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A La Carte (January 3)

friday

There are, as usual, a few Kindle deals to be had today.

The first sale of the year from Westminster Books is on their top-selling books of last year.

(Yesterday on the blog: Looking for Something to Read? (Brief Book Reviews))

Learning to Say “Amen”

This was a good challenge to me, as I find there are quite a few things in life now to which I’m not too eager to say “amen.”

2020 & Your Political Cage Match

“The Kingdom of Man will get rowdy this year. Passionate political fodder will not run in short supply. Controversy is in high demand. There will be opportunity for you to voice your opinions about these things. Easy opportunities. Juicy opportunities. Proverbial political slow pitches will come our way over home plate to belt into the grand stands. Many occasions will arise to jump into political cage matches and take some opportunistic swings at opponents. The battles are irresistible at times these days. It’s so easy to get angry. And sometimes, so fun. God has a word for us in all this…”

The Story of Ralstonism, One of History’s More Bizarre Health Movements

Our generation is hardly the first that seems to get so easily drawn in by bizarre health fads.

True Friends Confront Sin

They do, indeed. And true friends respond with gratitude when they are confronted!

The Word of the Year

Writing at TGC Canada, Steve Lambert covers Dictionary.com’s word of the year. “At the end of every year, dictionary websites choose a word that they feel best represents the year that is ending. They then name that word the word of the year. For 2019, dictionary.com chose the word ‘existential’. You probably don’t use this word a lot in everyday conversation (unless you like using big words), but understanding it will help us understand a little more about how our world thinks and it will helps us understand how we should think as Christians.”

Not Magic, But Not Nothing

A new year is not magic, but it’s also not nothing. “The sophisticated critic looks at Western people, coming up with their New Years resolutions and commitments and ‘fresh starts,’ and decries it as arbitrary. ‘There is nothing about a calendar that makes personal change more likely or more desirable,’ he might say. The fetishizing of New Years, he observes, merely fills gyms in the winter and empties them in May. Genuine personal transformation doesn’t wait for a date. It comes out of a deeper need or realization and is authentically now, awake to the realities of the moment, not tethered to vague ideas of yearly progress. To which I would say: Yes, but also no.”

Abominable Enterprise

“In C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, young King Caspian visits an island under his rule and discovers the territory embroiled in the slave trade. The Narnian king demands the lazy governor explain why the islanders have resorted to this ‘abominable and unnatural traffic in slaves.’ The governor’s reply? ‘Necessary, unavoidable. … An essential part of the economic development of the islands, I assure you.’” He could as well have been discussing America’s pro-abortion laws.

Flashback: If I’m Forgiven, Why Can’t I Keep Sinning?

“If forgiveness is guaranteed and there is no longer any condemnation for me, why not sin?” This was my answer in the context of the sermon I had just preached.

God not only blots our sins from His record, He also remembers them no more. This expression means He no longer holds them against us. The blotting out of our transgressions is a legal act. The remembering them no more is a relational act.

—Jerry Bridges

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