Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • What Tim Keller Wants American Christians to Know About Politics. In this episode of “Quick to Listen” Tim Keller joins associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how he follows this news, where his political convictions come from, and just how great the stakes are of politics.
  • How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t. Tim Keller writes “What should the role of Christians in politics be? More people than ever are asking that question. Christians cannot pretend they can transcend politics and simply “preach the Gospel.” Those who avoid all political discussions and engagement are essentially casting a vote for the social status quo.”

  • God Doesn’t Turn a Blind Eye to Abuse—Neither Should the Church. Russell Moore writes “Wherever there’s the abuse of the powerless by those in power over them, the church should demand accountability.”
  • What’s Missing in Discipleship Today. Watch this video with Tim Keller, Don Carson, and Stephen Um as they sat down to talk about what we may not realize is missing from catechesis and discipleship in our day.
  • Should We Raise Our Hands in Worship? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Pastor John, when you are singing at your local church, do you raise your hands? Is this something we should do when singing at church on Sunday?”
  • The Church at Election Time. Kevin DeYoung writes “I believe pastors must be very careful how they lead their churches in our politically polarized culture. I know there are good brothers and sisters who may disagree with these principles and their practical implications. But at the very least, pastors must disciple their leaders and their congregations in thinking through these matters wisely and theologically. Let me mention two things I do as a pastor and three things I do not do.”
  • Ministering Without R.C. Sproul. On this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, Burk Parsons, senior pastor at Saint Andrews Chapel, talks about what it is like for him to pastor without R.C. Sproul, who died in late 2017.
  • The Slow Killing of Congregational Singing. Mike Raiter writes “In too many churches, and at too many events, the voices of the people have been hijacked and buried out of sight and sound. It’s time to reclaim our lost voices in congregational singing.”
  • Doctrinal Pride. Matt Foreman writes “There is one specific kind of undiscerned spiritual pride that I think is not often discussed and is especially hard to recognize—the danger of doctrinal righteousness. Sadly, I think it’s a particularly prevalent danger among Reformed, theologically-minded Christians.”

  • What is an Apostate? In this brief video, Dr. Michael Kruger provides a clear answer to the question of what an apostate is.
  • The Foolish Cross. John MacArthur writes “Ultimately the gospel is not for the proud, the arrogant, or those who believe they can get to God by themselves. God intentionally chose a foolish message to humble us and to guarantee that no one would boast in his or her own intelligence. He chose the cross to stifle any inclination in us to think we got to Him on our own. All the glory goes to God.”
  • What’s So Great About Total Depravity? Richard Phillips writesThe doctrine of total depravity is not just something we learn so as to score high marks on some theology exam. Instead, total depravity is a doctrine to live by.”
  • Renewing Your Mind Minute: New Recordings from R.C. Sproul. Nathan W. Bingham writes “Before he went home to be with the Lord, Dr. Sproul recorded a series of new episodes. With short insights on Reformed theology and the life-changing truths of Christianity, these audio clips are designed to help you redeem the time, minute by minute.”
  • The Reformation and the Men Behind It. Steven Lawson writes “The Protestant Reformation stands as the most far-reaching, world-changing display of God’s grace since the birth and early expansion of the church. It was not a single act, nor was it led by one man. This history-altering movement played out on different stages over many decades. Its cumulative impact, however, was enormous.”
  • A Clanging Theologian. Keith Mathison writes “We are learning theology to grow in our knowledge of God, so that we might grow in our love of God and neighbor. In the quote above, Owen makes this basic point. Theology is not a substitute for love of God. If it does become a substitute for love of God, it is nothing more or less than an idol.”
  • What Is the Greatest of All Protestant “Heresies”? Sinclair Ferguson writes “What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies? Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords? Those answers make logical sense. But none of them completes Bellarmine’s sentence. What he wrote was: “The greatest of all Protestant heresies is assurance.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • A snare I continue to see within “Christian Celebrity” culture is the lack of commitment to a local church. As popularity increases, some begin to believe that their ministry to many churches is a sufficient substitute to committing to one church locally. Jackie Hill Perry
  • Idolatry is trusting some substitute for God to serve some uniquely divine function. David Wells
  • When Satan tells me I am a sinner he comforts me immeasurably since Christ died for sinners. Martin Luther
  • The gospel is not ‘’God loves us,’’ but ‘’God loves us at the cost of his Son.” Derek Thomas
  • One mark of growth in grace is increased humility. The man whose soul is growing feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year. J.C. Ryle
  • God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are often too full to receive them. Augustine
  • If there were 1,000 ways to God, we would want 1,001. David Platt
  • Only when we see the depth of our sin will we be electrified by the wonder of grace. Tim Keller
  • The Christian life is a life full of grace as we rest in God’s grace, receive his grace, proclaim his grace to sinners, and show grace to those who’ve hurt us. Burk Parsons

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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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