• 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 … View Resource

  • A History of Awakening Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2016

    Warmongering. Bloody. Idolatrous. It was not at the top of a list of cities where one would expect to see the Holy Spirit move in a mighty way. In fact, it probably wouldn’t make such a list at all if we were compiling it. It was a pagan city with no discernible interest in the living God. It was a city without a preacher of the Word. The one man raised up by God to proclaim His Word in this city had chosen to sail across the Mediterranean instead. A spiritual awakening here? Impossible—or so it seemed. For when … 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

  • What We’ve Received Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2015

    The Westminster Confession of Faith contains a majestic statement on the authority of Scripture: The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to bebelieved and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to a high and reverent esteem of the holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the … View Resource

  • Historical and Theological Foundations Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | Acts 17

    According to some estimates, there are more than one hundred thousand distinct parachurch organizations in the United States alone. Parachurch organizations are typically defined as Christian organizations that exist alongside (para) the local church without being under the oversight of any specific local church. They are often focused on one particular mission or purpose. There are parachurch organizations devoted to missions (Africa Inland Mission, U.S. Center for World Mission), to Bible distribution (Gideons, Bibles for the World), to discipleship and evangelism (Navigators, Young Life), to publishing (Crossway, Banner of Truth), to various social services (crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters … View Resource

  • The Millennial Maze Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    I once heard someone define the millennium as a thousand-year period of time during which Christians fight over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation. While amusing, that definition is obviously incorrect. Christians have been fighting over the proper interpretation of the book of Revelation for two thousand years. In all seriousness, however, all of the fighting has led some Christians to adopt despairingly a position they call panmillennialism (we don’t know which view of the millennium is correct, but we know it will all pan out in the end). The word millennium refers to the “thousand years … View Resource

  • Faith and Reason Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    It has been said that he who defines the terms, wins the debate. Skeptics know this and take advantage of it. Witness some of the famous definitions of “faith” provided by unbelievers. Mark Twain, for example, quipped, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” Closer to our own day, the atheist author Sam Harris defined faith as “the license religious people give themselves to keep believing when reasons fail.” Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most famous atheist of our generation, claims: “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith … 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

  • Eschatology Guy Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2012

    My first two books were on the subjects of dispensationalism and postmillennialism, respectively. I was thrilled, then, when asked to write my third book on the doctrine of sola Scriptura and a fourth book on the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. You see, I didn’t want to become an “eschatology guy.” What in the world, you ask, is an “eschatology guy”? And why wouldn’t I want to be one? Is it some kind of super-villain? In order to understand this fear I had, you have to understand a little bit about the dispensational circles I had recently left. I … View Resource

  • Consider Your Opponent Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I became convinced of the truth of Reformed theology while attending Dallas Theological Seminary — the flagship institution of dispensational theology. Some of my fellow students accused me of being apostate when they discovered that I had rejected dispensationalism. Having donned my new five-point Calvinist uniform, I assumed an attitude that was patronizing and condescending toward those who remained committed to dispensationalism. Mockery became a chief weapon in my arsenal. Upon my arrival at Reformed Theological Seminary, I landed right in the middle of debates between students on topics that were unfamiliar to me — debates about theonomy, apologetic methodology … 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 come … View Resource

  • Understanding John’s Prophecy Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    Winston Churchill once described the Soviet Union as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” I believe it would be fair to say that many Christians look at the book of Revelation in a similar way. “How,” they ask, “are we to understand a book that is filled with so much bizarre imagery — a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns, locusts with the appearance of horses, a woman clothed with the sun, a great red dragon, and a multi-headed beast? The book is incomprehensible, right?” Well, no. But understanding Revelation does take some … View Resource

  • This Isn’t Going to Be As Easy As It Looks Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    I have an old newspaper comic strip in my desk that I cut out years ago (Mr. Boffo, for those who are interested in such things). I saved it because I think it’s funny. In the top left corner of the comic is a box with the words, “Finalist… World’s Greatest Optimist Competition.” The image itself shows two cowboys sitting behind a log with their guns drawn. A few hundred yards in front of them, thousands of Indians on horseback are rushing toward them over the crest of a hill. One of the cowboys has turned to the other … View Resource

  • Good and Evil in The Lord of the Rings Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    There is a scene near the end of The Lord of the Rings that has brought tears to the eyes of many readers. The hobbits Sam and Frodo have been rescued from certain death after completing their quest. When Sam awakes, he sees someone he never expected to see again and exclaims: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue?” Sam is not a poet, but the words he uses to describe his surprise at finding his friend alive capture very movingly the longing all of … View Resource

  • Last Things First Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Do you ever have difficulty understanding how Scripture fits together as a coherent whole? I have a suggestion. The next time you read through the Bible, s t a r t wit h Revelation 20–22, and then go back to Genesis 1. Just as knowing the conclusion of a whodunit helps you see things you missed, the final chapters of Revelation can help you identify the major themes of Scripture that are introduced in Genesis and developed throughout the entire Bible. In Genesis, we learn that God intends to establish His kingdom on earth with man as a subordinate king … View Resource