Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Why Controversy is Sometimes Necessary. Dr. Albert Mohler writes “Is it ever right for Christians and churches to engage in controversy? Of course, the answer is yes—there are times when believers are divided over serious and consequential questions, and controversy is an inevitable result.”
  • A Call for Christian Extremists. Tim Challies writes “We, too, are to be extremists. We, too, are to go to extreme measures to serve our God. And here are our marching orders: Do good. We are to bring glory to God by doing good for others.”
  • 5-Step Strategy to God-Centered Prayer. Newly named Ligonier Ministries Teaching Fellow Derek Thomas writes that we can ensure that our prayers are God-centered by considering this five-step strategy.
  • Pornography: A Perpetual Pastoral Problem. Tim Challies joins the gang at the Mortification of Spin podcast to discuss the problem of pornography.
  • When You Indulge in Pornography, You Participate in Sex Slavery. In this article, Andy Naselli addresses the following questions: What is sex slavery? How does pornography fuel sex slavery? How should men feel about pornography?”
  • Your Testimony Is Not the Gospel. R.C. Sproul writes “We shouldn’t confuse our personal testimonies with the gospel. Sharing our personal testimonies is not evangelism. It’s merely pre-evangelism, sort of a warm-up for evangelism.”
  • The Greatest Thing You Could Do Today. Francis Chan writes “When was the last time you spent meaningful time alone with God? Time so good you didn’t want to leave.”
  • Thirteen Practical Steps to Kill Sin. John Piper writes that we are commanded to constantly kill the remaining sin in us. It is not optional.No-Longer-Slave to sin
  • Satan’s Great Trick. Tim Challies writes “One of Satan’s greatest tricks is to convince you that the sin you are being tempted with is a very small sin and one of his greatest delights is to convince you that the sin you have just committed is a very big sin.”


  • What is Meant by the Term “Original Sin”? R.C. Sproul writes “The doctrine of original sin teaches that people sin because we are sinners. It’s not that we are sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners; that is, since the fall of man, we have inherited a corrupted condition of sinfulness. We now have a sin nature.”
  • Doctrine Matters: Eternal Life Depends on It. Kevin DeYoung writes “Christianity is much more than getting your doctrine right. But it is not less.”
  • ‘I’m an Evangelical’: Rescuing the Term. Stephen Nichols writes “To be an evangelical is to be about the gospel, and the gospel is ultimately content-rich.”
  • How Churches can Create a Culture of Adoption. Russell Moore writes “If adoption is to be a priority, it will take congregations mobilizing to do so. After all, it takes more than a village to adopt a child, at least for those of us in Christ. It takes a church.”

    Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

                   Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • The Gospel for the Hopeless: An Interview with John Barros. John Barros is director of Who Will Stand, a ministry dedicated to giving a voice to unborn children in Orlando.
  • Unexpected Grace: Nancy & Robert’s Story. For most of her life, Nancy Leigh DeMoss felt strongly that God was calling her to serve Him as a single woman . . . for all of her life. And she knew she could very happily do just that. But after decades of service, God chose to write for Nancy a different love story. Hear how God brought Robert Wolgemuth into her life and the story of their ensuing courtship, about Nancy’s journey to discern God’s will, and how He brought her to a new place of surrender—one of saying “yes” to Robert’s love and to letting her new life as a married woman reflect God’s great redemption story.
  • Loving Jesus More Than Life. In this twelve minute video, John Piper asks four questions about what it means to love Jesus, and leads us, through the words of Jesus himself, to make Jesus our greatest Treasure.
  • You Need the Whole Bible (Even If You Don’t Know Why). See this less than 3-minute clip from Russell Moore’s recent address at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, part of the Page Lectures that he delivered on engaging the culture with the gospel.
  • The Christian Evolution on Homosexuality in One Chart. Niraj Chokshi writes that the chart in this article shows just how much most Christian Americans have changed when it comes to their attitudes toward their gay peers.
  • An Introduction to C.S. Lewis: Writings and Significance. Watch the lectures from this online course from Hillsdale College.
  • Read Scripture Series: Psalms. In this 9-minute video from the Gospel Project, the Book of Psalms is outlined and explained with animation.HESED Conference
  • Biblical Imagination Conference on HESED. Our friend Michael Card’s new Biblical Imagination Conference on HESED will have a Midwest date in June, 2016. Check out the information for his June 3-5 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Can’t wait to attend this event!


  • The Letters. The new film The Letters: The Untold Story of Mother Teresa comes out Friday, December 4. I enjoyed Eric Metaxas’ profile of Mother Teresa in his new book 7 Women. Watch the trailer here.
  • Superb New Film on John Knox. David Murray shares Good dinosaurthe trailer for what he calls “a superbly-produced new film on the life of John Knox.”
  • Before you and your kids go to see The Good Dinosaur movie, read this article. Here’s a comment about the movie from Eric Metaxas – “Must movie studios shove OTHER religions down our kids throats? It’s the double-standard that most bothers me. Yikes.”

