The Legend of the Battle-Weary Crusader

Somewhere, buried deep in the collected works of one of those old authors I love so well, I read the story—the legend perhaps—of a battle-weary crusader who had returned from the Holy Land. The years spent far from his home in England, and all the horrors he had witnessed in battle, had served to temper his character. He now longed for nothing more than to retire to his estates and to oversee his lands and holdings. Terrible memories and horrifying …

A La Carte (December 8)

May the Lord bless and keep you today. There are a few Kindle deals from today and yesterday that are worth a peek, including an excellent history of the United States. Logos users: Beyond this month’s free and nearly free stuff, you may also want to look at the Christmas sale as well as the sale on Baker commentaries and resources. Your Online Life Is Real Life Chris Martin says, “We need to talk about a very real, very frightening phenomenon: …

A La Carte (December 7)

May the God of love and peace be with you on this fine day. There’s a lot of fun puzzles and board games on sale at Amazon today in case that’s of any interest. And basically everything Agatha Christie ever wrote if you’re up for some easy reading. (If you’re reading this via email, click here to access the deals.) At Westminster Books this week you can get a deal on Richard Gamble’s massive three-volume series on the whole counsel of God. (Yesterday …

Would You Consider Becoming a Patron?

I have been blogging at Challies.com on a daily basis for just over 18 years now. That long commitment has allowed me to write thousands of articles and hundreds of book reviews while also sending millions of visitors to other sites through the daily A La Carte feature. While I have also written a number of books and filmed quite a lot of videos, the blog has always remained the “main thing.” Over the past few years much of the site’s …

Your Free Devotional from Trained Pastors Around the World

This week the blog is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). As you come into God’s presence each day, may you be reminded that He’s at work among the nations. To help you with that, Declaring His Glory Among the Nations is yours to enjoy for free from The Master’s Academy International—a global training ministry that began at the request of local pastors around the world. Request your free copy today. Available to U.S. address only. The Origins of …

What Matters Is Not the Size of Your Faith

We aren’t certain whether gold is pure or alloyed until it is tested in the fire. We don’t know whether steel is rigid or brittle until it is tested by stress. We can’t have confidence that water is pure until it passes through a filter. And in much the same way, we don’t know what our faith is made of until we face trials. It is the testing of our faith that displays its genuineness, says Peter, and it is …

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"Shaky preaching tends to make shaky Christians." (Theodore Cuyler) ...

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"The weakest faith gets the same strong Christ as does the strongest faith." (Sinclair Ferguson) ...

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"It is well to be familiar with the whole system of Christian doctrine. But it is far better to know repentance by experience and to feel it inwardly in our own hearts." (J.C. Ryle) ...

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"No mother’s nightmarish valley is so dark that Jesus cannot bear her burdens the whole way through." (Gloria Furman) ...

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"Churches don’t make the gospel true. It is true even when the household of God behaves badly. But people can see that it is true, and doubters are converted when “the sweetness of the Lord” is upon us." (Ray Ortlund) ...

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"At the point when we begin to think of God as being anything other than holy is the moment we are imagining a completely different god altogether." (Jackie Hill Perry) ...

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"Grace is forgiveness of sin, not approval of it." (Jared Wilson) ...

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"Modern pop music is not composed for us. The latest TV lineup is not scripted for us. We’re not your average teenagers anymore. What are we? We are free. Following Jesus means we don’t have to live the way our culture tells us to." (Jaquelle Crowe) ...

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A La Carte (December 6)

Good morning, my friends. Grace and peace to you today. (Yesterday on the blog: Lost Is Her Treasure But Where Is Her Trust?) The Letter of the Law? In this one, Chris Hutchinson means to show that “the spirit” and “the letter” of the law are not two competing ways of reading the Bible. When You’re Weary of Doing Good Work Lauren Washer says, “Sometimes I grow weary of doing good, and I wonder if maybe you can relate. But here’s …

Lost Is Her Treasure But Where Is Her Trust?

