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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

May 03, 2014

Here are a couple of new Kindle deals: How Long, O Lord by D.A. Carson ($4.99); Alone with God by John MacArthur ($0.99).

Small God, Big Storm - “How many times have I read or watched a news report about the devastation, caused by a tornado in some part of the country? Dozens maybe. … This time it was different. This time a friend of mine–and two of his children–died.”

Terrible International Aid Ideas - Here is a list of ways people thought they could help but actually just made things worse.

MLJ: World’s Best Grandfather - I enjoyed this article from Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ grandson.

Snapchat’s New Update - Parents whose kids use Snapchat should read this and be aware of what Snapchat is and does.

Do Christians Overhype Porn Addiction? - Granted he’s writing for Covenant Eyes, but the points are still valid.

7 Lessons from Failure - David shares some of what he has learned from failure. In a similar vein J.D. Payne says The Conference No One Hosts Is the One You Need to Attend.

Field Trip to a Junkyard - This sounds like a worthwhile activity.

“Exaggeration” is actually a proud, unbroken word for “lying.” —Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Demoss

May 02, 2014

I don’t see new Christian Kindle deals today, but there are a few general market books worth looking at: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell ($3.99); Quiet by Susan Cain ($2.99); Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner ($1.99); Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand ($6.99); Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman ($2.99).

My Wife Has Tattoos - “Today is the day of my wedding. And I am not marrying the girl of my dreams. If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoos, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts, I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike…”

Jesus, You Are Enough - There is an interesting challenge in this article.

PCRT Conference - The PCRT Conference begins today. You can get information at the link and watch the livestream here.

Approaching God - This article is an editorial introduction to an issue of a magazine, but a couple of the paragraphs are gold when it comes to prayer. “The differences between Christian prayer and other traditions actually highlight its magnificence. There’s no need for a ritual of set phrases or physical actions—we ourselves can enter the throne room of God.”

Faithful Graciousness - Jared Wilson says to encourage your pastors with faithful graciousness.

How the Pyramids Were Built - This doesn’t explain it all, but it gives a valuable clue to at least one part of the process.

The difference between heart belief and head belief is the difference between salvation and damnation. —George Sweeting

Sweeting

May 01, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole ($2.99); Our Triune God by Philip Ryken ($3.99); Sunsets by Deborah Howard ($3.99); The Call to Joy and Pain by Ajith Fernando ($3.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); Amazon has 110 books at $3.99 or less. This month’s free book from ChristianAudio is the excellent Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. Free from Logos this month is 300 Quotes for Preachers from the Puritans.

A Secret Life of Sin - “Nobody just falls out of a tree. They climb up in it, move around a bit, and then fall out.” Indeed. And here’s an implication: Where a secret life is present, a secret prayer life is absent.”

Learning From Calvin and Hobbes - “Anybody who has a message that they care about communicating should pay attention to the great lesson taught by Calvin and Hobbes: The lesson is that not every message can be communicated in every medium.”

The Lord Gives, The Lord Takes Away - A sad report: “Rob Tittle, a FamilyLife staff member and kindred spirit warrior for the family, died last night in the tornado that crushed parts of central Arkansas.  Two of his daughters—Tori, age 20, and Rebekah, 14—were among the 15 killed in the storm.”

All I Know Is Grace - You’ll be encouraged by this testimony to God’s saving grace.

Be Quick to Hear - Here is some sound counsel for the next time someone criticizes you.

Tabletalk Magazine - Each month Ligonier Ministries shares a selection of articles from that month’s Tabletalk magazine. You can find May’s selection (a good group of articles!) at the link.

To exhibit God’s righteous anger, you must be angry at sin wherever you find it—especially in yourself. —Winston Smith

Smith

April 30, 2014

Ian & Larissa - You may have heard of Ian and Larissa. This video provides an update on their unique situation and tells that they’ll soon have a book out titled Eight Twenty Eight.

Encouraging Others Through Loss - This is a powerful story following a devastating loss. “A lot of people have said our faith is strong. But God’s grace is strong. But really what’s getting us through it, His sustaining us. God’s giving us power, giving us calmness, peace…”

Show Them Jesus - This looks like a very helpful resource from New Growth Press. Westminster Books has it deeply discounted if you buy it in bulk to give away.

Mr. Controller - David Murray goes looking for the characteristics of the authoritarian, controlling person.

