• Boethius: The Philosopher Theologian Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    One of the least known but most significant Christian thinkers of antiquity was a sixth-century layman called Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius, or simply Boethius for short. The son of an old senatorial family, he lived between 480 and 524, being consul (a largely ceremonial political position) in 510, and then Master of the Offices at the Ostrogothic court in Ravenna in 522. It was while serving in this latter capacity that Boethius was accused of treason, imprisoned, tried, and executed. It remains unclear to this day whether he was actually guilty of treason or, as seems more likely, was … View Resource

  • Church Shopping Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Stolas, You ask in your letter about the key to undermining the church as quickly as possible. This is scarcely rocket science, but, as you ask, we will try to enlighten you. At the heart of Christianity is the body of Christ — the church. The church is to be marked by the mutual love, self-giving, and commitment of her members. After all, to borrow an image from the frightful Paul of Tarsus, what use is a body where the different parts are disconnected, or working against each other, or constantly being transplanted from one part to another? We’d be … View Resource

  • The End of Soap Oprah Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    The passing of the Oprah Winfrey Show is surely worthy of being described with that most overworked of clichés, as “the end of an era.” Except, of course, it is not the end of an era so much as the morphing of Ms. Winfrey’s career into a new form. It is hard to imagine that the public has seen the last of her, and the values and culture that her show represented are here for the foreseeable future. I well remember one of my sisters raving about how “Oprah says this, Oprah says that!” in the late nineteen-eighties … View Resource

  • Fallacious History Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    One of the most pressing but invisible threats to Christian thinking at the present time is that of fallacious history. Like carbon monoxide, it can kill; you just do not notice it is happening until it is too late. Fallacious history comes in numerous forms. The most obvious and influential are those pushed by popular culture. Movies are the primary culprits here. So powerful are the aesthetics of modern cinema that the stories the movies tell can be compelling for no other reason than that they seem so real. Thus, if there is a movie in which Americans crack the … View Resource

  • High Crimes and Misdemeanors Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    Some years ago I caused no little consternation when I was invited to speak at a church on the nature of ministry and started my lecture by declaring that it really did not matter if the pastor was an adulterer or not. As you may imagine, this was not something the congregation had heard before, and my guess is that more than a handful of those present probably thought the speaker had either gone mad or was simply ignorant of the most basic aspects of biblical teaching on the nature of church leadership. View Resource

  • How Consumer Culture Fuels Change Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    Discussion of culture has become a virtual shibboleth in contemporary evangelicalism, left and right. Whether this is itself a biblical imperative or merely a cultural reaction to a time when fundamentalism ruled the roost is a matter for debate. Indeed, one of the perplexing things about the trendy Christian culture vultures is that, generally speaking, when they talk about “culture” they are usually referring to what we might call popular culture, particularly movies, internet, and music, with, more often than not, a youth orientation. “Culture” as the traditions, institutions, and mechanisms by which a society transmits a way of life … View Resource

  • A Man More Sinned Against than Sinning?: The Portrait of Martin Luther in Contemporary New Testament Scholarship Article by Carl R. Trueman

    To put it bluntly, it seems to me that the current revision of the doctrine of justification as formulated by the advocates of the so-called New Perspective on Paul is nothing less than a fundamental repudiation not just of that Protestantism which seeks to stand within the creedal and doctrinal trajectories of the Reformation but also of virtually the entire Western tradition on justification from at least as far back as Augustine. View Resource

  • Problematic Analogies and Prayerful Adoration Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    Ask any children’s Sunday school teacher what the most difficult thing to teach is and he will almost certainly tell you: “The doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one but exists in three persons.” Ask them how they do it and you will probably find them outlining an analogy: “God is like water, ice, and steam” is one of the more popular. The problem with such an analogy — indeed, with any analogy — for the Trinity is that it is actually more misleading than helpful. What it describes is not really something akin to the biblical Trinity … View Resource

  • Reasons for Separation Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Romans 16

    Separation is a perennially tricky topic in the Christian church. After all, the Bible has much to say about loving neighbors and enemies, teaching that seems to stand at odds with the notion of separating from someone. Furthermore, at the end of a century marked by ethnic conflict and the myriad bloody testimonies to the terrifying results of one group deciding that another group simply does not belong, there are strong cultural forces that militate against notions of separatism. However, lest the reader think I mention these two points just for descriptive purposes, I would add that they are actually … 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

  • This We Believe Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Many evangelical Christians are instinctively suspicious of the whole idea of creeds and confessions, those set forms of words that certain churches have used throughout the ages to give concise expression to the Christian faith. For such people, the very idea of such extra-scriptural authoritative statements of faith seems to strike at the very heart of their belief that the Bible is the unique revelation of God, the all-sufficient basis for our knowledge of Him, and the supreme authority in matters of religion.  Certainly, creeds and confessions can be used in a way that undermines the orthodox Protestant … View Resource

  • Understanding the Times: An Interview with Carl Trueman Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2012

    Tabletalk: Please describe your conversion and your call to ministry. Carl Trueman: I first heard the gospel at a Billy Graham rally in Bristol, U.K., in 1984. I then started going to church and reading the Bible along with Christian literature. It was through J.I. Packer’s God’s Words that I really came to understand God’s grace. My call to ministry came much later. While teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary, I became convinced of the need to be under church oversight. Thus, I pursued ordination in the OPC. Last winter, the church where I also served … View Resource

  • What Semper Reformanda Is and Isn’t Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014 | Acts 17

    There are many familiar phrases with which everyone would agree. “It would be a good thing to eliminate world poverty” is one that comes to mind. What is interesting, of course, is that while there may be agreement on the sentiment expressed, there is often radical disagreement on how it is to be achieved. In this example, some might argue for greater deregulation of international trade, others for increased aid, others for targeted educational solutions. There are also some phrases that occur in the context of the church that are similar in terms of universal agreement. One that is a … View Resource

  • Whitewashing History? Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2011 | Hebrews 11

    To borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, it is the best of times, the worst of times. That is how one might describe the current movie-saturated era. Certainly, from an entertainment perspective, it is the best of times. While I myself still prefer the classic films of the 40s and 50s, from The Maltese Falcon to The Searchers, it is hard not to be impressed by everything from the special effects in something like Inception to the sheer brilliance of acting in The King’s Speech. Yet therein lies the problem, that which makes it, in … View Resource

  • Why Do We Draw the Line? Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    In recent years, talk of uniting around the center has been very popular in conservative evangelical quarters. One obvious reason for this is that many regard such a center as reflecting the fact that there is a solid core of key doctrines on which evangelicals agree, even though there are areas of disagreement. Thus, many consider Trinitarianism, penal substitution, and justification by grace alone through faith alone to be central points of agreement. At the same time, these same people would regard the subjects and mode of baptism or the details of church polity to be areas of disagreement. Yet … View Resource