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A La Carte

November 14, 2015

Like so many others, I sat transfixed last night, caught by the horror of what was unfolding in Paris. What is there to do but mourn the depravity of man. Denny Burk asks you to consider praying the words of Psalm 10.

Three Joel Beeke books are on sale for Kindle: Meet the Puritans ($2.99), Taking Hold of God ($2.99), and Puritan Evangelism ($0.99). You may also enjoy We Believe by Matthew Sims ($2.99) and Crazy Love by Francis Chan ($2.99).

The Illusion of Respectability

You will enjoy reading about Allen Guelzo’s first meeting with Cornelius Van Til. “ ‘Dr. Van Til, why did you decide to devote your life to the study of philosophy and the teaching of apologetics?’ And I then sat back to allow the metaphysics free room to roll. Van Til never blinked.”

22 Mistakes Pastors Make in Practicing Church Discipline

Jonathan Leeman lays out a long list of ways that pastors can go wrong in practicing church discipline.

Making Jesus Central in Your Family’s Life

Jamie Brown offers “some important foundational ways you can help your kids see and savor Jesus Christ.”

Why I’m Complementarian

Gavin Ortlund explains why he holds the complementarian position.

The Mustard Seed

Here’s an enjoyable short film for you: “Jesus compared the kingdom of God to one of the smallest seeds on Earth and over 2000 years later, the truth of this teaching can be seen all across the globe.”

Capture and Save Great Quotes

Here’s a bit of guidance on how to capture and save the great quotes you encounter while reading.

This Day in 1741. 274 years ago today at 27 years old, preacher and revivalist, George Whitefield, married widow Elizabeth Burnell. *

Absurd Creature of the Week

Wired’s absurd creature of the week is always an interesting read.

The Reformed Holiday Gift Guide

I’m grateful to Missional Wear for sponsoring the blog this week with “The Reformed Holiday Gift Guide.”


Only God can make the depraved heart desire God. —John Piper

November 13, 2015

Yesterday I uploaded the PDF versions of my theological quizzes. The Trinity quiz had one copying/pasting error, so you may want to download it again to make sure you have the latest version. And now, here are today’s links:

Modern Educayshun

This probably isn’t one to watch with the kids, but it offers some pretty good insight into our cultural conversation. “Modern Educayshun delves into the potential dangers of our increasingly reactionary culture bred by social media and political correctness.”

21 Ways I Know You’re Financially Unstable

There is nothing groundbreaking here, but it never hurts to review the basics.

Mizzou and a More Excellent Way

I’m grateful to Isaac Adams for sharing a painful experience. “ ‘Too many niggers, too many niggers.’ Immediately I turned around and stared at this man. He stopped, looked at me, and said, ‘This city is the rape capitol of the world, and you’re surprised, nigger?’ He turned around. He walked away.”

You Create Your Own Treadmills

I think you will enjoy reading this interview with Matt Chandler. He has lots of wisdom to share.

I Messed Up

This is a good article to file away for the day you or someone you love will need it. Counsellor Deepak Reju provides counsel on confessing past or current sexual sin to a boyfriend or girlfriend before they get engaged.

This Day in 1618. 397 years ago today, Calvinists rejected Arminianism at the Synod of Dort in the Netherlands. *

The Definition of Insanity

Here’s some encouragement for preachers.

The Best of Michael Phelps

If you are up for a long read, you may enjoy this look at Michael Phelps and his recent struggles.

Joy: An Irish Christmas

If you are in the Toronto area, be sure to consider coming to Joy: An Irish Christmas with Keith and Kristyn Getty and their band. It takes place Monday, November 23 at Roy Thomson Hall. It should be a great show!


The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. —C.S. Lewis

November 12, 2015

I managed to dig up only a couple of new Kindle deals today: The Archaeology Book by David Down ($2.99) and What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care? by Ed Welch ($0.99). You might also enjoy God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace ($5.38).

Ten Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage

Kevin DeYoung has some good, simple diagnostic questions for your marriage.

Patience is Not Optional for the Christian

Al Mohler: “Most of us recognize that patience is one of the cardinal Christian virtues—we’re just in no hurry to obtain it.”

By His Grace God Wounded Me

Darryl Dash: “I’m much weaker than I like to admit, and I carry more than I should. It’s good that I want to work hard and get things done; it’s bad that I forget that I’m weak, and that I carry anxieties I should have handed over to him a long time ago.”

Getting a Job in Publishing

Andy Le Peau offers some useful counsel on finding a job in the publishing field.

To Moms of One or Two Children

A mother of five children writes to mothers of one or two children.

This Day in 1950. Paul Tripp turns 65 today. You can wish him a happy birthday!

