• The Importance of Sound Exegesis Article by Daniel Doriani

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    A Bible scholar walks into a friend’s kitchen and sees a magnet fixing a diet plan to the refrigerator door. It reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you … to give you hope and a future’ ” (Jer. 29:11, NIV). Is his dieting friend interpreting Scripture correctly? The first principle of interpretation is “Read contextually.” The Bible scholar thinks to himself, “Does he know that Jeremiah spoke to Israel’s leaders in exile in Babylon? That a word spoken to the nation of Israel isn’t necessarily a personal promise … View Resource

  • Bind These Words Article by Miles Van Pelt

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    The final words of the Shema contain Moses’ command to the Israelites to bind the words of God as signs on the hands and between the eyes (Deut. 6:8). He also commands them to write these words on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates (v. 9). In previous verses (vv. 6, 8), Moses calls for God’s words to be “on the heart” of each Israelite, and that they be considered and discussed daily as a part of ordinary family life. Given this context, his commands to bind these words to our bodies and to write … View Resource

  • On Your Heart Article by Curt Heffelfinger

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    An ad campaign for a credit card pounds away at consumers with the relentless tagline, “What’s in your wallet?” A far more important question arises for those embracing the Shema with its Great Commandment of Deuteronomy 6:5. The next verse prescribes the starting place for an all-consuming love for God: “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” A lot rides on how we answer the question, “What’s on your heart?” A heart in love with God will be saturated with Scripture. What does on-your- heart Scripture saturation look like? Deuteronomy 11:18 … View Resource

  • Listening to God’s Word Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2013

    Lying somewhere in the home of each person reading this article is a Bible. Maybe more than one. The fact that nearly every Christian in the West has his own Bible is a rather recent privilege. For roughly the first fifteen hundred years of church history, Bibles were fairly scarce and protected. The printing press was not invented until the mid-1400s, and the ability for each Christian family to have its own Bible came much later. Our freedom to have them as we do was one of the great achievements of the Reformation. Thus, today, each Christian home probably has … View Resource

  • From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Interview with T.D. Alexander Article by T. Desmond Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Tabletalk: Describe how you became a Christian and how God called you to work in the academy. T.D. Alexander: I grew up in a rural community in the northeast of Ireland, strongly influenced by Ulster-Scots culture, where almost everyone was Presbyterian by birth. As the eldest of three boys, I was cared for sacrificially by our mother following our father’s early death. In my mid-teens, I made that wonderful discovery of the grace of God, understanding personally the significance of what Christ did for me on the cross. Thereafter, filled with a desire to serve Christ, I explored … View Resource

  • The Dawn of Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2012

    It is one thing to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but it is another to believe, or trust, the Bible as the Word of God. We’re called not only to believe in God and His Word but to believe God—to trust God—and His Word. Throughout history, the visible church has always professed her belief that the Bible is God’s Word. Yet, a cursory study of church history reveals that many popes, priests, and parishioners neglected to read the Bible themselves, and many didn’t believe, or trust, the Bible as the final, authoritative Word … View Resource

  • Induction and Deduction with Reference to Inspiration Article by Roger Nicole

    One feature of the evangelical doctrine of scriptural inspiration (and inerrancy) which is subject to considerable debate is the respective place and scope of induction and deduction in the task of ascertaining a truly biblical view of the subject. Dewey M. Beegle, for instance, opts for a priority of induction (Scripture, Tradition and Infallibility. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973, p. 16) and he chides the upholders of inerrancy for having permitted an Aristotelian scholastic method of deductive reasoning to obscure the phenomena of Scripture which, he feels, should have been the foundation on which inductive reasoning could have developed a truly … 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

  • Seeing the Gospel in the Word of God Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Surely no one reading this article needs to be convinced of the importance of feeding upon the Word of God. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). It is through the regular, personal intake of the Bible that we come to know God better, understand His will for our lives, experience God’s transforming presence, and much more. But have you considered the significance of daily saturation in Scripture for developing a more gospel-centered, Christ-focused life? Here’s what I mean: in your Bible reading … View Resource

  • Divorcing Doctrine from Scripture Article by R. Scott Clark

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Pithius, Our dear boy, you quite misunderstand the problem. So long as Christians continue to understand the Book to contain truths, claims about the way things really are, about the enemy, about Him-who-ought-not-be-named, about His Paraclete, about humans as contracting with us, and about the resolution of all things — one shudders — we shall never succeed. It is, therefore, imperative that you convince them to reckon the Book as a guide to personal fulfillment and especially a way to exquisite, euphoric experience. That is our best product. You will, of course, recognize this approach. It worked the first time and … View Resource

  • United in the (whole) Truth Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011 | 1 Corinthians 1

    We are prone to partiality. It is our habit not only to have preferences but to establish ourselves and pride ourselves in the preferences we choose. We play favorites and then rally around our favorites as we strive to demonstrate why our favorites should be everyone’s favorites. Being partial, having preferences, and playing favorites isn’t inherently wrong, so long as our partiality, preferences, and favorites are in accord with sacred Scripture. Problems quickly emerge, however, when we begin to play favorites with Scripture itself. View Resource

  • We Believe the Bible and You Do Not Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Not too long ago, in an effort to get a better grasp of the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, I was reading the chapters on the sacraments in Francis Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics, and I ran across this statement: “The difference between the Lutheran Church and the Reformed in the doctrine of Baptism is fully and adequately defined by saying that the former believes God’s Word regarding Baptism, the latter not” (vol. 3, p. 269). View Resource

  • Heaven Rejoices Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010 | Zephaniah 3

    I’ve written a handful of books on a variety of topics, and one thing that occasionally happens when you publish a book is that people ask you to sign it. I think of signing autographs as something that famous people do, so it feels a bit awkward to sign a book. I’m happy to do it, however. If you’ve written a Christian book, many people will want something in addition to your signature. View Resource

  • Higher Criticism Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2008

    About ten years ago I had the opportunity to study under the late Dr. Harold O. J. Brown (1933–2007) at the Evangelical Preacher’s Seminary in Wittenberg, Germany. Dr. Brown was known by his students for his oral examinations, wherein he generously and humorously interrogated us on a variety of doctrinal questions that we were expected to answer on the spot. During one of his oral examinations I recall one of my fellow students speaking somewhat flippantly about the Bible. Without hesitation, looking intently at the student, Dr. Brown said, “The Bible is not just some book. It is the Word … View Resource

  • The Generous Landowner Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Chapter divisions in the Bible are usually helpful as they allow us to find our way around the Scriptures. Occasionally, however, they can hinder our understanding of a passage if they cause us to look at it apart from its context. This often is the case with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1–16). Because of the chapter division at the end of Matthew 19, we fail to understand the parable in its context of Jesus’ teaching in 19:16–30. Because that section of Matthew has already been treated in another article, we will not look at … View Resource