Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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Courtesy of World Magazine

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Last week I had a great time in Atlanta with team members located there. We enjoyed the Escape Room as a team building exercise. Tammy and I worshipped at Passion City Church where Crowder led worship. We enjoyed the city and the people we met there, but definitely not the traffic.
  • Why Tim Keller, Max Lucado, and Hundreds of Evangelical Leaders Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban. Jeremy Weber writes “More than 500 conservative evangelical pastors and leaders representing all 50 states are urging President Donald Trump to reverse his temporary ban on refugee resettlement.”
  • Most Refugees Who Enter the U.S. as Religious Minorities are Christians. Katayoun Kishi writes “A little over a third of the refugees who were admitted into the United States in fiscal 2016 (37%) were religious minorities in their home countries. Of those, 61% were Christians, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.”
  • The Boy Scouts Succumb to Radical Gender Ideology. Denny Burk writes “I can’t help but grieve that the Boy Scouts are going along with this radical redefinition of what it means to be a boy. They are making a big mistake in this, and it will be one that hurts not only their organization but also the very boys they wish to serve.”
  • 7 Ways to Do Political Punditry Wrong in a Polarized World. Kevin DeYoung writes “Perhaps a look at the negative will point us in a positive direction. Let’s briefly consider seven ways to do political punditry wrong in a polarized world.”


  • Henri Nouwen’s Weakness Was His Strength. Wesley Hill writes “Before Brené Brown appeared on the TED stage, before spiritual counseling and small group ministry in evangelical parachurch ministries had encouraged believers to disclose more of their doubts and insecurities, before movements like the charismatic Cursillo and the contemplative Taizé and Renovaré had gone mainstream, Nouwen was already advocating a spirituality that took its cue from Christ’s nail-scarred risen body.”
  • C.S. Lewis’s View of Women, and How He’s Impacted My Thinking. Randy Alcorn writes “The following questions and answers are from my contribution to Women and C. S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture, edited by Carolyn Curtis and Mary Pomroy Key. I highly recommend this unique and well-reviewed book, which has excellent contributions by 26 others, including Alister McGrath and Kathy Keller.”
  • Trapped: A Short Film on Teen Unplanned Pregnancy. Randy Alcorn writes “Most prolife films are short clips or movie length, and unfortunately, the short ones don’t allow viewers much time to experience the emotions or to ponder. This one, on the other hand, has a large amount of silence, allowing for contemplation. The fact that the air doesn’t get filled with words helps listeners draw their own conclusions based on the obvious facts.” Watch the 20-minute film.
  • silenceOn Silence and More. Steven Garber writes “The best stories always tell the truth of the human condition, the truth about who we are, so the heart of a good story is that we can see ourselves, both the glory and the ruin of the human heart. And that is the main reason Silence is a story for all of us, if we have ears to hear.”


  • Seven Costs of Disciple-Making. David Mathis writes “In the end, disciple-making is costly because it demands continuously giving — giving time, giving energy, giving attention, taking initiative, making sacrifices, facing opposition, losing privacy, embracing obscurity, even shedding tears.”
  • What Human Dignity Means for the Church. This episode of the Signposts podcast features a portion of Russell Moore’s sermon at the 2017 Evangelicals For Life gathering in Washington, D.C.
  • Introducing “Echoes of the Reformation”: A New Curriculum from LifeWay and the Gospel Coalition. Echoes of the Reformation: Five Truths That Shape the Christian Lifeis a new Bible study examining the five core truths that came from the Reformation—often called the solas. Group members will explore these essential convictions of the faith and emerge more immersed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • The Fine Points of Calvinism.C. Sproul writes “In this article I am giving the bare-bones approach to the doctrine, reminding readers that Reformed theology so far transcends the mere five points of Calvinism that it is an entire life and world view. It is covenantal. It is sacramental. It is committed to transforming culture. It is subordinate to the operation of God the Holy Spirit, and it has a rich framework for understanding the entirety of the council of God revealed in the Bible.”
  • A Quiz on the Doctrine of Salvation. Tim Challies provides this quiz designed to help you find out how well you know the doctrine of salvation.


