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A La Carte

February 13, 2016

This weekend’s Kindle deals include The Dude’s Guide to Marriage by Darrin Patrick ($1.99); The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre ($3.99); The Allegory of Love by C.S. Lewis ($1.99); The Christian Lover by Michael Haykin (free). Also, Westminster Books is offering 50% on the printed version of Albert Martin’s excellent book The Forgotten Fear.

Israel’s Women-in-Combat Experience

“Whenever anyone at National Review … writes in opposition to opening all combat jobs to women or (even worse) drafting women into ground combat, there is predictable hue and cry from the Left. ‘But Israel! You conservatives couldn’t possibly be criticizing Israel, could you?’” Here’s why Israel isn’t the trump card.

Bivocational Ministry

This article points out that a future trend in church planting and ministry is people who are deliberately bivocational.

The Old Testament in 5 Minutes

Here’s a brief video overview of the Old Testament.

Gospel for Asia

For a while now we’ve been hearing about concerns with Gospel for Asia. There is now a lawsuit going forward charging that funds have been misused. Yet “citing ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ GFA calls class-action suit a ‘blessing’ for chance to put allegations to rest.”

Ignore Most Relationship Advice

Jared Wilson says that you should ignore most relationship advice. If I don’t quite agree with the title, I do agree with the article.

This Day in 1939. Happy birthday to my favorite author, R.C. Sproul! Dr. Sproul turns 77 today. (See this infographic I made up 2 years ago.)

Bound

If you, like me, use Dropbox, you may be interested in Bound, an audiobook player that works with Dropbox.

Absurd Creature of the Week

I really enjoy Wired’s Absurd Creature of the Week column, and this one is no exception. God made some creatures that are well and truly bizarre.

Have Mercy! Listen to the Stories

Thanks to CLC Publications for sponsoring the blog this week with “Have Mercy! Listen to the Stories.”

Sproul

Nothing built for the glory of man will survive God’s scrutiny. But what is done for His glory will endure forever. —R.C. Sproul

February 12, 2016

 

The Creepy, Mysterious, & Interesting History of Valentine’s Day

I really enjoyed this article on the history of Valentine’s Day.

Scripture’s “Top Two” List

“The Apostle Paul has a tendency to give us lists of sins. He gives us at least five of them. At first glance, it feels like he is simply piling it on. But his lists include a recurring structure that brings keen insight into the human condition.”

Gospel Song Union

Gospel Song Union combines all of the former Mars Hill Bands. They were (and are) creating some really, really good music.

Splitting Your Giving

John Piper answers this question: “When it comes to giving 10% of my income to a church — my tithe — can I split the money and give, say, 5% to my church and 5% to a non-profit Christian ministry?”

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger

The Bible warns against it and this article teases out some of the ways we may do it.

The Advantages of Informal Mentoring

Formal mentoring is great, but often the greatest mentoring happens in those little moments.

This Day in 1915. 101 years ago today, blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby died. She wrote beloved classics like “Blessed Assurance” and “To God be the Glory.” *

The Word Study Fallacy

William Barrick writes about the danger of the word study fallacy.

Three In One

Yesterday we released two new Visual Theology items: A poster and t-shirt on the Trinity.

York

It takes no less grace to save a child from a sinful future than it does to save an adult from a sinful past. —Hershael York

February 11, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Power of Suffering by John MacArthur ($1.99); A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Laconte ($3.99); Help My Unbelief by Barnabas Piper ($3.99); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler ($3.99); and Mindscape by Timothy Witmer ($2.99). I know Christians are still divided on Harry Potter, but if you enjoy the series, there is now a Complete Collection for just $14.99 that gets you all 7 books.

Conscripted for Life, Not War

There are a couple of key lines in this article. “God gave women marvelous strength. Strength that wasn’t meant to be compared or measured against a man. Last time I checked, I’d never met a man able to give birth. I’ve also never known a man able to handle months of sleep deprivation during which he fed a tiny human round the clock from his very own body…”

I Love My Church!

I enjoyed this pastor’s expression of love for his church.

Hollow Square Hymnal

Hollow Square Hymnal is a new album just released by Cardiphonia. You can buy it or listen to the whole thing online.

5 Tips for Young Apologists

Yes! Here are some great tips for young apologists. 

Don’t Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church

“When I talk to people about their churches I almost sense a little embarrassment about the size and perceived scope of their church. Apologetic words like small and ordinary come out. I would argue that these words are not bad at all—and perhaps even quite accurate—but it is the sentiment behind them that is concerning, especially in light of what the church is and does.”

