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A La Carte (March 1)

friday

Today’s Kindle deals include a reasonable selection of worthwhile titles.

Logos has some a good free book of the month ready for you to grab. Westminster Books has a great sale on the New Studies in Biblical Theology.

Desperately Seeking Transcendence

This is a very, very good article on worship. “How strange, then, that churches would grasp after immanence in their weekly worship. How odd that churches would strive ‘to make people feel comfortable’ in their services. There is nothing quaint and glancing about worshipping God in the Bible. Though we view worship in anodyne terms—dimmed lights and flaring guitars—biblical worship centers in holy duties: reading the Word, confessing our sin, singing hymns to God, sitting under the Word preached. These are not immanentist activities. They are holy, set-apart duties of the church.”

The Cost of Christians in the Court

Should Christians sue other Christians? “In 1 Corinthians 6:7 the Apostle asked the members of the church, ‘Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?’ This has to be one of the most counter-intuitive teachings in the history of humanity. Who among us naturally wishes to absorb injustice against our person? Who instinctively allows himself or herself to be defrauded? The answer is, of course, no one. Only one who has been redeemed and who knows that he or she will be vindicated on judgment day.”

Why Your Words And Actions Don’t Have to Match in Tanzania

Here’s a little glimpse of Tanzanian culture. “I feel like the longer we are here, the more I see how much we have to learn. If we spent our first three years trying to get our heads around prosperity gospel, I have spent the last few years trying to get inside Tanzanian understandings of hierarchy, and it still confounds me at times.”

God’s Hidden Purposes in Your Suffering

“In one of my favorite sermons by Sinclair Ferguson, he points out that God is often working not just for our good but for the good of others through us. Sometimes in our American context, we can get a little wrapped up in our own little world. We can think that our suffering is just all about us and God, that God is only doing something in my life. But as Dr. Ferguson also points out in his sermon, the truth is that God is always working in multiple lives and in multiple ways all at once. “

Is Christianity a White Man’s Religion? (Video)

Conrad Mbewe answers a common question in African contexts: “Is Christianity a white man’s religion?”

Time Waiting on God is Never Time Wasted

And here’s life and lessons in India. “One evening after a long day at work, I was looking for an auto-rickshaw to take back home. The road seemed very busy with peak hour traffic. The public transport buses were overcrowded, cars and bikes were speeding by and all rickshaws that passed by had passengers. I stood by for a while watching everyone head back to their destinations, with no signs of an empty rickshaw. After about fifteen minutes (that felt like an hour), I ran out of patience to stand at the same place and wait …”

Dying Well

Darryl Dash: “I’ve spent years trying to develop my résumé virtues, only to discover that while these virtues are important, other virtues matter more: how I love my wife, how I am growing in my affections toward the Lord, how willing I am to define greatness not by tasks accomplished and visions fulfilled, but by simple obedience and patient love. I didn’t understand this twenty years ago when I succeeded him as pastor, but I think I’m beginning to understand it now.”

Flashback: What Tolkien Did So Well, What We Do So Poorly

One of the great strengths of Tolkien’s work is its grounding in history. One of the great weaknesses of the contemporary church is its detachment from its own history. Few of today’s Christians have a clear sense of how the church came to be.

You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.

—C.H. Spurgeon

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.