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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

July 31, 2015

New from GLH Publishing is one of my all-time favorite Puritan works: Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. It’s at just $0.99. Also consider Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Essential Bible Companion by John Walton ($5.99); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($0.99).

Exceptionally Ordinary - We need to be reminded of this often. “The assumption is that God will be really pleased if we do something massive (on a human scale) for him. Really? Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills?”

The Children of Strangers - The New Yorker has a long, interesting, and sad article about a couple that adopted twenty children.

10 Quick, Important Developments On The Planned Parenthood Scandal - And still the major news outlets are quiet about it.

Our Wilberforce Moment - The comparison to Wilberforce is a strong one. Josh Howerton says that this is our culture’s Wilberforce moment, and I am inclined to agree.

When Success Outgrows Character - This is a very helpful article from Eric Geiger. “When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside.” (I have previously written about this here.)

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do - “My fear is that we can fall down that slippery slope that an awesome worship experience equals the Holy Spirit.”

New York City Transit - Did you know that much of the technology driving the New York City subway system is nearly 100 years old? Here’s a look at the past, present, and future.


Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth. —Matthew Henry

July 30, 2015

How Driscoll’s Is Hacking the Strawberry of the Future - I enjoyed this article on the art and science of growing the perfect strawberry. It’s mostly science, I suppose.

So Will His Righteousness - Your sin will eventually find you out, but so will Christ’s righteousness.

The Lost World of Adam and Eve - Steve Ham of Answers in Genesis has written a long and thorough response to John Walton’s The Lost World of Adam and Eve.

The Speechwriter - The New York Times did a review of a book I read recently and really enjoyed: The Speechwriter by Barton Swaim. It’s an inside look at working for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

The Spanish Inquisition - Stephen Nichols offers a brief history of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.

Why Planned Parenthood Can’t Donate Tissue Harvested From Babies - I continue to pray that this situation serves as the tipping point in culture’s view of abortion.

The Tragedy of iTunes - I don’t have as much classical music as I’d like, but I completely agree with this author that Apple’s new music service is utterly appalling. And I say that as a committed Apple fanboy.


We are too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand. —C.H. Spurgeon

July 29, 2015

The Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series, edited by David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida, is on sale today in the Kindle versions: Exodus, Song of Songs, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians ($0.99 each); Ezra & Nehemiah, Matthew, MarkEphesians1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, James1, 2, & 3 John ($2.99 each). These are solidly evangelical, entry-level, reader-friendly commentaries.

The Calvary Option - Carl Trueman has some level-headed reflections on all of the cultural turbulence around us. “The tomb is still empty.   And my ministry will continue to be made up of the same elements as that of my of spiritual forefathers: Word, sacraments, prayer.”

What Are Natural Flavors? - It’s a good question to ask since they are in so many of our foods.

One Simple Way to Encourage Your Pastor - This is a great word from Kevin DeYoung. 

The Gospel-Centered Parent - This week’s deals from Westminster Books revolve around Christian parenting.

Reflections on Gay Marriage - Randy Alcorn recommends this short series of videos reflecting on gay marriage and homosexuality.

The Point of Hospitality - This is an important reminder that we too often forget when it comes to hospitality.

Iron Mountain - Here is a rare look inside Iron Mountain, an incredible place that houses some of America’s greatest treasures.


You can’t confuse childlike faith with childish thinking. —John MacArthur

July 28, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace ($1.99) (He also has a new book out next week called God’s Crime Scene); A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada ($0.99); The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff ($1.99); Preaching by Calvin Miller ($1.99).

SCOTUS: Too Much and Too Little - Rosaria Butterfield: “I have no right to complain. The blood is on my hands. For a decade, I lived as a lesbian who advanced the cause of gay rights. The world we see today is the one I helped create.”

God Doesn’t Need My Kid To Beat the Odds - This is a powerful and comforting article: “It was so definitive, those conclusive words of the neurologist: ‘He will never walk or talk. In many ways he is incompatible with life.’”

Does The Bible Say Anything About Sleep Habits? - Nothing is more mundane than sleep, but few things have a deeper impact on life.

