Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Leave a comment

Advertisements


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • What Does Washington Have to Do with Jerusalem? In this thirty-six minute video from the Gospel Coalition’s 2017 National Conference, Senator Ben Sasse speaks about humble politics.
  • Halladay Was Everybody’s Hero. Joe Posnanski offers a tribute to future Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Ray Halladay, who died recently in a plane accident.
  • 4 Reasons You Should Visit the Museum of the Bible. Joe Carter writes “The Museum of the Bible (MOTB) is a new 430,000-square-foot museum located near the National Mall and the nations’ Capitol in Washington, D.C. that officially opened to the public yesterday (November 17).”
  • Two Things That Should Be Obvious. Kevin DeYoung writes “First, men should honor women, not harass them; treat them as fellow image bearers, not sexual fantasies; and protect them, not perpetrate disgusting advances against them. Second, character cannot be compartmentalized.”

COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

CHURCH NEWS:

  • Pastor Monday Morning Press Conference. Pastor Trent talks about his performance and statistics from Sunday morning’s service and talks about how he can Improve.
  • The Nashville “Megachurch” That Embraced Gay Marriage Two Years Ago Has Cratered. Denny Burk writes “This is a sad but predictable result of a pastor who leads a church to apostatize from the Christian faith.”
  • Who Are the “Broken Wolves” in the Evangelical Community Today? Randy Alcorn writes “While I don’t feel comfortable naming names, there are quite a few people out there who talk about the personal difficulties they’ve experienced in life, including abuse, often abuse at the hands of church people. They tend to look at certain doctrines of the faith with great suspicion or even abhorrence. Among those is the substitutionary atonement of Christ. They say that if God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus for our sin, then that means that God’s redemptive plan is centered on an act of ‘divine child abuse.’”

  • No Epidural Strong Enough for Pain in Parenting. Nancy Guthrie writes “In one of the Bible’s most significant understatements, God said to the first mom: “In pain you shall bring forth children.” Surely no one who has ever been a parent would argue with it. Of course, it’s not referring merely to the physical pain of labor and delivery. At that point, the pain is just getting started.”
  • Becoming a Titus 2 Woman. Susan Hunt writes “Now, at age seventy-seven, I still wonder—have I become a Titus 2 woman yet? My inclination is to answer by evaluating my performance. Invariably, this leads to despair or arrogance depending on the numbers. Then the Spirit renews my mind as I read God’s Word. He shows me markers to help me think biblically.”
  • Don’t Be That Guy. Tony Reinke writes “In these dozens of ways, Paul paints the contours of the Christian life with darkened shadows of opposites — teaching us what to beby warning us what not to be. Again, the point of the list is not to find our Christian identity in what we’re not. Rather, our identity is rooted in what we are: united to our glorious Savior. Out of his work and power can we be told, “Don’t be that guy.” “Don’t be that gal.””
  • 8 Lies Christians Believe About Success. Emily T. Wierenga writes “I have spent my whole life trying to be successful. I thought it was what we were supposed to do. Worse than that, I thought success was the mark of a blessed Christian.”
  • When You Want to Change Your Husband. In this ten-minute video, Jackie Hill Perry, Jen Wilkin, and Nancy Guthrie discuss what a married woman should do when she wants to change her husband’s behavior.
  • Why Does Gossip Feel So Good? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers “I’m wondering how God defines gossip. What’s the difference between gossip and simply sharing information about another person? And how do I avoid becoming a gossiper?”

Continue reading


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

IN THE NEWS:

