Skip to content ↓

A La Carte (December 31)


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)

The Primacy of the Master of Divinity Degree

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.”

How the Soviets One Upped The West: The TU-114 Story (Video)

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.”

A Chance to Die

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.”

Jesus: The Perfect Burnt, Sin, and Guilt Offering

“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.”

How America Grew Bored With Love

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.”

How Should We Respond to Those Who Reject Jesus Because Some Christians Are Hypocrites?

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.”

Think You’re Middle Class? Check This Chart to Find Out

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.

Flashback: The Best Way to Begin a New Year

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

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 18)

    A La Carte: The pursuit of (which) happiness? / Don’t hastily choose elders / The evangelistic nature of awe / What you read builds who you are / Till he was strong / A father’s threads of living faith / Logos deals / and more.

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 17)

    A La Carte: Honor good fathers and bad fathers alike? / Don’t give up, dad / How I respond to pride month / 5 myths about the pro-life movement / A seminar on biblical counseling / How do I know if I’m one of the elect? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…