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A La Carte (October 14)


Grace and peace to you, my friends.

I have added a couple of Kindle deals with more possibly to come tomorrow.

(Yesterday on the blog: Family Update: An Engagement, a Scholarship, and a Beautiful Bench)

The Failure of Evangelical Elites

Carl Trueman has some extended thoughts on the failure of Evangelical elites. “Let me put it bluntly: Talking in an outraged voice about racism within the boundaries set by the woke culture is an excellent way of not talking about the pressing moral issues on which Christianity and the culture are opposed to each other: LGBTQ+ rights and abortion. Even Schleiermacher would cringe. Christian elites try to persuade the secular world that they aren’t so bad—no longer in terms of Enlightenment conceptions of reason, but in terms of the disordered moral preoccupations of the day.”

We All Have the Power of Caligula Now

Meanwhile, Alan Noble has some interesting (and disturbing) thoughts on pornography. “Pornography assumes that we are each our own and belong to ourselves. It’s a tool that promises to give us a kind of personal validation, a sense of identity, a taste of meaningfulness, and a glimpse of intimate belonging. But by its own logic, pornography, like modernity, is an empty promise.”

When Pastors Declare Victory Too Soon

“I used to think that turning a church around was like turning a business around: set a new vision, clean up the mess the old guy left, and get the charts pointing in the right direction.” But now Darryl has realized it’s far different.

Expressive Individualism: Our Twenty-First Century American Ba’al

Bruce Ashford: “Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, have learned to live life without any real reference to God. Because of our relative wealth, we tend not to lean on God for material provisions. Because of modern medicine, we rely on doctors and surgeons when our health is fragile, and don’t see God as the ultimate healer. Because of modern therapy, we tend to ignore the role he should play in the right ordering of our hearts and minds…”

What Is “the Name?”

Terry Johnson: “Were the Jehovah’s Witnesses right? Among their central boasts is that they have revived the covenantal name of God, the Hebrew YHWH, sometimes pronounced Yahweh and sometimes Jehovah, that Jesus came to restore. Ancient Hebrew has no vowels so the precise pronunciation may never be known. Given the growing practice among Evangelicals of referring in sermons and lectures to Yahweh, one would think that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were right.”

Dog Bites Man: Adventures in the Life of a Translation Consultant

How can someone help ensure the quality of a new translation when that person doesn’t speak the language? This article answers.

Pray for Those in Authority

“Authority and institutionalism have become less popular in recent years, but Scripture places emphasis on authority and organized religion is an irrevocable part of God’s plan for the world. We are commanded in Scripture to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and this command should be taken seriously.”

Flashback: Do We Care for the Sheep or Do We Use the Sheep?

There is a place for ambitious goals, I’m sure, but they must come after the sheep have been properly cared for, not before.

One of the chief purposes of trial and affliction is to make us send for our Savior.

—Theodore Cuyler

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?

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    A La Carte (February 28)

    A La Carte: Can Christians buy expensive things? / You are probably WEIRDER than you think / Our limits are a gift from God / Big dreams impress. Ordinary faithfulness delivers / The biggest problem in worship education / Children’s books / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 27)

    A La Carte: God doesn’t owe me kindness / Jordan Peterson’s “We Who Wrestle with God” tour / Does your church have an evangelist? / Putting Jesus first in a world of pleasures / Send help. My husband believes in me / and more.

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…