• The Blessing of Great Teachers Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2014 | 2 Timothy 3

    Since I’ve spent the majority of my professional career as a teacher of Scripture, philosophy, and theology, I’ve often had the opportunity to think about matters of pedagogy and other issues related to instruction. One thing that’s always struck me as I have considered what it means to be an effective teacher is that most of the great teachers in history were themselves students of other great instructors. Socrates taught Plato; Plato taught Aristotle; and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. The entire history of Western ideas has been affected by these four men. In theology, we see that Ambrose of … View Resource

  • The Goodness of Gender Article by Susan Hunt

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 27

    The jarring “It is not good for the man to be alone” was not an “oops” moment in the creation story. Adam’s aloneness was underscored as he named the animals. There was no creature that corresponded to him, who glorified and enjoyed God with him, who communicated with him. Then, God gave him a helper who was equal but different, and their perfect complementarity reflected the glory of the ontological (pertaining to being or essence) equality and functional diversity of the three-in-one God. It was very good. God gave man and woman the cultural mandate to be fruitful, multiply, and … View Resource

  • All Authority in Heaven and on Earth Article by Roland Barnes

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Who has the authority to command others? What gives someone the right to command someone else? This question can be raised with respect to every area of life: family life (parents), church life (pastors, elders), civil life (governors, rulers, and so forth). Who authorizes parents, pastors, elders, and governors to rule in their respective spheres? It is noteworthy that before Jesus commissioned His disciples in Matthew 28:18–20, He asserted His authority to do so. Having accomplished the work of redemption, He anticipated His ascension and coronation, that point at which He was to be seated at the right hand of … View Resource

  • Baptizing Them Article by J.V. Fesko

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    I think that when people look at baptism, they have a thin understanding as to why Jesus commanded that we baptize His disciples. Most people likely associate the water with cleansing, which is an accurate connection given the prophet Ezekiel’s message that God would sprinkle water upon His people (Ezek. 36:25). Cleansing from sin, however, is but one element in the meaning and significance of baptism. Rather than being focused upon the individual, God uses water in connection with the broader context of redemptive history. All throughout Scripture, water and Spirit appear in contexts that unfold new creation imagery. The … View Resource

  • The Great Commission in the Old Testament Article by L. Michael Morales

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Exodus 19

    Properly conceived as grounded in God’s own kingship, the Great Commission begins before humanity’s fall away from communion with God. On the sixth day, man was commissioned by God to fill and subdue the earth, and to rule over the creatures (Gen. 1:27). Accordingly, one might justly define the Great Commission as “ruling and subduing” the earth and its creatures—an understanding we will need to unpack. To be sure, the phrase “ruling and subduing” has deeply negative connotations in our modern world, filled as it is with memories of horrific tyranny and the abuse of power. Nevertheless, we should note … View Resource

  • The Great Ordinary Commission Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I teach on the Great Commission, I often begin by asking my students, “What is Jesus’ primary emphasis in the Great Commission?” Typically, most students reply, “evangelism.” I then ask them to read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18–20, after which I ask my question a second time. The students quickly see that although the Great Commission includes a call to evangelism, it doesn’t actually contain the word evangelism. What the students observe through more careful study of the Great Commission is that Jesus’ primary emphasis is on making disciples. Making disciples certainly includes evangelism but is by … View Resource

  • Make Disciples Article by Dave Eby

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I started seminary in 1967, Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:18–20 to “make disciples” baffled me. There was something cryptic and mysterious about it, seemingly understood by only an initiated few. At the same time, Jesus’ words demanded comprehension and performance, and this started a pilgrimage of seeking to understand and practice “making disciples.” After thirty-four years of pastoring in the United States and now after seven years as a seminary teacher in Uganda, I am still learning. Let’s look together at three simple questions: (1) What is a disciple? (2) How are disciples made? (3) What kinds of disciple-making … View Resource

