Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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this.n.that-small              CHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • A Joy Bigger Than the Issue of Our Day. In less than two minutes, Russell Moore talks about the importance of joy for our Christian witness in America today.
  • The Key to the Christian’s Joy. R.C. Sproul writes “The key to the Christian’s joy is its source, which is the Lord.”
  • One Simple Way to Encourage Your Pastor. Kevin DeYoung writes “So sometime this month–if there is something worth commending in your pastor’s sermon–go ahead and commend it.”
  • Whom Do Tim Keller and D.A. Carson Look Up To? Ivan Mesa writes “It’s not every day that the The Gospel Coalition’s co-founders, Tim Keller and Don Carson, take the opportunity to offer a foreword and afterword for a slim, easily overlooked book on “loving the Old Testament.” While many today rightly esteem and look up to Keller and Carson for their biblical insight, ministry experience, and proven faithfulness, do you ever wonder whom these men look up to?”
  • Pride is Your Greatest Problem. Josh Squires writes “While the presenting problems vary widely, the problem, which all too often muddles counseling from the very outset, is pride — and the answer is Holy-Spirit-enabled, Jesus-centered humility.”
  • Is Yoga Sinful? John Piper addresses this question on his “Ask Pastor John” podcast.
  • Four Promises for Our Breakups. John Piper addresses the issue of relationship breakups in this recent “Ask Pastor John” podcast episode.
  • When Tempted to Give Up, Throw in the Towel and Run Away. Here’s another wonderful prayer from our friend Scotty Smith.
  • Don’t Waste Death. Phillip Holmes writes “When death comes knocking, don’t waste it. Ponder its implications and allow your heart to long for the time and place when all wrongs will be made right. The true Christian longs to be with Jesus. Christ has defeated death, and he’s able to comfort us in the pain. Cry out to Jesus — our death slayer.”
  • A Call to Teenagers to be Free. John Piper writes “I am writing for the liberation of teenagers. I write to challenge teenagers to “live as people who are free” (1 Peter 2:16). Be wise and strong and free from the slavery of culture-conformity. To put it another way, I am calling teenagers to a radical, wartime lifestyle.”
  • Guarding Sexual Purity. John MacArthur writesToday’s culture is obsessed with sex more than ever. There’s no discretion any more when it comes to sex—every new perversion and deviance has to be publicly celebrated, promoted, and explored.”
  • The Dangerous Calling of Christian Missions. Albert Mohler writes “Let us make our convictions clear and commitments firm, even in the face of hostility and danger. Evangelical Christians must take our stand for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has made atonement for our sins. In a day of hostility and danger, we must point to the only gospel that offers salvation. We must learn again to define the true gospel in terms of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is the sum and substance of the genuine gospel — and the true gospel is always a missionary gospel — and a gospel that is active even in the world’s most dangerous contexts.”

CHURCH LIFE:

  • What Do You Think Happened to the Emerging Church? Michael Patton writes “One thing is for sure, at least the “name” emerging church is no longer a threat to conservative evangelicals and no one is publishing anymore about it. This is to say that the emerging church as a “movement” has passed. Why is that? What happened to the emerging church? Let me give you a few reasons why I think it has passed.”
  • Millennials Have Turned Away From “Cool” Christianity, But Traditional Churches Are Making a Comeback. Grant Mishard writes “18-to-35-year-olds are still leaving mainline pews in ever-increasing numbers and some are leaving the faith entirely. But many are leaving in search of a different kind of church — a church that is traditional, reverent, and decidedly uncool.”
  • The Podcast Pastor. John Piper writes “How should we encourage these same Christians, who are benefitting from podcast preaching, to orient themselves toward their pastor(s) in the local church?”
  • Three Important Stats about Our Cultural Context. Eric Geiger writes “Last year, Ligonier Ministries enlisted LifeWay Research in an effort to determine what Americans believe about God and six other essential doctrines. The results were recently published by The Gospel Project in a new eBook called, The State of American Theology: Know the Truth, Loving the Church, Reaching Our Neighbors. While some of it is encouraging, much of it is sobering and warrants our attention.”

CURRENT EVENTS:

Same-Sex Marriage

  • SCOTUS: Too Much and Too Little. Rosaria Butterfield writes “The root of the tragedy of the SCOTUS decision is that sexual orientation as a category of personhood is both too much and too little all at once, too weighty for the soul to bear and not capacious enough to portray God’s power to redeem, transform, lay down his life, and live again in and through His people.”
  • Pastoral Reflections on Gay Marriage: A Series of Five Short Videos. Randy Alcorn writes “Much has been said presenting a Christian response to same sex marriage. I’ve posted in previous blogs some excellent perspectives from others. But I haven’t heard anything better than the five brief videos below from Dan Franklin, Pastor of Teaching at Life Bible Fellowship Church in Upland, California. The videos average seven minutes or so each. Watch them one at a time and ponder them, or view them in succession for a total of about 35 minutes. Consider watching them in a class or group and discussing them one by one.”
  • The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Common but Mistaken Claims. Darrell Bock writes “This article is designed to engage those who say the real thrust of the Bible is to joyously enter our brave new world with open arms and hearts. I’ll discuss various claims arguing that Scripture either doesn’t clearly address our specific contemporary situation or that Scripture is open and inconsistent enough to allow room for a category previously rejected.”

