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A La Carte

March 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Saint Patrick by John Holmes ($0.99); 50 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn ($2.99); The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Manfield ($1.99).

Logos users may be interested in 35% off March Madness round 2 titles. There are lots of good ones to choose from. And be sure to vote in Round 3.

Finally, if you are preaching this Easter season, consider watching this helpful video from Bryan Chapell as he discusses how to make sermons connect with the listener.

5 Ways Not to Tell Your Wife about Your Porn Addiction

If you need to tell her, at least give her the dignity and grace of telling her well.

He’s Still Risen

You’ll enjoy this short video, I think.

4 Essentials for Finishing Well

Now that Jerry Bridges has finished well, these words take on added weight.

The Day After DST

Why on earth was I so tired yesterday, the day after Daylight Saving begins? This article explains.

Band of Bloggers

Band of Bloggers lives on. It will be taking place at this year’s T4G with quite an interesting panel (and, of course, lots of free books). Registration is limited, so don’t wait!

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

Check out our new Visual Theology print on the resurrection of Jesus. Bundle it with The Passion Week and you’ll get a discount on both.

7 Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About Church

Kristen Wetherell tells of a book that made “me think more deeply about common objections I’ve heard from friends, family, and others regarding local churches, along with the lies that fuel these objections. Here are seven lies that you may also have encountered, whether personally or from other people, about church…”

This Day in 1953. 63 years ago today, “the first Southern Baptist church in North Dakota was formed in Williston, with 12 charter members.” *

Muslims turning to Christ in Denmark

This was a neat report to read from Gene Veith. “The organization Inner Mission, whose conference I spoke at, does much of the evangelism work in that supposedly secularist country.  Staffers told me about how they are being overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants and refugees who come to them wanting to learn about Jesus and asking to be baptized.”

A Trapped Cougar

This is an intense video of park rangers releasing a very large trapped cougar. Note: I think there is one swear word along the way.

Carson

The more clearly we see sin’s horror, the more we shall treasure the cross. —D.A. Carson

March 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a few Easter-related deals from Crossway: The First Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger ($3.99); Scandalous by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Raised with Christ by Adrian Warnock ($3.99); Behold the King of Glory by Russ Ramsey ($3.99). Also consider The Compelling Community by Mark Dever ($2.99); On Guard by Deepak Reju ($2.51).

More Than Feeling in Love

“Don’t sit around and wonder if you’re still in love with your spouse or if your spouse is still in love with you. Just love him. Just love her. Go above and beyond to shower your marriage with the kind of love that you promised you would demonstrate for the rest of your life.”

Did Moses Edit Noah?

WORLD has an interesting article on six-day creation. You may need to be a subscriber to read it.

Why a Synthesizer Isn’t the Holy Spirit

“In recent decades ambient sounds have become omnipresent in church gatherings. Meetings start with a synth swell and every song after that is connected to the next with musical glue. Synth pads play softly behind prayer, Scripture readings, song intros, communion, and in some cases, the preaching.” Bob Kauflin explains how this matters.

Omnibus of Fallacies

I’m not familiar with the author of this book or its reviewer, but I sure did enjoy reading it. “Faith versus Fact is some kind of achievement. Biologist Jerry Coyne has managed to write what might be the worst book yet published in the New Atheist genre. True, the competition for that particular distinction is fierce…”

25 Quick Prayer Tips

Here are 25 quick tips and reminders meant to help your prayer life.

This Day in 1908. 108 years ago today, “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was chartered in Waco, Texas. Originally named Baylor Theological Seminary, the school campus relocated in 1910 to Fort Worth.” *

Judges

The Bible Project has released their video overview of the book of Judges.

Wingdings

Why does that Wingdings font even exist? This little video explains.

Lawson

We are saved from God’s wrath by God’s grace. Only God can save from Himself. —Steven Lawson

March 12, 2016
 
Hillsong Church: Do Not Colonize San Francisco

Hillsong announced a new church plant in San Francisco and this blogger takes on the arrogant tone of their announcement. “I’m tired of pastors coming to San Francisco, posting pictures of bridges and crooked streets and declaring how much they love this city without actually understanding any of it, without being hurt by it, without any scars to show or dirt on their shoes or callouses on their hands.”

