…Ebola has been recognized as a disease only since the first outbreak was identified 40 years ago. One third of the total fatalities caused by Ebola have occurred in the most recent outbreak—and the toll is rising. Health authorities in Nigeria have said that five other Nigerian health workers, who also had treated AIDS patients, have been diagnosed with the disease. One American, Patrick Sawyer, a financial expert of Liberian descent, died on July 25 arriving in Lagos on a flight from Liberia. Meanwhile, according to USA Today, a Saudi man being tested for the disease has died in Jeddah. If indeed it turns out that he died of the disease, it will be the first fatality outside West Africa during the latest outbreak. Every medical authority on the planet is on the alert.
And yet from a Christian concern we cannot leave the issue of the Ebola outbreak without turning to another kind of atrocity. In this case the atrocity was an opinion piece published just yesterday by conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Kindle deals for Christian readers (updated!)
There have been some pretty phenomenal Kindle deals this week. Be sure to take advantage of these while they last!
Amazon’s Big Deal sale is back and includes some pretty fantastic books:
- The Promises of God by RC Sproul—99¢
- Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell—$1.99
- Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung—$1.99
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- When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper—$1.99
- Bloodlines by John Piper—$1.99
- What Is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert—$1.99
- The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken—$2.99
- Transformational Disciplineship by Geiger, Kelley and Nation—$1.99
Be sure to check out the complete list of deals here.
Also on sale:
- The Christian Encounters series: Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Winston Churchill,
and Sergeant York—99¢ each
- Surprised by Suffering by R.C. Sproul—FREE
- What is the Lord’s Supper? by R.C. Sproul—FREE
- What is The Church? by R.C. Sproul—FREE
- How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? by R.C. Sproul—FREE
- Evangelism: A Concise History by John Mark Terry—99¢
- Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue by Andreas Köstenberger—99¢
- King Solomon by Philip G. Ryken—99¢
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The impetus behind the use of the words “chemical imbalance” is good. After all, confining mental illness solely to the untouchable realm of feelings and thoughts is not only ignorant of biology, but also of orthodox anthropology. Furthermore, such a harsh dichotomy happens to be extraordinarily ineffective in the lives of most sufferers of mental illness. You may or may not have heard of an excellent book that sought to make clear the theological importance of our physical bodies; affirming that deficiencies or excesses of certain chemicals in our brains play a role in mental illness is an important step in the process of rightly treating our bodies as part of the created order. In turn, the judicious use of other chemicals to rein in the torment and harm caused by mental illness is as much a part of using our God-given power to exercise dominion over the earth as is carefully using pesticides on our crops so that more people can eat.
However, saying “you’ve got a chemical imbalance” does not go far enough and, paradoxically, can often take us too far in the wrong direction.
Today you can get Living for God’s Glory by Joel Beeke (ePub for only $5 in today’s $5 Friday sale at Ligonier.org. Other items on sale:
- Think Like a Christian teaching series by R.C. Sproul (audio download)
- Standing Firm: 2012 West Coast Conference messages (audio and video download)
- The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven Lawson (hardcover)
$5 Friday ends tonight at 11:59:59 PM Eastern.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey:
For years, those who were gay or struggled with homosexuality felt like they had few good options: leave their faith, ignore their sexuality or try to change. But as groups like Exodus have become increasingly unpopular, Rodgers is among those who embrace a different model: celibate gay Christians, who seek to be true to both their sexuality and their faith.
It’s interesting that in the account of Luke 9:51-56, James and John have not actually said or done anything to hurt someone. It is what they say to Jesus that reveals what spirit was in them. As the old saying goes, “the matter of the heart is the heart of the matter;” or, as the Proverbs remind us, “Above all things keep the heart, for out of it flows the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
There are so many applications of this principle that even the world itself is not big enough to contain all the volumes that would have to be written. Here are a few basic categories of application that I believe will help all believers.
What makes God so happy? Three times we are told that our God is “blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 2 Cor. 11:31). But what makes Him so happy? Well, I’m sure there are many contributing factors. For example, being perfectly holy must be a great source of happiness. The absence of uncertainty, through knowing the end from the beginning, must also engender huge happiness.
But maybe we can also learn about divine happiness from human happiness. In Where does happiness come? Oscar del Ben reflects on this question, and gives four possible answers. I couldn’t help but think of how his “human” answers may give theological insight into some sources of God’s happiness.