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A La Carte

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

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
December 12, 2015

Cruciform Press has 6 Kindle books marked down to $1.99: Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Al Martin, The Good News About Satan by Bob Bevington, Friends and Lovers by Joel Beeke, Hit List by Brian Hedges, Broken Vows by John Greco, and Brass Heavens by Paul Tautges. There are also several little books by John Piper at $2.99: Good News of Great Joy, The Marks of a Spiritual Leader, Doctrine Matters, Love to the Uttermost, and Captive to Glory. Also consider The ISIS Crisis by Charles Dyer ($3.50); Prepare by Paul Nyquist ($3.50); Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke ($1.99).

Also, you can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book (until December 14). Click here to get started.

There are a couple of new reviews of Do More Better that may interest you: A Productivity Coach, Not a Guru by Paul Tautges and this review by Jeremy Walker.

On Disputable Matters

D.A. Carson writes on an issue that is always pressing. “Every generation of Christians faces the need to decide just what beliefs and behavior are morally mandated of all believers, and what beliefs and behavior may be left to the individual believer’s conscience.”

Imprint of King Hezekiah’s Seal Found in Jerusalem

Here’s a neat story from the world of biblical archeology. “The royal seal of an ancient biblical king has been unearthed near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

How Jane Austen’s Emma Changed the Face of Fiction

“The story of a self-deluded heroine in a small village, Jane Austen’s Emma hardly seems revolutionary. But, 200 years after it was first published, John Mullan argues that it belongs alongside the works of Flaubert, Joyce and Woolf as one of the great experimental novels.”

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child

Here’s a sweet bit of writing that will be good for any parent to read.

This Day in 1841. 174 years ago today, J.C. Ryle was ordained in the Church of England. *

The World War 2 Meme That Circled the World

My grandfather used to draw Kilroy on every birthday or Christmas card. Now I know why.

Reformed Baptist Seminary

My gratitude goes to Reformed Baptist Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week.

Piper

We belittle God when we go through the outward motions of worship and take no pleasure in his person. —John Piper

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 11, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three by Matt Chandler: The Mingling of Souls ($4.16); Creature of the Word ($3.50); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain ($3.90). Also consider I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Scott Wellum ($2.99).

C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent

What!? “A recent discovery unveils an unknown chapter in the life of the famous Oxford Don.”

The History of the Christmas Card

We take the Christmas card for granted, but where did this tradition actually come from? Smithsonian.com tracks down the answer and even shows the very first card.

Top Tourist Attractions

Here’s a fascinating list of the world’s top tourist attractions.

Reflections on the Top 25 Christian Classics

Keith Mathison is well qualified to evaluate Christian History’s recent list of the top 25 Christian classics.

NASA Launch in 4K

NASA shares an ultra-high definition video of a recent rocket launch.

This Day in 1792. 223 years ago today, Jacob Mohr, author of the carol “Silent Night,” was born. *

6 Ways Not to Preach the Birth of Jesus

If you have the privilege of preaching this Christmas, don’t commit any of these errors. Please.

Stormscapes

Here’s some beautiful footage of some remarkable weather.

Hughes

Satan knows that if he can get us to laugh at things we believe we would never do, our defenses will fall. —Kent Hughes

Daily News Information and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 10, 2015

I found one, and only one, Kindle deal today: Joel Beeke’s Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation. I expect there will be more tomorrow. And now, here are your daily links:

Visual Theology

This week we have been adding new products to our Visual Theology store. We’ve added brand new posters displaying the Books of the Bible, The Attributes of God, and The Trinity.

Seven Situations Where Your Church Should Not Have Greeters

Thom Rainer is especially good at this kind of article.

The Doctrine of Scripture: Defining Our Terms

Any discussion is only as good as the definitions of the terms being used. This article at Ligonier defines important terms related to the doctrine of Scripture.

Certainty, Openness and Theological Wisdom

Ray Ortlund: “Some Christians seem ‘all certainty.’ Maybe it makes them feel heroic. But they see too few gray areas. Everything is a federal case. They have a fundamentalist mindset. Other Christians seem ‘all openness.’ Maybe it makes them feel humble.  But they see too few black-and-white areas. They have a liberal mindset—though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty.”

A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology

Justin Taylor points to some good resources on better understanding Islam.

This Day in 1520. 495 years ago today, German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X’s bull Exsurge Domine, which demands that Luther recant his “heresies,” including justification by faith alone. *

The World’s Most Popular Bible Verses

The Bible app is an incredible success story. Here’s what people did with the app in the last year. “In the app [every second], three bookmarks are created, four verses are shared, and 18 verses are highlighted. More than 50 Bible chapters are listened to, and 342 chapters are read.”

Seminaries Reluctantly Selling their Souls

I do not agree with everything in this article (Online education is a great alternative to those who simply cannot attend a seminary) but still think it is worth considering.

Manton

Divisions in the church always breed atheism in the world. —Thomas Manton

Daily Reading Links and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen ($2.99); The Peacemaking Pastor by Alfred J. Poirier ($1.99); Real Christianity by William Wilberforce ($1.99); But Don’t All Religions Lead to God? by Michael Green ($0.99); Already Gone by Ken Ham ($2.99).

Almost all of The New American Commentary volumes are on sale with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an asterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, MarkLuke*, John 1-11John 12-21ActsRomans1 Corinthians2 Corinthians*, Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon1&2 Thessalonians1&2 Timothy/TitusJames1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 JohnRevelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11, Genesis 11-50ExodusLeviticus*, Numbers*, DeuteronomyJoshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 ChroniclesEzra/Nehemiah/Esther*, JobProverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of SongsIsaiah 1-39Jeremiah/LamentationsEzekielDanielHosea/JoelAmos/Obadiah/JonahMicah-ZephaniahZechariahHaggai/Malachi.

The reviews for Do More Better continue to come in: Here’s The Cripplegate, Aaron Armstrong, and Travis Peterson.

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Josh Buice takes on a difficult topic and does very well with it. I take a very similar view to the one he arrived at.

Ministry Leaders and Burnout

Eric Geiger offers 5 reasons that burnout is so prevalent for those in ministry. I think #2 is especially prevalent: “The work (even the overwork) can feel holy.” The hardest things to say “no” to are the things that are just so good.

Nine Consequences of Debt

Randy Alcorn lays out some of the serious consequences of allowing yourself to get into debt. Here’s food for thought: “The more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t.”

The Twice-Yearly Sale

Christian Audio is having their twice-yearly sale. You can get most of their products for just $7.49.

The Ethical Dilemma of Self-Driving Cars

Ted-Ed covers a few of the ethical dilemmas related to self-driving cars.

This Day in 1608. 407 years ago today, English poet John Milton is born in London (most famous for his epic Paradise Lost). *

The #vtReading Challenge

If you are joining in with the 2016 Reading Challenge I posted the other day, be sure to check out this group at Goodreads.

Slow, Rusted, and Still in the Air

The B-52 bomber is an incredible piece of military technology that is still going strong, even thought it was supposed to retire decades ago. And it has no natural successor. “Today, there is a B-52 pilot whose father and grandfather flew the plane.”

Carson

Christians are to be as holy as pardoned sinners can be this side of eternity. —D.A. Carson