Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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

SOCIAL JUSTICE:

  • The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. John MacArthur and Doug Wilson are among the signers of this new statement on social justice and the Gospel.
  • The Injustice of Social Justice. John MacArthur writes “The message of social justice diverts attention from Christ and the cross. It turns our hearts and minds from things above to things on this earth. It obscures the promise of forgiveness for hopeless sinners by telling people they are hapless victims of other people’s misdeeds.”
  • The Gospel and Social Justice, Part 1. Russell Moore writes “I have had many people ask me recently about the issue of social justice. As Christians, we are called to live as a gospel people, and in light of recent cultural conversations on this topic some have wondered about the connection between the gospel and justice. In this episode of Signposts, I discuss this issue and consider the Bible’s instruction for Christians seeking to live faithfully in the world and in obedience to the gospel.” Here is Part 2.
  • Albert Mohler Answers Questions about Social Justice. Denny Burk writes “Albert Mohler had an open Q&A session with students as Southern Seminary and Boyce College today in which he answered a question about social justice. Later in the day, Dr. Mohler answered more questions along these lines on his podcast “Ask Anything Live.”
  • Is Social Justice a Gospel Issue? Kevin DeYoung writes “Is social justice a gospel issue? That depends on what we mean by “social justice” and what we mean by “gospel issue.”

EVANGELISM:

  • Core Christianity. Here is the first episode of the “Core Christianity” podcast from Michael Horton. The topic is “How Should I Share My Faith With My Atheist Friends?”
  • How to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors. Rosaria Butterfield writes “The way to evangelize your LGBT neighbors is the same way the Smiths evangelized me: by reminding them that only the love of Christ is seamless. Not so for our spouses or partners. Only Christ loves us best. He took on all our sin, died in our place bearing God’s wrath, and rose victorious from the dead.”

COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

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

  • Wrestling the Giant: Why I Deleted Instagram. Andrew Peterson writes “I deleted Instagram from my phone earlier this summer. A few months before that I did the same with the Facebook app.”
  • God Wants You to Be Happy. In this short video, Francis Chan speaks on the necessity of joy in the Christian life.
  • Joy Through Sacrifice. “This week at VOUS Church we had the special honor of hearing from the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, Lecrae. He dove deep into the idea that joy and pain go hand-in-hand by giving a glimpse into his own story of hardship.”  
  • I Have Chronic Fatigue – How Do I Not Waste My Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How can I be a faithful servant of the Lord on the days when I can do nothing?”
  • How Should Christians View Sunday? Sinclair Ferguson writes “Hebrews teaches us that eternal glory is a Sabbath rest. Every day, all day, will be “Father’s Day!” Thus if here and now we learn the pleasures of a God-given weekly rhythm, it will no longer seem strange to us that the eternal glory can be described as a prolonged Sabbath!” Continue reading


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

  • Should Christian Parents Ever Give Kids a Smartphone? In this discussion, Russell Moore, Scott Sauls and Trevin Wax talk about how they’ve made their own parenting decisions about technology.
  • What Do You Feed Your Eyes? Marshall Segal writes “As you walk through the wonderland of God’s creation, watch your eyes carefully. These thrills are whispers of Wonder, mere shadows of Light. They’re meant to make us more in awe of Christ, and to prepare us to spend eternity looking to him.”
  • What’s the Point of My Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses the questions “What is the overarching concept for my life, my reason for existence, and relationship with God?” 
  • Can Your Soul Really Survive Social Media? Russell Moore writes “I’m not arguing that we all should delete our social media accounts. I am wondering, though, if you should spend some time asking whether your social media account is leading you places you can’t handle. Are you given over more to anger or anxiety or envy or pack thinking? Then maybe it’s time to step back, or even to leave for a while.”

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

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • How to Conquer Temptation. Watch this three-minute video clip from a message that John Piper recently preached at a men’s conference in London.
  • John Piper on Your Greatest Reason Not to Worry. Randy Alcorn writers “In this three-minute video, John Piper talks about why the phrase “Our Father in Heaven” in Scripture contains our greatest reason not to worry”.
  • What to Do When Christians Let You Down. Have you ever felt disappointed by someone you look up to in the faith? Whether it’s something as big as a pastor falling into sexual sin or as small as having your feelings hurt by a friend you trust, Christianswill let you down. Jesus knew that kind of disappointment when his disciples failed him in his hour of need. “The story of the gospel is a story of disciples who fail a Savior who never fails,” Nancy Guthrie says. “When someone disappoints you, let it be an invitation to re-examine where your confidence lies.”
  • How To Discourage a Grieving Friend.  Vaneetha Rendall Risner writes “From my experience, the most comforting thing we can do in the moment is to sit with them and mainly listen”.
  • Discerning Entertainment. Burk Parsons writes “Entertainment isn’t evil in itself, and we can enjoy it as we remember that in whatever we do, our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever as we live coram Deo, before the face of our omniscient and gracious God.”
  • How (Not) to Discover Your Spiritual Gifts. Thomas Schreiner writes “If you get involved in the lives of others in your church and love as Jesus commanded, then you will discover your gift.”
  • The Loss of Memory Loss. Scotty Smith prays “As someone who found you to be “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” in a story of dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to pray for others now in this hard story. Grant spouses and children, family and friends, the strength of your Spirit and courage to love well.”
  • Enjoying God Is a Command. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Enjoying God is a command, not an optional extra: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” ( 4:4). But how? We cannot “rejoice to order,” can we?”
  • Radically Ordinary Hospitality. In Romans 12:13 Paul instructs Christians to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” So, what does it mean to show hospitality, and why is this particular way of both expressing our faith and interacting with our neighbors so overlooked in our day?  On this edition of White Horse Inn Michael Horton talks to Rosaria Butterfield about these issues and more as we engage with her about her book, The Gospel Comes With a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in a Post-Christian World.

