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

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

A La Carte

October 20, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: The Seven Saying of the Savior on the Cross by A.W. Pink, The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson, Romans by Charles Hodge, and And He Dwelt Among Us by A.W. Tozer.

Sinclair Ferguson has a new book out that looks excellent. Westminster Books has it discounted as their deal of the week.

You Get What You Pay For

“It seems to me that we live in an era of American culture that is awash in the cheap and unsatisfying.” This is true of entertainment, to be sure. But true of more as well.

When Pragmatism Overtakes Scripture

Stephen Kneale interacts with the article I wrote yesterday about the missing elements of modern worship and focuses on pragmatism.

The Pictures Never Go Away

This is heartbreaking: “If I could only make one argument to the seventeen-year-old me, and it’s the point I want to make to every young woman who comes here looking for advice in regards to sexting, it is this: Those pictures never go away. Ever.”

Loneliness Follows Sudden Wealth

This story from the BBC should not be surprising: “While most people wouldn’t give up longing for financial wealth, those who’ve experienced living the dream say it can be isolating and that their lives often look rosier from the outside.”

Laboring For Maturity

“Spiritual maturity, you see, does not just happen.  My children will physically grow whether I tell them to or not.  I don’t have to set time aside for their physical growth each day, and it’s certainly not a labor for me.  But to grow spiritually takes work, takes labor, takes striving everyday to be closer to God.”

This Day in 1949. 66 years ago today was the last of the Inkling’s Thursday meetings. This group of Christians associated with Oxford included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. *

Don’t Waste Your Ambition

Here’s a guest article I was asked to write with teens in mind.

Seabirds’ Death-Defying Dives

How is it that seabirds don’t break their necks in their high-speed dives? This article explains though, unfortunately, it relies on evolution to explain it all. (I wonder how many generations of seabirds died evolving to their current state…) 

The Culture of Death in Colorado

“Well that was fast. Not even a minute into the evaluation and the doctor suggested we go ahead and let my dad go. The injuries that landed him in the ER on Sunday night did not appear to be life-threatening. He’s 75…” 

Flashback: Why You May Be Tempted To Neglect Your Church

God has made Christians to thrive and survive only in community. Lone Christians are dead Christians.

Pride is a form of cosmic plagiarism-claiming to be the author of something that is actually a gift. —Tim Keller

October 19, 2016

I didn’t track down any noteworthy Kindle deals today (though if you haven’t done so yet, check out the amazing deals from the past couple of days). However, CBD is having The Mega Fall Sale. You’ll need to sort through the options there to see if anything catches your eye.

Ben Zobrist: Major League Believer

Here’s TGC on Ben Zobrist. “But for Zobrist, the utility player hired fresh off his World Series victory last year with the Kansas City Royals, it isn’t all about the win. It isn’t even all about the game.”

“Just Ask Jesus into Your Heart”

Michael Kruger continues his series on Christianese by looking at the popular phrase “Just ask Jesus into your heart.” “In the end, this phrase, like most the phrases is in this series, has the potential to be really helpful or really problematic, depending on how one understands it and uses it.”

10 Times More Galaxies

Turns out previous estimates were kind of low. “For decades, astronomers had put the number at 100 billion to 200 billion. But new research using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories shows that number is about 10 times too low. That means there are at least 1 trillion galaxies out there ― and possibly as many as 2 trillion.”

When Sin Keeps You From Prayer

Sin has a way of keeping us from the very thing that will deliver us from it!

Why Study Church History?

“If church history does not get your blood pumping, you had better check your spiritual pulse.” Yes! 

Should We See Everything a Cop Sees?

This longform piece at the New York Times looks at police body cameras and shows how they are a complicated solution. After all, 99% of what they capture is not the police but innocent people in normal situations.

This Day in 1959. 57 years ago today Al Mohler was born. Happy birthday, Dr. Mohler! 

