A La Carte (February 20)

Today’s Kindle deals include an eclectic little list of titles that may prove interesting.

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As always, you may find something that appeals in this week’s deals from Westminster Books.

The Bewildering Mr. Brainerd

No doubt, it was Brainerd’s desire for holiness, zeal for the conversion of the lost, earnestness in prayer and perseverance in the midst of unparalleled affliction that set him apart as one of the most important figures in church history. When we read his Diary we are faced with our own lack in comparison with what we read of his heart. That being said, there are several things that we must be willing to criticize about Brainerd if we are to do justice to the task of theological historiography.” He is a perplexing but still exemplary figure.

How My View of Scripture Changed

I grew up reading the Bible. By the time my adulthood years came around, I was fairly proficient in all the main events and people of the Bible. However, the unfortunate fact is, while there were pieces of Scripture floating around in my head, I had not fully studied nor really understood the message and foundational truths of God’s Word. This left me vulnerable to many distorted teachings and with a broken understanding of God.” Here’s how her view of Scripture changed for the better.

We’ll Give Up Everything But Our Entitlement

“If I want to get brutally honest about my heart, it is entitled to its very core. My heart wants recognition, special treatment, a pedestal to perch on. As much as I hate to admit it, I can imagine all day long what my faith could hold up to in some far-fetched scenario that I dream up, but in my day-to-day, I can’t even give up my own desire for more comfort, more free time, more recognition, more glory.”

Christianity Isn’t Just One Truth among Many (Sponsored Link)

We live in a skeptical and relativistic age. In this hostile environment, Christians may find it difficult to stand for what is true. After all, telling the truth often means telling people things they don’t want to hear. To equip you to present and defend the truth, I’ll be speaking at Ligonier’s Southern Ontario Conference, Truth in a Truthless Age, along with W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Albert Mohler, and Stephen Nichols. I hope you’ll join us on November 8–9 and be encouraged to bear witness to the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Does the Bible Support Female Deacons? Yes.

TGC published two articles yesterday, one to support each of the two sides. Tom Schreiner says, “Christians who love God’s Word differ on whether women may serve as deacons, but the evidence presented here suggests they may do so. And in such a ministry they are a great blessing to the church, and the women who serve are encouraged as they use their gifts.”

Does the Bible Support Female Deacons? No.

Guy Waters: “Does Scripture permit women to hold the office of deacon? In addressing this important question, we must bear a couple of things in mind. First, Reformed pastors and theologians, fully committed to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, have disagreed about what the Bible teaches concerning women and the diaconate. This state of affairs calls for particular humility in discussing this question. Second, all sides recognize that women in some way have served in the diaconate in various periods of church history. Believers who argue for women in the diaconate, then, should not be automatically accused of sneaking the Trojan horse of modernity into the church.”

Have We Become Pharisees? 5 Evaluation Questions

This may be helpful to you. “Nobody wants to be a Pharisee, yet our flesh seems naturally bent in that direction. The good news of the gospel seems too easy for our works-based, achievement-driven hearts. We know Christ achieved it all, but we still want to contribute. Even while we proclaim the gospel of grace, we fight the intense pull toward self-righteousness.”

The Kind of Man I’d Like to Become

I suppose I’ve always had dreams about becoming a certain kind of man. They used to be dreams about accomplishment: about being known as that guy, the guy who does big things and has a big reputation. I look around me now and realize those are bad dreams. They’re not dreams rooted in one’s identity with Christ. And who would want the responsibility that comes with trying to do big things, or the self-focus on what I want to do? Increasingly as I get older I have a different set of dreams.” So do I, and they are a lot like these.

Flashback: For You It’s Sin, For Me It’s Service

When you do it it’s proud grumbling; when I do it it’s humble service. That’s the difference between you and me. And that’s why I find your complaining so offensive. Yeah, that must be it.

Love for the Lord, love for neighbor—that is the heart of holiness and how the triune God’s people get to be like him. —Michael Reeves