• An Appetizer for the Feast Article by Noël Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Go ahead. Ask me what would make me happiest if I had a totally free day. I’d tell you that during such a dream day I’d be by myself, probably with a book. Right at the front of my personality assessment is a capital I that means “introvert.” It could also stand for “I want to be alone—a lot.” Over the years, when my husband and I have tried to untangle some of the snarls in my life, sometimes he’s ventured to ask, “Noël, don’t you think it might help to have some women around you to offer … 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 … 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

  • Comfort My People Article by Michael Lawrence

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    Because shame is always hiding, it often catches us by surprise. An unbeliever had been attending my church for several months. Always professionally dressed and well spoken, he often thanked me for my sermons. But nothing in our previous interactions prepared me or his visit to my office. In the previous Sunday’s sermon, I’d considered David’s humiliating flight from Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 15. I observed that not only was David learning to trust God through his humiliation, but he was also pointing to Jesus Christ. Like David, Jesus left Jerusalem humiliated. Every scrap of dignity was … View Resource

  • The Crown of Thorns Club Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    When was the last time you went to a private social club? If you think that kind of thing is for the elite members of our society alone, guess again. The Yellow Pages are filled with lists of social clubs in which anyone in the neighborhood can become a member. They meet mainly on Sunday mornings — but don’t be foolish enough to wait for an invitation. View Resource

  • Dealing with Differences Article by Roger Nicole

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    We are called upon by the Lord to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). But that does not necessarily involve being contentious; it involves avoiding compromise, standing forth for what we believe, standing forth for the truth of God — without welching at any particular moment. Thus, we are bound to meet, at various points and various levels, people with whom we disagree. We disagree in some areas of Christian doctrine. We disagree as to some details of church administration. We disagree as to the way in which certain tasks of the church should be pursued. And, in fact … View Resource

  • Designed for Dignity Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007

    Baked ham or turkey is a traditional favorite on the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables of most American homes. And many of us enjoy an occasional steak or Sunday pot roast. For thousands of years, humanity as a whole has feasted on fish or fowl or various animals. Until the rise of the animal rights movement in recent years, no one has questioned the legitimacy of killing these creatures for food.  Yet, in most cultures, from the dawn of time murder of another human being has been a punishable crime. Why is this? Why do we distinguish between the … 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 others … 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 … 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 … View Resource

  • Going Outside the Camp Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    It began as a friendly family game of Monopoly. I informed my son that he had landed on Park Place. His mind stuck on the words and started to spin: “Park Place, Park Place…” Over and over he repeated the words. I should have remembered—hard consonants at the beginnings of words often get stuck in his mind—and an obsessive-compulsive mind is one of the symptoms of autism. I’m not sure at what moment his mood changed, but his anger turned from himself to me—after all, I was the one who had said the phrase that was now bombarding his … 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 … View Resource

  • Love’s Significance Article by Steven Lawson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    It is virtually impossible to exaggerate the importance of love. Nothing is more basic to true spirituality than this singular virtue. Nothing is more central to Christian living. At the very heart of authentic discipleship is love. Without love, we are nothing. When Jesus was asked, “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36), He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (v. 37). Christ then added a second commandment that follows directly from the first: “You shall love your neighbor … 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 … 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 … View Resource