Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalm 63:3

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~ UPDATED PAGES ON THE BLOG ~

Music Review: Never Land – Andy Mineo
Movie Review: The Monuments Men
Book Reviews:
Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace by John Piper
• Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt
• Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
• The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

~ THIS AND THAT ~

• On January 24, Dr. R.C. Sproul took part in a live question and answer session. You can watch that session below: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/ligonier_webcast_archive/ask-rc-jan-2014.

• The relationship between justification and sanctification—between being pronounced righteous in a moment and being made righteous over a lifetime—is delicate, complex, and altogether crucial to grasp. Watch this 10-minute video to hear three pastors and Gospel Coalition Council members discuss overcorrection, contextualizing warnings, and more: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2014/01/21/justification-and-sanctification-whats-the-problem/

• Jeremiah 29:11 is a precious verse to many: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” So how can Gentile John Piper, or any of us, lay claim to this hopeful promise made to Israel, God’s covenant people? Pastor John explains in this 3-minute video.

• Eric Metaxas’ excellent book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy is on sale in the Kindle edition for a short time for just $2.99. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003GY0K48?tag=thethreshold-20

• Check out this review from Tim Challies of the new book The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger. It sounds like a book that I would like to read. Read Tim’s review here: http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-gospel-at-work#keep-reading

• And speaking of Tim Challies, check out his infographic on John Piper: http://www.challies.com/resources/john-piper-the-infographic

• The faith based film God’s Not Dead will be playing at the Carmike Grand Prairie 18 in Peoria beginning March 21. Here’s a link to the film’s website: http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/

• The MovieGuide.org Grace Awards honor performances that uplift the human spirit and inspire people to strengthen their relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Read the Grace Awards nominations here: http://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/inspiring-performances.html

• At what point do we consider a film irredeemable, or at least unwatchable? At what point do we say it is wrong to participate in certain forms of entertainment? Read this article from the Gospel Coalition blog: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2014/01/06/evangelicals-and-hollywood-muck/

• Michael W. Smith returns with his first new music in some time. His new “You Won’t Let Go” became available on iTunes on February 4. As of February 5, the single was #2 on the Christian charts. A new album is due in May.

• Congratulations to Andy Mineo for his new EP Never Land charting at #1 n iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap charts. His single, “You Can’t Stop Me”, is currently #27 on the Hip-Hop/Rap singles chart, one of the few songs listed without an “Explicit” warning. Well done Andy!

• U2’s excellent new song “Invisible” was available as a free download on iTunes for 36 hours Super Bowl Sunday and the following day, with the goal of contributing $2M to help fight AIDS. As of this writing the figure has reached over $3M and rising. The song is now available on iTunes for purchase with all proceeds from every download going to (RED) for the Global Fund. Read more here and watch the video for the song here: http://www.u2.com/news/title/invisible-the-video?utm_source=WhatCounts+Publicaster+Edition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EMLU2COS_20140211_subs_invisible_video_premier&utm_content=Here+it+is…&AID=1613

• Speaking of U2, they and Will Smith will be Jimmy Fallon’s first guests as he takes over The Tonight Show on January 17. Read more about Fallon’s  first week here: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-02-10/entertainment/chi-tonight-show-jimmy-fallon-first-week-lineup-20140210_1_week-lineup-jimmy-fallon-fallon-takeover

• James Taylor will be touring the U.S. and has announced a date at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue in St. Louis, on June 24.

• The Red Hot Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars for the Super Bowl halftime show. However, despite their vocals being live, the band’s music was pre-recorded. Read more by clicking here.

• Did you see the Seinfeld commercial that aired during the Super Bowl? If not, check it out here.

• Excited about the Winter Olympics? Check out this article from Christianity Today on Christian athletes to watch in the games:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/february-web-only/christian-olympians-sochi-olympics.html

• Is Paper Dead? Check out this short (39 seconds) video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/V_gOZDWQj3Q?rel=0

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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