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  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El evangelio según San Juan empieza con una declaración asombrosa que describe el origen del universo y nos da una descripción de Jesucristo: “En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios. Este era en el principio con Dios. Todas las cosas por él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho, fue hecho” (Juan 1:1-3) ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The title of this post is the exact title of a new little book written by Andrew David Naselli & J. D. Crowley and published by Crossway. This new book is intended for a general Christian (non-academic) audience, addressing an oft-neglected subject: the conscience. Discussions of this topic have been few in recent years, despite the fact that the Greek word for “conscience” (συνείδησις) appears 30 times in the New Testament (20 times in the writings of Paul). The book is short (142 pages without the appendices and indices). Thankfully, it is also clearly written. One can easily imagine a book dealing with the so-called grey areas being less-than-clear. The authors have done a fine job in making a complicated subject easy-to-understand.

  • David Talley — 

    Do you like the idea of Advent candles, but you are confused about how to approach this family time? One of the biggest difficulties in our home through the years has been to find an advent candle reading plan that fit our family. We bought many books, searched websites, and listened to the ideas of others. Eventually, I made my own. I think that the following is a compilation of many resources, but it is what we have used to celebrate advent through the years. It is good for young and old alike, and I believe that it crystallizes the advent story.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    En los próximos días terminará la campaña electoral para elegir al nuevo presidente de los Estados Unidos. Puede ser que cuando lea estas líneas estemos a pocas horas de las elecciones o quizá las votaciones ya hayan terminado. Independientemente del que resulte ganador, los últimos meses han sido muy pesados y el ambiente social demasiado tenso en todos los sentidos. Expresiones de desaliento, frustración o hartazgo se convirtieron en el común denominador para muchas personas que ven con alivio el fin de la larga carrera presidencial.

  • Clint Arnold — 

    This was a question posed to me by NBC News reporter John Larson a few years ago. The interview was part of a Dateline episode that explored the topic of Satan, evil spirits, and supernatural evil. As often happens in the editorial process, only a small portion of the 45-minute interview was included in the show. I thought I would share a more complete account of the interview.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Each time I have read through The Chronicles of Narnia I have been struck by some apparent linguistic and cultural allusions to the Turkic-world in C.S. Lewis’s beloved series for children. Two of these seem beyond any reasonable doubt to be allusions to things Turkic, others seem very likely to connect somehow, and still others feel to the present author like connections, but may not in fact be. As a non-specialist, I list these for the consideration of those who are more familiar with linguistic/cultural influences on Lewis than I. I am a professor of New Testament who happens also to fluently speak and read modern Turkish. Moreover, I genuinely admire Lewis’s writings. These are my only qualifications. Readers who understand Lewis can research my suggestions further.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he had started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from his own, he became increasingly unsure about whether the Bible on its own was clear in what it taught. He was considering changing to a church tradition that could interpret the Bible for him. Since, in his thinking, we can’t be certain what the Bible actually means when we read it, we need an authoritative guide. Let me assure you, there are people out there who will gladly tell you what the Bible means if that’s what you want! Another conversation with a different student also comes to mind. She wasn’t sure whether she could really give herself to Christ in faith because she didn’t know if the message of the gospel was actually true. But the more we talked together, the more I realized that she wasn’t struggling with which truth claims were correct and which were false; she was struggling with whether anyone could know something was true at all. So whenever I appealed to the Bible I didn’t get any traction in our discussion because she didn’t think we could actually come to know truth through a written text. Both of these students were struggling with whether the Bible was clear.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Todos somos Marcos” se convirtió en una popular frase en México y en muchos lugares del mundo. El primero de enero de 1994 el denominado Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional inició una lucha armada en el estado de Chiapas en el sur de México. El subcomandante Marcos era el líder de este movimiento que buscaba justicia, trabajo justo y equitativo entre otras demandas básicas. El subcomandante Marcos se convirtió en un personaje carismático y enigmático porque tenía un pasamontañas que cubría su identidad. Para protegerlo y para identificarse con las demandas de este movimiento muchas personas empezaron a decir “todos somos Marcos” y de esta manera borrar las diferencias entre esta persona y ellos mismos ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Following are seven reasons you might be struggling to love Muslims. The seventh reason is probably the most important ...

