• The Power of the Broken Body Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Mention the word church and a vast array of images enter the mind. A steepled building housing a congregation; a movement of God across the centuries and the world; “one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic”; “visible and invisible”; “militant and triumphant”; “local and universal.” More images come from the Scriptures verbatim. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the branches connected to the life-giving vine of Christ. But a most provocative and instructive biblical image is “the body of Christ.” We are tempted, especially in the West, to view this body as successful, full of well-ordered, well-dressed, well-mannered … View Resource

  • Encourage One Another Article by Dane Ortlund

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Our words to one another about one another not only describe reality. They also create reality. “You idiot!” does not simply assess what is objectively true to the speaker. It also produces, in the one spoken to, death and darkness. Not only do our words reveal what is true of us, they also generate reality for another. Specifically, our words are either death-bringing or life-giving. Either depleting or nourishing, draining or filling. The gospel is a message of life, of nourishing, of filling. Because of Christ’s work in our behalf, we are set free from sin, adopted into God … View Resource

  • The Judgment of Charity Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Every time I read the Gospels, I am struck by how Jesus seems to have found Himself in the middle of controversy wherever He went. I am also struck by how Jesus handled each controversy differently. He did not follow the example of Leo “The Lip” DeRosier, the former manager of the New York Giants and treat every person He encountered in the same manner. Although He expected everyone to play by the same rules, He shepherded people according to their specific needs. The Old Testament depicts the Good Shepherd as One who carries both a staff and a rod … View Resource

  • Love That Is Patient and Kind Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2012

    First Corinthians 13 is one of the most famous passages in all of Scripture, for in it the Apostle Paul gives us a marvelous exposition of the character of godly love. He starts by showing the importance of love, writing that if we have all kinds of gifts, abilities, and achievements but lack love, we are nothing (vv. 1–3). Then, in verse 4, he begins to describe what godly love looks like, saying, “Love is patient and kind,” or, in the wording of a more traditional translation, “Love suffers long and is kind” (NKJV). I find myself intrigued by this … View Resource

  • Every Conflict Is a Test Article by Alexander Strauch

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    The New Testament does not hide the fact that nearly every church in the Apostolic age experienced conflict. As the New Testament writers addressed these matters, they provided invaluable instruction on how believers are to think, act, and treat one another when conflict arises. By studying the churches in the New Testament and the instructions given to them regarding conflict, we can learn biblical principles for handling conflict in a constructive, Christ-honoring way. A Key Principle to Remember One of the most important principles I have discovered to guide me when engaged in conflict of any kind is found in … View Resource

  • Christianity, Unplugged Article by K. Scott Oliphint

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2012

    When was the last time you withdrew? Not the last time you were the only person in the room or in the house — when was the last time you withdrew from contact with anyone else? Jesus “would withdraw” from the crowds “to deslolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16). He knew that His busy schedule required time alone — completely alone — with His heavenly Father. In the twenty-first century, being alone and withdrawing mean much more than being the only person in the room. They mean being unplugged. In our appreciation for the help that technology can bring … View Resource

  • Pray the Scriptures Article by Scotty Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I am a recovering self-centered pragmatic pray-er — a believer who spent many of my first years in Christ thinking of God more as a sugar daddy than the sovereign Father. Prayer, for me, had more in common with programming a heavenly computer than surrendering to a loving Master. I worked harder at claiming God’s promises for my ease than being claimed by God’s purposes for His kingdom. Instead of being still and knowing that God is God, my prayer life was that of an antsy man, trying to help God be God. Alas, this was a manifestation of the … View Resource

  • Love’s Shroud Article by Ray Ortlund

    If, as Jonathan Edwards proposed, heaven is “a world of love,” then love is pure, intense, and uncommon. But even here in this world, God wants us to display something of His heavenly love: “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly” (1 Peter 4:8). The Apostle Peter explains here why heavenly love matters, what heavenly love means, and how heavenly love behaves. First, Peter explains why heavenly love matters. Peter begins with the phrase “above all.” There is nothing more important than our earnest love for one another. There may be other things equally important, but there … View Resource

  • Soft Hearts, Solid Spines Article by Joe Holland

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2012

    The Internet allows unprecedented opportunity for communication between Christians from different theological traditions. The results have not been pretty. Comment threads are the Devil’s playground and blogs his amusement park. And even if we exclude online media, theological bickering between Christians is and has been pervasive. Regrettably, Christians who hold to the Reformed confessions are often viewed by other Christians outside our tradition as some of the least winsome members of what we call the communion of the saints. The command to love has been lost by us, if not lost on us. But how can the theologically astute love … View Resource

  • Faith Working Through Love Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Presuming to write about what makes a Christian recognizable to the watching world is fraught with peril. The author might be tempted to simply go with the old adage, “Less is more”: You’re a Christian if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). Saying too much runs the risk of elevating “the commandments of men” to what must be believed and practiced (Matt. 15:1–9; see also Prov. 30:6). Ironically, such exaltation of man’s opinion (which doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a generation or two … View Resource

  • Unqualified Christians Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Words mean things, and, if we’re not careful, words can easily die the death of one, two, or a thousand qualifications. As editors, we often deliberate the use of words in their contexts and the appropriate uses of qualifiers in modifying words, particularly those words with eternal significance. For example, what’s the difference between a Christian and a true Christian, faith and true, saving faith, a church and a true, biblical church? We find ourselves using qualifiers, such as the word true, in order to emphasize the marked difference between a true Christian and a false, or nominal, Christian, between … View Resource

  • A Priestly Nation Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2006

    Several months ago my grandmother passed away, somewhat unexpectedly. For many days and weeks after she died, I had a deep sense of sadness as I mourned her death. I was close to her, having spent a great deal of time with her since moving to Orlando about seven years ago. When she died, I was able to be by her side in the hospital along with most of our family. I will always count that as a great blessing. Still, it is hard to believe that I will not be able to see her again this side of heaven … View Resource

  • Hearts Aflame: Reformed Piety Article by Philip Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    Calvinism is well known and widely respected for its theology. But can we say the same thing about its piety? It is sometimes said that Calvinists do not make very good Christians. According to one critic: “Nothing will foster pride and indifference as will an affection for Calvinism. Nothing will destroy holiness and spirituality as an attachment to Calvinism. The doctrines of Calvinism will deaden and kill anything: prayer, faith, zeal, holiness.” Perhaps it is true that some people who call themselves Calvinists are not very good Christians — the “frozen chosen,” they are sometimes called. But if … View Resource

  • A Life of Faith Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2005

    I remember trading Valentine’s Day cards in grade school. Every kid brought cards for the other kids in the class. We had made cut out card receivers and hung them on the wall in our school classroom. Sometimes, they even included candy with the card. It was a good day at school. Imagine being a little bit older than grade school, and imagine someone sending you a sweet Valentine card, someone who has said that they love you. But then, for some reason, they say bad things about you. They have said that they love you, but you now find … View Resource

  • A Lasting Virtue Article by Albert Mohler

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2004

    Most of us recognize that patience is one of the cardinal Christian virtues—we’re just in no hurry to obtain it. Others just define patience as a delay in getting what we want. As Margaret Thatcher once famously remarked: “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” In today’s fast-paced society and self-centered culture, patience is quickly disappearing, even among Christians. Patience is not optional for the Christian. The apostle Paul repeatedly commanded Christians to demonstrate patience to each other. In fact, this is a critical test of Christian authenticity. True Christian character, the … View Resource