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A La Carte (February 6)

I’m looking forward to speaking in chapel today at Cedarville University. It was a long (so long!) and wild ride to get here yesterday via snowy Chicago. But I made in eventually and am excited to see the school and meet the students and faculty.

(Yesterday on the blog: Exploring Ireland: EPIC Vlog 02)

The Power of De-Conversion Stories: How Jen Hatmaker is Trying to Change Minds About the Bible

“When it comes to reaching the ‘lost,’ one of the most tried-and-true methods is the personal conversion story. Whether done privately or publicly, it’s compelling to hear a person’s testimony about how they came to believe in the truth of the Gospel, the truth of the Bible, and embraced the Christian faith. Such testimonies can personalize and soften the message so it is more easily understood and received. But when it comes to reaching the ‘found,’ there’s an equally effective method—and this is a method to which the evangelical church has paid very little attention. It’s what we might call the de-conversion story.” (Also see Denny Burk’s take.)

Why North Korea Isn’t So Good at Olympics

“Say what you will about communists, but they can sure field a solid Olympic team. East Germany routinely spanked not only the larger and wealthier Germany next door, but it repeatedly bested even the United States at both Winter and Summer Games. Meanwhile, even 27 years after its collapse, the Soviet Union still holds second place as history’s most prolific collector of Olympic medals. Which makes it all the more glaring that North Korea, one of the last throwbacks to the Cold War, has such a piddling Olympic record.”

Your Conscience Tells You What not to Do, Wisdom Tells You What to Do

Wyatt Graham draws an interesting distinction here.

Germs in Airplane Cabins Are Bad, Terminals Are Worse

I see lots of people wearing masks in planes and airports, but from this report it sounds like they’d be better off wearing gloves. Also, with all the flying I need to do this year, I’ll probably get sick lots.

New Report is Critical of the Term ‘Spiritual Abuse’

I will be interested in reading analyses of this: “A new report highlights the risks associated with adopting the vague and incoherent terminology of ‘Spiritual Abuse’ … The term ‘Spiritual Abuse’ may be well intended, but it is not fit for purpose.” While no one can deny the reality of spiritual abuse, the term does seem to lack clear and agreed-upon definition.

Voice UI Is The Future. But When?

This has been a long-awaited and fascinating technological development. “Propelled by what we can legitimately call The Alexa Movement, voice is now perceived as the future of the User Interface. But we need numbers: How many of us continue to use Alexa (or Siri, or Google assistant) after the novelty has worn off? What do we use it for? This will help us understand the likely actual future of Voice UI.”

The Lord Is on the Move in the Muslim World

Greg Livingstone writes, “The last 27 years of increased harvest among Muslims has been remarkable! As someone who’s given most of his life to understanding Islam and sharing the gospel with Muslims, I think we have every reason to be joyful, grateful, and hopeful. The Lord is on the move. And though the vast majority of Muslims still need to be reached, the King of kings is not wringing his hands over the massive barriers to reaching them.”

Flashback: The Five Tests of False Doctrine

This world is a murky madness of true and false. For every doctrine we know to be true, there seems to be a hundred pretenders.

Idleness gives great advantage to the tempter. Standing waters gather filth.

—Matthew Henry

  • Tear Down Build Up

    It’s Easier to Tear Down than Build Up

    In my travels, I encountered a man whose work is demolition. When buildings are old and decrepit, or even when they just need to be removed to make way for others, his job is to destroy them and haul them away. New or old, big or small, plain or fancy—it makes no difference to him.…

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    A La Carte (June 12)

    A La Carte: Does Bach’s music prove the existence of God? / Living from approval, not for approval / A surprising test of true faith / Do you have the support you need to grow? / Who was the “black Spurgeon?” / and more.

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    A La Carte (June 11)

    A La Carte: The blessing of constant curiosity / Church discipline in the digital age / Don’t be too easy to join / Body matters in Genesis / The local church is a sandbox / Seasons in a pastor’s life / and more.

  • Trusting Jesus in The Public Square 

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Parents have a biblical responsibility to protect their children not only from physical harm but also from spiritual harm. It is entirely appropriate and right for a parent to wrestle with whether they want to allow their child to continue to have a friendship with a…

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    Young Man, Don’t Even Make that First Sports Bet

    It’s impossible to avoid the advertising and impossible to miss the claims. Sports are great, they say, but do you know what makes them even better? Adding a little wager. Sports are exciting, they say, but even more exciting when you’ve got a bit of money riding on them. So why not enjoy them all…

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    A La Carte (June 10)

    A La Carte: Feminism’s patriarchs / Thank you, parents, for your Sunday faithfulness / Godly sorrow vs worldly sorrow / Being transformed from the inside out / What if everyone at your church was like you? / The gift and skill of praise in lament / Kindle deals / and more.