• A Pastor’s Reflection Article by Charles Drew

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    What do you do when the world falls apart? When the planes struck, I was in my office overlooking Columbia University on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, eight miles north of Ground Zero. I listened helplessly to news reports and to the sound of sirens as rescue workers raced beneath my window on the way to the scene. It wasn’t long before a deadly odor began to fill the air. Over the next thirty-six hours, New York felt increasingly like a city under siege. Transportation shut down (I had to walk across Manhattan that evening to see a friend … View Resource

  • Ten Years Later Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The world has changed. We are not the same people we were on September 10, 2001. The events of September 11, 2001, and the events that followed in ensuing years have not only changed America but nations and peoples throughout the world. People are more afraid and less naïve. People are more aware of the differences between world religions and of the different cultures of those world religions. People are either more antagonistic towards the religion of their fathers or they are more committed adherents. There are fewer and fewer merely nominal religious bystanders and more and more radical adherents … View Resource

  • What If or If God? Article by J.R. Vassar

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    I love the Lord of the Rings. I remember sitting in a hotel room in Seattle, Washington, in December of 2003, reading the last book of the trilogy, The Return of the King. I had just spent the previous few days in New York City at the invitation of a friend, and I was considering whether or not God might be leading us to start a church there. I left New York hopeful that I would never move there. To be honest, there was a lot of fear in my heart about the city. It was overwhelmingly large, seemed like … View Resource

  • Human Trafficking in God’s World Article by Justin Holcomb

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    Genesis 3 records the terrible day when humanity fell into sin and shalom was violated. This was a moment of cosmic treason, when Adam and Eve violated their relationship with God by rebelling against His command and fell into the severe ignobility we all experience. The entrance of sin wrecked the order and goodness of God’s world; it was the disintegration of peace. Sin inverted love for God, which in turn became idolatry, and inverted love for neighbor, which became exploitation of others. One clear way this exploitation of others takes place is human trafficking. Trafficking is modern-day slavery and … View Resource

  • Not Protesting Evil Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Eligos, We tempters have a job that is both easy and difficult. Thanks to our fearless leader’s victory in the garden some time ago, human beings are ridiculously, even comically, susceptible to sinning. And yet, sin itself is so ugly, so grotesque, so repellent — if it is only seen clearly (no offense to any of our colleagues) — that humans cannot help but hate it. This means that when we tempt someone to do evil, we are under the humiliating necessity to portray it as something good. This requires creating a certain mindset. A human sees someone else, a friend … View Resource

  • Paradise Lost Article by David VanDrunen

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    In the second chapter of Hebrews, the author notes that God did not appoint angels, but human beings, to rule the world to come (v. 5), and he quotes Psalm 8 to prove it: “You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:7–8). Then the inspired author makes a statement that is both obvious and profound: “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him” (v. 8). This statement is obvious because everyone recognizes that we human … View Resource

  • An Epic in the Making Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    The theme of this month’s Tabletalk is Paradise Lost, which is the title of what most critics would agree is the greatest poem in the English language. John Milton was an English puritan revolutionary who helped overthrow King Charles I but whose hopes for a free republic were dashed with the restoration of the monarchy. Narrowly avoiding the death penalty, Milton lost everything. His first marriage was unhappy. After his wife died, he married again, only to have her die in childbirth. He also went blind. In his enforced leisure, Milton, trying to justify the ways of God to himself … View Resource

  • The True Face of Evil Article by David Robertson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.” So writes the Nobel Prize-winning American physicist Steven Weinberg. His observation has become a standard mantra of the new atheism. So how should a Christian respond? We will leave the Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, and Jedi Knights to respond for themselves, although we note in passing that it is another fundamental belief of the atheist creed that all religions are essentially the same — hence … View Resource

  • The Decree of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    Joseph has just revealed his true identity to his astonished brothers. It had been a tearful moment (Gen. 46:2, 14; cf. 42:24; 43:30). He is about to engage in a discourse on predestination and the divine decree (yes, really!), but this is no abstract theological exercise; it is theology engaging the harshest of realities — betrayal, false imprisonment, and injustice! Joseph had, from one point of view, every right to think that life made no sense at all because there was no controlling power governing the course of events. He might have been tempted to think along the … View Resource

  • Bringing Christ Into the Problem Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    Charles Darwin finally gave up his belief in God not because he discovered evidence for evolution by natural selection (a theory he developed some years earlier) but because of his anguish at the death of his ten-year-old daughter. When he published The Origin of Species in 1859, he purported to prove that the world itself did not need God, an act of vengeance against the God whom He insisted did not exist. The problem of evil is not just a philosophical or even a theological problem. It is concrete, personal, sometimes irrational. Many people cannot conceive of a loving, all … View Resource

  • Turning Evil on Its Head Article by Joni Eareckson Tada

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    Ask my husband; I am no theologian. I’ve never read Calvin’s Institutes all the way through, nor do I know Greek or Hebrew. But years ago, when I snapped my neck under the weight of a dive into shallow water, permanent and total paralysis smashed me up against the study of God. Up until then, I was content to wade ankle-deep in the things of God, but when a severed spinal cord left my body limp and useless, I was hoisted into a dark, bottomless ocean. In the wee, sleepless hours of my early injury, I wrestled against my Reformed … View Resource

  • Why? The Nagging Question Article by Paul Helm

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    We routinely speak of “the problem of evil.” But during the Christian era there have been two main problems of evil, and it is important to distinguish these, as well as how Christians ought to respond to them. Let us consider each in turn. The Christian Problem The first — let’s call it the Christian problem of evil — is: How could evil occur in a world made good by God? It has as a fundamental assumption that God exists, that He is the good Creator of all that is, and that what He created expresses that character … View Resource

  • The Potter’s Freedom Article by E. Calvin Beisner

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    Of all the challenges to the Christian faith, the most powerful has been the “problem of evil” — the alleged inconsistency of believing in the God of Scripture while recognizing the occurrence of evil. Why would a good God permit gratuitous suffering? Why cannot an omnipotent God prevent all evil? Why wouldn’t an omniscient God have foreseen evil choices and so ordered history as to preclude them? Surely if God were omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, evil would never occur. But evil does occur. Therefore God must not be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. He might be one or two, but not … View Resource

  • The Problem of Pain Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    The problem of evil has been defined as the Achilles’ heel of the Christian faith. For centuries people have wrestled with the conundrum, how a good and loving God could allow evil and pain to be so prevalent in His creation. The philosophical problems have generated an abundance of reflection and discussion, some of which will be reiterated in this issue, but in the final analysis, the problem is one that quickly moves from the abstract level into the realm of human experience. The philosophical bumps into the existential. Historically, evil has been defined in terms of privation (privatio) and … View Resource

  • What’s the Problem? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that evil exists. You don’t even have to be a theologian to know that evil exists. All that is necessary for you to know that evil exists is to exist. In this fallen world, we are bombarded with evil from every side — not only the evil of this world but the evil within our own hearts as well, and that is where the real problem exists. As fallen creatures who exist in this fallen world of sin and misery, we do not reflect the light of God’s glory as … View Resource