Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Should Christians Vote for Trump? Eric Metaxas writes in the Wall Street Journal “For many of us, this is very painful, pulling the lever for someone many think odious. But please consider this: A vote for Donald Trump is not necessarily a vote for Donald Trump himself. It is a vote for those who will be affected by the results of this election. Not to vote is to vote. God will not hold us guiltless.”
  • The Evangelical Civil War: An Interview with Russell Moore. Francis Wilkinson writes “Russell Moore is not surprised. In 2015, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention warned his fellow conservative evangelical Christians about a political candidate whose entire life was devoted to egotism and materialism and whose “attitude toward women is that of a Bronze Age warlord.”
  • Donald Trump has Created an Excruciating Moment for Evangelicals. Albert Mohler writes “Perhaps the best we can hope for in this sad election cycle with these two unsupportable candidates is that we do not allow a national disgrace to become the Great Evangelical Embarrassment.”
  • Liberty University Students Protest Association with Trump. This article in the Washington Post states “The students at Liberty University wrote that they felt compelled to speak out in light of Falwell’s steadfast support for Trump even after the candidate’s comments about women and sexual assault.”
  • Unfit for Power. Marvin Olasky and the Editors of World Magazine write “A Trump step-aside would be good for America’s moral standards in 2016. It’s still not too late to turn the current race between two unfit major party candidates into a contest fit for a great country.”
  • Call Out Locker Room Talk for the Sin That It Is. Karen Swallow Prior writes “The very phrase “locker room talk” operates much the way sin operates. Give sin a name that minimizes and excuses its seriousness.”
  • Seeking Clarity in This Confusing Election Season: Ten Thoughts. Kevin DeYoung writes “I hope these brief reflections will not be in the category of “stirring up,” but rather might provide some clarity about what Christians should agree on and what we may not have to agree on.”
Courtesy of World Magazine

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Man Solemnly Bows Head to Check Playoff Baseball Score During Sermon. The Babylon Bee reports “According to witnesses at Second United Methodist Church, local man Greg Uttley was seen in a moment of solemn thoughtfulness Sunday morning, sincerely bowing his head during his pastor’s passionate sermon, in order to check the score of the morning NLDS matchup between the Nationals and the Dodgers on his smartphone.”
  • Seeing And Savoring The All-Satisfying Goodness Of God In Those Little Mints At Olive Garden. The Babylon Bee publishes this Op-Ed piece from John Piper, which states in part “I submit that of all possible worlds our sovereign Lord could have created, He selected this one, as this universe gives Him the most glory—not least because of the satisfying abundance of His goodness showered upon us in the form of the tiny, custom-made mint-green creme candies smothered over a layer of chocolate that they give you at the end of each meal at Olive Garden.”
Doug Michael's Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Christ and culture

  • John MacArthur Series on Engaging Modern Culture Now Available On Audio Cassette. And speaking of John MacArthur, the Babylon Bee reports “A series of lectures and sermons delivered by pastor John MacArthur and compiled by Grace to You ministries covering how to engage modern culture with the gospel is now available on audio cassette, the ministry confirmed Wednesday.”
  • 12 Theses on a Christian Understanding of Economics. Albert Mohler writes “”Regrettably, many American Christians know little about economics. Furthermore, many Christians assume that the Bible has nothing at all to say about economics. But a biblical worldview actually has a great deal to teach us on economic matters. The meaning of work, the value of labor, and other economic issues are all part of the biblical worldview. At the same time we must recognize that the Christian worldview does not demand or promote a particular economic system.”
  • Why Culture Matters. Watch this video from Tim Keller provides a fundamental perspective on why culture matters to God and therefore must matter to us.
  • Transgenderism, Outdoor School Policies, and How Christian Families Might Respond. Randy Alcorn writes “These are tough issues and they’re not going away. Now more than ever, Christians have to consider how we can communicate with those with whom we disagree, in a spirit of grace and truth.”
  • 3 Ways To Be Ready for the Best Evangelistic Opportunity this Year. Alistair Begg writes “Plan today to reach your neighbors this December. Don’t delay and find that you have missed an opportunity to share why Jesus is at the center of your celebrations.”
  • Rejecting Fear in the Divided States of America. Scott Sauls writes “So lead on, Christian influencer. Even if things get so bad that you are tempted to throw in the towel, even if your every effort to love, lead, and faithfully serve your neighbors gets squashed, even if the world responds to your love with rejection and resistance, you must continue to love on and to lead on.”
  • Exhibiting Our Hope for World’s Future. In part one, Richard Doster writes “We embrace the truth that God has placed us where we best serve His purposes. We relish the fact that our work isn’t primarily about money, power, and prestige; that it is, instead, the vehicle through which we project His image into the world.” Read part two “There’s Got to Be More Than This” here.

