• Fear and the Sovereignty of God Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    God is in control.” These words can be a wonderful comfort to people struggling with common phobias, natural fears, or even deep-seated terrors. The reminder that God is in control often brings great relief. But there are times when the words “God is in control” might make matters worse. A terrified Christian may have already wrestled with the fact that God is sovereign, and come to the misguided conclusion that God is punishing him, or worse, that God has abandoned him. At the root of such fear and anxiety is not likely the issue of whether God is in control … View Resource

  • The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism Article by Paul Helm

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    Many people struggle with God’s sovereignty in election because they believe it excludes the activity of evangelism. If people are eternally elected or not, they ask, what good will preaching do? What difference will it make? However, as Scripture teaches, God’s sovereignty in election and the activity of evangelism are not enemies but friends. Evangelism is rooted in election, and while man may plant and water the seed of the gospel, God brings the growth. Means and Ends The sovereignt y of God in salvation is most clearly and vividly seen in Scripture’s teaching regarding election. Election is “unconditional,” … View Resource

  • The Sovereignty of God—Has God Lost Control? Article by Philip Hughes

    The condition of our world is such today that many are questioning whether the classical doctrine of the Absolute Sovereignty of Almighty God can still have any meaning. Human society is in a state of seething unrest. Quite apart from such “natural” calamities as famine and flooding, earthquakes and tornadoes, there is an appalling carnage and destruction of modern warfare, bringing death and devastation to civilian and soldier alike. There is no corner of the globe that is not a potential battlefield, ripe for an annihilating holocaust. Scientific achievements which hold out immense benefits to mankind are perverted into machines … View Resource

  • This Isn’t Going to Be As Easy As It Looks Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    I have an old newspaper comic strip in my desk that I cut out years ago (Mr. Boffo, for those who are interested in such things). I saved it because I think it’s funny. In the top left corner of the comic is a box with the words, “Finalist… World’s Greatest Optimist Competition.” The image itself shows two cowboys sitting behind a log with their guns drawn. A few hundred yards in front of them, thousands of Indians on horseback are rushing toward them over the crest of a hill. One of the cowboys has turned to the other … View Resource

  • Loving Our Enemies Article by Patrick Sookhdeo

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    A Pakistani Christian woman is sentenced to death for defiling the name of Muhammad. A suicide bomber outside a church in Egypt kills twenty-one people and wounds many more. An attack on a church in northern Nigeria by a thirty-strong Muslim mob armed with guns, knives, and petrol bombs leaves five people dead. These incidents all happened in the last few months and are sadly typical of the plight of Christians across the Muslim world today. Many of our brothers and sisters live in constant danger of physical assault, imprisonment, and even murder and execution simply because of their faith … View Resource

  • A Pastor’s Reflection Article by Charles Drew

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    What do you do when the world falls apart? When the planes struck, I was in my office overlooking Columbia University on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, eight miles north of Ground Zero. I listened helplessly to news reports and to the sound of sirens as rescue workers raced beneath my window on the way to the scene. It wasn’t long before a deadly odor began to fill the air. Over the next thirty-six hours, New York felt increasingly like a city under siege. Transportation shut down (I had to walk across Manhattan that evening to see a friend … View Resource

  • Ten Years Later Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The world has changed. We are not the same people we were on September 10, 2001. The events of September 11, 2001, and the events that followed in ensuing years have not only changed America but nations and peoples throughout the world. People are more afraid and less naïve. People are more aware of the differences between world religions and of the different cultures of those world religions. People are either more antagonistic towards the religion of their fathers or they are more committed adherents. There are fewer and fewer merely nominal religious bystanders and more and more radical adherents … View Resource

  • What If or If God? Article by J.R. Vassar

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    I love the Lord of the Rings. I remember sitting in a hotel room in Seattle, Washington, in December of 2003, reading the last book of the trilogy, The Return of the King. I had just spent the previous few days in New York City at the invitation of a friend, and I was considering whether or not God might be leading us to start a church there. I left New York hopeful that I would never move there. To be honest, there was a lot of fear in my heart about the city. It was overwhelmingly large, seemed like … View Resource

  • Where Is Your Hope? Article by Marva Dawn

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The story is told that a financially comfortable North American went to visit a mission church that was located in the village dump in a city in Africa. Wondering, he shadowed the pastor for much of the day until he finally burst out and said, “Where is your hope?” He could find no tools with which the pastor could work, no materials with which he could build, no food that he could pass on to the poverty-stricken people. “Where is your hope?” To the man’s utter astonishment, the local pastor responded with an enormous smile and brilliantly bright … View Resource

  • God’s Providence: A Two-Edged Sword (Part 3) Article by John Gerstner

    Positive Providence When considering the definition of negative providence, we used Ed Wynn’s comic parody of the poet. Now, considering positive providence, we consider the poet himself: There is a destiny which shapes our ends, Rough hew them though we may. The “rough hew” needs explanation. If the poet means “sin as we please,” if he suggests that a positive providence comes about irrespective of our behavior, if things are going to work out well although we always behave badly—then he errs in the opposite direction. Just as there is no destiny that shapes our ends rough, hew them … View Resource

  • A Conspiracy of Goodness Article by William Edgar

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2010

    There is a small village in the center of France with a unique history. In the midst of World War II, the country was partly occupied and partly “free,” meaning the French government, headquartered at Vichy, led by Maréchal Pétain, cooperated with the Germans, who in turn granted a certain measure of liberty to its citizens. Everyone understood, however, that no true freedom existed in either of these zones. The Nazis bore down hard and had no intentions of allowing any sort of independence from the claims of the Third Reich. In this context, and particularly in France, Jews and … View Resource

  • The Frozen Chosen Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    Reformed Christians are often accused of being cold and callous, virtual Stoics or fatalists. We’ve all heard the epithet “the frozen chosen” applied to Reformed believers. We usually protest that such a nickname does not truly describe us, and of course, we all know many brothers and sisters to whom such a name would never stick. But the fact that this nickname, this description of us, is so common should give us pause. Do we sometimes speak and act in ways that give rise to such an idea? Sadly, I believe we do. View Resource

  • Mere Coincidence? Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2010

    I’ve been interested in so-called coincidences since I was a child. In fact, my first research paper of any substance during high school was on the subject of coincidences. I recently ran across this old paper, which I wrote before I was a Christian. After giving examples of some of the more remarkable coincidences to be found in the annals of history and looking at some of the different theories that have been suggested as explanations for these phenomena, I concluded that perhaps coincidences were somebody’s way of trying to tell us something. I also added at the time that … View Resource

  • For My Good? Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010

    In 1993, my wife and I were involved in an historic train wreck. The crash of the Sunset Limited into an inlet from Mobile Bay killed more passengers than any Amtrak accident in history. We survived that eerie accident but not without ongoing trauma. View Resource

  • Uncontrollable Anxiety Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010

    In the middle of writing my column this month I deleted what I wrote and have started over because I just received word from one of my closest friends that his wife, pregnant with their long-awaited second child, might be experiencing a miscarriage. My heart is overwhelmed with sorrow not knowing what the future holds for them. View Resource