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A La Carte (June 3)

monday

Today’s Kindle deals include, like most Mondays, several good books from Crossway.

Yesterday on the blog: Lord from Sorrows Deep I Call (Free Downloads)

Three Approaches to Ecclesiastes

Here’s a good look at some of the different ways to approach Ecclesiastes. “In my observation, Ecclesiastes is second only to Revelation in the number of competing interpretive approaches available to readers of the book. It offers a great case study in how perception can drastically affect both interpretation and application. This fact ought to motivate us to be as meticulous as possible in observing the text within its context.”

6 Ways Not To Read Bible (Video)

I enjoyed this bootleg video of Dane Ortlund teaching how not to read the Bible.

The Preachers Getting Rich from Poor Americans

These prosperity preachers are nothing short of a plague. “Televangelist Todd Coontz has a well-worn routine: he dresses in a suit, pulls out a Bible and urges viewers to pledge a very specific amount of money. ‘Don’t delay, don’t delay,’ he urges, calmly but emphatically. It sounds simple, absurdly so, but Coontz knows his audience extremely well. He broadcasts on Christian cable channels, often late into the night, drawing in viewers who lack financial literacy and are desperate for change.”

‘Songs from the Schemes’ is a collection of testimonies written and performed by believers living in the schemes of Scotland. These are first-hand accounts of God’s grace from ordinary people. “We hope that believers will be encouraged as they hear true stories of God’s grace and we hope that other prisoners, those still lost in bondage to their sin and heading for a lost eternity, would listen and turn in repentance to Jesus Christ.” All purchases go toward church planting efforts in Scotland’s poorest communities with 20schemes.

David Platt Prays for President Trump (Video)

Yesterday President Trump paid a surprise visit to David Platt’s church.

The Tragedy of Mount Everest

Three are lots of interesting observations here about the quest to climb Everest. “Conditions on Everest today, though, would be unrecognizable to Mallory — or to the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and his client, Sir Edmund Hillary, who together became the first recorded people to summit the mountain on this day in 1953. While Everest’s danger once lay in the mountain being one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth, its threat today is of the opposite sort: its accessibility.”

Are There Degrees of Sin?

We know there are, but no one teaches the facts of it quite like R.C. Sproul. “The sin of pettiness, by which people begin to dwell on minor transgressions in the community, can tear the body of Christ apart. Great damage comes when it is fueled by the fire of gossip and slander. We are called to patience and tolerance towards the struggling failures of other Christians. It’s not that we’re called to be lax on sin…”

Abortion Laws State by State

Here, from NBC News (whose position is likely made clear by the photo they used) is a roundup of the rapidly-changing abortion laws across the US.

Flashback: Peaceful Polemics Online

All that Jesus and James and Solomon warned us about the power of the tongue can be extended to the power of our fingers as they dance over our keyboards and our thumbs as they tap out messages on our phones. Out of the overflow of the heart the fingers type.

Trust in God, not explanations from God, is the pathway through suffering.

—Ray Ortlund

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…