New to Reformed Theology

Reformed theology is nothing less than a journey into the marvelous grace of God. May God grant you eyes to see why the apostle Paul would proclaim that "from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever."

  • Cosmic Treason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    The question, “What is sin?” is raised in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The answer provided to this catechetical question is simply this: “Sin is any want of conformity to or transgression of the law of God.” Let us examine some of the elements of this catechetical response. In the first instance, sin is identified as some kind of want or lack. In the middle ages, Christian theologians tried to define evil or sin in terms of privation (privatio) or negation (negatio). In these terms, evil or sin was defined by its lack of conformity to goodness. The negative terminology associated … View Resource

  • The New Birth Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH. This assertion that captures the heart of the distinctive theology of historic Augustinian and Reformed thought is the watershed assertion that distinguishes that theology from all forms of semi-Pelagianism. That is, it distinguishes it from almost all forms of semi-Pelagianism. There is one historic position of semi-Pelagianism that advocates the view of a universal benefit that embraces all mankind as a result of the atonement of Jesus. This universal benefit is the universal regeneration of all men — at least to the degree that rescues them from the moral inability of their original sin and now empowers … View Resource

  • Crossing the Channel Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    The rapid spread of the Protestant Reformation from Wittenberg, Germany, throughout Europe and across the Channel to England was not spawned by the efforts of a globe-trotting theological entrepreneur. On the contrary, for the most part Martin Luther’s entire career was spent teaching in the village of Wittenberg at the university there. Despite his fixed position, Luther’s influence spread from Wittenberg around the world in concentric circles — like when a stone is dropped into a pond. The rapid expanse of the Reformation was hinted at from the very beginning when the Ninety-five Theses were posted on the church door … View Resource

  • Tota Scriptura Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    In centuries past, the church was faced with the important task of recognizing which books belong in the Bible. The Bible itself is not a single book but a collection of many individual books. What the church sought to establish was what we call the canon of sacred Scripture. The word canon comes from a Greek word that means “standard or measuring rod.” So the canon of sacred Scripture delineates the standard that the church used in receiving the Word of God. As is often the case, it is the work of heretics that forces the church to define … View Resource

  • Grace Alone Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Matthew 13

    Soli Deo gloria is the motto that grew out of the Protestant Reformation and was used on every composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He affixed the initials SDG at the bottom of each manuscript to communicate the idea that it is God and God alone who is to receive the glory for the wonders of His work of creation and of redemption. At the heart of the sixteenth-century controversy over salvation was the issue of grace. It was not a question of man’s need for grace. It was a question as to the extent of that need. The church had … View Resource

  • Inkling of Wonder Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    I am a Calvinist. No, better to say that I am a rabid Calvinist. I am the son of a Calvinist. My spiritual grandfather was the Calvinist’s Calvinist, John Gerstner. When I consider my own theological education, I divide it into three equal parts. First, I was raised by R.C. Sproul. Calvinism not only runs in our blood, but it gave the savor to our soup. It was the spice in our stew. The ghost of John Calvin haunted my home, and for that I give thanks. Second, I studied theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. There, all my professors were … View Resource

  • What Is Your Only Comfort? Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    Of all the Reformation-era catechisms, perhaps none is as well-loved as the Heidelberg Catechism. In the opening question and answer, the personal and distinctive tone of the catechism becomes evident. “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” This is not a theoretical question—“What would be necessary if God were to comfort sinners?” Rather, this is a very practical question—“How do I have comfort as long as I live and then when I die?” The key word in the opening question is comfort (German, trost). The word refers to our assurance and confidence in the finished … View Resource

  • The True Face of Evil Article by David Robertson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.” So writes the Nobel Prize-winning American physicist Steven Weinberg. His observation has become a standard mantra of the new atheism. So how should a Christian respond? We will leave the Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, and Jedi Knights to respond for themselves, although we note in passing that it is another fundamental belief of the atheist creed that all religions are essentially the same — hence … View Resource

