Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • The Foundation of Forgiveness. John MacArthur writes “God’s forgiveness is the pattern by which we are to forgive. That is the foundational truth on which all godly relationships are built and developed.”
  • Blasting Our Shame with the Gospel. Here’s our prayer of the week from Scotty Smith. I’d highly recommend that you sign up to receive this prayers each day via email.
  • Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones? John Piper writes “I am encouraging churches to cultivate a Christian counter-culture where people expect simple, less expensive funerals and burials, and where we all pitch in so that a Christian burial is not a financial hardship on anyone.”
  • Living an Others-Oriented Life. Mark Dever writes “Being a disciple of Jesus means orienting our lives toward others, just as Jesus did.”
  • How the Gospel Frees Us to Risk. Russell Moore writes “Courage is walking forward, and embracing others in love, even though you may suffer greatly in ways you could never imagine now. Jesus walked that way before you, and walks that way now with you. That’s the way of the cross.”

CHURCH LIFE:   Laughter

  • The Babylon Bee’s Adam Ford Says the Church Needs Laughter. Daniel Darling interviews Adam Ford about his calling as a humorist, why Christians need satire, and how pastors can use what is funny to communicate what is serious.  Is it Biblical for Churches to Require a Tithe? Jonathan Leeman writes “We preach generosity. We disciple carefully, always encouraging people to trust God with their money. But then we leave the details to them and how the Holy Spirit is working in their hearts, knowing that the New Testament treats how much a person gives as a matter of liberty.”


  • Resolving Apparent Contradictions in Scripture. Watch this excerpt from a message at the 2010 Ligonier National Conference in which Derek Thomas gives two examples of how to resolve apparent contradictions in Scripture.
  • Introducing the “Word Matters” Podcast. Trevin Wax and Brandon Smith have launched a new podcast called Word MattersEach episode takes a contested or puzzling passage of the Bible, walks through the most common interpretations, and then recommends how to preach or teach the passage effectively.
  • Beautifully True. John Piper narrates this three-minute video to show that God opens our eyes to his unique beauty on the canvas of Scripture.
  • The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology. Watch Stephen Nichols and R.C. Sproul introduce Ligonier’s new document on Christology at the recent 2016 Ligonier National Conference.
  • Scriptural Authority 500 Years Ago—and Today. Ryan Hoselton interviews Kevin DeYoung, Stephen Nichols, and Matthias Lohmann (founder and chairman of Evangelium 21) on challenges to the authority of Scripture past and present, and how believers today can learn from our Protestant forebears.
  • The Gospel of Sovereign Grace. Joel Beeke writes “ Calvinists understand that, without sovereign grace, everyone would be eternally lost. Salvation is all of grace and all of God. Life must come from God before the sinner can arise from the grave.”
  • John Calvin on the Keys of the Kingdom. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Especially when we are engaged in the discipline of sinners we need to remember that its function is to lead to a fresh sense of divine forgiveness and church forgiveness and restoration.”
  • 10 Things You Should Know about Election. Sam Storms offers these helpful thoughts about what can be a controversial topic.


  • 9 Things You Should Know About Jehovah’s Witnesses. Joe Carter writes “When he died last week at the age of 57, pop singer Prince was arguably the most famous Jehovah’s Witness in the world. Here are nine things you should know about the obscure religious group that emerged from the Bible Student movement in the late 1870s.”
  • Are Allah and Yahweh the Same?C. Sproul writes “There are other crucial differences we could explore of how God is understood in orthodox Christianity and how He is understood in orthodox Islam. It is enough for now to say that Allah and Yahweh are not the same. One is the living God; the other is an idol.”
  • The Sickening Hypocrisy of Starbucks and Apple. Michael Brown writes “Now, I don’t doubt that Cook and Schultz feel strongly about their views and actually believe that these important religious liberties bills are a threat to LGBT rights. But their selective outrage is sickening and their moral hypocrisy glaring.”
  • 7 Questions About Transgendered People, Answered. This article is a Q&A between Glenn Stanton, director of Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family and a research fellow at the Institute of Marriage and Family in Ottawa, Ontario, and author and blogger Donna Carol Voss.
  • Who Does My Body Belong To? Tim Challies writes “In some ways this question stands at the very heart of our cultural conversation.”
  • Thoughts on the Rise and Fall of Pastors. In light of yet another well-known Reformed pastor, Scott Sauls writes “The best grace you could give to us pastors, then, is this: Pray for us, live in community with us, and insist that we live in community with you. Please don’t put us on pedestals or treat us as heroes.Rather, recognize us as fellow sojourners with you.”
  • What Happens When Character Matters Less Than Talent. Mike Leake writes “If you look at some of the celebrity pastors who have recently fallen you can see a pattern. They had obvious talents and gifts and passion, but there were a few questions about character. But we let some of those character issues slide in the hopes that character would eventually catch up with the talents.”
  • Success is Dangerous. Jared Wilson writes “We all prefer success to failure but, really, success is more dangerous. In failure, we know we rely totally on God’s approval and sustaining arm. In success, it is easy to begin looking around, surveying all the territories claimed, all the peoples gathered, all the ministry renown redounding, and we think, “Well, lookee here. Look what has been built with my talents, my gifts, my skills, my strategies, my visions, my sweat, my sacrifice.”
  • Reformed “Spotlight”: Self-Promoting Wolves or Selfless Shepherds? David Murray continues his excellent series on spiritual abuse in the Reformed church.
World Magazine Trump & Knight

                            Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Kids Impersonate Donald Trump. Watch these impersonations that were shown on The Tonight Show.
  • Stephen Curry Clearly Just A Christian Ripoff Of Michael Jordan. The Babylon Bee reports ““This is typical,” Berlinski noted to reporters. “Just typical Christian fare. Curry imitates everything about Jordan, puts his little Christian spin on it, and rides his blatant plagiarism straight to the bank. It’s shameful.” Note:   The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.
Doug Michael Cartoon

       Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • Enjoyment of Jesus is not like icing on the cake; it’s like powder in the shell. John Piper
  • To know that nothing happens in God’s world apart from God’s will may frighten the godless, but it stabilizes the saints. I. Packer
  • To follow Jesus is to pay the cost of discipleship, and then to die to ourselves, to our own interests, our own agendas and reputations. Os Guinness
  • I am 81 years old. By now, I know better than to make plans. Like the foxhounds and other true Christians, I’ll follow my nose. Wendell Berry
  • Fill your life with things that stir your affections for Jesus and cut out what robs you of those affections. Matt Chandler
  • Jesus did not come just to give us our best life now. He came to give us eternal life. Michael Horton
  • All roads do indeed lead to God, the only question is, what will God say to you when you get there? Burk Parsons
  • It is not the pain but the purpose that makes a martyr. Augustine
  • Jesus never asks us to prove our love by being tolerant of sin. Kevin DeYoung

Michael Reeves 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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