Skip to main content

Category: Ministry and Leadership

  • 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 ...

  • Walt Russell — 

    When was the last time you heard the Bible taught and it penetrated to the core of your being? What about having this experience after thinking, “I could care less about this topic!”? Then, much to your surprise, the Spirit used the Bible rightly-interpreted and rightly-applied to cut through your lack of interest and the absence of a felt need. You stumbled out of the room enthralled with the God who speaks so clearly and powerfully through His Word. You left passionately asking the Lord of the Bible how you could align your life with this amazing truth that you cared nothing about the hour before ...

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Let me begin by saying I am passionate about exposing teenagers to the work of God around the world, as well as to using their talents to help continue that work both where they live as well as other locations both near and far. However, I am concerned about how most short-term mission trips are planned, administered and experienced in ways that demean and undermine the people and ministries we seek to serve, while impressing upon our teenagers “missions” is something you do (i.e. an event) rather than an attitude or lifestyle. I am concerned because for many years as a youth pastor, I was the problem ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    This past fall a friend shared an article from the New York Times entitled The Microcomplaint: Nothing Too Small to Complain About. It was amusing to read about all the silly complaints that celebrities tweeted to the world. Everything from the misery of only decaf coffee being available to what the writer deemed a “complaintbrag” of not being able to buy a Persian rug with cherub imagery. This habit, however, does not appear to be limited to celebrities. Cruise ship directors have received equally amusing complaints. For example, one passenger reported that the sea was “too loud” while another passenger grumbled about there being no celebrities on the Celebrity Cruise ship. In the past complaining was something often reserved for private ears. Today, however, it is not only acceptable to publically complain about the littlest inconvenience, it is often encouraged. It has even been identified as a communication style, particularly of Americans, who frequently see themselves as victims. Are Christians exempt from “microcomplaining” or are we part of the “culture of complaint”? What does Scripture have to say about complaining? ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Michelle Lee-Barnewall (Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology) recently wrote and published Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian: A Kingdom Corrective to the Gender Debate. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we had Michelle respond to some questions ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    ... When I was younger, I would try to get rid of doubts by closing my eyes (really really tightly) and concentrate (really really hard) on pushing out the doubtful thoughts. And when I (inevitably) started thinking about my doubts again, I’d simply try again (really try this time!) to expel those doubts. But you can’t push doubts out of your mind any easier than you can push other thoughts out of your mind by valiantly trying ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A spiritually-minded friend of my wife and me recently made this comment: “I struggle with the idea of praying according to the will of God. Since I know that some things are clearly according to God’s will, why can’t I just pray directly about those things and know for certain that they’re going to happen? But that’s not the way it works with my prayers. For example, I know that God doesn’t want Christians to get divorced. But I’ve sometimes prayed that God would preserve a struggling marriage that still ended up in divorce ...

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    The new year is always a time of reflection. Many people make resolutions to lose weight, exercise, continue education, and a host of other plans. Whether or not you make resolutions, the new year is a good time to reflect on your life and ministry ...

  • David Talley — 

    When was the last time you considered the mentally ill or, even much less, ministry to the mentally ill? I have been remembering a good friend. He was my best friend during my freshman year in college. Our rooms were in the same suite in our dorm. We shared a bathroom. We took the same classes. We sat next to one another in chapel because my last name followed his alphabetically. We were on the basketball team. As point guard, I fed him the ball, and, as shooting guard, he made the shot. What a team we were! He introduced me to my wife. We double-dated numerous times. He was the best man in my wedding. We vacationed together as families through the years. We saw one another on at least a yearly basis, our friendship always picking up like we had just seen one another the week before. We shared something special ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Columnist Joel Stein in the December 21 issue of TIME (p. 174) labeled 2015 as “The Year the Adults Gave Up" ...

  • John McKinley — 

    This devotional is a reminder that God works through us as his instruments in ways we don’t choose. While there are many valuable things of research and teaching that God works through us in various ways, a primary mode of God’s work is easy to forget.

  • Mick Boersma — 

    It was Christmas 1984. The snow was flying and the roads slippery, but Rolane and I had paid $120 for four seats to take our daughters to the ‘Nutcracker’ in Seattle and nothing was going to stop us from enjoying the show. We crammed into our old VW and made the opening curtain. What great seats they were! Front row, first balcony – the kind of view reserved for royalty! ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    ¡Animo! Es una exclamación que todos necesitamos escuchar con frecuencia. A pesar de la presión popular que nos obliga a mostrar siempre nuestra mejor cara y a declarar que siempre estamos bien cuando alguien nos hace la tan común pregunta ¿cómo estás?, la realidad es que todos batallamos con diferentes circunstancias y siempre necesitamos que alguien nos muestre su apoyo y nos anime. Es importante que tengamos personas cercanas que nos alienten a seguir adelante. ¡Todos necesitamos a alguien en nuestro equipo! ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I came to Christ as a last resort after a year-long quest to find God back in 1975. With two thriving evangelical churches just a few blocks from my doorstep, why did I explore the Christian faith last instead of first? The cool factor, of course! I was a long-haired, pot-smoking keyboard player in a rock band. Eastern and New Age religion were “spiritual” and cool — Christianity definitely was not ...