Evaluating Seventh-day Adventism

Nathan Busenitz provides a brief video introduction to Seventh Day Adventism. He also provides some analysis of what they believe and what areas are problematic.

We’re Moving to Greenland

I enjoyed this little photo essay on people who are moving to Greenland, of all places. And it made me wonder if there are sound, Evangelical churches in Greenland.


By the cross, God sets aside and shatters all human pretensions to strength and wisdom. —D.A. Carson

November 11, 2015

Thomas Nelson has a series of biographies called The Generals and the Kindle versions are on sale at $1.99 each. The series covers Patton, Sherman, Pershing, Washington, Jackson, and Lee.

Also, I wanted to make another mention of my campaign over at Patreon. I am very encouraged by the early results, I thank all who have chosen to participate, and I invite you to consider it. And now, without any further ado, enjoy some interesting articles, videos, and music:

Why Your Body Is AMAZING!

You will enjoy this little video that simply describes some amazing facts about the human body.

Debunking Stupid Statements about the Bible

Greg Gilbert takes on ignorant statements like this: “No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.”

One of the Strangest Commands in the Bible

“Why in the world would God tell Israel to hamstring captured horses? Does he have something against horses?”

Sex Offenders in the Pews

“One of the many horrors about child sexual abuse is the inability to definitively assess who poses a danger to our children.” We need to understand the danger and properly equip our churches.

Rain for RootsNew Album. Today marks the release of Waiting Songs, a new album by Rain for Roots. It is a collection of 10 songs for children exploring the themes of Advent. You can listen to the whole thing at Bandcamp (maybe begin with Isaiah 11) and purchase it right here.

Why a Friend Is Suing Me

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, explains why she felt she could not sell flower arrangements for a gay friend’s wedding.

Christian Mingle Inspector

This is a pretty good bit of parody.


Whoever marries the spirit of this age will become a widow in the next. —William Inge

November 10, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include the classic (and still relevant) Christianity and Liberalism by Gresham Machen ($0.99); Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($5.99); Heresy by Alister McGrath ($3.99); and In My Father’s House by Mary Kassian ($0.99).

My Abortion Story

“I had an abortion years ago. For the most part, I don’t even let my mind go there for fear of the terrible sadness that will follow. I know that others, like me, must be feeling the same pangs of grief.” She pens a moving letter to her child.

Three Reasons to Not Make Sexually Immoral Jokes

This is simple but important.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ Wedding

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is getting married this Saturday and is inviting you to watch the ceremony via livestream.

You Cannot Domesticate Pride

It’s very true and deadly dangerous.

The New Intolerance of Student Activism

There’s a scary little glimpse of our culture there at Yale. “It is no surprise that the students behave like bullies even as they see themselves as victims.”

Underprogram Your Church

Jared Wilson offers 10 reasons you should underprogram your church.

This Day in 1871. 144 years ago today, Henry Stanley finds David Livingstone at Ujiji, Lake Tanganyika, one of the most famous moments in missionary history, supposedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.” *

7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage

“What can a couple do to preserve the joyful loving intimacy of their marriage? Consider these seven gospel-centered principles.”

New Teaching Fellows

Ligonier Ministries announces a pair of new teaching fellows. I really appreciate the direction the ministry has taken with its teaching fellows.


The greatest dangers to the church will always come from within the church. —Kevin DeYoung

November 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include God’s Kingdom Through Covenant by Stephen Wellum & Peter Gentry ($2.99); The First Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger & Alexander Stewart ($4.99); The Presence of God by Ryan Lister ($4.99); The Incarnation of God by John Clark & Marcus Peter Johnson ($4.99); Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Volume 2 by Ken Ham ($2.99); Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason ($2.99). New from GLH Publishing is The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God by Jonathan Edwards ($0.99). Also, several Kindle devices are on sale today.

When Life Gives You Oranges

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are raising two young children, both of whom have severe autism. They invite us into the surprising world of parenting children with special needs.

Is a ‘Spectrum’ the Best Way to Talk About Autism?

And, while we are on the subject of special needs, Is a ‘spectrum’ the best way to talk about Autism?

If Richard Dawkins Is Right

“Nobody knows who the four evangelists were, but they almost certainly never met Jesus personally. Much of what they wrote was in no sense an honest attempt at history. The gospels are ancient fiction.” If Dawkins is correct, one might imagine the following conversation…

Is All Worship Equally Acceptable to God?

Tim Barnett: “I have become increasingly concerned at the cavalier attitude many people have about how they approach God. There are many people who believe that it doesn’t matter how you come to God, so long as you come.”

6 Assassins of A Man’s Contentment

“You have enemies as you try to live as a content man. Most of the time we think the enemies are from without—people around us and circumstances upon us. But the true enemies of contentment are within in us, which is where contentment is either fed or starved.”

