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A La Carte (December 5)

tuesday

It is a great day for Kindle deals, and you’ll find a good list covering quite a number of publishers and topics.

Just a reminder that my site is now available in Spanish. That includes many of the videos. Pass on the news!

The Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case Isn’t about Same-Sex Marriage

“Masterpiece Cakeshop is not about gay marriage. It’s about compelled speech. The Supreme Court settled the marriage issue in its landmark Obergefell decision in 2015. Gay and lesbian couples are free to marry anywhere in the United States, and government at every level now protects their right to do so. But can government require artists, designers, or other creative professionals to celebrate same-sex marriage through their work?”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Guest Services

“The question isn’t if we’re sending a message with our guest services but what message we’re sending. Your guest services write the introduction to the sermon. So what kind of introduction are you giving?” There are some good practical pointers here.

Fill Believers, Not Buildings

Success of churches is often measured with how many people attend that church. “But it’s exactly this view of fruitfulness in ministry that needlessly weighs down and even shipwrecks gifted pastors. Far worse, it leaves churches led by pastors who are like husbands with a roving eye—never satisfied, always looking beyond the bride because she isn’t enough.”

The Great Baby Bust of 2017

Interesting article on declining fertility rates in the U.S. and worldwide. The author draws some interesting conclusions on the reasons behind the decline.

Five Reasons the Homogeneous Church Is Declining and Dying

“When you are in your worship services next Sunday, look at the people around you. Do they all look like you? Do they all come from the same economic backgrounds? Are they are about the same age? If so, you are in a homogeneous church. As the old homogeneous unit principle implied, ‘We attract people who are like us.’ That principle was a point of contention and debate for decades. Is it descriptive (a reality observed), or is it prescriptive (a strategy pursued)?”

Still Learning How to Preach After 50 Years Preaching!

A worthwhile read from Peter Adam, who has spent 50 years preaching.

Sing! Live At The Getty Music Worship Conference

You may enjoy this new album from the Gettys!

The Consumerist Church of Fitness Classes

Take away church and people will continue to form communities of worship. “Gyms provide ritual and community, serving as a sort of religion. They also promote values American culture already worships—capitalism and overwork.”

Flashback: The 5 Gossips You Will Meet

Gossip is a serious problem. It is a problem in the home, in the workplace, in the local church and in broader evangelicalism. Here, drawn from Mitchell’s book, is a gallery of gossips, five different gossiping people you will meet in life.

No verse of Scripture yields its meaning to lazy people.

—A.W. Pink

  • 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…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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…