• Blessing and Cursing Article by T. Desmond Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2014 | Genesis 12

    Although it is rarely noted, the concept of blessing lies at the very heart of the gospel. The Apostle Paul highlights this in his letter to the Christian believers in Galatia. In vigorously defending the inclusion of Gentiles within the people of God, he writes, “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’ ” (Gal. 3:8). As Paul goes on to emphasize, the blessing given to Abraham comes to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ (v. 14). Paul’s observations recall how the … 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

  • The Gospel in a Hostile Culture Article by Dave Furman

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    I intentionally don’t preach difficult truths or repeat the hard things Jesus said.” This is a despondent and prevalent attitude among preachers who minister to cultures that are openly hostile to the gospel. Such preaching is less than faithful to God’s Word, corresponding in ministry results that tend to be indiscernibly Christian. The desire to not offend hearers in a hostile culture is misdirected toward God’s inspired word and His glorious gospel. As a pastor who ministers in a hostile culture, I am convinced that preaching must boldly proclaim the one-and-only gospel and theologically rich doctrine. PREACH … View Resource

  • Rest and the Gospel Article by Chan Kilgore

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    John Calvin is often quoted as saying, “From birth, our hearts are idol factories.” We hit this planet in pursuit of the created, searching for what can be found only in the Creator. When I ask people how they are doing, they often reply, “busy.” We define ourselves by what we do rather than by what Christ has done. The result is that we are weary and restless. We need more than just a day off. I find myself coming back from a week’s vacation needing a vacation from my vacation. A day (or week) off is not enough … View Resource

  • Hope for Prodigal Children Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    As a pastor, I am often faced with the difficulty of counseling deeply saddened fathers and mothers with prodigal sons and daughters. Parents who enter my study for counsel and prayer are usually trying to come to grips with the harsh reality about a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) son or daughter. The child they have loved, prayed for, educated, nurtured, protected, and discipled has left everything to chase after the fleeting pleasures of the world, forsaking not only their father’s home but their father’s faith. There are likely many parents and grandparents reading this who have prodigal children or … View Resource

  • A Hopeful Offense Article by John Starke

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2012

    In my neighborhood, there are almost thirty Jewish synagogues. These congregations include Reformed, Orthodox, and Hasidic Judaism. And, of course, our city is full of secular Jews who have long left any traditional form of their faith. So, on any given Sunday, there is a possibility of having a small handful of folks who identify themselves with any of the above Jewish traditions present in our church service. Just as having divorced individuals present will affect the way you preach a sermon on marriage, having Jews in your service will affect the way you preach the gospel. In fact, it … View Resource

  • The God-Centered Gospel Article by Michael Horton

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    One of the benefits of the older liturgies is that they provided a framework for our prayers to the Father in the Son by the Spirit. They taught our hearts to preach, pray, sing, and witness in a Trinitarian way. Yet, even in our circles it’s commonplace to hear prayers that end: “In your name. Amen.” We even hear prayers that thank the Father for dying for our sins or other examples of the same confusion of the persons with the essence. Known technically as the heresy of “modalism,” a perennial tendency (especially in the West) is to … 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

  • 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

  • The Gospel and Stewardship Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Stewardship is the care and management of that which belongs to another. while we often speak of things as “ours,” the reality is that all that we have and all we are belongs to another — God. As the Apostle Paul put it, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7). So it is from God that WE HAVE received our lives and everything in them for which we are responsible. Temporarily — that is, until God requires them from us — we are stewards of these gifts. Though too often associated merely … 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

  • The Gospel and Worship Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    There may be nothing in the realm of religion by which people vainly attempt to establish their acceptability to God more than by acts of public or private worship. As a result, worship can degrade into one of the most legalistic activities a person can pursue. In the minds of many, you are right with God if you go to church. They are convinced that anyone who worships God is accepted by Him. Though perhaps they do not expressly state it, they believe that because they discipline themselves to regularly attend an event where the gospel is proclaimed, they have … View Resource

  • Preaching Christ Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    The church of the twenty-first century faces many crises. One of the most serious is the crisis of preaching. Widely diverse philosophies of preaching vie for acceptance among contemporary clergy. Some see the sermon as a fireside chat; others, as a stimulus for psychological health; still others, as a commentary on contemporary politics. But some still view the exposition of sacred Scripture as a necessary ingredient to the office of preaching. In light of these views, it is always helpful to go to the New Testament to seek or glean the method and message found in the biblical record of … View Resource

  • The Gospel and Prayer Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Because I teach and write about spirituality, occasionally I’m asked to comment on scientific studies about the efficacy of prayer. The research always seems to include the assumption that one person’s prayers are essentially as acceptable as another’s. One of the flaws with such studies is that they do not associate prayer with the gospel. No one can begin to understand prayer until he grasps what the gospel teaches us about prayer. The Bible, rather than assuring everyone that God hears their prayers, slams heaven’s door against all who think God will hear them despite their sins: “But your iniquities … View Resource

  • Seeing the Gospel in the Word of God Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Surely no one reading this article needs to be convinced of the importance of feeding upon the Word of God. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). It is through the regular, personal intake of the Bible that we come to know God better, understand His will for our lives, experience God’s transforming presence, and much more. But have you considered the significance of daily saturation in Scripture for developing a more gospel-centered, Christ-focused life? Here’s what I mean: in your Bible reading … View Resource