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A La Carte (March 18)


Good morning! Grace and peace be with you today.

Today’s Kindle deals, like most other Thursdays, include a selection from Crossway.

(Yesterday on the blog: Children Who Bloom in an Instant)

6 Questions about the Fear of God

Michael Reeves: “I want you to rejoice in this strange paradox that the gospel both frees us from fear and gives us fear. It frees us from our crippling fears, giving us instead a most delightful, happy, and wonderful fear. And I want to clear up that often off-putting phrase ‘the fear of God,’ to show through the Bible that for Christians it really does not mean being afraid of God.”

Why Are You Breathing? It’s Not about You

“If things are going to end for us, as they did for my father, then it’s obvious that it’s not all about us. We are not the gravitational center of the universe. We’re in orbit around something else, around someone else. And I believe that this someone is God.”

Evolution Can’t Account for Our Inborn Longing for Happiness

Randy Alcorn points out that the universal human longing for happiness cannot be accounted for by evolution.

Is This Why Birds Sing?

“Singing birds are one of the joys of nature. Their bright ‘songs’ brighten our days. We marvel at how such ‘music’ can emerge from these small creatures. Scientists tell us birds sing to ‘mark’ their territories and to attract a mate for nesting. Or, in migrating, they may issue ‘contact calls,’ chirps to help them stay in touch with each other. These are ‘scientific mechanics’ which explain the function of birds singing. But, we wonder: Is there more? Are there other ‘reasons’ birds sing? Are there dimensions beyond the ‘scientific’?”

How Theological Labels Are Helpful and Unhelpful

David Qaoud: “Everybody has theological convictions. And when we want to express those convictions, we often do so by labeling ourselves. By ‘labeling’ I mean when you associate with a particular doctrine in self-referential terms. This is when you say, ‘I’m Reformed. I’m a credobaptist. I’m a complementarian.’ This is labeling yourself. Is it helpful? Yes and no.”

Grief Is An Exhausting Journey

Paul Tautges describes grief as an exhausting journey and offers three “stabilizing truths.” “In the valley, we have anchored our faith to three stabilizing truths drawn from three portions of Scripture. I hope these principles can be applied to your own journey through the valley of grief, whatever the circumstances, whether expected or unexpected.”

Photographer Spends 12 Years, 1250 Hours, Exposing Photo of Milky Way

What a long and beautiful labor! “Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has released a Milky Way photo that took him nearly 12 years to create. The 1.7-gigapixel image has a cumulative exposure time of 1,250 hours.”

Flashback: Look! Look To Your Baptism!

…baptism is a means through which a church declares, “We believe this person professes the true gospel, so is a true Christian.” In baptism they welcome him or her into the visible church.

Marriage and family can easily become just a respectable form of selfishness. If we marry mainly to meet our own needs, then our marriages will be just that: good-looking masks for selfishness.

—Christopher Ash

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    A La Carte (May 21)

    A La Carte: A theology of immigration / Christian catholicity in an online age / Violent pornography’s assault on the marriage bed / Heresy that warrants no apology / Franchising church / With each passing moment / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Why Do I Feel Such Profound Loneliness?

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and is written by Steve DeWitt. The story of human loneliness has its roots in the character of God and God’s purpose in creating us.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created…

  • Stop Swiping Start Serving

    Stop Swiping, Start Serving

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that in the past few weeks, you have probably not gotten rip-roaring drunk nor participated in a debauched drinking party. You have probably not given yourself over to rampant sexual immorality or a life obsessed with sensuality. At least, I hope not

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    A La Carte (May 20)

    A La Carte: What media got wrong about supposed Christian self-immolation / We are walking on holy ground / “His Glory and My Good” / How pop Nietzscheanism masquerades as Christianity / Why a full calendar doesn’t necessarily produce mature church members / Thinking biblically about social justice / John Piper Kindle deals / and…

  • One Measure of Greatness

    One Measure of Greatness

    While all of us ought to see evidence of marked growth in our knowledge of God, our relationship with him, and our obedience to him, none of us ever evolves beyond our need for the ordinary means of grace. We never “level up” to such a degree that we gain access to some hidden extraordinary…

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    Weekend A La Carte (May 18)

    A La Carte: What it takes to survive ministry / The power of prayer / The dog’s game / Why do Christians do bad things? / Does it matter whether seminary education is in-person or online? / Greet one another with a … what? / and more.