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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.”

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

  • “Should I Force My Teen to Go to Church?” R.C. Sproul writes “I would encourage you to make it a special point of concern to do everything in your power to get your kids to church and to make it an attractive time for them rather than a bad experience.”
  • What Should We Say to the Loved Ones of an Unbeliever Who Has Died? Randy Alcorn writes “What might help you personally on this—and I have reassured myself about this many times—is to realize that we do not know what happens inside a person before they die. We don’t know whether the Holy Spirit of God has done a work of grace in someone’s heart and life at the last moment. They may have been aware of the hours, minutes, and even just seconds leading up to their death and cried out to God for deliverance. The thief on the cross proves that “deathbed conversion” is certainly possible. And if someone is unable to speak, or too weak to respond, those around them would not know of that conversion. We may be surprised and delighted to one day see them in the presence of Christ.”
  • Can Unbelievers Do Good Deeds?   R.C. Sproul writes “Even our finest works have a taint of sin mixed in. I have never done an act of charity, of sacrifice, or of heroism that came from a heart, a soul, and a mind that loved God completely. Externally, many virtuous acts are going on both among believers and unbelievers, but God considers both the external obedience and the motivation. Under that tight norm of judgment, we’re in trouble.”

  • My Amazon Reviews. Check out more than 300 of my Amazon reviews, mostly books and music.
  • Fixer Upper to End. Chip and Joanna Gaines announce that the upcoming season 5 of the popular television series Fixer Upper will be their last.      
  • Two Faith-Based Movies Announced for 2018. MOVIEGUIDE writes “The first is a follow-up to Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of Unbroken, about the life of WWII hero Louis Zamperini. This movie, however, is being distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment and will focus primarily on the portion of the story that was glossed over in Jolie’s movie: Zamperini’s conversion to Christianity. The second movie to be released in 2018, also currently filming, is Paul: Apostle of Christ, from Sony Picture Entertainment’s faith-based branch, Affirm Films. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the highest grossing faith-based movie of all time, The Passion of the Christ, will play the biblical character of Luke. The movie also stars John Lynch and James Faulkner as the Apostle Paul.”
  • The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion. Albert Mohler writes “Let there be no confusion on this question. The Bible reveals the sanctity of all human life, the early church affirmed the sanctity of every human life, and anyone who performs an abortion is not “doing God’s work.”
  • Kurt Warner: Football Hall of Fame Inductee and Lover of Jesus. Meredee Berg writes “But Warner made clear that those people were wrong. What he was really thanking God for were the trials that had prepared him for that moment and that platform—for showing him that with God, the impossible becomes possible. He truly believed that God had chosen him for a once-in-a-lifetime role.”
  • Matt Chandler’s Village Church Ends Multisite Era. Kate Shellnutt writes “the Village Church, the multisite Texas megachurch led by Matt Chandler, will transition from several campuses across the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex to individual autonomous churches within the next five years, leaving behind a multisite model for a deeper commitment to local ministry and church planting.”

    Courtesy of World Magazine

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • Amazing! It Took A Few Years, But Tebowing Has Finally Taken Over The NFLThe Babylon Beereports “The act of Tebowing became well-known nationwide, but never really caught on with fellow NFL players, as Tebow obviously hoped it would. Well, guess what? All these years later,Tebowing has taken the NFL by storm.”
  • New Calvinist Baskin-Robbins Offers Customers One Preselected Flavor To Choose From. The Babylon Beereports “One woman recently attempted to order her favorite flavor of Daquiri Ice at the Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, but was informed that Mint Chocolate Chip had been chosen from her as the Lord looked down the corridors of time and selected the flavor she would choose. “I don’t really like mint chocolate chip, but if that’s the Lord’s will, I will partake from the cup He has chosen for me,” she reportedly said, before being informed that God had chosen a waffle cone for her instead of a cup. “Oh, OK. That’s fine too.”

