A La Carte (February 11)

There is not an extensive list of Kindle deals today, but there are still a few interesting ones, including Tremper Longman’s highly-recommended introduction to Proverbs.

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(Yesterday on the blog: Biblical Building-Blocks for Sexual Purity)

When the Church Apologizes for Its Beliefs

Trevin Wax is concerned about the way Christians speak of their beliefs when it comes to morality. “In recent years, it’s become commonplace to see Christian leaders take an apologetic stand on a controversial issue. Not apologetic in the ‘defend the faith’ sense of the word, but ‘apologetic’ as if to say, I wish this was different, but here’s what we believe. Usually, this fretful posture comes from a deeper desire to appear respectable to society.”

The Advance of the New Legalism

Stephen Kneale is concerned about a new form of legalism that may be creeping into the church. “The new buzzwords are things like ‘missional living’, ‘community’ and ‘doing life together.’ Now all those things are rightly rooted in biblical principles. … The principles in which these things are rooted are thoroughly biblical. But the problem comes when those principles are pressed into rules that the bible simply doesn’t demand. It becomes a problem when we insist our ‘rules’ – good, or even best, as they may be for our specific context – are pressed into every context.”

Is the Fall of Satan Really Described in the Bible? (Video)

Do passages in the Old Testament describe the fall of Satan? Dr. Peter Gentry provides a thorough answer in this video from Southern Seminary, part of their excellent Honest Answers series.

Ask the Know-It-Alls: What Is a Coronavirus?

If you’re still wondering what the coronavirus is, here’s an answer from Wired. (Also seen Gene Veith: “The Political Effects of the Coronavirus.”)

Why I Love Discipling Students Through This Hopeless Babylon

I enjoyed this perspective on discipling students. “When I think about the hopelessness our culture has for your teenagers, I think about the hopefulness our Scriptures have for them. Hopeful not because it’s the Hallmark-card-y or youth-pastor-y thing to say, but hopeful because Jesus rose from the dead. I love student ministry because while our culture has so little hope for the next generation, God’s hope for them and his plan for them has no limits.”

John MacArthur on the Evangelical Attraction to the Catholic Church (Video)

Why is it that Catholicism remains attractive to some evangelicals? John MacArthur proposes a few reasons.

The Age of Celebrity Is Dead

“The Oscars have always been fundamentally silly, but 10 years ago they were still a major event. Celebrities still lectured people in their annoying, self-congratulatory way, but they had more cultural capital. People listened when they spoke, and that slightly restrained their sanctimoniousness. Now they are just howling into cyberspace, ever more desperate to be heard.”

Flashback: The Character of the Christian: Hospitable

“An open home is a sign of an open heart and a loving, sacrificial, serving spirit. A lack of hospitality is a sure sign of selfish, lifeless, loveless Christianity.”

The purpose of a symbol is to express a reality greater than what can be expressed in words, so it should bring no solace to think that the Bible’s descriptions of hell might be symbolic. —David Platt