• A New Luther? by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2010

    The accusation that systematic theology (doctrinal formulations of the Reformation period in particular) overly governs (distorts) exegesis is not new, and Bishop N.T. Wright trots it out with renewed zeal in his latest book, Justification: God’s Plan and …Read More

  • Everything Is Against Me! by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    It is Jacob’s lowest point. As far as he knows, Joseph is dead. That’s the story his sons have led him to believe, showing him the blood-stained “coat of many colors” (Gen. 37:31–33). He mourned his son’s death …Read More

  • Snakes and Ladders by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    Poor Jacob! You have to feel sorry for him even though he’s a most disagreeable character! A “self-willed mother’s boy,” with opportunistic instincts that enabled him to outsmart friends and foes alike in a ruthless bid at getting …Read More

  • Concupiscence by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Dear Temeluchus, We are very pleased with the success you have had appealing to this young man’s sexual appetite. Telling him that every other young man is viewing pornography was a good move, and ensuring that he turned down …Read More

  • Voices of Temptation by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2006

    The birth of Ishmael, son of Abram and Hagar, is a tale that in some sense at least should never have been. From it emerges a familial and ethnic strife that lasts to this very day. It is a tale …Read More

  • Dying Well by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    Sarah lived 127 years…. And Sarah died…. And Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her” (Gen. 23:1–2). Sarah and Abraham had been married fifty-two years. He would live almost four decades without her (see …Read More

  • Nothing but the Blood by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2006

    The story of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:17-24) is both curious and unexpected. It is a story of immense significance in the development of the story of redemption. Abram is faced with a stark choice the consequences of which will reverberate …Read More

  • Wily Jacob by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2007

    Sell me your birthright now,” Jacob demanded of his twin brother, Esau (Gen. 25:31). Thus begins the sorry tale of Abraham’s grandson. From the start, Jacob challenges us to dislike him: a self-willed, pampered child with ruthless skills …Read More

  • The Undoing of Babel by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2006

    Man’s nature,” Calvin wrote in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, “is a perpetual factory of idols” (1.11.8). Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the Babel episode (Gen. 11:1–9). Babylon becomes in time the …Read More

  • The Breath of God by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2004

    Creation The ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, composed in the eighth century and part of the Roman breviary of Vespers, is a hymn extolling the Holy Spirit. John Dryden’s magnificent translation renders the opening lines this way: “Creator Spirit, by …Read More

  • The Decree of God by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    Joseph has just revealed his true identity to his astonished brothers. It had been a tearful moment (Gen. 46:2, 14; cf. 42:24; 43:30). He is about to engage in a discourse on predestination and the divine decree …Read More

  • Church by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    In the language of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the church comprises the “whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be, gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof” (25.1). This is otherwise known as …Read More

  • Vanity Fair by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2006

    For John Bunyan, a Puritan to his fingertips, the Christian life was an experience of conflict and tension with this world. Imprisoned for upwards of twelve years, he experienced firsthand the world’s hostility. Cheerful and sanguine by temperament, his portrayal …Read More

  • Favor in God’s Eyes by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2006

    Nondum considerasti, quanti ponderis sit peccatum!” wrote Anselm in his famous work on the incarnation, Cur Deus Homo. Translated, it means: “You have not considered how weighty sin is!” Low views of sin breed tepid views of …Read More

  • Can Snakes Talk? by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2006

    With the possible exception of John 3:16, no verse in the Bible is more crucial and definitive than Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall …Read More