A La Carte (July 5)

It’s an excellent day for Kindle deals today. There are books by Rosaria Butterfield, John MacArthur, Jonathan Leeman, and others.

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Do You Love Your Country?

I suppose this is a day late, but it’s still beneficial. “Do you love your country? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately. And it’s not at all an easy question to answer. It’s kind of like asking, Do you love your family? Most of us will instinctively want to answer yes to that question. But as soon as you stop to think about it, it becomes clear that further clarification is needed. What does love your family mean?”

Persecution Emboldened Me

This is an encouraging read. “This week a pastor from Asia spoke to the staff at Immanuel Bible. He has pastored for seventeen years in a closed country in Asia, and his churches have consistently grown. He’s trained up lay elders, and even helped start a network of churches to train pastors and refine their doctrine. In terms of theology and ecclesiology, he represents a very healthy association of churches, and this association has been relatively unnoticed by the police.”

Should I Honor Traditional Marriage Rituals? (Video)

I have been asked this question (or similar ones) often lately. I’m thankful for Ken Mbugua’s answer here.

6 Ways to Bring Light to Heated Talks with Teenagers

If you’ve got teenagers, you’d better be prepared to have some heated talks!

Should Introverts Be Expected To Act Like Extroverts?

This is far from the first article I’ve read (or written)  on the introvert/extrovert divide. I still enjoyed it. “Perhaps this is why some people feel more at home studying the Bible and praying with only a few friends. I wonder if our quick-sound-bite culture has lured us away from valuing long pauses with time to reflect.”

Robespierre’s America

Hopefully you haven’t yet used up your monthly allotment of free articles from the New York Times. “In the proverbial land of the free, people live in mortal fear of a moral faux pas. Opinions that were considered reasonable and normal a few years ago are increasingly delivered in whispers. … Twitter and other similar platforms have delivered the tools of reputational annihilation (without means of petition or redress) into the hands of millions, so that no comment except the most private is entirely safe from the possibility of instantaneous mass denunciation.”

iWorld: Understanding the Transgender Philosophy

“The Enlightenment began with great confidence that reason could lead us to the truth, but that optimism gradually disappeared. Even the greatest human thinkers can’t agree on fundamental issues. And so, having rejected revelation and lacking confidence in reason, our culture has now largely rejected the concept of objective truth, at least when it comes to big issues, such as meaning and morality.”

Flashback: 5 Cautions for Your Spiritual Disciplines

Don’t read the Bible so you can Instagram your devotions or humblebrag about it on Twitter. Examine your heart to ensure you are using the spiritual disciplines for the noblest of purposes, which is to know and honor God.

Porn isn’t about enjoying and honoring beauty. It’s about self-serving consumption: Want it. Take it. Consume it. Move on. —Benjamin Vrbicek