A La Carte (November 29)

As you would expect, there are a lot of Kindle deals today.

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And beyond the Kindle deals, there are tons of other Black Friday specials to be had. Please consult my dedicated Black Friday Deals for Christians page to see what might be of interest to you.

Can a Fallen Christian Leader Ever Be Restored?

D.A. Carson answers the question. “This question has become increasingly pressing, owing in no small part to the number of Christian leaders who have fallen into publicly acknowledged sin, often (but certainly not always) of a sexual nature. Substantial books have been written on the subject; I am certainly not going to resolve all the difficulties in a thousand words or so. But perhaps I can set out what some of the crucial issues are, in four points.”

Discipleship and the Transgengender Convert: Issues and Proposals

“Jesus’ call to ‘make disciples of all nations’ (Matt. 28:19) necessarily involves taking the good news to those who identify as transgender. Because the gospel is God’s power to save, we have every reason to expect that some of those to whom we witness will put their trust in Christ and set foot on the path of Christian discipleship. The purpose of this essay is to think through what this may look like and how the issues of baptism, membership, service, leadership, and communion might best be approached.”

God’s Good Design in Sexual Parts and Pleasure

“It is one sign of human sin and rebellion against God’s rule that we have separated the pleasure of sex from the procreative context of sex. The supposed irrelevance of the clitoris to any reproductive function has been used to justify and celebrate this separation. However, all around us we see the damaging consequences to individuals and societies of undermining marriage and family and reducing sex to a means of obtaining momentary physical pleasure. Christians can all too easily inadvertently succumb to this same ideology, which ultimately underlies all sexual sin.”

A Tendency Arising With Such Frequency I Suspect a Deeper Problem

It’s worth thinking about this. “For some reason, we seem to repeatedly give pastorates to people who – in my view – fail the most basic part of being a pastor: actually caring about people even if they happen to seem insignificant to you. Why do we seem to find so many of these guys in pastoral ministry?”

He Holds Us Fast

Exactly one year ago yesterday, my journal entry opened with, “Lord, I don’t understand and I really don’t know where to go from here. I feel worn and empty and alone. Can You hold me fast?” Many entries from this last year were similar. And here I am. One year later looking back and seeing the hard days and the long nights, but woven in between are the endless mercies of God and the joy that comes in knowing that there is perfection stamped on His every act. He can indeed hold me fast. He held me fast.”

That Feeling in Your Funny Bone

Why do you get that too-familiar feeling when you hit your funny bone? Here’s an explanation.

Flashback: But Others Have It Worse

Our God is not some distant ruler exercising indifferent authority over the universe but a present helper in our times of trouble — our every time of trouble. He does not demand that we justify our pains before feeling them or rationalize our tears before shedding them.

If we speak lightly about serious things, and seriously about inconsequential things—we will be unable to discern what is good because our entire moral ballast will shift. —Hannah Anderson