  • Daniel Kim — 

    When speaking to seminary graduates from all across the U.S., I’ve been noticing an increasing discomfort in students regarding their ability to preach and teach effectively from the Old Testament. Part of this is because the Old Testament comprises so much of the Bible, and there just isn’t enough space in a degree program to adequately cover all of the Old Testament (especially a degree that doesn’t concentrate solely on the Old Testament). The Old Testament is packed with a wide variety of genres and covers such an expansive amount of history ...

  • David Talley — 

    I believe that we are at a place in the history of the church where we need to have a vision for what we are seeking to produce in people through the ministries of the church. It can be increasingly difficult to maintain a simple focus on our main purpose to “make disciples” in light of the diverse needs of any church body and, therefore, it is easy to get caught up in the “monster of ministry” activity. I believe that we need to think more strategically in terms of what we are seeking to produce in a person and make this a focus for the church. Our biblical mandate is to present every person complete in Christ. What would this look like? Where should our sights be set? What should the life of disciple look like? ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Seminary students are among the busiest people I know. Church + Family + School + Work makes for a challenging time of wise prioritizing. A Talbot professor back in the early 1980s gave his busy seminarians some pointed advice. He instructed us not to spend a lot of our time in local church ministry. “This is your training time,” he asserted, “and seminary is where you need to focus for this season of your life.” At the time it sounded like good advice. Now I’m not so sure ...

  • Tom Finley — 

    Here is a challenging essay, written long ago by several Talbot professors, about the importance of reading the Old Testament in the original language. Two of the authors are retired (one to glory). The third, Dr. Tom Finley, is still with us. Some things never change — like the significance of Hebrew for sound OT exegesis. Some things, however, do change. Please note that the article was written for the Talbot Bulletin in the fall of 1979, before sensitivity to issues of culture and gender became part of the literary landscape. Caveat lector ...

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Joanne Jung (Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology) recently finished writing Character Formation in Online Education: A Guide for Instructors, Administrators, and Accrediting Agencies and it will be released on October 13, 2015. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we had Joanne respond to some questions ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Esta semana hablé por teléfono con un amigo y cuando le pregunté qué estaba haciendo me dijo que estaba en la sala de su casa leyendo las noticias en el periódico local. En tono de broma le pregunté si había encontrado una buena noticia y me respondió rápidamente con un “no” rotundo. Al parecer las malas noticias salen a luz mientras que las buenas se pierden en el anonimato social ...

  • Kevin 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 ...

  • Mick Boersma — 

    This past spring my wife and I traveled to five states and visited nearly 50 Talbot alumni. Our journeys found us in the San Joaquin valley of California, the Flagstaff-Casa Grande corridor of Arizona, parts of Illinois and Indiana, and the Colorado Interstate 25 from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs. And while our grads were doing all kinds of ministry in a multitude of settings, some basics about life and ministry came through loud and clear. Here are some of the most prevalent ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the keys to understanding the New Testament (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT) may be the recognition that when a NT author draws upon an idea found in a particular OT passage, it does not have to be the main idea of that passage to be usable. The contemporary assumption (often not articulated) that it has to be the main idea of an OT text to be legitimate seems to be a key stumbling block for people studying the NT use of the OT. The tendency for people to focus only on the main idea of a text (rather than also upon sub-themes) may also explain my present discomfort with the sense / referent distinction made by various authors.[1] The sense / referent distinction seems to assume a single sense for a verse that is akin to an exegetical idea of that verse.

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    For many of us who are not pastors or missionaries, integrating our walks of faith and our vocational callings can be a challenge. Throughout church history, there have been some remarkable men and women who have excelled at meeting this challenge. One such example lived in the early centuries of the church. Her name was Bathild (c. 630-c.680), and she found herself in various vocational situations at different stages in her life. In each of those situations, she found opportunities to be a blessing to others and to advance the kingdom of God ...

  • John McKinley — 

    ... In meditation, I now listen for God’s message through the text in a different way. I have stopped merely thinking about the sermon and drilling into the passage, chewing on what the commentary says, and that has helped open things up for me. The result is a different sort of sermon ...