Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Gathering of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • Should We Exercise “Pronoun Hospitality”? Tim Challies writes “It’s a question each of us will have to face if we haven’t already—should I use another person’s preferred pronouns?”
  • Can I Still Have Joy in Seasons of Doubt? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “My question for you is about how much joy I can hope to experience in the Christian life as someone who struggles seasonally with doubt. Sometimes I struggle with doubts about whether God exists or whether God is good, based on all the evil that I see on the news. Or I doubt whether God has a plan and purpose for my life. These doubts come and go. They’re seasonal. None of them extinguishes the smoldering flax that is my faith. The doubts do not stay long, and they do not overwhelm me. So, my question for you is this: Can I ever hope to have deepening joy in God in seasons when I also struggle with doubts like these? Or is joy in God simply impossible when doubts are present?”

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  • More interesting article links
  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Is There a Difference Between Teaching and Preaching? From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Burk Parsons identifies an important distinction between the two.
  • How Are We Being Saved Right Now? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question I recently read 1 Corinthians 1:18with new eyes. I noticed that the word ‘saved’ in my KJV is translated as ‘being saved’ in many other versions. I have heard this explained by teachers with the following rationale for ‘being saved.’ (1) We are eternally saved from judgment of our sins, as Jesus paid it all on the cross — past tense. (2) We are presently being saved from behaving sinfully by walking in the Spirit. And (3) we will be saved from a world filled with sin after our life on earth is over, and we are given our glorified bodies. The church mainly addresses the fact that we have been saved — past tense (1). But can you explain to me (2), and 1 Corinthians 1:18, that we are being saved right now?”
  • What is a Covenant? The entirety of the Bible is structured by the covenants that God makes. But what is a covenant? From one of Ligonier’s live Ask Ligonier events, Sinclair Ferguson explains these committed promises at the heart of our salvation.
  • What Does it Mean to be Spiritual? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question Pastor John, my mother and I have differing views on biblical spirituality. So much so that she has said that my husband and I are not spiritual. I believe this is because she embraces spirituality as spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, interpreting dreams, and claiming healing. My husband and I have worked in the mission field, are heavily involved in church, love the Lord, and seek after him in all things. I don’t know what to say to this. Is it possible that we — my husband and I — are not spiritual? I feel that this is not the case as I see fruit of the Spirit in our lives. How would you respond to such a statement towards yourself? And more broadly, what does authentic Christian spirituality look like?”
  • How Did the First Great Awakening Compare to the Second Great Awakening? In what ways did the First Great Awakening of the 18th century differ from the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Robert Godfrey, Kevin DeYoung, and Sinclair Ferguson contrast these two movements of revival.
  • How Does God’s Joy Become My Joy? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question My question for you is about the nature of who God is and how he relates to our joy. Can you explain to me, from the Bible, the person and work of the Holy Spirit as the love and joy shared between the Father and the Son? I don’t quite understand this without making his person seem more like a force or a cosmic energy. And then how does the person of the Spirit enable us to experience God’s joy within us? It seems like those two realities connect, the person of the Spirit and the joy in us. But it doesn’t connect for me. Not yet. Can you help me understand these two dynamics from the Bible?”
  • I Have Lost My Joy in Salvation After Becoming Reformed. What am I Missing? Does Reformed theology rob us of joy by emphasizing God’s sovereign work of salvation? From one of Ligonier’s live events, Michael Reeves responds to this misunderstanding with the true delight of the gospel.

  • Meet the Resurrected You. Randy Alcorn writes “Resurrection—Christ’s and ours—is a cornerstone of the Christian faith. Yet how many of us ponder what our resurrected selves will be like? You might think Scripture doesn’t say much. In fact, it tells us a lot, and gives us solid reasons to deduce much more.”
  • Fifty Years of Theological Battles. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper walks through the theological battles he has fought over the decades.
  • Life, Books and Everything with Tim Keller. In this episode of the Life, Books and Everything podcast from two years ago, Kevin DeYoung, Collin Hansen and Justin Taylor visit with Tim Keller about the Reformed movement, The Gospel Coalition, and what comes next in Evangelicalism.

  • We cannot produce by ourselves what God has planned to produce in us through the impact of the preaching of his word.  Sinclair Ferguson
  • We should habitually seek out others who know more than we do about a subject and learn from them. We should have an entire life marked by being teachable rather than opinionated. Tim Keller
  • The gospel isn’t a summons to work harder to reach God, it’s the story of how God sovereignly worked all things together to reach you. Burk Parsons
  • The basic purpose of prayer is not to bend God’s will to mine, but to mold my will into his. Tim Keller
  • No man was ever sorry that he served the Lord. No man ever said at the end of his days, “I have read my Bible too much, I have thought of God too much, I have prayed too much, I have been too concerned about my soul.” Oh, no! C. Ryle
  • If your heart doesn’t hurt for people who don’t know Christ, you likely don’t know Christ yourself. Burk Parsons
  • We do not change the Scripture. The Scripture changes us. Steven Lawson
  • Let us be more bothered by our sin than our suffering. Burk Parsons
  • Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. John Piper

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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