Morning Mashup 09/30


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A Quick and Easy Guide to the Planned Parenthood Videos – Shameful silence from the mainstream media. Mollie Hemingway helps them do their jobs.

I Don’t Want Your Good Vibes. I Want Prayer. – Megan Hill: “There’s no substitute for our communion with the Father.”

Speak for the Unborn Leader Pleads for Life – Great look at the work of Andrew King and Speak for the Unborn.

Every Living Thing Matters – “The Every Living Thing Campaign invites Christians to celebrate the wonder and beauty of God’s creation and commit to compassionate living by signing the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.”

Lies, Carly Fiorina and Abortion – Ross Douthat: “There has been an impressive amount of angry liberal commentary, which has spilled over into the mainstream press coverage (or do I repeat myself?) of the issue, about how in the last Republican presidential debate Carly Fiorina allegedly cited an entirely imaginary video in order to make a crazy claim about Planned Parenthood’s brain-harvesting ghoulishness that’s totally unsupported by the facts.”

Pope Francis Met Privately with Kim Davis – “The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.”

Chipotle Church and the Problem of Choice – Brett McCracken: “Imagine if God were as fickle and restless as we are. But he isn’t. God’s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is messy and embarrassing, should be instructive to us. A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage: it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and non-consumerist covenant.”

When You Get Home…? – Consider asking your spouse what they want in those first few minutes you get home from work.

4 Tips for Using a Study Bible Well – Helpful article from Justin Taylor. If you use a study Bible, be sure to check it out.

If a preacher isn’t first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the pulpit steps and breaks his neck than preach that sermon. –John Calvin

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Morning Mashup 09/28


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Injury Interrupted My Idolatry – From time to time, Desiring God will feature an article written by a professional athlete. They are always profound for me. This piece from NBA player Landry Fields is no different. Fantastic perspective.

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church – Great post from Ruth Ripken on how to get your kids thinking and praying about persecuted believers.

Sex Belongs to Believers – John Piper: “The pleasures of sex are meant for believers. They are designed for their greatest expression by the children of God. He saves his richest gifts for his children. And as we enjoy his gift of sex, we say, by our covenant faithfulness to our spouse, that God is greater than sex.”

Springtime for Liberal Christianity – Typical excellent cultural and religious analysis from Ross Douthat.

The Cosby Conversation We’re Still Not Having – Thabiti Anyabwile: “What we are not discussing is how to prevent the many Cosbys in our homes, families, friendship networks, schools and churches from preying upon our daughters, sisters, and mothers.”

Don’t Hide Behind “The Gospel” – Barnabas Piper: “Only when we can make the connection between the gospel and the centuries of racial inequality in the United States, the lasting impact on our government and social structures, and the insidious and subtle effects on our own minds and hearts is it a solution.”

The Eight Kinds of Commenters in the Christian Blogosphere – Excellent analysis of commenters on Christian blogs. I’ve experienced each of these. My favorite is the “heresy hunter.” They are so pleasant.

Why I Am a Complementarian – “It seems to me that on a very base level the problem of the feminist movement and the patriarchy movement, and indeed sin itself, is principally a lack of trust. We have, from the very beginning, been attempting to wrench what was not given in the search of what was labeled off limits.”

Why Students Hate School Lunches – Just one of many stellar pieces in the Sunday Review section of the NY Times this week. I love this line: “Consider that in France, where the childhood obesity rate is the lowest in the Western world, a typical four-course school lunch (cucumber salad with vinaigrette, salmon lasagna with spinach, fondue with baguette for dipping and fruit compote for dessert) would probably not pass muster under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, because of the refined grains, fat, salt and calories. Nor would the weekly piece of dark chocolate cake.”

Papelbon, Harper Fight Highlights Nationals’ Deep Problems – The dugout fight between Nationals teammates Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper has sparked much debate in the sports world. Personally, I agree with Papelbon’s principle, but not with his methods. Harper may be a NL MVP frontrunner, but he has a lot to learn.

The Art of Conversation – Tips for how men should engage in conversation.

42 Things We Learned from Week 3 – It usually takes a few weeks to gauge how the NFL season will go. Here is what we know after three weeks.

Spieth’s Stellar PGA Season – Young Jordan Spieth’s spectacular season broken down. I don’t think he’s the next Tiger, but the dude can play.