This Day in 1948. 68 years ago today, Wayne Grudem was born! As we celebrate Dr. Grudem’s life, let’s continue to pray for his fight against Parkinson’s disease. *

Don’t Play Travel Ball

Jim Hamilton argues that it’s best to skip travel ball and to keep your kids in rec leagues.

The Triumph of Trans Lysenkoism

Rod Dreher: “This is how they work: screaming that anyone who doesn’t bend to their demands is causing trans suicides, is creating unsafe spaces, and so forth. When applied to science, it is LGBT Lysenkoism, the Soviet-era agricultural disaster caused by trying to make science fit into Stalinist political correctness.”

Ferguson

It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are. —Sinclair Ferguson

February 10, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper ($2.99); What Is Reformed Theology? by R.C. Sproul ($2.99); Mark: The Gospel of Passion by Michael Card ($2.99); Your Future Other Half by Rebecca Vandoodewaard ($2.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Moments Together for Couples by Dennis & Barbara Rainey ($1.99).

Speedos or Shorts? Bikinis or Bathing Suits?

I appreciate the big point in Carl Trueman’s article, but it’s equally worth reading for the one-liners like this: “quackery has never been a bar to influence.” (And he’s not even writing about the presidential primaries.)

You Won’t Be So Passionate When You’re 40

Erik Raymond describes an experience that was similar to one I had at a similar age. 

Why the Founding Fathers Spoke the King James Bible

Here’s a great little article from Thomas Kidd. “One of the besetting problems of ‘Christian America’ history writing is that it often interprets biblical quotes from the Founders as evidence that they were personally devout…” 

Ecstasy and Exodus

The Economist writes about the worldwide influence of Pentecostalism. This line is particularly telling: “In every country where Pentecostalism has thrived, its leading practitioners have faced investigations of their finances.”

Prayer Triads

I have read before of prayer triads and quite like the idea. Melissa Kruger explains what they are and how they function in her church.

This Day in 1546. 470 years ago today, German Reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter to his wife Kate: “Pray, and let God worry.” *

Crucial Questions

Westminster Books is offering a great deal on R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series of booklets.

3 Ways Our Culture Is Different

Gavin Ortlund outlines 3 ways that our culture is different from every culture before it.

MacArthur

The transformed and renewed mind is the mind saturated with and controlled by the Word of God. —John MacArthur

February 09, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include several volumes in the Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series at $7.99 each: Mark; Luke & Acts; John’s Gospel and LettersJames, Peter, and Jude ($7.99). Also consider Locating Atonement and Advancing Trinitarian Theology by Oliver Crisp & Fred Sanders ($7.99 each); The Gospel in Genesis by Martyn Lloyd-Jones ($2.99); Marriage Matters by Winston Smith ($1.99).

Please Keep This Between Us

“Please don’t tell anyone else this, but I wanted to process something with you. If you could just keep it between you and me? I assume you know I wouldn’t want it to get around, I want to make sure people really understand my side of things and that can only happen if I communicate about it directly. You understand right?”

Women at War & the GOP

This article aptly makes the argument for why allowing women in front-line combat is a poor idea. From a biblical perspective, ERLC says that drafting women is Experimental Barbarism. And then Joe Carter has an FAQ on the whole matter.

Read Scripture: Numbers

Here’s a great little video introduction to the book of Numbers.

15 Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation

I’ve been enjoying a lot of articles at the site of the Reformed African American Network, including this one on racial reconciliation.

This Day in 1881. 135 years ago today, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky died. *

The Rich Young Blogger

Here’s a modern take on a well-known story.

Scary New Ways the Internet Profiles You

It is good to be aware of how all that information is being used (and how it may be used in the future).

Ryle

One thief was saved that no sinner might despair, but only one, that no sinner might presume. —J. C. Ryle

February 08, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include A Loving Life by Paul Miller ($3.99); Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Philip Ryken ($3.99); New from GLH Publishing is The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards ($0.99). Zondervan has a series of theological works on sale: Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem ($5.99); The Holy Spirit by Christopher Holmes ($5.99); Understanding Biblical Theology by Edward Klink ($3.99); Faith Alone by Thomas Schreiner ($5.99); The Crucified King by Jeremy Treat ($3.99). 

Four Things to Help Overcome Gridlock in Your Marriage

“Have you ever found yourself in a place in your marriage where you and your spouse disagree and it seems like there is no way forward?” We have all been there at one time or another, haven’t we?

We Will Never Let Our Daughters Die for Us

Quite right: “Christian dads should never allow their little girls to die for them. This is the opposite of manhood. This is the opposite of honor.”

