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 Do Christians Have Against Homosexuality? Tim Keller responds to a question from David Eisenbach at the 2011 Veritas Forum. Keller offers suggestions on how Christians should treat homosexuals.
  • How Much Entertainment is Too Much? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses this question “In the world we live in today, is it a sin to claim time for things other than reading the Bible or praying? Things such as watching a movie or playing a game are very enjoyable to me, but I wonder if God is disappointed in me for using some of my free time to do these things instead of claiming time for him.”
  • Are There Distinctions of Sin in Hell? Is everyone punished equally in hell? Or are there distinctions of punishment? Watch this four-minute video clip from the 2016 Ligonier National Conference in which C.Sproul, Steven Lawson, and Albert Mohler explain that more heinous sins receive greater condemnation.
  • How Do You Define a False Teacher? How do you define a false teacher? How much error is needed before they are considered false? R.C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, and John MacArthur respond to this question during the 2017 Ligonier National Conference.
  • How Do You Define Heresy? Heresy is not simply an error. It’s an error so serious that it would deprive one of salvation. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Robert Godfrey defines heresy.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Great cartoons
  • The Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Churches Brace for the “Illinois Exodus”. Having lived in Illinois my entire life, I was interested in this article from Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, who writes about the impact on churches of Illinois’ five consecutive years of decreasing population, which in 2018 was a net reduction of 45,116 citizens.
  • Southern Baptists and the Scandal of Church Sexual Abuse. Russell Moore, in responding to the Houston Chronicle’s report on sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention, writes “No church should be frustrated by the Houston Chronicle’s reporting, but should thank God for it. The Judgment Seat of Christ will be far less reticent than a newspaper series to uncover what should never have been hidden.”
  • Francis Chan on What’s Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel. In this two-minute video, Francis Chan argues that the path and preaching of the prosperity gospel is different than the path and preaching of Jesus and the disciples.
  • Is It Important That a Church Subscribe to a Confession? Why or Why Not? Why is it important for a church to subscribe to a confession of faith? Watch this short video clip from the 2015 Ligonier National Conference as Sinclair Ferguson explains the role of the confession: to summarize biblical theology for the people of God in every place and every generation.
  • Millennials, Evangelism, and Whatever Happened to Hell. Trevin Wax writes “Almost half of Christians in North America today in their 20s and 30s believe it’s wrong to evangelize someone of a different faith.”

  • Christians and Marijuana. In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses a question about whether it is wrong for a Christian to smoke marijuana.
  • The Reproductive Act of Horror. John Ensor writes “The time has come for everyone to learn to make the case for life. People who have never spoken up, and certainly not marched for life, are repulsed by the New York City law.”
  • 10 Reasons Racism is Sin. Kevin DeYoung shares ten biblical reasons why racism is sin and offensive to God.
  • Russell Moore on IVF and Embryo Adoption. In this short video, Russell Moore makes the case for why IVF and embryo adoption are different and why Christians should see the value of embryo adoption.
  • Staying Biblically Civil. In this episode of the Unlimited Grace podcast, Bryan Chapell talks about that as Christians, we’re called to speak up in the face of evil — especially when others are silent about what is good, right, and true. But where is that line between standing up for the truth and incivility? We need to speak the truth in love.
  • Russell Moore on What Christians Should Know about Transgenderism. In this short video, Russell Moore explains three areas where churches need to prepare as they address transgenderism in the community. They must understand what the Bible teaches about gender, they must avoid stereotypes of gender, and they must prepare to disciple those who feel alienated from their own gender.

  • That D*** Dog: How Pets Can Be a Catalyst for Evangelism. Rosaria Butterfield writes “If I were ever to write an evangelistic outreach program, I might just have to use this as my title. Why? Two reasons. First, crisis should bring out the best in Christians. Second, I love dogs. And I love the kids and old people and everyone in between who are looking for lost dogs. And so, when dogs and kids are in the unforgiving spotlight of bad behavior, my Christian calling comes fully into focus. I feel at once a sense of connection with the unsuspecting criminal and a clear calling about what I can do to help.”
  • Achieve or Die: Reflections on the movie Free Solo. Rusty McKie writes “In a hyper-achievement culture, it’s so easy to prioritize passions while relationships suffer. This is especially true when others celebrate what we do more than who we are. When we find our personal obsessions are hindering our capacity to love and be loved, however, we must die to ourselves and choose love over achievement.”
  • The Importance of What We Do in Secret. Derek Thomas writes “Godliness must be found in the heart if it is to be genuine”.
  • Russell Moore on the Christian Sexual Ethic. In this two-minute video, Russell Moore explains how the roots of the Christian sexual ethic extend back to Creation and result in subconscious longings for what the Bible tells us is right and good.
  • 16 Truths About Digital Time and Real Friends. Kevin DeYoung shares 16 truths, a helpful way for Ben Sasse’s family to think about digital communities versus real ones.
  • Scott Sauls on Cultivating Deeper Friendships. Watch this short video in which Scott Sauls suggests that what is often missing in friendships within the church is the spiritual aspect, where the friendship leads to greater spiritual growth and sanctification.
  • The Good We Never Ask For: What God Does for Us in Suffering. Randy Alcorn writes “There’s no nearness to God without dependence on And nothing makes us more dependent on Him than when the bottom drops out.
  • Waiting When God Seems Silent. Randy Alcorn writes “The call to wait on God is an invitation to trust and hope. It entails believing that one day — even if today is not that day — he will make all things right.”

  • ESV Bible App. Crossway has released an updated free ESV Bible app for iOS that has a lot of nice features.
  • Five Truths About the Holy Spirit. Alistair Begg writes “His identity is as “another Helper.” The word translated as “another” here is allos, not heteros. Jesus promised a Helper of the same kind rather than of a different kind.”
  • H.B. Charles on God’s Wrath. Watch this two-minute video in which H. B. Charles explains that the Bible addresses God’s wrath numerous times because it is essential to understanding who God really is and because it is essential in understanding the gospel.
  • Ligon Duncan on Covenant Theology vs. Dispensationalism. Listen to Nancy Guthrie’s conversation with Ligon Duncan as she asks him to contrast covenant theology with the foundational tenets of dispensational theology.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

Courtesy of World Magazine

    • Our beliefs dictate our behavior. R.C. Sproul
    • My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour. John Newton
    • The gospel is meant to control and govern everything in our lives. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    • When there’s something in the Word of God that I don’t like, the problem is not with the Word of God. It’s with me. R.C. Sproul
    • When the bottom falls out and disappointments come, you will learn what you believe, what you love, and what you treasure. Ligon Duncan
    • If you think you can walk in holiness without keeping up perpetual fellowship with Christ, you have made a great mistake. If you would be holy, you must live close to Jesus. Charles Spurgeon
    • The gospel isn’t a summons to work harder to reach God, it’s the story of how God sovereignly worked all things together to reach you. Burk Parsons
    • Two things that every human being absolutely must come to understand are the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. R.C. Sproul
    • Father, you promise sufficient grace, not the satisfaction of our agenda. You promise to make us like Jesus; not to place us in a hammock under a cool breeze; full redemption, not immediate relief. Thank you. We want to want what you want, more fully, gladly, and quickly. Scotty Smith

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.

One thought on “THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoons & Quotes

  1. Love, love, love Tim Keller’s discussion on homosexuality! Thank you for clarity, Tim!

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