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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

This & That and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Smartphones, Tablets, and Christian Parenting. Russell Moore writes “Technology is good. Turning our children over to the cyber-wilderness is not.”
  • Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning. John Piper states “Why are we so prone to click on our phones before we do almost anything else? I thought of six possible reasons, which came out of analyzing my heart and temptations. It seems to me that all of these six things are rooted in sin, rather than in the desire to serve others and savor God. And I put it like that because I do think the Great Commandment sets the agenda for our mornings and our midday and our evening.”
  • Finding Forgiveness and Freedom after Abortion. Randy Alcorn writes “God doesn’t want you to go through life punishing yourself for your abortion or for any other wrong you have done. Your part is to accept Christ’s atonement, not to repeat it. No matter what you’ve done, no sin is beyond the reach of God’s grace. He has seen us at our worst and still loves us. There are no limits to His forgiving grace. And there is no freedom like the freedom of forgiveness.”
  • How Should We Respond to Caitlyn Jenner? Jon Bloom writes that we should respond with compassion, prayer, greater understanding, and truthful love.” Denny Burk offers his thoughts on whether Christians should accommodate transgender naming.
  • Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’. Michael W. Chapman writes “Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.”
  • Should Christians Attend Homosexual “Weddings?” R.C. Sproul, Jr. writes “I know it is difficult. I know it is painful and can divide families. I know it makes us look to the world like bigots and haters. But that, friends, is a shame we truly can glory in, for He promises us blessing (Matthew 5:10-12). This doesn’t, of course, mean we abandon homosexuals, or have nothing to do with them. Jesus often met sinners where they were. But He always called them to come to Him. He calls us to do the same.”
  • A Prayer for Celebrating the “How Much More-ness” of the Gospel. Here’s a wonderful prayer from our friend Scotty Smith.


  • 12 Signs of Mediocrity in a Church. Thom Rainer writes “As a church consultant, I’ve learned that these signs are often an indicator that the church overall does not strive for excellence.”
  • What is Christian Unity? John Piper writes “Christian unity in the New Testament gets its goodness from a combination of its source, its views, its affections, and its aims.”
  • The Doxological Nature of Calvinism. Sinclair Ferguson writes “What makes grace so amazing is precisely that it sovereignly frees and sovereignly saves from first to last. Since every stable doctrine of providence stresses God’s absolute sovereignty over the details of life, robust singing on providence is characteristically well-rooted in this Calvinistic emphasis.”
  • 5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel. The Gospel Coalition has started a series that will examine the prosperity gospel every Thursday and Friday during the month of June. The series will look at the theology, sociology, and international influence of this popular but aberrant teaching. The first article is from David W. Jones.


  • Steve Taylor Talks about Being a Rookie at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Musician and film director Steve Taylor writes “I just returned from my first time at the World’s Most Intimidating Film Festival, aka Cannes, with the same bewildered unease I felt leaving high school: I’m still not sure what happened. I should have worn different clothes. And it all would have been better if I were more popular.”
  • Chuck Colson’s 50 Films Every Christian Should See. Jim Daly writes “I’d like to share with you a list of the 50 movies that Chuck Colson believed every Christian should see. The list was compiled several years ago, so it’s not entirely up to date. Not all of these films are suitable for all ages, of course, but it’s nevertheless a very thoughtful compilation.” How many of these films have you seen?



  • Bono Rides a Bike with Jimmy Fallon. Did you see this spoof of the U2 lead singer’s bike accident recently on The Tonight Show?
  • “I guess I’ll head over to Instagram and see what fun my friends are pretending to have.” Jim Gaffigan
  • “Just tried ordering some sweet tea in NYC. After trying to explain what it was, I just ordered a Coke.” Jeff Foxworthy


Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

As seen in Christianity Today’s The Exchange. But who will be there to sing?

As seen in Christianity Today’s The Exchange.
But who will be there to sing?

Favorite Quotes

Favorite Quotes of the Week 6.7.2015


  • Let us fall before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our faults, and praying that he will make us ever more conscious of them. John Calvin
  • Christian, remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity. Charles Spurgeon
  • Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow. Martin Luther
  • To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Jonathan Edwards
  • Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless. Francis Schaeffer
  • The best of men are only men at their very best. Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, – martyrs, fathers, reformers, puritans, – all are sinners, who need a Savior: holy, useful, honorable in their place – but sinners after all. J.C. Ryle


  • Jesus, grant your calming presence to our friends who struggle with anxiety disorders and paralyzing fears. It’s always harder at night. Scotty Smith
  • Holy Spirit, help me to be 10 times more intrigued with people today than irritated by them. I wanna be less childish and more childlike. Scotty Smith
  • The ultimate cause of all spiritual depression is unbelief. For if it were not for unbelief even the devil could do nothing. It is because we listen to the devil instead of listening to God that we go down before him and fall before his attacks. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • You are either a Christian or you are not a Christian; you cannot be partly a Christian. You are either “dead” or “alive”; you are either “born” or “not born”. Dr. Martyn-Lloyd Jones
  • The cure for a cranky soul begins by repenting, by realizing that my moodiness is a demand that my life have a certain shape. Paul Miller
  • Prayer is not a discipline, though it has discipline aspects to it. Prayer is getting to know God. Paul Miller
  • The Jenner story is a tragedy. The culture is doing its best to fall into line. The church must lean into the gospel. Albert Mohler
  • The Christian’s comfort: I am not my own. I do not make my own rules or create my own identity. There is one who made me and can save me. Kevin DeYoung
  • The Sovereign Lord has spared you ten thousand more losses than he has sent you. Let every moment be a thousand thanks. John Piper
  • God doesn’t want your crises-mode promises. Darrin Patrick
  • There is no better news than that the God who makes the demand for perfection also meets the demand for perfection on our behalf. Tullian Tchividjian
  • Grace flows most refreshingly through the faucet of brokenness. Tullian Tchividjian
  • What you applaud you encourage, but beware what you celebrate. Ravi Zacharias
  • With the doctrine of the Trinity it becomes most evident that we do not all worship the same God. Michael Horton
  • The more we grow to know God, the more we realize how little we know of Him. Steven Lawson
  • Something I always keep in mind: Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean he or she is wrong. Burk Parsons
  • Christianity is not a religion of moralism, it is a gospel religion of grace. Burk Parsons
  • Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He is the Seeker; we are the ones who are running. R. C. Sproul
  • Once we are reconciled to God, the estrangement and hostility is over. The peace is sealed for eternity. R. C. Sproul
  • You can’t keep up with the Joneses when you’re committed to radical generosity, and I think that’s exactly how God intends it. Tim Challies
  • There is a direct relationship between a person’s grasp and experience of God’s grace, and his or her heart for justice and the poor. Tim Keller
  • Grace is humbling and restorative. It pulls you down because Christ had to die for you, but also lifts you up because he wanted to die for you. Tim Keller
  • Ministry to the poor is a crucial sign that we believe the gospel. Tim Keller

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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