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

CHRISTIAN LIVING….AND DYING: 

BIBLE STUDY AND GREAT RESOURCES:

  • P.T.A.T. A Strategy for Daily Bible Reading. Watch this new six-minute video from John Piper in which he introduces a strategy for better Bible reading: 1. Admit you can do nothing without God. 2. Pray for help. 3. Trust a specific promise. 4. Act. 5. Thank God for His provision and goodness.
  • Here We Stand. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Desiring God invites you on their 31-day journey of short biographies of the many heroes of the Reformation, just 5–7 minutes each day for the month of October.
  • After Darkness, Light.  I continue to re-listen to the messages (some of them multiple times) from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference, which had a theme of “The Next 500 Years”. Here is the excellent conference opening message from Michael Reeves, who has written extensively on the Protestant Reformation.
  • Gospel Coalition’s 2018 Women’s Conference. Registration is now open for the Gospel Coalition’s 2018 Women’s Conference to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana June 14-16. The theme will be “Listen and Live”. Speakers include Rosaria Butterfield, Jackie Hill Perry, Nancy Guthrie, Jen Wilkin, John Piper, D.A. Carson and many others.

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • Facebook Introduces New ‘Heresy!’ Reaction Button. The Babylon Bee reports According to a press release by the company, while users still have at their disposal all the previous reactions—“Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry”—they’ll now be able to react to any Facebook post with a “Heresy!” button, complete with aghast emoji man wearing a 16th-century-style scholar’s cap.”
  • New Martin Luther-Shaped Amazon Echo Will Rudely Answer All Your Theology QuestionsThe Babylon Bee reports “Dubbed the “Amazon Luther,” the new device is programmed to answer all your theology questions in the Reformer’s trademark aggressive tone and style.”
  • ESPN Launches Fantasy Preaching Software. The Babylon Bee reports “ESPN’s proprietary software will track stats like conversions, Greek words utilized per minute, arm movement, and Scripture references in real time. Participants will draft their dream team of fantasy preachers and decide which ones to place in their lineup’s various positions, like the all-important Head Pastor slot, several associate pastors, and even a closer for sealing the deal at altar calls.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

Coram Deo begins its 19th year. Thanks so much for visiting our blog. We sure appreciate it! Coram Deo began as a church newsletter in September, 1998, transitioning to a blog format in late 2013. Please use the “Contact Us” feature to ask any questions, make a comment on any content or let us know how we can better serve you.

  • Hope and Perspective When We’re Dealing with Doubt. Randy Alcorn writes “In times of doubt, difficulty, and trials, our fundamental beliefs about God and our faith are revealed. So how canChristians find faith in the midst of doubt? How can they trust God’s plan when their lives seem out of His control, and prayers seem to go unanswered or, sometimes it feels, even unheard?”
  • Resources for Depression. David Murray shares this extensive and helpful list of resources on depression.
  • Life is Short. Kevin DeYoung writes “Life is short. Enjoy the gift. Pay it forward and make known the Giver.”
  • 5 Marks of a Contented Heart. Erik Raymond writes “In his book The Art of Divine Contentment, Thomas Watson described five characteristics of a contented heart. With our course marked out for learning contentment, let’s think about how we might evaluate where we are in our own personal progress.”
  • Nancy Guthrie on What We Can Know About the Afterlife. In this new eight-minute video, Nancy Guthrie offers advice for those whose grief drives them to seek out books by people who claim to have died and been to heaven before coming back to life. “Solid comfort comes from a solid source,” Guthrie shares. “The Scriptures are the most reliable, solid source of understanding what is beyond this life.”
  • Forgiving the Wounds of a Friend. Kristie Anyabwile writes “It’s worth it to overlook an offense if you can, and to trust God is working in you and your friend’s heart, to pray for wisdom, love, and reconciliation, to rebuke gently, and to be ready to forgive.”
  • Serious Sins. Kevin DeYoung writes “If we as Christian laypeople, Christian pastors, and Christian churches never talk about sexual sin, only talk about sexual sin, ignore what the Ten Commandments say about sin, or refuse to warn people of the dire consequences of sin, we are doing something wrong.”
  • Trusting God When the Pain Seems Pointless. Randy Alcorn writes “How many times does God have a purpose in events that seem senseless when they happen?”
  • Will a Happy Marriage Prevent an Affair? Russell Moore writes “The best, most secure and stable marriages I know are not typically those that seem “happy” in the sense of self-actualization. They are instead those marriages in which, often through deep suffering, the husband and wife model self-sacrifice and care for the other.”
  • The 10 Duties of Every Christian. As he starts a new series, Tim Challies writes “The danger in a list of 10 duties is that in the hands of sinful people it risks becoming little more than a trite checklist that fosters deception and insincerity. It can be used by hypocrites to further their self-deception and by deceivers to advance their deception of others.”

