Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • 9 Things You Should Know About the Winter Olympics. Joe Carter writes “The 2018 Winter Olympic officially starts February 9 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. Here are nine things you should know about the world’s leading international winter sports event”
  • 5 Christian Athletes to Watch in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Brett McCracken writes “Among the athletes competing are five Olympians who have spoken openly about their Christian faith. Learn a bit about them below and root them on during the Olympics as they seek to glorify God by excelling in their sport.”
  • BreakPoint: The 15:17 to Paris. On this episode of the BreakPoint podcast, John Stonestreet writes “A major studio has just released a film about three heroic Americans who stopped a terrorist attack—and it ties that heroism to their Christian faith.”
  • What You Should Know about Wakanda. With Marvel’s eagerly anticipated new film Black Panther set to open this week, Joe Carter tells us what we should know about the mysterious African nation.
  • Hatmaker Explains Why She Rejected the “Bad Fruit” of the Bible’s Teaching about Sexuality. Denny Burk writes “Jesus says that his commands are not burdensome (Matt. 11:28-30), but Hatmaker says that they are not only burdensome but also harmful to people. Who is right? Hatmaker or Jesus? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is unclear to many. But it won’t prove unclear to genuine followers of Christ. I hope and pray that it will one day be clear again to Hatmaker as well.”
  • Jen Hatmaker and the Power of De-Conversion Stories. Michael Kruger writes “The purpose of this article is to lay out the steps in this de-conversion playbook and offer a quick response to each. I hope to help others who hear these de-conversion stories and struggle with how to respond.”
  • Moody: What Am I Supposed to Say? Trent Hunter writes “What am I supposed to say when a member at my church asks me if Moody still holds to the inerrancy of Scripture? Should they give? Should they send their student? What am I supposed to say when they ask about these related stories of subversive teaching on Adam, a professor whom they heard supports planned parenthood, and the denial of a correspondence theory of truth among some faculty? What about the alleged hiring of an egalitarian who was herself an ordained pastor, and layoffs that may be part of a plan to silence those who registered their concerns? Given my responsibility as an undershepherd before Christ, as one charged to “follow the pattern of sound words” handed down, what am I supposed to say (2 Tim. 1:13)?”
  • Meet the First Gerber Baby with Down Syndrome; His Name is Lucas! Terri Peters writes “The 2018 Gerber baby is Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia who is the first child with Down Syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest’s start in 2010.”
  • Walgreens Adopts Policy Allowing Males Who Identify as Females to Use Women’s Restrooms. Heather Clark writes “The nationwide drugstore chain Walgreens has adopted a policy allowing males who identify as females to use the women’s restroom, and vice versa.”
  • Jordan Peterson is Helping Disillusioned Boys Become Men. Here’s Why Liberals Hate That. Jonathon Van Maren writes “But a good question to ask Peterson’s detractors would be whyWhydo they hate him so much? Why are so many liberals so determined to mock and malign him at every turn? Why do they see him as such a dangerous figure, when the impact of his work in the real world is so overwhelmingly positive?”
  • Jumping In – Luke Weaver. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Luke Weaver writes of being baptized by fellow teammate Adam Wainright.

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • Trusting Jesus with Stuff We Can’t Control. Scotty Smith prays “Lord Jesus, when it comes to raiment and nourishment, the birds of the air have nothing on us. Through the gospel, we’re clothed with your perfect righteousness, and feast on heavenly bread and living water. Thank you!”
  • Is Birth Control a Sin?  Is using birth control a sin (specifically: condoms, diaphragms, family planning, hormonal implants, IUDs, RU-486, birth control pills, vasectomy, tubal ligation)?” Dr. Kenneth Magnuson answers in Honest Answers.
  • Two-Faced Christians Who Make Jesus Look Bad.  Scott Sauls writes “One of the most perplexing and encouraging things about the Bible is all the screw-ups that are in there…those whom God chose to love in spite of themselves.”
  • Kevin DeYoung on When God Demonstrated His Faithfulness. In this three-minute video, Kevin DeYoung reflects on a time when God showed particular faithfulness in the midst of weakness.
  • 3 Ways to Pass on Faith to the Next Generation. Tim Keller writes “It is impossible to lay blame neatly when one generation fails to pass its faith on to the next one. Did the first generation fail to reach out, or did the second generation just harden their hearts? The answer is usually both. Mistakes made by one Christian generation are often magnified in the next, nominal one.
  • What is it Like to Enjoy God. John Piper writes “The first and greatest commandment is that we love God. And the essence of loving God is that we delight in God — that we enjoy God, that we find God to be our all-satisfying treasure, our gold.”

  • Why Do Churches Cover Up Sin?  David Murray writes “I’m going to list the various motivations I’ve discovered over the years with a view to helping Christians in positions of power examine themselves as they make decisions and judgments going forwards.”
  • How to Foster a Praying Church. Listen to this message on the Gospel Coalition podcast which is a message that Scotty Smith preached at the 2011 Gospel Coalition National Conference.

  • The Only Way to Be on the Right Side of History. What should Christians make of the now common line of questions, usually posed in regard to our supposedly passé—even evil—beliefs about sexuality? The wrong-side-of-history objection “presupposes a certain view of history, an inevitability of certain social trends that are going that way no matter what we do,” Don Carson explains in this Gospel Coalition roundtable discussion with Tim Keller and John Piper. “But if we look at history another way—space and time are going to unravel as the Lord of history brings all things to pass—you bet I want to be on the right side of history.” As Keller puts it, “Since Jesus Christ is coming again, the only way to be on the right side of history is to belong to him.”
  • How Important is it to Confess My Sin to Someone Other Than God? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “What exactly is James commanding in James 5:16? What does it mean, ‘that you may be healed’? And could you give us a brief theology of relational-confession practices on the whole?”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Prayer is not the overcoming of God’s reluctance, but the laying hold of God’s willingness. Martin Luther
  • If you could lose your salvation, you would. John MacArthur
  • Want to be like Jesus? Focus less on being like him and more on being with him. His attributes must be caught before they can be imitated. Scott Sauls
  • Condemning others while also excusing ourselves is what allows us to hang onto both our self-righteousness AND our sin. Tim Keller
  • Our prayers are acceptable to God only insofar as Christ sprinkles and sanctifies them with the perfume of his own sacrifice. John Calvin
  • God is not only great, but incomprehensible! It is not that he cannot be known at all, but that he cannot be known fully. Derek Thomas
  • The amazing thing is that God chooses to save anybody, especially when he knows that the people he has chosen would not choose him apart from his grace. Michael Horton
  • All of our actions are ultimately rooted in our deepest desires. Unfortunately, apart from Christ, our desires are set on the wrong thing. Ligon Duncan
  • Jesus did not come to make bad people good. He came o make dead people live. Ravi Zacharias

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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