Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • On Those Short-fused Temper-flaring Days. Scotty Smith prays “Heavenly Father, thank you for using heart-convicting images when confronting us with our bad attitudes. I certainly cringe at the thought of being a fool whose “bosom” provides lodging and hospitality for anger. And I take no pleasure in the notion of “exalting folly” by my “hasty temper.” Forgive me Lord, and help me be a better steward of the important and powerful emotion of anger.”
  • Texting and Driving Is Not Loving Your Neighbor. It Could Kill Them. Kevin Halloran writes “I used to text while driving all the time. I finally stopped after a few close calls that woke me up to the danger my behavior posed to myself and others. It’s not only a question of wisdom and personal safety, it is loving your neighbor. And you can’t love your neighbor by putting their lives in danger.”
  • Death by Selfie. Scott Sauls writes “Lord, free us from our addiction to being liked.”
  • 4 Ways to Enjoy God. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Scripture shows that well-instructed believers develop a determination to rejoice.”
  • Two Well-Intentioned Words That Do More Harm Than Good to Those in Pain. Michael Kelley writes “The reason these words can do more harm than good is because you don’t understand. Not really. No one does.”
  • Counseling Parents about Smart Rules for Smartphones (And All Social Media). Garrett Higbee shares 10 rules and 10 helpful guidelines that he would suggest, with the caveat that some may be different in your home.

NOW THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION!

  • Will We Maintain Our Own Identities in Heaven?Randy Alcorn writes “Our own personal history and identity will endure from one Earth to the next.”
  • Do All Religions Lead to God? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses this question from a listener. Listen, or read, his response.
  • Can You Repent Without Changing?Harry Schaumburg writes “Let me say it as clearly as I can: When it comes to sexual sin and addiction, recovery is not repentance, and repentance is not Repentance is not merely human effort. It is not a self-help program. Repentance is God’s surgical procedure, in which he not only humbles the sinner, but works a change in him that is visible from the outside.”
  • Where Will You Be One Year From Today?Tony Reinke writes “One of the many questions that such tragedies raise for us is, “What role, if any, prediction plays in the Christian life?”

Courtesy of World Magazine

IN THE NEWS:

  • Hollywood vs. Rotten Tomatoes. Gene Veith writes “More and more people are consulting Rotten Tomatoes before picking the movie they are going to see at the multiplex.  (I know I do.)  To the point that the site now has a major impact on the success or failure of a movie at the box office. So Hollywood studios are now trying to thwart Rotten Tomatoes by not pre-screening certain new movies for critics before opening night.”
  • Kentucky Could be the First Abortion-Free State by 2018. Jeremiah Keenan writes “Seven states, right now, have only one abortion facility: North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia—and Kentucky.  Activists on both sides of the abortion issue have had their eye on these states for some time, knowing full well that if one of them succeeds in shutting down its last abortionist, the national impact would be enormous. In the past six months it has become clear that the battle for the first abortion-free state is going to be fought this year in Kentucky.”
  • Louis Cardinals Christian Day. St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter speaks at Christian Day on July 30, 2017. He is introduced by Adam Wainwright.
  • Satan and Sodomy. In light of a recent Teen Vogue article encouraging anal sex, John Piper writes “The supernatural monster who orchestrates the kidnapping, enslaving, and thousand-fold drugging, selling, raping, and killing of girls around the globe is the same one who has masterminded the murderous cultural delusion — from the highest court to the lowest porn-flick — that the practice of sodomy is delightful, not deadly.”

CHALLENGES TO BIBLICAL AUTHORITY:

THE BIBLE!

  • You Have Two Enemies in Bible Reading. Watch this new three-minute video from John Piper.
  • Help Me Teach the Bible: Miguel Núñez on Teaching the 5 Solas from Scripture.In the episode of the “Help Me Teach the Bible” podcast, Nancy Guthrie talks to Dr. Miguel Núñez, senior pastor of the International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, about how to teach the five solas in a text-driven rather than solely doctrinal way. They also discussed how the Reformation—which essentially skipped Latin America in the 1500s—is spreading through the Latin American world today. Núñez will be one of the speakers at the 2018 Ligonier National Conference.
  • What the Joseph Story is Really About.Samuel Emadi writes “Joseph’s story is the story of the whole Bible. It’s the story of glory through suffering, exaltation through humiliation. It’s the story of the cross and the crown.”
  • 6 Life-Changing Sermons. Jesse Johnson writes “Here are six sermons that have impacted my life, and I hope you spend some time listening to them so that they can impact yours as well.” Included is John MacArthur’s sermon “A Tale of Two Sons”, one of my all-time favorites.

CHURCH NEWS:

Five Reasons Church Organization Changes Fail. Thom Rainer writes “Change done for the right reason is good. Change done for the wrong reason or for the sake of change itself can leave the church in a more difficult position than keeping the status quo.”

  • Don’t Cower. Preach the Good News. In this two-minute video from his teaching series A Time for Confidence, Stephen Nichols encourages us to put our confidence in the gospel and preach the good news.
  • How the Second Generation of Korean-American Presbyterians Are Bridging the Gap. In this lengthy article, Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “This May, Kim became the first Korean-American president of Westminster Seminary California (WSC). Five weeks later, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly (GA) elected ruling elder Alexander Jun as its first Korean-American moderator. At the same time, the nine Korean-language presbyteries of the PCA held their annual assembly at the GA, resulting in a record number of Korean-language representatives to the larger meeting. All seem to be steps the PCA and its Korean-language presbyteries—which contain 10 percent of the PCA’s congregations—are taking toward each other. After 35 years apart, will the Korean-language churches follow the path of the Dutch Reformed and assimilate into the predominately white denomination?”
  • 5 “Fake News” Stories People Believe About Early Christianity. Michael Kruger writes “Fake news” isn’t a new phenomenon, though. There’s quite a bit of fake news out there regarding the person of Jesus, the origins of the church, and the development of the Bible. Even though such “news” has no factual basis, it’s believed by an uncomfortably large number of people.”

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • Woman Returns From Conference Deeply Convicted Of How Awesome She IsThe Babylon Beereports ““Everything I held dear, before this, I am now counting as garbage,” a sobbing Robinson told reporters Thursday. “I can’t believe I went so long in life with this blind spot, unable to see the light of how incredible of a person I am, and how much God needs me on His team.”
  • John Piper Opens Christian Hedonism Resort. The Babylon Bee reports “In an effort to promote the doctrine of Christian Hedonism, John Piper announced Thursday the grand opening of Desiring God’s official Christian Hedonism Resort & Spa, a world-class resort situated on a private island paradise in the Pacific Ocean.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith, but in the indestructibility of my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Ultimately it is only the man who feels quite hopeless about himself who really trusts God. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • We gather to worship not merely out of tradition or routine, but because there is power in the cross and no one in the tomb. Kevin DeYoung
  • The Spirit always communicates that He’s for you when He convicts you of your sin. C. Sproul
  • The world wants Christians to affirm every religious belief except our own. Burk Parsons
  • We’re not going to be taken out of this world into heaven but heaven is going to come down at the end of time to renew this world. Tim Keller
  • Living in the Spirit therefore means a daily commitment to please Christ and not to please self. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet. Thomas Watson

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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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