• Something Old, Something New Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    How can confessional Reformed churches provide a safe haven for New Calvinists? A simple answer to this may fail to appreciate the diversity of each new Calvinist’s spiritual pilgrimage, and thus runs the danger of not ministering particular grace to particular people in their particular situations. But that does not mean that there are not certain ideas (even general ones) that may be helpful for confessional pastors and churches to consider as they seek to minister to these weathered pilgrims seeking spiritual haven. View Resource

  • That They May Be the One Article by Thomas Schreiner

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2009

      The Lord Jesus prayed on the night before His death: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one … View Resource

  • Doing Without the Church? Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    The seven churches of Asia addressed in the book of Revelation had their problems. One of them looked quite lively but it was actually dead. Another was so lukewarm that the Lord was ready to spit it out of His mouth. And yet the Son of Man did not tell the Christians of Sardis or of Laodicea to pull out of their congregations. Today, though, a growing number of Christians are doing just that. Despite the continued visibility of megachurches, the new trend is for minichurches, microchurches, or no churches at all. According to pollster George Barna, the era of … View Resource

  • The Forgotten Mark Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    Historically, Protestants have argued that there are certain, essential marks that characterize a true church. The Belgic Confession of 1561 identifies these marks as being three in number. In addition to the “pure preaching of the gospel” and the “pure administration of the sacraments,” a true church “practices church discipline for correcting faults.” While most churches would readily acknowledge the importance of the first two of these marks, the third one has fallen into such disuse that few church members have ever heard a sermon on corrective church discipline, much less seen it practiced. This is remarkable when one … View Resource

  • A Good Kind of Pluralism Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    Today’s postmodernists use cultural pluralism as a pretext for relativism, as if the existence of many cultures implied the existence of many truths. Many Americans embrace multiculturalism as if they had no culture of their own. In religion, pluralism has given rise to a new polytheism. And yet, there is a kind of pluralism that is good, necessary, and biblical.  The apostle Paul speaks of a radical pluralism that nevertheless constitutes a unity: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is … View Resource

  • That They May Be One Article by Carl Robbins

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    No Christian would say he is for division in the church. Divisiveness stands condemned (1 Cor. 1:10). Even the newest believer knows that we are given warnings not to tolerate those who would cause division (Rom. 16:17–18; Titus 3:9–11). And any church that has division will certainly not be a healthy, growing church. Conversely, we know that the New Testament reveals a strong emphasis on unity and community in the church. As believers we have a declared unity: The church has one Head: Ephesians 1:22–23. Christ is building one church: Matthew 16:17–18. The church has … View Resource

  • Peer Pressure Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    The talk shows were buzzing recently about a sex education class in a Maryland school that had students chew a stick of gum, then pass it around so that everyone in the class chewed it. This learning activity was supposed to make some kind of point, never specified, about sexually-transmitted diseases. It turns out, this gross-out exercise was not the brainchild of some left-wing progressive educational theorist. The communal gum-chewing was sponsored by a Christian “faith-based” group that was allowed to come into the classroom to teach about abstinence.  In fact, the “gum game” has its origins in … View Resource

  • Family Religion Article by Melton Duncan

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    I recently was privileged to speak at an ancient country church. It was a rural church, the kind with a fine graveyard, an old bell in the steeple, a formal “ladies parlor,” and a nice family in the fellowship hall making pecan pie for those gathered at midweek Bible study. When I arrived I was warmly greeted and soon had a good sense of the familial nature of this evangelical assembly. Clearly everyone was there because they were related to someone who had been there before. I was struck on that occasion by how the Bible is largely a collection … View Resource

  • True Shepherding Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    Every morning for several months, my wife and I walked past an injured Canada goose, whose feathers stuck out in several directions. For all those months, several geese dutifully stayed with the injured bird. Likewise, caring for the wounded is the church’s loving duty to her own. Paul teaches us that when one member of Christ’s body suffers, “all the members suffer” (1 Cor.12:26 KJV). Caring for the grieving promotes the unity of the body of Christ and fosters the communion of saints. Furthermore, grieving saints have a claim on our compassion for Christ’s sake (Matt. 25:40 … View Resource

  • Building Up The Body Article by Ken Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    Make no mistake about it, ours is a culture of specialization and niche marketing. From vegetarian or vegan restaurants to the most obscure hobby, entrepreneurs have found a way to tap into every conceivable niche market. And just as the church has borrowed other trends and techniques from the marketing world, niche marketing has been no exception. It should come as no surprise that para-church ministries and organizations have a target audience that they aim for, but we are seeing an increasing number of Christian churches that are shaping their ministries to reach a particular niche market. Sometimes this trend … View Resource

  • Nurture and Admonition Article by Greg Bailey

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    The young couple stood before our congregation that Sunday morning holding a tiny baby recently adopted into their family. They had come to have the sign of water baptism applied to him, the sign of their faith in God’s promise that their son will be adopted into the family of God. But in addition to the baptism, another adoption took place that day, during that very service. After asking the couple to publicly acknowledge their son’s need of the cleansing blood of Christ, to claim God’s promises on his behalf, and to dedicate their child unreservedly to God, the pastor … View Resource

  • Covenant Community Article by David McKay

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    When a pastor looks at his assembled congregation, what does he see? If he accepts a biblical covenant theology, he knows that he is not looking at a collection of randomly gathered individuals, or even families, but at a part of the covenant people of God. That perspective, when grasped by a congregation, ought to make a great impact on how these people view their life together. Covenant theology reminds the people of God that they are to think covenantally rather than individualistically. Such a mindset is the very opposite of that which shapes much of current Western thinking. The … View Resource

  • Respect Your Elders Article by Patrick Lennox

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    Respect your elders!” was a continual rebuke I heard from my uncle during my childhood. Although then I couldn’t define the word respect by any dictionary standard, I had a good working knowledge of what it meant to respect my elders. Judging by my actions that preceded my uncle’s rebuke, I knew that respect had something to do with not talking back or sassing, interrupting, contradicting, complaining or rolling my eyes, or any other non-verbal vocal expression of frustration. Somewhere within that list was a safe-guard against the wrath of my uncle. In 1 Peter 5, we have similar … View Resource

  • Many Gifts, One Body Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2005

    A few years ago I was given a month-long sabbatical to study in Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation. While in Wittenberg, I stayed at the Evangelical Preacher’s Seminary, which shared the same courtyard as Martin Luther’s home. From my room on the third floor, I overlooked the dining room and kitchen of Luther’s sixteenth-century house. I recall that on many occasions in the late evening after a traditional German meal, I would open my window to the courtyard and look at the walkway below that led to Luther’s house. I considered the floral surroundings that adorned the … View Resource

  • A Testimony of Faithfulness Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    Among all the names mentioned in the letter to the Hebrews, only one belongs to a member of the New Testament church. Here are four clues. If you still can’t get the answer, look up Hebrews 13:23. Clue number one: This person seems to have been known to the author. That is not much help in narrowing down the field, unless one holds the minority view that Paul wrote Hebrews. Clue number two: This person had recently been released from imprisonment for the sake of Christ. Got him yet? Clue number three: Actually this person was known very well … View Resource