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A La Carte

November 25, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include John G Paton: South Sea Island Rescue ($2.99); everPresent by Jeremy Writebol ($0.99); Called Together by Jonathan Dodson ($0.99); Make, Mature, Multiply by Brandon Smith ($0.99); Sent Together by Brad Watson ($0.99); Gospel Advance by Alvin Reid ($0.99); A Primer on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by Winfield Bevins ($0.99); Gospel Amnesia by Luma Simms ($0.99); Sound Words by Jeremy Carr ($0.99); A Beginners Guide to Family Worship by Winfield Bevins ($0.99); The Stories We Live by Sean Post ($0.99); Proclaiming Jesus by Tony Merida ($0.99); Prayer Life by Winfield Bevins ($0.99).

Westminster Books

Westminster Books has just added IVP ebooks and they’ve got a great selection of them on sale for just $1.99. This deal lasts for only a couple of days, so don’t dawdle. The no-brainers include: Basic Christianity by John Stott, Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves, God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts, and Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. There are many others besides.

Credo Magazine

There is a new issue of Credo magazine free to read and download. This issue looks at John Owen, the prince of Puritans.

Doctrine Matters

Kevin DeYoung says it well: “Christianity is much more than getting your doctrine right. But it is not less. You can have right doctrine and not be a Christian. You can know all sorts of true things about Jesus and not be saved.” 

What Is Thanksgiving Day?

Stephen Nichols: “We might think that times of adversity and challenge would spawn ingratitude, while times of prosperity would spawn gratitude. Sadly, the reverse is true.”

Thanksgiving Flight Patterns

There are some neat graphics here that show where Americans are flying for Thanksgiving. Since 1% of the country flies somewhere this week, there’s lots of information to work with.

Laquan McDonald and the Christian Response

“When the police arrived, Laquan refused to put down the knife or to turn himself in. This was an illegal action in which jail time was certainly the deserved outcome; but not death.” This article suggests ways Christians can respond to another tragic death.

This Day in 1742. 273 years ago today, the Scottish Society for the Propagating of Christian Knowledge approved David Brainerd as a missionary to the New England Indians. *

Finland Timelapse

Here’s another country I need to add to my list of places to visit. You know what to do: Full-screen and HD.


We are not sent into the pulpit to show our wit and eloquence, but to set the consciences of men on fire. —Solomon Stoddard

November 24, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler ($1.99); Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper ($2.84); Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur ($1.99); Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever ($0.99); Beat God to the Punch ($2.99) and Manhood Restored by Eric Mason ($0.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy ($2.99); Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper ($2.99); Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller ($0.99); And He Dwelt Among Us by A.W. Tozer ($1.99).

The Evangelical Theological Society after Obergefell

I am no scholar, so rarely pay much attention to the proceedings of the Evangelical Theological Society, but this year seems to have been particularly important. Denny Burk reports.

Does God “Want” All to Be Saved?

Michael Kruger takes on the always-controversial question. “But, our answer to these questions depends on what we mean when we say that God “wants” something. And when we talk about what God wants we inevitably must talk about the “will” of God. And this is a subject that requires some careful nuance.”

Arrests in the Amanda Blackburn Case

You may have heard of the tragic, awful death of Amanda Blackburn, the pastor’s wife who was raped and murdered in her home. Two men have now been arrested in connection with the murder. Her husband has continued to shine the light of Christ even in this dark time.

Immigration and the Moral Status of Borders

Here’s an interesting take on immigration and refugees. “Do we think borders are good or bad, a necessary evil or a moral necessity? My contention is that those who argue for open borders undervalue a sense of place and the integrity of nations like Britain and Australia as political communities; but those who argue for closed borders overvalue the likes of Britain and Australia as political communities.”

This Day in 1572. 443 years ago today, John Knox, the most notable of the Reformers of Scotland, died in Edinburgh. *

Enduring the Winter

Norway offers help in enduring the long winter.

9Marks Mailbag

I continue to enjoy the 9Marks Mailbag. Even if you don’t agree with all the answers they provide, they’re sure to get you thinking. This week’s headline: “Must Preachers Be Seminary-Trained?; Baby Dedications; Elders Disagreeing Over Calvinism.”

Why Him, Why Me?

For a longer read, try this story from ESPN. “Two tragic collisions on the football field, separated by 26 years, have brought together a high school linebacker and a former college running back in search of the answer to a life-altering question.”


Everybody thinks sanctification looks like strength. Really what it looks like is weakness. —Ed Welch

November 23, 2015

Crossway has several Christmas-themed books on sale for Kindle including: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy and The Innkeeper by John Piper ($3.99 each); Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie ($2.99); The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield ($1.99); The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode ($1.99). Also consider The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson ($2.99); Wisdom & Wonder ($0.99) and Rooted & Grounded ($1.99) by Abraham Kuyper; Setting Our Affections upon Glory by Martyn Lloyd-Jones ($2.99). Not surprisingly, Amazon is offering Kindle devices for sale as part of their Black Friday week event.

