Theology Articles

  • John E. McKinley — 

    The topic of God and time is complicated and unclear. Christian theologians and philosophers disagree about God’s relationship to time. Theorists disagree about whether only the present moment exists, or if the past and the future are equally real. One question that comes up in teaching theology is God’s knowledge of the future: how does God know the future, and how does God’s knowledge fit with human freedom, God’s providence, and the reality of the future? ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    Most agree that knowledge about the Bible in the United States is very low today (our own Ken Berding’s helpful Bible Fluency Program seeks to rectify this). What little Bible knowledge is present usually is focused on the New Testament, leaving the Old Testament as a scary foreign land that few visit. However, this was not always the case. A recent book by Eran Shalev, American Zion: The Old Testament as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War, gives us a glimpse of a somewhat different world as he shows how important the Old Testament was in political discussions in the United States before the Civil War ...

  • 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 ...

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    This week’s conference, “Israel and the Church: A Troubled Past and Glorious Future,” hosted by Biola and Chosen People Ministries, provided yet another opportunity for me to think “big picture.” As most of us, I suppose, the cares of daily tasks—emails, news cycles, family, work-ministry, church-ministry—I can get so buried in the daily that I lose the plan! By plan I mean the narrative that God has written for the world. A narrative that first rescues a fallen creation and then restores it to the flourishing fullness God made it for ...

  • Octavio Javier Esqueda — 

    This semester I am part of a professors’ reading group about the relationship of economics and Christian theology. We are reading several books and discussing relevant issues regarding a theology of work, stewardship, and economics. Obviously every author and participant has a unique perspective about different topics, but in our group we all come from a position of privilege, especially as we talk about poverty and ways to help those who are less fortunate. We have a tendency to talk about the poor as “they,” as people different from us and not necessarily as peers who can also teach us and lead us into better paths as we immerse in their circumstances and perspectives ...

  • Joseph H. Hellerman — 

    This year we are studying 1 Corinthians at Oceanside Christian Fellowship. I preached the message on 6:12-20, with the above title. I began by explaining Paul’s foundational principles in verse 12: (1) not all things are helpful, and (2) I will not be dominated by anything. The rest of the sermon outlined the “Five Good Reasons” (subtitle, above) as follows ...

  • Octavio Javier Esqueda — 

    Hace un par de semanas estuve en Guatemala para iniciar un curso semestral en un programa doctoral en educación teológica. Este programa es singular en Latinoamérica y enseñar en él me da la oportunidad de convivir con líderes de diferentes países y también aprender de ellos. A pesar de que este doctorado se enfoca principalmente en la educación teológica formal a través de universidades y seminarios, la realidad es que todo nuestro entorno debería tener un enfoque teológico porque Dios es el creador del universo y el centro fundamental de toda la existencia. Por esto el conocimiento de Dios o educación teológica nos debería ayudar a “pensar teológicamente” sobre todas las áreas de la vida ...

  • David L. Talley — 

    ... Grace is a concept that we have fully received, but one that we will never fully comprehend. Throughout all of eternity we will be “grow(ing) in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Our worship and praise of the One who has bestowed grace on us will only increase, ever and always … there will be no end of our awe ...

  • David L. Talley — 

    I love advent season. Every year at our church we have a sermon series focused on advent during the five weeks leading up to Christmas day. It is always a joyous celebration. This year our focus is on John 1:1-18 ...

  • John E. 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.

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    While I’m not usually too much into “merchandising in the Temple,” I must here. That’s because the book at issue in this modest review is a grabber. Not only does it concern a topic most pressing in our ever secularizing world—and therefore one Evangelicals must get good at talking about—it’s a topic that touches every one of us in everything we do ...

  • Thaddeus John Williams — 

    What gifts does God give us in the person and work of Christ? How can we unwrap and enjoy them every day with the wide-eyed wonder of a kid on Christmas morning? Dr. Williams offers some Christmas reflections.

