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Category: Church Life

  • John McKinley — 

    When I offered a new seminar course on Ecclesiology last semester, one of the books we discussed is Gregg R. Allison’s Sojourners and Strangers: the Doctrine of the Church (Crossway, 2012). This is the latest volume in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series edited by John Feinberg. The book has several features to commend it for evangelical readers interested in ecclesiology. One characteristic throughout the book is the clear and well-organized writing style that is a model for students to see how ideas are presented, supported with evidence, and critiqued or nuanced. It is difficult to misunderstand Allison’s meaning and how all of his claims fit together.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    It has been five years since my dad, Javier Esqueda, passed away unexpectedly. The huge hole my family have without him will continue for the rest of our lives and it has been very hard to get used to the idea that he is not with us anymore. I still struggle to refer to my dad in the past tense when in casual conversations his name comes up, but I am sadly conscious that the present and the future will continue without him. My mom could have celebrated her 45 wedding anniversary last December, my two brothers could have celebrated their college graduations with their proud dad, my two children could have enjoyed their granddad (who I am sure would have spoiled them a lot), and I could have had the total support of a man who would advise me always, looking for my best interest; but all of these things were not and will never be possible.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Hace ya cinco años que mi papá, Javier Esqueda, falleció inesperadamente. El gran vacío que nos dejó sigue y seguirá presente por el resto de nuestras vidas y es muy difícil resignarse a su ausencia. Cuando en conversaciones casuales sale el tema de mi papá me cuesta trabajo referirme a él en el pasado, pero estoy tristemente consciente que el presente y el futuro seguirán sin su presencia. Mi mamá habría celebrado 45 años de casada el pasado diciembre, mis dos hermanos habrían celebrado sus graduaciones de la universidad con su orgulloso papá, mis dos hijos se habrían gozado con su abuelito que estoy seguro los habría consentido muchísimo y yo tendría el apoyo y el oído total de un hombre que me amara incondicionalmente y me daría sus consejos totalmente desinteresados buscando siempre lo mejor para mí, pero todo esto no pudo ni podrá ser ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    I am a physician (pulmonology) and, until recently, a lifelong atheist, although one who saw great non-religious value in Judeo-Christian culture and civilization. I became increasingly convinced by the moral arguments that atheism could not lead to a society with moral values and thus by the moral arguments for God. Your site, and debates and your Reasonable Faith book, along with CS Lewis and other reading, now have me convinced in at least the likelihood of Christianity. My question is what are the next best steps for someone who has taken this rarer intellectual path towards Christianity? As someone who never attended Church, who has no preferred denomination or family tradition, it is a bit hard to know where to begin. Any advice would be welcomed. Thank you very much for your incredibly useful site and work and the clarity of thinking behind it ...

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    I used to think that worship songs where you could swap out all the God references, with “baby” were evidence that God had been trivialized by a sappy, spiritualized romanticism in the church. There may be truth to that. But perhaps the interchangeability of “God” and “baby” in worship songs says less about worship songs and more about love songs, less about how the church man-sizes God (which does happen) and more about a much broader tendency in the church and culture-at-large to God-size our romantic partners ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The short answer, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with offering a prayer to the Holy Spirit since God the Spirit is, of course, fully God, just as is God the Father and God the Son. However, most prayers in the New Testament and in the church of the second and third centuries were to God the Father, with a few exceptions.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss to what extent pastors should be "culturally savvy."

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    Although most Biola students have grown up in the church, a surprising number of undergraduates (especially freshmen and sophomores) do not attend church. Students cite a variety of reasons for this, including busyness, lack of transportation, difficulty of settling into a church, receiving Bible instruction through Bible classes and required chapel attendance, and lack of depth in relationships when they attend church. Recognizing that these students do face legitimate difficulties, I created an assignment requiring them to attend the same church four times over the course of the semester and answer a series of questions about the church for the purpose of helping them think through how they should pick a new church. I’ve included the questions below. I’d love to hear any feedback on them!

