Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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



  • Put God First. In delivering the commencement speech at Dillard University, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington told the college graduates to put God first in everything they do, adding that everything he has accomplished in this life was due to the grace of God.
  • BreakPoint: The Oscars, Worldview, and The Shape of Water. On this episode of the BreakPoint podcast, Eric Metaxas writes “Sadly, much of this is par for the course these days. But MovieGuide did not simply add up the number of obscenities and scenes of violence and sex; It also identified the film’s underlying worldview: “The Shape of Water,” it says, has a strong Romantic view—that is, it celebrates the philosophy of Romanticism, which teaches that “sexual impulses and the sinful desires of the heart should be lived out” enthusiastically, not “suppressed or rebuked.””
  • A Wrinkle in Timeis Surprisingly Flat. Rebecca McLaughlin. “For a film that explores multiple dimensions of time and space, A Wrinkle in Time is disappointingly flat. I have no sentimental attachment to the book: I read it as an adult, so I have no childhood nostalgia to make the changes from page to screen more painful. But the general flattening felt like a loss.”


  • Church Search. Are you looking to join a church? Click hereto browse or join the Church Search from 9 Marks.
  • Trying to Find a Church on Vacation. “Is that a Baptist church? Ahhhh, i’m not sure.” Every struggled to find a church while on vacation? John Crist and Beth Pilgreen try to find a church to go to while on vacation.

  • The Christian Basis for Civil Disobedience. This episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast is a discussion from 2012 when Tim Keller, Al Mohler, and John Yates sat down to discuss how Christians should evaluate situations that may—or may not—call for civil disobedience.
  • Learn to Pace Your Life Race. Randy Alcorn writes “Life is not a sprint to be run with reckless abandon. It is a marathon to be run with care and thoughtfulness, saving bursts of speed for when they are necessary, but allowing time to recover before the next burst.”
  • Why Suicide Is Everybody’s Business. Joni Eareckson Tada writes “Each year, more than 44,000 people die by suicide in the United States. It is estimated that 25 times that number attempt suicide each year. And the numbers have steadily risen since 2006. Add to that the number of individuals who have chosen physician-assisted suicide—in 2015, 301 people died under Death with Dignity acts in the states of Oregon and Washington alone—and we’re facing a lot of people who have answered “Why not die?” with an empty silence.”

  • When Love Becomes Codependent Enabling. Scott Sauls writes “The “faithful wounds” God sometimes calls us to inflict on one another—always as with a scalpel and never as with a sword—can sometimes create further relational strain. And yet, because God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, we must hold out hope that God remains at work. We must also remember that it is an unspeakable privilege to participate with God in one another’s redemption stories, for “he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).”
  • When the Unbeliever Departs: The Aftermath.Rachel Joy Welcher writes “I had to learn to fight the fear of losing my marriage with a greater fear of God.”
  • Are You Pretending to Be Happy?Marshall Segal writes “What you will never read in this week’s best-seller on happiness is that you will find happiness when you start living for someone else — for the glory of your God. And you will begin to fulfill the purpose for which you were made — to glorify the God who made you — when you are your happiest in him.”
  • When We’re “Bugged” but Things Aren’t All That Bug-Worthy. Scotty Smith prays “I’m canceling my plans for a pity party; and I relinquish my elder-brother attitude of condescension, entitlement, and judgment.”
  • The Path to Short-Lived Greatness. Jon Bloom writes “So, what greatness do we reallyvalue? The ambitions that govern our motives and actions will tell us. We will always desire the treasure we believe most valuable. We will always pursue what we believe is true.”

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Coach Tony Bennett Models Character After Historic Loss. Ed Uszynski writes “Some coaches might have been tempted to scrounge around looking to save face, to mention the injury of a key player lost in the previous game, the difficulty of bearing the burden of being number one—anything. He might have excused himself from even doing the interview, later justifying it by saying he needed to be with his guys. But he showed up—and delivered.”
  • What Seminary Didn’t Teach Alistair Begg. In this two-minute video, Alistair Begg discusses the transition out of seminary and into church ministry.
  • Thirty-Three Years of Faithfulness. Corey Williams writes “February 25, 2018, was a significant—and bittersweet—day in the history of our ministry. It marked the final time that Carl Miller hosted a Grace to You radio broadcast.”

