• 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

  • 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

  • God-Centered Preaching Article by Bernie van Eyk

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    People are starving for the greatness of God,” observes John Piper, “but most of them would not give this diagnosis of their troubled lives. The majesty of God is an unknown cure. There are far more popular prescriptions on the market, but the benefit of any other remedy is brief and shallow. Thus preaching that does not have the aroma of God’s greatness may entertain for a season, but it will not touch the hidden cry of the soul: ‘Show me your glory.’” Our greatest need, as we walk through the wilderness of this present age, is to … View Resource

  • Happy Pastors Article by C.J. Mahaney

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    As the star of the television series Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe suits up and labors in some of the most dirty and dangerous work environments possible. To date, he hasn’t tried pastoring. But pastoring qualifies as a dirty job, which is reflected in the most common biblical metaphor for the job: shepherd. Being a shepherd is difficult, demanding, and — if done well — exhausting. Pastors with any experience in the field will know exactly what I mean. Take sermon preparation. The work is hard, repetitive, and impossible to avoid, outgrow, or expedite. You spend hours of hard work over … 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

  • Anti-Shepherds Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Dear Asag, Remember: our abysmal sublimity does not so much want to tear down “godly” ways as to build up his own. From the apex of temptation in the garden to the present, his conspiratorial plot has always been to offer some sane, attractive, and wholesome counterfeit to the true kingdom of our foe. That’s why subtle counterfeits are the perfect tools for your task to hamper shepherds from shepherding, to deter pastors from actually pastoring. Amorality is obvious and shortsighted; scandal lasts but for a season; but fiddling the days and hours away on sweet nothings can become … View Resource

  • Unregrettable, Hard Words Article by Burk Parsons

    2 Corinthians 7:8–9 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” In reflecting on his previous letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is rightly mindful to draw attention to the grief that his letter caused among his recipients, not to mention the grief he himself experienced. View Resource

  • Potent Preaching Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    We don’t understand God. What is it about Him that so often leads Him to mute His power, to hide behind the weak and lame? It’s not as though He doesn’t understand His own power. His Word created the whole of the universe. His Spirit gave life to us when we were dead. That Word never returns void. That Spirit is omnipotent. But He has chosen to not only work on us, but to work through us. The Word reaches the apex of its power not when it stands alone, but when it is preached. God is pleased to use … View Resource

  • A Literate Ministry Article by T. David Gordon

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    Consider, if you will, how difficult (and sometimes annoying) it is when you encounter computergenerated voice menus when you make telephone calls. The emphasis is almost always on the wrong syllable, the monotonic and a-rhythmic cadence is unnatural, and one would not care to listen to more than small amounts of it. If the present trends continue, all public speech may sound similar to this in the future. In both 2004 and 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts released studies tracing the rise of aliteracy (not illiteracy) in the United States: the phenomenon of people who have the ability … View Resource

  • He Who Has Ears… Article by Scott Anderson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    Everyone loves a story. Whether young or old, we all enjoy hearing, reading, or seeing a good story unfold. Stories are remarkably powerful things. They stir-up our imaginations and excite our affections. They instruct us and inspire us. They intoxicate and influence us. They linger with us, often becoming more precious and poignant and powerful over time. View Resource

  • Too Good to Be True? Article by Robert Strimple

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    In 1935 I was baptized and then raised in one of the largest “mainline” Protestant denominations. But by age twelve I was so disappointed with the pastors sent to us, all preaching the old liberalism so popular in those years, that I asked my parents if I could transfer to the local Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I went with their blessing, and the Lord soon blessed me with deepening biblical faith. As we survey the American scene today, the mainline churches, rather than returning at last to the biblical faith and embracing the gospel, have merely tried one suggestion after another … View Resource

  • Preach the Word Article by Steven Lawson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010

    Every season of reformation and every hour of spiritual awakening has been ushered in by a recovery of biblical preaching. This cause and effect is timeless and inseparable. J.H. Merle D’Aubigné, noted Reformation historian, writes, “The only true reformation is that which emanates from the Word of God.” That is to say, as the pulpit goes, so goes the church. View Resource

  • Pastoral Wisdom Article by David Osborne

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    The fourth Saturday of this month is legendary for college football fans. It is the annual clash between Alabama and Tennessee (two of the Deep South’s most storied football programs). Alabama fans recognize Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s iconic status. The “General,” as Robert Neyland is often called, stands out on the big orange side of the grid-iron as a legend in his own right. What made General Neyland memorable was his ability to boil down a complicated and involved game into seven maxims — keys to focus one’s mind before, during, and after the game. The ministry is certainly … View Resource

  • The Faithful Minister Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008 | Matthew 11

    Matthew 11 begins with a brief reference to Jesus’ commissioning the twelve apostles (see 10:2–5), then returning to His work as a minister of the Word. This is the context for understanding the events and sayings of Chapter 11. The general topic is the ministry of the Word — whether in the hands of John or Jesus — and how that ministry ought to be received. During Christ’s ministry in Galilee, John the Baptist sends messengers to ask Jesus: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:3 kjv). The implication is that the … View Resource

  • To the Young Pastor Article by Ron Gleason

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Being a pastor has been the most humbling, challenging, fulfilling, and wonderful calling of my life. It was in the pastoral ministry that I learned — and still am learning — that true success is not measured by the size of your salary or your level of notoriety. It is measured by the faithfulness you exhibit in serving Christ and His church. I wouldn’t trade being a pastor for anything, and I’ve learned that scholarship’s best place is in the pulpit. Because the pastorate is not a temporary address or a “jumping off place” where a man waits for bigger … View Resource