Talbot School of Theology

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A Blog by the Faculty of Talbot School of Theology
Updated: 2 hours 59 min ago

Evolution Without God

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:00

This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig:

While taking an anthropology course at San Jose State University about 10 years ago, the instructor took a poll on the first day of class asking students if that we were there because:

1) God created the world that we know including humans in their present form.

2) God guiding evolution to present times.

3) Evolution without God via chance and natural selection.

The instructor ended the survey by saying that by the end of the course he would convince the class that #3 is, in fact, the truth. One of the examples that he used was the argument involving vestigial limbs and body parts. He pointed to humans resembling tadpoles with tails in the embryo state, whales with hip joints, dogs with toes high on their legs that are useless, genetic trail showing that a horse's hoof is really the middle toe that continued to grow longer than the others, etc.

I would love to hear Dr. Craig's answer to such evidence. I have been strengthened by your ministry and I will continue to support it. Please feel free to paraphrase my question to correct any grammatical errors.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Call of an Under-Shepherd

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:00

At the end of September I had the honor of speaking at the installation of my good friend, Mickey Klink, as head pastor of Hope Evangelical Free Church in Rosco, Illinois. The following is the text of my talk and I thought I would share it in this venue as it might possibly serve as encouragement for others who are about to embark on the journey of pastoral ministry. (I’ve shared this with Mickey’s permission):

 
Categories: Seminary Blog

Women and the Office of Deacon: Part 5

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:00

In my earlier posts for this series I argued that the office of Deacon should be reconsidered as broader than physical needs and re-defined as leadership of the ministries of the church. I argued that women should be promoted to the office of Deacon in the church. This final piece addresses two objections related to promoting women to the office of Deacon with some functions of leading and instructing men in the church. Just to be clear, this entire proposal is within a complementarian framework that regards women and men as distinct, as shown by the limitation of the office of Elder to qualified men (not women).

 

 

 

Categories: Seminary Blog

Christmas in November?

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:33

Merry Christmas! Today, November 18, is Jesus' birthday, according to a few ancient sources.

A few years ago, I came across an interesting article about the date of Jesus' birth by Paul Meier, a prominent New Testament scholar. Here is a summary:

We celebrate Jesus' birthday on December 25, but it is quite unlikely that he was born on that day. That date was picked out in the fourth century, possibly as a replacement celebration for the winter solstice or other pagan holidays.

Paul Meier suggests a birthday in November. This is based on two pieces of data....

Categories: Seminary Blog

Reflexiones del Pasado y Presente Sobre la Reforma en Hispano América

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:00

Hace unos días tuve el privilegio de participar en el IV Congreso sobre la Reforma Protestante Española que tuvo lugar en la Facultad de Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense en Madrid, España. Este importante congreso internacional tuvo como tema principal la Reforma en Hispano América. Entre los participantes se encontraban profesores, historiadores y eruditos para dialogar acerca de la influencia del protestantismo en América Latina y su relación con la reforma española. Aunque el número de participantes no eran tan numeroso, el significado de esta reunión y los temas tratados son de suma importancia y son relevantes para nuestros días. Me gustaría compartir en este espacio algunas reflexiones sobre el pasado y el presente basadas principalmente en los temas tratados en este congreso.

Categories: Seminary Blog

God of the Gaps

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:00

This week's question: "...In watching your debates, I came across your debate with Sean Carroll. What an outstanding performance by the both of you. I think it might be the best debate available on your site. But Carroll made a point in passing that bothers me, and I wonder if you might not flesh it out more for me. It is: How are the teleological argument, and, for that matter, the cosmological argument, not God of the gaps? It seems the argument really is "we don't know how this fine-tuning could occur without God, so it must be God." Or, "we don't know how something came from nothing, so it must be God." I admit, as I think it through, why can't the atheist simply tack on "yet." This does seem like an Ancient Greek saying "we don't know how lightning exists, so it must be Zeus." The correct answer then was simply to tack on a "yet" after "we don't know how lightning exists." I'm certain I'm missing something, but I do find this troubling from an intellectual standpoint."

Categories: Seminary Blog

Women and the Office of Deacon: Part 4

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:00

Part 4 in this series on the office of Deacon focuses Gregg Allison’s argument that we would do best to re-define the office as enlarged beyond the care of physical needs. 

 

 

 

 
Categories: Seminary Blog

Skull of John the Baptist Found in New York City Pawn Shop

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:00

Whether shock-and-awe biblical archeology, “lost” gospels found just in time for the Easter documentary season, or conclusive proof that the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were actually ancient aliens, the ol’ World Wide Web abounds with juicy rumors. While no one is talking about the big “John the Baptist Skull” story (because I just made that up 10 minutes ago), Facebook has recently been “abuzz” with an article published by the website, World News Daily Report, entitled “Newly-Found Document Holds Eyewitness Account of Jesus Performing Miracle.” This is the same website, incidentally, that broke the story, “Rancher Shoots Down UFO Near Area 51.” Despite the site’s self-identification as a “political satire web publication,” the article was posted and passed around social media hundreds of thousands of times. As a historian focused on the Roman Mediterranean, I’ll comfortably go on the record stating that this story is a pure and fantastic invention. Rather than debunking this particular Jesus rumor, however, I’d like to address a larger question facing many modern followers of Jesus: How should we respond when confronted with such “breaking news”? How might we advise those we disciple on these kinds of intriguing and quick-to-go-viral claims?

