Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Those Whom God Uses to Heal. These days more than ever, those in the medical field are looked at as true heroes. Our friend Russell Gehrlein writes from a biblical and theological perspective to encourage those whom God uses to heal, as well as those who are on the receiving end of their valuable work.
  • The Motivation of a Leader. On this month’s Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley visits with Patrick Lencioni about his new book The Motive and the motivation of a leader.
  • Vocation and the Epidemic. Gene Veith writes “Vocation is not just about how we make our living.  It’s about how God works through human beings to care for His creation.  It’s about loving and serving our neighbors in our multiple stations of life.”
  • Remembering the Working Poor in the Time of Coronavirus. Daniel Darling writes “Perhaps our national pain will be a catalyst for God’s people to remember that the gospel is the great leveler, the cross the place where you are not defined by what you do but by who you are in because of what Jesus did. Ironically, it may be this season of social distancing that will be used by God to bring us together.”
  • Plan for Something Greater Than Retirement. The last chapter of life is not retirement. No, something greater is to come. We need to start planning for something far beyond the reach of our 401(k) plans. It’s a suitable word from John Piper in this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, to upper-class Americans, and to prisoners serving life sentences at Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the US.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller with Katherine Leary Alsdorf
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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4 Christmas Books I Recommend to You 

Over the years, many of the authors I enjoy have written books about Christmas. Here are four recent books about Christmas that I would recommend to you.

Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas – Sinclair Ferguson

Sinclair Ferguson is one of our day’s best Reformed theologians. I have read many of his books and heard him speak many times at the Ligonier National Conference. He has been a pastor and seminary professor in numerous churches and seminaries throughout the world, and is also a Ligonier Teaching Fellow. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed and was blessed by this book.
Dr. Ferguson writes that this book sets out to explore the question of the real meaning of Christmas. He tells us that when we find the answer, we realize that it isn’t only for the Christmas season. He states that at the center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. He does so because he is at the center of God’s story. Christ who is the creator of all things has entered his own creation in order to become our Savior. That is what gives Christmas meaning. It is what gives history and our lives meaning too.
He writes that the heart of the Christmas message is a baby bound in swaddling bands and lying in a wooden manger, who is destined to be bound again later in life and laid upon wood on the cross of Calvary. He tells us that the meaning of Christmas is this: The Light of the world has come into the darkness of the world, in order to bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and to illuminate them with the grace of forgiveness. He tells us that Christmas is not coming, but it has already come. The Word already has been made flesh. He already has lived, bled, died, and risen again for us. Now all that remains is to receive him. For Jesus is the meaning of Christmas.

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  • More of this book review and reviews of
  • An Even Better Christmas: Joy and Peace That Last All Year by Matt Chandler
  • Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ – Timothy Keller
  • Christmas Playlist: Four Songs that bring you to the heart of Christmas – Alistair Begg

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller. Penguin Books. 332 pages. 2014.
****

This is perhaps the best book on prayer that I’ve read, and I’ve read several. I’ve already read and discussed it with others on two occasions. Our discussions would move slowly, as there is so much rich material on prayer in the fifteen chapters in this book. This book will challenge you and your prayer life.
Keller writes that prayer is both conversation and encounter with God. He tells us that these two concepts give us definition of prayer and a set of tools for deepening our prayer lives. He tells us that prayer is both awe and intimacy, struggle and reality. These will not happen every time we pray, but each should be a major component of our prayer over the course of our lives.
He writes of wanting a far better personal prayer life. As a result, he began to read widely and experiment in prayer. In his pursuit of a deeper prayer life, he deliberately avoided reading any new books on prayer. Instead, he went back to the historical texts of Christian theology that had formed him and began asking questions about prayer and the experience of God.
In addition, he made four practical changes to his life of private devotion. First, he took several months to go through the Psalms, summarizing each one. The second thing he did was always to put in a time of meditation as a transitional discipline between his Bible reading and his time of prayer. Third, he did all he could to pray morning and evening rather than only in the morning. Fourth, he began praying with greater expectation.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
BOOK REVIEWS ~ More of this review and a review of Embracing Your Identity in Christ: Renouncing Lies and Foolish Strategies by Robert Davis Smart
BOOK NEWS ~ Links to Interesting Articles
BOOK CLUB ~ The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
I’M CURRENTLY READING…. Continue reading