Friday Quiz: The letter G

Here’s another fun little Bible quiz from The Good Book Company.

Too Sexy for This Selfie

“For ‘digital natives’—people who’ve never known a world without the Internet—social media has become the place where relationships are formed, proven, and tested. It also represents an aspirational pathway to fame and fortune, with figures like the Kardashians as sexy, selfie-taking role models.”

These Are The Long-Term Effects Of Multitasking

Essentially and not surprisingly, multitasking is not good for you in any way. We all know this, but just keep doing it!

Evangelists Adapt to a New Era

Here’s the New York Times profiling Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

Tomorrow in 1804. 212 years ago tomorrow, American Presbyterian clergyman and hymn writer James Alexander was born. In 1830, Alexander rendered the English text of Paul Gerhardt’s German hymn, “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” *

11 Mind-bending Christian Book Covers You Can’t Unsee

The title of this article is way over the top but, to be fair, so too are the book covers.

Is Our Media Consumption Hindering Our Pursuit of Holiness?

This is well worth considering. “It is interesting—no, disheartening—to hear that many believers’ answers are often not very different than the average non-Christian’s. It matters little whether it’s a similarity of content or sheer approach (e.g., bingeing). When it comes to consumption of media, both quality and quantity of intake matter immensely.”

What It Looks Like to Live Inside God’s Grace

Thanks to NavPress for sponsoring the blog this week with their article.

Carson

Some Christians want enough of Christ to be identified with him but not enough to be seriously inconvenienced. —D.A. Carson

March 11, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include a bunch from Lexham Press at $0.99: Bible Word Studies; The Bible in its Ancient Context; The Bible in the Real World; Letters to a Christian; When the Bible Is Complicated; The Gospel Works Everywhere.

The Greater the Sinner

The New Yorker profiles Joshua Milton Blahyi of Liberia where most still know him by his nom de guerre from the nineteen-nineties: General Butt Naked. He is now a preacher and claims to have turned around his life.

Encouraging Women to Do Biblical Studies at the Graduate Level

I was very glad to read this article and very much agree with its major point: “Reasons why complementarians of many stripes should encourage as many women as possible to get a Masters degree (or its equivalent) in biblical studies.”

How Far Is Planet 9?

It’s possible that there is actually a ninth planet out there. If there is, this video explains just how far from us it is.

Now Trending: Pre-Midlife Divorce

“With only my own observations of society and personal relationships, I am seeing more married couples separating and divorcing. Especially for adults in their mid-30s to mid-40s, it seems to have become a trend.” I think he could be right.

When Washrooms Are Weaponized

Jeff Jones peers a couple of years into the future and sees how bathrooms and change rooms will become the battleground for activism.

What You Should Know about the Syrian Civil War

Joe Carter offers a very helpful explanation of the Syrian Civil War (which has led, of course, to the Syrian refugee crisis).

This Day in 1888. 128 years ago today, Samuel Zwemer preached his first sermon, which was to a congregation of black people in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Later, he was a notable missionary to the Arab world. *

What Should You Look For in a Church?

This will serve as a helpful guide, I’m sure.

Gurnall

Unholiness in a preacher’s life will either stop his mouth from reproving or the people’s ears from receiving. —William Gurnall

March 10, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Moral Apologetics for Contemporary Christians by Mark Coppenger ($2.99); Flood Legends by Charles Martin ($2.99); Israel by Daniel Block ($2.99); The End of Christianity by William Dembski ($2.99); Passionate Conviction by William Lane Craig ($2.99); The Gospels and Acts (The Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible) ($2.99).

In Everything Give Thanks

You will enjoy this short, powerful article from Jeremy Walker.

Mohler’s Top-10 Books of 2015

Avid readers know to be on the watch for Dr. Mohler’s top-ten books of the year. Preaching magazine just announced them.

