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December 12, 2007

Culture Shift by Albert MohlerYesterday I received a long list of emails with announcements for books that will be published early next year. Most of these I had already heard of or found entirely uninspiring. There was one exception. I was absolutely thrilled (honestly—I’m that big of a book geek) to see that we are going to see the first book from the pen of Dr. Mohler. Yes, it is hard to believe, but this is his first “real” book. He has edited and contributed to other titles, but this is his first solo effort. The book, set to hit store shelves in mid-January, is called Culture Shift and will deal with the challenging cultural issues of our day. I cannot think of anyone who is more qualified to answer these issues.

There are few people I would rather learn from than Dr. Mohler. He is such an asset to the church and particularly so in his ability to see into the culture in which we find ourselves. I can hardly wait to read his book! Here is what the publisher says about it:

Are you prepared to address the most challenging cultural issues of your time?

Mass media and technology are exploding. Popular entertainment relentlessly pushes the envelope. Biomedicine stretches ethical boundaries. Political issues shift with the polls.

The world in which you live is in the midst of a major cultural transformation–one leading to a widespread lack of faith, an increase in moral relativism, and a rejection of absolute truth. How are we to remain faithful followers of Christ as we live in this ever-shifting culture? How should we think about–and respond to–the crucial moral questions of our day? How can we stand up for the truth?

In Culture Shift, Dr. R. Albert Mohler–one of today’s leading Christian thinkers and spokespersons–addresses these tough topics clearly, biblically and passionately:

  • Christian faith and politics
  • The Supreme Court and religion
  • The truth about terrorism
  • Christian parents and public schools
  • The abortion debate
  • Christian response to global tragedies
  • And many more

Here is trustworthy help for developing a comprehensive Christian worldview. It’s timely information powerfully connected to timeless truth that will equip you to stand strong and speak out.

As you’d expect, the book comes with some great endorsements.

“From grade inflation to global calamities, Albert Mohler is a steady guide. From the psychological coddling of the American ego to the hollowing of the American conscience, Mohler is unremittingly clear-headed. From Nineveh to New Orleans, Mohler holds the mirror at a blazing fortyfive-degree angle between heaven and earth. The burning light of divine wisdom illumines a hundred shadows of our human folly. And at the center of the blaze is the mighty cross of Jesus Christ defining the final meaning of everything. I thank God for Albert Mohler.” —JOHN PIPER, pastor for preaching and vision,Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN

“Al Mohler is a unique gift to the church. His writing combines penetrating theological discernment and insightful cultural analysis with a passion to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m delighted that Al’s wisdom is now available in this book. May it be the first of many.” —C. J. MAHANEY, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“We all know, as Dorothy said to Toto, that ‘we are not in Kansas anymore.’ But how to apply the deep truths of our Christian faith to a culture that seems to be transmogrifying before our very eyes, well, that’s perhaps the most difficult question facing the church today. In this well-written book, Al Mohler surveys the landscape and offers insight and wisdom that helps us do just this. A manifesto for responsible Christian engagement!” —TIMOTHY GEORGE, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and senior editor of Christianity Today

“Thoughtful Christians seeking to engage the culture from a well-informed and thoroughly bibilical perspective will find an impressive resource in this new work by R. Albert Mohler. Culture Shift is an outstanding contribution, which I heartily recommend.” —DAVID S. DOCKERY, president, Union University

“Dr. Albert Mohler brings his intellectual brilliance, moral wisdom, and theological insight together in a book that belongs on the shelf of anyone who is interested in both understanding the shifting sands of morality in our culture and how to deal with it. If you are in that category this is a must read.” —JAMES MERRITT, pastor of Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA, and host of Touching Lives media ministry

“Understanding our culture is a matter of Christian responsibility. Culture Shift helps us to do that and do it well.” —DANIEL L. AKIN, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

I am looking forward to getting a copy of this one and will have a review completed in the near future. In the meantime, you may wish to pre-order a copy from Amazon.

November 03, 2007

It has been a busy weekend…and it’s only Saturday afternoon. Yesterday evening I took my son and one of our young neighbors to a hobby show where an old friend was working. We had fun watching the planes, trains and automobiles on display. We got home late and then spent the morning preparing for my daughter’s birthday party. We’ve just returned from building a craft and celebrating her birthday at a nearby store. Now the kids are playing with new toys, the baby is napping, and I’m catching up on email and blogging.

Early this morning I made some mostly-unnoticeable but important changes to this site. I finally went ahead and upgraded the site’s hosting, so it’s now on a faster and better server. I’ve said goodbye to budget hosting forever, I hope. I also upgraded to the latest version of the Movabletype software that runs this site. It was quite a smooth move, but there are bound to be bugs here and there. So I apologize in advance if you run into any strange problems when using the site.