  • The Generous Landowner Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Chapter divisions in the Bible are usually helpful as they allow us to find our way around the Scriptures. Occasionally, however, they can hinder our understanding of a passage if they cause us to look at it apart from its context. This often is the case with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1–16). Because of the chapter division at the end of Matthew 19, we fail to understand the parable in its context of Jesus’ teaching in 19:16–30. Because that section of Matthew has already been treated in another article, we will not look at … View Resource

  • The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards Article by Stephen Nichols

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    He was a young man unsure of his future. He had many gifts and not a few options before him. His father and grandfather were ministers, as were uncles and others in the family tree. He had a first-rate education, one of the finest of the day, so he was well-prepared for a future in the halls of the academy, should he so choose. He even had a penchant for science and perhaps could have headed off in that direction. But for the time being he was a pastor, a young pastor at that. Eighteen going on nineteen, he … View Resource

  • The Attack on the Bible Video Message by John MacArthur

    In the book of Genesis, we read of the war that began all wars. Ever since that dreadful day, we have been living with the fallout of a bad answer to a simple question: Has God said? That question has been echoing through the centuries. So how do you answer that question? Special guest Dr. John MacArthur delivers this message as he defends attacks on the Bible from both outside and inside the church.  View Resource

  • A Good Thing Gone Bad Video Message by Ken Jones

  • Faith and Reason Video Message by John Piper

    This message will examine the relationship between faith and reason, with a focus on the significance of logic.  View Resource

  • The Church's Message Video Message by Sinclair Ferguson

    The church has a message for a lost and dying world, but that message has often been obscured or replaced by man-made messages.  In this seminar, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson will remind us of the church’s most basic message to the world – the Gospel of Jesus Christ and explain why the continued proclamation of that message is essential. View Resource

  • Rightly Dividing (Part 1) Video Message by Sinclair Ferguson

    How can we know if we are reading the Bible as it was meant to be read? Is there a simple test we can apply to our reading experience to find that out? Dr. Sinclair Ferguson explains common ways in which we mishandle Scripture and how we can correct that problem to truly get the most from God’s Word, in his message, “Rightly Dividing.” View Resource

  • One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    In the Nicene Creed, we confess that we believe in “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”  But what do we mean by this confession?  In this message, Dr. R.C. Sproul explains the meaning of this basic confession regarding the nature of the church. View Resource

  • Counted Righteous in Christ Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Historically, the doctrine of imputation has been rejected by Rome. Today, it is also rejected by many who profess to be evangelicals. In this message, Dr. R.C. Sproul will explain the meaning of the doctrine of imputation, and explain why the doctrine is essential to the Gospel. View Resource

  • Simultaneously Righteous and a Sinner Video Message by John MacArthur

    Although all who are justified will also be sanctified, sanctification is the fruit of justification, not its ground. In this message, Dr. John MacArthur will clarify the relationship between justification and sanctification and explain that we are justified while we are still sinners. View Resource

  • The Breath of the Almighty Video Message by Alistair Begg

    The third person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit, the one whom Job refers to as “the breath of the Almighty.” His work includes conforming believers to the holy image of Christ. In this lecture, Dr. Begg looks at the person and work of the one person of the Trinity whose very name includes the adjective “holy.” View Resource

  • I Am the Lord, There Is No Other Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Before he discovered the Gospel, contemplation of God’s holiness and his own sinfulness drove Martin Luther to despair. What did he grasp about holiness that most of us do not? In this lecture, Dr. Sproul introduces the topic of the conference by explaining the meaning of the biblical concept of holiness. View Resource

  • What Is Reformed Theology? Teaching Series with R.C. Sproul

    There is something healthy about returning to one’s roots. When it comes to evangelical Christianity, its roots are found in the soil of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. Just as the Reformers protested the corrupt teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, so today evangelicalism itself is in need of a modern reformation. In What Is Reformed Theology?, Dr. R.C. Sproul offers a comprehensive introduction to Reformed theology. Simply put, it is the theology of the Protestant Reformers and the heart of historical evangelicalism. As C.H. Spurgeon once said, Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity. View Resource

