11 June 2009

Book giveaway contest: just get some Just Do Something!

by Dan Phillips

As I may have mentioned, I'm engaged in writing a book. I may further have mentioned that I need to free up some time to do so. One way I came up with was to do like Chicago, and make with the Greatest Hits here at Pyro, in the weeks to come.

"So," I think to myself, "why not use our readers' input — and make it fun at the same time?"

Hence: contest!

Through Moody Press' generosity, I have four copies of Kevin DeYoung's terrific new book Just Do Something (which I may have mentioned liking tremendously) to give away to four luc... er, blessed readers.

Here's the terms, rules, provisos, whereupons, and peradventures:

PREMISE: it won't be fair. I can't think of a way to make it fair. Oh, I'll try. But I'll fail. Everyone will hate me, except for four people. Just accept that. It'll be kind of a sovereign choice — which, for this blog, is fitting... except without the attendant flawless wisdom, knowledge, goodness and justice.

How (and what) to enter:
  1. Use this meta to recommend that I repost one particular post, and explain why. One recommendation per comment.
  2. The post may be from this blog or mine own, and should be at least six months old; preferably older.
  3. In honor of the book's thesis, explain your choice. Give your rationale. Make a persuasive case. Don't say God told you to pick it. (A thousand sets of fingers go slack, disappointed.)
  4. Enter as many times as you like. (But only one book per winner!)
  5. You may recommend a post that has already been recommended by someone else. Who knows? Your case could be more persuasive.
  6. Deadline is midnight tonight, Earth time, PT.
  7. Sometime tomorrow I will update this post with the names of the four winners — though I will probably take up more than four recommendations. The winners will need to email me with their real-live names and addresses.
  8. What I will be looking for is the most persuasive, contentful, and creative. Funny is good, but in no way required. Working in the title of a Chicago song (particularly not a top forty hit), ditto. I'll tell you the truth: I expect it to be really hard for me. We have terrific readers who are terrific writers... and who go a little nuts at the thought of books, let alone free books.
  9. No relatives.
  10. Nobody named "Frank" who is smarter and more articulate than I and/or who has ever bumped one of my posts or derailed one of my meta's. (Probably not a necessary proviso, as entrants would have to have read some of my posts.)
There you go. Have fun.

Just write something!

UPDATE: and now, the winners

First, thanks to everyone who made a legit entry. They were all good, and all helpful.

How I did it. My dear wife handed me a lifeline of a suggestion (thanks, Valerie!), which I modified and used. I picked one name outright for my own inscrutable reasons, then I picked fourteen of the best, wrote them on identical pieces of paper, prayed, and picked three at random (— "random" from my perspective, that is).

I may or may not use all of the suggestions of the winners; I'm leery about reposting a multi-part post, and if I try to edit it down to one I'm sort of defeating the purpose of reposting. But I guarantee I will consider ALL the suggestions and their rationales when I pick my posts.

This was really hard. Please don't make it harder by asking me anything beyond what I've shared.

These four folks need to email filops@yahoo.com with their snail-mail addresses:
Thanks to everyone!

Dan Phillips's signature


Kim said...

What a bummer. I'm neither creative nor funny... unless you count the times when I'm trying to be serious and I generate a laugh.

However, as you well know, one of your posts I have appreciated the most is your "Sister ... show mercy!" post which deals with feminine modesty.

I guess I appreciate it so much because frankly, women need to hear from a man when they are crossing the line in their fashion choices. If a woman points out to another woman that her clothing choice is rather revealing, her gesture is received as "Oh, you are just jealous." When a man says it, it seems to be more effective.

Also appreciated it because young men need to know that they are at risk already in the "visual attraction" area, and a woman who is not willing to help in this area may be the kind of girl you don't want for a wife for yourself or for a future son.

Sorry there are no jokes or flights of fancy.... and even if I don't get a book, you know how much I like that post!

Kristine said...

I own it already (loved it), so I get to just sit back and watch the show ;)

danny2 said...

i'd recommend this one. why? i'll give you three reasons:

1) selfish reason--my link to your post got me "blogspotted" (back when phil did that sort of thing), a highlight to my fledging blog.

2) edifying reason--the post encouraged me at a time that my resistance to "juggling flaming poodles" to attract the masses was being misconstrued to a lack of concern for evangelism. your post greatly encouraged me to remember that the "results" are truly up to God and gave me hope that i have not been told, "they will not listen."

3) circular reason--the post doesn't simply tell us to do something, but tells us to just do something important!

4) creative reason (fortunately/unfortunately, my creativity is limited to haiku):

phillips wields a sword
i speak of the Word of God
not profile pic

5) begging/creative/circular reason:

danny wants free book
ignore my lowercase font
for i did something

Tim Knotts said...

February 28, 2006: Hermeneutics: it's not life or death... right?

As a young man, I am especially appreciative of big, seemingly mysterious concepts like "hermeneutics" being explained clearly and practically. The theological terms that bubble up in discussions often result in more confusion that clarity. To put hermeneutics so clearly in the spotlight as not just an academic question of study, but as the key to how we understand God is immensely valuable in this age of touchy-feely naval gazing.

I grew up in a covenentalist church, but began attending a church wherein a Master's Seminary grad was teaching "leaky" dispensationalism. Clearly, the two are not compatible.

The clear exegesis of God's Word caused me to question whether infant baptism was biblical, and thus whether I needed to be baptized, since I was sprinkled as a baby. In the end, it all came down to my hermeneutic.

Because of my experiences, I can see that many (maybe most?) disagreements between honest, God-honoring Christians come down to how they interpret what they read in the Scripture.

Dan said it well in that February 2006 post:

"Hence [the Bible's] meaning is not a matter for secret-club decoder-rings, arcane rituals, and secret councils composed of a different class. It is to be understood according to the normal canons of language.

Does that matter? It sure matters to me.

It's what the Lord used to save me."

danny2 said...

reason 6:

i clearly can't do math (3/5), so how do you expect me to handle my money well enough to be able to buy it?

Brad said...

Your series responding to Adrian Warnock was excellent, especially part 4 which was concise and pointed. I think it was called Red Herrings or something to that extent. It may be a timely repost, it was kind of an extended NEXT! before there were NEXT!s. As for the Chicago link, all that comes to mind is What Else Can I Say?
A Cetera Fan

Hayden said...