  • How Much Entertainment is Too Much? Tim Challies writes “Entertainment is a good gift of God, designed to refresh us from the long labor gone by and to renew us for the long labor ahead. As Christians we do well to pursue it. We do well to create new forms of it, to invite others to participate in it with us. But always we must remember what J.R. Miller says so well: “Amusement is not an end, but a means. It is not life’s object, but a help along the way. It is not the goal, but the cool bower, or the bubbling spring on the stiff, steep mountain-side.”
  • Is Love of Money Really the Root of All Evils? John Piper writes “Is the love of money the “root of all evils” or only the “root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10)? “All evils” is the formal English equivalent of the original Greek (pantōn tōn kakōn).”
  • What’s the best way to encourage others to want to walk with Christ? In this 3-minute video, Bryan Chapell explains that it’s not trying to get them to do what you know is right. It’s something else.
  • Watch “Ask R.C.”. Recently, R.C. Sproul answered questions over the phone and on Facebook Live. Topics included the role of the civil magistrate, election, assurance of salvation, and many others.
  • When Am I the Older Woman? Lore Ferguson Wilbert writes “I crave older women in my life constantly and have a dearth of them locally in this season. This question led to another, more potent one: At what point am I the older woman other women desire to learn from?”
  • Is Jesus Knocking at the Heart of the Unbeliever? C. Sproul writes “The point is that seeking is something that unbelievers do not do on their own. The unbeliever will not seek. The unbeliever will not knock. Seeking is the business of believers.”

christian-livingCHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • When Success Becomes A Catastrophe. Scott Sauls writes “When God gives us success and loved ones and happy circumstances for a time, when he chooses to put the wind at our backs—by all means, we should enjoy the experience. But we mustn’t hang our hats on it…because earthly success, in all its forms, comes to us as a gift from God and is also fleeting.”
  • Gaining and Maintaining a Gospel Perspective on Suffering. Scotty Smith prays “Today, in particular, thank you for validating our sufferings, and for pledging yourself to us in our hard places and broken stories.”
  • The Other Four Letter Word: Rest. Luke Bobo writes “To the reader, I say “get some rest, brother or sister.” Because one thing is sure, our bodies will rebel and force us to rest.”
  • Lord, Fill Me With Your Spirit. Jon Bloom writes “Your dryness and discouragement may, in fact, be invitations from God to press in to him.”
  • Why Our Son Doesn’t Have a Smartphone. Trevin Wax writes “No, the real reason why our son doesn’t have a phone is because we think his middle-school years will be better spent without one. The answer I’ve given, over and over again, is this: I want you to be free from middle school drama when you’re at home.
  • Quiet Time Doesn’t Earn God’s Grace. In this short video, Bryan Chapell reshapes how we view God’s grace and love in light of our quiet time. He reminds us that spiritual disciplines don’t manufacture grace, but rather when we feast through Bible reading and prayer we are enjoy the grace that is already present.
  • Foster Care as the Way of Christ. Darren Carlson writes “Foster care puts the need for the gospel on display for our family. It is a chance for our children to see Jesus’s demands in action.”
  • How Not to Battle Anxiety (1 Peter 5:7–8). The question with anxiety is not whether it will come, but rather, how can we fight it when it does? In this lab, John Piper gives us several ways not to fight and one proven way that works.
  • Teachability. Nicholas T. Batzig writes “Teachability sweetly complies with thoughtful convictions and opinions. True teachability is actually one of the rarest of qualities in the hearts and lives of people.”
  • A Simple Way to Pray Every Day. Nick Aufenkamp Nick Aufenkamp Nick Aufenkamp Nick Aufenkamp writes “Nick AufenkampObviously, there’s no silver bullet for achieving the perfect prayer life, but I have found Luther’s method to be an effective weapon in fighting for a richer prayer life. Personally, I’ve experienced a renewed sense of expectancy in prayer, with more excitement and intentionality, and a deeper love for Jesus and appreciation for the cross-won gift of prayer. Inasmuch as it has benefited me, I commend it to you.”


  • Visa Offers New Dave Ramsey Credit Card With Credit Limit Of Zero. The Babylon Bee reports ““What’s great about the official Dave Ramsey card is that it always gets declined,” Ramsey said on his radio program. “Try to buy a new fishing reel? Declined. Try to book a family vacation you can’t afford? Declined. Replace a shredded tire you failed to budget for? Yup, you guessed it—declined.”
Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • We don’t get a better Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but we get Christ better. Bob Smart
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Your smart phone is the beginning of information and distraction. Kevin DeYoung
  • Cheer up! You’re a worse sinner than you ever dared imagine, and you’re more loved than you ever dared hope. Jack Miller
  • God is good—on good days, bad days and all the days in between. Don’t just say “God is good” when you feel good, say it even when you don’t. Burk Parsons
  • Grace often grows strongest where conviction of sin has pierced deepest. Sinclair Ferguson
  • A church is not a group of friends you’ve picked, it’s a group of brothers and sisters God has picked for you. Michael Horton
  • In America today, it is considered worse to judge evil than to do evil. Os Guinness
  • Abortion is not a health service it’s a death service. Albert Mohler
  • Holy Spirit, rescue us from being arm-chair cultural commentators and quarterbacks. Help us engage with hope, serve with joy and love with abandon. Scotty Smith


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.

One thought on “THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  1. Great article on Henri Nouwen, Bill! Really my first introduction to him. Would you recommend the ” Love from, Henri” as a first read?

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