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A La Carte (April 21)

tuesday

Sorting through hundreds of blog posts yesterday to select the few I would recommend in A La Carte, I was struck by how thankful I am for all of the Christian bloggers who faithfully write material for you and me, usually for nothing more than the satisfaction of serving the church.

Today’s Kindle deals include some books by Beeke, Keller, MacArthur, and others.

(Yesterday on the blog: Here Is Christian Encouragement From All Over the World)

Tactile Religion in a Time of Pandemic

Thomas Kidd writes about the tactile nature of the Christian faith and how certain changes may follow this pandemic. “Whenever we are able to go back to some sort of normalcy, I don’t see those contact rituals coming back until an effective COVID-19 vaccine is available (sometime in 2021, Lord willing). That will mean that church will remain strange, because tactile religion is such a common feature of Christianity that we don’t notice it until it is gone.”

Why Is Sex So Complicated?

Bruce Ashford: “If there’s one thing about sex just about everyone can agree on, it’s that sex is complicated. But complicated doesn’t mean (as some assume) that sex is bad. Quite the contrary: sex is complicated precisely because it is so good, valuable, and powerful.”

When Family Reunions Are ‘6 Feet of Space, and an International Border!’

This story made me think of the fact that my mother and siblings are supposed to vacation in Canada this summer. Will they be able to?

Living in Harmony During Isolation

Simon van Bruchem: “When we spend a lot of time together with the people we love, it can reveal a lot about what our relationship with them is really like. If we haven’t been investing in that relationship, now we find we share a house with people we barely know. If we have been working on placing others’ needs above our own, this current situation will possibly deepen what is already deep.”

The Yeah-But Defence

Tony Payne writes about a defense you’ve probably used once or twice yourself. “I have seen it occasionally in myself (in rare moments of self-awareness, possibly in relation to my wife being right about something). And of course, I notice it all the time in other people—because other people are mostly wrong, and for some reason use these kinds of dodges to avoid coming around to my way of thinking.”

Does Life Have Meaning? Four Possibilities

Does life have any meaning? This article takes a brief look at four possibilities.

There’s an Eighth Chronicle of Narnia, and Now Is the Perfect Time to Read It

This is a beautifully-written essay that lauds an unofficial eight volume in the Narnia series. It also recommends reading it, even though you probably can’t. “It’s a sentence that captures the real and imaginative stillness of childhood, at least as I experienced it—before the internet and even before there was much of anything on TV in the middle of the day. I was bored in the fertile way that only children can be bored, ripe with the possibilities of a life not yet ready to be led, my head stuffed full of impossible dreams. I wanted to escape. I filled my hours, as Spufford did, with the maximum number of library books you could check out at a time, chasing after any facsimile of the intoxication of Narnia I could find.”

Flashback: A Cost Of All This Preaching?

Do you commit yourself to the public reading of Scripture? Do you read it in your church, even if you cannot explain it at the time? Do you read it in your home, with your family, even if you do not have a lot of opportunity to explain and apply it?

Proud people focus on the failures of others and can readily point out those faults. Broken people are more conscious of their own spiritual need than of anyone else’s.

—Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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