Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

THIS & THAT: A Gathering of Favorite Articles and Quotes

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  • TGC Announces the Carson Center for Theological Renewal. Collin Hansen writes “This new initiative fosters spiritual renewal around the world by providing excellent theological resources for the whole church—for anyone called to teach and anyone who wants to study the Bible.”

  • What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism? Kevin DeYoung writes “In short, the Bible teaches that God made us male or female, and no matter our own feelings or confusion, we should act in accordance with the biological reality of God’s good design. Transgenderism falls short of the glory of God and is not the way to walk in obedience to Christ.”
  • What is Casual Dechurching, and Is There Hope? On this episode of the As in Heaven podcast, Jim Davis and Michael Graham welcome Patrick Miller to discuss the meaning of casual dechurching. They provide insights into why roughly three-quarters of those who have dechurched fit this category. You’ll learn how we can better engage this group of people and why there’s tremendous hope that many of them will return to church.
  • The Lies I Used to Believe: Transgenderism Is Normal. In this video, Rosaria Butterfield shares how the gospel changed the way she thought about gender.
  • What If I Feel Abandoned by God? In this video, Sinclair Ferguson gives practical, biblical, and pastoral advice and encouragement for those who feel like God has deserted them.

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  • Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • How Can I Become a Humbler Calvinist? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a question that reads in part “Sometimes as I begin to overflow with thankfulness to God for choosing me and saving me by his sovereign grace, I sense some arrogance in me in thinking that I am ‘special’ to God because his ‘special grace’ has been extended to me, and not to others. I know that my arrogance is wrong. I did nothing to save myself, and I don’t deserve to be saved at all. My saving faith in Christ is a total gift of God, as Ephesians 2:8–9 So, I have no grounds for boasting. I have seen God do some work on my heart in this area recently. So, I am hopeful that he will bring the good work that he started in me to completion (Philippians 1:6). But in the meantime, in addition to swimming in God’s word daily, are there any helpful pointers you might have for me in how I can become a humbler Calvinist?”
  • What is One Book of the Bible You Often Return to, and Why? From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Steven Lawson reflects on a book in Scripture that captivates his mind and delights his heart.
  • Evidence for the Cross and Resurrection. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “In this age, it remains so easy for non-believers to refute the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. If God controls everything, why is the existence of Jesus, and his crucifixion, not made more undeniable? People can so easily say that the events of the Bible are not real. Why did God not orchestrate it so that there were more witnesses, more archaeological evidence, more handwritten accounts? Why did he seem to leave so much room for doubt?”
  • Why Should Christians Study the Minor Prophets? What can we learn from the last twelve books of the Old Testament? From the 2023 National Conference, Derek Thomas explains the importance of the Minor Prophets for our understanding of redemptive history.
  • If Sin’s Penalty is Eternal, Why Isn’t Jesus Still Suffering? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions Why did Jesus not spend eternity in hell, if this was the awesome and holy price to be paid for sin? Does the Bible tell us why?”, and also “Can you explain why Jesus’s payment for our sins was not eternal, as it is for sinners?”
  • Does God Love Us Simply For His Glory? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the questions Are we, as creatures, simply a means to God’s own self-glorification? Do we exist for a purpose beyond God’s own self-glory? And does God love us beyond his love for himself, or is the first fully subsumed by the second? Are we, as image-bearers, simply mirror-holders for him to see himself? Do we count? Does God love or delight in his creatures for what they are in themselves? Speaking of unbelievers, does God delight in materially blessing creatures that do not or will not believe in him? But speaking of believers, does God love to love us simply because it blesses us? Is such a category even operable?”
  • What Old Testament Promises are for Me? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How do I know which Old Testament verses are for me, as a Christian today? Sometimes I select a verse that is meaningful to me from my Bible reading in the morning. But then later in the day, as I further reflect on it, it feels like I’ve lifted the verse out of context and misapplied it to myself. How do I know which Old Testament promises are for me?”
  • Is Joy a Choice or a Feeling? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question Can you tell me if joy in God is a choice that we make? Or is our joy in God a feeling that comes to us after we do a certain something else first that will lead to joy?”

  • The biggest reason for the ineffectiveness of contemporary Christianity is a failure to take seriously the radical difference that Jesus calls for as we follow him as King.  Alistair Begg
  • Christian identity is not based on the ups and downs of your feelings, it’s based on something outside of yourself. Tim Keller
  • We do not go to heaven by climbing a ladder of good works. Nor by pulling ourselves up by our good morality. But by trusting in Jesus Christ who died upon the cross. Steven Lawson
  • There is nothing that takes place that does not take place before God. R.C. Sproul
  • To practice Sabbath is a disciplined and faithful way to remember that you are not the one who keeps the world running, who provides for your family, not even the one who keeps your work projects moving forward. Tim Keller
  • We worry about tomorrow because our focus is on tomorrow and not on God who is sovereign over tomorrow. Burk Parsons
  • Through the Spirit the Father gives you to Jesus and Jesus to you. Sinclair Ferguson  
  • If you see yourself as a “little sinner”, you will inevitably see Jesus as a “little Savior”. Martin Luther
  • The sinner can no more raise himself from the deadness of sin than Lazarus, who had been dead four days, until Jesus came. George Whitefield

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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