Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoons & Quotes

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  • Twelve Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age. Tony Reinke writes “The greatest need of our teens today is not new restrictions and new dumb phones and contracts and limits. Their greatest need is a community of faith where they can thrive in Christ, serve, and be served.”
  • God Made You a Hedonist. David Mathis writes “Don’t try to escape it: God intentionally and lovingly hardwired you for joy. The powerful allure of pleasure, the search for satisfaction, your endless ache to be happy, the ceaseless factory of desires inside of you, is indeed leading you somewhere: to God himself.”
  • Only Messy People Allowed: Toward a Culture of Grace. Sam Allberry writes “Grace, then, becomes not just a formal doctrine but a felt reality. No one is too low, too far gone, too needy—too anything—to worry about not fitting in around here. Our testimony is not “I was a mess, then Jesus showed up, and now I’ve got everything together,” but “I was a mess—and I still am—but I’m a mess who belongs to Jesus, a mess he is committed to sorting out. He came to me, has stuck with me, and continues to be my all in all.”
  • The Best Weapon is an Open Door. Rosaria Butterfield writes “How tempting it is to withdraw. How easy it is to let fear rule our hearts as we shelter ourselves and our children from evil. How afraid we are to speak when our words, in spite of good intentions and biblical integrity, are declared hate speech. How ought we to live? Your best weapon is an open door.”
  • Self-Control and the Battle for Our Minds. Randy Alcorn writes “This is what we are to do with our minds—take charge of them, get them in battle condition so we won’t trip. Going into battle takes preparation, determination and perspective.”

  • Is it ‘Unspiritual’ to be Discouraged? Sinclair Ferguson writes “From time to time over the centuries some Christians have taught, sometimes with tragic consequences, that a truly spiritual person never gets discouraged. To be cast down is, by definition, to be ‘unspiritual.’ Unless we are well-grounded in Scripture, it is very easy for us to be overwhelmed, confused, and even more discouraged by such teaching.”
  • How Does God’s Sovereignty Not Violate Our Decision Making? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the questions “How does God’s sovereignty over every life not make each of us robots? Where is the place for human willpower and decision-making? And how does God govern over it all?
  • Are There Carnal Christians? Watch this short video clip from the 2015 Ligonier Fall Conference in which C.Sproul rejects the doctrine of the carnal Christian.
  • How Should I Prepare for a Mid-Life Crisis? Russell Moore writes “You will probably endure a midlife crisis, and it will most likely hit you harder than you expect. The good news is, there are things you can do to prepare. In this episode of Signposts, I talk about how to prepare for your midlife crisis and what you might expect when it comes.”
  • What About the Enneagram? Russell Moore writes “I am asked about the Enneagram, and other types of personal assessments, all the time. I know that some of my listeners are skeptical of it, while others are real advocates. In this episode of Signposts, I offer my perspective on the Enneagram and think through its benefits and drawbacks.”
  • Will We Have Desires in Heaven? Randy Alcorn writes “We’ll have many desires in Heaven, but they won’t be unholy Everything we want will be good. Our desires will please God. All will be right with the world, nothing forbidden.”
  • What is the Church? Derek Thomas writes “The church, then, consists of those whom the Lord has called out of the world into union and fellowship with Christ and into communion with each other.”
  • What Is the Name That Is above All Names? Watch this three-minute clip from R.C. Sproul’s teaching series What Did Jesus Do? in which he reflects on the name that is above all names.

  • The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. Albert Mohler writes “The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land. America’s largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.”
  • Korver Succeeds in Season of Sorrow. I remember watching Kyle Korver play for Creighton University as they visited local Illinois State University years ago. Brian Windhorst writes “Korver’s youngest brother, Kirk, died on March 20 after a brief illness that caught the family and the doctors by surprise. It was devastating for the close-knit family and for the town of Pella, where Kyle’s father, Kevin, has been the senior pastor of one of the community’s largest churches for 25 years, and the Korver brothers are treated as ambassadors and heroes.”
  • A Record Number of Americans Now Identify as LGBT. Summer Meza writes “The number of Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has risen once again. Last year, 4.5 percent of adults surveyed by Gallup said they identified as LGBT, up from 4.1 percent in 2016 and 3.5 percent in 2012. That translates to more than 11 million Americans.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

Television and Videos:

  • The Gaping Hole in This Is Us. Kristen Wetherell writes “Millions of Americans, including my husband and I, have tuned in to watch the smash hit. We’ve recommended the show to friends, enjoying its compelling storyline and relatively clean content. Yet, for all the values the show explores, This Is Us is strikingly devoid of religion.”
  • Ask Anything Live. Here is the latest episode of Albert Mohler’s “Ask Anything Live”.
  • You Need More Than a Better You. In this short video, Mark Dever states “The Bible teaches that you don’t need a better you, you need a new you”.
  • Matt Chandler’s Radical Reminder that “God is for God”. In this episode of his Great Sermon Series, Tim Challies highlights Matt Chandler’s 2012 sermon “God is for God”.
  • Fifteen Words of Hope. Jeremiah Johnson writes “John MacArthur’s message Fifteen Words of Hope” has been referred to as “the finest single summary of the gospel message in the entire sermon catalogue.” Listen to the sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:21, my favorite verse in the Bible.

    Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • To me, Calvinism means the placing of the eternal God at the head of all things. Charles Spurgeon
  • We never move on from the Gospel to something more. We never can and we never need to. Tim Keller
  • The failure of modern evangelicalism is the failure to understand the holiness of God. C. Sproul
  • Children who grow up with legalistic pharisaism and then rebel aren’t rebelling against Christianity but an altogether false religion. Burk Parsons
  • You don’t have a need that God won’t supply if you trust him. He will meet every need of his children who wait for him. John Piper
  • Every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake His mercy waits upon us. Charles Spurgeon
  • It is not the imitation of God that makes sons of God; it is sonship that makes imitators. Martin Luther
  • The same people who are putting angels on plaques to hang in bathrooms are telling you that when the Bible says ‘Fear God,’ it doesn’t mean fear. Albert Mohler
  • Jesus does not merely stand knocking at the door of your heart. He blows the door off its hinges, enters, and says, You are Mine!” Steven Lawson

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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