Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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~ UPDATED PAGES ON THE BLOG ~Joy An Irish ChristmasWhat Can I Do with My Guilt Book

Book Review ~ What Can I Do with My Guilt? by R.C. Sproul

Movie Review ~ John Wick

Music Review ~ Joy: An Irish Christmas by Keith and Kristyn Getty

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INTEGRATING FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Courtesy of World MagazineWorld Magazine Cartoon

~ THIS AND THAT ~

IN THE NEWS:

MUSIC:

He said, “I’ve been where you’ve been before.
Down every hallway’s a slamming door.”
No way out, no one to come and save me
Wasting a life that the Good Lord gave me

Then somebody said what I’m saying to you
Opened my eyes and told me the truth.”
They said, “Just a little faith, it’ll all get better.”
So I followed that preacher man down to the river

And now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger
There must’ve been something in the water
Oh, there must’ve been something in the water

Well, I heard what he said and I went on my way
Didn’t think about it for a couple of days
Then it hit me like a lightning late one night
I was all out of hope and all out of fight

Couldn’t fight back the tears so I fell on my knees
Saying, “God, if you’re there come and rescue me.”
Felt love pouring down from above
Got washed in the water, washed in the blood

And now I’m changed
And now I’m stronger
There must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water

And now I’m singing along to amazing grace
Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light

Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live everyday, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed

I am changed
And now I’m stronger
There must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water
Oh, there must be something in the water

Oh, yeah I am changed
Stronger

THEOLOGY:

  • Redemption. What a great word. In this “Minute with Maxwell” video with John Maxwell, Maxwell looks at the word “redemption”. Check it out here: http://johnmaxwellteam.com/redemption-2/Eric Metaxas book - Miracles
  • Miracles. Eric Metaxas writes that is one of the least-understood and, thus, overused words in American culture. His new book Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life, is his attempt to help Christians and non-Christians alike to understand what Christians mean—or at least should mean—when they use the world “miracle.” Read or listen to his commentary on Breakpoint here: http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/26274
  • 5 Reasons Why I am Not a New Calvinist. James J. Cassidy writes that “(John) Piper was humble and levelheaded about the new Calvinism, acknowledging its shortcomings and how in some ways it falls short of the older Calvinism. But there was something in his comparison of the new and old that he missed: ecclesiology.” As a result, Cassidy lists five reasons why he is not one of the so-called new Calvinists. Read his reasons here: http://theaquilareport.com/5-reasons-why-i-am-not-a-new-calvinist-2/
  • “Limited Atonement” is the middle letter in TULIP, but as author and pastor Douglas Wilson explains, that name might give the wrong impression. “The problem with ‘limited atonement’ is that it makes everybody think ‘tiny atonement.’” And, of course, no good Christian wants to cast the cross-work of Christ as diminutive. The better term, says Wilson, with a growing number of voices, is “Definite Atonement.” Same doctrine, better name. This way of putting it emphasizes the extent of Jesus’s accomplishment, rather than its restriction. Read the Desiring God article Jesus Doesn’t Fail: An Interview on Definite Atonement” and watch the 13 minute interview with Wilson here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/jesus-doesn-t-fail-an-interview-on-definite-atonement
  • “Practice Principles for Biblical Interpretation” by R.C. Sproul: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/practical-principles-biblical-interpretation/
  • Earlier this month Ligonier Ministries held their 2014 Regional Conference in Philadelphia on the theme, The Truth of the Cross. Steven Lawson and Stephen Nichols joined R.C. Sproul to consider topics such as the necessity of the atonement, the reason for the incarnation, the two natures of Christ, and several others. You can listen or watch the messages free here stream for free.
  • Mark Jones writes that there is a lot of diversity among Reformed theologians. Check out his article “Reformed Theological Diversity (lots of it)” for some of the areas that have been disputed among Reformed theologians here: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/10/reformed-theological-diversity.php
  • Here is John Piper’s latest labs in his series on Romans 8. This one covers verse 3. Check it out here: http://www.desiringgod.org/labs/god-sent-his-own-son and this one covers verses 3-4: http://www.desiringgod.org/labs/love-fulfills-the-law

THEOLOGIANS:

