• Sharing the Gospel with Muslims Article by Bassam Chedid

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2016

    While it may have been the Apostle Paul who first preached the unadulterated gospel in Arabia and Damascus (Gal. 1:15–17), the following centuries witnessed the introduction of various brands of Christianity ranging from orthodoxy to a number of heretical sects. Indeed, Eastern Christianity prior to the arrival of Muhammad—the prophet of Islam—was afflicted by internal divisions, theological disputes, and worship of saints and relics. Muhammad was exposed to unorthodox Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices already in existence in Arabia and later through his trading activities with Christians in the north. Consequently, he drew his conclusions about Christianity from … View Resource

  • All Nations” and Church Planting Article by Ed Stetzer

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014

    The Great Commission. Neither the words “great” nor “commission” are in the text, but the descriptor fits. This “authoritative order, charge, or direction” is “unusually large, extreme, and notable” (borrowing phrases from textbook definitions of both words). But why? The sheer scope of the assignment is embodied in the two little words: all nations. This phrase is translated from the Greek panta ta ethnÄ“. It is often the subject of significant discussion. When many people hear ethnÄ“, or “nations,” they think of countries. But when Jesus spoke those words, there were no countries as we understand them today. The nation-state … View Resource

  • How Then Shall We “Go”? Article by Karl Dahlfred

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    It seems like such a simple command. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). But who exactly is supposed to go? Some have claimed that Jesus’ command to go and make disciples was only for the original Apostles and that the Great Commission was subsequently fulfilled by those Apostles. But such an enormous task would have been impossible for just eleven men to complete. And Jesus’ promise to be with them “to the end of the age” implies that the validity of this commission would extend beyond the Apostles’ lifetimes. If that’s so, the church … View Resource

  • The Story We Share Article by J.D. Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    Ask anyone to describe the shape of a square, and you might expect a variety of explanations that yet have common talking points (for example, 90-degree corners with four equilateral sides). Get one of the defining features of a square wrong, and you’re no longer describing a square, regardless of culture, time, or place. Similarly, if a believer were to summarize the gospel, we might reasonably anticipate that each explanation would conform to a particular shape that transcends different communication styles, theological influences, and cultural idioms. In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he provides a … View Resource

  • Evangelism for God’s Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    To borrow a theme from John Piper’s classic book Let the Nations Be Glad!, evangelism isn’t the ultimate goal of the church: worship is. Evangelism exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not evangelism. Evangelism isn’t the end but a means to the end, which is God’s glorious rescue of His people to know Him truly, worship Him purely, enjoy Him fully, and glorify Him eternally. We evangelize in order that God might gather for Himself worshipers from every tribe, tongue, and nation for His glory. Evangelism is a temporary necessity, but worship abides forever. Although we certainly need to … View Resource

  • Evangelism: Naturally Speaking Good News Article by Will Metzger

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    Foundational to speaking of Christ naturally is a strong assurance of your identity: “I am a new creation in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17, NIV here and throughout). Supernaturally, you are a new person credited with the righteousness of Christ, yet still experiencing “the evil I do not want to do” (Rom. 7:19). Living daily with this tension should not disable you. As you take God at His word that you are a newly created person, the Spirit enables you to say with Paul, “Thanks be to God … through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:25). With confidence … View Resource

  • Heralding the Good News Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    It is false to say that what we don’t know can’t hurt us, especially when it comes to the Bible. If ever there were anything we need to know, it is the very Word of God. That said, what is in all likelihood worse than what we don’t know about the Bible is what we do know that just isn’t so. Consider the Great Commission. This, of course, is something we ought to be infinitely familiar with. These are not just the words of Jesus, as if that weren’t enough, but the “last” words of Jesus, His parting command just … View Resource

  • The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism Article by Paul Helm

