Skip to main content

About the Blog

The Good Book Blog, a resource from the faculty of Talbot School of Theology, features articles that explore contemporary ideas from the perspective of the Bible — the “Good Book” — including topics such as apologetics, biblical studies, theology, philosophy, spiritual formation, ministry and leadership. Find out more about what sets Talbot apart and how it prepares Christian leaders through its degree programs.

Search and Filter Articles

  • Steve 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 ...

  • Dave Keehn — 

    A brief look back over the history over the world or turning on the nightly news will reveal the pain of people caused by the actions of others. It can be simply stated: People have caused the impoverished lifestyle experienced by so many in the world through harmful acts. Some cyclical poverty is the result of well-meaning assistance that has perpetuated dependency, unintentionally making things worse. Other people are trapped in communities of poverty through corrupt policies and a lack of rule of law. Worse, history is full of the evil of some to oppress, steal from and enslave people resulting in deadly poverty ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    In the recent update to my father’s classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, we begin with a chapter on the uniqueness of the Bible. Unquestionably, in comparison to every book ever written, the Bible stands out as unique in a number of areas including authorship, literary genres, translation, geographical production, circulation, survival, and impact. The Bible truly stands in a category of its own ...

  • Jesus’ God

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... A former Muslim (now Christian) friend once remarked to me, “Muslim evangelism is a crash course in Christian doctrine.” Your question, Abdullah, so well illustrates that remark. You have opened the door to discussion of some very profound doctrines about God and Christ. To begin with, you are quite right in inferring that if any human being regards someone as God, he must also regard that person as his Creator, since God is the Creator of all that exists apart from Himself. Since Christians regard Jesus as God, they also explicitly acknowledge him as the Creator (see Gospel of John 1.1-3; Colossians 1.15-17; Hebrews 1.1-3) ...

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    Fifteen years ago in Paris, I had a conversation with a young existentialist who said something as unflattering as it was memorable: “Whatever the world does the church does ten years later and worse.” My new friend was talking about Christian music, describing a decade lag factor, a slowness to recognize and adapt to cultural changes that, in his estimation, rendered the church musically irrelevant ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    For the past three years I have been helping my father update his classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict. There is no doubt that the evidence for Christianity has grown substantially since the book first released in 1972 ...

  • Brute Facts and the Argument from Contingent Beings

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... Your question, Austin, is about (1), which I call “a modest version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason” which “circumvents the typical objections to strong versions of that principle.” Leibniz’s own formulation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason in his treatise The Monadology was very strong: "no fact can be real or existent, no statement true, unless there be a sufficient reason why it is so and not otherwise." Notice that for Leibniz every fact, every true statement, must have an explanation. That entails that there are no brute facts, that is, facts without explanation. By contrast, as I explain in Reasonable Faith, my more modest formulation of the Principle “merely requires any existing thing to have an explanation of its existence. This premiss is compatible with there being brute facts about the world” (p. 107). My version of the Principle denies that there are beings which exist without any explanation. That’s all I need for the argument to go through ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    Imagine my double-take when I was confronted with this assessment of our comparative religions by an Orthodox believer several years ago back in Ukraine: “Mark, you Protestants follow a religion of professors, whereas we Orthodox … the religion of monks" ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    As a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, I (Sean) help prepare students to answer tough questions raised against the Christian faith. One day someone from outside the Biola academic community called our university to ask why we offer classes on apologizing for the faith. She thought apologetics meant teaching students to say they were sorry for their beliefs! While her question was well intentioned, she didn’t grasp the nature of apologetics and its role in the Christian life. Christians certainly should apologize for their faith, but not in the way she had in mind ...

  • How Can Christ’s Death Satisfy Divine Justice?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... For those who don’t remember, Lance Ito was the judge in the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. Simpson was actually acquitted, but you’re asking why, had he been found guilty, some other person might not have borne his sentence for him, given that Christ bore our sentence of death for us. I want to be very precise about your question, Tomislav. Your question is not about the morality of penal substitution. Rather your question is about the satisfaction of justice. How can the demands of retributive justice be met by punishing a substitute in one case but not the other? ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Let’s face it; we live in a world saturated with sex. Our movies, music, novels, politics, and even advertisements are dominated by sex. Essentially, the celebrated view of sex in our culture is: if it feels good, do it. According to the ideas propagated by the late Hugh Hefner, and others in the sexual revolution, anything that prevents someone from experiencing consensual sex in whatever fashion he or she desires is viewed as harmful and repressive ...

