Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • My Seminar at the PCA General Assembly. If you are attending the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) General Assembly in Greensboro, North Carolina, I’d like to invite you to stop by my seminar (Helping Our People Connect Their Faith to Their Work and Callings) at 8:00 am on Wednesday, June 14 in the Sandpiper Room. Check a description of all of the seminars here.
  • ChristianAudio.com’s FREE Audiobook of the Month: The King James Version has continued to this day to be one of the most beloved and widely sought after translations of the Bible into the English language. Now over 400 years old, the King James Version has been shaping Christians for centuries with its majesty and solemnity.  Narrator David Cochran Heath brings his voice of clarity and warmth, making listening an experience the hearer will want to return to again and again.

  • How Do I Disciple Someone? Watch this eight-minute video in which David Platt sits down with Francis Chan to discuss the practical aspects of disciple-making.
  • What If I Don’t Feel Forgiven?C. Sproul writes that there is an important difference between guilt and guilt feelings.
  • Sticks, Stones and Words…Can Cut Me Deeply. Scott Sauls writesWords transform. They heal. And they can “hurt me.”
  • Can Self-Forgetfulness Make Us Happier? Randy Alcorn writes “What we need is to be so gripped by Jesus and His grace, so lost in His love, that we truly forget about ourselves.”
  • Are Lukewarm Christians Saved? Watch this three-minute video clip of an interview with Francis Chan.
  • The Real Root of Sexual Sin. Jon Bloom writes “The most powerful weapon against sexual impurity is humility. Patterns of sinful thought and behavior are fruits of a deeper root. If we want to stop bearing bad fruit, we must aim our primary attack against the root. And the root of sexual sin is not our sex drive; it’s pride.”
  • In Defense of the Unspoken Prayer Request. Russell Moore writes “The unspoken prayer request is fully in line with how the Scripture calls on us to pray.”
  • Is Body Image My Idol? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper states “The discipline of the pursuit of physical fitness becomes sinful self-glorification when it is no longer pursued as a means of, one, overcoming our own sin, two, serving others, three, glorifying Christ.”
  • What does the Bible teach about abortion? Jesse Johnson shares eight biblical truths about abortion.
  • Six Words to Say Through Tears. Nancy Guthrie writes “When the grief is fresh and intense, we might take some wild ideas for a test drive, but to move toward healing and return to joy requires that we press this one idea deeply into our souls until it begins to impact us at the level of our feelings: “I can trust God with this.””
  • If I Have Enough Faith, Will God Heal Me? Randy Alcorn writes “In a conversation with Pastor Todd Wagner of Watermark Church, she answers the question, “If you have enough faith, will God heal you?” I encourage youto watch and listen carefully to this interaction between two people who, over the years, have both become my friends. You’ll be glad you did. Todd asks great questions, and what Joni says is gold.”

  • Growing Old Gracefully. Mary Beth McGreevy, who I enjoyed a wonderful class on communicating the Gospel with at Covenant Seminary, writes “So, what makes a woman of a certain age winsome? The same things that make anyone winsome, I’d say: giving smiles, hugs, encouragement…being loving, gracious, empathetic, generous, wise, thoughtful, self-sacrificing, joyful, gentle, kind…basically, being like Christ.:
  • Set the Soundtrack of Your Mind. David Mathis writes “To what north star will you regularly reset your orientation? If you choose to coast, and not make any specific effort to set your mind on anything in particular, your thoughts and meditations will go somewhere. Your mind will default to something.”
  • The Secret Behind a Strong, Resilient Soul.Scott Sauls writes “Over the years and especially in our current ministry context at Christ Presbyterian in Nashville, I have encountered many men, women and children whose lives have been a beautiful demonstration of the kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and power of God—through and often because of their weaknesses. Through these encounters, I have discovered time and time again that behind the strongest, most resilient souls is almost always some form of circumstantial hardship.
  • Predestination is Practical. Jeff Robinson writes “Disputed and disdained though it may be, predestination and its sibling, election, are plainly taught in Scripture and every exegete must make peace with it.”
  • The Foundations of Godliness. Ian Hamilton writes “We live in a mad, bad world. Equip yourself to face it and not be overwhelmed by it, by honouring the Sabbath day, and by imitating the example of the Saviour, who ‘often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ He needed to, and he did. We need to and we must.”
  • Measuring Your Spiritual Growth. Watch this one-minute video from John MacArthur, who states that spiritual growth is not measured incrementally, over short periods of time.

