Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Scott Foster’s Incredible Game as a Chicago Blackhawk’s Goalie. Did you read this incredible story about Scott Foster, who works at Golub Capital in Chicago?
  • Google Snubbed Easter With No Doodle for 18th Year in a Row. Frank Miles writes “For the 18th year in a row, Google has no doodle to celebrate Easter, and Christians are angry on this holy day.”
  • Huge Study Says “Anti-Depressants Work”. David Murray writes “The biggest ever study of anti-depressants has found that they reduce symptoms of depression and are more effective than placebos. The findings also included the first ever league tables comparing different antidepressants, confirming that they all work, but some less well-known drugs work better than well-known ones like Prozac.”
  • BreakPoint: I Can Only Imagine. Eric Metaxas writes “You and I ought to take advantage of films like “I Can Only Imagine”—not only because they’re excellent, but also because, according to the Barna Group, fewer Americans are attending church, and “Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism and cynicism towards institutions—particularly the church.”
  • God and Pac-Man in Ready Player One. Joe Carter writes “Perhaps I was initially too distracted by the novel’s cheery name-check nostalgia to notice the darkness underneath. I originally thought what made it a dystopian story was the setting: “The ongoing energy crisis. Catastrophic climate change. Widespread famine, poverty, and disease. Half a dozen wars.” It wasn’t until a second reading that I recognized the dystopian was embedded in the nihilistic nothing-matters theme.”
  • How Albert Mohler Processes the Moral Failures of His Historical Heroes. In this four-minute video, Albert Mohler discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.
  • The Sins of White Supremacy. Russell Moore writes “So, regardless of our backgrounds, it is appropriate that we pause and consider not only Dr. King’s life and legacy, but also our own past and future. As we do so, we are reminding ourselves of how far we have to go as Americans to see the promise of racial justice realized.”
  • I Went to Death Row for 28 Years Through No Fault of My Own. Chris McGreal writes “Hinton, who goes by Ray, was on death row for 28 years until the US Supreme Court overturned two murder convictions for which the evidence was, at best, flawed. Now he has written his own book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, recounting his long battle for freedom against an Alabama judicial system that showed no interest in whether it was planning to take an innocent man’s life.” I’m reading this book now. Review coming soon.


  • Does Reformed Theology Impede Racial Reconciliation? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers the questions “Do you think it is possible for people in the Reformed world to use theology as an excuse to distance themselves from churches that are predominantly African American in order to avoid any deep issues or discussions of race that come up? How do we fight this and gladly partner with our brothers and sisters in Christ? How do we address the real issues of racial history that exist, especially with churches that are less obviously Reformed in their theology?”
  • Are Altar Calls a Good Idea? In this short video, Mark Dever addresses the issue of “altar calls”.
  • What is the Mercy Seat? Stephen Nichols writes “Christ is our mercy seat. There, in and through Christ, God meets us. The dots are connected.”

  • You Can Forget to Be Irritated. Scotty Smith writes “The more I remember God’s lavish, unwavering, inexhaustible love for us in Jesus, the more I forget to be irritated with others. Unfortunately, I often remember to be irritated. But where I am weak, God is gracious to remind me of what I need to forget.”

  • Our Beautiful God.  R.C. Sproul writes “I’m afraid that the idea of the beauty of God has been all but eclipsed in our contemporary culture, both in the secular community and in the church as well.”
  • Resurrection and Justification. “Our justification in this theological sense rests on the imputed righteousness of Christ, so the reality of that transaction is linked to Christ’s resurrection. Had Christ not been raised, we would have a mediator whose redeeming work in our behalf was not acceptable to God.”
  • An Interview with N.T. Wright. “On this episode of The White Horse Inn, we’ll be taking a break from our series through the book of Ephesians as Michael Horton discusses these questions and more with controversial theologian, N.T. Wright, author of The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’ Crucifixion.  Whether you agree with his views or not, one thing is clear: N.T. Wright is making an impact in the world of contemporary theology.  Our goal in airing this exchange is that you’ll get a better grasp of the issues at stake, particularly when it comes to the way we think about the main objective of Christ’s atoning work.”
  • Refined by Fire: Awakening & Suffering. I’ve been listening to the messages from the recent 2018 Ligonier National Conference, which had a theme of Awakening. “Periods of awakening often coincide with periods of suffering for the people of God. The Bible indicates that Christians should expect suffering, for our Lord Himself suffered in this life (Matthew 16:24). This session by Joni Eareckson Tada provides an overview of the place of suffering in the Christian life, reminding us of our need of the Spirit to sustain us as we face personal trials and even direct persecution.”
  • Two Types of People in Hell. Todd Friel of Wretched Radio & TV shares a video from R.C. Sproul about the two types of people in hell.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty. Steven Lawson
  • I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer. Charles Spurgeon
  • Every sin is an act of cosmic treason, a futile attempt to dethrone God in His sovereign authority.  R.C. Sproul
  • Visit many good books, but live in the Bible. Charles Spurgeon
  • Grace reigns. Be that my motto. John Newton
  • What right do I have holding a grudge against another when Jesus has forgiven all my sins and cast them into the sea of his forgetfulness? Derek Thomas
  • The very essence of ungodliness is to excuse ourselves by excusing our sin. Mark Dever
  • As soon as we think God owes us mercy, we’re not thinking about mercy any more. R.C. Sproul
  • What you pray about reveals what you care about. Ligon Duncan

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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