Talbot School of Theology

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A Blog by the Faculty of Talbot School of Theology
Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

What Was Herod Thinking?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

In his debate with you and, on pp. 175 & 211 in his book "Jesus is Dead," Dr. Robert Price argues that the notion of resurrections are likely not all that unexpected in 2nd Temple Judaism and/or totally absent from the 1st century Jewish world view. He specifically cites the case of some wondering if Jesus is the resurrected John the Baptist.

Beyond your answer that points out Price's essential category error (resurrected mere men are not the same thing as the expectation of a resurrected Messiah), could you please elaborate further as to why the two instances (Jesus mistaken as John resurrected and Jewish allowances for a dying & resurrected God) are wholly distinct?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Non-Israelite Followers of YHWH in the Old Testament

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00

My previous posts have looked at several examples of the different ways God interacted with non-Israelite nations. Ken Berding suggested that I compile a list of the non-Israelite followers of YHWH in the Old Testament. Without further ado, here they are.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Authority of the Bible, Part One

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:00

How could it be reasonable to base my life on an ancient book (the Bible was written between 2000 and 3500 years ago)? Indeed, how could it be reasonable to base my life on any book? I should think for myself. To live by someone else’s instructions is to surrender my own mind and personality. That approach produces mindless drones, cultists and terrorists.

Yet for two millennia, followers of Jesus from every culture and language have followed the Bible as their authority, from simple folks to some of history’s most influential scholars and intellectuals, from poor people with no political power to those in positions of great influence. And the world is radically different as a result.

Categories: Seminary Blog

59 Important Questions You Must Ask a Missions Agency

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:00

Choosing a Missions Agency is one of the most important decisions you as a missionary must make. This decision will dictate the large picture and small details of your ministry and daily living. So the more time and energy you can give to this decision, the better the fit you will have on the field. Take this season in your life to examine key agencies you are interested in. The following guide can help you pinpoint the deeper issues that may be important to you ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Reality of Time

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

You have played a vital role in my apologetic development, a long with other philosophers. I am puzzled by the fact that a lot of things are taken for granted although examining their legitimacy is the job of philosophy, thus I need to ask you, why do you believe in time in the first place? Isn't just an idea in our mind that helps us locate an event in relation to our experience? I do not get older because of time, but because of my biological development and entropic reality. These are physical constituents of the Universe that entail space and mass in a dynamical interaction. Moreover, the elements that shape events already exist in our universe, to say the time for x has not yet come, is strictly to say that the physical conditions for x to occur is not satisfied yet by the gathered factors. Can you help me identify what I could be missing here, please?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Jars of Clay

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:00

Have you ever felt like a failure? Inadequate? Ineffectual? Have you ever examined your heart and glimpsed sin and darkness and defeat? I have. It is discouraging and demoralizing. It makes me wonder what God sees in me. There is no doubt that I am a flawed vessel. But does that mean that I am a useless vessel?

 

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Morality of the Current Conflict in Israel

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:00

Perhaps the real question our friends are asking is this: “What impact does our faith as Messianic Jews have on our support of Israel?” This is a fair question, and it is a reasonable assumption that most Jews who believe in Jesus support the Jewish state.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions about Leibniz’s Cosmological Argument

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

I have been arguing with a friend that is an atheist. I am also an atheist or perhaps more correctly, an agnostic about Leibniz’s cosmological argument ... If after sufficient research, Leibniz’s argument proves more plausibly true than false, than on the basis of it and the abductive argument for the historicity of Christ's resurrection, I'm prepared to take Pascal's Wager.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Indefeasibility and Openness to Evidence

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:00

... I have read and listened to you on your reformed epistemologist view; the Christian faith being based on Holy Spirit witnessed properly basic beliefs; distinguishing between knowing and showing your Faith to be true and all. In your statements, and especially with reference to the recent 'Problem with Christian Apologetics' podcast, you state that when a believer encounters a more skilled and sophisticated rebuttal of his Faith, because he knows his Faith to be true primarily by the Witness of the God, he only has to go and research on good defeaters to the rebuttals. The unanswered rebuttals in no way should trump the witness of the Spirit to us on the Truth of Christianity.

