Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Praying to Make the Most of the Grieving Process. With his mother recently moving into hospice care (and went to glory yesterday), our friend Kevin Halloran writes “In times of grief, some turn away from God and lay the blame on Him for their troubles. This is exactly what I want to avoid. I am praying for God to use this time to irrigate my heart with the nourishing waters of His transforming truth so that I may know Him better and be more faithful and fruitful for Christ. In addition to praying for the Lord’s help and strength, here are five things I am praying for myself and my family.”
  • When Things Feel Impossible. Here’s our prayer of the week from Scotty Smith.silentgod
  • The Three Most Common Causes of Depression. David Murray writes that the three most common causes of depression are burnout, abuse, and an unforgiving spirit.
  • Hope for the Unhappy Christian. Phillip Holmes looks at the issue of contentment, a subject that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and plan to do some writing on.
  • When God is Silent. Nancy Guthrie writes “Our task isn’t to decipher exactly how all of life’s pieces fit and what they all mean, but to remain faithful and obedient to the God who knows all mysteries. This is the kind of faith that’s pleasing to God—a faith that’s determined to trust him when he hasn’t answered all the questions, when we haven’t heard any voice from the whirlwind.”
  • When Life is Hard and God Seems Absent. Here’s our prayer of the week from Scotty Smith.
  • The Character of the Christian: Family Leaders. Tim Challies continues his series on the character of the Christian.
  • Knowing vs. Feeling in Worship. Watch this short video of Alistair Begg’s passionate message from a Ligonier conference in which he reminds us of the importance of knowledge in worship.
  • What Does it Mean to Fear God? C. Sproul writes “We need to make some important distinctions about the biblical meaning of “fearing” God. These distinctions can be helpful, but they can also be a little dangerous.”
  • missional_livingDown with Moral Majority Thinking: The Case for a Truer Christianity. Scott Sauls writes that the vision of his church “is built around missional living:taking our Christianity to the places where we live, work, and play. In considering what public Christianity could look like in our context, the biblical metaphor that we seem to keep returning to is Jesus’ teaching on salt.”
  • The Character of the Christian: Mature and Humble. Tim Challies continues his series on the character of the Christian.
  • Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Smartphone Usage. In an interview with Tony Reinke, Alistair Roberts states “These diagnostic questions are tests that we need to perform upon ourselves. We should beware of issuing general condemnations of devices or media more generally and of the communities that use them.”
  • 6 Distinguishing Marks of a Call to Gospel Ministry. Steve Lawson writes “What constitutes this call to preach? (Martyn) Lloyd-Jones identified six distinguishing marks of this divine summons to the pulpit.”
  • How Can We Be Angry and Not Sin? I’m hearing that a lot of people are really angry about our country. Jon Bloom asks “So what does righteous anger look like in a Christian?”
  • Overcomplicating Accountability. Barnabas Piper writes “Accountability has become a formal word associated with groups and meetings and appointments. We’ve mistaken formality for intentionality. Accountability must be intentional or else it won’t happen. But when it becomes formal we usually stop being accountable. We’ve made it too complicated.”
  • 4 Ways Hymns Have Shaped My Life and Doctrine. Tom Nettles writes “Hymns have left an at least four indelible impressions on me through the years”.
  • Love and faithLove Is the Main Thing in Saving Faith. John Piper writes “If you are a parent or a pastor or a small group leader, or a Christian who cares about helping anyone trust Christ and live by faith, what all this means is that your desire to help the people you serve will include a desire to help them love Christ. This does not mean do things for him. It feels things for him. It means treasure him above all else. Be satisfied in all that God is for us in him.”
  • The Shame Culture. David Brooks writes “The guilt culture could be harsh, but at least you could hate the sin and still love the sinner. The modern shame culture allegedly values inclusion and tolerance, but it can be strangely unmerciful to those who disagree and to those who don’t fit in.”
  • Hobbies to the Glory of God. Tim Challies writes “I believe God is pleased when we pursue hobbies. I also believe that we can confidently pursue them and do them for the glory of God even if there is no obviously redeeming value in them.”


