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A La Carte (January 30)


You may enjoy watching the new trailer for the forthcoming Puritan documentary. Also, Westminster Books has launched a nice new site and, to mark the occasion, has put some books on sale.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Perils of Social Media)

Mary: The Influencer of God?

Here are some thoughts on a recent statement by pope Francis. “In the Roman Catholic works-based merit system, one is in desperate need of receiving more and more grace in their life, and the best way to do that is not primarily through works (though a major part of it), but through prayers to those who had extra grace to spare. That’s why most of the prayers that Roman Catholics are encouraged to make are not to the Father or Jesus, but to saints and, particularly, Mary. For every one prayer directed to the Father, some say that Catholics are directed to pray 10 Hail Mary’s. That’s a ten to one ratio.”

We Need More Screen-Free Zones

I expect most parents would give this a hearty “amen!” “For kids, it seems, even the lowest-quality media experience takes precedence over flesh-and-blood animals from faraway lands. And I’ve seen this same reaction in children from all sorts of homes: screen-free homes, screen-packed homes, middle-ground homes (like mine) where screen use is restricted. Every time I see this, I come back to the same question. Isn’t it time to implement some public screen-free zones? Why is this not already a major trend?”

Paul learned how to be content in all circumstances, so why can’t we? In this article, John Piper explores how the apostle Paul learned how to resist grumbling, even in the midst of suffering.

The Poetry of the Puritans

I enjoyed this reflection on the way the Puritans showed mastery of English. “Of all the factors which have granted the Puritans a degree of permanence in Reformed Christian consciousness and conversation, perhaps the one which is most easily overlooked is their facility with the English language. Their familiarity with historical theology, their easy navigation of the contours of theological controversy, their deep-dive approach to individual texts of Scripture, and their closeness of application represent their unique genius – but their precise deployment and clear enjoyment of the versatility of English is the vehicle in which all of these other virtues are carried.”

What About Dating In High School?

This is a cleverly-written look at why dating in high school is generally a poor idea. “Gibbs: You’re not compatible for marriage. You already know that. Student: Why? Gibbs: Because at sixteen, you’re not ready to marry anyone at all, which means you can’t be compatible for marriage with anyone in particular.”

None of These Faces Are Real (Video)

It’s amazing to see some technologies advance to the point that we can no longer tell fact from fiction and can no longer trust what we see.

Why Would You Refuse Gender Equality?

Tamie Davis has been posting some fascinating articles about what she’s learning about life and culture in Tanzania. “In a hierarchical society, who is powerful? It’s natural to me to think that it’s the people at the top, with people becoming less powerful the further down the hierarchy they are. Those down the bottom of the hierarchy are vulnerable, and therefore would benefit from gender equality. This is not how my language tutor sees things.”

The Bible Literacy Legislation

Joe Carter has one of his FAQs to help explain the Bible literacy legislation that President Trump tweeted about a couple of days ago.

Flashback: Work That Makes a Difference

No matter what my work is, it matters. It matters because my work is a stage to bring glory to my God. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

The difference between God and an idol: You defend your idols. God defends you.

—Christina Edmondson

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.

  • A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    Every month I put together a roundup of new and notable books for grownup readers. But I also receive a lot of books for kids and like to put together the occasional roundup of these books as well. So today I bring you a whole big batch of new books for kids

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (June 13)

    A La Carte: Were the earliest Christians illiterate? / Our new religion isn’t enough / Why do evil and suffering exist? / The missing ingredient in too many marriages / Is Genesis literal or allegorical? / The death of fear / and more.

  • 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.…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.