  • Steve Porter — 

    By now, most of us know about the Pokémon GO craze. My son downloaded the app on my cell phone the week it came out and while I don’t play much, I understand enough of the game to capture Pokémon and cash in on the rewards dished out at PokéStops (for the uninitiated, Pokémon are monsters of various species that appear on the game display based on where players are physically located and PokéStops are places where players can collect needed items—thus, people play this game on the move). So, the other day while on a prayer walk in a local park, I had my Bible app open to Colossians 3 and my son’s Pokémon GO app open as well. It turns out that parks are fruitful places for capturing Pokémon.

  • Karin Stetina — 

    In Scripture God bids us to “love our neighbor” no fewer than eleven times. Yet centuries later the church still struggles with its calling to do so. From the pulpit to the pew, Christians interpret this command in a variety of ways. In his book Word vs. Deed, Dr. Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, addresses this struggle writing, “The gospel is inherently a verbal thing, and preaching the gospel is inherently a verbal behavior. If the gospel is to be preached at all, it must be put into words” (20). Though this is not a new topic in theology, the Evangelical church in the West is seeing the urgent necessity to find the balance between word and deed in the dynamic culture of the 21st century. The church is more aware than ever of the pressing needs of the world. Technology has given us unprecedented access to seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that exist worldwide. On our smart phones and computers we can watch natural disasters destroy cities and wars and violence destroy lives. While knowledge of the needs of the world is growing, there is a great necessity to understand how the church is to respond. What is the biblical view of how the church is to care for others, particularly in light of the growing awareness of the pressing needs both near and far? ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    ... Todos los seres humanos somos creados a la imagen y semejanza de Dios (Gen. 1:27). La imagen de Dios es la base fundamental de nuestro valor y dignidad. Por la gracia divina podemos representarlo y todos los hombres y mujeres somos la corona de la creación (Salmo 8). Nuestro color de piel es insignificante para determinar nuestro valor o esencia. Desgraciadamente lo que debería ser una muestra de la belleza de la diversidad de la creación divina para muchos se ha convertido en una forma de señalar y discriminar a otros que son diferentes a ellos ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I was serving as a worship pastor in a church in one of New York City’s suburbs when the attacks of September 11, 2001 were launched. Soon after the attacks, a small contingent of vocal church members began to demand that we start to sing American patriotic songs during our worship services. That suggestion didn’t sit well with me so I began trying to work through some of the relevant theological and practical questions one by one. I wrote these questions and answers on September 29, 2001, only 18 days after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York City. The following is by no means the final word on the question, but it might provide categories you can use to think through this subject for yourself ...

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    It’s official. Or essentially official. Sure, it’ll be contested and the process and the unfurling of the never-before-used Article 50 (the document governing agreements to leave the European Union) will take a couple of years, but with 100% of the nation reporting, the people of Great Britain have decided “enough is enough.” With 52% favoring the move, Brits have formally voted to exit the European Union—hence the term “Br(itish)exit.” After two years of speculation and bitter fights that spanned the halls of Parliament, all the way to the shores of Washington D.C., the people have spoken: They want out. No, it wasn’t by a landslide, but that’s immaterial. The vote has been won. A simple majority is what is needed and that’s “democracy” folks! ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    As we saw in the previous two posts in this series, the long defeat was an important theme for Tolkien that continued even after the defeat of Sauron. As is well-known, Tolkien did not intend his fiction to be an allegory; unlike C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings was not designed to correlate to the Christ event. Given the lack of attention to a central act of atonement in the book, it is not surprising that Tolkien continued the theme of the long defeat even after the defeat of Sauron.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Images of extreme poverty motivate those with financial resources to donate their money to help alleviate poverty; or that is what the producers of the images hope occurs. However, reducing the terrible and often deadly ramifications of poverty is not as simple as signing the ONE petition or buying RED products (both of which I have done). The problem is also not as straightforward as the global 1% of wealth (the “haves”) giving of their means as handouts to the “have-nots.” The position of wealth in the Global West often leads to a mentality that says we know what is best for the Global Rest – we assume that if they just do what we did then they will get the same results. However, this classification of foreign aid ignores the resources of the Global Poor and their local churches, and instead creates an unhealthy dependency on handouts undermining the dignity of the materially poor, while “their poverty is actually deepened by the very churches and organizations that are trying to help them” (Fikkert & Mask, From Dependence to Dignity, 2015, p. 20) ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I’ll bet you’re curious to know what this post is about! Actually, I love curious people, and find those who lack curiosity to be a bit boring. Still, there are some things that are good to be curious about, and others that vie for our attention that are not edifying. Here are two things worthy of your curiosity, and three that are not ...