Tim Tebow, Reinvented - Sports fans may appreciate this article about Tim Tebow’s ongoing attempts to prove that he can be an NFL quarterback.

How to Launch a Nuclear Missile - Well, it’s a little bit melodramatic, but you’ll still enjoy seeing how to launch a nuclear missile.

The Only Bad Word Left - Melissa talks about the only bad word that’s left in our vocabulary.

A Call to Teenagers To Be Free - John Piper puts out the call to teenagers. “Be wise and strong and free from the slavery of culture-conformity. To put it another way, I am calling teenagers to a radical, wartime lifestyle.”

The gospel is not made more powerful by a dynamic preacher or a rockin’ band; the gospel cannot be improved. —Jared Wilson



July 27, 2015

Happy Monday! Crossway has some good deals this week on the Kindle versions of 3 excellent marriage books: No Ordinary Marriage by Tim Savage ($3.99); What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp ($3.99); and This Momentary Marriage by John Piper ($3.99). (From a different publisher, Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say “I Do” is $1.99.)

Looking Away From Abortion - Ross Douthat has a good and powerful editorial on the situation surrounding Planned Parenthood.

Why Fireflies Glow - You know that they glow, but scientists are only just figuring out why they glow.

The Frequency of English Words - Here’s an interesting video that talks about one of my favorite things: words.

Don’t Pray About the Book of Mormon - Mormon missionaries often ask you to take the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. This article explains why you shouldn’t do that.

Don’t Blame Trump, Blame America - I usually try to avoid politics (and especially U.S. politics) but I think Canada’s Rex Murphy says a lot of insightful things in this article. He places Trump’s popularity in the middle of today’s cultural and ethical mess.

TGC Church Directory - The Gospel Coalition has a very helpful (and newly updated) directory of associated churches. It’s a great place to begin the search when you’re traveling or relocating.

We Will Not Bow - “Last Sunday night (July 19), John MacArthur addressed the church’s response to an American society that is growing increasingly hostile to biblical morality and the truth of the gospel.” You can read, listen, or watch as you see fit.

The ungodly are not half so restrained in their blasphemy as we are in our praise. —C.H. Spurgeon



July 25, 2015

It’s the weekend at last! I have spent this week with my family at Muskoka Bible Centre, hanging around during the day and preaching every evening. This is a great place to enjoy some summer vacation and we are sorry to have to head home today. While we pack up and head back to the city, here are some articles and videos you may enjoy:

Doug Wilson comments on ISIS and Planned Parenthood and Their Respective Beheadings. He pulls no punches.

If you are up for a long and interesting kind of read that illustrates the Trouble in Utopia—any kind of Utopia—you may enjoy this.

U.S.-style megachurches are taking over the world according to The Washington Post. They discuss the rise of the megachurch across the globe.

CCEF has released a new edition of The Journal of Biblical Counseling and David Powlison’s editorial is always worth reading. This month he discusses How the Bible Gets Personal.

This storm chaser went to 10 states in 14 days to capture some remarkable footage.

R.C. Sproul Jr. gives you 5 Things to Look for in a Church. He ends this way: “If you find this list disheartening, if you feel there is no such body near you, get to work. A good church is less something you find, more something you build.”

The headline just about says it all: Challenging the Culture of Quarrelsome ‘Discernment’ Blogging. “I do not challenge biblical discernment. But I do want to challenge quarrelsome discernment: a counterfeit ‘discernment’ that revels in the fight, refuses to listen to others, and is careless with the truth.”

Please Be Careful of Tip Overs - “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies roughly every two weeks due to tip-over incidents. The vast majority of victims are under the age of five.”

Thanks to RPTS for sponsoring the blog this week with Ancient Greek for the Digital Age.

There is no sin that exists that is more powerful than the grace that is to be found in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. —Paul Tripp



July 24, 2015

New deals today include I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99); Revelation commentary by Paige Patterson ($2.99); and Suburbianity by Byron Yawn ($2.99).

5 Reasons to Keep the Kids In - This article largely describes my preference when it comes to children and worship services.

The Coming of the Age of Gibberish - Carl Trueman highlights the kind of ridiculous statement that is suddenly becoming so common.

