• Tackling Shame Article by W. Duncan Rankin

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    Binding and demoralizing, shame alienates us from both God and man. But where do we as believers begin to unravel our shame? There must be a Christian answer to it, for God would not abandon His beloved at their profoundest emotional ebb. The Problem of Shame As the sons and daughters of our first father Adam and our first mother Eve, each of us feels shame because of the first sin. We all fell in Adam’s garden rebellion: his sin was our sin, since he was our root and head (Rom. 5:12–18; 1 Cor. 15:21–22). Guilty under … View Resource

  • Immanuel Article by Gerald Bilkes

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    Immanuel is one of Christ’s most precious names. It is a combination of two Hebrew words that together mean “God with us.” The gospel of Matthew explains that Christ received this name in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. For many people, the name Immanuel has a nice ring to it that suggests comfort and hope in times of trouble. Yet there is a lot more substance and significance to this name. The encouragement Christians can take from this name is no mere vague impression or passing emotion. The truth conveyed by this name has both a glorious beauty and … View Resource

  • The Price of Our Redemption Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    The story is told of Abraham Lincoln, who went down to the slave block and there noticed a young black girl up for auction. Moved with compassion, he bid and won her. Upon purchasing her, Lincoln told the disbelieving young girl that she was free. In her Surprise she said, “What does that mean?” “It means you are free,” he replied. “Does that mean,” she said, “I can say whatever I want to say?” “Yes, my dear, you can say whatever you want to say.” “Does that mean I can be whatever I want to … View Resource

  • Redeemed by His Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    Cecil B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) is one of the most successful movies ever made. At the time, it was a grand cinematic achievement. Its cinematography and special effects wowed the movie world. Everyone marveled, not only at the presentation, but also at the story itself. The story indeed isa grand one, as it recapitulates the storyline of the entire drama of redemption. The deliverance of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt is an unforgettable story of God’s purposeful and powerful salvation of His people. The account of God redeeming Israel from Egypt foreshadowed the redemption to … View Resource

  • Meeting Jesus at an Old Testament Feast Article by John R. Sittema

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    The default sin of the human heart is to put ourselves first. “It really is all about me!” was once a funny t-shirt slogan; it has now become a way of life. Unless preachers and Bible teachers are careful, the way we handle Scripture can actually feed this beast. We rush to application, consumed by the question, “How is this relevant to me?” But the Bible is theocentric, not anthropocentric. It is more concerned to trace God’s ways — His character, purposes, and His cosmic redemptive plan (“For God so loved the cosmos”) — than it is to give modern … View Resource

  • The Royal Genealogy of Jesus Article by T. Desmond Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    The five books from Genesis to Deuteronomy form the first section of the Hebrew Bible known as the Torah. Unfortunately, the Hebrew term torah is often misleadingly translated into English as “law.” Torah is better understood as meaning “instruction.” As instruction, the books of Genesis to Deuteronomy provide an essential foundation for understanding all of Scripture. As the opening stages in the grand story of divine redemption, these books set the scene and give direction to all that follows. The diverse but coherent contents of Genesis to Deuteronomy are linked in a rich variety of ways to Jesus … View Resource

  • The End of Soap Oprah Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    The passing of the Oprah Winfrey Show is surely worthy of being described with that most overworked of clichés, as “the end of an era.” Except, of course, it is not the end of an era so much as the morphing of Ms. Winfrey’s career into a new form. It is hard to imagine that the public has seen the last of her, and the values and culture that her show represented are here for the foreseeable future. I well remember one of my sisters raving about how “Oprah says this, Oprah says that!” in the late nineteen-eighties … View Resource

  • The Goodness of the Law Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Oh how I love your law!” (Ps. 119:97). What a strange statement of affection. Why would anyone direct his love toward the law of God? The law limits our choices, restricts our freedom, torments our consciences, and pushes us down with a mighty weight that cannot be overcome, and yet the psalmist declares his affection for the law in passionate terms. He calls the law sweeter than honey to his mouth (Ps. 119:3). What is it about the law of God that can provoke such affection? In the first place, the law is not an abstract set … View Resource

