• The Church and Discipleship Article by Jay Bauman

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    When I was fourteen years old, I had my first summer job: historical tour guide. I led tours through a well-known historical site in a small, quaint town in the upper Midwest United States. On my first day on the job, my boss handed me a large manual and said I needed to learn all of the historical facts of the site to be ready to give tours. The problem was, I didn’t have a lot of interest in learning the facts. So, I skimmed through it just to get enough basic information to start giving tours. I ended … View Resource

  • The Church and Missions Article by Allan Harman

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    Two important ideas lie behind the New Testament’s teaching on missions. The first can be seen in the songs recorded in Luke 1. Mary and Zechariah sing about the coming birth of Jesus, but they do so with reference to God’s promises in the covenant with Abraham (Luke 1:54–55, 72–73). In addition to promising Abraham a large family and a land in which to live, God said He was going to bless the nations through him (Gen. 12:3). Salvation was God’s intention—salvation not just of those in Israel who truly believed, but of the Gentile … View Resource

  • The Church Triumphant Article by Robert VanDoodewaard

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    It can be hard for us to think of the church as victorious. As we survey the landscape, we see churches slipping into lawlessness and even anti-Christian teachings. In our personal lives, some of our deepest wounds may be from divisions, disappointments, or betrayals that happened within the church. Our own sins and weaknesses as members of the body of Christ weigh on our consciences at times. As we survey the church, can we describe it as victorious? How do we reconcile what we see at times with the glorious and triumphant church that the Bible describes? You may have … View Resource

  • The Endgame of Secularism Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    In his important Massey Lectures delivered in 1991, Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor spoke of “the malaise of modernity.” The modern age, he argued, is marked by two great intellectual moves. The first intellectual move is a pervasive individualism. The second is the reduction of all public discourse to the authority of instrumental reason. The rise of modern individualism came at the cost of rejecting all other moral authorities. “Modern freedom was won by our breaking loose from older moral horizons,” Taylor explained. This required the toppling of all hierarchical authorities and their established moral orders. “People used to see themselves … View Resource

  • The Goodness of God Article by Eric Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    Many years ago, my wife and I were on our summer holiday. At church on Sunday morning, we met a friend whom we had known as a student. He was a bachelor, and we took him to lunch. As we talked, he confided in us that he had recently been diagnosed with a serious cancer. Before we parted, he told us that he had already made some tentative plans for the future. “If God is good,” he began, “I may be able to retire early, and live not far from here.” Unfortunately, he had to hurry away. All I had … View Resource

  • The Head of the Church Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    What comes to mind when you hear the phrase the head of the church? Some may think of the pope in Rome. Others may think of an influential pastor or a board of elders. Still others may think of denominational headquarters in a distant city. The New Testament writers, however, are of one mind in affirming Jesus Christ as the head of the church. How do they make this claim? Furthermore, what does this claim mean, and why is it important for the life of the church today? The New Testament writers teach that Jesus Christ is the only head … View Resource

  • The Members of the Church Article by Julius J. Kim

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    According to one dictionary, an oxymoron is defined as “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words,” such as “cruel kindness” or “sweet sorrow.” Is “churchless Christian” an oxymoron? Though the Bible does not have one specific verse that states unequivocally that church membership is required for all Christians, it is replete with passages that teach that once you become a Christian, you should become a professing member of the visible church. Simply put, those who are united to Jesus Christ through faith in Him are also part of His body, the church. Members of local churches not only receive wonderful … View Resource

  • The Most Solemn Mandate Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard parents who are members of churches say to me: I intentionally never discuss theology or religion with my children, because I want them to believe whatever they come to believe honestly and not because they’ve been indoctrinated by us in the home. I don’t want them to be slaves to a parental tradition. I want them to experience reality on its own terms and come to whatever conclusion they are drawn from the evidence. Such sentiments mystify me because they are at such odds with the teaching of … View Resource

  • The Offices of the Church Article by Tezar Putra

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    I cannot think of another conversation topic that has been greeted with more silent sighs than the topic of church polity. Discussion of this matter is often cast aside as petty and fascinating only to the hypercritical theologian or irrelevant pastor. Such a tendency overlooks the fact that throughout Scripture, the church is intimately connected to the person and mission of Jesus. This means that the study of the church is relevant to all. Jesus continues to work in and through the institutional church to preach His gospel and to care for those for whom He died. Let us therefore … View Resource

  • The Origin of the Church Article by John Muether

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    When did the church begin? Many Christians locate the birthday of the church at the miracle of Pentecost that is recorded in Acts 2. Others rightly insist that the origin of the church lies deeper in the Old Testament. In Christ, the church is the “offspring of the woman” described in Genesis 3:15, and it develops organically throughout the Old Testament in the unfolding of God’s covenants with His people as Abraham is called out of Ur and the nation of Israel is established at Sinai. As R.B. Kuiper described it, old covenant saints were saved by … View Resource

  • Our Family Forever Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    In the church, many people assume that men enter pastoral ministry simply out of a desire to be pastors. But such an assumption is far from the truth. God makes men pastors. He calls us, gifts us, equips us, and sustains us. We enter pastoral ministry not necessarily because we want to but because we must. It is not as if we are incapable of doing other things for a living, but rather that we are incapable of doing anything else that will allow us to obey God and find the God-ordained fulfillment that comes from serving Him with the … View Resource

  • Pixels Are People Article by Nathan W. Bingham

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    Four-and-a-half years ago, our lives radically changed. My wife and I, with our three children, moved from Australia to the United States. This decision to relocate and serve at Ligonier Ministries was significant. Our children were all under five years of age. We said goodbye to our family and friends and sold almost everything we owned. This was “starting over.” But more significant was that we had never been to the United States and had never met anyone from Ligonier in person. We arrived late one February evening in 2012. The next day, we shared a meal with some of … View Resource

  • The Whole Christ Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    Antinomianism takes various forms. People do not always fit neatly into our categorizations, nor do they necessarily hold all the logical implications of their presuppositions. Here we are using “antinomianism” in the theological sense: rejecting the obligatory (“binding on the conscience”) nature of the Decalogue for those who are in Christ. Antinomianism, it was widely assumed in the eighteenth century, is essentially a failure to understand and appreciate the place of the law of God in the Christian life. But just as there is more to legalism than first meets the eye, the same is true of antinomianism. Opposites Attract … View Resource

  • The Worship of the Church Article by Steffen Mueller

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    The Psalter ends with Psalm 150:6: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” God has created us and given us breath so that we can worship Him and give Him praise. In December 2009, after I had just landed in Atlanta, I received the news that the beloved grandfather of my wife had died and was with Jesus. A few days later at the funeral, as I was standing at the open casket, I had to think of the words of Psalm 150:6 and what an incredible gift from God it is to have … View Resource

  • Seriousness in Worship Article by Jason Helopoulos

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2016

    No experience on earth should delight the soul of the Christian more than corporate worship. It is the high point of our week and establishes the rhythm of our lives. As Christians, we live life from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day. We dare not “neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some” (Heb. 10:25). Why does worship occupy such an important place in our lives? Because of what takes place in worship. We often speak of worship in terms of giving and receiving. We receive mercy, grace, kindness, peace, love, truth, and joy from God in … View Resource