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Weekend A La Carte (January 6)

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I am grateful to Guidelight for sponsoring the blog this week. Guidelight is a wonderful ministry that provides Biblical hope and practical help for families experiencing disability.

Ligonier Ministries is offering a copy of The Valley of Vision with a gift of any amount in case that’s of interest.

Today’s Kindle deals include a small selection of titles.

(Yesterday on the blog: Deep Answers to Real Questions about Attraction, Identity, and Relationships)

Part of a Christian’s Job Is to Point Out That Modern Life Stinks

This is a fantastic article from Samuel James. “Part of the evangelical witness right now should be to point out that modern life stinks. Its technology makes us lonely. Its sexuality makes us empty. Its psychotherapy makes us self-obsessed. Many people are on the brink of oblivion, held back in some cases only by medication or political identity. We struggle to articulate why we should continue to live. Evangelicals should jump in here.”

Moralism Is a Poor Substitute for Christianity

“Today, we have replaced the moralistic tales of church kid’s programming with the intellectual, political commentaries of the modern Youtube influencer. People who hold to Judeo-Christian values are, rightly, calling foul on the culture. But so often, people begin to think that that is what Christianity is all about: Follow the rules, think the right thoughts, and you’re good to go.”

How Church Leaders Can Be a Nonanxious Presence

Joe Carter has written a really challenging article encouraging church leaders to be a “non-anxious presence.” He unpacks the term and offers specific ways for church leaders to adhere to it.

Stop Speaking Christianese, Please

I don’t agree with the entirety of what Alan Shlemon says here, but I do think the main point is a good one—that as the world around us changes, it’s important to revisit our language to ensure we are being heard and understood.

Who Did Jesus Die For?

If you’ve ever grappled with the doctrine of Limited Atonement (aka Particular Redemption or Definite Atonement)—and who hasn’t at one time or another?—you may find clarity in this article by Stephen Kneale. “The doctrine is ultimately driving at the idea that Jesus died for particular people, as opposed to all people in general (particular redemption), and that the people Jesus intends to save are actually saved by his death on the cross (definite atonement) rather than just potentially saved by his death and then only actually saved upon their belief.”

Jesus, Immanuel

“In our predominantly Christian corner of East Africa, the prosperity gospel is often preached in churches and curses are often pronounced by witch doctors in villages.  We have less encounters with other religions than with skewed interpretations and applications of our own religion.  As with anywhere in the world, there is still more room for the Gospel to go forth, to take root, and to grow deep.” This opens a really meaningful reflection by Krista Horn.

Flashback: What Amy Carmichael Hung on Her Wall

Though I had snapped it just quickly with my iPhone, it captured both of the objects that were so precious to Carmichael. “I know,” “Fear not,” and Matterhorn are all right there. 

It is the word of God, the gracious message of Christ, that awakens faith and so prayer – and so that must be the basic shape of our everyday communion with God.

—Michael Reeves

  • 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…

  • Moral Vision

    From Washington & Jefferson to Trump & Biden

    The United States has produced more than its fair share of fascinating figures. Over the course of its storied history, it has produced a host of figures who have shaped the nation, the continent, and the world. Many of these have been its presidents and politicians, though others have been its inventors, its business leaders,…