Archive - March, 2011

Thriving at College “Hot New Release in Christian Living”

Thriving at College is currently at the #12 spot on Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases in Christian Living.” A big thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in the book. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

Right now, the best price available on Thriving at College is from WTS Books: $7.50 (50% off) on the first-copy, with every subsequent copy at $9.00 each (40% off). Shipping is only $1.00 (total) on all orders over $35.

New Sovereign Grace Music Album: Risen

A new Sovereign Grace Music album has been released — just in time for Easter.  It’s appropriately entitled Risen.  At this link, you can sample each song, or download all the lead sheets, guitar charts, and three-staff piano scores.   If you order the CD (for only $12 – or download all the MP3s for just $5), the sheet music is included.  If you’ve heard any of the other Sovereign Grace Music albums, you’ll be sure to want to check this one out too.

Risen from Sovereign Grace Ministries on Vimeo.

Huge Sale on Thriving at College

WTS Bookstore is running a huge sale on Thriving at College: $7.50 for the first copy (50% off), and $9.00 for every subsequent copy (40% off).  And shipping is only $1 on orders over $35.

It’s about a one-week sale, ending April 5.  So if you’ve been thinking about getting the book, now is a great time. You can sample the book by reading the Foreword by Alex and Brett Harris, the Preface, the Endorsements, or an Excerpt. More information is available.

[Correction: The shipping policy has been corrected above–$1 on orders over $35.]

Justin Taylor, and Alex/Brett Harris, on Thriving at College

A nice post by Justin Taylor on Thriving at College. Thanks, Justin.

Also, many thanks to Alex and Brett Harris for posting their Foreword to Thriving at College.

2011 Ligonier National Conference – Session 7 (Steven Lawson)

This address from Pastor Steve Lawson was entitled Worshiping the Triune God. Worship in heaven is worship at its best. Pleasing God, not others, is what matters in worship.  But there is a new way in worship in our day – one that seeks to please the unconverted person, to be cool, not transcendent and reverent.  The preacher, likewise, is be trendy, not weighty, and more therapeutic than theological.

Worship, however, should be a foretaste of heaven.  Let’s take a look at the worship of heaven in Revelation 4.

Continue Reading…

2011 Ligonier National Conference – Session 5 – RC Sproul

SUMMARY

Augustine argued that reason and faith complemented one another. Faith, then, is not credulity. Faith is dependent on the rationality endued to us by our creator.   There is no virtue in believing that which is absurd.

Logic is an intellectual governor, protecting us from proceeding into falsehood.  Aristotle defined logic as the necessary instrument for intelligible discourse. Evidentialists like Normal Geisler or John Warwick Montgomery believe that via sense perception we can come to a high degree of certainty of Christianity.

Continue Reading…

2011 Ligonier National Conference – Session 2 (Steve Lawson)

SUMMARY

In every era of history, the holiness of God has been under assault. Satan is the original antagonist against God. The principle attack of Satan against the holiness of God is aimed at impugning and assaulting the character of His being and His word.

In Genesis 3, we see illustrated the method of the evil one – a method employed with success on our first parents, and employed with equal success in the world at large in our day.  The attack of Satan starts with doubt – doubt of the inerrancy and infallibility of the word of God (“Did God actually say…?”).  In Genesis 3:1, Satan initiates the attack against Eve with a seemingly innocent question – but one which plans a beachhead of doubt in Eve’s mind.  Satan’s question was nothing less than an attempt to draw a veil of doubt in Eve’s mind regarding the truthfulness of God.  We see similar fallacies in the emergent church today, which prizes uncertainty as humility and regards certainty as pride.  In contrast, Martin Luther said, “Take away assertions and you take away Christianity.”

Continue Reading…

A Review of Thriving at College

Demelza Ramirez reviews Thriving at College.  The opening:

In Thriving at College, Alex Chediak names ten of the most common mistakes made by university students in the areas of College in General/Faith, Relationships, Character, and Academics. He takes a casual, yet firm, approach to these topics from both logical and biblical standpoints, mainly targeting those who are just about to enter college and, therefore, have not created any questionable habits within the college environment.

Read the rest here.

Lengthy PDF Excerpt of Thriving at College

A lengthy PDF excerpt of Thriving at College is now available, courtesy Tyndale House Publishers.

[I’ve added it on the Thriving at College page.]

David Brooks on Overconfidence, Modesty, and Restraint

David Brooks makes some excellent points in this NYT op-ed piece called The Modesty Manifesto.  Brooks outlines how just about everyone today believes they’re above average, whether or not we’re particularly good at anything. For example, American students have tremendous confidence in their math skills, but overwhelmingly lag many other industrialized nations (e.g., South Korea).  Writes Brooks:

In a variety of books and articles, Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University and W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia have collected data suggesting that American self-confidence has risen of late. College students today are much more likely to agree with statements such as “I am easy to like” than college students 30 years ago. In the 1950s, 12 percent of high school seniors said they were a “very important person.” By the ’90s, 80 percent said they believed that they were.

In short, there’s abundant evidence to suggest that we have shifted a bit from a culture that emphasized self-effacement — I’m no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than me — to a culture that emphasizes self-expansion.

Writers like Twenge point out that young people are bathed in messages telling them how special they are. Often these messages are untethered to evidence of actual merit. Over the past few decades, for example, the number of hours college students spend studying has steadily declined. Meanwhile, the average G.P.A. has steadily risen.

He’s referring to books like this one, which I’ve mentioned before (it’s helpful – I referred to it several times while writing Thriving at College).   Later Brooks argues that the rise in consumption and debt — in short, our unwillingness to live within our actual means — is symptomatic of an overall lack of modesty in today’s culture.  And this makes it harder to be a good citizen, because “citizenship, after all, is built on an awareness that we are not all that special but are, instead, enmeshed in a common enterprise.”

I think Brooks is dead right, and we haven’t seen the half of it.  If and when Congress gets serious about reigning in our massive deficit spending, they’ll have to cut entitlements. And when they do, they may pay a steep political price….which is why they’re so reluctant to do so in the first place.  But I digress.

Brooks closes the piece this way:

Perhaps the enlargement of the self has also attenuated the links between the generations. Every generation has an incentive to push costs of current spending onto future generations. But no generation has done it as freely as this one. Maybe people in the past had a visceral sense of themselves as a small piece of a larger chain across the centuries. As a result, it felt viscerally wrong to privilege the current generation over the future ones, in a way it no longer does.

It’s possible, in other words, that some of the current political problems are influenced by fundamental shifts in culture, involving things as fundamental as how we appraise ourselves. Addressing them would require a more comprehensive shift in values.

Read the whole thing.  [BTW, Brooks wrote a similar piece a few years ago called High-Five Nation, which I discussed here.]

HT: Karen Swallow Prior

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