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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

January 08, 2014

There are a few new Kindle deals to consider: Fruit at Work by Chris Evans ($0.99); The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell ($0.99); GLH Publishing has two new classic titles: Early Piety and The City: Its Sin and Sorrow ($0.99 each).

6 Ways to Look Godly While Not Growing - Here are six ways you might maintain an appearance of godliness even though you’re not growing in your faith.

Is Recreational Marijuana Use a Sin? - Here is Joe Carter doing what he does so well: “Although many Christians consider the answer to the question to be rather straightforward, it can be helpful to examine the reasoning process that allows us to determine how biblical principles can be applied to this issue.”

Planning Your Ideal Week - Mike Anderson has a short but helpful post on planning your ideal week.

The Pastor as Theologian - Here’s a free ebook from Al Mohler. “Every pastor is called to be a theologian. This may come as a surprise to some pastors, who see theology as an academic discipline taken during seminary rather than as an ongoing and central part of the pastoral calling. Nevertheless, the health of the church depends upon its pastors functioning as faithful theologians — teaching, preaching, defending and applying the great doctrines of the faith.”

The Ten Commandments of Twitter - Kevin DeYoung helps you navigate Twitter.

To be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. —Mike Ayers

Comfort

January 07, 2014

Here are some new Kindle deals to consider: The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by me ($2.99); Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors by Voddie Baucham ($4.99); Acting the Miracle edited by John Piper & David Mathis ($4.99); Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick ($5.99); Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever ($4.99); God in the Whirlwind by Tim Ellsworth ($2.99); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($2.99).

Loving Him by Loving It - “To love someone means that you also love the things about someone. This is most true of our love for God. We love Him, and that leads us to love everything about Him. One of those things is His Word. To love God is to love his Word.”

Remembering Jesus - What does it mean to remember Jesus in the Lord’s Supper? This article explains.

PrayerMate - PrayerMate, my favorite prayer app, is now available for Android. It’s a bit stripped down compared to iOS, but it will be developing fast.

Finding God in Maximum Security - It was simple curiosity that guided photographer Serge J-F. Levy to New York’s Green Haven Correctional Facility in 2002. “Without having any personal predisposition to any religious activity but having a fascination with how people can work on their spirituality and healing their souls, I was interested in how this was happening in an environment that seemed to be everything but conducive to that,” Levy said.

Pastors Today - This new blog looks like it will be a helpful resource for pastors.

Mark Dever and Authority - I enjoyed reading about the ways Mark Dever passes out authority at his church.

If the gospel is regularly being preached in your church, you will eventually become a magnet for the messiest kinds of sinners. —Jared Wilson

Wilson

January 06, 2014

Here are a few new Kindle deals: N.D. Wilson’s Death By Living, widely regarded as one of the best books of 2013, is $3.99; Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch (free); To the Glory of God by James Boice ($2.99).

Marrying a Man Who Looks at Porn - Heath Lambert provides a sound answer to an urgent question: Should I marry a man who has a problem with pornography?

Snow-Diving Foxes - “I’m a fox. It’s January. I’m hungry. I want a meal. My food, however, is buried 3 feet down, deep in the snow, hiding. It’s alive, in motion, and very small, being a mouse. So how does an above-ground fox catch an underground mouse? Well, the answer is nothing short of astonishing.”

Evangelicals and Hollywood Muck - I appreciate Trevin Wax’s thoughts on the subject of movies and whether Christians really need to go looking for redemptive themes in all of them.

Actively Engaged - Matt Chandler provides a “plea to not sit on the sidelines and hope this horrific genocide of the unborn works itself out.”

Rescued - Maggie Paulus’ touching article at True Woman begins like this: “When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me, but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn’t know how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.”

Why Faith? - The main point of this article is quite helpful: “The people of the world will bring up every bad act the Christian has committed not so much to discredit the Christian with others, but to discredit the Christian with himself so he shuts up and gives up.”

It is a hard matter to enjoy the world without being entangled with the cares and pleasures of it. —Thomas Manton

Manton

January 04, 2014

There are 3 Kindle deals to take note of today: The God Who Is There by D.A. Carson ($3.99); How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis & Jonathan Parnell (pre-order $4.99); Preaching and Teaching the Last Things by Walter Kaiser ($3.99).

A Calvinist Revival - The NY Times (of all places) has written an article on the Reformed resurgence. (I guarantee you’ve never seen Mark Dever looking cooler than he does here.)

From 1994 - Well, though it doesn’t quite align with biblical theology, this short film still highlights the joy of life and the grief of parting.

