Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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TOPICS IN THE NEWS:

  • Racism and Corporate Evil: A White Guy’s Perspective. Watch this 26-minute address from Tim Keller, which was part of an event that marked the release of John Piper’s book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, for which Keller wrote the Foreword.
  • Charlottesville, Confederate Memorials, and Southern Culture. John Piper writes “So here I am, a Christian exile in America pondering the implications of Charlottesville. You will see below why my mind has gone in the direction of Confederate memorials. How should I think and act about that point of conflict? What are we to do as a nation? The questions multiplied. Here is my best effort so far to find some answers.” Consider his four recommendations.
  • John MacArthur on Charlottesville, Racism, and God’s Word. What’s a biblical response to racism and the tragic events in Charlottesville? John MacArthur answered that question in this interview with Frank Sontag on 99.5 KKLA in Los Angeles.
  • Special Report on Sexuality and Gender. David Murray shares interesting findings from The New Atlantis Journal’s“A Special Report on Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences”.
  • Precious Clarity on Human Sexuality. John Piper introduces the “Nashville Statement”, writing “The Nashville Statement is a Christian manifesto concerning issues of human sexuality. It speaks with forthright clarity, biblical conviction, gospel compassion, cultural relevance, and practical helpfulness. There is no effort to equivocate for the sake of wider, but muddled, acceptance.” Aimee Byrd offers this response to the “Nashville Statement”.
  • Why is Sexuality Such a Big Deal for the Church? Emily McFarlan Miller writes “Mohler describes a collision between “two massive and very powerful cultural realities.” One is the “long, consistent testimony of Christianity concerning God’s plan for human sexuality, marriage and gender” that reserves sex for one man and one woman within marriage, he said. The other is a “moral revolution being driven largely by what is considered to be sexual liberation.”
  • Why the Nashville Statement Now, and What about Article 10?Denny Burk writes “We also began to see a great deal of criticism and more than a few questions. All of this was to be expected. This will be an ongoing conversation going forward, and we will be engaging the substantive issues at stake in the days ahead in this space. But I wanted to take an opportunity to address three items that have come up today—two mundane points and one substantive.”
  • When Calling Yourself a “Christian” Isn’t Enough. Adam Parker writes “Is it possible that the term “Christian,” like “Evangelical,” isn’t enough? Since the “Nashville Statement” was released, we have seen a number of negative responses from people also wanting to claim the name of Christian.”
  • Should You Call a Transgender Person “Him” or “Her”?It’s very common to hear debates about pronoun usage. For example, should you call a transgender male “he” (as they identify themselves) or “she” (since they are biologically female)? Christians disagree—hopefully charitably—about pronoun usage, this short video offers some helpful advice from Andrew Walker, author of God and The Transgender Debate. 

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • Diagnostic Decision Making. Nicholas Batzig writes “In his excellent little book Discovering God’s Will, Sinclair Ferguson sets out six diagnostic questions to ask when we are confronted with numerous life decisions.”
  • Six Questions to Ask Before You Binge-Watch on Netflix. In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers a question about when humor in media becomes sinful.
  • What If My Worst Fears Come True? Jon Bloom writes “Trusting God’s promises does not mean that what we fear won’t happen. It means that what we should fear most won’t happen. It means God will deliver us from our greatest real danger.”
  • No Fear of Bad News. Scotty Smith prays “When it comes, help me accept “bad news,” not with a shrug of my shoulders, but with the bend of my knees–not with passive resignation, but with active surrender to you, my sovereign, good Father.”
  • I Would Rather Die: Letter to a Would-Be Adulterer. Francis Chan writes “The Bible is clear and simple when it comes to impurity: Run! “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Run away from temptation, and run towards righteousness. How we each pursue this may look different, but here are some pillars that have helped me in my journey.”
  • Ten Ways to Show Truth and Love to Your Gay Neighbor. Denny Burke writes “In light of the release of the “Nashville Statement”, I thought it might be helpful to review ten practical ways that Christians can show love to their gay neighbors.”
  • Serious Joy. John Piper writes “What I call “Christian Hedonism” is a way of life rooted in the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The implications of this conviction are all-encompassing and thrilling, including the stunning truth that all true virtue and all true worship necessarily include the pursuit of happiness in God.”
  • Finish Strong. Tim Challies wraps up series for men, writing “I am convinced that if you pursue these disciplines, you will be pacing yourself well and preparing yourself to cross the finish line with arms raised in victory. You will be setting the pace to finish the race.”

