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A La Carte (March 5)

friday

Good morning! Grace to you today.

Today’s Kindle deals include a few interesting titles.

The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking

“Positive thinking says if you just dig deep enough in yourself, you will find strength to conquer anything. The gospel says when you have no strength left, God will sustain you. Positive thinking looks to goodness in creation to solve immediate problems. The gospel looks to the Creator to solve eternal problems. Positive thinking holds up in everyday struggles, but in the deepest and darkest times offers very little. The gospel, however, shines brighter than ever in the deep darkness.”

Why Do You Want to Go to Heaven?

Jon Bloom: “In one sense, the Bible tells us relatively little about the specifics of heaven. Descriptions of heaven are often analogical or symbolic, framed in archaic images we might find strange. In another sense, however, the Bible speaks of heaven all over the place, and in ways very relevant to us. The Bible, on almost every page, speaks not so much of the mansions and Maseratis that may come, but of the great Satisfaction for which our souls deeply long.”

Render to God

“Something has to change. It’s time to make a shift. Blending into the world around us is no longer an option for the church. The culture rejects the Christian worldview and won’t be appeased by anything short of total ideological surrender, so it’s time for us to get counter-cultural.”

Largest U.S. Evangelical Adoption Agency Waves the Rainbow Flag

Joe Carter explains how and why the largest evangelical adoption agency in the US began to wave the rainbow flag.

Hello? Is Anybody Listening?

You may need this reminder that God is not a distracted parent who is constantly fixated on his iPhone.

Book Banning in an Age of Amazon

Abigail Shrier’s newsletter on Amazon’s decision to ban Ryan T. Anderson’s book on transgenderism is an important one. “In a time marked by so much suppression of speech by Big Tech, the muggings can begin to run together. We are already growing accustomed to cancellation. But of all the violence to free inquiry we’ve witnessed in the last year, the deliberate disappearance of a mainstream conservative book is among the very worst.”

Don’t Despise Transfer Growth

Pastors tend to disparage transfer growth but, as Stephen Kneale shows here, perhaps they shouldn’t. “There is a legitimate discussion to be had about hoarding resources. We should be talking more strategically about where people go, why they go there and how we can get them to move to the areas of greatest need. There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether a church of 500 or 600 people needs more people to transfer in or whether the kingdom is better served by encouraging those people to go to a smaller church in need of help. All of these things are legitimate to ask and there is a right discussion to be had about them. But…”

Flashback: 3 Tips for Responding to Criticism

In his little book True Friendship, Vaughan Roberts offers three tips for responding to criticism, and especially this kind of criticism—the kind that comes in the context of friendship, of iron sharpening iron.

I don’t need to look good so Jesus can look good; I need to be honest about my colossal spiritual need so he can look all-sufficient.

—Sam Allberry

  • Tear Down Build Up

    It’s Easier to Tear Down than Build Up

    In my travels, I encountered a man whose work is demolition. When buildings are old and decrepit, or even when they just need to be removed to make way for others, his job is to destroy them and haul them away. New or old, big or small, plain or fancy—it makes no difference to him.…

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    A La Carte (June 12)

    A La Carte: Does Bach’s music prove the existence of God? / Living from approval, not for approval / A surprising test of true faith / Do you have the support you need to grow? / Who was the “black Spurgeon?” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 11)

    A La Carte: The blessing of constant curiosity / Church discipline in the digital age / Don’t be too easy to join / Body matters in Genesis / The local church is a sandbox / Seasons in a pastor’s life / and more.

  • Trusting Jesus in The Public Square 

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Parents have a biblical responsibility to protect their children not only from physical harm but also from spiritual harm. It is entirely appropriate and right for a parent to wrestle with whether they want to allow their child to continue to have a friendship with a…

  • that First Sports Bet

    Young Man, Don’t Even Make that First Sports Bet

    It’s impossible to avoid the advertising and impossible to miss the claims. Sports are great, they say, but do you know what makes them even better? Adding a little wager. Sports are exciting, they say, but even more exciting when you’ve got a bit of money riding on them. So why not enjoy them all…

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    A La Carte (June 10)

    A La Carte: Feminism’s patriarchs / Thank you, parents, for your Sunday faithfulness / Godly sorrow vs worldly sorrow / Being transformed from the inside out / What if everyone at your church was like you? / The gift and skill of praise in lament / Kindle deals / and more.