Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

This & That and Favorite Quotes

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This and ThatBOOKS AND RECOMMENDED AUTHORS:

  • ChristianAudio.com is pleased to offer you Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream free of charge for the next 72 hours. Make sure to take advantage of this free download before it ends on April 9th, 2015. Take a transforming journey in authentic discipleship. As the pastor of a large and wealthy congregation, David Platt began to see a discrepancy between the reality of his Church and the way Jesus said His followers lived. In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, Platt examines how American Christianity has manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences and challenges readers to rediscover the path.Tortured for Christ
  • Christianaudio’s FREE audiobook of the month. In 1967, a book by Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand detailed his own persecution and imprisonment. Tortured for Christ, by the Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand, is the free audiobook of the month for April
  • Amy Carmichael. In this review of Iain Murray’s new book about Amy Carmichael, Catherine MacKenzie writes “Carmichael should be a role model. Buy this book for yourself and give it to your teenagers. We should all follow her example and learn from her mistakes.”
  • E-Book Version of the new Reformation Study Bible. It was supposed to be available around April 1, but has been delayed. Ligonier Ministries is still projecting a release this Spring. I’ll let you know when it’s been released.
  • The Personal Side of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The Gospel Coalition recently interviewed Jonathan Catherwood, one of Martyn Lloyd-Jones grandchildren about Lloyd-Jones as a grandfather, a Christian man, and as a shepherd of the sheep at Westminster Chapel.
  • Reasons We Need the Puritans. Jeff Robinson writes that the Puritans represent a high point of Christ-centered, Scripture-saturated, God-entranced living.

VIDEOS AND MORE:

  • Ready, Set, Go! One of our favorite singer/songwriters Fernando Ortega recently posted this video of men at John MacArthur’s Shepherd’s Conference battling to find a seat towards the front of the church.
  • A 5-Minute Video Overview of the Entire Bible for Kids. Trevin Wax writes “Several weeks ago, we released a video for The Gospel Project Chronological that shows how the Bible points to Jesus, how “every story casts His shadow.” If you enjoyed that video, check out the new one our team made for kids. This is an overview of The Gospel Project Chronological for Kids.”
  • An Unlikely Convert. TableTalk magazine interviews Rosaria Butterfield. Here’s a link to our review of Rosaria’s book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.
  • In the Studio with Michael Card. Probably my favorite radio show was In the Studio with Michael Card. Wayne Shepherd served as host. You can listen to some of the past programs now.

FAVORITE BLOGS:

MUSIC:

IN THE NEWS:  

  • Discrimination Against Gay People in Indiana? Denny Burk writes “The law does not in fact legalize discrimination against anyone. Nevertheless, it has been misrepresented as if it does. Nevermind the fact that it’s been a federal law for over 20 years. Nevermind the fact that 19 other states have passes RFRA’s as well. Critics are denouncing the Indiana law as if it were some new departure in discrimination. But nothing could be further from the truth.”
  • Willing Incompatible Words. Andrew Walker writes “To find the words that describe with accuracy the media hysterics involved with Indiana’s passing of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may be impossible. What passed last week is a bill nearly identical to a bill that state senator Barack Obama voted for when he was in the Illinois legislature.”
  • What Opposition to Religious Freedom Really Means. Russell Moore writes “RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), of course, does not grant anyone the right to “discriminate” or deny service to anyone else. All the law does is articulate that religious freedom is a factor to be weighed in making court decisions about the common good, that the government must show good cause in restricting someone’s free exercise of religion.”
  • A Fleeting Tolerance. Kevin DeYoung writes “The reason many corporations, members of the media, and ten thousands angry tweeters do not feel the need to examine the arguments for religious freedom is because they don’t think any rational arguments can be made in this instance. Traditional views about marriage are so 1990’s and so obviously immoral that anyone holding such views today does not deserve our respect, let alone any whiff of legal protection. We should not expect our ideas to be debated fairly when it has already been concluded that there are no ideas to consider, only bigotry to suppress. As I’ve said before, why argue about dogma when stigma will do?”
World Magazine Cartoon

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • American’s Muddled Morality about the Unborn. Kevin Trax writes “Many in our society demand the harshest penalties for people who commit violent crimes against a pregnant woman or unborn child, while maintaining the right of a doctor to do violence to the unborn within the sterile confines of an abortion clinic.”