Fonts and Browsers

I also took the opportunity this morning to change a few of the fonts so that those of you who happen to have Calibri installed will now see that as the primary font (and if not it will default to Georgia—the font it has been for the past few months). If you don’t have that particular font (i.e. if you don’t have Windows Vista or Office 2007) you can download it and a few others by clicking here to get the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. Calibri is Microsoft’s replacement for the somewhat tired Times New Roman font that has been the default Windows font for a long, long time now. It’s a great font.

As I was making a few changes to the site I did some testing in Internet Explorer 6 and have concluded that if you use Internet Explorer 6, it’s time to upgrade to either Firefox or Internet Explorer 7. Both are free and both are worlds better than the older version of the browser. Do yourself a favor and upgrade. You’ll be surprised at how much better things look!

Reformation Day Symposium Winners

Last week’s Reformation Day Symposium was a great success (I thought). When it came right down to it, it was difficult to choose winners. In the end I really chose somewhat randomly as I really didn’t feel there were three posts that stood head and shoulders above the rest. There were plenty of good contributions. Having said that, here are three that I thought merited a bit of recognition. Each of these three people will receive a free print from Reformation Art.

Musings of the Dings - The strategy here worked—brownie points were awarded for including a five-year old in the symposium.

Wiser Time was one of a few people to focus on John Huss. This brief biography of Huss was one of my favorite posts.

Allen Mickle wrote a good post asking and answering “Are Baptists Part of the Protestant Reformation? His brief history of the baptist involvement in the Reformation made a unique contribution.

So congratulations to the three of you. Drop me an email and I’ll get the prizes on their way to you.

October 09, 2007

Forty-one books to the winner…

Last month’s Great September Giveaway was a great success with three readers taking home some excellent prizes. Of course I extend my sympathies to the multitudes who didn’t win; I can identify with your disappointment since I don’t think I’ve ever won anything in my life! But I am confident that my time is coming.

This month you’ve got another chance to win a great prize. Or forty-one of them to be exact.

The Sponsor

Reformation TrustFirst, a word about sponsors. Each of these giveaways is sponsored by a different ministry or a Christian company. I’d ask that you express your gratitude to these sponsors by clicking through to their sites and looking around. All of them have something interesting to offer. By clicking to their sites you support them and you support these giveaways.

This month’s sponsor is Ligonier Ministries. And really, what can I say about Ligonier? It is, of course, a ministry based upon the teaching of R.C. Sproul. It was established in 1971 to equip Christians to articulate what they believe and why they believe it. And it has been doing that faithfully ever since. Dr. Sproul’s most recent book, The Truth of the Cross is ideal for both personal growth and for evangelism. To that end Ligonier is offering it at a volume discount (‘spread-the-word’ pricing) when purchased through their site.

Buy 1–––––––—$15
Buy 2-5–––––––$12 each
Buy 6-39––––––-$9.75 each
Buy a case of 40–––-$6.75 each
Buy two or more cases—$5.25 each

You can learn more about this offer right here.

The Prizes

I’ve got some amazing prizes to offer this time around. As with the last giveaway there will be three winners.

  • First prize: One case (Forty copies!) of The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul along with a copy of Jesus the Evangelist by Richard Phillips (that’s a retail value of over $600!). The forty books are not to be sold, but are to be given away or used for evangelism. Just think what you could do with forty of them. That’s ten for people in the church, ten for family members, ten for Christmas gifts and ten to hold on to for just the right moment.
  • Second prize: One copy of Jesus the Evangelist by Richard Phillips and admission for two to the Ligonier Ministries 2008 National Conference, Evangelism According to Jesus.
  • Third Prize: One copy of Jesus the Evangelist by Richard Phillips and admission for two to the Ligonier Ministries 2008 National Conference, Evangelism According to Jesus.

Note: If the second or third prize winners are unable to attend the 2008 National Conference, they may substitute admission for two to The Cross of Christ Regional Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth (November 2-3, 2007) OR any two books published by Reformation Trust.

Small Print

As with previous giveaways, you can increase your chances of winning by referring others. Details and other smallish print is available in the contest area. I recommend you read it. Last time a potential winner forfeited the prize because he did not join the mailing list!

Enter the Draw

You can enter the draw here (Please read the instructions carefully!):

www.challies.com/draw.php

September 21, 2007

Blogging is an interactive affair. Not only does it invite comments from readers but it also invites discussion on other blogs. An article posted at one site can generate discussion at many others. It’s a unique and valuable benefit of blogging! I used to expend a bit of effort in drawing the attention of my readers to places where discussion that began here has continued elsewhere but, for some reason (which is probably simple complacency) I stopped doing that. I think it will be valuable to resurrect the habit, so today I’m going to do some blogspotting. This list is far from exhaustive but does point to some of the highlights—places where you can hopefully do some good reading.

