• To the Ends of the Earth Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    If God is a mission God, then His church is a mission church. “Missions” is the term we commonly use for the sending activity of the triune God in order to establish His kingdom. The Lord Jesus sent His disciples to make disciples among all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the triune God, teaching them all that Christ commanded, preaching to all people the Gospel of grace, and witnessing to the resurrected Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The church is His main sending agency, and in that sense we speak of a mission church. … View Resource

  • Redemptive History Article by Richard Phillips

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    Even those casually familiar with the Bible know its basic contents: the Old Testament in front and the New Testament in back. Those more familiar know its contents more deeply. First is the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), followed by the histories, the poetic books, and the prophets. In the New Testament, we find the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. This describes how the church has organized the canon of the Bible’s books. But does Scripture present its own structure for understanding its message of salvation? As Reformed theologians have long observed, the Bible does provide such a … View Resource

  • The Battle for Grace Alone Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    The early part of the fifth century witnessed a serious controversy in the church that is known as the Pelagian controversy. This debate took place principally between the British monk Pelagius and the great theologian of the first millennium, Augustine of Hippo. In the controversy, Pelagius objected strenuously to Augustine’s understanding of the fall, of grace, and of predestination. Pelagius maintained that the fall affected Adam alone and that there was no imputation of guilt or “original sin” to Adam’s progeny. Pelagius insisted that people born after the fall of Adam and Eve retained the capacity to live lives of … View Resource

  • Almost Home Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    Genuine perseverance and assurance are sorely lacking among Christians today. The fruits of perseverance and assurance — diligent use of the means of grace, perseverance in heartfelt obedience to God’s will, desire for fellowship with God, yearning for God’s glory and heaven, love for the church and intercession for revival — all appear to be waning. We desperately need rich, doctrinal thinking about perseverance and assurance coupled with vibrant, sanctified living. What is “perseverance of the saints” and what is “assurance of faith”? How do perseverance and assurance assist each other in the Christian life? Perseverance of the Saints We … View Resource

  • More Than Conquerors Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    If you have it, you never lose it; if you lose it, you never had it.” This pithy adage gives expression to the doctrine in the church that some call the doctrine of eternal security, while others refer to it as the “perseverance of the saints.” Among the latter group, the perseverance of the saints makes up the fifth point of the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism” that are encapsulated in the acronym TULIP — the “P,” the final point, standing for “perseverance of the saints.” Another way of expressing the doctrine in pithy categories is by the phrase, “once … View Resource

  • Uncommon Belief Article by John Hutchinson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, Book VII Through our study of Scripture, we have been able to observe how common bushes are set aflame, and we have considered the means by which God shines His mercy “over all that He has made” (Ps. 145:9). Let us now explore three crucial areas of application of the doctrine of common grace. Common Grace is Uncommon Jesus teaches that belief in common grace … View Resource

  • The Heavens Declare Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the people, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:44–45). Statements such as this one and others like it in Scripture, raise a significant theological question about the grace of God, namely: Does the grace of God extend to all men, or does it extend only to those who have been chosen … View Resource

  • For God So Loved the World Article by R. Scott Clark

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    To many, the topics of common grace and atonement would seem to be mutually exclusive, as if we should either hold to common grace or to definite atonement, but not to both. There are, however, good biblical and theological reasons for holding both the Reformed doctrines of common grace and definite atonement. By common grace I do not mean that God has endowed all humans with a universal gift whereby, if they will, they may do what is necessary to obtain salvation. Rather, using the formula adopted by the Christian Reformed Churches in 1924, “common grace” means three things: First, … View Resource

  • Ordained by God Article by Douglas Kelly

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    In the 1950s, a very popular song proclaimed “He’s got the whole world in his hands!” Insofar as it had any theological content, it presumably spoke of the beneficent control by the Lord of all that He has made. That is not too far from the meaning of “common grace.” That is to say, in spite of the world’s sin and God’s just judgment upon it, the mighty Creator-Redeemer has never abandoned His creation; He always keeps His hand upon it so that it will be sustained, pardoned, and renewed in order to fulfill its purpose to bring Him eternal … View Resource

  • A Loving Provision Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    In recent years, we have been treated to the invention of a word previously unknown, or at least not used. That word that has entered into the general vocabulary of our time is the word oxymoron. A typical example of an oxymoron might be the phrase “jumbo shrimp.” The words that are used to describe a particular thing seem to be self-contradictory, or at least standing in an antithetical relationship. From this perspective, one might say that in theology the phrase “common grace” is such an oxymoron. I say this for this reason: God’s grace can never be reduced … View Resource

  • Uncommon Justice

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    Wherever I go, I am on the lookout for freshly brewed coffee. Early one morning, I spotted a small coffee shop that appeared to be closed. I decided to take a closer look, and as I approached the entrance of the shop the aroma of freshly brewed coffee captured me. I opened the door and strolled up to the counter. It was clear that the woman working behind the counter was not nearly as excited to be there as I was. Nevertheless, as she poured my coffee, I attempted to cheer her up a bit. After some lively, early-morning discussion … View Resource

  • Righteous Freedom Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2004

    The early sixteenth century witnessed a reformation regarding the role of Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness in redemption. But moments such as these — moments of clarity — rarely last that long. Within a generation, the righteousness of Christ was forced once again to share the stage with human goodness. Such decline in doctrine is by no means remarkable, and it should serve to remind us of an unfortunate truism in this fallen world. John Calvin knew it all too well. Hinting at his anxiety over the future of his home church in Geneva, he wrote, “It is not strange that … View Resource