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Would You Like to Take a New Testament Course With Me? | Tim Challies
“A little while ago I approached Logos to ask if they would be willing to open up a course in their Mobile Ed platform. They said they’d be glad to do so, and after weighing the various options, I selected one that I thought would be interesting, helpful, and appropriately challenging to any Christian. It usually costs $229.99, but they are giving us access for free!”

New poll finds fewer people keep the Sabbath than in the ’70s, but many people still value it | Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National
“Half of U.S. adults today (50 percent) say the Sabbath has personal spiritual meaning for them, down from 74 percent in 1978. However, 62 percent of people agree that it’s important for society to have one day a week set aside for spiritual rest, the survey reported – and only 11 percent disagree with that proposition.”

Mizzou Firings — Chronicle of a Campus Crisis | Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review
“…freshman enrollment is down 25 percent, leaving a $32 million funding gap and forcing the closure of four dorms. The month after the protests, donations to the athletic department were a mere $191,000 – down 72 percent over the same period a year earlier. Overall fundraising also took a big hit.”

“Great Disputes”: The Conditionality of the Covenant of Grace | Donald John Maclean, Meet the Puritans
“The conditionality of the covenant of grace is indeed an area of ‘great dispute.’ Pitfalls abound on every side. But Sedgwick is a faithful guide. His careful exploration of the conditionality of the covenant of grace is a fruitful model to follow, both in his precise definitions, and in his theological conclusions.”

The Bible says to Writers . . . | Mary Jackquelyn Moerbe, Meet, Write, and Salutary
“Writers can only write as the Lord allows them. If God did not open our lips, gift us mouths and our other means of expression, we would be mute, anguished, tormented. Yet God gives us more than mere physical means. He gives us content, depth, insight, reflection.”

Governed by Bad News or Good News? | Prince on Preaching
“These and many others tragic realities should drive us to our knees in prayer. But we must resist the temptation to be governed by the bad news around us.”

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace | Aaron Orendorff, Lifehacker
“Here are 10 professional rules for the digital workplace everyone should remember. Keep in mind though, the point of this list is to apply it to yourself. Nobody likes an etiquette cop, online or off.”

Confronting the Public Health Crisis of Pornography | Paul S. Loverde, First Things
“It is about time that we as a nation finally admit to ourselves that pornography is not some benign ‘entertainment’ that affects only those who use or produce it.”

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

The Fall of Japan by William Craig ($2.99)

The Lord’s Supper (New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology) by Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford ($0.99)

Six Simple Steps: Find Contentment and Joy as a Ministry Wife by Diana Davis ($2.99)

A History of Christianity: An Introductory Survey by Joseph Early ($2.99)


How Businesspeople Can Reach the World | John Rinehart, Desiring God

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Thoughts On The Rise And Fall Of Pastors | Scott Sauls
“In the past year, five of my friends who are pastors have lost their ministries because of moral failure.”

What Does It Mean for an Overseer to Be “Above Reproach” and “Well Thought of By Outsiders”? | Kevin DeYoung, TGC
“In short, the idea behind ‘above reproach’ and ‘well thought of’ is largely the same: the elder-pastor-overseer must live a life of Christlike character and virtue that is not easily refuted by those who know him best. The closer you look, the better the mature Christian appears.”

9 Research-Backed Ways to Spark Your Creativity | Michael Hyatt
“Creativity is essential to leadership and business. But we don’t always feel very creative. And I know some people doubt they’re creative at all. The good news is that all of us can easily become more creative. How?”

3 Ways College Students Can Do More Better Through Finals Week and Into the Summer | Tim Challies
“With a little effort, we can remove some of your heart’s vexation and some of your body’s pain so you actually can rejoice in your youth. You’ll give God greater glory, and you’ll do more good for others. Here are a few tips.”

What Cancer Cannot Kill | Rick Alcantar, The Blazing Center
“I’d just written a fourth name down from my small church. One of the names was a dad with two kids, another name was a young mom that had recently had another child. My heart hurt for each name on the list, for each family standing behind each name. Around that time an unexpected and uninvited thought began surfacing at different points throughout my day: “What if I get cancer?”"