Why I Don’t Share The Gospel

Here’s an honest look at a common reason we don’t share the gospel.

Wheaton, Larycia Hawkins agree to part ways

“Wheaton College and Larycia Hawkins, the political science professor who started a furor over theology and academic freedom after declaring on social media that Christians and Muslims serve the same God, announced tonight they are amicably parting ways.”

This Day in 356. 1,660 years ago today, Athanasius went into hiding after escaping five thousand soldiers who surrounded his church. *

The Story Behind the Jesus Storybook Bible

Christianity Today interviews Sally Lloyd-Jones whose Jesus Storybook Bible has now sold 2 million copies.

What Ivy League Students Are Reading that You Aren’t

“If you want an Ivy League education, you could fork over $200 grand or so and go to Cornell or Harvard for four years. Alternatively, you could save a ton of cash by simply reading the same books Ivy League students are assigned.”

Thunderstorm Time-lapse

Check out this amazing time-lapse footage of a thunderstorm.

Ferguson

High degrees of Christian assurance are simply not compatible with low levels of obedience. —Sinclair Ferguson

February 06, 2016

This has been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals. That is, in part, because so many of the deals cycle on a regular basis and I try not to link to them if they’ve come up recently. There should be some new ones on Monday. Until then, here’s some reading for you:

Unearthing Treasures of Gilgamesh

“Out of the destruction and looting [in Iraq], and partly because of it, emerge striking gains in knowledge of our oldest literary inheritance.”

What’s So Special About Singing on Sundays?

This is a good one from Bob Kauflin. He focuses on what makes singing in church different from every other kind of singing.

The Ultimate Unsolicited Redesign

Here’s an interview with Adam Lewis Greene who Kickstarted a beautiful redesign of the Bible. “The expected form of the Bible almost across the board for the last 200 years or so has not been conducive to appreciating biblical literature as literature. Rather, the Bible is designed to be an easily-navigated theological encyclopedia.”

Clippings

If you read with Kindle, you may be interested in Clippings, a service that does a great job of extracting and formatting your notes and highlights. You can also use it to copy your notes right over to Evernote or other programs.

The Deep Ditches of Doubt

Here are a few things to remember in those times you stumble into the deep ditches of doubt.

This Day in 1951. Sam Storms turns 65 today! You can wish Sam a Happy Birthday on Twitter.

Psallos

Have you ever checked out Psallos? It is a concept album based on the book of Romans.

CBMW Preconference

If you are heading to Together for the Gospel, you might be interested in CBMW’s preconference. They’ve got quite a list of speakers for you to hear.

Canadians Together for the Gospel

Also, if you are from Canada or interested in ministry in Canada, be sure to come to this breakout.

Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It

My thanks goes to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with “Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It.”

Lewis

A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it. —C.S. Lewis

February 05, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($0.99)—a great book that won’t get cheaper!; Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes ($0.99); Islam and America by George Braswell ($1.99); The Homosexual Agenda by Alen Sears ($2.99). Remember that the whole Exalting Jesus commentary set is for sale at $2.99 each; these are reader-friendly commentaries suitable for anyone.

From Slum to Shining Sea

“Growing up in a solid, Christian, God-fearing home, at some indefinable point between child-like faith and adolescent angst, my two-dimensional version of God had become synonymous with rules, broken rules, and never-ending failure. So I left.”

Calvin’s 4 Rules of Prayer

Joel Beeke explains what Calvin believed about prayer. (Also, read his article My Indebtedness to the Puritans.)

Enjoy Your Prayer Life

In a similar vein, here’s Michael Reeves encouraging you to enjoy your prayer life. He says “I hope this article will be a refreshment and a tonic – maybe even a kick-start! – for our prayer lives.”

8 Ways to Order Your Marriage

Nick talks realistically about some of the ways you can order your marriage.

Dwelling Richly

You may want to bookmark this site where Christa is interviewing a series of women on their Bible study and devotional habits.

This Day in 1887. 129 years ago today at age 50, evangelist D.L. Moody organized the Chicago Evangelization Society. Two years later, the Society established the Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions. Moody died in 1899, and in 1900 the school was renamed Moody Bible Institute. *

Absurd Creature of the Week

Wired’s absurd creature of the week isn’t as much absurd as horrific.

A 13-Year-Old’s Fantasies Turn Deadly

It is wise for parents to occasionally read an article like this and be reminded of the importance of knowing what your children are doing online.

Spurgeon

Believer, when you are on your knees, remember you are going to a king. Let your petitions be large. —C.H. Spurgeon