• Changing the Past Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Some cultures have no central government. Their only social organization is the family, including the extended family that constitutes a clan, and the organization of clans into a tribe. So in the absence of laws, a police force, and a judicial system, tribal societies have one way of enforcing justice: Revenge. If someone kills a member of your family in a hunting accident, it falls upon you — or the oldest male in your family, or perhaps the oldest brother of fighting age — to take revenge. This can be done by killing the guilty party, or, failing that, by … View Resource

  • Cultural Revolution Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    In the early years of the 1950s the phenomenon of broadcast television was beginning to sweep America. In these early days, however, it was still a small minority of American households that proudly owned a television set. At this time, a ban was executed by the networks prohibiting the use of the word “virgin” in television broadcasts. The censorship of this word was explained in light of the term’s close connection to matters of sexuality. So sensitive were the original producers of television towards offending the ethics and mores of the American public that words as seemingly harmless as the … View Resource

  • Daily Confession, Enduring Reform Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    I have a friend who is a Roman Catholic. Not too long ago he went to “confession,” after which he told me, with tears welling up in his eyes, he felt “clean like a new born baby.” Confession is an integral component of the Catholic sacrament of penance. After one confesses his sins to his priest, the priest absolves his sins and he is assigned particular righteous acts of penance and prayers in accordance with the nature of his sins. View Resource

  • Finding the Sheep That Refuses to Be Found Article by Tim Witmer

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    Sheep are interesting creatures. They are weak, defenseless, and not very smart. They wander away quite easily if not attended to, and their shepherds need to be ready to respond. It’s no accident that God’s people are called sheep. And, as the hymn writer said, we are “prone to wander.” The Scriptures provide clear direction as to how wandering sheep are to be sought out. Matthew 18 is the classic text where we see the Good Shepherd’s heart for His stray sheep. In verses 12—14, Jesus tells us that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep, … View Resource

  • Forgiven and Free Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Someone recently said to me: “The older we get the harder it is to ask someone’s forgiveness.” I am not sure if that’s necessarily true, but the older and, perhaps, more stubborn we become it certainly seems more difficult to admit one’s fault and ask another’s forgiveness. However, as Christians it should be just the opposite. As we mature in Christ, we should become less and less stubborn in our selfish, impenitent obstinacy and more and more stubborn in our refusal not to let the sun go down on our own, or our brother’s, anger. As we age in life … View Resource

  • Forgiveness: A Mark of a Healthy Church Article by Joseph Novenson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Our Lord and Savior expects forgiveness to be constant, not occasional. In Matthew 18:21–22, Peter came to Jesus with a faulty view of employing forgiveness. He suggested merely “seven” acts of forgiveness as the maximum of mercy to be extended. Before criticizing his “smallness of heart,” consider that the practice in today’s church may be more narrow. Jesus corrects Peter’s shallow grasp of forgiveness and commands a constant, not occasional, mercy, with a statistically strong metaphor, “I do not say to you seven times….” Perhaps Peter momentarily presumed Jesus considered him a generous and gracious follower of the Master, having … View Resource

  • Forgiveness at the Feet of Jesus Article by Richard Ganz

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    I remember opening the door of my office at the medical center and being greeted by a young, beautiful, desperate woman, who had been referred to me for psychotherapy. She was single. She had been living a carefree, and sexually immoral life. She was now pregnant. She was looking to me for help. I didn’t have a clue. I was a clinical psychologist, not a priest. What was I supposed to do? I offered nothing to help her turn away from what was soon to be an even greater disaster in her life than her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. I’ve looked back … View Resource

  • Forgive Us Our Trespasses Article by Philip Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    We need daily pardon and daily protection as well as daily provision. So after Jesus taught us to pray, “give us today our daily bread,” He also taught us to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:12–13).  These petitions are for fallen sinners — for people who are often tempted to sin, and sometimes give in. Even before we face these temptations, we should ask God to keep us safe from what John Calvin called in his Institutes “the violent assaults … View Resource

  • Freed by the Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    Frankly speaking, sin not only contaminates, it also subjugates. It enslaves. Like a great snake — a python or anaconda — sin wraps itself around us and slowly entangles and strangles us. Like the hunter’s net, the more we struggle against it in our strength, the more we find ourselves entangled in it. It beats us into submission and causes our servitude to be hard and inextricable. It is an enslaver of the worst kind. It is no respecter of persons. The young and old, the rich and poor alike are all under its sway. Sin has a power unparalleled … View Resource

  • Jesus’ Mission to the Lost: Luke 15 Article by Thomas Schreiner

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    When reading Luke 15, it is easy to forget the context , especial ly when reading the parable of the prodigal son. The chapter opens with the Pharisees and scribes criticizing Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners (vv. 1–2). Jesus’ table fellowship with sinners signifies the gospel of grace. All those who turn from their sin and put their faith in God will enjoy the messianic feast forever. Jesus tells His opponents three parables to defend His table fellowship with sinners: the parable of the lost sheep (vv. 3–7); the parable of the lost coin (vv. 8–10); and … View Resource

  • Killing Anger Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    In marriage, anger rivals lust as a killer. My guess is that anger is a worse enemy than lust. It also destroys other kinds of camaraderie. Some people have more anger than they think, because it has disguises. When willpower hinders rage, anger smolders beneath the surface, and the teeth of the soul grind with frustration. It can come out in tears that look more like hurt. But the heart has learned that this may be the only way to hurt back. It may come out as silence because we have resolved not to fight. It may show up in … View Resource

  • Lessons from the Fall Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    The Gospels depict the arrest and trial of Jesus in a way that shows us not only the insensibility of His accusers, but also His own steadfast faithfulness to the will of God through suffering and humiliation. Our Lord’s example shows us how to continue entrusting ourselves to Him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23; 4:19). Jesus, however, was not the only one who was on trial on this momentous occasion. The gospel writers highlight the events surrounding His abuse and trumped up charges, but they also record another trial that took place that night. This second trial was not center … View Resource

  • A Life of Faith and Forgiveness Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    If you travel to Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering how Martin Luther managed to nail his 95 theses to the solid-bronze door of the 500-year-old castle church. It wouldn’t take you long, however, to realize that the bronze door is a relatively new addition. During the Seven Year’s War (1756–1763), the original, wooden door was lost in the great fire that consumed much of the church building in 1760. As a result, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia had the door replaced with the present bronze door, upon which … View Resource

  • The Loving Father Article by Allan Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    God is love” (1 John 4:8). He is also Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons, yet one God. We must never lose sight of the oneness of God, yet we relate to each of the persons in a different way. We relate to the Son as the One who became the man Jesus Christ and purchased salvation for us, to the Holy Spirit as the One who is ever present with us and applies to us the benefits of the work of Christ, and to the Father as the One who loved the world of sinners to the extent that … View Resource

  • The Necessity of Reconciliation Article by Rod Mays

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Why do relationships have to be so complicated? Why do good friends get “wrapped around the axle” with each other? Why do family members become so alienated they may not speak to one another for years? It is because we are sinners who are, by nature, enemies of God and of each other. However, the message of the Gospel is the message of reconciliation (that is, putting together divided parties; Jesus’ bringing God and man together). “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 … View Resource