Jan 3, 2014

Best of 2013: Tabletalk Magazine

6 Min Read

We've gone back and collected some of the most popular Tabletalk articles from 2013. Don't forget it's only $23 a year to subscribe to Tabletalk, and $20 to renew. You can even try it free for three months.

Christ and the Academy: An Interview with D.A. Carson

"The most dangerous seedbed for intellectual rebellion is a home where faith is sentimental and even anti-intellectual, and where opponents are painted as ignorant knaves, because eventually our children discover that there are some really nice people who are atheists and agnostics, and they can present arguments in sophisticated, gentle, and persuasive fashion."

Dealing with Lust by Joseph Pipa Jr.

"We are not under the dominion of sin. However, we need to take daily precautions. Foundationally, our families and churches need to foster a culture of chastity, emphasizing sexual purity in thought, dress, language, and behavior. Such a culture begins with parents in the home and office-bearers (pastors and church officers and their wives) in the congregation."

Escaping the "Cage Stage" by R.C. Sproul

"... those newly minted Reformed believers who are so aggressive and impatient that they should be locked in a cage for a little while so that they can cool down and mature a little in the faith."

Suffering and the Glory of God by R.C. Sproul

"When we suffer, we must trust that God knows what He is doing, and that He works in and through the pain and afflictions of His people for His glory and for their sanctification. It is hard to endure lengthy suffering, but the difficulty is greatly alleviated when we hear our Lord explaining the mystery in the case of the man born blind, whom God called to many years of pain for Jesus' glory."

When God is Not Enough by Scotty Smith

"When the glory of the one true living God is no longer our principal passion in life, worship becomes a pragmatic vehicle for fulfilling two basic quests in life: provision and protection. Instead of living for God’s glory and looking to Him to meet our needs, we exist for our glory and look for gods who will meet our demands."

Recovering Lost Disciplines by Burk Parsons

"We stand at a crossroads, and we will either rediscover the lost virtues of listening, meditating, and thinking, or we will amuse ourselves to death. However, our problem lies not in our twenty-first-century tools and toys, but in our inability to use them without them using us."

Doubt-Killing Promises by Justin Taylor

"The next time you find yourself in Doubting-Castle, and hear the terrifying rumblings of Giant Despair at the double-bolted door, remember that you have had the key of escape all along. If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed."

Good News and Good Deeds by Elyse Fitzpatrick

"We have Christ’s record of obedience imputed to us by faith alone: just as if we had never sinned, just as if we had always obeyed. It is when we live in the light of these marvelous truths that our hearts will burst into flame, and we will be stimulated to love our neighbors and serve them with good deeds."

Kids These Days by R.C. Sproul Jr.

"We are one family, one loaf, one body, one culture, one love. Would that the broader culture would be able to say of our culture, 'Oh, how they love each other.'"

The Gospel in a Hostile Culture by Dave Furman

"We must preach theologically rich doctrine, allowing the meaning of the text to be the meaning of our sermons. The cultural context we minister in must not shape the doctrine we preach; rather, our doctrine must inform and shape the culture."

Catechisms for the Imagination by N.D. Wilson

"Stories create affection and fear and joy, love and hate and relief. Stories can create loyalties and destabilize loyalties. Stories are catechisms for the imagination. Catechisms for emotions, for aspirations. Stories mold instincts and carve grooves of habit in a reader’s judgments."

Engaging Japan with the Gospel: An Interview with Michael Oh

"God alone saves. There are many questions about why the gospel has taken so long to take root in Japan—and why Korea has thrived spiritually and Japan hasn’t. There are many answers that can be offered to those questions. But the clearest answer is that God will save Japan when God saves Japan. God will bring revival to the Japanese church when God brings revival to the Japanese church."

Why Follow Jesus? by Jonathan Dodson

"Jesus forces us to reflect on our motives for following Him. If we live for comfort and ease, we won’t give up our beds, money, and entertainment to follow Him. If idyllic community is what motivates our decisions, we won’t give up close friends and family members. Jesus is clear. If we want to be His disciples, we must be motivated by something greater than comfort and community. His kingdom must motivate us, and the kingdom comes with a cost."

Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart by J.D. Greear

"Surveys show that more than 50 percent of people in the U.S. have prayed a sinner’s prayer and think they’re going to heaven because of it even though there is no detectable difference in their lifestyles from those outside of the church. On this issue—the most important issue on earth—we have to be absolutely clear. I believe it is time to put the shorthand aside. We need to preach salvation by repentance before God and faith in the finished work of Christ."

Desiring God: An Interview with John Piper

"God has blessed and humbled me with the inability to speed-read. I read about the same speed that I talk. I hear what I read as I read it. Speed-reading consultants say that pronouncing the words—even in your head—turns a rabbit reader into a turtle. No use. I’m a turtle."

Theology and Doxology by Gerrit Scott Dawson

"Angelic beings approach the throne of the triune God. They arrive in His immediate presence because they need no mediator. No sin prevents them from entering, and God gave these creatures the capacity to draw near without being incinerated by His glory. Is it safe to say these angels know better than we do? But what do these knowledgeable ones do in God’s presence? According to Revelation 4:10, they fall down, cast their crowns, and sing. In short, they worship God with their whole beings."

A Charitable Reaction by R.C. Sproul

"Has anyone ever said something unkind to you or about you? I think we all have had that experience. Becoming victims of slander or malicious gossip can be difficult to bear. However, God calls us to exhibit a very specific kind of response in such circumstances."

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