“The world is by no means averse to religion. In fact, it is devoted to it with a passion. It will buy any recipe for salvation as long as that formula leaves the responsibility for cooking up salvation firmly in human hands. The world is drowning in religion. It is lying full fathom forty in the cults of spiritual growth, physical health, psychological self-improvement, and ethical probity— not to mention the religions of money, success, upward mobility, sin prevention, and cooking without animal fats. But it is scared out of its wits by any mention of the grace that takes the world home gratis.”

— Robert Capon

 

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Destinations

August 29, 2012

John Piper has a new devotional for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.).

Some of you have probably heard me respond to the “It’s not about religion; it is about a relationship” line. There is a place in Christianity for religion (Ja 1:26-27). And, stressing relationship to the exclusion of religion might be sending the wrong message. Here Mark Altrogge weighs in.  Here’s a snippet:

If taken the wrong way people might think they don’t need to believe specific truths or be a committed member of a church. That they need not gather with others to hear the word preached or learn sound doctrine or serve others or speak the truth in love, confront sin or repent. It’s just me and Jesus; I don’t need all that religion stuff.

We’ve all heard about gateway drugs. But, how about gateway porn? Here is a post that discusses the issue. It is right on.

Here is a post entitled “D. A. Carson on Angry Christians and the Devil’s Tactics.” I almost always appreciate what D.A. Carson writes and in this piece he is very helpful. Here’s a taste:

Now the reason it does is because there is so much in this society that feels—with a certain amount of justification—that all those nasties on the Left are taking away our heritage! They’re perverting our schools! They’re overthrowing principles of jurisprudence! They’re making the city unsafe! And so there’s anger—there’s anger seething through the whole land.

Now contrast that with the first Christians taking the gospel in the Roman Empire. They were nobodies. They didn’t have anybody taking away their heritage. They were out to take over the heritage. They looked around and saw an extremely pluralistic empire, and they said with Caleb, in effect, “Give us this mountain.” And they kept witnessing and kept getting martyred, and so on, and there was a revolution, finally—a spiritual revolution.

“No Other gods: Confronting Our Modern Day Idols” is free today for Kindle and Nook. I don’t know anything about the book but here is part of the description:

No Other gods offers a revealing look at the heart of a woman. Author Kelly Minter explores what happens when good desires become false gods, robbing us of an intimate relationship with our heavenly father.

 

Destinations

June 5, 2012

I’ve often been frustrated with the struggle to capture an event with photographs. In the rush to document the graduation, wedding, or performance one might actually miss the moment. Here Tim Challies reminds us of this potentiality.

Here are some ebooks that are free today only. First, That’s My Teenage Son: How Moms Can Influence Their Boys to Become Good Men is free for Kindle and Nook. Second, What a Son Needs From His Dad: How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life is also free for Kindle and Nook.

What makes Christianity different from all other religions? Here Tim Keller gives us a great illustration that communicates the difference.

Speaking of Tim Keller, here are his 10 tips for sharing our faith. Pretty good advice.

You might have heard about the Daniel diet? It is quite the rage ins some churches. Here Mike Horton discusses the underlying hermeneutic. It is a helpful read.

Tiger Woods is winning again. Can we as believers root for such a expletive tossing philanderer? Barnabas Piper grapples with the question.

“What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over half a century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philadelphia (the city where Barnhouse pastored), all of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, “Yes, sir” and “No ma’am,” and the churches would be full every Sunday…where Christ is not preached.”

Michael Horton, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church.