Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Ten Things to Remember as the Presidential Campaign Season Gets into Full Swing. Kevin DeYoung suggests the following ten things to keep in mind as the 2016 presidential race begins.
  • Reflections on a Planned Parenthood Protest. John Piper offers seven short reflections on the August 22 protest at the St. Paul Planned Parenthood facility. You can also listen to his prayer from the event.
  • The 7th Planned Parenthood Video and 4 FAQs. Justin Taylor shares the video, a summary and four helpful questions.
  • Ashley Madison and Who You Are Online. Tim Challies writes “One of the great deceptions of the Internet is that it allows us to think there are two parts to us, the part who exists in real time and space, and the part who exists in cyberspace. But events like this ought to make us realize that when you go online you display and expose who and what you really are. And who you really are will eventually find you out. God will not be mocked.”
  • Christianity and “The Good Wife”. Mike Niebauer writes “Though not a “family friendly” show (this is not 7th Heaven—there are frequent sex scenes that are unsettling despite broadcast television regulations), The Good Wife may be the best option for those tired of seeing the negative stereotypes of Christians that have become cliché in Hollywood. It presents a fair and in-depth examination of the impact of faith and unbelief on individuals and their overarching perception of themselves. This is accomplished without the kind of moralizing that would make it a Christian niche program ignored by the viewing public.”



  • Theology for Every Woman. Aimee Byrd writes about how she went from opening a coffee shop to writing about theology.
  • Legitimacy. Malcolm Gladwell helps us understand how the process by which ideas are debated, opinions are formed, and a process is communicated can have more to do with whether the idea is embraced as truthful. But Gladwell also helps us understand why the truthfulness of an idea isn’t always as important as the legitimacy of it
  • How Martyn Lloyd-Jones Helped Start the PCA. I’m an elder in, and member of a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church. I enjoyed reading this article from Nicholas T. Batzig about Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones role in helping to start the denomination.
  • The Church is Not a Ghetto. R.C. Sproul writes “The church is not a ghetto or a reservation. True, the world wants to put us there, to force us out of the world into the four walls of the church building, outside of which we are never to speak of sin or the salvation that comes only in Christ. However, we don’t have to let the world do that.
  • What Would I Lose if I Lost Worship? Tim Challies writes “Worship is a rivilege, to be sure. But it is also a requirement, a responsibility. And the greatest responsibility and the greatest privilege in worship is to bring glory to God.”
  • Help Me Teach the Bible: Dan Doriani on James. Here is Nancy Guthrie’s latest episode in her helpful podcast series. I had the pleasure of having two courses with Dr. Doriani at Covenant Seminary.
  • 3 Things to Remember Before You Criticize Someone’s Theology. Justin Taylor writes “There are at least three exhortations worth remembering about criticism: (1) understand before you critique; (2) be self-critical in how you critique; (3) consider the alternatives of what you are critiquing.”
  • When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster. Albert Mohler writes “There are big lessons here for every church, every denomination, and every Christian institution. Once biblical inerrancy is abandoned, there is no brake on theological and moral revisionism. The Bible’s authority becomes relative, and there is no anchor to hold the church to the words of Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian witness.”
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Preaching and Principles. Jonathan Master writes “It is a testimony to the grace of God that someone in another country, whose death occurred when I was a young boy, and whose churches I never attended or visited should have been used in such a way in my life.”


  • Home Run Lands on Top of Foul Pole. Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins pulled off the rare feat last week, drilling the top of the left field foul pole at Marlins Park.


  • Free Tuition. Ball State University freshman Lem Turner hit a half-court shot and won $3,546 — the equivalent of free in-state tuition for one semester.
  • Twenty-Five Really Weird Things Said to Pastors. Thom Rainer writes “Few people are truly aware of the constant requests, complaints, and criticisms pastors and other church leaders receive. I must admit, however, I was surprised when I asked church leaders on Twitter to share some of the more unusual comments they have received.”


  • There are some things in life I’ll just never understand, like how a donut store can run out of donuts. Kevin DeYoung
  • Took my kids to Mount Vernon. My 2-year old still insists it’s the home of Curious George. Jim Gaffigan
  • Am I the only one who gets paranoid in coffee shops like people are looking over my shoulder and peaking at my laptop? Trip Lee
  • Each of my kids has somehow mastered throwing a ball exactly one yard short of where I am standing. Jim Gaffigan
Doug Michael Cartoon

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • One answer to the Planned Parenthood counter sign (“Don’t take away our care”): “We only want to take away your killing not your care.” John Piper
  • Sin is a sovereign till sovereign grace dethrones it. Charles Spurgeon
  • The ultimate test of any civilization is how we treat the most vulnerable… what we do to our children. Our world has lost its direction. Ravi Zacharias
  • An unkind heart is the worst. It is a plague to its possessor, and a torment to those around him. Charles Spurgeon
  • The gospel frees us from the relentless pressure of having to prove ourselves and secure our identity through work. Tim Keller
  • The key question in order to change you is not ‘What would Jesus do?’ but “What has Jesus done for you?” Tim Keller
  • The Gospel is not good instructions, not a good idea, and not good advice. The Gospel is an announcement of what God has done for us in Jesus. Michael Horton
  • I was not born to be free. I was born to adore and to obey. C.S. Lewis
  • The unfolding shame of the Ashley Madison hack is an opportunity for repentance, grace, and the gospel. Hope pastors and churches are ready. Andy Crouch
  • Compare these statements: (1) “Life is short. Have an affair.” (Ashley Madison ad) & (2) “Know this, your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23. Albert Mohler
  • We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us. R.C. Sproul
  • Because of the gospel, God doesn’t remember our sins against us. Because of the gospel, let’s practice that a lot more with each other too. Scotty Smith
  • Preach the gospel at all times; use words, which are necessary. Justin Taylor
  • I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him. Charles Spurgeon
  • If Christians win a battle by using worldly means, they have really lost. Francis Schaeffer
  • How have we come to a place in society where millions of babies can be slaughtered and disposed of in the name of progress? Shocking but real. Ravi Zacharias
  • Freedom is not doing whatever you want whenever and with whomever, it is knowing what you ought to do and having the freedom to do it. Burk Parsons
  • Even the most casual events are connected to God’s purpose for His people from all eternity. Alistair Begg
  • Most people want Jesus as a consultant rather than a king. Tim Keller
  • Life is about Jesus. We are not here to tell our story, but His. Francis Chan
  • We may not have “that peaceful, easy feeling” the Eagles sang about, but the gospel announces “having been justified we have peace with God” Michael Horton
  • No one goes to heaven by parroting a prayer, being baptized, or joining a church, but by believing in Jesus Christ with humble submission. Steven Lawson
  • Being nice while wearing a gold cross around your neck isn’t a form of evangelism. Telling others all about that cross is. Burk Parsons
  • Sin rarely seems sin at first beginnings. J.C. Ryle
  • Repentance is a characteristic of the whole life, not the action of a single moment. Sinclair Ferguson
  • What is the chief end of preaching? To give men and women a sense of God and His presence. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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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