• The True Israel of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2012

    Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you…,” so the old children’s song goes. Although it’s a silly song that requires the raising of arms, legs, and the nodding of heads, the song’s theology is unquestionably biblical. In Romans 4:1–16, the Apostle Paul explains that Abraham is “the father of us all.” As new covenant believers, we have been justified by grace alone through faith alone because of the finished work of Christ alone. As an old covenant believer, Abraham, the father of Israel, was … View Resource

  • The Dawn of Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2012

    It is one thing to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but it is another to believe, or trust, the Bible as the Word of God. We’re called not only to believe in God and His Word but to believe God—to trust God—and His Word. Throughout history, the visible church has always professed her belief that the Bible is God’s Word. Yet, a cursory study of church history reveals that many popes, priests, and parishioners neglected to read the Bible themselves, and many didn’t believe, or trust, the Bible as the final, authoritative Word … View Resource

  • Where East Meets West Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard, “I believe there’s a little bad in all that’s good and a little good in all that’s bad.” The problem is not the number of times I’ve heard this but that I’ve heard it most often from professing Christians. While I assume most are unaware, the statement is deeply rooted in Eastern mysticism and strikes against the very heart of the Christian faith, which asserts unequivocally that our triune God is altogether righteous and the sovereign Judge over all that’s evil. The Yin-Yang (yīnyáng … View Resource

  • Dividing Walls That Unite Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    Be not ashamed of your faith; remember it is the ancient gospel of the martyrs, confessors, reformers and saints. Above all, it is the truth of God, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail. Let your lives adorn your faith, let your example adorn your creed.” These words from C.H. Spurgeon’s foreword to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith are as poignant now as in 1855. As the church at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we desperately need to return to our historic creeds and confessions, and we need to remember the ancient gospel of … View Resource

  • Evangelism for God’s Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    To borrow a theme from John Piper’s classic book Let the Nations Be Glad!, evangelism isn’t the ultimate goal of the church: worship is. Evangelism exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not evangelism. Evangelism isn’t the end but a means to the end, which is God’s glorious rescue of His people to know Him truly, worship Him purely, enjoy Him fully, and glorify Him eternally. We evangelize in order that God might gather for Himself worshipers from every tribe, tongue, and nation for His glory. Evangelism is a temporary necessity, but worship abides forever. Although we certainly need to … View Resource

  • Consider Yourself Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Controversy exists because God’s truth exists in a world of lies. Controversy is the plight of sinners in a fallen world, who were originally created by God to know the truth, love the truth, and proclaim the truth. We cannot escape controversy this side of heaven, nor should we seek to. As Christians, God has rescued us out of darkness and has made us able to stand in His marvelous light. He has called us to go into the darkness and shine as a light to the world, reflecting the glorious light of our Lord, Jesus Christ. And when light … View Resource

  • Through Many Toils Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    John Newton (1725–1807) is perhaps best known for his hymn “Amazing Grace,” but what many do not know is that Newton was also a faithful churchman who served as a pastor in England from 1764 until a month before his death in 1807. His mother died when he was seven years old, and, upon his father’s remarriage, young John was sent to school. In 1795, Newton reflected on his relationship with his father: “I am persuaded he loved me, but he seemed not willing that I should know it. I was with him in a state of fear and … View Resource

  • Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2012

    The twentieth-century British pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “If we only spent more of our time in looking at Christ we should soon forget ourselves.” Fixing our eyes on Christ is the first step and the entire path of the Christian life. We don’t look to Christ in faith to be saved and then look to ourselves to persevere. We trust Christ alone as our Savior and look to Christ alone and follow Him as our Lord. In order to look to Christ as our Savior and Lord, we need new eyes and a new heart. We are born … View Resource

  • Theological Narcissism Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespia renowned for his beauty. His enemy, Nemesis, lured the arrogant Narcissus to a pool of water where he gazed at his own reflection and became utterly infatuated with the image in the pool, not realizing it was his own reflection. Enraptured with himself, Narcissus could not escape the beauty of his own reflection and eventually died. We are all like Narcissus. We are infatuated with ourselves — obsessed with our own image. However, we’re not satisfied merely to bask in our own importance, we want everyone around us to be … View Resource

  • True Love Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    God is love, and love never fails because God never fails. Love cannot be separated from God and cannot exist without Him. God’s love is the foundation and definition of love, just as He is the source, fountain, sustainer, and enabler of love. God gives meaning to love, and without Him, love isn’t only worthless but meaningless. Without God as its source and center, that which humans conceive of as love is impatient and unkind, envious and boastful, arrogant and rude, always insisting on its own way, irritable, resentful, rejoicing in wrongdoing and falsehood. Without God, love is … View Resource

  • The Beginning at the End Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    Of all the prayers in the Bible, there is one I am drawn to more often than any other. It is perhaps the shortest prayer in the Bible and is found at the end of the book of Revelation, where the Apostle John prays, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). This little prayer is one we can pray not only on bad days in the midst of life’s trials and sorrows but on good days in the midst of life’s joys and celebrations. It is a prayer motivated by our passion to see our Lord face to face — that … View Resource

  • Hope For the Broken Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    Every home is dysfunctional because everyone is sinful. There is no perfect family this side of heaven, and if we were perfect parents, neither we nor our children would need a Savior. When we consider the state of the family at the beginning of the twenty-first century, our tendency is to reflect nostalgically on imagined idyllic days of generations past when families weren’t perfect but pretty close to it, or so we like to think. As fallen people, born into fallen families, and living in a fallen world, the simple truth is that there has never been a time when … View Resource

  • In Defense of Words Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    What is a pastor? I was asked this question not too long ago by a teenage girl who apparently didn’t know the meaning of the word pastor and was curious to learn. I must admit that I was somewhat shocked and quite saddened that she didn’t know what a pastor is, but I quickly sought to offer her an explanation of the word and how I serve as a pastor of God’s people by preaching, teaching, praying, evangelizing, discipling, counseling, and so on. And just as these words were coming out of my mouth, I realized that if she didn’t … View Resource

  • Death, Disease & the Gospel Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    I was sixteen when my father died. It was a Sunday evening in late September of 1992 when I heard the news of his death. I had just returned from work when my mother came into my room in tears. My father was born in 1924, and his first son was killed in a hunting accident in 1969 at the age of eighteen. In 1986, my youngest sister was diagnosed with a disease that was projected to take her life by age 20. But despite these tragedies, my experiences are not altogether unique. Death and disease come to every family … View Resource

  • Ten Years Later Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The world has changed. We are not the same people we were on September 10, 2001. The events of September 11, 2001, and the events that followed in ensuing years have not only changed America but nations and peoples throughout the world. People are more afraid and less naïve. People are more aware of the differences between world religions and of the different cultures of those world religions. People are either more antagonistic towards the religion of their fathers or they are more committed adherents. There are fewer and fewer merely nominal religious bystanders and more and more radical adherents … View Resource