Talbot School of Theology

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Is the Applicability of Mathematics Necessary?

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 12:00

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

Recently I listened to your argument from the applicability of mathematics on premier Christian radio as well as the debate you had with Alex Rosenberg. I'm not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to mathematics but I was intrigued by your comments on how the argument from the applicability of mathematics is similar to the argument from fine tuning ... Could it be that, as with the fine tuning argument, the applicability of mathematics might be explained by necessity?  ...
Categories: Seminary Blog

The Authority of the Bible, Part Three

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:00

A wise person builds his or her house on a solid and lasting foundation. According to Jesus, such a foundation is rooted in him and his teaching about life. The wise person, said Jesus, “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” (Matthew 7:24). It’s a call to follow what Jesus says as our authority. Claims to authority grind in our cultural gears. But this is often based on confusions about what authority is and what it means to follow it. In this series we’re unraveling some of those confusions ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Visits to Heaven and Hell, Part Two

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00

This blog post is an excerpt from my forthcoming 40 Questions on Heaven and Hell. This book is part of Kregel Publisher’s “40 Questions” series, edited by Benjamin L. Merkle. Besides the issue treated in this blog post, my book will also deal with questions such as: Does the soul or spirit survive the death of the body? How could a God of love send people to an eternal hell? What is heaven like? What about infants who die? Are there animals in heaven? What are the new heavens and the new earth? How can we be happy in heaven if our unsaved loved ones are not there? And what will the resurrection body be like?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Visits to Heaven and Hell, Part One

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:00

This blog post is an excerpt from my forthcoming 40 Questions on Heaven and Hell. This book is part of Kregel Publisher’s “40 Questions” series, edited by Benjamin L. Merkle. Besides the issue treated in this blog post, my book will also deal with questions such as: Does the soul or spirit survive the death of the body? How could a God of love send people to an eternal hell? What is heaven like? What about infants who die? Are there animals in heaven? What are the new heavens and the new earth? How can we be happy in heaven if our unsaved loved ones are not there? And what will the resurrection body be like?

Categories: Seminary Blog

What is the Most Valuable Thing from Your Talbot Experience that Impacts How You Do Ministry Now?

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00

Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss how their Talbot education now impacts their ministry today in valuable ways.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Divine Concurrence

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:00

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

Dr. Craig,

I recently listened to your Podcast from the Defenders class on God's concurrence (Defenders 2, Doctrine of Creation: Part 8). At the outset, you explained that God is the cause of everything because he concurs in it. As an attorney, this made an abundant amount of sense to me. In the law (particularly in tort), an omission (or failure to act) can be the cause of something in the same way that an affirmative act can. Of course, we would only impose liability where the omission is accompanied by some legal duty to act, but that inquiry is wholly separate from the causation inquiry ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why is a Seminary Education Valuable for Equipping Pastors to Face Today's Ministry Challenges?

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:00

Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss why a seminary education is so valuable for ministry today.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Difference of One Word

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:00

The Christian belief system is consistent and coherent. This shows in the way that adjustments in one concept of the system often require modifications in other aspects. Increased clarity about one topic elucidates other topics. The interdependence of my beliefs was again displayed when I came across a common mistranslation of a single word in Luke’s gospel. Once I had been persuaded that the prevailing translation was misleading, I experienced shifts in the ways I view and relate to God, and how I pray and think about God’s involvement in daily life. These implications of a single word have been strong reverberations that I am grateful to experience ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Mensajeros de Paz y Reconciliación

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 12:00

Las noticias a nuestro alrededor pueden ser bastante desalentadoras. Por alguna razón las noticias que se publican y tienen promoción tienden a ser las negativas y las que reflejan algún conflicto social. Para los medios de comunicación y para la sociedad en general las buenas noticias parecieran no ser atractivas y solamente las negativas pueden salir de la sombra de lo cotidiano para llamar nuestra atención. Desgraciadamente, el estar rodeados de malas noticias origina un ambiente negativo en el que la vida pareciera una maraña de conflictos que crece cada vez más y a la que no se le encuentra solución por ningún lado. Si a esta situación le agregamos los actos de terrorismo de grupos radicales que se escudan en la religión para cometer atentados deleznables contra inocentes y las posturas tan radicales de políticos y grupos sociales que impiden una sana conversación para resolver sus diferencias, es fácil caer en la desesperanza y la impotencia.

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Can the Church Do to Better Engage and Love Their Cities and Communities?

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 12:00

Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss how local churches can better engage and love their communities.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Ockham’s Razor

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:00

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

... my question today refers to Lee Strobel book "The Case for a Creator". There was one part in the book where Strobel asked you "why does it have to be One Creator?" And you responded by saying "my opinion, Ockham's Razor would shave away any additional Creators." So my question today is in 3 questions:

  1. Define what is Ockham's Razor?
  2. How does this (scientific) principle or theory eliminate the need for extra gods?
  3. How does Ockham's Razor prove the existence of One God?

