• 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

  • A Future So Bright Article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Because we believe it is our due, we are confident that even the darkest clouds have silver linings. When someone dies in old age, we rejoice that he had a long and full life. When someone is taken suddenly, we are comforted to know that he did not suffer long. When someone dies young but not so suddenly, we are glad he had the opportunity to say goodbye, to get his affairs in order. We find reasons to give thanks not only in death but in dying. That is, when we are merely terminal but not yet terminated, we have … 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • A Tale of Two Funerals Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    A young man I knew died in a tragic traffic accident. His death was utterably sad. At his funeral, his friends were all wearing T-shirts adorned with his picture. At the front of the church were heaped up flowers, footballs, and stuffed animals. On top of his coffin was a picture from his senior prom. The service began with a recording of his favorite song, a heavy metal power ballad. The preacher gave a eulogy, praising how the teenager was such a good friend, such a good person, recounting some of the funny things he used to say, telling about the dreams … View Resource

  • True Shepherding Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2007

    Every morning for several months, my wife and I walked past an injured Canada goose, whose feathers stuck out in several directions. For all those months, several geese dutifully stayed with the injured bird. Likewise, caring for the wounded is the church’s loving duty to her own. Paul teaches us that when one member of Christ’s body suffers, “all the members suffer” (1 Cor.12:26 KJV). Caring for the grieving promotes the unity of the body of Christ and fosters the communion of saints. Furthermore, grieving saints have a claim on our compassion for Christ’s sake (Matt. 25:40 … 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

  • 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