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August 21, 2010

MalatyaIs it estimated that in all of Turkey, a nation of almost 74 million, there are only a few thousand Christians. From their infancy Turks are taught that to be a Turk is to be a Muslim and to be anything else is treason. The few Christians who stand firm in their faith are viewed as terrorists, as insurgents who wish to overthrow the government. They are harrassed and slandered and sometimes fear for their lives.

On April 18, 2007, three Turkish Christians were murdered inside a Bible publishing office in the city of Malatya. The men who killed them were barely men at all; they were Muslim teenagers who had posed as seekers interested in learning more about the Christian faith. Each was found and arrested with a note in his pocket reading, “We did this for our country. They were attacking our religion.”

The three men who had been killed had first been bound at the wrists and ankles, they had been tortured, they had been stabbed with butcher knives. Finally, with the police at the door of the office, the teens had sliced the throats of these Christians, killing two immediately and fatally wounding the third.

Malatya is a DVD that tells the story of these men, these martyrs: Necati Aydin, a husband and father and pastor of the Malatya church; Tilmann Geske, a German citizen, a husband and father who had served the Turkish church for 10 years; and Ugur Yuksel, a young Christian, soon to be married, who was being discipled by Necati. It looks to their families, their widows, to learn about the aftermath of these attacks in which the wives chose to extend unilateral forgiveness to the attackers; it looks to the colleagues, the fellow pastors and the men they discipled, to see the impact of these attacks on the church in Turkey. And it looks to the lives of the men themselves to show that even today Christians are martyred, killed for their faith.

Malatya tells this story well, it tells it artistically, it tells it faithfully. It is a sad tale and yet it is the kind of tale we, as Christians, must expect to hear. It serves to prove that the message of the gospel, the good news, remains bad news to those who resist it. So often it is only through trials, tribulations and martyrdom that the gospel advances.

Here is the trailer:

You can learn more at malatyafilm.com or purchase it through Amazon.

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.
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!

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.

September 14, 2005

They say bad news comes in three’s. I don’t quite know who the “they” are that keep spreading such words of “wisdom,” but I’ve often heard people express this type of superstition. I don’t believe it. Yet it seems to me that good news often arrives in bunches. Today I am going to share with you two pieces of good great news. For your reading pleasure I present this news in a handy, tabular format.

Together For The Gospel - I can think of few conferences I would would be more eager to attend than Together for the Gospel. It runs from April 26-28, 2006 and is hosted by Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney and Albert Mohler. Special guests for this conference include John MacArthur, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul. This is a who’s who of pastors and theologians I greatly admire. I have read books and articles written by each of these men, and many of them have been foundational in forming my theology.

And guess what? The organizers of this conference would like me to live-blog it. It is an incredible honor to be considered for this.

Number Three - Throwing up in the mornings? Check. Hardening of the belly? Check. Feeling different? Check. Blood tests? Check. Well what do you know? God has seen fit to bless us once more with a child. We discovered only a few days ago that Aileen is expecting. The children are over the moon and are eager to tell everyone they come across that, “Mommy has a baby in her tummy.” Aileen and I are just as exicted as we were the first two times around and are looking forward to meeting “number three.”

We are thankful to God for this blessing, which we expect to arrive sometime around the 14th of May.

Uh oh

Uh oh? Hey, I’m not complaining! Trust me, I’m thrilled. But do you notice a potential conflict here? There are a mere two weeks between the conference (which will be held about 8 hours due south of my home) and the expected due date. Now experience shows that Aileen tends to deliver late. In fact, both of our children were born more than a week late. There is another complication in that Aileen’s blood pressure tends to climb a little bit towards the very end (though last time this did not happen until after the due date).

Clearly I do not want to miss the birth of my child or be absent if my wife encounters medical complications. And clearly I know where my priorities lie. So this is going to require some thought and potentially some planning!

I am tentatively planning on attending and live-blogging the conference, but we are going to have to wait to give final confirmation until a little bit later, once we know how this pregnancy is shaping up.

In the meantime, we’re rejoicing in God’s goodness and looking forward to the end of morning sickness, and eventually, to the day we get to meet the child God has seen fit to lend to us.

September 05, 2005

Much has been said, over the past week, about relief organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. But one major organization which, as far as I know, has received no significant recognition in the media is the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief organization which is part of the North American Mission Board. What many people do not realize is that the Southern Baptists have the third-largest disaster relief organization in North America (and possibly in the world).

The disaster relief response includes more than 600 mobile units (feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, child care, shower, laundry, water purification) and more than 30,000 trained volunteers, including chaplains. You can read about some of the early response here.

As I understand it, because the infrastructure for disaster relief is already in place and paid for by the convention, 100% of money donated to this cause goes directly to those in need. Here are some facts:

Number of Disaster Responses 193
Volunteers Who Responded  15,032
Meals Prepared 3,500,596
Children Cared For 869
Buildings Repaired 2,683
Yards Cleaned 10,704
Showers Provided 91,024
Laundry Loads Cleaned 7,268
Gallons of Water Purified  1,520
Total Trained Volunteers 30,840
New Volunteers Trained 5,360
New Units Placed in Service 113

Recent Response:

Feeding Units 97

        Class —45

        Class B—33

        Class C—11

Recovery Units 384
Communication 13
Child Care 16
Shower 36 
Laundry 3
Water Purification 14
Other 23
Total units in the national fleet   586