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  • Avoiding Burnout Article by Archie Parrish

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    Every true believer has sufficient grace to finish well. If this is true, and I believe it is, why do so many believers burn out? What Is Burnout? The term burnout was coined by rocket scientists to describe shutting down a jet or rocket engine by exhausting or shutting off its fuel. Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberg, in his 1974 book Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement, was the first psychologist to use this term. He defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired … View Resource

  • The Story We Share Article by J.D. Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    Ask anyone to describe the shape of a square, and you might expect a variety of explanations that yet have common talking points (for example, 90-degree corners with four equilateral sides). Get one of the defining features of a square wrong, and you’re no longer describing a square, regardless of culture, time, or place. Similarly, if a believer were to summarize the gospel, we might reasonably anticipate that each explanation would conform to a particular shape that transcends different communication styles, theological influences, and cultural idioms. In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he provides a … View Resource

  • Catechisms for the Imagination Article by N.D. Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    What are stories for? Ask an average group of young American narrative consumers this question and they most likely won’t know what you mean. What you’ll likely get are blank faces, shrugs. So, let’s get more specific. What are movies, TV shows, comic books, and novels for? What’s the point? Why watch? Why read? Why do we as a culture bother to spend billions of dollars (and hours) creating and consuming stories? The consensus answer—regardless of whether the kids asked are active and aggressive readers or merely passive imbibers of whatever happens to be on—will almost … View Resource

  • Enjoying God, Coram Deo Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    I am a confessional Presbyterian pastor. As such, I subscribe to the Westminster Standards, consisting of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Over the years I have heard the Westminster Standards criticized for being too erudite; some have charged that the Westminster divines (theologians) were so concerned with doctrinal precision that they failed to display the beauty and loveliness of the faith in their documents. Although I appreciate their concerns, I always remind such critics that the Westminster catechisms begin with the language of glorifying and enjoying God, and that the Standards exist to explain … View Resource

  • The Lord Was with Him Article by David Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2013

    The Bible says that “the Lord was with” Abraham, Joseph, David, and Hezekiah. We’re also told that Enoch and Noah “walked with God.” These are two sides of the same coin, two perspectives on the same experience of God’s special presence with His people. This was a gracious experience. Humanity had severed itself from God by sin, but God in mercy came down to humanity again to reconcile, to reestablish, to reconnect, and to re-commune. These were all sinners separated from God by sin, and distant from God by nature. Yet God drew near to them, drew them … View Resource

  • All My Fears Relieved Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the Proverbs tell us, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the end of all other fears. For us as sons of God, to fear God means to humbly trust Him and helplessly tremble before Him with reverence and awe, love and gratitude (Ps. 147:11; 2 Cor. 7:15; Heb. 12:28). Although most fear is deadly, the fear of the Lord is life. The fears we experience in this life are countless and complex. And while we have chosen to address seven deadly fears, there … View Resource

  • 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

  • Fear of Failure Article by Richard Pratt Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    A friend of mine once told me: “My fear of failure has caused a big problem between my family and me. I don’t spend much time with them during the week. I dread failing at my job so much that it drives me to work day and night. But I don’t spend much time with them on weekends either. The fear of failing at something that I’m not used to doing absolutely paralyzes me.” Even if we don’t go to extremes like my friend, the possibility of failure is not something we enjoy. We all fall … View Resource

  • Fear of the Future Article by Edward Welch

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    All fears are prophecies about the future. They start small—a robber might steal your bike, the boogieman will eat you before the night is over—and they grow from there. These fears need help, however, to go global and apocalyptic. I grew up during a time that supplied that help. I was in elementary school during the height of the Red Scare. The Late Great Planet Earth was a bestseller, and the media reported on the worst of global affairs. Given that fertile soil, no Christian needed imagination to envision the Red Army using demonic devices to detect that you were … View Resource

  • How Then Should We Love? Article by Kelly Kapic

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    Has it ever struck you how strange it sounds to be commanded to love? Say you are a devoted Pittsburgh Steelers fan and someone told you to love the Dallas Cowboys. This would not sound like a joyful invitation, but rather a cruel joke. How can I love what I do not even like? Scripture does not merely invite us to love God and neighbor; we are commanded to do so. And this is where it gets a bit tricky. How can we be commanded to love? Sometimes in reaction to our culture, which often confuses love with sappy sentimentality … View Resource

  • Not Hearers Only Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22–24). Obviously, a pastor’s heart desire for the flock … View Resource

  • The Anchor of Theology Article by Janet Mefferd

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    Why aren’t Christian women interested in theology?” I often hear that question (usually from men), and I’m never sure how to answer. That’s likely because I can’t relate to the premise that Christian women aren’t interested in theology—the study of God. This wasn’t always true of me. If I’d heard that question when I was a college student, I probably would have answered, “Theology is for pastors. The most important thing is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.” I had a lot to learn. At the time, my thinking about Christianity was … View Resource

  • Informal Mentoring Article by Alvin Reid

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    Jimmy arrived at my house promptly at 8 a.m. to take me to the airport. He has often done this for me. Jimmy and his wife, Natalie, head overseas later this year as missionaries. He has been in a small group that I lead; he and Natalie also lead a small group at our local church. But Jimmy was doing more than giving me a ride to the airport. This trip demonstrates the primary approach I take toward mentoring. I rarely ever go on a driving trip alone, and I virtually never drive to the airport by myself. Whenever … View Resource

  • A Sure Hope for the Future Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    I’ve spoken at more conferences than I can remember, and one of the highlights of these events is the book signing wherein attendees visit with the conference speakers and the speakers sign their books. These signings are a privilege because they give the speaker a glimpse at the impact his words have had on people. I’ve talked to seminarians, grandmothers, businessmen, and just about anyone else you can think of during these signings. On occasion, children have even given me pictures that they drew for me. As enjoyable as these signings can be, there’s one phenomenon I … View Resource

  • Bless Those Who Admonish You Article by Alexander Strauch

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Ps. 141:5). If there is a religion that unapologetically emphasizes human fallenness, sin, moral corruption, self-deceit, greed, pride, and perverse selfishness, it is safe to say that it is the religion of the Bible. Because of our foundational beliefs in the reality of sin, Satan, and human depravity, we should understand well why people in positions of authority are easily corrupted. In fact, the more thoroughly we understand the biblical doctrine of sin, the stronger … View Resource