• Writing For God’s Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    Each of us was born with an imagination. Since creation, we have possessed the ability to form unseen images and original ideas in our minds — to visualize neverbefore seen characters and to craft intricately interwoven themes never experienced by anyone at any time in history. With our imaginations, we create stories and thus create imaginary worlds where there are heroes and villains, brave little hobbits, and great white whales. Some stories are historical, and some are fictional. Some stories are told to teach a lesson, and some are told merely to entertain. Throughout history, some stories have been passed … View Resource

  • A Generation of Heroes Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy,” wrote Puritan pastor George Swinnock (1627–1673). Every individual knows he was created for community. Isolation is the Devil’s playground, and our Enemy is on the lookout for the Christian who thinks he can stand alone in independent isolation from the fellowship, accountability, and encouragement of faithful brothers and sisters. Before the fall of man, even though the Lord God walked in close communion with Adam in the garden, our gracious and triune God knew it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and so God … View Resource

  • Keeping the Lord’s Day Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2011

    In the summer of 1999, I was studying the Lutheran Reformation in eastern Germany with a group of fellow American graduate students. After attending a Sunday morning worship service at the Stadtkirche in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther often preached, we made our way south to Halle, the birthplace of G. F. Handel and seventeenth-century German pietism. Just ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, eastern Germany was at the height of its revitalization efforts, the Deutsche Mark was still the currency, and on Sundays most of the small-town shops and restaurants were closed in observance of the Lord … View Resource

  • An 11th Century Reformer Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    According to tradition, following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, captured the English throne. As a result, Edgar the Atheling of England was unable to secure his rightful claim to the English crown and thus decided to return to Hungary, where he had lived previously with his exiled father. Joined by his sister, Margaret, Edward set sail from England for the continent. However, a storm forced their ship north to the rocky shores of Scotland. The king of Scotland, Malcolm III (d. 1093), extended hospitality to the English family and, in time … View Resource

  • The Christ of the Old and New Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    We have all heard the ancient maxim about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments: “The new is in the old concealed, and the old is in the new revealed.” While the words concealed and revealed do not entirely accurately describe the relationship between the testaments, they do help us grasp the fundamental truth that the New Testament is found in seed form throughout the pages of the Old Testament and that the Old Testament blossoms forth as a flower in the New Testament. Nevertheless, the New Testament is called the “New Testament” for the simple reason that … View Resource

  • Our Liberating God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Why would anyone love the law of God? Why would we love that which constantly tells us what miserable wretches we are, daily points out all our shortcomings, relentlessly reminds us of all our death-deserving sins, and keeps knocking us down to our knees, leaving us crying out for help? The truth of the matter is that not just anyone loves the law of God but only those who have been set free by our law-giving, law-keeping, and law-liberating Savior. We love the law of God not because we possess some sort of inherent self-inflicting, self-deprecating sadistic disposition towards our … View Resource

  • A Relegated Gospel Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Dear Wormtongue, Before we get to the primary reason for our letter, we want to begin by commending you for the most excellent job you’ve done in your well orchestrated effort to convince your patient to keep his faith an entirely private matter, all the while thinking he’s doing a nobly sufficient job of showing forth his faith by displaying that old, faded Christian bumper sticker on his car. What’s more, you’ve gone beyond the call of duty as you’ve managed to persuade him to keep his faith segmented to one realm of his life rather than allowing it to … View Resource

  • Resisting the Devil Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    The nineteenth century French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote that “the devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist.” In the providence of God, the Devil has been quite successful in persuading his followers that he doesn’t exist. But we who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ know all too well that he does, indeed, exist, as we wrestle daily against our enemy and the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12). Interestingly, and according to God’s sovereign plan, the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers so … View Resource

  • United in the (whole) Truth Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011 | 1 Corinthians 1

    We are prone to partiality. It is our habit not only to have preferences but to establish ourselves and pride ourselves in the preferences we choose. We play favorites and then rally around our favorites as we strive to demonstrate why our favorites should be everyone’s favorites. Being partial, having preferences, and playing favorites isn’t inherently wrong, so long as our partiality, preferences, and favorites are in accord with sacred Scripture. Problems quickly emerge, however, when we begin to play favorites with Scripture itself. View Resource

  • Unregrettable, Hard Words Article by Burk Parsons

    2 Corinthians 7:8–9 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” In reflecting on his previous letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is rightly mindful to draw attention to the grief that his letter caused among his recipients, not to mention the grief he himself experienced. View Resource

  • Truly Reformed Theology Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    It probably won’t surprise you to learn that no one has taught me more about the Bible and its theology than R.C. Sproul. And it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that no one has taught me more about mercy ministry than R.C. Sproul. Having worked for R.C. going on twelve years, I have witnessed, firsthand, one man’s faith working itself out in love. As the testimonies of his wife and children reveal, his theology of grace sustains his concern for the hungry, the widow, and the orphan. Appropriately, his theology informs his practice, as should ours. View Resource

  • Deus Pro Nobis Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2010

    As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, we have reached an all-time low in terms of our expectations for college students. Both parents and students seem to have ingested a lowest-common-denominator sedative that has led many to enter college with an overwhelming feeling of doubt and desperation. Many parents are content simply to see their children get through college without becoming dropouts, drunks, or drug addicts. In turn, students are content to graduate without their parents finding out how close they came to becoming all three. View Resource

  • Unqualified Christians Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Words mean things, and, if we’re not careful, words can easily die the death of one, two, or a thousand qualifications. As editors, we often deliberate the use of words in their contexts and the appropriate uses of qualifiers in modifying words, particularly those words with eternal significance. For example, what’s the difference between a Christian and a true Christian, faith and true, saving faith, a church and a true, biblical church? We find ourselves using qualifiers, such as the word true, in order to emphasize the marked difference between a true Christian and a false, or nominal, Christian, between … View Resource

  • Encountering Absolute Rest Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2010

    All human beings are made in the image of God, and all human beings know God created them, whether or not they want to admit it. We know that God created us with an insatiable desire for goodness, truth, and beauty. By nature we know we need these three things and that we need them absolutely. We do not yearn for partial goodness, truth, and beauty but for complete and absolute goodness, truth, and beauty. We strive after these three essential qualities because we can’t help but strive after them. Just as God has put eternity in our hearts (Eccl. … View Resource

  • Daily Confession, Enduring Reform Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    I have a friend who is a Roman Catholic. Not too long ago he went to “confession,” after which he told me, with tears welling up in his eyes, he felt “clean like a new born baby.” Confession is an integral component of the Catholic sacrament of penance. After one confesses his sins to his priest, the priest absolves his sins and he is assigned particular righteous acts of penance and prayers in accordance with the nature of his sins. View Resource