• Apostasy Article by Larry McCall

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Come winter, the ice forms almost imperceptibly on the lake near our home. After the first few cold nights, a bit of skim ice may be noticed by the observant passerby. Gradually, ever so gradually, the ice thickens as the cold takes its grip on our northern Indiana community. By the dead of winter, fisherman labor at drilling through two feet of hard ice to get through to the warmer waters below. View Resource

  • Cosmic Treason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    The question, “What is sin?” is raised in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The answer provided to this catechetical question is simply this: “Sin is any want of conformity to or transgression of the law of God.” Let us examine some of the elements of this catechetical response. In the first instance, sin is identified as some kind of want or lack. In the middle ages, Christian theologians tried to define evil or sin in terms of privation (privatio) or negation (negatio). In these terms, evil or sin was defined by its lack of conformity to goodness. … View Resource

  • Dust to Dust Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2005

    In this world, we face matters of life and death every day. The morning after Terry Schiavo died, I was informed that someone I knew attempted to commit suicide. The next day in Rome, Pope John Paul II died. The morning after, I was asked by a dear man in our congregation to participate in his memorial service upon his death, and the next evening, my friend who attempted to commit suicide died. When I was sixteen years old, my father, a World War II veteran, died of cancer. As a young man, the reality of death weighed heavily upon … View Resource

  • Enduring Confidence Article by John Cobb

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    A newborn baby is such a wonderful example of the beauty of God’s creation. When a newborn is in the room, anyone present is awestruck by how small, cute, and innocent the infant is. At the same time, however, most everyone there is not immediately reminded that the newborn is in fact not innocent and that sin is part of the child’s nature. Life is full of sin, so full of sin, in fact, we can sometimes forget that sin even exists. When this happens, even the strongest Christian is a victim to the curse that has been given to … View Resource

  • Falling Short of God’s Glory Article by Karisa Schlehr

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    While I do not remember much from elementary school, there is one conversation I will never forget. In fourth grade, I took the opportunity to witness to one of my friends. I remember asking her, “If you were to die tonight, do you know for sure you would go to heaven?” She immediately responded “yes.” This lack of hesitation brought great excitement until she answered the next question. I asked, “How do you know?” She responded, “Because I have never sinned.” At the time, I knew that her statement was erroneous, but it wasn’t until a few years later that … View Resource

  • Favor in God’s Eyes Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2006

    Nondum considerasti, quanti ponderis sit peccatum!” wrote Anselm in his famous work on the incarnation, Cur Deus Homo. Translated, it means: “You have not considered how weighty sin is!” Low views of sin breed tepid views of the Gospel — views that the modern church is inclined to adopt. Salvation thus becomes a therapy of self-help rather than a deliverance from God’s wrath. Consequently, these opening chapters of Genesis are all the more counter-cultural in this postmodern age of ours. The opening chapters of Genesis depict for us a number of issues resulting from Adam and Eve’s rebellion … View Resource

  • Joyful Submission Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    People who know me well will tell you that I can tend to be critical on occasion. Now that is true, but I have to admit that I do not like to be critical. Nevertheless, I often find myself jumping to conclusions and looking down on certain things even when the evidence may not warrant it. Several things contribute to this tendency. In some areas I tend to be a perfectionist and can fall into the danger of thinking that I can do certain tasks better than anyone else. Some of my friends can also be on the critical side … View Resource

  • Our Blessed Struggle Article by Guy Richard

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2009

    I find it interesting that, of all the names God could have chosen for His people, He chose “Israel.” And while different opinions exist as to what the name Israel actually means, it seems that the context in which the name is given in Genesis 32 favors the meaning “he struggles with God” over every other option (see verses 22–32 and Hos. 12:3–4). It would seem that God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to call His people &”strugglers.” As we consider what it means for us as Christians to live between the times, let us begin by remembering that, as … View Resource

  • Our Renewed Image Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2005

    We have just read John Calvin’s words, “the death of Christ is efficacious … for the mortification of the flesh.” What, in practical terms, might this look like in everyday life? Maybe the primary question is, how does the death of one actually give life to another? To understand this first may help us to see more easily how the mortified or sanctified life goes. In Saint Peter’s own words: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). “Living to righteousness” means the same … View Resource

  • The Practice of Sinning Article by Jay Bauman

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    It was early in the morning on New Year’s Day in 2006, in Rio de Janeiro, and I was having trouble sleeping. The noise of the New Year festivities had kept me awake. So I decided to take a walk along the beach. As the sun rose over the beach, I noticed a white rose, cut and in perfect condition, lying right along the shore. I had recently gotten engaged and so finding this rose seemed quite timely. I decided I would take that rose back to my fiancée’s house, thinking, “For sure, she will love it.” As I continued … View Resource

  • Sin and Salvation Article by W. Robert Godfrey

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2004

    Why do we need to talk about sin? We ought to just talk about the love of God.” This comment was not made by a dedicated liberal. Rather, it was made by a woman who is a member of an evangelical church and has enrolled her children in a Reformed Christian School. She does not seem to have grasped much of the character of Calvinism. Regrettably this comment is not just a strange aberration. In a recently published book, sociologist Alan Wolfe argues that this attitude is wide-spread throughout American religious groups and denominations, including evangelicals. In The Transformation of … View Resource

  • The War Inside Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2009

    The Christian life is a war, and the fiercest battles are those that rage within the heart of every believer. The new birth radically and permanently changes a person’s sinful nature, but it does not immediately liberate that nature from all of the remnants of sin. Birth is followed by growth, and that growth involves warfare. Paul frequently employs the imagery of warfare to help Christians faithfully follow Christ. In Galatians 5 he gives us a peek behind the scenes to help us understand why the soul of one who has been redeemed by Jesus Christ is such a battleground. “But … View Resource

  • The Weight of Shame Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2015

    Shame—we all feel it, or at least we should. We are all sinful, and our sin brings shame. Although shame has all but disappeared from our culture’s vocabulary and is largely ignored by many in the church, it exists nonetheless and must be recognized and reckoned with. If we are honest with ourselves, and more importantly, honest with God, we cannot help but admit that we feel shame as a result of our sin. Whether we sin in private or in public—and whether we perhaps even pretend not to have it—shame is undeniably real. We feel shame because God in … View Resource

  • What is Man? Article by Greg Gilbert

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | Genesis 1

    Every evening after work, I sit down to spend a few minutes catching up on the news of the day. Though it’s a restful few minutes for my body and mind, I have to admit that I don’t find in those moments much rest for my heart. That’s because what I see in the headlines reminds me of a deep-rooted reality: there is something wrong with our world, and even with ourselves as human beings. But what is it? People have given different answers to that question. Some say the problems are primarily economic, others that they’re social, and still … View Resource

  • Whose Opinion Really Matters? Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    I have confessed my addiction to news programming in this space before, and at the risk of sounding repetitious, I am going to do so again. When I was asked to write this article that reflects broadly on the themes for this month’s daily studies, I could not help but think about a phrase often repeated on the various “news analysis” programs that run on television. As different issues have been debated in recent months, it seems that there is one saying both conservative and liberal talking heads are willing to express. The words I am thinking of are, “Everyone … View Resource