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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

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…

  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.