Talbot School of Theology

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Subordination of God the Son to the Father

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:00

I have spent the last eight years attending a oneness church, however, after listening to your defenders class, as well as Dr. David Pawson's teachings on the trinity, I have been convinced that oneness theology is heresy. Most of my questions regarding Trinitarians have been answered and the theology is beginning to make a lot of sense as I listen to yours and Pawson's teachings. The one issue I have a hard time understanding is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being co-equal as you teach in your defenders class.

If that is that case, what do Trinitarians do with 1 Corinthians 15:20-28? Is Jesus subordinate to the Father or co-equal? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

En lo Esencial Unidad, En lo Dudoso Libertad, En Todo Caridad o Amor / Unity in Necessary Things; Liberty in Doubtful Things; Charity in All Things

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 17:00

Recientemente las palabras diversidad, tolerancia y racismo se han convertido en temas centrales de nuestra sociedad. Muchos sucesos a nivel nacional, local y personal me han hecho reflexionar acerca de la importancia que como seguidores de Cristo tenemos para aportar luz a una sociedad que enfrenta realidades a las que en ocasiones no sabe cómo responder. También he notado que algunos cristianos están confundidos acerca de lo que es realmente importante y esencial en nuestra fe y qué es lo secundario en lo que podemos aceptar diferencias con gracia y amor.  Es necesario que en estos tiempos podamos claramente hablar la verdad en amor a todos los que nos rodean para poder ser buenos embajadores de Cristo ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

William Beauchamp—On the Urgency of Christian Apologetics for Our Time

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:00

Here are some words of exhortation that have special application to the events and conditions of our present tumultuous age:

... But whence, in this eventful day, can we draw the principles of caution, prudence and wisdom, if not from the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And can we with diligence seek these principles, and with confidence exercise them, unless we have firm faith in the truth of our Holy Religion?

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Dead Sea Scrolls in Los Angeles

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:00

The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the California Science Center offers a historic opportunity to see artifacts and manuscripts from what is arguably the most significant archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. The Dead Sea Scrolls are precious to Jews and Christians of all backgrounds because of what they contribute to our understanding of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, the beliefs and practices of ancient Judaism and the cultural background of the New Testament.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Church Discipline: Spiritual Formation Assignment 7

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:00

Although I talk about many controversial topics in my classes, I receive no greater pushback from students than when I talk about the need for church discipline in churches today. We spend a class period introducing the topic, discussing various reasons why Americans do not like it, how to go about practicing all stages of church discipline, and reflecting on some difficult cases. The main point I want them to take away from the discussion and the assignment is to see how church discipline can be helpful for spiritual formation and encourage them to develop relationships in which their friends feel free to rebuke them over sin. For the assignment (see details below) I have them read a chapter on confession from our textbook on spiritual formation (Joanne Jung’s Knowing Grace), reflect on the practice of church discipline, and meet with a trusted friend or mentor to practice confession.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Dealing with Physical Ailment

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig, thank you for your great work at Reasonable Faith. My question is one borne from a sense of sadness and resentment towards God for His seemingly indifferent attitude to my pain. I have struggled for years with bad eyesight and floaters in my eyes, (especially my left eye), and it really does affect my daily activities like reading and writing etc. I have been praying almost constantly for healing and restoration but have been met with a devastating silence.

I happen to know that you yourself suffer from a muscular problem, and would like to hear your personal journey through that. Can you relate to my problems? Have you ever asked God to heal you? Did you feel bitter when He did not? How did you continue believing in His goodness and love? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 4: Joy

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 12:00

As we learn emotions from Jesus, not only does our blood start to boil (see Part 2) and our stomachs turn (see Part 3), he also shows our hearts how to beat with real joy. There is a stereotype floating around which says that Jesus and the faith he represents are about cold-hearted duty, doing the right thing at the expense of our happiness. There are enough grim-faced moralistic systems out that brandish the name of “Christianity” to keep the stereotype alive. But they have more in common with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant than with the kingdom of Jesus. The day after he stormed the Temple, Jesus returns to the same Temple courts to announce that his kingdom is like a big party, and everyone is invited; not a boarding school, not a boot camp, not a prison chain gang, but a party.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Crossing the Heath with William Paley (1743-1805)

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 12:00

On May 25, 1805 the Christian church lost one of its ablest and most-remembered defenders. William Paley—Anglican minister, professor, and author—is permanently associated with the analogy of a watchmaker and the God of personal theism. He wrote that “the contrivances of nature . . . are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less accommodated to their end or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity” (Natural Theology, 1802). Paley mined the riches of biology for samples of such contrivance. In his day, the state of scientific knowledge in the field of biology permitted comparatively easy inference to the appearance of teleology in the natural world. Critics today forget this. The “demise” of Paley’s design argument for the existence of God is credited especially to a development that was to happen some 60 years later—the emergence of the new theory of evolution, beginning with the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Work and Worship

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

I wanted to ask you a question as someone who is simply curious about Christianity.

Can you explain what I consider to be the two "W"s of life under your God. These are work and worship ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Who is the Best Biographer—and Who Isn’t? A.W. Tozer Weighs In

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:00

Before launching into his own biography of A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, A. W. Tozer reflects a bit on what kind of person makes the best biographer.  As one who enjoys reading biographies, I appreciate the wisdom in Tozer’s words and offer them to all of you who have benefitted and grown as a result of reading the stories of others’ lives and journeys.  So who is the best person to write a biography, and who probably shouldn’t write a biography?

