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A La Carte (November 21)


Just a quick note about what’s coming up here over the next couple of days. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving in the USA) I’ll be publishing an A La Carte post. On Friday I’ll have A La Carte, plus my annual roundup of Black Friday deals for Christians. A similar Cyber Monday post will come on Monday. There should be lots of good deals along the way!

In the meantime, perhaps you’d be interested in browsing Christmas gift ideas from Westminster Books.

(Yesterday on the blog: How Can We Stay Productive Over the Long-Haul?)

How Do We Obey the Moral Law Without Being Moralistic? (Video)

How do we avoid falling into legalism? Sinclair Ferguson answered in a recent Ask Ligonier event.

Are We Really in Danger of Making an Idol of the Family?

Kevin DeYoung: “The idolatry of the family can be a real problem, either from the church that ignores singles and gears everything toward married couples with children, or from the individual whose practical commitments underscore the unfortunate reality that blood is usually thicker than theology.” He gives some good examples of how we can idolize family.

When Families Un-Adopt a Child

What a sad, sad article. “Legally speaking, adopted children are recognized as no different from biological children. And for this reason, parents who opt to put a child up for re-adoption are doing nothing more legally complicated than any parent who puts a child up for adoption. But children who end up in need of adoption a second time will have their lives deeply disrupted, and the experience could leave them with lifelong doubts about their worth.”

Penal Substitution and Gospel Proclamation

“It is one thing to accept that a doctrine is true; it is quite another for it to shape the life and ministry of the church. The doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) is a controversial doctrine in some circles. But those of us who affirm that it is a truly biblical doctrine need to grapple carefully with how it should shape and inform our ministry. The purpose of this brief article is to argue that PSA should be at the heart of our proclamation of the gospel—at the heart of our regular preaching of the word of God.

Some Reflections on the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society

Denny Burk offers some reflections on the recent Evangelical Theological Society meeting. This is important because what happens at ETS eventually makes its way to the local church and the Christian bookstore.

What the Church in the West Should Know About Missions in Africa

This is a very helpful perspective. “Upon hearing that I am from Africa he wanted to hear my thoughts about missions in Africa and what his church should know about the state of the church on the continent. What started off as a one on one conversation ended up being a group talk with a few other brothers joining in. This prompted me to put my thoughts into writing for the sake of clarity.”

The Key to Workplace Productivity is Not an App

“Researchers have found that the average worker toggles between apps 10 times every hour. With each context switch, there’s another possibility of distraction. And after each distraction, it takes on average (pdf) 23 minutes and 15 seconds to truly get refocused on the task at hand. So how might workers keep productivity software as a tool working for them, rather than the other way around? We spoke to three productivity app founders to find out.”

Flashback: Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith

Even among children born to believing parents there will be some who reject all their parents have taught. Some of these will rebel for a while and return. Some will not.

Satan will come on with new temptations when old ones are too weak. In a calm prepare for a storm.

—Thomas Brooks

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