SPORTS:

  • Cultural hardball. Marvin Olasky of World Magazine writes about the backlash against New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, a professed Christian, because of his views on homosexuality.
  • What Batters See in Different Pitches While the Baseball Comes to the Plate. Arman Walia writes “Check out this helpful infographic of how different pitches appear to hitters. From the slider to the curveball, you can see what the baseball looks like as it approaches the plate.”

 CHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • A Clean House and a Wasted Life. Tim Challies writes “If you do the things God tells you to do, messes will inevitably follow. But take heart: According to the wisest man who ever lived, these messes are not proof of a wasted life, but of a productive one.”
  • Pay Much Closer Attention. Kevin DeYoung writes about nobody paying attention during the flight attendant instructions at the beginning of a flight and says we do the same thing in church. “So we don’t pay attention. We hear the gospel a hundred times and we don’t think anything of it. We celebrate dozens of Good Fridays and it never makes a difference. Jesus, cross, death, resurrection–it’s all just noise in the background of our lives as we try to get our seats to recline and open the tiny bag of peanuts. No one is listening.
  • You’ll Never Outgrow the Gospel. In this three-minute video from Desiring God, author Jerry Bridges tells the story of his coming to realize the relevance of the gospel for his own soul as a young Christian — that the message of salvation in Christ is not just for nonbelievers, but especially for Christians as well.
  • Cancer is a parable about Sin. John Piper writes “All human suffering, especially the suffering of the Son of God, is meant to portray to dull souls the unimaginable moral ugliness of sin and the unimaginable offensiveness of sin to God.” Watch a four-minute video clip from Piper’s message, “Make War: The Pastor and His People in the Battle Against Sin”.
  • New Challenges in Addressing an Age Old Sin. In this short video Heath Lambert talks about some of the new challenges we must deal with in addressing sexual immorality today.
  • 6 Needed Mind-Shifts for Your Fight Against Sin. Our friend and fellow blogger Kevin Halloran offers “needed mind-shifts in our battle against sin if we are going to make progress and move the ball down the field”.

THEOLOGY a.k.a. “Things That Make You Go Hmmm”:

  • Southern Baptists and the Sufficiency of Scripture. Todd Pruitt writes “Also, Lifeway may want to ask Beth Moore about her understanding of the sufficiency of Scripture. A well-known Southern Baptist, Mrs. Moore frequently claims to be given direct messages from God outside the Scriptures. Yet, her books and curriculum remain the most prominent of all the Lifeway products. And as with Jesus Calling I believe Beth Moore’s materials do far more to undermine the sufficiency of Scripture than do the heavenly tourism books.”
  • The Meaning of the Cross. Last week we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord. Watch this short clip from R.C. Sproul’s video series “Hath God Said” to learn about the various ways the cross was viewed by people in the New Testament.
  • The Empty Tomb and the Risen Christ. The Centrality of the Resurrection to the Christian Faith. Albert Mohler writes “Those who would attack the Church and reject its gospel must direct their arrows at the most crucial truth claim of the New Testament and the disciples: That Jesus Christ, having suffered death on a cross, though sinless, having borne the sins of those He came to save, having been buried in a sealed and guarded grave, was raised by the power of God on the third day.”
  • Jesus Became a Curse for Us. R.C. Sproul writes “When on the cross, not only was the Father’s justice satisfied by the atoning work of the Son, but in bearing our sins the Lamb of God removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. He did it by being cursed.”

BC Cartoon

CHURCH NEWS:

  • RCA Approves University Reformed Church’s Transfer to the PCA. Kevin DeYoung writes that the “Great Lakes City Classis (formerly the South Grand Rapids Classis), one of forty-five classes in the Reformed Church in America (RCA), approved University Reformed Church’s request to transfer to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).”
  • The Trend in the Church Towards Silence. Randy Alcorn writes “Ephesians 4:15 tells us we need to “speak the truth in love.” As Christ-followers, we are not to choose between being loving and being truthful. We are to be both. And notice too that we are to speak. Yes, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). But we dare not embrace the ease of silence and turn our backs on the hard work of truth-telling done in love.”
  • For the Church: Singing Heavy is Our Savior’s Cross. Randall Van Meggelen writes “Scripture commands us to meditate on God’s wondrous works (Psalm 77:11-12). Thomas Watson wrote that meditation is “a holy exercise of the mind whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance, and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves.” “Heavy Is Our Savior’s Cross” from Glory to the Holy One helps us to meditate on Christ’s crucifixion by portraying vignettes of the passion narrative in the present tense.”

