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Category: Christian Education

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In 19th century England, Atheists knew more about the Bible than most Christians do today. So did Liberal Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, Unitarians, and Agnostics. So claims Timothy Larsen in A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011) ...

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    In my last post, I talked about the importance of our ministry with children and some ministry objectives we need to pursue. In this follow up blog I would like to talk about four aspects of children’s ministry that together help us accomplish our goals of helping children grow and mature as a part of the church, the people of God. These are worthy goals, and it can be tempting to try to design one children’s program in the church to address them all. But if we take them each seriously, it will soon be clear that this is more than a matter of having a class or a club program for children. Instead, it requires thinking carefully about the full life of the church, as well as the church and family environment our children grow up in. It has implications for what we do for our children, with them, to them, and the opportunities we provide for them to be engaged in ministry themselves. I invite you to read and think with me about what this might look like.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    In this third post about women’s ministry, I’d like to reflect on the condition of Women’s Ministry in the local church as I see it.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “¿Cómo estás?” Un amigo mío respondía en tono de broma a esta común pregunta con las palabras “bien, pero ni modo” o “bien, pero ya se me va a pasar”. Aunque su respuesta era graciosa en el fondo describía una tendencia común de nuestras percepciones y sentimientos. Por alguna razón es más fácil enfocarnos en lo negativo y olvidarnos de todo lo positivo que tenemos y recibimos. A pesar de estar llenos de bendiciones, con frecuencia pensamos que siempre nos falta algo y que nunca tenemos lo suficiente o alcanzamos la plenitud de la vida.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Despite nearly five months of instability in Ukraine, students in the Talbot School of Theology Kyiv Extension are pressing on with their ministries and with their studies.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Biola’s Talbot School of Theology extension site in Kyiv, Ukraine opened its doors to the first group of students in the spring of 2007 and exists to help meet the great need for theological education across the former Soviet Union. Professor Mark Saucy shares about Biola's extension site in Kyiv in light of turmoil in Ukraine.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    A creative series of workbooks for classrooms and churches has recently been released. Following is an interview with the series editor and author of the first workbook, Kenneth Berding. "This series of workbooks is a new and creative way of drawing out the back story that lies behind the writings of the Bible ... These workbooks provide an entryway that will allow you to start uncovering this story for yourself."

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    It’s been awhile since I have posted on the Good Book Blog. Since I come back to post a few times a year, I want to begin with an area of ministry that is very dear to my heart – ministry with children. In many ways, I think the church in general has a very mixed view of ministry with children. On the one hand we recognize that children are a gift, and we value them highly. On the other hand, we may often feel that “real ministry” takes place with youth and adults. Perhaps it is that we more readily see the impact of our teaching with youth or adults, and in ministry with children it is harder to see significant changes. What we may miss out on is seeing the powerful foundational nature of ministry with children that sets life directions and patterns that “bloom” later in adulthood. I, for one, recognize the critical importance of ministry with children, and the impact it can have for a lifetime. In this blog, and the one that will follow, I’ll be talking about the kinds of ministry objectives we should be aiming for in ministry with children, and some models of ministry for those who serve the children in their congregations. What I share here is adapted and expanded from some material I wrote as part of Introducing Christian Education and Formation, by Ron Habermas, published by Zondervan (2008).

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Have you ever noticed how often we rank skills over character? You’re seeking to hire someone for a job. Which is more important? Skills for the job, or the character of the one seeking the job? In almost every hiring situation, skills are the focus (though I have heard that Human Resources folks are increasingly Facebook and Instagram-stalking potential employees in an attempt to ascertain whatever they can about applicants’ private lives.) I would like to suggest that in Christian ministry, character should be weighted over skills.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    La navidad y la pascua son los dos eventos claves en el calendario cristiano. En la navidad celebramos la encarnación de Hijo de Dios quien se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros. En la pascua recordamos la muerte y resurrección de Jesucristo. Aunque conmemoramos dos acontecimientos, la realidad es que ambos están unidos porque Jesús nació para morir y darnos vida a través de su resurrección de entre los muertos. No se puede explicar la navidad sin la pascua y viceversa.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    I’ve read a few blogs recently that suggest the idea of a women's ministry in a church is somehow passé. I beg to differ. Instead, I want to say that every church will always need a women’s ministry. Let’s talk about why that is. In this first article, I want to address the biblical basis for a women’s ministry in every church. And then, in the second article we’ll think about women’s ministry historically and why it is still needed today in our egalitarian society.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El valor, dignidad y propósito del ser humano tiene su base en el Dios trino. Tanto el hombre como la mujer son la corona de la obra divina al ser creados a la imagen y semejanza de Dios: “Y Dios creó al ser humano a su imagen; lo creó a imagen de Dios. Hombre y mujer los creó” (Gen. 1:27). Cada una de las personas de la Santa Trinidad vive en completa armonía con las demás. El Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo se afirman uno al otro y tienen una relación perfecta en todos los sentidos. Nosotros somos seres sociales porque reflejamos a nuestro creador y es en el matrimonio en el que podemos experimentar de alguna manera una perfecta relación al igual que nuestro Dios. El matrimonio es idea de Dios (Gen. 2:18-25) y a través de nuestro cónyuge podemos apreciar el favor de Dios cuando crecemos juntos en una relación de completa intimidad y aceptación.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    So we eat. We are dependent on many and ultimately God for the grace of our continued diets. We say grace at mealtimes in recognition of that dependence. For all that, many of us don’t consider that theology has much to do with meals and eating.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    Of course, if you are going to use a lens of food and hospitality to teach theology, you’d better be ready to feed your students. The beginning of semester means a marathon Welsh cake baking session in the Draycott home. In our January intensive Interterm, I get to welcome the whole class to our home for a session of teaching. In regular semester the larger classes don’t allow this. But hospitality then becomes an experiential learning project for the students. Throughout the semester, in groups they will have eaten a meal together and deliberately fasted and prayed together.

