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A La Carte (August 18)

tuesday

Today’s Kindle deals include a few good books, among them the much-praised Confronting Christianity.

(Yesterday on the blog: It’s Only Money)

Medical Marijuana and Christian Ethics

Here’s a brief look at some of the ethical issues related to medical marijuana. “The appropriate use of medications is morally permissible for Christians. Yet, at this stage, it is still unclear exactly how marijuana or products derived from it can be appropriately used.”

Does the World Choose the Church’s Leaders? The Most Surprising Qualification for Pastors

For a man to be considered as a pastor/elder he must be “thought well of by outsiders.” “Well thought of by outsiders — how many of us would have seen this coming? Some of us might have even assumed the opposite, that the collective disdain of outsiders might actually show what a great weapon a man would be for Christ’s kingdom.”

Rachael Denhollander on Protecting the Vulnerable

How can parents and pastors protect the vulnerable from abuse? Rachael Denhollander explores this question in the latest episode of the Ministry Network Podcast (available in video and audio formats). Listen to Rachael discuss how to help children find their identity in Christ, how to formulate good protective policies, and how to message issues of abuse from a God-centered perspective. In previous episodes, you’ll hear Paul Washer discuss convictional ministry (audio, video), Rosaria Butterfield talk about hospitality (audio, video), and more. Subscribe to be notified of new episodes featuring Russell Moore, Tony Reinke, Jared Wilson, Sinclair Ferguson, and others. (Want to learn more about Ministry Network? Visit our site.) (Sponsored Link)

Why is the Culture Dark and Decaying?

“Christians in the West often express concern about the direction in which our culture is moving. Whether we look at government, entertainment, literature, education, law, or any number of other things, we see the foundations crumbling. … All of this is necessary and important, of course, but if it remains our sole focus, it can cause us to overlook another potential contributing factor.”

A Very Common Clash of Culture

What an interesting look at the differences between cultures. “Most Western cultures tend to be time-oriented. This means they respect others by respecting their time, by prioritizing the clock. Most Eastern cultures tend to be event-oriented. This means they respect others by respecting their participation, by prioritizing their access the key parts of an event. Both cultures value respecting others. It’s the how in respecting others that often results in a culture clash.”

Easy Evangelical Answers to the Anglican Anomaly

I enjoyed this look at Anglicanism. “Canadian Evangelicals often see a large gap between Anglicanism and Evangelicalism. Many of my friends have asked me how an Evangelical ‘Bible-guy’ like me can settle for Anglicanism, and I have had the pleasure of attempting to bridge that gap. I would like to offer a very brief, beginner-level, and Bible-based answers to show that Anglicanism is rooted in and reformed by God’s Word written, and therefore compatible with the main thrust of Evangelicalism.”

Fragrance

“Morning exercise at sunrise. Walking at a fast clip, tuned in to a podcast. Suddenly, there it is. Fragrance. Distinct. Sweet. I don’t even have to look. Honeysuckle. Stopping, I turn and see. Down the the slope. A riot of honeysuckle blooms. Taking over the thicket.”

What the Heart Can Hold

I enjoyed this brief meditation on life and parenting. “Cutting myself slack has always been difficult. It is one of my life-long challenges: giving myself permission to be. I actually schedule time to relax, and it always must occur after earning it by working hard. It cuts to my core if anyone hints I am not working hard as a homeschooling mom and homemaker. It stings and settles and festers. These jobs have been my magnum opus.”

Flashback: Where Is God Asking You to Take Him at His Word?

The great friend of the Christian is the joy of belief and the joy of obedience. Where is God asking you to simply take him at his word?

If you ask, ‘Why is this happening?’ no light may come, but if you ask, ‘How am I to glorify God now?’ there will always be an answer.

—J.I. Packer

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