Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

My 2020 Mid-Year Favorites

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As I’ve done for a number of years now, I want to share with you my favorites for the first half of 2020 in a variety of categories. As we have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic the past few months, this list will look different from years past. Concerts and conferences have been cancelled, and movie theatres have been closed.
Except for books, and the film A Hidden Life (which wasn’t available for me to see until 2020), these are all items that were released in 2020. For books, I include my favorite books that I’ve read during 2020, regardless of when the book was published.
Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list, as well as what would be on your list.


Top Choice: A Hidden Life. This film never came to the theatres in our town, nor was it available on any of our streaming services until 2020. Read my review here.
Other films that I’ve enjoyed, in order are:

            • 1917
            • Little Women
            • Just Mercy
            • Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words


Top Choice: Tie
Rough and Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan
Blues with Friends – Dion

Other albums I enjoyed, in order, were:

  • The Life of Christ Quintology: Passion and Resurrection EPs – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Various Artists
  • Let There Be Wonder – Matt Redman
  • Christ Be All EP – Grace Worship
  • American Standard – James Taylor
  • The Lost Demos EP – TobyMac


Top Choice: Christ Our Hope in Life and Death – Matt Papa, Keith and Kristyn Getty

Other songs I enjoyed this year, in order, were:

  • Forever Jesus – Stuart Townend
  • Christ Be All – Grace Worship
  • Murder So Foul – Bob Dylan
  • Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America) – Dion, featuring Paul Simon


Top Choice: The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work by Steven Garber

Other books that I’ve enjoyed, in no particular order were:

  • The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Import Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni
  • The Leader’s Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing and Multiplying Leaders by John Maxwell
  • Where is God in a Coronavirus World? by John Lennox
  • Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper
  • The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime by James Dodson
  • A Gentle Answer: Our ‘Secret Weapon’ in an Age of Us Against Them by Scott Sauls
  • To Seek and to Save: Daily Reflections on the Road to the Cross by Sinclair Ferguson


Top Choice: Tim Challies’ Ala Carte. This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a good variety of helpful articles and a quote.  Check out Tim’s blog here.


Top Choice: Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. Each weekend morning, Albert Mohler hosts a podcast providing worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations. The podcast runs approximately 25 minutes, and is usually posted by 5:00am. This is required listening for me. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website here.

Television Shows

Top Choice: The Last Dance

Other television series I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • Defending Jacob
  • Hidden
  • Blood
  • Deadwater Fell
  • A Confession
  • The Bay

New Resources

Top Choice: No Other Gospel: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians – Derek Thomas

Other new teaching series that I enjoyed were:

  • Blessing and Praise: Benedictions & Doxologies in Scripture – H.B. Charles Jr.
  • Blessed Hope: The Book of Revelation – Robert Godfrey

These are favorites in a variety of categories for the first half of 2020. How about you? What were some of your favorites?

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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