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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

  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.