Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • A Better, More Beautiful View of Sex. Carl Trueman writes “There are few topics that generate more passionate debate in the church today than the topic of sex. Sexuality plays a crucial role in the identity politics of our time, which only heightens tensions and magnifies the rhetoric between those of different views. With so much at stake, Christians are often hesitant to engage on this topic.”
  • Tim Keller on Suffering, Forgiveness, and the Future of the Church. On this episode of the White Horse Inn, Michael Horton is joined by Tim Keller to discuss how his cancer diagnosis has affected his spiritual practices, why forgiveness is essential in life and society, the church’s resilience amidst increasing secularization, and more.

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  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • How Do I Put Away My Desire for Praise? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a question focusing on a listener’s struggle with needing to feel important by those in their church body. “The Bible teaches that we should seek approval from God, not from man (Galatians 1:10). It also teaches that we should encourage one another in spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and praise those who fear the Lord (Proverbs 31:30). I feel a strong desire within myself to hear words of affirmation from my ministry: to feel loved, valued, regarded, and needed. But these desires don’t feel holy. It feels like a need-to-be-seen rather than humbly giving Jesus the spotlight. How do I begin to put to death my need for recognition and cultivate a spirit of humble servitude? Can we distinguish between need for man’s approval and desiring brotherly encouragement?”
  • Does it Mean I am Not Saved Yet if I Continuously Doubt Whether I am Saved? If we continually doubt our salvation, is it evidence that we were never truly converted? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Derek Thomas and Burk Parsons consider questions of doubt, repentance, and assurance.
  • When Does Despondency Become Sin? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, recorded live at the 2022 Sing! Conference, John Piper responds to the question “In a previous episode of this podcast — back in 2018, in APJ 1157— you mentioned at the very end of the episode, in a brief little mention, ‘the sin of despondency.’ I’ve never heard that before. Can you explain what that is? What is despondency? And why is it considered a sin against God?”
  • Getting the Tone Right on Sunday Morning. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, recorded live at the 2022 Sing! Conference in Nashville, John Piper responds to the question “I don’t exactly remember where I heard it, but I remember you saying that Paul’s claim that Christians are ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’ (2 Corinthians 6:10) — that dual claim informed how you framed your welcome and call to worship in the opening moments of the Sunday morning gathering. You believed it was your calling to set the tenor of the corporate gathering in such a way that whether people were coming from a glorious wedding feast last night, or whether they just arrived from the hospital with a dying spouse in the ICU, that this moment of worship together should feel relevant to both groups. Can you expand on how your call to worship did this on Sunday morning?”

  • Discovering the Gospel in Every Book of the Bible. The first episode of Tim Keller’s new Discovering the Gospel in Every Book of the Bible video series is available to view. In this new series, Keller will introduce each book of the Bible and highlight themes that point to the Gospel. Each episode will help you discover the overarching narrative of God’s Word in every book — Christ coming into the world to save us from our sins and reconcile us to God the Father.
  • What is Covenant Theology? How do the covenants found in the Bible shape our theology? From the Ligonier 2022 National Conference, Sinclair Ferguson demonstrates how covenant theology can give Christians a framework for understanding all of Scripture.
  • What is Typology? How Can We Use It Responsibly in Bible Study? What is typology? How can we use this method of interpretation responsibly as we study the Bible? From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson provides principles to help us see how Christ is revealed in all of Scripture.

  • John Piper’s Favorite Things. On this light hearted episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, recorded live at the 2022 Sing! Conference, John Piper answers twelve questions about his favorite things.
  • Bible Reading Plans for 2023. Nathan Bingham shares a number of Bible reading plans you can use for 2023.

  • No matter how much power you acquire, your hope in life and death is still found in the power of God. Paul Tripp
  • His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time and then gives great favors and great privileges and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. Charles Spurgeon
  • If your knowledge of doctrine does not make you a great man of prayer, you had better examine yourself again. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • There is ultimately no such thing as unanswered prayer. If the answer at first is “no” or “not yet,” it is because he gives us what we want in ways better than we asked. Tim Keller
  • God has not called you to be awesome. He has called you to be humble, faithful, and free. Leave the awesome to him. Scott Sauls
  • Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. There is no expiration date on that promise. So never panic. Tim Keller
  • Christians know that an ounce of contentment is more valuable than a ton of gold. Charles Spurgeon
  • If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest. Corrie ten Boom
  • You should not begin to pray for all you want until you realize that in God you have all you need. 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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