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A La Carte (April 28)


Grace and peace to you on this fine day.

Westminster Books has a deal this week on Richard Gaffin’s magnum opus.

(Yesterday on the blog: One Way To Know You’re Being Persecuted)

The Lost Art of Courage

“There appears to be one of two extremes common among the people of God—the extremes of the lion. Either shrinking back when we ought not. Or viciously thundering forth when we ought not. It seems the church may need to regain the lost art of courage, for there are those who shy away from battles that must be taken up, and there are those who don bravado and (seemingly) do nothing but battle. What may be lacking in these two poles is the biblical concept of ‘meekness’—or courage, rightly carried.”

When the Going Gets Tough

“When faced with an option between two paths, one paved with more difficulty than the other, the choice is usually simple: take the easier path. But, the choices aren’t always straightforward.” Erik Raymond applies this to both pastors and church members.

How to get better sermons

Al Gooderham: “Sometimes pastors take themselves too seriously. Sometimes pastors can have a big ego. Sometimes pastors need bringing down a peg or too. Sometimes pastors seem to think we should hang on their every word, as if we’re blessed to have them open God’s word to us Sunday by Sunday. I’m pretty sure those pastors are out there but I wonder how many of them there are because I don’t know many (any?) like that.”

No Blood Money in the Temple Treasury

“Man’s ability for self-deception is astounding, and we get a glimpse of it in the chief priests who gave false counsel to have Jesus executed.” But if we look honestly, we may get a glimpse of it in ourselves as well.

A Strategic Retreat

“There’s a lot to see, above the screen. It is slower, and more subtle, but it is alive with beauty and meaning. And I want to see it, and have the mental space to recognise it for what it really is, and carrying social media around with me in my pocket everywhere didn’t help me do that.” Indeed…

Pastor, You’ll Burnout If Your Idea Of Hard Work Is Worldly

I found a number of thought-provoking applications in this article from TGC Africa: “We project the rhythms of 21st century routines onto the apostolic age. But our the pace and routines of life in the 21st century are entirely different from Paul’s and his friends.”

Flashback: Netflix’s Biggest Competition

It turns out that Netflix doesn’t actually consider Amazon (or HBO or Hulu or any other similar company) its true competition. Netflix’s main competitor is something far more elemental: sleep.

You can be sure of this: If God draws near to the shamed and outcast, he will meet you in the insecurities of daily life.

—Ed Welch

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

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    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

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    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 9)

    A La Carte: A prayer for my children’s walk with Christ / What really happened and Nicea / The secular creed / The Bible is not boring / It’s okay to fail / How can I read my Bible correctly? / Kindle deals / and more.