A La Carte (August 12)

This is your weekly reminder that my book Seasons of Sorrow is now available for pre-order; those who order from Westminster Books will receive an additional paperback book with supplemental material. And do remember the launch event in Nashville on Labor Day! Information here.

Become a Patron

There are a couple of new Kindle deals to look at today.

Gaming and the Metaverse

I really enjoyed this reflection on gaming and the coming metaverse. “Here’s the rub: the purpose of gaming is not to simulate whatever unique experience is unfolding on screen. The purpose of gaming is to simulate meaning.”

Good Writing: 10 Short Maxims

“I can’t stop writing. Whether I write well or not, I will let others decide. All I know is that I am a writer—because I have the two things that make someone worthy of the title ‘writer’: (1) deadlines and (2) a paycheck. And I offer what little advice I can give to aspiring writers. In ten maxims.” These are good!

The Foibles and Fallibility of Christian Leaders

“Blessed are the true Christian leaders who understand their need for help from God and express that to God. Christian leaders are formative works of God in character, skills, knowledge, faith, love and even enthusiasm, who have been given responsibility nonetheless for which they often feel entirely inadequate except for Christ’s help.”

Who Are the 144,000 in Revelation 7?

This is a compelling answer to a common question (and one I found myself discussing recently with my barber, of all people).

5 Truths We Must Defend: Lessons from China

“On the basis of my experience in China over the past 30 years, I want to highlight five theological truths that inevitably emerge as crucial battleground issues for Christians living in a hostile, totalitarian environment. Although the experience of Christians in the U.S. is vastly different, we can learn from the faithfulness of our brothers and sisters in China.”

Why I Stand By the Gate

“Every Sunday at the front entrance of New Life Bible Fellowship on you’ll see my Co-Lead Pastor, Greg Lavine. If you have a child, then you’ll enter through the side gate where I will meet you. Regularly, first time attendees will express surprise after the service, either to myself or another New Lifer, that a pastor greeted them at the gate. Churchgoers often say they’ve never been to a church where a pastor serves as a greeter.” John explains why they’ve chosen to do it this way.

Flashback: Why Satan Is No Friend of the Family

If family truly comes from the mind of God and plays such an essential role in his world, don’t you think this explains why there are so many attacks on the family?

We chose to be regenerated spiritually as much as we chose to exist physically. —Will Dobbie