'Sister...show mercy!' is my vote because it is an article that got me in some 'hot water' at my previous pastorate as a 'youth pastor'.
Things were going along fine in the ministry I was in until I happened upon that article and decided to make copies and post them. That cursed article! Who knew that it would change my life??

Parents were beating down my door, trailing me in the parking lot, sending me letters. The students cried out, 'What will we wear, burkas? sackcloth' The boys were saying 'He's right', the girls were telling the guys 'Grow up and deal with it'.

Fast forward a year later and I am sitting in sunny Florida as the pastor of a small church re-plant still wondering 'what happened ?' I sure traded up on the weather though, cold and blustery Michigan for sunny Florida.

I recommend that every youth pastor print out this article, but be prepared for a change of scenery!!!

[The author took some authorial license and may have changed said story to protect some of the innocents ;--)

PS Did I mention that I could really use this book, I am a church planter now and not a well paid youth pastor. Does that give me any points???

Deborah said...

*sigh* I organise myself a Google account so I can finally post a comment here. I search and search and search for the post I wanted to recommend, and I finally find it on Mr Turk's blog (The Wrecker is Coming - Nov 2007 if your interested. Oops.

And now I need to collect my children from school in 3 mins, so must bow out of the opportunity to win the book. Ah well, back to lurking...

DJP said...

Great. So my favorite post of yours is actually one of Turk's.

You just made his day.

Won the book, not so much.

Hey, but you have about sixteen more hours. You haven't thought anything I've written was worth repeating?

< snif >

candy said...

For Deborah's sake you might want to repost "Hi, My Name Is...".

It was a pretty funny post!

Must think. Must think. I really want the book.

In the meantime, a big shout out to Phil Johnson.


Anonymous said...

For using "dipsenationalism" and "dissing" in the same sentence. Wait, since you're a dispy, are you cool enough to say, "diss?"

Thanks for "25 Stupid Reasons for Dissing Dispensationalism."

David Kyle said...

I would really like to see you repost the May 1, 2006 article entitled "Karate exegesis". There has never, and I mean never, been a more artful and ninja like, blind side, logical assault ever... really, hands down dude. So HSAT, I really do NOT deserve to be chosen for the book give away, but some things for you to consider.

I am a 26 year retired Army vet (disability retired), a pastor looking for a church who wants verse by verse biblical preaching without the clown sideshow or un-tucked shirt and a 25 year married husband of nine children; but hey no pressure, just some things to consider. The truth is there is no best article... it's all good.

You got a witness!

philness said...

I like the one you did not too far back on the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda. I don't really have the words to express why I like it so much but at various times I find myself mulling over the point you make of the paralyzed man actually getting a pay-off from his helpless state. It just tantalizes me to the extent that I get up real close to some great and profound application in paralleling it with some other passages or current event then poof, something cancels out my hopeful brilliant conclusion. Kind of like explaining a dream to someone where you just spare the person and wrap it up somewhere and say..."yeah"... because too many new remembrances of the dream are surfacing and there is no way your going to be able to explain the significance or meaning of all those....yeah....

Maybe, I might be inspired to Just Do Something about that one day and leave behind the whole 25 6 to 4 Staring blindly into space and give new meaning to- I'm a Man.

Cause I love you so, Dan.

David Kyle said...

I also wanted to point out how cool you looked in that photo of you in the black pajama, ninja outfit thingy. Really, it brought the whole point home... at least for me.

Deborah said...

OK, I'm back, but I hardly dare enter this competition given my first post. And especially when I consider that you would have to post the book to Scotland!

Despite these handicaps, I plod on regardless and recommend 'Unbelief is depressing' 30 Nov 2006.

I have suffered depression since coming to faith - I trusted God with my present, and with my future, but I didn't believe he could reach into my past and sort it out. I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 60s and 70s - nuff said. It was only when I became a Christian and then through reading my bible and much teaching, God showed me that I needed to forgive those who had committed violence against us. He also showed me I needed to seek his forgiveness for my attitude to RCs. In doing this, I was led out of the desert of depression. It was a long slow journey, but I now know I trust God with my past. And it's been a helpful reminder for me to write it down in this way.

I chose the 'Unbelief is depressing' post because it reminds me of that time. I could have chosen many of the posts on here (well, those I understand - I am fairly new to this after all!) but this one struck at my heart. I think that's as good a reason as any to repeat it - regardless of whether or not I am one of the 4

candy said...

Well....you said in a past post "Creativity, and how nobody really has it" that:

No human being has ever, strictly, created anything. That is, we've never brought anything brand-new into being ex nihilo. At our very best, we're re-creative. We may rearrange some molecules or tonalities in an inventive or fresh way. But even there, "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Yet you came up a bit later with "Book Titles for which I'm still waiting" which was one of my favorites in terms of rearranged molecules of creative humor.

For a serious post, I would choose "You Say You Want to be a Teacher? Oy!" because it is even more relevant today with the issue of careless words being expressed from the pulpit and the casual way "teachers" are raised up and encouraged to emulate their favorite cool pastor/heroes.

candy said...

Deborah...the fact that you live in Scotland gives you mega points with Dan!

DJP said...

I know; this is going to be awfully hard.

And yes; my dear wife suggests that I might require personal delivery to Scotland.... You know, since I haven't had the Phil-like pleasure of having anyone in the Isles book me as of yet.

John said...

Here we go. This will not be funny, as I am not funny. In fact, I am quite boring and dumb. But I do want to win this book; I’ve spent my book budget on giving away books to others. Also, I need to read more of the books by younger, cooler writers. A.W. Pink has made me an old, stuffy grouch.

On June 10, 2008, you posted: “To seminary, or not to seminary?”

In the context of doing something, your example in that post was motivating. This is what you said that you did as a new convert: “I read. A lot. I started teaching myself Greek the year I was saved….By the time I started Talbot (1981), I had long-since been reading the Greek New Testament for my devotions.”

So what can we do as believers? Equip ourselves to be ready to do something.

Next, you pointed out a responsibility that churches and pastors often neglect: training pastors.