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California talk about the ways that pastors can respond to "church shopping" and a consumeristic mentality about faith.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California talk about ways to encourage participation in church life with those attending church.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Disfrutar de una relación íntima con el Dios del universo es el propósito principal del ser humano. En Dios encontramos respuesta y sentido a nuestras vidas. El salmo 15 describe al tipo de persona que puede relacionarse personalmente con el Creador. El salmista se pregunta quién puede ser un huésped de Dios. En esa cultura, un huésped gozaba de acceso directo con el anfitrión. Este salmo de sabiduría se entonaba al entrar al templo. Los adoradores iniciaban con la pregunta y el sacerdote respondía con los requisitos y finalizaba con una promesa para aquellos que los cumplían.

  • John McKinley — 

    Michael Wilkins recommended these axioms to me. It has taken me several years to figure out and understand what they mean. They have worked like seeds for me. I’m sure he would elaborate on them differently (and better) than I’m doing here. But this is what I see in them ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss the different ways to assess the health of a church.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I am regularly vexed by how shallow my prayers can become. When I pray for something—and I know that all prayer is not for things—what should I pray for? Only for my family? For someone I know who is ill? For God to help me in the day ahead? For God to resolve whatever problem is currently worrying me? I often sense that there is some content that I’m missing when I’m praying. Do you sense the same thing? ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    This post is the substance of a chapel message I gave to the students of Kyiv Theological Seminary on October 14 of last year (2014). At the time Ukraine was (and still is) in the midst of brutal conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern regions of the country. All of the students present had been impacted by the conflict, some profoundly either by burying church members, relatives, and friends, or by answering conscription summons. No one in the country has been left untouched by the crisis. I offer these thoughts here because suffering and crisis and loss may come to those around us at anytime. We need the mind of our Lord to enter into such a house of sorrow or pain and be his instruments for healing ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss the challenges and opportunities of bi-vocational ministry.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss how their Talbot education impacts their ministry today in valuable ways.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss why a seminary education is so valuable for ministry today.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Las noticias a nuestro alrededor pueden ser bastante desalentadoras. Por alguna razón las noticias que se publican y tienen promoción tienden a ser las negativas y las que reflejan algún conflicto social. Para los medios de comunicación y para la sociedad en general las buenas noticias parecieran no ser atractivas y solamente las negativas pueden salir de la sombra de lo cotidiano para llamar nuestra atención. Desgraciadamente, el estar rodeados de malas noticias origina un ambiente negativo en el que la vida pareciera una maraña de conflictos que crece cada vez más y a la que no se le encuentra solución por ningún lado. Si a esta situación le agregamos los actos de terrorismo de grupos radicales que se escudan en la religión para cometer atentados deleznables contra inocentes y las posturas tan radicales de políticos y grupos sociales que impiden una sana conversación para resolver sus diferencias, es fácil caer en la desesperanza y la impotencia.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss how local churches can better engage and love their communities.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty member, James Petitfils, and a panel of Talbot graduates who are now pastors in Southern California discuss the unique challenges of ministry in this region.

  • Kevin Lawson — 

    A few months ago I wrote about José Bowen’s seminar and his book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared that his main thrust was for teachers to use technology to deliver content outside of class sessions, and shift the use of class time to processing that information, promoting critical thinking and the application of knowledge to real life situations. There are three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. Over the next few months I’ll be writing a brief blog on each of the three ideas, beginning with ways of using technology to get students into the content of the Bible lesson/study before you meet, preparing them for a more active and deeper learning experience together.

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    Several years ago Charles Arn and I surveyed pastors and asked them to identify the most frustrating part of their job. Can you guess the most frequent response? “Getting laypeople to help with the work and ministry of the church” ... One of the major reasons people are reluctant to serve in and through a church is the feeling that they’ll be stuck in the position for ever, or at least a very long time ...

  • David Horner — 

    In this audio recording, David Horner, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, shares about Epiphany and its significance in the life of the Christian.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    I was raised in a church world in which “culture war” was a favorite metaphor of how the church relates to the nonchurch. We were God’s courageous moral infantry doing battle against those cunning cultists, those hateful homosexuals, those lying liberals, and those devilish Darwinists. If we listen with tuned ears to Christian radio, Christian literature, Christian blogs, and Christian conversations, it becomes clear: We Christians love the language of war. Over the last 30 years it has become our dominant metaphor for relating to culture; it saturates our vocabulary, shapes our politics, and soaks our worldview. But is culture war helpful? Is it biblical? Should we be jarheads for Jesus?