Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Why They Listen to Jordan Peterson. Park MacDougald writes “Peterson has become a celebrity by telling young people to get their act together, which suggests that there are a lot of them who need to hear it. In a society that tends to eschew limits and presents an illusion of infinite choice, he offers a sense of direction, order, and authority — the “antidote to chaos” promised in the title of his book — that many frankly lack. It’s religion for atheists; Protestant Christianity remixed for the age of YouTube and Reddit. And as Peterson’s wild popularity shows, there are plenty of people out there looking for a prophet.”
  • The Voice Evangelical Men Wish They Had. Anthony Bradley writes “(Jordan) Peterson understands something about the world of men that evangelical pastors seem to have been clueless about for almost thirty years. It is simply this: since the 1980s, young men have been shamed and emasculated in a culture determined to destroy the archetypal masculinity of figures like Jesus Christ.”
  • The Porn Epidemic. One-third of people viewing porn are women, but this demographic is largely unaddressed when pornography addictions are discussed. Audrey Assad, a singer/songwriter and worship leader, is seeking to change that by transparently sharing her journey to overcome porn addiction. Audrey gives voice to an issue too often kept quiet, and bears witness to the power of freedom from addiction, even amidst a culture that condones porn and exploitation.
  • In Need of Hope and Healing?  Watch “The Heart of Man” on Netflix; A retelling of the prodigal son parable interspersed with true stories from people who’ve dealt with personal shame over  moral failings.

  • Do You Exercise Like a Non-Believer? David Mathis writes “What makes exercise holy, and loving, is the prayer that our expenditures of energy will lead to our increased readiness to expend ourselves in sacrifice for others.”
  • The Little Known Story of Olympian Eric Liddell’s Final Years. Randy Alcorn writes about Eric Liddell “On the surface, it all seems so tragic. Why did God withhold from this great man of faith a long life, years of fruitful service, the companionship of his wife, and the joy of raising those beloved children? It makes no sense. And yet…There is another way to look at the Eric Liddell story.”
  • When Feeling a Bit Down. Scotty Smith prays “Thank you for promising to renew our strength. Thank you for calling us to wait on you, and not simply get up and get busy. With the gospel at my core, I don’t feel condemnation or guilt, just the need for a quiet, content, trusting heart. Grant me such a heart, as this day begins and continues.”
  • Getting Lent Right: Repentance and Moralism are *NOT* the Same Thing.Scott Sauls writes “Moralism is centered on human effort, a striving to be good apart from the resources that Jesus provides in the Gospel. Moralistic people usually appear to have their act together. Others tend to experience them as proper, dutiful, loyal, and faithful to the rules. Moralists tend to do the right things but for all the wrong reasons. There is a self-denial component to moralism, but it is a counterfeit form of what Scripture calls ‘repentance.’ With moralism, unlike repentance, joy and gratitude about Jesus’ love is less of a motivator than a desire to feel superior to others, to ease guilty consciences with good works, or to somehow impress God.”
  • Is Anxiety a Sin?“Is anxiety a sin? Is worry a sin?” Dr. Jeremy Pierre answers in Honest Answers.
  • How to Teach Boys to Respect Women.  Russell Moore writes “Every Christian teaches the next generation of men, since all of us are responsible for building up the body of Christ. So what’s most important in rearing boys to respect women?”
  • Will We Have Our Own Homes In Heaven?  Randy Alcorn writes “Our love for home, our yearning for it, is a glimmer of our longing for our true home.”
  • Why Do Christians Still Die?  David Murray writes “Why do Christians have to die? Why can’t they just live and then go to heaven without passing through the experience of death? Although the wages of sin is death, and believers have certainly sinned, has Christ not paid the full penalty for our sins?”
  • Financial Stewardship, Forever Rewards. “What things in our lives are we doing, related to money and possessions, which demonstrate a powerful work of the Holy Spirit of God, which are so great and radical that they suggest to those around us that it must be the Holy Spirit of God—not just something that a person would come up with on their own?” Listen to this message from Randy Alcorn delivered at a 2010 Gospel Coalition conference.

  • God Is Just Judge and Merciful Justifier. John MacArthur writes “The comprehensive nature of God’s reconciliation is staggering. When God looked at the cross, He saw us; when He looks at us, He sees His Son. Our Lord did not just take on the punishment of our sins—He lived a holy, blameless life credited to us by faith. And we now stand before God fully reconciled to Him, cloaked in the righteousness of our blessed Redeemer.”
  • In What Sense Did Christ Die for the Non-Elect? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers the question “For what tangible reason did Christ die for the non-elect?”
  • Hell is Not Separation from God. Michael Horton writes “Hell is not ultimately about fire, but about God. Whatever the exact nature of the physical punishments, the real terror awaiting the unrepentant is God himself and his inescapable presence forever with his face turned against them.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The basic premise of religion–that if you try hard to be good, things will go well for you is wrong. Jesus lived perfectly yet suffered. Tim Keller
  • Of all afflictions, an unkind heart is the worst. Charles Spurgeon
  • We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because he holds tightly to us. C. Sproul
  • Some less important things in your life could stand some planned neglect so that you might give yourself to studying the Word. John MacArthur
  • The chief end of God is to glorify God, and to enjoy Himself forever. Sinclair Ferguson
  • It is a rule of the kingdom; God’s children are not spared the losses and crosses that accompany life in the footsteps of the Saviour. Derek Thomas
  • A man who imagines to arrive at grace by doing all that he is able to do, adds sin to sin, and is doubly guilty. Martin Luther
  • Can anything be more foolish than to put off considering the eternal destiny of your soul? John Owen
  • The sovereignty of God refers to God’s rule over absolutely everything in this world. Ligon Duncan

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm 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 2 Corinthians 5:21 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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