• The Divine Foundation of Authority Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2009

    You’re out!” “I’m safe!” “Out!” “Safe!” “Out!” “It’s my ball, and it’s my bat, and I say that I’m safe.” This is how we settled disputes over plays in our pickup baseball games played without the benefit of a referee or umpire. When a disputed play could not be resolved through reason or through yelling, the one who possessed the equipment usually determined the outcome. It was a child’s game in which might made right. It was the nascent expression of the cynical statement: “He who owns the gold, rules.” These illustrations indicate that at some level ownership is involved in … View Resource

  • Adopted Sons and Daughters Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2009

    Q. Why did Christ command us to address God thus: “Our Father?” A. To awaken in us at the very beginning of our prayer that childlike reverence for and trust in God, which are to be the ground of our prayer, namely, that God has become our Father through Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in faith than our parents refuse us earthly things.(Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 120) It is not uncommon to hear critics of Reformation theology complain that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and those who followed them, were so preoccupied with justification, … View Resource

  • Two Kingdoms Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    What is the kingdom of God? It’s a simple question, yet if I were to ask that same question to a hundred theologians I would likely get a hundred different answers. The kingdom of God is not some sort of ancient or obsolete doctrine that no one has ever heard of. Rather, it is something we hear about all the time as a fundamental component of Jesus’ teaching and a primary theme throughout sacred Scripture. Although few would admit it, when most Christians think about the kingdom of God, their minds are strained to conceive of anything beyond some ethereal … View Resource

  • Established Boundaries Article by Robert Letham

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The Eastern and Western churches have understood the Trinity in rather different ways, each with distinct problems. For the East, the person of the Father is the center of divine unity. The potential danger is a subordinationist tendency, with the Son and the Holy Spirit having a derivative status. On the other hand, the West, since Augustine, has focused on the one divine essence (being), only with difficulty accounting for the real eternal distinctions between the persons. A less-than fully personal view of God has resulted. Its bias is in a modalist direction, wherein the distinct persons are blurred. Unfortunately, … View Resource

  • Triune Monarchy Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The most basic affirmation the Scriptures make regarding the nature of God is that He is one. The shema of Deuteronomy 6 reads as follows: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (v. 4). These words that preface the great commandment are axiomatic to the biblical understanding of the nature of God. Old and New Testaments together bear witness to the eternal truth that there exists one God — monotheism. Another term for monotheism is the word monarchianism, meaning that the God of the Bible is a monarch. Monarch comes from a Greek word that … View Resource

  • A Simple Mystery Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    John Wesley is quoted as having said: “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the triune God.” A clever statement indeed, but just as every analogy of the Trinity that has ever been offered breaks down under scrutiny, so Wesley’s analogy of a worm’s comprehension of man compared to our comprehension of God breaks down as well. First of all, worms are not made in the image of man. Secondly, worms have not been given special revelation from man, and, what is more, no man ever became … View Resource

  • The Trinity and Culture Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    The doctrine of the Trinity is not only essential for good theology. Getting the Trinity right is also essential for love, politics, and art. God is an absolute union of three distinct persons. Thus, Scripture teaches that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Not just that He is loving, but that He is, literally, love. That is, a union of distinct persons. Since God is love, His triune nature can teach us about what real love has to involve. According to the Athanasian Creed, we can err in regards to the Trinity either by “confounding the persons” (that is, smushing … View Resource

  • Trinitarian Worship Article by Allen Vander Pol

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2006

    When someone mentions Trinitarian worship, we may immediately think of the times when we make specific reference to the Trinity in our worship services. For example, we may think of some of the classic hymns of the church that mention the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” praises “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!” Or we may remember the progression of thought, from stanza to stanza, in “Come, Thou Almighty King.” After a stanza is devoted to each person of the Trinity, the hymn offers praises “to the great One in Three.” Frequently we sing … View Resource

  • Inexplicable Love Article by John Sartelle

    By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The fish symbol worn as a lapel pin or displayed as a bumper sticker — a gold cross worn as a necklace — is that how Jesus said His followers would be identified? That would have been so easy. Just put on a necklace or pin a cross on your lapel, and you will be declaring your faith to the world. No heart-rending changes, no need to touch the AIDS patient. You can let the ugly, the irregular, the unlovable … View Resource

  • The Heavens Declare Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the people, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:44–45). Statements such as this one and others like it in Scripture, raise a significant theological question about the grace of God, namely: Does the grace of God extend to all men, or does it extend only to those who have been chosen … View Resource

  • Ordained by God Article by Douglas Kelly

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    In the 1950s, a very popular song proclaimed “He’s got the whole world in his hands!” Insofar as it had any theological content, it presumably spoke of the beneficent control by the Lord of all that He has made. That is not too far from the meaning of “common grace.” That is to say, in spite of the world’s sin and God’s just judgment upon it, the mighty Creator-Redeemer has never abandoned His creation; He always keeps His hand upon it so that it will be sustained, pardoned, and renewed in order to fulfill its purpose to bring Him eternal … View Resource

  • A Loving Provision Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    In recent years, we have been treated to the invention of a word previously unknown, or at least not used. That word that has entered into the general vocabulary of our time is the word oxymoron. A typical example of an oxymoron might be the phrase “jumbo shrimp.” The words that are used to describe a particular thing seem to be self-contradictory, or at least standing in an antithetical relationship. From this perspective, one might say that in theology the phrase “common grace” is such an oxymoron. I say this for this reason: God’s grace can never be reduced … View Resource

  • Uncommon Justice

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2004

    Wherever I go, I am on the lookout for freshly brewed coffee. Early one morning, I spotted a small coffee shop that appeared to be closed. I decided to take a closer look, and as I approached the entrance of the shop the aroma of freshly brewed coffee captured me. I opened the door and strolled up to the counter. It was clear that the woman working behind the counter was not nearly as excited to be there as I was. Nevertheless, as she poured my coffee, I attempted to cheer her up a bit. After some lively, early-morning discussion … View Resource

  • Theology in Perspective Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2004

    While a student in Bible college I was faced with a dilemma. According to a professor of mine, as a minister, I could either be a student of theology or a student of Scripture. It was his contention that ministers are called to be students of Scripture, not students of theology. I wrestled between the two options for many months. Would I be a faithful student of Scripture or would I be an articulate student of theology? I was convinced that in order to pursue theological study I would need to sacrifice my devotion to the study of Scripture, and … View Resource

  • The Patience of God Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2004

    You have all seen the buttons some Christians wear, haven’t you? It’s an acrostic — PBPGINFWMY — “Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.” It’s a request for others to be patient with us as we are growing by God’s grace. But it is also a request for patience based upon the fact that God’s patience has been displayed toward us. God is patient. I am not. I am learning patience. God is patience. I am developing patience. God is displaying His. Clearly, the patience of God toward us is absolutely staggering. It has been extremely helpful … View Resource