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 Does Chronic Pain Glorify God? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “My mother, a believer, struggles with debilitating — very debilitating — nerve pain and can get no medical relief from anything doctors have tried. She suffers endlessly. How does such unalleviated suffering glorify God when it seems that God refuses to answer any of our prayers for mercy?”
  • What Makes Women the “Weaker Vessel”? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper answers the question “What does Peter mean in 1 Peter 3:7 when he writes that husbands should live with their wives in an understanding way, ‘as the weaker vessel’? Specifically, what is the weaker vessel? Is she physically weaker, emotionally weaker, spiritually weaker, or something altogether different?
  • Does God Love the Wicked the Same Way He Loves the Elect? Does God love everyone in the same way—both His redeemed people and His enemies? From one of the Ligonier live events, C.Sproul helps us understand what it means that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16).

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  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • How Will Heaven Change Our Joy? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions “Can you explain how our joy relates to the three aspects of the Christian life — justification, sanctification, and glorification? Specifically, I would like to know how joy is obtained in each of these distinct blessings, and how they are similar or different from one another?”
  • Hope for Children from Dysfunctional Families. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How do you think family dysfunctions affect our relationship to God?”
  • How Should Christians Worship Through Difficult Seasons? Ligon Duncan gives us an answer to this question.
  • How Does Being Made in the Image of God Motivate Us to Live a Holy Life? God uses even the most difficult times in our lives to shape us into the likeness of His Son. From Ligonier’s event Made in the Image of God, John MacArthur explains why it matters for Christians to have the right motivation in the pursuit of holiness.

David Calhoun Goes Home. Dr. Calhoun, who I enjoyed two church history classes with as I began my studies at Covenant Seminary, went home to be with the Lord April 9.

  • Truth and Growing in Grace. Steven Lawson writes “The realization of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus should overwhelm us like a spiritual tsunami, flooding our souls, overwhelming us, and producing the motivation to do what He calls us to do.”
  • 5 Questions about God’s Design for Gender. Kevin DeYoung shares these five questions, adapted from his book Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction.
  • What Makes It Possible for the Christian to Rejoice in the Midst of Pain and Anxiety?C. Sproul writes “The promise of God that all things work together for good to those who love God is something that has to get not only into our minds, but it has to get into our bloodstreams, so that it is a rock-solid principle by which life can be lived.”
  • Enjoying God is a Command. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Enjoying God is a command, not an optional extra: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” ( 4:4). But how? We cannot “rejoice to order,” can we?”

  • John 3:16 and Man’s Ability to Choose God. R.C. Sproul writes “What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing.
  • 4 Things That Had to Happen to Jesus. On this episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast, we hear a message that John Piper delivered at The Gospel Coalition’s 2019 National Conference titled “Unashamed to Be Scorned with Jesus.” Expounding on Mark 8:31–38, Piper clearly laid out the gospel—that Christ suffered, was rejected and killed, and rose again, and that the Father planned, prophesied, and performed it. As a response, Piper challenged listeners to five applications in evangelism.

  • Acceptance with Scott Sauls. Scotty Smith and Russ Masterson talk with pastor and author, Scott Sauls, about the first conversation from Searching for Grace: “The acceptance we crave is free.”
  • Facing the Intersection of Culture, Politics, and Religion in the Secular Age: A Conversation with R. R. Reno, Editor of First Things. On this episode of the Thinking in Public podcast, Albert Mohler visits with R. R. Reno, the editor of First ThingsMagazine, which is one of the most influential intellectual journals in the United States. Reno has written several books, with his most recent being, Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism, and the Future of the West, published in 2019.
  • The Way Home: Dr. Stephen Nichols on the life of R.C. Sproul. On this episode of The Way Home podcast, Daniel Darling visits with Stephen Nichols, author of the new book C. Sproul: A Life, which I am reading now.
  • Here We Stand: An Online Streaming Event. On April 13, Ligonier hosted Here We Stand, a special online streaming event to celebrate the five-hundredth anniversary of the Diet of Worms. The event explored the essential truths championed in the Protestant Reformation. Watch the event, which featured speakers such as Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Reeves, Burk Parsons, Derek Thomas, Robert Godfrey and more.

  • You are worse than you think you are, but also far more loved than you feel you are. Tim Keller
  • Every test and trial, every storm in life is another opportunity for you to see the glory of Jesus Christ and discover his power in your life. Sinclair Ferguson
  • God relentlessly offers his grace to people who do not deserve it, seek it, or appreciate it after they have been saved by it. Tim Keller
  • The key to humility is not trying to think less of yourself, nor trying to think of yourself less; it is thinking of Christ and others more. Michael Reeves
  • Jesus is not our consultant or adviser. Nor is he our personal assistant. He is our Lord. Scott Sauls
  • To say doctrine doesn’t matter, only how you live matters, is itself a doctrine. It’s the doctrine of salvation by works. Tim Keller
  • You know you’re glorifying something when you find it beautiful for what it is in itself, and not what it can do for you. Tim Keller
  • We will spend eternity unpacking and understanding the height, depth and breadth of the love of God, because it is that high, that deep and that wide. Paul Tripp
  • God is intensely concerned for the weak, the orphaned, the poor, and the powerless. Christians will be moved to help the needy and the poor if their faith is genuine. 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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