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Category: Christian Education

  • Kenneth Way — 

    2013 is the inaugural year of an innovative biblical commentary series edited by John Walton and Mark Straus (published by Baker Books). It’s called Teach the Text because that is what it is about: helping people to teach the biblical text effectively. It combines literary, background and exegetical analysis with theological, pedagogical and homiletical discussion. But it does this in a surprisingly concise and accessible manner.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Yesterday I spent about 45 minutes talking and praying with one of my current students. Four months ago he was invited to step into the role of youth pastor in his church, and now finds himself responsible for preparing and teaching a message every Friday and Sunday. Two messages a week! And this for someone who has only done a bit of preaching in the past… He shared with me (and I share this entire post with his permission) that the single hardest thing he has faced in his new role as youth pastor is the agonizing decision of what to preach each week.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” This slogan, first broadcast by the United Negro College Fund in 1972, has become something of a John 3:16 for educators seeking to evangelistically rouse students out of intellectual slumber. If I could tailor this slogan for our Biola community as we embark on a new semester, it would become: “The mind of Christ is far too precious to not cultivate.” While lacking the elegant phrasing and bumper sticker quote-ability of the original, it does express something I hope we can pause to ponder as we enter our classrooms.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Is it possible to successfully “blend” the hymns of the past with modern hymns and worship music in a single service? Let's talk about it.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Hace ya varios años escuché una frase que me ha hecho pensar constantemente y que refleja uno de los mayores peligros que enfrentan los líderes cristianos. La frase dice así: “es importante no estar tan ocupado en la obra de Dios que nos olvidemos del Dios de la obra”. El problema no es el servicio a Dios sino el enfoque y, en muchos casos, la motivación que nos mueve al servicio. Estoy convencido que uno de los pecados principales de muchos líderes es el énfasis obsesivo por el trabajo y, por lo tanto, el descuido de lo esencial y verdaderamente importante como Dios, la familia y el cuidado personal.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The most recent issue of the Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care carried an article I wrote on the relationship between spiritual formation and mission. Here's an outline...

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    One of the little known facts of church growth is that pastors can stay too long. Long pastoral tenure can actually harm the growth of a church. Generally, the first twenty years of a pastor’s tenure are quite healthy, but it is very rare for a pastor to lead a church through a third decade with vitality and growth.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    ¿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.

  • Ben Shin — 

    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!

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    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…

  • Dave Keehn — 

    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”…

  • Doug Huffman — 

    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.

  • Ben Shin — 

    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.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Esta semana se conmemoran los días más importantes para el cristianismo y, por consiguiente, para todo el mundo. La muerte y resurrección de Jesucristo marcan el eje central de nuestra fe. Durante la semana santa recordamos la muerte de Jesús en la cruz por nuestros pecados y su victoria sobre la muerte a través de su gloriosa resurrección.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Breaking up may be hard to do, but starting over in ministry can be scary. No one enjoys change and often our worst mistakes happen in the stress of transitions.

  • Ben Shin — 

    Forming the right kind of pastoral staff or leadership team can be a very challenging endeavor. Getting the right people to work together for the long run is much more difficult than people imagine. Sometimes great individual leaders do not necessarily mean they will work well together in a team. So, how can this be remedied? But before this question can be asked, there is another important preliminary question that needs to be raised. What elements need to be in place or need to match in order to build a strong and cohesive staff? This blog will examine three aspects that need to match well in order to build a good, strong, and cohesive staff.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Recuerdo que el pastor de la iglesia donde crecí repetía constantemente esta frase “el amor es un producto de la voluntad”. Estas palabras se convirtieron en una expresión común en la iglesia y se mencionaban constantemente en diferentes contextos. Me parece que lo que el pastor quería comunicar era que la acción de amar está basada principalmente en una decisión y no solamente en emociones. Nuestras emociones cambian, pero cuando decidimos amar a Dios y a nuestro prójimo independientemente de nuestro estado de ánimo entonces estamos así cumpliendo la ley de Cristo. Estoy de acuerdo con la idea general, pero creo que el amor va mucho más allá de nuestra voluntad. El amor se centra en la persona de Dios y nosotros tenemos el gran privilegio de participar y demostrar el amor divino.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This post is for people who are praying seriously about the possibility of serving overseas in long-term cross-cultural missions. It may help you assess where you presently stand in terms of “readiness” for such a ministry assignment.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    There is poignant scene in the movie “Amazing Grace” that pans onto a country field in which William Wilberforce is lying on the wet grass contemplating the magnificence of God. He is mesmerized by the dew on a spider web as evidence of God’s handiwork. In this instant he feels the inner tension between staying in the moment, meditating on God and returning to ongoing struggle in politics. He cannot discern which is better: to sit in solitude with God or enter the realm of politics where he is seeking to bring God’s justice? It is only later that some abolitionist ministers suggest that he could do both: seek to be with God and serve God – at the same time. It is this special combination that I believe is the key to living for God’s Kingdom - not at a glorious future in heaven above, but now in this broken world in need of God’s redeeming justice and hope!

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty members share some of their picks for the best books released in 2012. Read about their recommendedations here, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    What are spiritual gifts, really? Andrew Faris posted an interview with me on this question at the "Christians in Context" blog.

  • Rob Lister — 

    As we near the outset of a new academic semester, I thought this comment from John Frame was a fitting word of encouragement for Talbot faculty and students alike concerning the nature of our engagement with God’s word.

  • Ben Shin — 

    I am very excited to announce that Talbot School of Theology will be launching a new Doctor of Ministry track in Asian-American Ministry in June of 2013. This is a 2-week residency that will run from June 3rd to the 14th, 2013. This track will be taught and guided by some of the most experienced leaders, instructors, and practitioners in Asian-American ministry. The track is geared towards anyone who pastors or leads Asian-Americans in a church or parachurch.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Al mundo paz nació Jesús” es el inicio de un popular villancico navideño que resume magistralmente esta temporada de fiesta por la llegada del Hijo de Dios entre nosotros. La navidad celebra el cumplimiento de la promesa de la venida del Príncipe de paz (Is. 9:6). La segunda persona de la trinidad se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros para después darnos vida a través de su sacrificio expiatorio en la cruz. Por lo tanto, la navidad es un acontecimiento digno de celebrarse.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Bueno, pero Dios sigue estando en su trono” es una frase que he escuchado bastante veces en los últimos días. Los que la pronuncian generalmente lo hacen con un tono de resignación al ver que las cosas no se han dado como inicialmente esperaban. Me da la impresión que recuerdan que Dios está en control de las circunstancias solamente como un premio de consolación al ver que su candidato perdió las elecciones o enfrentan otras decepciones en la vida. Tristemente en estos casos, estas personas se olvidan que nuestro Dios siempre es victorioso, siempre está en control y que nada ni nadie obstruye su soberanía sobre todo. Dios no debería ser el premio de consolación de los perdedores sino el premio mayor de todos los días sin importar lo que esté sucediendo a nuestro alrededor.