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael

Favorite QuotesFavorite Quotes of the Week ~ 4.5.2015

Charles Spurgeon:

Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell. Charles Spurgeon

Look to the cross, and hate your sin, for sin nailed your Well Beloved to the tree. Charles Spurgeon

To become a man was something, but to become a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer. Charles Spurgeon

Beloved, can you feel assured that He carried your sin? Charles Spurgeon

Scotty Smith:

  • We cannot overestimate our need for Jesus or overvalue his love for us. Scotty Smith
  • “As I have loved you”… we’ll never exhaust the wonder of those 5 words. Scotty Smith
  • You’ll never regret listening a little deeper, forbearing a little longer, and forgiving a little more.  Scotty Smith

R.C. Sproul and R.C. Sproul, Jr:

  • God did not die. The God who took on Himself a human nature died in His humanity, but the deity did not perish on the cross. R.C. Sproul
  • If you take away the cross as an atoning act, you take away Christianity. R.C. Sproul
  •  We cannot change God. God is unchangeable. If changes are to be made, they must be made in us. R.C. Sproul
  • Doctrine does matter. R.C. Sproul
  • The presumptuous sin of Uzzah was that He assumed his hands were less polluted than the dirt. R.C. Sproul
  • The higher purpose of the cross was that the Father would be glorified by the satisfaction of His justice. R.C. Sproul
  • Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once and He volunteered for it. R. C. Sproul Jr.
  •  As Christians continue to be vilified let us continue to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. It means we are salt, light and with Him. R.C. Sproul Jr.

Tim Keller:

  • The common moral framework: Do anything as long as it does no harm to others. Problem: Whose definition of harm? Tim Keller
  • Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. Tim Keller
  • If God exists then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling can matter forever. Tim Keller
  • A life of gratitude to God for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-righteousness over being good. Tim Keller
  • A life of gratitude to God for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-righteousness over being good. Tim Keller

Martin Luther:

  • We need to hear the Gospel every day, because we forget it every day. Martin Luther
  • Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime. Martin Luther

Kevin DeYoung:

  • There is no sin so prevalent, so insidious, and so deep as the sin of fearing people more than we fear God. Kevin DeYoung
  • Those trapped in sin will not normally thank you for pointing out the darkness in their lives. Kevin DeYoung
  • If you find yourself mistreated, misunderstood, and mocked as a Christian, take heart, for so they did to the Christ. Kevin DeYoung
  • Your love should be so far reaching, earnest, biblical, Christ-centered, pure, and self-sacrificing that the world may hate you for it. Kevin DeYoung

Jim Gaffigan:

  • Don’t you think it’s strange how many referees work at Footlocker? Jim Gaffigan
  • When are bald spots going to come back in style? Jim Gaffigan

Others:

  • The mercy of God is an all-embracing mercy and it breaks down the barriers that man erects. Alistair Begg
  •  Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. C.S. Lewis
  • If you are weak enough to confess your sins, God is strong enough to save you from them. Thabiti Anyabwile
  • “Shut up, you’re a bigot if you disagree with me” is not an argument. It just shows fear of having a conversation on an important subject. Eric Metaxas
  • The true test of our worldview is what we find entertaining. Albert Mohler
  •  A Christian is something before he does anything; and we have to be Christian before we can act as Christians. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • We are great sinners; Jesus is a greater Savior! Steve Camp
  • The focus of the Christian faith is not our morality; it is Jesus, who died for our immorality. Tullian Tchividjian
  • The Cross of Christ is the crux of history. Without the Cross, history cannot be defined or corrected. Ravi Zacharias
  • We need to be more concerned about who we are before God than our reputation before people. Francis Chan
  • God has triumphed over the serpent, sin, death, evil, and tragedy. “It is finished!” Jesus cried. Our victory is assured. Michael Horton
  • At the cross, the worst about us–our sins–was laid upon Christ, and the best about Him–His righteousness–was laid upon us. Steven Lawson
  • At the cross, Jesus took the world’s instrument of death and made it God’s symbol of life. Burk Parsons
  • I just don’t think it honors God to create mediocre art. Trip Lee
  • Our fears lie to us about how important they are. Mark Dever
  •  Jesus was treated on the cross as if He lived our life, so by grace we could be treated as if we lived His life. Hallelujah what a Savior! Steve Camp
  • The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord. George Müller
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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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