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A La Carte (April 15)

wednesday

There’s a neat little selection of Kindle deals to work through. On the printed book front, Westminster Books has special pricing on some books by the late James Montgomery Boice.

A Prolonged Sabbath in a Culture of Productivity

This article spoke to me. “At the end of this, we should have something to show: a work of art, a new skill, a project completed, an intellect grown. To be sure, many of the resources on offer are fantastic. And I’m taking a deep breath because of the extra space in my weekly schedule. Indeed, as I’ve read from others, who knows what possibilities this limitation of movement will open up for us? Yet — can I allow myself and my children to give up being productive or educated or entertained for even a small amount of time? Can I allow us to be bored? To be unessential? To rest?”

William Standridge (1927–2020)

I was saddened to hear of the death of William Standridge, but am grateful for his life and legacy. What a man of God! “93 years on earth and 72 as a missionary in what I consider to be one of the hardest countries to minister in on the planet. Tilling the ground where few men had been before.”

Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing

Context always matters, as Ryan Higginbottom demonstrates in this brief look at John 15:5. “Perhaps you’ve heard that no one can do anything apart from Jesus. You may have been told this saying refers to our complete reliance upon God. Or, you may have read this phrase during leadership or evangelism training, urging your frequent communication with Jesus. Context matters. When we learn to read the Bible in context—not just as a collection of memorable phrases—we’ll find that some familiar verses take on richer and deeper meanings.”

More Than an Idle Threat

Al Mohler: “Over the course of this pandemic, I’ve consistently argued that churches should follow generally applicable shelter-in-place orders. … Indeed, governments are justified in ruling that all mass assemblies ought to cease for a definable period of time. That is rational government policy. If, however, policies target or single out churches and religious groups, this becomes an entirely different issue—it is an issue of an unconstitutional violation of religious liberty.” These are important distinctions and may become more important as the days go by.

What I Miss About the Physical Gathering of the Local Church

I miss these things as well!

Encouraged by Pandemic Pastors

Erik Raymond expresses some of the ways he has been encouraged by pastors as they carry out their calling during the pandemic. “I am thankful to God for how many pastors have responded to the changes necessitated by the coronavirus. Judging by my conversations with friends and what I see in my various feeds, many pastors are doing a commendable job caring for the flock. The pandemic brought a gear-shift for pastoral ministry. By God’s grace, many are doing well.”

The Beauty and Abuse of Empathy

Abigail Dodds: “As with all of God’s gifts that we wield in this sinful world, we can distort God-given empathy. Would you consider with me if it’s possible for empathy to become a tyrant? How can something so obviously needed to nurture children and care for the vulnerable go wrong? We can distort or abuse empathy in at least three ways.”

Flashback: We Murder Babies

Sure, that human being may be tiny, underdeveloped, within another person, and utterly dependent upon its mother, but humanity is not defined by size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency.

You should be terrified if you have the truth and yet that truth does not grip, control, and transform you.

—Dale Ralph Davis

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    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

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    A La Carte (June 17)

    A La Carte: Honor good fathers and bad fathers alike? / Don’t give up, dad / How I respond to pride month / 5 myths about the pro-life movement / A seminar on biblical counseling / How do I know if I’m one of the elect? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…