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A La Carte (May 26)


Good morning. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Over at Westminster Books you’ll find some great deals on the ESV Study Bible.

There are a couple of solid Kindle deals today.

What Good Are Forgotten Memories?

“Scientists tell us our memory is like a web. As we learn and live our neurons fire off to make connections between various experiences and terms. We learn the word artist and begin to add tethers to give that word more meaning. Connections form to descriptions like paints, then maybe sculptures or clay as we experience new forms of art. Creativity, beauty, maybe even the stereotypical penniless is added to the mix, and the web continues to grow. As we experience each connection again and again, that link grows even stronger.”

Make This Your General Rule of Thumb When Binding the Conscience of Others

Please do make it your rule of thumb! “The problem isn’t that there are ethical and moral commands in the Bible. Nor is the problem that believers expect other professing believers to at least want to be doing them. Jesus instituted church discipline for a reason, after all. The problem is when we confuse the things we find helpful, or beneficial to us, and suggest that Jesus demands them of all people when he doesn’t.”

Not this Man, but Barabbas!

Keith Mathison: “I hear and read Christians almost every day saying that their biggest concern is the direction in which the United States is headed. Or they are most concerned about the collapse of Western civilization. Granted, many people are concerned about these things because of their love for their children or grandchildren. They worry about what kind of world those children will inherit. Their love for their children and grandchildren is not the problem. The problem occurs when this world becomes the main concern for their children and grandchildren.”

Three Hills Worth Dying On In Missions

Sometimes the philosophy of “anything is better than nothing” is applied in missions. There are, however, pivotal truths that are worth holding onto no matter the cost, and no matter the supposed gains. May God give us wisdom and courage to know these hills, and to not give them up. (Sponsored Link)

A Celebration and Lament over Science

Vern Poythress: “The Bible indicates that God created human beings to live in fellowship with him. In the beginning, they could see that the stars declared the glory of God. But the first human beings broke their fellowship with God. They rebelled. They wanted to be like gods themselves. And with that rebellion they put out their spiritual eyes, so to speak. Now we work hard not to see the obvious thing about stars, namely that they declare their Maker. We work hard because we cannot bear to admit our dependence on God. At the same time, we cannot bear not to desire beauty, which reminds us of the beauty of God. We are miserable.”

Where a Raindrop Ends Up

This is pretty neat. You can click anywhere on the map and it will show the path a raindrop would take to get to the ocean from that very spot.

What Exactly Is “Sola Scriptura” Protecting Us Against?

Michael Kruger: “Ever since [the Fall], humans have been remarkably inventive in the variety of authorities they erect in place of God. Sola Scriptura is designed simply to prevent these other authorities from ruling the Christian and to keep God’s Word rightly as our ultimate guide. Here are three examples of such authorities…”

Our Whole Culture Is “Sex Negative”

This article includes some interesting insight on our culture’s sex negativity. “Surely, our society is pre-occupied with sex. The taboos against pre-marital sex, homosexuality, and what used to be called perversions have all fallen. But, he says, permissiveness is not the point. ‘Today cultures pretend to be sex-positive, merely because they are sexually permissive. But it turns out that lack of permission was never the main impediment.’”

Flashback: Renew Your Mind

To be transformed by the renewing of your mind, you need to immerse yourself in the Word of God, to allow yourself to be influenced by it. It takes great effort and brings great reward.

If our belief in the authority of the Bible means anything, it means that we must submit to what the Bible teaches and bring our own perceptions and ideas into line with Scripture.

—Douglas Moo

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  • Leadership

    We Need Qualified Leadership

    A few days ago I happened upon the page of an especially mega-sized megachurch. The church is about to undergo a leadership transition from an older man to a younger one and a page on the site lays out the process through which this new pastor was chosen. I read with a morbid kind of…

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    A La Carte (June 21)

    A La Carte: Making tea and holding hands for the sake of the gospel / When Christian groups subvert religious liberty of Christians / How busy should I be? / 5 ways people worship themselves / A backwards birth into heaven / A new systematic theology / and more.

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.

  • Do Not Envy the Wicked

    Do You Envy the Wicked?

    It takes a long time for sinful instincts to become pure, for tendencies toward what is evil to be transformed into tendencies toward what is good, lovely, and pleasing to God. The man who quits drugs will still react when he catches a whiff and the woman who gave up alcoholism will still struggle when…

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    A La Carte (June 19)

    A La Carte: The golden rule for hard conversations / Seven reasons you shouldn’t ignore beauty / The early church on entertainment / The uselessness of prayer / A thousand wheels of providence / Impossible, hard, and easy / and more.