Courtesy of World Magazine

Continue reading


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • How Homosexuality Undermines Male Friendships. Denny Burk writes “Anthony Esolen has a prescient essay in which he demonstrates that homosexuality undermines male friendships. He argues that the removal of the taboo and the openness of homosexual relations in the modern age cast a shadow over male friendships in general.”
  • At Least as Dangerous as Porn. Jon Bloom writes “When you think of the kind of trials that test your faith (James 1:2), do you ever think of material prosperity as one of them? Most of us don’t. We tend to think of suffering, adversity, and loss that put us in places of significant need.”
  • Why John Piper Abominates the Prosperity Gospel. In this six-minute video, John Piper offers five reasons why the prosperity gospel does great damage to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
  •  The Stupidity of Sin. Kevin DeYoung writes “Everyone who knows the Bible, knows people, or knows his own heart, knows this to be true: sin makes us stupid.”
  • Risk Your Kids for the Kingdom? John Piper writes “Should a Christian couple take their children into danger as part of their mission to take the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world? Short answer: Yes.”
  • What I Learned in My Season of Depression. Shona Murray writes “When I was a pastor’s wife and a mother of four children, I was T-boned by burnout and depression. As an energetic, motivated, organized, and outgoing person, I could never have anticipated the anxiety, fear, and endless despair that enveloped me. But God, in his love and wisdom, chose this very specific trial for me. Perhaps he has chosen it for you, and you too are bewildered. Let me give you some hope by sharing some of the lessons I learned from this shocking providence.”
  • After Darkness, Light. We’ve linked to this message from Michael Reeves in the past, but it’s so good, I wanted to do so again. This was the opening message at the 2017 Ligonier National Conference, which had a theme of The Next 500 Years.
  • Why the Coming Resurrection Frees You from the Bucket List Mentality. Randy Alcorn writes about the distinction between making a bucket list and having some things you would like to do and experience with your family if God gives you the opportunity.
  • Grace to Accept Changes. Scotty Smith prays “You put change into perspective. Change doesn’t have sovereignty; you do. Nothing in this world is random. Nothing catches you off guard. The scary becomes the sacred, chaos turns into cosmos, and disruption leads to adoration, when we’re wearing the lens of the gospel.”
  • 10 Marks of a Grace-Alone Church. Carl Trueman, who I enjoyed a wonderful course on B.B. Warfield with at Covenant Seminary a few years back, writes “As we look back to the sola gratia cry of the Reformation, it is helpful to ask ourselves: What would a “grace alone” church look like today? What would characterize its life as a church? How might we recognize such a church when we see it? The answer to these questions falls into two parts: doctrinal and practical. But these parts are closely connected.”
  • If Only. Jon Bloom writes “What are your if only’s? We all have them, because if only’s are a form of regret, and regrets are simply unavoidable in our experience — though not all of them are unavoidable. Some are nothing more than delusions.”

LEARNING FROM THE REFORMERS:

Was that Martin and Katie Luther visiting R.C. and Vesta Sproul recently at Reformation Bible College?

  • The Most Dangerous Thing Luther Did. “Luther could not have imagined in 1517 that his most influential act during the German Reformation, the act which would touch most lives and effect the budding Protestant movement the most would not be his Galatians or Romans commentaries, his theological tracts like “The Bondage of the Will,” or even his insistence on justification by grace through faith alone. No, the biggest rock he threw into the ecclesiastical pond, which produced not only the most ripples but real waves, was his production of the Luther Bible.”
  • 5 Lessons from Reformation Women. Rebecca VanDoodewaard writes “Women who lived during the Protestant Reformation can give us a unique perspective on the Christian life. They didn’t teach from pulpits, but they did teach from printing presses, throne rooms, and hospitable homes.”
  • What is the Difference between Catholics and Protestants? In this six-minute video, Greg Wills states that the question of authority has always been the central dividing line between Catholics and Protestants.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Waking Up with Low-Grade Irritability. Scotty Smith prays “I don’t want this to be a bad attitude day, and as tempting as it is to blame and make excuses for my low-grade irritability, I won’t. I’m canceling my plans for a pity party, returning the confetti and noise makers. I relinquish my elder-brother attitude of smugness, entitlement, and judgment.”
  • Should Teens Own Smartphones? Tony Reinke writes “To parents, I’d say: It is worth it to have your kids wait. I’ve seen it and heard it and can attest to it since I got my own smartphone — smartphones change you. They give you overwhelming and shocking access. They zap your attention span. They are massively addictive. You can (and should!) put up safeguards, but a smartphone fundamentally changes your heart and mind. If it’s possible for teens to delay that change, I think it is a wise consideration.”
  • How to Resist the Allure of Gossip. Watch this eight-minute video in which Trillia Newbell, Rosaria Butterfield, and Blair Linne discuss how to avoid gossip.
  • Far Worse Than Being Caught. John Piper writes “One of God’s merciful warnings is to tell us that there is something more dreadful than when he makes us miserable because of our sin. Namely, when he uses sin to make us miserable for our sin.”

  • Willow Creek Chooses Co-Ed Pastors to Succeed Bill Hybels. Kate Shellnutt writes “The historic transition will make Willow Creek one of the largest churches in America with a woman in the lead pastor position, as well as the only major evangelical megachurch with male-female lead pastors who aren’t married.”

Continue reading


Leave a comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • Preservation of the Saints. Does “once saved” mean “always saved”? For some, doubts about salvation can lead to a shaky faith, while others use the doctrine of eternal security as a license for spiritual carelessness. Against such extremes, in this message from a Ligonier National Conference, Alistair Begg examines the Bible’s teaching on the “preservation of the saints”—the belief that once someone has been saved, God enables him or her to persevere in faith. Scripture’s warnings, he reminds us, should be taken seriously, even as its assurances lead us to lives of greater devotion and trust in Christ alone.
  • Matrimony No More. John Piper writes “In sum, marriage ends because its procreating purpose is not needed in the resurrection (Luke 20:35–36). Marriage ends because all its pleasures are preludes and pointers to something so much better that the human heart cannot imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). When the perfect comes, the partial passes away. And marriage ends in order to put the married and the non-married on the same footing for enjoying the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).”
  • Is Genre Important in Bible Reading?We must not let “genre” dictate our understanding of texts. Rather, at every place in the Bible, our question must be, “What is the author trying to communicate here?”  Watch this new four-minute video from John Piper.

