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A La Carte (July 20)


There is a handful for Kindle deals today, plus some from Saturday if you skipped the weekend.

Logos users would do well to take a look at the sale on Zondervan products, since some excellent products have been discounted.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Day I Was J.I. Packer’s Mailman)

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

Carl Trueman pays tribute to J.I. Packer in this article, though he covers some other territory as well. “I have written elsewhere about my debt to him. I simply cannot quantify Dr. Packer’s effect upon my life, from the moment I first read God’s Words to his work on John Owen and the Puritans to his more recent stands for truth within the Anglican communion. A great and a gracious man.”

See You Next Friday: A Farewell Letter

I mentioned last week that Andrew Sullivan was moving on from New York magazine. He explains what happens in this column. “What has happened, I think, is relatively simple: A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford. … They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space.”

Search Engines Are Not Value Neutral

“The assumption might be that the search engine is value neutral: you plug in search terms and your desired query pops up with your results. But we should recognize that few things in life are truly value neutral. Software programmers have made decisions on how search engines work, and they have made value judgments about how the search engine should function. There are several different ways their value judgments appear in the seemingly innocuous use of a search engine.”

Coronavirus, Conspiracy Theories, and the Ninth Commandment

David French draws out a number of helpful points in this article. “As a general rule, all too many Christians do not possess any form of political theology beyond a commitment to a certain set of issues. As a result, their distinct identity within the body politic is frequently defined by those issues alone rather than by their character or conduct.”

Marriage Needs the Gospel

Melissa comments on Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. “I watched Jada Pinkett Smith sit down with her husband Will at the ‘red table,’ a place that she has apparently designated as a spot for truth-telling. I had seen her at the red table before maybe about a year ago, and was struck by the strange vocabulary that she has adopted, ways of speaking that replace hard truths with euphemisms and phrases that smack of psychology textbooks, a veritable parade of self-esteem.”

Are Christians Meant To Feed Themselves?

“A couple of years back, a US church surveyed its members to get a better understanding of retention issues. They discovered that a major problem was that a lot of members, especially those who were mature Christians felt that they were not being properly fed. The church’s response? They began to look at how they could communicate to members that it was their responsibility to feed themselves.”

Don’t Quit the Everyday Work of Marriage

Paul Tripp: “If you are a sinner married to a sinner—and you are—then it is very dangerous and potentially destructive to allow yourself to coast as a couple. You simply will not live a day together where no act of thoughtlessness, self-interest, anger, arrogance, self-righteousness, bitterness, or disloyalty will rear its ugly head. Often it will be benign and low-level, but it will still be there.”

Flashback: Guard Your Health

You need to nurture your body. There is an inseparable unity between body, mind, and soul. When you neglect your body, you will often find your soul heavy and your mind dark. But when you care for it, you tend to find your soul cheerful and your mind enlightened.

There is a kind of longing for a display of Jesus’ power that is entirely godly, submissive, perhaps even desperate. There is another kind that puts the person making the request into the driver’s seat.

—D.A. Carson

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

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    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

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    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

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    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.