  • Man the Sinner Audio Message by Sinclair Ferguson

  • Augustine Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Many times we realize when our senses fail us, but how many times have they failed us, and we didn’t know it? How can we be sure we can trust our senses? Pondering these questions may leave one skeptical about the reliability of our senses. In order to understand all this, we need to venture into the realm of philosophy. Or better yet, look at someone who has already gone before and defeated the claims of these skeptics. In this message, Dr. Sproul considers the philosophical achievements of “Saint Augustine.” View Resource

  • The Pelagian Captivity of the Church Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Many believe that we are totally free to choose salvation. In Willing to Believe, R.C. shows that man’s will is not free but in bondage to sin. He says that we are doomed unless God has mercy and changes our hearts. R.C. examines the issue of free will throughout history, looking at the views of Augustine, Pelagius, Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Edwards, Finney, and others. R.C. demonstrates that some assumptions about “free will” undermine the Gospel and conceal God’s glory in salvation. View Resource

  • God’s Sovereignty Devotional

    Exodus 33:19B

    Arminians must admit that if God provides a mere offer for salvation, there is a chance no one would ever believe and be saved. But this contradicts Scripture, for the Bible says the Messiah will see the successful results of His labor, the justification of His people, and be satisfied (Isa. 53:11). The Calvinist position is in harmony with this truth and exalts the sovereign, almighty Lord whom we are called to worship. Honor and praise Him this day. View Resource

  • Faith Alone (Part 1) Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    There were many factors that contributed to the Reformation, but what was the main issue? What was it that drove Martin Luther to challenge the only church he had ever known? In this message, Dr. Sproul looks at the underlying cause of the Reformation, known by the Latin term Sola Fides—”Faith Alone.” View Resource

  • Election Audio Message by James Boice

  • Bondage of the Will Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    Many believe that we are totally free to choose salvation. In Willing to Believe, Dr. R.C. Sproul shows that man’s will is not free but in bondage to sin. He says that we are doomed unless God has mercy and changes our hearts. Dr. Sproul examines the issue of free will throughout history, looking at the views of Augustine, Pelagius, Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Edwards, Finney, and others, demonstrating that some assumptions about “free will” undermine the Gospel and conceal God’s glory in salvation. View Resource

  • The Meaning of Covenant Video Message by R.C. Sproul

    What is the meaning of covenant? Is the New Testament the same as the new covenant? Is the covenant Jesus inaugurated the same as a last will and testament? Considering these thoughts in this message, Dr. Sproul teaches us the meaning of the word covenant, and what it has to do with both the Old and New Testaments. View Resource

  • The Making of the Protestant Reformation Teaching Series with R.C. Sproul

    The division of the church that occurred during the Protestant Reformation was not something that the Reformers originally intended to happen. However, when it became clear that the church authorities would be unwilling to submit themselves to the teaching of sacred Scripture, Martin Luther knew that it was necessary to stand against them for the sake of the Gospel. In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul explores the historical background of the Protestant Reformation. He looks at the life of Martin Luther and the teachings of the medieval church in order to remind us of the truth of the biblical Gospel … View Resource

  • The Golden Chain Devotional

    Romans 8

    That God decided to save His people gives us confidence that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39). If you trust Christ and feel discouraged this day, be comforted in your knowledge that the Lord has you in His hand and will never let you go. View Resource

  • The Legacy of John Calvin Video Message by Steven Lawson

    For many people in and outside the church, the name John Calvin is the namesake of a cold, hard theology called Calvinism. Yet for many others, John Calvin represents a hero of the faith who is worthy of being studied and honored five hundred years after his death. What has John Calvin really done for the church that he should deserve so much attention? In this message, Dr. Steve Lawson shows us that the benefits of Calvin’s contributions to the church and society at large are incalculable, as he discusses “The Legacy of John Calvin.” View Resource

  • Chosen By God Teaching Series with R.C. Sproul

    Many people reject Reformed theology or Calvinism because they believe it teaches that God drags people kicking and screaming into the church against their will. This, however, is a gross distortion of the biblical doctrine of election, which is grounded in God’s love for His people. In this series, Dr. Sproul carefully explains the meaning of God’s sovereignty in the work of redemption and shows how it relates to the will of man. View Resource