  • Testimonies to the Resurrection. Watch this sermon from John MacArthur on Mark 16:1-8.
  • Why Did They Hate Jesus? Kevin DeYoung writes “So as we approach another Holy Week, let’s certainly talk about the compassion and love of Jesus (how could we not!). But if we don’t talk about his unique identity as the Son of God, we have not explained the reason for his death, and we have not given people reason enough to worship.”
  • Jesus and His Active Obedience. In this excerpt from his teaching series What Did Jesus Do? C. Sproul explains what is meant by the active obedience of Jesus.
  • riseTim Keller Sermons. This sermon, titled “The Centrality of the Gospel”, from Tim Keller, is the first from Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s current series “Where We are Going: The City and the Mission”. It’s a series focused on Redeemer’s gospel based core values and is part of a special season at Redeemer called “Rise”. During this season, the church will be making these video sermons available free.
  • Therefore, Go. Watch Tim Keesee’s messages at the recent 2016 Ligonier National Conference. This message inspired me to read his book Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places. See my review next week.
  • We’re Called to Make Disciples, Not Simply Converts. R.C. Sproul writes “The Great Commission is the call of Christ for His disciples to extend His authority over the whole world. We are to share the gospel with everyone so that more and more people might call Him Master.”
  • Salvation: A Sovereign Work of God. In this excerpt from a message at the 2010 Ligonier National Conference, John MacArthur considered Romans 9, the sovereignty of God in salvation, and man’s responsibility to have faith.
  • Does the Bible Have Errors?C. Sproul writes “The full trustworthiness of sacred Scripture must be defended in every generation, against every criticism.”
  • Standing Firm for the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. In this video excerpt from a Ligonier conference message, R.C. Sproul explains why it’s imperative to hold fast to the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
  • Videos for the 2016 Ligonier National Conference. Watch all 25 messages from the recent Ligonier National Conference, which had The Gospel as its theme.
  • Watching Wendell Berry, The Mad Farmer. Alissa Wilkinson writes about “The Seer,” a documentary about Wendell Berry, the poet, writer, and farmer that recently premiered.
Courtesy of World Magazine

      Courtesy of World Magazine


  • How to Recognize a Foolish Leader. Jon Bloom writes “Therefore, as a nation it is urgent that we seek to elect as wise, honest, humble, experienced, capable, decisive, and resolute a leader as is available to us. And we would be wise to elect a leader, if possible, who truly fears God, since he or she must have an internal moral resistance to the powerful temptations to evil that will come with wielding great power.”
  • The Theology of Donald Trump. Michael Horton writes “It is not that Trump has caused this transformation in portions of the so-called “evangelical electorate.” Rather, his candidacy has revealed the inner secularization of significant portions of the movement, which surveys have documented for some time now. Four theological words highlight the problem.”
  • Donald Trump’s Christian Soldiers. Ross Douthat writes “Despite his transparent irreligiosity, Trump has won easily across the South, one of the most religious portions of the country.”
  • How to Worship – Not Worry – This Election Season. Our friend Kevin Halloran shares four main ways for this election cycle to move our hearts to worship.gary-smalley


    Jerry Bridges and Gary Smalley: Very Different Personalities Go Home to the Same King. Randy Alcorn writes “Two brothers, Jerry Bridges and Gary Smalley, went to Jesus last Sunday, March 6. I knew and loved them both.”

  • Free Jerry Bridges Messages. Enjoy these seven messages that Jerry Bridges delivered at Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals events.
  • 4 Essentials for Finishing Well. The late Jerry Bridges writes “I have come to the conclusion that there are four fundamental actions we can take to help us finish well. There may be other issues that are important, but I believe these four are fundamental.”
  • Andy Stanley Explains His ‘Stinking Selfish’ Parents Comment. Christianity Today interviews Andy Stanley about his recent controversial statements about small churches. Stanley concludes with “I am sincerely sorry for what I said and how I said it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to explain—but not excuse—myself. And I’m grateful to anyone who took the time to read this exchange.”
  • Headscarves and Hashtags. Tim Keesee writes “The pain is real, and our brothers and sisters who bear witness while walking through the fire could never relegate their Cross-bearer to a position of “honorable mention” in the same-God debate. Neither should we. Jesus won’t take second place, for he is the great King, lavishing mercy upon us sinners, giving life to all who come to him.
  • Does Same-Sex Attraction Disqualify Someone from Ministry? Dave Zuleger writes “This is not an us versus them issue, because there are people — God-fearing, Christ-exalting people — living with same-sex attraction in many of our churches. Is there a place for people with same-sex attraction in the church? How about in your church? Could there even be a place for same-sex attracted people to serve and lead in ministry?”
  • The Withering of Vice and the Sexual Revolution. This is the fourth and final post in Albert Mohler’s series on Secularization and the Sexual Revoluton.
  • Keller, Piper, and Carson on Staying the Course in a Changing Culture. Watch this twelve and a half minute video in which Tim Keller, John Piper and D.A. Carson talk about whether their attitude toward matters of Christ and culture has evolved over the years as the world around them has grown more hostile to Christianity.
  • 7 Rules for Online Engagement. Tim Challies writes “I distill his (Tim Keller’s) wisdom to seven rules that ought to guide our hearts, our minds, and our words as we have these difficult discussions.”
Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into this world to tell us what we have to do; He came Himself to do something for us we could never do for ourselves. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Father, during this upcoming Holy Week, supersize our boasting in Jesus’ cross and our trusting in Jesus’ crown. Scotty Smith
  • In heaven, there are no caucuses, no primaries, no brokered conventions, only the sovereign will of God. Steven Lawson
  • Our prayers do not change God’s decree, but are included in God’s decree as the means through which he brings things about. Michael Horton
  • There are many paths to hell, but only one way to heaven. Steven Lawson
  • If you see yourself as a little sinner you will inevitably see Jesus as a little savior. Martin Luther
  • If you want to be disappointed in life, place your expectations in people rather than in God. Burk Parsons
  • Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it. Martin Luther
  • The irony of the gospel is that the only way to be worthy of it is to admit you’re completely unworthy of it. Tim Keller

Lecrae Quote

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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