At the New City Presbyterian Church blog Tullian Tchividjian mentioned my list of tips to read more and to read better. He follows up with a small list of good books. The list is solid gold!

At Against Heresies Martin interacts with the post on Brian McLaren and the two gospels he contrasts in his new book. Martin says, “The implied contrast between these old and new gospels reminded me of some words penned by Gresham Machen in the 1920s. They give weight to the concern that McLaren’s theology bears more than a passing resemblance to the old liberal gospel.” Machen fought a similar battle almost a century ago and his words ring true today.

TentPeg also reacts to the post and, like Martin, sees that this is essentially liberal theology. “I sometimes wonder if McClaren is aware of the fact that this gospel isn’t really that new or emergent. It’s basically repackaged liberal theology. Jesus came to save us by giving us truth. He shows us what grace, truth, and hope really are. Through his work on this earth and the work God does through it, we can change the world and make it a better place. “The world God dreams of…”? The problem isn’t that the second version is blatantly wrong. It’s just so vague as to be almost meaningless.”

Responding to the article I wrote about the Shorter Catechism, Joe at Emeth Aletheia discussed his family’s catechism practice. “I don’t post this as some legalistic form that everyone should follow. It is something we have been doing and enjoying as a family. If others find it valuable and helpful - fantastic.”

I’d also commend to you the discussion based on this article that happened right here at my blog. You’ll read how other families teach their children the catechism and lead them to a knowledge of Christian doctrine. You can read it here.

Ally at Carpe Diem is another person who is sometimes frozen by the amount of choices she faces.

At Boundless Line Motte Brown talks about the unknowable providence of God. Tom Neven follows Motte’s post with one of his own: Taking God’s Name in Vain. He shares some good insights.

September 13, 2007

At some point I need to write an article about how to build a library on the cheap. When I do it will mention inventory reduction sales. Speaking of which…

Westminster Books is holding just such a sale right now. Since, like several good, Reformed online retailers they don’t really stock any bad books, everything listed there is good. But I noticed at least one that really stands out. Not too long ago I reviewed The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World and said, “All-in-all, this book serves as a wonderful, popular-level introduction to the key persons and events involved in the Reformation, surely one of history’s most pivotal times. It makes for a great springboard to deeper appreciation and thus deeper study of both people and events. It is exactly the kind of book I would put in the hands of new Christians, or simply Christians who have no appreciation of the church’s history, so they can benefit from knowing and understanding the history of the church and thus the history of their faith. I wholeheartedly recommend it.” I actually just bought a copy of it for our church library, still believing that it is a superb resource to give people just enough church history to interest them in reading more and to help orient themselves in the grand stream of the long, storied history of the church. You can pick it up now for just $5.20—and it’s a deal at that.

If you didn’t pick up John Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World during that big Desiring God sale a few months ago, you can get it here for $8.60.

You may also like to click on the “Best of WTS Sale” link. Several good commentaries are on sale there, probably the most notable of which are John Murray on Romans and D.A. Carson on John. Both are priced to sell!

So…

Go shopping!

August 12, 2007

I wanted to take some space on this blog to make mention of what looks like a really interesting conference. The Expositors’ Conference (October 1-2) is hosted by Christ Fellowship Baptist Church (in Mobile, Alabama), the church pastored by Steve Lawson. The conference is targeted squarely at pastors, and especially those who value expository preaching and are attempting to learn how to do it or get better at it. There are only two speakers but they are among the foremost expositors in the world today: John MacArthur and Steve Lawson. I believe the conference is likely to be quite small and have a reasonably intimate feel to it.

Here is a list of the topics that will be covered:

  • The 10 How To’s of Expository Preaching (Steven Lawson)
  • Why I Am Committed To Expository Preaching, Part One (John MacArthur)
  • Why I Am Committed To Expository Preaching, Part Two (John MacArthur)
  • Questions & Answers (Steven Lawson & John MacArthur)
  • Digging Deeper Into The Biblical Text (Steven Lawson)
  • Proclaiming The Word With Passion And Power (Steven Lawson)

The fee is only $95 and that includes all of the meals. There are a limited number of families available to host attendees (for free, of course), so this conference may be a good option for those who are on a tight budget. It is also a great alternative to people who may not be able to go to next year’s Shepherds’ Conference.

If you are interested in going or in sending your pastor, visit the web site for more information.

July 30, 2007

I was poking around a little bit today and found what I consider to be just a great deal. I’m posting for no other reason than to tell you that this represents what I’m sure you’ll agree is the best $4.03 you’ll ever spend. It’s one of my all-time favorites and a book worth reading at least once per year.

If you disagree and are absolutely convinced that another item worth $4.03 would have been a better buy, well, tell me what it is because I don’t believe it’s possible.

That is all.

