• How Do I Apply Doctrine in My Community? Article by Michael Aitcheson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    God used Gifford Ramsey—with his high-pitched voice, broad shoulders, and big smile—to spur many youngsters and adults to faith. “You say you’re a Christian, then show me—I’m from Missouri, the Show Me state,” he would say. He was my youth director, football coach, and mentor. After a big defeat, I wept on my teammate’s shoulder as he walked me toward the bus. And before I could take my seat, coach Ramsey said, “You say you’re a Christian, then show me.” He firmly believed in consistency between our doctrine and life. A football game isn’t the … View Resource

  • How Much Should I Study Doctrine? Article by Jen Wilkin

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    I stumbled onto Reformed theology as a bleary-eyed new mom. During an inductive study of the book of romans, I began to detect that I had been quite a bit more dead in my sins than the church of my upbringing had taught. concerned that this insight might be the product of sleep deprivation rather than spirit-wrought inspiration, I began searching for doctrine that confirmed or denied what I was seeing. My husband took note of my burgeoning interest and gave me Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology for my thirtieth birthday. From there, it was a straight shot to seminary. Except … View Resource

  • Reasons for Separation Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Romans 16

    Separation is a perennially tricky topic in the Christian church. After all, the Bible has much to say about loving neighbors and enemies, teaching that seems to stand at odds with the notion of separating from someone. Furthermore, at the end of a century marked by ethnic conflict and the myriad bloody testimonies to the terrifying results of one group deciding that another group simply does not belong, there are strong cultural forces that militate against notions of separatism. However, lest the reader think I mention these two points just for descriptive purposes, I would add that they are actually … View Resource

  • The Disappearance of Heresy Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    On October 29, 1929, the Roaring Twenties came to a screeching halt. The stock market crashed, sending these United States of America into the Great Depression, which in turn affected much of the industrialized world. On September 25, 1929, in God’s sovereign timing, just one month before the Wall Street Crash, fifty-two students began their fall semester at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Only a few months prior, J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937) resigned from Princeton Theological Seminary and founded Westminster Theological Seminary. Machen, along with Robert Dick Wilson, Oswald T. Allis, and Cornelius Van Til (and later John Murray … View Resource

  • Castles in the Sand Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    There are, when we disagree, almost always two disagreements. Most of the time the smaller disagreement is the bigger one. Consider election. There are some in the church who believe that God chooses who will believe His gospel. There are others who believe God sees beforehand who will believe. This, on the surface, seems to be the root of the loss of peace between these two groups. The second disagreement, however, is over this question: just how important an issue is this? Though there are surely exceptions, by and large those who don’t believe in election are not known for … View Resource

  • Dividing Walls That Unite Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    Be not ashamed of your faith; remember it is the ancient gospel of the martyrs, confessors, reformers and saints. Above all, it is the truth of God, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail. Let your lives adorn your faith, let your example adorn your creed.” These words from C.H. Spurgeon’s foreword to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith are as poignant now as in 1855. As the church at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we desperately need to return to our historic creeds and confessions, and we need to remember the ancient gospel of … 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 High Cost of Ambivalence Article by Dan Dumas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    Walking away from gospel orthodoxy or disconnecting from the stream of church history should strike terror in our hearts. But because of personal compromise, far too many believers are found “walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the path of sinners and seated with the scoffers” rather than defending the faith to the death. When was the last time you thought deeply about the consequences of “little” erroneous theological decisions that can subtly distort both your faith and practice? The Apostle Paul’s grave concern in 2 Corinthians 11:3 was that we would be so easily led astray … 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

  • Not One Of, but the One Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    There is one foundational question each of us must face. By “foundational,” I don’t mean it is the only question we must answer. What I mean is that this question is so important that if you get this one wrong, you are going to get most everything else that really matters wrong. The foundational question is the famous query Jesus posed to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi: “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29). It may be surprising to some that Jesus even asked this question. The foundational question for Jesus is not “Who are … View Resource

  • Divorcing Doctrine from Scripture Article by R. Scott Clark

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Pithius, Our dear boy, you quite misunderstand the problem. So long as Christians continue to understand the Book to contain truths, claims about the way things really are, about the enemy, about Him-who-ought-not-be-named, about His Paraclete, about humans as contracting with us, and about the resolution of all things — one shudders — we shall never succeed. It is, therefore, imperative that you convince them to reckon the Book as a guide to personal fulfillment and especially a way to exquisite, euphoric experience. That is our best product. You will, of course, recognize this approach. It worked the first time and … View Resource

  • United in the (whole) Truth Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011 | 1 Corinthians 1

    We are prone to partiality. It is our habit not only to have preferences but to establish ourselves and pride ourselves in the preferences we choose. We play favorites and then rally around our favorites as we strive to demonstrate why our favorites should be everyone’s favorites. Being partial, having preferences, and playing favorites isn’t inherently wrong, so long as our partiality, preferences, and favorites are in accord with sacred Scripture. Problems quickly emerge, however, when we begin to play favorites with Scripture itself. View Resource

  • Jesus and His Apostles: Teaching in Harmony Article by R. Fowler White

    Have you ever gotten the impression that the teaching of the apostles is at odds with the teaching of Jesus?  Sometimes it may seem that way, especially when we see Jesus emphasizing certain things that the apostles don’t, and vice versa.  Though we may be confident that, in the end, their teaching is harmonious, we do get special enjoyment when we see examples of doctrinal harmony between Jesus and His apostles.   I had just such an experience recently as I was listening to Dr. Sproul preach on Matthew 23 and Jesus’ lament over the spiritual state 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

  • No Place for Heresy Article by C. FitzSimons Allison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    One of the best examples of reform is that which occurred at Cluny in the tenth century in southern France following the darkest times of the Western church after the fall of Rome (see Nick Needham’s article above for more on the Cluniac revival). It brought a visible seriousness of spiritual discipline that lasted for more than two centuries. The acknowledged founder, Berno of Baume (d. 927), was followed by long-serving, effective leaders. The order reached its height under Hugh (d. 1109) with well over one thousand houses affiliated with the mother monastery of Cluny. View Resource