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A La Carte (February 26)

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May the God of peace be with you today.

On sale this week at Westminster Books is the excellent book Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth.

A Spectacle Unto Angels

“The way we talk about those living in Everlasting Rest can convince us that an impenetrable divide exists between them and us. They have gone to be with the Lord. They have departed. Their eyes behold the King, face to face, in all His beauty—how could they turn away? This is all true. Yet it does not mean the departed saints go about their living blinded to the happenings of the earth, deaf to our murmurings and cries.”

Evidence

Andrée Seu Peterson, whose column I always enjoy reading, writes about evidence and discernment.

Until Christ Be Sweet, Sin Will Not Be Bitter

Mike Leake: “I do agree with Thomas Watson that until sin be bitter Christ will not be sweet. But I kind of wonder if he has that flipped a bit. What if we said, ‘Until Christ is sweet, sin will not be bitter’. That seems to me to be what happens in New Testament narratives when radical change takes place.”

When the Wrath of Jodie met the Grace of God

In this article at TGC Australia, Jodie Cooper writes with transparency about anger in marriage. “I began to share about my anger issues and the damage they had caused to our marriage as I sat nervously in the counsellor’s office. He had known me in my youth, long before I met my husband. He said he was surprised to hear about this behaviour, as I’d always come across as a relaxed person. Honestly, I agreed. Before I was married I didn’t have anger issues. Where had all this come from?”

Pastor, Preach to the People in the Room

“Knowing my church members’ interests informs the kinds of illustrations I employ. For example, I know my people would look puzzled if I trotted out an illustration about a sci-fi television show, but they’d instantly connect to a basketball story. They may scratch their heads if I cite a noted philosopher, but they would light up if I quoted a lyric from a country song. Knowing our church members’ interests allows us to build common ground with them in the sermon, and it helps us connect biblical truths to them more effectively.” (This is why it can be hard to be a guest preacher—you don’t know the people, so often miss with the illustrations.)

What’s the Unforgivable Sin?

I get more emails about the unforgivable sin than just about any other topic. I usually tell people, “if your conscience is concerned that you’ve committed it, you haven’t.” Here’s Murray J. Harris’ take on it. “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, not because God is unwilling to forgive but because the repentance that is the necessary precondition for God’s forgiveness is absent. The heart has become so hardened that no need for repentance is recognized, and so no request for forgiveness is offered.”

The Trouble With Perpetual Victimhood

Janie Cheaney discusses the problem with the perpetual victimhood some espouse today.

Flashback: The Dawn of the Designer Babies

We do well to end suffering when we are able to. We do well to cure disease and eliminate curable pain. But we dare not step into God’s place as those who will design babies according to our plan rather than his.

No mirth, no music, can be so pleasing to us as the prayers of the saints are pleasing to God.

—Thomas Brooks

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…

  • Tell Me

    Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

    If you have spent any time at all on YouTube, you have probably seen videos of people hearing for the first time or people seeing color for the first time—videos of people who, through the miracles of modern science, have senses restored that had either been missing altogether or that had become dull through illness…

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    A La Carte (February 26)

    A La Carte: How not to apply the Bible / 30 people in the New Testament confirmed / Taylor Swift and Christianity / But I did everything right / 10 reasons the Old Testament matters to Christians / Kindle deals / and more.