  • The Precious Gift of Baby Talk Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Human language is precious. It sets us off from the animals. It makes our most sophisticated scientific discoveries and our deepest emotions sharable. Above all, God chose to reveal Himself to us through human language in the Bible. In the fullness of time, He spoke to us by His Son (Heb. 1:1–2), and that Son spoke human language. In like manner, He sent His Spirit to lead His apostles into all truth so that they could tell the story of the Son in human language. Without this story in human language, we would not know the Son. Therefore, human language … View Resource

  • Our Pasts Don’t Have to Matter Article by R. Fowler White

    During our election cycles in the U.S., we see a lot of headlines and hear a lot of talk about the past of candidates for public office.  We wrestle with and quarrel about the question, Do their pasts matter? Usually, it matters when we think their pasts are a predictor of what they’ll do in the future. So, we say, sometimes their pasts matter; sometimes they don’t.  Often when I see these headlines, I can’t help but think of officeholders in the Bible. Whether in the nation of Israel or in the church, I ask, Did their … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 2) Article by L. Michael Morales

    The paradise atop Eden’s mount is described in Genesis 2-3 as a well-watered Garden with an abundance of fruit trees, a place where humanity and animals lived in harmony. These physical blessings, however, were but tokens (and small ones at that) of the greater delight of their Source: the very life-giving Presence of God. After Adam and Eve’s sin, and consequent descent from the mountain of the LORD, the biblical narrative continues to deal with the dilemma: How shall we abide in the divine Presence — who shall ascend? Sadly, as the narrative continues we find a progressive movement away … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 1) Article by L. Michael Morales

    Once a soul has come to understand something of the unutterable majesty of the holiness of God, the question asked in Psalm 15 and 24 suddenly weighs upon the heart: “Who shall ascend the mountain of the LORD?” That is, who can draw near to this living God in worship? Who can climb their way to the summit of his dwelling place and gaze upon his beauty? Who, what’s more, could ever abide with God in his house? Ezekiel 28:13-14 describes the Garden of Eden as being upon “the holy mountain of God,” a landscape we may … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 3) Article by L. Michael Morales

    Worship — approaching the living God — is the central concern of Scripture, and a vital aspect of its narrative drama. Who may climb the summit of the LORD’s dwelling place to gaze upon his beauty? Against the backdrop of this prevailing question, the Tower of Babel episode in Genesis 11 is especially stark in its depiction of fallen humanity’s titanic pride. “Come,” they say, having journeyed from the east, “let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches into the heavens” (v 4). The word translated “tower” is migdol in Hebrew, understood here as referring … View Resource

  • From Jerusalem, to All Nations, and Back Again Article by Fred Klett

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2010

    I once asked an Orthodox Jewish “anti-missionary” what he thought was the overarching message of the Hebrew Bible. Not usually at a loss for words and usually ready with an answer, this question somehow threw him. “We don’t think of the Bible in those terms” was his first attempt at an answer. Exactly. That is precisely why many first-century religious leaders in Jerusalem failed to recognize the time of redemption had come. Not to be too hard on the rabbis — at first the apostles didn’t fully understand the sort of redemption Jesus had accomplished either. View Resource

  • Pardoned and Glorified Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2009

    If you’ve read Victor Hugo’s classic work Les Miserables, or if you’ve seen the stage production or film, you’ll recall the scene wherein the bitter criminal Jean Valjean has been released from prison and finds safe harbor at a bishop’s home. Instead of returning the bishop’s kindness, Valjean steals his silver, strikes him, and flees in the night. After Valjean is caught by the arresting officer, who represents the law, he brings Valjean before the bruised bishop to press charges. The bishop, representing God, affirms not only that he knows Valjean but alleges he gave Valjean the silver and asks … View Resource