Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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CHRISTIAN LIVING:

  • Practical Help for Angry People. In this eight-minute roundtable video Danny Akin (president of Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina), Bill Kynes (senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia), and Miguel Núñez (senior pastor of International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) discuss anger and how to overcome it with God’s help.
  • The Damning Devastation of a Single Coddled Sin. Tim Challies shares nine things to consider in times you may feel ambivalent toward even a single sin.
  • Alienation from God. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous—and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.”
  • Sloth Doesn’t Just Mean Sleep. Mike Leake (not the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher), writes “The answer to the sluggard’s heart is the gospel of Jesus. When I realize that my rest is already established and founded in Christ it strikes a blow to the inordinate desires of my sluggard heart.”
  • Longs for Healing. Scotty Smith prays “Even as we pray for healing in these stories, we surrender to the mystery of your sovereignty. Jesus, we wish you’d always answer our prayers, just as we pray them when we pray them. But we know you to be more merciful, engaged, and wise than we can imagine. Jesus, we trust your heart, even when we don’t understand your ways or see your hand.”
  • Seven Promises to Pray Against Porn. J.A. Medders writes “These seven verses can serve as an attack plan, a Messiah-taught martial art against lust and pornography. A verse for every day. Read it in the morning. Pray it at night. Train in the car. Run to it when you hear the temptation in the distance. Text it to a friend. Memorize with an accountability partner. Fight.”
  • It is Impossible to Read the Bible. John Piper writes “Reading the Bible should always be a supernatural act. By “supernatural act,” I don’t mean that humans are supernatural. We are not God, and we are not angels or demons. What I mean is that the act of reading, in order to be done as God intended, must be done in dependence on God’s supernatural help.”
  • Man (Or Woman) Cannot Live on Podcasts Alone. Courtney Reisigg writes “In our increasingly connected age, the availability of resources and opportunities to be discipled via smartphone and laptop isn’t going anywhere. There’s a place for those things, but let’s be sure we don’t let them supplant real-life relationships in our own contexts. In many of our churches there are treasure troves of wisdom and experience simply waiting to be heard—if we would just ask.”
  • Will You Cleave and Leave Your Man? Recently John Piper wrote “Husbands, Lift Up Your Eyes.” Now, read Noël Piper’s letter to a would-be adulteress, “Will You Cleave and Leave Your Man?” She tells a little bit of their story, and then describes two ways a wife can cleave in a marriage.

NOW THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION!

  • Are Those Who Have Never Heard of Christ Going to Hell?C. Sproul writes “I think we have to pay serious attention to the passionate command of Christ to go to the whole world, to every living creature, and tell them of Jesus.”
  • How Should Christians Comment Online? Jon Bloom writes “Christians set fires in comment threads. Let us not set fires through careless words for which we will be held accountable. Rather, let us restrain our lips/fingers, and when we do speak, may it only be to give grace to those who hear.”

“I’m Ready Coach!”   COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

CURRENT CULTURE:

  • Waving the Rainbow Flag on the Field of Play. In this episode of the Breakpointpodcast, Eric Metaxas states “The pressure to go along with the world on human sexuality is probably only going to intensify. For the sake of God’s honor, the truth of His Word, and our neighbors’ flourishing, we simply cannot wave the rainbow flag. Thank God, Jaelene Hinkle hasn’t.”
  • Actually, Eugene Peterson Does Not Support Same-Sex Marriage. Kate Shellnutt writes “A day after a Religion News Service interview portrayed retired pastor and author Eugene Peterson as shifting to endorse same-sex marriage, the evangelical leader retracted his comment and upheld the traditional Christian stance instead.”
  • The Survival of a Southern Baptist Who Dared to Oppose Trump. Chris Moody writes “For many, Moore’s swift action on the alt-right issue helped prove his worth. While Moore still has his critics, the convention all but settled the question of whether he would remain the Southern Baptist’s ambassador to the outside world.”

GROWING IN CHRIST:

  • The Priority of Worship. I’ve been enjoying re-listening to the messages from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference. One of the most neglected contributions of the Reformation is its emphasis on the importance of public worship, and especially the role of hymns and music, for the health of the church. In this message, Sinclair Ferguson reflects upon this legacy while also considering the importance of public worship today. Finally, it considers why reforming worship is of utmost importance for the church worldwide in the future.
  • Theological Primer: Limited Atonement. Kevin DeYoung gives a helpful overview of the at times controversial doctrine of limited atonement, the “L” in the acrostic TULIP.
  • Making Sense of Grace and Election. John MacArthur writes “The truth about election is essential to understanding who God is, His plan of redemption, and His design for the church. But some who profess love for God and belief in the Bible nevertheless resent and even despise this doctrine.”
  • An Eternal Expression of Love. John MacArthur writes “The truth of God’s sovereign election is high doctrine—far beyond our ability to comprehend completely. It is, after all, dealing with intra‑Trinitarian expressions of love that are ultimately unfathomable. And yet, it is a glorious and uplifting, soul-satisfying truth, if we faithfully embrace what Scripture doesreveal about it.”
  • The Suffering and Glory of Psalm 22. Robert Godfrey writes “As we seek to understand Psalm 22 so that we can appropriate it and use it, we need to see in it the direction of the history of the church: first suffering and then glory. We also need to see something of a pattern of piety for the church and for the individual Christian.”
  • Seven Reasons You Owe Everything to Suffering. In this six-minute video clip from a sermon, John Piper writes “So, the ultimate reason that suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of God’s grace in his infinitely perfect self, dying for those who infinitely deserve suffering — he takes our place.”
  • Help Me Teach the Bible: Kevin DeYoung on Exodus. In this episode of the “Help Me Teach the Bible” Nancy Guthrie talks to pastor and author Kevin DeYoung about teaching and preaching the book of Exodus.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • I have never met a person who fell in love with Jesus because a Christian scolded them about their ethics. Have you? Scott Sauls
  • Today, it’s likely we will either fix our eyes adoringly on Jesus, selfishly on ourselves, or critically on others. Scotty Smith
  • Not everyone is your brother or sister in the faith, but everyone is your neighbor. Tim Keller
  • Everything is necessary that God sends our way; nothing can be necessary that he withholds. John Newton
  • Sanctification is Jesus turning our lives into the likeness of His own beauty, that we might shine with His own glory. Sinclair Ferguson
  • What is an idol? It is anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. Tim Keller
  • God’s love is not mild-mannered and limp; it is livid, potent, and committed. And therein lies our hope. Michael Reeves
  • There is not one piece of cosmic dust that is outside the scope of God’s sovereign providence. C. Sproul
  • We value a man who marches to his own beat. God values a man who marches to His beat. Randy Alcorn

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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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