Talbot School of Theology

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How Did Christianity Prevail in Ancient Rome and What Can We Learn from It?

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 15:00

What was unique about Christian practices and teachings in the first three centuries of the church? And how did such a minority faith — which was considered irrelevant, extreme, and at odd with the role “religion” is supposed to play in a pagan society — ultimately prevail? In his recent book Destroyer of the gods, New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado focuses on the first of these questions. But his book also has powerful implications for the second.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Talbot Impacting Slavic Scholarship

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 16:00

Saturday, October 1, 2016, marked the publication of a tremendous evangelical resource for Russian-speaking students of the Bible. At the National Pedagogical University of Dragomanova in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Slavic Bible Commentary (hereafter SBC) was officially presented and highly celebrated. This project, five years in the making, incorporates the work of over 90 Slavic evangelical scholars.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Allah or Jesus? Is God One? — An Interview with Nabeel Qureshi

Thu, 10/06/2016 - 15:00


Nabeel Qureshi is one of the leading apologists today on Islam. Raised in a devout Muslim home in the United States, Nabeel became a Christian in college. He records his faith journey in his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2014). His second book, Answering Jihad, was written as his response to the “why” behind the recent jihadist terrorist attacks. His latest book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity, released in August 2016. It is an excellent book for Christians to better understand Islam and how to answer tough questions Muslims often raise, but also a great book to give to your Muslim friend. Along with his M.D., Nabeel has three master’s degrees, including a master's in Christian apologetics from Biola University (where I teach). Coinciding with this latest book release, Nabeel was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer. Nabeel answers a few questions related to his most recent book in this blog post.


Categories: Seminary Blog

A Turkic-world Connection in The Chronicles of Narnia?

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 16:55

Each time I have read through The Chronicles of Narnia I have been struck by some apparent linguistic and cultural allusions to the Turkic-world in C.S. Lewis’s beloved series for children.  Two of these seem beyond any reasonable doubt to be allusions to things Turkic, others seem very likely to connect somehow, and still others feel to the present author like connections, but may not in fact be. 

As a non-specialist, I list these for the consideration of those who are more familiar with linguistic/cultural influences on Lewis than I.  I am a professor of New Testament who happens also to fluently speak and read modern Turkish.  Moreover, I genuinely admire Lewis’s writings.  These are my only qualifications.  Readers who understand Lewis can research my suggestions further.

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do You Develop a Public Speaking Ministry?

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 15:00

For the past fifteen years (or so), I have had the privilege of speaking at camps, conferences, schools, churches, and universities worldwide. People quite frequently ask me what it takes to develop a speaking ministry. While there are certainly people with platforms far beyond mine, here are some personal thoughts that I hope will help those of you desiring to become a public speaker.

Categories: Seminary Blog

What are the Toughest Ethical Issue Facing Christians Today? — An Interview with Dr. Scott Rae

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 15:00

Professor Scott Rae is one of the leading Christian ethicists today. As an undergrad, I had the opportunity to take his class on business ethics...and it was one of my favorites. I have used his book Moral Choices for my high school honors Bible class, and I consider it one of the best texts on ethics. Now, he has written a short, concise introduction to ethics called Introducing Christian Ethics: A Short Guide to Making Moral Choices, which officially releases today. If you are looking for a book to use as a text for a class, a small group, or even personal study, this book would be an excellent choice. Dr. Rae briefly answered a few of my questions regarding ethics today.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Ruth in the Days of the Judges

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 14:34

The book of Ruth presents the inspiring journey of God’s people from tragedy to triumph. The story is a mirror opposite of Israel’s depressing journey from triumph to tragedy that is presented in the book of Judges.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Are Souls Dependent on God?

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 12:00

Are Souls/spirits dependent on God for existence or not?

I am currently an atheist who is looking for reasons to believe that God exists. I was once a Christian but became an atheist by rationalisation when I realised that I believed simply because I was raised to believe.

I have since become horrified by the implications of the atheistic explanation of life's origin (particularly mindless spontaneous generation), not to mention what it says about human destiny.

I find the concept of God inspiring and want to believe that God exists but continuously encounter obstacles from numerous sources ranging from atheistic materialism to biblical and doctrinal difficulties.

If something is true then it should make sense.

Herewith one of those difficulties.

My understanding of spiritual death and hell is that it is the natural consequence of choosing separation from God who is the source of spiritual life.

I base this on the fact that the bible states that "the wages of sin is death" and other places in the bible where Jesus indicates that he (God) is the source of life.

However hell as consequence, which for some reason cannot be changed after death, (rather than punishment) only seems just and makes sense to me if the soul is indestructible and able to exist independently of God.

Yet my conceptual understanding of God is that He is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being who sustains the existence of everything. If he stopped sustaining it would not exist.

If that is true then how can anything continue to exist if it is actually separated from omnipotent God? Where can anything be that an omnipresent God is not?

Does this not mean that God is actively sustaining the souls of the damned purely so that they can suffer? For eternity?

Or can even omnipotent God not destroy a soul?

Neither really make sense to me. This is therefore one of the (unfortunately many)things that makes me doubt that the bible is true as much as I want it to be true ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 18:21

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen.  Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well:  “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.”  The one who walks in the Spirit will not give in to the desires of the flesh.  Walking in the Spirit and carrying out the desires of the flesh are mutually exclusive ideas; you cannot do one at the same time as you engage in the other.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Guidance and God’s Plan

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

First and foremost thank you for the work you've done. I'm young and I've barely scratched the surface of Christian apologetics and the enormous body of literature thereof, but your contributions to the field have made a huge difference in my life. I'm thankful God has blessed the Christian community with you and I hope you stay active for many more years to come.

