Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • “Should I Force My Teen to Go to Church?” R.C. Sproul writes “I would encourage you to make it a special point of concern to do everything in your power to get your kids to church and to make it an attractive time for them rather than a bad experience.”
  • What Should We Say to the Loved Ones of an Unbeliever Who Has Died? Randy Alcorn writes “What might help you personally on this—and I have reassured myself about this many times—is to realize that we do not know what happens inside a person before they die. We don’t know whether the Holy Spirit of God has done a work of grace in someone’s heart and life at the last moment. They may have been aware of the hours, minutes, and even just seconds leading up to their death and cried out to God for deliverance. The thief on the cross proves that “deathbed conversion” is certainly possible. And if someone is unable to speak, or too weak to respond, those around them would not know of that conversion. We may be surprised and delighted to one day see them in the presence of Christ.”
  • Can Unbelievers Do Good Deeds?   R.C. Sproul writes “Even our finest works have a taint of sin mixed in. I have never done an act of charity, of sacrifice, or of heroism that came from a heart, a soul, and a mind that loved God completely. Externally, many virtuous acts are going on both among believers and unbelievers, but God considers both the external obedience and the motivation. Under that tight norm of judgment, we’re in trouble.”

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  • Fixer Upper to End. Chip and Joanna Gaines announce that the upcoming season 5 of the popular television series Fixer Upper will be their last.      
  • Two Faith-Based Movies Announced for 2018. MOVIEGUIDE writes “The first is a follow-up to Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of Unbroken, about the life of WWII hero Louis Zamperini. This movie, however, is being distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment and will focus primarily on the portion of the story that was glossed over in Jolie’s movie: Zamperini’s conversion to Christianity. The second movie to be released in 2018, also currently filming, is Paul: Apostle of Christ, from Sony Picture Entertainment’s faith-based branch, Affirm Films. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the highest grossing faith-based movie of all time, The Passion of the Christ, will play the biblical character of Luke. The movie also stars John Lynch and James Faulkner as the Apostle Paul.”
  • The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion. Albert Mohler writes “Let there be no confusion on this question. The Bible reveals the sanctity of all human life, the early church affirmed the sanctity of every human life, and anyone who performs an abortion is not “doing God’s work.”
  • Kurt Warner: Football Hall of Fame Inductee and Lover of Jesus. Meredee Berg writes “But Warner made clear that those people were wrong. What he was really thanking God for were the trials that had prepared him for that moment and that platform—for showing him that with God, the impossible becomes possible. He truly believed that God had chosen him for a once-in-a-lifetime role.”
  • Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite Era. Kate Shellnutt writes “the Village Church, the multisite Texas megachurch led by Matt Chandler, will transition from several campuses across the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex to individual autonomous churches within the next five years, leaving behind a multisite model for a deeper commitment to local ministry and church planting.”

    Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Amazing! It Took A Few Years, But Tebowing Has Finally Taken Over The NFLThe Babylon Beereports “The act of Tebowing became well-known nationwide, but never really caught on with fellow NFL players, as Tebow obviously hoped it would. Well, guess what? All these years later,Tebowing has taken the NFL by storm.”
  • New Calvinist Baskin-Robbins Offers Customers One Preselected Flavor To Choose From. The Babylon Beereports “One woman recently attempted to order her favorite flavor of Daquiri Ice at the Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, but was informed that Mint Chocolate Chip had been chosen from her as the Lord looked down the corridors of time and selected the flavor she would choose. “I don’t really like mint chocolate chip, but if that’s the Lord’s will, I will partake from the cup He has chosen for me,” she reportedly said, before being informed that God had chosen a waffle cone for her instead of a cup. “Oh, OK. That’s fine too.”