Time Management of the Preacher

I really enjoyed Steve Lawson’s 10-minute podcast on time management. It is geared to the pastor, but there is value there for anyone, though perhaps especially for people in knowledge work.

Not As Awesome as You Think

Maybe, just maybe, you’re not as awesome as you’re naturally inclined to think you are.

Thinking in Thirds

Worship leaders and service planners will want to read this one from Jamie Brown. “The goal for all worship leaders should be to maintain a repertoire of songs that serves the congregation whom God has called them to serve.” Thinking in thirds will help do that.

Victims of a Drive-by Catechizing

James Faris shares a great little anecdote from his days as a hard-working but grumbling student.

This Day in 1748. 268 years ago today, former sailor and slave-trader, John Newton trusted in Christ for salvation. He would go on to be a pastor and songwriter, his most famous hymn being “Amazing Grace.” *

The Ten Commandments of Church Parking Lots

Yes, even parking matters to a well-run and visitor-friendly church. Thom Rainer explains.

Street-Level Headship

My friend Paul Carter offers a look at three different practical implications of headship in his home.

Spurgeon

No man shall ever take from me the joy that Christ rose from the dead. —Charles Spurgeon

March 09, 2016

I did not track down any particularly interesting Kindle deals today, but Logos users will want to vote in round 2 of March Madness and perhaps take advantage of some of the deals related to the theologians who did not make it past round one. Also, Mobile Ed courses are 35% off in case you’ve ever wanted to study Romans or New Testament theology with Douglas Moo, Acts with Craig Keener, etc.

Andy Stanley Explains His ‘Stinking Selfish’ Parents Comment

Thumbs up to Christianity Today for their interview with Andy Stanley. They don’t hold back from asking the tough questions and he doesn’t hold it against them.

10 Marks of an Immature Believer

“In his little book, Grace: The Truth, Growth, and Different Degrees, Christopher Love, gives ten marks of an immature believer. He does this not to shame but in order to spur on towards growth in Christ.”

Ambushed by Beauty and Chicken Nuggets

This is a really good bit of writing. “I pull my car into an empty spot in the K-Mart parking lot that lies just behind our store. Glancing at the clock, I say to myself, You’re pushing it, bro. Regardless, I stop to take a deep breath before heading inside. A thought begins to cross my mind. I attempt to rebuke it, but instead I think it anyway. This is not what I thought I’d be doing at twenty-seven…” (HT)

‘Downton Abbey’ and the Weight of History

Downton Abbey did not captivate our interest by being monolithically progressivist in its outlook. Indeed, it was precisely the show’s nuance about historical complexity that has helped it endure.”

How I Prepare a Sermon

I always appreciate it when a pastor lets us into his sermon-preparation technique. This time around it’s Joe Thorn.

Headscarves and Hashtags

Many voices have weighed in on the debate as to whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. I’ve been waiting to hear from Tim Keesee. His article has just been posted to Desiring God.

35 Totally Random Life Hacks

There’s something for everyone on Nick’s list of lifehacks.

Ehrman–Licona Dialogue on the Historical Reliability of the New Testament

This could be an interesting back-and-forth. “TheBestSchools.org has therefore invited them to take part in what we call a Focused Civil Dialogue. The point of such a dialogue is for both parties to put their best foot forward in advancing their own case as well as in refuting the case of their interlocutors. We are grateful that both Dr. Ehrman and Dr. Licona have accepted this invitation.”

Welch

The God who was disgraced and shamed has eyes for those who have been disgraced and shamed. —Ed Welch

March 08, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers ($2.99); Preaching with a Plan by Scott Gibson ($2.99); How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens by Michael Williams ($3.99); How to Read the Bible Book by Book and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart ($3.99); How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee ($4.99). Also, in tribute to Jerry Bridges and his exemplary life, Cruciform Press has significantly dropped prices on Who Am I? Identity in Christ. The paperback, ebook, and audiobook versions are available at Cruciform Press while the Kindle version is available on Amazon for $1.99.

