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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

September 03, 2015

There are just a couple of Kindle deals to share today: Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story, the newest book by Trip Lee, is just $2.99; Hope Reborn by Tope Koleoso & Adrian Warnock is $3.82. Also, a few different Kindle devices are on sale at the moment.

Sister Wives Star Cites Gay Marriage Ruling

Well, this is hardly a surprise, is it? “The polygamous family starring in the hit TLC reality show Sister Wives believes the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage gives them grounds to live their lifestyle unpunished, according to an appeal filed last week.”


This is a beautiful look at Iceland under the midnight sun. There is no greater artist than God!

How Do I Talk to My Kids about Abortion?

Randy Alcorn and his team have some suggestions for speaking to children about abortion. “As the video exposes about Planned Parenthood continue, those with children may be wondering how they can talk to them in age-appropriate ways about the value of life and the reality of abortion.”

This Day in 1752. It’s a trick! There was no “this day” in 1752, nor were there the next 10 days (in Great Britain, that is). This was to adjust from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.*

True Worshipers

Bob Kauflin’s new book True Worshipers highlights this week’s deals from Westminster Books. There are deals on other worship-related books as well.

When I Don’t Feel Forgiven

Ian Hamilton: “One of the most disturbing experiences a believer can face is losing the felt sense of God’s forgiveness. This desolating experience has touched the lives of many Christians throughout the ages.”

How Telephone Etiquette Has Changed

Every new technology ushers in a period of cultural negotiation during which we decide together how to use those devices. We are in that period now with our mobile phones.


People tell me “Judge not lest ye be judged.” I always tell them, “Twist not scripture lest ye be like Satan.” —Paul Washer

September 02, 2015

Here are some Kindle deals that may be worth a look: The Apologetics Study Bible ($2.99); God’s Not Dead by Rice Broocks ($2.99); On Guard by William Lane Craig ($0.99); A Handbook for Minister’s Wives by Dorothy Patterson ($0.99); Visions of Vocation by Steven Garber ($2.99).

Youth-Driven Culture

Stephen Nichols has an important article about the way we perceive age and youth. “There is something about being young that makes the young think they are immune to the mistakes or missteps of those who have gone before. We all think too highly of ourselves and our capacities. Simply put, we need the wisdom of the past and of the elderly.”

My Goal in Every Conversation with Mormons

Here is some helpful counsel for the next time you interact with Mormon missionaries. The point: Don’t expect that one brief conversation will immediately convert them, and don’t let that fact cause you to give up.

A Dangerous Posting

I am quite inclined to agree with Mark Jones here. He finds himself concerned by Paul Tripp’s public statement about Tullian Tchvidijian and the necessity of making such information public.

Word Biblical Commentary Sale

Logos users will want to check out this outstanding sale on the Word Biblical Commentary series which are down to just $9.99 each. Genesis, Psalms, Colossians, the Pastorals, Hebrews—they all come highly recommended by the commentators on the commentaries.

God Made All of MePre-Order Worthy: God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb is available for pre-order and ships next week. It is written for young children to help them recognize and respond to sexual abuse. (Amazon, Westminster Books)

Once In a Blue Moon

Enjoy this incredible footage of a moon rise over Australia. 

Should We Go Down the Ashley Madison Rabbit Hole?

Erin Straza wrestles with an important question: When information is made public, as in the Ashley Madison dump, does that give us the right or responsibility to search through it? What are the consequences if we do?


The true measure of spiritual growth is not how much knowledge you’ve gained in the past year, but how much you’ve grown in holiness. —Mike Bullmore

September 01, 2015

There are lots of new Kindle deals today: Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear ($1.99); Teach Us to Want by Jen Pollock Michel ($2.99); Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers ($2.99); Preaching to a Shifting Culture by Various ($1.99); The Gospel of John by William Barclay ($2.99). You may also like to sort through Amazon’s new batch of monthly deals. Free for Logos users this month is a solid commentary on Amos. (You can get a second commentary for $1.99, but the deal doesn’t seem to work yet.)

Ligonier Suspends R. C. Sproul Jr. over Ashley Madison Visit

I was sickened and so sorrowful to hear this news. Christianity Today reports “Ligonier Ministries has suspended R. C. Sproul Jr. until July 2016 due to his admission that he visited the adultery matchmaking website Ashley Madison.”

The Weakness of Ruth Is Greater than the Strength of Samson

I really enjoyed reading this one. “If the book of Judges were all we had to capture this time in Israel’s history, it would be a dismal piece of history indeed. But there’s another story, a hidden sub-plot, to what’s going on in Judges. It’s the tiny companion volume known as Ruth.”

The Word Study Fallacy

William Barrick writes about a common fallacy. “Word studies are also subject to radical extrapolations and erroneous applications. It is not always possible to strike exegetical gold by extracting a word from the text for close examination. Word studies alone will not suffice.”

