Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

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R. C. Sproul

DR. R.C. SPROUL, known by many as simply “R.C.”, was my spiritual mentor for more than 30 years; he died on December 14. Here are a few helpful links.

  • Here is R.C.’s obituary in the Orlando Sentinel and in the Washington Post.
  • R.C.’s memorial service will be live streamed on R.C. on December 20 at 2:00 pm Eastern.
  • Chris Larson of Ligonier Ministries tells us that the Renewing Your Mind broadcast that aired December 15 (the day after R.C. died) was providentially planned several months ago. Listen to “The Believer’s Final Rest” here.
  • To read about the impact R.C. had on others, follow the hashtag #GodUsedRC
  • Tim Challies has done an excellent job compiling several tributes to R.C. here.
  • Here is my tribute to R.C., in appreciation for how the Lord used him in my life.
  • Nathan W. Bingham does a nice job compiling a number of tributes to R.C. here.
  • Here are more tributes from:
  • Here is a tribute from Todd Pruitt. Todd and Kevin DeYoung both recommend this sermon from R.C.
  • The last time I heard R.C. deliver a message was at the 2016 Ligonier National Conference. It was a very emotional time as he was given a standing ovation. I wondered at the time if it would be the last time I would hear him give a message, and as it turned out, it was. And what a message to finish with. Watch R.C. deliver his message entitled “The Transforming Power of the Gospel” here.
  • The last time I saw R.C. was at the 2017 Ligonier National Conference. Although his health did not allow him to deliver the final message of the conference as had been planned, he did participate in a few sessions earlier in the conference, including this “Question and Answer” session. Watch the beginning of this video in which he and dear friend John MacArthur debate a theological point. A great memory.
  • R.C. had many friends on the Reformed Baptist side of the aisle. Watch this brief video clip in which he makes a joke with Albert Mohler. Watch John MacArthur’s reaction.
  • Uncaging the Lion. Joel Belz of World Magazine with a recent interview with R.C.
  • Desiring God shared the video for this message from their 2010 National Conference. They write “In October of 2010, Sproul delivered a message at the Desiring God National Conference that was quintessentially “Sproulian.” He interacted with ancient and modern philosophy, science, and history in explaining, and defending, why the Bible provides the only reliable answers to our ultimate questions.
  • 40 Quotes from R. C. Sproul. Matt Smethurst shares these 40 quotes from R.C.


  • John MacArthur on the Confusion at Christmas. How do God’s people keep His Son at the center of their Christmas celebrations? And how do we avoid the worldly temptations and influences that ramp up at this time of the year? Watch John MacArthur address these questions in this two-minute video.
  • What Does the X in Xmas Mean?  R.C. Sproul writes “There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.”
  • The Peace We All Long For. Stephen Nichols writes “Jesus Christ, born of Mary, born in Bethlehem, born on Christmas morning, brings permanent and ultimate peace on earth. The peace we all long for is found in Christ.”
  • Christians and Christmas. John MacArthur writes “Christmas presents a conundrum to many believers. Do you withdraw from the world and its materialistic excess at this time of year? Or do you lean headlong into the celebration, hoping to sanctify the festivities through your participation? Given the wide chasm between those two extremes, it’s no wonder that the Christmas holiday can be a cause for division within the church. But some biblical and historical context can help bridge that gap.”
  • Celebrating Christmas with a Broken Heart. Brittany Salmon writes “The coming weeks can be excruciatingly painful for those in the midst of grief—whether due to a loved one’s death, job loss, infertility, infant loss, devastating diagnosis, or a family crisis. But rather than just getting through the holidays, might I offer another suggestion? What if instead of merely pushing through, you resolved to fixate on what really matters? Because although you can’t change what has been tainted, broken, or taken away, you can celebrate the holiday’s true meaning in the midst of your pain.”
  • Americans Say Religious Aspects of Christmas Are Declining in Public Life. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – even as relatively few Americans are bothered by this trend.”
  • Glory (Let There Be Peace). Watch the lyric video for Matt Maher’s song “Glory (Let There Be Peace)”.
  • O Little Town (The Glory of Christmas). Watch the lyric video for Matt Redman’s song “O Little Town (The Glory of Christmas)”.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Is Football Too Violent for Christians? Tony Reinke writes “So what role do we the spectators play in the long-term price of football violence?”
  • Leave Your Secret Sin Behind. Jon Bloom writes “Today is a day of reckoning. A wave of judgment is sweeping leaders from their high positions of cultural, political, corporate, and religious power because they used those positions to indulge their self-centered sexual appetites on subordinates.”
  • Abba, Father: What Having God as My Heavenly Father Means to Me. Randy Alcorn writes “While my earthly father often seemed impossible to please, my heavenly Father seems eager to say to me, “Well done.” Not only is He willing to spend time with me, He’s also eager to do so, and went to incredible lengths that I might spend eternity living with Him in His place, with Him always there for me, and me always able to proudly serve under Him. It’s my privilege to worship Him, and call Him my Father.”
  • Don’t Take It from Me: Reasons You Should Not Marry an Unbeliever. Kathy Keller writes “We need to hear the voices of men and women who are in unequal marriages and know to their sorrow why it is not merely a disobedient choice, but an unwise one.”
  • Do You Pray Like the Devil?  John Piper writes “But the devil never prays or helps anyone pray, “Hallowed be your name.” Or, “Lord, cause your name to be honored, magnified, adored, revered!” The devil never prays or helps anyone pray, “Lord, advance your saving kingdom against the powers of darkness.” The devil never prays, “I am sorry for my sin. I hate it, and I confess it, and I ask you, Father, for forgiveness in Jesus’s name.”
  • What Made Fixer Upper a Hit? Dean Abbott writes “Millions tuned into the program, not just to watch a construction project, but to witness the Gaineses’ life, their healthy marriage, and to bask in the warmth of the values they represent. What made Fixer Upper a hit wasn’t just construction and decor. It wasn’t even the Gaineses’ personalities. It was that the show portrayed traditional, life-giving virtues in a culture set on eradicating them.”
  • God Chose This Home for You. Marshall Segal writes “God not only knit you together in your mother’s womb; he also sovereignly orchestrated all the places you would call home — the periods and boundaries of your “dwelling place.” You do not have a home by accident. Your home is an invitation from God to seek God, and a commission from God to help others seek God.”
  • The Story Maker. Watch this new animated children’s film to share the Gospel story.
  • David Murray Talks about Christians and Depression. Trillia Newbell interviews David Murray about depression.
  • God Wants to Shape Your Wants. John Piper writes “This is an invitation. God wants our hearts. He will take them as he finds them. And then, with the healing balm of the Psalms, he will shape them. Accept his invitation to come. On the front door, he has promised, Enter here. Find your delight in lingering here in meditation.”

