Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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CURRENT EVENTS:

  • My Amazon Reviews. Check out more than 240 of my reviews (books, music and movies) on Amazon here.
  • Princeton Seminary Rescinds Honoring Tim Keller. Kate Shellnutt writes “The most popular Reformed preacher and author in America today is not eligible to receive Princeton Theological Seminary’s annual award in Reformed theology and public witness. The mainline seminary reversed its decision to honor Tim Keller with a prize named for neo-Calvinist theologian Abraham Kuyper following outcry over the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) pastor’s conservative positions.”
  • My Tribute to Tim Keller. Scott Sauls, who served with Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, shares his appreciation for Keller, who recently announced his retirement from pastoral ministry effective July 1.
  • Four Thoughts on Persecution in America. Kevin DeYoung writes “From stiff fines, to family shame, to being kicked off college campuses, to laws against sharing our faith, to unjust trials, to public mockery and scorn, to arrest and brutality, if we faithfully follow Jesus in this world we all will face persecution at some point in our Christian discipleship. Even American Christians—if they are really Christians—will have crosses to carry.”
  • The Gathering Storm: Religious Liberty in the Wake of the Sexual Revolution. Albert Mohler writes “These are days that will require courage, conviction, and clarity of vision. We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

CHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • Infographic: The Common (Yet Neglected) Problem of Burnout. Crossway shares this helpful infographic on burnout, which David Murray defines as “a state of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion caused by living at too fast a pace for too long, or by living with too many stresses in our lives.”
  • Is Your “Check Engine” Light On? David Murray, author of Reset, writes “Our cars have warning lights that we can look up in our owner’s manual. But what do the “warning lights” look like for men? What are the danger signs that our present pace may prematurely end our race?”
  • Three Approaches to Technology. David Murray writes “Articles on the challenges of technology used to start with a long list of statistics proving the seriousness of the moral, spiritual, relational, and cognitive problems resulting from the digital revolution. I hardly need to waste ink or space on such matters now. Everyone knows by personal experience and observation how many and how massive the problems are. And the vast majority of Christians are concerned enough to want to do something about it. But what can we do?”
  • How Can I Improve My Prayer Life? Enjoy this six-minute video from Don Whitney about praying the Bible.
  • Legalism and Assurance. Do you ever feel like you’re standing with God fluctuates on a daily basis? Could God be growing weary of your continual struggles with sin? Has the relationship grown sour? Such doubts plague the conscience of many true believers. What lies at the root of that kind of inner turmoil? And is there any assurance we can offer people in the midst of that struggle? Watch John MacArthur respond in this two-minute video.
  • The Freedom, Joy and Power of Contentment. Scotty Smith prays “Convict me by the Spirit when I start defaulting to whining, murmuring, and complaining. Father, heal me of gospel amnesia—too easily forgetting every good thing we have in Christ.”
  • 8 Ways God Uses Temptations for Good. Tim Challies writes “Yes, God overrules even temptations so they benefit us instead of harming us. Just as a tree which is blown by the wind is settled and rooted deeper into the ground, the coming of a temptation simply settles the Christian deeper into divine grace”.
  • I Hate All Criticism, and I Shouldn’t – Here’s Why. The always insightful and transparent Scott Sauls writes “We can learn many things from David. There are many ways that we leaders especially can look to him for inspiration. But one of the most important things we must learn from him is the wisdom of positioning ourselves to invite constructive, redemptive critique from those around us—especially those who know us best, such as colleagues, friends, church leaders, and family members.”
  • The Lie We Keep Buying. Tony Reinke writes “In a consumer-driven society, perhaps the question we must ask ourselves is a profoundly theological one. Am I a materialist enough to resist materialism?”
  • How Long Must I Suffer? Our suffering can be so severe that all we can say is, “How long, oh Lord?” In this “Look at the Book” lab, John Piper gives God’s response.
  • The High Cost of Free Porn. Owen Strachan writes “Even free porn comes at an excruciatingly high cost. Beyond severe psychological and social consequences, pornography hinders Jesus’s mission in the world.”
  • The Sabbath Day Brings Rest and Refreshment. Sean Michael Lucas writes “The grace of the fourth commandment is that God promises to give us real rest and real refreshment when we find our rest in Him. As we remember the Sabbath day, as we keep it holy to the Lord, we find that we begin to enter into the rest that God offers and gain a foretaste of the heavenly rest to come, the rest of the new heavens and new earth.”
  • 8 Rules for Growing in Godliness. Tim Challies introduces a new series of articles on of rules or instructions for growing in godliness, adapted from Thomas Watson’s book The Godly Man’s Picture.
  • When Should Christians Use Satire? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” pod cast, John Piper states “So, my conclusion is that in the rough and tumble of truth-speaking in a world of evil and folly, there will always be a place for irony and satire to do its work of exposing error and evil and folly. Nevertheless, I think the use of it is very limited in bearing the kind of fruit that love longs to see in transformed lives.”

