• Don’t Be So Open-minded Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    Our enemy’s supreme deception is in his attempt to convince us that he doesn’t exist. Toward that end, he has launched his assault against us with every weapon in his carefully fashioned arsenal. Perhaps his greatest success is in persuading us that being open-minded is a good thing. For it is precisely when we accept the notion that open-mindedness is a Christian virtue that we fall into the same devilish trap by which our first parents were ensnared.  Once our minds are open to open-mindedness, all ideas, no matter how absurd, can come and go as they please — … View Resource

  • War and Peace Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    We all certainly agree that all virtues are heavenly and that all sins are deadly. Nevertheless, certain virtues are more heavenly than others, and certain sins lead to death more quickly than other sins. While some sins are private and some sins public, the wages of every sin is death (Rom. 6:23). As Christians we understand that God hates sin and loves virtue. However, our problem is that we don’t hate sin enough and that we don’t love virtue enough. Consequently, we soft-peddle the deadliness of sin and we offer nice platitudes about the virtues of living a holy … View Resource

  • Confessionally Challenged Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    One dutchman, a theologian. Two dutchmen, a church. Three dutchmen, a schism — or so the saying goes. Though such a saying could rightly include Englishmen or Frenchmen, historically the Dutch have demonstrated their fervent tenacity for defining the truth, defending the truth, and, when necessary, dividing over the truth. Nevertheless, for the past four centuries, Dutch reformed churches, and for that matter all continental reformed churches have remained committed to three forms of confessional unity.  While some of our readers have perhaps heard of the Three Forms of Unity, it is likely that very few could explain that … View Resource

  • Regarding Depravity Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2008

    I have a high regard for the depravity of man. Without contest, the supreme sinfulness of sinners is the most disregarded reality — the world over. The fall of man is quite possibly the most forgotten, under appreciated, and misunderstood event in history. For this reason, many in our day preach “salvation” but neglect to preach sin; many talk about Christ but fail to talk about conviction; many offer testimonies about renewal but forget to mention repentance.  In our post postmodern society, you might get away with talking about Jesus with a Muslim; you might be able to have a … View Resource

  • Telling the Truth Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    Nearly forty years ago, in his book The Church at the End of the 20th Century, Francis A. Schaeffer penned the following: “Does the church have a future in our generation? …I believe the church is in real danger. It is in for a rough day. We are facing present pressures and a present and future manipulation which will be so overwhelming in the days to come that they will make the battles of the last forty years look like child’s play.” During the past forty years, the church has seen many rough days, and I would venture to … View Resource

  • The Wisdom of Listening Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008

    Wise men are difficult to find. We must go to great lengths - we must search high and low in order to find a man who is truly wise. I grieve for my children and my children’s children as I consider the future reality of a world in which wise men cannot be found. Most of my life I have earnestly sought the wisdom of older men. In seeking such wisdom, I have often had to endure admonishment, rebuke, or chastisement. And although receiving such tough wisdom was never enjoyable at the time, over the years, by God’s grace, I have … View Resource

  • Two Kingdoms Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    What is the kingdom of God? It’s a simple question, yet if I were to ask that same question to a hundred theologians I would likely get a hundred different answers. The kingdom of God is not some sort of ancient or obsolete doctrine that no one has ever heard of. Rather, it is something we hear about all the time as a fundamental component of Jesus’ teaching and a primary theme throughout sacred Scripture. Although few would admit it, when most Christians think about the kingdom of God, their minds are strained to conceive of anything beyond some … View Resource

  • Staging a Reformation Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2007

    Having served R.C. Sproul during the past several years, I have enjoyed the great privilege of answering to many of his humorous nicknames by which he addresses me. Over the past few years he has adopted one in particular that has seemed to catch on with many in our congregation - “Parson Parsons.” While I certainly appreciate the appropriate nature of the nickname as it pertains to my calling as a pastor, or “parson,” it has little to do with the ancestral derivation of my name, a fact that Dr. Sproul is well aware of; still, I … View Resource

  • Church Growth and the Sovereignty of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    It seems that every time I meet a pastor from another church, he asks me the common, unsolicited, ecclesiastical question of the twenty-first-century: “How big is your church?” Most pastors are usually a bit confounded when I respond: “I don’t know.” It’s only when I am pressed for an answer that I provide him with the number of families in our congregation. But if I am in a good mood I may simply explain that our church consists of people of every color and language and is as big as the world-wide church of Christ. It is … View Resource

  • Integrity, Coram Deo Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    What will people say about me after I die?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? It is a question that has haunted me for years, and it is one of the most captivating questions anyone can ask himself. In truth, it would do us good to ask ourselves such questions with some frequency: “What will I contribute to the world, the church, and the kingdom of God before I die?” Such questions, the hard questions concerning death, are in fact the very questions of life. In asking ourselves questions about the reality of our lives in … View Resource

  • The Holiness of Pastors and Patriarchs Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007

    As I write this article I am sitting comfortably in a hotel lobby in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This morning, as I walked to the hotel in sub-zero temperatures, while massive, mid-western snowflakes kept falling on my head, during the coldest spell in Minneapolis in the past several years, I kept reminding myself that I am a Floridian. Although I came from Florida to Minneapolis during this severely harsh time of year for several reasons, it seems the Lord, in His wisdom, had another reason altogether. I came in order to attend John Piper’s conference for pastors at which Dr. Sproul is one … View Resource

  • No Little Angels Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2007

    Just the other day my family and I were walking carefully through an antique store when I noticed an old painting sitting on the floor. It was a replica of Raphael’s famous work Sistine Madonna (cir. 1512–1514). It brought to mind the first occasion when I encountered Raphael’s masterpiece. My wife and I were studying in Germany several years ago, and we traveled to Dresden for some sightseeing. Upon our visit to the Zwinger palace and the Old Masters Picture Gallery, we soon found ourselves standing in front of Raphael’s original nine-foot tall painting. The oil-on-canvas piece features the Virgin … View Resource

  • Kingdom Prayer Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    I have a good friend who is about twice my age. Over the past few years we have hunted together, fished together, and prayed together. He refers to himself as a recovering Pharisee who is learning how to quit praying for his own personal kingdom and how to pray for the kingdom of God. I have learned more about prayer from him than anyone. I have learned that faithfulness in the kingdom of God is more important than successfulness in the kingdom of man. I have learned that the power of God is not made perfect in our strength but in … View Resource

  • In the Wisdom and Providence of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2007

    The first time I heard R.C. Sproul speak was at a Ligonier Ministries’ National Conference. As he systematically unfolded the doctrines of grace, he boldly proclaimed the biblical Gospel, and at the end of his message, he pointed his finger directly at me, or so it seemed, and said, “If you don’t believe that you are radically corrupt and saved by the electing grace of God alone, you need to repent.” I thought to myself: “Who does this Sproul guy think he is?” That same year, I received my first issue of Tabletalk magazine, and on the … View Resource

  • Living Life CORAM DEO, Before The Face Of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2007

    As a publication of Ligonier Ministries, Tabletalk exists to equip Christians to articulate what they believe and why they believe it. It is our foremost desire to awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming, teaching, and defending His holiness in all its fullness. As such, for three decades, Ligonier Ministries has published this Bible-study magazine to equip, encourage, and challenge readers with the Word of God so that they might know God, obey God, and love God with all their hearts. That is what Tabletalk exists to do, and that is no easy task … View Resource