Spiritual Formation Articles

  • John E. McKinley — 

    In part 1 , part 2 , and part 3 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    In part 1 and part 2 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in feeding the...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    In part 1 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in feeding the body. I...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    How does the world reply to Christ’s question in Mark 16:15 ,“But who do you say that I am?” Great teacher? Religious leader? Humanitarian?...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    I am not good at balance, but I am aware of the need for it. We all make hundreds of choices every day that are small in themselves, but have...

  • Thomas J. Finley — 

    Sometimes meditating on Scripture can be enhanced by viewing art in conjunction with the Scripture. Recently my wife, Anita, attended a one-day...

  • A New Bible Translation for Young Children

    Review of "The Best News Ever"

    Kenneth Berding — 

    I wrote the following review in a similar register as the translation being reviewed. Enjoy! A woman named Jan Harthan lived in a different...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    It is easy for Christians to feel distant from God and overwhelmed with the stresses of daily life. It does not work for us to simply reproach...

  • Michael Thigpen — 

    The following is a portion of a chapter I wrote in Biblical Leadership: Theology for the Everyday Leader (Edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    Prayer is unnatural and often dubious, so it is difficult. We wonder if we have the right motives, if we will be heard by God, and if we have...

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    I received a good question from my nephew the other day—one that I think comes around to all of us at one time or another. It’s about assurance,...

  • Joseph H. Hellerman — 

    Here is the Introduction from Dr. Joe Hellerman’s newly released book, Why We Need The Church To Become More Like Jesus: Reflections About...

  • Joanne J. Jung — 

    We are made in the image of God, an image that is tarnished yet has survived the fall. Who we are is intrinsically connected to who God is. Our spiritual depth, our being able to know ourselves, is linked to knowing God and who He is. This is where God’s word comes into the equation, because the Bible is one of the primary ways God discloses himself—what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He promises to do. Spiritual depth is far more than how much you know the Scriptures or even how well you know it. It is knowing the Word of God and the God of the Word, the book and its author. We come away with a better, more thought-filled understanding of what He is like, what He says, what He expects of those who bear His image, and why, and how He empowers those who follow His son Jesus ...

  • Joanne J. Jung — 

    Symptoms of unattended souls are wide and many. Self-diagnosis is not difficult. Pridefulness and self-centeredness. Bitterness. Loneliness. The tendency to doubt. The tendency to compare. Regrets. Depression. Envy. Anger. Fear. Hopelessness. Guilt. Feeling insecure. Feeling unlovable. Being short-tempered with the people I love most. Being short-tempered. Experiencing waves of unworthiness. Fake. Empty. Motivated by peer approval. Inadequate. Controlling. Defensive. Engage in only small talk. Mask-wearing. Hold grudges more and longer. Waste hours on the computer or in front of the T.V. Intolerant. Unforgiving. Apathetic ...

  • Joanne J. Jung — 

    It is a sad but accurate appraisal that in our contemporary society we are held captive by television viewing, commercials, and the Internet. We are victims of a repertoire of fast-food menus, instant gratification, and overcrowded, conflicting, and unrelenting schedules. This entertainment-soaked culture, wrestling with boredom, thrills, and materialism, has contributed to the sensory overload common to urban life. Our addiction to and with information technology with its online connections, news and internet communication, websites, blogs, and streaming (to name a few) exacerbates the preexisting flood of intruding must-haves and must-dos that demand our time, attention, affections, and devotion ...

  • Andy Draycott — 

    Then Charlottesville, now Sutherland Springs. In contemporary America. Islamabad. Cairo. Worshippers gathered together are met with unprovoked lethal violence. And we mourn. We mourn as fellow humans, we grieve as fellow believers, we mourn as a world-wide church. We grieve as those who hope in the resurrection of the dead assured by our anointed King and Savior Jesus who will come again to establish righteousness and equity through judgment ...

  • Betsy A. Barber — 

    When my father died, I grieved. My father died on a Sunday morning, early. His hospital roommate told us that Dad had spent his last night—the whole night—praying softly for his family, person by person, before dying peacefully in the early morning. Even though we’d known that he would die soon from bone cancer, and knew that he was eager to be home with the Lord, it was still a shock. It was still too soon. Death is like that: it always surprises us and it interrupts our lives. We stop, and we grieve.

  • Steven L. Porter — 

    I just returned from visiting a hole. The last time I met this hole in the ground was twenty-two years ago. I was in my mid-20s and probably in the best shape of my life. I was just beginning my daily 5-mile run and, if I remember right, I was feeling great about myself. I was young, healthy, thriving. As I ran through La Mirada Regional Park in the prime of my life there was a little 6 inches long by 3 inches wide hole under some pine needles up ahead. My foot found the hole or perhaps the hole found my foot and in a fraction of a second I went from a vigorous young man to a pathetic young man, lying on the ground, writhing in pain. As I hobbled back to my house, barely able to walk on my freshly sprained ankle, I found myself keenly aware of how incredibly fragile and vulnerable I was. Of course, the truth was that I was that fragile and vulnerable seconds before the hole, but it took the hole to bring that ever-present reality into awareness. I was painfully right-sized ...

  • David L. Talley — 

    There is no end of opportunities to be blessed with the teaching and preaching of God’s word. Great preachers can be heard on the radio. Podcasts can be automatically downloaded to our phones or iPads. The teaching of God’s word is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on cable television networks. Christian bookstores are full of books by the greatest authors of our day. Electronic books can be carried with us everywhere with ease. Churches have program after program geared toward teaching God’s word, not to mention a worship service every week, which includes a Bible-based sermon. From the cradle to the grave, opportunities abound ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    About ten years ago, some of my fellow professors and I began to observe a trend among undergraduate Biblical & Theological Studies majors at Biola. We noticed that freshman students arrived on campus eager and ready to learn, but at some point during their sophomore year, these Biblical Studies majors became aware that on average they generally knew more theology than did the average Biola student ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about why kids leave the faith. People have rightly drawn attention to the role of poor theology, the importance of kids owning their faith, the significance of intellectual issues such as the apparent tension between science and religion, and more. But there seems to be a core issue that is often overlooked—to develop a lasting faith, kids need to grasp their need for God. Let me explain ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Along with asking good questions, cultivating the art of listening well is one of the most important skills for Christians to develop today. And it is especially important for those who want to be effective apologists in our “argumentative” culture ... So, how does one develop the art of listening well? Here are four tips I have learned from personal experience as well as through my undergrad Communication Studies program at Biola University ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Dr. Matt Williams (Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies) recently released a new DVD Bible study series titled The Forgiveness of Jesus (a DVD Bible study, in the Deeper Connections series). We were able to catch up with Dr. Williams to learn more about this exciting series ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I have noticed something that troubles me while surveying common devotional books and guides that many Christians rely on in their daily lives. I have noticed that a common template for your average devotional tends to quote a Bible passage but then follows it with a well-meaning anecdote, or inspirational messages that are vaguely relevant to the quoted passage, or sometimes even trite aphorisms re-packaged with Christian overtones ...

  • David L. Talley — 

    Overall point: The major battle we face in this life is not what is seen, but what is not seen—Satan is intensely and intentionally opposed to what God is doing. AND the greatest defense we have is not our offense, but rather our dependence. Jesus is prayerful and successful; the disciples are prayerless and careless ...