“The best model is preparation of pastors of churches by pastors of churches for producing men who will pastor churches.” More churches and pastors need to be doing this.

You also took away an excuse many use for not evangelizing, participating in mission work, or other areas of ministry: “Honestly and in retrospect, the most important and central convictions were formed before and after seminary.” We don’t need a degree or formal training to be equipped to do something.

With all of that being said, you did make it clear that pastors should have knowledge in “Greek, Hebrew, the Biblical sciences, pastoral ministry, and theology.” If they don’t, then they need to do something.

Why is this important for everyone? Because pastors equip believers. They equip them for the personal battles and trials in life, but they also equip them to be ready to do something for the Kingdom. And if the pastors aren’t equipped, how can the people be?

There. It’s a pathetic attempt. And, like every other comment that I’ve posted on this blog, I’m tempted to delete it. But I do want that book.

DJP said...

In retrospect, maybe I should have had categories. Like, "Funniest," "Most Creative," "Most Sycophantic," or "Most Tear-Jerking."

If there'd been "Most Self-deprecating," you and Kim would have to wrestle it out.

Aric said...

So, why should I, a nobody from nowhere, win the book? It is a Once in a Lifetime* opportunity to try and impress a man who can really Make Me Smile .

But enough about Frank.

My pick for a re-post is What Prayer Is and Isn’t (I tried to give a link, but it won't work today). This post ties in nicely with the book being given away, as it is a needed reminder that prayer is not 2-way communication.

The latest book reviews have brought to the surface issues dealing with hearing God’s voice today. For those of you who did not grow up Pentecostal/Charismatic, having that issue bubble to the surface is probably not a huge deal. However, to those of us who are still in recovery from those upbringings, dealing with hearing from God can send a person into a bit of a tailspin.

As providence would have it, my wife was sent into such a spin only yesterday. She talked with a friend about a woman’s retreat the friend had just returned from. The friend was telling my wife that at the retreat they were encouraged to get alone and write down whatever it was the Lord told them. So, my friend was sharing with my wife what the Lord told her.

Needless to say, it brought back charismaniacal feelings, so I sent her links to the Blackaby posts as well as the one on prayer that I am recommending for the Best of DJP series. See, I really need this book!

*Chicago song references in bold

Unknown said...

The 4th of July is coming again. Memories of an early taste of the hatred and debauchery that is war. Mixed feelings of patriotism and fear... the price of freedom.

On June 30, 2006 you posted "What Price Freedom" Writing of the freedoms we enjoy and then of a freedom we could not have earned.

Post it again. As our freedom is continually threatened on earth, we need the reminder that freedom by God's grace is eternal.

Us said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! A chance to shout from the rooftop about my favorite post! A chance to urge everybody to read it, and reread it, and send it to all their Christian friends!

Dan Phillips,

Book giveaway or no book giveaway,

please repost February 11: the most pivotal day in my life (Biblical lessons to learn)

Then after you've reposted it, how about adding a link to it at the side of your blog?

You wrote that "one's conversion can be instructive (1 Timothy 1:16)."

!No kidding! I'm so happy to get a chance to thank you for analyzing your own conversion story, and mining very helpful and encouraging lessons from it, for your readers and their friends. What a service!

But aside from its instructive value, how about the HOLY FIREWORKS that your conversion story sets off inside of us Spirit-indwelt believers, as it brings glory to the sovereign grace of God? It showcases the brilliant masterwork of our Lord as He weaved an incredible tapestry of conviction and drawing in your life, all to bring your nasty self to repentance and faith! Hallelujah!

I'm going to break into some reasons here, why I think this should be reposted:

(and with all due respect, you did not specifically prohibit two-part comments with one recommendation. This is a two-part comment. Please allow!)

1. Your story has the blessed effect of reminding the readers of their own conversion, which is a sweet and edifying thing. I heard John MacArthur say in one of his sermons on Rev 2, that he thinks churches should be filled with the cries of newborn Christians (regular baptisms), because it reminds us all of the "first works". ("repent and do the first works") Your post, Dan Phillips, is like re-hearing the cry of a newborn Christian. So repost it, man!

2. What incredible lessons!

1. Do not decide that any living person cannot be saved.

Which one of us doesn't need to be continually reminded of this? Which one of us doesn't need to always remember that our "hopeless case" loved ones are no more dead in their sins than we were? Will the conversion of my unsaved mother be any greater of a miracle than my own?

2. Sow with hope.

Dan, you explained the different people and life circumstances that God used to break up the hard soil of your heart. You encourage us to know that though we may not see results when we try to reach people for Christ, nevertheless, we can know that God uses us in the soil-tilling process! Right on! Hope!

Us said...

3. There is no one method of evangelism..People aren't all plastic figures. They're (we're) complex individuals. One size does not fit all.

And with that, you help to lift a massive burden from a lot of our shoulders. Your candor is a gift to us. I don't intend to paint you into a "friendship evangelism" box, but, on the other hand...there are some who categorically denounce friendship evangelism--and what you have done is widen our perspective to see that F.E. is a legitimate means, used by God, as part of His own tapestry of gathering in His sheep. Thank you, again, for this dose of reality.

4. Show the way of God, but show love as well...it can be our love that makes anyone willing to hear the Gospel from us.

Yes! Love adorns the Gospel! Again, which of us doesn't need to be reminded of this? Again, please, just put a link to this post on the side of your blog! Or something!

Another aspect of your story that I appreciate greatly, is your pointing out that while there may be valid problems with certain Gospel presentations (4 Sp.Lws.), nevertheless, as you put it best,

NONE of those things made an impact on me, because GOD was using the truth in them to save me.

This post points us to GOD--God, the Master Planner of our salvation--GOD, who knows how to perfectly apply His truth even in imperfect means--

So, you could have just written a very short post, perhaps reminding us that even the "best" evangelists are merely "pencils in the hands of the Master Poet", but, you took the time and loving care to give us a three-part post chock full of encouragement, instruction, and mild reproof.

In two words, Thank You.

Aric said...

Entry #2: On December 13, 2009, post your blog entry from June 12, 2009, naming me as a winner of one of the books.

That would definitely be my favorite post :0)

JackW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JackW said...

