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Category: Culture

  • Mitch Glaser — 

    Perhaps the real question our friends are asking is this: “What impact does our faith as Messianic Jews have on our support of Israel?” This is a fair question, and it is a reasonable assumption that most Jews who believe in Jesus support the Jewish state.

  • Ron Pierce — 

    Just this month, after leading a two-week study tour with the Whittier Area Community Church, our group returned home on June 8, 2014. Most of us met a barrage of questions about “What’s really going on over there? Resulting conversations intensified when the latest surge of “Israel vs. Hamas” fighting erupted in the Gaza Strip about three weeks later ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    La semana pasada mi esposa, Angélica, y yo celebramos 16 años de casados. Angélica es, sin duda, la mayor bendición que he recibido y nuestro matrimonio ha sido el mejor y a la vez el más difícil tiempo de mi vida. Estoy profundamente agradecido por la dicha de haber encontrado el favor divino en mi esposa y puedo asegurar con toda certeza que soy feliz a su lado. También he de reconocer que el matrimonio no es fácil y caminar por la vida junto a otra persona por momentos pareciera una carrera de obstáculos. Esta combinación de realidades, aunque parecieran contradictorias, reflejan acertadamente mis años de casado y estoy seguro la de la mayoría de los matrimonios entre seguidores de Cristo.

  • Ben Shin — 

    It’s wedding season and there are many ways to celebrate on that special day for the bride and the groom. One of the best ways to celebrate this occasion is through the traditional toast that is given during the wedding reception. However, I’ve recently seen that what should typically be one of the high points of the reception just flops miserably... This is not what we should do to the bride or groom! I’d like to offer a few suggestions in this blog of what not to do in a toast and then what one should do in order to make the celebration a wonderful and meaningful one.

  • 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) ...

  • Ben Shin — 

    We have previously been working through some of the unique and distinct challenges that Asian-American couples face in regards to preparing for weddings and marriage. This blog has raised some of the issues that typically come out during pre-marital counseling sessions. The goal of this series has been to try and understand some of these cultural dynamics that may be vastly different from the many books that are out there on the subject of pre-marital counseling and marriage that may be written from a Western perspective. Some of these differences include dealing with parents, setting up appropriate wedding venues and services, transfer of authority between parents and spouses, guest lists for the wedding, and other potentially shame based challenges. This blog will now give some general and practical advice on how to resolve some of these tensions.

  • Scott Rae — 

    Dr. Scott Rae tackles the question, "What is the appropriate role for business to play in society?"

  • 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.

  • Ben Shin — 

    In my last blog, I explored some of the key differences of the dynamics of Asian-American weddings specifically in relationship to “honoring” the parents and their guests at the wedding ceremony. In this blog, I’d like to discuss some of the challenges related to the relational dynamics of the different families prior to marriage. This will include “family matching,” approval of different vocations, and the transfer of authority from the father/mother to the husband and bride ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    ... Among the unique aspects of early Christianity, when compared to other religious options in the ancient world, are the relationships the early Christians shared across geographical boundaries. The church was a family—not only locally but also from town to town ...

  • Barry Corey — 

    Quiet grieving in the company of the bereft — neither providing answers nor hasty words about “being in a better place” — is among the highest and humblest ways we live out our Romans 12 calling to “weep with those who weep.” It’s even true when we comfort the profoundly grief-stricken who are complete strangers. This is what I told 35 Biola Chorale students as we rode through the night’s rain toward Jindo Island on Monday, April 28, 2014.

  • 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.

  • Mark Saucy — 

    ... I’m all in favor of blood moons (awe-inspiring astronomical phenomenon!), tetrads (rare!), Jewish feasts (our overly Gentilized Church calendars should be more dominated by these—as they are fulfilled in Christ), and apocalyptic (it can be literal too—resurrection is a feature of apocalyptic and we all believe in that one). But put them together in yet another sensationalized, factually crazy, books-flying-off-the-shelf spectacle for the world, and I just shake my head. We’re in the same ditch as those who have no hope ...

  • Ben Shin — 

    In my last blog, I discussed the concept of how the parent-child relationship is viewed differently from an Eastern Asian style than a Western American style. With this difference comes the difficulty of “leaving and cleaving” as found in Genesis 2:25. This also relates to obedience from parents for a lifetime since being a child is viewed more as a permanent status rather than an age range. This is also coupled with a long-term care of the parents supported by passages such as 1 Timothy 5:8 which states that if one does not care for his family that he is worse than an unbeliever.

  • John McKinley — 

    I’ve begun reading into the topic of women and men in ministry. I noticed immediately that the concept of “head” stands out in the debate between egalitarian and complementarian interpretations. As a metaphor, the concepts and specific applications intended by Paul can be elusive. For help, I turned to an expert on the subject, my colleague, Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewall. Below are her explanations of four questions as part of beginning to explore the meaning of “headship.”

  • 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.

  • Ben Shin — 

    Recently, a friend contacted me and asked for a resource in pre-marital counseling that would be specific to some of the unique cultural needs of an Asian-American couple. I thought about this for a while and realized that I was not familiar with such a curriculum. I explained to him that I typically use material by Family Life’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and add my own insights on some of the challenges for Asian-Americans in preparing to get married. This first blog will summarize some of those insights ...

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    This is the second post in a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In the first installment (“Seek the Welfare of the City”), I sketched the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and applied biblical principles to common objections. Now I will begin looking at biblical texts used by Christian gun advocates to support their view that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals. In this installment I examine Luke 22:36, where Jesus tells his disciples, “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

  • Ben Shin — 

    In my last blog, I attempted to explain some aspects of shame and how it is different from guilt, as well as to show how shame should be defined more in terms of a relational understanding rather than simply a judicial aspect of exchange. This blog will show a connection between 1st century Roman culture and 21st century Asian-American culture and the lessons that can be learned from studying and comparing both.

  • 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.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The Fox is Herod Antipas. Jesus says so. If you don’t believe me, look at Luke 13:32. But what does this arrogant, sensual, and power-hungry tyrant say?

  • 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.

  • Ben Shin — 

    The dynamics of shame are one of the greatest cultural dynamics of the New Testament. This paradigm is key in understanding other concepts and various texts accurately especially as it relates to topics such as approval, reputation, glory, and status. While these practices were prevalent in the 1st century of the Mediterranean, they also have current bearing to different segments of society today, specifically Asian-Americans in the 21st century. This blog will be the first in a series of blogs that will demonstrate the correlation of Paul’s use of shame in light of the framework of Roman cultural practices as well as how it relates to modern 21st century Asian-American spiritual tendencies.