• Answering Islam Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    Islam is one of the most rapidly growing religions in the world today, its one billion adherents second only to Christianity. Many Christians who only decades ago would never have heard of Islam now have friends, family members and co-workers who adhere to the teachings of the Qur’an and affirm that Muhammad is the great prophet of Allah. Answering Islam by Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb was written for those who desire a better understanding of the teachings of Islam and for those who are looking for a tool to enable them to effectively present the Gospel to the Muslims … View Resource

  • The Apocalypse Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2010

    The book of Revelation seems to lend itself to either obsession or neglect. In the first church I attended as a new Christian, our pastor preached through the entire book of Revelation at least twice in a two-year span of time. We were convinced that Revelation was the key to understanding today’s headlines. At the other end of the spectrum are those who think Revelation is too difficult to understand and give up trying. The book is difficult, but it also promises a blessing to those who hear and keep what is written in it (1:3). Despite its difficulty, therefore, … View Resource

  • Atheism Remix Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009

    In 2004, Alister McGrath published a book entitled The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. Although the book did not suggest that atheism was dead, its publication may have been a bit premature. For in 2006, atheism scored a propaganda coup with the media attention given to three best-selling books promoting a new and aggressive form of atheism: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett, and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Not to be outdone, Christopher Hitchens published the best-selling God Is Not Great … View Resource

  • At Many Times; In Many Ways Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    It is probably not an exaggeration to say that most Christians have little difficulty reading the Five Books of Moses and the Historical Books of the Old Testament. Sure, we may scratch our heads in puzzlement while reading certain sections of Leviticus, but all in all, these books do not pose too much of a problem for us. They contain a narrative, a story with a beginning and end. In these books, we are on familiar ground. The poetic books are a bit more challenging because of the way in which they are written, but we still find them somewhat … View Resource

  • The Bond of Love Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2009

    We shall benefit very much from the Sacrament if this thought is impressed and engraved upon our minds: that none of the brethren can be injured, despised, rejected, abused, or in any way offended by us, without at the same time, injuring, despising, and abusing Christ by the wrongs we do; that we cannot disagree with our brethren without at the same time disagreeing with Christ; that we cannot love Christ without loving him in the brethren; that we ought to take the same care of our brethren’s bodies as we take of our own; for they are members of … View Resource

  • By What Authority? Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008

    Can this be it? Centuries earlier the prophet Zechariah had declared, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (9:9). Now the prophecy had been fulfilled. The One who had proclaimed good news throughout Israel, the One who had healed the sick and cast out demons, the One who had raised the dead, had entered Jerusalem on a donkey and cleansed the temple. The people cried out, “Hosanna to the … View Resource

  • Calvin’s Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2006

    John Calvin is widely considered to be one of the greatest theologians of the Reformation era. Many associate his name with doctrines such as the sovereignty of God, election, and predestination, but fewer are aware that he wrote extensively on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. The topic occupied many of his sermons, tracts, and theological treatises throughout his career. Calvin’s emphasis was not unusual. Among the many doctrines debated during the Reformation, the Lord’s Supper was discussed more than any other. By the time Calvin became a prominent voice in the late 1530s, the Reformers had been debating the … View Resource

  • A Child’s (Mis)understanding Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    Like many, I have watched my fair share of films over the years, and the vast majority have been quite forgettable. There are a small number that I enjoyed enough to purchase in order to watch them again. But there are very, very few that were so powerful in one way or another that they have stayed with me years after seeing them. (I am still not sure I will ever forgive Walt Disney for the trauma inflicted by Old Yeller.) When I think about the films I’ve seen as an adult that have really stayed with me, three … View Resource

  • Christ Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2016

    In his ministry, the Apostle Paul boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and as followers of Christ, we are called to do the same. Yet we do so knowing that the message of the gospel is foolishness to the world. As such, it has always been the object of derision by unbelievers. We see an example of this in a piece of ancient graffiti that was unearthed in Rome in 1857. The image depicts a human figure with the head of a donkey nailed to a cross. Next to the figure on the cross is a young man. An … View Resource

  • Christ and Culture Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    In the first centuries following the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah and the inauguration of the new covenant under which the people of God became a trans-national people crossing all borders, the church had few choices in the matter of her relationship to the surrounding culture. The options were limited due to persecution. As the church gained in numbers and influence, however, the situation began to change. With the (at least nominal) conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Edict of Milan (AD 313), the questions became acute. Now Christianity was tolerated. Would this new circumstance allow the … View Resource

  • Christ in the Old Testament Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2009

    The relationship between the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant remains one of the most controversial and difficult topics in theology. As the notable American theologian Jonathan Edwards said, “There is perhaps no part of divinity attended with so much intricacy, and wherein orthodox divines do so much differ as stating the precise agreement and difference between the two dispensations of Moses and Christ.” There are those who so emphasize either discontinuity or continuity that the problem is solved by oversimplifying it. Most Christians, however, recognize that there are elements of continuity as well as discontinuity. The difficulty arises when … View Resource

  • The Church and Israel in the New Testament Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2012

    One of the most common questions asked by students of the Bible concerns the relationship between Israel and the church. We read the Old Testament, and it is evident that most of it concerns the story of Israel. From Jacob to the exile, the people of God is Israel, and Israel is the people of God. Despite the constant sin of king and people leading to the judgment of exile, the prophets look beyond this judgment with hope to a time of restoration for Israel. When we turn to the New Testament, the same story continues, and Israel is still … View Resource

  • Citizens of Heaven Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2016

    You may have heard that there is an old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” While likely apocryphal, this “curse” does say something about human nature and desires. The kinds of things that make front-page news, the kinds of things that are “interesting,” are often quite unpleasant or downright horrible. Wars are “interesting.” Natural disasters are “interesting.” Ebola outbreaks are “interesting.” ISIS is “interesting.” Given the nature of that which is interesting, I think it is safe to say that most of us would prefer to live in boring times. The 2016 U.S. presidential election season has certainly … View Resource

  • The Coming of the Kingdom Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    If you want to start a debate, simply ask a group of Christians to explain what the Bible has to say about church government. If you want to start a shouting match, ask them what the Bible has to say about the second coming of Jesus. It is difficult to think of anything in the last two hundred years that has been the source of as much disagreement among professing Christians as the doctrines related to the second coming of Jesus. While most professing Christians agree on the fact of the second coming, virtually everything about it is debated. The … View Resource

  • Confessions of a Bibliophile Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a bibliophile is “A lover of books; a book-fancier.” Although this is a helpful definition, I’m not entirely sure I want to refer to myself as a “fancier” of anything. I’m from Texas. We either like something or we don’t. We don’t “fancy” things. It’s…unnatural. However, I do love books, or perhaps, I should say more precisely, I love to read. Always have. When I was a child, I devoured books. Tom Sawyer, the Hardy Boys, anything I could find. When visiting relatives, I would read whatever they happened to have on the … View Resource