My question is, wouldn't that be argued to be having the end game in mind and only finding the reasons to shore up a presupposed conclusion? Wouldn't the incentive to beef up your case lead to interpreting the data to fit the conclusion already at hand? I believe you hold that we should move towards where the evidences lead us, how open are we to the evidences if we have a conclusion that has got to and can only be upheld? I would love to have a response from you.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Israel and Palestine Conflict: Summer 2014

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:00

Just this month, after leading a two-week study tour with the Whittier Area Community Church, our group returned home on June 8, 2014. Most of us met a barrage of questions about “What’s really going on over there? Resulting conversations intensified when the latest surge of “Israel vs. Hamas” fighting erupted in the Gaza Strip about three weeks later ...

         
Categories: Seminary Blog

How Can You Discern Whether an Overseer is “Free From the Love of Money”?

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:00

One of the qualifications for an overseer/elder/pastor (all the same office in the Bible) is that he be “free from the love of money” (1 Tim. 3:3). Now suppose that you are on an elder board and seeking to know whether a new candidate for the office is in fact free from the love of money, how can you figure it out? Here are five useful diagnostic questions.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Bizarro Ontological Arguments

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:00

"I'm an agnostic undergraduate philosophy student, and I find the idea of divine necessity particularly interesting for whatever reason. I wonder if you might respond to the following question / argument ..."

Categories: Seminary Blog

Everything I Ever Learned About Leadership I Learned from NCIS

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:00

In the top-ranked TV show, NCIS, special agent Tony Dinozzo is on assignment in Marseille, France, charged with bringing home to the USA the grown daughter of an Admiral, who is one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both of their phones have been destroyed or compromised, so Tony has limited contact with his Boss, Leroy Jethro Gibbs ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Reflexiones Sobre El Matrimonio En Nuestro Aniversario / A Few Thoughts About Marriage On Our Anniversary

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 12:00

La semana pasada mi esposa, Angélica, y yo celebramos 16 años de casados. Angélica es, sin duda, la mayor bendición que he recibido y nuestro matrimonio ha sido el mejor y a la vez el más difícil tiempo de mi vida. Estoy profundamente agradecido por la dicha de haber encontrado el favor divino en mi esposa y puedo asegurar con toda certeza que soy feliz a su lado. También he de reconocer que el matrimonio no es fácil y caminar por la vida junto a otra persona por momentos pareciera una carrera de obstáculos. Esta combinación de realidades, aunque parecieran contradictorias, reflejan acertadamente mis años de casado y estoy seguro la de la mayoría de los matrimonios entre seguidores de Cristo.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Importance of Spiritual Formation - A Personal Story

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:00

Each August the Hellermans spend several weeks vacationing in the mountains, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. One afternoon, on one of our getaways, our oldest daughter (then thirteen years old) came out of her room with a play she had written. Rebekah has always been into drama. She had participated in a number of children’s theater productions at our previous church. On the home front, Rebekah recruited neighborhood friends and staged “plays” before a captive audience of indulgent parents ... So began an adventure that continues to unfold today, sixteen years later.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Anti-Platonism and Moral Realism

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 13:10

"Can you be an anti-realist about some things and a realist about others? For example, do you no longer give the realist resolution to the Euthyphro Dilemma, no longer ground the Good in God's nature? Couldn't abstract objects be grounded in the Logos (divine, rather than Platonic, essentialism)?"

Categories: Seminary Blog

Some Thoughts on Work

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00

I am all for weekends (even when I have to work, such as doing lesson planning, grading, or writing a blog post!). But sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking of work as the negative and leisure or rest as the positive aspect of our lives. Work can become something we need to “get through” in order to make it to the weekend; Sundays are our “spiritual” days as opposed to our “working” days that begin on Mondays, and so forth.

 

 

Categories: Seminary Blog

Some Life Lessons from Mom & Dad – Part Three

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:00

I gleaned more wisdom from my parents than any blog could contain, but here are three more lessons that stand out in my mind and heart as I remember Bob & Reka, lovebirds to the end.

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Short Book Review of One of the Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:00

After six months of on-and-off reading, I have just completed N.T. Wright’s book, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.  The book is 1660 pages long if you include the bibliography and indices.  (If you don’t it’s only 50 pages long…just kidding.)  Here are three things I liked about this two-volume book, and two things that I struggled with.

     
Categories: Seminary Blog

Necessity and the Argument from Contingency

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:00

In this week's Q & A, Dr. William Lane Craig tackles some questions regarding the Leibnizian cosmological argument.

Categories: Seminary Blog

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