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ipad

April 26, 2010

Back in January when Steve Jobs took the wraps off the iPad, I declared it The Greatest Disappointment in Human History. Obviously I did so tongue-in-cheek but really I wanted to make a point—that the device was clearly not what it could have been and clearly not what it will be in a generation or two. Never has it been easier to see the road map for a new device before it has been released (Gee, you think there will be a camera in generation two?).

Nevertheless, my work responsibilities dictated that I had to spend a good bit of time with this device, learning what it is and what it isn’t and learning how people will and will not use it. I have spent a couple of weeks using the iPad now. As part of my research I bought almost all of the bestselling apps through the App Store and tried to use each of them for a good bit of time. This, now, is my review of the iPad. But do note that it’s a two-week or ten-day review. A year from now I will undoubtedly have more to say and perhaps different things to say. Still, I think this kind of perspective is valuable. After all, movie reviews are written after seeing a movie just once or twice; book reviews are written after a single read. There is something useful about the urgency and about those early impressions.

In general, the iPad is an interesting mix of good and bad, of innovation and frustrating lack of innovation. Where it is at its best is in those ways in which it is obviously more than just a big iPhone or an oversized iPad Touch.

January 07, 2009
On Our Watch
Ray Ortlund has six valuable suggestions on how to combat the shocking biblical illiteracy that exists in the church today.
God’s Problem
This is a thoroughly enjoyable review of Bart Ehrman’s book God’s Problem written by William Willimon.
Updates @ DR
Yesterday we added quite a few new reviews to Discerning Reader (as we do most Tuesdays). Why not check in to see if there is something there that interests you?
Atheists Play Their Hand: Probability
Dr. Mohler covers the bizarre and completely non-threatening advertising campaign by British atheists—placing billboards on buses saying “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Mohler: “I must admit that I find the British campaign nearly humorous. In any event, it is certainly not threatening to the Christian message. No one is really likely to be converted to atheism by seeing a sign on a bus — and almost certainly not by a sign that declared that “there’s probably no God.” Probably?”
The Best of Boundless Webzine
Boundless gives a roundup of their most popular articles in 2008. There are some good ones there if you care to take the time to look through them.
Deal of the Day: Sponsor a Child, Get a Gift Certificate
I almost feel bad linking to this as the deal somehow just seems wrong. But here it is. “If you sponsor a child online today and make your first month’s payment by credit or debit card, you’ll receive a $25 gift card for Christianbook.com.” So if you’ve been considering sponsoring a child through Compassion, this is as good a time as any to begin!
January 06, 2009
Why Are there Never Enough Parking Spaces at the Prostate Clinic?
Carl Trueman offers more than a great (and original) title in this article about the Christian obsession with culture. “Plenty of talk about Christian approaches to art, music, literature, sex, even international politics. All very interesting subjects, I’m sure, and the topics of many a chardonnay-fuelled discussion after a hearty dinner party. But what about subjects that aren’t quite so interesting? Take street sweepers, for example; or hotel lavatory attendants; or workers on an umbrella manufacturing line. Why no conference on the Christian philosophy underlying these vital callings and trades?”
Mohler on Carson
Some valuable advice from Dr. Mohler: “Here is a simple rule to keep in mind: When D. A. Carson writes a book, buy it.”
Calvin on Knowing the Truth
Kevin Boling’s “Knowing the Truth” radio program will be featuring many Calvin experts in the coming days. Check the site for a schedule.
Calvin Audio Links
Martin Downes is collecting calvin-related audio links for those interested in hearing instead of reading about him.
Blake Hicks
Blake Hicks has an album (available on Noisetrade) called Songs of a Pious Heart. It is a tribute to Augustine’s confessions. You can read a review of it here.
August 07, 2007

This is your weekly notification of the reviews I’ve added to Discerning Reader. This week I’ve written four reviews and Scott Lamb has contributed one as well. The reviews are as follows:

From Alister McGrath comes The Dawkins Delusion?, a rather brilliant response to Richard Dawkins’s bestselling The God Delusion which I reviewed last week. McGrath is probably one of the Christians best-suited to write a response and he does not disappoint. If you’ve read The God Delusion be sure to follow it up with this book. It makes an interesting study to read them both back-to-back. Of course I’ve also posted this review here.

Francis Collins’s The Language of God has been raising a lot of attention and ruffling more than a few features. While I’ve written about it here before, I’ve posted a new review of it at Discerning Reader. It really is an enjoyable read, though one that must be approached with a Bible in one hand and this book in the other.

From Al Mohler’s list of recommended summer reading I plucked, among other titles, The Republic of Pirates, the true story of the rise of the Caribbean pirate. Though not the kind of book that is going to change anyone’s life, it makes for an interesting and informative read, bring a touch of realism to a much-misunderstood and much-dramatized era of history. It’s a great choice for vacation reading.

And finally, Girl Soldier is the story of Grace Akallo, who as a young girl was forced into service in Uganda. It is, as we might expect, an ugly story. Unfortunately I found it more than a little disappointing and would recommend one of the other similar books instead.

And from the pen of Scott Lamb comes A Theology for the Church, a new volume edited by Daniel Akin. Scott says, “Dr. Mohler once challenged Christians to have a “thick theology, not a thin theology”. If getting “thick theology” derived from faithful exegesis of Scripture is your desire, then this “thick” book is a great place to begin.”

And that’s it for now. Next week I’ll have a review of the latest book from that prolific church historian Stephen Nichols and will review Misquoting Truth, Timothy Paul Jones’s response to the bestselling Misquoting Jesus.

May 18, 2007

I am working on a new feature for Discerning Reader. Every week I’ll troll through a long list of publishers and bestsellers lists to try to find new or upcoming books that look like they will be of particular interest. Since Discerning Reader isn’t quite ready to handle the column yet, I thought I’d post it here. This is a sample of what the column will look like.

