Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Wrestling the Giant: Why I Deleted Instagram. Andrew Peterson writes “I deleted Instagram from my phone earlier this summer. A few months before that I did the same with the Facebook app.”
  • God Wants You to Be Happy. In this short video, Francis Chan speaks on the necessity of joy in the Christian life.
  • Joy Through Sacrifice. “This week at VOUS Church we had the special honor of hearing from the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, Lecrae. He dove deep into the idea that joy and pain go hand-in-hand by giving a glimpse into his own story of hardship.”  
  • I Have Chronic Fatigue – How Do I Not Waste My Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How can I be a faithful servant of the Lord on the days when I can do nothing?”
  • How Should Christians View Sunday? Sinclair Ferguson writes “Hebrews teaches us that eternal glory is a Sabbath rest. Every day, all day, will be “Father’s Day!” Thus if here and now we learn the pleasures of a God-given weekly rhythm, it will no longer seem strange to us that the eternal glory can be described as a prolonged Sabbath!”
  • Why We Need to Talk About Sin. Robert Godfrey writes “As Christians, we insist that we must talk about sin if we are to be truthful about the human condition. If we do not understand our sin, we will not understand the kind of savior we need.”
  • 10 Ways to Comfort a Grieving Person. Nancy Guthrie writes “Over the years since I experienced the death of my daughter, Hope, and my son, Gabriel, I’ve interacted with grieving people, especially through the Respite Retreats my husband and I host for couples who have lost children—and have identified a number of key ways to minister to grieving people.
  • The Danger of “I” in Christian Prayer. Albert Mohler writes “One of the besetting sins of evangelicalism is our obsession with individualism. This obsession with individualism chronically besets us as evangelicals. The first-person singular pronoun reigns in our thinking. We tend to think about nearly everything (including the truths of God’s Word) only as they relate to me.”
  • What is the Proper Response to God’s Grace? Derek Thomas writes “There can be only one proper response to grace: a life of grateful holiness.”

  • The Two Main Things We Need from Leaders. Thomas Kidd writes “The Donald Trump presidency and our recent outbreak of pastoral and denominational scandals have brought into focus how much we need both the right ideas and personal integrity from our leaders.”
  • Discipleship and Politics. Among Jesus’ original disciples, two were political opponents: Simon the Zealot, who believed government should remain hands-off. And Matthew, the government-employed tax collector. It is interesting, Scott Sauls notes in this twelve-minute video, that of the four Gospel writers only one — Matthew — points this out. Perhaps he’s directing readers to another King, and a greater kingdom.
  • Is the Controversy Over Social Justice Really Necessary? John MacArthur writes “I do not relish controversy, and I particularly dislike engaging in polemical battles with other evangelical Christians. But as my previous posts in this series demonstrate, when the gospel is under attack from within the visible church, such controversy is necessary.”
  • Social Justice and the Gospel, Part 1. Listen to this new sermon from John MacArthur.
  • What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing? Michael Horton writes “Anyone who believes, much less preaches, that evangelical Christians are “one election away from losing everything” in November has forgotten how to sing the psalmist’s warning, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Ps. 146:3).”

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • Why Some Christians Embrace LGBT Theology. On this episode of BreakPoint, John Stonestreet states “And so we must prioritize sound arguments over experience, or else people will hear and accept a new sexual orthodoxy. And reasoning them back out of that will be tough. They were, after all, never really reasoned into it.”
  • The Holy Spirit’s Ministry. Sinclair Ferguson writes “It is the same Spirit who gives both temporary and continuing gifts to the church. We should not be surprised, therefore, to discover common threads in both.”
  • Heaven Will Be Better Than Eden. Nancy Guthrie writes “We’re not merely looking forward to a restoration of what Eden once was. Instead, we’re looking forward to the consummation of all that Eden was intended to be.”
  • What Does It Mean When We Confess That Jesus Has a Reasonable Soul? The Westminster Shorter Catechism refers to the “reasonable” soul of Christ. What exactly does that mean? Watch this video clip from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference as R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur consider this question and the nature of Christ.
  • The Priority of Preaching. Albert Mohler writes “It (preaching) It was the central task of preaching that framed not only their understanding of worship, but also their understanding of the church. And so, it ought to be today.”
  • With the Rise of Seeker-Sensitive Churches, How Do We Understand Biblically “Seeking” God? What is a “seeker-sensitive” church? And are they biblical? Watch this six-minute video from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference where R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur explain how seeker-sensitive churches distort what God commands the church to be and to do.
  • What Does Prophecy Offer That Scripture Does Not? Tim Challies writes “What does prophecy offer that Scripture does not? It personalizes the Scriptures, Chandler says. But at the end of it all, I am unconvinced by his answer and examples. I still don’t see how prophecy personalizes the Bible or how it offers anything that is of more value than what we’ve already got.”

GREAT MEN OF FAITH:

  • He Killed His Sin with Love. John Piper writes “J.I. Packer and Roger Nicole and Sinclair Ferguson did not bid Owen farewell. They lingered. And they learned. And today all three of them say that no Christian writer has had a greater impact on them than John Owen.”
  • Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. On this episode of the 5 Minutes in Church History, Steve Nichols visits with Sinclair Ferguson as he discusses the gospel ministry of Robert Murray M’Cheyne.

DOUG MICHAEL’S CARTOON OF THE WEEK

  • Faith properly exercised drinks deeply from the springs of grace, and sees that Christ is not only perfectly equipped to become the Savior, but actually is my Savior. Sinclair Ferguson
  • In creation, God did all the work & rested. In redemption, God did all the work so we could rest. Tim Keller
  • The cross is not the place where we see our worth, but where see the weight of our sin. And the empty tomb is not the place where God overturned divine justice, but where God in mercy fulfilled justice. Kevin DeYoung
  • A god who is all love, all grace, all mercy, no sovereignty, no justice, no holiness, and no wrath, is an idol. R.C. Sproul
  • Your salvation does not depend upon what you do, but upon what Christ did when he offered himself as a sacrifice for sin. Charles Spurgeon
  • Bad theology can lead to ineffective lives or, worse yet, lives spent striving after what the Spirit of God opposes. Francis Chan
  • If you take away the cross as an atoning act, you take away Christianity. C. Sproul
  • The Spirit does not add new information about Jesus. He simply opens our eyes to see who He really is. Sinclair Ferguson
  • Satan doesn’t control us with fang marks on the flesh but with lies in the heart. Tim Keller
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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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