My Toddler Survived Brain Cancer—Here’s What I Learned | Ellie Poole Ewoldt,
“As Christians living in community, how do we come alongside friends and loved ones with cancer? To answer that question, I want to share some advice and insight from our journey to help explain what it’s like for families going through it-and how the people around them can lend their support.”

Dissertations that are Needed Today | Ed Stetzer, The Exchange
“Today I want to suggest there are certain religious Ph.D. degrees that will benefit the church, denominations, and students.”

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada ($1.99)

War of the World Views by Ken Ham, David Menton, Bodie Hodge, Carl Kerby ($2.99)

Picture Perfect: When Life Doesn’t Line Up by Amy Baker ($1.99)

Seeing Christ in All of Scripture: Hermeneutics at Westminster Theological Seminary by Iain Duguid, Richard B. Gaffin, Gregory K. Beale, Vern Poythress, Peter Lillback ($2.99)


Challenges of Teaching the Bible to Other Women | TGC

New Library Books in the PRTS Library

One of the privileges of working at PRTS is the weekly arrival of new books to supplement our library of 70,000+ books. Here are some of the new selections this week.

April 26

Note: Inclusion in the library does not necessarily mean endorsement of contents. We often have to buy books to help students with specialist theses and also to train students to think critically. Also, a book new to the library does not necessarily mean a new book on the market.

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Insular Christianity: Alternative Models of the Church in Britain and Ireland, c.1570-c.1700 (Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain) edited by Robert Armstrong and Tadhg O’Hannrachain

“This collection of essays on the alternative establishments which both Presbyterians and Catholics attempted to create in Britain and Ireland offers a dynamic new perspective on the evolution of post-reformation religious communities. Deriving from the Insular Christianity project in Dublin, the book combines essays by some of the leading scholars in the field with work by brilliant and upcoming researchers.”

Kierkegaard: A Christian Missionary to Christians by Mark A. Tietjen

“Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) had a mission. The church had become weak, flabby and inconsequential. Being a Christian was more a cultural heritage than a spiritual reality. His mission―reintroduce the Christian faith to Christians. How could he break through to people who were members of the church and thought they were Christians already? Like an Old Testament prophet, Kierkegaard used a variety of pointed and dramatic ways to shake people from their slumber. He incisively diagnosed the spiritual ailments of his age and offered a fresh take on classic Christian teaching.”

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works by James K. A. Smith

“In the second of a three-volume theology of culture, a leading Reformed philosopher shows how worship works in shaping us through liturgical practices.”

Anglican Enlightenment: Orientalism, Religion and Politics in England and its Empire, 1648-1715 (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History) by William J. Bulman

“This is an original interpretation of the early European Enlightenment and the religious conflicts that rocked England and its empire under the later Stuarts. In a series of vignettes that move between Europe and North Africa, William J. Bulman shows that this period witnessed not a struggle for and against new ideas and greater freedoms, but a battle between several novel schemes for civil peace.”

John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat by Crawford Gribben

“Crawford Gribben’s biography documents Owen’s importance as a controversial and adaptable theologian deeply involved with his social, political and religious environments. Fiercely intellectual, and extraordinarily learned, Owen wrote millions of words in works of theology and exegesis. Far from personifying the Reformed tradition, however, Owen helped to undermine it, offering an individualist account of Christian faith that downplayed the significance of the church and means of grace. In doing so, Owen’s work contributed to the formation of the new religious movement known as evangelicalism, where his influence still can be seen today.”

Islamic Fascism by Hamed Abdel-Samad

“This polemic against Islamic extremism highlights the striking parallels between contemporary Islamism and the 20th-century fascism embodied by Hitler and Mussolini. Like those infamous ideologies, Islamism today touts imperialist dreams of world domination, belief in its inherent superiority, contempt for the rest of humanity, and often a murderous agenda. The author, born and raised in Egypt and now living in Germany, not only explains the historical connections between early 20th-century fascist movements in Europe and extremist factions in Islam, but he also traces the fascist tendencies in mainstream Islam that have existed throughout its history.”

Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send by J.D. Greear

“In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.”

Common Grace: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World, Volume 1 by Abraham Kuyper

“In Common Grace Abraham Kuyper presents a constructive public theology of cultural engagement rooted in the humanity Christians share with the rest of the world. He addresses a gap in the development of Reformed teaching on divine grace, and he articulates a Reformed understanding of God’s gifts that are common to all people after the fall into sin. This first volume contains Kuyper’s demonstration of common grace in its origin and operation.”

Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to “Holy Land” Theology by Gary M. Burge

“This accessible volume describes first-century Jewish and Christian beliefs about the land of Israel and offers a full survey of New Testament passages that directly address the question of land and faith. Respected New Testament scholar Gary M. Burge examines present-day tensions surrounding ‘territorial religion’ in the modern Middle East, helping contemporary Christians develop a Christian theology of the land and assess Bible-based claims in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.”

Reading the Word of God in the Presence of God: A Handbook for Biblical Interpretation by Vern S. Poythress

“Moving quickly from principle to practice, Vern Poythress helps us rethink how we interpret the Bible by showing us the implications of entering into God’s presence as we study. This handbook outlines distinct steps for practicing faithful biblical interpretation by focusing on our fellowship with the God who speaks to us through his Word.”

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The smug style in American liberalism | Emmet Rensin, Vox
“There is a smug style in American liberalism. It has been growing these past decades. It is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence – not really – but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them.”

7 Questions About Transgender People, Answered | The Federalist
“What social science research we have on transgender people and gender dysphoria is limited, but it does not support the agenda of trans activists.”

Themelios 41.1 | Brian Tabb, TGC
“The Gospel Coalition just released the April 2016 issue of Themelios, which has 208 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews. It is freely available in three formats: (1) PDF, (2) web version, and (3) Logos Bible Software. A print edition will be available for purchase in several weeks from Wipf and Stock.”

Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones? | John Piper, Desiring God
“My proposal in this article is that Christian churches be willing to help families financially with simple Christ-exalting funerals and burials, so that no Christian is drawn to cremation because it’s cheaper.”

My Answer to the Question ‘What Does Autism Feel Like?’ | Lori Sealy, The Mighty
“My hope is that this will help you understand a bit more about life with autism, and that as your understanding increases so will your heart for those who are hurting — no matter how they hurt.”

5 Writing Rules to Energize Your Prose | Justin Taylor, TGC

6 Free Resources for Teaching Gospel-Centered Counseling & Gospel Conversations | Bob Kelleman, RPM Ministries

New Book

Your Days Are Numbered: A Closer Look at How We Spend Our Time & the Eternity Before Us by John Perritt.

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Preaching the Old Testament edited by Scott M. Gibson ($1.99)

Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids by Jack Klumpenhower ($1.99)

I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives. by Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender ($0.99)

Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman edited by Margaret Truman ($2.99)


What You Should Know About Suicide in America | TGC

The Depressed Homemaker’s Greatest Need

Recently I was speaking at a conference on Sadness and Happiness in the Christian Life. As always happens at any conference where I speak about depression, I heard some heart-rending stories of suffering. Although these stories differ in many ways, I began to notice a common factor in the stories these Christian women were telling me, especially women who were home-makers. They were all lacking in verbal affirmation and encouragement from their husbands.

Their husbands were godly Christian men, faithful, hard-working, providing financially, helping out with the kids, taking on domestic and spiritual responsibilities, and so on. They were not abusive and had never said a hard word to their wives. BUT, they very rarely, if ever, said anything positive or affirming to them.

One Source of Affirmation
I talked with Shona about this and she said, “This is so important. Homemakers have only one source of affirmation — their husbands. Most young kids don’t usually notice what we do and praise us. There are no colleagues or customers to express appreciation and admiration. Our husbands are our only source of encouragement and commendation.”

