Talbot School of Theology

Subscribe to Talbot School of Theology feed
Updated: 19 min 12 sec ago

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

Questions Over Breakfast #3: Let Go and Let God? Or Trust God and Try Hard?

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Jim: Haven’t you noticed that some preachers concentrate on themes of forsaking all to follow Christ, personal discipline, faithfulness in prayer, radical discipleship, the lordship of Christ, and the like, while others exhort us to let go of our self-reliance and learn about the inner joys of the life that God offers?

Michael: I’ve never really though of it that way, but you’re right.

Jim: Which should they be preaching?

Michael: I’m not sure.

Jim: I’ve got a theory ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Arnold Lunn (1888-1974) – Skiing Expert, Agnostic, and Christian Apologist

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 12:00

Arnold Lunn was born to a Methodist minister, but he was himself agnostic and a critic of Christianity—until he was 45 years old, when he converted to the faith. Lunn died on June 2, 1974.

Lunn was a professional skier and full-time enthusiast. He founded the Alpine Ski Club and the Kandahar Ski Club. He brought slalom skiing to the racing world, and he’s the namesake for a double black diamond ski trail at Taos Ski Valley.

Lunn credited his agnosticism to the wholly unconvincing cause of Anglicanism. He looked in vain for persuasive arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Later he would say that “an odd hour or two at the end of a boy’s school life might not be unprofitably spend in armouring him against the half-baked dupes of ill informed secularists” (The Third Day, xvii). He wrote in criticism of the faith and debated Christianity’s prominent defenders ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #2: Is it Easy or Hard to be a Christian?

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 12:00

The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:

Michael: But isn’t there any way that I can have the joy and peace of the Christian life without the necessity of suffering, pain and personal discipline?

Jim: You want to have your cake and eat it too?

Michael: That’s not what I mean.

Jim: What do you mean?

Michael: What about all those people who talk about the peace and joy they experience as Christians? Their lives don’t seem to be all that difficult. Perhaps I should aim at that type of life ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

“Teaching Naked” in the Church, Idea #2

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 12:00

This is the third in a series of four blogs on José Bowen’s book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared in my first blog 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. In my second blog, I put the focus on his first idea, finding ways to use technology to provide content to group members, preparing them for active learning in your Bible study group. In this blog, I want to focus on how to use your class time to help students in processing and applying the content of the Scripture you are studying together.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Supreme Court’s Re-definition of Marriage

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 12:00

Hello Dr. Craig,

With the recent Supreme court decision regarding same sex marriage I reread some of your Q/A response regarding homosexuality. In a question regarding the connection between interracial marriage and same sex marriage you said "Once we start down that route, anything goes: a man and two women, a man and a child, two men and a goat, etc. I see no reason at all to start down that road." with regards to same sex marriage. My question is does this statement constitute a slippery slope fallacy? My concern is that non believers would easily dismiss it ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions Over Breakfast #1: Is a Relationship with God really like my Relationship with You?

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:00

Two men in their in their late 20’s walk into a coffee shop around 7:00 a.m. In college they had been good friends, but over the past few years had gotten out of touch. Having lived in the same dormitory for three of their four years at City Christian College, they still had many fond—and a few not-so-fond memories—of their time together in college. Just by accident (or so Michael thought) they had run into each other in a hardware store about three weeks before, and had set up a time to talk over breakfast. Jim thought of their accidental meeting as a divine appointment. He considered any accidental meeting to be a divine appointment ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

W. H. Griffith Thomas (1861-1924) – How We Got Our Bible

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:00

Born in 1861, W. H. Griffith Thomas died on June 2, 1924. His greatest and most sophisticated work is his book The Principles of Theology, a commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church. But one short and reader-friendly book that should interest students of Christian apologetics is How We Got Our Bible ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Advances in the Study of Greek

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 12:00

This weekend I had the privilege of reading Constantine Campbell’s brand new book, Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament. I had fun reading this book. It’s possible that this says more about me than it does about the book(!), but I must honestly acknowledge that for me it was a truly enjoyable experience to read this new volume. Advances in the Study of Greek is a good way for people who already have some training in Greek to get up-to-speed on inside discussions happening between Greek Geeks…that is, umm, Greek linguists and grammarians. Here is a short run-down on its contents ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Learning from Jesus’ Example About Our Emotions and a Way to Resolve Conflict

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:00

One early evening at six, my wife Beth’s brief comment—"Remember, I'll be needing the car at seven tonight"—suddenly stirred up my inner parts and brought about an energized outburst. I yelled, "You didn't bring this up when we were coordinating our schedules last Saturday!" Where is all that unexpected display of energy and irritation coming from? Why would I react so strongly to that comment? Various factors contributed to this surprising flare-up. I would have to rearrange my schedule and thus not make progress on an important project I was working on. Coupled with a few other similar setbacks earlier in the week unrelated to Beth's involvement, this schedule change had finally set me off ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions on Time and the Origin of the Universe

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

My name is Tejas and I'm 13 years old. I admire you and have watched many of your debates. I sincerely request you to answer this question, and thank you for taking your time to read this.

