• Amazing Love Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    The love of Christ for us in His dying was as conscious as His suffering was intentional. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If He was intentional in laying down His life, it was for us. It was love. “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). Every step on the Calvary road meant, “I love you.” Therefore, to feel the … View Resource

  • Meeting Jesus at an Old Testament Feast Article by John R. Sittema

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    The default sin of the human heart is to put ourselves first. “It really is all about me!” was once a funny t-shirt slogan; it has now become a way of life. Unless preachers and Bible teachers are careful, the way we handle Scripture can actually feed this beast. We rush to application, consumed by the question, “How is this relevant to me?” But the Bible is theocentric, not anthropocentric. It is more concerned to trace God’s ways — His character, purposes, and His cosmic redemptive plan (“For God so loved the cosmos”) — than it is to give modern … View Resource

  • The Great Exchange Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    It should come as little surprise to learn that the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ has come under renewed criticism in recent decades. The Reformers dealt with such criticisms and attacks from the Socinians. Our more recent forefathers in the faith dealt with such criticisms and attacks from rationalists and liberals. Today we hear such criticisms and attacks from a wide variety of sources. We are surrounded by so much anti-Christian rhetoric, however, that it is hardly a shock to hear the doctrine of substitutionary atonement referred to derisively as “cosmic child abuse” by a popular contemporary Christian … View Resource

  • Our Identity in Christ Article by Kevin Struyk

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Remembering all the personal identification numbers, passwords, login names, ID cards, and the like that are a part of my everyday routine gets tiring. In order to conduct any business on the Internet, enter my residence, pay bills, access email, or enter my gym, I either enter a plethora of keystrokes or flash one of my various ID cards. Despite these little inconveniences, it is a relief to know that there are still a few places such as the homes of friends and family and the church where “secret handshakes,” ID cards, and special personal identification numbers are not … View Resource

  • Falling Short of God’s Glory Article by Karisa Schlehr

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    While I do not remember much from elementary school, there is one conversation I will never forget. In fourth grade, I took the opportunity to witness to one of my friends. I remember asking her, “If you were to die tonight, do you know for sure you would go to heaven?” She immediately responded “yes.” This lack of hesitation brought great excitement until she answered the next question. I asked, “How do you know?” She responded, “Because I have never sinned.” At the time, I knew that her statement was erroneous, but it wasn’t until a … View Resource

  • God’s Holy Love Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    The notion of retributive justice — which has been the hallmark of human law since premodern times — has been under assault for many years in Western cultures. Led by utilitarian philosophers such as John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, many modern persons have determined that retribution is an unacceptable form of justice. This shift has had repercussions not only in legal practice, judicial theory, and penal law, but also in theology. For as justice has been redefined to mean rehabilitation instead of retribution, the idea of a penal substitutionary atonement has become to many persons simply unthinkable. The most … View Resource

  • Lift High the Cross Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    I recently attended a meeting of our local presbytery (the regular, periodic gathering of local pastors and elders), and I was blessed to sing the words of a classic hymn: “Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore his sacred name.” The closing stanza of this hymn struck me. It reads, “For thy blest cross which doth for us atone, creation’s praises rise before thy throne.” The cross atones. The “cross” is more than a mere piece of wood. Its use here is a “literary metonymy.” In other words, it is … View Resource

  • For God So Loved the World Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    Every Christian believes in limited atonement. That may sound ludicrous to my Arminian friends because it has long been assumed that only Calvinists hold to the dreaded “L” in TULIP. But if the death of Jesus Christ is recognized as an actual atonement (and not merely a potential one), then the question of limitation cannot be escaped, unless you believe the lie of universalism. It is the recognition that Christ’s death actually atoned for sins that governs our interpretation of those wonderful texts that speak of the great breadth of His saving work. For example, John writes that Jesus is … View Resource

  • The Bearer of Iniquity Article by Joseph Pipa Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    God has always dealt with the human race through a covenant head. Adam represented us in the garden. If he had obeyed, he would have merited (by covenant appointment) life for himself and the entirety of his posterity. In his rebellion, he plunged himself, as well as us, into the morass of sin, guilt, and condemnation. Although Adam broke the covenant of works, its inexorable demands and inflexible penalty remain in force. Jesus Christ would come as the second Adam to accomplish what the first Adam did not: to obey perfectly and to pay the penalty for the sins of … View Resource

  • The Blood of the Lamb Article by Gordon Wenham

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” says the epistle to the Hebrews (9:22). Most of that epistle is taken up with showing how Christ fulfilled the hopes and aspirations of the Old Testament, especially in regard to the sacrificial system of ancient Israel. But for modern readers who have never seen a sacrifice and do not think in Old Testament categories, this is all double dutch: What has the killing of animals to do with the forgiveness of sins? It is explained at length in the book of Leviticus, which begins with a long … View Resource

  • Cur Deus Homo Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    In the eleventh century, one of the church’s most brilliant thinkers, Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote three important works that have influenced the church ever since. In the field of Christian philosophy, he gave us his Monologium and his Proslogium; in the field of systematic theology, he penned the great Christian classic Cur Deus Homo, which being translated means “Why the God-Man?” In this work, Anselm set forth the philosophical and theological foundations for an important aspect of the church’s understanding of the atonement of Christ, specifically the satisfaction view of the atonement. In it, Anselm argued that it … View Resource

  • It Is Finished Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    As I consider the state of the evangelical church at the beginning of the twenty-first century, I observe a people who have swapped their faith for a bumper sticker and a church that has been caught up with the wrappings of religion. Many in the church have grown tired of that old-time religion, and they have become enamored with the affluence of get-holy-quick, pop-Christian programs. They have joined arms with the razzlers and the dazzlers of the world’s marketplace, and they have set out on a journey down a yellow-brick road that will lead only to the great and powerful … View Resource

  • Our Renewed Image Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2005

    We have just read John Calvin’s words, “the death of Christ is efficacious … for the mortification of the flesh.” What, in practical terms, might this look like in everyday life? Maybe the primary question is, how does the death of one actually give life to another? To understand this first may help us to see more easily how the mortified or sanctified life goes. In Saint Peter’s own words: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). “Living to righteousness” means … View Resource

  • Biblical Scholasticism Article by R.C. Sproul

    In an age wherein the ground of theology has been saturated by the torrential downpour of existential thinking, it seems almost suicidal, like facing the open floodgates riding a raft made of balsa wood, to appeal to a seventeenth-century theologian to address a pressing theological issue. Nothing evokes more snorts from the snouts of anti-rational zealots than appeals to sages from the era of Protestant Scholasticism. “Scholasticism” is the pejorative term applied by so-called “Neo-Orthodox” (better spelled without the “e” in Neo), or “progressive” Reformed thinkers who embrace the “Spirit” of the Reformation while eschewing its “letter” to the seventeenth-century … View Resource

  • Death Conquered Article by John Hill

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2004

    In his letter to the Romans, Paul teaches us that all have sinned, then he reveals the wages of sin — death! Death for sin — isn’t that a little harsh? We don’t like to think about such things. Maybe there is something we can do to appease God? Can sinners atone for their own sins, or do we need someone else to atone for our sins in order for us to be reconciled to God? Can we save ourselves from death or do we need someone to save us? In answering these questions, Dr. W. G. T. Shedd provides … View Resource