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Culture Articles

  • Kevin E. Lawson — 

    This is fourth and final in a series of blogs on José Bowen’s book, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012). I shared in my first blog that the main thrust of his book 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. I then identified three ideas from Bowen’s work that I think have the potential of deepening the impact of our teaching in the church. In my second blog, I put the focus on his first idea, finding ways to use technology to provide content to group members, preparing them for active learning in your Bible study group. In the third blog I focused on how to better use your class time to help students in processing and applying the content of the Scripture you are studying together. In this final blog, I want to give our attention to ways we can use social media and other online technologies to connect with those we teach, promote a stronger sense of community as we follow Christ, and promote the application of what we are learning over time, deepening the impact of our studies ...

  • Tom Finley — 

    Amos has much to say about oppression and the plight of the poor in Israel, so it is only natural that his book has become a focal point for discussions about social justice.[1] At least three aspects of the issue dealt with by Amos concern the nature of God, the role of the individual, and the role of the social system ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    En el 2006, Ken Ferraro, un profesor de sociología de la universidad Purdue publicó un interesante artículo en la revista especializada “Journal for the Scientific Study of Religión” en el que reportaba los resultados de su investigación acerca de la relación entre la religión y el índice de masa corporal. En su estudio, Ferraro descubrió que sí existe una relación entre algunas religiones y la tendencia de sus miembros para ser obesos. Lamentablemente, los cristianos tienen la masa corporal más alta y los bautistas, en particular son los más obesos en los Estados Unidos. De hecho, cerca del 27 por ciento de los bautistas son obesos y, por lo tanto, el grupo religioso con mayor sobrepeso en un gran contraste con religiones no cristianas como la judía, musulmana y budista donde menos del uno por ciento de sus miembros son obesos ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    On April 25, 1967, the church lost a great Christian philosopher and apologist named Edward John Carnell. He was almost 48 years old. Today marks the 48th anniversary of his death. He was a graduate of Wheaton College and of Westminster Theological Seminary. He later earned doctoral degrees in theology and philosophy, at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University, respectively ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Arnold Lunn was born to a Methodist minister, but he was himself agnostic and a critic of Christianity—until he was 45 years old, when he converted to the faith. Lunn died on June 2, 1974. Lunn was a professional skier and full-time enthusiast. He founded the Alpine Ski Club and the Kandahar Ski Club. He brought slalom skiing to the racing world, and he’s the namesake for a double black diamond ski trail at Taos Ski Valley. Lunn credited his agnosticism to the wholly unconvincing cause of Anglicanism. He looked in vain for persuasive arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Later he would say that “an odd hour or two at the end of a boy’s school life might not be unprofitably spend in armouring him against the half-baked dupes of ill informed secularists” (The Third Day, xvii). He wrote in criticism of the faith and debated Christianity’s prominent defenders ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Born in 1861, W. H. Griffith Thomas died on June 2, 1924. His greatest and most sophisticated work is his book The Principles of Theology, a commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church. But one short and reader-friendly book that should interest students of Christian apologetics is How We Got Our Bible ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Søren Kierkegaard was born May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He’s been called a Christian existentialist, a fideist, a satirist, and “the melancholy Dane.” He was concerned about the disconnect between Christian profession and the lived reality of true Christianity. He called his contemporaries to a deeper personal encounter with God. And he wrote with penetrating insight about the failure of the purely aesthetic life—what we today might call secularism—which seeks pleasure without discerning its natural and ultimate end, namely, despair. Kierkegaard’s contribution is considerable, even for the evidentialist. In fact, his sermonic style may be of value to the apologist who insists on the value of evidence. E. J. Carnell, mid-twentieth century, did the most to bring Kierkegaard’s insight into an overall “combinationalist” approach to apologetics. Carnell wrote: “There can be no question that Søren Kierkegaard gave a profoundly convincing defense of the third locus of truth.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    This series began by noting how we live in the Age of Feeling and Authenticity. We have come to see how Jesus can save us from it, how he can restore just sentiments like outrage, compassion, and joy. This leaves us with two hanging questions: First, how do we actually come to feel just sentiments the way Jesus did? Second, why Jesus’ feelings? Can’t we learn just sentiments from the emotional lives of Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Rosa Parks? Or from that friendly janitor, that magnanimous co-worker, or that self-giving mother? Or perhaps even from Homer’s Ulysses, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry? Aren’t there a billion admirable feelers, real and fictional, who show us what life can look like beyond the confines of the modern fact box and the postmodern feeling box?

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Recientemente las palabras diversidad, tolerancia y racismo se han convertido en temas centrales de nuestra sociedad. Muchos sucesos a nivel nacional, local y personal me han hecho reflexionar acerca de la importancia que como seguidores de Cristo tenemos para aportar luz a una sociedad que enfrenta realidades a las que en ocasiones no sabe cómo responder. También he notado que algunos cristianos están confundidos acerca de lo que es realmente importante y esencial en nuestra fe y qué es lo secundario en lo que podemos aceptar diferencias con gracia y amor. Es necesario que en estos tiempos podamos claramente hablar la verdad en amor a todos los que nos rodean para poder ser buenos embajadores de Cristo ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Here are some words of exhortation that have special application to the events and conditions of our present tumultuous age: ... But whence, in this eventful day, can we draw the principles of caution, prudence and wisdom, if not from the Gospel of Jesus Christ? And can we with diligence seek these principles, and with confidence exercise them, unless we have firm faith in the truth of our Holy Religion?