Firing Rome’s Canon - R.C. Sproul Jr. on the canonization of two former popes: “I can’t fathom how anyone could believe the silliness we’re all supposed to be celebrating. Rome actually insists that we believe that when these popes died, they wrote a check for more than they owed and calmly told God He could keep the change.”

15 Landmarks Zoomed Out - This is really interesting: 15 landmarks zoomed out to tell a bigger story.

A Dad Who Sings - “We had the windows down, the sun roof open, and the music turned up. I was singing along, oblivious to the mounting embarrassment of the person occupying the passenger seat. Until…”

Truth has no degrees or shades. A half truth is a whole lie, and a white lie is really black. —John MacArthur

MacArthur

April 29, 2014

Kindle readers are on sale in the lead-up to Mother’s Day. You can get the basic Kindle for $49 and the Paperwhite (which is my preferred Kindle) for just $99. Congratulations to Kevin DeYoung whose book Crazy Busy was named Christian Book of the Year. And here are a couple of Kindle deals: Entrusted with the Gospel edited by D.A. Carson ($3.99); The MacArthur Bible Handbook ($3.99); Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith (free).

Pope Francis, TMZ, And Sainthood - “The only thing worse than celebrity culture, is celebrity culture in the church.” There are some great reflections on celebrities and celebrityism in this article.

The Future of Protestantism - “Should the shape of Protestant theology and the Protestant consciousness still be determined by the Reformation’s reaction to Roman Catholicism?” You may want to log in at 7 PM PST to watch this dialog. It looks absolutely fascinating.

March for Life 2014 - If you are in the Ottawa area, you may be interested in coming to the 2014 March for Life. I will speak, then there will be some pro-life training, and then there will be the march to Parliament Hill.

6 Types of Grace - Paul Tripp describes six different types of grace.

What Would Jesus Say to the LGBT Community? - I appreciate this attempt at suggesting what Jesus might say to the LGBT community.

A Gosnell Movie - Owen Strachan wants you to know about a proposed, crowdfunded film on Kermit Gosnell.

Those who give much without sacrifice are reckoned as having given little. —Erwin Lutzer

Lutzer

April 28, 2014

I found just a couple of new Kindle deals today: Knots Untied by J.C. Ryle ($0.99; Doctrine by Mark Driscoll has some glowing endorsements and serves as a good primer to Christian theology ($2.99).

Can Blessings Be a Trial? - “Do you find yourself in the midst of blessings? Your marriage is strong. Your children seem to coast along. Everything is going well at work. Your health is decent. Finances are sufficient to pay the bills. Friendships seem to be easy and fun. Overall, life is going your way and you couldn’t be happier. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?”

Game of Thrones - I’m probably kind of a geek, but I enjoyed this longform article on air travel. Even though we all hate air travel.

In Australia - I am going to be in Australia in a couple of weeks (in both Sydney and Perth). If you’re down under, it would be great to meet you. The link has some of the places I’ll be.

Should We Speak of Gay Christians? - Owen Strachan asks whether we should speak of gay Christians.

God’s Not Dead - Here’s an interesting comparison of the movie God’s Not Dead to real life. It highlights what was probably my chief concern with the film.

Welcoming Autism - I love to hear of churches that are welcoming to those with special needs. Here’s an article on welcoming autism into your church.

Jesus Lived for You - R.C. Sproul explains that Jesus did not only die for you, but also lived for you.

Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion. —Thomas Brooks

Brooks

April 26, 2014

After yesterday’s long list of Kindle deals (check them out here) you wouldn’t expect a lot today! I did find John MacArthur’s The Silent Shepherd at $0.99. And now for some links…

Marriage Equality for Throuples - “The story of a female throuple in Massachusetts (with a baby on the way) provides further confirmation, as if any were needed, of the proposition that ‘ideas have consequences’.” The tide is turning fast.

A Biblical and Theological Analysis of NDE - Justin Taylor links to a helpful analysis of near death experiences.

Paperbacks - Here’s a look at how paperbacks transformed the way Americans read.

Rob Bell and Don Draper - This is quite a good article (though, based on what I know of it, I wouldn’t recommend Mad Men!). The author offers some analysis of Rob Bell and determines that he is, at heart, an advertiser. And a very good one at that.

Dorothy and Karama - I enjoyed reading this dispatch from the mission field.