CHURCH CHAT:

  • The Urgency of Preaching. Albert Mohler writes “Has preaching fallen on hard times? An open debate is now being waged over the character and centrality of preaching in the church. At stake is nothing less than the integrity of Christian worship and proclamation. How did this happen?”

  • Keller, Moore, and Duncan on the Non-Negotiable Beliefs About Creation.  When it comes to the origins of the universe, what essentials need to be affirmed for a view to be biblical? Watch this 12-minute roundtable discussion as Tim Keller, Russell Moore and Ligon Duncan discuss how the doctrine of creation makes sense of human dignity, racial equality, true peace and justice, purpose and meaning in life, and more. They also consider recent debates over the historicity of Adam and Eve.
  • Thinking Like Jesus. R.C. Sproul writes “I think that part of the perfect humanity of our Lord was that He never made an illegitimate inference. He never jumped to a conclusion that was unwarranted by the premises. His thinking was crystal clear and coherent. We are called to imitate our Lord in all things, including His thinking. Therefore, make it a matter of chief and earnest business in your life to love Him with all of your mind.”
  • Missing the Point About Greatness. Listen to this message from Albert Mohler on Matthew 18:1-6. He states ““There’s nothing wrong with greatness. The problem is how we conceive of greatness. In the kingdom of Christ, greatness is not seen in anything recognizable in Alexander the Great or in Good to Great. What we have in the kingdom of Christ is a complete transformation of values, and that is perhaps never more quintessentially seen than in the question of greatness.”
  • Ask Anything (Episode 5). In this interactive live broadcast, Albert Mohler answers viewers’ questions on a wide range of topics including theology, ministry, and culture.
  • New Online Home for Tabletalk Magazine. Ligonier Ministries recently announced a new online home for their excellent monthly magazine Tabletalk.
  • All Men Are Like Grass: The Life of John Calvin. Listen to this message from Kevin DeYoung delivered at the Gospel Coalition 2017 National Conference.

  • 500 Years After Reformation, Many Protestants Closer to Catholics than Martin Luther. Sarah Eekhoff Zylastra writes “The 95 theses Luther nailed to the door at Wittenberg served as the catalyst for one of the world’s largest religious splits, as thousands broke off from the Roman Catholic Church. His legacy, 500 years later, is 560 millionProtestants across the globe, making up more than a third of the world’s Christians. But many of them don’t actually agree with him.
  • The Reformation and the Men Behind It. As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaches, Ligonier will be presenting a series of blog posts, excerpted from Pillars of Grace by Dr. Steven J. Lawson, about some of the major Reformers—Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, William Tyndale, Heinrich Bullinger, and John Calvin. Today, Dr. Lawson offers some background on the Reformation and the Reformers.

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • Surgeon General’s Warning to be Stamped On All Bibles Starting Next Year.The Babylon Bee reports ““Consumers need to be aware of the consequences of reading this book,” an FDA spokesman said at a Wednesday press conference announcing the change. “Some people pick one up on a whim, or they’re peer pressured into reading the Scriptures one time, and the next thing you know they’re hooked and they believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was sufficient to atone for their sins against a holy God.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The gospel turns the duty of doing and experiencing God’s will into a delight. Sinclair Ferguson
  • The Law tells us what to do. The Gospel tells us what God has done for us in Christ. Michael Horton
  • We have a fatal tendency to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the gravity of our own. John Stott
  • It is absolutely crucial to speak up about the biblical teaching on racism—not just now but routinely and regularly. Tim Keller
  • There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan. S. Lewis
  • Because of Christ, death is not final. It is a passage from one world to the next. C. Sproul
  • My Christian brothers and sisters, remember that your greatest power is NOT who YOU are, but Who you RELY on. Mark Dever
  • Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. Francis Chan
  • We can be courageous and confident in missions and evangelism because we know that it depends on God and not on us. Kevin DeYoung

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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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