Way too many terms, rules, provisos, whereupons, and peradventures.

Is there a Kindle version?

Merlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

I would have to request "Karate Exegisis". There are several reasons for this choice. First, it encourages a younger generation of angry bloggers to get to the point of theological discussion, which should be purposeful and aimed at revealing God's truth, not defending our ego. Second, it really allows teachers of the word to fruitfully engage in apologetics without wasting time. Very economical, glass-hoppah.

Us said...


Since I've already left a two-part comment to recommend your wonderful three-part post (February 11: the most pivotal day in my life), I thought I'd go ahead and add a third part to my comment (this is the third part) to recommend your three-part post.

That way, I can make it clear that--(as opposed to merely cutely massaging your rules)--my sincere, earnest intention is in fact to recommend that you repost all three parts of your 2007 post. So, you could regard it as one comment per post part.

And it just now occurs to me that: Each of the three parts of your post were published on three separate dates, thus qualifying them to be considered as three separate posts.


I have now written three comments to recommend three different posts of yours. My conscience is pretty clear on this.

Plus, in all of this, I'm employing the "squeaky wheel" technique, in the spirit of whole-heartedly following the exhortation to "Just Do Something!", in order to persuade you to Just Please Repost Your Three Part Post from 2007.

Blessings to you,


Mike Riccardi said...

My pick is "Porn and Paper Pastors."

This was recent, but it was still great.

Perhaps what stands out most to me about it was that God used it to run right through my brick wall of pride and directly into my heart, bringing the godly sorrow that leads to repentance with it. Usually when I read things, my pride finds a way to set off thoughts in my mind about who really needs to hear this post (i.e., certainly not me!), or what section of evan-jelly-beanism is being exposed and exploded. That's in no way a blight on what folks write; it's entirely because I love my sin.

But this post ran right through this brick wall of pride and pointed the finger directly at me. It's easy for me to criticize pastors and teachers -- even my own -- for being infatuated with a seeker-model or a missional-model of ministry, and then preaching accordingly. Generally, I listen to sermons by either Piper or MacArthur each day, and though I would never say that I'd require my pastors to be a Piper or a MacArthur, in my heart that's exactly what I'm thinking.

There was a period of time when I'd been going to church as a sermon critic, instead as a sheep looking to be affected by the Word of God, in whatever measure it's presented. This post stopped my pious pontificating about: "A preacher must be this or that..." or "A sermon must have this or that..." (even just in my heart, not outloud to anyone), and it caused me to repent of my lack of contentment and lack of desire to pray for my pastors. And ya know, as I reflect now, I may need to go before the Lord again with that. So there ya go... I need the post again!

Because of all this, too, I had been subconsciously looking to Piper, MacArthur, and others as my pastors in the way you described. I mean, I knew they weren't. But I was expecting nourishment from them and no one else. And the post helped me realize that they aren't my pastors, and God hadn't intended that they be. They are, in the sense you explained, not real.

And so the post took a (hopefully) fatal stab at an area of sin in my life that I had been mostly (willfully) ignorant of. And it did so while convicting me of my lust, covetousness, and discontment as well, as the same lesson was driven home by the comparison to "Paper women."

So... yeah... it was recent. But it's a reminder we could all use again (Heb 13:17, 1Th 5:12-13).

And plus, Frank quickly dubbed it the "BEST. POST. EVER." So the matter's settled. I mean, he said it twice:

I'm saying it twice because this is a brilliant post:

BEST. POST. EVER. Best ever. Perfect analogy -- perfect in pitch and tone and brain-blowing juxtaposition. Theologically-rich point. Devastatiing practical application.

Cuts to the heart of anyone who reads it.

Sure does...

donsands said...

My fav was a 4th of Juy post, maybe back in '05. I didn't see it in the other July 4th Archives.

But it came right to mind. I remember hearing a pastor preach politics in the pulpit, and was even telling us we had better go out and vote for George Bush.

Man was it a bad sermon, and my son-in-law was there and hated it.

I remember reading your post on the 4th, and then sharing it with Mike, because it was so well done on this very theme.

Now I'm recollecting all this, and I'm 98 % sure it was a post from you Dan.

If not, then do I feel stupid.

CR said...

I think you should do your Election 2008 (All 3 parts): Theologizing and Strategizing.

Reason: To tick Frank off and force him to read and interact with the best blog you have ever written that explains what happened to our country and how best the church can pray for the terrible times ahead.

DJP said...

Well, you know, everybody, that thing on the right-hand side of the blog that says...

...January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006...

...and so forth — you can find all of our posts there.

David Kyle said...

That's two votes for "Karate exegesis"! And... umm... I made the first one. Maybe John could get a consolation prize if that post is picked.

Sorry John. You gotta understand, We are talking about a free book that Dan says is good.

donsands said...

Hmmm. I feel dumb.

I suppose my recollection was wrong.

But it gave me a chance to check thru some of your old posts.

I came upon this one, and i got a couple goosebumps skimming through it, and so I shall say this is the post I'd like to see you repost.
It was a marvelously done. It was very edifying, and it's been 2 and a half years since you posted it, so it would be good to redo.

donsands said...

Boy! Am I losing it, or what!

Here's the post:


Anonymous said...

Which post to choose? Flip a coin. Heads I win, tails you lose!

Actually, you will only lose if you don't read the post I've selected.

Love to worry? This repost is for you. Often take your eyes of Christ? This repost is for you. It's tough trusting in Jesus when we focus on ourselves. We forget what He has told us. What He has shown us. Not only will he He sustain us. He is patient with us when we fumble.

This post is about reflection. See your reflection? Then you're probably standing in the wrong spot. Move until you see Jesus.

Who else can challenge you to reflect on your Christian walk with an in your face approach wrapped in the syntax and vocabulary of a 4 year old? I mean, "Oh, my precious 'iddle oojie-goojies! Is 'ums puzzled?... can only come from Daniel Phillips.

I say repost Facts, understanding, faith, and discipleship because a post like this never goes out of style. I would love to see Dan repost it with some personal reflections on the questions asked. A year later I'd love to hear from Dan 1. how Jesus has dealt with him in his walk 2. how he's dealt with himself 3. how hes' dealt with those he's discipled.

