A La Carte (January 6)

Today’s Kindle deals include an excellent book by Al Mohler as well as a couple of interesting titles from Barnabas Piper.

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Inevitable Side Effects of a Church Growth Ministry Model

Harry Reeder pulls no punches in this take-down of the church growth model. “The inevitable side effects are soon manifested—worship becomes entertainment, discipleship becomes therapy, evangelism becomes self-esteem and the Gospel becomes a self-help prosperity message. Like biological steroids, cultural steroids work—for a while. The church grows numerically and is applauded culturally while dying spiritually.”

Plow Around that Stump

There is wisdom in this little analogy. It applies to pastoral leadership but to many other things as well. “Just plow around that stump, brother!”

Why Porn Shops Don’t Have Windows

Here’s an explanation said like only John Piper can say it. “There’s something about bigness, there’s something about beauty, that helps battle against the puny, small, cruddy use of the mind to fantasize about sexual things.”

What Does this Symbol Actually Mean? (Video)

The wheelchair symbol, that is. “Some of the world’s most recognizable symbols exist to sell products. Others, to steer traffic or advance political causes. But there’s one whose main purpose is to help people. You may know it as the wheelchair symbol, but its formal title is the International Symbol of Access.”

9 Things You Should Know About J. R. R. Tolkien

I just started reading The Lord of the Rings yet again, so figured I should link to Joe Carter’s latest “9 Things.”

This Day in 1850. 68 years ago today C.H. Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time, was converted to Christianity after receiving a vision, “not a vision to my eyes, but to my heart. I saw what a Savior Christ was,” he recalled. *

Why You Should Consider Living Near Your Church

Obviously it isn’t always possible to live close to your church, but Nathan Finn explains why it’s a good idea if it’s possible.

Dear Women’s Ministry: Stop Telling Me I’m Beautiful

“I shifted in my seat at the women’s ministry event; the speaker said it again. ‘You are a beautiful, chosen, special woman of God. There is no one in the world like you!’ I’d heard this message dozens of times – on the radio, in books, at conferences – even emblazoned on coffee mugs and shirts at every LifeWay Store in America. It’s the same message directed at Christian women in every corner of western culture. And it’s a message that – while well-intentioned – remains deficient no matter how many times it’s preached.”

What a Dog’s Nose Knows

Answers in Genesis takes a fascinating look at a dog’s nose. “With the complexity of this system of information and physical components, it is unfathomable to believe that it occurred by random chance. Once again we see the creation point to the Creator God and confirm His Word as recorded in the book of Genesis.”

Flashback: I’m Better Than You

I’m better than you. At least, this is what I believe in most of life’s situations. I’m just plain better than you. Somewhere deep inside I believe it’s true and too often I live and act like it’s true.

Suffering is not an obstacle to God’s purpose but a means to achieving it. —Sinclair Ferguson