Anyone who has attended Biola University or its seminary, Talbot School of Theology, knows that the Bible and theology faculty are top notch, full of helpful wisdom and resources. Now, the entire world can benefit from those resources.
That’s because in February, 30 professors at Talbot launched a new faculty blog where they are sharing some of the academic insight and teaching that you might expect to find in the classroom: material from lectures, essays, book chapters, devotionals, sermons, responses to current events, biblical exposition and more.
The blog, titled “The Good Book Blog,” is meant to serve as a resource for anyone seeking solid biblical scholarship that engages contemporary ideas from a decidedly evangelical perspective. Talbot Dean Dennis Dirks thinks the blog is a perfect fit for the school.
“With its goal of resourcing the wider Christian world with the insights and scholarship of Talbot professors, the blog fits well the mission of Talbot to train men and women in the study of God’s word for the service of his world,” Dirks wrote in an e-mail to Talbot students and alumni.
The idea for the blog came out of a partnership with Talbot and University Communications and Marketing (UCM), which was looking for new ways to promote Talbot and share its resources through new media technology.
“The blog is significant because it’s a way for Talbot to further its mission of training others in the Word of God,” said Albert Rios, UCM’s advertising manager, who first conceived of the blog with Brett McCracken, Biola Magazine’s managing editor and social media manager for UCM. “Professors are able to share their ideas and their hearts in a format that’s able to reach anyone in the world.”
“At a time when biblical literacy is at an all-time low and there are so many muddled, uninformed views of the Bible, something like The Good Book Blog is such a breath of fresh air,” noted McCracken.
The Good Book Blog is one example of how Biola University is fulfilling its 2010–20 strategic plan, which includes an aspiration to extend the university’s educational reach throughout the world. The newly released University Plan (read it online at biola.edu/about/mission) states, “Inservice to the larger evangelical community across the world, we will make our most beneficial educational resources available. Whenever possible we will widely disseminate what we learn and produce, moving from a proprietary to an open-source mentality.”
Rios added that, in addition to its missional value, the blog has great potential for advertising, branding and recruitment for Talbot.
“As an advertiser, I’m always looking for ways to convey the message of Talbot as clearly and as compellingly as possible through media forms that are interesting and new,” he said. “A blog is a really effective and efficient option to get the word out there.”
In its first few months, The Good Book Blog has received tens of thousands of visitors and has spawned several popular posts, including a series of posts on prayer by professor Ken Berding, a post by Gary Manning on how to better read the Gospel of John and a post on the theological importance of an historical interpretation of the Bible by Edward Klink. The 30 faculty members blogging on the site include well-known professors like Clint Arnold, Ken Berding and Dave Talley, as well as newer professors like Rob Price, Ken Way and Freddy Cardoza.
With new posts scheduled to go up nearly every day on subjects ranging from biblical exposition, theology and philosophy to spiritual formation and Christian education, The Good Book Blog promises to be a valuable new tool for sharing Talbot’s intellectual resources with the world.
As Torrey Honors Institute professor Fred Sanders recently wrote on his blog: “Why doesn’t every seminary do this?”