Talbot School of Theology

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5 Myths about Teaching Apologetics to Students

8 hours 51 min ago

Training students in apologetics is one of the most important tasks for any youth leader today. Whether through classroom teaching, speaking, personal conversation, on apologetics mission trips, or through writing, I have been training students to defend their faith for nearly two decades. While there are certainly some exceptions, in my experience, the vast majority love it ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Should We Think of Christ’s Death in Juridical Terms?

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:00

Dr Craig

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the significant impact that your ministry has had in the life of my family. My wife and I have been encouraged to share our faith with confidence knowing that we can provide a rational response to many of the objections that Christians face.

I have been a Christian for a majority of my life. However, my new found interest in apologetics has highlighted my considerable lack of knowledge with respect to the basics of the faith that I attempt to defend. As a result, I have started to study theology.

The question I have for you arises from my recent study on the atonement. Howard Marshall's Aspects of the Atonement (2007), was very helpful, and provided a solid defence of penal substitution. However, I have since developed doubts regarding this atonement metaphor ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

J.P. Moreland Answers Three Important Questions

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 12:00

In my recent book, A New Kind of Apologist, I was able to interview my friend and colleague J.P. Moreland. He is the distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of   Theology and the author or coauthor of thirty books, including The Kingdom Triangle ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Call to Love Thy Neighbor: Promoting True Human Flourishing in a Consumer Society

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 12:00

In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words.”(20) Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Does it Mean to Say God Is a Soul?

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:00

I would like to ask a clarifying question, and also ask you to consider some implications of your view on the Trinity.

For reference sake, here is the view to which I'm referring: "Suppose, then, that God is a soul which is endowed with three complete sets of rational cognitive faculties, each sufficient for personhood. Then God, though one soul, would not be one person but three, for God would have three centers of self-consciousness, intentionality, and volition, as Social Trinitarians maintain. God would clearly not be three discrete souls because the cognitive faculties in question are all faculties belonging to just one soul, one immaterial substance. God would therefore be one being which supports three persons, just as our individual beings each support one person." ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Are Christians in a Culture War? Interview with Josh McDowell

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 12:00

This goal of this blog is for me to soak up wisdom from my father and share it with you. I have been blessed to have an incredibly influential father, Josh McDowell. He has written over 150 books and spoken to more young people live than anyone in history. But what I appreciate most about my father is his love for my mom, for his kids, and now for his many grandkids. Enjoy! ...

 
Categories: Seminary Blog

Triggers for Change in Economics and Sanctification

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 12:00

When reading the book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor ... and Yourself,[1] one passage stood out to me as an important analogy for understanding God’s providential work in sanctification. We often wonder why God allows, directs, or initiates difficulties and trials in our lives. The Bible is full of these promises that we will have to face many troubles (e.g., Rom. 8:17; Acts 14:23; John 16:33). Paradoxically, Scripture also assures us that we can count such problems in a positive way since we understand that God is doing good to us by means of the negative things we suffer (James 1:2-5). I decline to give a facile explanation of the problem of evil (more needs to be said than what can be done here). I aim to take on difficulty of God’s providence in our sanctification by looking at the observation of Corbett and Fikkert about helping the poor in economic development ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Much More Ado About Nothing

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 15:00

Beloved Dr. Craig,

Atheists argue that you commit a Fallacy of Equivocation when you talk about Something and Nothing.

When you say "if the universe could come into being from nothing, then why is it that only universes can pop into being out of nothing? Why not bicycles and Beethoven and root beer? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? If universes could pop into being out of nothing, then anything and everything should pop into being out of nothing. Since it doesn't, that suggests that things that come into being have causes."

Here, when you talk about the origins of the universe you are referring to absolutely nothing (no space, no time, no vacuum, no voids). But when you ask "Why not bicycles and Beethoven and root beer?" you are referring to the space-time in which we live. This is a fallacy of equivocation! ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Lo Trágico del Racismo y la Gracia del Príncipe de Paz

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 12:00

... Todos los seres humanos somos creados a la imagen y semejanza de Dios (Gen. 1:27). La imagen de Dios es la base fundamental de nuestro valor y dignidad. Por la gracia divina podemos representarlo y todos los hombres y mujeres somos la corona de la creación (Salmo 8). Nuestro color de piel es insignificante para determinar nuestro valor o esencia. Desgraciadamente lo que debería ser una muestra de la belleza de la diversidad de la creación divina para muchos se ha convertido en una forma de señalar y discriminar a otros que son diferentes a ellos ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What are the Top Books to Give a Non-Christian?

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:00

One of the most common questions I receive regards which books I would recommend Christians to give their non-Christian friends who they hope may become believers. While there are many excellent books, these six come from both my personal experience of hearing stories of how people have become believers, and also an assessment of the apologetic and evangelistic value of each book ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Should a Church Sing (American) Patriotic Songs During Its Worship Services?

