• One Lord Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Eighteen years ago, my jaw figuratively dropped to the floor as I sat in the first Old Testament course of my academic career. I attended a secular university, so I did not expect much true biblical teaching. However, I had hope the Scriptures would be treated fairly because my professor was an Orthodox Jew. You can imagine my surprise, then, when my professor said faithful ancient Israelites did not deny the existence of other gods. They worshiped Yahweh above the rest of the gods, he said, but they believed those gods were real. Liberal “highercritical” circles accept as dogma my … View Resource

  • The God-Centered Gospel Article by Michael Horton

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    One of the benefits of the older liturgies is that they provided a framework for our prayers to the Father in the Son by the Spirit. They taught our hearts to preach, pray, sing, and witness in a Trinitarian way. Yet, even in our circles it’s commonplace to hear prayers that end: “In your name. Amen.” We even hear prayers that thank the Father for dying for our sins or other examples of the same confusion of the persons with the essence. Known technically as the heresy of “modalism,” a perennial tendency (especially in the West) is to … View Resource

  • God-Centered Prayer Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    It is easy to be critical of prayer, particularly the prayers of others. Robert Murray McCheyne’s words are often cited because they remain painfully true: “You wish to humble a man? Ask him about his prayer life.” Our prayers reveal much about us. Prayers with little or no worship and focusing on our needs (usually health) reveal a distorted, Adamic bent. What they reveal is self-centeredness, what Martin Luther labeled homo in se incurvatus: “man curved in on himself.” Listen to prayers at the church prayer meeting (if one still exists). You will discover that the majority of prayers … View Resource

  • God-Centered Sacraments Article by Robert Letham

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    In considering the ways in which the persons of the Trinity operate in the sacraments, we need to be clear on how the doctrine of the Trinity has led the church to understand the works of our three-personed God. We cannot come to clear biblical and theological conclusions on this matter in isolation from the wider context. The Works of the Trinity Are Indivisible All three persons work together in all that God does. This was a basic principle at the heart of Augustine’s theology, but it was also held by Eastern Trinitarian theologians such as the Cappadocians, and it … View Resource

  • God-Centered Worship Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    One of the most important questions a person can ever ask is “Whom or what am I worshipping?” In Romans 1:21–23, Paul says that to worship anything or anyone other than the true God is evidence of futile thinking, a darkened heart, and the abandonment of wisdom. When fallen man — apart from Christ — is most religious, he is most rebellious. One of God’s purposes in redeeming sinners is the recovery of His true worship (see John 4:21—24). As Christians, we count it both our duty and delight to worship the God who has saved us … View Resource

  • The Heresies of Love Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2009

    God is a unity of distinct persons. The one God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So says the doctrine of the Trinity. Some people believe in the unity and oneness of God, but deny that He consists in different persons. Heretics such as monarchists, modalists, and Arians take this position, as do followers of non-Christian religions, such as Unitarians and Muslims. Others believe in the different persons but deny their unity in one God. This is the position of heretics such as the tritheists and followers of other non-Christian religions, such as Mormons and polytheists. The church is a … View Resource

  • Established Boundaries Article by Robert Letham

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The Eastern and Western churches have understood the Trinity in rather different ways, each with distinct problems. For the East, the person of the Father is the center of divine unity. The potential danger is a subordinationist tendency, with the Son and the Holy Spirit having a derivative status. On the other hand, the West, since Augustine, has focused on the one divine essence (being), only with difficulty accounting for the real eternal distinctions between the persons. A less-than fully personal view of God has resulted. Its bias is in a modalist direction, wherein the distinct persons are blurred. Unfortunately … View Resource

  • The Definition of Orthodoxy Article by Nicholas Needham

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The Arian controversy in the fourth century was arguably the greatest theological controversy in the history of the church. As Protestants, we might think that the Reformation controversies of the sixteenth century were the most momentous. Without wishing to minimize their importance, however, the Arian controversy was greater, because it went deeper. The Reformers were arguing about how we receive the benefits of Christ; the men of the fourth century were arguing about something even more basic — who Christ is. Unless a right foundation is laid in the person of the Redeemer, little is gained in disputing about His … View Resource

  • Triune Monarchy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The most basic affirmation the Scriptures make regarding the nature of God is that He is one. The shema of Deuteronomy 6 reads as follows: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (v. 4). These words that preface the great commandment are axiomatic to the biblical understanding of the nature of God. Old and New Testaments together bear witness to the eternal truth that there exists one God — monotheism. Another term for monotheism is the word monarchianism, meaning that the God of the Bible is a monarch. Monarch comes from a Greek word that has … View Resource

  • A Simple Mystery Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    John Wesley is quoted as having said: “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the triune God.” A clever statement indeed, but just as every analogy of the Trinity that has ever been offered breaks down under scrutiny, so Wesley’s analogy of a worm’s comprehension of man compared to our comprehension of God breaks down as well. First of all, worms are not made in the image of man. Secondly, worms have not been given special revelation from man, and, what is more, no man ever … View Resource

  • The Trinity and Culture Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The doctrine of the Trinity is not only essential for good theology. Getting the Trinity right is also essential for love, politics, and art. God is an absolute union of three distinct persons. Thus, Scripture teaches that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Not just that He is loving, but that He is, literally, love. That is, a union of distinct persons. Since God is love, His triune nature can teach us about what real love has to involve. According to the Athanasian Creed, we can err in regards to the Trinity either by “confounding the persons” (that is … View Resource

  • Trinitarian Worship Article by Allen Vander Pol

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    When someone mentions Trinitarian worship, we may immediately think of the times when we make specific reference to the Trinity in our worship services. For example, we may think of some of the classic hymns of the church that mention the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” praises “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!” Or we may remember the progression of thought, from stanza to stanza, in “Come, Thou Almighty King.” After a stanza is devoted to each person of the Trinity, the hymn offers praises “to the great One in Three.” … View Resource

  • Theologian of the Word Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    Given John Owen’s Reformed, orthodox convictions, it should not be surprising to learn that he had a high view both of theology and biblical exegesis. Indeed, he regarded the two as intimately related: theology is the result of careful exegesis of the biblical text, and exegesis is in turn shaped by the theology that the text itself teaches. This basic unity of the two is possible because Owen regarded Scripture as the words of the one God who spoke them. Whatever the variations in language, genre, and style of the numerous books in the Bible, Owen believed that they possess … View Resource

  • God Is Love Article by Robert Letham

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2004

    In contrast to the East, the Western church (Rome and Protestantism) has had difficulty doing justice to the distinct identities of the three persons of the Trinity. Augustine compared them to memory, knowledge, and will — merely three aspects of a single mind — while Aquinas held that the three are “relations” in the one divine being. This trend has been pervasive — John Calvin and John Owen are notable exceptions — but, with the reappearance of the Eastern church on the radar, it is becoming recognized that equal justice should be done to the irreducible distinctions of the three … View Resource

  • Bubble Gum and the Trinity Article by Douglas Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    I recently told a class of tenth-graders that what our culture needed was a return to Trinitarian bubble-gum commercials. They were a little nonplussed, and so I hastened to explain that as individuals with one set of ultimate commitments, we have the capacity to live in alien soil, that is, a culture with a different set of commitments. In other words, a Muslim can live and prosper in a Trinitarian culture. In that culture he can live and die a Muslim. But if enough Muslims congregate together, the logical extensions of their fundamental faith will necessarily work its way out … View Resource