Monday, March 30, 2009


Doug Wilson on Fireproof:
If I set myself to think of couples in marriages that I think would be greatly helped by watching this movie, I would run out of fingers inside of a minute. I can also think of Christians who would be offended by the schlock, but many of them would be those who know more about how a movie ought to be made than about how a woman ought to be treated. And they would rather watch a movie about a woman being abused so long as the movie was made right than to have the woman treated right in a movie that offended their refined sensibilities. So which is the altar and which is the sacrifice?
Read the whole thing.
(HT: JT)

Looking Back

From Shaun Groves:
On your first day on the other side of the grave, do you think you’ll look back on this life and be flooded with gratitude for hours spent watching episodes of American Idol and Lost? Do you think you’ll look back fondly on the effort and money spent remodeling the kitchen? Do you think you’ll be glad you were up-to-date on the juicy details of celebrity lives? Will you be thankful for the hours, days, weeks, years you lived feeling victimized and sorry for yourself? Will you regret not spending more time at the office? Will you wish you had been more of a people pleaser? Will you miss your caffeine, porn or Facebook?

Me neither.
(HT: Vitamin Z)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day of Atonement

In our Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) this morning, we talked about the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 16), and how it points to what Jesus Christ did / how He fulfilled/perfected it. I had heard most of this before, but one thing really struck me this morning - in reference to the scapegoat (or "Azazel"), the goat on which the sins of the people are confessed/transferred. I had never before thought of how when I confess my sins, I'm not only confessing them to Jesus, but confessing them onto Him. Even writing this now, it seems so obvious - of course Jesus bore my sins on the cross (see 1 Peter 2:24). But I had never so clearly seen the connection with the scapegoat of the Day of Atonement. I am humbled and awed by being reminded that Jesus became our great high priest and our sacrifice of atonement.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Greatest Need

“If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.”

- D.A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation

(HT: Of First Importance)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Never Let The Gospel Get Smaller

From John Piper at the Desiring God Blog:
Here is a simple exhortation that I have been trying to implement in our family:

Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.

Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.

The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,

  • grace gets bigger;
  • Christ gets greater;
  • his death gets more wonderful;
  • his resurrection gets more astonishing;
  • the work of the Spirit gets mightier;
  • the power of the gospel gets more pervasive;
  • its global extent gets wider;
  • your own sin gets uglier;
  • the devil gets more evil;
  • the gospel's roots in eternity go deeper;
  • its connections with everything in the Bible and in the world get stronger;
  • and the magnitude of its celebration in eternity gets louder.

So keep this in mind: Never let the gospel get smaller in your heart.

Pray that it won’t. Read solid books on it. Sing about it. Tell someone about it who is ignorant or unsure about it.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel.... For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Adoption Tax Credit

From Vitamin Z:
Help make the federal adoption tax credit permanent. Click here to find out how. This is very important if you are serious about adoption.

One Shining Moment

I just can't let an NCAA Tournament start without posting a One Shining Moment video. Here's the original, from 1987:

Go Heels!

From an Associated Press story at

North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Connecticut share a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament. Their graduation rates have less in common.

The numbers ranged from 86 percent at North Carolina to 33 percent at UConn, according to a report released Monday by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

Louisville was at 42 percent and Pitt at 69 percent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Myths About Embryonic Stem Cell Research

From Justin Taylor:
Yuval Levin--author most recently of Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy--shows four basic myths that the public and the media believe about embryonic stem cell research and policy:
  1. Obama has restored federal policy to what it was prior to Bush’s 2001 stem cell policy announcement.
  2. The Bush policy was a ban on embryonic stem cell research.
  3. There are no viable scientific alternatives to the destruction of human embryos.
  4. The promise of pluripotent stem cells is quite certain.
Read the whole thing.

See also:
I haven't taken the time to read any of the linked articles yet, but based on prior experience, I'd recommend Robert P. George and Wesley J. Smith.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


From's A La Carte:
If Galatians was Published in Christianity Today
The Sacred Sandwich imagines what would happen if Paul’s letter was to be written and published today.