CHRISTIAN LIVING:bethany-jenkins

  • Turning 40 While Single and Childless. I always check out what Bethany Jenkins is writing about. Here she writes ““Barren”—a description that was laughable to my 28-year-old self—may turn out to be true.”
  • Young Man, Young Woman: Set an Example. Tim Challies begins a short series written with younger Christians in mind.
  • Listen More, Speak Less. Jon Bloom writes “We would do well to listen more and speak less — and when we do speak, to only speak what he gives us to say.”
  • Delight in the Good: On the Challenge of Entertainment. Karen Swallow Prior writes “Perhaps the most important thing I can teach my students—and that we can teach one another in the church—is to delight in the goodness of creation and re-creation. It is a lesson taught by modeling the perpetual entertainment that comes from delight in the Lord and the world he has given us.”
  • Lay Aside the Weight of Flattery. Jon Bloom writes “Flattery is a demonic, foot-ensnaring sin-encumbrance not only for us but for others. We must lay it aside to run our race faithfully with Jesus and help others do the same.”
  • 10 Things That Are True When I Confess My Sin. Paul Tautges writes “Ponder these thoughts concerning God, sin, grace, forgiveness, and the sufficiency of Christ and his sacrificial work on your behalf.”
  • Lay Aside the Weight of Lust. Jon Bloom writes “The most powerful and successful way to fight the desire fire of lust is with the desire fire of faith in what God promises to us”.
  • Free at Last: My Surprising Liberation from Porn. Tabor Laughlin writes “My experience often reminds me of how I should honestly and humbly confess my sins before God and others. I also should believe that God may want to cleanse me in a moment of certain sins with which I struggle even now. And I must not be afraid to boldly and faithfully pray that he would heal others around me.”
  • Four Questions for Obeying the First Commandment. Kevin DeYoung offers these questions to help point us in the direction of true devotion.
  • Final Destination: Maintaining a Heavenly Mindset. Clint Archer writes “Can onlookers tell what your final destination is by the way you behave? Or do you live like this life is your final destination?”
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution. Tim Challies addresses the two questions – What kind of conflict are we in? And what do we need to do to resolve this kind of conflict?
  • Let’s Get Serious About the Mystery of Sleep. Amy Simpson writes “While we may not fully understand our need for it, we can’t dismiss sleep. Instead we should view it differently. It’s a faithful act in a rhythmic life, honoring to our Creator, and part of what we were put on this planet to do. Sleep matters because, done well, its part of a whole life devoted to the one who never sleeps.”
  • When Feeling a Bit or a Bunch Weary. Scotty Smith prays “We bring you the exhaustion we feel from having longer “to do” lists than there are contentmenthours in the day. Sometimes the sheer “demanding-ness” of life makes us want to get a one-way ticket to a faraway place.”
  • It is Possible to Enjoy Watching Others Win. Randy Alcorn writes “The degree to which we can be happy for other people without envying or resenting them determines how happy we’ll truly be.”
  • How Content are You? Steve Graves writes “Contentment is a skill or virtue to be learned. Contentment is more valuable than a big bank account. And contentment will serve you until the very end.”
  • Going Back to the School of Contentment. Scotty Smith prays “O Father, by the Spirit, convict me quickly when I default to murmuring and complaining, carping and whining.”
  • The Laments in God’s Inspired Word Teach Us How to Mourn, and Express Our Honest Questions. Randy Alcorn writes “Laments make up more than one-third of the psalms. The contrast between Israel’s hymnbook and the church’s says a great deal about our failure to acknowledge suffering. If we don’t sing about suffering and struggle, why shouldn’t our people feel surprised when it comes?”
  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Helping the Hurting. Dave Furman writes “We have hurting people in our lives, and we want to help them, but how do we manage to not make fools of ourselves? And how can we actually help hurting people without discouraging them even more?”
  • C. Sproul’s Warning About Prayer. R.C. Sproul writes “The idea seems to be that we have the capacity to coerce God Almighty into doing for us whatever it is we want Him to do, but God is not a celestial bellhop who is on call every time we press the button, just waiting to serve us our every request.”
  • 6 Ways the Psalms Sing to Our Fears. George Guthrie writes “When I am struggling with fear, I find meditating on the Psalms a great help and comfort.”
  • Nine Attributes of a Real Man. Vince Miller writes “In looking at the life of Jesus, we find countless attributes and commitments that show us how to live as a man faithful to the Father’s call. If you are a man looking for true masculinity, consider whether these nine commitments (among many others) would make a significant impact on your masculinity if actively applied in your role as a leader, employee, husband, father, and son.”


