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A La Carte (March 12)

thursday

We are in unfamiliar and unprecedented times, aren’t we? As we hear growing news of lockdowns, quarantines, travel bans, and cancelations, isn’t it good to know that our God is sovereign? As R.C. Sproul said, “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.” But this virus too, is within God’s sovereignty, and each of his promises remains intact.

(Yesterday on the blog: Never Read a Bible Verse (and Never Listen To a Sermon Clip))

John Piper’s Death-Row Plea

Here’s an account of the time John Piper was able to preach the gospel to death row inmates at Louisiana’s Angola prison. “In Angola’s chapel, before eight hundred prisoners, Piper preached from John 6 on Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand and his walk on water. ‘I preached with all my heart to those who could fit in the chapel,’ Piper recounted later. ‘I pulled no punches.’ Many other prisoners watched on closed-circuit television, including Bordelon and his fellow death-row inmates.”

Is the Nuclear Family a Mistake?

Colin Smothers writes about David Brook’s article that ran last month in The Atlantic called “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.”

The Logistics of the US Census (Video)

The US census is a remarkable feat of logistics. This video explains just some of what’s involved.

Sorry, I Can’t Promise It Will Be Any Different

“There are times when people leave churches that you can credibly tell them that a move to your place would resolve their problem.” But, in all honesty, there are far more times when moving won’t resolve their problem. Or it may just introduce a new problem.

Gripping Fear

Lisa LaGeorge offers biblical wisdom to counter fear. “We live in a fear-filled world, right? Baby lo-jacks, elbow pads, and helicopter parents. Lawyers and liabilities, and the Mom-Squad. I am not a parent, but I spent more than a decade talking with parents who were afraid of what might happen if their students traveled on a missions trip–enough time to fear 37 more things than those parents had actually thought to worry about. I have spent more than two decades reading daily briefings from SOS, the CDC, the WHO, and various embassies around the world. I get it. Danger is real.”

Embracing Your Reformed Roots

“Our churches can flourish if we will embrace our Reformed roots. Now, some want to run back and use our roots as an excuse not to engage with our modern culture. It is more comfortable to live in the past than in the present. Others dismiss our roots as dated, old-fashioned, and even legalistic as we embrace a standard. However, we face the storm winds of a secular America and as we see churches and denominations swept away with the culture and times, it is important to embrace our roots, so that we might not only hold fast but even flourish in our day.” This article offers four ways to embrace Reformed roots.

How Should Christians Engage With the Culture? (Video)

James Anderson provides a brief but helpful discussion of culture in this short video.

Flashback: There Is Nothing Trite About It!

When it comes to prayer, there is nothing trite about it. We sometimes can and must do more than pray, but we must never do less than pray.

True happiness doesn’t come from your picture being liked but from your soul being loved—primarily by Jesus and then by friends who know you.

—Matt Fuller

  • 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.