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A La Carte (August 22)

wednesday

There are quite a lot of Kindle deals to sort through today, though the majority are on books that go on sale routinely.

(Yesterday on the blog: How Do You Know if Your Church is Healthy?)

She Never Came Home: When Forgiveness Seems Impossible

Terry Stauffer writes about the terrible tragedy that befell his family a few years ago. “On a sunny afternoon in late September, 2008, our 14 year old daughter Emily went for a walk on a path in our small town of Edson, Alberta. She never came home. A stranger, a man in his 40s, was waiting in the woods by the trail. He was not looking for Emily, but for a woman to assault. The attack rocked our family, our church, our town, and more people than we could have imagined. This man is now in prison, but we miss Emily very much.”

What Calvinists And Arminians Can Agree On

“Maybe it’s been the advent of social media, but I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized that arguing is fruitless. While it may be temporarily fun to ‘put someone in their place’ or to feel like you’ve gotten the upper hand on somebody, ultimately arguing produces little to no results other than pride in the hearts of the participants.”

I Am Not My Own

This is a sweet and encouraging recounting of a life well lived.

Parents, Stop Decorating Your Kid’s Freshman Dorm With Fluffy Rugs and Big-Screen TVs

Quite right! “Parents of incoming freshmen: Dorm rooms don’t need to be decorated, especially not by Mom and Dad. Ignore the siren song of Bed Bath & Beyond and stay away from YouTube, where you might see this Ole Miss dorm room, transformed into such a sugary confection that Southern Living magazine took notice.”

Be a Missionary, Not a Marketer

This is worth considering. “In that moment, I realized the state of many churches today: we have shifted from the mentality of having a missions pastor that focuses on prompting the church to go to the people, to a marketing director that figures out how to get the people to come to the church. We have shifted from a call for the church to ‘go’ to a call for the world to ‘come.’”

The Pennsylvania Report on Child Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy

“Last week a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 1,356-page report claiming that bishops, priests, and deacons within the Catholic Church in almost every diocese in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse over a period of 70 years.” Joe Carter provides answers to the FAQs.

Understanding Marriage

“The last few years have seen considerable debate about same-sex marriage, especially between evangelical Christians and non-Christians. This debate is evidence of vastly different understandings of marriage between the two groups. Or so you would think.” If we are going to defend marriage, we need to make sure we understand marriage!

Flashback: One Way To Make Sure You’re Preaching a Sermon, Not Leading a Bible Study

In general, a Bible study is teaching while a sermon is preaching; a Bible study is aimed at the head while a sermon is aimed at the heart; a Bible study is meant to increase knowledge while a sermon is meant to increase holiness; a Bible study is helping people to know what a passage says while preaching is appealing to people to live what a passage says.

He that has learned to feel his sins, and to trust Christ as a Saviour, has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity.

—J.I. Packer

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