February 26, 2007

From the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is scheduled to appear tonight on CNN’s Larry King Live. Mohler will discuss the alleged discovery of the “tomb” of Jesus and his family by archaeologists and genetic scientists. A documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” which is said to present the evidence, is scheduled to air next week on the Discovery Channel. Scheduled to appear with Mohler are James Cameron, executive producer of the documentary; Simcha Jacobovici, the director; and James Tabor, chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Larry King Live airs at 9:00 Eastern Time on CNN. The segment on the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” is scheduled to air tonight following an interview with First Lady Laura Bush.

February 26, 2007

monergism.com

It is not often that I draw attention to work I’ve done, but I am going to make an exception today. Several months ago (more months ago than I care to remember, actually), John Hendryx, the gentleman who runs the site Monergism.com, approached me about helping him upgrade his site. At that time Monergism was a huge site and a hugely popular site. The site is a labor of love that, to that point, had been built and maintained almost entirely by John. The site was beginning to grow to the point that it was getting out of hand. There were hundreds of static pages that had to be individually maintained and at the same time the site’s design was getting a tad dated. And so John and I set out to reinvent Monergism. A few months and countless man hours later, John has finally unveiled the new site.

If you are not familiar with Monergism, you really should be. John has created a massive site with thousands and thousands of links to articles, books, audio files and other resources. The answer to almost any theological disagreement or conundrum lies somewhere within the site. I have often turned to the site in my research and have found myself at the site time and again when performing Google searches. It is a great service to the Christian community (and to the Reformed community in particular).

The main feature of the redesigned site is a completely new directory system (click the Directory button). It allows visitors to search and sort the links and even to rate them. Information is categorized much better and much more logically than in the past, meaning that it is far easier to find great resources through it. There are also now RSS feeds, email updates, better integration with the Monergismbooks bookstore and so on. The benefits go on and on. And what’s more, the new design isn’t too hard on the eyes.

So go, visit the site, and find something there to read about. I guarantee you can find something that interests you!

September 02, 2006

ligonier-site.gifToday, one one day after Desiring God upgraded their web site, Ligonier Ministries has done the same. What a strange coincidence that both of these projects, a long time in developing, would happen at nearly the same time. You can view the site at ligonier.org.

The new site is beautiful. Their designers did an exceptional job crafting a site that looks beautiful and still functions well (though what’s with the use of tables instead of CSS? I guess I’ve turned into a bit of a CSS-snob.). Their use of Flash is also very good, using it to enhance the site and not to provide any core functionality. The site offers a Flash-disabled version. Be sure to notice that there are two levels of submenus, a first level that appears immediately below the main navigation, and a second level that appears in the right sidebar of the site. You’ll miss some great features if you pass over the right sidebar.

One of the best new features can be found at the bottom of the main page where the site offers excerpts from Dr. Sproul’s excellent book Now, That’s A Good Question. Buried in the site is another good feature, Dr. Sproul On…. Be sure to also work your way through the submenus of Soli Deo Gloria publishing as they offer lots of great information about the Puritans. And, of course, there is a good deal of audio and video content available as well, with a 30-day radio archive and a 15-day TV archive. The audio and video are played with a slick new media player. Podcasts are also available.

From what I understand, this web site is meant to be constantly growing with plenty of new content to be added. It will likely be worth stopping by regularly.

Dr. Sproul has a new welcome message:

Over forty years ago, my life was changed forever when the Holy Spirit granted me faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Early in my Christian life I sat under several men of God who taught me the life-changing truths of biblical Christianity. But as I began my ministry, I soon recognized that not every person has been so blessed.

Concerned that too many believers lack the in-depth knowledge of God, I helped found Ligonier Ministries over 35 years ago. Starting as a small study center in western Pennsylvania, our outreach grew as teaching resources were produced and sent around the world. It quickly became apparent that our need was to bridge the gap between Sunday school and seminary. Our commitment over the decades has never changed: to faithfully present the unvarnished truth of Scripture to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.

We produce teaching series covering Bible study, apologetics, theology, Christian living, philosophy, and church history. Most of our resources are offered on popular media such as DVD, CD, and MP3, as well as VHS and Cassette. We also guide the growing Christian or the inquiring skeptic to the best books on many subjects. Soli Deo Gloria, a division of Ligonier Ministries, reprints the best of 16th and 17th century Christian literature. Reformation Trust is our publishing initiative dedicated to publishing my new books as well as other contemporary authors.

Ligonier also supports the Christian community through the monthly devotional magazine Tabletalk and through many conferences held throughout the United States each year. We also work to spread the Gospel to a global audience through our daily teaching broadcast, Renewing Your Mind, on DirecTV, radio, and this website.

Whether you are a new Christian or mature believer, we hope that you will find Ligonier Ministries helpful to your growth in Christ. May God bless you as you seek to be faithful to His Word. Welcome!

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