10 Tips for Leading Kids to Christ

This is good stuff from Jason Allen. “My greatest stewardship in life is not training a generation of students at Midwestern Seminary. It is training my five young children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I feel the weight—and glory—of this stewardship daily…”

Should Christians Feel Guilty All the Time?

Obviously not, but it’s still worth reading Kevin DeYoung’s answer to the question.

The Troubled Future Legacy of Christian Music

As a long-time listener to CCM, I tend to agree with this article.

Flashback: 5 Bad Substitutes for Discipline

Here are five poor substitutes for disciplining our children—five poor substitutes that fail to address the heart.

Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with: a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.J.C. Ryle 

October 18, 2016

It is another good day for Kindle deals. Today we’ve got three from R.C. Sproul, The Doctrines of Grace by James Boice, A Basic Guide to Eschatology by Millard Erickson, and a new one from GLH Publishing (The Kneeling Christian by Albert Richardson) which is half off for the first week. Go!

A Discussion with Her Girls

Jen Oshman uses the ugliness of the election to begin a conversation with her girls. “As we have served with two different organizations on two different continents, we have been required to know deeply the risks all children face around the globe. It’s awkward and horrible that it’s our reality, but it all needs to be said.” (Here’s a follow-up)

9 Things About Margaret Sanger

“This weekend Planned Parenthood celebrated its 100th anniversary, commemorating the day that Margaret Sanger, the organization’s founder, opened the first birth control clinic in America.” Here are 9 things you should know about her.

Lifting Your Soul

What does it mean to lift your soul to God as the psalmist often does? This article answers.

The Halloween-Industrial Complex

Here’s the story behind all those pop-up Halloween stores that have appeared in your neighborhood (and mine) over the past couple of weeks.

The Split Between Stott and Lloyd-Jones

“On Tuesday, October 18, 1966, an event took place that shook British evangelicalism—on the nature of the church and the basis of gospel unity and purity—with reverberations still being felt today.” This article will fill you in.

St. Anthony’s Chapel

Atlas Obscura visits St. Anthony’s Chapel in Pittsburgh which houses the second largest collection of relics (second only to the Vatican). “Some of the most astounding relics at the chapel include: 22 splinters of the True Cross, a thorn from the Crown of Thorns, a splinter from the table at The Last Supper, the skull of St. Theodore, a tooth from St. Anthony, and pieces of bone from all of the Apostles.”

This Day in 1685. 331 years ago today Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes that had allowed Huguenots (French Protestants) to worship. Thousands of Protestants had to flee France *

Not Every Interesting Detail is Important

This is true and important: Not every interesting detail in a biblical text is important to the sermon.

Comedy Wildlife Photographs

Here they are, the finalists for the 2016 comedy wildlife photograph awards. 

Flashback: The Pursuit

Like R.C. Sproul says, “People seek the benefits of God, while all the while fleeing from God himself.” What could be more evil than that?

Young people, you must pray, for your passions are strong, and your wisdom is little.C.H. Spurgeon

October 17, 2016

It’s a huge day for Kindle deals today. Zondervan has a sale on all kinds of their best commentaries, Crossway has a list of Piper books on sale, and Matthis Media also has a whole list. Find the deals here.

Nine Attributes of a Real Man

“We need a better definition of masculinity, and who better to define what masculinity is than the Creator himself. When God created life, he reached down to touch and mold man from the earth. With care and intimacy, he created man in a distinctive way. Ultimately, we learn that God is embedding his own image into man.”

An Illustration of Repentance

This is an effective illustration to better understand repentance.

Free Games Designed To Make Money

I’m sure you’ve seen those “freemium” games. This video explains how they make money (and, indeed, how they are designed to make money).

You Are the Manure of the Earth

Anthony Bradley provides an interesting explanation of Jesus’ words “You are the salt of the earth.”

The World’s Toughest School Exam

“Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam. The students who do best can look forward to glittering careers and even good marriage prospects. But for the less successful, the system is brutal.”