  • Andy Draycott — 

    I teach my Theology II undergraduate survey course through the lens of a theology of food and hospitality. Over a few posts I’ll share a number of elements that constitute the overall logic of the class. First, here, I share the formal shape of the class and how I see it fitting with our key concerns as a university. I shall later comment on my textbook choices and other resources that explore the theme. Also to come will be an account of how I frame what the task of theology is for my students through this lens, along with the measure of what I think can be achieved in a class.

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    In this audio recording, Dr. Cardoza uses 1 Thessalonians 2 to discuss eight biblical characteristics of disciplers. "Discipling people is one of the most fundamentally important things we can do as Christians. The great commission tells us to make disciples; the New Testament is replete - especially in the gospels and acts - with examples of discipling..."

  • Clinton E. Arnold — 

    It was the fall of 1930. Just a year had passed since the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression. Adolf Hitler was on his meteoric rise to power in Germany. But God was powerfully at work in the Pennsylvania steel town of Pittsburgh. A 21-year-old Jewish man named Bezalel Feinberg had heard the Gospel and prayed to receive Christ. It sounds so simple, yet it was anything but.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Los propósitos de año nuevo son parte de la costumbre anual de muchos de nosotros. La llegada del nuevo año nos da la oportunidad para detenernos por un momento y planificar un futuro mejor. Por ejemplo, los gimnasios aumentan sus membrecías considerablemente en enero con personas que desean bajar de peso o mejorar su condición física. También escuché que el índice de divorcios crece considerablemente las primeras semanas del año. Independientemente de la sabiduría de los propósitos, todos los deseos persiguen un mejor destino.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In an ideal world, all Christians would maintain three types of spiritual relationships as they walked through life. (Disclaimer: There have only been a couple times in my own life when I have had all three going at once, but this is still an ideal worth aiming for.)

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El nacimiento de Jesús cambió al mundo. La navidad es, sin duda alguna, el acontecimiento más importante en la historia de la humanidad y, por lo tanto, la mayor celebración de cada año. El Dios creador del universo se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros. Dios no está lejos ni es distante sino que a través de Jesús su presencia es real y personal. De hecho, el milagro de la navidad se resume con la palabra “Emanuel” que significa apropiadamente “Dios con nosotros.”

  • Clinton E. Arnold — 

    “The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind.” Thus reads Biola University’s (and Talbot School of Theology’s) Articles of Faith—a document that remains unchanged since it was written shortly after the turn of the century. As the Dean of Talbot and as one who has been on the faculty for 27 years, I can say that this is a conviction that runs very deep in our faculty. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and, as such, is truthful in what it affirms and can be completely trusted.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Por los tres últimos años, el índice de felicidad planetaria ha dado a conocer los países más felices del mundo de acuerdo a ciertos parámetros. Los resultados sorprendentes de la última edición en el 2012 señalaron que país más feliz del mundo es Costa Rica, en segundo lugar se encuentra Vietnam y en tercero Colombia. Los Estados Unidos se ubicaron en el lugar 104. Este índice de felicidad se basa en tres cosas: 1) Se hace la pregunta la persona, "¿Qué tan feliz es usted?" En una escala del 0-10. 2) Luego se mide la expectativa de vida de las personas de ese país. Finalmente se mide cuanta “tierra” (o recursos ecológicos) necesita la persona en ese país para ser feliz.

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    Between 1750 and 1900, the total expanse of human knowledge had doubled. At that time of pre-technology human history, it took 150 years. Today, the growth of knowledge is occurring some 100 times faster. It is said that the entire sum of all known information, i.e., human knowledge, doubles every 1.5 years. By 2020 it is estimated that it will be doubling approximately every month and a half (72 days). Think about that…

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El gran educador Antonio del Corro (Sevilla, 1527-Londres, 1591) es quizá una de las figuras más importantes y a la vez menos conocidas de la reforma española. Es también un ejemplo a imitar para todos los que seguimos a Cristo y sobre todo para los que nos dedicamos a servirle a través de la enseñanza. El historiador Emilio Monjo se refiere a Antonio de Corro como “un personaje que refleja el talante de la Reforma española en cuanto a su libertad de pensamiento y palabra: una iglesia que había nacido libre por la acción de la Escritura, y que se mantuvo libre con la Escritura también en su exilio europeo".

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Three years ago, Trudi and I adopted two precious girls out of the Los Angeles County foster system. They are now 14 and 12 years old. We are deeply grateful for these precious young ladies God has brought into our family. But we encountered a few things that we wish someone had told us about foster-adoptions before we started the process. Here is a short list of issues that might be helpful for you to know if you’re considering embarking on such an adventure.