• The Birth of Israel Article by John Currid

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2005

    The Scriptures have emphasized the wickedness of mankind since the time of the flood. Humanity is no different than what it was prior to the flood. For instance, the line of Ham demonstrates great selfishness and evil, and a strident rebelliousness against God. At Babel, mankind even desired to storm the very gates of heaven and shun the commands of God. Such stories simply describe mankind’s attempt to sit on the throne of the universe. God, however, cannot but succeed, and the book of Acts tells us “in past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own … View Resource

  • The Blood of the Covenant Article by Douglas Kelly

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2004

    One of the chief points of evangelical Christianity that was most offensive to Protestant Modernists in the great debates against Fundamentalism in the early twentieth century was the centrality of the blood of Christ for salvation. Many a would-be “sophisticated” Modernist sought to write off the very heart of traditional Christianity as “a slaughter-house religion.” Presumably they would replace trust in the cleansing blood with faith in their own good works, humanist wisdom, and political achievements. The drastic decline of the influence of so much of Western (or as Philip Jenkins terms it, “Northern Christianity,” that is, of … View Resource

  • The Blueprint of Redemption Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    A persistent tradition claims that upon being mocked by a skeptic with regard to his doctrine of creation, Saint Augustine was cynically asked, “What was God doing before He created the world? Augustine’s alleged reply was: “Creating hell for curious souls.” The reply was, of course, tongue-in-cheek. The Bible doesn’t speak of such a special work of divine creation before creation itself. But Augustine’s bon mot had a serious point that warned against idle speculation of God’s activity in eternity. However, quite apart from speculation, the Bible has much to say about God’s activity “before” the world was made … View Resource

  • Covenant Article by Michael Horton

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    Anyone who is employed or has a mortgage, credit card, or car is familiar with contracts — and the “blessings” and “curses” that they impose. Not all legal agreements are the same, of course. A contract differs significantly from a last will and testament, which can make you a beneficiary of someone else’s estate. You benefit not by a “work-for-hire” arrangement or a payment program but by a gift. Similarly, there are different kinds of covenants in the Bible. Reformed theology has discerned in Scripture three overarching covenants. The covenant of redemption is the agreement of the Father, Son, and … View Resource

  • Covenant and Culture Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    The word covenant is a theological term. But it is also a cultural term. It has to do with God’s primal design for how human beings, fallen though we be, can live together and form a society. Social philosophers and political theorists talk about the “social compact” or the “social contract.” The concept in its different nuances was developed by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, though it goes back to the ancient Greeks. It states that governments and, indeed, cultures entail a tacit but binding agreement between parties: I will obey your laws if you protect my rights. I will … 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

  • Covenant Prosecutors Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    I don’t remember the exact words. They went something like this: “He was a thundering paradox of a man.” These words served as the opening lines of William Manchester’s classic biography of General Douglas MacArthur. In this work, MacArthur was shown as a multi-faceted man whose essence could not be crystallized by a single attribute. In like manner, the prophets of the Old Testament were men of multi-faceted and multi-dimensioned responsibilities and behavior. Some of the roles carried out by these prophets include the following: First, the prophets of Israel were agents of revelation. They did not say,   … View Resource

  • The Covenant Way Article by Susan Hunt

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    Even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation” (Ps. 71:18). One of the things I feel an urgency to proclaim to our covenant sons and daughters is that “God created man in his own image … male and female he created them… . And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion’” (Gen. 1:27–28). 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

  • He Has a Name Article by Greg Barolet

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2006

    We have been reading about the covenants these past few days, and it may prove helpful to look at a few chapters where God prepares Abram for His promise. The Greek and Hebrew verbs for covenant basically mean “to cut a covenant.” Covenants can be between fathers and sons, kings and subjects, and in our case, God and His people, or with an elected person like Abram. As a noun, covenant means “testament.” “This is the new testament in my blood,” or “this is the new covenant in my blood.” They are interchangeable. In this portion … View Resource

  • Inheritance and Intervention Article by Geoff Stevens

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2006

    This Sunday, I will bring my fifth child in front of the church for baptism. While my son is the one being baptized, it is my wife, myself, and our church who will be taking vows. We will be promising to raise him in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. He will be promising nothing. We will promise to set a godly example, pray with and for him, and teach him about God. He will just sit there and hopefully not scream. Yet he will receive a blessing and membership in the community of believers. Some, including myself … View Resource

  • A Mother in Israel Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    Jacob, the wily one, after ten or fifteen years, finally returns to Bethel. God has been at work in his life, drawing the wayward patriarch to himself. It has been a difficult journey. It invariably is so when our wills are set at variance against the Lord’s. From the perspective of hindsight, Jacob could now speak to his family of a God “who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone” (Gen. 35:3). Jacob had been sheltered within the orbit of God’s covenant faithfulness. Despite half-hearted commitment and questionable decisions … View Resource

  • Our Covenant God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    From time to time we receive a letter from a reader who would like us to use words that are more familiar. And although we generally try to define theological and biblical terms that may be unfamiliar to our readers, we do expect readers of Tabletalk to pick up their dictionaries occasionally. In an age when the average adult reads at a seventh-grade level, we want to raise the bar a little and challenge people to study words and their meanings, especially when it comes to the words of sacred Scripture. Nevertheless, there are certain words that are not found … 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

  • Our Glorious Inheritance in Christ Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    Allegedly, a reporter once asked John D. Rockefeller, who at the time was one of the wealthiest men in America, “How much money is enough?” to which Rockefeller supposedly answered, “A little more than I have.” Such a response is fascinating but not the least bit surprising. Even though we don’t care to admit it, most of us are consumed with the endless endeavor of consuming a little more. It is indeed a vicious cycle of consumerism that can only be broken when we become content with what the Lord has provided and what the Lord has taken … View Resource