Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • J.I. Packer Loses Sight. Ivan Mesa interviews J.I. Packer, who recently lost his eyesight due to macular degeneration.
  • Wheaton College Controversy. Albert Mohler and King’s College Professor Terry Mattingly discussed the controversy at Wheaton College and the state of Christian higher education recently on The Eric Metaxas Show.
  • Three Reasons Why Christians & Muslims Do Not Worship the Same God. Rick Phillips writes “There are various issues in this debate that Christians should carefully consider and on which we may legitimately differ.  But whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God is not one of them.”
  • The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Now Hardest To Be a Christian. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “2014 was the world’s worst year for the persecution of Christians in the modern era. Until 2015 surpassed it.”
  • Answering the Abortion Question that is Sure to Come. Kevin DeYoung makes three points in response to the question of whether abortion should be legal in the event of rape.
  • New York Values According to New Yorkers. Bethany Jenkins, who writes about faith and work for Gospel Coalition is featured in this New York Times article.
  • Oscar Nominations. Here is the complete list of Oscar nominations.
  • Upcoming Christian Movies. Here are the trailers for 35 upcoming Christian movies in 2016. Can’t say that there are any that I’m particularly looking forward to.


  • The Danger of Christian Cliches. John MacArthur starts a new series looking at some of the most popular and polluting clichés that the church has embraced.
  • Don’t Confuse Spirituality with Righteousness. R.C. Sproul writes “Spirituality and piety are not ends in themselves. In fact they are worthless unless they are means to a higher goal. The goal must go beyond spirituality to righteousness.”
  • Three Questions to Ask Before Listening to Any Sermon. Tony Reinke writes “The process points to an important fact we all know: all of us need to be saved by someone or something. But, as an active listener will quickly see, the world is full of variant gospels, and every preacher, writer, and artist has a message of salvation. We must examine the veracity of the gospel they share, and these three questions have simplified the process for me.”
  • Who Is There to Harm You? John Piper writes “So Peter gives wisest of all counsels: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). Such suffering will not harm you. Not ultimately.”
  • prayTeaching Our Children to Pray. Tim Challies writes “By encouraging our children to pray, we are teaching them the language, the practice, and the importance of prayer.”
  • You Can’t Passively Kill Sin. Phillip Holmes, in looking at Romans 8:13, writes “But what does “by the Spirit” mean? John Piper offers these three steps to killing sin by the Spirit.”
  • My Awkwardly Redeeming Journey with Race. Scott Sauls writes “This is the first of two reflections on my awkwardly redeeming journey with race. May we all — may I, Scott Sauls — be quick to listen and slow to speak, especially when confronted with blisters and calluses formed inside the shoes of those who walk a path that I, Scott Sauls, will never be made to walk.”
  • The Secret Things of the Lord. People want to know what God’s will is for their life. In this excerpt from his Foundations teaching series, R.C. Sproul distinguishes between the decretive and the preceptive wills of God.
  • 8 Reasons to Rejoice in Your Limitations. Our friend Kevin Halloran provides 8 reasons to rejoice in your limitations regardless of the  role you are in.
  • The Character of the Christian. Tim Challies begins a promising new series on the character of a Christian and bases it on the character qualifications of elders in the Scriptures.
  • What I’ve Learned about the Bible. Tim Keller writes “For years I thought God could be active in my life through the Spirit, and the Bible was a book I had to obey if God was going to come in. I now realize the Bible is the way that, through the Spirit, God is active in my life.”
  • A Prayer for Those Days When We Have More Weariness than Energy. Here’s our prayer of the week from our friend Scotty Smith.
  • Following Jesus in an Age of Authenticity. Tim Keller and Russell Moore visit with Collin Hansen to guide us through the turbulent currents of today’s cultural waters to the true freedom only found by submitting to Christ. They help us consider what happens when we buy into this narrative and it doesn’t deliver the happiness it promises, where they see this expressive individualism influencing the church, and more.


Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Courtesy of World Magazine

         Courtesy of World Magazine

 Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • The greatest works of God often happen when God’s people meet with Him in the wilderness. Bob Smart
  • It is possible to make an idol out of anything, including your perceived knowledge of doctrine. Derek Thomas
  • 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
  • J. I. Packer’s Knowing God changed my worldview as a college student. We are made to know God, not just to know about him. Albert Mohler
  • The Spirit never brings attention to Himself, but always drives attention to Christ and to His accomplishment. R.C. Sproul
  • We will all drink from the cup of the Lord. Some to destruction, others to delight. Kevin DeYoung
  • Holy Spirit, grant us freedom today to be quick repenters, deep forgivers, and faithful encouragers. Scotty Smith
  • Reader, beware of evening temptations. The sun is down, but sin is up. Charles Spurgeon
  • Everyone says they want community and friendship. But mention accountability or commitment to people, and they run the other way. Tim Keller

Calvin Quote 2

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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