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A La Carte (November 28)

Today’s Kindle deals include a few new books that followed the glut of them we experienced the past few days.

Sexual Assault and the Scandal of Repentance

“Larry King is not a Christian. But he knows where the scandalous power of Christianity is found. It’s in the narrowness of insisting on universal, eternal condemnation for all sinners who fall short of God’s glory, and in the broadness of calling everyone to repent of their sins, trust in Christ and be saved. Everyone, even the ‘vilest offender,’ in the words of the old Isaac Watts hymn. The ‘vilest offender’ today is the person who engages in sexual assault and abuse.”

Why Seminary? Exhibit A: Joel Osteen

And here’s another article that references Larry King. What are the chances? “The question of whether seminary is necessary is one that perennially resurfaces among those who sense the urgency of the need to preach and feel compelled to dive right in, but also understand the benefit of thorough training, and want guidance about the balance.”

Meet the Nativity (Video)

I’m not quite sure where this series is going to be, but episode one is rather entertaining. (Read the story of it at TGC.)

28 Non-Numerical Signs Of A Healthy Church

“Have we really become so obsessed with statistics that many pastors don’t know what a healthy church looks like, outside of crunching the numbers?” Here are some helpful guidelines.

What If God Takes It All Away?

Sarah Walton writes, “Recently we drove past our old house for the first time since downsizing. Immediately, our four children began rehearsing memories, noting every part of the house that they missed. Once again, they struggled to understand why we had to give it all up. As hard as I tried to respond with confidence that it was the right thing for our family to follow God’s leading — even at the cost of financial comfort and a home we loved — deep down, I wrestled with my own nostalgia and questions.”

Pastor, Aim to Preach Simple Sermons

There is such simple wisdom in this: “Unless you are simple in your sermons, you will never be understood, and unless you are understood you cannot do good to those who hear you.”

Learning the Language of Lament

This is a language few of us speak as well as we ought.

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged By Your Own Crippling Standard

Stephen Altrogge says, “It’s a terrifying thing to think of God judging me based on the way I judge others. So often, my judgment lacks mercy. It lacks compassion. And it lacks knowledge. Do I want to be judged by God and others with the same standard? No! That would be crushing.This is why Jesus warns about the dangers of judging others. If we’re not careful, we’re going to end up being judged by own crushing standards.”

Flashback: 3 Reasons Children Need to Obey Their Parents

Children are to obey, and parents are to insist upon obedience, for these three very good reasons.

God will never cease to help us until we cease to need.

—C.H. Spurgeon

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.