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 LGBT People Have to Choose Between Following Christ and Sexual Immorality? Denny Burk writes “People living in sexual immorality do indeed have to choose between their sin and Jesus. They can have one or the other, but they cannot have both. But this is not a unique message for those who identity as LGBT. It is the message for all sinners—gay, straight, or otherwise.”
  • How Do I Know God’s Calling for My Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How do I know if the Holy Spirit is calling me to international missions?”
  • Can You Explain the Gospel in 3 Words? Russell Moore writes “I think I could explain the gospel in three words, so long as I would have follow-up time to explain all three words. And those words would be “Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Will Some of Us Get Fewer Rewards in Heaven? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Does this mean that we may not be rewarded to a degree we could have been, depending on our faith on earth? This question has been plaguing me since I listened to that episode. Would that not mean that God shows bias towards those with greater faith? I’m grieved because I’m unlikely to live up to the reward God may have planned for me, and forever be called a ‘lesser’ to those with greater faith. Those thoughts feel poisonous to me. Is it only my envy and pride speaking or is this something to be concerned about?”
  • Why Study Theology? Keith Mathison writes “The disconnect between theology and the church and between theology and the Christian has had disastrous results. One need only look at recent polls examining the level of theological knowledge among professing Christians to know that something has gone awry.”

  • On Being Less Offended and Less Offensive. Scott Sauls writes “Having received such grace, Christians have a compelling reason to be remarkably gracious, inviting, and endearing in our treatment of others, including and especially those who disagree with us.”

  • Bleep! Why Christians Shouldn’t Cuss. Clint Archer writes “In the end, language is to be used for what glorifies God. A handy rule may be that if you aren’t prepared to use a particular word in your prayer to God then you shouldn’t be using it in your conversations with others.”
  • 5 Myths About Hospitality. Rosaria Butterfield shares these five myths, based on her excellent new book The Gospel Comes with a House Key.
  • You Were Made to Play: Five Reasons God Created Us to Recreate. Tony Reinke writes “Play can become frivolous, but it is not itself frivolous. Play is divine. God not only created play, but we can say that the act of creation was in some sense an act of play itself.”
  • Principles and Guidelines for Separation. Sinclair Ferguson writes “The principle of separation has been abused, but it remains a biblical principle. There is a biblical separation that applies at the personal, the fellowship, and the ecclesiastical level.”
  • How to Care for Someone Battling Anxiety and Depression. In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast Paul Tripp and David Powlison address the question “What’s the best way a gospel-preaching church can help its members who struggle with depression and anxiety?”
  • Ligon Duncan on What To Do with “That’s Just Your Interpretation”. In this two-minute video, Ligon Duncan advises Christians with disagreements over biblical interpretation to listen and argue with respect and sympathy.
  • The Secret Benefit of Fasting. David Mathis writes “The goal of Christian fasting, in fact, is not going withoutbut getting. Our abstaining always serves some greater end and purpose — some eventual gain, not loss. Christian fasting is abstaining for the sake of some specific Christian purpose, or it is not truly Christian.”
  • Seven Ways to Quench the Spirit. Sam Storms writes “May I urge you to carefully search your own heart and assess the possible ways in which you may have quenched the Spirit in your own life and in the experience of your local church?”

Courtesy of World Magazine


  • Failure and Disappointment in Scripture. David Murray writes “o one escapes failure and disappointment. So, we might as well plan on it and prepare for it with a view to profiting from it.”
  • The Key to the Christian’s Joy.C. Sproul writes “Even if the Christian cannot rejoice in his circumstances, if he finds himself passing through pain, sorrow, or grief, he still can rejoice in Christ. We rejoice in the Lord, and since He never leaves us or forsakes us, we can rejoice always.”
  • The Gracious Work of the Holy Spirit. Sinclair Ferguson writes “This is our experience, too. The same testimony of the Spirit is experienced whenever anyone comes to faith in Christ and trusts Scripture as God’s Word. Someone will experience it today. Pause, and thank God for it.”
  • Isaiah’s Sixfold Depiction of God’s Glory. Adapted from his new book Strength for the Weary, Derek Thomas writes “In a series of statements that open chapter Isaiah 43, a sixfold depiction of God’s glory emerges.”
  • Heaven Would Be Hell Without God. Randy Alcorn writes “The best part of heaven will be knowing and enjoying God.”

  • 9 Things You Should Know About Jehovah’s Witnesses. Joe Carter writes “Here are nine things you should know about the obscure religious group that emerged from the Bible Student movementin the late 1870s.”
  • 10 Things You Should Know About J.I. Packer. Sam Storms, who recently wrote a book on the 91-year-old theologian, shares these helpful thoughts about J.I. Packer.
  • Dispatches from the Front. I’ve been enjoying listening the messages from the 2018 Ligonier National Conference, which had the theme of “Awakening”. This session from Tim Keesee, provides a look at how God is working around the world to grow His church and bring awakening in places where the gospel faces the most opposition.
  • Theologians on the Christian Life Media. You can watch free all of the video messages from the recent conference on Crossway’s series, Theologians on the Christian Life. Speakers include John Piper, Michael Reeves, Stephen Nichols, Tony Reinke and more.
  • Richard Sibbes and the Centrality of the Heart. Mark Dever writes “For Richard Sibbes, Christianity is a love story: God is essentially a husband to His people: “with the same love that God loves Christ, he loves all his.”
  • The Christian Man. Listen to Lee Webb’s interview with Albert Mohler on Renewing Your Mind, recorded at the 2018 Ligonier National Conference.


  • A profession of faith doesn’t justify anybody. It’s the possession of faith that justifies. C. Sproul
  • He wore my crown, the crown of thorns; I wear his crown, the crown of glory. Charles Spurgeon
  • Every treasure on this earth says, “Give your life to purchase me.” Jesus says “I’m the one treasure who died to purchase you.” Tim Keller
  • I exhort all, who reverence the Word of the Lord, to read it, and diligently imprint it on their memory. John Calvin
  • The greatest nightmare of the approval addict is rejection; of the power addict, humiliation; of the comfort addict, suffering; and of the control addict, uncertainty. Tim Keller
  • God relentlessly offers his grace to people who do not deserve it, seek it, or appreciate it after they have been saved by it. Tim Keller
  • A life not lived to the glory of God is a life wasted. Miguel Núñez
  • True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises. Francis Chan
  • Jesus always goes for conviction and conversion rather than condemnation and coercion. Tim Keller

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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