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • Self-Control and the Power of Christ. David Mathis writes “Because self-control is a gift, produced in and through us by God’s Spirit, Christians can and should be the people on the planet most hopeful about growing in self-control. We are, after all, brothers of the most self-controlled man in the history of the world.”
  • God Wounds Us Because He Loves Us. Marshall Segal writes “Don’t be afraid to feel the pain in suffering, and to grieve the pain, but let it lead you to God, not away from him. He is wounding you with love, and pleading with you to run to him.”
  • Welcome Everyone, Affirm No One.Trevin Wax writes “Self-affirmation is the gospel of the American culture; we are idolaters when we make it the gospel of the Christian church. The church exists not to affirm ourselves, but to adore the King who loved us and gave himself for us when there was nothing good in us to affirm. The more we affirm ourselves, the less we adore the King for his grace.”
  • Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven. Watch this message from Albert Mohler. We believe that there is only way to Heaven. The good news is that there is a way at all.
  • Acknowledging the Vulnerability of Not Having Control. Scotty Smith prays “Heavenly Father, we’re sothankful that you, quite literally, have the whole world in your hand. That frees us to acknowledge the obvious–we don’t. We don’t have control over a lot of things. But as we come to you this morning with empty hands, we do so, not to grab what isn’t ours to control, but to raise our hands in praise and surrender to you.”
  • Prosperity Theology Tells Us to Live Now as Kings, Not Servants. Randy Alcorn writes that the “prosperity gospel” is a “philosophy teaches that the more money you give away, the wealthier you will become. Following God through giving and other forms of obedience becomes a formula for abundant provision and the celebration of prosperous living. This is, in essence, a Christianized materialism.”

  • Theologian for the Ages: John Calvin. Steven Lawson writes “John Calvin (1509–1564) is easily the most important Protestant theologian of all time and remains one of the truly great men who have lived. A world-class theologian, a renowned teacher, an ecclesiastical statesman, and a valiant Reformer, Calvin is seen by many as the greatest influence on the church since the first century. Apart from the biblical authors themselves, Calvin stands as the most influential minister of the Word the world has ever seen.”
  • John Calvin in 200 Words. This is a helpful series on key Reformers from the folks at the Cripplegate
  • Looking at Wittenberg in the Time of Martin Luther. Justin Taylor writes “On Saturday, October 31, 1517, Dr. Martin Luther–a 33-year-old Roman Catholic priest and theology professor at the University of Wittenberg–stood in front of the doors to the Castle Church and nailed a paper with his now famous 95 Theses, handwritten in Latin.”
  • The Death of Ulrich Zwingli. William Boekestein shares this story adapted from his Young Adult biography of Ulrich Zwingli, Shepherd Warrior.
  • Max McLean’s New Production about Luther. Noted thespian and producer Max McLean has an imaginative new production touring the country and discusses “Martin Luther on Trial” with Eric Metaxas.

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • If you trust Christ, you’re united to Christ, and if you are united to Christ, you will bear fruit in Christ. No fruit, no union, no trust. Burk Parsons
  • Show the world that your God is worth ten thousand worlds to you. Charles Spurgeon
  • Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it. Martin Luther
  • Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can’t see it. So quietly submit to be painted. S. Lewis
  • If your joy rests on your parenting successes, you will be undone by your parenting failures. John Piper
  • We should ask the question John the Baptist faced: Would I gladly fade into obscurity if it meant more attention for Jesus? Kevin DeYoung
  • Jesus never changed the gospel to make it suit people; he changed people to make them fit into his gospel. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • When people are right with God, they are apt to be hard on themselves and easy on other people. John Newton
  • Christian confidence does not come from looking at the state of the world; it comes from Jesus. Michael Reeves


1 Comment

THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

IN THE NEWS:

Courtesy of World Magazine

  • 116 Been Real: Lecrae, “White Evangelicalism,” and Hope.  John Piper writes “My response to Lecrae’s interview with the thoughtful women at Truth’s Table is mainly thankfulness and hope. Why would anyone care about my response? I don’t know that they would. But here’s why they might.”
  • Bible Study Fellowship Rewrites the Rulebook. Deborah Pardo-Kaplan writes “Jackson’s under-40s demographic is the main target of BSF’s recent BRIDGE initiative, a five-year campaign focused on drawing in Bible-friendly millennials but also unengaged ones through social media, new class models, and more studies. While the organization has always wanted to draw from all age groups, it has recently pivoted harder to reach more young adults, a generation BSF leadership feels is growing detached from religion, is less exposed to church, and is increasingly antagonistic toward Christianity and the Bible.”
  • 1 in 3 Protestant Churchgoers Personally Affected by Suicide. Bob Smietana writes “LifeWay’s study found three-quarters (76 percent) of churchgoers say suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community. About a third (32 percent) say a close acquaintance or family member has died by suicide.”

Continue reading