Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • If You Are Watching Game of Thrones, You are Watching Porn. Noah Filipiak writes “And if you think you can somehow filter out the porn and only take in the art, you are deceived and double-minded as well.  Porn does what porn does: as soon as it enters the scene, it removes all dignity and humanity.  All that is left is body parts and the consuming of other humans.  You can’t keep someone’s dignity once you have already devoured it.”
  • Funnyman Jim Carrey Finds His Way Home Through Suffering. David Rupert writes of Jim Carey speaking about troubles that have helped him find a way back home. In this video, he talks candidly to a room full of men who have been in and out of prison.  His theology is not orthodox, but I still found this encouraging.
  • The Masterful ‘Dunkirk’ Explores a ‘Miracle’ of History. Brett McCracken writes “Dunkirk is to Nolan as “David” is to Michelangelo. It’s his masterpiece.”
  • The War We Need. Marshall Segal writes “Dunkirk uncovers a war many of us need to see, because we all need to be reminded that life is war.”


  • Caste Aside: India’s New President Has ‘No Room for Christians’. Kate Shellnutt writes “Though India is the biggest democracy in the world, its Hindu norms have increasingly restricted Christian freedoms. Open Doors rates the persecution level in the country as “very high.”
  • Six Stages of a Dying Church. Thom Rainer writes “Somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 churches in America will close their doors in the next year. And many of them die because they refuse to recognize problems before they became irreversible.”

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • God Made Me for China” — Eric Liddell Beyond Olympic Glory. Albert Mohler writes “Christians must remember that Olympic glory will eventually fade. There will be medalists for all to celebrate. But, will there be another Eric Liddell? At the very least, his story needs to be told again.”
  • Remembering Haddon Robinson. Kevin DeYoung writes “So let me add my voice to many others giving thanks for Haddon’s life and ministry. The man who did so much to champion one Big Idea can now focus on one Big Thing and one Big God for the rest of eternity. And that’s something infinitely better than nothing.”


  • I Feel Tempted, Inside and Out. Dan Doriani writes “Jesus shows us how to resist temptation—swiftly, immediately rejecting it and drawing on God’s Word to do so. Above all, Jesus’s temptation assures us that he understands our weakness and temptation. He genuinely faced temptation; It appealed to him, and he turned it down. The redeemed can do the same.”
  • Eternity Is at Stake in the Fight Against Porn. In this four-minute video clip, John Piper states “Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. He creates the miracle, we act the miracle. He creates it by opening our eyes to see the beauties of Christ, that they can be lost forever in bondage to lust, or they can be enjoyed forever in the purity of heart.”
  • Control Your Sexuality. Tim Challies writes to men, “If you are going to run to win, you need to control your sexuality.”
  • God Still Uses Clay Pots. John MacArthur writes “The great reality is, God’s clay-pot strategy is essential to the gospel, because it makes crystal clear where the power really lies.”
  • Blasting Our Hearts with the Gospel Today. Scotty Smith prays “Thank you for convincing us that there’s nothing more than the gospel, just more of it. Our comprehensive need of grace is met by your inexhaustible supply and glad generosity. Out of your fullness we continue to receive grace upon grace (John 1:16). Hallelujah!”

  • Embrace the Race God Gives You. Jon Bloom writes “Embrace your race. Study the great faith-runners, run as light as possible, push your current endurance limits, and get your eyes on the Great Prize. Run freer, run faster, and run for joy.”
  • Mark Dever on Discipling. Mark Dever joins Collin Hansen on The Gospel Coalition Podcast to discuss what to look for in a disciple, how to disciple someone who’s quite different, and much more.
  • Real Joy Comes from God. Burk Parsons writes “Joy isn’t the absence of sadness—it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

  • Reading is Just the Beginning. David Mathis writes “Reading the Bible is just the beginning of experiencing the weight and wonder of the very words of God. Next time you sit down with the Bible, slow down, steep your soul in God’s own voice, and don’t let go till he blesses you.”
  • Unlock the Riches of Scripture. John Piper writes “God’s word is honored not just by being understood rightly, but also by being felt rightly. A blank response of the heart to glorious truth is a defective response to the Bible. So, we are not done asking questions until we have asked about what emotions are fitting in response to the Bible’s meaning, and whether we are experiencing those emotions.”
  • The 5 Solas: Celebrating 500 Years. Kevin Halloran posts the videos from the 2016 conference The 5 Solas: Celebrating 500 Years. Among the speakers is Bryan Chapell.
  • How to Be a Biblical Nonconformist. In this two-minute video clip from R.C. Sproul’s teaching series Pleasing God, R.C. Sproul explains the difference between superficial and biblical nonconformity.


  • How Can I Forgive Myself?  H.B. Charles writes “To claim that I have been forgiven by God but I cannot forgive myself betrays that I do not understand, believe, or appreciate the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a sinister attempt of the Enemy to get us to depend upon our own righteousness, rather than the grace of God.”
  • What is the Unforgiveable Sin? In this four-minute video, Thomas Schreiner states “Many Christians struggle with, what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? What is the unforgivable sin? Have I committed it? Many Christians feel tortured about this, even, and it can torment them.”
  • Why Did Jesus Need the Holy Spirit?Nick Batzig writes “Jesus needed the Holy Spirit in every act that took place in His life and for the work of redemption.”
  • What Does It Mean to Succeed? Ian Duguid writes “Whether I “succeed” or “fail”—by whatever standard—ultimately counts for nothing. What counts is the fact that Christ has succeeded for me, in my place.”

Pappy’s Smokehouse. I love good BBQ, and have enjoyed some in Memphis, Kansas City, Atlanta, etc. But, my favorite is Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis. Check them out if you are ever in St. Louis, just off of the St. Louis University campus on Olive.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you. Sinclair Ferguson
  • The gospel isn’t doing something or joining something, but receiving something. Michael Horton
  • If you want to be anxious today, pretend you’re in control. Michael Reeves
  • We need Jesus, plus what he chooses to give us… nothing more, and nothing less. Scotty Smith
  • No one was ever scolded out of their sin. William Cowper
  • The heart of the true disciple is set on the glory and purposes of God, our Father in Heaven. Eric Alexander
  • It is not enough to study or applaud the words of Jesus. We must do what he says. Otherwise we are in danger of a great crash. Dan Doriani
  • America needs its next Abraham Lincoln and the closest I’ve seen in 15 years is Ben Sasse. Os Guinness
  • If we dare to stand for something, we have to be prepared that some people will tell us to sit down. Kevin DeYoung

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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