• Scotland and the Birth of the United States Article by Donald Fortson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2014

    Scottish Presbyterianism, with its robust theology, disciplined government by elders, and strict piety, would significantly influence America through the waves of Scots-Irish immigrants that became the backbone of the Revolutionary era. Descended from lowland Scots, the Ulster Scots had begun settlement in northern Ireland during the reign of James VI and I, eventually organizing themselves into presbyteries within the established Irish Anglican Church. The Scots-Irish were required to pay taxes to support the established church; only in America would they eventually be free to practice their Presbyterianism within the context of complete religious liberty. The great American Presbyterian pioneer was … View Resource

  • Gospel Footprints Article by Erik Raymond

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2012

    One of the cultural plagues of the twenty-first century is our historical illiteracy. The comedian Jay Leno capitalizes on this when he asks random questions to people. Leno’s “Jaywalking” skits demonstrate that regular Americans are not up to speed with the basics of U.S. and world history. In one memorable scene, Leno asked someone to name one of the Ten Commandments. The reply: “Freedom of speech.” Enough said. I wonder how well church members would do if someone asked them questions about church history. Would they know the key players, dates, and issues? Does it even matter? Church … View Resource

  • Fallacious History Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    One of the most pressing but invisible threats to Christian thinking at the present time is that of fallacious history. Like carbon monoxide, it can kill; you just do not notice it is happening until it is too late. Fallacious history comes in numerous forms. The most obvious and influential are those pushed by popular culture. Movies are the primary culprits here. So powerful are the aesthetics of modern cinema that the stories the movies tell can be compelling for no other reason than that they seem so real. Thus, if there is a movie in which Americans crack the … View Resource

  • Last Things First Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Do you ever have difficulty understanding how Scripture fits together as a coherent whole? I have a suggestion. The next time you read through the Bible, s t a r t wit h Revelation 20–22, and then go back to Genesis 1. Just as knowing the conclusion of a whodunit helps you see things you missed, the final chapters of Revelation can help you identify the major themes of Scripture that are introduced in Genesis and developed throughout the entire Bible. In Genesis, we learn that God intends to establish His kingdom on earth with man as a subordinate king … View Resource

  • Whitewashing History? Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2011 | Hebrews 11

    To borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, it is the best of times, the worst of times. That is how one might describe the current movie-saturated era. Certainly, from an entertainment perspective, it is the best of times. While I myself still prefer the classic films of the 40s and 50s, from The Maltese Falcon to The Searchers, it is hard not to be impressed by everything from the special effects in something like Inception to the sheer brilliance of acting in The King’s Speech. Yet therein lies the problem, that which makes it, in … View Resource

  • The Bravest & Newest World Article by Andrew Davis

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    As human imagination conceives of the future, it tends to envisage either dreams or nightmares. The dreams live in the hearts of idealists who suppose that human ingenuity is sufficient to craft a perfect world. The nightmares torment the minds of realists, who express their fears in doomsday scenarios they think are inescapable. Christians, however, have been called by God to an infinitely higher future reality, a hope better than any dream — the new heavens and new earth — coupled with a bravery that acknowledges the journey to that perfect world will be bloody and terrifying. View Resource

  • An Unpopular Vision Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2010

    Some men’s greatness may be seen in how largely they loom over the movements they launched. But greater men are they whose movements loom large over them — even to the point of obscuring them from view. Gerhard Groote was just such a man. View Resource

  • Secular Eschatology Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2009

    The Bible teaches that the universe had a beginning and that it will have an end. Christians believe this, though controversies about eschatology (the end times) have long roiled in Christian circles. It illustrates how profoundly the Bible has influenced Western civilization that secularists too have their eschatologies. The natural view of time is cyclical. The Bible also recognizes — and organizes — the cyclical nature of time. But in addition to affirming the sense in which time can involve recurring cycles, the Bible also teaches that time is linear. It has a beginning and an end. Not only that … View Resource

  • An Inestimable Treasure Article by Robert Oliver

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    The apostles who associated with the Lord during His earthly ministry were still dependent upon the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth. That truth has been transmitted to us in the pages of Scripture. Thus, Peter wrote: “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). In the twilight of the apostolic age, the church was being taught her dependence on the written Word … View Resource

  • Poet of the Reformation Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    Christians have a rich cultural heritage, but these days they are often oblivious to it. I suspect most American Christians have no idea who George Herbert was — other than, perhaps, the first two names of President Bush I (“George Herbert Walker Bush”). Some may recall him from a British Literature class as the author of those poems that were shaped like physical objects (an altar, wings, and so forth). Others may know him as a major literary figure, who sprung poetry loose from its dependence on a few conventional forms to invent a new form for every poem. But few … 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

  • Back to Barbarism Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    We Western Christians have been sending missionaries to spread the Gospel to cultures throughout the world. We sometimes forget that, unless we have a Jewish background, our cultures too were originally evangelized by missionaries. This is certainly true for those of us whose ancestors were English, Celtic, German, French, or Scandinavian, as well as other European tribes deemed “barbarian” by the Romans. Those ancient tribal societies were very much like those of Africa or the American Indians. Tribal societies — whether European, African, or American — tend to be ruled by local “chiefs” (which the Europeans called “kings”), with a … View Resource

  • The Light of Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    Humanistic historians and secular sociologists are eager to assign their carefully crafted, far-reaching labels to just about anything. Centuries-long periods of history and entire generations of people have been adorned with meaningless titles and simplistic definitions. From the so called “baby-boom generation” to the “me generation” and “generation x,” our society has determined that bestowing a general category upon an entire population based on age is appropriate. Similarly, entire periods of history are known for the type of metal prominently used during that particular period, for instance, the “Bronze Age.” We have “golden” ages and ages of “enlightenment … View Resource

  • Living Stones Article by Frank Farrell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2005

    The greatest news that ever broke upon the world, the news that was to change the whole life of humanity and shake down thrones and revolutionize kingdoms, the news which still today girdles the earth with everlasting hope and sends a new thrill through every Christian soul on Easter morning, was given first to one humble, obscure woman out of whom seven devils had gone, who had nothing to distinguish her but her forgiven heart, and no claim at all but her love.” So wrote the Scottish preacher and scholar James Stewart about Mary Magdalene, the first human witness … View Resource

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2004

    The Edict of Milan in A.D. 313 legalized Christianity. Toleration of this new faith in Rome was not a gradual development. It happened suddenly, right after some of the most brutal persecutions of Christians. Soon, Roman officials were kissing the broken hands of Christian confessors whom they had tortured. Quickly, paganism faded as the official religion of the Roman Empire, only to be replaced by the Christian church. Christianity, once despised and persecuted, emerged from the catacombs in triumph. Whereupon its problems really began. Constantine The emperor Diocletian, who initiated the most violent and systematic persecutions of Christians, ruled … View Resource