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

TOPICS IN THE NEWS:

  • Racism and Corporate Evil: A White Guy’s Perspective. Watch this 26-minute address from Tim Keller, which was part of an event that marked the release of John Piper’s book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, for which Keller wrote the Foreword.
  • Charlottesville, Confederate Memorials, and Southern Culture. John Piper writes “So here I am, a Christian exile in America pondering the implications of Charlottesville. You will see below why my mind has gone in the direction of Confederate memorials. How should I think and act about that point of conflict? What are we to do as a nation? The questions multiplied. Here is my best effort so far to find some answers.” Consider his four recommendations.
  • John MacArthur on Charlottesville, Racism, and God’s Word. What’s a biblical response to racism and the tragic events in Charlottesville? John MacArthur answered that question in this interview with Frank Sontag on 99.5 KKLA in Los Angeles.
  • Special Report on Sexuality and Gender. David Murray shares interesting findings from The New Atlantis Journal’s“A Special Report on Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences”.
  • Precious Clarity on Human Sexuality. John Piper introduces the “Nashville Statement”, writing “The Nashville Statement is a Christian manifesto concerning issues of human sexuality. It speaks with forthright clarity, biblical conviction, gospel compassion, cultural relevance, and practical helpfulness. There is no effort to equivocate for the sake of wider, but muddled, acceptance.” Aimee Byrd offers this response to the “Nashville Statement”.
  • Why is Sexuality Such a Big Deal for the Church? Emily McFarlan Miller writes “Mohler describes a collision between “two massive and very powerful cultural realities.” One is the “long, consistent testimony of Christianity concerning God’s plan for human sexuality, marriage and gender” that reserves sex for one man and one woman within marriage, he said. The other is a “moral revolution being driven largely by what is considered to be sexual liberation.”
  • Why the Nashville Statement Now, and What about Article 10?Denny Burk writes “We also began to see a great deal of criticism and more than a few questions. All of this was to be expected. This will be an ongoing conversation going forward, and we will be engaging the substantive issues at stake in the days ahead in this space. But I wanted to take an opportunity to address three items that have come up today—two mundane points and one substantive.”
  • When Calling Yourself a “Christian” Isn’t Enough. Adam Parker writes “Is it possible that the term “Christian,” like “Evangelical,” isn’t enough? Since the “Nashville Statement” was released, we have seen a number of negative responses from people also wanting to claim the name of Christian.”
  • Should You Call a Transgender Person “Him” or “Her”?It’s very common to hear debates about pronoun usage. For example, should you call a transgender male “he” (as they identify themselves) or “she” (since they are biologically female)? Christians disagree—hopefully charitably—about pronoun usage, this short video offers some helpful advice from Andrew Walker, author of God and The Transgender Debate. 

Courtesy of World Magazine

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

TO MAKE YOU SMILE:

  • New Service Replaces ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sex Scenes With Glaring Kevin DeYoung.The Babylon Bee reports “Just as believers are settling in to enjoy the show’s intricate plot and wide range of morally gray characters, the Reformed reverend will suddenly pop up on the screen and shake his head in disappointment at the viewer at all of the numerous points where the show would usually feature a graphic sexual act.”
  • Dying Eagles Fan Uses His Final Wishes to Rip the Team. Jeffrey Clayton Riegel, a New Jersey man died recently. He took the opportunity of his obituary to take one final shot at the Philadelphia Eagles. “God gave Jeffrey the miracle of time to prepare which allowed him to verbalize his last wishes. He requested to have 8 Philadelphia Eagles as pall bearers so the Eagles can let him down one last time.”

