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.

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  • David L. Talley — 

    Hebrews 11 is often referenced as the “Hall of Faith” because its chapter is filled with the recounting of memories of saints of old who willingly gave their lives in service to our Lord. From time to time I encounter modern day saints who have clearly lived a life consistent with this great line of witnesses.

  • Joanne J. Jung — 

    In the current spiritual formation culture it is easy to equate our spirituality with undertaking spiritual disciplines. There is a temptation to think of spiritual formation as the result of a formula—that if I just do certain activities, I’ll be mature. Frustration can set in, however, when we don’t see any immediate change. What helps is remembering that our spiritual transformation is a life-long process and knowing that we are not left alone in this undertaking. Indeed, each of the members of the Trinity plays a part.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The church I grew up in is no more. It was small when I was a child; my youth group was 5 teenagers – 2 of which was my sister and I… slim pickens for potential dates. And now the church is a shell of what it was – a few older people I knew from childhood, systematically opening the doors each Sunday for the “faithful” who still come. So what happened? Sinful revolt? Apathetic attendees? No, the community’s culture changed and the church failed to reach out to the new language speakers. So a church closes its doors because it can’t speak the language of the new culture.

  • Joseph H. Hellerman — 

    I recently spent an hour with a Talbot guy who is really ‘getting it.’ Not only is Peter a bright, disciplined student of the New Testament. He is also up-to-his-ears in local church ministry.

  • Gary T. Manning, Jr. — 

    As a resident of Hawaii most of my life, one of the conversations that I have often had with visitors was about what to see when they came to Hawaii. I would tell them to get out of Waikiki, to be sure to visit Hanauma Bay early in the morning, and to try our local plate lunch, among other things. Hawaii is a great place to visit anyway, but hopefully my tips made the trip more enjoyable. I do something similar when I talk to people about the Gospel of John. John is a beautiful book that will bless and delight; but I have some tips that I hope will add to the reader’s enjoyment. Here they are – six questions that make up my traveler’s guide to the Gospel of John.

  • Kenneth C. Way — 

    All faculty, students, and local alumni are encouraged to attend the lectures by James K. Hoffmeier who will be our guest for the annual Robert Saucy Lecture Series on March 1-3, 2011. His two chapel addresses (Tues./Thurs., 9:30 am; Calvary Chapel) will be respectively on "Yahweh Versus Pharaoh: God's Purposes in the Exodus" and "The Key to Finishing Strong: Lessons from the Life of Solomon." He will also offer an evening lecture that is open to the general public on "The Exodus From Egypt in Light of Recent Archaeological Evidence" (Wed., 7:30-9:00 PM in Mayers Auditorium [Marshburn Hall]).

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Last week I posted a piece in which I encouraged each of us to actually pray when we pray. Since then my thoughts about prayer have moved in another direction, particularly as it relates to the training of our children. I am becoming increasingly convinced that one of the most significant ways we convey spiritual truth to our children is through our prayers. I believe that when we pray with our children, our children learn about our relationship with the Lord and what we believe about God. Let’s look at three things we teach our children when they listen to us pray.

  • Robert B. Price — 

    Hey, if you can summarize Luther in 1,000 words, Calvin should be no problem. Not that Calvin’s any less interesting than Luther, just less open. In tens of thousands of pages of his surviving writings, including several thousand personal letters, Calvin gives only the rarest hints of what’s going on inside. It’s pretty obvious, though, that so profound an exegetical and theological legacy could only have come from a heart aflame for God.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    Because the biblical documents were written in ancient times, in different cultures, and to different peoples, an historical approach to the interpretation of the Bible is deemed necessary. This has become so properly basic that it is nearly an axiom that the contemporary interpretation of the Bible is historical interpretation. Without denying that the Bible is the Word of God, the actual task of interpreting the Bible has become primarily an examination of the words of men. Such an historical emphasis makes theology seem less important, or at best a quite distant secondary concern.

