A La Carte (November 29)

We have been spoiled for choice lately when it comes to Kindle deals. Unfortunately I was not able to dig up any new ones today.

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You’re unlikely to read anything more encouraging today. “The Bible looks to a final chapter in the story of redemption called glorification. It is the moment when Christ returns, the dead are raised, and all the redeemed are instantaneously transformed into the glorious likeness of Christ. … If you’re a Christian, your death won’t be the end of your story. You will pass into the presence of God, and you will know complete peace and joy, but that still will not be the end.”

How to Become a Christian

This is a great article for teenagers who are in good churches and struggle with assurance of salvation.

Stravinsky Firebird Scream (Video)

The clear moral of this hilarious little video is that you shouldn’t fall asleep at the orchestra.

The Congregation and the Pulpit

“How can a congregation help their pastors to preach God’s Word more effectively? We sometimes have the idea that the seminary—as helpful as it may be—is the end-all for getting preachers ready to preach. Yet it takes more than a seminary to make a preacher. It takes a faithful, partnering congregation to enable a pastor to preach well.”

3 Reasons I Am Thankful for Support Raising

Here is an unexpectedly encouraging article from a missionary. “Forever and always people have avoided going into missions because they have to raise support. Just recently I saw a thread where men with PhDs in biblical studies were lamenting the lack of employment opportunities in American Bible schools and seminaries. Someone commented on the thread saying, ‘There are plenty of opportunities overseas.’ One of the few responses to this was (paraphrased), ‘Yeah, but then you will have to be raising support for your entire life!'”

In 1507, This Map Used the Name ‘America’ for the First Time

Now this is interesting history. “In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller created a map unlike any other ever drafted in Europe. To the west, across the Atlantic, his map included the coastlines that European voyagers had only just reached for the first time. A few other surviving maps had done the same, but Waldseemüller went further. On this map, these coasts continued until they outlined whole continents and defined another ocean, what we now call the Pacific. And on one of the continents, he wrote a proposed name for the place—America.”

Handling the Hard Passages

“People like to argue about six-day creation, election, or certain laws in the Old Testament. They say they are contradictory or morally objectionable. How could God do that? Unfortunately, we treat these hard passages just like the things that embarrass us. We often want to diffuse the situation and do some so-called ‘damage control.'” Here is guidance on enjoying and interpreting the hard passages.

What is Semi-Pelagianism?

In case you’d like brush up on your definitions. “Both Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism deny the biblical doctrine of total depravity, which says that every part of man—his mind, will, emotions, and flesh—has been corrupted by sin. Being totally depraved, mankind is incapable of coming to God on his own. The unregenerate mind is ‘hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so.'”

Flashback: The Philanthropists: William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce loved the truths of justification by faith alone, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and the substitutionary work of Jesus. But he also loved pursuing justice for the poor, needy, and enslaved.

In the sight of the coffin and the grave it is not easy to be proud. —J.C. Ryle