Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoons & Quotes

  • What Does the Bible Say About Abortion? Dan Darling writes “As Christians, our first reaction to this issue should not be to ask what our political parties or politicians think but to ask what the Bible says. So, what does the Bible say about abortion?”
  • Is It OK for a Christian to Date a Non-Christian? Listen to Tim Keller answer that question.
  • Are There Contradictions in the Bible? R.C. Sproul writes “When it comes to studying the actual consistency of Scripture, it’s not long before we have to deal with allegations that the Bible is full of contradictions. This can be devastating to the Christian faith, because we know that if the Bible has real contradictions, it’s not a consistent account, and if it’s not a consistent account, it can’t be divinely inspired.”

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  • More interesting article links
  • Great cartoons
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

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My Review of TOLKIEN

Tolkien, rated PG-13
*** ½

Tolkien looks at the formative years of the beloved author J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit). I thoroughly enjoyed this well-made film. It is directed by Finland director Dome Karukoski, in his first English language film, and written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford (Pride). Of note, the estate and family of Tolkien issued a statement about the film indicating that they wanted to make clear that they did not approve of, authorize, or participate in the making of the film, and do not endorse the film or its content in any way.
The film opens in 1916 on the battlefield in World War I, during the Battle of the Somme in France. John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien, played by Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, About a Boy, X-Men films), has come down with a case of trench fever. The rest of the movie is told in flashbacks, with it occasionally coming back to the war, with Tolkien trying to find his friend Geoffrey Smith, played by Anthony Boyle. Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • What Do High School and College Graduates Need to Hear? Russell Gehrlein offers insights that inspire graduates to take their Christian faith into their workplaces, schools, the military, or wherever God calls them to learn and serve.
  • Overcoming Shame in the Workplace. Hugh Whelchel writes “In an environment where we’re evaluated on our performance, expected to succeed, rewarded for results, and scolded for mistakes, it’s no wonder the workplace is a prime breeding ground for shame.”
  • Work. Our work will be far more rewarding and our rest far more renewing, the more we can keep the boundaries between work and rest high, clear, and distinct. Watch this short video from David Murray.
  • Women, Work, and the Home: What is a Biblical Measurement of Success? Carolyn McCulley writes “Women are to look at all they have received—the gifts, talents, time, opportunities, relationships, and capacities—and determine how and when to invest them across the full arc of a lifetime.”

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  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation by Daniel M. Doriani
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life

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A Prayer for Graduates


Our Father in Heaven,
As we approach the time of year in which we celebrate graduations at many levels, we pray for our graduates.

For the high school graduate, we pray that they would build on the foundation of knowledge they have, and the relationships they have made, over the last four years. They may be heading into the workforce, a technical school or to college. We pray that you would provide them wisdom for their next steps. High school is just four short years of our lives, but important events take place and life-long relationships are made in high school that help form who we are, and are remembered for the rest of our lives, including class reunions.
For the college graduate, we pray for your guidance for their next steps in life. Those steps may include the beginning of their careers, maybe marriage and starting a family, or perhaps additional education. For those looking for a job and not having any success, we pray that you would comfort them with the presence of the Holy Spirit and a peace that surpasses understanding. Please give them patience and perseverance in this season of waiting. We pray that they would trust you to provide them a position in which they will serve you well with the skills and abilities you have blessed them with.
For those who will be getting married soon, we pray that you would be at the center of those marriages. For those continuing on in their education, we pray that they would be accepted into the universities of their choice, and that you would provide them with the needed finances and support system.
For the seminary graduate, we pray that you would provide them a call into ministry, where they can apply what they have worked so hard to learn. That call may be to the church, a Christian ministry or into the general marketplace.

Father, thank you for helping our graduates persevere in their studies, for giving them strength and energy to continue on when they couldn’t on their own. Thank you for helping them study for exams and write papers. Now, please give them wonderful celebrations with family and friends as they look forward to new beginnings. We ask that you would continue to care for them and guide their lives as they live Coram Deo, in the presence of, and before the face of God.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Deeper Roots: Where The Bluegrass Grows – Steven Curtis Chapman
***

In 2013, five-time Grammy winner Steven Curtis Chapman released Deep Roots, an album which featured 12 songs, 5 of which are available on the new Deeper Roots: Where The Bluegrass Grows, released on Chapman’s own New Day distributed-SCSee label. Both albums represent a return to bluegrass, Chapman’s musical roots.
In addition to the 5 songs from Deep Roots, the new album contains eight other songs. The album is comprised of a mixture of well-loved hymns, new versions of Chapman favorites and two new songs. Chapman is joined by Ricky Skaggs, Rascal Flatt’s Gary LeVox and family members on the album, which was produced by Chapman and Brent Milligan.
Below are a few comments about each of the songs:

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  • More of this review and reviews of The Eclipse Sessions by John Hiatt, and In the Blue Light by Paul Simon
  • Music News
  • Music Quotes
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson with Cindy Lambert. Tyndale Momentum. 276 pages. 2014 edition
****

This is the book upon which the powerful film Unplanned is based. Abby Johnson begins by telling us that her story is not a comfortable one to read. It’s not a comfortable one, but it’s honest and true. The film follows the book pretty closely, but as always, a book can give you much more of the story than can a two-hour film. So even if you have seen the film Unplanned, I would recommend that you still read this book.
The book takes us through Abby’s story from being recruited as a volunteer by Planned Parenthood while a junior on the Texas A&M campus through rising to the position of director of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas. She was attracted to Planned Parenthood believing that its purpose was primarily to prevent unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing the number of abortions. That had been her goal. She wanted to help women in crisis.
The book begins with Abby’s own crisis moment in September, 2009, when she was called into the exam room to help the medical team with an abortion. Though she had been with Planned Parenthood for eight years, she had never been in the room when an abortion had taken place until that time. Those ten minutes would shake the foundation of her values, and change the course of her life. She realized that what she had told people for years, what she had believed and taught and defended, was a lie.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review… and reviews of “How to Ruin Your Life: and Starting Over When You Do” by Eric Geiger, and “The Prodigal Son: An Astonishing Study of the Parable Jesus Told to Unveil God’s Grace for You” by John F. MacArthur
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING….

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Why You Should Listen to Albert Mohler’s ‘The Briefing’ Each Weekday

For several years now, my favorite podcast has been Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. Mohler describes the program as “a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview”. The fast-moving program, which is available early (usually by 5:00 am central time), runs about 26 minutes each weekday. The Briefing is unlike any other program that I’ve found, covering a wide-variety of news stories that Christians need to know about, along with a respected Christian analysis of those news stories.
You can listen to the program on Mohler’s website, The Briefing podcast or on the Albert Mohler app. I will often listen to the program as I’m getting ready for my day. If you miss a program, you can listen to it in The Briefing Archive.
You may not be familiar with Dr. Mohler. He has been the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since 1993. Taking over that position at just 33 years old, it fell to him to remake the faculty until the seminary was entirely transformed to support the full inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures, and evangelical, Baptist orthodoxy.
Mohler is an author of many books that I have enjoyed, and another podcast “Thinking in Public”, which is a series of conversations with the day’s leading thinkers. He is a member of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, serves as a council member for The Gospel Coalition, and is a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. In addition, he is a co-founder of Together for the Gospel.  You can follow him on Twitter at @albertmohler.
The Briefing is my favorite podcast. What are some of your favorites?