• Ordinary Means Article by Michael G. Brown

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    Nowadays, ordinary is a bad word. In a culture that is constantly looking for the next big thing, who wants what is ordinary? We want the spectacular. We want what is bigger, better, and exciting. We desire extraordinary gadgets, extraordinary kids, and extraordinary lives. To feel validated as a person, one must not settle for what is ordinary. Our approach to church is not much different. In a world that values novelty, innovation, and relevance, the expectation is for pastors to appear hip, worship to feel amazing, and teaching to be useful for our most recent news feed of felt … View Resource

  • Kingdom Article by James M. Hamilton, Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    What is the kingdom of God? The answer cannot be reduced to a word study of the term kingdom. That would be a helpful exercise, but the Bible describes the kingdom even when the word is not used. Any kingdom will consist of a king, his realm, its citizens, and the law that regulates their lives. This is true of God’s kingdom as well. What follows is a short overview of the Bible’s presentation of God’s rule over God’s people in God’s place according to God’s law. God’s Rule Adam is not called a king, but God gives him dominion … 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

  • Taking Captive All Things Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    Not too long ago my family and I were eating at a local restaurant known for its home style southern cuisine and quaint family atmosphere. As we were leaving, I couldn’t help but notice a family sitting together, and each one of them — Dad, Mom, big brother, and little sister — was engaged in a conversation with someone else, somewhere else in a galaxy far, far away. With shoulders hunched down and their eyes staring lifelessly into their electronic mobile devices, their frantic fingers typed away as their carefully placed emoticons (electronic emotional images, such as smiley faces, sad … View Resource

  • Paradise Regained Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    A crowd gathered around Jesus of Nazareth and wondered: Could this person be the son of David, the one who, like David, wreaks havoc upon our enemies? A few of the local leaders standing by did not take kindly to the clear implications of what they witnessed and accused the man of beating up His own people by the power of the prince of demons. He responded with no ounce of timidity: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste. …How then will his [Satan’s] kingdom stand? …But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons … View Resource

  • Former Things Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    Having read this incredible collage of articles on God’s kingdom in this Advent season edition of Tabletalk, hopefully you’re beginning to wonder how to “bring home” all this rich theology to your context and community. What are some of the telling and timely implications of a sound and lively theology of the kingdom for us in the body of Christ today? How are we to seek first the kingdom of God and the righteous and redeeming dominion of our wonderful, merciful Savior, Jesus Christ? If we’re not anticipating and working for the revelation of Jesus’ restorative rule over all things … View Resource

  • True Greatness Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    As Jesus approached His final week leading up to His crucifixion, He spoke plainly to His disciples about the events that were about to unfold in Jerusalem. He wanted them to know that the horrific things that would happen to Him were fully anticipated. So He spells it out for them (for the third time), that in Jerusalem He will be arrested, condemned, mocked, flogged, and crucified before being raised back to life on the third day (Matt. 20:18–19). It would be reasonable to expect that our Savior’s words would stir within His disciples deep concern or at least questions … View Resource

  • How the Kingdom Comes Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    Matthew 13 presents a priceless display of some parables of Christ and also gives His reasons for using this device in His teaching ministry. Best of all, it offers two examples of Christ’s own interpretation of His parables. They give us a snapshot of the history of the kingdom of God from its earliest beginnings to its consummation. A parable is an extended simile or a metaphor that explains aspects of spiritual truth in everyday terms. The word parable describes the act of placing two objects or ideas side by side for comparison. Christ’s use of parables is often commended … View Resource

  • Put Off and Put On Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2008

    One of the principles of Christian growth is called the “put off and put on” principle (see Eph. 4:22–24). Behind the principle lies the fact that there are always sinful attitudes and actions we need to put off, and there are always positive traits of righteousness we need to put on more firmly.  Jesus uses this principle in Matthew 6, where the words “do not” or equivalent expressions occur ten times. With this expression, He is, of course, emphasizing the “put off.” But He doesn’t just leave us with the “do nots.” He also addresses the proper … View Resource

  • God’s Other Kingdom Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    We often talk about how God is “sovereign” over all things. The term has to do with God’s providential control over His creation — that is to say, everything that exists — and, in different contexts, with His action in bringing people to salvation. But to say God is sovereign implies that He is a sovereign. In other words, God is a king.  Christian discussions of the kingdom of God usually focus on His spiritual kingdom, how, through the work of Christ, He reigns in the hearts of believers, in the visible church, and in eternity. This column is … View Resource

  • The Coming of the Kingdom Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    If you want to start a debate, simply ask a group of Christians to explain what the Bible has to say about church government. If you want to start a shouting match, ask them what the Bible has to say about the second coming of Jesus. It is difficult to think of anything in the last two hundred years that has been the source of as much disagreement among professing Christians as the doctrines related to the second coming of Jesus. While most professing Christians agree on the fact of the second coming, virtually everything about it is debated. The … View Resource

  • Kingdom Life Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    Jesus promised that the kingdom of God would come in power before some of His hearers faced death (Mark 9:1). After His resurrection, He again spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). On the day of Pentecost, Peter announced that Jesus had been seated at God’s right hand in heaven, fulfilling God’s ancient promise to put David’s descendant on his royal throne (Acts 2:30–35). These texts, as well as many others, express the New Testament’s unanimous witness that God’s long-awaited redemptive reign, invading this sin-stained world to recapture it for its rightful king … View Resource

  • Old Expectations Article by Iain Duguid

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he began by “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23). Yet nowhere in the Gospels do we see Jesus giving a clear definition of the kingdom. The reason is simple: Jesus didn’t have to define what the kingdom meant, because his hearers were well-schooled in the Old Testament. The puzzle for them was trying to work out how the coming of Jesus fitted into their Old Testament expectations. That is why Jesus later said, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a … View Resource

  • The King of Kings Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    The gospel of Luke ends with a supremely jarring statement: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (24:50–53). What is jarring about this passage is, as Luke reports the departure of Jesus from this world, the response of His disciples was to return to Jerusalem with “great joy.” What about Jesus’ departure would … View Resource

  • Two Kingdoms Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    What is the kingdom of God? It’s a simple question, yet if I were to ask that same question to a hundred theologians I would likely get a hundred different answers. The kingdom of God is not some sort of ancient or obsolete doctrine that no one has ever heard of. Rather, it is something we hear about all the time as a fundamental component of Jesus’ teaching and a primary theme throughout sacred Scripture. Although few would admit it, when most Christians think about the kingdom of God, their minds are strained to conceive of anything beyond some … View Resource