As I thought more about it, and felt more and more guilty about it myself, I realized just how many possible sources of encouragement most  men and women have who work outside the home. For example, I have my congregation, my students, blog readers, counselees, conferees, etc. Hardly a week goes by without someone expressing gratitude for something I’ve done in my ministry. But a homemaker has only one possible source of gratitude — her husband.

Magic Homemaking
And yet how many times have I come home and, lo and behold, there’s a meal on the table. Well, so there should be. Shirts magically enter the wash basket and just appear in the wardrobe. Rugs vaccum themselves, trash cans empty themselves, dishes wash themselves, bills pay themselves, accounts get accounted, babies change their own diapers, and so on.

What, they don’t?

Of course not, and yet how often we husbands just take it all for granted. How would we feel if that happened to us at work — every single day? We work, work, work, and the response is silence, silence, silence. It would be pretty depressing wouldn’t it?

Or, when was the last time we expressed appreciation for how our wives looked, even after a day of being run ragged by children? When was the last time we noticed with gratitude the development of Christian graces and character in them?

We are their only source of affirmation.

Theological Affirmation
“But,” someone will say, “Surely they should get their encouragement from the Lord? Why can’t they just rejoice in their salvation? Do they not know that they are accepted in Christ, no matter what?”

Yes, we want to bring them theological truth. Yes we want to point them to Christ and their justification. Yes, ultimately God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

But they’re also human. They need words of affirmation and appreciation from us too. That’s not human weakness; that’s basic humanity. We expect it in the workplace; our wives are right to expect it at home.

I’m not saying this is the panacea for all female depression; but I do wonder how many home-makers might have avoided depression if their husbands had been more affirming and encouraging? How many wives might be praising God if their husbands had praised them a bit more? How many mothers might yet avoid the pit of depression if their husbands could lift them up with even one compliment a day?

So here’s the challenge, men, regardless of whether your wife is depressed or not; and especially if she is. Make a huge daily effort to find as many reasons as you can to praise her. Take nothing for granted. Take nothing for nothing, but affirm, compliment, praise, and encourage her in every possible way. It might work better than Prozac.

Check Out


The Jewish Intellectual Who Predicted America’s Social Collapse | Bruce Ashford, TGC
“The great American sociologist Philip Rieff (1922-2006) stands as one of the 20th century’s keenest intellectuals and cultural commentators. His work was stunning in its intellectual breadth and depth. Rieff did sociology on a grand scale-sociology as prophecy-diagnosing the ills of Western society and offering a prognosis and prescription for the future. Although he wasn’t a Christian, his work remains one of the greatest gifts-even if a complicated and challenging one-to Christians living today. ”

How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions | Christina Fox
“…But the Psalms do more than just mirror our own heartaches. They aren’t simply there to provide catharsis or help us know that we aren’t the only ones who have suffered.I n fact, there is much more that we can learn from the Psalms, especially the Psalms of Lament, those dark, sad, and emotion laden Psalms many of us turn to when life is hard and the future seems dark and bleak.”

5 Reasons You Need the Westminster Shorter Catechism | Andrew Conway, TGC
Five reasons why the Shorter Catechism is worth engaging.

A Note to Ph.D. Students: Here’s What We Are Really Looking for in a Job Interview | Michael J. Kruger, Canon Fodder
We’ve just gone through this hiring process for our new PhD program at PRTS. This is great advice.

Responding to the Moral Whiplash | Erik Raymond, TGC
“As Christians we wake up, read the news, and yet again get whiplash. ‘What in the world is going on?’ And more importantly, ‘What do I do?’”

Feeding on Christ The Least Attended Church Gathering | Nicholas Batzig, Feeding on Christ
Four reasons why the prayer meeting is so neglected.

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves by Adam Levin ($1.99)

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise ($0.99). I loved this book.

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch ($2.99)

The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians by Sam Storms ($2.99)

The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives by Ravi Zacharias ($0.99)

Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentaries from Zondervan (whole series on sale, $4.99 each)


4 Ways to Help your Teenagers Discover Their Identity In a Confused World | Tim Challies