• The Weight of Shame Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    Shame—we all feel it, or at least we should. We are all sinful, and our sin brings shame. Although shame has all but disappeared from our culture’s vocabulary and is largely ignored by many in the church, it exists nonetheless and must be recognized and reckoned with. If we are honest with ourselves, and more importantly, honest with God, we cannot help but admit that we feel shame as a result of our sin. Whether we sin in private or in public—and whether we perhaps even pretend not to have it—shame is undeniably real. We feel shame because God … View Resource

  • Bible-Believing, Bible-Obeying Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2015

    As a pastor, I spend much of my time out in the community, and I meet new people every week. When people inquire what I do for a living, I tell them I am a pastor. At that point I get responses that vary depending on whether the person is a Christian and whether he or she has been to church recently. When I tell them I serve as a pastor of a church called Saint Andrew’s Chapel, I then have to explain what kind of church we are and what kind of church we’re not. It’s … View Resource

  • All Things Well Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2015

    Back before electronic calendars and smartphones, many of us used something called a Day-Timer. I got my first professional Day-Timer when I joined the staff of a church at nineteen years old. And though I haven’t used a Day-Timer in more than a decade, I recently came across an old one, and when I opened it I was immediately drawn to the words that I wrote on the front page of my calendar: “The busy man is a lazy man.” From my first Day-Timer to my last, I wrote those words on the front page so that every time … View Resource

  • What is the Gospel? Article by Ray Ortlund

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | Romans 1

    The great nineteenth-century Princeton theologian Charles Hodge said, “The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.” The gospel is absolutely fundamental to everything we believe. It is at the very core of who we are as Christians. However, many professing Christians struggle to answer the question: What is the gospel? When I teach, I am astounded by how many of my students are unable to provide a biblically accurate explanation of what the gospel is, and, what’s more, what the … View Resource

  • Which Christ? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2014 | Matthew 7

    Christianity is a creedal religion. You cannot separate Christianity from its ancient creeds. In fact, every true Christian adheres to the ancient creeds of the church, whether he knows it or not. We all have creeds. Whether formal or informal—whether written or unwritten—in one way or another, we all have creeds in which our beliefs are expressed. Many Christians have formal, written creeds to which they adhere. Other professing Christians have informal, unwritten, and unorthodox creeds that can easily change and often do change according to the whims of the individual or his pastor. Creeds are concise doctrinal summaries of … View Resource

  • The True Reformers Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014

    Semper reformanda has been hijacked. It is one of the more abused, misused, and misunderstood slogans of our day. Progressives have captured and mutilated the seventeenth-century motto and have demanded that our theology, our churches, and our confessions be always changing in order to conform to our ever-changing culture. However, semper reformanda doesn’t mean what they think it means. Semper reformanda doesn’t mean “always changing,” “always morphing,” or even “always reforming.” Rather, it means “always being reformed.” When it was first used, semper reformanda was part of the larger statement ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed and … View Resource

  • Every Jot and Tittle Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2014

    Although we don’t like to admit it, the reason many of us don’t read the Bible regularly is because we are afraid of it. We are afraid of the Bible because we are ignorant of the Bible. Many of the theological words and concepts we come across in the Bible are foreign to us and, therefore, frighten us. When we come across such words, we often don’t know what to make of them. View Resource

  • Biblically Faithful Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014

    From my work with Youth for Christ, to my service on foreign missions, to the Christian college I attended, to the pastoral and theological books I read, to the seminary from which I graduated, to the thousands of sermons I listened to on the radio—God has used parachurch ministries in my life in a profound way, as has been the case for nearly every Christian on the face of the earth. View Resource

  • Radically Ordinary Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2014 | 1 Corinthians 10

    The ordinary Christian life is not the opposite of the radical Christian life. The ordinary Christian life is a radical life. The ordinary Christian life is a life of daily trusting Christ; daily repenting of our sins; daily abiding in Christ; daily loving Christ; daily dying to self; daily taking up our crosses and following Christ; daily loving God and neighbor; and daily proclaiming the gospel to ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities. Every Christian is an ordinary Christian, and every ordinary Christian is a radical Christian. The ordinary Christian is not a complacent, passionless, nominal, or casual … View Resource

  • Forerunner of the Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2014 | Romans 5

    John Wycliffe was the morning star of the Reformation. He was a protestant and a reformer more than a century before Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Through Wycliffe, God planted the seeds of the Reformation, He watered the seeds through John Hus, and He brought the flower of the Reformation to bloom through Martin Luther. The seed of the flower of the German Augustinian monk Luther’s 95 theses was planted by the English scholar and churchman John Wycliffe. Wycliffe died on New Year’s Eve, 1384. Three decades later, he was condemned as a heretic. In … View Resource

  • Contending for Peace and Purity Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Ephesians 4

    I spent my first year of college at a second-degree separatist school that was founded by the Bible Presbyterian Church. The men who founded the college were colleagues of Carl MacIntyre, Allan MacRae, J. Gresham Machen, and Bob Jones Jr. These stalwarts of the faith fought for the fundamentals of the faith against the rising tide of liberalism for a good portion of the twentieth century. My professors had been their students, and I am grateful to God to have been one of theirs. They were thoroughgoing fundamentalists—staunchly committed to the fundamentals of the faith, the authority and inerrancy of … View Resource

  • Reformed (Covenant) Theology Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2014 | Genesis 3

    My theological journey to Reformed theology was not an easy one. For more than two years I fought against the doctrines of grace with all of the free will I could muster, until I came to my knees and admitted that God is God—that God is sovereign and I am not. Coming to grips with the sovereignty of God not only changed my understanding of salvation; it changed my understanding of everything. For two more years, armed with all my dispensational presuppositions, I continued to fight against confessional Reformed theology. I carefully examined Scripture, and with great scrutiny I studied … View Resource

  • The Great Ordinary Commission Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I teach on the Great Commission, I often begin by asking my students, “What is Jesus’ primary emphasis in the Great Commission?” Typically, most students reply, “evangelism.” I then ask them to read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18–20, after which I ask my question a second time. The students quickly see that although the Great Commission includes a call to evangelism, it doesn’t actually contain the word evangelism. What the students observe through more careful study of the Great Commission is that Jesus’ primary emphasis is on making disciples. Making disciples certainly includes evangelism but is … View Resource

  • Give Me Scotland, or I Die” Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2014

    Perhaps more than anything else, John Knox is known for his prayer “Give me Scotland, or I die.” Knox’s prayer was not an arrogant demand, but the passionate plea of a man willing to die for the sake of the pure preaching of the gospel and the salvation of his countrymen. Knox’s greatness lay in his humble dependence on our sovereign God to save His people, revive a nation, and reform His church. As is evident from his preaching and prayer, Knox believed neither in the power of his preaching nor in the power of his prayer, but … View Resource

  • Real Love Wins Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2014

    One of the more loving and merciful things Jesus did was preach on hell. He preached on hell more than He preached on heaven, and He did so in order to point the lost to Himself as the way, the truth, and the life apart from condemnation and eternal punishment in hell—which He created. Although most preachers have not denied the doctrine of hell outright, they might as well have, since it is entirely absent from their sermons. My guess is that many preachers think that preaching on hell is unkind, unloving, and offensive. They are certainly right that it … View Resource