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:

  • NeighborsNext-Door Strangers. Marshall Segal writes “It’s never too late to be a better neighbor. The awkwardness may last a few moments initially, but the results also may endure eternally. Take the next step in their direction — they’re only a few steps away — and trust God will overcome the weaknesses in you and the brokenness in American society to draw his own to himself.”
  • How I Learned to Live Joyfully. J.I. Packer gives two reasons why Ecclesiastes is his favorite book of the Bible.
  • The Promise of God in Threatening Pain. Garrett Gilkey a center and guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL) writes “As I was hit from the side in my knee, I felt the pop, fell to the ground in excruciating pain, and knew my year was over before it had even begun.”
  • Speak to Persuade, Not Only to Rally. Gospel Coalition editorial director Collin Hansen sits down with two leaders who excel at engaging those who don’t already agree with them—Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Tim Keller, senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Together they consider speaking the truth with courage and compassion, how to keep from pandering to one camp and clobbering the other, discerning blind spots, the art of persuasion, and more.
  • How God Gives Assurance. Jon Bloom writes “Am I truly a Christian? Few questions cause more fearful trembling in believers, and few soul-shepherds are as helpful as John Newton in explaining to trembling saints how God cultivates assurance in the Christian life.
  • The Gospel Coalition Launches Podcast Network. Are you looking for edifying audio to redeem the time you spend commuting, cleaning, or working out? The Gospel Coalition has expanded its offerings to three distinct podcasts updated regularly to bring you new episodes throughout the week.
  • The Incomparable Christ. Tim Challies shares this wonderful quote about our Savior.

THEOLOGY AND CHURCH LIFE:George Müller (1805–1898)

  • George Mueller Did Not Have the Gift of Faith – Thankfully. In writing about George Mueller, John Piper writes “This response is enormously important. It means every Christian is expected to trust God to fulfill all the explicit promises made to the church in the Bible. It would be sin not to believe them. But it is not sin not to believe God will do a thing that is not explicitly promised in the Bible — like heal his wife, Mary.”
  • One Strategy to Rule Them All. How can the church be more effective in equipping young people to keep the faith when they leave home? Learn How to Answer Skeptics from Romans 1.
  • The Biblical Basis for Missions. R.C. Sproul writes “It is the church’s duty to fulfill the Great Commission, to send people into all the world. That’s what missions is all about.”
  • The Place and Purpose of Parachurch Ministries. Jon Saunders writes “Parachurch, come alongside the local church. We need some help. You’ve thought through strategies and models we could use. We’re thankful for this work. And local church, let’s go. Our King has handed us a commission he intends to fulfill primarily through us.”
  • How Sinful is Man? R.C. Sproul writes “When the Protestant Reformers talked about total depravity, they meant that sin—its power, its influence, its inclination—affects the whole person. Our bodies are fallen, our hearts are fallen, and our minds are fallen—there’s no part of us that escapes the ravages of our sinful human nature. Sin affects our behavior, our thought life, and even our conversation. The whole person is fallen. That is the true extent of our sinfulness when judged by the standard and the norm of God’s perfection and holiness.”


  • My Wife’s Plea to Christian Men. Tim Challies’ wife Aileen writes “You who keep choosing to sin, you who keep visiting those websites, you who have secret lives you keep hidden from your friends and your wives: Why won’t you stop? You know that God loves to give victory over every sin. ….I plead with you. I plead with you on behalf of your wives, on behalf of your future wives, on behalf of Christian women everywhere: Stop. Just stop.”
  • Ligonier Suspends R. C. Sproul Jr. over Ashley Madison Visit. Ligonier Ministries Teaching Fellow and son of founder R.C. Sproul has been suspended until July 2016 due to his admission that he visited the adultery matchmaking website Ashley Madison. Here is Sproul’s article “Judgment and Grace”.
  • tullianPredictable, All Too Predictable. Carl Trueman, who I enjoyed a wonderful class on B.B. Warfield at Covenant Seminary a few years ago, has some interesting thoughts that I agree with regarding the return of Tullian Tchividjian to a ministry role. As an elder in the PCA myself, I’m watching this with some particular interest – and concern.
  • GREAT QUOTE about the Tullian Tchividjian situation:
    • When a pastor falls to disqualifying sin and is given a way out of ongoing shepherding by being quickly hired by another church, the process in place meant to guide the man to mature repentance is undercut and the health of the church put at risk. Todd Pruitt
  • Should Adulterous Pastors Be Restored? Kent Hughes and John Armstrong write, “We conclude with the wise plea and rationale of a fallen anonymous minister to his fellow servants who have fallen: “The question is character and integrity. Yours are shattered. I plead with you, face the issue now! God’s grace does restore. There is hope. However, that requires a process, much time, and even more grace. Confess, step down. Become accountable. Seek the cleansing and healing you need. Do it this day, do it now!””
  • Can a Label Edify? Richard Phillips and Ray Ortlund comment on the Tullian Tchividjian situation and challenge each other.
  • 5 Problems with Roman Catholic Confession. In the wake of the news about Pope Francis stating that priests can now absolve women who have had an abortion, Jordan Standridge writes that it is important that we as believers understand the truth of why Catholic confession is not Biblical.
  • The 9th Planned Parenthood Video. Justin Taylor includes the latest, and all nine of the videos that have been released to date.
  • “In this World You Will Have Trouble” — Welcome to Rowan County. Albert Mohler writes “But the hardest question in this case has to do with the fact that Kim Davis holds a constitutional office that now requires her, according to the federal courts, to do what she believes she cannot do in good conscience. Anyone who sees this case in simplistic terms simply doesn’t understand the issues. Christians of good conscience may answer these questions in different ways. In a fallen world, some questions seem to grow only more vexing.”
  • Dr. R.C. Sproul returned to the pulpit at Saint Andrews September 6 after being away for months due to health issues. He preached on Luke 19.
  • Amazing Grace Amazingly Staged. Eric Metaxas writes about the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace that is based on the life of John Newton.
  • Lazy Writing, Cheap Restoration. In regards to faith-based films, Kenneth R. Morefield writes in Christianity Today “But when it comes to screenplay writing, the genre seems stuck in a rut. It’s more committed to heavy-handed providential plotting than imaginative explorations of character or setting.”



Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Favorite Quotes of the Week


  • Brethren, who are we that God should have been so good to us? Charles Spurgeon
  • The Gospel is that Jesus Christ came to earth, lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died. Tim Keller
  • Ordinary, daily faithfulness is equally as extraordinary as a spectacular conversion experience. Scott Sauls
  • People are messy; therefore, relationships will be messy. Don’t be surprised by messiness. Tim Keller
  • Where Jesus is our portion and desire, we lack no true treasure. Zack Eswine


  • We’re to love our children for who they are, not for what we want them to become. Alistair Begg
  • There is no higher human state than to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and for that desire to be satisfied. Dr. Robert Yarbrough
  • The more we grow in Christ, the more our excitement for Friday turns into a greater eagerness for the arrival of Sunday. Burk Parsons
  • Conviction is not repentance; conviction leads to repentance. But you can be convicted without repentance. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Today, we often use the same vocabulary, but a different dictionary. Rosaria Butterfield
  • If in a Christian pulpit you have no business saying, “I suggest to you” No! “These things I declare to you.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last. Charles Spurgeon
  • How can you admit that your only hope is divine grace and then throw condemnation at another sinner when you see them struggle? Paul David Tripp
  • Life is not an experiment. God gave you a life, and God gave you a Book. John Piper

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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