Abortion

Courtesy of World Magazine

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • Some Thoughts on Life – What We Are And What We Were. Kevin DeYoung offers several helpful questions on the unborn.
  • 10 Quick, Important Developments on The Planned Parenthood Scandal. Mollie Hemingway writes “Whether or not the story generates major media attention, the Center for Medical Progress’ expose of Planned Parenthood’s participation in the harvesting and sale of fetal organs continues to feature major updates. Here are 10 of them.”
  • Meet the Filmmaker Exposing Planned Parenthood. Christianity Today interviews David Daleiden, 26, Executive Director of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the pro-life nonprofit that produced the videos. He’s a former director of research for Live Action, a pro-life group that specializes in undercover abortion clinic videos.
  • The Planned Parenthood Expos Takes You Into a Lab that Procures Baby Parts. Justin Taylor writes that “The third video (Human Capital – Episode 1: Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts), from The Center for Medical Progress released this morning, shot in more of a documentary style with interviews to go alongside the secret recordings.”
  • Culpable Ignorance: You Have No Excuse for Not Knowing What Abortion Is. Denny Burk writes “The third video exposing Planned Parenthood was just released today (see below). It is the worst one yet as it depicts the actual carnage of abortion. It is difficult to watch, but everyone who supports the legality of this barbarism is morally obligated to watch it.”
  • 4 Videos That Show How Planned Parenthood Harms Women. Joe Carter writes “Because the ministers of the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board don’t care about defending the most vulnerable humans—those in the womb—it’s not surprising they shrug at the horrors revealed in the four videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress. But how do they dismiss the following four videos which provide a sample of Planned Parenthood’s established pattern of harming women?”
  • Now is the Time for Outrage. Todd Pruitt lists corporate sponsors of Planned Parenthood in this article. He writes “I urge you to find ways to boycott these companies. Write to them. Encourage your friends to do the same. Remember, money is the lifeblood (pun intended) of Planned Parenthood’s ghoulish existence. Let us band together to make it impossible for them to ply their wicked trade. We may never have another opportunity quite like this.”
  • Is Our Stance on Abortion Too Flimsy? Jonathan Parnell writes that in regards to abortion, evangelicals need to deepen the conviction, have the conversations, and love. What Happens Month-by-Month Within the Womb? Justin Taylor shares this article from Francis Beckwith, author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice, about what happens in the womb throughout a pregnancy.
  • Nothing to See Here? Eric Metaxas tells us why Planned Parenthood will never be transparent.
  • “A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small.” Dr. Seuss
  • This just in- Planned Parenthood Regains Public Favor by Refusing to Sell Parts of Cecil the Lion. “We have standards.” R.C. Sproul Jr.
  • “In Zimbabwe, if you wrongly kill a lion it’s a $20,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. In the U.S., if you kill unborn babies the government gives you $500 million in funding.” Steve Camp

Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • The ungodly are not half so restrained in their blasphemy as we are in our praise. Charles Spurgeon
  • We are too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand. Charles Spurgeon
  • There is nothing that will keep a person from Christ like a good opinion of himself. Charles Spurgeon
  • Great grace and small gifts are better than great gifts and no grace. John Bunyan
  • When God says something, the argument is over. R.C. Sproul
  • Of course God will give us more than we can handle. That’s what drives us to Jesus, which is the best thing that can happen to any of us. Scotty Smith
  • You can’t confuse childlike faith with childish thinking. John MacArthur
  • Settle this in your heart. Life is a gift from God. He owes it to none. He may take it at any age, any time, and do no wrong. John Piper
  • Flattery is saying something nice in order to help yourself. Encouragement is saying something true in order help someone else. Kevin DeYoung
  •  The less time you spend with truth the easier it is to believe lies. Lecrae
  • Prayer is the means that God has ordained for the supply of grace that is necessary to be joyful in hope. Alistair Begg
  • Christians don’t believe that goodness gets you to heaven. Christians believe it’s exhausting to rely on your own goodness to please God. Tim Keller
  • Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong. Tim Keller
  • Everyone says they want community and deep friendship. However, because it takes accountability and commitment we run the other way. Tim Keller
  • Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. Francis Chan
  • It wasn’t Luther or Calvin that reformed the church. It was the Word of God that reformed the church. Robert Godfrey
  • In the race of faith, stay focused upon Christ, not the other runners, nor the spectators. Steven Lawson
  • We discover the will of God by a sensitive application of Scripture to our own lives. Sinclair Ferguson
  • The truest spirituality comes thru ordinary means. Scripture, prayer, worship, sacraments, community. Leave it to Jesus to be spectacular. Scott Sauls

Just for Fun

  • August 1? Hey Summer where you running off to? Dave Ramsey
  • Who was the first person to walk into a harbor and say, “Whatever that horrible smell is I want to eat it.” Jim Gaffigan
Doug Michael Cartoon

Beyond the Ark by Doug Michael

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, 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 Colossians 3:23 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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