  • David A. Horner — 

    "GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS," New York’s Daily News announced in the aftermath of the latest US mass shooting, in San Bernardino. Their target? Presidential candidates who immediately responded to the tragedy by offering sufferers their “thoughts and prayers,” not calling for more gun control.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    An Interview with Talbot's Dean, Dr. Clinton E. Arnold, and his son, Jeff Arnold, about their most recent book: Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The national pastime has become a sacred holiday: shopping on “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving has developed into a manic state of sales and spending as retailers, seeking bigger holiday profits, offer new bargains and longer hours to lure holiday shoppers to good deals and great values on amazing products. The spending hype reaches fever pitch as stores open earlier and earlier each year, replacing the day dedicated to gratefulness with unashamed greed and giddiness for a purchase that is meant to show our love for another, bought in rushes of grabbing items that has led to fights, stampedes and debt. Many justify this intense season of shopping with the value of the purchase – the money saved on an item they would buy at a higher price later indicates this was a good value-based purchase ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    In part 2 of this blog series, I present the second biblical metaphor revealing the Holy Spirit: the wind. We need to discern what the metaphor is, and what its meanings are within the biblical and ANE framework. I will be drawing some details from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. My goal is to recognize patterns of meaning that may be intended to expand our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in subtle ways hinted at through metaphors ...

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    There are times for all of us when we feel bruised and battered by the relentlessness of life. We long for respite, a chance to catch our breath before the next project or crisis consumes us. But often, life’s challenges are unremitting. They just keep on coming! ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    Every year, the week before Thanksgiving brings the annual scholarly conferences for biblical and theological studies. Like most years, Biola and Talbot professors and students are well represented at these meetings in a variety of ways ... The following list (mostly compiled by David Roberts) includes all those at Biola and Talbot participating in the meetings this year. As always, Biola professors and students are doing fascinating work in many different areas! ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    What Did the New Testament Authors Really Care About? The easiest way we know to answer that question is to pick up Matt Williams’s and Ken Berding’s (editors) book: What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings. The second edition has just been released by Kregel in an attractive full-color format with some added materials ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    ... Deeper than the recent history, we seem to be pushing against the same thing that Martin Luther identified as the theology of glory. Luther recommended to us the contrast of the theology of the cross ...

  • Octavio Javier Esqueda — 

    El gran pensador cristiano, Francis Schaeffer afirmó que el cristianismo como sistema de pensamiento no empieza con Cristo como Salvador sino con el infinito y personal Dios quien creó el universo. Dios es la explicación de la realidad y la fuente de todo lo que existe. Por lo tanto, en Dios, y en su revelación, la Biblia, encontramos las respuestas a las más grandes preguntas de la vida y un testimonio claro de la grandeza de Dios ...

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    You know that part of your Bible where the gold leaf on the pages still looks pretty fresh? Some of the pages might still even be stuck together. Or, more au courant, the portion you rarely scroll to on your phone or iPad … That’s right, for most of us it’s that part of the Bible starting right after Psalms and going all the way to Matthew. A lot of prophets big and little, and a good bit of Israel’s Wisdom tradition—but it just doesn’t get a lot of air-time in most evangelical churches or personal Bible-reading. Now, I’m the first to admit that last claim stems from my own highly subjective internal polling data, and I’m glad to be proven wrong; but I don’t think I am, because I know a good bit of it’s true in my own life ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    “Prince of peace” is biblical language. In other words, it derives from its use in the Bible as a descriptive title with a very specific context. The title “Prince of Peace” is used of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. It is, therefore—according to Christian orthodoxy—a reference to Jesus Christ. This is an extraordinarily honorific title. It denotes the full realization of messianic hope. In the Christian Scriptures it alludes to human reconciliation with God, and only by extension to the realization of peace within the human community. The agent, of course, is the Prince of Peace ...

  • Gary T. Manning, Jr. — 

    It is commonly claimed that when Jesus used the phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι, ego eimi), he was making a direct reference to the name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH. There is some truth to this, but I want to suggest three important caveats to this claim: “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι), by itself, is not a code for the name of God; “I am” is only intended to refer to deity in some of Jesus’ sayings; Paying too much attention to the “I am” part of the sentence distracts readers from paying attention to the rest of the sentence.