Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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  • Preservation of the Saints. Does “once saved” mean “always saved”? For some, doubts about salvation can lead to a shaky faith, while others use the doctrine of eternal security as a license for spiritual carelessness. Against such extremes, in this message from a Ligonier National Conference, Alistair Begg examines the Bible’s teaching on the “preservation of the saints”—the belief that once someone has been saved, God enables him or her to persevere in faith. Scripture’s warnings, he reminds us, should be taken seriously, even as its assurances lead us to lives of greater devotion and trust in Christ alone.
  • Matrimony No More. John Piper writes “In sum, marriage ends because its procreating purpose is not needed in the resurrection (Luke 20:35–36). Marriage ends because all its pleasures are preludes and pointers to something so much better that the human heart cannot imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). When the perfect comes, the partial passes away. And marriage ends in order to put the married and the non-married on the same footing for enjoying the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).”
  • Is Genre Important in Bible Reading?We must not let “genre” dictate our understanding of texts. Rather, at every place in the Bible, our question must be, “What is the author trying to communicate here?”  Watch this new four-minute video from John Piper.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Self-Control and the Power of Christ. David Mathis writes “Because self-control is a gift, produced in and through us by God’s Spirit, Christians can and should be the people on the planet most hopeful about growing in self-control. We are, after all, brothers of the most self-controlled man in the history of the world.”
  • God Wounds Us Because He Loves Us. Marshall Segal writes “Don’t be afraid to feel the pain in suffering, and to grieve the pain, but let it lead you to God, not away from him. He is wounding you with love, and pleading with you to run to him.”
  • Welcome Everyone, Affirm No One.Trevin Wax writes “Self-affirmation is the gospel of the American culture; we are idolaters when we make it the gospel of the Christian church. The church exists not to affirm ourselves, but to adore the King who loved us and gave himself for us when there was nothing good in us to affirm. The more we affirm ourselves, the less we adore the King for his grace.”
  • Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven. Watch this message from Albert Mohler. We believe that there is only way to Heaven. The good news is that there is a way at all.
  • Acknowledging the Vulnerability of Not Having Control. Scotty Smith prays “Heavenly Father, we’re sothankful that you, quite literally, have the whole world in your hand. That frees us to acknowledge the obvious–we don’t. We don’t have control over a lot of things. But as we come to you this morning with empty hands, we do so, not to grab what isn’t ours to control, but to raise our hands in praise and surrender to you.”
  • Prosperity Theology Tells Us to Live Now as Kings, Not Servants. Randy Alcorn writes that the “prosperity gospel” is a “philosophy teaches that the more money you give away, the wealthier you will become. Following God through giving and other forms of obedience becomes a formula for abundant provision and the celebration of prosperous living. This is, in essence, a Christianized materialism.”

  • Theologian for the Ages: John Calvin. Steven Lawson writes “John Calvin (1509–1564) is easily the most important Protestant theologian of all time and remains one of the truly great men who have lived. A world-class theologian, a renowned teacher, an ecclesiastical statesman, and a valiant Reformer, Calvin is seen by many as the greatest influence on the church since the first century. Apart from the biblical authors themselves, Calvin stands as the most influential minister of the Word the world has ever seen.”
  • John Calvin in 200 Words. This is a helpful series on key Reformers from the folks at the Cripplegate
  • Looking at Wittenberg in the Time of Martin Luther. Justin Taylor writes “On Saturday, October 31, 1517, Dr. Martin Luther–a 33-year-old Roman Catholic priest and theology professor at the University of Wittenberg–stood in front of the doors to the Castle Church and nailed a paper with his now famous 95 Theses, handwritten in Latin.”
  • The Death of Ulrich Zwingli. William Boekestein shares this story adapted from his Young Adult biography of Ulrich Zwingli, Shepherd Warrior.
  • Max McLean’s New Production about Luther. Noted thespian and producer Max McLean has an imaginative new production touring the country and discusses “Martin Luther on Trial” with Eric Metaxas.

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • If you trust Christ, you’re united to Christ, and if you are united to Christ, you will bear fruit in Christ. No fruit, no union, no trust. Burk Parsons
  • Show the world that your God is worth ten thousand worlds to you. Charles Spurgeon
  • Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it. Martin Luther
  • Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can’t see it. So quietly submit to be painted. S. Lewis
  • If your joy rests on your parenting successes, you will be undone by your parenting failures. John Piper
  • We should ask the question John the Baptist faced: Would I gladly fade into obscurity if it meant more attention for Jesus? Kevin DeYoung
  • Jesus never changed the gospel to make it suit people; he changed people to make them fit into his gospel. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • When people are right with God, they are apt to be hard on themselves and easy on other people. John Newton
  • Christian confidence does not come from looking at the state of the world; it comes from Jesus. Michael Reeves

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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