My question is this: Does God Have a Plan? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do I Interpret General Relativity Theory?

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

Thank you for your ministry. The content on your website and mobile app is an incredible resource. I absolutely love it and can't seem to get enough!

I have a question, Dr. Craig. An atheist with whom I'm in dialog with claims that you reject General Relativity (GR). I hadn't ever heard this so I asked what caused him to believe this, he says that because you interpret special relativity in neo-Lorentzian fashion that this interpretation does not allow a pathway to GR and thus no theory of gravitation.

Additionally, he says that it is impossible to have a derivation of GR without using the principles of Einsteinian SR.

From reading some of your work, it is clear that you prefer the Lorentzian approach to SR due to your commitment to the A-Theory of time. What I'm not able to figure out is whether the assertion is true that GR needs to be rejected as a result. Would you mind clarifying this? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Is the Bible Clear?

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 16:46

I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he had started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from his own, he became increasingly unsure about whether the Bible on its own was clear in what it taught. He was considering changing to a church tradition that could interpret the Bible for him. Since, in his thinking, we can’t be certain what the Bible actually means when we read it, we need an authoritative guide. Let me assure you, there are people out there who will gladly tell you what the Bible means if that’s what you want!

Another conversation with a different student also comes to mind. She wasn’t sure whether she could really give herself to Christ in faith because she didn’t know if the message of the gospel was actually true. But the more we talked together, the more I realized that she wasn’t struggling with which truth claims were correct and which were false; she was struggling with whether anyone could know something was true at all. So whenever I appealed to the Bible I didn’t get any traction in our discussion because she didn’t think we could actually come to know truth through a written text.

Both of these students were struggling with whether the Bible was clear.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Is Mercy an Essential Property of God?

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 12:00

Hello Dr. Craig, I was recently reading your "Love and Justice in The Trinity" question response.

Specifically you state: "My argument is that it's not enough to think of love as a mere dispositional property, the disposition to love if some other person were to exist. Being loving is not merely the disposition to give oneself away to another if that other existed. Being loving involves actually giving oneself away to another. So this disposition cannot lie merely latent in God and never be actualized."

So thinking about mercy, if being loving requires one to have an object which is being loved, then could it be argued that if God is merciful he would require an object to which such mercy is shown? What would be your response to such an objection Dr. Craig? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Could God Be Amoral?

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig

I've recently had my worldview shattered and pretty much torn apart by the natural arguments for the existence of God, the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, and a few others which you present in outstanding accuracy and clarity. Being 17 years old, as any other teenager I thought I had everything figured out, I had responses ready for every argument that could've threatened my atheist belief ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

¡Todos Somos Pobres!

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 12:00

“Todos somos Marcos” se convirtió en una popular frase en México y en muchos lugares del mundo. El primero de enero de 1994 el denominado Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional inició una lucha armada en el estado de Chiapas en el sur de México. El subcomandante Marcos era el líder de este movimiento que buscaba justicia, trabajo justo y equitativo entre otras demandas básicas. El subcomandante Marcos se convirtió en  un personaje carismático y enigmático porque tenía un pasamontañas que cubría su identidad. Para protegerlo y para identificarse con las demandas de este movimiento muchas personas empezaron a decir “todos somos Marcos” y de esta manera borrar las diferencias entre esta persona y ellos mismos ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

7 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Love Muslims

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:00

Following are seven reasons you might be struggling to love Muslims. The seventh reason is probably the most important ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Limited Atonement

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

Thank you so much for your ministry and the work you do for the kingdom; I really appreciate the work that you've done. I am also glad that you have chosen to take on the atonement, as I have had just this past school year some puzzlement about the philosophical issues of the atonement, particularly Penal Substitution. In reading to try and find some answers, it happened that most of the resources on Penal Substitution are written from a reformed perspective, and my question is over your views on the extent of the atonement. If the atonement is "definite" or "limited" as Calvinists believe, it seems perverse of God to command us to offer the gospel indiscriminately, when most people couldn't even possibly be saved by it. On the other hand, one of the principal arguments against taking an universal atonement perspective is basically that, given penal substitution, it would either result in universalism to be true, or it would be unjust of God because the penalty of an unsaved person's sin would be borne both by Christ and by the person, which is double jeopardy. How do you address this objection? I agree with you that the Bible teaches both Penal Substitution and unlimited atonement, but am struggling on putting these together ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

5 Misconceptions about the Bible

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:00

The Bible is the most influential book of all time. Given its impact over literature, history, governments, philosophy and more, it should come as no surprise that there are many misconceptions about its nature. Christians need to avoid these misconceptions because Paul said, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Review of "The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures," ed. D.A. Carson

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 12:00

I have just finished reading through (most of) the new 1,200+ page book, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, edited by D.A. Carson. This book is a splendid example of deep thinking about important subjects presented in a format readable not just for advanced students and scholars, but also for other deep-thinking Christians. I am not saying that the topics are simple. Quite to the contrary, this book tackles some of the most difficult questions surrounding the authority of Scripture. The doctrine of inerrancy in particular is underscored throughout the book ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Epic Failure: My Biggest Evangelism Mistake

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 12:00

During a trip to Breckenridge, a beautiful ski town in the mountains of Colorado, a friend and I decided to get our hair cut at one of the little shops downtown. As we waited our turn, I read another chapter of the book I had brought along with me, a book whose title clearly indicated my interest in spiritual things ...

Categories: Seminary Blog