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Weekend A La Carte (May 9)

Today’s Kindle deals include quite a look of solid books; there are some classics (like there are every Saturday) as well as a few newer works. If you’ve never read Packer’s Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, now’s the time!

(Yesterday on the blog: The Best Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids)

We Can’t Go Back, So Let’s Go Forward

Janie B. Cheaney: “In every case of collapse, we can’t go back. And ultimately that’s to the good, because the God of history is leading us forward. Trying to get back to the Garden—an ideal state of harmony and plenty—tends to breed just the opposite.”

I Just Flew. It Was Worse Than I Thought It Would Be.

On the one hand this article is just about an experience of flying, but on the other it has a key observation which I’ve italicized in the quote: “The things we miss most about our pre-pandemic lives—dine-in restaurants and recreational travel, karaoke nights and baseball games—require more than government permission to be enjoyed. These activities are predicated not only on close human contact but mutual affection and good-natured patience, on our ability to put up with one another. Governors can lift restrictions and companies can implement public-health protocols. But until we stop reflexively seeing people as viral threats, those old small pleasures we crave are likely to remain elusive.” (See also: The Future of Travel)

Flattery is Not Encouragement

“Lurking in the shadow of every good gift from God is a twisted perversion that seeks to imitate and destroy. These destructive copycats disguise themselves as good but are actually out to cause chaos and confusion.” This article shows how flattery is a destructive copycat of encouragement.

The Case for Humility in Our Coronavirus Era

Bruce Ashford has a level-headed call for humility.

‘Obedience Will Make You Miserable’

“There are at least two ways to please the devil when it comes to the pursuit of holiness. The first way, of course, is to run from holiness altogether — to flee, with the prodigal, to the far country of this world, away from the Father’s home (Luke 15:11–13). The second way, perhaps even more dangerous than the first, is to pursue holiness (or what we imagine holiness to be), and yet not be happy about it.”

How to Pray for Your Pastor During Lockdown

Pastors are having to adapt their ministries due to lockdowns, so for that reason among all the usual ones, it’s a good idea to be praying for them. Here’s how.

The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

Tabletalk has a good introduction to the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the early twentieth century.

Flashback: Success that Exceeds Sanctification

I ask the Lord not to give me success that exceeds my sanctification. And then I ask that he will make me increasingly holy, that he will grow my Christian character, sanctify me in greater measure, that I may have more success and steward it wisely and for his glory.

Scripture treats spiritual warfare as a normal, everyday part of the Christian life, and so we should as well. It’s not about spooky special effects. It’s about how we think, feel, live, desire, and act in the presence of our enemies.

—David Powlison

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    A La Carte (May 28)

    A La Carte: What to do with the nice things people say / Old age syndromes to avoid / The amazing navigation skills of the dung beetle / 7 kinds of sacrifices / Hope in the grief of dementia / and more.

  • Managing Kingdom Causes with Sound Business Principles 

    This week the blog is sponsored by Redeemer University. The word “management” conjures up images of executives leading large corporations with the goal of generating wealth for shareholders. Think of “sustainability” and the lens widens to benefiting other stakeholders like customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Now, broaden your view even wider. Pan out–way out!…

  • Comparative Suffering

    Comparative Suffering

    It is something you tend to hear a lot when you have endured a time of significant sorrow or suffering: “I know it’s nothing compared to yours, but…” We have a natural tendency to compare—to compare our experiences to another person’s and to rank or rate them accordingly. The person who has suffered the loss…

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    A La Carte (May 27)

    A La Carte: Critical dynamics of criticism / Behind Jordan Peterson’s teaching is his own humanistic agenda / The Christian’s keystone habit / Getting out of the burnout pit / Is salvation by faith unfair to those who never hear of him? / That portrait of King Charles / Kindle deals / and more.

  • A Deadly Foe of Spiritual Growth

    A Deadly Foe of Spiritual Growth

    As we live out the Christian life and cooperate with the Holy Spirit through the precious means of grace, we face a number of foes, a number of enemies that mean to derail us from our pursuit of God. Of all those enemies, none may be more prevalent and none more deadly than complacency.

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    Weekend A La Carte (May 25)

    A La Carte: Don’t regret your past—redeem it / Parents, are you raising angry partisans? / You’re gonna lose everything / My husband and I keep fighting over the same thing / What are the “all things” I can do in Christ? / How are we handling generational differences? / Kindle deals / and more.