Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • How Do I Know If I’m Doing Enough for God? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a listener who writes, Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because of what seems like a mounting list of things I must do to become like Jesus. I feel stressed out because I want to please God, but it feels like there are so many things to do: kill sin, grow in fruits of the Spirit, be the best worker I can be, live and pour myself out to my community (church), pursue people to disciple (mission), live a healthy lifestyle, Sabbath properly, and also endure suffering.”
  • How Can Christians Express the Truth of Human Dignity during a Global Crisis? In a world that often rejects the value of human life, COVID-19 gives Christians the opportunity to express the dignity of all of God’s image-bearers. From Ligonier’s livestream event Made in the Image of God, John MacArthur points out how believers can respond to our confused culture.
  • Does God Elect His People to Salvation Based on Any Condition They Have Met? Nothing in us can possibly merit God’s election. Our salvation belongs entirely to His good pleasure and the riches of His grace. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Stephen Nichols suggests that the wonder of election should drive Christians to worshipful gratitude.
  • How Is Christianity Categorically Different from Every Other Religion? In this short video, Kevin DeYoung links Christianity’s uniqueness to its claims about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • How Can I Obtain Assurance of Salvation? It is not the perfection of a Christian’s life, but the direction of his life that demonstrates his conversion. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, John MacArthur explains how the evidence of salvation manifests itself in a believer’s life.

  • Dealing with Criticism in a “Cancel Culture” Era. Scott Sauls writes “Our starting point in this endeavor, which is also our ending point is to remember that Christ himself was “canceled” for our sake. This was voluntary on his part, as a way to cover and protect us from the very true things about us that give him every reason to cancel us. How marvelous, and how wonderful, that he does not so much as consider doing that. Thanks be to God for his unfathomable grace.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • On the Defacing of Statues and Churches. Eric Metaxas joins Tucker Carlson on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss how the woke mob is moving from attacking historical American monuments to defacing statues and churches. Metaxas and Carlson look beyond the politics of the assaults — mentioning Moby Dick and Dietrich Bonhoeffer — and discuss whether there may be a deeper issue at play.
  • 4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It. We’ve run this article once before, but as the divisiveness about wearing masks escalates, it’s good to revisit it. Brett McCracken writes “For Christians, it’s important to rise above the political partisanship and think through what our faith would call us to with regard to wearing or not wearing masks.”
  • Our Faith is Being Tested, and is on Display. Nancy Guthrie writes “The genuineness of our faith is not only being put to the test; it’s being put on display. The world is watching. They want to see if Jesus really makes a difference in how a person suffers what is unbearable and loses what is valuable.”
  • J. I. Packer, “Knowing God” Author, Dies at 93. Leland Ryken writes “James Innell Packer, better known to many as J. I. Packer, was one of the most famous and influential evangelical leaders of our time. He died Friday, July 17, at age 93.” Read tributes from John Piper, D.A. Carson and Justin Taylor. Matt Smethurst shares these “40 Quotes” from J.I. Packer.

  • Avoiding a Life of Regrets. Jeremy Pierre writes “Regret is an indication that we’ve measured ourselves by some standard and have found ourselves lacking. The question is, how does that standard compare with God’s standard?”
  • 5 Christian Cliches That Need to Die. Matt Smethurst writes “Here are five popular Christian clichés that are not biblical, and therefore need a memorial service.”
  • Do You Love the Church?  R.C. Sproul writes “Do we love the church? I doubt if there have been many times in our history when there has been as much anger, hostility, disappointment, and disillusionment with the institutional church as there is today. It’s hard not to be critical of the church because in many ways the church has failed us. But if the church has failed, that means we have failed. We are called to serve the church in the power of God the Holy Spirit.”
  • 3 Reasons You Can Say ‘Yes’ to Mentoring. Melissa Kruger writes “While every mentoring relationship is different and there are many beneficial ways to invest in others, here are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned from older women who have faithfully mentored me.”

  • 10 Solid Films from the First Half of 2020. Brett McCracken writes “The 10 films I highlight below are excellent new releases which I think have redemptive qualities Christians can appreciate. As always with lists like this, please use discernment and do your research regarding content. Most of the films below are more appropriate for adults than families.”
  • Gentle and Lowly: A 14 Day Podcast. The Gentle and Lowly podcast is a 14-day audio devotional exploring the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers. Join Dane Ortlund—author of Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (perhaps the best book I’ve read this year) – each day for a brief Scripture reading as well as a devotional meditation on a different aspect of the heart of Christ, as he helps you discover afresh not just what Jesus has done for you but how he feels about you as his beloved.

  • In a loud-noise outrage culture a grace-filled gentle answer is a radical, powerful thing. Paul Tripp
  • The real pursuit of wisdom begins by understanding that there is One who not only knows more than we do, but knows us by name. Daniel Darling
  • God can shape us in any way he pleases. He raised Moses in a palace in order to use him in a desert; he raised Joseph in a desert in order to use him in a palace. Ravi Zacharias
  • When Jesus is all you have left, you realize Jesus is what you ultimately need. Tim Keller
  • Because Jesus has covered all of our offenses, we can be among the least offensive and least offended people in the world. This is the way of the gentle answer. Scott Sauls
  • One way to think of Christ’s intercession, then, is simply this: Jesus is praying for you right now. Dane Ortlund
  • Tests, trials, and temptations abound in the Christian life. If we are to grow to maturity, we must learn how to handle them. Sinclair Ferguson
  • A stable and functional culture requires the establishment of stable marriages and the nurturing of families. Without a healthy marriage and family life as foundation, no lasting and healthy community can long survive. Albert Mohler
  • God makes it clear that He has the sovereign prerogative to give mercy and bestow grace on whomever He wants to. He can give an executive order of unmerited clemency to those whom He pleases. That is why it is mercy. That is why it is grace. R.C. Sproul

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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