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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

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


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


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


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


April 22, 2014

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne ($3.99); The Church by Mark Dever ($0.99); Gospel Commission by Michael Horton ($3.99); Center Church by Tim Keller ($3.99); For the City by Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter ($3.99).

Are We Expecting Too Much or Too Little? - Are we expecting too much or too little from church?

Churchy Gimmicks - The new issue of Credo magazine looks like a good one. It’s free for the download! There’s also a new version of Themelios available.

Heaven Is Scary … For Real - I’m glad to see this article at CNN. “Yes, the Bible teaches that heaven is a place of ultimate comfort, with “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). But it is also a place where the reality of God’s unbridled majesty reigns supreme – and that’s scary.”

God and the Gay Christian? - Al Mohler: “This morning we released God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, a free e-book, and it is the first in the Conversant series I am editing. This free e-book, in which I am joined by colleagues James Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert, addresses the biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral issues raised by Vines’s new book.”

Interpreting “Physick” - Here’s an interesting (and kind of morbid) article about eighteenth-century medicine and medical procedures. 

The Most Christian Nation - China is on track to become the world’s most Christian nation. By 2025 there could be 160 million Protestant Christians in the country.

Christianity is the only religion whose God bears the scars of evil. —Os Guinness


April 21, 2014

There are just a couple of new Kindle deals that may interest you: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper by Thabiti Anyabwile & Ligon Duncan ($0.99); Thinking. Loving. Doing. edited by John Piper & David Mathis ($2.99); The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile ($3.49). And in case you missed them Saturday: Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Heaven: Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99); The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken ($2.99).

The Moral Majority Is No More - Owen Strachan writes about the infamous Millennials. “How, exactly, will Millennial Christians—in a jaded generation but not of it—engage with politics, with the public square? The way Millennials answer this question will play a vital role in the public prospects of Christianity in America and the West.”

The iPad Is a Tease - If you’re interested in technology, you may enjoy this article about the iPad and how it, and other tablets, may have peaked largely because they can’t possibly live up to the hype.

Walking Through Depression - Randy Alcorn discusses his battles with depression.

Honey Badger Houdini - This is a fun little video from the BBC.

Secular Humanism Depends On Christianity - “Theo Hobson, in the British Spectator, critiques the New Atheist insistence that we can have morality–indeed, a better morality–apart from religion.  In doing so, he shows that even today’s secular humanist morality, which the atheists take as axiomatic, actually derives from Christianity.”

A Faith That Fights - Aimee Bird: “Christians are disciples, and therefore by definition, we are disciplined. … By using the illustration of a Grecian Olympic fighter, the preacher to the Hebrews teaches us that part of our discipline in the Christian life is conditioning. We need practice.”

The first sign of spiritual life is to feel that you are dead! —Martyn Lloyd-Jones


April 19, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Heaven: Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99); The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken ($2.99).

Are We Held Guilty for the Sin of Another? - C. Michael Patton examines the doctrine of original sin and the imputation of Adam’s guilt to those who followed him.

Christian Muslim Dialog - In 2013 Thabiti Anyabwile went to Dubai to debate a Muslim apologist. The complete video is available here.

Gillette’s New Razor - According to this article, Gillette’s new razor is everything that’s wrong with America. I’d tend to agree.

No, All Christian Content Shouldn’t Be Free - Daniel Darling: “So, the question is this: Should all Christian content be free? And to this I say a hearty, “No!”

The Many Dimensions of Calvinism - Again - This is from Paul Helm: “Here we are again! ‘My Calvinism is not your Calvinism. Your Calvinism is not real Calvinism.  Here are a few thought on the latest wisdom on ‘Calvinism’.” It’s a long read, but a good one.

Hidden Mysteries of the Natural World - There is some amazing footage in this short TED talk.

ERLC Leadership Summit - The ERLC Leadership Summit will begin April 21; you can bookmark the site and check in on the livestream next week.

God promises the Christian heaven after death, not before it. —John Blanchard


April 18, 2014

Here are a few Kindle deals for you: The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung ($0.99); From Glory to Golgotha by Donald MacLeod ($2.99); A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson ($3.99); Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine ($3.99). And don’t forget yesterday’s penny deals: The Work of Christ by R.C. Sproul ($0.01); Old Story New by Marty Machowski ($0.01); Saved Without a Doubt by John MacArthur ($0.01).

Oprah, Rob Bell, And Faux Self-Empowerment For The Self-Centered - This is quite an article, and one well worth reading.

Heaven Is For Real - Randy Alcorn has a review of the new Heaven Is For Real movie. He approaches it kindly but still offers some important critcism.

Sola Experienca - Yes to this! Erik Raymond also writes about the movie. This is so important to consider: “Today our personal experience and personal interpretation of that experience is the unquestionable authority that all must submit to.”

An Interview with Mark Phelps - Ed Stetzer has an interview with Mark Phelps, son of Fred Phelps.

Cancer Sucks, but Christ Is Better - Here’s a sweet testimony to God’s grace through affliction.

Father, Open Our Eyes - Here’s a free track from one of my favorite worship albums.

How Americans Die - Here’s an interactive look at how Americans die. 

He that serves God for money will serve the devil for better wages. —Roger L’Estrange


April 17, 2014

Here are some excellent Easter-related books: The Cross in the Experience of Our Lord by R.A. Finlayson ($2.99); 14 Words From Jesus by James Boice & Philip Ryken ($2.99); The Unexpected Jesus by R.C. Sproul ($3.99); The Work of Christ by R.C. Sproul ($0.01); Old Story New by Marty Machowski ($0.01); Saved Without a Doubt by John MacArthur ($0.01).

Jesus’ Thirst and Our Spiritual Rehydration - Wow! “In a startling way, Jesus inserted Himself into His parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In hell, the rich man cried out for mercy, pleading for Lazarus to ‘dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame’. The rich man’s croaking screams for relief are denied. So long as He endured the hellish agony of God’s wrath against sin, Christ’s tongue, likewise, rattled in His mouth.”

Every Christian’s 2nd Most Important Book - Yes! Here is the book that ought to be every Christian’s second most important (after the Bible, of course).

The Shirt on Your Back - This is a fascinating interactive article from The Guardian.

The Fountainhead of Satanism - Joe Carter writes about the close connection between Anton LaVey and Ayn Rand.

Growing Up Gothard - Ted Kluck: “Recently, my friend Derek shared about what life was like growing up inside the Bill Gothard movement in the 1980s and ’90s. His account was utterly fascinating…”

Overcoming Passivity - “When portrayed as strong, men often exaggeratedly suffer from an overdose of testosterone.  Of course, the blame cannot wholly be laid on our modern culture, since male passivity also began in Eden, when Adam failed to stand up to the serpent and protect his wife from its temptations.  As inheritors of Adam’s sinful nature, we all can fall into passivity, failing to work and lead as we should.”

You never have to drag mercy out of Christ, as money from a miser. —C.H. Spurgeon