• The Centrality of the Church Article by Sean Michael Lucas

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | Matthew 16

    For those to whom [God] is Father the church may also be Mother,” John Calvin observed in his Institutes (4.1.1). A few paragraphs later, he teases out what this metaphor means. God uses the church to bring us into spiritual life in the same way a mother conceives children in her womb; He continues to use the church to sustain us in the Christian life just as a mother cares for children all her days. “Our weakness,” Calvin writes, “does not allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all our lives.” The … View Resource

  • Defining Our Terms Article by Jared Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014

    The phone conversation was going well until I asked a surprising question. I had been speaking to a missionary from an outreach organization who was soliciting a commitment of financial support from our church for his efforts, and I guess I asked something he hadn’t been asked before. Or, maybe he had been asked before and was tired of the question. In any event, I didn’t think I was coming out of left field when I asked: “In what way does your evangelistic work serve the local church?” He could not answer right away. This fellow knew his … View Resource

  • Historical and Theological Foundations Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | Acts 17

    According to some estimates, there are more than one hundred thousand distinct parachurch organizations in the United States alone. Parachurch organizations are typically defined as Christian organizations that exist alongside (para) the local church without being under the oversight of any specific local church. They are often focused on one particular mission or purpose. There are parachurch organizations devoted to missions (Africa Inland Mission, U.S. Center for World Mission), to Bible distribution (Gideons, Bibles for the World), to discipleship and evangelism (Navigators, Young Life), to publishing (Crossway, Banner of Truth), to various social services (crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters … View Resource