BOOKS, MOVIES, TELEVISION:
- My Reviews on Amazon. While we run at least one book or music review a week, you can see all of my Amazon reviews year here. The list is continually being updated, so check back often.
- Church of England Defends Ad Refused by Movie Theaters. Stephen Castle writes about a 60-second commercial based on the Lord’s Prayer, which was to be shown before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” when it opens next month, that has been refused screen time in most of Britain’s movie theaters.
- Jerusalem: The IMAX Film Is Now on DVD. Andy Naselli writes “The 45-minute film Jerusalem that has been showing for a few years in IMAX theaters is now available on DVD.” He includes a 7-minute trailer for the film.
- Sherlock Special. A 90-minute one-off special titled Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, co-written by series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss will air on PBS January 1.
- The Incarnation: What We Celebrate at Christmas. In this five-minute video except from the series What Did Jesus Do? R.C. Sproul reminds us what we really celebrate at Christmas—the incarnation of God Himself.
- Jesus’ Answer to Holiday Loneliness and Cynicism. Scott Sauls reflects on Jesus being the solution for fractured relationships.
- I’ll [Not] Have a Blue Christmas: Reasons to Rejoice and Be Happy This Christmas. Randy Alcorn writes “Is it possible to find genuine happiness during the Christmas season, even in the midst of the pressures? Yes. True happiness—the kind Jesus offers—is at the heart of what Christmas is all about!
GREAT RESOURCES AND INTERVIEWS:
- How Do We Love a Broken World? Richard Doster interviews Steve Garber, who was the speaker at my 2014 Covenant Seminary, and the author of the excellent book Visions of Vocation.
- One Voice on Christian Social Media. Phillips Holmes and Rosaria Butterfield recently visited for nearly two hours on a variety of subjects, one of them being the Christians’ voice in America today.
- Who was Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones? Christopher Catherwood, author of Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century.writes “Martyn Lloyd-Jones—often known as “the Doctor” from his medical degree—was one of the greatest preachers of the twentieth century, if not one of the most distinguished since his hero Jonathan Edwards in the eighteenth century.”
- Why Martyn Lloyd-Jones Matters Today. Watch this eleven-minute video of Tim Keller and Mark Dever discussing why the great British preacher, who died in 1981, matters today.
- 2015 Magnify Conference Messages Now Available. The six sessions from the recent Magnify Conference, featuring Kevin DeYoung and Ligon Duncan are now available for you to watch.
- Why We Preach Against Abortion. Watch this four-minute excerpt from Russell Moore’s message “Whatever Happened to Sin” at the 2015 Ligonier National Conference.
- 7 Ways Women Can Grow in Studying and Teaching Scripture without Seminary. Nancy Guthrie responds to a question from a woman who didn’t go to seminary and wants to know what resources there are for theological training.
- 6 (More) Curious Facts about Calvin’s Institutes. Nicholas McDonald writes “Last week, I posted “8 Irresistible Facts about Calvin’s Institutes“. I close the season of introductions out with 6 more curious facts about John Calvin.”
- Lou Holtz Commencement Address. Watch this seventeen-minute 2015 commencement address by Lou Holtz at Franciscan University by from Lou Holtz.
- Anna: The Faithful Witness. John MacArthur shares this article about Anna, adapted from his excellent book Twelve Extraordinary Women.
- Family Tradition. As I’ve been listening to the messages from the 2013 Ligonier National Conference with a theme of No Compromise, I enjoyed the message “Family Traditions” from Cal Thomas. With humor and wit, he explores the culture’s assaults on the family and the very practical reasons why the church must speak to family issues. You can watch the message here. In the “Truth is Stranger than Fiction” category, as I was listening to this message in the car, and Thomas talking about the increased numbers of people cohabitating, the increased crime rate of those raised in a one parent homes, etc., I noticed that the car in front of me had a license plate of “Y MARRI 1”. Folks, I can’t make this stuff up!
- What We Lose When We Prayer-Shame Politicians after a Mass Shooting. Russell Moore writes “I could hardly believe the front page of the New York Daily News Thursday. Reflecting on the horrific shooting in San Bernardino, the paper posted tweets of prayer for the victims from Republican presidential candidates with the massive headline, “God Won’t Fix This.” I’m hard-pressed to think of a more cynical and exploitative headline at a time of national mourning.
