Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Do the Biblical Warnings Against Riches Apply to Most Americans? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “I struggle with feeling peace with God when I feel that he will judge me harshly for living as comfortably as I do. I am wondering if God wants me to give up the pleasures and comforts that this country offers?”
  • Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding? Kevin DeYoung writes “A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.”
  • What Does It Mean to be Pro-Life? Is pro-life more than pro-birth? Why isn’t the pro-life movement committed to the whole person? These are common questions aimed at the pro-life movement. In fact, one of the most frequent criticisms of the pro-life movement is that those who hold such views only care about ending abortion. In this episode of Signposts, Russell Moore addresses these questions and offer my perspective on the pro-life movement by thinking about what it means to fight for justice and human dignity.
  • I’m Addicted to Pornography. How Can I Defeat This Sin? In this three-minute video, Russell Moore encourages those who are addicted to pornography to seek help by confessing sin to other believers who will preach the gospel to them and encourage them towards holiness.
  • Can a True Christian Have Depression? Watch this ten-minute video as Dr. Jeremy Pierre of Southern Seminary addresses this question in Honest Answers.
  • Are Mega-Churches Biblical? Can a church ever be too big? Dr. Hershael York answers in Honest Answers.
  • What Is Definite Atonement? In this one minute plus clip from the 2012 Ligonier Ministries Theology Night, C.Sproul explains that God’s purpose in the atonement was limited and definite.
  • Brother, Are You Saved?C. Sproul writes “What do you need to be saved from? You need to be saved from God! Not from kidney stones, not from hurricanes, not from military defeats. The thing that every human being needs to be saved from is God.”

  • Spring Sports and Sunday Church: Five Suggestions for Parents. Tony Reinke writes “With the potential of amateur sports, we come back to the question of weekend games and travel sports. How do you balance the demands of travel sports with the priority of the weekly gathering of the local church?”
  • When I (Still) Don’t Desire God. John Piper writes “Whether we can help someone struggling with joylessness in the Christian life depends not primarily on the quantity of wisdom we have accumulated over the years, but on how we apply the truth we have, and whether the Spirit of God turns that truth into life and freedom and joy.”
  • Nine of My Spiritual Heroes. Randy Alcorn writes “I have only one Lord, but many spiritual heroes. Here are nine of mine.”
  • Technology and Our Relationship with God. David Murray writes “The deeper and healthier our relationship with God, the more that satisfying friendship and communion will replace technology in our lives and also regulate it so that our use of it is more balanced and beneficial.”
  • My 5 Keys to Accountability. Beth Moore writes “Recent conversations on social media and elsewhere have been sounding alarms on the toxicity of celebrity culture within the body of Christ. I was asked to chime in on the subject by sharing several ways that I practice personal accountability and attempt to protect myself from getting sucked into the celebrity quicksand.”
  • God (Usually) Wants You to Keep Knocking. In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Francis Chan, Brian Davis, and Sam Storms discussed how Christians should react when it appears God isn’t responding to our prayers. They discuss Romans 8:28, what we are permitted to ask God for, and what we can confidently expect.
  • Serving to the Bounds God Has Given Us. In this 18-minute video, Mary Beth McGreevy states “We too often focus on what women can’t do. When we ask about what women can do, the answer is “Almost everything!”
  • Creepy Chick-fil-A and New York(er) Values: The Shock (and Slander) are Getting Old. Ed Stetzer writes “It’s easy to shake our fists at a culture that seems to at every turn want to make religious expression not easier, but harder for people of faith. But, we must remember that our anger and frustration will never win hearts or change minds for Christ. Those emotions are a barrier to loving and caring for others well in Jesus’ name.”
  • Racial Reconciliation: What We (Mostly, Almost) All Agree On, and What We (Likely) Still Don’t Agree On. Kevin DeYoung writes “Perhaps working through an imperfect list like this can help us see how much we do agree on already and help us clarify what our continuing arguments are really about.”