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 3: Compassion

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00

If we peer underneath Jesus’ table-flipping rage at the Temple (explored in Part 2), we find a still deeper emotion to reflect. Matthew’s account tells us that immediately after protesting the poor-oppressing, God-mocking Temple system, “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them" (Matthew 21:14). What a beautiful moment. In it we see that Jesus was outraged not in spite of His care for people but precisely because of it. The very people marginalized and trampled under the religious power structure are brought into the spotlight and elevated by Jesus. (He has a way of doing that.) He didn’t take anything from them or treat them like chumps in a captive market. He gave them vision and sound bodies. He treated them like the intrinsically valuable human beings they each were—and all for free.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Is “Fine-Tuning” Question-Begging?

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 12:00

Dear William Lane Craig,

I am a philosophically unsympathetic fan of yours. I very much admire your philosophical learning, your rhetorical skills and your ingenuity in defense of your faith; at the same time, I reject both your faith itself and the apologetic project at the center of your work in philosophy. I'm sure this is a combination you're already familiar with.

What interests me at the moment is something in your recent podcast on Tim Maudlin and the fine tuning argument, and I hope you don't mind considering these short comments ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Justin Martyr: The First Great Apologist of the Christian Church

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 12:00

Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 AD) is considered by many to be the first great apologist of the Christian church. The apostle Paul is surely a better candidate for that distinction. But Paul was an inspired author of Scripture. This is not true of any of the other great Christian apologists. And Justin apparently was the first of these. Certainly, he is the first whose writings have survived and are available in English translation ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Transfiguration Is Amazing … But What Can We Learn From It?

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 12:00

In Mark 9:1-13 we read about an unparalleled event in the Bible. It is absolutely amazing to let our imaginations wander to consider what the disciples actually witnessed. What a moment it must have been. But what does it actually mean to us? What can we learn from this event?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why Can’t God Be Just the Greatest Being?

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 12:00

Hello Dr. Craig. My question was awakened after having been listening to your class on ''The Ontological Argument''.

My question to you is: Does a maximally great being, necessarily have be what we humans are able to imagine as the greatest being? Can it not just be that the being (God) who is in reality the greatest of all beings (since no greater being exists in reality), is the greatest conceivable being. Why do our imagining of a greater being need to devaluate the greatness of the already greatest being. Even if we could imagine a greater being, can it not just be that those ''greater/higher attributes'' are unnecessary and therefore not really greater attributes?

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 2: Outrage

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 12:00

To see and experience something of Jesus’ emotions, let us join eighty to a hundred thousand religious pilgrims on their trek to the sacred city to worship at the Jewish Temple. It is Passover week. In order to participate in the traditional Temple offerings, people need doves or pigeons. Since worshippers need these birds, they were sold at the Temple at a premium price. You could get a more economical bird outside the Temple courts or lug one from home through the hot desert. However, every bird used in Temple rituals had to pass the rigid purity standards of the Temple’s in-house animal inspectors. Only inflated Temple-sold birds had the guaranteed certification of the scrupulous inspectors. In this way, the house of prayer had become a classic case of what economists call a “captive market.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Los Hombres y Padres Cristianos Necesitan Más Ánimo

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 12:00

Siempre me ha sorprendido el contraste entre las celebraciones del día de las madres y las del día del padre. Generalmente el día de las madres es una gran festividad y un motivo de alegría generalizado en el cual la mayoría reconoce la labor tan ardua y abnegada de las madres. Celebrar a la mamá es una obligación social que se asume con entusiasmo porque todos tienen motivos de sobra para hacerlo. Reconocer a los padres, sin embargo, no tiene el mismo peso social  y la efusividad disminuye considerablemente. Ambos padres son importantes, pero pareciera que el énfasis y el reconocimiento son diferentes.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Reliability of the Gospels

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

First off, I want to thank you for all that you have done for me through your ministry and hope that your reach continues to spread. I grew up in a conservative Christian home and for the most part accepted everything that I had been taught. Then during my junior year of high school I read some Richard Dawkins, and the likes, and quickly lost my faith. About six or so months later I discovered your ministry and my life was changed! Your arguments convinced me and in no time I had gone back to my faith. I read On Guard and Reasonable Faith among other Christian authors as well. I felt that my faith was strong and I even considered changing my major to Philosophy for a short time. But now, I am saddened to say that I am slowly losing my faith in the Christian God ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 1: The Age of Feeling

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 12:00
If Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and a mix of our ancestors from virtually any age of human history were crammed into a time machine and hurled into the twenty-first century, there is something normal to us that they would find totally bewildering. I am not referring to air and space travel, or the worldwide renown achieved by a cartoon mouse, or even technologies that put all human knowledge at our fingertips that we use to watch endless cat bloopers, bizarre as all of that would seem. I am referring instead to the sacred, unquestioned authority granted to feelings in our day. Western culture has been through a so-called ‘Age of Faith’ and an ‘Age of Reason.’ We live in what Princeton’s Robert George calls “the Age of Feeling.”[1] Canadian Philosopher, Charles Taylor, prefers the moniker, “The Age of Authenticity,” to describe how staying true to your feelings, whatever they may be, has become the highest virtue of our day (unlike historic virtues in which certain feelings could and should be chastened).  
Categories: Seminary Blog

A Divine Appointment

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 19:00

I wrote a book titled When The Church Was A Family. Considering its rather narrow focus, it has sold pretty well. I am particularly delighted that the book has become required reading in one of our Talbot Spiritual Formation courses.

One person who has read When The Church Was A Family is Mark DeNeui. Mark is a New Testament scholar who has been training Christian leaders in Europe for over twenty years. He and his wife Lisa have been on furlough from the mission field and will shortly return to France. I was Mark’s youth pastor back in the late 1970s, I officiated at their wedding a decade or so later, and my wife and I have remained close to the DeNeuis all these years ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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