An Oh-So-Subtle Twist - “I’ve been mulling over one phenomenon I couldn’t help but notice throughout the [Duck Dynasty] controversy, something that has been slightly bothering me.” Brian Mattson points out something well worth pondering.

Working Like Ants - I’ve been enjoying these films. “Ants! Their efforts sometimes seem insignificant in the face of tremendous challenges. But step back, look at what they accomplish, and you will discover the very handiwork of God. Working Like Ants is a series of short films telling inspiring stories of how God is using career missionaries to build His church in Uruguay.”

Church Vision Statement Generator - Silly, but fun.

Don’t Teach the Bible - Here’s a small, but important, distinction. “There is an important difference between teaching the Bible and teaching people the Bible. It is easy to be so engaged in what we teach that we forget whom we are teaching. We can even be oblivious to the fact that we are not teaching anybody.”

Indulgences for sin may come from Rome, but they never come from Zion. —C.H. Spurgeon

January 03, 2014

Let me catch you up on Kindle deals in case you haven’t been paying attention through the holidays: Union with Christ by Todd Billings ($3.49); God’s Will by J.I Packer ($3.99); Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch ($2.99). B&H has put their New American Commentary Studies on sale for $4.99 each: Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; Future Israel by Barry Horner; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce; Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles; Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen; God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik; The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; That You May Know by Christopher Bass.

Worship Leader Resolutions - This is some brilliant and hilarious writing from Jamie Brown. “In this new year, I think all worship leaders can agree on a few resolutions that, if adopted, would dramatically improve the corporate/sung worship in our churches.” My favorite: “Octave jumps are so 2013. It’s time to take it to the next level in 2014 with the octave MONSTER jump. The octave MONSTER jump isn’t just one lame octave up. It’s two octaves up.”

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books - Al Mohler shares some thoughts on reading. Here’s a favorite line: “I took books to high school athletic events when I played in the band. (Heap coals of scorn and nerdliness here). I remember the books; do you remember the games?”

Milestones in Ministry - Here, from Jared Wilson, are some milestones in ministry seminary can’t prepare you for.

14 Resolutions for Writers - “Okay, it’s a new year, and aspiring writers world-wide are mentally gearing up for finally taking the plunge into Wonderland – being published. Here are some motivational ideas to jot down before you move ahead…”

Strange but True in 2013 - Here some strange but true baseball feats from the 2013 season.

I Resolve to Mature Manhood - “Yet another resolution post?  Not at all.  This is a plea—an urgent call, of sorts—to my fellow brothers to chase something this year that is much more substantial than a gym membership, self-help technique, hobby, or hygiene etiquette—I seriously resolve to floss more every-single-year.”

Sin is not a splash of mud upon man’s exterior, it is a filth generated within himself. —C.H. Spurgeon

January 02, 2014

Cross Conference - Justin Taylor rounds up the recent Cross conference saying, “Only time will tell, but it seems that the first annual Cross student missions conference was a historic event, perhaps a key moment in mobilizing God’s people to help the nations be glad in him.”

John - R.C. Sproul’s commentary on John is free for Kindle!

C.S. Lewis at War - Andy Naselli introduces C.S. Lewis at War, a new audio drama from Focus on the Family.

The Most Important Skill - “In 2014, in our hyper-overwhelmed, affluent, media-saturated culture, the scarce resource is attention. So we need to learn a new skill. The most important skill for 2014 is deciding what you will pay attention to.”

Where Did the Verse Go? - Bill Mounce looks at another Bible translation conundrum.

Be Productive in 2014 - Matt Perman shares some ideas on how to be productive in the year ahead.

I am called to worship a God I cannot see, but not submit to a God I cannot know and prove. —David Shepherd

January 01, 2014

Happy new year and welcome to 2014. I continue to take it easy through the holidays, but did put together an edition of A La Carte this morning. 

There are always lots of deals to begin a new month. Here are the ones I’ve tracked down: Union with Christ by Todd Billings ($3.99); Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton ($3.99). B&H has put their New American Commentary Studies on sale for $4.99 each: Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; Future Israel by Barry Horner; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce; Sermon on the Mount by Charles Quarles; Lukan Authorship of Hebrews by David Allen; God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; The Messianic Hope by Michael Rydelnik; The Ten Commandments by Mark Rooker; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; That You May Know by Christopher Bass.

This month’s free audiobook from ChristianAudio is the Hear the Word ESV Bible! Logos users will want to download their free book of the month (a real page-turner!), Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges: Hebrew by Frederic W. Farrar.

