• Why Study Church History? Article by Jon Payne

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2016

    If church history does not get your blood pumping, you had better check your spiritual pulse. The sixteenth century alone provides a treasure of soul-stirring narratives. Think of Martin Luther’s bold and daring stand for the gospel against the destructive errors of Rome. Consider the faithful witness of the English martyrs who died singing psalms as they were consumed by flames. Or, how about the courageous life of John Knox, who while enslaved in the bowels of a French galley ship cried out, “Give me Scotland, or I die”? The study of church history, however, is meant to provide more … View Resource

  • Stir Up One Another Article by Jon Payne

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    Churchless Christianity is wildly unbiblical. God’s people are called to live in loving and intentional community with one another, and never in isolation (Acts 2:42–47). This, of course, is by God’s design. He knows what His children need, and His Word is replete with passages underscoring the central role that the local church is meant to play in our lives. We need the means of grace of Word, sacraments, and prayer (Acts 2:42). We need spiritual oversight (Heb. 13:17). We need constant encouragement and accountability (Heb. 3:13). We need each other (Rom. 12:3–8; Eph. 4:1–16). The church is a body … View Resource

  • Having and Wanting Article by Jon Payne

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2015

    A mentor of mine once remarked, “It’s OK to have nice things; it’s not OK for nice things to have you.” While helpful, this counsel fails to satisfy the niggling questions that Christians routinely have concerning wealth and possessions. Is there a limit to how much a Christian should own? Is it sinful for an affluent person to desire more earthly possessions when blessed with an abundance already? What instruction, wisdom, and warnings does God’s Word provide concerning temporal riches? This article is an attempt to answer these and other vexing questions, as we seek to foster a biblical view … View Resource

  • How Do I Teach My Family? Article by Jon Payne

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    Every Christian home is meant to be a school of Christ—a place of spiritual nurture, loving discipline, sound doctrine, and biblical piety. This is not a reference to Victorian-era portraits of the Christian family; it is the clear teaching of Scripture and the Reformed tradition. Even so, our hectic schedules, ubiquitous gadgets, and misplaced priorities often make our homes similar to those of our unbelieving neighbors. God becomes an afterthought. Here are three things to remember as we seek to build God-centered homes where sound doctrine is the foundation and our Lord Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. First, we must … View Resource

  • Preach the Word Article by Jon Payne

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | 2 Timothy 4

    In the original Table Talk, a collection of informal theological conversations at Martin Luther’s dinner table, the German Reformer gave the following advice to a young minister: “When you are to preach, speak with God and say, ‘Dear Lord God, I wish to preach in Thine honor. I wish to speak about Thee, glorify Thee, [and] praise Thy name. Although I can’t do this well of myself, I pray that Thou mayest make it good.’” This simple prayer provides a tiny glimpse into Luther’s theology of preaching. More importantly, it underscores to pastors in every age that faithful preaching must … View Resource