• Acquainted with Death Article by Peter Leithart

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2001

    Many today boast of near-death experiences. I do not. I have never had a near-death experience. But I am not intimidated by those who have, because I can boast, too. I have never been near death, but I have died many times. Before I was born, I was living in a warm and cozy, if somewhat damp, environment, minding my business and sucking my thumb. Birth was a death for me, a death to the womb, a death to protection and security, a death to a life of blissful and careless dependency. I cried when I was born, not because … View Resource

  • Amazing Love Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    The love of Christ for us in His dying was as conscious as His suffering was intentional. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If He was intentional in laying down His life, it was for us. It was love. “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). Every step on the Calvary road meant, “I love you.” Therefore, to feel the … View Resource

  • The Beautiful Tears Article by Makoto Fujimura

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2010 | John 11

    In John 11, Jesus weeps. His tears, shed in response to Lazarus’ death and Mary and Martha’s grief, are full of embodied truth, beauty, and goodness. Why did Jesus weep? He delayed coming to Bethany “so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4), and, when He arrived, informed Martha that He is “the resurrection and the life” (v. 25). If He came to Bethany to show His power, the fact that He is indeed the Messiah with the power to resurrect the dead, why did He not simply wave His “magic wand” to “solve the … View Resource

  • Death, Disease & the Gospel Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    I was sixteen when my father died. It was a Sunday evening in late September of 1992 when I heard the news of his death. I had just returned from work when my mother came into my room in tears. My father was born in 1924, and his first son was killed in a hunting accident in 1969 at the age of eighteen. In 1986, my youngest sister was diagnosed with a disease that was projected to take her life by age 20. But despite these tragedies, my experiences are not altogether unique. Death and disease come to every family … View Resource

  • Dust to Dust Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2005

    In this world, we face matters of life and death every day. The morning after Terry Schiavo died, I was informed that someone I knew attempted to commit suicide. The next day in Rome, Pope John Paul II died. The morning after, I was asked by a dear man in our congregation to participate in his memorial service upon his death, and the next evening, my friend who attempted to commit suicide died. When I was sixteen years old, my father, a World War II veteran, died of cancer. As a young man, the reality of death weighed heavily upon … View Resource

  • Dying Well Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    Sarah lived 127 years…. And Sarah died…. And Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her” (Gen. 23:1–2). Sarah and Abraham had been married fifty-two years. He would live almost four decades without her (see Gen. 25:7). She was sixty-five when she married Abraham, who was ten years older (Gen. 12:4; see 17:17, where we learn that when he was 100, she was 90). Eleven years into their marriage, still childless, Abraham was eighty-six and took another wife, Hagar (Gen. 16:16). Fourteen years later, when Abraham was one hundred years old, Sarah … View Resource

  • The Edge of Death Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    All of us who are adults have had the temptation to pat a child on the head and say something appropriate. When Jacob had spent seventeen years in Egypt with his family and the time of his death drew near (Gen. 47:29), he made his son, Joseph, swear to him that he would ensure that he would not be buried in Egypt, but in his own burial plot back home in Canaan — a piece of land bought by Abraham (50:13). Then, as news of his death came to Joseph, he took his two sons, Ephraim and … View Resource

  • The End of Death Article by Daniel Doriani

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2000

    SIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE PHASES. IN SPORTS, athletes first build skill and endurance, then they play the game, and finally interpret the results, celebrating victory or learning from defeat. Banquets also have phases. After we savor the meal itself, we linger over coffee and dessert in conversation that appropriates the meal as an emblem of a life shared with friends. So, too, we must interpret and appropriate a most significant event, the death of death in the death and resurrection of Christ. The Crowds Misunderstood It The perpetrators and witnesses of Jesus’ death tried, unsuccessfully, to interpret its significance before the … View Resource

  • Faces of Death Article by Joseph Pipa Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2000

    DEATH IS THE GREAT OBSCENITY OF our age. Men and women will air their sex lives and other intimate details on television talk shows, but they will not talk about death. A shroud of silence lies over the subject because we are afraid of it. As Paul Helm writes, “The modern Western attitude to dying and death is all too obvious. It is to avoid it, to avoid mentioning it, and where mention of it is unavoidable, to use euphemisms and circumlocutions.” The Bible, on the other hand, speaks openly and often about death. According to the Bible, we … View Resource

  • Fear of Death and Disease Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    I see a spot we need to keep an eye on.” Cancer. It wasn’t a diagnosis that I ever expected to hear as a young man about to start a family. Immediately, my mind filled with questions: How will I tell my wife? How will she manage if I die? What will the treatment cost? Am I ready to die? There were no words in the immediate aftermath. It helped that the cancer with which I’d been diagnosed has a 95-percent cure rate, but I’d be lying if I said that eliminated my worries. A 95-percent cure … View Resource

  • The Frozen Chosen Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    Reformed Christians are often accused of being cold and callous, virtual Stoics or fatalists. We’ve all heard the epithet “the frozen chosen” applied to Reformed believers. We usually protest that such a nickname does not truly describe us, and of course, we all know many brothers and sisters to whom such a name would never stick. But the fact that this nickname, this description of us, is so common should give us pause. Do we sometimes speak and act in ways that give rise to such an idea? Sadly, I believe we do. View Resource

  • How Now Shall We Die? Article by John Blanchard

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Woody Allen, the well-known movie director, screenwriter, and actor, once said, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” The quirky quotation is famous but fatally flawed. God has the date of every person’s death in his calendar, and there is nothing that anyone can do to have this divinely made appointment cancelled or postponed: “No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death” (Eccl. 8:8). For millions the world over, the inevitability of death casts a growing shadow over life. The internationally renowned British … View Resource

  • Integrity, Coram Deo Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    What will people say about me after I die?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? It is a question that has haunted me for years, and it is one of the most captivating questions anyone can ask himself. In truth, it would do us good to ask ourselves such questions with some frequency: “What will I contribute to the world, the church, and the kingdom of God before I die?” Such questions, the hard questions concerning death, are in fact the very questions of life. In asking ourselves questions about the reality of our lives in … View Resource

  • In the Face of Death Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2005

    I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Are you afraid of dying? I have seen some people overcome their fear of death. Many become so tired of a chronic, debilitating illness and embrace death as a relief. Some people are so weighed down with the pressures of life they welcome death as an escape. Most of us have known such feelings. But that is not the way the Bible says Christians should find deliverance from the fear of … View Resource

  • Justification by Death? Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    In the sixteenth century, Christendom underwent one of the most extensive and serious schisms in its history. The chief article that caused the controversy to end in division was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Protestant Reformation was not a tempest in a teapot. The issue that divided the Roman Catholics from the Protestant Reformers was not a secondary or tertiary doctrine. The dispute focused on the essence of the gospel. Some have argued that sola fide (faith alone) is central to the Christian faith but not essential. I contend, however, that it is essential to the gospel … View Resource