LIVING IN A HIGH-TECH WORLD: 

  • Denzel: Your iPhone is Changing You. Tony Reinke writes “I see twelve ways that our phones are changing us, and — more importantly — twelve ways that Scripture presses us deeper, moving us from cultural concerns to the eternal issues that hang in the balance.”
  • Andy Crouch on How to Become a Tech-Wise Family. Collin Hansen interviews Andy Crouch about his new book The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place.

CHURCH LIFE:

  • The Most Marginalized Minority. Sean Harrelson writes “Does your church have people committed to the gospel and loving the broken and lost? Congratulations! God has equipped your church to serve those with special needs. The first step in welcoming the disabled is not a program. It is humility.”
  • Five Reasons the 11:00 AM Worship Service Is Disappearing. Thom Rainer asked several church leaders why they discontinued the 11:00 am service in their churches. Five common themes emerged.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

CURRENT TOPICS:

Courtesy of World Magazine

FROM JOHN PIPER, R.C. SPROUL AND THE LIGONIER TEACHING FELLOWS: 

  • Your Bible is Not Boring. John Piper writes “From beginning to end, God tells us and shows us that his ultimate goal in all he does is to communicate his glory for the world to see and for his people to admire and enjoy and praise.”
  • “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Seven Minutes That Moved a Generation. Watch this video excerpt from John Piper’s message “Boasting Only in the Cross” delivered at Passion 2000.
  • The Best Discoveries Begin as Problems. John Piper writes “Why would a book that aims to impart insight for wise living, put contradictory instructions back-to-back?”
  • Regeneration Is Monergistic. Steven Lawson writes “Yet despite its great appeal, the new birth may be the most misunderstood doctrine in Scripture. Most people naively imagine that there is something they can do to cause themselves to be born again.”
  • Fostering a Fear of God.C. Sproul writes “Not only are we allowed to fear God, we are commanded to fear Him. A mark of reprobation is to have no fear of God before our eyes.”
  • God: Just and Justifier. Watch this two-minute video clip from R.C. Sproul’s teaching series Justification by Faith Alone, as he explains why God doesn’t unilaterally forgive everyone.
  • Audio and Video from Ligonier Ministries Wichita Regional Conference. Watch all of the messages from Ligonier Ministries’ Wichita Regional Conference. The speakers were Derek Thomas, Robert Godfrey and Stephen Nichols.

 TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • Historians: Martin Luther Concluded Diet of Worms Speech With Mic Drop. The Babylon Bee reports “But what biblical scholars have recently confirmed through the discovery of new eyewitness accounts is that the famed Reformer finished the speech by pulling a wireless Shure microphone out of his robe, extending his arm, and dropping it on the floor in bold defiance of the papal authorities.”
  • Southern Baptist Convention Deploys Theology Referees to Elevation Church. The Babylon Bee reports “The Southern Baptist Convention has deployed a crew of theology referees to Elevation Church, instructing the trained officials to monitor sermons preached by Pastor Steven Furtick, and warn him and the congregation when his messages fall out of the bounds of orthodoxy, sources confirmed Friday.”
  • The Bee Explains: Calvinism Vs. Arminianism.The Babylon Bee provides this comparison so that you have “an informed decision on which of these theological systems to choose—or is it “which of these theological systems chose you?”

  • Some talk of truth, it is better to walk in it. Charles Spurgeon
  • Anything you add to Jesus Christ as a requirement for being happy is an idol that will sap you. It must be removed. Tim Keller
  • God is always doing 10,000 things in your life. And you may be aware of three of them. John Piper
  • My deepest awareness is I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and have done nothing to earn or deserve it. Brennan Manning
  • [Don’t] waste time thinking how unworthy we are of [His] blessings…know that it pleased God to…give us His unspeakable gifts. Martin Luther
  • Sports have a valid place in our lives. But if we care more about the playing field than the mission field, sports are an idol. Randy Alcorn
  • Defend the Bible? Would you defend a lion? Loose him; and let him go! Charles Spurgeon
  • Be known for your love of people who disagree with you radically. Os Guinness
  • If your knowledge of doctrine doesn’t make you a great man of prayer, you’d better examine yourself. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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