• Exegesis has Consequences Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    Ideas have consequences. Since the dawn of Western philosophy, we have witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly of this axiom. From the influence of John Locke upon the founders of America, to the disastrous results of the influence of Karl Marx in Communist Russia and Friedrich Nietzsche in Hitler’s Germany, it can hardly be argued that ideas don’t have consequences. Yet, not only do ideas have consequences, but so too does exegesis. The danger of erroneous interpretation of Scripture is not new in our day. The Apostle Paul instructed a young Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself … View Resource

  • The Importance of Sound Exegesis Article by Daniel Doriani

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    A Bible scholar walks into a friend’s kitchen and sees a magnet fixing a diet plan to the refrigerator door. It reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you … to give you hope and a future’ ” (Jer. 29:11, NIV). Is his dieting friend interpreting Scripture correctly? The first principle of interpretation is “Read contextually.” The Bible scholar thinks to himself, “Does he know that Jeremiah spoke to Israel’s leaders in exile in Babylon? That a word spoken to the nation of Israel isn’t necessarily a personal promise … View Resource

  • Interpreting Hermeneutics Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    My first appointment today was with a seminary student of mine who also attends our church. He is a sharp student in his early forties who left a lucrative career in order to pursue God’s call to pastoral ministry. He asked me to review his research paper and suggest ways he could improve it. In discussing his paper, he explained how his position on baptism had recently begun to change from a believer’s-baptist (credobaptist) position to an infant-baptist (paedobaptist) position. Even though I am a convinced paedobaptist, I urged him as a first-year seminary student to take extraordinary care in … View Resource

  • Logical Fallacies Article by Andreas Kostenberger

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    Logic (from the Greek word logos, “reason”) is the “science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration, the science of the formal principles of reasoning” (Merriam-Webster). While theology, as the study of God, transcends mere logic, it is reasonable to expect that Scripture adheres to common principles of reasoning. Properly used, logic derives true propositions from other true propositions. Even though Scripture may not explicitly state a given truth, we may make true statements that have Scripture’s authority behind them if they are properly derived from what Scripture does say following principles of … View Resource

  • Word-Study Fallacies Article by Robert Cara

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2014

    At my seminary, I often teach the introductory Greek course. On the first or second day of class, at least one student and I will have the following typical conversation during one of the breaks: “Dr. Cara, is it not true that sin in the New Testament means ‘miss the mark’?” “Well, not exactly,” I respond. “In the Bible, sin means to violate God’s law. Yes, it is true that the Greek word translated as ‘sin,’ hamartia, is a combination of ‘not’ and ‘mark,’ but that is not its meaning in the Bible.” “I’m confused. I have been told … View Resource

  • Blessing Article by John Tweeddale

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    The Bible is a blessed book. It begins with blessing. It ends with blessing. It’s about blessing. Even more, it is a blessing. But all of this begs a question: what exactly do we mean by the word blessing? Count Your Blessings In everyday parlance, the word blessing reflects a range of meanings. We can count them one by one. So, for example, we might speak of bumping into a long-lost friend as an “unexpected blessing” or (depending on the friend) even as a “mixed blessing.” Here the word more or less conveys the idea of personal gain and good … View Resource

  • Problematic Analogies and Prayerful Adoration Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    Ask any children’s Sunday school teacher what the most difficult thing to teach is and he will almost certainly tell you: “The doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one but exists in three persons.” Ask them how they do it and you will probably find them outlining an analogy: “God is like water, ice, and steam” is one of the more popular. The problem with such an analogy — indeed, with any analogy — for the Trinity is that it is actually more misleading than helpful. What it describes is not really something akin to the biblical Trinity but … View Resource

  • Knowing Scripture Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    It has often been charged that the Bible can’t be trusted because people can make it say anything they want it to say. This charge would be true if the Bible were not the objective Word of God, if it were simply a wax nose, able to be shaped, twisted, and distorted to teach one’s own precepts. The charge would be true if it were not an offense to God the Holy Spirit to read into sacred Scripture what is not there. However, the idea that the Bible can teach anything we want it to is not true if we … View Resource

  • We Believe the Bible and You Do Not Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Not too long ago, in an effort to get a better grasp of the Lutheran doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, I was reading the chapters on the sacraments in Francis Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics, and I ran across this statement: “The difference between the Lutheran Church and the Reformed in the doctrine of Baptism is fully and adequately defined by saying that the former believes God’s Word regarding Baptism, the latter not” (vol. 3, p. 269). View Resource

  • A Teachable Spirit Article by Justin Taylor

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2009 | Acts 8

    Only one book is absolutely essential to save us, to equip us to obey God’s will, and to glorify Him in whatever we do. Only one book gives us undiluted truth — the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Only one book serves as our ultimate and final authority in all that it affirms. That book, of course, is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. No wonder John Wesley once exclaimed, “Let me be homo unius libri” — a man of one book! And yet the irony is that if we use only this book, we may in fact … View Resource