Talbot School of Theology

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Updated: 2 hours 52 min ago

Why So Many Metaphors for the Holy Spirit?

4 hours 35 min ago

Why does the Bible use so many metaphors and analogies to describe the Spirit’s activities and our relationship to them? Why not employ concrete language to teach us what we need to know about the Holy Spirit and our relationship to him? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Practical Response to Raising Adults In an Infantilizing Culture

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 15:00

It’s no secret that young people in our culture are growing up later than ever. The life transitions into adulthood, such as being financially independent and getting married, now often happen in the early 30s, if at all. In many ways, 30 is the new 20. As a result, childish thinking and behaviors often carry into (what should be) adulthood.

There are undoubtedly a number of reasons for the perpetuation of adolescence, and certainly different ways to address it. But there is one that seems to be overlooked: We lack meaningful rituals to mark the transition into adulthood ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Hank Hanegraaff Goes Greek Orthodox

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:00

The recent welcome of Evangelical radio apologist, “The Bible Answer Man” —Hank Hanegraaff, into the Greek Orthodox Church has understandably raised more than eyebrows.  Questions about the differences between Protestants and Orthodox have been coming my way in the aftermath, so I want to offer to Good Book Blog readers an essay I wrote for Talbot’s Sundoulos magazine back in 2008.  In it you’ll find some general characteristics of the Orthodox denomination as well as key points of difference with Protestants—some of which converts such as Hank Hanegraaff would typically need to renounce as they formally enter Orthodoxy ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Warfare in the Ancient Near East and the Old Testament 1: An Overview

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:00

I have recently finished the manuscript of a book tentatively entitled Fighting for God and King: A Topical Survey of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, which will be published by SBL Press at some point in the future. The book is designed to be a sourcebook on all topics related to warfare in the ancient Near East to enable those studying Scripture to know more of the cultural background of the Old Testament. Over the next few months as the book goes through copy editing and page proofs, I am planning on highlighting a few texts and pictures from the book to illustrate some aspects of Old Testament texts (this post will have one text and one picture along with an overview of the book). I hope you enjoy the journey! ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why Crucifixion as a Metaphor of Sanctification?

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:00

Romans 6:5-6 has puzzled me by the statement that the believer has in effect already been crucified with Christ.

“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” (nasb)

My problem may have been that I viewed the crucifixion of my “old self” as having been accomplished entirely in the past, at my conversion. We are to “consider [ourselves] to be dead to sin” (6:11) so that we respond by denying the impulses and attractions to sin that (unfortunately) continue throughout this life. In practice, I have liked the idea of knowing that I am no longer a slave to sin, that I am not obligated to give in to temptations, and that I have a new capability from the Holy Spirit to live as God calls me to do. Is there importance of crucifixion for understanding my present condition? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Is Jesus Anti-Science?

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 23:45

The Bible insists that everything exists for Jesus. He is the Telos, the Goal, the Final Point where all lines converge. ‘But isn’t that such a strange and invisible conclusion? Doesn’t such a view make Christianity fundamentally anti-science?’

Categories: Seminary Blog

Could God Have Pardoned Sin without Punishment?

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:00

Dear Dr. Craig,

I have asked about the atonement in a previous submission. Please forgive this final, multipart question, which can stand alone.

Here is the question. Even if it is legitimate for God to use vicarious liability and punishment in saving us--legitimate because these are established elements of Western law--why would God prefer vicarious liability to pardoning, which is also a recognized part of Western law? What advantage, from a legal philosophical view, does vicarious liability/punishment have over pardoning? Could God have chosen the legal option of pardon if He wished, rather than substitutionary atonement? What purpose is there in Jesus suffering, if absolution can be gained otherwise? Or is there some other moral, aesthetic, personal consideration that makes penal substitution preferable? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

No JABS: A Model for Small-Group Connection, Part 2

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:00

As the second part in this post on four protections to create a safe relational space for small groups, here I focus on the fourth condition. This fourth condition has four pieces to it for limiting communication that tends to shut people down. The goal is to be able to accept others as they are, with their true sharing of their real mess in daily life as a Christian. Often we can get in our own way and so fail to love them in this way because we are so busy with the speck of sawdust in their eye. In a sentence, this four-part fourth condition is the log in our eyes that prevents meeting with others.

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Baker Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Timelines: An Interview with Jack Beck

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:00

There are many helpful resources for those who want to engage the Bible on a deeper level. The big question is how to know which resources might be the most helpful. Periodically, I encounter resources that I think distinguish themselves from the myriad of available options. It is a safe bet that a resource book on Bible charts, maps, and timelines will not hit the bestseller list. However, Jack Beck’s The Baker Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Timelines has recently been published, and I think it will benefit Christians, pastors, and scholars, who want to engage the Bible more deeply. I have reached out to Jack and asked him to answer a few questions that might help you in understanding the purposes behind this new book ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

No JABS: A Model for Small-Group Connection, Part 1

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:00

Small talk. Bible study talk. Prayer requests. Sports, kids, and work talk. When and how do we get to meaningful fellowship of sharing with other Christians what God is doing in our lives? Are there conditions in small groups that help people to share their lives with others? Are there conditions that cause people to clam up and stick to the safe details of a public persona? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

