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A La Carte (April 14)


We have been told to expect that our province’s state of emergency will be renewed for another 28 days. That said, it’s exciting to see things begin to open up a little in Italy and other nations, so here’s hoping we aren’t too far behind!

Today’s Kindle deals include quite a few books spanning several genres.

(Yesterday on the blog: I Miss the Ordinary the Most)

When Will Our Church Buildings Reopen?

Like many others, Joe Carter has been thinking through what it may look like to reopen our church buildings. It may not be straightforward, so church leaders ought to be prepared. “While many medical experts and government officials have expressed their preferences, no authority in our country can set a definitive timeline. Yet despite this uncertainty, we can make a reasonable guess about when church buildings will reopen by weighing the relevant medical, political, and psychological elements.” (See also: Are Policy-makers “encouraging Mass Civil Disobedience”?)

Don’t Try To Put Out Every Brush Fire

H.B. Charles Jr. offers some sound counsel here, and illustrates it with a personal anecdote. “Don’t try to put out every brush fire that sparks up. Some things will put themselves out if you just leave it alone.”

5 Post-Lockdown Regrets

Peter Mead suggests we would do well to anticipate people’s regrets that may follow this lockdown. “The initial novelty of lockdown has worn off. Now people are settling into this new normal and understandably longing for it to end. Pastorally we are probably being drawn to people suffering with grief, loneliness, marital difficulties, financial hardship or mental health struggles. But even those who seem to be doing well need to be shepherded.”

8 Criteria for Deciding When It’s Right to Go to War

Bruce Ashford has been doing lots of writing about when and if it’s right to go to war. In this article he suggests eight criteria for deciding when war is justifiable. “Fortunately, for thousands of years now, the just war tradition (JWT) has been articulating, developing, and refining a set of criteria by which a nation can determine whether or not it is morally justified in waging war.”

The Handshake: a Eulogy

Could it be possible that this virus will end the handshake as a form of greeting? “Dr. Anthony Fauci pronounced the handshake gone. ‘I don’t think we should ever shake hands again,” he has said.’” I guess the bigger story is that it may be a long time before touch returns.

How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money

If you’re like us, you’ve basically stopped spending altogether on much of anything but absolute essentials. The New York Times illustrates how spending patterns have changed dramatically.

When Forgiveness Is Costly

Here’s an interesting story of forgiveness offered and granted. “Charlene Delmonico, a 23-year-old flight attendant, walked up the aeroplane aisle of flight TWA85 towards the cockpit door. Behind her, the hijacker held a rifle to her back. It was the early hours of Friday 31st October 1969, and the beginning of the longest hijacking in history.”

Flashback: Help! My Kids Are Looking at Porn!

Here are some suggestions for how to respond when you learn that your children have been looking at or looking for pornography.

Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die, I risk my whole eternity on the resurrection.

—Charles Spurgeon

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    Weekend A La Carte (May 18)

    A La Carte: What it takes to survive ministry / The power of prayer / The dog’s game / Why do Christians do bad things? / Does it matter whether seminary education is in-person or online? / Greet one another with a … what? / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Zondervan Reflective)

    This week the giveaway is sponsored by  Zondervan Reflective. When writers write, they are getting in touch with the image of God in them. This is true in some way of all artistry, but writers especially create worlds, characters, histories, and transformation–all ex nihilo (“out of nothing”). In The Storied Life, veteran author Jared C. Wilson…

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    A La Carte (May 17)

    A La Carte: Deep mercy for our dark insanity / The Rock / God will give us more than we can handle / When cynicism sets in / The judgment of getting exactly what we want / The life of Paul Kasonga / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 16)

    A La Carte: When intrusive thoughts come / How a horse saved orthodoxy / The brevity of life / Bad therapy / Acts of kindness aren’t random / Does John’s Last Supper chronology differ from the other gospels? / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 15)

    A La Carte: My pastor made me wait to enter ministry and I’m grateful / How could a good God… / How should a wife respond to her husband’s bad authority? / Sing your heart out, Christian / Does Jesus’ view of grace offend you? / Preaching the Psalms as a book / and more.

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    A La Carte (May 14)

    A La Carte: When God takes his time / Biblical priorities / God is doing something / Broken pieces / Loosening my grip / Since God’s call is effectual, how can someone be a false convert? / and more.