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A La Carte (July 25)

thursday

We happen to have arrived in Amsterdam in the middle of a heat wave. It’s beautiful here but, wow, is it ever scorching hot!

Westminster Books has deals on books by R. Kent Hughes, including a new edition of his classic Disciplines of a Godly Man.

(Yesterday on the blog: An Interview with Keith Getty)

The FAQs: What You Should Know About Purity Culture

With purity culture back in the news (following news of Josh Harris’s separation), Joe Carter has one of his FAQs.

I’m So Glad Our Vows Kept Us

This is a tremendous bit of writing. “My husband’s hand moves to mine as the minister begins to speak of vows. Many years ago, we were the young couple making promises, and by now I’ve come to know his hand as well as my own. The arc of each knuckle, the round of each fingertip—these are as Braille to me, chapters in the book I’ve learned by heart.”

Communication with Missionaries: Striking a Healthy Balance

“All believers are called to die to themselves, take up their cross, and follow Christ. For missionaries this may mean getting off Facebook and stepping out of the comfort of one’s home culture, that God might receive all praise.”

Stop Pastoral Self-Appointments

While this pertains primarily to Africa, it has relevance elsewhere as well. “It is a well-known fact that state governments in Africa are deciding that enough is enough and are moving in to arrest the rot taking place, largely in Charismatic churches. The stench cannot be ignored any more. This has already begun to happen in Kenya under President Uhuru Kenyatta. South Africa and Zambia are also preparing legislation. It will not be long before other African nations join in.”

The Case for Wine in Communion

I’m interested in seeing how different churches think through using wine or an alternative in the Lord’s Supper.

What is the Aim of Christian Writing?

Cody Cunningham: “How do I evaluate whether or not I’m writing for God’s glory, regardless if it’s a blog article, a sermon, or song lyrics? As we read, as we edit, and as we share on social media, it comes down to this question…”

They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While, It Worked.

The Atlantic reports on the not-so-shocking lack of success of churches for Atheists. “For religious communes, the more sacrifices demanded, the longer they lasted; however, this connection didn’t hold for secular communes. The implication, Norenzayan said, was that challenging rituals and taxing rules work only when they’re part of something sacred; once the veil of sacrality is removed, people no longer care to commit to things that demand their time and dedication.”

Flashback: How an Emerging Church Pastor Inadvertently Changed My Life

He pointed to a series of ten hardcover volumes, said he wouldn’t be needing them anymore, and asked if I’d like them. I took them as well. They were ten volumes of sermons by Charles Spurgeon.

When the Word is hidden in the heart the life shall be hidden from sin.

—Charles Spurgeon

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