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

VIDEOS and PODCASTS:

  • Should I ‘Let Go and Let God’? Watch this brief clip from an “Ask R.C.” event in 2014, R.C. Sproul debunks the idea that Christians are sanctified by ‘letting go and letting God.’
  • The Great Commission Ought to be Ordinary. In this short video clip from his teaching series The Great Commission, Burk Parsons explains that what Christ calls Christians to do in the Great Commission ought to be ordinary.
  • Open Book Podcast. Open Bookis a new podcast about the power of books and the people they’ve shaped. Listen to season one, in which host Stephen Nichols discusses with R.C. Sproul books that influenced him.
  • What 40-Year-Old David Platt Would Say to 20-Year-Old Self. This episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast features a conversation with David Platt, who will turn 40 years old soon.
  • William Cowper. In this episode of the podcast “Five Minutes in Church History”, Stephen Nichols looks at the hymn writer William Cowper, who you may be familiar with from the lives of John Newton and William Wilberforce.

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

  • Starling Murmurations. On a winter evening in England a flock of 200,000 European starlings congregate to soar in breathtaking formations before roosting for the night. These incredible displays of aerial precision are truly a wonder of creation.
  • Parenting and the Cultural Pressure to Conform. Albert Mohler writes “God is up to this. I’m not saying we’re up to this, but God is up to this.”
  • Toward a Theology of Apology. Kevin DeYoung writes “We need more work in the years ahead—exegetical, historical, and doctrinal—on our theology of apology.”
  • Finding God at the End of Ourselves. Randy Alcorn writes “In our spiritual lives, as in our professional lives, and in sports and hobbies, we improve and excel by handling failure and learning from it. Only in cultivating discipline, endurance, and patience do we find satisfaction and reward. And those qualities are most developed through some form of suffering.”
  • We Are Not Meant to Be Awesome. Scott Sauls writes “God has not called you to be awesome. Rather, he has called you to be humble, faithful, forgiven, and free. We can all leave the awesome to Jesus. When we do, we will also become the best version of ourselves. But without the pressure.”
  • Psalms for Men Who are Struggling. Scott Slayton writes “If you are a man who struggles in silence, turn to the Psalms. In them, you find strong men revealing their weaknesses and showing you where you can turn to for help. There are three Psalms in particular that give you grace for the difficult situations you face.”

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

  • Twelve Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age. Tony Reinke writes “The greatest need of our teens today is not new restrictions and new dumb phones and contracts and limits. Their greatest need is a community of faith where they can thrive in Christ, serve, and be served.”
  • God Made You a Hedonist. David Mathis writes “Don’t try to escape it: God intentionally and lovingly hardwired you for joy. The powerful allure of pleasure, the search for satisfaction, your endless ache to be happy, the ceaseless factory of desires inside of you, is indeed leading you somewhere: to God himself.”
  • Only Messy People Allowed: Toward a Culture of Grace. Sam Allberry writes “Grace, then, becomes not just a formal doctrine but a felt reality. No one is too low, too far gone, too needy—too anything—to worry about not fitting in around here. Our testimony is not “I was a mess, then Jesus showed up, and now I’ve got everything together,” but “I was a mess—and I still am—but I’m a mess who belongs to Jesus, a mess he is committed to sorting out. He came to me, has stuck with me, and continues to be my all in all.”
  • The Best Weapon is an Open Door. Rosaria Butterfield writes “How tempting it is to withdraw. How easy it is to let fear rule our hearts as we shelter ourselves and our children from evil. How afraid we are to speak when our words, in spite of good intentions and biblical integrity, are declared hate speech. How ought we to live? Your best weapon is an open door.”
  • Self-Control and the Battle for Our Minds. Randy Alcorn writes “This is what we are to do with our minds—take charge of them, get them in battle condition so we won’t trip. Going into battle takes preparation, determination and perspective.”

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