When Pastors Fall - Ed Stetzer writes about pastors who fall, and the importance of full and public repentance.

The surest way of spoiling a pleasure is to start examining your satisfaction. —C.S. Lewis

CS Lewis

April 25, 2014

There are lots of new Kindle deals today (Amazon is doing their BIG DEAL sale): The Final Days of Jesus by Justin Taylor & Andreas Kostenberger ($0.99); What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson ($0.99); From Heaven He Came and Sought Her by Various ($3.99); Finishing Our Course with Joy by J.I. Packer ($0.99); Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson ($0.99); The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken ($4.99); Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger ($4.99); Subversive Kingdom by Ed Stetzer ($2.99); Transformational Discipleship by Eric Geiger ($2.99); Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler ($7.99); Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($2.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian ($0.99); Showing the Spirit by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Helps for Counselors by Jay Adams ($1.99).

But What About Gluttony? - Kevin DeYoung: “Why do conservative Christians make such a fuss about homosexuality and give everyone a free pass—most notably themselves—when it comes to gluttony? That’s a question you hear a lot of us these days and one you should expect to hear again and again, posed in a hundred different ways, in the years ahead.”

Owen’s Classics - Westminster Books has two John Owen classics on sale. I can’t think of too many books that have had a bigger and longer-lasting impact on me than Overcoming Sin & Temptation.

Liberating Our Teens - “Our teens need to have a biblical understanding of sex in order to navigate the challenges that await them in college…”

Jesus Is Better Than Porn - In a short video, Jimmy Needham talks about his battle against addiction and the truth that saved his life.

A Spiritual Family Tree - Jason Helopoulos: “What does your family tree look like? I am not so concerned about your biological family tree. Frankly, that is of very little interest to me. I’m interested in your spiritual family tree.”

50 Phrases that Came from Shakespeare - Here are 50 phrases you use that came from Shakespeare.

The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.J.H. Merle d’Aubigne

Reformation

April 24, 2014

I don’t see new Kindle deals today, but I do see some falling prices: Answering the Call by John Ensor ($3.96); The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan ($1.99); Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson ($3.49); Five Points by John Piper ($5.80); Creation by Andrew Davis ($1.99).

Sinner, Come Home - Al Mohler was one of many who was deeply affected by John Piper’s sermon at Together for the Gospel. He writes about it here. “Softly and tenderly still rings in my ears, and John Piper’s anointed exposition still rings in my heart. I am thankful beyond words to know that others will hear this message. Don’t dare miss it.” (Watch the video here)

Youth-Driven Culture - Stephen Nichols writes about the elevation of youth over the elderly in the church.

Tribes and the Lost Art of Discernment - There is food for thought in this post on theological tribes and discernment.

The “Me Time” Myth - Melissa corrects the “me time” myth.

Is It Bullying? - Is expressing the view that homosexuality a sin a form of bullying? 

A Way to Love Your Spouse - Here’s a subtle but powerful way to love your spouse.

Don’t seek a platform for the sake of the gospel if you’re not prepared to lose that platform for the sake of the gospel. —Sam Allberry

Allberry

April 23, 2014

Retweeting Compliments - Nathan Bingham: “The question of whether it is acceptable to retweet compliments on Twitter is nothing new and quite an old question in terms of internet years.” Should a Christian retweet compliments others pay him?

Bart Ehrman’s Latest - Here’s a long but enlightening article on Bart Ehrman, focusing on his latest book.

A Historical Adam - Nathaniel Claiborne is blogging his way through Four Views on the Historical Adam. Reading the series is a good way to orient yourself in the debate. (Hey, Nathaniel, how about linking each post to the ones that came before/after it?)

Cell vs Virus - This is so simply done that even I can begin to understand it.

You Can’t Claim a Promise - Barnabas Piper tells you why you can’t claim a promise.

Worship in the Inconvenience - In this article at True Woman, Susanna writes “Most of life as a mother is worshiping when circumstances are inconvenient.” Ain’t that the truth. “I read the Bible while my baby is tugging at my feet and my three-year-old is wanting my lap. I pray broken sentences in the car while there is arguing in the back seat, and I want to yell for quiet.”

A Testimony to God’s Goodness - David Murray calls this one of the most powerful testimonies to God’s goodness he’s ever heard. It’s an encouraging one.

Most men pray more for full purses than for pure hearts. —Thomas Watson

Watson

Pages