Visualizing $1 Trillion

This is pretty cool: Someone used Google Sketchup to create this.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Memorize Scripture From Your iPod

Crossway Bibles, who publishes the ESV Bible, offers the ability to listen to scripture online - at the ESV website or at the ESV Study Bible website (which is offering a free preview during the month of March, and is included with the purchase of an ESV Study Bible). B.C. McWhite shares the following steps for downloading the readings of selected passages to take with you on your iPod or other mp3 player, or to burn them to CD:

1. Open another browser tab so that you can refer back to these instructions as you do what I tell you to do.

2. Go to the ESV Online site.

3. In the top right corner, click on the “Options” tab.

4. Under “Audio Options,” click in one of the buttons for MP3 (I use David Cochran Heath because he has the most “normal” sounding voice).

5. At the bottom left of the page, click the “Save” button (that should open a page that says, “Your preferences have been saved” at the top).

6. Type the passage you want (e.g. Ephesians 4:29 or Matthew 6:25-34) into the search bar and click “search.”

7. When the passage comes up, you should see a link that says “Listen” next to the passage reference. Control-click (silly PC users right-click) on the “Listen” tab. A menu box should come up. Click on “Save Link As…”

8. When the box pops up, you will have to add an extension name on the end of the title if it doesn’t have one. So, for example, if the title of your selection is “49004029″ then you need to add .mp3 on the end, so that it reads “49004029.mp3″. Save the file to your Desktop.

9. Find the file on your desktop and open it with iTunes or Windows Media Player, or whatever you use. You can then load it onto your iPod, MP3 player, or burn it onto a CD for your car.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Adopted is Not an Adjective

From LifeTogether:

Russ Moore spoke last week at our church on the topic, “Why We Want to be Foster Children”:

In Scripture there is no such thing as an adopted child. Adopted is a past tense verb, it is not an adjective. Those who have been brought into the household and family of God are really and truly part of the household of God sharing with their brothers and sisters everything that it means to be in Christ.

10 Ways to Pastor Adoptive Parents

By Jason Kovacs, Director of Ministry Development at the ABBA Fund, posted at the Desiring God blog:
There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a biblically based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church’s list.

1. Develop your own heart for the fatherless.
2. Do a biblical study on God’s perspective on orphans.
3. Educate yourself on basic facts about adoption and orphan care.
4. Ask questions.
5. Remind them that they desire a good and God-magnifying thing.
6. Keep on encouraging them.
7. Provide financial counsel and help.
8. Cry with them and celebrate with them.
9. Celebrate adoptions publicly in services.
10. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.
Read the whole post for further explanation of each point.

Parenting Reality Check

“The story of child rearing is almost wholly about imitation. We do good or ill, and the young ones follow in lock step, no matter how much we talk and point elsewhere. They are designed that way.…

This inescapable imitation should be listed as a means of growing in grace. Parents often jest about their children being ‘means of sanctification,’ suggesting that child rearing is often a trial. But the situation is much more serious than a passing trial. Given the way children have to imitate parents (or whoever fills that role), one cannot just coast passively, selfishly, like we often do through tough times. Our tiniest daily responses in front of the kids constantly mold and chip away at their persons. Children are a means of sanctification because they are daily adopting their parents’ characters, virtues and vices and all. This is a blessing when we are faithful, but it’s a frightening mirror when we see our own sins growing in them. With kids around, we can’t just move slowly on our own growth. We have to grow in grace for the sake of the kids. If we don’t, then we can become a curse to them and their children.”

- Doug Wilson, Angels in the Architecture, 121–122

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Madness Is Near's Pat Forde understands why the NCAA basketball tournament should not be expanded:

The Tournament Starts Now

Tuesday night, the fun begins. At 7 p.m. ET, the quarterfinals commence in the Big South Conference and the Horizon League tournaments. At 7:30, the Ohio Valley Conference follows suit.

As of that moment, The Minutes counts 308 Division I teams harboring hopes of an NCAA tournament berth. A handful still will be competing to squeeze into the 299 conference tournament slots, since some leagues don't have an all-comers tourney. (Boo to them. And hooray to the Big East for getting it right this year.) A few more teams will be tussling for the Ivy League title.

So for everyone who starts whining at this time of year that college basketball ought to expand its tournament from 65 to 68 or 96 or 1.6 million teams, The Minutes has a simple and succinct answer:

You're already in. You just don't realize it.

Just about everyone has a chance to use the Little Dance as a vehicle for reaching the Big Dance. You have the opportunity to win your way in through your league tourney.