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Weekend A La Carte (February 3)

A La Carte Collection cover image

My gratitude goes to Thomas Nelson for sponsoring the blog this week so you could learn about the new Timeless Truths Bible which is designed with the history of the Christian church in mind. “It will remind you that, as you read the Word of God, you’re a part of a sacred communion made up of believers past and present. Not only is this particular Bible beautifully designed, it has also been carefully crafted with selected features to help you in your journey through the text.”

There are, indeed, some new Kindle deals to look through today.

(Yesterday on the blog: The Deconstruction of Christianity)

The Gospel Is About Going to Heaven When You Die

“You have heard it said, ‘The Gospel is not about going to heaven when you die.’ Don’t sing about ‘flying away’ when this life is over. Don’t preach about God’s celestial shore or the mansion for His children in the air. These sermons are ‘escapist’ and Christians who listen to them become apathetic about this life, ignore injustice, or shrug their shoulders about the misery of the poor. If we keep preaching this false gospel, the Church will only care about getting to heaven, not doing God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.”

We Need More Repellently Attractional Churches

Stephen McAlpine says that we need more “repellently attractional” churches. And while his context is Australia, I think there’s lots for us to learn on this side of the globe as well.

Partiality: Not a Victimless Sin

Brad Hambrick considers the sin of partiality. “God isn’t showing partiality toward the poor to “balance the scales of history.” The harder road to faith for the affluent isn’t a punishment from God. The experience of wealth tends to create a façade of self-sufficiency that makes it less likely for some to see their need for a Savior. When it comes to being an heir to the kingdom, being poor is an advantage.”

The Single Most Encouraging Thing for a Pastor

What is the single most encouraging thing for a pastor to see among the people he serves? I’m very much inclined to agree with Steve’s take on it.

Amazing Grace in Deep Despair: The Rare Friendship of Newton and Cowper

This is a fantastic telling of the friendship between John Newton and William Cowper.

What Is Typology?

If you’ve ever wondered what biblical typology is all about, this will serve as a helpful explanation.

Flashback: The Character of the Christian: Sound Judgment

God does not call only elders or prospective elders to be “sober-minded, self-controlled, and respectable”—He calls every Christian to pursue these traits.

Unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come to the bottom of these depths.

—Robert Murray M’Cheyne

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…

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    Weekend A La Carte (February 17)

    A La Carte: Think you’re immune to adultery? / One of the most hopeful reminders about sanctification / What do we do with dreams and visions? / Have you ever asked your church elders to visit and pray for you? / The neurodivergent believer / Preaching advice for busy pastors / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Open the Bible)

    This week’s Free Stuff Friday is sponsored by Open the Bible. They encourage you to enter to win a series of books from Open the Bible and Pastor Colin Smith! Included in the giveaway are: For All Who Grieve by Pastor Colin Smith. Written with compassion and understanding, yet honestly facing the difficult questions that…