Mon, 07/04/2016 - 12:00

I was serving as a worship pastor in a church in one of New York City’s suburbs when the attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched. Soon after the attacks, a small contingent of vocal church members began to demand that we start to sing American patriotic songs during our worship services. That suggestion didn’t sit well with me so I began trying to work through some of the relevant theological and practical questions one by one. I wrote these questions and answers on September 29, 2001, only 18 days after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City. The following is by no means the final word on the question, but it might provide categories you can use to think through this subject for yourself ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do You Minister to Second Generation Christian Students?

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 12:00

Even though I grew up in a Christian home, with parents in professional Christian ministry, there was a time that I walked away from God. I was tired of the rules, authority, and simply wanted to live life my own way. And as you can imagine, I hit rock bottom. Feelings of loneliness, despair, and the weight of sin simply overwhelmed me and I hit the end of my rope … and so when I was four years oldI got down on my knees and decided I was going to follow Jesus ... 

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Brits’ Brexit

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 19:15

It’s official. Or essentially official. Sure, it’ll be contested and the process and the unfurling of the never-before-used Article 50 (the document governing agreements to leave the European Union) will take a couple of years, but with 100% of the nation reporting, the people of Great Britain have decided “enough is enough.”

With 52% favoring the move, Brits have formally voted to exit the European Union—hence the term “Br(itish)exit.”

After two years of speculation and bitter fights that spanned the halls of Parliament, all the way to the shores of Washington D.C., the people have spoken: They want out. No, it wasn’t by a landslide, but that’s immaterial. The vote has been won. A simple majority is what is needed and that’s “democracy” folks! ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Different Kind of Love Song

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 10:00

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years ago I vowed faithfulness, friendship, and my entire future to Trudi Lynn Wilson. Apart from following Christ, it was the best decision I ever made. Trudi has shown more love, compassion, and grace than I could have ever hoped for, and far more than I deserve. She has willingly tramped all over the world with me, setting up home, family, and ministry in Portland, Berlin, two cities in Turkey, Los Angeles twice, Philadelphia, and New York. But this post isn’t a veiled attempt to get you to send notes of congratulation (though gifts are welcome). I decided today might be a good day to share a song I wrote for Trudi about five years into our marriage ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Long Defeat and an Unfinished Sequel to "The Lord of the Rings"

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:00

As we saw in the previous two posts in this series, the long defeat was an important theme for Tolkien that continued even after the defeat of Sauron. As is well-known, Tolkien did not intend his fiction to be an allegory; unlike C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings was not designed to correlate to the Christ event. Given the lack of attention to a central act of atonement in the book, it is not surprising that Tolkien continued the theme of the long defeat even after the defeat of Sauron.

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Did Jesus Suffer?

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

I am glad to hear that your next line of research is targeting the atonement. I have also been looking into this subject and am trying to find some answers concerning one aspect of the substitution theory, namely, Christ taking on our punishment or God's wrath. I have to believe this entails more than just physical death since our punishment without the covering of Jesus' righteousness is an eternity in the lake of fire.

Does this mean that while Jesus suffered a horrific physical death on the cross that he also suffered this same eternity of God's wrath for each person that has ever lived or ever will live?

Otherwise, there have been many martyrs that have suffered horrific deaths, so what would make Christ's death any more harder to handle than theirs, regarding God's wrath, if only the physical aspect was meant? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What are the Top Academic Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:00

In my last post, I listed my top five popular books on the Bible and homosexuality. This post is designed for those who want to go deeper and explore the academic sources firsthand ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Quote from Oswald Chambers in Sandie Weaver’s Office

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:00

Just inside the door of Sandie Weaver’s office in the lower level of Metzger Hall hangs a framed quotation from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie is the Senior Director of Financial Planning & Operations at Biola University, which means that she is on a mission to make sure Biola University carefully plans for its financial future and lives within the constraints of whatever funds God brings into the university.  I love walking into her office and immediately encountering this quote from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie has had these words hanging on the wall of her office for more than 30 years to remind her that she labors to do what she does—not merely because it is wise and necessary—but because God called her to do it ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Underutilized Resources

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 12:00

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Divine Psychology

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:00

First of all I would like to say thanks for the great job you are doing and for the big influence you have upon people's lives both spiritually and intellectually.

My question isn't really mine, actually I found it in one of the reasonable faith forums, and I think it's a very good question that intrigues me since it was raised in your debate with Kevin Scharp. I would like to look at your take on the divine psychology objection proposed by Scharp more closely. Here's the question as it was presented in the forum:

“Dr. Craig recently debated Dr. Kevin Scharp on the Veritas Forum. One very interesting objection that Dr. Scharp raised to the fine tuning argument is that it appeals to divine psychology to support the premise that design is more probable than chance and necessity ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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