"Heads I lose, tails you lose" is the real result of the coin toss. Winning is only found in Christ and His cross.

That's my vote.

Kendall said...

Right off the bat, I will admit that I may be disqualified from this competition by recommending a three part post. Sure, I can argue that it can be defined as a single post, but in three parts, so it is within the rules of the game. But others can cry foul with an equally convincing argument that a three part post is not "one particular post" as the rules stipulate. I am compelled, however, to recommend for re posting your series on the most pivotal day in your life from February of 2007 and if I am disqualified, so be it. It is just too good not to recommend and hopefully you will consider re posting it anyway. And since you are indeed "without the attendant flawless wisdom, knowledge, goodness and justice" of God, perhaps the previous bit of shameless pandering will sway your sovereign choice.

As a "Calvimenian" (I was in the final stages of dropping the menian and adding the nist at the time), this post addressed several of my struggles. I know this wasn't the purpose of the post, but you asked for us to defend our choice and this is why I have chosen as I have, so be it. Man, that may be my second strike. My chances of being one of the four elect are getting slimmer by the minute.

In part 1, you identified a minor catch and a major catch in your prerebirth (not a typo) religious journey. The minor catch was Jesus and the major catch was you. This raised my eyebrows as I'm sure it did many others and I had to do some thinking on that. Ultimately I saw that to natural man, the claims of Jesus can be explained by mental gymnastics, but for natural man to see himself as a catch to his self made religious journey... that has to be the Holy Spirit at work within him.

Part 2 hit me with the concept of God the Father. You went to Him calling Him Father, but that didn't sit well. More struggles in my mind getting worked out as I ponder, Is God the father of everyone? Not in a creator/created sense, but in a real, loving relationship sense. Then there were all the things that happened to you the rest of the way to that life changing Sunday...

As I said, I was close to dropping the menian in favor of the nist. As such, I had already developed some strong negative opinions about some of the traditions I had grown up with. Part 3 helped in keeping those opinions in check. No need to be such a snob, right? It's OK to leave those traditions behind without screaming "HERETIC!" at the sight of their use.

The Holy Spirit through His Word ultimately led me to be able to say to my friends and family, "Hi. My name is Kendall, and I'm a five point Calvinist." I recommend this series because it was very helpful to me, not because it was the defining, eye opening moment in the process. Oh, man! There's the third strike! Oh, well.

Number 15 said...

I already bought the book based on your review (as well as Challies' review).

I wouldn't have won this anyway...

DJP said...

"Challies"? Is that someone who also blogs?

Odd name.

Kendall said...

Now I go through the comments and see the post I recommended has already been recommended. Curses! And Gisela did it in three comments to avoid the problem of the three part post. To that I say Gisela is a pharisee and probably needs the book more than I.

Anonymous said...

Can I nomimate a best DJP comment?

This one.


Great. So my favorite post of yours is actually one of Turk's.

You just made his day.

Won the book, not so much.

Hey, but you have about sixteen more hours. You haven't thought anything I've written was worth repeating?

< snif >

I think Frank should drop "Frank" and just go by Turk.

Kim K. said...

This seems kind of self-serving, but...Brother, sister - don't drop the Ball.

1. Because Dan did such a great job of relating my experience.
2. I really think grief, in general, and death, in particular, are ill-handled in today's church.
3. Would it be okay to repost and add a coda? "We are all learning that grief is a like a journey, only you don’t know where you are going to end up each day." Did I really say that? It sounds kinda melodramatic. I'd love to be able to share all the great ways God has used our experience to show us how awesome His grace and providence are. The original post mirrors some of our discouragement at the time over how people related to us. But we've learned that our experience has been very helpful in teaching us how to relate to others in a similar situation and that has been an invaluable lesson.

Disclaimer - I already own the book and agree with your hearty recommendation. However, I'd love to be able to share a copy with someone.

Aaron said...

I'm really enjoying this post even though I have no intention of putting forth my own entry. Hayden's post was particulary moving.

Dan: Scotland is fantastic! Went there for ten days and stayed overnight in a Castle...I'd love to go again. Want to come with?

Matthew Lawrence Woodwork said...

My choice would be Sister Show Mercy which you obviously realize is a good and necessary post.

First, it hits me right in my major weakness. Second, it hits me right in my major weakness.

A few days ago, one single commenter mentioned how his pastor's sexy sermon 'bout Solomon's song served to upset his sanctifyin' (though he didn't use so many Ss). I don't need a sermon to do that - the scantily clad young women in Sunday School already are enough. That just reminded me that somewhere I have a short passage I wrote in praise of a beautiful woman who wore this red dress to Intown Community Church in Atlanta. I mean, she wore this red dress . . .

Anyway, that is a good post.

I noticed you backed off saying "lucky." A girlfriend once told me I couldn't use the word "luck" because it had the same root as "lucifer." This was the same girlfriend whom I tried desperately to convince myself was the ONE CHOSEN BY GOD FOR ME due to PUI (Praying Under the Influence of Blackaby's Experiencing God).

candy said...

Bruce wanted me to enter one for him since he is at work. He has enjoyed numerous posts but the one that he thought of today was...

In the Interim...Christmas Eve Pizza!

Complete with photos!

He said to tell you that the way to a man's heart is with pizza.

The Squirrel said...

I can't read, so I don't need the book... thanks anyway.


but, just fyi, this is one of my alltime favorite DJP posts. (but, of course, I didn't read it... see above.)


ezekiel said...


I would vote for

"Why the lordship "debate" died".

It has a lot of good stuff in it that applies to my life today and the people I live with.

I know now why the Ryrie, Hodges and Scofield stuff really grates on me. Living with someone that is so assured of their salvation yet will look you in the eye and tell you they don't have to bear fruit and that they don't have to have any works is a true test of faith.

I am shocked that something this damaging can continue to influence the church as much as it does today.

I don't expect that I am the only one out here that knows someone or several of them that are totally assured of their salvation yet deny the Lordship of Christ on a daily basis by their deeds.

Hadassah said...

