• The Power of the Broken Body Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Mention the word church and a vast array of images enter the mind. A steepled building housing a congregation; a movement of God across the centuries and the world; “one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic”; “visible and invisible”; “militant and triumphant”; “local and universal.” More images come from the Scriptures verbatim. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the branches connected to the life-giving vine of Christ. But a most provocative and instructive biblical image is “the body of Christ.” We are tempted, especially in the West, to view this body as successful, full of well-ordered, well-dressed, well-mannered … View Resource

  • Disabilities and the Gospel: An Interview with Michael Beates Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Tabletalk: What inspired you to write Disability and the Gospel? Michael Beates: Some thirty years ago, with the birth of our first child, Jessica, my wife and I began a long journey with disability. Seeking answers and some assurance of God’s purposes and plan, I read and researched much about what God has said about disabilities and how the church has responded over the years. Eventually, this led to a doctoral dissertation on the subject. Steve Brown, one of the examiners of the dissertation, encouraged me not to leave the work in that form but to get it out … View Resource

  • Lift High the Cross Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    I recently attended a meeting of our local presbytery (the regular, periodic gathering of local pastors and elders), and I was blessed to sing the words of a classic hymn: “Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore his sacred name.” The closing stanza of this hymn struck me. It reads, “For thy blest cross which doth for us atone, creation’s praises rise before thy throne.” The cross atones. The “cross” is more than a mere piece of wood. Its use here is a “literary metonymy.” In other words, it is … View Resource

  • Patience in Suffering Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2004

    I hate pain. I try to avoid suffering, and I don’t go out of my way to look for affliction. But pain, suffering, and affliction find me. They find all of us. If you are free of these things, brace yourself and be patient. All you have to do is live long enough. Suffering and affliction are human conditions. And when suffering and affliction come, be patient, remembering that God is sovereign. And thank God that He is sovereign over suffering, using affliction first for His glory and secondarily for our good. But that doesn’t mean we have to like … View Resource

  • We Shall Be Changed Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2001

    I am a forty-something adult. I have arrived at that place in life where I am losing weight in my legs while my midsection seems to gain every bit of that lost weight and more. I upgraded (or downgraded) to bifocal glasses a year or two ago. I seem to be just as sore when I get up in the morning as when I went to bed the night before. That adolescent sense of immortality is fading. And I know the worst is yet to come, for as I watch my body slump into middle-agedness, I see my parents and … View Resource

  • Drifting into Heresy Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1994

    More than 120 years before the American Revolution, the charter of Harvard College was established. But the “Rules and Precepts” of the college adopted in 1646 show that the leaders saw education (and all of life) as an arena in which God was central, and theology they considered the crown jewel of the arts and sciences. Almost 350 years later, the professors of law, ethics, theology, and history at this esteemed institution hold convictions and teach perspectives that would chill the already cold bones of the school’s founders, not to mention those godly people who endowed the school with their … View Resource