• 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

  • Accepted in the Beloved Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    When I begin premarital counseling with a couple in our church, one of the first things we talk about is the purpose of the marriage covenant. I usually astonish the couple when I explain that their marriage is not primarily about them. After the initial shock, the young couple usually just looks at me with blank stares. I then explain that marriage is first and foremost about God and His kingdom (Eph. 5:30–32). We spend some time talking about the creation ordinance to be fruitful and multiply, and I explain that their marriage is intended to bring glory to God … 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

  • All My Fears Relieved Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the Proverbs tell us, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the end of all other fears. For us as sons of God, to fear God means to humbly trust Him and helplessly tremble before Him with reverence and awe, love and gratitude (Ps. 147:11; 2 Cor. 7:15; Heb. 12:28). Although most fear is deadly, the fear of the Lord is life. The fears we experience in this life are countless and complex. And while we have chosen to address seven deadly fears, there are innumerably more … 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 I … View Resource

  • Ancient Wisdom for the Future Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2007

    Although attributed in error, Mark Twain is often quoted as saying, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” When we’re young and full of self-reliant optimism and esteem we look to no one but ourselves in our sophomoric pursuit of knowledge and truth. And although some say, “with age comes wisdom,” that is only one part of the equation. In truth, it is … View Resource

  • The Assurance of Discipline Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    The older I get, the more I wish my father had disciplined me more than he did, and the more I grow in Christ, the more I pray for my heavenly Father’s loving discipline. When we’re immature we see discipline as a negative thing, but as we grow we begin to see it as one of the most enduring blessings of life. Discipline assures us that we’re loved and cared for. It shows us to whom we belong. It demonstrates we are worth another’s time and energy. It makes us confront, confess, and repent of our sins. It humbles us, … View Resource

  • Awaiting His Return Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2005

    There is a widespread fascination with the end of the world. Throughout history, we have witnessed the bold assertions of soothsayers, naysayers, and doomsdayers. Every day, self-proclaimed prophets of the end times make whimsical predictions about the future. Claiming to have biblical authority, they tout their cleverly devised schemes about the end of the world as we know it, and by reading between the lines of the Old Testament prophetical books, they carefully contort the words of sacred Scripture to fit their fictional fantasies about the second advent of Christ. Christians throughout the world have become so enamored with some … 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 He … 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 the most natural … 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

  • Blessed Are the Persecuted Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2015

    In 2004, I traveled to Iran with a delegation of Protestant Christians from the United States to meet with the vice president of the Iranian parliament. While in Iran, I preached at the Garden of Evangelism in Tehran, which was founded by the twentieth-century missionary William M. Miller. Over the following days, dozens of Iranian Christians told me stories of the many ways they had been persecuted. Many who had been converted to Christ from Islam had been disowned by their families, shunned and despised by their neighbors, or fired from their jobs. Some had been imprisoned, and one man’s … View Resource

  • Born Again Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2005

    When teaching on the doctrines of election and reprobation, the most common objection I hear is “That’s not fair!” Often, the one raising this objection to these doctrines will go on to argue that God would be unfair to command all people to repent and believe if He had not chosen them before the foundation of the world. Based on such reasoning, many people have concluded that the doctrines of election and reprobation are not biblical and, therefore, heretical. Unfortunately, those who object to these doctrines are not merely contending with John Calvin; they are contending with the Word of … 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

  • Christ is Risen: So What? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2001

    We live amid a culture that revels in its efficiency. Thus, to a large degree, evangelicalism has grown apathetic to its own message, the message of the Resurrection. This predicament is often demonstrated in Gospel presentations that more or less leave Jesus on the cross. This cannot be the predicament for those who proclaim Jesus as the risen and reigning Christ of the world. Michael Green’s book Christ is Risen: So What? addresses the predominant evangelical attitude of indifference toward the fundamental doctrine of the Resurrection. The title question is quite brash. Still, it is a question we ought to … View Resource