This Day in 1793 and 1895. Missionaries William Carey and Amy Carmichael each arrive in India (222 years ago and 120 years ago respectively). *

Hating Queerness Without Hating the Queer

This is quite an interesting review of Al Mohler’s new book We Cannot Be Silent. “The views of religiously conservative Americans no longer dominate U.S. culture or law. How will LGBT supporters engage with their perspectives on sexuality?”

How to Keep Your iPhone from Destroying Your Relationships

Sherry Turkle recently spoke with Christianity Today about the constant interruption of digital notifications, how we became so uncomfortable with boredom, and why we should stop using our smartphones as alarm clocks.


If you’ve experienced God’s forgiveness, others will experience your forgiveness. —Burk Parsons

November 07, 2015

Let me begin with a few personal updates. First, thanks to all who have chosen to support me through Patreon; your support is much appreciated. Second, I had a very productive week finishing off a book on productivity; it should be available soon. Finally, by popular request I am working on PDF versions of the theological quizzes I have been sharing; they should be ready by next week. And now, here are today’s links.

Women Preachers?

Perry Noble recently made the case for women preachers. Tom Schreiner provides a measured and helpful response.

The Celebrity Pastor Factory

This is a strong article. “Celebrity pastors are not a new phenomenon, nor is our human tendency to exalt our leaders to unsustainable heights. What is new is the number of celebrity pastors and the speed at which they are being created and corrupted.”

What Makes Muscles Grow?

This little video explains how and why muscles grow.

The Blind Eyes of Abortion

John Knight, whose son was born without eyes, tells of his sorrow in hearing Planned Parenthood abortionists laughing together about tearing babies apart (and seeing eyeballs fall out).

Pastors Are Holding Up Just Fine

Ed Stetzer: “Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve published a couple of blog posts in an attempt to further squelch the false idea that pastors are constantly miserable and that thousands of them are leaving the church each year. The fact is, they are doing just fine.”

This Day in 680. 1,335 years ago today, an ecumenical council held at Constantinople condemned monethelitism, the teaching that Christ’s human will is superceded by his divine will. *

What His Daughter Remembered

Randy Alcorn: “Some years ago, I sat with my daughters at a wonderful father/daughter banquet at our church. Someone at the table asked my youngest daughter, Angela, what I’d done that made the biggest impression on her. I had no idea what she would say, but of course I hoped for something spectacular.”

Paying for Air

“Ever opened a seemingly full bag of crisps to find it mostly empty space? One artist was so frustrated with the problem that he decided to size up some of the worst offenders.”

Christian Leaders: It’s Time for More Content Ministry

Thanks to GradLime for sponsoring the blog this week. Their support is much appreciated!


Nobody stands under the wrath of God save those who have chosen to do so. —J.I. Packer

November 06, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include several titles in the excellent New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology series: The Messianic Hope ($0.99); The Ten Commandments ($2.99); Future Israel ($2.99); and Sermon on the Mount ($2.99). Also consider How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($1.99) and A Simple Christianity by John MacArthur ($2.99).

Where Are the Mature Women Writers?

Aimee Byrd asks some good questions. “Has the Reformed church invested so little into their women that there are only a few that can contribute on a deeper theological level? I don’t think that is the case. But have we adequately shown that we need and value their insight and teaching?”

This Glorious Grace

You may be interested in this new album from Austin Stone Music. I’ve really been enjoying it.

Pray For Your Church 31 Day Challenge

Mike Leake is leading another 31-day prayer challenge. “Whatever local church God has placed you in, I want to challenge you to spend the next 31 days praying for the local body of Christ where God has placed you.”

Long Term Scripture Memorization

Chris Brauns shares the system he uses to memorize Scripture and to remember it for the long haul.

The Grizzly Toll

WORLD: “In a recently released Center for Medical Progress (CMP) video, a Michigan Planned Parenthood executive encourages her colleagues to stop ‘denying the reality’ of pro-life images of aborted babies and start acknowledging abortion does involve violence and the killing of persons.”

This Day in 1935. American revivalist Billy Sunday died 80 years ago today. Sunday was a baseball player who became one of America’s most famous evangelists. *

TSA Remains Terrible

I think the more you fly the more you come to suspect this: “Unfortunately, as lots and lots of evidence has shown, the TSA needs to get lucky to actually stop anyone. That’s backed up by a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General.”

The Transgender Movement and Government Overreach

ERLC covers disturbing news out of Illinois. “The federal government’s actions in Palatine, Illinois is government overreach at its worst.” Indeed. (And, on a similar note, you may be interested in Adam4d’s comic Intolerant.)


The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace where good things happen to bad people. —Ray Ortlund, Jr.