• Confession unto Death Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    Some people call us theological diehards “conservatives.” That term is appropriate, since we do want to conserve something. But a better word, one that we increasingly use, is “confessionals.” This term throws the emphasis on what we want to conserve, namely, our specific confessions of faith. Calvinists have the Three Forms of Unity. We Lutherans have The Book of Concord, a word that means unity, but it consists of no less than eleven documents. So many might seem a little much. But each confession has an important place in our theology. The Book of Concord consists of the … View Resource

  • Drawing the Line: Why Doctrine Matters Article by R. Scott Clark

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    Imagine Mike. He’s an unusual mechanic. Where other mechanics find natural laws (such as gravity) unavoidable and even useful, he suspects them to be arbitrary, invoked in order to stifle his creativity. We can imagine how the story ends. Cars brought for repair are returned in worse shape than before. Mike goes out of business. Whatever Mike might think, the laws of physics are built into the nature of creation. So it is with doctrine in the Christian faith and life. Throughout Christian history, folks have proposed to do without Christian doctrine, the good and necessary inferences drawn from the … View Resource

  • The Faith of Demons Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    While written creeds have their advantages, unwritten creeds have a few as well. With a written creed we are able to nail down precise language. We can affirm this and deny that. Everyone is able to make a conscious decision about whether or not they agree. This, in turn, mirrors at least one of the benefits of an unwritten creed. First, it leaves more wiggle room. Second, if the creed is unwritten, there is no place to sign on the dotted line. If there is no list of signatories, it’s so much easier to simply assume that everyone is on … View Resource

  • Norma Normata Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    The Latin word credo means simply “I believe.” It represents the first word of the Apostles’ Creed. Throughout church history it has been necessary for the church to adopt and embrace creedal statements to clarify the Christian faith and to distinguish true content from error and false representations of the faith. Such creeds are distinguished from Scripture in that Scripture is norma normans (“the rule that rules”), while the creeds are norma normata (“a rule that is ruled”).  Historically, Christian creeds have included everything from brief affirmations to comprehensive statements. The earliest Christian creed is found in the New … View Resource

  • This We Believe Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Many evangelical Christians are instinctively suspicious of the whole idea of creeds and confessions, those set forms of words that certain churches have used throughout the ages to give concise expression to the Christian faith. For such people, the very idea of such extra-scriptural authoritative statements of faith seems to strike at the very heart of their belief that the Bible is the unique revelation of God, the all-sufficient basis for our knowledge of Him, and the supreme authority in matters of religion.  Certainly, creeds and confessions can be used in a way that undermines the orthodox Protestant … View Resource

  • The Value of Confessions Article by Douglas Kelly

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    To this day, Christian Churches, especially in the Reformation tradition, use a powerful tool for “maintaining the form of sound words” and for spreading the gospel to the world—their confessional documents. The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century represented a major rupture in the medieval church, one in which more than one-third of Europe had to go back to the “drawing board” to formulate their testimony to the rest of the world. That drawing board was Holy Scripture, which consecrated pastor-scholars searched out on the basis of a fresh knowledge of the original languages, and also on the basis of … View Resource

  • Who Draws the Line? Article by Sean Michael Lucas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    As Jesus ascended into heaven, He delegated His authority to the Apostles to make disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20a). This delegation of authority has typically served as the basis for thinking about the authority (or power) of the disciples gathered as the church. In other words, here Jesus grants authority to order worship (implied in baptism and teaching) and to declare doctrine (implied in teaching what … View Resource

  • Why Do We Draw the Line? Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    In recent years, talk of uniting around the center has been very popular in conservative evangelical quarters. One obvious reason for this is that many regard such a center as reflecting the fact that there is a solid core of key doctrines on which evangelicals agree, even though there are areas of disagreement. Thus, many consider Trinitarianism, penal substitution, and justification by grace alone through faith alone to be central points of agreement. At the same time, these same people would regard the subjects and mode of baptism or the details of church polity to be areas of disagreement. Yet … View Resource