  • Good Old Calvinism Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2009

    John Calvin was a churchman for all ages. He was a reformer par excellence. He was a godly pastor who equipped his people for ministry. He was a humble revolutionary. He was a loyal husband, father, and friend. But above all Calvin was a man whose mind was humbled and whose heart was mastered by the Lord God Almighty. His life’s prayer—“I offer my heart to you, O Lord, promptly and sincerely”—was an unwavering declaration of surrender to the Lord, whom he sought to love with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength. While many Christians … View Resource

  • What is Free Will? Devotional

    Romans 7:19

    Paul describes in today’s passage that even those regenerated by the Spirit face a conflict of desires. If we believe in God’s promises, we have a new disposition, but sometimes our old sinful nature raises its ugly head. Sometimes we do not rely on God’s grace but let evil desires become stronger than our desire to love Jesus; thus, we sin. Yet by the Spirit we may strengthen our desire for the Lord and so choose righteousness. Pray that you would long to serve Him above all else. View Resource

  • Israel’s Rejection of Christ Sermon by R.C. Sproul

    Romans 9:1-13

    View Resource

  • The Fine Points of Calvinism Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2005

    The late theologian Cornelius Van Til once made the observation that Calvinism is not to be identified with the so-called five points of Calvinism. Rather, Van Til concluded that the five points function as a pathway, or a bridge, to the entire structure of Reformed theology. Likewise, Charles Spurgeon argued that Calvinism is merely a nickname for biblical theology. These titans of the past understood that the essence of Reformed theology cannot be reduced to five particular points that arose as points of controversy centuries ago in Holland with the Remonstrants, who objected to five specific points of the system … View Resource

  • Truly Reformed Theology Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    It probably won’t surprise you to learn that no one has taught me more about the Bible and its theology than R.C. Sproul. And it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that no one has taught me more about mercy ministry than R.C. Sproul. Having worked for R.C. going on twelve years, I have witnessed, firsthand, one man’s faith working itself out in love. As the testimonies of his wife and children reveal, his theology of grace sustains his concern for the hungry, the widow, and the orphan. Appropriately, his theology informs his practice, as should ours. View Resource

  • Reformed Theology Is Covenant Theology Article by Richard Pratt Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    Reformed theology is often associated with “covenant theology.” If you listen carefully, you’ll often hear pastors and teachers describe themselves as “Reformed and covenantal.” The terms Reformed and covenant are used together so widely that it behooves us to understand why they are connected. Covenant theology refers to one of the basic beliefs that Calvinists have held about the Bible. All Protestants who have remained faithful to their heritage affirm sola Scriptura, the belief that the Bible is our supreme and unquestionable authority. Covenant theology, however, distinguishes the Reformed view of Scripture from other Protestant outlooks by emphasizing that divine … View Resource

  • The Many Shades of Calvinism Article by Paul Helm

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    The term Calvinism was first used by Lutheran theologians to refer to what they regarded as the peculiar views of Christ’s real presence at the Lord’s Supper held by John Calvin and his followers. It is not used in this way nowadays. What does it refer to now? In some cases, it denotes the entire theological system of Calvin himself as we find it in the four books of his Institutes of the Christian Religion. In other cases, and more usually, it refers to the understanding of the doctrine of salvation as we find it in the first three books. … View Resource

  • Reformed Theology Vs. Hyper-Calvinism Article by Michael Horton

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2005

    Before the average believer today learns what Reformed theology (i.e., Calvinism) actually is, he first usually has to learn what it’s not. Often, detractors define Reformed theology not according to what it actually teaches, but according to where they think its logic naturally leads. Even more tragically, some hyper-Calvinists have followed the same course. Either way, “Calvinism” ends up being defined by extreme positions that it does not in fact hold as scriptural. The charges leveled against Reformed theology, of which hyper-Calvinism is actually guilty, received a definitive response at the international Synod of Dort (1618–1619), along with the … View Resource