Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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

  • Do LGBT People Have to Choose Between Following Christ and Sexual Immorality? Denny Burk writes “People living in sexual immorality do indeed have to choose between their sin and Jesus. They can have one or the other, but they cannot have both. But this is not a unique message for those who identity as LGBT. It is the message for all sinners—gay, straight, or otherwise.”
  • How Do I Know God’s Calling for My Life? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “How do I know if the Holy Spirit is calling me to international missions?”
  • Can You Explain the Gospel in 3 Words? Russell Moore writes “I think I could explain the gospel in three words, so long as I would have follow-up time to explain all three words. And those words would be “Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Will Some of Us Get Fewer Rewards in Heaven? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Does this mean that we may not be rewarded to a degree we could have been, depending on our faith on earth? This question has been plaguing me since I listened to that episode. Would that not mean that God shows bias towards those with greater faith? I’m grieved because I’m unlikely to live up to the reward God may have planned for me, and forever be called a ‘lesser’ to those with greater faith. Those thoughts feel poisonous to me. Is it only my envy and pride speaking or is this something to be concerned about?”
  • Why Study Theology? Keith Mathison writes “The disconnect between theology and the church and between theology and the Christian has had disastrous results. One need only look at recent polls examining the level of theological knowledge among professing Christians to know that something has gone awry.”

  • On Being Less Offended and Less Offensive. Scott Sauls writes “Having received such grace, Christians have a compelling reason to be remarkably gracious, inviting, and endearing in our treatment of others, including and especially those who disagree with us.”

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

  • Do the Biblical Warnings Against Riches Apply to Most Americans? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “I struggle with feeling peace with God when I feel that he will judge me harshly for living as comfortably as I do. I am wondering if God wants me to give up the pleasures and comforts that this country offers?”
  • Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding? Kevin DeYoung writes “A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.”
  • What Does It Mean to be Pro-Life? Is pro-life more than pro-birth? Why isn’t the pro-life movement committed to the whole person? These are common questions aimed at the pro-life movement. In fact, one of the most frequent criticisms of the pro-life movement is that those who hold such views only care about ending abortion. In this episode of Signposts, Russell Moore addresses these questions and offer my perspective on the pro-life movement by thinking about what it means to fight for justice and human dignity.
  • I’m Addicted to Pornography. How Can I Defeat This Sin? In this three-minute video, Russell Moore encourages those who are addicted to pornography to seek help by confessing sin to other believers who will preach the gospel to them and encourage them towards holiness.
  • Can a True Christian Have Depression? Watch this ten-minute video as Dr. Jeremy Pierre of Southern Seminary addresses this question in Honest Answers.
  • Are Mega-Churches Biblical? Can a church ever be too big? Dr. Hershael York answers in Honest Answers.
  • What Is Definite Atonement? In this one minute plus clip from the 2012 Ligonier Ministries Theology Night, C.Sproul explains that God’s purpose in the atonement was limited and definite.
  • Brother, Are You Saved?C. Sproul writes “What do you need to be saved from? You need to be saved from God! Not from kidney stones, not from hurricanes, not from military defeats. The thing that every human being needs to be saved from is God.”

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

    • Good News Hearts in a Bad News World. Scotty Smith prays “By the truth and power of the gospel, may a faith-full heart beat within our breasts. Free us to trust and worship you more, and fear and vex less. You’ve hidden our lives safely in Christ; now make us less shakable when shaky things are going on—whether in Syria, our homes, or hearts.”
    • His Head and Heart Were God’s. John Piper writes “If you look at Jonathan Edwards from the wrong standpoint, everything is wrong. Some people look at him as a great eighteenth-century thinker, writer, and preacher, and that is as far as they go.”
    • Puritan Documentary. Puritan: All of Life to the Glory of God is the latest documentary from Steven McCaskell (Luther).
    • Deep Theology. Sinclair Ferguson writes “This is deep theology indeed. Yet virtually the profoundest statement we can make about God is that the Father is “in” the Son and the Son “in” the Father. It seems so simple that a child can see it. For what word can be simpler than in?”
    • What Made Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message” So Very Shocking? This looks like a very interesting series. Tim Challies writes “Today I am kicking off a new series of videos I’m calling The Great Sermon Series. The premise of the series is finding and examining modern-day sermons that the Lord has chosen to use in unusually significant ways. What we will find, I think, is that the Lord uses sermons to save, stir, and edify his people–and that sometimes he does this through unexpected messages and messengers. The series begins in 2002 in Montgomery, Alabama, with Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message.”

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

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR:

CHRISTIAN MEN:

  • The Final Call of John Perkins. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “After being a janitor, welder, equipment designer, Bible teacher, civil-rights activist, community developer, and author, Perkins wants to “devote the rest of my life to biblical reconciliation.”
  • Ray Hinton Interview. Ray Hinton opens up on Megyn Kelly Today about his wrongful conviction for murder, his time on death row and his book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, an account of his time in prison.
  • Golfing Legend Bobby Jones Was Baptized Three Days Before His Death in 1971. Jason Romano writes “Three days before he died, he was baptized,” said Dr. Bob. “From that moment on, there was almost a peace that passed all understanding perhaps, that kind of came upon him.”

  • Is Civil Disobedience Biblical? Matthew Hall answers this question in Honest Answers.
  • Are There Degrees of Sin?  R.C. Sproul writes “It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture.”
  • Should We Give Up on Evangelicalism? Russell Moore writes “Should we stop calling ourselves “evangelicals”? Should we just give up on “evangelicalism”? I am asked these questions all the time, usually by Christians who are concerned that these labels no longer accurately define or describe who they are and what they believe. In this episode of Signposts,I talk about these questions and offer my own perspective on the status and future of evangelical Christianity in the United States.”
  • Why Are Christian Women More Religious Than Christian Men? Joe Carter writes “As a study conducted by the Pew Research Center finds, based on a broad range of factors, Christian women in the United States express a higher level of religiosity and religious commitment than Christian men.”

COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

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