Graduation special from Desiring God

The fine folks at Desiring God are offering significant discounts on some great material.


The Essential Piper Trilogy: Desiring God, Future Grace

and The Pleasures of God

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DESIRING GOD:The message of Desiring God is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. In this book, Piper calls this worldview “Christian Hedonism” and explains why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

FUTURE GRACE: What is future grace? It is all that God promises to be for us from this second on. Saving faith means being confident and satisfied in this ever- arriving future grace. This is why saving faith is also sanctifying faith. The power of sin’s promise is broken by the power of a superior satisfaction; namely, faith in future grace. Gratitude for past grace was never meant to empower future obedience. Tomorrow’s crisis demands tomorrow’s grace. And faith that future grace will be there is the victory that overcomes the world. Future Grace contains 31 chapters – one for each day of the month – including practical chapters on how faith in future grace defeats anxiety, pride, shame, lust, despondency and more.

THE PLEASURES OF GOD: One way to see the glory of God is to meditate upon the object of his delight. In this reissued version with a new cover design, John Piper unfolds for us a vision of God through the lens of his happiness. What most delights the happiest Being in the universe? God’s gladness in being God. If God’s excellencies can be admired in his pleasures, and if we tend to become like what we admire and enjoy, then focusing on these pleasures can help us to be gradually conformed to his likeness. In other words, we will be most satisfied in God when we know why God is most satisfied in God.

Don’t Waste Your Life Book and DVD Set

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DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE STUDY EDITION: In this book John Piper describes his journey toward one great, single passion—endless joy in the crucified Christ—and challenges the reader to the same pursuit. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost.

DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE 3-DVD SET: In this 3-DVD set, John Piper challenges viewers to wake up from the American dream to the soul-saving reality that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

* Disc 1: Book Study Edition DVD with ten 15-minute teaching sessions. These lessons are designed for smaller groups and work in tandem with the Don’t Waste Your Life group study materials (book, study guide).

* Discs 2-3: Conference Edition DVDs with four new, hour-long messages. These messages enable you to conduct your own Don’t Waste Your Life event or class.

The Complete Romans Series

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After 18 years of preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper felt the time had come to preach through Paul’s letter to the Romans. “The glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4), seems more glorious to me now than it ever has. And there is no greater exposition of the Gospel of God than the book of Romans… I have a deep confidence that the best way to be lastingly relevant is to stand on rock-solid, durable old truths, than jumping from one pragmatic bandwagon to another. Romans is as solid and durable and reliable and unshakable as truth can get.” Come and worship through the Book of Romans with us!

Note on the format: MP3 DVDs can be played in computers with DVD drives and some DVD players. For best results put this DVD in the computer’s DVD drive and copy the MP3 files to your computer’s media player. They will not play in standard CD players.

As it says at the Desiring God site, there is always more to learn, always more to be excited about and more to love God for. As young men and women go off to school next fall, these resources can help them grow even more. Go here to see more information.


In this book John Piper describes his journey toward one great, single passion—endless joy in the crucified Christ—and challenges the reader to the same pursuit. The cost is great. But the joy is worth any cost.

The Kindle DX is here. Can it save newspapers?

kindledxAmazon today announced the new 9.7-inch Kindle DX, along with deals from textbook and newspaper publishers. The new e-reader is priced at $489 and will be shipped this summer.

What’s the big deal? According to MacRumors:

The Kindle DX, now available for pre-order at a price of $489 for shipment this summer, contains a 9.7″ screen and is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.
The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.
The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.

The Kindle DX is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.

The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.

The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.

This is what compassionate liberalism looks like

From an earlier post, we talked about how the White House — the Obama White House — stayed silent to help kill a D.C. program that helped poor kids — 90 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic — go to decent schools. Just recently the president talked about cutting wasteful programs. George Will talks about how that happens:

The president has set an example for his Cabinet. He has ladled a trillion or so dollars (“or so” is today’s shorthand for “give or take a few hundreds of billions”) hither and yon, but while ladling he has, or thinks he has, saved about $15 million by killing, or trying to kill, a tiny program that this year is enabling about 1,715 D.C. children (90 percent black, 9 percent Hispanic) to escape from the District’s failing public schools and enroll in private schools.

The District’s mayor and school superintendent support the program. But the president has vowed to kill programs that “don’t work.” He has looked high and low and — lo and behold — has found one. By uncanny coincidence, it is detested by the teachers unions that gave approximately four times $15 million to Democratic candidates and liberal causes last year.

Not content with seeing the program set to die after the 2009-10 school year, Education Secretary Arne Duncan (former head of Chicago’s school system, which never enrolled an Obama child) gratuitously dashed even the limited hopes of another 200 children and their parents. Duncan, who has sensibly chosen to live with his wife and two children in Virginia rather than in the District, rescinded the scholarships already awarded to those children for the final year of the program, beginning in September. He was, you understand, thinking only of the children and their parents: He would spare them the turmoil of being forced by, well, Duncan and other Democrats to return to terrible public schools after a tantalizing one-year taste of something better. Call that compassionate liberalism.