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

IN THE NEWS:

  • St. Louis’s Unholy War on Religious Liberty. Nathanial Blake writes about an ordinance passed in St. Louis, Missouri which prohibits discrimination in housing or employment on the basis of “reproductive health decisions.” Promoted as an anti-discrimination measure, the law’s actual purpose is to destroy the self-government of religious and pro-life organizations.
  • Why North Koreans are rejecting Kim Jong-un and turning to Christ. Andrew Hamilton-Thomas writes of a report in the Telegraphthat claims a growing number of North Koreans are rejecting Kim Jong-un as their god and are now more open to alternative belief systems, including Christianity.”
  • Throwing Stones at the Glass Castle.  Lore Ferguson Wilbert writes about the new film The Glass Castle “The beauty of The Glass Castle is not that it ends too neatly, but that it ends messily and complicated, just as life is. We want clear delineations and boundaries and decisive clarity on whether folks are in or out, but life is not like that.”
  • Google on Abortion: 3 Fresh Ways to Make the Case for Life. Trevin Wax writes “Always be on the lookout for new ways to make the case for life. Stephanie Gray’s talk at Google is a great example of how to ask questions, probe deeper into people’s assumptions, and lead people to understand why you uphold the dignity and worth of every human life.”
  • James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC over Hate Map. Kate Shellnutt writes “We do not hate anyone,” Wright wrote. “We have been falsely branded by the SPLC for nothing more than subscribing to the teachings of the historic Christian faith. We are a nonprofit ministry whose deeply held Christian convictions energize our mission to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

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THIS & THAT and Favorite Quotes of the Week

Doug Michael’s Cartoon of the Week

  • 8 Ways to Help Depressed Christians. David Murray writes “Many of us struggle with what to do when someone we know is depressed. We want to help but fear, confusion, or misunderstanding holds us back. So, let me suggest eight guidelines for helping depressed people.”
  • Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones? John Piper writes “My proposal in this article is that Christian churches be willing to help families financially with simple, Christ-exalting funerals and burials, so that no Christian is drawn to cremation because it’s cheaper.”
  • Please Stop Saying “Christianity Isn’t a Religion, It’s a Relationship. Kevin Halloran writes “The next time you’re tempted to say, “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship”—hold your tongue. You’re not only wrong, you may sound dumb3, and will miss a chance to share what you wanted to communicate all along.”
  • Accept Your Leadership.Tim Challies writes “Your family needs to be led. Your wife and children need you to be the leader God calls you to be. He calls you to lead in love, to study the life and character of Jesus Christ, and to imitate him. Do that and God will be pleased. Do that and your family will be blessed. Run to win by accepting and embracing your leadership.”
  • The Knee-Buckling Weight of God’s Grace. Scotty Smith prays “Since you gave Jesus to usand for us, of course we can trust you for everything else we actually need. Forgive for thinking otherwise. Forgive our discontent, envy and unbelief.”
  • How Do We Fail in Bible Reading? Watch this four-minute video from John Piper.
  • The 11 Beliefs You Should Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses When They Knock at the Door. Justin Taylor writes “The following is a brief overview of what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, along with what the Bible really teaches, printed among the many articles and resources in the back of the ESV Study Bible.
  • The Death Knell on Legalism. Watch this less than two-minute video clip from the 2017 Ligonier National Conference in which John MacArthur explains that Jesus’ teaching of the new birth in John 3 is the death knell on legalism.
  • How Do You Do Family Worship? In this episode of “Honest Answers, Don Whitney states that “Three syllables is all you have to remember, read, pray, sing.” Watch the six-minute video.
  • Don’t Check Your Baggage. Marshall Segal writes “Someone you know — someone struggling with the same sins you once committed against God — needs to hear what God has done for you.”
  • Don’t Waste Your Commute. Having just visited my team in Atlanta, I was reminded that some folks have significant commutes to and from work each day. Nick Batzig writes “Here are four very tangible things that we can work toward as we attempt to redeem the time on our commutes.”
  • A Surprising Ingredient in Christian Contentment. Erik Raymond writes “Initially unsettling and frankly a bit off-putting, a robust doctrine of sin is an essential ingredient for our contentment.”
  • A Pilot Explains What It Really Means When There’s Turbulence During a Flight. I enjoy the benefits of air travel, but I’m certainly not a fan of turbulence. I found this article from Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot who currently flies Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft, to be both interesting and comforting.

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