A La Carte (December 14)

There isn’t much to tell you about by way of Kindle deals today. We’ll hope for better things over the weekend.

Become a Patron

(Yesterday on the blog:  Reader Feedback: Should We Make a Priority of Diversity in Church Leadership?)

Will John Chau Help or Harm Missions in India?

Two Indian missiologists shared their perspectives with CT on the young American’s failed attempt to evangelize the Sentinelese and how the story of his death may impact future efforts to reach tribal groups in the islands.” We’ve heard lots about this story from outside of India so I’m glad to hear from people within.

My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience

Pray for believers in China. “Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday. Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out. ”

“Does God See Me?” An Advent Devotional

You may appreciate this little devotional. “To be seen is to be known. It is to be understood. It is to have our circumstances measured, our burdens weighed, our situations assessed and appreciated. But motherhood is often hidden. Our days are spent inside kitchen and playroom walls. We go days, weeks, and years alone with our kids, navigating terrain that others never see.  And we wonder if God sees us in our secret settings. Does he know? Does he understand what we’re walking through?”

America Is Intolerably Intolerant 

David French reflects on America, though it goes far beyond that. “Human beings need forgiveness like we need oxygen. The thing that is so shattering about the shame storm is that it is usually grounded in something a person did wrong — even if it’s a minor transgression. Even if it’s just momentary thoughtlessness. Even if it’s just a tweet. ”

Virtual Reality Church (Video)

Unfortunately, this isn’t too far from reality, which is what makes it good satire.

There is No Such Thing as Worldly Security

When I look at all God has provided for me, I ought to give him thanks and credit… but I should not expect it as my due. When I am lacking something, be it food or peace or health, I must take the approach that the world sees as foolish—to refuse to lay up treasure for myself, but instead marvel at and await my beautiful future with Christ, who has made me rich in him (2 Cor 8:9).

Focus on What God Has Revealed, Not Concealed

It’s pastoral wisdom, this. “One of the hidden gems of pastoral ministry is watching God turn the lights on in a Christian’s mind. And, when he turns the lights on, he also turns on the heat. God is kind to open minds to understand the Word of God, and as he does, he enflames hearts to rejoice in the God of the Word. Like Mary, I treasure these things up in my heart.”

Flashback: Jesus Isn’t Threatened by Your Christmas Gifts

We don’t threaten the wonder of the incarnation when we give nice gifts to the ones we love and when we look forward to receiving them. We don’t need to spiritualize these gifts by assuring ourselves that Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

We live and die; Christ died and lived! —John Stott