Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • What Comfort Does the Doctrine of Providence Bring to Christians During Difficult Times? In perfect wisdom and might, the Lord moves all creatures and events to accomplish His sovereign purpose. From Ligonier’s event Made in the Image of God, John MacArthur expresses the comfort of God’s providence when we face trials of many kinds.
  • Are You Hopeful for Another Spiritual Awakening in Our Day? Can we hope to see another great awakening to the gospel in our lifetime? From one of Ligonier’s live events, R.C. Sproul and Derek Thomas provide global and historical perspectives on the Lord’s work in causing resurgences of the Christian faith.
  • How Do I Find Hope in Suffering? In this episode of the Gospel Coalition biblical counseling series, Paul Tripp answers the question, “How do I find hope in suffering?”
  • What is a Biblical Church? What constitutes a biblical church? From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Derek Thomas sets forth several classic marks of a true church that are derived from principles in God’s Word.
  • Is Social Media All Negative? In this video, Tim Challies provides counsel on how a Christian can use social media for God’s glory.
  • Is God Disappointed in Our Mistakes or Disobedience? Sin is no mere mistake. It’s a willful act of disobedience against the holy, righteous God. In this Q&A video from Ligonier’s 2016 National Conference, R.C. Sproul and Michael Reeves warn of the seriousness of sin.

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • How Do I Know If I’m Doing Enough for God? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to a listener who writes, Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because of what seems like a mounting list of things I must do to become like Jesus. I feel stressed out because I want to please God, but it feels like there are so many things to do: kill sin, grow in fruits of the Spirit, be the best worker I can be, live and pour myself out to my community (church), pursue people to disciple (mission), live a healthy lifestyle, Sabbath properly, and also endure suffering.”
  • How Can Christians Express the Truth of Human Dignity during a Global Crisis? In a world that often rejects the value of human life, COVID-19 gives Christians the opportunity to express the dignity of all of God’s image-bearers. From Ligonier’s livestream event Made in the Image of God, John MacArthur points out how believers can respond to our confused culture.
  • Does God Elect His People to Salvation Based on Any Condition They Have Met? Nothing in us can possibly merit God’s election. Our salvation belongs entirely to His good pleasure and the riches of His grace. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, Stephen Nichols suggests that the wonder of election should drive Christians to worshipful gratitude.
  • How Is Christianity Categorically Different from Every Other Religion? In this short video, Kevin DeYoung links Christianity’s uniqueness to its claims about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • How Can I Obtain Assurance of Salvation? It is not the perfection of a Christian’s life, but the direction of his life that demonstrates his conversion. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, John MacArthur explains how the evidence of salvation manifests itself in a believer’s life.

  • Dealing with Criticism in a “Cancel Culture” Era. Scott Sauls writes “Our starting point in this endeavor, which is also our ending point is to remember that Christ himself was “canceled” for our sake. This was voluntary on his part, as a way to cover and protect us from the very true things about us that give him every reason to cancel us. How marvelous, and how wonderful, that he does not so much as consider doing that. Thanks be to God for his unfathomable grace.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • What is Your View of Proverbs 22:6? Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Does that mean every Christian parent should expect to have Christian children? From one of the live Ask Ligonier events, Robert Godfrey helps us interpret this verse.
  • When Should I Leave a Church? On this episode of Ask Ligonier, Burk Parsons addresses when it is appropriate to leave a church.
  • Why Is It Impossible for Christians to Lose Their Salvation? If we could lose our salvation, we would. From one of the Ask Ligonier events, John MacArthur invites Christians to find rest in the Savior who will never let them go.
  • Should Christians Support Removal of Confederate Memorials? Joe Carter addresses a topic that has been in the news recently.
  • What Does the LGBT-Discrimination Decision Mean for Religious Employers? Jon Melcon writes “As the Supreme Court recognized in Bostock, there can be no doubt the court’s decision will have serious and far-ranging implications for religious employers holding traditional, biblical views about human sexuality. And while a variety of protections are in place to safeguard the religious liberty of such employers, the precise contours of these protections remain undefined.” Read Joe Carter’s article on the Supreme Court decision here.

