A La Carte (February 15)

I wasn’t able to track down any new Kindle deals, though there’s lots to sort through from the past week. However, Westminster Books has some new releases on sale, including John Piper’s new one as well as Mere Calvinism, which I very much enjoyed.

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(Yesterday on the blog: How Can We Glorify God with Our Time?)

Why Men Like Me Shouldn’t Be Pastors

Samuel James: “Why did it take whistleblowers and journalists to identify disqualifications that should have been obvious to those with the biblical mandate to do so? The answer may be that whistleblowers and journalists are less dazzled by charisma, smarts, and strong personality than the average evangelical churchgoer. But it could also be that, as Mattson observed in the Catholic church, there is in evangelicalism a complacency with sin in pastoral ministry that in many cases bottoms out in things like denial and cover-up.”

Let Children Get Bored Again

I agree. “Boredom is something to experience rather than hastily swipe away. And not as some kind of cruel Victorian conditioning, recommended because it’s awful and toughens you up. Despite the lesson most adults learned growing up — boredom is for boring people — boredom is useful. It’s good for you.”

How I Found Hope After My Ex-Husband Was Convicted of Sexual Abuse

Here’s a story of hope despite devastation. “Scanning row by row, my heart sunk to see the familiar eyes of my ex-husband, on the third row from the bottom looking back at me—one of the approximately 220 abusers who reporters found records for, all of whom have either been convicted or took a plea deal. An all-too-familiar wave of nausea, anxiety, and grief washed over me.”

How Did We Get the Five Points of Calvinism? (Sponsored Link)

How did we get the five points of Calvinism? In his newly released book, Saving the Reformation, W. Robert Godfrey takes us back four hundred years to the Synod of Dort, which gave us the five points and preserved the theology of the Reformers. This book includes a new translation and pastoral commentary on the Canons of Dort to help make these vital truths more accessible to a new generation. Watch this brief video clip to learn more or visit Ligonier.org to order the hardcover or ebook edition.

Special Books for Special Kids

There’s lots of junk on YouTube, but there’s some amazing things, too. Special Books for Special Kids is worth following. Chris Ulmer travels the world simply speaking to (and befriending) people with disabilities.

Hormones, Surgery, Regret

I’m surprised and thankful that USA Today ran this article. “At first I was giddy for the fresh start. But hormones and sex change genital surgery couldn’t solve the underlying issues driving my gender dysphoria.”

So, Do You Write Your Own Sermons?

H.B. Charles Jr: “I told the man I was working on Psalm 100 to preach for Thanksgiving. With a confused look, he asked, “So do you write your own sermons?” When I answered affirmatively, he was shocked. He went on to tell me that he did not think preachers wrote their own sermons anymore. He assumed most preachers got their sermons from the internet.”

Lord, Make Me a Cattle Prod

With a title like that, you’ve pretty much got to give it a look. “Watching the rise and fall of celebrities within the Christian writing and preaching world, I’ve become more convinced we need a lot more nobodies than a lot of big somebodies. The small and the unseen seems better than the platforms for the masses. Surely a written note of encouragement to a sister nearby is more lasting than the fleeting swipes of the finger. Do my own words contribute to the problem? Yet I’ve also known sweet amidst the bitter.”

Flashback: Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie

The Shack presents God in human flesh. It makes the infinite finite, the invisible visible, the omnipotent impotent, the all-present local, the spiritual material. In its visual portrayal of God it diminishes, it obfuscates, it blasphemes, it lies.

Through Jesus, the Father shows us his innermost being—in the form of a servant, dying to give us life. —Michael Reeves