  • Teaching Them to Observe Article by Victor Cruz

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Being an evangelist is more than just telling people about Jesus; it requires that we become teachers of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed by the preaching of the good news. This is the beginning. But we also need to explain to new believers the implications and consequences of believing in the gospel. This is necessary to make real disciples. The Authority to Teach R.T. France notes that when Jesus said to His disciples that they would have to teach, He was transferring to them the authority to be teachers. In 28:20, Matthew uses for the first time the verb … View Resource

  • Informal Mentoring Article by Alvin Reid

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2013

    Jimmy arrived at my house promptly at 8 a.m. to take me to the airport. He has often done this for me. Jimmy and his wife, Natalie, head overseas later this year as missionaries. He has been in a small group that I lead; he and Natalie also lead a small group at our local church. But Jimmy was doing more than giving me a ride to the airport. This trip demonstrates the primary approach I take toward mentoring. I rarely ever go on a driving trip alone, and I virtually never drive to the airport by myself. Whenever I … View Resource

  • Discipline in the Home Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Early in our married life, my wife, Donna, spent two years working as a pediatric nurse at a large children’s hospital. Her unit regularly saw young patients who were in desperate need of medical care, sometimes extreme medical care. One of the greatest challenges of her job, exceeding even the emotional toll of caring for children who never did recover, was dealing with well-intentioned but misguided relatives of her patients. Occasionally, parents or other concerned family members would complain and even interfere with the treatment prescribed for sick and injured children. They could not stand seeing their child endure the … View Resource

  • Why Follow Jesus? Article by Jonathan Dodson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    In today’s culture, we are more pragmatic than reflective. Obsessed with knowing what works and how it works, we strive to repeat the formula. We are less concerned with why things work. Discipleship is no exception. Many have traded in the why for the how, motivation for the best practice. This is disconcerting. The reason for this is that practice can take us only so far. When hardship hits, practice needs motivation to continue. What motivates you to follow Jesus? If this question isn’t one you continually ponder and answer, you will walk away from Jesus rather than after Him. … View Resource

  • How to Stay Christian in Seminary Article by David Mathis

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2012

    The point is this.” I love it when Paul says that in 2 Corinthians 9:6. He makes sure he has our attention and tells it straight. Behind the reasoned prose and the rhetorical flourishes, here’s what he’s getting at—plain, simple, straightforward. “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Beautifully direct. The same humble approach helps when we take up the topic of “staying Christian” in seminary. There is so much (good) advice to be given. There are many experiences to be relayed, warnings to be sounded, commendations to … View Resource

  • The Bonds of Brotherhood Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Fraternity … what does this word mean? It can refer to several distinct types of associations or relationships, and the church can learn valuable lessons by exploring these in more depth. The term fraternity may prompt us to recall the motto of the French Revolution: “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality.” Fraternity, along with equality and liberty, ranked right at the top of the concerns of that revolution. The term may cause us to think of college campus groups such as those depicted in the radical fraternity film Animal House. Beyond the college level, there is a wide variety of organizations … View Resource

  • A Generation of Heroes Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy,” wrote Puritan pastor George Swinnock (1627–1673). Every individual knows he was created for community. Isolation is the Devil’s playground, and our Enemy is on the lookout for the Christian who thinks he can stand alone in independent isolation from the fellowship, accountability, and encouragement of faithful brothers and sisters. Before the fall of man, even though the Lord God walked in close communion with Adam in the garden, our gracious and triune God knew it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and so God created someone … View Resource

  • Knowledge and Maturity Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2011

    All else being equal, I’d rather have a mature Christian with simple theological knowledge than an extremely knowledgeable, well-read Christian without a lot of maturity. But, of course, neither situation is desirable. Let me explain. A Tale of Two Corners In this corner, we see Mr. Bookworm. He’s not quite thirty years old. He’s very intelligent. He’s read Calvin, Edwards, Luther, and Bavinck. He knows Warfield and Hodge, Piper and Carson, too. Since coming to the Lord in college, Mr. Bookworm has been on fire for learning. He listens to a dozen sermons each week on his iPod. He has … View Resource