Do It Better - Tim Brister learned some discipleship lessons from someone who seems to be doing it quite a bit better than most Christians. It’s worth thinking about!

I will not believe that you have tasted of the honey of the gospel if you can eat it all by yourself. —C.H. Spurgeon