Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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

  • Apostacy and How It Happens. Sinclair Ferguson writes “Yes, apostasy happens. Sometimes the catalyst is flagrant sin. The pain of conviction and repentance is refused, and the only alternative to it is wholesale rejection of Christ. But sometimes the catalyst is a thorn growing quietly in the heart, an indifference to the way of the Cross, a drifting that is not reversed by the knowledge of biblical warnings”.
  • What is Union with Christ? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question What does it mean to be united to Christ, and what are a few of the most significant implications of it?”

  • Identifying and Forsaking Our Spiritual Mistresses. Scott Sauls writes “Idolatry is the root beneath all sin and beneath every choice we ever make to go our own way instead of following Jesus in faith and obedience. Sin, ultimately, is not a matter of behavior, but a matter of desire. We always obey that which we desire the most.”
  • My Girlfriend is Pregnant – Now What? On this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “But I am scared. Assuming this is true, what do we do? How have you counseled couples who are broken and fearful in our situation?”

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

  • How do I Know that I am Elect? How do I Know my Faith is Genuine? In this video from “Ask Ligonier”, Sinclair Ferguson looks at the doctrine of assurance and what it means to be born again.
  • Why Does John Piper Avoid Politics and What’s Trending? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses the question Why do you avoid saying much about current events and politics?”
  • What Should Christians Do About Our Differences on Spiritual Gifts? In this episode of Signposts, Russell Moore offers his perspective on spiritual gifts and discuss ways that Christians might think about these issues, especially as they partner together in ministry.
  • How Can You Show Radical Hospitality as an Introvert? Rosaria Butterfield states “I think that introverts can be extremely good at managing hospitality because we tend to not just talk to hear the sound of our voice. Those quiet times are fine. They can be reflective times.”
  • Is It Really Important That You Emphasize Hell? Watch this short video in which Francis Chan discusses how the reality of hell should impact evangelism in the Christian life.
  • Is Tim Keller a Marxist? Carl Trueman, who I enjoyed a wonderful class on B.B. Warfield with at Covenant Seminary a few years back, writes “It is an unwarranted slur on his character, for we all know that cultural Marxism is not intended as a morally neutral term.  And—I almost forgot—it is to break the Ninth Commandment about a Christian brother.  And that’s a sin—not so much a sin against Tim Keller as against the God he serves.”
  • How Should Christians Respond to the Imprecatory Psalms? How should Christians respond to psalms that invoke calamity or curses upon one’s enemies? In this brief video clip from the 2016 Ligonier National Conference, Robert Godfrey, Albert Mohler, and William VanDoodewaard consider biblical prayers of judgment.

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

  • What Tim Keller Wants American Christians to Know About Politics. In this episode of “Quick to Listen” Tim Keller joins associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how he follows this news, where his political convictions come from, and just how great the stakes are of politics.
  • How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t. Tim Keller writes “What should the role of Christians in politics be? More people than ever are asking that question. Christians cannot pretend they can transcend politics and simply “preach the Gospel.” Those who avoid all political discussions and engagement are essentially casting a vote for the social status quo.”

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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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