God With Us - I enjoyed this adaptation of a Charles Spurgeon sermon on the birth of Christ. 

Don’t Waste Your Weakness - Piper: “Since 2007, millions of people have read books and taken inventories designed to find our strengths. These are useful for positioning people in places of maximum effectiveness. But I am calling you to give attention and effort in finding your weaknesses and maximizing their God-given purpose.”

The Most Important Leadership Trait You Shun - “Imagine two lists: One contains the qualities that a business person should have, and another includes the attributes that most business people would say they wouldn’t want to have. There’s only one term I can think of that might top both lists: vulnerability.”

8 Kinds of Blog Commenter - Yup, this looks just about right.

The character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. —Paul Tripp

December 31, 2013

Before the year ends, let me round up a few of the best Kindle deals you’ll find right now: Running Scared by Ed Welch (free); Jesus On Every Page by David Murray ($2.99); Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung ($3.99); Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler ($3.99); Simple Church by Thom Rainer ($3.71); Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear ($3.99); The End of the Law by Jason Meyer ($4.99); Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey ($3.99); That You May Know by Christopher Bass ($4.99); Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith (free); A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson & Dan Dumas ($3.49).

A Year-End Editorial - Read this one! “We should look beyond ourselves at the end of the year. After all, our lives are bound up with the Story of God’s redemptive plan being accomplished in history. So, as Christians, our year-end remembrances are never to be selfish exercises of navel gazing self-condemnation or self-congratulation, but a reminder that Christ is at work in history.”

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?“That maxim has survived as a modern principle of foreign policy. It explains why states that have been at war against one another can, in a very short period of time, become allies against a common enemy.” But does it work for our cultural challenges?

Evangelizing Prosperity Gospel Adherents - From the 9Marks journal: “Sharing the gospel with people who have bought into the unbiblical message that Jesus died to make us healthy, wealthy, and successful is challenging for many reasons, but I believe two are primary…”

55 Canadianisms - Here are 55 Canadianisms you may not know or are using differently.

Our Year with the Bible - I’m very grateful for LifeChurch’s Bible app. Here’s an infographic showing a few statistics they collected this year.

40 Resolutions to Consider Making - If you’re the kind who makes resolutions, here’s a list of 40 you might consider.

What God intends, he decrees; what God permits, he has foreseen. —Arthur Custance

December 30, 2013

5 Ways to Bomb a Sermon - There is some very helpful counsel in this article. While it’s directed specifically at those who preach to young people, it’s applicable to anyone who preaches or speaks before others.

Centered On One or the Other - “What does it mean for a church to be gospel-centered? That’s a popular concept these days. Good. What if we were scrambling to be law-centered? But the difference is not so easy in real terms.”

Absurd Creature of the Week - Wired highlights an absurd creature of the week. “With such a conspicuously flat body, it deftly slices through the water, wide-eyed and mouth agape like a perpetually surprised saw blade.”

One Dramatic Resolution or 10,000 Little Ones - Paul Tripp discusses the value of New Years’ resolutions and the unlikelihood that one major resolution will bear fruit.

4 Godly Disciplines - Here are four godly disciplines that are unique to this decade.

Coolest Science GIFs of 2013 - This one is just for fun: the coolest science GIFs of 2013.

Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world. —Blaise Pascal

December 28, 2013

The Most Courageous Resolution - Jon Bloom on resolutions: “Resolves are intentions with strategies attached to them. You don’t just hope something is going to happen; you are planning to make it happen. To be resolved is to be determined.” He proposes a resolution for you.

Duck Dynasty Wins - WORLD: “The gay lobby’s power is limited. The A&E television network late Friday afternoon, facing a backlash and threatened boycott, reversed its decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. The Robertson family offered no immediate comment.”

Beautiful in its Time - R.C. Sproul Jr reflects on what he remembers and what he forgets. “I don’t remember everything I read. I don’t remember the great names and dates of history. I do, however, remember the layout of the basement of a family’s house we visited once, when I was nine.”

Communicating With People Who Have Dementia - Communicating with people who have dementia can be a real challenge. Here is some counsel.

Are You Faking or Trying? - “Plenty of people fake it in their spiritual lives. They want to look like healthy Christians or to make it through church without anyone looking askance at them or asking a personal question. That comes from a heart of pride and deceit. Trying until it pays off is different.”

Pray For Your Daughter - Mike Leake is beginning a 31-day pray for your daughter challenge. It kicks off January 1.

Pages