Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • Do You Feel Alone? Paul Tripp writes “If you’re his child, ward off the fear that knocks on your door by remembering who God is and who you’ve become as his chosen child. And don’t just celebrate his grace; let it reshape the way you live today and the tomorrows that follow.”
  • Are You a Winner? Howard Graham writes “The Bible has a lot to say about winning including what it takes to compete and finish in victory. Here are seven attributes of winners to guide you on the path to victory.”
  • Where We Draw the Line: How to Live (and Die) in Babylon. Alistair Begg writes “The line is to be drawn where we are told to disobey God; it is also to be drawn where we are asked to compromise on a matter that our conscience tells us will undermine our identity as a Christian.”
  • Handling Our Differences Redemptively, Not Destructively. Scotty Smith writes “Trying to wrap my head and heart around the divisiveness that has marked so much public discourse lately, I spent some valuable time pondering three messy relational scenarios described in the New Testament. Each situation highlights how we, who are perfectly loved by Jesus, don’t easily handle our differences very well.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Allyson Felix Becomes Most Decorated Female Olympian Ever, Thankful for ‘God’s grace’. Competing in her fifth and final Olympics, U.S. sprinter Allyson Felix further cemented her status as an Olympic legend. After winning the bronze medal in the women’s 400-meter race, the 35-year-old became the most decorated female Olympian ever.
  • 9 Things You Should Know About the Taliban. Joe Carter writes “Twenty years ago, the United States overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden and providing training grounds for Al-Qaeda terrorists. This month, the Taliban has returned to power after U.S. military forces withdrew and the Afghan government collapsed. Here is what you should know about the brutal Islamist regime.”

  • How Can I Honor My Parents If I Don’t Respect Them? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How can I honor my parents when I don’t respect them? Or does honoring them assume that you do respect them?”
  • Is Death, Past, Present, or Future? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “I have a question regarding death and the types of death Paul refers to in his epistles. I know we all face a physical death. And for non-believers there is a second spiritual death, an eternal death. However, when Paul is speaking in Romans 8 to believers, he says, ‘If you live according to the flesh you will die’ (Romans 8:13). Does Paul mean that our sins somehow shorten our earthly lives? Or are believers subject to eternal death? And what does Paul mean when he says the man in Corinth who has his father’s wife is to be handed over to Satan ‘for the destruction of the flesh’ (1 Corinthians 5:5)? What kind of death is this?”
  • If All My Sins are Forgiven, Why Pursue Holiness? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “My father believes that when Christ died, he died for all of our sins. This I agree with. But he concludes this also means that when you have faith and accept Christ into your heart, you are then free to live however you want to, including being loose with and living in sin. I know this is wrong, but I am having a hard time explaining this to my father. Can you help articulate this for me from the Bible?”
  • Six Dangers of Podcasts. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “What dangers do you see in Christians pursuing Christian podcasts for information, learning, ‘discernment,’ or simply for ‘entertainment’?”
  • Does Christ Rule the Nations Now? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Is Jesus Christ ruling over all the nations of earth now, as Paul seems to indicate in Romans 15:8–12? It seems like he has ‘all authority in heaven and on earth,’ according to Matthew 28:18. Or is this rule to come in the future, as 1 Corinthians 15:27–28seems to suggest? Will he rule over all the nations after his second coming? Will he rule in a different way, now spiritually and later physically? How do you think through the reign of Christ over the nations?”
  • In John 3:16, Does “the world” Refer to the Elect or to Fallen Humanity? Sinclair Ferguson states “We should not view “the world” in John 3:16 as just the elect because there is a strong emphasis in the Scriptures on the love that God has for the world that has turned against Him.”

Other Links of Interest

  • How Could Jonathan Edwards Own Slaves? Wrestling with the History of a Hero. John Piper writes “Whatever explanation I might give for why Edwards did not see his way clear to the renunciation of slaveowning at his moment in history, one thing I cannot deny: fifty years of reading and pondering Edwards has been for me more heart-humbling, more Christ-exalting, more God-revering, more Bible-illuminating, more righteousness-beckoning, more prayer-sweetening, more missions-advancing, and more love-deepening than any other author outside the Bible. Whether this ought to be the case, I leave for others to judge.”
  • Josh Harris’s Message Remains the Same. Carl Trueman writes “Ironically, for all his much-trumpeted “deconstruction” of his own Christianity, Harris seems incapable of escaping the dynamics of the culture that made him famous. He remains the megachurch evangelical celebrity of his earlier self. He merely does so now in a secular, rather than religious, therapeutic idiom, and without the cadre of evangelical enablers who made him popular.”
  • The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. My wife Tammy and I have been listening to the Christianity Today podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. When I attended my first on-campus class at Covenant Seminary in January, 2006, it was Mark Driscoll that people were listening to and talking about. I too read some of his books and listened to his sermons. This series is very well done and has lessons for all church leaders to learn.

  • You are not able to keep a thought from occurring in you, but you don’t have to entertain it either. Tim Keller
  • Grace means you don’t have to be paralyzed by past regrets. Paul Tripp
  • God’s grace virtually never operates on our time frame, on a schedule we consider reasonable. He does not follow our agendas or schedules. Tim Keller
  • It is Jesus’ own righteousness, His performance and not my performance, that is the grounds of my justification. R.C. Sproul
  • Grace means God will take the very bad things you’re experiencing and produce out of them very good things. Paul Tripp
  • Self-deception is not the worst thing you can do, but it’s the means by which we do the very worst things. The sin that is most distorting your life right now is often the one you can’t see. Tim Keller
  • Every time you leave your place of comfort and enter into the suffering of another, you are living and loving as God.  A healing touch to the least, He says, is a healing touch to the Highest. Diane Langberg
  • At the cross, Jesus redeemed sinners. Reconciled rebels. Appeased God. Expiated sin. Purchased forgiveness. Won righteousness. Defeated Satan. Steven Lawson
  • We are all servants. The only question is whom we will serve. 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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