For us to be in love with ourselves is idolatry. For God not to be in love with himself is idolatry. –Zane Pratt

Morning Mashup 09/25


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A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Hajj Stampede Near Mecca Leaves Over 700 Dead – Horrible tragedy. Praying for the families of those affected.

9 Marks of a Generous Giver – Comprehensive and concise article on the Christian and giving. “The first three marks involve where your giving goes; the next three tease out heart motives in your giving; and the final three explore dynamics between your giving and Caesar (as well as non-profits you support).”

Why Don’t Protestants Have a Pope? – With Pope Francis in the States, Kevin DeYoung answers an important question with some help from Herman Bavinck.

How to Read the Bible and Do Theology Well – Don Carson: “Although we cannot know anything with the perfection of God’s knowledge (his knowledge is absolutely exhaustive!), yet because God has disclosed things, we can know those things truly.”

Pastoring Rappers – Richard Clark interviews the artists of Humble Beast.

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books – Albert Mohler shares his reading habits and strategies while offering some suggestions on how to make the most of books.

Speaker Boehner to Resign at End of October – Reaction from Republican leaders varies, but there is a clear commitment to preventing a government shut down.

15 Key Quotes from Pope Francis’ Address to the United Nations – “In the lengthy address Pope Francis covers a wide range of topics, from the rule of law to nuclear weapons to the drug trade. Here are 15 key quotes from the speech.”

God’s unconditional love poured out in our heart is the unique force impelling us to love him and others. –G.K. Beale

Morning Mashup 09/23


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A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Should We Elect a Muslim President? – Great stuff from Baptist historian Thomas Kidd. He writes, “real religious liberty requires that law-abiding adherents of all faiths have equal access, in principle, to the benefits and offices of the republic, including the presidency.”

Guard Your Hearts at All Costs in the War with Porn – Brian Renshaw offers four helpful safeguards against pornography.

7 Tips for College Students – John Piper offers seven bits of advice for college students. I especially echo #4.

A Brief History of Complementarian Literature – Owen Strachan offers a comprehensive list of books on complementarianism that should be on every pastor’s shelf.

It’s Time to Increase Our Giving to the Cooperative Program – SBC president, Ronnie Floyd, calls SBC churches to give more to the Cooperative Program.

Yogi Berra Dies at 90 – One of the greatest Yankees and catchers to ever play the game died last night at age 90. Both on and off the field, he was one of the most gifted and interesting people the sport has ever seen.

Is Pro-Life Winning? – Russell Moore: “The cause of the unborn will triumph, ultimately, not because pro-life politicians are alive but because Jesus of Nazareth is.”

10 Surprising Facts About LEGO – Everything is Awesome!!

You ascended from before our eyes and we turned back grieving, only to find you in our hearts. –Augustine

Morning Mashup 09/21


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A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


Evangelicals Won’t Cave – Lengthy, but good. Russell Moore: “I don’t think American Evangelicals will fold on our sexual ethic…If so, the vibrant Evangelical witness God has called together in Nigeria or Argentina or South Korea or China will be alive and well and ready to send missionaries to preach the whole Gospel. Whether from America or not, a voice will stand, crying in the wilderness”

Dissertation on John Piper’s Life – Justin Taylor’s dissertation on John Piper and Christian Hedonism is available through SBTS. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through parts of this piece. Well done, Dr. Taylor.

Carly Fiorina Surges in Recent Polls – A recent CNN poll shows Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina rising to second in the polls behind Trump.

Why Most Sermons Fail in the First Five Minutes – A helpful look at a common problem as well as solutions for fixing it.

The State of Great Britain – “If Britain were to join the United States, it would be the second-poorest state, behind Alabama and ahead of Mississippi.”

Why C.S. Lewis Told Carl Henry “No” – Excellent brief look at Lewis’ shift from writing gospel explanations and doctrinal defenses to fiction.

4 Fake Grammar Rules – This post will relieve many writers like me.

Treat sin as it will treat you; spare it not for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the world; treat it therefore as a murderer should be treated. Kill it before it kills you. –Richard Baxter

Morning (Afternoon?) Mashup


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Okay, so maybe I didn’t get Morning Mashup quite finished last night. “Bad blogger!” I know. I got to chill with my five month old son Jude for a little longer than usual this morning, so if that means y’all have to get your Morning Mashup at 1:00, then so be it. Of course, my West Coast friends will be quite pleased to receive their email notification at 10:00 instead of 6:30. You’re welcome, guys! Well, anyway, here is your late Friday edition of Morning Mashup–a mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


The New York Times turns 164 – The New York Times was first published on this date in 1851. The Times has celebrated by sharing a digital version of that original and groundbreaking paper. I’m thankful for this publication even when (most often) vehemently disagree with it.

