• Answering Islam Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    Islam is one of the most rapidly growing religions in the world today, its one billion adherents second only to Christianity. Many Christians who only decades ago would never have heard of Islam now have friends, family members and co-workers who adhere to the teachings of the Qur’an and affirm that Muhammad is the great prophet of Allah. Answering Islam by Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb was written for those who desire a better understanding of the teachings of Islam and for those who are looking for a tool to enable them to effectively present the Gospel to the … View Resource

  • At Many Times; In Many Ways Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    It is probably not an exaggeration to say that most Christians have little difficulty reading the Five Books of Moses and the Historical Books of the Old Testament. Sure, we may scratch our heads in puzzlement while reading certain sections of Leviticus, but all in all, these books do not pose too much of a problem for us. They contain a narrative, a story with a beginning and end. In these books, we are on familiar ground. The poetic books are a bit more challenging because of the way in which they are written, but we still find them somewhat … View Resource

  • Christ and Culture Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    In the first centuries following the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah and the inauguration of the new covenant under which the people of God became a trans-national people crossing all borders, the church had few choices in the matter of her relationship to the surrounding culture. The options were limited due to persecution. As the church gained in numbers and influence, however, the situation began to change. With the (at least nominal) conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Edict of Milan (AD 313), the questions became acute. Now Christianity was tolerated. Would this new circumstance allow the … View Resource

  • Christ in the Old Testament Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2009

    The relationship between the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant remains one of the most controversial and difficult topics in theology. As the notable American theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “There is perhaps no part of divinity attended with so much intricacy, and wherein orthodox divines do so much differ as stating the precise agreement and difference between the two dispensations of Moses and Christ.” There are those who so emphasize either discontinuity or continuity that the problem is solved by oversimplifying it. Most Christians, however, recognize that there are elements of continuity as well as discontinuity. The difficulty arises when … View Resource

  • Christ is Risen: So What? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2001

    We live amid a culture that revels in its efficiency. Thus, to a large degree, evangelicalism has grown apathetic to its own message, the message of the Resurrection. This predicament is often demonstrated in Gospel presentations that more or less leave Jesus on the cross. This cannot be the predicament for those who proclaim Jesus as the risen and reigning Christ of the world. Michael Green’s book Christ is Risen: So What? addresses the predominant evangelical attitude of indifference toward the fundamental doctrine of the Resurrection. The title question is quite brash. Still, it is a question we ought … View Resource

  • Does the Center Hold? Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2009

    If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.” This accusation has been repeated so many times that few make the effort to argue it. Instead, it is simply assumed. Never mind that some of the church’s greatest evangelists have been Calvinists. One need only be reminded of men such as George Whitefield, David Brainerd, or “the father of modern missions,” William Carey. “Yes,” we are told, “these men were great evangelists and Calvinists, but that is because they were inconsistent.” But is … 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

  • Holiness Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2009

    In the early centuries of the church’s existence, Christian apologists would sometimes appeal to the distinctively holy lives of Christians as evidence for the truth of Christianity. Would such an appeal be of any use today? According to numerous surveys, the behavior of professing Christians is not discernibly different from the behavior of those who profess other religions or no religion at all. The phrase one often hears on the lips of pagans who observe contemporary Christian behavior is: “The church is full of hypocrites.” This should not be. We worship a holy God who calls His people to … View Resource

  • Hope in Life and Death Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    One of the first Reformed authors I ever read was Sinclair Ferguson. I was a dispensationalist in transition at the time, and I ran across a little book titled The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction by Dr. Ferguson. I started reading it in the bookstore, and I finished it in my apartment the same evening. This wonderful little book was instrumental in my transition from dispensationalism to the Reformed tradition. Since that time, I have continued to read everything I can from the pen of Dr. Ferguson. Like the great theologians of old, he writes with the heart and experience … View Resource

  • In All Humility Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    I face something of a dilemma here that I believe C. J. Mahaney might appreciate. He has written a wonderful book in which he seeks to share insight on the practice of true humility and the conquest of pride. However, as he and all authors know, a glowing book review is a great temptation to pride for any author. I’ve read and (hopefully) benefited from his book on humility, but I wonder how to write a positive review without encouraging pride in the book’s author — in case he reads the review. Therein lies the dilemma. In order to avoid … View Resource

  • A Life of Integrity Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2004

    He was one of the most important English writers of the eighteenth century. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) ranks right up with William Shakespeare and G.K. Chesterton as among the most quoted prose stylists in the English language. Indeed, it has long been traditional to refer to the second half of the eighteenth century as the Age of Johnson. Interestingly though, he is usually remembered not so much as a writer but as a conversationalist and as a personality — mostly due to the brilliant account of his life written by his friend, companion, and ne’er-do-well, James Boswell, in 1791. For … View Resource

  • Our Covenant Lord Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    I remember when I first started to study covenant theology while a student at a dispensationalist seminary in Texas. One thing that always puzzled me was the lack of any introductory level book explaining the basics of covenant theology. There were, of course, books that looked at the specific biblical covenants as well as books that examined this or that aspect of covenant theology, but at the time, I was unable to find a single work that put everything together and explained the basics in a way that someone new to covenant theology could understand. Today several such volumes are available … View Resource

  • Pop Goes the Evangelical Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    What do commercialism, the problem of evil, Chick tracts, American Idol, and Francis Beckwith’s recent conversion to Roman Catholicism have in common? Anyone? If you couldn’t come up with an answer, not to worry. One would be hard-pressed to find an overarching conceptual category that would encompass all of these topics, not to mention creeds and confessions, anti-aging products, and the Psalms, but they all have one thing in common. At one point or another, they have all been the subject of Carl Trueman’s wide ranging interests, and they are all discussed in his most recent book, Minority Report. There … View Resource

  • Religion, Politics, and Poetry Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    Just as it is generally assumed that religion and politics do not make for particularly pleasant dinner table conversation, it is generally assumed that they do not make for particularly pleasant poetry either. John Milton (b. 1608) sundered both assumptions in his masterful work Paradise Lost. It is explicitly political and inescapably religious. Indeed, it is a prime example of the unapologetic theological dogmatism of the zealously partisan seventeenth century. And yet, it is magnificent poetry. Its beauty and grace are undeniable. Its majestic cadence, lofty vision, and soaring images have earned Milton a place in English letters second only … View Resource

  • Remembering the Reformation Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2008

    Does the Protestant Reformation still matter? If so, why? These are important questions, especially in our day and age, because for many living today in the twenty-first century, what is important is not the past, but the future. We live at an unusual time in history. In terms of technology, the world has changed faster in the last one hundred years than it did in the previous two thousand years combined. This has affected us in many ways. Our generation no longer looks to the wisdom of the past for guidance; instead, we look for the next new invention. History … View Resource