Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Ten Questions Christians Should Ask of Their Entertainment. Our friend Kevin Halloran writes “Discerning media consumption needs more than a litmus test of saying we shouldn’t watch excessive violence and sexuality (which is true). We need to understand the complex and often subtle effects of media on our lives.”
  • Why We Don’t Need to Fear the Moment of Our Death. Randy Alcorn writes “Though as believers we know that Heaven awaits us after death, many of us still wonder about or fear the moment of death. What will it be like? Will it be frightening to experience the soul’s departure from the body?”
  • Is it Possible to be Totally Free from Lust?Watch Dr. Jeremy Pierre from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary answer that question in this five-minute video.
  • Tim Keller: 3 Questions Fake Christians Can’t Answer. In this two-minute video, Tim Keller offers a group of “questions designed to wake up sleeping Christians”. His questions focus on three hallmarks of a growing relationship with God.
  • Sleep Disorders and the Glory of God. Eric Davis writes “With sleeplessness comes unique suffering. The side-effects tend to be many, complex, and severe. It can be hard to understand.”
  • Bible Reading is an Art. Watch this two-minute video from David Mathis.
  • Watching Your Spiritual Diet. John MacArthur writes “When believers aren’t growing, it’s almost always symptomatic of a failure to be in God’s Word. They may attend church regularly, but what they learn dissipates rapidly once they exit the building. They often complain that they’re not getting much out of church or the Christian life. They are weak and rundown when it comes to facing temptations, trials, problems, and challenges. They lack the vigor to do much of anything for the Lord.”
  • You Can Defeat Distraction. David Mathis writes “The trouble is especially pressing for Christians. We believe that the inner person is more important than the outer, and that where we focus our minds and hearts today counts forever. The very essence of what we believe to be true about the world hangs on where we direct our attention.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • Trembling in My Hands. Michael Card writes “While solitary meditation and study of the Scriptures are vital, the experience of discovering biblical truths in the context of community is irreplaceable.”
  • Sacred Schizophrenia. Watch John Piper’s 2017 Commencement Address at Boyce College from May 12.
  • 2017 Basics Conference. Watch all of the sessions from the recent Basics Conference, featuring Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg and Albert Mohler.
  • Five Truths about the Holy Spirit. Alistair Begg writes that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is both permanent and personal.
  • The Mission of the Church is Eternal. R.C. Sproul writes “God’s plan of redemption for this fallen world was not an afterthought or an expression of a plan B. Rather, before the world was even created, in all eternity God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit had a covenant among themselves that we call the Covenant of Redemption.”
  • God Didn’t Wait for You to Believe. In this five-minute video, John Piper states “If you know Jesus today, it’s because you were loved and chosen before the foundation of the world.”
  • Passing Down the Truth of God. John MacArthur writes “In order to be faithful stewards of what we have received, each of us needs to pass on to others what we have been taught. In other words, every Christian ought to be a teacher. No matter who you are, you can find someone who knows less than you and teach them.”
  • What Last Century’s Fundamentalists Can Teach Us About This Century’s Apostasy. Joe Carter writes “As the fundamentalist-modernist controversy showed us, there can be no unity where orthodoxy has been abandoned. That’s why we should stop pretending we still share the same faith.”


  • The Garden of Eden, Legalism and Antinomianism. In thisthree-minute video from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference, Sinclair Ferguson discusses the relationship between Satan’s lie in the garden and legalism and antinomianism.
  • The Making of a Modern Pharisee. Marshall Segal writes “We are all born legalists, but we are made into Pharisees.”
  • Jesus Saves from Morality. In this five-minute message, John Piper states “Until we are gripped with joyful impulses of the gospel — joyful inner impulses of the gospel of grace, from the inside — until we’re gripped by that, we’re always thinking in terms of doing external duties with pressures from outside.”

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Phil Douglass to Expand Church Planting Influence in New Role with Missouri Presbytery. Dr. Phil Douglas, one of my favorite professors at Covenant Seminary, will soon be more involved than ever in church planting efforts. Dr. Douglass has agreed to assume the newly created role of Director of Church Planting for Missouri Presbytery in July 2018. In that role, he will help oversee the Presbytery’s church planting, growth, and renewal activities and provide ongoing support and encouragement for its church planters.
  • “SportsCenter” Anchor Agrees Politics is Hurting ESPN. Hannah Withiam writes “The network may be losing subscriber revenue not just because of cord-cutting, Cohn allowed, but because viewers are increasingly turned off by ESPN inserting politics into its sports coverage.”
  • David Gushee: Our “Differences are Unbridgeable”. Denny Burk writes “It is time for folks on both sides of this debate to come to terms with just how much of a watershed this issue is. The evangelical movement is facing a moment of crisis over this issue. We are about to find out who is for real and who isn’t.”


  • Antinomianism and legalism are two sides of the same coin. Both think little of their sin and little of the need for grace in all of life. Michael Horton
  • If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine
  • Get alone with Jesus, and He will comfort your hearts, and restore your weary souls. Charles Spurgeon 
  • The friction God builds into the Christian life is not accidental. It is intended to produce growth in holiness. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Jesus called Judas “Friend,” promised paradise to a thief, loved the rich ruler, and restored unfaithful Peter. How could he not be for you? Scott Sauls
  • A Christian is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to all. Martin Luther
  • Sin always looks better through the windshield than the rearview mirror. Matt Smethurst
  • Do you realize that it is only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that you get the verdict before the performance? Tim Keller
  • God’s love is not mild-mannered and limp; it is livid, potent, and committed. And therein lies our hope. Michael Reeves

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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