Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • How Do You Pray Without Ceasing?Watch Don Whitney explain this in a four-minute video.
  • Is Homosexuality Really the Worst Sin? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Is homosexuality truly more detrimental to a society than other sins? How would you weigh the cultural impact of this sin against, say, the sins of pride and overeating and greed?”
  • Can Anyone Really Be Blameless?  John Piper writes “When you read the Psalms, do you identify with the psalmist when he claims blamelessness and uprightness and integrity and righteousness?”
  • Who is the Lord of the Church?  John McArthur writes “The truth that Christ is Lord of His church may sound somewhat benign to a casual listener in our generation, but the struggle for Christ’s authority in the church has come to us through the ages on a sea of blood.”
  • Why Do Christians Love the Law? Burk Parsons writes “The truth of the matter is that not just anyone loves the law of God but only those who have been set free by our law-giving, law-keeping, and law-liberating Savior.”
  • Judge Not? Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1–2). Jon Bloom writes that this teaching of Jesus is widely misunderstood.
  • Do You Exercise for the Wrong Reasons?David Mathis writes “The biblical take on exercise is not “Life is short; let your body go.” Rather, with God’s revealed truth ringing in our ears, we say, “Life is too short to not harness the body God gave me.”

  • It is Never Right to be Angry at God. Ever. Denny Burk offers some brief reflections to answer objections to a recent tweet that has proven to be controversial.
  • For the Annoyed, Irritated and Exasperated.Scotty Smith prays “I don’t want to be the fool who shows his annoyance at once, or the quick-spirited “inn-keeper” who makes his anger a welcomed guest. Settle me and center me, Lord, by the grace, truth, and power of the gospel. I won’t try to justify my snarly, edgy attitude.”
  • The Cumulative Effect of Our Little Choices. Randy Alcorn writes “Following Christ isn’t magic. It requires repeated actions on our part, which develop into habits and life disciplines.”
  • A Marriage Checklist. David Murray writes about chapter 5 from Tim and Kathy Keller’s bookThe Meaning of Marriage and the teaching on “Love Currencies” or “Love Languages.” He writes “His basic point was we must give the love-currency to our spouse that they value most and speak the love-language that best communicates love to them.”
  • God Will Hold You Through Your Habits. David Mathis writes “Simply put, your habits are one of the most important things about you. So, here are four lessons that might help you get intentional, and become more effective, in cultivating life-giving habits for the Christian life.”

  • I Am So Tired Of Hearing This, Because It’s An Outright Lie!Dave Kraft writes “Every one of us has the same amount of time as every other person on the planet. We have the same 168 hours a week that we had from the day we were born. Time is almost never the issue. The real issue really is values and priorities.”
  • Kill Pride Before It Kills You. Marshall Segal writes “How we respond to praise from others, especially over time, reveals how highly we really think of ourselves.”
    Make Christianity Great Again
    . Scott Sauls writes “Indeed, Christianity is already great. The problem isn’t with Christianity itself, as much as it is with our flawed approach to and understanding it.”
  • Real Love Encourages Others to Do the Right, Most God-Glorifying Thing.Randy Alcorn writes “If we believe that sin is never in our best interests, it will clarify many otherwise hard decisions in which we imagine we must choose between helping people do right and helping them be happy. It will also help us understand what true, Christlike love looks like.”

