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A La Carte (May 4)

monday

There are at least a few Kindle deals to check out. And, in case you missed it over the weekend, Logos users will probably want to download this month’s free book, a commentary on Isaiah. Perhaps also check out their monthly sale.

When Should Churches Reject Governmental Guidelines on Gathering and Engage in Civil Disobedience?

Jonathan Leeman addresses an urgent issue: “As the COVID-19 stay-at-home quarantines tarry, folks are getting restless. State governments think about pathways to opening up. The stock market leaps a couple percentage points at the slightest whisper of a vaccine. And pastors have begun to ask each other, ‘When can our churches gather again? Yet a darker question sometimes follows: ‘If the government continues to say we cannot meet, when do we as churches engage in civil disobedience by gathering anyway?’”

The Brave Stunt That Brought Down Slavery

John Piper writes about David Livingstone’s “brave stunt” that helped bring down slavery. “David Livingstone did not set out to be a global voice for the healing of the ‘open sore of the world’ — the East African slave trade. He set out to heal the disease of sin with the gospel, and the diseases of the body with medical training — all the while believing the Africans were not subhuman.”

6 Questions about Christ’s Heart for Sinners

Dane Ortlund answers 6 questions about Christ’s heart for sinners—the topic of his most recent book. They are good questions like “Is God mad at me for my sin?” and “I know what Christ did with my sin on the cross, but what is Christ doing with my sin now?”

Wisdom and Folly in Christian Responses to Coronavirus

This is a very long but very challenging article from Alastair Roberts. Even if you don’t love his conclusions, you’ll benefit from his reflections on the nature of wisdom and folly.

The Insidious Attraction of Cults (Video)

Robert Godfrey has a short video about the insidious attraction of cults.

I Have Seen the Future—And It’s Not the Life We Knew

There isn’t a ton that’s important in this article, but I do think it is helpful in this way: It anticipates some of the ways people will respond to the coronavirus crisis and, therefore, it will prepare Christians to respond accordingly. “Some people, who skew younger, are taking the ‘YOLO’ approach of enjoying life while they can because ‘tomorrow isn’t promised.’ They’re eating out, hanging out, ‘revenge shopping,’ traveling. … But others, especially those walloped by the economic toll of the lockdown, have resolved to ‘live cautiously” because ‘life is fragile.’”

‘Fallen, Fallen is Babylon the Great’

Warren Peel isn’t saying we are living out Revelation 18 now (where we read about the fall of “Babylon the great”). But he also isn’t saying we’re not. “The message of this current crisis is clear. There will be an End. Human history is not going round in circles. Whether it comes sooner or later, it will inevitably come. This global catastrophe is the starkest foreshadowing of that Day most of us have ever experienced of this in our lifetime, and it is a merciful warning from God calling the people of the world to repent and trust Christ to save them while they still can.”

Flashback: It’s No Tragedy To Miss the Model

If you are unmarried, you are not missing out on what’s ultimate and, therefore, on what’s essential. It’s no tragedy to miss out on the model. The only tragedy would be to miss out on the real thing.

Like Lazarus lying motionless in the tomb, the unredeemed soul remains lifeless until the voice of God commands it, “Come forth!”

—John MacArthur

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    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

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    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

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    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…