Talbot School of Theology

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What Did Jesus Suffer?

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

I am glad to hear that your next line of research is targeting the atonement. I have also been looking into this subject and am trying to find some answers concerning one aspect of the substitution theory, namely, Christ taking on our punishment or God's wrath. I have to believe this entails more than just physical death since our punishment without the covering of Jesus' righteousness is an eternity in the lake of fire.

Does this mean that while Jesus suffered a horrific physical death on the cross that he also suffered this same eternity of God's wrath for each person that has ever lived or ever will live?

Otherwise, there have been many martyrs that have suffered horrific deaths, so what would make Christ's death any more harder to handle than theirs, regarding God's wrath, if only the physical aspect was meant? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What are the Top Academic Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:00

In my last post, I listed my top five popular books on the Bible and homosexuality. This post is designed for those who want to go deeper and explore the academic sources firsthand ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Quote from Oswald Chambers in Sandie Weaver’s Office

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:00

Just inside the door of Sandie Weaver’s office in the lower level of Metzger Hall hangs a framed quotation from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie is the Senior Director of Financial Planning & Operations at Biola University, which means that she is on a mission to make sure Biola University carefully plans for its financial future and lives within the constraints of whatever funds God brings into the university.  I love walking into her office and immediately encountering this quote from Oswald Chambers.  Sandie has had these words hanging on the wall of her office for more than 30 years to remind her that she labors to do what she does—not merely because it is wise and necessary—but because God called her to do it ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Underutilized Resources

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 12:00

Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Divine Psychology

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:00

First of all I would like to say thanks for the great job you are doing and for the big influence you have upon people's lives both spiritually and intellectually.

My question isn't really mine, actually I found it in one of the reasonable faith forums, and I think it's a very good question that intrigues me since it was raised in your debate with Kevin Scharp. I would like to look at your take on the divine psychology objection proposed by Scharp more closely. Here's the question as it was presented in the forum:

“Dr. Craig recently debated Dr. Kevin Scharp on the Veritas Forum. One very interesting objection that Dr. Scharp raised to the fine tuning argument is that it appeals to divine psychology to support the premise that design is more probable than chance and necessity ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Top Ten Verses to Defend Your Faith

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:00

For the past few days I have been trying to think of the top ten verses that would be most helpful to apologists and evangelists. I have reflected on my own experience and also gotten feedback from many of you on Facebook and Twitter. So, here are my top ten verses to defend your faith (in no particular order) ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Engaging in Gospel-Focused Competition

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:00

A few years ago, I was playing basketball with a friend, but it was very different from the way most people play basketball. We called it “Basketball Heaven Style.” We had certain unusual rules ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Animal Consciousness Once More

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

Thank you for everything you do, in the philosophical and apologetic area for us. I'm writing to you because recently I was debating with a friend of mine about consciousness, and the implications of such concept in our life. I argued that from his line of thinking (which is evolutionism) consciousness isn't a trait that you can acquired through darwinian evolutive methods. (such as Descent with modifications, adaptive radiation etc.) But he went ahead and stood firm that animals do have states of consciousness and that really left me shocked, that he would go so far as to affirm such statement ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

How Do We Help Kids Who Have Left the Faith?

Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:00

Perhaps the toughest question parents ask me is how they can help their wayward kids. The difficulty of this question stems not solely from the intellect, but from seeing the pain in the eyes of parents who are genuinely hurt and disappointed in the choices of their kids. What can we do? Here are some humble thoughts from my work with students ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Morbid Curiosity

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 12:00

I’ll bet you’re curious to know what this post is about! Actually, I love curious people, and find those who lack curiosity to be a bit boring. Still, there are some things that are good to be curious about, and others that vie for our attention that are not edifying. Here are two things worthy of your curiosity, and three that are not ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Praying for Those Who Preach, Teach, and Lead Bible Studies

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 12:00

Who has God brought into your life to teach you the Bible and help you grow in your faithfulness in following after Christ? Is it your pastor? Are there also others who have taught you the Scriptures, or who are teaching your friends or family members? In most churches, the Bible is being taught in a variety of places to different groups of different ages and stages of life. From children’s classes to youth group settings, to small group ministries, throughout the week God’s Word is opened and studied in churches around the world. This is one of the most powerful agents for change in our lives ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Choosing a Church

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 12:00

Hello, Dr. Craig.

... I've been researching Church history, denominational formations and doctrine and their founding leaders, in conjunction with reading the New Testament to see if I can determine what is the most Scripturally sound. Of course, "picking" a denomination is only the first step, I think; then, one has to wisely choose a local church body to commit to.

