Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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    • Good News Hearts in a Bad News World. Scotty Smith prays “By the truth and power of the gospel, may a faith-full heart beat within our breasts. Free us to trust and worship you more, and fear and vex less. You’ve hidden our lives safely in Christ; now make us less shakable when shaky things are going on—whether in Syria, our homes, or hearts.”
    • His Head and Heart Were God’s. John Piper writes “If you look at Jonathan Edwards from the wrong standpoint, everything is wrong. Some people look at him as a great eighteenth-century thinker, writer, and preacher, and that is as far as they go.”
    • Puritan Documentary. Puritan: All of Life to the Glory of God is the latest documentary from Steven McCaskell (Luther).
    • Deep Theology. Sinclair Ferguson writes “This is deep theology indeed. Yet virtually the profoundest statement we can make about God is that the Father is “in” the Son and the Son “in” the Father. It seems so simple that a child can see it. For what word can be simpler than in?”
    • What Made Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message” So Very Shocking? This looks like a very interesting series. Tim Challies writes “Today I am kicking off a new series of videos I’m calling The Great Sermon Series. The premise of the series is finding and examining modern-day sermons that the Lord has chosen to use in unusually significant ways. What we will find, I think, is that the Lord uses sermons to save, stir, and edify his people–and that sometimes he does this through unexpected messages and messengers. The series begins in 2002 in Montgomery, Alabama, with Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message.”

  • Main Sessions from the 2018 Together for the Gospel Conference. Watch the main sessions from last week’s Together for the Gospel Conference, held in Louisville, Kentucky. Speakers include John MacArthur, John Piper, Albert Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, David Platt and others.
  • MLK50 Conference Media Now Available. On April 3-4, 2018, in Memphis, TN The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition hosted a special event titled “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop,” to reflect on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s tragic death. Speakers Matt Chandler, Jackie Hill Perry, Russell Moore, Trip Lee, John Piper, and many others.
  • Shepherd’s Conference Audio. The messages (audio and video) from the recent 2018 Shepherds’ Conference with the theme of “I Will Build My Church” are now available.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Loving the Stranger: Awakening & Hospitality. I’ve been enjoying listening/watching the messages from the 2018 Ligonier National Conference. “Hebrews 13:2 exhorts us to show hospitality to strangers. Through such hospitality, many people have seen the love of God and have been drawn into His kingdom by the Spirit’s use of friendship and His people’s sharing of the gospel. This session from Rosaria Butterfield covers the importance of hospitality and how the Lord uses it to bring people to faith and grow them in Christ.” In a related article, check out Rosaria’s article “10 Things You Should Know About Christian Hospitality.”
  • Why Is Sex Outside of Marriage So Destructive? In this two-minute video, Tim Keller highlights what the nature of sex is and why it belongs within the confines of the marriage covenant. How should sexuality be viewed in marriage?
  • 40 Questions to Help Discern Factors Contributing to Depression. Paul Tautges offers these helpful questions, which he states “As you will quickly realize, the questions are applicable to a multitude of struggles beyond depression.”
  • Help and Be Helped. Edward T. Welch writes “We all need help and we are all helpers—that’s part of being human. We need help for our souls, especially while going through hardships. We weren’t designed to go through hard things alone.”
  • Your God is Too Small. Derek Thomas writes “Are you weary? Losing faith in God’s promises? Tired in the heat of the battle? Overwhelmed by the opposition? Then what you need is a fresh glimpse of the majesty of God. Sometimes, we cannot see what is right before us and above us.”
  • How to be a Better Boaster. David Murray writes “There’s no shortage of ways to boast. It’s pretty addictive actually. Just keep the ultimate aim in mind which is praise, respect, attention, promotion, recognition, and popularity. In fact, at heart, it’s really all about worship, self-worship and getting others to worship you. Try some of these ways I’ve suggested and you shall be as god.”
  • Godspeed Film. “Godspeed was shot in three days, in three villages, by three friends. What began as a five-minute video ended as a half-hour portrait of the people and places who had taught Matt to repent and rest. None of this would have happened had not Matt’s brother Brian hopped on a plane with his friend Danny of The Ranch Studios, the week that Matt and his family were packing their bags to move. Four years later, and twenty-four film drafts squeezed in between sermons and parish visits, Godspeed is here and ready to be shared. We hope you enjoy this labor of love as we all seek to live at Godspeed in our own parishes.” Watch the film here.
  • 5 Errors of the Prosperity Gospel. David W. Jones writes “In light of Scripture, the prosperity gospel is fundamentally flawed. At bottom, it is a false gospel because of its faulty view of the relationship between God and man. Simply put, if the prosperity gospel is true, grace is obsolete, God is irrelevant, and man is the measure of all things.”
  • How the Church Gets Justice Wrong (And How to Begin Getting It Right). Michael Horton writes “Where Scripture speaks, the church speaks. Where it presses God’s claims of justice on behalf of our neighbors, we must hear and obey. Yet the church has neither the authority nor the competence to bind its members’ consciences in matters beyond Scripture’s scope.”
  • Intersectional. Watch this 12-minute message from Propaganda. “Forty percent of Americans believe that those with opposing political views pose a threat to the nation. In many ways, we are more divided than ever before: from race, to women’s rights, to conservative and liberal policies. But when we focus on differences it’s impossible to move toward creating community. Hip-hop artist, Propaganda, reminds us that the solution is to be intersectional. As a prophetic voice for reconciliation, he encourages us to find common ground.”

