Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Why Does God Regret and Repent in the Bible? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper states “One of the great implications of all of this is that when God makes a promise to us, he does it with complete foreknowledge of all the future circumstances and is, therefore, never caught off guard by anything. And so, his promises will stand according to his infinite wisdom.”
  • Is a Belief in Hell Incompatible with the Truth That God Is Love? Randy Alcorn writes “I personally have studied the doctrine of Hell in the hopes of being able to come either to a position of universalism, or at very least the doctrine of annihilation. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do so and stay true to the Scripture I see.”
  • Struggling with Insecurity and Assurance of Salvation?  C. Sproul writes “Real assurance rests on a sound understanding of salvation, a sound understanding of justification, a sound understanding of sanctification, and a sound understanding of ourselves. In all these matters we have the comfort and assistance of the Holy Spirit who illumines the text of Scripture for us, who works in us to yield the fruit of sanctification, and who bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.”
  • Do You Set an Example in Your Conduct? Tim Challies, writing to younger Christians in their teens or twenties, writes “But did you know that you are also to stand as an example of Christian character and maturity before other Christians, even when those Christians are older, wiser, and godlier than you? That is a scary thought, an intimidating challenge.”
  • 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.”
  • Does The Local Church Really Matter? Tim Challies writes “What is the church? Why has God called us into these little communities? Does the local church really matter? It does! The local church is foundational to God’s plan for his people.”
  • The State of Theology: Who Is the Christ We Are Following? Stephen Nichols writes “In “The State of Theology” study for 2016, which we (Ligonier) undertook with Lifeway Research, we focused two of the 47 statements on the identity of Christ.”
  • Should Christians Feel Guilty All The Time? Kevin DeYoung writes “I’m convinced most serious Christians live their lives with an almost constant low-level sense of guilt.”
  • What is Grace? Bryan Chapell, who was President of Covenant Seminary during most of my time there, offers this short excerpt from his excellent new book Unlimited Grace “Ultimately, grace is God providing for people who cannot provide for themselves.”

IN THE NEWS:ben-zobrist

  • Ben Zobrist: Major League Believer. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra offers this profile of Chicago Cubs player Ben Zobrist, who grew up just 30 minutes down the interstate from where I live.
  • The Gospel vs. 100 Years of Planned Parenthood. Russell Moore writes “This weekend Planned Parenthood turned 100. As several politicians and pro-choice supporters publicly celebrated the milestone, many Christians and others committed to defending life and human dignity mourned.”


  • My Amazon Reviews. Check out more than 200 of my book, music and a few video reviews on
  • How to Cultivate Friendship with God. Listen to this message from Tim Keller, delivered at the Gospel Coalition 2016 Women’s Conference.  
  • BefriendJesus Loves Rich People. In this adapted excerpt from his new book Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear, Scott Sauls writes “What does Jesus think about those who have money and celebrity? Is there a place for them at his table and in his circle of friends? Are others in our church—namely those living bankrupt or paycheck-to-paycheck—more virtuous because they have less? Is Jesus’s imperative to the rich young ruler ( 19:16–22; Mark 10:17–27)—that he must sell all he has and give it to the poor—a non-negotiable for all of his followers?
  • When Life Feels Too Out of Control. Scotty Smith prays “We may not always see your hand, discern your heart, or like your ways, but only you are God and only you are good.”
  • Help Me Teach the Bible with Michael Horton. Nancy Guthrie continues her wonderful series with Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary in California about his new book and biblical teaching campaign called Core Christianity.
  • Why I Love the Apostle Paul. John Piper writes “As the decades of my companionship with Paul have gone by, I have come to love him and believe him.”
  • Resource Offers: Reformation Week 2016. Ligonier Ministries offers these special offers for the upcoming observation of the 499th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
  • The Split Between John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Justin Taylor writes “On Tuesday, October 18, 1966, an event took place that shook British evangelicalism—on the nature of the church and the basis of gospel unity and purity—with reverberations still being felt today.”
Courtesy of World Magazine

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • For Christians, Credibility at Stake in Election. Albert Mohler writes “America’s evangelical Christians now find ourselves in a most difficult predicament. The 2016 presidential election presents conservative Christians with an excruciating decision that is testing our character. This predicament is also causing both debate and division within our own churches, denominations, and organizations – and even in some extended families. This predicament has a name: Donald J. Trump.”
  • In Defense of the Religious Right. Ross Douthat writes “I RISE to offer a defense — not a full-throated defense, more of a limited one — of the beleaguered, battered, all-but-broken religious right.”
  • Judge Not, That You May Judge Well. Jon Bloom writes “This is very relevant to Christians in America right now. We are enduring a confusing, factious, degrading, and discouraging presidential election. And most of us recognize what’s at stake.”
  • You are the Manure of the Earth. Anthony Bradley writes “So when Jesus talked to his followers about losing their saltiness, he was talking about losing their fertilizing properties, their ability to bring about life and growth.”


  • Guilt-Ridden Tim Tebow Apologizes For Stealing Second Base. The Babylon Bee reports ““I blatantly violated the Eighth Commandment, and I repent,” Tebow told reporters after the game. “It just goes to show that we fall short of God’s glory daily, and rely on His grace to help us move forward after we fail,” he said humbly, shaking his head at his “selfish and brash act of sin.”
Doug Michael's Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • Self-control is not a matter of the will but of the heart. It’s setting the heart on the higher thing. Tim Keller
  • The closer we are to God, the more the slightest sin will cause us deep sorrow. C. Sproul
  • We have a God who condescends in coming near to us, but we must never be casual in coming near to him. Kevin DeYoung
  • We’ll either cast our cares on Him, or be crushed under the weight of them. Scotty Smith
  • Either we live for Christ or we do not live at all, but merely exist. Steven Lawson
  • A pastor needs two voices, one for gathering the sheep and the other for driving away wolves and thieves. John Calvin
  • I’m grateful not only for the good things in life but the hard things knowing all things in God’s sovereignty work together for my good. Burk Parsons
  • Hope has two beautiful daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and Courage to see they don’t remain as they are. Augustine
  • We don’t establish the Bible as the Word of God. God establishes the Bible as the Word of God. Robert Godfrey


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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