Well, seeing as how I am the girlfriend that the Red and Black Redneck actually did end up marrying once he was out from under the hazy disorientation caused by PUIOB (that would be 'Praying Under the Influence of Blackaby', just in case you are really bad at figuring out all of these newfangled internet abbreviations like I am) I probably should vote for your recent book review.

But, I gotta go for Sister Have Mercy too.

'Cause some of the things I observe women wearing to public, corporate worship of the Most High God are enough to make a married woman use some of those blue words that were under such heavy discussion recently.

And BTW, I object to anything other than shlubby-effortless-showing-up being required in order to gain anything from this contest. I mean, what do you think this is, church or something???

Hadassah said...

Oh! Oh! I know! I know!

(Waving my hand wildly in the air, hoping against hope that the teacher picks me.)

I vote for 'Stunned, Stymied and Sidelined by Sarkicophobia.'

Because, like, duh, it got a book deal rolling for you, and that's a good thing as far as I can see. I mean the more people are exposed to like, you, and your like, ideas and stuff, the better we will all be.

Also because it has a title that is really hard to pronounce.

And because sarkicophobia sort of meshes well with the whole "Just Do Something" idea, doesn't it?

Stunned, Stymied and Sidelined by trying to pronounce 'sarkicophobia'

chopstickschan said...

Karate Exegesis, Dan. I'm a kung fu connoisseur, and that had the combined force of Bruce Lee, the masterful deftness of Jet Li and the sheer elegance of Donny Yen in this Ip Man of posts. It was deceptively deep; I read it through 2 or 3 times to really feel the moves. Although I live up in the middle of the North Atlantic with puffins and the occasional polar bear where there is little opportunity for exegetical matches down at the dojo, I actually was able to apply it in a very particular case and still do successfully (most of the time...)--with my teen-age son as he struggles with various issues (you know, authority, school work and other important things some teens sometimes just want to argue about because they, well, they just want to argue sometimes). A few strokes of Dan's applied kata, and Grasshopper listens a little more thoughtfully. I'm serious; it has really helped me in communicating with him. And I did use it once in a dentists's office with another waiting patient who was a sharp-tongued economist who was rather in-your-face about God. It really worked, Dan, and he was giving God a little more serious thought when his time came, for the dentist chair, that is. And I'm not even very good at apologetics. And I have four more kids after that to go through teens with. So repost Karate Exegesis. That one has born much fruit over here. And yes, I'd like the book--there is almost nothing here in English good Christian reading, or good Christian reading at all, for that matter. Plus, I lived in Japan for 10 years, where karate comes from. And I still eat sashimi, too. And use chopsticks everyday. And you know what else? My son is the one who's taking karate lessons :)
Gambate kudasai Phillips-san!

Unknown said...

Win a book? OK, I'm in.

You forced me to look up an old post that has stuck to my brain like pine tar on a Louisville slugger. I found it today after searching "wasted."

The post was titled "Wasted pulpits: a rant" (October 4, 2007.) You described a sermon in which the pastor didn't say anything worth writing down.

Now, it could swing the other way -- a pastor can be preaching it so well that no one takes notes because it would interfere with the Gospel penetrating the soul. In fact, someone said recently (Tim Keller?) that if someone is taking notes during the last quarter of the sermon, the pastor probably failed in his duty for exactly that reason.

But what really knocked me side ways was that the church I was attending was worse than your example with everyone writing something down.

Writing notes and it being worse?


Congregation sings self-congratulatory praise songs, greets one another with a weak handshake and a strong veneer of being above depravity, sit down, get out their sermon note sheets, take out the complimentary pew pen with the churches address on it (outreach ministry), and wait patiently for the pastor to say the words that they all want to hear: the ones to fill in the blanks on the sermon notes. When the blanks are all filled in, its out to tell the pastor nice job (whatever that means) and off to "real" life where those filled in words never penetrate. Then go back next Sunday carrying the Bible that has about twenty of those note sheets jammed into the "fly-over" books like Ezekiel. That, my friend, is called institutionalized nothingness.

So, could you go back to that post, re-post it, and put some fire into it like only a "Pyro" can?

DJP said...

ezekielDJP [Daniel Julien Phillips] I would vote for "Why the lordship "debate" died"

Well, that's great. Thanks.

I'm sure its author, PRJ (Philip Randall Johnson) will be most gratified.

Matthew Lawrence Woodwork said...

Yeah, honey. But you weren't THAT girlfriend.

BTW, what's for supper?

chopstickschan said...

Plus I need a book to read so I'll have something else to do instead of sending you strange things about Iceland :)

DJP said...

Yeah, but the Iceland things are great.

So... you're saying, if you get a book, no more fun Iceland things? Hm.

chopstickschan said...

Don't worry--I've got a backlog. I'll send you one between every chapter I read. And some bonus ones about life in Japan, but only if I get an autographed copy of your book.

Stephen Rodgers said...

I actually have two recommendations, but in keeping with the rules of the post...

#1: What Prayer Is and Isn't


In my personal opinion (actually, do I have a public opinion?) this is one of your better posts, strongly illustrating the persuasive one-two punch that is Scripture and plain reason. Biblically-based arguments are presented, non-Biblical reasoning is refuted, and potentially confusing issues are anticipated and addressed. This post did more to sharpen my understanding of prayer than any single book on prayer I'd been given up to this point (excluding the combined effect of commentaries). It's one of my all-time favorites.

which brings us to...

Stephen Rodgers said...

#2: Prayer and the Might-Not-Have Beens


For all the reasons listed above, and the fact that it's actually sort of a sequal that doesn't disappoint. And it allows you to easily, legitimately, and Biblically justify either resurrecting two posts for the price of one, or combining them into some sort of exegetical Voltron-esque magnum opus.

chopstickschan said...

Incidently, kung fu connoisseur means I really appreciate it--but the only thing I can actually flip is an egg in a frypan. And I wouldn't stand too closely, either, if I were you. I think I'm rambling..out of desperation...for a free book...in Engrish...(gasp)different time zone... (wheeze)...

The Squirrel said...

Daniel Julien Phillips

I've learned two new things about Dan today.

1) He's an "extra-crispy" guy where KFC is concerned.

2) The "J" stands for "Julien"

Who said there were no new revelations?



Anonymous said...

