Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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

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  • Can I Take a Vaccine Made from Aborted Babies? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Should committed pro-lifers get the fast, available, cheap vaccines made from aborted cells? Or should they wait?”
  • We Must Find a Better Way to Talk About Race. Kevin DeYoung shares three suggestions on what it might look like for Christians to talk about race in a more constructive and more helpful manner.
  • Evangelicals and Race Theory. In this length article, Carl Trueman writes “This brings me to the most serious problem with the way today’s conversation about race is happening: It is not happening.”
  • Come Let Us Reason Together. Kevin DeYoung writes about the division in the church over issues such as racism, COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election, and offers some helpful suggestions about what to do and how to be discerning.

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  • More interesting article links on Christian Living, Thinking Theologically and Some Good Questions
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Why Should Christians Study the Bible?  R.C. Sproul writes “Theology is unavoidable for every Christian. It is our attempt to understand the truth that God has revealed to us—something every Christian does. So, it is not a question of whether we are going to engage in theology; it is a question of whether our theology is sound or unsound.”
  • 3 Dangers of Busyness. Kevin DeYoung writes “When we are crazy busy, we put our souls at risk. The challenge is not merely to make a few bad habits go away. The challenge is to not let our spiritual lives slip away. The dangers are serious, and they are growing. And few of us are as safe as we may think.”
  • Practicing Hospitality in a Pandemic. On this episode of the Crossway podcast, Rosaria Butterfield discusses what it looks like to embrace the Christian call to radical hospitality, even during a pandemic. She shares about how her family has sought to continue reaching out to those around them with the love of Christ, reflects on our tendency to spend more time reading the news than reading our Bibles, and calls on Christians to fight against the fear that threatens to destroy our witness.
  • Want to Read Your Bible Well in 2021? Don’t Do It Alone. Matt Smethurst writes “Here’s my challenge for you: no matter what your schedule is like, or what stage of life you’re in, don’t let the first week of 2021 go by without inviting another believer to meet with you regularly to read God’s Word.”
  • Get More from the Bible This Year: Six Marks of Mature Reading. Rosaria Butterfield shares six marks of meat-reading to pursue, with the accompanying symptoms of milk-reading to grow beyond.
  • 5 Words to Guide New-Year Meditation. Paul Tripp writes “Let Philippians 4:8 be your New Year guide. Instead of making that perennial list of resolutions––many of which will be forgotten or leave you feeling guilty––why not punctuate the turning of this year with a time of quiet meditation?”
  • Get a Basic Overview of the Bible. R.C. Sproul shares a pattern he recommends for people who have never read the Bible. He writes “By reading these books, a student can get a basic feel for and understanding of the scope of the Bible without getting bogged down in the more difficult sections. From there, he or she can fill in the gaps to complete the reading of the entire Bible.”
  • The Gospel from Womb to Tomb. David Murray looks some of the great and sore troubles of old age, and how the Lord strengthens His elderly people.
  • Christ-Centered Friendship. Christine Hoover writes “Christ-centered friendship is about serving others, asking ourselves how God might use us in our friends’ lives, and how He might want to use them in our lives.”
  • Toward a Better Us in 2021. Scott Sauls writes “As another year comes to a close, and as we contemplate how we hope things will be different in 2021 (which, no doubt, we wish for A LOT of things), I thought it might be good to be reminded of what the Scripture says about change. Desiring change for the person in the mirror, dreaming of a better version of ourselves, is a good thing. But how can we get there?”
  • A Practical Help for Bible Study. R.C. Sproul writes “I suggest that you put a question mark in the margin beside every passage that you find unclear or hard to understand. Likewise, put an X beside every passage that offends you or makes you uncomfortable. Afterward, you can focus on the areas you struggle with, especially the texts marked with an X.”
  • Resist the Pharisee Temptation on Social Media. Daniel Darling writes “In an era where it has become a cultural rite to declare that we are on the right side of history on every issue, Christians are not immune to Phariseeism.”

  • In Jesus Christ, We Are Reconciled to God. May Christians never forget where they came from, lest they lose sight of the glorious reality of the new creation in Christ. In this brief video clip, Sinclair Ferguson reminds us of the privileges that are richly bestowed on all who are united to the Lord Jesus.
  • Why is Jesus Christ Such a Controversial Figure? In this short video, John MacArthur explains why Jesus’ claims cause offense in our culture.
  • Judge People! (Like Jesus Did). Matt Smethurst shares three things that Matthew 7:1 says to those who grasp its meaning.
  • Does Christology Matter? Sinclair Ferguson writes “Most of us are sticklers for clearly describing anything we love, be it science, computing, sports, business, or family life. Should we be indifferent to how we think and speak about our Savior and Lord?”

  • How Do I Become Passionate About Bible Reading? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a question about a lack of desire for daily Bible reading.
  • Since No One Seeks after God, Why Do So Many Unconverted People Come to Church? Many churches prioritize worshiping in a way that is attractive to the unconverted instead of worshiping in a manner that is pleasing to God. From one of Ligonier’s live events, B.Charles Jr. and Steven Lawson call us to solemnly consider the true calling of the church.
  • What Difference Does Providence Make? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper begins a new ten-part series on the doctrine of God’s providence, to coincide with his new book Providence. He begins by addressing the question What difference would it make in your life if you saw God’s providence as true and biblical and beautiful, something so incredible you could build your entire life on it? Would it change your life?”
  • Can a Christian Fall into Deep Sin, Die, and Still be Saved? What happens when a professing believer commits a grievous sin and dies? Was that person truly a Christian, and will he be saved? From Ligonier’s event Made in the Image of God, Sinclair Ferguson responds to difficult questions like these.

  • Everybody has something, that if they lose it, they won’t even want to live life anymore. That is what you’re worshiping. Tim Keller
  • The reason why Christians all over the world invest their lives so sacrificially is simple: They have come to believe that God’s gifts and graces are never meant to be hoarded, but are always meant to be shared. Scott Sauls
  • No one is so good that they don’t need the grace of the gospel, nor so bad that they cannot receive the grace of the gospel. Tim Keller
  • A borrowed manger at birth, a borrowed tomb at his death, he did not come to own or possess, but to give his life as a ransom for many. Paul Tripp
  • There is only two ways to read the Bible: is it basically about me or basically about Jesus. What must I do, or what has he done? Tim Keller
  • Legalism is doing something to earn your salvation. Discipline is doing something because it’s a good in and of itself. Tim Keller
  • Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior. John Newton
  • The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Charles Spurgeon
  • No matter our situation, our very best days are always ahead of us and never, ever behind us. How do we know this? Because the Bible tells us so, and the resurrection makes it so. Scott Sauls

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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