Categories: Seminary Blog

When the Church Was a Family: ETS Plenary Address

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:00

As indicated in a previous post, Talbot School of Theology will be well represented this year at the Evangelical Theological Society's national meeting [need link here]. For those unable to attend (most of you, I assume!), here is a video clip that touches upon some key ideas that I will be sharing in my plenary address. The interviewer is Dr. Jason Cusick, a pastor at Journey of Faith Church in Manhattan Beach, CA. The clip was shown in a church service as part of a series on the church and the family.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Women and the Office of Deacon: Part 3

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:00

Part 3 in this series on the office of Deacon focuses on the biblical passages that directly reveal the office of Deacon on the way to re-defining the office as enlarged beyond the care of physical needs.

               
Categories: Seminary Blog

Anti-Realism and Truth

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

I was listening to an older podcast of yours wherein you stated that one can affirm states of affairs without needing to affirm the truth-status of the proposition used in the affirmation of any state.

However, if we deny the reality of truth-status' (in an effort to avoid making propositions or "truth" a real, existing thing), then how can one say that any proposition is self-refuting? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Funny Biblical Passages

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 12:00

Sometimes I have to stop when I’m reading my Bible—and laugh. Let’s admit it; some passages are just plain funny. Here are some that my daughter Lydia and I collected together.

 
Categories: Seminary Blog

Beloved Dust: An Interview with Kyle Strobel

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 12:00

Kyle Strobel (assistant professor at Talbot's Institute of Spirtual Formation) and Jamin Goggin ('03, M.A. '08) recently released Beloved Dust: Drawing Close to God by Discovering the Truth About Yourself. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we put together some questions that Kyle graciously answered.

     
Categories: Seminary Blog

Women and the Office of Deacon: Part 2

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 16:30

In part 1 of this series of posts on the office of Deacon, I briefly presented support for reading 1 Timothy 3:11 as best understood to refer to woman Deacons, not wives of male Deacons. Additionally to that exegetical and historical evidence, I observe that the only person identified with anything close to the title of Deacon in the Bible is a woman, Phoebe, a diakonos of the church at Cenchreae (Rom 16:1-2).

Categories: Seminary Blog

Is the Universe Hostile to Life?

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:00

This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig.

 

" Greetings Dr. Craig ... It seems to me that the fact that life exists anywhere at all is miraculous. Your syllogism defending the fine-tuning argument is great but I would like to hear what you would personally say to Dr. Tyson ..."

 

 

Categories: Seminary Blog

Biola and Talbot at the Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature Conferences

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:00

Every year Bible scholars from around the world gather for a series of conferences about the Bible and related topics. This year the conferences are being held in San Diego, making it convenient for many Biola faculty to attend the conferences, present papers, see friends, and wander the book tables. The following list (thanks to David Roberts for compiling it) includes the presentation titles by those associated with Biola. As you can read, our professors are engaged in research in many different and interesting areas!

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Person Led You to Faith in Christ?

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:00

It was twenty-five years before church growth researcher Win Arn, building on the initial discoveries of Donald McGavran, conducted one of the largest studies of how people come to faith in Christ and to the church in the United States and Canada. Arn’s Institute for American Church Growth surveyed over 17,000 persons in 1980 asking, “What or who was responsible for your coming to Christ and to your church?” Arn published his findings in The Master’s Plan for Making Disciples, and church leaders were astounded ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Stewardship: Spiritual Formation Assignment, Part 2

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:00

This series of posts presents several of my active assignments from the required freshman class Biblical Interpretation and Spiritual Formation. This one has the students examine their use of time and money, and usually students are surprised at the results. Here are the instructions ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Global Partnership ... Sometimes with Our Very Own Talbot Grads

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:00

One of the joys of teaching at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology is the privilege of investing in present and future church leaders who, in turn, go out and invest in the lives of others. It is the process of discipleship at its finest. As a faculty, we disciple students so that they disciple others so that they disciple others ... When this happens, the impact of our teaching reaches around the world. In many ways we will not know the full impact of our ministry until we all get to heaven.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Does the Holy Spirit Exist?

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:00

This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig.

Q. ... Perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough but I have not been able to find any such support for the existence of or the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit plays such a prominent role in Christian theology and worldview -- but how can someone believe in it other than blind faith? I find this especially troubling when statements like "The early church fathers were guided by the Holy Spirit." It just seems impossible to verify or dispute leading to a grey area where Christians are no longer convinced by the evidence but believing blindly ...  
Categories: Seminary Blog

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