After Congress debated the program, the Education Department released — on a Friday afternoon, a news cemetery — a congressionally mandated study showing that, measured by student improvement and parental satisfaction, the District’s program works. The department could not suppress the Heritage Foundation’s report that 38 percent of members of Congress sent or are sending their children to private schools.

The Senate voted 58 to 39 to kill the program. Heritage reports that if the senators who have exercised their ability to choose private schools had voted to continue the program that allows less-privileged parents to make that choice for their children, the program would have been preserved.

And you thought Republicans were the mean, uncaring people.

Free teaching by Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology

For the past five years, Dr. Wayne Grudem has been teaching through his comprehensive Systematic Theology in the Christian Essentials class at Scottsdale Bible Church. You can join in on the class as they offer the teaching online for free, including class outlines.

If you are unfamiliar with Systematic Theology, this is the description from the publisher:

The Christian church has a long tradition of systematic theology, that is, studying theology and doctrine organized around fairly standard categories such as the Word of God, redemption, and Jesus Christ. This introduction to systematic theology has several distinctive features:
– A strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine and teaching
– Clear writing, with technical terms kept to a minimum
– A contemporary approach, treating subjects of special interest to the church today
– A friendly tone, appealing to the emotions and the spirit as well as the intellect
– Frequent application to life – Resources for worship with each chapter
– Bibliographies with each chapter that cross-reference subjects to a wide range of other systematic theologies.

This is an incredible opportunity to not only go through a great book, but have the author take you on the journey. For example, earlier this month Dr. Grudem taught “The Final Judgment and Eternal Punishment — Who will be judged? What is hell?” Buy the book and take the class. You won’t regret it.

HT: Justin Taylor

The wisdom of John Wooden

Born in 1910, John Wooden is the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and coach. ESPN ranks him as the greatest coach of all time, across all sports, as he won 10 NCAA men’s basketball titles — including seven straight — and had winning streaks of 47 and 80 games. In his 40 years at UCLA, he mentored legends such as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His career has been illustrious to say the least, and he has created a model, the Pyramid of Success, and authored several books to impart his insight on achievement to others.

Wooden wanted his players to be victors in life and not just on the court, so he treated them as an extended family and emphasized that winning was more than scoring. Indeed, most of his inspiring theories were born from conversations with his father, as a boy on their farm in Indiana. One that sums up his ideology quite well is his often quoted definition of success: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

There is much to be gained from the wisdom of a 98-year-old man. Below is video of a talk Wooden gave in 2001. It would also be worth your while to check out his Web site and some of the wisdom contained there.

 

Kids come last: What’s best for our unions

Because young black children — whether they are born or not — don’t vote or give big money to candidates or parties, it is perhaps not surprising that President Obama and the Democrats have blocked what was a successful school voucher program in Washington, D.C. Instead they sided with teachers unions that have historically opposed school voucher programs and, more importantly, been big backers of Democrat candidates.

According to Deroy Murdock, in a National Review Online article:

These 1,714 children — 90 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic — enjoy the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. They each receive up to $7,500 for private or parochial schools outside Washington, D.C.’s dismal government-education system. This is especially valuable given that a 2007 federal report discovered that the “average household at the time of application had almost three children supported by an annual income of $17,356.” Since its 2004 launch, 7,852 students have applied for these grants, or more than four children per voucher.

This program’s popularity notwithstanding, Obama stayed silent as Congress scheduled this initiative’s demise after the 2009–2010 academic year. Both a Democratic Congress and D.C. authorities must reauthorize the program — not likely.

Now it emerges that Obama’s Department of Education (DOE) possessed peer-reviewed, congressionally mandated, federally financed research proving this program’s success. Though it demonstrates “what works for the kids,” DOE hid this study until Congress squelched these children’s dreams.

From a Wall Street Journal editorial, we see how that happened:

It’s bad enough that Democrats are killing a program that parents love and is closing the achievement gap between poor minorities and whites. But as scandalous is that the Education Department almost certainly knew the results of this evaluation for months.

Voucher recipients were tested last spring. The scores were analyzed in the late summer and early fall, and in November preliminary results were presented to a team of advisers who work with the Education Department to produce the annual evaluation. Since Education officials are intimately involved in this process, they had to know what was in this evaluation even as Democrats passed (and Mr. Obama signed) language that ends the program after next year.

So, when candidate Obama said as he did last year that he would “not allow my predisposition to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn . . . You do what works for the kids,” he apparently meant “as long as it doesn’t go against what the teachers unions want.” Apparently change only goes so far.

The children in the video below, hopeful for a chance to be heard, have instead had their voices ignored who would rather keep the status quo rather than promote change for the better.

Voices of School Choice