  • The Holiness of God and the Sinfulness of Man. R.C. Sproul writes “Two things that every human being absolutely must come to understand are the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. These topics are difficult for people to face. And they go together: if we understand who God is, and catch a glimpse of His majesty, purity, and holiness, then we are instantly aware of the extent of our own corruption. When that happens, we fly to grace—because we recognize that there’s no way that we could ever stand before God apart from grace.”
  • Be Holy as I Am Holy: Awakening & Personal Holiness. I’ve been enjoying listening/watching the messages from the recent 2018 Ligonier National Conference, which had the theme of “Awakening”. 1 Peter 1:13-25 calls Christians to pursue holiness, and the Spirit moves through the use of various means to help us become more holy. In this session, Albert Mohler examines the concern for personal holiness that is the fruit of a true awakening of God’s Spirit. It stresses the importance of personal purity as a sign of conversion, reminding people that God calls His children to live in a manner that is set apart from the world and that the Lord often draws others to Himself by using the personal holiness of believers as a witness.
  • Why John Piper’s “Shells” Illustration Transformed a Generation. Watch this fourteen-minute video about John Piper’s classic sermon at the Passion Conference from Tim Challies’ new series on great sermons.
  • Special R.C. Sproul Commemorative Issue of Tabletalk Magazine. R.C. Sproul went home to be with the Lord on December 14, 2017. In the months following, Tabletalkposted articles from several authors who reflected on Dr. Sproul’s life and ministry. Having posted those articles, we took them and several more to publish a special commemorative issue of Tabletalk. This issue is available for a free download.
  • The Unlikeliest Ally. John MacArthur writes “The parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t a story about benevolence or social justice. It was not delivered as a heartwarming tale of gracious self-sacrifice, but as a stinging rebuke to pharisaical self-righteousness.”
  • Ask Ligonier with Sinclair Ferguson. On April 17th, Sinclair Ferguson joined Nathan W. Bingham on “Ask Ligonier” to answer biblical and theological questions live online.
  • God is Incomprehensible. R.C. Sproul writes “Theologically speaking, to say God is incomprehensible is not to say that God is utterly unknowable. It is to say that none of us can comprehend God exhaustively.”
  • Whitefield’s Sin Exposing Spotlight. Steven Lawson writes “Whitefield was convinced that any presentation of the gospel must begin by exposing the listener’s sin and his dire need for salvation.”

HOSPITALITY

  • How Radically Ordinary Hospitality Changed Rosaria Butterfield’s Life. What did God use to draw a radical, committed unbeliever to himself? Did God take her to an evangelistic rally? Or, since she had her doctorate in literature, did he use something in print? No, God used an invitation to dinner in a modest home, from a humble couple who lived out the gospel daily, simply, and authentically. Watch this six-minute video in which Rosaria Butterfield tells her story.
  • Hospitality is Courageous. Matt Chandler writes “When we talk about what it means to be courageous and faithful in the age of unbelief, we have to talk about the Great Commission. That’s our mission. And though it’s always been true, I think it’s more true than ever to say that evangelism is going to look like hospitality.”

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘HMMMM’

DOUG MICHAEL’S CARTOON OF THE WEEK

  • Fear of God and self-understanding grow or diminish together. Tim Keller
  • The complaint that church is boring is never made by people in awe. R.C. Sproul
  • A sinner does not decide for Christ; the sinner flies to Christ in utter helplessness and despair. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God. William Carey
  • God is not looking down the tunnel of time to learn anything. He already knows everything. Steven Lawson
  • In Jesus, our judgment day was moved from the future to the past. Scott Sauls
  • Suffering can ultimately refine us rather than destroy us because God himself walks with us in the fire through Jesus. Tim Keller
  • You need to hear in the center of your being the voice of God saying, “In spite of everything you’ve done, I love you.” Tim Keller
  • Jesus can heal you of your pride; he can deliver you from anger; he can cure you of sluggishness; he can purge you from envy, from lasciviousness, from malic, from gluttony, from every form of spiritual malady. Charles Spurgeon

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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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