This Day in 1895. 121 years ago today Peter Cameron Scott, missionary to the Congo and Kenya and founder of Africa Inland Mission, arrived in Mombasa, Kenya with his team. *

Planet Earth II

Last week I shared the trailer for Planet Earth II. Since then they’ve released a second, longer trailer. The footage is absolutely incredible.

Do Visitors Feel Welcome?

Here are some good, practical tips on making sure visitors to your church feel welcome there.

Flashback: I’m Not Busy!

There is a cost to busyness, but there is a more subtle cost to being perceived as busy.

If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician.D.A. Carson

October 15, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Christianity and Eastern Religions and Islam and Christianity by Rose Publishing as well as 10 Questions And Answers On Atheism and Agnosticism by Norman Geisler.

If you’re in the mood for some serious learning, Credo Courses is offering 50% off any of their courses with coupon code “challies.”

Happy Daddy, Happy Home

“The father is the fountain of the family’s joy. Where Daddy is winsomely happy — and happy enough to make the sacrifices necessary for the good of others — a happy family will follow in his wake.”

Getting Gut-Level Honest with God

Catherine Parks: “I’ve been trying something new lately, and it’s revolutionizing my life. I’m being honest with God.”

Y’all, You’uns, Yinz, Youse

This is an interesting look at regional dialects and English’s attempts to recover some distinction between the second person singular and plural.

More Persuasive Presentations

Here’s a checklist for preparing more persuasive presentations.

The Joy of Being a Christian

Do you know and do you feel the joy of being a Christian?

Curta Calculator

Here’s the long and fascinating story behind the Curta calculator.

This Day in 1949. 67 years ago today, Joni Eareckson Tada was born. Happy birthday, Joni! 

Serious Laughter

WORLD features Adam Ford, whom you’ll know as the mind behind Adam4d and the Babylon Bee.

Do Not Add to the Offense of the Gospel

R.C. Sproul offers a good warning. “Even though we are gracious, kind, patient, friendly, and sensitive to people’s dignity, we cannot remove altogether what the New Testament calls the offense of the gospel…”

Flashback: A Great Reward

One of my lifelong struggles has been finding freedom in the most basic part of the Christian life…

Bible Colleges’ Best Kept Secret

My thanks goes to Midwestern College for sponsoring the blog this week with “Bible Colleges’ Best Kept Secret.”

If the Lord wants to surprise his people, he has only at once to give an answer to their prayers.C.H. Spurgeon

October 14, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include just a few titles: George Whitefield: The Evangelist by John Pollock, Preaching the Old Testament by Scott Gibson, and The Gospel and Acts Commentary by Various.

Westminster Books has deals on some apologetic works as well as Tim Keller’s newest book.

The Preacher Who Raised 14 People from the Dead

Atlast Obscura has the fascinating story of Smith Wigglesworth, one of the early Pentecostals. His story sounds very familiar to anyone who has turned on TBN in recent times.

May You Not Be Weird

I enjoyed these 30 prayers for Katelyn Beaty’s future husband.

Seeking Clarity in this Confusing Election Season

Kevin DeYoung offers some helpful points on the election.

What Happens To Our Bodies After We Die?

This video is morbid (in the literal sense of the term) but not graphic. It simply shows what happens to our bodies when we die. What happens to our souls is far better!

CCEF Livestream

CCEF’s national conference begins today (and continues tomorrow). It is being livestreamed in case you’d like to watch it.

6 Ways to Transform Your Reading of the Gospels

George Guthrie lists them.

This Day in 1993. 23 years ago today Albert Mohler was inaugurated as the 9th president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Billy Graham spoke at the ceremony. 


This is incredible HD footage of an Arizona Monsoon.

King Jesus or King Money?

The real joy in having money “is to think, how can I use this money for kingdom purposes? How can I use this to lay up treasure forever? The one increases his spending on himself and the other increases his giving for God. One serves King Money. One serves King Jesus.”

