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Weekend A La Carte (February 2)

There are so many Kindle deals today! If you use a Kindle at all, you’ll probably want to take a peek.

(Yesterday on the blog: Mere Calvinism) Note: The paperback version quickly went out of stock at Amazon, but should be available again now to ship early next week.

The Annus Horribilis of the Roman Catholic Church

Leonardo De Chirico: “What is happening in this Annus Horribilis undermines the moral, spiritual, and institutional credibility of Rome. Even though Pope Francis continues to cling to the idea that, while her children make mistakes, the church is indefectible (i.e. it does not err), the reality is that it is a failure of the whole system: its doctrines, practices, policies, and so on.”

A Polity to Avoid Like the Plague

“There is a particular ecclesiological problem that is absolutely toxic. Actually, there are several. But there is one that rears its head frequently that, should you see it, I would counsel you to keep well away. That is the leader who surrounds himself with only with yes-men. It is the polity that puts one man above all others and then surrounds himself with an echo-chamber of his own thoughts.”

The Whole Counsel of God

Oli Tucker did some interesting research to discover what expository preachers are actually expositing (and what they’re not).

We’re All Fundamentalists Now

Samuel James contributed a good one to National Review. He compares today’s social justice warriors and old-school fundamentalists to show they aren’t all that different.

He’s on to something here! “So why are Marie Kondo and minimalism so popular? Why do so many people feel oppressed by their households and need the freedom that comes by tidying up? Because ordered lives mean ordered souls.”

Apple’s Power over Facebook Ought To Worry the Rest of Us

The slugging match between the tech heavyweights ought to concern us all. “Facebook is an enlightened dictatorship, but so is Apple. Tim Cook and his lieutenants dictate the terms of an enormous economy, and can change that economy on a whim. Today Apple may have acted out of consistency with its privacy principles, to the benefit of some consumers. (And to the detriment of anyone who was counting on that $20 gift card!) But as Apple faces more pressure to serve as, as Roose put it, de facto privacy regulator, we may find ourselves uncomfortable with its monopolistic power.”

When Complacency Is Complicity

“The Third Reich is a fascinating look into the nature of evil, because it was a modern, developed, educated, and affluent culture that allowed for barbaric atrocities. The ‘banality of evil’ is how Hannah Arendt famously described it in her essay from the Nuremberg Trials. Otherwise normal people, like you and me, indifferent or even complicit in widespread carnage. Indeed, evil could no longer be called unthinkable; it had become banal.” There are comparisons to be made to abortion in our time.

Flashback: Boys Need Their Moms

In history and church history we encounter many great men who were shaped by their mothers as much as by their fathers, many great men who ascribe who they became to the influence of their mothers.

The secret of joy is Christ in me, not me in different circumstances.

—Elisabeth Elliot

  • 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…