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A La Carte (March 21)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few titles that may be of interest.

Westminster Books has Short Studies on Biblical Theology series on sale.

(Yesterday on the blog: Does Church Membership Really Matter? )

The Fall of Nanjing as My Grandmother Lived It

David Chen writes a harrowing account of his grandmother’s escape from Nanjing: “On December 13, 1937, my grandmother, a woman of barely 22 years named Wein-Shiu Liu Chou, heard the steady barrage of artillery from Imperial Japanese troops as they began their final assault on Nanjing, her hometown in China. The sound of shells exploding just outside the city walls must have made clear to those still in the city that the end was near. My grandmother would live a long life of 98 years, raise two daughters, see five grandchildren grow up, run small businesses in Taiwan and the United States, and sing in a choral group in Los Angeles, California, in her golden years. But on that cold December morning, such a future seemed impossible.”

Andy Savage Resigns

CT reports: “Andy Savage, the pastor who disclosed his decades-old assault on a teen in his former youth group to an applauding congregation, stepped down from his position at a Memphis megachurch on Tuesday.”

My Daughter’s Wild and Precious Life

The Toronto Star is hardly a conservative paper, so I was both surprised and delighted to see this mother’s celebration of her girl with Down Syndrome (timed to coincide with Down Sydrome Day).

It Is Unjust and Unconstitutional

Andrew T. Walker discusses a case that was before the Supreme Court yesterday: “Can the state compel an organization to proclaim a message that is the very antithesis of its mission? On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that poses this question. National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra challenges a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to provide information to women about how and where to obtain a free or low-cost abortion.”

Get Ready for the Rise of Rob Ford’s Brother

This is a pretty good job of introducing Doug Ford, who may just rise to power here in Ontario (where he’d be the rough equivalent of Governor). I’ve heard it said his task is to prove that he is neither Donald Trump nor Rob Ford. If he does that, he should win quite handily.

Theological Primer: Substance and Accidents

Kevin DeYoung clarifies a couple of key theological terms.

5 Signs of the Times

“We are living in a day that is consumed with the desire to see signs and wonders of God. Miracle hunters fill stadiums in search of signs and wonders that would amaze them or heal them or satisfy their curiosity about the existence of God. There is no lack of self proclaimed prophets who are willing to perform such signs and wonders for the seekers. Like a WWE Wrestling event—it’s filled with drama and action, but it’s really a hollow shell—it’s something other than the real thing.”

The Real Scandal Isn’t What Cambridge Analytica Did

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Facebook’s most recent scandal. This article (which is by Slate, so you can guess their political slant) does a pretty good job of explaining how it is and isn’t a big deal. “In short, the outrage now directed at Facebook feels disproportionate to the company’s culpability in this specific episode. But that doesn’t mean people are wrong to be outraged. For Facebook, the larger scandal here is not what shadowy misdeeds it allowed Cambridge Analytica to do. It’s what Facebook allowed anyone to do, in plain sight—and, more broadly, it’s the data-fueled online business model that Facebook helped to pioneer.”

Flashback: Here at the Dawn of the Revolution

We acknowledge that both we and our technologies exist in this sin-stained world, so we should examine them with discernment and consider all we stand to gain or lose.

Satan doesn’t whisper, “Believe in me.” He whispers, “Believe in yourself.”

—Matt Smethurst

  • My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    Among my responsibilities as an elder/pastor within a local church is meeting with people to offer counsel and guidance. I have never lost the wonder of being given so sobering a privilege—to listen to people as they share their deep sorrows or ask their big questions and to then attempt to bring the Word of…

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    A La Carte (July 15)

    A La Carte: The desires of your heart / Contentment isn’t only for hard times / On the hosting of mission teams / Be careful of your strengths / Yes, we’re almost there / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Every Road and Every Sea

    Sunday Devotional: Every Road and Every Sea

    The Bible has proven its value as weaponry in the battle against spiritual foes, as a laboratory researching cures for spiritual maladies, and as a rich source of treasure in the accumulating of wisdom. It has proven itself a guide to the pathways of life and a chart to navigate the stormy seas of trial…

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    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

    A La Carte: Folly has a strategic plan to get you / The power of a health warning / Sex is not a solution to marital tension / What do you do when your suffering is your fault? / We can’t think or live Christianly / Good news for African girls / and more.

  • 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…