• Death, Disease & the Gospel Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    I was sixteen when my father died. It was a Sunday evening in late September of 1992 when I heard the news of his death. I had just returned from work when my mother came into my room in tears. My father was born in 1924, and his first son was killed in a hunting accident in 1969 at the age of eighteen. In 1986, my youngest sister was diagnosed with a disease that was projected to take her life by age 20. But despite these tragedies, my experiences are not altogether unique. Death and disease come to every family … View Resource

  • Death Does Not Have the Last Word Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    The guns of secular naturalism, when aimed at the Christian faith, resemble not so much shotguns as carefully aimed rifles. The chief target of the naturalist is the biblical doctrine of creation. If the doctrine of creation falls, all of Judeo-Christianity falls with it. Every skeptic understands that. Thus the constant shooting at Genesis 1. But along with the assault against divine creation comes an assault against the biblical teaching of a historical Adam who is involved in a historical fall, the result of which is the entrance of death into the world. If Adam can be confined to the … View Resource

  • Death Is No Stranger Article by R.C. Sproul

    The value of life grows in magnitude when we stare death in the eye. Death is obscene, a grotesque contradiction to life. The contrast between the vibrancy of a child at play and the limp, rag-doll look of a corpse is revolting. The cosmetic art of the mortician cannot disguise the odious face of death. The death of a friend or loved one robs us of a cherished companion and reminds us of our own mortality. Death is no stranger to my household. I have hosted its unwelcome visit too many times. The two visits I recall most vividly are … View Resource

  • Don’t Waste Your Cancer: An Interview with Matt Chandler Article by Matt Chandler

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    Tabletalk: By way of offering a brief introduction of yourself and your family, when was God’s call to serve His people confirmed for you? Matt Chandler: I think my story is a bit strange in that my awareness of God’s call on my life to serve His people was a bit lost in me serving His people. I’ll try and explain that. I was very frustrated with my church experiences heading into college. I loved sharing the gospel and loved the God of the Bible, but it appeared to me (probably my immaturity) that my church and I were seeing … View Resource

  • From Grief to Glory Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    My father was slowly relinquishing his fragile life. His once sharp mind was now confused with the bleakness of Alzheimer’s. The cumulative effect of the medication to sustain his heart was destroying his liver, and the drugs needed to save his liver were threatening his heart. It was only a matter of time. He was refusing food — starving to death. I held his stubble-covered face in my hand and tried to entice him to drink a swallow of protein drink. I was doing it more for me than for him. Ten years have past and I sometimes still miss … View Resource

  • The Frozen Chosen Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    Reformed Christians are often accused of being cold and callous, virtual Stoics or fatalists. We’ve all heard the epithet “the frozen chosen” applied to Reformed believers. We usually protest that such a nickname does not truly describe us, and of course, we all know many brothers and sisters to whom such a name would never stick. But the fact that this nickname, this description of us, is so common should give us pause. Do we sometimes speak and act in ways that give rise to such an idea? Sadly, I believe we do. View Resource

  • Good Grief? Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    I suppose I grew up like most of my generation, reading and watching Charlie Brown and the rest of the cast of Charles Schultz’s PEANUTS. Schultz had an uncanny ability to relate a sea of emotion in a cup of dialogue. One of the ways he accomplished this was through the use of common yet memorable phrases. One such phrase that was frequently on the lips of the PEANUTS gallery was the phrase, “Good grief!” Today, as I reflect upon the times this phrase is used, I ask myself if indeed there could be such a thing as “good … View Resource

  • The Gospel and the Oncology Waiting Room Article by Mike Pohlman

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    I recently sat with my wife in the waiting room at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We were there to meet with Dr. Lupe Salazar to receive the results of Julia’s latest PET/CT scans. The goal: to determine if the cancer was progressing. This drill is an example of our “new normal” since the diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer on Mother’s Day weekend in 2009. Julia and I talk a lot. In fact, there is no one I would rather visit with on a daily basis. But in oncology waiting rooms, we often find ourselves quiet. Cancer clinics … View Resource

  • A Grief Observed Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    What’s wrong with this picture? I’m speaking of my assignment for this month’s issue of Tabletalk. Over the years, my articles have been generally written out of a concern to communicate content of a biblical or theological nature that I approach from the perspective of a student. This time I’ve been given the sobering assignment of writing about a topic, not merely from a biblical or theological perspective, but from a personal, anecdotal perspective. The editors of Tabletalk have asked me to write about grief, reflecting on how I have experienced grief in my own life and then commenting … View Resource

  • How Now Shall We Die? Article by John Blanchard

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Woody Allen, the well-known movie director, screenwriter, and actor, once said, “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” The quirky quotation is famous but fatally flawed. God has the date of every person’s death in his calendar, and there is nothing that anyone can do to have this divinely made appointment cancelled or postponed: “No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death” (Eccl. 8:8). For millions the world over, the inevitability of death casts a growing shadow over life. The internationally renowned British … View Resource

  • A Mother in Israel Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    Jacob, the wily one, after ten or fifteen years, finally returns to Bethel. God has been at work in his life, drawing the wayward patriarch to himself. It has been a difficult journey. It invariably is so when our wills are set at variance against the Lord’s. From the perspective of hindsight, Jacob could now speak to his family of a God “who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone” (Gen. 35:3). Jacob had been sheltered within the orbit of God’s covenant faithfulness. Despite half-hearted commitment and questionable decisions … View Resource

  • Mourn with Those Who Mourn Article by Archie Parrish

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    Yesterday, Helen told me that her husband, Gerry, is now a quadriplegic. In college, Helen was my wife’s roommate, and Gerry and I lived in the same dorm. Helen was maid of honor at our wedding. When we graduated from college, my wife and I went to seminary in the Boston area, and Gerry and Helen became missionaries in Malaysia. For more than forty-five years they ministered in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Recently they moved back to the states and settled in Fort Worth, Texas.  Last week, Gerry fell and shattered his spine. He cannot move his arms … View Resource

  • The Pastor and the Funeral Article by Harry Reeder

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    The subject I have been asked to write about was one of my greatest fears upon entrance into pastoral ministry. But today I consider it one of my greatest privileges. Why? Because of the historicity and glorious message of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ. Obviously, I do not delight in the fact of someone’s death. But I rejoice in the opportunity that the death of a believer opens for communicating the majesty of Christ and the glories of the gospel while comforting the family and friends and presenting salvation by grace to those who are lost … View Resource

  • The School of Jesus Christ Article by David Powlison

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2009

    When I first received the intelligence of the death…of your son Louis, I was so utterly overpowered that for many days I was fit for nothing but to grieve; and albeit I was somehow upheld before the Lord by those aids wherewith he sustains our souls in affliction, among men, however, I was almost a nonentity. …It is difficult, notwithstanding, you will say, so to shake off or suppress the love of a father, as not to experience grief on occasion of the loss of a son. Neither do I insist upon your laying aside all grief. Nor, in the … View Resource

  • Sin, Death, and Grief Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    My father was a veteran of World War II, the son of a small-town country preacher, school teacher, and sheriff, the son-in-law of the automobile manufacturer Preston Tucker, a fellow college graduate of Sam Walton, the leader of one of the first grass-roots movements to campaign for Ronald Reagan for president, and a father who grieved for many years over the loss of his first son who died at eighteen years of age. My father was a great man, but he never seemed to overcome the grief he experienced. I never understood the grief my father experienced over the loss … View Resource