A Sky Unsullied by Clouds

How cool is this? “And so it was quite the thrill to discover in the box this astonishing letter written by William Wilberforce to Priscilla in 1822, when he was 61 and she was only around 14.”

7 Points to Consider When You Preach about Homosexuality

Brad Hambrick: “Having just written Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends, I wanted to offer some points of consideration for pastors.” Also, “While this post is about preaching, my book is about friendship.” Additionally, click here to learn what you’ll learn if you read his book.

Jerry Bridges (1929–2016): My Prayer Partner, Mentor, and Friend

Be sure to read Bob Bevington’s tribute to his dear friend and prayer partner. “In the eyes of many, Jerry was a giant of the Christian faith. Yet in his own eyes, he was never more than an undeserving sinner redeemed by Christ. Those who knew him best understood that Jerry’s humility was the key to his greatness.” (Don Whitney has collected other tributes here.)

The Editor’s Wife

This is a great little biographical sketch of Vera Pink, wife to A.W. Pink.

10 Things You Should Know about Church Discipline

Just like the headline says, here are ten things you should know about church discipline.

This Day in 1740. 276 years ago today, colonial evangelist Gilbert Tennent preached his famous sermon, “The Danger of An Unconverted Ministry.” Tennent was a friend of evangelist George Whitefield and a son of William Tennent, founder of the “Log College. *

3 Books Every Church Planter Should Read

TGC went far and wide to ask a whole collection of pastors for suggested books that every church planter should read.

Risen

Reformation21 shared a helpful review of the movie Risen. “Films seem better equipped to ask questions rather than answer them. Films, whether they are faith-based or secular, start to break down when they get preachy, but there’s a much greater temptation to get preachy when making a movie about faith.”

Carson

The way to really beat sin is not to whip it out, but to so glory in Christ that sleeze looks dirty. —D.A. Carson

March 07, 2016

There are lots of Kindle deals today. Crossway has 4 books by John MacArthur at just $2.99 each: Ashamed of the Gospel, Fool’s Gold, Think Biblically!, and The Second Coming. Zondervan has the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible discounted to $6.99 per volume: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5. The New Matthew Henry Commentary is $3.99 and the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is $4.99. Also consider Understanding the Bible by John Stott ($2.99); The Erosion of Inerrancy by G.K. Beale ($2.99); The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary ($7.99); and The Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery ($3.99).

The Man Who Made a Million Empires

I consider Sid Meier to be one of the greatest game designers of all time. For that reason I thoroughly enjoyed this rare profile of him.

6 Areas of End Times Agreement

Chris Brauns: “While there are many different interpretations of how events of the end times will unfold, orthodox, Bible-believing Christians passionately agree about the most important matters. Here I point out six end times areas of agreement about which the Bible is explicit…”

Why It Hurts So Much to Step on a LEGO

Here is a scientific explanation of why it hurts so bad when you step on that little piece of LEGO.

Inject Your Prayer List with Life

I think we can all identify with this: “My praying through a list of names and needs often feels more like reading a shopping list than meaningfully communing with the Father in heaven.”

The Chang Tang-Pa

You may enjoy this photo essay from what must be a lost and unreached people group.

We’re Called to Make Disciples, not Simply Converts

R.C. Sproul: “Discipleship is a lifelong experience of learning the mind of Christ and following the will of Christ, submitting ourselves in complete obedience to His lordship. Thus, when Jesus tells us to go to all nations, we are to go into all the world with His agenda, not our own.”

This Day in 1802. 214 years ago today, “in Washington, D.C., the first Baptist church was organized with six charter members. Their first pastor Obadiah Brown was hired five years later, and Brown remained in that pulpit while involving himself in every important local Baptist program for the next 43 years!” *

Articles on Singleness, Dating, and Marriage

Here’s a roundup of some of the best articles on singleness, dating, and marriage.

The Dark Side of International Adoption

Amy Medina has begun what sounds like an important series on international adoption.

Bonhoeffer

The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer