Talbot School of Theology

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Updated: 2 hours 38 min ago

The Key to Successful Debating

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

You were the first Christian apologist I came across when I was researching a credible answer from Christianity to Atheist and Islam in 2002. Since then I have been following you through different medium on the internet. May God bless you for bringing the Christian truth with precision and clarity and with so much needed nuances.

I was re-watching your debate with Dr. Richard Carrier on the Resurrection of Jesus. I can't remember anyone really dismantling his case as you did. So I wondered how do you do to prepare for a debate? Most speakers are good at their opening speech but fair less well during the rebuttals, failure you seem immune to. Do you also prepare the rebuttals before your debates? If yes, how on earth do you do that since you can't possibly know what the opponent would say? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #11: What About All the Hypocrites?

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I think I’ll never find a church I can take my family to.

Jim: WHY NOT?!

Michael: There’s just too much hypocrisy!

Jim: I have to agree with you there.

Michael: (not listening to Jim’s answer) … I know it’s hard for you to hear this, since you’re in the ministry and everything … (all of a sudden catching on) … did you say you agree?!

Jim: Of course I do ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Social Justice in Amos

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 13:45

Amos has much to say about oppression and the plight of the poor in Israel, so it is only natural that his book has become a focal point for discussions about social justice.[1] At least three aspects of the issue dealt with by Amos concern the nature of God, the role of the individual, and the role of the social system ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #10: Christians in the World; A Triumphal Church or a Persecuted Minority?

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: I admire your courage. But I still think that what you’re trying to do is almost impossible.

Jim: That’s one of the reasons we’re trying it. God is the one who makes the impossible possible. What do you think, Michael? Is the church a triumphant church, or are we just a band of persecuted idealists?

Michael: In your case I’d say that you look more like a group of persecuted idealists. At the same time, the church does seem to be making strides in many places in the world ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

From Slave to Queen to Nun: Advancing the Kingdom of God Through Vocation

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:00

For many of us who are not pastors or missionaries, integrating our walks of faith and our vocational callings can be a challenge. Throughout church history, there have been some remarkable men and women who have excelled at meeting this challenge. One such example lived in the early centuries of the church. Her name was Bathild (c. 630-c.680), and she found herself in various vocational situations at different stages in her life. In each of those situations, she found opportunities to be a blessing to others and to advance the kingdom of God ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Are There Uncreated Abstract Objects?

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:00

... I've been reading "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview" for the past few months and have repeatedly been fascinated by what I am reading. One of my favorite areas of philosophy is ontology, and I was particularly interested in abstract objects. I had heard you explain abstract objects briefly and often in your debates and lectures as one of the only two options for a first cause of the universe. As you've said, abstract objects do not stand in causal relations.

In thinking about this, however, something has come to mind. If abstract objects do not stand in causal relations, what is their relationship with God? Both God and abstract objects are metaphysically necessary beings, meaning that they exist in every possible world. This seems to me to conflict with a theological view that God is the creator of everything. If God didn't exist, nothing would. Though it seems to me that if God didn't exist, abstract objects still would. Thus, it seems that mathematical entities, for instance, would and do exist independently of whether or not God exists ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #9: Do We Make Decisions through Wisdom or Guidance?

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: The issue, as I see it, is this: Are we supposed to make decisions according to wisdom or should we look for special guidance from God?

Michael: That’s the question.

Jim: Proverbs tells us that we’re supposed to seek after wisdom in every area of life.[1]

Michael: So wisdom is obviously important.

Jim: Definitely. But Paul describes the believer as one “led by the Spirit.”[2] This description may be broader than simply the internal processes in decision-making, but also probably includes those as well. The Bible also presents many examples of God giving specific guidance to individuals for specific situations by various means ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #8: How Do You Know If You’re Doing Okay in Your Spiritual Life?

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: How do you know things are going well? How do you know you’re not actually doing badly in your walk with God and that you just don’t realize it?

Jim: What kind of question is that?

Michael: A question to frustrate you.

Jim: Thanks ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Importance of Meditation for Sermon Preparation

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 12:00

... In meditation, I now listen for God’s message through the text in a different way. I have stopped thinking about the sermon and drilling into the passage, chewing on what the commentary says, and that has helped open things up for me. The result is a different sort of sermon ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Intransigence about Objective Moral Values

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 12:00

Hello,

The last few weeks I have been working my way through On Guard (and was, needless to say, thrilled by it, just as I was by Reasonable Faith).

I just had a long conversation with a fellow student of our local university. He knows that I am a Christian, and since the topic shifted toward values and ethics, I began asking him questions about his beliefs on the existence of subjective and objective values - based on the premises that

1. If God does not exist, then objective values do not exist.

2. Objective Values exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

It was a very tough conversation (albeit a cordial one), and I am very glad that my friend is still interested in picking up the conversation where we left off (it is now past 3am in Germany) - he seemed surprisingly hooked by the debate, took his time to think his answers through, and was the one to suggest continuing it sometime soon. (I am praying for him to find Christ) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #7: Are Self-Disciplined People More Spiritual?