  • Kenneth Way — 

    The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the California Science Center offers a historic opportunity to see artifacts and manuscripts from what is arguably the most significant archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. The Dead Sea Scrolls are precious to Jews and Christians of all backgrounds because of what they contribute to our understanding of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, the beliefs and practices of ancient Judaism and the cultural background of the New Testament.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    As we learn emotions from Jesus, not only does our blood start to boil (see Part 2) and our stomachs turn (see Part 3), he also shows our hearts how to beat with real joy. There is a stereotype floating around which says that Jesus and the faith he represents are about cold-hearted duty, doing the right thing at the expense of our happiness. There are enough grim-faced moralistic systems out that brandish the name of “Christianity” to keep the stereotype alive. But they have more in common with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant than with the kingdom of Jesus. The day after he stormed the Temple, Jesus returns to the same Temple courts to announce that his kingdom is like a big party, and everyone is invited; not a boarding school, not a boot camp, not a prison chain gang, but a party.

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    On May 25, 1805 the Christian church lost one of its ablest and most-remembered defenders. William Paley—Anglican minister, professor, and author—is permanently associated with the analogy of a watchmaker and the God of personal theism. He wrote that “the contrivances of nature . . . are not less evidently mechanical, not less evidently contrivances, not less accommodated to their end or suited to their office, than are the most perfect productions of human ingenuity” (Natural Theology, 1802). Paley mined the riches of biology for samples of such contrivance. In his day, the state of scientific knowledge in the field of biology permitted comparatively easy inference to the appearance of teleology in the natural world. Critics today forget this. The “demise” of Paley’s design argument for the existence of God is credited especially to a development that was to happen some 60 years later—the emergence of the new theory of evolution, beginning with the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) ...

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    If we peer underneath Jesus’ table-flipping rage at the Temple (explored in Part 2), we find a still deeper emotion to reflect. Matthew’s account tells us that immediately after protesting the poor-oppressing, God-mocking Temple system, “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them" (Matthew 21:14). What a beautiful moment. In it we see that Jesus was outraged not in spite of His care for people but precisely because of it. The very people marginalized and trampled under the religious power structure are brought into the spotlight and elevated by Jesus. (He has a way of doing that.) He didn’t take anything from them or treat them like chumps in a captive market. He gave them vision and sound bodies. He treated them like the intrinsically valuable human beings they each were—and all for free.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    To see and experience something of Jesus’ emotions, let us join eighty to a hundred thousand religious pilgrims on their trek to the sacred city to worship at the Jewish Temple. It is Passover week. In order to participate in the traditional Temple offerings, people need doves or pigeons. Since worshippers need these birds, they were sold at the Temple at a premium price. You could get a more economical bird outside the Temple courts or lug one from home through the hot desert. However, every bird used in Temple rituals had to pass the rigid purity standards of the Temple’s in-house animal inspectors. Only inflated Temple-sold birds had the guaranteed certification of the scrupulous inspectors. In this way, the house of prayer had become a classic case of what economists call a “captive market.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Siempre me ha sorprendido el contraste entre las celebraciones del día de las madres y las del día del padre. Generalmente el día de las madres es una gran festividad y un motivo de alegría generalizado en el cual la mayoría reconoce la labor tan ardua y abnegada de las madres. Celebrar a la mamá es una obligación social que se asume con entusiasmo porque todos tienen motivos de sobra para hacerlo. Reconocer a los padres, sin embargo, no tiene el mismo peso social y la efusividad disminuye considerablemente. Ambos padres son importantes, pero pareciera que el énfasis y el reconocimiento son diferentes.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    If Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and a mix of our ancestors from virtually any age of human history were crammed into a time machine and hurled into the twenty-first century, there is something normal to us that they would find totally bewildering. I am not referring to air and space travel, or the worldwide renown achieved by a cartoon mouse, or even technologies that put all human knowledge at our fingertips that we use to watch endless cat bloopers, bizarre as all of that would seem. I am referring instead to the sacred, unquestioned authority granted to feelings in our day. Western culture has been through a so-called ‘Age of Faith’ and an ‘Age of Reason.’ We live in what Princeton’s Robert George calls “the Age of Feeling.”[1] Canadian Philosopher, Charles Taylor, prefers the moniker, “The Age of Authenticity,” to describe how staying true to your feelings, whatever they may be, has become the highest virtue of our day (unlike historic virtues in which certain feelings could and should be chastened).

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Doug Geivett is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. He's recently published two books that focus on the New Apostolic Reformation. One is a shorter book titled God's Super-Apostles, and a longer one called A New Apostolic Reformation? A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement. Both can be purchased directly from the publisher or at amazon.com. Today's interview explores the nature and influence of this movement.

  • 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 ...

  • 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.

  • Mitch Glaser — 

    This morning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United States Congress. We believe he will argue against the United States joining a number of major European powers in signing an agreement with Iran that would temporarily limit the development of nuclear grade enriched uranium and allow for the production of non-nuclear grade material.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • Alan W. Gomes — 

    In the last twenty years, many individuals claim to have visited heaven or hell and have written vivid accounts of what they purport to have seen. What should we make of these stories? Should they form a basis for our faith? Might they supplement or enhance the convictions that we already have? How do we evaluate such claims and what is their practical use even if true?

  • Alan W. Gomes — 

    In the last twenty years, many individuals claim to have visited heaven or hell and have written vivid accounts of what they purport to have seen. What should we make of these stories? Should they form a basis for our faith? Might they supplement or enhance the convictions that we already have? How do we evaluate such claims and what is their practical use even if true?