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Weekend A La Carte (April 2)

Please bear with me as I try a bit of a different format for today’s A La Carte. Let me know if you prefer (or don’t prefer) it.

First up, there are some new Kindle deals for those who collect them—some newer books and some older ones.

Then, here’s today’s prayer from F.B. Meyer’s hard-to-find collection My Daily Prayer, which I thought you might enjoy:

“Most gracious God, I thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, pure as dew, cleansing as fire, tender and refreshing as the breath of spring. O blessed Trinity, ever engaged in giving Your choice things to us, Your unworthy children, accept my gratitude for which I have no words.”

Yesterday on the blog I wrote about Health, Wealth, and the (Real) Gospel.

If You Read Just One

Trevin Wax considers some recent articles about modern notions of sex and sexuality and sees them as proof that mere ‘Consent’ Isn’t Enough for a Sexual Ethic. That’s not to say that these authors are ready to entertain the Christian sexual ethic, but that “these are baby steps, important ones, that indicate a sense of angst and anxiety underneath the commonsense cultural ethos surrounding sex.”

Other Good Reading

We have probably all attempted to convince someone that the Bible is inspired. Greg Koukl says that, when we do so , we ought to let God do the heavy lifting. “I came to believe the Bible was God’s Word the same way the Thessalonians did, the same way you probably did: They encountered the truth firsthand and were moved by it. Without really being able to explain why, they knew they were hearing the words of God and not just the words of a man named Paul.”

Al Gooderham wants us to know our place—the particular place God has called us to minister his gospel. “One of the dangers for us as churches, pastor and people is that we assume our place is a generic place. That it’s the same as the places and people elsewhere or that we see via our media consumption be it social media or binge watching our favourite series.” This can have the consequence that “we end up preaching a generic gospel via generic sermons and meeting generic needs for a generic area and a generic people and guess what we get a generic response.”

Christians often grapple with the nature and extent of God’s sovereignty. Derek Thomas has an excellent article on the subject. “God is sovereign in creation, providence, redemption, and judgment. That is a central assertion of Christian belief and especially in Reformed theology. God is King and Lord of all. To put this another way: nothing happens without God’s willing it to happen, willing it to happen before it happens, and willing it to happen in the way that it happens.”

Do true Christians still have evil desires? And if so, how is that consistent with what Scripture says about putting to death evil deeds and desires? John Piper answers some good questions in the latest Ask Pastor John.

Last but not least, Ligonier Ministries recently hosted their National Conference on the topic of Upholding Christian Ethics and has now shared video of all the plenary sessions, Q&A sessions, and seminars.

Flashback (an article from the archives): What the Lord’s Day Is. “As I stood to worship on Sunday, I found myself considering just some of what the Lord’s Day is…”

And, last but not least, today’s SquareQuote:

We mistakenly look for tokens of God’s love in happiness. We should instead look for them in His faithful and persistent work to conform us to Christ.

—Jerry Bridges

  • Lets Hear It For the Second Parents

    Let’s Hear It For the Second Parents

    While today we tend to associate step-parents with divorce, in previous centuries they were almost exclusively associated with death and with either widow- or widowerhood. In an era in which lifespans were shorter and, therefore, a greater number of parents died while their children were still young, there was a distinct and honored role for…

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    A La Carte (June 17)

    A La Carte: Honor good fathers and bad fathers alike? / Don’t give up, dad / How I respond to pride month / 5 myths about the pro-life movement / A seminar on biblical counseling / How do I know if I’m one of the elect? / Kindle deals / and more.

  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

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    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.