Arabic Baptist Church Fights Confusion, Grasps Evangelism – “White or Arab, English-speakers or not, members of the congregation have the same mission: Evangelizing Middle Tennessee’s Muslims in a language many of them understand.”

Fiorina Was Right – It truly hurts my heart to see so many on the Left willing to fight so hard to see innocent and helpless babies butchered. Technicalities aside, the images Fiorina described Wednesday night are real. How much have the consciences of those on the Left been seared?

Have Evangelicals Who Support Trump Lost Their Values? – Russell Moore’s NY Times op-ed is fantastic. And there is a wonderful reference to The Office where Moore compares Trump to Dwight Schrute. But did Dwight really deserve that?

Six Traits to Look for in a Spouse – “Dream and pray and seek counsel about the characteristics you should be looking for in a potential spouse, and then resolve not to settle for less.”

4 Truths About Hell – “So, what should we think of hell? Is the idea of it really responsible for all the cruelty and torture in the world? Is the doctrine of hell incompatible with the way of Jesus Christ?”

5 Ways to Minister to Women in Crisis – “The bad news is that we’re inadequate. The good news, though, is that Christ is more than adequate to deal with any traumatic situation. It is to him we must point our struggling sister.”

Book Recommendations – If you ever wondered what was on the bookshelves of The Gospel Coalition board and staff, wonder no longer. This resource is awesome.

It is better for us to confess our ignorance than express an unwarranted confidence. –John Stott

Morning Mashup 09/16


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A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


A Call for Hope in the Age of Mass Incarceration – Thabiti Anyabwile observes and exposes the reality that most opponents of mass incarceration offer little hope by simply stating the problem. He writes, “Black families affected by mass incarceration need hope that’s stronger than the vicissitudes of this life, built on better promises than social policy can offer. Inner-city communities need hope that places its members’ happiness beyond the reach of their enemies. Vulnerable families need hope stronger than the death that’s so frequently dealt out in its homes and hamlets.”

Dear Mama of Littles – A beautiful article for my wife and all other “Mamas of littles.”

Technology and the Truth about the Viability of the Unborn – Dan Darling: “Either technology will force us to face the truth about abortion, or it will force us to admit we know what we are doing: taking innocent human life.”

The Art of Conferencing – As a children’s pastor, I highly recommend this historically proven method of discipleship in the home.

Why We Must Recover the Master of Divinity Degree – Jason Allen of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary ushers a resounding call for the recovery of a robust and thorough Master of Divinity Degree. His closing spoke to me: “The call to the ministry is indeed the most glorious calling known to man. All whom God has called must be optimally prepared to serve him. Don’t settle for the quickest or easiest degree; aim for being maximally prepared for a lifetime of faithful ministry. Completing the Master of Divinity degree does not ensure a faithful ministry, but it does best position one for it. If at all possible, don’t settle for anything less.”

20 Funny and Strange Things Church Members Say – Pastors and staff were informally polled on Twitter by Thom Rainer to come up with this list. Surely you’ve never said any of these things, right?

Is Suicide and Unforgivable Sin that Will Send You to Hell? – An interesting approach to a sensitive question.

Co-Founder of Subway Restaurant Chain Dies at 67 – Within this NY Times piece is an interesting story about the beginnings of Subway.

Why Can’t Novak Djokovic Get Some Respect? – The title is a bit misleading. Djokovic has tons of respect, but he’s definitely not the darling of men’s tennis quite yet. Our love affair with Federer still rages on. This is odd and unfortunate because Djokovic is insanely talented, a ten-fold Grand Slam champion, and a seemingly likable dude.

Jesus is the first and last person in history to be told that obedience would bring a curse. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 09/14


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Don’t Let the Media Control Your Experience of Election 2016 – Trevin Wax: “When Christians fall captive to clickbait and jump from candidate to candidate depending on the polls, we abandon our responsibility as thoughtful and convictional people.”

5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship – Tim Challies: “Dating has become the most difficult thing in the world, probably because they’ve got a million books and web pages telling them how. They can’t just do it—they’ve got to do it by the book. And along the way they are ruining their dating relationships.”

Greetings from Heaven – A very helpful infographic detailing the recent phenomena of near-death experiences.

