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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.

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  • Sean McDowell — 

    Questions related to origins are some of the most divisive in the church today: How old is the earth? Is there good evidence for intelligent design? Did God use evolution? Sadly, rather than discussing differences in a sober and gracious manner, conversations are often characterized by defensiveness, misunderstanding, and personal attacks. What a shame! But this need not be the case. The recent book Old-Earth or Evolutionary Creation? demonstrates that leading voices in the origins debate can come together and wrestle over big questions of faith and science with both “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15) ...

  • Daniel Kim — 

    I had the occasion to watch a six-part DVD series called PovertyCure, produced by the Acton Institute. It is indeed an eye-opening series that I’d encourage you to watch. Each part is less than 30 minutes long and is available in the Biola Library (BV4647 .P6 P68 2012 DVD). It challenges the effectiveness of the traditional model of helping the poor through foreign aid in regions where there is wide-spread poverty and the economy is largely depressed. This aid can come in the form of government sponsored foreign aid, through global agencies such as the IMF or World Bank, and even from NGO’s (both secular and Christian). By the end of the series, I think most would at least pause to consider if “aid” (as a “handout”) helps to alleviate poverty, or whether it actually exacerbates the problem ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    For the past few years, I have been speaking and writing about the dangers of pornography. Although I have read dozens of books about the effects of porn, I recently heard Matt Fradd discuss it on Unbelievable? radio and decided to pick up a copy of his recent book: The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. In fact, it’s now my top recommendation for a book of its kind. Without using Scripture or religious argumentation, and relying upon dozens of recent studies, Fradd makes the case that porn is damaging to individuals, relationships, and society as a whole. He is not out to censor porn, but to educate people so they can live more healthy sexual lives ...

  • What is God's Purpose in Life?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Hi Dr. Craig, I appreciate your work for the kingdom of Christ. You have been of great influence in my life as a Christian. I recently came across this piece by an unknown skeptic that was reviewing a book by Stewart Goetz ( The Purpose Of Life: A Theistic Perspective) "The first question that seems fitting when discussing the purpose of life from a theistic perspective is: what is the purpose of God's life? If our being/life is somehow derived from God's being/life, then any relevant discussion of human purpose must be contingent upon God's purpose. But since purpose necessarily entails an initial directive, a beginning-less being cannot have a purpose. A being that has no origin or beginning cannot exist for anything. Since it would follow that this supposed being's actions must derive from the nature of its existence, it would be hard to logically defend the existence of purposeful actions resulting from a being that must be categorically devoid of purpose. " I'm completely puzzle by this. Does God exist for something? Can it be said that if God had remain in eternity without creating he would be living a purposeless life? ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    It’s no secret that I love apologetics. I love to read apologetics blogs, study apologetics books, and have apologetics conversations. But there is a constant temptation I have to battle that I believe is common among many apologists: the temptation to simply study apologetics but not put it into practice ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    My forthcoming book on warfare in the Ancient Near East and the Old Testament not only has many words, but also about 150 pictures. While ancient Near Eastern texts are somewhat familiar, visual imagery remains unknown for the most part. This is partly due to the difficulties of acquiring permission to print the pictures. Some pictures I was required to buy directly from museums or professional photographers (and so I will not be able to post these pictures online). However, I was also able to acquire pictures for free from three other sources. First, I will show some pictures that were taken by friends ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Recently I had the opportunity to endorse a new book by Kris French, a medical doctor with an expertise in neuro-immunology. While he discusses many of the common arguments for God’s existence in The Universe Diagnosed, he does so uniquely from the perspective as a medic and in a way that is understandable to non-specialists. I think you will enjoy it! But first check out his answers to some of my tough questions about intelligent design, transgenderism, and more ...

  • Why Bother?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    I am a very open minded person and consider all possibilities. I am open to the possibility of a God and an afterlife. I am also open to the possibility that this God could be one who demands and expects that I obey and serve him or that I would be condemned to a horrible afterlife. I have been doing some open-minded research on the subject of life after death. As of right now, it doesn't matter what anyone says to me or what claims other people present to me in regards to God's character, if he is real or not, or if I am a blind sinner or not. The reason why it doesn't matter to me is because, like I said, I am very open minded right now and am open to alternative explanations of the things people offer up here. I am a very wise open minded individual and I do not jump to any given conclusion based upon some things I read online or a holy book such as the Bible. There is so much more to look into and have an open mind to. Even things that sound very compelling cannot be trusted since there are plenty of things out there that sound compelling, but are actually not ...

  • Matthew Williams — 

    This article gives an overview of one of the Bible studies from The Forgiveness of Jesus DVD Bible study in the Deeper Connections series: Jesus heals a blind man in John chapter nine. To most of us, this seems like a pretty cool miracle; and it is, but there is so much more behind this miracle that we miss because we do not understand the first century context. When we take the time to learn this historical context, the passage pops! ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Dr. Ken Berding is a colleague of mine at Biola University. Like me, he is very interested in the Apostolic Fathers. He recently wrote a brief and interesting introduction to the Apostolic Fathers called The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction, which is different from any other book of its kind. Professor Berding was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about some of the earliest church fathers and his recent book. Enjoy! ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    I recently received a book in the mail called Everyone Loves Sex: So Why Wait? by Bryan Sands. Given that my father launched the “Why Wait” sexual purity movement in the 1980s, when I was in my early teen years, I was curious to see what approach Sands would take. And I was pleasantly surprised! His book is balanced, biblical, hopeful, and grace-filled. In fact, when young people ask me for a book on sexual purity, this is going to be one of the first books I will recommend. After thirteen years as a local pastor, Bryan has served as the Director of Campus Ministries at Hope International University in Fullerton, CA since 2011. He is also a public speaker who encourages students across the country. You can find out about his book at www.EveryoneLovesSex.org. I recently caught up with Bryan and asked him a few questions. Enjoy! ...