  • When Feeling a Tad, or a Ton, Weighed Down. Scotty Smith prays “Lord Jesus, we’re thankful you preside at a throne of grace–perpetually, joyfully, and with so much burden-bearing love. When we feel like “weak reeds” or “flickering candles,” you don’t judge us, you welcome us. You don’t roll your eyes with disgust, you open your arms with delight. You promise us a rest you alone can give, and we’re ready to receive.”
  • 6 Actions to Take when Grieving the Death of a Loved One. Paul Tautges writes “Elisabeth Elliot was widowed twice and, therefore, understood grief better than most others. In a simple tract entitled “Facing the Death of Someone You Love,” she brings words of comfort to the bereaved by offering six specific points of counsel.”
  • Heavenly Minded = *More* Earthly Good. Scott Sauls writes “To be heavenly minded, then, is to be more earthly good, not less. It is to be contagious contributors, not contemptible contrarians, to the world around us.”
  • The Duty of Moderation.Tim Challies writes in his series “The 10 Duties of Every Christian”, “It is when we enjoy God’s gifts in God’s terms that we experience the highest pleasures we can attain on this side of heaven. God is good to give us pleasures, but even in such pleasures, sin is always near at hand. We respond to that sin and put it to death through the duty of moderation.”
  • The Both/And of the Gospel. Missional engagement in the world is not only compatible with classic, orthodox theology—it requires it. John Stott is right: “God is a God of both justice and justification.” Watch this 18-minute message from Tim Keller.
  • Trusting God When the Pain Seems Pointless. Randy Alcorn writes “How many times does God have a purpose in events that seem senseless when they happen?”


  • What Your Church Members Should Know about the Reformation. Shawn Wright writes “The Reformation began with Martin Luther, but he was influenced by doctrine and pastoral practices that preceded him by centuries.”
  • The Reformation and the Glory of God. John Piper writes “The Protestant Reformation was fundamentally a controversy with the Roman Catholic Church over how helpless we really are in our deadness and guilt. The Reformers believed that only grace could raise us from the dead, and only Christcould become our punishment and our perfection. These two miracles—of life from the dead and wrath removed—could only be received as a gift through faith. They could never be merited or earned, all so that the entire transaction would culminate soli Deo Gloria—to the glory of God alone.”
  • Faith That Changed the Culture. Michael Reeves writes “What Martin Luther discovered in the Bible pulled him out of despair and made him feel he had “entered paradise itself through open gates.” Nothing about that message has changed — or lost its power to brighten lives today.”
  • 31 New Episodes of 5 Minutes in Church History. This Reformation month culminates in the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-Five Theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. To celebrate the anniversary, the 5 Minutes in Church History podcast is releasing a new episode, recorded on location throughout Europe, every day in October. Over 31 episodes, Dr. Stephen Nichols will explore the life, thought, and legacy of Luther, and will conclude with an examination of the document that started it all, Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.
  • The Morning Star of the Reformation. Stephen Nichols writes “John Wycliffe has been called “The Morning Star of the Reformation.” The morning star is not actually a star, but the planet Venus, which appears before the sun rises and while darkness still dominates the horizon. The morning star is unmistakably visible.”

  • Seven Characteristics of Liberal Theology. Kevin DeYoung writes “Liberals believe they are making Christianity relevant, credible, beneficial, and humane. Evangelicals in the line of J. Gresham Machen believe they are making something other than Christianity. That was the dividing line a century ago, and the division persists.”
  • Think Fake News Is Scary? Try False Teaching. Jen Wilkin writes “The Christian equivalent to journalistic misinformation commits the same kinds of deception with much more at stake. Like fake news, false teaching has enjoyed a long history. The original misinformer appears in the earliest moments of human history, whispering into Eden’s atmosphere, “Did God really say?””
  • The Day of Atonement was a Copy of Christ’s Atonement. Sinclair Ferguson writes “It is common to think of the Old Testament ritual as providing the model that Jesus’ priesthood subsequently copied and fulfilled. But Hebrews sees things differently.“

    Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • I am always amazed how much I hear “Oh my God” “Jesus” “damn” and “hell” from people who claim to be atheists. Burk Parsons
  • The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God’s will to mine, but to mold my will into His. Tim Keller
  • We are never in danger of thinking too highly of Jesus. Kevin DeYoung
  • My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith but in the indestructibility of my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson
  • We become what we behold. Let us look upon Christ, love him and learn from him. Kevin DeYoung
  • Missions exists because worship doesn’t. John Piper
  • We supply the weakness, Jesus gives the strength. We supply the emptiness, He gives the grace. Steven Lawson
  • God involves us in His purposes not because He needs us, but because He loves us. David Platt
  • Christians can have radical and serious falls, but never total and final falls from grace. R. C. Sproul

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.

One thought on “THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  1. I love the cartoon!

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