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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Cartoon of the Week
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • My Prayer for the Furnace: How I Ask God to Heal. Matt Chandler writes “All of us are only a phone call away from our life changing forever. We will get sick. We will lose loved ones. Trials will come. And we don’t know when suffering will hit us.
  • Suicide, Heaven, and Jesus—the Final Answer to Our Sorrow. Randy Alcorn shares this helpful article in light of the recent suicide of Jarrid Wilson.
  • Don’t Waste Your Mornings. In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper shares a remedy to grabbing our phones when we wake up in the morning.
  • How Will I Spend My Time in Retirement? Jeff Haanen writes “Many enter retirement busied and harried from the last few months of work. Then, like jumping off a moving train, the forward momentum comes to an abrupt halt. Weekdays melt into weekends. Long breakfasts can become early lunches. The time that was lacking in the pressure of raising a family and pursuing a career now floods into a quiet home.”
  • Recovering the Priority of Personal Holiness. Alistair Begg writes “I fear that personal holiness is not a priority within the church — even among its leaders — as it was in the days of the Puritans.”
  • The Whole of the Christian Life is Repentance. We don’t just repent once. In this brief clip, Sinclair Ferguson explains that the Christian life requires daily repentance and submission to the authority of Jesus Christ.
  • The Quest for Christlikeness. John MacArthur writes “Spiritual growth is the process of growing in Christlikeness—how we think, talk, and act must always be conforming to the Lord’s righteous standard.”
  • Screens Are Changing the Way We Read Scripture. Karen Swallow Prior writes “As our reading becomes more immersed in a digital rather than a print culture, the more we return to some qualities of the pre-literate world. We are reading more, but the way we read replicates the effects of the discrete images of stained-glass windows more than the sustained, logical, and coherent linearity of a whole book.”

  • Can You Deny the Existence of Hell and Still Be a Christian? The goodness of God demands the doctrine of hell. From one of Ligonier’s live Ask R.C. events, R.C. Sproul explains that since God is good, He must punish evil.
  • Is It True That God “Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin”? We don’t do people any favors when we downplay the wrath of God. From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Stephen Nichols explains that people must understand the seriousness of sin in order to understand their need for the Savior.
  • Can a Christian Blaspheme the Holy Spirit? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to two questions, (1) Can a true believer, whose salvation is eternally secure in Christ, still be guilty of blasphemy? (2) Is blaspheming the Holy Spirit the same as grieving the Holy Spirit?” 
  • How are Legalism and Antinomianism Similar? What is the Solution to the errors of legalism and antinomianism? Sinclair Ferguson explains the origin of these errors and the solution in this short video.
  • Should Women Preach in Our Churches? Kevin DeYoung addresses the question “Is there biblical justification, given basic complementarian convictions, for the practice of women preaching sermons in a Sunday worship service?”
  • What Is the Biggest Issue We Face in the Church Today? Sadly, false teaching abounds on the person and work of Christ. From one of Ligonier’s Ask R.C. events, R.C. Sproul warns us against foundational errors that have threatened the church from its earliest days.
  • What Is Imputed Righteousness? When God counts someone righteous on the basis of faith, it’s not because of anything they’ve done. It’s because they’ve been covered by the righteousness of Christ. From one of Ligonier’s live Ask R.C. events, R.C. Sproul helps us understand the doctrine of imputation.

  • Ligonier London Conference. You can now stream all of the messages from the recent Ligonier London Conference. Speakers included Alistair Begg, Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Reeves, Albert Mohler and more.
  • Bryan Chapell’s New Website. I was excited to see pastor Bryan Chapell’s new website, featuring pastoral helps, courses, sermons with sermon notes, free downloads and other helpful resources.
  • The Spirit of Adoption. When God brings us into His family, He not only gives us a new status as His adopted children. He also sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts to give us a new sense of who He is and who we are. Watch this brief video clip from Sinclair Ferguson’s teaching series The Basics of the Christian Life, as he considers our cry of “Abba, Father.”
  • Why Did Jesus Institute the Lord’s Supper on the Passover? Keith Mathison writes “Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on this night to signify that this new exodus was about to begin. This act indicated that the time of redemption had come.”
  • The Great Exchange of Romans. Sinclair Ferguson writes “The gospel of Romans can be summarized in one word: exchange.”
  • How Can God Bring Good Out of Evil? R.C. Sproul writes “God does not direct injustice toward His people. In fact, every tragedy becomes a blessing. There are no ultimate blessings for unbelievers, however, because every blessing they receive for which they remain ungrateful only redounds to their greater guilt.”
  • Shepherding Your Church to Obey the Great Commission. This episode of the Gospel Coalition Podcast is a message given by David Platt at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week


  • Bitterness arises in our hearts when we do not trust in the sovereign rule of God in our lives. Jerry Bridges
  • God is not going to negotiate His holiness in order to accommodate us. R.C. Sproul
  • Christian faith knows only one perfect man and one perfect work—Jesus Christ. Sinclair Ferguson
  • No part of our Christian experience in this world will be free from suffering in some form or another. Derek Thomas
  • We possess neither the ability, free will, power, nor the righteousness to repair ourselves and escape the wrath of God. It must all be God’s work, Christ’s work, or there is no salvation. Michael Horton
  • The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands. Martin Luther
  • If we do not abide in prayer, we will abide in temptation. John Owen
  • A life of gratitude to God for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-righteousness over being good. Tim Keller
  • Contemporary people tend to examine the Bible, looking for things they can’t accept; but Christians should reverse that, allowing the Bible to examine us, looking for things God can’t accept. Then the sweet grace offered, the beauty of his love, will mean something to you. Tim Keller

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, Quotes & a Cartoon

  1. Re: morning routines and Scripture reading, I’ve taken to leaving my phone outside the bedroom from evening to morning. I’ll check out those links to see what they think, but it seems to be working for me. There’s looks to be some good stuff here, thanks brother 🙂

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