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A La Carte (January 4)

Today’s Kindle deals include several titles from Paul Tripp along with a long list from B&H. There’s also a new one from GLH Publishing you may want to check out. Finally, Amazon has put a list of top-rated history books on sale, so history buffs (or people participating in the reading challenge) may want to check out that list.

Donald Trump’s Attempt to Mainstream Heresy

Whatever your views on Donald Trump, you ought to be troubled by the people he has invited to pray at his inauguration. Michael Horton explains in the Washington Post. “The prosperity gospel — the idea that God dispenses material wealth and health based on what we ‘decree’ — is not just fluff. It’s also not just another branch of Pentecostalism, a tradition that emphasizes the continuation of the gifts of healing, prophecy and tongues. It’s another religion.”

Why Do We Play “Hail to the Chief” for the President?

And while we are on the subject of Donald Trump: “Amid drummed ruffles and bugled flourishes, ‘Hail to the Chief’ will be played twice in ear-ringing succession at this January’s inauguration, once for outgoing President Barack Obama and then again for incoming President Donald Trump.” Smithsonian tells about the origin of the tradition.

2017 and the Recalibration of the Expert

Like me, you’ve probably heard that 2016 marked the death of the expert. I agree with Matthew Hosier who says that we actually now have a good opportunity to recalibrate expertise to emphasize humility. “This morning I was reading Proverbs 16. There is some good advice for us all there, especially those who consider themselves to be experts: ‘Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ 2016 demonstrated that in spades – that’s not post-truth, it’s gospel.”

If Church Isn’t Necessary, Let’s Quit

I quite agree: If church isn’t necessary to our health and growth, then let’s quit. “I mean it. If it’s not necessary let’s cancel all of our services, board up the windows, lock the doors, and send everyone on their merry way.”

A Village for Sale

If I had $3 million, a reason to move to Quebec, and terrible financial self-control, I’d be all over this! “Wannabe time travelers, start emptying your coffers: Canadiana Village, a massive fake 19th-century town, has gone up for sale.”

This Day in 1934. 83 years ago today Karl Barth, Martin Niemoeller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer founded the Confessing Church in opposition to the Nazi German Christian Church. *

A Child Abuse Scandal Is Coming for Pope Francis

“The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope’s own making.” The article reveals how allegations are handled behind closed doors. “Cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is ‘with cardinal friends’ or ‘without cardinal friends’.”

Why Cities Are Where They Are (Video)

Wendover Productions creates some fascinating videos. The most recent one looks at why towns and cities end up where they do. He also speculates on what part of the world offers the absolute best location for a city.

National Geographic Trans Cover Champions Child Abuse, Junk Science

A writer who was formerly transgendered writes about National Geographic’s January issue and expresses the gravest concerns. “Why is the boy’s picture so disturbing to me? Because, like Avery Jackson, I was a cross-dressing boy at the age of nine. I can tell you that crossdressing a young boy is emotional and psychological child abuse and should be stopped, not celebrated on the cover of magazines.”

We Read the Bible Together … You Can, Too!

Carrie Ward shares how she and her family learned to read the Bible together. (She actually wrote a good little book about it titled Together: Growing Appetites for God.)

Flashback: Before You Read Another Book on Marriage

When it comes to books on marriage we are spoiled for choices. I can easily put together a list of 6 or 8 marriage books that are grounded in the Bible and full of godly wisdom. But it is possible to have too much of a good thing, isn’t it?

Morality may keep you out of jail but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell.

—C.H. Spurgeon

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.