Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • The 50% Lie. Steven Ingino writes “You’ve heard it repeatedly on radio, podcasts, and TV. You’ve read it in various books and articles. You’ve even heard it in your pastor’s sermon. The problem: it’s a lie. “50% of all marriages end in divorce.”
  • Friends Are For the Darkness. Stephen Altrogge writes “If one of your friends is struggling with depression, you want to fix it for them. To take away the sorrow and dispel the clouds of gloom. To take their hand and lead them back into the land of the living. But I can say from experience that things simply don’t work that way. You can’t tell a person to snap out of depression any more than you can tell someone to snap out of a migraine.”
  • Obligation, Stewardship and the Poor. Kevin DeYoung writes “As you consider your personal obligation to the poor and your church’s corporate obligation, keep in mind these two principles: proximity and necessity.”
  • Tim Keller on Nationalism, Race, and What Jonah Misunderstood About Grace. On this edition of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Maina Mwaura asked Tim Keller why he wrote a book on Jonah and what modern-day attitudes are reflected in the prodigal prophet. Keller points out that Jonah didn’t recognize his own lack of merit before God, which made him reluctant to extend grace to pagan people. “Because he didn’t grasp the gospel of grace in his own life,” Keller says, “he was a terrible missionary.”
  • On Hospitality and the Gospel. On this episode of the 9Marks podcast Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan Leeman sat down with Kent and Rosaria Butterfield to talk about the privilege of hospitality, the gospel, Rosaria’s latest book, and Kent’s recent 9Marks article.

  • Lauren Daigle, Persecution, and the Church’s Opportunity for Witness. Owen Strachen writes “Whatever platform we carve out in the providence of God is not given us for its own sake. If we are truly a Christian, and we truly have some measure of influence, that influence is not our own. We do not own it. That influence is God’s. That platform is God’s. Those opportunities are bought and paid for by the bloody cross of Christ. That chance to answer a hostile question, a question that could possibly derail all the hard work we’ve put in to have a public voice, is a chance given us by God for the glory of his name.” Here is Mike Leake’s take on the story.

  • The Amazing Story of Frank Barker and Campus Outreach.  Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra “Another way Campus Outreach looks like Barker is its commitment to the local church. The chapters of Campus Outreach aren’t formally connected; each does its own work completely under the authority of a local church near a university.”
  • Albert Mohler on His Ministry Hero: James Montgomery Boice. In this two-minute video, Albert Mohler explains the impact that James Montgomery Boice had on his ministry, not only as a pastor, theologian, and writer, but also as a friend during Mohler’s arduous work to reform The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • H. B. Charles on Heroes in Pastoral Ministry. In this three-minute video H. B. Charles shares the story of two inter-connected lives that have impacted his pastoral ministry. Charles’ father was both a faithful minister himself and an avid reader of Spurgeon’s sermons. Charles shares specific lessons learned from each of these ministry heroes.

BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER

  • Three Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day in 2019. On this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper points to three things that are essential to ongoing fruitful encounters with God and his intended truth through the Bible.
  • You Can Memorize Scripture This Year. Andy Naselli writes “I want to encourage you: you can memorize Scripture this year. It does not take superhuman skill or fanatic devotion to write God’s word on your mind and heart. It requires some passion, planning, and persistence.”
  • An Easy, Non-Intimidating Way to Start Reading the Bible. Scott Sauls writes “If you do not already have a “method” for personal Bible study and prayer, the following may be helpful to you as you get started. I suggest that you read through books of the Bible, one book at a time, and one section at a time, perhaps beginning with books such as Genesis, the Psalms, the book of John, or Paul’s letter to the Romans. Or, if it seems more beneficial to you, use one of the Bible reading plans listed at the bottom of this post.”
  • Why You Should Be Praying the Psalms. Don Whitney writes “Overall, I believe the book of Psalms is the best place in Scripture from which to pray Scripture. In part, that’s because Psalms is the only book of the Bible inspired by God for the expressed purpose of being reflected to God. The Psalms also work well in prayer because there’s a psalm for every sigh of the soul.”

  • John MacArthur on The Daily Wire. Pastor John MacArthur recently joined Ben Shapiro on The Daily Wire to discuss the intersection of the Bible and politics, the proper role of government, and the similarities and differences between Judaism and Christianity.
  • The Great Exchange of Romans. Sinclair Ferguson writes “When the wonder of the gospel breaks into your life, you feel as though you are the first person to discover its power and glory. Where has Christ been hidden all these years? He seems so fresh, so new, so full of grace. Then comes a second discovery—it is you who have been blind, but now you have experienced exactly the same as countless others before you.”
  • Third Millennium Ministries: Seminary Outside the Box. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “Over the past 20 years, Third Mill has created 119 lessons for 27 seminary courses in five core languages. The lessons have made their way into every country in the world. Numbers aren’t easy to track, especially in countries hostile to Christianity. But over the past five years, nearly 700,000 confirmed supervised students have taken Third Mill classes.”
  • Ligonier Lancaster Conference Media Now Available. You can now watch or listen to all of the messages from Ligonier’s recent conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • What Unites Denominations. Albert Mohler discusses the issue of denominations in a lecture at Reformed Theological Seminary Charlotte.

  • Will Christians Who Have Been Forgiven Answer For Their Sins in Judgment? To be a Christian is to be forgiven. But will we still have to answer for our sins? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Sinclair Ferguson looks at the final judgment.
  • Is Grace Ever Unjust? John MacArthur writes “No one has any rightful claim on God’s mercy. He is perfectly free to dispense His grace however He sees fit.”
  • Do You Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness? R.C. Sproul writes “Being righteous is not all that complicated; it means doing what is right. We have to have a passion to do what is right.”
  • How Do Introverts Guard Against Selfishness? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses the question “Are there strategies for an introvert to grow in social selflessness, kindness, and love, without feeling a false guilt for not being an extrovert?”
  • How to Evangelize Friends Identifying as LGBTQ? Rosaria Butterfield writes “How do we evangelize our LGBTQ neighbors? We remind our neighbors that only the love of Christ is seamless.”
  • My Friend Claims She’s Gay – What Do I Say? On this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to “My friend clearly professes faith and has come to the conclusion that it is okay to pursue this lifestyle. But her strong defensiveness makes me unsure how to best voice my disagreement.”
  • Does Christology Matter? Sinclair Ferguson writes “Does it really matter? In light of the sacrifices our forefathers made in order to articulate the grandeur of the person of our Savior and what Christ had to be in order to save us, you bet it matters.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • May our passion for Christ always be greater than our passion for an easy life. Burk Parsons
  • Culture is never so bad that it can’t be redeemed, nor so good that it can’t be critiqued. Tim Keller
  • Salvation is something that God does in us and for us, not something that we in any way do for ourselves. R.C. Sproul
  • We are not reborn because we believe. We believe because we are reborn. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • We have become too easily satisfied. We are content if a person leaves pleased. God wants them awed. Francis Chan
  • In Jesus, our judgment day was moved from the future to the past. Scott Sauls
  • There is more political power in the gospel and in being the church than there is in electing a president, installing a Supreme Court justice, or even changing a constitution. Jonathan Leeman
  • We take far more credit for our prosperity than we should. When we flatter ourselves that our assets are the result of our work, it leads us to believe any lack of such assets must be the result of laziness. Tim Keller
  • In the eyes of a watching world, our lives are often perceived as being more lackluster than compelling, more contentious than kind, more self-centered than servant-like, more fickle than faithful, more materialistic than generous, more proud than humble. Scott Sauls

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 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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