• The Object of Our Faith Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2016

    We all struggle with doubt. Some Christians struggle with doubt from time to time, and others struggle with doubt every day. We sometimes doubt because of our indwelling sin or because of the weakness of our faith. We sometimes doubt our salvation. We sometimes doubt God’s love for us. We sometimes doubt our election. We sometimes doubt in times of trial. We sometimes doubt that God hears us when we pray. We sometimes doubt that God’s promises will come to pass. And we sometimes doubt that God is really working all things together for our good. Adam and … View Resource

  • Legalism vs. Gospel Religion Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2016

    The word religion has fallen on hard times in recent years. Many have tried to pit religion against faith, saying that Christianity isn’t a religion but a relationship. That sounds nice, but that isn’t quite the case. Faith and religion are not mutually exclusive, they are complementary. Christianity is a religion founded on a relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, Christianity is the only true religion in the world because it is the religion established by the one and only true God. The Christian religion is the all-encompassing life of trusting, worshiping, following, and loving God and loving … View Resource

  • Reformed Theology & John 3:16 Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2016

    We see it everywhere. From bumper stickers to billboards, from T-shirts to tattoos, from old faded church signs to spray-painted signs along country roads—John 3:16 is everywhere. As such, some Christians have become complacent about the simple truth of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Some think it’s just for children, some think it’s too elementary, and some perhaps think it’s doctrinally beneath them to spend time studying such a simple verse in depth. But … View Resource

  • Muslims Need Christ Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2016

    Just before I sat down to write this article, the terrorist group known as ISIS claimed responsibility for another attack in the Middle East. In this latest incident, Muslim terrorists reportedly killed more than twelve people, injured more than twenty-five people, and took as many as fifty hostages. Sadly, we have grown accustomed to such horrendous news—so accustomed that we have almost come to expect such news every day. If we have not become desensitized to these sinful and shameful acts of terrorism, we feel a range of emotions, from anger to sadness, vengeance to helplessness, defensiveness to aggression. ISIS … View Resource

  • The Orthodoxy of Community Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    The love language of all marriages is self-denial. When both husband and wife are consumed not with their own immediate happiness but with the happiness of one another, they will enjoy a happy marriage. The same is true for enduring friendships and for authentic community. With the disintegration of marriage has come the dissolution of community. As such, community has fallen on hard times. What every generation in every society in all of history has enjoyed, the rising generation will have to fight for. With the rise of online communities, online church, and online everything, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, shoulder-to-shoulder community has … View Resource

  • True Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2016

    Awakening is at the very heart of the Christian faith, and it is the reason we are Christians. Awakening is the powerful work of our sovereign and gracious God. When He awakens us, He doesn’t simply awaken us from sleep, but from death. Awakening is the glorious work of regeneration, revival, and reformation. When God awakens us, He regenerates our hearts, gives us the gift of new birth, and makes us alive. He says to us, “Live!” (Ezek. 16:6). The Holy Spirit invades, conquers, and persuades us. He rips out our stubborn, self-trusting hearts of stone and replaces … View Resource

  • With Gentleness and Respect Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2016

    When people first hear the word apologetics, they typically think of our modern use of the word apology. They often conclude that the task of apologetics is apologizing for the Christian faith as if to say we are sorry for our faith. However, the word apologetics derives from the Greek word apologia, which means “to give an answer” or “to make a defense.” Apologetics is not an apology, it’s an answer—a defense of what we believe. In his first epistle, Peter writes, “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone … View Resource

  • Desiring Contentment Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2015

    God has put eternity in our hearts. He has inscribed heaven on our souls. He created us to long for a perfect world and to desire what is supremely ideal. We want to be fully and finally free from the suffering and misery of this world, and ultimately from our sin—not only the conviction and sadness our sin brings us, but also the hurt and pain it brings to those closest to us. As redeemed but fallen creatures in this fallen world, we desperately want to be done with sin and its consequences. We want to be less proud, less … View Resource

  • Courage and Compassion Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2015

    Homosexual sin is a grievous and heinous sin. While it is indeed true that all sexual immorality is sin—adultery, fornication, pornography—homosexual sin is different. It is a more heinous and grievous sin because, as the Word of God makes clear, homosexual sin is contrary to nature (Rom. 1:26). Homosexual sin strikes against God’s created order in every way and mocks God’s design for procreation, thus making homosexuality logically self-defeating. Those who suggest the Bible is not clear about homosexual sin have never read the Bible or have not been given the ears to hear what the Bible … View Resource

  • The Perspicuity of Scripture Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2015

    One of the most important but often most overlooked parts of our order of service at Saint Andrew’s Chapel is the prayer of illumination. In our liturgy, the prayer of illumination is situated between the reading of Scripture and the sermon. In our prayer, we humbly ask God to illumine His Word to us by the Holy Spirit so that we would rightly hear, understand, and apply what the Lord is saying to us in His Word. The reason it is one of the most important elements of our service is because we desperately need the Holy Spirit to … View Resource

  • Study Bibles: Soli Deo Gloria Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2015

    I was preaching at a church in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2007. The church met in an old warehouse, and although the congregation was rather large, it was quite poor. After my sermon, I met with several pastors from around Bogotá who gathered to discuss gospel ministry in Colombia. The pastors were interested in knowing more about Reformed theology and how they could begin to teach it in their churches. At one point in our discussion, one of the pastors took his Bible and placed it on the table in front of me. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it … View Resource

  • Blessed Are the Persecuted Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2015

    In 2004, I traveled to Iran with a delegation of Protestant Christians from the United States to meet with the vice president of the Iranian parliament. While in Iran, I preached at the Garden of Evangelism in Tehran, which was founded by the twentieth-century missionary William M. Miller. Over the following days, dozens of Iranian Christians told me stories of the many ways they had been persecuted. Many who had been converted to Christ from Islam had been disowned by their families, shunned and despised by their neighbors, or fired from their jobs. Some had been imprisoned, and one man … View Resource

  • The Dawn of Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2015

    The brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, is the morning star. It appears about an hour before dawn. John Wycliffe (c. 1330-84) is often called the “Morning Star of the Reformation,” and for good reason, for his life shone brightly as a forerunner of the Reformation. Jan Hus (c. 1370-1415) worked by the light of this morning star, even as the greater light of the Reformation was about to dawn. Through Wycliffe, God brought light to people who were dwelling in darkness—one of whom was Hus. Hus boldly carried on the controversy that Wycliffe began, the … View Resource

  • Gospel Religion Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2015

    I have heard people say that the Bible is just a list of do’s and don’ts. People who say that have not read the Bible. In order to combat this sort of thinking, some Christians will quickly respond by arguing that the Bible is not a list of do’s and don’ts at all. But when they do that, they throw out the baby with the bath water. Those who have read the Bible will know that it is not just a list of do’s and don’ts, nor simply a how-to manual, nor a mere … View Resource

  • The Heresy of Indifference Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    Doctrine matters—it matters in life and in death. Our doctrine determines our destiny. It not only affects our view about God but our view about everything. We are doctrinal beings by nature. Everyone holds to some sort of doctrine; the question is whether or not our doctrine is biblical. Consequently, we dare not be indifferent about doctrine. Indeed, there is a reason we’ve never heard of a Christian martyr who was indifferent about doctrine. Indifference about doctrine is the mother of every heresy in all of history, and in our day indifference about doctrine is spreading like wildfire in … View Resource