CURRENT EVENTS:   isis       

  • ISIS Waging War on Christians. Watch John MacArthur being interviewed on the Fox Business Channel.
  • Should We Pray for ISIS to be Defeated or Converted? Russell Moore writes “We ought, indeed, to pray for the gospel to go forward, and that there might be a new Saul of Tarsus turned away from murdering to gospel witness. At the same time, we ought to pray, with the martyrs in heaven, for justice against those who do such wickedness.”
  • Europe’s Refugee Problem and Ours. Ross Douthat writes “For reasons of prudence, millions of Syrians (and Iraqis, and Libyans, and …) shouldn’t end up in Greece and Hungary and Germany. For reasons of prudence and logistics and democratic politics, they won’t end up in America. So they need to be helped, and soon, close to where they are right now.”
  • Immigration Policy Must be Based on More Than an Appeal to Compassion. Kevin DeYoung, in responding to articles on immigration from Mark Galli and Trevin Wax, writes “My plea is that the conversation reflect the complexity of the situation and goes beyond the familiar dichotomies of love versus hate, inclusion versus exclusion, and fear versus compassion. There are too many important things, and too many human lives, at stake to move quite so quickly from solid Christian principles to simple policy prescriptions.”
  • Finding Peace Within The Holy Texts. David Brooks writes “It’s easy to think that ISIS is some sort of evil, medieval cancer that somehow has resurfaced in the modern world. The rest of us are pursuing happiness, and here comes this fundamentalist anachronism, spreading death. But in his book Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, the brilliant Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argues that ISIS is in fact typical of what we will see in the decades ahead.
  • Marco Rubio Video. Watch this six-minute short video from the Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio talking about God’s ways not being our ways.
  • 10 Questions about Adventism. In response to the significant reaction he got from his earlier article about Seventh Day Adventism, Nathan Busenitz revisits the ten points he made in my previous article in the form of ten questions.
World Magazine Cartoon of the Week

          World Magazine Cartoon of the Week

Favorite Quotes of the Week
Zack Quote

  • Only God can make the depraved heart desire God. John Piper
  • If Jesus didn’t think he could handle life without knowing the Scripture inside and out, what makes you think you can? Tim Keller
  • God so changes empires and times and seasons that we should learn to look up to him. John Calvin  
  • Theology is not simply the pursuit of knowledge about God, it’s the pursuit of God himself. Burk Parsons
  • When you think of what you are, and despair; think also of what he is, and take heart. Charles Spurgeon
  • Upon 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
  • Christianity is not useful if it isn’t true. Francis Schaeffer
  • Prosperity and poverty are not signs of God’s favor or disfavor; God’s promised mercy in the gospel is the only anchor in the storm. Michael Horton
  • Salvation is all about the grace of God. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to save yourself or earn God’s favor. Francis Chan
  • Control is an illusion. It becomes the check engine light that reveals where you’ve placed your ultimate hope. Matt Chandler
  • The gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it simply needs to be let out of its cage. Charles Spurgeon
  • Whatever God makes, He owns. R.C. Sproul
  • It is important for our children, and for us, to guard what we watch on television, what we read, and what we listen to. Andy Andrews
  • God is so committed to your ultimate joy that he was willing to plunge into the greatest depths of suffering himself for you. Tim Keller
  • There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. John Calvin
  • God made us for a glorious purpose, but every day we violate that purpose. That is why we need a Savior who can heal and forgive. Ravi Zacharias
  • When the grace of Jesus sinks in, we will be the least offended and most loving people in the world. Scott Sauls
  • Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. Rosaria Butterfield
  • Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology. J.I. Packer
  • When you realize that the antidote to being bad is not just being good, you are on the brink of understanding the Gospel. Tim Keller
  • An invitation to ISIS and Israel. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15. John Piper
  • This time of year always leads me to ask one of life’s most baffling questions: Can there be that many people giving a Lexus for Christmas? Kevin DeYoung
  • God doesn’t want us to just feel gratitude, but for us to show it by giving thanks to God with our lives. R.C. Sproul
  • The secret of how to be really boring: be self-absorbed. Michael Reeves
  • Of course we feel out-of-control, vulnerable, broken, insufficient, guilty, fearful, and ashamed. That’s why Jesus is a Savior, not a coach. Scotty Smith
  • Condemning others while also excusing ourselves is what allows us to hang onto both our self-righteousness AND our sin. Tim Keller
  • Religions usually talk about what a person has to do, but Jesus talks about what we can’t do. Paul Miller
  • Some people will only learn to love Jesus as they witness His followers loving like Jesus. Ron Edmondson
  • God wants us to study our disappointments because if we look at our disappointments we will see what it is we love. Ligon Duncan
I enjoyed this sign put up by Georgia Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley

            I enjoyed this sign put up by Georgia Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley

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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