  • The “Bible Answer Man” Turns East” An Unlikely Conversion. Erwin Lutzer writes “It seems somewhat ironic that in the year that we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a leading Protestant would reject the central tenet of the Reformation,Sola Scriptura, and join the Eastern Orthodox Church.”
  • 13 Reasons WhyIs Deceptive and Destructive. Trevin Wax writes “13 Reasons Why compounds a problem it is trying to fix, perhaps because it has no eternal solution to offer. For those who have entertained thoughts of suicide or who have friends who know the darkness of this despair, hope remains. But it will not be found on Netflix.”
  • It’s Not Character Assassination for the Church to be the ChurchDenny Burk writes “There are many voices within the North American evangelical movement that are turning away from what the church has always believed and confessed. Hatmaker is now among them. They are trying to tell people that sexual immorality is compatible with following Jesus. And they are asking the rest of the church to accept their point of view as within the orthodox stream.”
  • Opening Closed Minds the Chick Fil-A Way. On this episode ofBreakpoint, Eric Metaxas states “Let’s face it, folks, convincing people who’ve fallen for the new sexual propaganda that we’re not out to scare or marginalize them won’t be easy”.
  • The Hottest Thing at Church Right Now. Tim Challies writes that according to a new study “Thehottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • Help Me Teach the Bible with Tim Keller. In this conversation, recorded live at The Gospel Coalition’s National Conference in Indianapolis on April 4, 2017, Nancy Guthrie talked with Tim Keller, senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and vice president of TGC. Keller talks about his own development as a Bible teacher and the mentors who shaped him, and expounds on topics he wrote about in his book Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism.
  • 4 Ways We Go Wrong in Thinking about the Holy Spirit. Michael Horton writes “The Holy Spirit is the easiest person of the Godhead to depersonalize—and not only because of cultural forces. One might even say that, for the Spirit, being somewhat forgotten is an occupational hazard. Some of our confusion about the Holy Spirit arises from a distortion of genuinely biblical truths.”
  • Ten Effects of Seeing God’s Sovereignty. Watch this 11-minute video from John Piper’s Look at the Book seminar on Romans 9.
  • The Launch of Ligonier’s Tabletalk Magazine: 40 Years Later. I enjoyed Stephen Nichols’ look back at 40 years of Tabletalk Magazine, a magazine I’ve subscribed to and read for many years.
  • Ask Anything Live. Here is the video for Albert Mohler’s Ask Anything Live, episode 2.
  • What You Should Know About the Prosperity Gospel. Joe Carter writes “The prosperity gospel (also known as the “health and wealth gospel” or by its most popular brand, the “Word of Faith” movement) is a perversion of the gospel of Jesus that claims that God rewards increases in faith with increases in health and/or wealth.”


  • Bible Study Latecomer Clearly Stopped For Starbucks On Way Over.The Babylon Bee reports “As Chelsea O’Connor quietly walked into the room at Refuge Life Church where Tuesday morning Bible study was already 13 minutes underway, it was immediately obvious to all in attendance that she had stopped to pick up Starbucks on her way over, church sources confirmed.”
  • Joel Osteen Dives Off Stage To Prevent Man From Opening His Bible.The Babylon Bee reports “While preaching a sermon entitled “Claiming Your Comfort Zone,” Pastor Joel Osteen made a diving save from Lakewood Church’s stage Sunday to prevent a man in the front row from opening his Bible and checking the validity of the popular pastor’s words, sources confirmed.”
  • Infant Delivers Moving Testimony Before Baptism.The Babylon Bee reports ““It’s hard to explain: one moment I was shaking my tiny fist at God for allowing me to go hungry for a full five minutes before my parents came and got me, and then suddenly His grace found me, and I surrendered my life to Him,” she said.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to heaven alone. J.C. Ryle 
  • Christians need the gospel as much as non-Christians do. Tim Keller
  • You will never turn from a sin you don’t hate. Jen Wilkin
  • You can choose to look the other way but NEVER AGAIN can you say that you never knew. William Wilberforce 
  • Only the gospel brings new creation into this present age of sin and death. Michael Horton
  • New life is not something we can work up, it is something that must come down. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Christianity is Christ. It is not about a mere program or plan, but the person of Christ–knowing Him, living Him, and following Him. Steven Lawson
  • We’re most Pharisaical when we try to make our preferences, suggestions, habits, and laws around laws the obligatory standards for all. Burk Parsons
  • True repentance is firm and constant, and makes us war with the evil that is in us, not for a day or a week, but without end. John Calvin

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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