  • Mick Boersma — 

    ... I’ve also concluded that, metaphorically speaking, 40 miles per hour is my best speed for living life. Of course, there are those times when I have to go fast to finish a project or keep up with a host of activities particular to a certain time of year (like the little league/soccer schedules of my grand children). We all have fast times, for sure. But the life speed that will enable me to go the long haul, continue to be effective, enjoyable to live with, and strong enough to handle the load, is a cruising speed of 40. Perhaps I first started becoming comfortable with this pace as a boy on our family farm. Life came and went in seasons. Spring and Summer were frenetic at times, but Fall and Winter balanced everything out as the ice and snow forced me to slow down, look both ways, and proceed with caution ...

  • Tom Finley — 

    At a recent luncheon, the Talbot faculty were reminded about the culture of academia, a culture that permeates Christian universities as well. The typical academic conducts research by herself or himself alone. Any paper or book that results may be reviewed by colleagues, but still the research is the product of one mind alone. Sometimes there are books that contain contributions by various researchers, but each article typically has also a single author. There are exceptions to the rule—books or articles that are co-authored. They are still exceptions, though, and not the rule ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Ser mamá es uno de los más grandes privilegios, honores y responsabilidades en esta vida. El amor de una madre por sus hijos trasciende el entendimiento y supera cualquier otra expresión de cariño. Por todos es conocida la figura de una “madre abnegada” que da todo por sus hijos sin esperar nada a cambio. A pesar de su amor desinteresado es triste que como hijos y como sociedad en general tomemos este amor por sentado y no lo apreciemos como deberíamos. Qué bueno que podemos celebrar el día de las madres para honrar su servicio y legado en nuestras vidas. Lo malo es que no tengamos la tendencia a reconocer su esfuerzo durante todo el año y celebremos también sus vidas como mujeres que tienen sueños y dones más allá de su labor como madres ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    As the Gospels proclaim, the poor will always be with us (Mt. 26:11) and we are called to help those in need (Mt. 25:31-46). The problem is—how do we do that without causing more harm than good? Anyone who has served in charities in a long-term capacity can recognize a common pattern that author Bob Lupton points out in Toxic Charity ...

  • Rick Langer — 

    In light of Holocaust Remembrance Week and Holocaust Remembrance Day on May 5, professor Rick Langer shares what a swastika means to him. ... Likewise, the swastika, the twisted cross, is a distillation of all of Nazism. It proclaims “racial purity” and narratives of “supermen” and “lives unworthy of living.” Its jagged arms encompass a thousand crimes both large and small, and circumscribe many million corpses, named and unnamed, which lie in graves across the continent of Europe. But the swastika has also etched a personal meaning into countless souls. Some of these souls whisper stories from their graves, but others still walk among us. And for some, myself included, the stories of our fathers and mothers have been etched into our souls as well ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    This post continues the study of the long defeat of Tolkien by looking at the foundational work for the Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion. As noted in the previous post, the long defeat was Tolkien’s phrase for the idea that no matter how many times one defeated evil, it continued to (apparently effortlessly) return to full strength. The motif is connected with the elves primarily, who are immortal and experience the long defeat over the long millennia of their lives. Since we are talking about the long defeat, it is good to slow down and look at more history!

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    The summer of 2014 gave us the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on the side of religious liberty. The summer of 2015 witnessed another culturally controversial 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which carries potentially ominous implications for religious liberty (particularly according to the dissents of Justices Roberts and Alito). Meanwhile, some legal scholars are forecasting a massive public policy paradigm shift in coming years over another hotly contested issue—the right to life. Fordham University’s Charles Camosy, as a case-in-point, sees such a dramatic shift as not only possible but indeed inevitable ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    What images do the word “work” bring to mind? If students and others I’ve had the chance to ask are any measure, the first thoughts aren’t all that positive. For myself I can recall flip comments I have made (half-) jokingly about hating when my work gets in the way of my hobby (cycling, mountain biking—the sport of kings!). From what I get from others, I’m fairly typical ...