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: Even in areas of sin, simple confession is often not enough to rid you of the habit that has been formed through patterns of sin. Sin has two main dimensions, the rebellion side and the habit side. Rebellion is dealt with through confession. Ungodly habits are usually eliminated by putting good habits in their place. And the only way to develop permanent good habits is by implementing self-discipline.

Michael: (looking frustrated) By raising the issue of discipline, you’ve really hit a sensitive nerve with me. I’ve heard countless messages on self-discipline and am extremely uncomfortable whenever I hear them. Is a disciplined person like you more spiritual than a lazy bum like me? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

La Comida y la Vida Espiritual – Food and Spiritual Life

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 12:00

En el 2006, Ken Ferraro, un profesor de sociología de la universidad Purdue publicó un interesante artículo en la revista especializada “Journal for the Scientific Study of Religión” en el que reportaba los resultados de su investigación acerca de la relación entre la religión y el índice de masa corporal. En su estudio, Ferraro descubrió que sí existe una relación entre algunas religiones y la tendencia de sus miembros para ser obesos. Lamentablemente, los cristianos tienen la masa corporal más alta y los bautistas, en particular son los más obesos en los Estados Unidos. De hecho, cerca del 27 por ciento de los bautistas son obesos y, por lo tanto, el grupo religioso con mayor sobrepeso en un gran contraste con religiones no cristianas como la judía, musulmana y budista donde menos del uno por ciento de sus miembros son obesos ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #6: Do Mature Christians Struggle More or Less with Sin?

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: Maybe we should talk about sin today.

Michael: That sounds like a good way to mess up a nice morning …

Jim: At least it’s a useful subject.

Michael: I’m not so sure about that.

Jim: Maybe it would be good to try.

Michael: OK, if you insist ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

One-on-One Discipleship: Identifying Someone to Disciple

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:00

As we consider doing personal discipleship, who we disciple is an important factor. It's important to keep in mind that who God might have you disciple may not be the ideal candidate at first glance ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Blind Faith

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 12:00

Dr. WIlliam Lane Craig,

On October 21, 2013, you responded to a question by a lifelong Christian who said they were having trouble believing because of reading material from people like Richard Dawkins, and from discussions they had with their atheist friends (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/garbage-in-garbage-out). You chided this person (and other Christians like them) very strongly for the "cavalier way" that they "expose themselves to material which is potentially destructive to them." ...

... Personally, I don't understand what the value is of asking questions is, if you consider anyone who doesn't agree with the answers you already have to be "the wrong people." But that's not my main point. I'm more concerned about that first sentence, which sounds more like something you might hear from an imam of ISIS than a prominent Christian philosopher, who believes so strongly that Christianity is a reasonable faith. If Christianity truly is consistent with reality itself, then shouldn't it hold up to scrutiny? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #5: Is There Such a Thing as Balance?

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: You said that the issue is whether the world determines the look of our lives, or whether the Bible determines it.

Jim: Sometimes, biblical truths look extreme to us because we’re using the values of the world as our yardstick.

Michael: So you think we should all be fools for Jesus. You think that we all need to make a decision to live radical, cut-loose lives for Jesus. Right?

Jim: Right.

Michael: I thought you said that the Lord has been teaching you about balance recently ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Remembering Edward John Carnell—Some Reflections of a Great Apologist

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:00

On April 25, 1967, the church lost a great Christian philosopher and apologist named Edward John Carnell. He was almost 48 years old. Today marks the 48th anniversary of his death. He was a graduate of Wheaton College and of Westminster Theological Seminary. He later earned doctoral degrees in theology and philosophy, at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University, respectively ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #4: Do You Ever Reach What You’re Aiming For?

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: Do you remember last week—one of the final things you said to me was, “I hope that you’re able to take hold of the life that the Lord has planned for you”? I think I responded with an “I hope so, too.” I’ve been thinking about this all week and I have another question I want to talk about. This one’s really nagging me.

Jim: Shoot.

Michael: Don’t start that again!

Jim: OK.

Michael: Do we ever actually get what we’re seeking? We’re told many times in the Bible that we’re supposed to seek the Lord. Is the Christian life all seeking, or is there any finding involved? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What Is the Church's Priority?

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 12:00

One might think that church leaders would naturally agree on the priority of mission.  However, this is not the case.  Debate continues today between those who say the priority of mission is to do well in whatever form it takes, while others contend that our priority is to preach the gospel of salvation.  Building on the salvation motif found in the Gospel of Luke, this article suggests that the priority of the church is to preach the gospel of salvation.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Lessons from Time and Creation

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig

I am Samuel, I am 20 years old, and I am currently studying for a science degree in Biology and Chemistry at the university of Malta.

An argument which was brought up by my Atheist friend, which is currently studying physics and Chemistry, regarding the origins of the universe. My friend argued that because there was no time prior to the big bang, therefore there was no causal relation involved, because causes require time in order to occur. My response was that this thus implies a cause which transcends time, and I brought up an analogy to help explain it. I said that when a writer writes a story, the cause of the story goes beyond the reality of story timeline. But that does not mean that the story timeline lacks a cause because the cause didn't happen within the parameters of the story's reality. Anyway, my friend was not convinced, so I wanted to see how you would respond to such an argument.

Does the universe have a cause, even when time didn't even exist prior the big bang? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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