Logic on Fire - You may have heard of the excellent documentary Logic on Fire which looks at the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The DVD is being offered at quite a discount.

How Boa Constrictors Kill - So maybe boa constrictors aren’t actually killing their prey by suffocation.

The End of Christianity in the Middle East - The New York Times magazine shows how the last vestiges of Christianity are being stamped out in the Middle East.

The Great Work Taking Place in Our World - Rick Phillips reminds us of the great work that is taking place in our world.

Plan B - I was sorry to read this story, about Washington State forcing objecting pharmacists to dispense Plan B.

All the preaching in the world cannot make a man see the truth so long as his eyes are blinded. —C.H. Spurgeon



July 23, 2015

Today is a good day to stock up on R.C. Sproul books: God’s Love and The Work of Christ are $1.99 each, Pleasing God is $0.99, while How Then Shall We Worship? is free.

Heaven Is a Place for Sale - This article traces a bit of the pre-history of the heaven tourism genre.

Forward from Conversion - Ed Stetzer: “It’s a really bad idea to give birth to a baby and leave them on their own. We call that abandonment. People go to jail for that—and rightfully so. But I think sometimes we do that in church.”

Lighting at 2000 FPS - This is an amazing video that shows lighting at 2000 frames per second.

The Pastor’s Personal Holiness - Nothing is more essential to a pastor’s calling or the ministry he extends to others than his own personal holiness.

New York Times Bestseller - We all know it’s an honor to be a New York Times bestseller. This article explains what that actually means.

After Miscarriage - Jessalyn Hutto has written a helpful book on miscarriage. Over the next couple of weeks she will taking and answering questions through her blog.

The world: Your biggest problem is without. The solution is within. The Bible: Your biggest problem is within. The solution is without. —Matt Smethurst



July 22, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Preaching in the Holy Spirit by Albert Martin ($0.99); The Holy Spirit by Geoffrey Thomas ($2.99); The Holy Spirit and Reformed Spirituality by Joel Beeke & Derek Thomas ($2.99); 50 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren Wiersbe ($2.99); The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias ($1.99); 

10 Numbers You Should Know About Planned Parenthood - Joe Carter gives you 10 important numbers related to Planned Parenthood. 

9Marks Collection - Westminster Books has marked down a large selection of 9Marks books. I recommend each and every one of them.

Pursuing Lyrical and Musical Flow - Jamie Brown is writing some very helpful articles for worship leaders and service planners. 

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes? - “We believe the church needs to become aware of this latest scientific development in genetic research, why it was attempted, the fallout and its consequences, and what specific ethical lines it crosses for us as Christians.”

The Missing Ingredient for Sexual Purity - If sexual purity is your struggle, Luke Gilkerson’s article may prove helpful.

The Power of Morning and Evening Routines - The Art of Manliness has a helpful video on the power of building routines into your life.

When we pray together, our needs become public. When he answers, his glory becomes public. —Jamie Dunlop



July 21, 2015

Here are a few Kindle deals: Mormonism Unmasked by R Phillip Roberts ($2.99); Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret ($4.61); Answers to Prayer by George Mueller ($4.10); James Robinson Graves by James Patterson ($2.99).

Textiquette for Teenagers - I guess we are all trying to figure out how best to lead our kids in this new world. Here are one dad’s thoughts on “textiquette.”

The Book of Numbers - Here, from The Bible Project, is a neat 6-minute overview of Numbers.

I am going to keep giving room for stories related to Planned Parenthood, mostly because this could be a real tipping-point in America’s relationship to an evil organization. Rosaria Butterfield says honestly, I Thought Planned Parenthood Protected Family Values. Also, Brit Hume has delivered a very powerful commentary on abortion.

Underwater Graveyard - For 70 years, World War II planes have been resting in peace at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Mashable has some some amazing photos.

The Sunday Worship Killer - “Donning the robes of the critic maims and kills many would-be worshipers in churches every single Sunday morning.”

Does Water Ever Expire? - Why does your bottle of water taste bad the day after you open it?

What will really save the lost world? Let me tell you: none of our complaints against it. —Jared Wilson