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A La Carte (November 2)

Today’s Kindle deals include quite a few good books.

Also, check this week’s deals from Westminster Books for a good price on a solid new biography.

Free G3

I’d love to see you at next year’s G3 Conference in Atlanta. Maybe some free tickets (buy one get one free, that is) will help.

How To Have a Pastoral Conversation

Richard Sweatman writes: “Most growth group leaders know how helpful it is to meet up one-to-one with their group members. This can be a regular time of Bible reading and prayer; sometimes it’s just a low-key catch up. At other times, however, group leaders realize they need to speak with someone about a particular concern or problem. Let’s call this a ‘pastoral conversation’. It can be a pretty big deal, so I want to give some guidance for how growth group leaders could go about having a pastoral conversation.”

How 16th-Century European Mapmakers Described the World’s Oceans

According to medieval mapmakers, the world was made up of three continents ringed by narrow bodies of water. When the voyages of Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and Ferdinand Magellan uncovered continents previously unknown to Europeans, this posed a major problem for those cartographers. But these explorers did not just stumble upon uncharted land—they also became aware of expansive stretches of ocean around the world.”

A Radical College’s Public Meltdown

Here’s the crazy story of “how a season of racial protests turned Evergreen State College’s self-examination into a national spectacle.” Warning: there is some coarse language in here.

Must Every Christian Be a Member of a Local Church? (Video)

In this video Brian Davis argues that it is completely foreign to the Bible for a Christian not to want to be a part of a local church.

Five Steps For Getting Unstuck With Difficult Bible Passages

“There are times when we just don’t know what to do with certain passages or topics in the Bible. What’s the best way to proceed when you feel like you don’t know where to go? In his really helpful little book ‘The Story of Scripture’, Professor Rob Plummer gives several recommendations for dealing with difficult passages in the Bible.”

Immaculate Innings Are a Rare and Wonderful Baseball Treat

One for the baseball fans. “The immaculate inning is pretty simple: three batters each retired on three strikes and three strikes only. It’s also rarer than a no-hitter, and for long stretches of baseball history, we barely saw them. But the immaculate inning’s made something of a comeback recently.”

Flashback: The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do

I see the horror of sin pictured in the decaying face of the addict. Her drug is both alluring and punishing. It promises joy and delivers bondage. Meth is its own punishment. It takes captive. It rots. It destroys. And in that way it is a particularly vivid illustration of every other sin.

The cross is the ultimate evidence that there is no length the love of God will refuse to go in effecting reconciliation.

—Kent Hughes

  • 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.

  • Our Salvation Through Christ

    This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and this post is adapted from The Kindness of God by Nate Pickowicz (© 2024). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission. Just like the Old Testament, the New Testament teaches that this wonderful salvation is extended to us as a kindness. Paul opens his letter…