  • Black Lives Matter: Affirm the Sentence, Not the Movement. Albert Mohler writes “An honest assessment of the movement demands that we take them at their word. When we read their comments and official documents, when we survey the policies they propose and the worldview that guides their moral claims, it is clear that the Movement for Black Lives promotes a revolutionary and destructive agenda that is completely antithetical to a biblical worldview.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

Ravi Zacharias

  • Ravi Zacharias on The Ben Shapiro Show. Ravi Zacharias went home to be with the Lord on May 19. Last July, he joined Ben Shapiro for this conversation.
  • Ravi Zacharias (1946–2020) and His Legacy. Alister McGrath writes “Ravi Zacharias will be remembered for his landmark contributions to Christian apologetics, especially his concern to connect the gospel with the life of the mind.”
  • Ravi Zacharias on The Eric Metaxas Show. Enjoy this June, 2019 episode of The Eric Metaxas Show featuring an interview with Ravi Zacharias.
  • 3 Lessons I Learned from Working with Ravi Zacharias. Sam Allberry, who worked as an itinerant speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, shares three things he learned from working with Ravi.
  • Ravi Zacharias at Passion 2020. Enjoy this message from Ravi Zacharias, delivered at Passion 2020 in January, as he helps us to see how each of us has a special purpose in this life that has been designed by God.
  • Kayleigh McEnany’s Emotional Tribute to Ravi Zacharias. Watch White House Press Secretary speak about what Ravi Zacharias meant to her.
  • Ravi Zacharias (1946–2020). Ligonier Ministries writes “We are grateful for the friendship that R.C. Sproul and Ravi Zacharias shared and for the many times Ravi taught at Ligonier conferences. His compelling and winsome defense of the faith will continue to serve people around the world for years to come.”
  • Memorial Service. You can watch the May 29 memorial service for Ravi Zacharias here. Speakers included Vice President Mike Pence, Lecrae and Tim Tebow.

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • More Precious Than Praise and Possessions. Praise and possessions — those are two dominant idols of our age. The desire for self-glory and the desire for material wealth. So, what is the Christian’s relationship to the praise of the world and to the possessions of the world? John Piper explained in a helpful sermon on Mark 8: 31-38 at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference in Indianapolis. Listen to the sermon on this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast.
  • Broken to Comfort the Broken: How Quadriplegia Prepared Me to Carry Others. Joni Eareckson Tada writes “Whether you’ve struggled through a broken ankle, home, or neck, you may not sit on the sidelines, resting on the comfort God once imparted when you were at your lowest. You have received God’s consolations, and as such, more is expected of you. Your next go-round with affliction will be God’s tap on your shoulder to find those who are hurting more than you, so that you can enable them to deal with their Help make them brave.”
  • Before Your Suffering Comes: Five Rocks to Put Beneath Your Feet. In this lengthy article, John Piper writes “My aim has been to encourage you in your calling to help people suffer with faith in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God. My main point has been that there are at least five foundation stones that we can put under the feet of our people before the wave of suffering breaks over their heads.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Where is God in a Coronavirus World? Watch RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) President Michael Ramsden and Professor John Lennox discuss Lennox’s new book, Where is God in a Coronavirus World? The event includes a Q&A.
  • Is God Sovereign Over Viruses? Gene Veith writes “The fallen world is a hard place to live. And yet, God’s sovereignty mitigates that world. Though the bad things that happen are in accord with His sovereign will, He continues to love His creation. The beauties, satisfactions, and pleasures of life are the deeper signs of God’s sovereignty.”
  • Where Can We Turn in Fearful Times? Leonardo De Chirico writes “In order to deal with fear without succumbing to it, we need to fear God and God alone.”
  • How Should Christians Respond to Times of Suffering? When crisis strikes, people often say, “I’ll never be the same after this.” The real danger would be that we’re left exactly the same after the dust has settled. From the Ligonier livestream event Made in the Image of God, Sinclair Ferguson examines how Christians should respond to the suffering of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Do We Really Want to Go Back to Normal? Trevin Wax writes “The question we should ask, then, is not when will we get back to normal but should we want to go back to normal? And the follow-up question: What should the new normal be?”  

