• All Truth Is God’s Truth Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    During the nineteenth-century potato famine in Ireland, my great-grandfather, Charles Sproul, fled his native land to seek refuge in America. He left his thatched roof and mud floor cottage in a northern Ireland village and made his way barefoot to Dublin — to the wharf from which he sailed to New York. After registering as an immigrant at Ellis Island, he made his way west to Pittsburgh, where a large colony of Scots-Irish people had settled. They were drawn to that site by the industrial steel mills led by the Scot, Andrew Carnegie.  My great-grandfather died in Pittsburgh in 1910 … View Resource

  • God’s Truth Abideth Still Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2008

    One could perhaps make the argument that the history of the church consists of one division after another. Nevertheless, while history is replete with ecclesiastical divisions, there is a unity that transcends all the worldly clamor and devilish confusion surrounding the history of God’s people. This unity is not the result of ecumenical doctrinal compromise. It is just the opposite. It is a unity that transcends all heresies on account of the fact that it is a unity established in God Himself.  For God sees not as man sees, and His story of the unfolding covenant of redemption brings … View Resource

  • War and Peace Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    We all certainly agree that all virtues are heavenly and that all sins are deadly. Nevertheless, certain virtues are more heavenly than others, and certain sins lead to death more quickly than other sins. While some sins are private and some sins public, the wages of every sin is death (Rom. 6:23). As Christians we understand that God hates sin and loves virtue. However, our problem is that we don’t hate sin enough and that we don’t love virtue enough. Consequently, we soft-peddle the deadliness of sin and we offer nice platitudes about the virtues of living a holy … View Resource

  • The Lone Monk Article by Nicholas Needham

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007

    The seventh century is something of a forgotten epoch for most Protestants. But it is well worth knowing. The creative heart of its theology lay in the East — the Byzantine Empire, centered on Constantinople. Here the Christological controversies of the fifth century were still bubbling away. As a result of the councils of Chalcedon (451) and of Second Constantinople (553), the Eastern church and empire were bitterly divided between two great parties. These were the Chalcedonians, loyal to the orthodox creed of Chalcedon, that Christ is one person in two natures; and the Monophysites, numerous in Egypt and Syria … View Resource

  • The Rise of Islam Article by Patrick Sookhdeo

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2007

    Two things unite most Muslims: their belief in the unity of God and their veneration of Muhammad as the channel through which God’s final revelation was given. Muslims claim that God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad whom they see as the greatest and last prophet. The Arabic word Islam means submission. Muslims are those who claim to submit to God and His will and law as presented by Muhammad and found in the Qur’an and in the traditions recording Muhammad’s life, deeds, and sayings (hadith).  Muhammad’s figure towers over Islam not just as its founder, but as the perfect … View Resource

  • Back to Barbarism Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    We Western Christians have been sending missionaries to spread the Gospel to cultures throughout the world. We sometimes forget that, unless we have a Jewish background, our cultures too were originally evangelized by missionaries. This is certainly true for those of us whose ancestors were English, Celtic, German, French, or Scandinavian, as well as other European tribes deemed “barbarian” by the Romans. Those ancient tribal societies were very much like those of Africa or the American Indians. Tribal societies — whether European, African, or American — tend to be ruled by local “chiefs” (which the Europeans called “kings”), with a … View Resource

  • Columba: Missionary to Scotland Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    In reading the “lives of the saints” it is difficult to the point of impossibility to discover the unvarnished truth. That is certainly true in the case of Columba, or Columcille, the Irish missionary to the Scots and Picts in the second half of the sixth century. Columba’s biography, written by Adamnan one hundred years after his death, contains all the stock-in-trade elements of medieval hagiography: visions and revelations, prophecies, visitations of angels, healings, resurrection of the dead, and battles against dark forces (including, in Columba’s case, banishing by the sign of the cross a sixth-century ancestor of the Loch … View Resource

  • Boethius: The Philosopher Theologian Article by Carl R. Trueman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    One of the least known but most significant Christian thinkers of antiquity was a sixth-century layman called Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius, or simply Boethius for short. The son of an old senatorial family, he lived between 480 and 524, being consul (a largely ceremonial political position) in 510, and then Master of the Offices at the Ostrogothic court in Ravenna in 522. It was while serving in this latter capacity that Boethius was accused of treason, imprisoned, tried, and executed. It remains unclear to this day whether he was actually guilty of treason or, as seems more likely, was … View Resource

  • The Benedictine Rule Article by Andrew Hoffecker

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    Ever since the New Testament epistles were written, Christians have received advice on how to live the Christian life. How much should we pray? What progress can we expect to make in achieving biblical holiness in this life? Is perfection an attainable goal? Is Christianity best lived out in normal circumstances of family, marriage, and vocation, or in hermit-like isolation from others or in communities specially formed for the purpose of cultivating prayer, worship, and work? As persecution of the early church died out and Christians gained freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, the monastic life originated as a … View Resource

  • Gregory “the Great” Article by Tom Nettles

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    A candid review of the accomplishments of Gregory, known as “the Great,” gives pause to an evangelical Protestant about such an exalted attribution. That he was a conservator of orthodoxy, an effective missiologist, and a zealous and clever churchman cannot be denied. While he disciplined and corrected heretics in one category of doctrine, however, he just as surely baptized a gospel that was no gospel. Born around 540 in Rome, Gregory was reared as a “saint among saints.” His father was a devout Christian while his mother, Silvia (in her widowhood), and two paternal aunts lived austere cloistral … View Resource

  • The Battle for Grace Alone Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    The early part of the fifth century witnessed a serious controversy in the church that is known as the Pelagian controversy. This debate took place principally between the British monk Pelagius and the great theologian of the first millennium, Augustine of Hippo. In the controversy, Pelagius objected strenuously to Augustine’s understanding of the fall, of grace, and of predestination. Pelagius maintained that the fall affected Adam alone and that there was no imputation of guilt or “original sin” to Adam’s progeny. Pelagius insisted that people born after the fall of Adam and Eve retained the capacity to live lives of … View Resource

  • The Light of Glory Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    Humanistic historians and secular sociologists are eager to assign their carefully crafted, far-reaching labels to just about anything. Centuries-long periods of history and entire generations of people have been adorned with meaningless titles and simplistic definitions. From the so called “baby-boom generation” to the “me generation” and “generation x,” our society has determined that bestowing a general category upon an entire population based on age is appropriate. Similarly, entire periods of history are known for the type of metal prominently used during that particular period, for instance, the “Bronze Age.” We have “golden” ages and ages of “enlightenment … View Resource

  • A Soul Ablaze Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    According to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, he was one of the greatest heroes “for the cause of truth in the whole of the history of the church.” Living through the very difficult final decades of the fourteenth century, he saw the wrenching cataclysms of the Great Schism, the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, the Hundred Years War, the Mercantilist Revolution of the Hanseatic League, and the pandemic of the Black Death. The glories of early medievalism very nearly collapsed under the weight of apocalyptic devastation. Wars and rumors of wars, famines and plagues, natural disasters and unnatural ambitions seemed … View Resource