This Day in 1957: Billy Graham’s New York Crusade came to an end. For sixteen weeks he had preached six nights a week, drawing capacity crowds to Madison Square Gardens. By the time it was over, some two million people had attended.

Growing in Christ, Serving in Ministry

This month’s Tabletalk interview features Sinclair Ferguson, who invariably has insightful things to say.

The Most Popular Bible of the Year

It sounds strange to hear about “the most popular Bible of the year,” doesn’t it? Nevertheless, the Washington Post writes about the enduring popularity of God’s Word and a brand new study Bible.

Protect Your Children, Protect Mine

Melissa makes a very important point: “When you protect your child from the porn industry, you also protect mine.”

I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)

Lately I’ve really been enjoying the song “I’m Going Free” by Vertical Worship. (Occasionally I just need to listen to some loud modern worship music!) I especially appreciate that tiny little line, “The judge is my defense.” What a great salvation.


Praying without ceasing isn’t meant to burden us but to liberate us from all our burdens. —Burk Parsons

August 31, 2015

If you have ever wanted to get oriented in Biblical Theology, you will appreciate these two books from Crossway: What Is Biblical Theology? by James Hamilton ($3.99) and Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence ($3.99). Both are reader-friendly introductions. Other Kindle deals include Going Beyond the Five Points edited by Rob Ventura ($1.99), The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges ($2.99), and The Bible Answer Book (Volume 2) by Hank Hanegraaff ($1.99). Also, Amazon has several hundred Kindle books on sale today. The sale is targetted at students, but open to anyone.

One Strategy to Rule Them All

Nancy Pearcey shows how to answer skeptics from Romans 1. The article is a brief overview of the heart of her book Finding Truth which I have reviewed here.

How Katrina Changed New Orleans

TIME has an interesting infographic that displays how Hurricane Katrina changed New Orleans.

This Day in 1688: John Bunyan died at the age of 59. Bunyan is remembered in history as author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, one of the most-read books of all-time. The book has been translated into more than 200 languages and, to this point, has never gone out of print.

Lazy Writing, Cheap Restoration

Whether or not you agree with every part of this review of War Room, I think you will find that much of it resonates. “This is precisely where War Room, like so many Christian films, stumbles. The characters and situation are so thinly drawn that even those of us who believe in the film’s ultimate message have a hard time with the package wrapped around it.”

Tragedy and Transforming Truth

It sounds like The Purpose Driven Life may be back in the headlines soon. The Grace To You blog is beginning a short series to remind us what the book is about and why many parts of it are concerning.

Leading Your Leaders Retreat

Kevin DeYoung has some good things to say about leading (and enjoying) a church leaders’ retreat.

Preaching, by Tim Keller

9Marks reviews Tim Keller’s newest book Preaching. They offer a handful of measured critiques but in the end “highly recommend this volume for its clear and convincing exhortations to be more culturally literate in our preaching and teaching ministries.”


We’re to love our children for who they are, not for what we want them to become. —Alistair Begg

August 29, 2015

We are cruising to the end of a week and the end of a month. I do not have any new Kindle deals to share today, but I do anticipate having some interesting ones on both Monday and Tuesday. In the meantime, here is some weekend reading for you.

Looking for Abortion Truth in Big Media

This is a solid and important article. “Sometimes we are confronted with such naked, aggressively obvious journalistic mischief that to not call it out would be to bury our heads and consciences in the sand.”

15 Religion Treasures at Yale

You probably weren’t aware of all these books and objects of religious significance housed at Yale. It’s quite a collection!

How to Survive World Religions 101

“Michael Kruger entered his freshman year at the University of North Carolina as a committed Christian. He thought he was ready for the intellectual challenges college would mount against his faith—that is, until he found himself sitting in a New Testament introduction class with Bart Ehrman as his professor. It left him shell-shocked.” He tells how to survive World Religions 101.

This Day in 1792: Charles Finney was born. Finney would become a preacher and revivalist in the years following the Second Great Awakening. Though many continue to regard him as a hero of the faith, his legacy includes destructive, unbiblical, man-centered theology. *

New Words

The Oxford English Dictionary has added some new words to their dictionary including awesomesauce, hangry, butt-dial, pocket-dial, and many more.

Letters to a New Believer

Aaron Armstrong has written an interesting and very personal letter to a new believer. It may be helpful to those who have just come to Christ and are trying to understand how to live as Christians.

Why Are Anti-Judgmental People So Judgmental?

Randy Alcorn: “There’s a growing trend I’ve noticed and have become concerned about: namely, that people who are anti-judgmental are SO judgmental of anyone else they perceive to be passing judgment.”


We are not the reason the gospel works; the gospel is the reason the gospel works. —Ligon Duncan

August 28, 2015

I have a handful of new Kindle deals for you today. Next week will bring more. Today’s include Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand’s great account of Louis Zamperini’s life ($1.99); Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told by Bradley Wright ($0.99); Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn ($4.61); When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper ($4.61).