  • John McKinley — 

    In the fourth verse of the popular modern hymn, “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, we hear this line that poses Hell as our enemy: “No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand.” My ear has been catching a similar idea of Hell as a powerful enemy in several other contemporary worship songs. My guess is that songwriters are (perhaps) unwittingly drawing on Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (NASB[1], NIV, NKJV). Other translations give “the gates of hell” (ESV, NLT, KJV; the Greek text has "Hades" not "Gehenna"). I prefer the RSV and NET that give “the powers of death” by interpreting the usage of Hades in line with Sheol of the OT, referring to the place of the dead, particularly for the wicked. The slip of meaning from “Hades” to “Hell” is understandable, but this causes a problem theologically that we need to pause and consider more closely ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    My friend Timothy Fox at Freethinking Ministries recently interviewed me regarding the updated version of Evidence That Demands A Verdict, which I had the opportunity to co-write with my father. He asked some great questions about the history of the book, its impact, and details regarding some of the updates. Enjoy! ...

  • Worshiping a God Who Might Damn Your Children

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... There are actually two different questions here which are being run together, the first a psychological question (“How can you love and worship a God who you believe would do that to your children?”) and the second a philosophical question (“How can you think that is a fair and reasonable thing for anyone or anything to do?”). The psychological question is nothing more than an emotionally loaded red herring. It is just an inquiry about one’s personal psychological state. It is a request for an autobiographical report about one’s subjective condition. As such, its answer will be person-relative and have nothing to do with objective truth ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    My students in Exegesis In The Gospels (a second-year Greek course) were delighted to discover that (in the words of one news agency) “Christian conspiracy theorists have gathered clues that suggest the end of the world is nigh" ...

  • David 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 ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    We live in a time when impatience, personal attacks, and shallow criticism characterize much of the cultural dialogue. I can hardly ever post a blog without receiving personal criticism from someone to my left or my right ...

  • Millennial Skepticism and Despair

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I am writing to you not as one academic to another, like most of the posters on Reasonable Faith, but as a concerned parent and Christ-follower seeking ways to reach disillusioned and disheartened millennials; my young adult son, in particular. Whatever one's political leanings, I think most thinking individuals can agree on the rampant corruption and degeneration of our modern civilization today, and I believe this is where much of the disillusionment and hopeless feeling of young adults comes in ...

  • 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 — 

    As John Stonestreet and I argue in our book Same-Sex Marriage, we are currently undergoing one of the most sweeping social revolutions in world history. Until the Obergefell v. Hodges SCOTUS decision in 2015, the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman was the understanding of virtually every civilization throughout history. But this has all changed ...

  • Michael Thigpen — 

    This summer I had the privilege of attending Acton University. This week-long meeting is hosted by the Acton Institute, a think-tank “whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” Common themes at Acton are religious liberty, economic liberty, and natural law. Much like C.S. Lewis’ “mere christianity,” Acton seeks to promote a civil society advanced on natural law reasoning. At Acton one encounters philosophers, economists, entrepreneurs, theologians, biblical scholars, ethicists, and aid workers from around the world ...

  • 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 ...

  • How Can Space Be Flat but Finite?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    We have established using philosophical arguments the impossibility of an actual infinite (I'm referring to an infinite set of objects, not an Infinite God which is not impossible), but I have read again and again that "the majority and best supported by the data hypothesis in physics is that the universe is flat and spatially infinite". Does this mean our philosophy was wrong, or does it mean that physicists have got necessarily something wrong, since their conclusion is against clear and distinct philosophical facts? ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    By any measure, Hurricane Harvey has been a disaster. The financial damage is an estimated $180 billion. The destruction has spread over 300 miles and damaged about 200,000 homes. But the greatest damage is clearly the estimated 47 people who have died. The physical destruction is substantial, but the human loss is unmistakably the most significant ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    La compasión debe ser sentimiento esencial de aquellos que se dicen seguidores de Jesucristo. La palabra compasión significa “sufrir juntos” y es un sentimiento que se manifiesta al percibir y comprender el sufrimiento de los demás y, por lo tanto, produce el deseo de aliviar, reducir o eliminar este sufrimiento. Al ver las noticias, caminar por las calles o simplemente al conversar con personas a nuestro alrededor es fácil darse cuenta que muchas personas están sufriendo por diferentes circunstancias. La tendencia natural y tristemente común incluso en muchos de aquellos que se dicen cristianos es juzgar a los demás y asumir que sus circunstancias negativas son consecuencia de sus malas decisiones. Es fácil amar a los que nos aman y preocuparnos por aquellos que son cercanos a nosotros, pero una marca central de Jesús y sus seguidores debe ser amar y tener compasión por todos sin importar quienes son o qué han hecho ...