Talbot School of Theology
Recently, while reading through the minor prophet Haggai in the LXX (the Greek Old Testament), I noticed a phrase that looked familiar: “before a stone was laid on a stone (λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον) in the Temple of the Lord…” (Hag 2:15). Hmm… where had I seen λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον before? Yes: in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, when he describes the coming destruction of the Temple buildings: “Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth: there will not be a stone left on a stone (λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον) here; all will be torn down” (Matt 24:2; see parallels in Mk 13:2, Lk 19:44).
After being unresponsive for two days, my dad was escorted into the presence of his Savior on Saturday May 4, 2013 at 2 AM. Family and friends gathered to celebrate his life last Friday. I shared these words:
¿Por qué las cosas son como son? ¿Dónde está Dios cuando el mundo lo ignora a Él y a sus principios? Cuando Dios actúa, ¿por qué hace Él lo que hace?
Todos nos hemos hecho alguna vez preguntas difíciles respecto a Dios y a nuestra fe. En muchas ocasiones, lo que vemos aparentemente no concuerda con lo que creemos acerca de Dios. ¿Qué hacer en estas circunstancias? En Habacuc encontramos un libro bíblico que nos muestra un modelo para enfrentar estos momentos y acrecentar nuestra fe en el Dios que sostiene el universo con su poder.
Peter Drucker wrote that in our knowledge-based society, information is the key resource and building block for every type of organization. Information is the new money, currency upon which organizations rise or fall. How may a local church respond to the new currency of information in today's world?
One of the hardest things Christians face when they step out to share their faith with Muslims is that the conversation almost inevitably veers toward a competitive discussion about which religion is better: “You think this, but I think this.” “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Often you’ll find yourself on the defensive: “Yes, Jesus did die on the cross…” “Yes, Jesus is the Son of God…” “No, the Bible hasn’t been changed…” Is there any way to keep your conversation from degrading into an “I’m right and you’re wrong” discussion?
Good doctrine, good fellowship, good worship, and good prayer. Do they guarantee the growth of a church? Not necessarily. Sometimes churches do not do well, even though they have the basic ingredients. So, what's the problem? For some, it's a lack of communication to those in and outside the church.
We at Talbot, and especially in the philosophy department, are deeply saddened with the homegoing of our mentor and friend, Dallas Willard.
The Bible is God’s very word and therefore carries the authority of God himself. And that word of God, Scripture tells us, is a powerful thing—“living and active and sharper than even a two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). It floods the soul with its resplendent rays, laying bare God’s truth and putting all darkness to flight. Yet, as this text tells us, not all receive the truth of this light, and some esteem it as folly itself. How can this be? If Scripture is “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16), how could any reject its authoritative claims?
You don't have a second chance for a good first impression. When it comes to first-time guests at your church, that statement is especially true. And it's that first impression guests leave with that determines whether they will be back. So, what is it that goes into a good first impression? Or, for that matter, a bad one?
I love my office. There are many reasons that I love my office. One is that I can store the many books that I own in there. Second, it is a place for study or reading in a quiet setting. But what I love most is that my office is a place for ministry and discipleship to occur. In other words, it is a safe place to meet students who are not only facing the challenges of academia but also the hardships of life. For this reason, the value of my office hours is priceless!
One of the exercises I have my spiritual formation students do is a prayer exercise in which they are to spend 30 minutes in prayer however they wish, but with one specific instruction – they are not supposed to ask for anything, for themselves or anyone else.
I tell them that the reason for the exercise is that while we are certainly told to bring our requests to God (e.g., Matt. 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13; Phil. 4:6; 1 John 5:15, etc.), prayer is much more than requesting things. However, sometimes we get so accustomed to filling our times of prayer with requests that we forget to leave room to wait on God and listen to His voice.
A family outing goes horribly wrong when a bomb goes off nearby leaving the son dead, the mother with a brain injury, the daughter with a missing limb, and the father to cope with this devastation to his family. A woman who has faithfully paid her health insurance premiums for years is faced with a serious illness, but the insurance company refuses to pay her medical costs due to a purported preexisting condition claimed to have been discovered in a brief notation by a doctor on her medical records years ago. A young college student, peacefully sleeping just moments ago, finds himself in the midst of a home invasion robbery during which he is shot and killed by the robber who was recently released from prison due to overcrowding. Why, God? How can you sit by and let these things happen? It isn’t right . . . it isn’t fair . . . it isn’t just.
My wife Trudi and I spoke for a parenting seminar this past weekend. We offered 14 “tips” for nurturing the spiritual lives of one’s children. I’ve included the 14 teaching points here for your own consideration. Our prayer is that many parents will take on the call to intentionally train their children in the ways of the Lord.
If you want your children to grow up to be passionate followers of Christ…
There is a pressure that is constantly battling around us to give people whatever they want. When you are younger it was labeled peer pressure. However, as we grow older the peer pressures continues throughout life, we just call them “Expectations”…
Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, will present “Origins Today: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes” at Biola University. John Walton’s work on Genesis 1-3 offers a fresh perspective on the complex issue of faith and science by seeking to understand the message of Scripture within its ancient context.
A search of the Internet will reveal several different kite parables, including one in support of the (un-Christian) idea that by holding tight to the string of God’s commandments people can fly themselves up into the heavens. I’d like to suggest a different kite parable, one that is more in keeping with Christian orthodoxy. My parable focuses on the kite itself (not the string) as the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone, but not a faith that is alone.
Often times it seems that harder the church tries to be relevant, the more irrelevant we become. The Bible is full of this kind of upside down logic. The self-clingers lose themselves, the prideful end up humbled, those jostling to be first end last, and, now it seems, those trying the hardest to be relevant end up most irrelevant. Thaddeus Williams explores what happens when the church puts relevance to culture ahead of reverence to Christ.
Something to ponder about an ancient Chinese word...
Looking over a resume in order to hire a person for ministry can be trickier than one realizes at first. This is especially true because they typically want to give the benefit of the doubt to one’s accomplishments and experiences as listed on a resume. However, it has been the experience of this writer that what is often listed on a resume may not actually be the truth. There are those who like to “stretch” the information or possibly “embellish” the facts to point in favor of the applicant. Then there are those who just flat out lie about who they really are and what they’ve done. This blog will highlight some clues or signs of “red flags” that may show up in ministry resumes.
In response to a question about what was going on for Jesus in Gethsemane, I've written a brief explanation at the Gospel Coalition blog.