• When Christians Dwell in Unity Article by David Coffin

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2016

    All believers have experienced this truth: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” (Ps. 133:1). Sadly, we have also experienced its corollary: “How bad and miserable it is when brothers are divided.” Is it possible for brothers and sisters to disagree and yet maintain unity? By God’s grace, we can know this blessedness even in the midst of disagreement. To do so, we must keep firmly in mind and heart three considerations: the presuppositions of disagreement, the provocations of disagreement, and the practice of disagreement. The Presuppositions of Disagreement Behind Christian disagreement lies a more fundamental … View Resource

  • Forgive One Another Article by Megan Hill

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    Malice, gossip, lies, broken possessions, broken promises, broken hearts, unkindness, partiality, neglect, selfishness—even in the church, we frequently sin against one another as we live and worship together. Further, we have not always been loved well by others. Each of us has been hurt, sometimes grievously. And so, amid the commands to welcome, serve, encourage, and love one another, we receive a command for when our Christian brothers and sisters fail us in those very things. Our one-another responsibilities in the church do not cease if others break the rules. In Ephesians 4:32, the Apostle Paul directs sinned-against Christians to … View Resource

  • Submit to One Another Article by Owen Strachan

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    Our world has a strange relationship with authority. We saw this in the “Occupy” movement of a few years ago. Formally, everyone had the same role, but inevitably, “leading voices” popped up and made sure the countercultural drum circles beat to the same rhythm. Turns out that when everybody’s following the lead nonconformist, irony is not lacking. Modern Christians have had their own struggle to understand authority. One of the most frequently misunderstood passages in Scripture, for example, is Ephesians 5:21, where Paul calls for “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Some commentators have understood this verse … View Resource

  • Public Disciplines Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    As important as the personal spiritual disciplines are to godliness, the interpersonal ones are just as important. In other words, the Bible teaches gospel believers to engage in some spiritual habits that are private and some that are corporate; some we’re to practice as individuals and some we’re to participate in with others. So, for example, while we should worship God privately, we’re also to worship God publicly. Similarly, we should pray alone, but we should also pray with the church. A few disciplines are practiced in a private way. But many disciplines, such as fellowship and participating in the … View Resource

  • The Peril of Wandering Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    The summer after graduating high school, I headed out with a friend to cruise the Okefenokee Swamp of Southeast Georgia. We had a map outlining all the places we should expect to find alligators and a very small amount of water to keep us hydrated in the agonizing heat and humidity. When we rented our boat (which sat frightfully low on the murky brown, alligator- infested waters), we were given strict warnings to stay the course: “Stay with the other boats; don’t wander down the trails.” We soon became discontent tagging along with the other boats that drifted slowly down … View Resource

  • The Inner Ring Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Standing before the student body of King’s College, University of London, in 1944, C.S. Lewis delivered one of his most profound speeches. Intent on calling his listeners to give serious consideration to the dangers of what he labeled “The Inner Ring,” Lewis explained that at every social level there are certain “inner rings” of fellowship. Upon discovering them, the individual’s desire to enter the ring may become the driving force of his or her life. In seeking admission, many forfeit the greater blessing of developing lifelong friendships outside the ring. Plus, the irony of the “inner ring” is that once … View Resource

  • Encourage One Another Article by Kevin DeYoung

    There are a lot of interesting conclusions to be gleaned from the laundry list of names in Romans 16. But the one I appreciate the most is Paul’s example of offering divinely inspired encouragement . According to my biblically informed definition, encouragement means highlighting the evidences of God’s grace in the gospel or in a gospel-centered person to the glory of God. Each part of that definition is important. Encouragement is not spotlighting a person but underlining God’s grace. It is not about commending nice people to make them feel good but about commending the work of the gospel in … View Resource

  • Band of Brothers Article by David Robertson

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Real men don’t eat quiche, and real men don’t do church. For a variety of cultural and sociological reasons, it has become an accepted fact that the majority of people in most churches are women. It is now a given in Western Europe and in much of North America that religion is “for the wife.” Scottish sociologist Callum Brown, in his book The Death of Christian Britain, argues that the church was doing rather well until the 1960s, and it was only then that it began to fall apart. Why? Because the women, who were the gatekeepers of the … 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

  • The Church Gathered Article by Scott Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    In ancient Athens, Aristotle, a Greek philosopher of the fourth century BC, wrote about a custom in which, at age eighteen, young men submitted to an examination by fellow citizens and subsequently started physical and military training. Three fathers from each tribe supervised the training of these young men. At the conclusion of two years of training, these young men, clad in full armor, each holding a shield and spear in his left hand and clasping the hand of an older man with his right, recited an oath before an assembly of fellow citizens. This oath is known as the … View Resource

  • Something Old, Something New Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2010

    How can confessional Reformed churches provide a safe haven for New Calvinists? A simple answer to this may fail to appreciate the diversity of each new Calvinist’s spiritual pilgrimage, and thus runs the danger of not ministering particular grace to particular people in their particular situations. But that does not mean that there are not certain ideas (even general ones) that may be helpful for confessional pastors and churches to consider as they seek to minister to these weathered pilgrims seeking spiritual haven. View Resource

  • Works of the Law” in Paul Article by J.V. Fesko

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2010

    The definition of Paul’s phrase “works of the law” is one of the more significant disagreements between N.T. Wright and the Reformation understanding of justification by faith alone. On what basis can Wright claim that Paul does not have worksrighteousness in view? View Resource

  • The Forgotten Mark Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    Historically, Protestants have argued that there are certain, essential marks that characterize a true church. The Belgic Confession of 1561 identifies these marks as being three in number. In addition to the “pure preaching of the gospel” and the “pure administration of the sacraments,” a true church “practices church discipline for correcting faults.” While most churches would readily acknowledge the importance of the first two of these marks, the third one has fallen into such disuse that few church members have ever heard a sermon on corrective church discipline, much less seen it practiced. This is remarkable when one considers the … View Resource

  • Family Religion Article by Melton Duncan

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    I recently was privileged to speak at an ancient country church. It was a rural church, the kind with a fine graveyard, an old bell in the steeple, a formal “ladies parlor,” and a nice family in the fellowship hall making pecan pie for those gathered at midweek Bible study. When I arrived I was warmly greeted and soon had a good sense of the familial nature of this evangelical assembly. Clearly everyone was there because they were related to someone who had been there before. I was struck on that occasion by how the Bible is largely a collection of … View Resource

  • Our Identity in Christ Article by Kevin Struyk

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Remembering all the personal identification numbers, passwords, login names, ID cards, and the like that are a part of my everyday routine gets tiring. In order to conduct any business on the Internet, enter my residence, pay bills, access email, or enter my gym, I either enter a plethora of keystrokes or flash one of my various ID cards. Despite these little inconveniences, it is a relief to know that there are still a few places such as the homes of friends and family and the church where “secret handshakes,” ID cards, and special personal identification numbers are not required. … View Resource