A Note to Christian Men

The title could probably be stronger, but the article is rock-solid. Matthew Holst writes about “the look”—the way men look at women when they allow their eyes to roam.

Fasting for Beginners

“Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.”

The Gospels

Westminster Books is both selling and giving away a neat new edition of the ESV that includes only the gospels in an ultra-readable format.

This Day in 1960: Mark Dever was born. Today he serves as pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, president of 9Marks, and co-founder of Together for the Gospel. You can wish him a happy birthday at @MarkDever.

Five Ways to Deepen Your Preaching

Each one of Gavin Ortlund’s preaching tips is very good.

What We Do in Secret

Derek Thomas: “It is altogether possible to practice an outward display of piety—to ‘talk the talk’—without demonstrating any inner reality of godliness. This is true of every professing Christian, and it is especially true of those engaged in Christian ministry.”

10 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Weariness

 Mark Altrogge assures us than “When we’re weary we can find fresh strength, joy and motivation in Christ. Here are 10 ways to do that…”

Southern Baptists Will Cut 600 to 800 Missionaries and Staff

Here is a concerning bit of news from Christianity Today: “Two months after promoting plans to send out ‘limitless’ numbers of missionaries, the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces a financial crisis.”


A church without the broken is a broken church. —Ed Stetzer

August 27, 2015

I found no new Kindle deals today but did want to answer a question I have often been asked. What I post day-by-day is a list of curated deals. They are almost all books I can vouch for one way or another—I have read them, they come from a solid publisher, or they have trusted endorsers. There are many more deals to be had, but I focus on deals for good books. And hopefully there will be more tomorrow.

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 PM

This is a very strong article on congregationalism and the responsibilities of each church member to all the others. Don’t let the word “congregationalism” intimidate you—read the article!

Should We Watch Murders on Social Media?

I agree with Russell Moore—we’ve got no business watching people get murdered. Wasn’t it Postman who warned that if we watch news we can do nothing about, we are probably actually just entertaining ourselves to death?

Banning Child Labor

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? We should ban child labor and refuse to support companies that use it. But this article at The Guardian says, “A categorical ban on child labour is a well-intended but poorly thought out measure, because it ignores the direct and indirect effects of such a ban. It is a policy with its head in the sand, one that will overshoot the intended goal of improving the lives of children workers.”

War RoomNew in Theaters: Tomorrow marks the release of War Room, a new film by the Kendrick brothers (Fireproof, Courageous.) Plugged In has an early review. “Even if there’s a degree of cinematic idealization regarding the instant outcome of prayer … the message that the Kendricks deliver here is no less valid or profitable: Prayer is where God reshapes and remolds our souls into the image of His son, Jesus Christ.”

Want Faster Wifi?

Here are some simple, user-friendly tips just about any of us can implement to help the strength of our wifi signal.

Ashley Madison’s Users

This is fascinating, pathetic, and somehow not at all surprising: Almost 100% of the female accounts registered at Ashley Madison were fake. “Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren’t there.”

Invent a Ministry

As a pastor, I absolutely love to see this in action. “While most churches need workers in the existing ministries, the inability to fit well in one of them may be God’s prompting to start a new one. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formally recognized ministry.”


There is no such thing as a great man of God, only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a great and merciful God. —Paul Washer

August 26, 2015

Here are today’s Kindle deals: Old-Earth Creationism On Trial by Chaffey & Lisle ($2.99); Mary—Another Redeemer? by James White ($1.99); Read the Bible for Life by George Guthrie ($2.99); Faith and Learning by David Dockery ($2.99).

Another 50 Livers a Week

The Center for Medical Progress has released their eighth video, which shows a meeting with StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer. WORLD has the video and the story along with some analysis.

Pro-Life? There’s An App For That

I think most people on the pro-life side have already understood this. But it is still interesting to consider the vast chasm between the way we speak of an unborn child if we want that child versus if we do not.

When Culture Feels Scary

In the midst of all kinds of bad and scary news in the world, Tim Lane has some genuine encouragement. It came to me like a breath of fresh air.

Which Major Has the Most Expensive Textbooks?

Maybe you want to keep this in mind as you nudge your kids toward college.

This Day in 1708: Ebenezer Erskine was converted. He would soon create, and live by, this covenant: “I offer myself up, soul and body, unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I flee for shelter to the blood of Jesus. I will live to Him; I will die to Him. I take heaven and earth to witness that all I am and all I have are His.” *

Should Women Wear Head Coverings?

Writing for The Gospel Coalition, Benjamin L. Merkle offers a helpful answer to the question of head coverings. He argues that there are both cultural and transcultural issues at play, and carefully separates them.

4 Simple Ways Fred Elliot Discipled His Children

Fred was the father of Jim, of course. And this article describes 4 simple but effective ways that Fred discipled his children. “Because the saying is true that disciples aren’t born they’re made, it is difficult to understate the influence Fred had on Jim’s spiritual formation.”


God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in him he is altogether well pleased with us. —C.H. Spurgeon