Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • Speeding in Opposite Directions: Lightyear and Maverick. Brett McCracken writes “Yet for all these similarities, the two summer blockbusters that bear their names could not be more different. And the differences between Maverick and Lightyear reveal subtle but important cultural divisions in how we view the past, the future, and the nature of progress.”
  • 2 Films Explore a Volatile Question: ‘What Is a Woman?’ Brett McCracken writes “Two recent documentaries have spoken up, offering rarely heard pushback on the sexual revolution’s party line. While you won’t find these films in theaters or on major streaming sites—no corporate entity could survive association with them—they are worth seeking out and discussing.”
  • Roe v. Wade Has Ended – Our Pro-Life Work Has Not. On this special episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “As the work continues, what has been your answer to the question “What should I do?” How have you answered that question in your own life and ministry?”
  • Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned…What Now? Scott Sauls writes “The answer to what it means to be consistently pro-life includes laying down our own lives for others, just as Christ has done for us.”
  • The FAQs: SCOTUS Upholds Religious Freedom in Praying Coach Case. Joe Carter writes “The Supreme Court issued its ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton, a religious liberty case involving a Washington State high school football coach who lost his job because he prayed silently on the 50-yard line after a football game. The decision states, “The Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect an individual engaging in a personal religious observance from government reprisal; the Constitution neither mandates nor permits the government to suppress such religious expression.””
  • Praying Football Coach Wins at Supreme Court. Daniel Silliman writes “Joseph Kennedy’s prayers are protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech and free exercise of religion, the court decided. The coach didn’t coerce any Bremerton, Washington, high school players into praying, so the school district was wrong to try to stop him from practicing his Christian faith.”

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  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Does God Change His Mind? There are several places in Scripture where it appears God changes His mind.  Yet in 1 Samuel 15:29 we read, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind.” So which view is correct? In this edition of Honest Answers, Bruce Ware, professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary, provides biblical clarity.
  • Is God Absent or Present in Hell? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions: “Is the presence of God in hell? Second Thessalonians 1:9 seems to say no. Is that right?” Also, “I read that hell includes the presence of God, per Revelation 14:10. Or is it away from the presence of God, per 2 Thessalonians 1:9? Can you help me understand which is right?”
  • Who is the Man of Lawlessness? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper addresses the question “I was reading through my Bible and recently came across the section about ‘the man of lawlessness’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12. At first, I assumed this man was Satan himself. But it becomes clear in verse 9 that this ‘lawless one’ is ‘by the activity of Satan.’ So, it’s not Satan. In your estimation, who is this lawless man?”
  • Politics, Patriotism, and the Pulpit. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper addresses the question “Even when the heat is turned up in election times, and pastors feel social pressure to endorse specific candidates, you notoriously refrain from participating. As you have watched this impulse in American Christian life for many decades, this impulse among Christian leaders to periodically endorse candidates and to get involved in politics, what observations have you drawn from your decades of refraining?”
  • Does God Send ‘Strong Delusions” into the World? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions “Can you explain God’s providential work in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, and his sending of ‘a strong delusion’ on those who do not love or obey the truth? I stumble over this text. Can a professing, nominal Christian who doesn’t think they’re saved ask God for them to be able to love the truth, when they’ve previously not embraced it in faith? Or would such a one be given to ‘strong delusions’ like we read about in 2 Thessalonians 2:11? In fact, what does that phrase even mean?”

  • The joy of heaven will be that much sweeter to us not in spite of the fact that we suffered, but because of the fact that we suffered. Scott Sauls
  • It’s true, Jesus was a friend of sinners, and because he was a true friend, he called those friends to repent and believe. Burk Parsons
  • If we identify as Christian but experience little criticism or opposition for our faith, a serious gut check is in order. Scott Sauls
  • Satan is a lion (1 Pet. 5:8). Jesus is a lion (Rev. 5:5). One is on a leash. The other is on the throne. Matt Smethurst
  • One of the greatest characteristics I most admire in a man is empathetic kindness, particularly kindness that is authentically shown to others who cannot do anything for him in return. Burk Parsons
  • Prayer is how the loves of our heart are re-ordered so we love God first and everything else second. Tim Keller
  • A man who says “I’m not going to die on that hill” but never fights on any hill is not a man you can trust to fight for anything that really matters. Burk Parsons
  • Christian talk, if not accompanied by a Christ-like walk, will get us nowhere. Scott Sauls
  • A crowd of people in a building isn’t necessarily a community. Real community exists where we don’t need to wear masks, where true friends bear our burdens, and where we can confess our biggest sins and our church family still loves us. Burk Parsons

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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