  • Joseph H. Hellerman — 

    Third semester Greek is a challenging place to be for our seminary students. Many of these folks are doing well just to hang on to what they learned back in Greek 1-2. Learning intermediate grammar finds our students negotiating a sharp turn deep in the tunnel of language acquisition. The proverbial light at the end of this tunnel—where knowledge of Greek pays significant exegetical dividends—gets almost snuffed out for a season by Wallace’s thirty-some categories of the genitive case.

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    A sage once said that "Truth-telling is an act of violence." Regarding violence, anyone who has ever been victimized and that has suffered the resultant trauma knows its resonant results. It is like the proverbial pebble which causes a disproportionate effect-- rows of ripples that circumnavigate far from the point of impact, long after the rock has settled in the silt below.

  • Jeffrey Volkmer — 

    Along with speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, if one were to peruse the communication literature of most American, Evangelical churches, it would seem that Paul had somehow left off Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, and blogs of every sort. The ubiquity of “social media” in all its iterations has found quite the tender audience in Evangelicalism with seemingly no parachurch ministry, church (along with each respective ministry therein), pastor, youth minister, or seminary able forge ahead without intermittingly spreading communicative buckshot across the world wide web at a 140 character pace.

  • Kenneth C. Way — 

    “Why did you study with the Rabbis?” This is a question I am often asked after people hear that I did my doctoral work at the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (in Cincinnati, OH). There are a number of good answers to this question, but I rarely get to explain my reasons in the course of a brief conversation. So I thought I would take this opportunity—in my very first blog post—to summarize why I chose to do doctoral study at a Jewish seminary.

  • David L. Talley — 

    With thousands upon thousands daily passing from our world, awakening to the reality of a Christ-less eternity without hope or salvation, new strategies toward the evangelization and discipling of the nations are desperately needed. Today, we are witnessing more than ever, a move of the Spirit across former mission fields, as the 2nd/3rd World takes aim toward the daunting challenge of completing The Great Commission mandate. Such a reality gives cause for great joy as mission ministry is no longer only a Western movement. Countries like South Korea, China and Brazil are changing the way we’ve always thought of mission work. History is being rewritten before our very eyes. There’s no doubt the Latin American mission movement is making, and will continue to make, a significant impact in reaching many of the still unreached “creative access” nations, particularly within the Islamic family. With tremendous linguistic advantage, worldview commonality and a simple physiological similarity, some of the best missionaries to the Islamic peoples are proving to be Latin American in heritage.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the temptations that we as Christian leaders regularly face is to not pray when we pray. We say prayers before meals, with our children before bed, before we teach Sunday school classes, and when we stand during worship services. And if your life is anything like mine, you are the designated pray-er for family functions. But there is a significant risk when we bow for prayer but don’t actually pray.

  • Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Over the next several months, I will be addressing the problem of the shallow impact of many teaching ministries in our churches and ways that we might “Teach Deeper” for greater openness to God’s transforming work. In this first blog I pose some questions about why some of our teaching ministries seem to bear limited fruit and how we might better approach our teaching ministries.

  • Robert B. Price — 

    How do you introduce the great Protestant reformer Martin Luther in under 1,000 words—plus a picture or two? His life, his works, his doctrines, his impact? One standard biography (Brecht) runs 1,300 pages. I might omit a few things, but here goes.

  • Joseph H. Hellerman — 

    Don’t gimme no theology. Just gimme the Bible! Ever heard someone say that? Well, at times theology comes in handy. That might sound like a no-brainer coming from a pastor/seminary professor, but as a historian I much prefer interpreting a biblical passage in its historical and literary context (my task as a New Testament scholar) to systematizing various portions of Scripture around a single theological truth (the task of a theologian).

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    Fear can be rational or irrational. That said, there's a 'sense' in which it doesn't always matter whether one's fear is rational or not. That's because even if a particular fear happens to be irrational, that doesn't necessarily make it any less troubling. In fact, irrationality doesn't "negate" fear in the least-- and, in some cases, it can even breed terror.

  • Gary T. Manning, Jr. — 

    Students often ask me about a saying from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “… if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23). It’s an interesting saying to study, because it requires us to look carefully at the context, at the Old Testament background, and at some unusual Greek and Hebrew idioms. More importantly, once the passage is understood clearly, it illuminates a key kingdom principle.