  • Is the Pope Right about The Lord’s Prayer? Denny Burk writes “To adopt the Pope’s translation is to lose the precious truth that God does exercise agency over our trials. His loving providential care extends over every area of our lives, from our deepest joys to our most profound pain. His sovereign hand over all of these things is what gives us the confidence that he has the ability to hear and answer prayer in the first place. Let’s not back away from God’s agency in our trials. Rather, let’s press into it for the Lord’s sake and for our own.”
  • My Top 10 Theology Stories of 2017. Collin Hansen, Editorial Director at the Gospel Coalition, writes “Some entries on my 2017 list may not appear strictly theological. But at The Gospel Coalition we aim to show how the gospel of Jesus Christ affects all of life. And you’ll find assumptions and beliefs about God in each of these events and trends.”
  • Do All Old Testament Commands Apply Today?In this short video, Tom Schreiner states that when we read the whole Bible we see that the old covenant has passed away.
  • Answering Claims That the Bible Contains Errors, and Why It Matters That It Doesn’t.Randy Alcorn writes “When people say they believe the Bible contains errors, it’s a good practice to ask them to name those errors so you can open a Bible and look at them together. When you take the time to talk about their concerns, you can demonstrate that you have investigated it for yourself, that you’ve done your homework, and are convinced that when God says all Scripture is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), He means that it is all accurate and reliable.”


  • Local Family Inadvertently Prints Imprecatory Psalm on Christmas Cards. According to sources, local family the Fullers mistakenly selected a violent imprecatory Psalm as their chosen verse for this year’s Christmas card, which was mailed to all of their friends, family and coworkers. The verse in question is Psalm 58:6, which reads, “O God, shatter the teeth in their mouths,” according to witnesses who have received a copy of the card.”
  • John Piper Now Awarding Video Games With Official ‘Waste Of Your Life’ Seal Of ApprovalThe Babylon Beereports “Representatives for Desiring God Ministries confirmed Monday that Pastor John Piper will be breaking into the competitive world of video game journalism, offering only the very best games that meet his stringent requirements the new “Waste Of Your Life” seal of approval.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • In our world where everything is about promoting yourself, repentance feels brutal. But repentance is the only way to be healed. Tim Keller
  • So long as Jesus Christ is there, in heaven before God for us, our salvation will last. Sinclair Ferguson
  • If you have a problem finding something to preach, I guarantee that you are not preaching the gospel. Albert Mohler
  • We mustn’t say more than we should, but we mustn’t say less than we must. Alistair Begg
  • Christ will be known in the culture when we treat people better than they deserve, not as they deserve. John Piper
  • When Christ becomes the only one who can stand between us and the degradation and contradiction of sin, when Christ becomes to us the only one who can stand between us and the holy wrath of God, then he has become all and in all to us. John Murray
  • We can only begin an upright course of life when God, of his good pleasure, adopts us into his family. John Calvin
  • The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank. K. Chesterton
  • If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. If you do not slay sin, sin will slay you. Charles Spurgeon

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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