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

GOING DEEPER:

  • Why I Love the Psalms. Robert Godfrey writes “The Psalms were, however, more than inspiration and comfort for Reformed Christians. The Psalms were more even than a way to express their joys and sorrows to God in God’s own words. The Psalter explained the life they lived in relation both to the wicked who opposed them and to the God who sustained them. As the people of God, they lived in the Psalms.”
  • Can Christians Pray the Imprecations of Psalm 69? Robert Godfrey writes “We must also always remember that if we diminish the necessity and righteousness of judgment, we will diminish the work of Christ on the cross.”
  • Can the World Explain Your Comfort? Marshall Segal writes “So, if you are in Christ, you have no reason to fear anything that is frightening in this world (1 Peter 3:6), and every reason to fear God more than ever — not because of what he might do to you, but simply because his strength, holiness, justice, and worth are so far beyond us.”
  • What Does Semper Reformanda Mean? Robert Godfrey writes “So what did van Lodenstein mean by his famous phrase reformed and always reforming? Probably something like this: since we now have a church reformed in the externals of doctrine, worship, and government, let us always be working to ensure that our hearts and lives are being reformed by the Word and Spirit of God.”  
  • Hell is the Default Destination.D. Greear writes “Most people assume that as long as they don’t mess things up in their time here on earth, they’ll go to heaven when they die. But Scripture says the opposite.”
  • Sin, Satan, Insanity. God Heals the Soul. John Piper writes “One of the ways God’s self-authenticating brightness shines through Christian Scripture is by the brilliance of its diagnosis of the soul-sickness of people you know.”
  • Were Adam and Eve Really Historical Figures? Challenges to the historicity of Adam in evangelical settings make it essential that we discuss the necessity of our first parents’ existence and origin according to the biblical record. Listen to Albert Mohler and Bryan Chapell discuss the importance of Adam to our understanding of humanity, our world, and salvation, as well as the “field and fences” of what should be considered consistent with Scripture.
  • TULIP and Reformed Theology: An Introduction.C. Sproul begins a series of six articles looking at the five points of Calvinism as they are spelled out in the acrostic TULIP. All of the other articles are linked below the end of the introductory article.
  • If You Don’t Hate Your Father, You Cannot Be My Disciple. John Piper writes “Whatever you do, don’t domesticate the radical teachings of Jesus. If they make you uncomfortable, let them do their work. They are designed to create real disciples who are ready to lose all to gain Christ. The world may call it hate. They may call it foolishness. It is not. It is love. And it is the wisdom of God.”
  • Encouragement on the Path to Righteousness. John Calvin writes “There are two main parts to the instruction from Scripture on the Christian life that follow. The first is that a love of righteousness—to which we are not naturally prone—must be implanted and poured into our hearts. The second is that we need some model that will keep us from losing our way in our pursuit of righteousness.”
  • The Centerpiece of God’s Saving Purpose in the Universe. Steven Lawson writes “This, then, is the centerpiece of God’s saving purpose in the universe—the revelation and magnification of His own glory.”
  • Does Christology Matter? Sinclair Ferguson writes “Does it really matter? In light of the sacrifices our forefathers made in order to articulate the grandeur of the person of our Savior and what Christ had to be in order to save us, you bet it matters.”

  

  • Our obedience neither impresses God nor earns anything from him, but it honors him and benefits our neighbors. Scotty Smith
  • Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong. Tim Keller
  • Faith is not primarily a function of how you feel. Faith is living out, trusting, and believing what truth is despite what you feel. Tim Keller
  • When Satan tells me I am a sinner he comforts me immeasurably, since Christ died for sinners. Martin Luther
  • Loneliness is the devil’s playground. God created us for community. Burk Parsons
  • Be pro-life, from conception to resurrection. Stand up for women and children. Care for those in peril. Above all, teach and live the gospel. Russell Moore
  • Theology, which is the proper study of God, should always lead to doxology, the proper worship of God. Steven Lawson
  • My weakness is my greatest strength, for then I trust alone on Jesus, when I feel my own dependence. Charles Spurgeon
  • The Gospel is only good news when we understand the bad news. R. C. Sproul

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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