  • “The Redwoods and the Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment”. ‘J.I. Packer says that the Puritans are the theological and devotional Redwoods of the western world. My (John Piper) own experience is that no one comes close to the skill they have in taking the razor-like scalpel of Scripture, and lancing the boils of my corruption, cutting out the cancers of my God-belittling habits of mind, and amputating the limbs of my disobedience. They are simply in a class by themselves.’
  • Theologian for the Ages: John Calvin – John Calvin (1509–1564) is easily the most important Protestant theologian of all time and remains one of the truly great men who have lived. Get to know Calvin better by reading Steven Lawson’s article here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/theologian-ages-john-calvin/
  • William Tyndale (ca. 1494–1536) made an enormous contribution to the Reformation in England. Many would say that he made the contribution by translating the Bible into English and overseeing its publication.” Read Steven Lawson’s article “Prince of Translators: William Tyndale” here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/prince-translators-william-tyndale/
  • Who is Ulrich Zwingli? Steven Lawson writes “Other than Martin Luther, Heinrich Bullinger, and John Calvin, the most important early Reformer was Ulrich Zwingli. A first-generation Reformer, he is regarded as the founder of Swiss Protestantism. Furthermore, history remembers him as the first Reformed theologian. Though Calvin would later surpass Zwingli as a theologian, he would stand squarely on Zwingli’s broad shoulders.” Read his article “Zurich Revolutionary: Ulrich Zwingli” here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/zurich-revolutionary-ulrich-zwingli/
  • Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575) is regarded as the most influential second-generation Reformer. As the heir to Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich, Switzerland, he consolidated and continued the Swiss Reformation that his predecessor had started. Read Steven Lawson’s profile of Bullinger “Covenant Theologian: Heinrich Bullinger” here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/covenant-theologian-heinrich-bullinger/
  • “Fortress for Truth: Martin Luther”. Steven Lawson writes that “Martin Luther was a giant of history. Some believe he was the most significant European figure of the second millennium. He was the pioneer Reformer, the one God first used to spark a transformation of Christianity and the Western world. He was the undisputed leader of the German Reformation. In a day of ecclesiastical corruptions and apostasies, he was a valiant champion of the truth; his powerful preaching and pen helped to restore the pure gospel.” Read his article here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/fortress-truth-martin-luther/

PROBING QUESTIONS:

  • What do you say to a person who truly believes that they are unlovable? Tullian Tchividjian writes “What can you do when you hear stories of a life lived in constant disgrace? How do you provide comfort when one’s suffering is like nothing you’ve ever experienced?” Read his article “Portraits of Grace: Allison” here: http://www.pastortullian.com/2014/10/22/portraits-of-grace-allison/
  • Have you been looking for twenty ways you can be refreshing in your church? Read Jason Helopoulos’ article and put some of these into practice: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/10/16/20-ways-to-be-refreshing-in-the-local-church/
  • Have you heard the argument that “Gay is the New Black” that has been used to justify acceptance of homosexuality in our culture? Nobody can argument with the effectiveness in changing attitudes toward homosexuality in our culture. But is it an accurate argument? Pastor Voddie Bauchan doesn’t think so. Check out this article which includes Bauchan’s article on the subject along with a few recent related videos.
  • Do you know professing Christians who don’t attend church? Here’s a helpful article from Matthew Westerholm at Desiring God on why we should attend church. Read his article “Three Reasons to Attend Corporate Worship” here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/three-reasons-to-attend-corporate-worship
  • Have you ever found yourself apologizing for God? Drew Dyck in his new book Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God writes: “I’m done apologizing for God. Every few months an Atheist writes a book accusing God of being mean, and somehow simultaneously non-existent. Then we spill gallons of ink in response trying to defend God’s actions. I’m not trying to bash on apologists, because I think what they do is crucial. My beef is that after we get through explaining away every passage in the Bible where God seems mean, he comes off as hapless or misunderstood.” Amen to that! Read this article by Tony Reinke of Desiring God “Stop Apologizing for God” here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/stop-apologizing-for-god
  • Is sin worse than hell? Jonathan Bowers of Desiring God writes that “So sin, in the final analysis, is worse than hell. We should not marvel that God burns with wrath against his enemies.” Read his article “Sin is Worse Than Hell” here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/sin-is-worse-than-hell
  • Do you enjoy podcasts? R.C. Sproul Jr. recently announced the debut of the “Jesus Changes Everything” podcast. You can listen to it here: http://rcsprouljr.com/jce/
  • Rising church leaders, what is it about you that encourages Tim Keller, John Piper and D.A. Carson? Watch this video from the Gospel Coalition to find out.
  • Do you enjoy your present work or are you looking for the next big thing as far as your vocation? Check out this article from The High Calling.

CHRISTIAN LIVING:

BOOKS:One Vote

TO MAKE YOU SMILE AND ENCOURAGE YOU:

Quotes from R.C. Sproul:

The sinner in hell would give everything he had to make the number of sins he committed in this world one less. -R.C. Sproul

The more seriously we understand the radical nature of sin, the more it exercises a restraint upon us. -R.C. SproulBeyond the Ark by Doug Michael

Doug Michael's Cartoon

 

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 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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