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Culture Articles

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    This is the first of a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In this first installment, I sketch the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and apply biblical principles to common objections. In subsequent (shorter) posts, I will respond to alleged “biblical” arguments used by gun advocates, who claim that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals. [I have slighly modified this post in the wake of the horrible tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.]

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    Between 1750 and 1900, the total expanse of human knowledge had doubled. At that time of pre-technology human history, it took 150 years. Today, the growth of knowledge is occurring some 100 times faster. It is said that the entire sum of all known information, i.e., human knowledge, doubles every 1.5 years. By 2020 it is estimated that it will be doubling approximately every month and a half (72 days). Think about that…

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Allow me to introduce you to Brett McCracken. Brett is a Talbot student and Biola employee whom God is using in some very strategic ways to represent Jesus and his people at the national level. I became acquainted with Brett through my oversight of the Good Book Blog. I am thankful and proud that this humble and gifted young man is part of the Biola/Talbot community, and I think that you will be, too, after you read the following interview.

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    God’s role as a divine warrior is most likely one of his more neglected characteristics. Some today have gone so far as to reject any talk today about God being a divine warrior, viewing it as tired metaphor that should be retired. But most Christians have simply stopped thinking of God as one who fights. Not only does it not seem to mesh well with the picture of the peaceful Jesus but it is also out of step with most of contemporary culture. In spite of these concerns, looking at the martial actions of YHWH in the Old Testament (YHWH is a transliteration of God’s name in Hebrew) can help us understand better the God that we serve.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Literally. This morning I was jogging on the beach and came across four people: (1) a minister, (2) photographer, (3) a young man in a tux, and (4) a young lady in a wedding dress. I think the ceremony had just ended, because they were signing the marriage license as I ran by. What was sad was that there was not another person in sight.

  • David Talley — 

    This is a review of book that you might find helpful: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El gran educador Antonio del Corro (Sevilla, 1527-Londres, 1591) es quizá una de las figuras más importantes y a la vez menos conocidas de la reforma española. Es también un ejemplo a imitar para todos los que seguimos a Cristo y sobre todo para los que nos dedicamos a servirle a través de la enseñanza. El historiador Emilio Monjo se refiere a Antonio de Corro como “un personaje que refleja el talante de la Reforma española en cuanto a su libertad de pensamiento y palabra: una iglesia que había nacido libre por la acción de la Escritura, y que se mantuvo libre con la Escritura también en su exilio europeo".

  • Clinton E. Arnold — 

    I am so very grateful for the life and legacy of Pastor Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement. He entered the presence of the Lord early this morning after a bout with lung cancer.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Three years ago, Trudi and I adopted two precious girls out of the Los Angeles County foster system. They are now 14 and 12 years old. We are deeply grateful for these precious young ladies God has brought into our family. But we encountered a few things that we wish someone had told us about foster-adoptions before we started the process. Here is a short list of issues that might be helpful for you to know if you’re considering embarking on such an adventure.

  • John McKinley — 

    In response to the ongoing revelations of widespread cheating in professional sports, my earlier blog explored the idea of cheating as compared to New Testament ethics. So much for why athletes should not cheat, and what they should pursue instead. The doping problems in sport raise another question: what is someone responsible to do when she becomes aware of others' cheating? This question extends beyond sport to daily life evils that are preventable if someone in our lives would just speak up once in a while.

  • John McKinley — 

    Slowly, more top professional cyclists that were rivals of Lance Armstrong are mumbling confessions of the same carefully-worded sort that Lance released last January. Some have been coerced by teams or government inquiries (as with the handful of Americans who testified to their own doping as part of implicating Lance Armstrong). The latest is Jan Ullrich, the German cyclist who placed second to Lance three times in the Tour de France. Like many others, Ullrich used the same worn out excuse that “everybody was doing it,” and that his joining the “medical program” was just a way to play on a level field. What are we to think of these things?

  • Gary L. McIntosh — 

    A recent check on Amazon.com discovered that over 25,000 books are listed under the category of Church Growth. This is an amazing number of books given the fact that the North American Church Growth Movement is only forty-one years old. With such a large number of books written on the topic of church growth, it is only natural to ask if there is any consensus on what factors are found in growing churches in North America. What are those factors? I thought you’d never ask!

  • Gary L. 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.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    I left for our short trip to Santa Barbara feeling weary. The semester was ending here at Talbot--there had been several speaking engagements, grandchildren to tend and sick babies to hold. All good things, and needed things, but I felt stressed by the load.

  • Gary L. McIntosh — 

    Peter Drucker wrote that in our knowledge-based society, information is the key resource and building block for every type of organization. Information is the new money, currency upon which organizations rise or fall. How may a local church respond to the new currency of information in today's world?

  • 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!

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    Often times it seems that harder the church tries to be relevant, the more irrelevant we become. The Bible is full of this kind of upside down logic. The self-clingers lose themselves, the prideful end up humbled, those jostling to be first end last, and, now it seems, those trying the hardest to be relevant end up most irrelevant. Thaddeus Williams explores what happens when the church puts relevance to culture ahead of reverence to Christ.

  • 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.

  • Steve Porter — 

    While Christians decry the secularization of Christmas, the spirit of that season (gift-giving, twinkling lights, warm cocoa) coalesces rather well with the celebration of God coming to earth in the birth of Jesus. Easter is more difficult. For the Christian, the meaning of Easter is directly connected to the brutal and unjust execution of the one born in Bethlehem. Easter is the exuberance of the empty tomb, and yet it stands in solidarity with the alienation of a blood stained cross.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Social Justice or The Proclamation of the Gospel? In Amos Part One (2/18) we encountered the Northern Kingdom experiencing great prosperity during the reign of Jeroboam II. Suddenly, the prophet Amos appeared on the scene predicting Israel’s destruction and exile. I ended the previous post with this challenging question: “Why has God become so angry with a people that He has so richly blessed?”

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    We are presently teaching through the Minor Prophets at church. I had the joy of tackling the book of Amos over a couple Sundays in February—not exactly a seeker-sensitive text.

  • 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.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the top pop songs of 2012 was Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Its catchy tune worked its way into millions of ears and stayed there; it was a classic “ear worm.” Even those of us who don’t listen to pop music were vexed by how difficult it was to get this song out of our thoughts.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Disneyland's Candlelight Processional on Main Street U.S.A. was surprisingly focused on Christ. Beautifully performed musical selections were interspersed between the readings based on the biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth, life, and death. Yes, his birth, life, and death. Disappointed that Jesus’ resurrection was not explicitly mentioned (Maybe next year, Disneyland), but pleasantly surprised by any mention of Jesus’ life beyond his birth. Many moments were just plain worshipful. Part of that worship was seeing the biblical narrative heard by thousands each night.

  • Jason McMartin — 

    Among the must-have toys of Christmas 1975 was the pet rock. Advertising executive Gary Dahl conceived the idea while listening to others complain about the hassles of animate pets, and then his marketing instincts kicked in. He gathered ordinary stones,