  • The State of Theology: Does Even the Smallest Sin Deserve Eternal Damnation? Stephen Nichols writes “Each statement tended to garner slight majorities. The results show slight majorities either getting a belief right or, in most cases, getting a belief wrong. But not statement 17, “Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation.” This one sparked a reaction.”
  • hellThe Importance of Hell. Tim Keller writes “The doctrine of hell is crucial-without it we can’t understand our complete dependence on God, the character and danger of even the smallest sins, and the true scope of the costly love of Jesus.”
  • Can We Enjoy Heaven Knowing Loved Ones Are in Hell? Tim Challies writes “However, those of us with non-believing family members and friends can find this certainty an area of intense struggle. Why? Because we know that not everyone will be there with us. Many we love today will have an eternal experience of pain, torment, and separation. How could we ever enjoy heaven if our loved ones are in hell?”
  • Do Good Works Require Good Doctrine? John MacArthur writes “Real righteousness simply cannot exist in isolation from belief in the truth. Any “practical good” apart from sound doctrine has to abandon God’s standards for what is good and righteous. Naturally, it doesn’t take very long for that kind of thinking to undermine the foundations of Christianity itself.”
  • What Is Biblical Stewardship?C. Sproul writes “Fundamentally, stewardship is about exercising our God-given dominion over His creation, reflecting the image of our creator God in His care, responsibility, maintenance, protection, and beautification of His creation.”
  • The Mystery of the Gospel. Albert Mohler writes “The essential content of Christian preaching, Paul says, is the mystery of the gospel.”

IN THE NEWS:robert-godfrey

  • Robert Godfrey Announces Retirement. Ligonier Teaching Fellow Robert Godfrey announces his retirement as President of Westminster Seminary California after 24 years of service.
  • Singing Man: The Story Behind the Viral Video of Ben Ellis. On September 7, 2016, 400 high school students from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, along with their teachers and administrators, loaded into buses and cars and drove two miles to the home of Ben Ellis, a Bible and Latin teacher in the late stages of an aggressive cancer.  Watch the emotional video.
  • Tim Keller on the Eric Metaxas Show. Listen to Tim Keller talk to Eric Metaxas about his new book Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical.
  • Why I Love Being a Pastor. John MacArthur shares ten reasons to rejoice in the privilege of serving as a pastor of a local church.
  • Serious Laughter. Over the past several months, I’ve really enjoyed the humor from Adam Ford via The Babylon Bee. Hey, I even got the t-shirt! Read this article from World Magazine about Ford.


  • Of course, Trump should step down as Olasky and Grudem say. So should Hillary. That is what “unqualified” means. It’s never been a question. John Piper
  • Someone should introduce legislation mandating that every Presidential ballot henceforth shall include an option marked “Do over.” Kevin DeYoung
  • When I think of anyone (POTUS, etc.) or anything (the White House, SCOTUS, etc.) as more sovereign than God himself, I’m committing idolatry. Scotty Smith
  • The gospel is meant to control and govern everything in our lives. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Death is an enemy. It’s the last enemy to be destroyed, but it will be destroyed! Michael Horton
  • If you could lose your salvation, you would. John MacArthur
  • Idolatry is looking for God’s image where it doesn’t belong and ignoring God’s image where it exists. Kevin DeYoung
  • Revival occurs when those who think they already know the gospel discover they do not really or fully know it. Tim Keller
  • The fear of the Lord tends to take away all other fears. Sinclair Ferguson


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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