  • The Great Commission: Awakening & the Ordinary Means of Grace. In this message from the 2018 Ligonier National Conference, Burk Parsons encourages pastors to focus on the ordinary means of grace in their ministry and to trust God for the results, and it exhorts believers not to seek awakenings through extraordinary practices or disciplines but through their faithful attendance to the preached Word, the sacraments, and prayer. God is working every day to renew His church and bring people to faith, blessing His means of grace—the preaching of the Word, the sacraments, and prayer.
  • When We Differ Biblically and Theologically. Scotty Smith prays “Robust theological dialogue is one thing; mean-spirited diatribe is quite another. Defending the gospel is a major calling; being arrogant about our understanding of the Bible, your Spirit’s work, and the Christian life is not. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. On most Sundays, the color of our skin, our preferred worship styles, and the nuances of our theological tribe separate us. How can this be okay?”
  • The Moment of Truth: Its Reality. Steven Lawson writes “During the trial of Jesus, Pontius Pilate asked a question that has resounded through the ages: “What is truth?” That is the key question for today, when the idea of absolute truth is increasingly and soundly rejected in our culture. To help us understand what’s at stake, we’re examining the conversation between Jesus and Pilate in John 18.”

  • Why is the Abortion Industry Run by Women?Rebekah Merkle writes “Instead, the women of America band together, wear pink hats, and demand that they be allowed to pay the man to do it again to someone else. Further, they insist that everyone be required to chip in and pay for him to do it to millions of other women.”
  • What is an Evangelical? In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast listen to this message from Don Carson delivered at the 2017 Gospel Coalition National Conference. “An evangelical, at his best, is a person who believes the good news found in the New Testament, that God has sent his Son to die on the cross and rise from the dead, ascend to glory, seated at the right hand of God, coming at the end of the age to redeem his image-bearers from their sin, their condemnation, pouring upon them his Spirit to justify them, sanctify them, and one day glorify them in perfection. It’s all the good news of what God has done, and this demands a response of obedience, repentance, faith.”
  • Does James 2:24 Deny Justification by Faith Alone?C. Sproul writes “This question is not critical only today, but it was in the eye of the storm we call the Protestant Reformation that swept through and divided the Christian church in the sixteenth century.”

  • Introducing My Updated Podcast. Russell Moore writes “I’m excited to announce that my podcast, Signposts,will soon be returning in a fresh new format that I hope you’ll enjoy. I’ll continue to deal with questions ranging from theology to ethics to culture and much more. I’ll also be inviting guests from all corners of society to join me on the program. In conversation with these leaders, we’ll get to hear their stories and explore some of the moments and ideas that have shaped their lives.”
  • Announcing the Open Book Podcast: Season One Featuring R.C. Sproul. Nathan W. Bingham writes “Open Book is a new weekly podcast from Stephen Nichols about the power of books and the people they’ve shaped.”


Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The Gospel takes a lifetime to appreciate and an eternity to enjoy. Tim Keller
  • The moment things go wrong… then you will know exactly the value of what you claim to believe. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • The gospel (the good news of what Jesus has done) will always cause offense because it shows us having a need we cannot meet. Tim Keller
  • As we think of God, so will we worship. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Do not say, “I cannot help having a bad temper.” Friend, you must help it. Pray to God to help you overcome it at once, for either you must kill it, or it will kill you. You cannot carry a bad temper into heaven. Charles Spurgeon
  • In Jesus we see the true meaning of the love, the power, the wisdom, the justice and the majesty of God. And it looks like the cross. Michael Reeves
  • When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • One of the ways we serve God is by serving those around us. R.C. Sproul
  • Brother, if any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him. For you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, yet be satisfied, for if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no gainer by the correction. If you have your moral portrait painted, and it is ugly, be satisfied; for it only needs a few blacker touches, and it would be still nearer the truth. 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.

2 thoughts on “THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  1. Hi Bill!

    I always enjoy getting your posts and especially your reviews of books and movies. Have y’all seen The Riot and the Dance? It was only in theaters last Monday, but they are going to release it again on April 19. It’s a creation- based nature documentary. We loved it.

    Hope you and Tammy have a good weekend! Give her a hug from me! 🙂

    Jenn Discher

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Jenn. So good to hear from you. No, we haven’t seen “The Riot and the Dance”, but will be sure to watch for it. Thanks for the recommendation. Hope you guys are doing well!

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