  • Does God Love the Devil?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Greetings Dr Craig, I am a Muslim, from the westernmost parts of Africa. I have been following your work for years, watching practically all your debates, reading some of your articles and much of the weekly Q&A section. Even though I am not a Christian, you have helped me greatly in my own pursuit of truth, to identify much more with the issues that Christians face today, and in learning to appreciate the Christian tradition in philosophical and theological thought ...

  • Matthew Williams — 

    The following is an overview of one of the Bible studies from The Forgiveness of Jesus DVD Bible study in the Deeper Connections series: Do you ever feel like you are too far gone for God to forgive you? Or, maybe you feel like he might forgive you, but he does it grudgingly? This fear is the main reason that I published The Forgiveness of Jesus because nothing could be further from the truth. When Jesus calls Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 9:9-13), it shows us that God seeks out the lowest of the low in order to show that he loves to forgive. But in order to fully understand the meaning of this text, we must understand the first century context. When we take the time to learn this historical context, the passage comes to life!

  • 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 ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    My friend and Biola colleague Greg Ganssle has written a fascinating new book called Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations. Professor Ganssle takes a unique approach to the apologetic task. Essentially, his goal is not to show that Christianity is true, but to argue that when it is properly understood, people should wish it were true. He talks about how tragedy, beauty, and freedom make the most sense in a Christian worldview and that only Christianity fulfills our deepest desires ...

  • What Could God Not Have Commanded?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... Before I address your question, David, let’s make sure that we state accurately the view I have defended. God’s freedom to issue commands to do certain things that would be immoral in the absence of a divine command is not rooted in God’s having morally sufficient reasons for so commanding. Rather it is rooted in the idea that the source of moral obligation is divine commands, and since God doesn’t issue commands to himself, he therefore has no moral obligations ...

  • 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 ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    With the release of his 2000 book Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells became one of the leading evolution critics of today. Unlike some detractors, Dr. Wells has impeccable credentials—with Ph.Ds. in molecular and cell biology from U.C. Berkeley and religious studies from Yale. Last week he released a new book that is just as controversial (and frankly, just as fun) called, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution ...

  • William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I am a great admirer of yours despite being a non-religious theist myself. For the sake of full disclosure, I have never been able to bring myself to take atheism seriously and am convinced on purely philosophical grounds that the atheist worldview is consigned to logical absurdity. That said, I have never been able to bring myself to subscribe wholeheartedly to any one religion either, and this for a variety different reasons depending on the religion under discussion. However, since you are a Christian I will limit myself to the principal reason why I cannot bring myself to accept Christianity, to which I have yet to receive a satisfying response. I figure if I won't get a compelling answer from Dr. William Lane Craig, then most likely no such answer is available at least for now ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Western culture is obsessed with sex. Sex dominates our movies, music, television, advertising, conversations, social media and more. But the question many people fail to ask is: why? There are myriads of reasons for this. Some reasons are certainly more germane than others. And they undoubtedly overlap. Nevertheless, here are 5 reasons for western culture’s obsession with sex ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    A few years ago I hosted a student debate at my church. Three of my high school students debated three students from the local freethinking club on the historical Jesus, intelligent design, and morality. The church was packed! One of the freethinking students argued that there is no universal moral law, and hence no need for a God to ground it. As best as I can remember, he argued that morality is merely subjective and depends upon the individual or society. But then, interestingly, during his closing speech, the same student used the opportunity of being at a church to rail against Christians for being hateful, bigoted and intolerant. In other words, he berated Christians for being immoral ...

  • Teaching Philosophy in a Public High School

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, First off let me say that I have been a longtime supporter and reader of your work. I have been encouraged and strengthened to give a reason for the hope within by listening to and reading your books, articles, debates, classes, and lectures. Thank you for all you do! Now, let me build to my question with a brief overview. I am a public school teacher and a youth minister at my church and love doing both. With my youth group I spend a tremendous amount of time inculcating the necessity for loving God with the whole being – heart, soul, MIND, and strength. I really want to ground my students the reality of their Faith – that it is more than feeling but is testable, rational and livable! I also teach them apologetics (I am presently going through the NT’s reliability, Jesus’ resurrection...ect.) and Christian doctrine (of which your Defender’s classes have been a huge asset! *PS – Please make a Christian theology book one day when you get the time!!) ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Dr. Clay Jones is one of my colleagues in the Biola Apologetics M.A. program. Although he has been teaching and thinking about the problem of evil for decades, he has just released a new book: Why Does God Allow Evil? Here is my endorsement that made the back cover of the book: “If you are looking for one book to make sense of the problem of evil, this book is for you.” I plan to use this book very soon with a group of high school students. And it will now be the top book that I recommend on this subject (along with If God, Why Evil by Norman Geisler and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis) ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    In the first part of this short series, we looked at how both ancient and modern disciples “take offense” at Jesus against his warning in Luke 7:23 —“Blessed is the one who doesn’t take offense in Me.” Easy scholarly and popular conclusions that Israel hoped for the wrong kind of kingdom made Jesus offensive and Israel culpable at the same time. Our second part here also finds Jesus’ view of the kingdom offensive to ancients and moderns, but for a different reason ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Given the recent stunning ruling against Barronelle Stutzman, the 72-year old grandma who was sued for running her business according to her deepest moral and religious convictions, it is more critical than ever for Christians to be ready to make a defense for religious freedom. The following essay comes from my recent book A New Kind of Apologist, and is written by James Tonkowich. This article is longer than a typical blog, but please take the time to read it carefully and help spread the word. Christians simply must be able to make a case for religious liberty today.