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Sunday A La Carte (January 26)

It was such a good week for interesting articles and videos that I collected more than I could fit into this week’s A La Carte columns. For that reason I’m adding an additional A La Carte today. Enjoy!

You’ll find some general market Kindle deals as part of a one-day sale.

Why We Shouldn’t Ditch the Traditional Sermon Just Yet

I quite agree that we shouldn’t even seriously consider ditching the traditional sermon!

A Lesson (or Two) in Death

Eleazar Maduka shares an important lesson or two about death. “To the average churchgoer in many Christian circles in Nigeria, untimely death occurs when a person dies before their God-appointed time. It’s when the plan of the devil (or a person’s enemies) prevails over God’s plan. When a person dies young. Or dies just before a major breakthrough. Or immediately after a major breakthrough. Anything short of a ripe, old age is untimely and isn’t God’s plan. It’s a work of Satan.”

America’s Favorite Poison

It has been a long time since I’ve read any serious engagement with the possible drawbacks of alcohol, especially from a non-religious source. Yet here’s just such an article from The Atlantic. “Regardless of how much Americans love to drink, the country could be safer and healthier if we treated booze more like we treat cigarettes. The lack of serious discussion about raising alcohol prices or limiting its sale speaks to all the ground Americans have ceded to the ‘good guys’ who have fun. And judging by the health statistics, we’re amusing ourselves to death.”

The Eternally Wounded Christ

Here’s some theology worth pondering. “Jesus, under the figure of the slain lamb is the centerpiece of heaven. There is, in these words, a clear depiction of the ongoing visible reminder of the sufferings of Christ for the redemption of His people. There are several reasons why Jesus bears the wounds of His sufferings for all eternity. Consider the following…”

Bart Ehrman Has a Change of Heart

Bart Ehrman has always been a fascinating and frustrating character. Lately he seems to have had a change of heart about the non-existence of God.

Reading Challenge Spreadsheet

If you are participating in this year’s Christian Reading Challenge, you may want to grab a copy of this spreadsheet. (Click on File, then Make a Copy, and it will add it to your Google Drive.)

Scientists Finally Pin Down Why Stress Turns Our Hair Gray

It’s always funny to me how many very “normal” occurrences (like hair turning gray) have remained a mystery to scientists. But maybe this one has now been solved. “According to a study published today in Nature, there is in fact a direct link between stress and graying. Over the past two decades, researchers have found preliminary evidence that stress plays at least a small role in initiating the graying process. But our understanding of how that works has been murky — until now.”

  • My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    My Most Common Pastoral Counsel

    Among my responsibilities as an elder/pastor within a local church is meeting with people to offer counsel and guidance. I have never lost the wonder of being given so sobering a privilege—to listen to people as they share their deep sorrows or ask their big questions and to then attempt to bring the Word of…

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    A La Carte (July 15)

    A La Carte: The desires of your heart / Contentment isn’t only for hard times / On the hosting of mission teams / Be careful of your strengths / Yes, we’re almost there / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Every Road and Every Sea

    Sunday Devotional: Every Road and Every Sea

    The Bible has proven its value as weaponry in the battle against spiritual foes, as a laboratory researching cures for spiritual maladies, and as a rich source of treasure in the accumulating of wisdom. It has proven itself a guide to the pathways of life and a chart to navigate the stormy seas of trial…

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    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

    A La Carte: Folly has a strategic plan to get you / The power of a health warning / Sex is not a solution to marital tension / What do you do when your suffering is your fault? / We can’t think or live Christianly / Good news for African girls / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…