I have often expressed my fascination with nineteenth century religious poetry. In a time when there were few means through which strangers could engage with one another, poetry periodicals would often print a poem in one issue, then responses or rebuttals in future editions. I found just such a situation with a poem titled “A Mother’s Love” which was penned by a grieving, anonymous poet. Still she keeps rocking him, Ever caressing him, Brushing his hair from his colorless brow; …

Weekend A La Carte (December 4)

May the Lord bless and keep you this weekend. I’m very grateful to ShareWord for sponsoring the blog this week with some important news. Today’s Kindle deals include a selection of excellent commentaries and other works. (Yesterday on the blog: A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report) Unfiltered Christmas Here’s an encouragement to have an unfiltered Christmas. “Material beauty will never be enough. The best of earth will never meet the deepest longing of our brokenness. We long, like pining Bethlehem, …

A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report)

I turned 45 yesterday. My birthday was supposed to arrive when I was somewhere high over the Atlantic, perhaps just off the coast of Namibia, at the front end of a monster 16-hour homeward flight. I should have long since fallen asleep, and not known exactly where I was when the clock struck midnight, nor even what time zone it might have been. I suppose it’s possible that I would have turned 45 a few times while flying briskly from …

A La Carte (December 3)

The Lord be with you and bless you today. There are some nice new Kindle deals to look at today. Binding “It was the most significant spiritual moment of our marriage. And it happened 22 years after we said, ‘I do.’” Melissa explains what it was all about. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? “Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I think we can all agree that this time of year can bring out the best and the worst, …

A La Carte (December 2)

As happens each year, Westminster Books has marked down ESVs to 50% off. That includes premium Bibles, Reader’s Bibles, study Bibles, etc. Logos users will want to be sure to download this month’s free and nearly-free books. Today’s Kindle deals include, among others, a couple of Christmas devotionals. (Yesterday on the blog: The Joy of Hearing) Postmodernism’s Revenge Here’s Kevin DeYoung writing for WORLD opinions. “Looking for blind spots is one thing. Acting as if we are blind is another. …

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Book Reviews

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The Joy of Hearing

There is perhaps no book of the Bible that offers as many interpretive challenges as the book of Revelation. I sometimes debate whether the book is actually perfectly clear while we are pathetically thick or whether the book is extremely difficult to understand because God intended it to be. Either way, though the intent and general message of Revelation is clear enough, the details present a challenge worthy of the most eminent theologian. Speaking of which, Thomas Schreiner has recently …

A La Carte (December 1)

The beginning of a new month is just the right time to consider that right now, today, at this very moment, God is reigning upon his throne. There’s a good little list of Kindle deals to work through. You Can’t Channel Him Because He’s Not Dead Anne Kennedy: “A dear and wonderful friend sent me an article about the most fantastical religious trend I think I’ve come across to date. In all my wandering around the cyber highways and byways …

A La Carte (November 30)

May the God of love and peace be with you today. This is quite a deal from Westminster Books: the beautiful 6-volume ESV Reader’s Bible at 80% off! (Yesterday on the blog: I Knew It!) Crucial Questions with Kristin Kobes Du Mez Denny Burk had a telling back-and-forth with Kristin Kobes Du Mez and writes about it here. What I found most interesting was his four-step pathway to deconstructing the traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality. “Evangelicals who deconstruct the Bible’s …

ShareWord Global – A new name and mission for The Gideons in Canada

This week the blog is sponsored by ShareWord Global. What do most people think of when they hear ‘The Gideons’? If you were to ask around, the answer would likely have something to do with Bible distribution, with the most common forms being Bibles in hotel nightstands or in the hands of Grade 5 students. But the thing is, the Gideons have never just been about Bible distribution – in hotel nightstands, or otherwise. If you trace back to the …

I Knew It!

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to enter heaven? Do you ever wonder what you will see first, what you will hear first, what you will feel and experience first? Do you ever wonder what your very first thought will be after you’ve fallen asleep in this world to awaken in the next? I’m sure you do. We all do. We all wonder what’s just beyond the great chasm that separates life from death, earth from heaven, here from …

A La Carte (November 29)

Good morning. Grace and peace to you today. Many of the Black Friday deals I posted last week have now added Cyber Monday deals. Logos users will want to check out this long list of deals for today. Amazon shoppers may want to look at the board games on sale here and here, or general Cyber Monday deals here. (Yesterday on the blog: The Sad, Sad Story You Need To Tell God) Giving Thanks for Prosperity and Adversity “There’s been a …

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My Books

Do More Better Cover

Do More Better

I wrote this short, fast-paced, practical guide to productivity to share what I have learned about getting things done in today’s digital world. It will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good to the glory of God. Read More