My question regards the Kalam Cosmological Argument, that I have seen you present in some debates. The first part is, is the initial premise on causation refuted if the zero-energy universe hypothesis is true, and what would be the flaws if the universe were a vacuum fluctuation? And regarding the second premise, could you please tell me why you think the presentism ontology of time is true? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Great Dane—Remembering Kierkegaard

Wed, 07/15/2015 - 12:00

Søren Kierkegaard was born May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He’s been called a Christian existentialist, a fideist, a satirist, and “the melancholy Dane.” He was concerned about the disconnect between Christian profession and the lived reality of true Christianity. He called his contemporaries to a deeper personal encounter with God. And he wrote with penetrating insight about the failure of the purely aesthetic life—what we today might call secularism—which seeks pleasure without discerning its natural and ultimate end, namely, despair. Kierkegaard’s contribution is considerable, even for the evidentialist. In fact, his sermonic style may be of value to the apologist who insists on the value of evidence. E. J. Carnell, mid-twentieth century, did the most to bring Kierkegaard’s insight into an overall “combinationalist” approach to apologetics. Carnell wrote: “There can be no question that Søren Kierkegaard gave a profoundly convincing defense of the third locus of truth.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why Translators Shouldn’t Translate “Walk” as “Live” in Ephesians 4-5

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:00

Recent Bible translations have increasingly opted to translate the Greek word peripateo, whenever it is used metaphorically to describe one’s way of life, with the English word “live.” The other option at translators’ disposal is to retain the metaphor and translate it into English as “walk.” The motivation for the decision to translate with the word “live” instead of “walk,” apparently, is the fear that readers might not grasp the metaphor, and thus might either interpret verses that employ the metaphor literalistically (describing the manner in which you put one foot in front of the other), or, more likely, that readers might simply find themselves confused by the metaphor. Let me show you some verses from Ephesians 4-5 where this matters, comparing the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible, both of which tend to use “walk” in such contexts with the New International Version and New Living Translation, both of which tend to use “live” (or something similar).

Categories: Seminary Blog

An Interview with Adam Johnson: Atonement; A Guide for the Perplexed

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 12:00

Adam Johnson (assistant professor at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute (’01, M.A. ’07)) recently released Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed. To learn more about this book, we asked Adam a few questions ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Questions about Body-Soul Interaction

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 12:00

Hello Dr. Craig! First of all, I would like to thank you for your work in the Kingdom of God. It has literally changed my life. I recently rededicated my life to Jesus Christ because of the ministry and power that He has bestowed upon you.

I was watching your debate with Paul Draper yesterday and have had nagging questions about consciousness since then. I believe myself to be a dualistic interactionist, and I believe the brain is an instrument with which the soul interacts with physical reality. However, I am struggling with a few things:

  1. Does someone afflicted with Alzheimer's disease in anyway disprove the existence of a soul? There personality can change as their brain begins to deteriorate.
  2. I had surgery as a teenager and when I was anesthetized all I remember was waking up. Did my soul linger around my body while I was knocked out? Why can't I remember anything during the time of being unconscious?
  3. Are we the only creatures on planet Earth with a soul? I have heard Hank Hanegraff mention that he believes in different types of souls that God may have imbued animals with ...
Categories: Seminary Blog

The Emotions of Jesus, Part 5: Authenticity

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 12:00

This series began by noting how we live in the Age of Feeling and Authenticity. We have come to see how Jesus can save us from it, how he can restore just sentiments like outrage, compassion, and joy. This leaves us with two hanging questions: First, how do we actually come to feel just sentiments the way Jesus did? Second, why Jesus’ feelings? Can’t we learn just sentiments from the emotional lives of Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Rosa Parks? Or from that friendly janitor, that magnanimous co-worker, or that self-giving mother? Or perhaps even from Homer’s Ulysses, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry? Aren’t there a billion admirable feelers, real and fictional, who show us what life can look like beyond the confines of the modern fact box and the postmodern feeling box?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Melanchthon’s Message: Understanding Christian Fellowship, Part 1

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 12:00

... relationships are the most important aspect of our lives. Our associations with those in the Body of Christ are especially important. As Christians, we have become brothers and sisters in the family of God through the blood of Christ. The Bible gives these relationships a special distinction beyond mere “friendship.” That’s because bonds between believers are capable of developing a degree of spiritual closeness that far surpasses the limitations of natural human friendships. Christian relationships enjoy Biblical fellowship ...

 
Categories: Seminary Blog

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

Pages