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Coronavirus and Christ. Here are some resources on the Coronavirus from John Piper and Desiring God.
  • 4 Principles to Remember When Talking to Your Children about Coronavirus. Brad Hambrick offers these helpful thoughts on how to talk to your children about the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Coronavirus is a Result of the Fall. Kevin DeYoung writes “The coronavirus is a natural evil, under God’s providential control to be sure, but whose existence is the result of original sin. The root of all human pain and suffering in the world is the rebellion of our first parents—a rebellion that Christ conquered on the cross and will one day wipe away, along with all its sad and sinister effects.”
  • God Doesn’t Want Us to Sacrifice the Old. Russell Moore writes “This pandemic will change us, change our economy, our culture, our priorities, our personal lives. That we cannot avoid. But let’s remember: One day we will tell our grandchildren how we lived, how we loved, during the Great Pandemic. Let’s respect human life in such a way that we will not be ashamed to tell them the truth.”
  • Peace in a Pandemic. Listen to this sermon from David Platt from Proverbs 12:25 and Matthew 6:25-34.

Things to Do While Forced to Stay at Home

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles, Cartoon, & Quotes

  • Trip Lee on Faith and Healing. On this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Trip Lee encourages Christians to be faithful in their efforts at evangelism and gospel proclamation, in a message that was delivered at the 2019 Gospel Coalition National Conference.
  • Kick the Bucket List. J.D. Greear writes “What legacy are you leaving? For what kingdom are you leveraging your resources? Do you live as if you believe eternity is real and imminent? Are you teaching your kids to do the same?”
  • Are We Living Out Romans 1: Blessing and Curse in a Post-Obergefell World. Rosaria Butterfield writes “In a post-Obergefell world, any debate over homosexuality is never a debate simply over homosexuality. The issue is the infallibility, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture.”
  • Clinging to God in Grief. In this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Danielle Anderson, Nancy Guthrie, and Vaneetha Risner share their experiences with grief, and the grace they’ve discovered along the way.

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Book ReviewsPraying the Bible by Donald Whitney. Crossway. 114 pages. 2015
****

In this short book, the author, a respected seminary professor, writes that Christians often don’t pray simply because they do not feel like it. And he states that the reason they don’t feel like praying is that when they do pray, they tend to say the same old things about the same old things. He tells us that the problem is not us, but our method of prayer. The method of most Christians in prayer is to say the same old things about the same old things. Prayers without variety eventually become words without meaning. He writes that it’s normal to pray about the same old things because our lives tend to consist of the same old things. His solution to this problem is that when we pray, we should pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a Psalm. He states that God gave the Psalms to us so that we would give the Psalms back to God, and that no other book of the Bible was inspired for that expressed purpose.
He suggests that we pick a Psalm (he provides us a method for determining which psalm to choose each day when he discusses “Psalms of the Day”), and simply go through the passage line by line, talking to God about whatever comes to mind as we read the text. By following this method, we will never run out of anything to say, and, best of all, we will never again say the same old things about the same old things. What we will be doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through our heart and mind back to God. The author tells us that by this means God’s words become the wings of our prayers. When we pray through a passage of Scripture, we won’t be praying empty, repetitive phrases. If we pray in this way, in the long run our prayers will be far more biblical than if we just make up our own prayers. Without the Scripture to shape our prayers, we are far more likely to pray in unbiblical ways than if we pray the thoughts that occur to us as we read the Scripture.

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BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and reviews of:

  • For a Continuing Church: The Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America by Sean Michael Lucas
  • The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg

BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
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