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  • Remembering the Future Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2016

    Nobody said that raising children would be easy. My wife and I have to remember that quite frequently, some weeks more than others. With three children age six and under, our home certainly can be a crazy place. This morning, I came back to the dining room table after stepping away for a bit. Lo and behold, there was a bowl of half-eaten, soggy cereal that our almost-four-year-old son had left behind. Usually, it as if he has a hollow leg and we can’t feed him enough. But sometimes, despite insisting that he wants something specific to eat, he … View Resource

  • No One Knows Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2015

    Is our doctrine of Christ big enough to accommodate a Jesus who is both truly God and truly man? Maybe that seems like an odd question in this context, but it gets to the heart of why many people have found Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:36—“concerning that day and hour [of His return] no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”—to be a hard saying. Some have held a Christology that says Christ is truly God but not truly man. For them, this verse has been hard because it … View Resource

  • Where Did I Go Wrong? Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2015

    It’s a thrilling episode—Martin Luther, standing before the Diet of Worms, the only faithful Christian in his day, proclaiming his God-given right to read the Bible however he saw fit: “Unless I am convinced by my self-determined understanding of Scripture, I will not recant. Here I stand, I can do no other.” Obviously, I’ve embellished the account. No historically informed Protestant would say outright that Luther was the only faithful believer in His day. Neither would an informed Protestant confess that Luther’s protest came from his private reading of Scripture apart from the work of his theological … View Resource

  • Fear of Death and Disease Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    I see a spot we need to keep an eye on.” Cancer. It wasn’t a diagnosis that I ever expected to hear as a young man about to start a family. Immediately, my mind filled with questions: How will I tell my wife? How will she manage if I die? What will the treatment cost? Am I ready to die? There were no words in the immediate aftermath. It helped that the cancer with which I’d been diagnosed has a 95-percent cure rate, but I’d be lying if I said that eliminated my worries. A 95-percent cure … View Resource

  • Can Christians ‘Do Business’ with the World? Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013 | John 17

    In recent decades, a number of prominent Christian organizations and denominations have called for Christians to boycott businesses that are associated in some way with non-Christian ethics. Over the years, these groups have called for boycotts of companies and products such as American Airlines, The Gap, Burger King, Clorox, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, the Walt Disney Company, IKEA, Pampers, Target, the Campbell Soup Company, and many more. Homosexuality and abortion have been the major issues that have inspired these boycotts. For example, some of the boycotted companies give employee benefits to homosexual couples, advertise in pro-homosexual magazines … View Resource

  • One Lord Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Eighteen years ago, my jaw figuratively dropped to the floor as I sat in the first Old Testament course of my academic career. I attended a secular university, so I did not expect much true biblical teaching. However, I had hope the Scriptures would be treated fairly because my professor was an Orthodox Jew. You can imagine my surprise, then, when my professor said faithful ancient Israelites did not deny the existence of other gods. They worshiped Yahweh above the rest of the gods, he said, but they believed those gods were real. Liberal “highercritical” circles accept as dogma my … View Resource

  • Consider the Public Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Unbelievers, even though their hearts and minds are opposed to God’s truth, sometimes have more spiritual insight than we give them credit for. At least that is what I learned as a junior in college. As a religion major at a secular university, I often found myself in the middle of classroom debates about the inerrancy of Scripture, the exclusivity of Christ, and other matters. I wish that I could tell you I was always charitable and irenic in my attempts to keep teachers and students from turning the teaching of Jesus on its head. Unfortunately, my excitement for the … View Resource

  • Hyper-Criticism Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    Our Accusing Apprentice, We are encouraged at how discouraged you seem by your inability to get your subject to renounce her allegiance to the name that terrifies even us. Our joy, however, is not in your displeasure, even if your suffering chills our heart. No, your discouragement gladdens us, for we can now show you the right approach to make this woman a weapon against the kingdom that we oppose. Having watched her for many years, her life convinces us that she is no goat in sheep’s clothing, and we will never pry her loose from her commander’s hand. But … View Resource

  • The Proverbs Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2007

    Wisdom has become something of an industry in the United States. Talk radio hosts and syndicated columnists develop devoted followers of advice-seekers. Professional consultants help companies of all sizes solve thorny problems. Humanity’s long quest for the wisdom of the ages continues today. As Christians we know that wisdom is a gift from God, found primarily in the pages of sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Proverbs of Solomon stand out as the place to find wisdom, and so it will profit us to look at how we can properly understand and apply this book’s teaching. What Is Wisdom? As … View Resource

  • The Thorns Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Matthew 13

    The greater Miami area, where I was born and raised, is one of the most developed regions in the entire state of Florida. There are hardly any wilderness areas left in the midst of the urban sprawl, but every so often it is possible to happen upon an area in the midst of all the housing developments and shopping centers that has been left as is, a forest oasis surrounded by human construction. During college I worked at a summer camp situated within one of these rare plots of undeveloped land. At least once a week we would hike through … View Resource

  • The Witness of Luke Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2009

    Imagine for a moment that you are a citizen of the Roman Empire during the first century. You are living at a time of peace and prosperity under the reign of the caesar, whom many call “lord.” Most of your life you have admired Jewish ethics, even though you reject practices like circumcision. Perhaps you have even become a God-fearer, a Gentile who embraces Jewish monotheism without adopting the ceremonial regulations of the Mosaic law. Now imagine that you have just heard the gospel of salvation from a man named Paul. This apostle has told you that lordship belongs … View Resource

  • Survey Says Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    Opinion polls frequently make headlines in these United States. Media outlets, in particular, seem obsessed with reporting on things like the approval ratings of the president and, less frequently, the congress. The results are always reported as a percentage so that we learn how seventy percent of Americans disapprove of the president in 2008, with the disapproval of congress hovering around ninety percent. Honestly speaking, I have always been a bit skeptical about the whole process of polling. I have no way of testing my theory, but I believe that the reporting of such numbers has the effect of swaying many … View Resource

  • United in Truth and Love Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2008

    Summers are traditionally a time for vacation, and that was certainly true of my youth. Besides journeys to visit grandparents and time spent on the beach, however, summers during my high school years usually involved one kind of church retreat or another. These were not your ordinary, garden-variety retreats made up solely of people who were members of my local congregation. No, these retreats were a broader affair, involving people from all sorts of denominations in my hometown of Miami, Florida. Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, non-denominational evangelicals, and even Roman Catholics were all represented on these spiritual getaways, making them … View Resource

  • A Brave New World Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    On September 14, 2001, as the United States was still coming to grips with al Qaeda’s assault on New York and Washington, D.C., dignitaries gathered in the national cathedral to memorialize the dead and show forth the country’s resolve to stand united against its attackers. Though ostensibly a Christian house of worship, the clergy leading the service did not all represent the Christian faith. In fact, a rabbi and an imam both had roles in the “worship,” which was opened with an invocation calling upon the “God of Abraham and Mohammed and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ … View Resource

  • One God, Two Testaments Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    Like me, many of you reading this article did not grow up in a church that is part of the Reformed tradition. You did not have the benefit of being catechized in the Westminster Standards or the Heidelberg Catechism. Calvinism may have been a dirty word, if not in your home, then in your church. You have come to embrace the doctrines of grace after years of personal study because you have been unable to deny the truth of divine election, which is found throughout Scripture. My journey into the Reformed tradition followed this path, but it was not only the … View Resource