In short, what lies beneath my central question to you, as is probably clear, is wanting to know how you decided -- and how you would recommend others educate themselves to decide -- on a denomination (if that's even a proper way of thinking of the decision) and, more specifically, a church, or local body, to commit yourself to. One would want to be properly yoked in this relationship, just as in a marriage, it seems ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Did the Apostle Thomas Die as a Martyr?

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 12:00

In my last post, I evaluated the tradition that the apostle Thomas ministered in India. While the evidence for Thomas in India is not as strong as for Peter and Paul in Rome, it is at least probable that he founded the church in India. But did Thomas die as a martyr?

Categories: Seminary Blog

Did the Apostle Thomas Minister in India?

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 12:00

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the evidence the apostles of Jesus died as martyrs. Because the evidence is early and consistent, there is widespread agreement that Peter, Paul, and both James died as martyrs. But scholars are much more divided over the tradition surrounding “doubting” Thomas. Did he really make it to India, as tradition suggests, and die there as a martyr? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Philosophical Challenges in the Doctrine of the Atonement

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 12:00

In a recent Q&A, you mentioned "a theory of the atonement involving as an essential aspect the satisfaction of God's justice faces stiff philosophical challenges, which I hope eventually to address". I suspect I am not alone in excitedly anticipating the completion of your research! In the meantime, would you be able to summarize these challenges? I am certain this would be of significant interest to all your readers, especially those of us who are engaged in Philosophical Theology.

Categories: Seminary Blog

Life Speed

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 12:00

... I’ve also concluded that, metaphorically speaking, 40 miles per hour is my best speed for living life. Of course, there are those times when I have to go fast to finish a project or keep up with a host of activities particular to a certain time of year (like the little league/soccer schedules of my grand children). We all have fast times, for sure.

But the life speed that will enable me to go the long haul, continue to be effective, enjoyable to live with, and strong enough to handle the load, is a cruising speed of 40. Perhaps I first started becoming comfortable with this pace as a boy on our family farm. Life came and went in seasons. Spring and Summer were frenetic at times, but Fall and Winter balanced everything out as the ice and snow forced me to slow down, look both ways, and proceed with caution ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Should Experience Trump Scripture?

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 12:00

In my recent book The Beauty of Intolerance, my father and I discuss how a new view of tolerance has crept its way into the church. One powerful way this is seen is how an increasing number of Christians approach Scripture.

For instance, in his book God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines begins by affirming the final authority of scripture on questions of morality and doctrine.[1] And yet when Vines discovered his own same-sex attraction, his perspective began to change based on his personal experience. Now he has become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights within the church, and his goal is to lead a movement to convince Christians that they can affirm the full authority of scripture and also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

God’s Love and Justice in Contradiction?

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

Your ministry has radically changed my life. As a direct result of your arguments and debates, I went from a nihilist to a staunch Christian. However, I have encountered a problem with the ontological argument.

Is there a contradiction between perfect justice and perfect mercy in a maximally great being? The way I have seen this objection posed is that the Christian God is just and merciful. Mercy is defined as the suspension of justice. Thus there is a contradiction. I have also seen the argument being put as perfect justice is giving everyone what they're due, and perfect mercy is giving some people less than what they're due.

Is this objection as crushing as its proponents make it out to be? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Theological Anthropology

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:00

Christian anthropologies have been of vital importance throughout the history of the church because at each point in history there are cultural assumptions and philosophical perspectives about the nature of humanity that call the gospel into question, that question God’s Lordship, humanity’s servanthood, and their genuine fellowship in Jesus Christ. To maintain a biblical understanding of salvation, Christians have needed to emphasize humanity’s existence as embodied and as spiritual, as moved by intellect and by desire, as motivated by the will and as motivated by habitual acts that shape the will. These realities of human existence have been uncovered as theologians have thought through the logic of the gospel and its proclamation in their context ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

What is Theology?

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 12:00

The study of theology is considered by many to be dry, boring, irrelevant, and complicated. But for those who want to know God, the study of theology is indispensable.

The word “theology” comes from two Greek words, theos (“God”) and logos (“word”). The study of theology is an effort to make definitive statements about God and his implications in an accurate, coherent, relevant way, based on God’s self-revelations. Doctrine equips people to fulfill their primary purpose, which is to glorify and delight in God through a deep personal knowledge of him. Meaningful relationship with God is dependent on correct knowledge of him ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

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