- On ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ After the San Bernardino Shooting. Andy Crouch, author of the excellent Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (see my review here), writes a thoughtful piece in response to the criticism of prayer after last week’s shooting, ending with “Therefore the victims of the shootings in San Bernardino, and all those who were caught up in the violence and live this very moment in its awful continuing reality and consequences, and also those who perpetrated the violence, are in our thoughts and prayers.”
- Foul-Mouthed and Proud of It on the ’16 Campaign Trail. This article from the New York Times speaks to the profanity used by the GOP Presidential candidates.
- Ben Carson Is Dreaming of a White House Christmas. In this interview with Christianity Today, the GOP Presidential candidate discusses God’s role in his presidential campaign.
TO MAKE YOU SMILE:
- Enjoyed this photo posted by Crowder>>>>>>>>
- Ellen’s Never-Ending Scares. I flat-out hate to be scared, but have to tell you I had tears in my eyes after watching this video clip that was shared by J.D. Greear last week.
- Top Ten Seminaries of 2015. Enjoy Mark Jones’ tongue-in-cheek ranking of Reformed seminaries.
- “BREAKING NEWS: Only five people left on earth have not bought the new Adele album.” Jim Gaffigan
- “Why do doctors call your treatment their “practice”? Shoulda had that out of the way by now.” Crowder
- “Lesson learned: When your wife shows you the craft she is working on don’t say, ‘The imperfections just add charm’.” Tim Challies
CHRISTIAN LIVING AND THEOLOGY:
- A Prayer for Acknowledging Our Fears and Bringing them to Jesus. Here is our prayer of the week from our friend Scotty Smith.
- John 3:16 and Man’s Ability to Choose God In discussing John 3:16, R.C. Sproul writes “What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing.”
- Is Pro-Life Rhetoric Deadly? Russell Moore writes “Those of us who are gospel Christians must speak with gospel conviction and with gospel pleading to those who are vulnerable, including women caught in crisis situations. This requires speaking honestly about what abortion is. That is, after all, the problem many have with the rhetoric of the pro-life movement; it is not so much about what we say as what we don’t say. We don’t dehumanize children with clinical language of “fetuses” and “embryos” and “products of conception.”
- The Great Porn Experiment. One of the big problems with doing research about the effect of video pornography on people is it’s hard to find a control group. Not too long ago a researcher from the University of Montreal wanted to study the effect of pornography on men, but he said when he was looking for a control group of men in their 20s. Watch this five-minute video from Covenant Eyes.
- Plunge Your Mind into the Ocean of God’s Sovereignty. John Piper writes “So let’s listen. Let’s treat the Bible as the voice of God. Let’s turn what the Bible says about God into what God says about God – which is what the Bible really is God speaking about God.
- The Most Essential Life Skill: Teachability. David Murray writes “There’s one characteristic that separates the successful from the unsuccessful in every walk of life: teachability.”
- When God promises us that He will forgive us, we insult His integrity when we refuse to accept it. R.C. Sproul
- You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary. Jonathan Edwards
- I’m throwing all my good works overboard and lashing myself to the plank of free grace; for I hope to swim to glory on it. Charles Spurgeon
- Our lack of intimacy is due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communication from all others so we can be alone with Him. Francis Chan
- Racism is nothing more than collective narcissism: I love my group above all others because I love myself. Michael Horton
- Every area of Christian living––our worldview, worship, walk, work, and witness––is dependent upon the right knowledge of God. Steven Lawson
- What does your life say to others about what you believe? Tim Kelle
- Biblically speaking, man is free, but his freedom can never violate or overrule God’s sovereignty. R.C. Sproul
- We should never sacrifice our values for the sake of political correctness. Ben Carson
- God made the world out of nothing, and as long as we remain nothing, God can make something out if us. Martin Luther
- He who begins by seeking God within himself may end by confusing himself with God. B.B. Warfield
- The Christian life is a long obedience in the same direction. Eugene Peterson
- The devil visits idle men with his temptations. God visits industrious men with his favors. Matthew Henry
- If your spouse acts worthily, your love is the easier. If your spouse acts unworthily, your love is the more glorious. John Piper
- Perhaps the most common reason people don’t believe in God is simply this: They don’t want anyone telling them what to do. Kevin DeYoung
- There are only two ways of dying. We can die in faith or we can die in our sins. R.C. Sproul
- Stir us up, O Lord, that we may lay hold upon the life that is really life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Alistair Begg
- The principle of sola fide is not rightly understood till it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of sola gratia. J.I. Packer
- Jesus isn’t interested in mowing over the weeds in our lives. He wants to uproot them. Matt Chandler