...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Are Some of the Unique Challenges of Doing Ministry in Southern California?

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 12:00

Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss the unique challenges of ministry in this region.

Categories: Seminary Blog

“Teaching Naked” in the Church, Idea #1

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 13:00

A few months ago I wrote about José Bowen’s seminar and his book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared that his main thrust was for teachers to use technology to deliver content outside of class sessions, and shift the use of class time to processing that information, promoting critical thinking and the application of knowledge to real life situations. There are three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. Over the next few months I’ll be writing a brief blog on each of the three ideas, beginning with ways of using technology to get students into the content of the Bible lesson/study before you meet, preparing them for a more active and deeper learning experience together.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Newsweek's Assault on Bible-Believing Christians: A Response

Sat, 01/10/2015 - 11:14

Newsweek decided to begin the New Year by attacking people who hold a high view of Scripture.  (“The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” January 2-9 issue.)  Their lead article on the Bible contains so many untrue or partially true assertions that it seemed to me that some sort of concise and readable response needed to be offered.  But it would, literally, require a book-length critique to adequately address all the mischaracterizations, factual mistakes, and suggestive statements propounded in this single article.  So I have decided to simply read through the article, select an occasional assertion from the article that needs a response, and try to offer a straightforward and hopefully fair response. None of these responses should be taken by a reader as sarcastic; my goal has been to offer sober-minded responses to particular assertions in an article that is full of inaccuracies.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Panentheism

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 12:00

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

... I have a few questions for you which I am hoping you can answer to help strengthen my arguments for Christianity. I have a friend who is a Panentheist; she believes that God literally is the universe and exists apart from the universe at the same time. She claims that God is eternal and there is no reason to believe that the universe began. She also believes that God can be both material and immaterial at the same time and she uses Christ as an example for this point. Finally, she believes that God is not a cause apart from nature, but literally is the force of nature (e.g. Genesis 1 - Elohim "becoming" light and so forth, teachings of Hasidic Judaism, Isaiah 6:3, Gods omniscience, being in all places at once); therefore she also believes that God does not hand down judgment to humanity but instead warns us of the inevitable results due to particular actions (e.g. Genesis 4) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The One Year Rule

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 12:00

Several years ago Charles Arn and I surveyed pastors and asked them to identify the most frustrating part of their job. Can you guess the most frequent response? “Getting laypeople to help with the work and ministry of the church” ... One of the major reasons people are reluctant to serve in and through a church is the feeling that they’ll be stuck in the position for ever, or at least a very long time ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Epiphany: God's Answer to Our Deepest Questions (Audio)

Thu, 01/01/2015 - 12:00

In this audio recording, David Horner, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, shares about Epiphany and its significance in the life of the Christian.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Jarheads for Jesus?: 10 Reasons ‘Culture War’ is a Really Bad Metaphor (Part One)

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 12:00

I was raised in a church world in which “culture war” was a favorite metaphor of how the church relates to the nonchurch. We were God’s courageous moral infantry doing battle against those cunning cultists, those hateful homosexuals, those lying liberals, and those devilish Darwinists. If we listen with tuned ears to Christian radio, Christian literature, Christian blogs, and Christian conversations, it becomes clear: We Christians love the language of war. Over the last 30 years it has become our favorite metaphor for relating to culture; it saturates our vocabulary, shapes our politics, and soaks our worldview. But is culture war helpful? Is it biblical? Should we be jarheads for Jesus?

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Did You Sign Up For?

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 12:00

Recently in my sermon preparation for Mark 3, I pondered the calling of the Twelve. What a moment! Jesus gathers all of his followers together and chooses twelve so that they could be with him and so that he could send them out to preach. Imagine the joy of being chosen for this ministry. There must have been chatter amongst the crowd as Jesus announced his decision. “Why him? He has no education at all.” “He certainly chose a peculiar bunch.” “This is not fair. I have sacrificed far more than any of them to follow Jesus.” ... I do think each one of the Twelve must have felt special in that moment. I would have. I am certain their parents did. They were ready, but did they know what they were signing up for? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Identity with Christ: Spiritual Formation Assignment, Part 3

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 12:00

The idea of our identity with Christ is an important topic in my class on spiritual formation. We spend several class sessions looking at Colossians 3:1-17 from a variety of angles and often return to thinking about how our identity with Christ is foundational for our spiritual life and maturity (the students also memorize Colossians 3:1-17 over the course of the semester). The capstone to this section of the class is an assignment helping the students to reflect on their own identity. Here are the instructions ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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