  • Bill Hybels Resigns from Willow Creek. Bob Smietana writes “Bill Hybels has stepped down as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the Chicago-area megachurch he founded over 40 years ago, citing the controversy over recent allegations against him.”
  • Tyndale Sued by Boy Who Didn’t Come Back from Heaven. Kate Shellnutt writes “After growing up and retracting his controversial account of “coming back from heaven,” 20-year-old Alex Malarkey is now suing the Christian publisher who made his story famous, then infamous.”
  • Christian Women in the U.S. are More Religious Than Their Male Counterparts. Dalia Fahmy writes “In many parts of the world, women – especially Christian women – are more religious than men. In the United States, where seven-in-ten adults are Christian, this religion gender gap is actually greater than it is a number of other developed nations, including Canada, the UK, Germany and France.”
  • A Quiet Place and the Horror of Parenting. Joe Carter writes “What makes A Quiet Placeso compelling is that it forces us to face the primal horror of parenting: How do we keep our children safe from the demonic forces that seek to rob them of their innocence?”
  • How One Baptist Church Has Seven-Times More Missionaries Than Anyone Else. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “Of the 46,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, the Summit has the most missionaries on the field—seven-times as many as the next church with the International Mission Board.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • How Do I Make the Most of My Devotional Life? Watch this three-minute video from Derek Thomas as he addresses this question.
  • What is the Meaning of “Spiritual Formation”? Matt Perman writes “Spiritual formation (and discipleship), in other words, is about love. Love for God first, love for others, and indeed, loving ourselves well.”
  • Is Political Agreement Necessary to Gospel Reconciliation? Richard Phillips writes “Is political agreement necessary to Christian unity in worship and service? In asking this question, I am not suggesting that gospel belief will be devoid of political implications. Rather, I am suggesting that gospel belief will not necessarilyproduce uniform political perspectives. Does this mean we cannot stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart if our cultural and political application of the gospel differs?”

  • Sin shrugs at God. Its essence is failing to believe not that he exists but that he matters. Tim Keller
  • There are only two ways of dying. We can die in faith or we can die in our sins. R.C. Sproul
  • I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word, till soul and body sever; For though all things pass away, His Word shall stand forever. Martin Luther
  • He who prays as he ought will endeavor to live as he prays. John Owen
  • You are either a Christian or you are not a Christian; you cannot be partly a Christian. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Believing right doctrine will no more save you, than doing good works will save you. Charles Spurgeon
  • A life of gratitude to God for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-righteousness over being good. Tim Keller
  • If you’re living for nothing more than your own significance, you will feel more and more insignificant. Tim Keller
  • God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Augustine

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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