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A La Carte

June 09, 2015

I dug up just a few noteworthy Kindle deals today: One New Man by Jarvis Williams (Foreword by Tom Schreiner) ($0.99); God Speaks by Ray Comfort($0.99); Colossians and Ephesians by Murray Harris ($0.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($2.99); Better Love Now by Tommy Nelson ($0.99).

God Wrote a Book - I think you’ll enjoy this new video from John Piper.

How Do I Make Christ Appealing? - “We aim to make Christ more appealing to the one who seems to that he is not very appealing. This usually means giving Jesus something of an extreme-makeover so that the eligible unbeliever might be won over.”

Learning for the Future from the Duggars - Wendy Alsup has some helpful things to say about the Duggars, and especially about the media’s victimizing of the victims.

Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones? - You may well have read an article like this in the past, but I found it helpful to read and consider again. “Any claim to actually know one’s religious beliefs are true is regarded as a violation of the rules of intellectual inquiry.”

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Nathan Bingham thinks about the meaning of all those selfies. “What would a 21st-century Narcissus myth involve? I suspect it would include a smartphone, selfies, and crossing the street without looking.”

Why all the Superlatives? - Mark Jones asks a valid question: Why are we using so many superlatives to describe, well, pretty much everything.

Whatever sin the heart of man is most prone to, that the devil will help forward. —Thomas Brooks


June 08, 2015

The Poverty of Nations by Wayne Grudem ($4.99); The Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf ($3.99); Word versus Deed by Duane Litfin ($3.99); War, Peace, and Christianity by J. Daryl Charles ($3.99); The Book that Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi ($0.99); Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison (free).

The Faith of the Wright Brothers - David McCullough’s excellent new biography of the Wright brothers left open the matter of their faith. David Roach investigates the historical record.

Marks of Orthodoxy? - “The words ‘orthodox’ and ‘orthodoxy’ are grown-up words. … Sometimes they are wrongly used to set apart those who are orthodox in their doctrinal views from others who are orthodox in their doctrinal views.”

Three Neglected Aspects of Bible Study - Here are 3 areas of Bible study you may be neglecting. Each one is quite simply remedied.

Gay Marriage Is Not About Gay Marriage - This is a very helpful article from David Murray. Be sure to read to the end where you will hear about the great value of a good conscience.

Eternity Set in Our Hearts - Randy Alcorn talks about the constant yearning of the human heart.

How Should Christians View World History? - R.C. Sproul talks about the importance of properly understanding history.

Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan. —John Bunyan 



June 06, 2015

I’ve got just a few new Kindle deals for you: The Penguin Classic edition of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan ($2.60); Making a Difference in Preaching by Haddon Robinson ($2.99); New from GLH Publishing is To Be Near Unto God by Abraham Kuyper ($0.99).

Tim Keller has written a long article that reviews a couple of the most prominent books insisting the Bible allows for same-sex relationships and marriage.

Jared Wilson says it well: “One of the most valuable sentences in a pastor’s arsenal is ‘I don’t know’.” And there’s no point pretending otherwise.

Every few weeks someone has a different opinion on this one: Should you take notes on a laptop or by hand? This article says you do better when you stick with paper and pen.

Matt Perman has an article on How to Get Things Done in Seminary.

What are parents to do in a world of smartphones and tablets? Russell Moore offers some counsel.

Here are 5 Valuable Lessons for Young Men—the kind that young men (and older ones) need to hear again and again.

Thank you to Eternity Bible College for sponsoring the blog this week with their article Re-Imagining Education.

June 05, 2015

Good morning from the West Coast. I am out here in beautiful Vancouver B.C. (with Aileen!) for the Men for God Conference, and am looking forward to meeting new friends and speaking to them about our great God. But first, let’s get to today’s A La Carte.

Bruce or Caitlyn? - Denny Burk is attempting to carefully and biblically answer a pressing question: Should Christians accomodate transgender naming? I think he is well on his way to a solid response. On a similar topic, the link between transgenderism and gnosticism is an important one to consider.

Remember His Goodness - This article seems to go well with what I wrote yesterday and with the Puritan classic I’ve been reading (The Mystery of Providence). Remember to remember God’s goodness!

The Internet Doesn’t Exist - This author makes an interesting point: The Internet doesn’t really exist. At least, not in the way we often speak of it.

ESV Study Bible - Westminster Books must have too many ESV Study Bibles because they’re selling them at half off. It’s a great graduation gift if you still need one.

Emotions of Pixar - This video shows just how good Pixar is at conveying emotion. And it reminds me that I still haven’t seen Brave, something I ought to remedy forthwith.

5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel - I’m sure there are more, but 5 is a good place to begin.

No, I Won’t Bless the Food - Here is a good and timely reminder from Don Whitney.

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.