It seemed, at first, a cruel hoax: a contest, asking us to choose, to elevate from the plethora of endless brilliance, from this bounty of sterling insight, one post.

But, I love free stuff.

So, I must judge, or deny myself the thrill of competition, the aspiration of success.

Then, there it was, right after the inspired post on George Carlin, and the dazzling remarks titled “Won’t Get Fooled Again?” (Which, I actually didn’t understand. It’s a context thingy.)

But, oh no! Who is this “Phil Johnson”? Isn’t it a “Dan Phillips” that is giving away the book? Courage. With every endeavor, there is risk.

My choice?

Postmodernism’s favorite “virtues” vs. biblical faith

You had me on “ambiguity”.
(Read an article recently by a postmodern Christian lauding ambiguity. He really wasn’t too ambiguous, but rather fully intentional, except for the times he was intentionally ambiguous. Bad arguments require some cover.)
But this post had no ambiguity.
No smoke and mirrors.
To quote: “In biblical terms it is anything but humble to imply that God's Word is not sufficiently clear—as if we can't possibly be sure what the Bible means, and as if we should never be so "arrogant" as to defend its truths against the enemy's relentless attempts to twist and subvert what God has said. For Christians blithely to accept (or even defer to) the postmodern premise that certainty and arrogance are essentially the same thing is to surrender a major portion of the very ground we are called to defend. This is no minor or incidental matter.”
Thanks for saying that.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


I’m bending the rules by choosing a post that is not quite 6 months old, but – hey – by the time you rerun it, it will be =0)

I nominate your 6 Jan 09 post : “Stunned, stymied and sidelined by sarkicophobia”.

In your usual humorous way, you’re poking something that needs to be poked – our tendency to be paralyzed by being self-absorbed.

Obedience isn’t easy, but it is simple.


PS I may not live in Scotland, but local postage is cheaper ;)

PPS Have I mentioned (just a few times) the three younger grasshoppers under my roof that will benefit from this book for years to come?

DJP said...

Um, Lisa.

Thanks for the nice. But.

“Won’t Get Fooled Again?” was actually by Frank.

Postmodernism’s favorite “virtues” vs. biblical faith was actually by Phil.

But I did write something on Carlin's passing, so... thanks for that.


DJP said...

PS - and they are indeed excellent writers. Maybe I should just repost their stuff?


Anonymous said...

Yeppers, it was Phil's (the post-modern stuff) that I chose, but with some trepidation, knowing some other guy was giving away the book. Risky, but my integrity was in play.
Are you that other guy?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry! I just linked over here today for the first time!

Anonymous said...

The carlin piece was beyond stupendous, it was astounding.
Might I even say, breathtaking...

candy said...

Is there such a thing as seniority in this contest? For those of us who have been here even pre-pyromaniacs?

Just to let you know that if we win the book we will take it as a sign from God.

Now...about those posts on cessationism?

Rachael Starke said...

Aaargh! I am actually putting off eating my already cold dinner to finally get to this. Spent all day painting kitchen chairs a delightful shade of spring green, so my brain is somewhat pickled, but here goes:

My first choice would the 3-part series on Transparency. I still remember reading the third piece when I was wrestling through a regularly scheduled bout of the blues over my mommy state as opposed to my previous state as a career woman. I had become more comfortable with talking and writing out loud about my "battles". But I was unknowningly talking, thinking and writing like a new kind of martyr. Deep down, I patted myself on the back for dying to my career and my skills to take up the "cross" of being a stay at home mom, and for being so courageous to admit it was really hard.

Your exposition of Asaph's words in Psalm 73 stopped me in my tracks. I think I read the whole thing three times at one shot.

From that moment on, I began to stop glorying in my weakness for my own sake, and instead glorying in the One whose strength is made perfect in that weakness.

I still battle with this issue, but, to this day, that post helps me keep the battle in the right place.

DJP said...

Goodness, this is going to be tough. Thanks, all. Very humbling; I never would have anticipated that so many — really, that anyone — would have asked that the multi-part posts be republished. But you've asked for about four: conversion, transparency, Adrian, and... er, another one or two.

There are a few hours left, but I probably won't check again until tomorrow.

Ay, yi yi.

Rachael Starke said...

The other post that would be great, especially now that school's out and many yoots' thoughts turn to summer dating shenanigans, is the one called Dating - When Words and Choices Clash.

In my years as a barely-saved, immature and insecure young girl, I confess that I dated more than one unbeliever. I wised up, and God kept His promise to preserve me from trouble by sending me the most wonderful, godly man to be my husband. Now, I look back with such shame over my foolishness and amazement at how close I came to really ruining my life. And one of the ministries I try and have with the young women in my church is to both warn and encourage them about these things. The sentence I almost always use is "I dodged the Biggest. Bullet. Ever. And only because God pushed me out of its path."

So, I read that dating post with interest to see how you might approach it. And it was, and is, just awesome. Crucial thoughts, offered up with equal amounts of passion, wit, and lots of Bibley goodness. And imagine my delight when I read the last illustration about the jamming handgun, complete with graphic!

And just to prove how effective I think this post is, when I went back to search for it, I thought,

"Now where is that one about dating nonChristians with the graphic of the handgun pointing right out of the computer screen?"

When I found it, I was surprised to discover the graphic actually has the gun pointing away from you, rather than at\ you, as I remembered it. I think it was the combination of a powerful post, powerful illustration, and personal experience with the topic that made me remember it differently.

Rachael Starke said...

I think it's great that there are so many different ones that have really stuck with people? Imagine if you just got fifty requests for something on Da Gifts and nothing else?

You're not a one-note preacher/writer. This be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Eh, what've I got lose? Besides a night of sleep before a hard risin' morning without breakfast? Well, it's free. My favorite post by Dan is What Prayer Is and Isn't. There a couple reasons for it.

The first is easy - it's a brilliantly written, yet concise, Biblical explanation for a very important topic. It grabs your attention in much the same way that your attention is at the sunrise. I've shown it to a couple friends and it's like a canon grabbed their attention. It makes its case accurately and clearly.

The second reason is that it's like the crux of the Pyro posts on the Spirit talking and spiritual gifts. While it certainly doesn't cover all the bases in that discussion it sets a vital tone, principle, and foundation through which the whole issue can be viewed. And that's not just the way it's viewed on this blog, but the way that Christians can, and should, view it.

