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A La Carte (March 20)

wednesday

It’s kind of a grab-bag day for Today’s Kindle deals. You may also want to check out this week’s deals at Westminster Books.

We All Live in Marx’s World Now

Carl Trueman does it again. “Perhaps serious Christians might spend less time hammering each other on Twitter and more time working hard in the local church, talking to the people they can actually influence—those with whom we have real relationships and a common church community. This has to be better than posturing on social media in a way that may well feed our sense of self-worth but really only clouds the major issues of our time and influences nobody except those who already agree with us anyway.”

Pastor, Why Do You Want a Big Church?

Pastors will want to read this one, I think. “In this post I hope to explore the pastor’s desire for a big church. This desire is surely in many cases a healthy and prayerful longing for evangelism and conversions. However I think that we are deceiving ourselves if we deny that mixed motives may lie behind it. Pastors are, after all, sinful, limited and self-seeking human beings. It is this darker side of the pursuit for big ministries that I hope to address below.”

The End of Discernment?

“Discernment bloggers have contributed to the end of discernment because they have damaged the reputation of the idea itself. In today’s climate, we almost cannot engage in true discernment without being associated with cynical and pugnacious modes of argument.” I don’t think Wyatt is wrong here.

SBTS Madness combines Southern Seminary’s love of theology and college basketball. Throughout the NCAA tournament, Southern Seminary will give away hundreds of books written by its world-class faculty. Each of the 64 tournament teams are matched with a book from a Southern Seminary professor, and when a team wins a game, its corresponding book will be given away to one participant who has retweeted/commented on the #SBTSmadness tweet about the contest. The @SBTSAdmissions Twitter account will tweet one book giveaway for each tournament game. In addition, anyone can enter at SBTS.edu/madness for a chance to win the grand prize giveaway of over sixty books written by Southern faculty. Learn more about the giveaway and how to apply for free to Southern or Boyce College during SBTS Madness at SBTS.edu/madness.

Why Preaching?

Jason Allen writes about the centrality of preaching. “It is easy to see that the modern pastor wears many hats. Yet, within the context of the local church, I believe preaching is the pastor’s preeminent responsibility. Preaching is his indispensable task, his most paramount duty, and his most consequential and urgent job assignment. For the pastor, preaching is priority number one.”

Your Calling and God’s Will

This view of knowing and doing God’s will is so freeing. “We want to know God’s will. We want to follow His plan. We want things to go well for us. We want favor and want to operate in the best possible circumstances. Maybe that’s why trying to discern a calling and following God’s will can really stress us out. We certainly don’t want to screw up our lives.”

Flawed Analysis, Failed Oversight

I spend a lot of time in the air, so have been following the unfolding story around Boeing’s 737 MAX. This is a helpful article to better understand the situation.

The Relationship Timeline Continues to Stretch

This visualization does a great job at showing how the times have changed when it comes to sex, romance, and marriage.

Flashback: To Be Looked Through, Not Looked At

The task of the preacher is to draw the minds and hearts of his listeners to God. He has failed in his calling is he is looked at instead of looked through.

Where one thousand are destroyed by the world’s frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world’s smiles. The world, siren-like, sings us and sinks us.

—Thomas Brooks

  • 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…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    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.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…