• Respectable Sins Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008

    Have you ever found yourself so caught up and concerned with the rampant sinfulness of our culture that you forget about the subtle sins in your own heart? If so, Jerry Bridges has written a book for you. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (NavPress, 2007) takes aim at the sins many Christians consciously or unconsciously consider “acceptable” behavior. For those who take the lordship of Jesus Christ seriously and seek to be like Him, this book is required reading.  The first chapters of the book set the stage by describing the true nature of sin as God sees … View Resource

  • Savoring the Institutes Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    There are a very small number of books other than the Bible that have affected the course of history. One thinks immediately of books such as Nicholas Copernicus’ Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, or Albert Einstein’s Relativity. There are also a small number of books that have profoundly influenced the history and thought of the church. One might think, for example, of Augustine’s City of God, Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, or Karl … View Resource

  • Signature in the Cell Article by Keith Mathison

    In 1991, Phillip Johnson published Darwin on Trial. In 1996, Michael Behe published Darwin’s Black Box. In 1998, William Dembski published The Design Inference. While numerous other books on the subject have been published, these three books are considered landmark works in the discussion over intelligent design. Now there is a fourth. Stephen C. Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell, may be the most persuasive case for intelligent design yet published. The timing could not be better, since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On … View Resource

  • Teenage Rebellion Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2009

    Let’s do a quick word association test. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you see or hear the word teenager? Sadly, for many, the first words that come to mind are entirely negative. The word teenager brings to their mind other words such as lazy, apathetic, irresponsible, rude, know-it-all, and so on. Most people today have very low expectations for teenagers in general, and too many have low expectations for their own teenagers in particular. Teenagers themselves recognize these low expectations, and many live down to them — sleeping in and sliding by. … View Resource

  • Theologian of the Spirit Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    The figure of John Owen (1616–1683) towers above — almost head and shoulders above — the galaxy of writers we know collectively as the English Puritans. His theological learning and acumen was unrivalled; his sense of the importance of doctrine for living was profound. David Clarkson, Owen’s assistant in his latter years, and himself no mean theologian and pastor, well summarized it in his funeral sermon: “It was his great design to promote holiness in the life and exercise of it among you.” Throughout his work, Owen employed, what was to him, a very significant distinction between the conviction of … View Resource

  • Two Kingdoms, One God Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    Without a doubt, the greatest theologian in the first thousand years of the church was Augustine of Hippo (354–430). His voluminous theological, exegetical, and devotional writings have had a lasting impact and continue to be studied to this day. One of Augustine’s greatest works is The City of God, written to defend the Christian faith from its pagan attackers as the Roman Empire was collapsing. It is one of the most influential books ever written. The City of God is available in a number of English translations, but one of the clearest and most readable is the translation by … View Resource

  • A Visible Word Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    Robert Bruce (1551–1631) is not a household name, even among knowledgeable Reformed Christians. He was at one time, however, one of the most important leaders in the Church of Scotland. He was the successor of John Knox and James Lawson and preached at the Great Kirk of St. Giles in Edinburgh. St. Giles holds a prominent place in Reformation history, being the site where Knox preached his first sermon on the Reformation. The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper (Christian Heritage) contains five sermons preached by Bruce at St. Giles in February and March of the year 1589.  The Christian Heritage edition … View Resource

  • When Wright Is Wrong Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    If you are a reader of contemporary theological works and you have not already encountered the name “N.T. Wright,” you will. Wright is the Anglican Bishop of Durham, and he is one of the most prolific biblical scholars of our day. I first encountered Wright’s name years ago while doing research on the topic of eschatology. His work on the Gospels provided a number of insights that assisted me in my own work. His magisterial book on the doctrine of resurrection will likely be the standard work on the subject for decades to come. Since my reading of Wright at … View Resource

  • Why Is Justification So Important? Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2009

    During the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, there were few things more precious to believers than the recovery of the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone. Centuries of semi-Pelagian (and Pelagian) growth were dragged into the light and revealed as the deadly poison they were, and despite fierce opposition, the glorious gospel of grace began to be proclaimed again from pulpits across Europe. As the truth spread, resistance increased, and untold numbers of the faithful suffered persecution and even death rather than renounce or compromise this essential biblical doctrine. Five hundred years later, how many … View Resource

  • The Will to Debate Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    When Dutch Calvinists and Arminians squared off against one another in the early part of the seventeenth century, the Calvinists won the opening battle. The controversy, however, soon spread beyond the borders of the Netherlands. Now, four hundred years later, the conflict continues, and in terms of numbers alone, Arminianism is clearly winning the war for the hearts and minds of professing Christians. Today, Calvinists are a small minority. But why the debate in the first place? Is it really that important? Many professing Christians today would say that the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism should be put to rest, … View Resource

  • The Year in Books Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    I have always enjoyed recommending books, and for the final “Beyond the Wicket Gate” column of 2010, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the significant books that have been published so far this year, books that you may not have heard about but should consider reading. This list is not exhaustive. I have not seen all of the books published this year, and even if I had, it is humanly impossible to read them all. It is inevitable, therefore, that there will be great books missing from this list. Furthermore, since I am writing several months … View Resource