The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity

The New York Times has a long, sympathetic look at the situation surrounding Larycia Hawkins who was, until recently, a professor at Wheaton College.

Flashback: It’s Not Just a Guy Thing

This is an article about the “second glance”—the lustful look that lingers.

Of all the doctrines of the Bible none is so offensive to human nature as the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.J.C. Ryle

October 13, 2016

It recently occurred to me that it has now been a year since I began writing on a full-time basis. And what a year it has been! I’m deeply thankful to you for continuing to read the site and for all the encouragement you’ve sent my way. A special shout-out goes to my Patreon supporters and to the many companies and ministries who have been sponsors. Here’s to many more years… 

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t

This is a powerful article on miscarriage. 

In Praise of Heavy Providences

This one seems appropriate in light of the last article. “What the church needs and, therefore, what the world needs are Christians who identify as pilgrims, feel like sojourners, and exist as exiles. When people look at us, do they see a people gloriously uneasy in this world because we’re longing for another?”

12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics

Al Mohler: “Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore, many Christians assume that the Bible has nothing at all to say about economics. But a biblical worldview actually has a great deal to teach us on economic matters.”

The New Culture of Life

Slate has a long and interesting article about the (hopeful) future of the pro-life movement.

Heaven Is a Person

This is a good, simple reminder.

This Day in 1605. 411 years ago today French theologian Theodore Bezi, widely known as John Calvin’s successor, died. *

Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities

Here’s how Wilberforce failed and succeeded at striking a healthy balance of work and family responsibilities.

5 Productivity Tips You Haven’t Heard a Million Times Before

“When it comes to making each day more productive, you’re used to hearing the same tips over and over again. Resist the temptation to continuously check your email. Wake up earlier. Craft a powerful and compelling to-do list.” Here are a few unique ones.

The Mental Health Killer

“There is ONE symptom that almost every person with a mental health problem experiences–repetitive, negative thought patterns. Rumination.”

Flashback: 7 Things Your Church Needs From You

Just like the title says: 7 things your church needs from you. Yes, you!

The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers 

October 12, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include three from Christian Focus: A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Sin by Iain D. Campbell, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Suffering by Brian Cosby, and A Clearing of the Mists by Martin Haworth.

4 Reasons Spurgeon Died Poor

This article tells just how much money Spurgeon made while he was alive (a LOT!) and what he did with it all (also a lot!).

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading

Jen Thorn: “The amazing thing about studying God’s word and reading theologically rich books is that it makes me long for more. The more I study God, the more I want to know him. So the more I read, the more I want to read.”

How I Found Freedom from Gender Confusion

“I think I always had the desire to cross-dress. Some of my very earliest memories are of a dress-up box that my brother and I played with. It was probably filled with pirate outfits and funny hats, but there were also a couple of old dresses. I only dimly remember wearing them, but I more clearly remember the disappointment of finding that they’d been removed one day—presumably by my concerned parents….” 

Driving From Duty to Delight

“Let’s cut right to it. Sometimes we don’t feel like reading our Bible, praying, going to church or other things that God tells us are good for us to do. It may not be any one thing, for any number of reasons we just don’t want to do it. So what do we do?”

This Day in 1518. 498 years ago today Martin Luther was summoned before Cardinal Thomas Cajetan to whom he refused to recant the 95 theses he had posted in Wittenberg. *

Why Definite Atonement Must Be True

Geoffrey Kirkland offers 9 reasons that it must be true.

Rose Reading Room

This video is neat. It shows the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library being re-stocked and re-opened after repairs.

Why Does Friendship At Times Feel One-Sided?

I’ve spoken to a number of people over the years who are discouraged by friendships that seem weighted to one side. Christine Hoover writes about it.

Flashback: Positive Purity

Sexual purity has two components to it: the turning away and the turning toward, the stopping of one kind of behavior and the beginning of another.

The Bible exhorts us to weep with those who weep. It doesn’t tell us to judge whether they should be weeping.H.B. Charles Jr.