Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • As We Exalt God, We Edify One Another. Matt Merker writes “Exaltation is the vertical dimension of our corporate response to God’s initiating grace. Edification is the horizontal dimension. Both take place at the same time. As we exalt God, we edify one another.”
  • Christians Volunteering Pronouns? Andrew Walker writes “In the transgender debate, Christians must be vigilant to avoid using language that serves falsehood. We should not allow our language to be drafted into a cause that is fundamentally false on the one hand, and positively harmful on the other.”
  • What Should We Remember in Trials? In this short video, Derek Thomas provides encouragement for Christians who are enduring suffering.
  • Songs of Suffering: A Short Film Featuring Joni Eareckson Tada. No one has spoken more personally and insightfully into the intersection of suffering and faith than Joni Eareckson Tada. In this 13-minute documentary, hear more from Joni herself about her story, how she reacted when she learned 55 years ago that she would never walk again, and what she does to find the heartbeat of Christ within her daily struggle with chronic pain and quadriplegia.
  • 10 Free Tools for Prayer. Kevin Halloran writes “Here are ten of the best free prayer tools from the gracious hand of God. They are all simple but profoundly helpful and effective at seeking God’s face.”

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  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Does God Ever Tempt Us to Sin? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “In episode 694, you said that the word for ‘temptation’ and the word for ‘test’ are the same word in the Greek,So how are we to understand the differences in meaning of the two words in passages where it talks about God testing us (James 1:3–41 Peter 1:7), and then in James 1:13, where it says, ‘God does not tempt anyone’? How do we put those together?”
  • Is the Gift of Prophecy Still Alive or Active Today? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Steven Lawson, Burk Parsons, and Robert Godfrey discuss the nature of this gift.
  • What Makes Christian Love Different? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question What would you say is the difference between the kind of love that is produced in the Christian’s heart for others through the new birth (1 John 4:71 Peter 1:22–23), compared to the charitable and often self-sacrificial love that we often see demonstrated in the world among non-Christians?”
  • Ask Ligonier with Stephen Nichols. Recently, Stephen Nichols was a special guest on a live Ask Ligonier event to answer biblical and theological questions.
  • Does God Ever Approve of Dishonesty? What about the Hebrew midwives in the book of Exodus or Rahab in the book of Joshua? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Harry Reeder, Stephen Nichols, and Burk Parsons address these ethical challenges.
  • How Are We Born Again? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions “Peter wrote that believers are born again ‘not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God’ (1 Peter 1:23). In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, ‘Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’ (John 3:5). Can you help me understand the truth that these verses are totally compatible? Romans 10:17and James 1:21 also mention the saving power of the word heard and implanted, but surely not in a way that minimizes the work of the Holy Spirit. The question then follows: How do the Holy Spirit and the word of God collaborate in the new birth?”
  • Was Melchizedek a Preincarnate Appearance of Jesus Christ? In the Bible, we encounter a mysterious king and priest named Melchizedek. Was this an appearance of Jesus prior to His incarnation? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Sinclair Ferguson and Michael Kruger discuss this figure.
  • What Does It Mean to Be “Overly Righteous?On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Can you explain two texts to me? The first is this: ‘Be not overly righteous,’ which we read in Ecclesiastes 7:16. And square that with Peter’s lofty command: ‘As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”’ (1 Peter 1:15–16). What would it mean to be ‘overly righteous’? Is the ESV translation accurate here?”
  • Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer and Die Publicly? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a question that reads in part Did Jesus have to suffer in public for God to give him those glories? Couldn’t Jesus have lived a perfect, law-abiding, substitutionary life for us in total isolation or at least in obscurity? Could he have died serenely, then risen, and defeated death and sin, but not by suffering in public?”
  • What are the Ordinary Means of Grace, and Why Do We Call Them “Means of Grace”? What are the ordinary means of grace? From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Derek Thomas identifies the simple ways that God has appointed to nourish the faith of His people.

  • What is Unconditional Election? Nicholas Batzig writes “The doctrine of unconditional election is one of the most precious doctrines concerning God’s salvation. It is the foundation of our understanding of grace, the guarantee of the application of redemption, and the reason to praise God for the glory of His grace.”
  • 4 Things Creation Teaches Us About God. Daniel Darling writes “Genesis—and the creation account specifically—helps us to understand how God is revealing himself to us throughout the rest of our Bibles.”
  • What is General Revelation?C. Sproul writes “God’s general revelation is His revelation of Himself principally through nature and also through history, through the ministry of His providence to His people, and through His works of creation.”
  • Why Do We Need to Keep Praying “Forgive Us Our Debts”? Kevin DeYoung writes “So if I sin as a Christian, I should not fear condemnation, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but I should still feel pricked in my conscience. I should not despair, but I should feel guilty when I do things that deserve to be punished. I have disrupted the Father-son relationship I enjoy with God.”
  • Why It Matters That Jesus Was, and Still Is Human. Dane Ortlund writes “One of the doctrines in the area of Christology that is difficult for some Christians to fully grasp is the permanent humanity of Christ. The impression often seems to be that the Son of God came down from heaven in incarnate form, spent three decades or so as a human, and then returned to heaven to revert back to his preincarnate state. But this is Christological error, if not outright heresy.”

  • Trauma is perhaps the greatest mission field of the 21st century. Diane Langberg
  • Everything is needful that he sends; nothing can be needful that he withholds. John Newton
  • The church isn’t full of hypocrites. Christians aren’t hypocrites, we’re repentant sinners. And when we act hypocritically, we repent of that as well. Jesus rebuked hypocrites and said they’re headed for hell. Christians know we’re sinners, and hypocrites pretend they’re not. Burk Parsons
  • People in awe never complain that church is boring. R C. Sproul
  • Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, every time you can. John Wesley
  • Grace is not something we earn or deserve. It’s not something we muster up from within. It’s something that must be given to us by God. Burk Parsons
  • At the end of the day, when we put our heads down on the pillow, we know that our ultimate hope, ultimate help, and ultimate encouragement is found only in Jesus Christ. Burk Parsons
  • Jesus may ask of you far more than you planned to give, but He can give to you infinitely more than you dared ask or think. Tim Keller
  • Christ is not valued at all unless He be valued above all. Augustine

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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