5 Ways to Talk to Your Children about Death – As a children’s pastor, I’m always looking for helpful advice in speaking to children about difficult issues. This is great.

On the Viral Rise of Divorce Selfies – Tragic.

Planned Failure – Jim DeMint: “The fight to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood will be just that: a fight. And like all the struggles to return sanity and respect for human life and decency to our government, it will be a tough one.  But conservatives should fight to win, not plan to fail.”

Keeping the Spotlight on Planned Parenthood – Stephen Heaney: “Do not be distracted by misdirection. Do not let the horror of abortion be the main issue. Stick to the pertinent facts: Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal parts. Planned Parenthood is routinely violating federal law. Planned Parenthood does not care about women.”

A Calvinist Evangelist? – Keith Mathison: “The fact of the matter is that Calvinism is not inconsistent with evangelism; it is only inconsistent with certain evangelistic methods.”

Djokovic Clinches 2nd US Open Title – This was a great match for a couple sets. Federer lost momentum. A thing you just can’t lose against Djokovic.

NFL Scores (Week 1) – Scores from Week 1 NFL action.

Before the throne absolved we stand / Your love has met your law’s demands –Edith Margaret Clarkson

Morning Mashup 09/11


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30 Tips for New Seminary Students – As a new seminary student, I greatly appreciated this advice.

Our Addiction to Doubt – Excellent stuff from Barnabas Piper on a topic he knows and writes on well. “Doubt can lead us deeper into truth and can keep us humble, but it is no place to reside. Our addiction to it has put premium value on vagaries and feelings.”

The Problem with Republican Tax Plans – Rubio, Paul, and now Bush have communicated their proposed tax plans if elected president. While they each have merits worth considering, it will be the same old story for Democratic rebuttal.

Stephen Colbert Reading Flannery O’Connor – Sit with a friend and listen to Colbert read a short story written by Flannery O’Connor. This is fantastic.

10 Questions for Rule of Law Critics of Kim Davis – Joe Rigney joins the fray of varying voices from Christian thinkers and leaders on the Kim Davis-religious liberty issue.

Meet the ‘Dones’ – An interesting new demographic is on the rise. We have met the “Nones,” those who have rejected all religious affiliation. But now we have the “Dones,” those who have led in the church and now want no part of it.

This is the Best of Times and the Worst of Times – Classic Piper. This is just too good not to share.

The Powerful Effect of Pregnancy Resource Centers – Joe Carter shows us the positive stats pro-life Christians should be aware of: “One PRC network, Care Net, reports that in 2014 eighty percent of women (388,691) who visited their centers and who were at risk for abortion chose life.”

6 Reasons Church is Not Optional for Seminary Students – Hershael York with wise counsel for seminary students and their relationship to the local church.

Why Judicial Supremacy Isn’t Compatible with Constitutional Supremacy – “The courts can get the Constitution wrong; if they could not, there would be no point to justices’ trying to get it right by reasoning about the Constitution.”

9/11 Memorials and Tributes – Here is a list of all the events scheduled to mark and memorialize the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

God suffered to end evil without ending us –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 09/09


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Together for the Gospel Registration Opens – I’m so excited about T4G in 2016. The theme is titled, “We Are Protestant,” The emphasis is on the roots of the T4G movement, particularly the Reformers and their doctrines of the five solas.

God’s Word is Going Forth – It humbles me to see men and women rejoicing over receiving the Bible in their language. May we never take this luxury for granted.

When Sports Becomes Your God – David Prince: “Is your commitment to sports becoming a substitute god rather than a means of delighting in God? To help you decide whether or not you are corrupting God’s good gift of sports, I have offered several guidelines.”

I am a Christian, But I Don’t Follow Christ – Denny Burk comments on the I’m a Christian, But… video that has gone viral. He makes some important points.

Check out this great project where the Psalms are set to music:

Blessed Are the Risk-Takers – Modified excerpt from J.D. Gerri’s latest book. This is enough to send you to Amazon.

The Top Tennis Players in the World Started Here – Journey to see the childhood courts of the likes of Djokovic, Federer, the Williams sisters, and more.

The Greatest Wall – Short gospel reflection from Tim Challies.

Mailbag 15 – Jonathan Leeman answers some great questions relating to officiating weddings, church membership, church discipline over giving, elders, and more.

When God illumines us to receive the truth, it is like creation ex nihilo. –John Frame