The Bible App Deep Dive

I enjoyed this extensive review and comparison of various Bible apps. It’s fun to see how far apps have come over the past few years.

Holiday at the Dictator’s Guesthouse

If you’re in the mood for a long read, you’ll enjoy reading about one eccentric who decided to travel to North Korea in order to leave a Bible behind. It didn’t go very well.

Don’t Forget These Heroes of Paris

The terrible events in Paris did not unfold without some heroics. “At center stage in this show of courage and compassion were men and women who risked their lives to save others.”

Questions Through the Decades

Alan Wilson shares a series of questions which characterise each decade of life.

This Day in 101. According to tradition, Clement of Rome, “the first apostolic father,” died 1,914 years ago today. *

Syria’s Lost Children

Even while people consider how to help Syrian refugees, it is important that we do not lose sight of who many of them actually are. “Photojournalist Magnus Wennman traveled around Europe and the Middle East, capturing these children of war as they tried to find some rest in a frightening, uncertain world.”

Forgetting to Preach the Gospel

The new emphasis on gospel-centered preaching is a good thing. “As with any philosophy, it is often easier to believe in theory than it is to implement in practice. In this blog we will look at three common ways that those committed to gospel-centered preaching unintentionally forget to preach the gospel.”

Why Fractals Are So Beautiful

“You don’t have to look hard to notice aspects of nature that clearly don’t fit the Euclidean framework. Rivers, mountains, coastlines, lightning, our circulatory system: Where’s the symmetry and structure? Where’s the order? The answer, as mathematicians are discovering more and more often, involves fractals: geometric figures that occur in nature, even in seemingly chaotic systems.”


When you realize that the antidote to being bad is not just being good, you are on the brink of understanding the Gospel. —Tim Keller

November 21, 2015

There is not much new on the ebook front today, but it’s probably just as well—next week will be big because of Black Friday. Already I’m putting together a list of a ton of deals on books, ebooks, and lots of other good material. So be sure to check in on Friday.

Running Away with the Circus

Here’s an interesting reflection on the circus in the age of mass digital entertainment. Is there still a place for it in today’s world?

The Generation That Doesn’t Remember Life Before Smartphones

While we are on the subject of this digital world, Popular Mechanics covers the American teenager as the first generation that has no memory of life before smartphones.

On Being Matt Chandler’s Roommate

I enjoyed this one: “My sophomore year a student transferred in who captured the attention and imagination of much of the student body. His name was Matt Chandler.”

Four Types of Worship Teams

Jamie Brown reflects on four different types of worship teams, four approaches to how to structure, view, and lead a team.

That Old-Timey Accent

Ever noticed that people in old movies all kind of talked with the same funny accent? Here’s why.

How Should Christians Think About the Refugee Crisis?

Here is Russell Moore’s take on how we should think about the refugee crisis. He says to stop pitting security and compassion against each other.

Tomorrow in 1963. 52 years ago tomorrow beloved British author, apologist, and scholar C.S. Lewis died—one week before his 65th birthday. *

Why Isn’t It Faster to Fly West?

If the earth is spinning to the east at 1000 miles per hour, why can’t we fly west more easily? This video explains.

Thinking Conference

If you’re in Toronto, or looking for an excuse to visit, you might want to look at the Thinking conference. It should be a good one!

The New Man

Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week with an article entitled ‘Men, We Can’t Just ‘Do It’.”


The story of every great Christian achievement is the history of answered prayer. —E.M. Bounds

November 20, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Recapturing the Voice of God by Stephen Smith ($4.99); Preaching the Old Testament by Scott Gibson ($1.99); Picture Perfect by Amy Baker (free); Salvation and Sovereignty by Kenneth Keathley ($2.99). New from GLH Publishing is Thomas Boston’s The Crook in the Lot ($0.99).

The Syrian Refugee Controversy

Joe Carter’s article will get you caught up on the Syrian refugee controversy (as it pertains to inviting refugees into America).

Bad Doctrine vs. Heresy

Mike Riccardi uses Mohler’s theological triage to attempt to sort the bad doctrine from the outright heresy.

The Short Half-Life of Online Empathy

“Everything’s accelerated these days, and the same must be said for grief online. The Internet cycles through all five stages in as many tweets. We find it hurtling toward us: unavoidable, wall-to-wall.”

Windows Turns 30

Microsoft Windows turns 30 this week. Here’s a visual tour of its history. How many of these versions did you use?

Meaningless Chatter

Here is a selection of words and phrases you may use (especially if you’re a preacher or church leader) that really have no meaning.

This Day in 1541. 474 years ago today at the age of 32, John Calvin established a theocratic government in Geneva, which provided a home base for Protestantism throughout Europe. *

Fascinating Letters From the Time Archives

Time shares the 7 most fascinating letters from their archives. They come from Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, and Tennessee Williams, among others.

What Is an Evangelical?

Christianity Today: “About 2 out of 5 Protestants who call themselves evangelicals no longer qualify under a new definition of what true evangelicals believe. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 Protestants who don’t self-identify as evangelicals actually have beliefs matching the new definition of evangelical.”


Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology. —J.I. Packer

November 19, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include 5 volumes in B&H’s New American Commentary Studies at just $0.99 each: God’s Indwelling Presence by James Hamilton; Believer’s Baptism by Thomas Schreiner; The End of the Law by Jason Meyer; The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Schreiner; That You May Know by Christopher Bass; Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce. Many of the volumes in the Perspectives series are also $0.99: Perspectives on the Sabbath; Perspectives on the Ending of Mark; Perspectives on Your Child’s Education; Perspectives on Family Ministry; Perspectives on the Doctrine of God; Perspectives on Election; Perspectives on Church Government; and Perspectives on Christian WorshipPerspectives on the Extend of the Atonement and Perspectives on Our Struggle With Sin are $2.99 each. James and Colossians & Philemon in the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series are $0.99 each.

Read Scripture Series: Psalms

I continue to enjoy The Bible Project. Their latest video provides a great overview of the book of Psalms.

U.S. Christian Groups Prioritize Muslim Refugees over Christian Ones

Here’s why Christian refugees are overlooked: “Their plight involves a nightmarish catch-22. When Christians flee as refugees they cannot go to UN-run refugee camps because there they face the same persecution and terror from which they fled.”

Only Two Religions

This is a helpful introduction into Peter Jones’ teaching about oneism and twoism—very helpful categories.

Brother, Where Is Your Identity?

David Powlison reminds you of important truths about your deepest identity.

IGNew Album. Today marks the release of a new album from Indelible Grace, the seventh in their history. It is titled Look to Jesus. As with all of their previous albums, this one features a collection of retuned hymns. You can listen to and buy the digital version at Bandcamp or pre-order the CD at their store.

Nobody Deserves That

It’s always fun when Adam4d uses one of my articles to draw a comic. He did that with “Nobody Deserves That.”

Stay & Wander

There is some amazing footage of the Alps (and the people who live deep within them) in this short film.


A child who knowingly sins can savingly believe. —C.H. Spurgeon

November 18, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include one of my favorite Michael Horton books, Putting Amazing Back into Grace ($2.99). Also consider Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God by C.J. Mahaney ($2.99); Going Public by Bobby Jamieson ($4.99); Scripture Alone by James White ($2.99); and these 3 from Christian Focus: Joseph by Liam Goligher, Jonah by Colin Smith, and Daniel by Sean Michael Lucas ($2.99 each). You may want to download Don’t Follow Your Heart by Jon Bloom which is available free at Desiring God.

10 Questions about Adventism

Nathan Busenitz is finding out what I learned a little while ago: That critiquing Seventh Day Adventism brings about some harsh responses.

What ISIS Really Wants

“The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.”

If We Perish, We Perish

Amy makes an important point here: “It’s ironic that two months ago, when a drowned toddler was the Face of the Refugee, there was only criticism for those countries who didn’t open their arms wide.  Now, when the Face of the Refugee is a terrorist, those same doors are slamming shut.”

How One Man’s Face Became Another Man’s Face

(Note: Since I shared this today, NY Mag has added an inappropriate ad for another article in the right sidebar. My apologies.) “Patrick Hardison’s face was not always his own. Three months ago, it belonged to a young Brooklyn bike mechanic.” This article (which contains a handful of swear words) describes a procedure on the very frontier of medical science: a face transplant.

Christmas Books

Westminster Books has deals this week on Christmas books. There are some good choices there for individuals and families.

This Day in 1874. 141 years ago today the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was founded in Cleveland. *

Talking with Catholics about Jesus

Mark Gilbert: “Here are my answers to some great questions a student at a theological college asked me about talking with Catholics about Jesus.”

For the Love

TGC has a helpful review of Jen Hatmaker’s popular new book For the Love. They point out strengths and weaknesses and make it sound like there are probably better books to read.


No man more truly loves God than he that is most fearful to offend Him. —Thomas Adams

November 17, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Christians in an Age of Wealth by Craig Blomberg ($3.99); Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock by Daniel Strange ($4.99); John Wesley’s Teachings by Thomas Oden ($2.99); Urban Legends of the New Testament by David Croteau ($4.99).

Amazon also has quite a list of Ravensburger games and puzzles on sale today. They have some excellent ones.

Discipleship, Rest and Reading

It has been a while since Thabiti Anyabwile last updated his blog, but he came back strong with this article. It’s geared toward pastors but has wisdom for all of us.

When You Indulge in Porn, You Participate in Sex Slavery

Andy Naselli makes the case. I do not disagree.

We Cannot Look the Other Way

No, we cannot. David Altrogge wants to tell you about this documentary 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy about the infamous Kermit Gosnell case. I have seen it and recommend it.

Immigration Policy

Kevin DeYoung has penned a really strong article on immigration policy and some of the dangers of elevating compassion as the primary decision maker.

This Day in 3 BC. According to early church father Clement of Alexandria (c.155–c.220), Jesus was born 2,018 years ago today. Merry Christmas? *

Irony’s Dead And Planned Parenthood Killed It

Here’s a brief take on Planned Parenthood’s outrageous tweet.


God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. —C.S. Lewis