Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Manny in Full. Lynde Langdon writes about the wonderful turnaround in former baseball star Manny Ramirez’s life.
  • A Top Pastor’s Culture War Surrender. Rod Dreher writes “I think Greear’s heart is in the right place here, but he’s wrong, and a pastor of his authority being wrong is consequential.”
  • The Moral Universe of Timothy Keller. Here’s a lengthy article about pastor and theologian Tim Keller by Peter Wehner, recently published in the Atlantic.
  • 15 Good News Trends from the 2010s. Joe Carter writes “Over the past decade, God has provided a range of blessings that have changed a negative trend to a positive one, improving our lives and the lives of our global neighbors. As we reflect on the end of the 2010s, we should give thanks to God for these 15 “good news” trends.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

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

  • How Do I Know God’s Calling for My Life? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper addresses a question about how an individual would know if the Holy Spirit is calling them to international missions.
  • Is It Sinful to Watch Sin on a Screen? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question Do you think it is sinful to consume media that happens to include God’s name being taken in vain?”
  • How Can I Avoid Becoming Prideful? The grace of God humbles us, but it does not degrade us. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons encourages us to combat our tendency toward pride by praying that God would grant us humility.
  • Will All Nations Be Reached Before Christ Returns? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Looking at Revelation 14:6, I wonder if that passage is saying that if Jesus returns before we as Christians have accomplished the task to reach all the unreached, the angel will take care of the rest, so to speak?”
  • How Do I Battle Subtle Temptations to Lust? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Three years ago, I turned away from porn for the final time, a perennial struggle for my life for the better part of a decade, between ages 16 to 26. I’m now married and have not looked at porn for three years. In recent months, however, I am lured to images of women in female marketing campaigns. What advice do you have for those of us who have experienced victory over porn, but are now tempted by subtler and less scandalous objects of lust like this?”
  • How are Men and Women Different? Kevin DeYoung writes “What would you say if your little boy asked you, “Daddy, what does it mean to be a man?” or if your little girl asked, “Mommy, what does it mean to be a woman?”
  • Are Personal Resolutions Effective or Futile? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “For the Christian, are New Year’s resolutions helpful, are they harmful, or are they just a setup for eventual failure? How should we think biblically about resolutions?”
  • Why Is “Be True to Yourself” a Bad Philosophy? In this short video, Kevin DeYoung states “We must be giving better counsel to people than simply to find a true self which may not be the self worth following.”
  • What are the Essential Ingredients of a True Church? In this four-minute video from one of the Ask Ligonier events, R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas help us to define the distinguishing marks of a true church.
  • What Percentage of Our Income Should Christians Give to the Church? Are Christians commanded to give ten percent of their income to the church? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons examines the Bible’s principle of generosity.

  • Grace-Fueled Obedience Is Absolutely Necessary for Christlikeness. Steven Lawson writes “For all true followers of Christ, obedience is never peripheral. At the heart of what it means to be a disciple of our Lord is living in loving devotion to God. But if such love is real, the acid test is obedience.”
  • How Psalm 113 Changed My Life. Rosaria Butterfield writes “The inspired words of Psalm 113 are meant to be a comforting salve for the poor and barren with its call to praise the Lord in every and any circumstance. But for the unconverted, these words are folly and it completely wrecked me. And I can’t praise God enough for that.”
  • Kill Whatever Kills Your Love for God. Garrett Kell writes “As long as we are in this world, sin will seek to sap our love for God and stoke our love for every other god. We must do whatever it takes to put it to death. Love for God and sin cannot coexist. Kill your love for sin, or sin will kill your love for God.”

Best of 2019

For the New Year

  • Ten Questions for a New Year. Don Whitney writes “The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. A great time for us to “Consider our ways.” To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.”
  • Seize the Morning: New Habits for a New Year. David Mathis writes “Is there any single habit more important than getting your soul regularly within earshot of God?”
  • How to Study Your Bible in 2020. Matt Smethurst writes “What does this Scripture passage say? That’s observation. What does it mean? That’s interpretation. How should I (or we) respond? That’s application.”
  • 4 Ways to Make Reading Your Bible a Daily Habit in 2020. Eric Geiger shares how we can change our habits to create more and better times in God’s Word?

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The gospel is thoroughly realistic. It starts with us exactly where we are, at the bottom of a pit of corruption. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • The issue is not, “Have I done enough good to outweigh my lack of performance?” On that account, I could never reach a state of assurance. Rather, the focus of our thinking must be, “Am I in Christ?” Derek Thomas
  • Prayer is an act of surrender, not the communication of desire. It is willingly placing yourself in the hands of One who knows more about what you truly need than you ever will. Paul Tripp
  • You cannot be holy without knowing your doctrine. Doctrine is the direct key that leads to holiness. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • The only way to be blessed is to be a blessing and to be a blessing we must leave our comfort. Tim Keller
  • You cannot come and you will not believe unless the Father draws you. God is absolutely sovereign over salvation. John 6:44 is not a Calvinist verse, it’s a Jesus verse. Kevin DeYoung
  • As Christ died for sin, so we should die to sin. Matthew Henry
  • As long as you are alive, there is gospel work for you to do. You may retire from your career, but you never retire from ministry. Steven Lawson
  • The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, but more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope. 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.

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