• The Power of the Broken Body Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Mention the word church and a vast array of images enter the mind. A steepled building housing a congregation; a movement of God across the centuries and the world; “one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic”; “visible and invisible”; “militant and triumphant”; “local and universal.” More images come from the Scriptures verbatim. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the branches connected to the life-giving vine of Christ. But a most provocative and instructive biblical image is “the body of Christ.” We are tempted, especially in the West, to view this body as successful, full of well-ordered, well-dressed, well-mannered … View Resource

  • Encourage One Another Article by Dane Ortlund

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Our words to one another about one another not only describe reality. They also create reality. “You idiot!” does not simply assess what is objectively true to the speaker. It also produces, in the one spoken to, death and darkness. Not only do our words reveal what is true of us, they also generate reality for another. Specifically, our words are either death-bringing or life-giving. Either depleting or nourishing, draining or filling. The gospel is a message of life, of nourishing, of filling. Because of Christ’s work in our behalf, we are set free from sin, adopted into God … View Resource

  • The Heart of Words Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Words are powerful. They transform lives and make history. They birth nations and topple empires. They make peace and fuel wars. They make covenants in marriage and wound those we most cherish. They change hearts and give news of eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words are foundational to everything we think, do, and say in all of life. Nevertheless, words are not ends in themselves. Words exist because God spoke them into existence that He might communicate with us. He spoke the world into existence and has graciously spoken to us in His sacred Word. When … View Resource

  • The Judgment of Charity Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Every time I read the Gospels, I am struck by how Jesus seems to have found Himself in the middle of controversy wherever He went. I am also struck by how Jesus handled each controversy differently. He did not follow the example of Leo “The Lip” DeRosier, the former manager of the New York Giants and treat every person He encountered in the same manner. Although He expected everyone to play by the same rules, He shepherded people according to their specific needs. The Old Testament depicts the Good Shepherd as One who carries both a staff and a rod … View Resource

  • A Pastor’s Love for Christ Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Dr. John H. Skilton was professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for almost fifty-eight years (1939–1998). He was one of the most scholarly men in the church. Rumors have circulated over the years that he had memorized the entire Greek New Testament, together with every textual variant. His doctoral dissertation, “The Translation of the New Testament into English, 1881–1950,” which he lost on a public bus in Philadelphia and then reconstructed from memory, shows something of his unique breadth of knowledge in theology and linguistics. In addition, John served as the editor of The Westminster Theological … View Resource

  • Every Conflict Is a Test Article by Alexander Strauch

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    The New Testament does not hide the fact that nearly every church in the Apostolic age experienced conflict. As the New Testament writers addressed these matters, they provided invaluable instruction on how believers are to think, act, and treat one another when conflict arises. By studying the churches in the New Testament and the instructions given to them regarding conflict, we can learn biblical principles for handling conflict in a constructive, Christ-honoring way. A Key Principle to Remember One of the most important principles I have discovered to guide me when engaged in conflict of any kind is found in … View Resource

  • Cultural Narcissism and a Titanic Lesson Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    In the inky darkness of April 15, 1912, the Titanic, billed as “the ship that even God could not sink,” plunged into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, its hull split in two. Amazingly, the lost consisted of men from every imaginable station and season of life, including some who were multibillionaires. The lifeboats were overwhelmingly populated by women and children from every sphere of society. These phenomena became irresistible subjects of analysis in the media and even in the academy during the ensuing days. The critically acclaimed and highly publicized movie Titanic (1997) attempted to re-create this … View Resource

  • Enduring Love Article by John R. Sittema

    There once were two weddings. The first took place on a pristine beach on a lake high in the mountains. The setting was breathtaking. The young couple showed that sweet nervous excitement that made everyone smile. A classical guitarist picked gathering music as we assembled for the ceremony. It began simply with the reading of selected verses from 1 Corinthians 13. The couple had written their own vows, which ended in a promise: “I will be faithful to you as long as we both shall love.” The second was a high church affair. Johann Sebastian Bach reverberated from ranks … View Resource

  • Love’s Attributes Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    In the early seventeenth century, Archbishop Ussher of Ireland desired to visit the home of a Presbyterian minister to see whether what he had heard about the man’s personal godliness was true. Ussher arrived at the pastor’s home disguised as a poor beggar. He was welcomed inside, where the wife was catechizing the household. She asked the unexpected visitor how many commandments there were. When he answered, “Eleven,” she thought him a very ignorant man and asked him nothing more, but she fed him and sent him to bed. The minister discovered Ussher’s ruse later that night and asked … View Resource

  • Love’s Significance Article by Steven Lawson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    It is virtually impossible to exaggerate the importance of love. Nothing is more basic to true spirituality than this singular virtue. Nothing is more central to Christian living. At the very heart of authentic discipleship is love. Without love, we are nothing. When Jesus was asked, “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36), He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (v. 37). Christ then added a second commandment that follows directly from the first: “You shall love your neighbor … View Resource

  • Salt of the Earth Article by Phil Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    You are the salt of the earth… . You are the light of the world… . Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13–16). That text is often cited as if it were a mandate for the church to engage in political activism — lobbying, rallying voters, organizing protests, and harnessing the evangelical movement for political clout. I recently heard a well-known evangelical leader say, “We need to make our voices heard in the voting booth, or we’re not being salt and light … View Resource

  • Hearts Aflame: Reformed Piety Article by Philip Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    Calvinism is well known and widely respected for its theology. But can we say the same thing about its piety? It is sometimes said that Calvinists do not make very good Christians. According to one critic: “Nothing will foster pride and indifference as will an affection for Calvinism. Nothing will destroy holiness and spirituality as an attachment to Calvinism. The doctrines of Calvinism will deaden and kill anything: prayer, faith, zeal, holiness.” Perhaps it is true that some people who call themselves Calvinists are not very good Christians — the “frozen chosen,” they are sometimes called. But if … View Resource