Thirdly, though this is a free country and I can think what I want (on politics, religions or wacky things like motorboats to Mars), it gave me the spark and outline needed to organize my thoughts on the matter of prayer. It's a delicate and important issue and something that I needed clarity on and clarity is what I received.

Fourthly and finally (I mean, what else can I say?) this post is one of Dan's best because of how easy it is to apply to the college campus. As a college student who worships and fellowships with Christians from all sorts of backgrounds and denominations, it's good to have a quick, powerful, Biblical guide to such a fundamental and sometimes divisive issue as prayer. I suppose that's why I'm so interested in Just Do Something as well. It expands upon the topic of prayer to deal with the whole spectrum of knowing God's will - something that's a prevalent on a college campus and often contains very...colorful perspectives.

Well, that's my favorite Dan post; I hope I made some progress in book-gaining. For now I'm gonna go on the lowdown as the approaching storm of commentators increases tomorrow.

Unknown said...


I would vote for

"Why the lordship "debate" died".

It has a lot of good stuff in it that applies to my life today and the people I live with.

I know now why the Ryrie, Hodges and Scofield stuff really grates on me. Living with someone that is so assured of their salvation yet will look you in the eye and tell you they don't have to bear fruit and that they don't have to have any works is a true test of faith.

I am shocked that something this damaging can continue to influence the church as much as it does today.

I don't expect that I am the only one out here that knows someone or several of them that are totally assured of their salvation yet deny the Lordship of Christ on a daily basis by their deeds.

Ez, I can relate to your situation. I have to exist with persons daily who exhude false works while religiously reading the Bible. Stabbing business people in the back and lying to their spouses and others. All the while proclaming the Leadership of Christ in their life.

As you imply, a frustrating experience this is indeed.

chopstickschan said...

...karate...exegesis...(choke)... I'm not going away, am I? Okay, okay. I'll go do some laundry or something, since I don't have a book to read anyway...

DJP said...

Hey, Jude — however anything else turns out: best use of non-top-40 Chicago titles, period. Thanks for a fun start to my day.

SamKnisely said...

Here's my choice.

Jesus' "dumb question" that wasn't and isn't from January 2008

Sam's "dumb question" that wasn't or isn't from June 2009 Did I win?

CR said...

DJP:Um, Lisa.

Thanks for the nice. But.

“Won’t Get Fooled Again?” was actually by Frank.

Poor, Dan, Rodney Dangerfield comes to mind, just no respect! :=)

DJP said...

Definitely could be worse. Folks could mistake me for really bad thinkers/writers/brothers, instead of really good ones.

Deborah said...

Gosh, I thought the winners would have been announced by now. It's gonna be a tough choice, Dan.

Would it help in any way if I happened to mention my family and I live 20 minute drive from Loch Lomond and would love you and Mrs P to come and house-sit/cat-sit for the first 2 weeks in July??

Unknown said...


I am know I am too late for the book, but I would like to recommend a post for you to re-post: The Lament for America: http://bibchr.blogspot.com/2008/11/lament-for-america.html after the election.

You know the effect this post had on me to a degree, and effectively turned my life in a different direction. I also think this would be a very good reminder to those who still don't feel that Obama is that bad and remind them of what you said he would do and what he has done. Definitely worth a re-read.

DJP said...

Deborah manages to lodge a complaint and a bribe-attempt in the same comment.

Nicely done!

David Kyle said...

Deborah said "Would it help in any way if I happened to mention my family and I live 20 minute drive from Loch Lomond and would love you and Mrs P to come and house-sit/cat-sit for the first 2 weeks in July??"

How are we supposed to compete with that? I guess I could just flat out lie... but... well... you know. Repentance time.

candy said...

Ricky. You found what I was looking for late last night and couldn't remember the name. The Lament for America post was one I copied and shared with many people.

About now I'm thinking that familiarity breeds contempt and I am so out of the potential winners. But there are so many good comments I am glad I am not Dan and have to pick.

Deborah said...


Anonymous said...


David Kyle said...

Mark, Mark, Mark.

"Yes, I can see how that is a real problem for your position."

Since now you have agreed that the give away was repaired you don't have a leg to stand on.

How am I doing Dan?

Anonymous said...

From someone who made a non-legit entry (me):
You chose wisely.

chopstickschan said...

Behind every smart man stands a woman who keeps him that way :) Good way to choose!

ezekiel said...


I was really hoping you would not be offended when I asked for you to repost it.

The reason I asked for it should be clear by the response from Martin. If Martin isn't my wife, He is certainly echoing words and thoughts that flow from her on a daily basis.

So what I was asking for was a little help to expose what much study has shown me to be very close to the root of my problem if not the root. I asked for a little help from a brother.

My less than adequate reading skills though gave me the impression that you were representing TeamPyro. This is the quote "One way I came up with was to do like Chicago, and make with the Greatest Hits here at Pyro, in the weeks to come."
that gave me the impression.

Sure, the idea that it be one of your posts was at least implied if not clearly stated but I was hoping to slide it by. You busted me. I apologize.

HSAT, The requested post would have exalted Christ and His Lordship. Something you guys do often.

I am reminded of Phillipians 1:11-19. Please pray for my deliverance from my bondage (to sin) as well as that of my whole family. Through your prayers and the Holy Spirit......

By the way, your reply seems to indicate some party spirit or rivalry there. Be careful with that brother. (1:17)

Anonymous said...

I want to apologize for misunderstanding that it was to be an article from only you....(funny, I joked about it in my original post, cause you were to be the judge, not ever understanding that it was really only to be your stuff we suggested). That made me seem doubly rude!
So, sorry, did not mean to hurt anyone feelings...I shall desist from my Pyromanic commenting, and rest my keyboard. I swear I will use it (my keyboard),in the future, for good, not evil.

DJP said...

Oh, Lisa. Please don't desist. It gave me a chuckle. Everyone makes mistakes. It was a slip; not a deliberate "I know what you're asking, but I want what I want, insist on it, and woe betide anyone who points out my error."

Feel free to stick around and chat.