The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire by Susan Ronald
Hardcover
HarperCollins
496 Pages
Available July 1, 2007

Claims to be a fresh look at a paradoxical historical figure who continues to fascinate. She played a strange but critical role in the furtherance of Protestantism shortly during the late Reformation.


Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power by Robert Dallek
Hardcover
HarperCollins
752 Pages
Available now

This one is written by a prominent historian and deals with a couple of fascinating figures. Sounds promising to me!


God’s Gold: A Quest for the Lost Temple Treasures of Jerusalem by Sean Kingsley
HarperCollins
336 Pages
Available June 1, 2007

“God’s Gold explores the fate of the greatest biblical treasure in history, the central icons of the Jewish faith looted from the Temple of Jerusalem.” Sounds like yet another attempt to convince us that someone has found biblical treasures (or is on the very verge of finding them).


The Political Teachings of Jesus by Tod Lindberg
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Pages TBA
Available June 15, 2007

The book’s summary is not yet available. But I think we can probably guess.


The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ by Lee Strobel
Softcover
Zondervan
288 Pages
Available September 30, 2007

Strobel, an unlikely apologist, will continue his “The Case For…” franchise and evaluate the arguments and evidence being advanced by prominent atheists, liberal theologians, Muslim scholars, and others.


Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger
Hardcover
DoubleDay
400 Pages
Available now

The new pope’s first book written as pope. I wonder how many meetings it took to decide whether his name or title would appear more prominently on the cover. Ratzinger says “This book is…my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’”


Protestant Theology at the Crossroads: How to Face the Crucial Tasks for Theology in the Twenty-First Century by Gerhard Sauter
Paperback
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
188 Pages
Available now

I haven’t heard of the author before but it sounds like it should, by rights, be interesting.


John Donne: The Reformed Soul: A Biography by John Stubbs
Hardcover
W.W. Norton
576 Pages
Available now

Looks like an interesting biography of a fascinating and important figure. This book has already been widely reviewed in major media outlets and has been reviewed positively.


The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine by Alister E. McGrath and Joanna Collicutt Mcgrath
Hardcover
IVP Books
144 Pages
Available July 30, 2007

Alister and Joanna McGrath take on the grumpy Richard Dawkins and his mega-selling The God Delusion. But will anyone still be reading Dawkins’ book when this one is released?


1-3 John: New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur
Hardcover
Moody Publishers
304 Pages
Available now

The latest entry in MacArthur’s commentary series which is, at long last, nearing completion.

November 03, 2006

Friday November 3, 2006

Conference: Information for the 2007 Children Desiring God conference has been released. Speakers include Piper, Grudem and Mahaney. (HT: JT).

Liveblogging: There will be liveblogging at this weekend’s Alpha & Omega National Conference which will include a debate between James White and John Shelby Spong. You can keep up with the conference here.

Audio: Paul has posted links to “Haykin’s History of the Whole Church,” a series of lectures delivered by Dr. Michael Haykin. “We crammed well over 100 folks into our gym and for one Saturday climbed aboard a luxury airliner with Dr. Haykin at the helm, guiding us over 2004 years of Christ’s work in preparing His bride. It was glorious!”

Interview: Here is the transcript of Dr. Mohler’s interview with Andrew Sullivan.

November 02, 2006

Thursday November 2, 2006

Children: Amy points out a phenomenon my wife and I also noticed: “Whoever invented Daylight Saving Time did not have a baby in the house.”

Health: Jollyblogger points to a strange and interesting story about “Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert - how he lost his voice and got it back.”

Audio: Earlier this week John MacArthur was guest on Al Mohler’s radio program. You can hear the discussion here.

Church: Thabiti Anyabwile shares pictures from a baptism service he conducted for his new church on Grand Cayman.

Politics: An article by SunMedia shows how many immigrants find ways of bringing parents and siblings into Canada - quite simply, they marry them!

October 25, 2006

Wednesday October 25, 2006

Humor: Phil Johnson shares a humorous story about getting in trouble after a Starbucks craving.

Law: In a rather disgusting abuse of the law, an American judge has chosen to punish a pervert by banishing him to Canada. The “Toronto Sun” reports.

Halloween: Lots of people are discussing Halloween, including Darrin Booker, whom I met for the first time a few weeks ago.

Technology: Al Mohler discusses the fifth anniversary of the iPod. “So, happy fifth birthday to the iPod. I celebrated the iPod’s birthday by loading several dozen new selections into my music library. Now, my iPod is armed with a whole new arsenal of music. It was the least I could do in recognition of such an auspicious occasion.”

October 17, 2006

Tuesday October 17, 2006

Health: Dr. Mohler discusses a new study which seems to have found a “ ‘statistically significant relationship’ between autism and early television viewing in children.”

Conference: Adrian Warnock has a roundup of the liveblogging done at the recent International Baptist Conference here in Toronto.

Blogging: I forgot to post this last week. Joe Carter reflects on three years of blogging. Many of the same thoughts have been rattling inside my head as I’ve also passed the three-year barrier.

September 26, 2006

Tuesday September 26, 2006

Courses: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is offering several courses free online. There are a couple by David Wells that are sure to be especially good.

People: Phil Johnson has begun a new series on TeamPyro and begins with an interesting “word of personal testimony” that describes how he was saved.

Music: I am a few days behind the times here (how am I supposed to know Bob has posted on his site when his RSS feed has stopped working!) but Bob Kauflin has posted some information about the upcoming Christmas album from Sovereign Grace Ministries, including the lyrics to a new song by Mark Altrogge.

Debate: Audio of the “debate” on Calvinism between Al Mohler and Paige Patterson has been posted online.

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