• Life and Worship Matters Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2010

    Many Christians are under the impression that worship is confined to those specific times of corporate worship when we’re singing. As such, churches have given titles such as “worship leader” or “worship team” to those leading us musically. Thus, people naturally conclude that the “worship” portions of the service take place exclusively when we’re singing. God’s Word, however, teaches us that singing is only one part of the worship service and that our prayers, affirmations, confessions of sin, Scripture readings, sermons, and singing are all parts of corporate worship. View Resource

  • Calvinism Isn’t Enough Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Charles Dickens wrote in his classic A Tale of Two Cities. Perhaps years from now historians will reflect on the state of Calvinism at the beginning of the twenty-first century and offer similar commentary about the historico-theological tale of two, three, or four different shades of Calvinism. Perhaps the future thoroughgoing Calvinist editors of Time magazine will come out with a top-ten list called “Ten Ways God Changed the World as He Sovereignly Worked Through the Secondary Cause of Our March 12, 2009, Top Ten List.” And perhaps, … View Resource

  • We’re One, but We’re Not the Same Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    If it’s new, it’s likely not true, and if it’s true, it’s likely not new, or so the saying goes. Generally speaking, when someone uses the word new to describe something old, I’m not only not impressed but usually a bit puzzled and often a bit concerned. Although the phrase the “New Calvinism” has been around for centuries in one form or another, the recently popularized use of the phrase is largely attributable to Time magazine’s March 12, 2009, cover story “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now.” Number three on their list? The New Calvinism. In God’s providence, Time’s … View Resource

  • Set Apart to Die and to Live Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer was about thirty years old when he penned these words in his classic work The Cost of Discipleship. Eight years later he was executed for his crimes against the Third Reich. The prison doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer’s execution wrote, “In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.” The doctor’s words could not have been more appropriate to describe not only the manner in which Bonhoeffer submitted himself to … View Resource

  • Taking Captive All Things Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2010

    Not too long ago my family and I were eating at a local restaurant known for its home style southern cuisine and quaint family atmosphere. As we were leaving, I couldn’t help but notice a family sitting together, and each one of them — Dad, Mom, big brother, and little sister — was engaged in a conversation with someone else, somewhere else in a galaxy far, far away. With shoulders hunched down and their eyes staring lifelessly into their electronic mobile devices, their frantic fingers typed away as their carefully placed emoticons (electronic emotional images, such as smiley faces, sad … View Resource

  • The Acts of the Spirit and the Apostles Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2010

    You might be surprised to learn that Saint Andrew’s, the church where Dr. Sproul and I serve as pastors, has many members who have come from Pentecostal and charismatic churches. When they join our congregation I urge them not to leave behind the Holy Spirit. There seems to be a tendency for believers within some Presbyterian and Reformed churches to forget about the person and power of the Holy Spirit. Although historically this is not the case and although doctrinally it ought not to be the case, sadly it often seems to be the case. View Resource

  • The Heart Restored Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2006

    As we consider the history of God’s people in the Old Testament, we do not observe a people who served the Lord faithfully. The people of Israel did not demonstrate their love for God with all their hearts. Even some of the great heroes of Israel manifested the depths of depravity in their lives. Nevertheless, it is through our careful study of Israel’s past that we find great comfort. With spiritually discerning minds, we have been given the ability to understand the way in which God’s redemption of His people has been displayed throughout history. As such, we possess insight … View Resource

  • Justification for Everyone Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2010

    For years we have wrestled with the question as to whether we should produce an issue of Tabletalk devoted to the new perspectives on Paul on the doctrine of justification, and for years we concluded that many of our readers would be generally unaware of what has been, until recently, an academic discussion among studied churchmen the world over. View Resource

  • Uncontrollable Anxiety Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2010

    In the middle of writing my column this month I deleted what I wrote and have started over because I just received word from one of my closest friends that his wife, pregnant with their long-awaited second child, might be experiencing a miscarriage. My heart is overwhelmed with sorrow not knowing what the future holds for them. View Resource

  • Pardoned and Glorified Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2009

    If you’ve read Victor Hugo’s classic work Les Miserables, or if you’ve seen the stage production or film, you’ll recall the scene wherein the bitter criminal Jean Valjean has been released from prison and finds safe harbor at a bishop’s home. Instead of returning the bishop’s kindness, Valjean steals his silver, strikes him, and flees in the night. After Valjean is caught by the arresting officer, who represents the law, he brings Valjean before the bruised bishop to press charges. The bishop, representing God, affirms not only that he knows Valjean but alleges he gave Valjean the silver and asks … View Resource

  • A Man Created in God’s Image Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2009

    In 1998 a dear friend prompted me to get involved working with Dr. Tom Woodward and the C. S. Lewis Society. A few months later I found myself at dinner with Phillip E. Johnson, noted law professor at Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial. During my time with Dr. Johnson I learned two very important things. First, if we as Christians are going to enter the debate on Darwinian evolution, we must first understand who and what we’re up against—we must know our opponents’ arguments better than they do. Second, I learned that our ultimate end is not … View Resource

  • Hypocritical Hypocrisy Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2009

    I just began reading a book by a well-known pastor who, in the opening pages, referred to himself as a “professional hypocrite.” Being a pastor, he is all too familiar with the hypocrite label that is so often leveled at pastors. On the surface it certainly seems appropriate for all pastors, and for that matter all Christians to admit that we are hypocrites. However, if we really understand what it means to be a hypocrite, then we should do everything necessary to avoid being labeled as such. We must be careful not to become hypocritical in acting as if being … View Resource

  • True Catholicism Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2009

    We have all heard it said, and some of you have even said it: “Let’s just agree to disagree.” If memory serves me, I have never used that expression, primarily because I don’t think it makes much sense and because I think people who use the expression don’t make much sense when they use it in their attempt to end disagreements. Nevertheless, I think I know what people mean by the expression. As Christians, we agree that we disagree on certain biblical, doctrinal, and ecclesiastical matters. And while we all agree that the Bible is our only infallible rule … View Resource

  • Is It Just a Money Issue? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2009

    Several years after my father’s death in 1992 I found an old shoebox among my father’s belongings. Among the various items in the shoebox, I came across a stack of letters that my father had written just prior to his death. As I began to read the first letter I quickly realized he had written them to me but that he never had the opportunity to give them to me because his cancer consumed his body more quickly than the oncologist had expected. In one of the letters, my father wrote, “Learn to live with a little less.”  I … View Resource

  • A Mind Captivated by God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    I have journeyed through the land of Narnia. Nearly ten years ago, I had the privilege to stay at Rathvinden House, located in the beautiful rolling-green countryside of County Carlow, Ireland. At that time, the Rathvinden estate was owned and operated by Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis.  Late one afternoon, as I was walking on the grounds of the estate with a friend, we came across a lush, green pasture that was simply breathtaking. As we stood atop that pasture and beheld its majesty, one of our hosts turned to us and said, “We call this the … View Resource