Today’s Kindle deals include a few more books to round out 2018. There should be some new deals tomorrow to kick off the new month and new year.
(Yesterday on the blog: How We Worshipped One Sunday in December)
Should future pastors receive theological education in general and work toward the MDiv in particular? Jason Allen offers his answer here. “Recently I found myself corresponding with future seminary students about the differences between the Master of Divinity and the shorter Master of Theological Studies degrees. The dialogue, in sum, explored whether the Master of Divinity degree was worth the extra time and expense. I argued, emphatically, that for the typical minister-in-training, the answer is a hearty, ‘Yes.’ Consider with me these ten reasons.”
I enjoyed this video. “Until the mid 1950’s, small short-range airliners like the twin engined IL-14 were really the only type the Soviet Union produced. And that meant flying across the country’s vast territory required multiple stops for refueling. The exhausting flight could take could take over 24 hours and require multiple stops for refueling. The need for a new Soviet airliner was clearly pressing, especially since the country’s new leader Nikita Khrushchev had a much more open stance with the West and plans for visits around the world.”
Here’s a reflection from the mission field. “Comfort isn’t wrong, but it can be dangerous. Like sinking into a beanbag chair with a good book and a crackling fire, comfort makes it hard to get moving. To look around. To consider other people, other possibilities, other needs. It feels so good that it’s easy to say ‘God wants me here’ when maybe it’s really just me refusing to think otherwise.”
“The book of Leviticus opens up with a description of five different offerings for Old Covenant worship. These offerings are the burnt offering, the grain offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. Three of these offerings relate in particular to sin and its effects. They highlight the different ways in which sin taints the worshipper, the place of worship, and the community. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfills these three types of sin-sacrifices in a way that highlights the different facets of Christ’s redemptive work on our behalf.”
This is an interesting reflection on the decline of romcoms and, by extension, the decline of romance. The comments about college students are particularly tragic. “‘Where is the love?’ Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack sang in an unforgettable hit from 1972. Their breakup ballad could now double as an odd anthem for American culture. Its people, art, and entertainment have rejected romance and sexual intimacy as subjects worthy of celebration and investment. In a sad commentary on an increasingly dysfunctional society, love has all but vanished from pop culture.”
Randy Alcorn: “Christians don’t own the monopoly on hypocrisy. Furthermore, there are plenty of humble and lovable Christians. People need to open their eyes and see them. Unfortunately, the attention typically falls on false Christians or loudmouths or hypocrites.”
“Are you in the middle class? You probably think you are, according to new research from the Pew Research Center, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re right. It turns out household size is a major determiner of status in the lower, middle and upper classes.” If you find visualizations helpful, this will show roughly what it means to be middle class.
There is no better way to begin a new year than with the knowledge of your freedom and the desire to live for the glory of the one who has extended such grace. Christian, you are free and clear.
It is not the reading of many books which is necessary to make a man wise or good, but the well-reading of a few, could he be sure to have the best.—Richard Baxter