9 Truths about Sex and Marriage from Genesis 1-2

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 15:00

Critics have sometimes claimed that marriage is not that important to God. But interestingly, the Bible both begins and ends with a marriage. In fact, marriage is the defining metaphor God uses to illustrate His love for the Church, His “bride" ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Empty Tomb Protest: The Subversive Truth of Easter

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 12:38

When we say “He is risen. He is risen indeed!” we are not merely stating a remarkable historical fact, not merely expressing our shared doctrine, not merely standing in line with a long tradition of hope. We are doing all of that. But we are doing more. We are joining the great protest chant against all the dehumanization, death, and decay of the present age and heralding, here and now, the subversive breaking in of the glorious age to come in the resurrected Jesus. 

Categories: Seminary Blog

The Multifaceted Cross: 6 Things to Celebrate this Friday (and Every Day)

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 20:39

What happened on Good Friday is so scandalous and profound that the Bible does not limit itself to a single explanation. Dutch theologian, Herman Bavinck, explains, “[T]he work of Christ is so multifaceted that it cannot be captured in a single word nor summarized in a single formula." “Multifaceted” is exactly the right word for the cross. It brings to mind the image of a giant deep-cut diamond, a unity with a multiple facets, each refracting rays off and through the other. Let’s take one lap around this flawless wonder and look at six things to celebrate this Friday and every day...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Resurrecting Bodily Remains

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:00

Hi Dr. Craig.

My question is secondary to the last Q&A. You mention that the biblical view of the resurrected bodies is one of transformation of our existing bodies, not exchange of our bodies for a new one. As someone in the medical field, I have personally dissected many human bodies and would consider giving my body to medical science. Do you think that is wrong to dissect or even cremate our postmortem bodies? Intuitively, that doesn't seem to be a problem to me, but I cannot articulate why - especially since it seems on the surface to go against the transformation view of the resurrected body. Thanks ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Finding Contentment in a Discontented World

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 12:00

Have you ever noticed how discontentment with the circumstances of our lives spawns all kinds of problems? Some time ago I missed the freeway exit while driving with my family. Of course, the next opportunity to exit was several miles further down and, due to some road construction, taking this exit led me on a seemingly never-ending detour in order to get back to the freeway. With our toddler crying in the car seat, I was anything but content with how things were going. As the discontentment grew I became more and more anxious about getting where we needed to go, frustrated with myself, impatient with the detour, and angry about our situation. All of this eventually spilled over in a pitiful attempt to blame my wife for my having missed the exit in the first place! ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Why Being "Blessed" is Better than Being "Happy"

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:00

Our culture is obsessed with happiness. From the movies we watch, the purchases we make, and our obsessive use of technology and social media, it is clear that many people today live for happiness.

You might be thinking, “So what? Isn’t happiness a good thing?” Well, that depends on what is meant by happiness ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Jesus’s Transfiguration, Last Days of Jesus DVD

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:00

... The Old Testament background is very helpful for understanding the deeper meaning of the New Testament scriptures. In the transfiguration account, we read in Matthew 17 that Jesus “was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” We remember that in the Old Testament, after Moses went up Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive the ten commandments, his face “was radiant,” and he wore a veil (Exodus 34:33-35). Matthew 17 is showing us that Jesus is the new (but better) Moses ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

A Call for Introspection: When Helping Hurts

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:00

Don’t you just hate it/love it when a book takes a long-standing ministry practice or cultural disposition you’ve unwittingly nurtured and totally applies the ol’ command-option-esc (or control-alt-delete to be P.C.) to completely reset things? A text I’ve been reading for the Kern Reading group at Talbot School of Theology--namely, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert’s, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012)--just pulled this on me. Let me explain ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Do the Laws of Logic Provide Evidence for God?

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 12:00

Dr. Craig,

I cannot thank you enough for your philosophical and theological work. Your work and Reasonable Faith is a constant encouragement and motivation to me as a Christian. In a unit on German philosophy (in a specific section on Leipniz), I recently had my German 3 class translate, discuss and respond to your argument, "Gott ist die beste Erklärung warum überhaupt etwas existiert," from your debate with Ansgar Beckermann. Your argument provoked a reaction and interest I was not expecting.

Here is my question: Why do you not employ the laws of logic as evidence for the existence of God? It seems to me that God (a necessarily existing mind) is the best explanation for the laws of logic in a similar way that he (a necessary personal being of moral perfection) is the best explanation for certain necessary moral truths. Am I mistaken about logic as evidence for the existence of God? Is there a reason the laws of logic should not be used in an argument similar to your argument from objective moral values and duties? ...

Categories: Seminary Blog

Jesús el Inmigrante

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 12:00

Jesús fue un inmigrante. Todos los cristianos también somos inmigrantes. Por lo tanto, Cristo se identifica con nosotros y nos entiende. Como sus seguidores debemos imitar su ejemplo y aprender de él. También debemos mostrar compasión por aquellos que son extranjeros al venir de otros países y regiones ya que reconocemos que todos nosotros somos también peregrinos y extranjeros ...

Categories: Seminary Blog