Controversy: Tabletalk May 2012

A collection of articles from the May 2012 issue of Tabletalk magazine.

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  • Through Many Toils Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    John Newton (1725–1807) is perhaps best known for his hymn “Amazing Grace,” but what many do not know is that Newton was also a faithful churchman who served as a pastor in England from 1764 until a month before his death in 1807. His mother died when he was seven years old, and, upon his father’s remarriage, young John was sent to school. In 1795, Newton reflected on his relationship with his father: “I am persuaded he loved me, but he seemed not willing that I should know it. I was with him in a state of fear and … View Resource

  • Wisdom and Knowledge Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    In college, I majored in philosophy. On the very first day of the very first course that I took in philosophy, the professor wrote the word philosophy on the chalkboard, then broke it down to show its etymological origin. The word comes from two Greek words, which is appropriate, for the Greeks are usually seen as the founding fathers of Western philosophy. The prefix philo comes from the Greek word phileĊ, which means “to love.” The root comes from the Greek word sophia, which means “wisdom.” So, the simple meaning of the term philosophy is “love of wisdom … View Resource

  • Why Controversy is Sometimes Necessary Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I recently watched as a young mother acted quickly and decisively to end a squabble among two preschool boys. She acted righteously and quite effectively, and then she turned to her two charges and set down the law: “It is never right to fight.” Sorry, Mom, I understand what you were trying to do, but that moral instruction will not serve those boys well as they grow into maturity. Their challenge will be to learn when it is right to fight, and how, as the Bible commands, to fight the good fight of faith. What about the church? Is it … View Resource

  • Consider the Public Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Unbelievers, even though their hearts and minds are opposed to God’s truth, sometimes have more spiritual insight than we give them credit for. At least that is what I learned as a junior in college. As a religion major at a secular university, I often found myself in the middle of classroom debates about the inerrancy of Scripture, the exclusivity of Christ, and other matters. I wish that I could tell you I was always charitable and irenic in my attempts to keep teachers and students from turning the teaching of Jesus on its head. Unfortunately, my excitement for the … View Resource

  • Consider Your Opponent Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I became convinced of the truth of Reformed theology while attending Dallas Theological Seminary — the flagship institution of dispensational theology. Some of my fellow students accused me of being apostate when they discovered that I had rejected dispensationalism. Having donned my new five-point Calvinist uniform, I assumed an attitude that was patronizing and condescending toward those who remained committed to dispensationalism. Mockery became a chief weapon in my arsenal. Upon my arrival at Reformed Theological Seminary, I landed right in the middle of debates between students on topics that were unfamiliar to me — debates about theonomy, apologetic methodology … View Resource

  • Consider Yourself Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Controversy exists because God’s truth exists in a world of lies. Controversy is the plight of sinners in a fallen world, who were originally created by God to know the truth, love the truth, and proclaim the truth. We cannot escape controversy this side of heaven, nor should we seek to. As Christians, God has rescued us out of darkness and has made us able to stand in His marvelous light. He has called us to go into the darkness and shine as a light to the world, reflecting the glorious light of our Lord, Jesus Christ. And when light … View Resource

  • Consider the Glory of God Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    John Newton (1725–1807) is best known today for his great hymns (including “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”). But in his own day, he was perhaps more highly prized as a letter writer — “the great director of souls through the post,” as someone described him. Such was the value of his correspondence that he published several volumes of his letters (including one of his letters to his wife, which called forth the comment by one reviewer, his friend Richard Cecil, that wives would be in raptures reading such love letters while “we [husbands] may suffer … View Resource

  • Someone is Wrong on the Internet Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    It takes two to tango, and that doesn’t even include the band. Our choices, our behaviors, are rarely as discreet as we think they are. Not only do our decisions bleed into our other decisions, they touch on other people’s lives, more often than not. No man is an island; neither is any man a peninsula. First, consider gossip. If gossip is spoken in the woods and no one hears, does it still make a mess? Guarding our tongues is important. But we need to guard our ears as well. Without an audience, gossip dies on the vine. It isn’t … View Resource

  • Pray the Scriptures Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I am a recovering self-centered pragmatic pray-er — a believer who spent many of my first years in Christ thinking of God more as a sugar daddy than the sovereign Father. Prayer, for me, had more in common with programming a heavenly computer than surrendering to a loving Master. I worked harder at claiming God’s promises for my ease than being claimed by God’s purposes for His kingdom. Instead of being still and knowing that God is God, my prayer life was that of an antsy man, trying to help God be God. Alas, this was a manifestation of the … View Resource

  • Heavenly Mindedness Article by Randy Alcorn

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Jonathan Edwards said, “It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven … to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?” In his early twenties, Edwards composed a set of life resolutions. One read, “Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can.” Unfortunately, many believers find no joy when they think about heaven. A pastor once confessed to me: “Whenever I … View Resource

  • The Challenge of Christian Journalism Article by Collin Hansen

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I am trained as a journalist. And I’m trained as a preacher. You might be surprised to learn there’s significant overlap between these callings. Both teach by distilling complicated concepts about how the world works. Both herald news, good and bad. You might not know about the overlap between these callings because journalists and preachers generally don’t like each other. Journalists rank among the most skeptical professionals. They don’t trust anyone they cover. They’ve seen enough double-talk and corruption both within and without the church to last several lifetimes. A pastor recently told me his church convenes meetings for Christian … View Resource