Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Should Followers of Christ Use Recreational Marijuana? Kevin J. Vanhoozer writes “Good stewardship applies not only to work, but also to the way we relax. Using weed is not the way to redeem the recreational times.”
  • My Life is Endless Drudgery – How Do I Find Joy in Christ? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “It just feels like no matter how hard I try or how much I do, I’m barely getting it all done. I hate that I sometimes resent my kids and wife and this life. Now the middle-age years have arrived and I fear burnout, even of running away. Can you help me?”
  • Why Doesn’t God Always Heal? In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Albert Mohler and Bryan Chapell share their response to a common question they’ve heard throughout their decades in ministry about why God answers certain prayers for healing in this life, but not all.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

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

  • Ask Ligonier with Sinclair Ferguson. On January 8, Sinclair Ferguson joined Nathan Bingham on Ask Ligonier and answered biblical and theological questions live online. The program starts at the 8:05 point of the video.
  • How Can I Commune More Closely with God? From one of the Ask Ligonier live events, B.Charles Jr. stresses that participation in a local church is vital to drawing closer to God.
  • Will We Pray in Heaven? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Is there a role for prayer in heaven? Does the Bible give us any indication of how we will commune with God in eternity?”
  • What Are the Most Common Objections Against Christianity? In this Gospel Coalition podcast, A. Carson and Tim Keller talk about a few of the most common arguments against Christianity they’ve heard over the past 50 years.
  • How Should We Respond to the Hyper-Grace Movement? One of the greatest threats to the contemporary church is antinomianism. From one of Ligonier’s Ask C.events, R.C. Sproul reminds us that while Christians are saved by grace, we are not free to sin.
  • Is It Biblical to Say “God Loves the Sinner, but Hates the Sin?” Does God “love the sinner but hate the sin”? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons explains his concerns related to this common phrase and offers a clearer alternative.
  • How Can I Know If I’m Elect? Keith Mathison writes “So, how can I know if I am elect? By asking myself whether I have the fruits of election. In other words, by honest self-examination.”
  • How do Scholars Estimate When Each Book of the Bible was Written? Can we really know when the books of the Bible were written? From one of Ligonier’s live events, R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas consider the evidence that has led even some liberal scholars to embrace early dates for the New Testament.

  • Why We Rescued, and the Encouraging Growth of the Prolife Movement in the Thirty Years Since. Randy Alcorn gives insight into the pro-life movement that played a big role in churches and was the reason that his life took the direction it did, starting with the founding of Eternal Perspective Ministries.
  • Rejoice Always. H.B. Charles writes “It is the will of God for us to rejoice always. But obedience to this command is not accomplished by an act of the will. It is only accomplished by faith in Christ.”
  • Jesus is Better Than Materialism. Kevin Halloran writes “Enjoying possessions is not all bad, but quickly turns bad if we forget how Christ is infinitely better and more satisfying than pursuing and loving mere possessions.”
  • On the Issues: Depression. In this video, Russell Moore examines how Scripture gives us examples of God using people who experienced these dark nights of the soul and provide a few points of guidance for what to do in the midst of depression.
  • Christians Grieve the Death of Believing Loved Ones, But We Don’t Grieve Without Hope. Randy Alcorn writes “For Christians, death is not a wall but a doorway. Death is not a last good-bye but a “See you later.” We grieve differently, yet honestly and openly, precisely because we look forward to our reunion and to a New Heaven and a New Earth.”
  • Humbly Coming Before Our Father: The Privilege of Christian Prayer. Burk Parsons writes “We can always, at any time, day or night, cry out to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.”
  • Listening to the Voice of God. Today we are trained to assert ourselves and it’s often easier to speak than to listen. In this short video clip from this series The Basics of the Christian Faith, Sinclair Ferguson explains how we can all begin to listen.
  • Ten Exhortations concerning Gossip Blogs and Online Speech. Denny Burk writes “I want us all to consider how we might avoid gossip and slander and might disagree without being disagreeable in our online interactions. In short, how can we be more Christlike in controversy?”
  • Personality Tests Don’t Excuse Your Sin. Christa Threlfall writes “Sometimes, instead of using our personality-test results as a tool, we can almost view them as an infallible declaration of who we are and how we will act. Even worse, we can use them as an excuse for sin.”

  • Virtue Signaling. Check out this short video from Dan Darling, as he explains what virtue signaling is.
  • What Happened to “Evangelicals”? Thomas Kidd writes “As a contemporary label, Christian leaders should be judicious about how and when they employ “evangelical.” If we’re not careful, our hearers may think that the news we’re proclaiming has more to do with GOP strategy than the fate of their souls.”
  • A Strange Split in the UMC. Carl Trueman writes “Same-sex marriage is not really the issue. Thorough catechesis is. At the risk of tautology, if Christian marriage makes sense, it only makes sense within the framework of Christianity, on the basis of an ethics rooted in Christian doctrine. There is no point in dividing a denomination or congregation over same-sex marriage if that division is not driven by a deeper commitment to creedal Christianity.”

  • Critiquing Francis Chan. Recently, pastor and author Francis Chan made some concerning comments about preaching, the Lord’s Supper, and the unity of the church. In this episode of the Pastors’ Talk podcast, Jonathan Leeman chats with Mark Dever, Bobby Jamieson, and Mark Feather about Chan’s comments in particular and the topics of preaching, the Supper, and unity more generally.
  • Michael Reeves on the Trinity, Family, and Global State of Christianity. On this episode of the Pastor Well podcast, Hershael York interviews Michael Reeves.
  • Understanding the True Gospel. Scott Sauls writes “The hard news of the Gospel is that the universe and everything in it is wearing down all the time, and we are more sinful and broken than we realize. The freeing news of the Gospel is that God, through the person and work of Jesus, plans to restore both the universe and his people to their original beauty and glory.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • The basic premise of religion– that if you live a good life, things will go well for you– is wrong. Jesus was the most morally upright person who ever lived, yet He had a life filled with the experience of poverty, rejection, injustice, and even torture. Tim Keller
  • We break our promises to one another. We break our promises to God. But God never breaks His promises to us. R.C. Sproul
  • Everything lacking in us is given to us by Christ, everything sinful in us is imputed to Christ, and all condemnation merited by us is borne by Christ. Sinclair Ferguson
  • God calls us to love our neighbors not because they like us or look like us but simply because they’re our neighbors. Burk Parsons
  • It is in the routines of life that real gains are made, real joy is found, and the reality of God’s provision becomes most obvious. Alistair Begg
  • Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation. Charles Spurgeon
  • To be Christ to your neighbor means that your life is so conformed to the will of God that when people look at you, they see the holiness of Christ reflected in your life. R.C. Sproul
  • One of the ways God, in his wisdom, loves us is by not telling us what we don’t need to know or what we could not handle. His Word is enough. Paul Tripp
  • When we see Jesus, he’ll dry every tear from our eyes, not just our tears of sadness but our tears of joy, otherwise we would never be able to see him. Burk Parsons

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 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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