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A La Carte (August 24)


Today is not much of a day for Kindle deals, unfortunately. We will hope for better things tomorrow.

(Yesterday on the blog: Who Gets To Rule Our Hearts This Week?)

More Than a Shibboleth

Lots of churches emphasize the ordinary means of grace, but there’s an important distinction still to be made. “While professing a commitment to the God-ordained means of grace is right and good, it is altogether possible for pastors to neglect vital biblical nuances concerning the administration of the ordinary means. It is obligatory for us to be committed to a right administration of the ordinary means of grace, and not simply that we are committed to them.”

Cool Christianity Is (Still) a Bad Idea

Brett McCracken reflects on his book Hipster Christianity ten years after its release. “It’s telling that the majority of the “hip Christian figureheads” I profiled in the book are now far off the radar of evangelical influence. Donald Miller is a marketing consultant. Mark Driscoll’s Seattle megahurch dissolved. Rob Bell is a new-age guru endorsed by Oprah and Elizabeth Gilbert. And so forth. That many of the names and trends highlighted in Hipster Christianity a mere decade ago are now nearly forgotten (and would be replaced with a whole new set of personalities and trends today) proves the book’s point.”

Discourse with the Foolish

“Proverbs 26:4–5 tells us: ‘Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.’ I have to confess that I love these verses. But let’s be honest. Many believers have stumbled over this text and even more have been challenged by unbelievers with this text. Don’t be intimidated.”

The Suburb Is Dead: Long Live The Suburb

Lots of people have been talking about the current or coming migration from the city to the suburbs. In this one Stephen McAlpine reflects on the long-forecasted death of suburbia.

Five Ways Churches Will Have Changed One Year From Now

Speaking of forecasting, here are some predictions from Thom Rainer on some of the ways churches will have changed a year from now. “While it is admittedly difficult to project trends in typical times, it is exceedingly difficult to do so in a time of pandemic headed for, hopefully, a post-quarantine era. Because we hear from so many church leaders and church members, allow me to venture where local churches will be in one year.”

Can Unbelievers Do Good Deeds?

R.C. Sproul answers in his inimitable way.

Carrying a Knapsack

I benefited from this reflection on what it means for each of us to carry our own load.

Flashback: Treasure Your Marriage

Your wife thrives when she can count on the rock-solid assurance of your commitment to her; she withers in distrust and broken vows. Do you love your wife in a steadfast way?

If the first mark of a true and living church is love, the second is suffering. The one is naturally consequent on the other. A willingness to suffer proves the genuineness of love.

—John Stott

  • Leadership

    We Need Qualified Leadership

    A few days ago I happened upon the page of an especially mega-sized megachurch. The church is about to undergo a leadership transition from an older man to a younger one and a page on the site lays out the process through which this new pastor was chosen. I read with a morbid kind of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 21)

    A La Carte: Making tea and holding hands for the sake of the gospel / When Christian groups subvert religious liberty of Christians / How busy should I be? / 5 ways people worship themselves / A backwards birth into heaven / A new systematic theology / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…