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    Many people struggle with God’s sovereignty in election because they believe it excludes the activity of evangelism. If people are eternally elected or not, they ask, what good will preaching do? What difference will it make? However, as Scripture teaches, God’s sovereignty in election and the activity of evangelism are not enemies but friends. Evangelism is rooted in election, and while man may plant and water the seed of the gospel, God brings the growth. Means and Ends The sovereignt y of God in salvation is most clearly and vividly seen in Scripture’s teaching regarding election. Election is “unconditional,” … View Resource

  • The Gospel for Muslims Article by Thabiti Anyabwile

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    In 2005, I make my first trip to the Middle East. I was there to engage in a Christian-Muslim dialogue sponsored by a local university’s Muslim and Christian student associations. As far as we knew, it would be the first such public dialogue in this country’s history. It would be, for many of the Muslim students, the first time they’d ever heard a Christian proclaim the gospel in person. The Frequently Asked Question and Rarely Given Answer Through out our time in the Middle East, both students and adults repeatedly asked, “How do we share the gospel with Muslims?” … View Resource

  • Sheep, Wolves, Snakes, and Doves Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    When Jesus sends us to bear witness to Him in the world, He does not send us out as dominant and strong but as weak and seemingly defenseless in ourselves. The only reason I say “seemingly” defenseless is that it is possible that, since “all authority” belongs to Jesus (Matt. 28:18), He might intervene and shut the mouths of the wolves, like he did the mouths of the lions that surrounded Daniel. But that does not appear to be His intention. He goes on to say that the “wolves” will deliver the “sheep” to courts, f log them, drag … View Resource

  • Evangelism and the Gospel Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    It does little good to encourage people to discipline themselves to evangelize if they do not know the gospel. Try this experiment in your church, class, or small group to reveal one’s level of preparedness to share the gospel. Distribute paper and then ask people how many times they think they’ve heard the gospel. Some, if they’ve professed faith in Christ for many years, may answer that they’ve heard it hundreds or even thousands of times. “Good,” you say. “Now, please write the gospel on that piece of paper.” Then watch people freeze and stare at you as … View Resource

  • Ministering by the Life-Giving Spirit Article by David Hall

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Following a 1970s Jesus Movement conversion, I served in youth ministry, where I subjected poor students to nearly every fad imaginable — all, I told myself, to have young people come to Christ. I then served as a pastor, an office I have held for thirty years. Along the way, I have made many blunders — far too many to chronicle here. One mistake that I hope to avoid, however, is ministering with external methods that cannot give life. Over the last thirty years, I have noticed a great reduction among my repertoire of ministerial gimmicks, while reliance on a … View Resource

  • Does the Church Know Her Commission? Article by Denny Burk

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011 | Matthew 16

    Have you ever wished you could have a do-over? Have you ever looked back on a situation in which you know that you really botched the job and you just wish you could have another crack at it? That is the way I often feel when I reflect back on some of my less-than-fruitful efforts at evangelism when I was in college. Back then, I was (to say the least) a little wet behind the ears in terms of my theological convictions. I had a basic understanding of Christ’s substitutionary atonement but little appreciation for how His lordship should inform … View Resource

  • Missions Article by David Robertson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Dear Diabolos, It is clear that you have not quite got the hang of this temptation thing. Take the matter of what the enemy calls “mission.“ We understand what this is — to bring the dreadful news of His Son with all the spiritual weapons that we find so appalling. However, you are making a major error when you try to take all thoughts of mission out of the mind of your client. That is too obvious a tactic and one that often just does not work. Perhaps you will allow we more senior experts to give you some … View Resource

  • A Relegated Gospel Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Wormtongue, Before we get to the primary reason for our letter, we want to begin by commending you for the most excellent job you’ve done in your well orchestrated effort to convince your patient to keep his faith an entirely private matter, all the while thinking he’s doing a nobly sufficient job of showing forth his faith by displaying that old, faded Christian bumper sticker on his car. What’s more, you’ve gone beyond the call of duty as you’ve managed to persuade him to keep his faith segmented to one realm of his life rather than allowing it to … View Resource