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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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  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Scott Rae, professor of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot, just released the new book, Doing the Right Thing: Making Moral Choices in a World Full of Options. He kindly took some time to answer a few questions about the book.

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    For the past several years I have had an autoimmune disease called ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia) in which the immune system targets the platelets resulting in a low blood platelet count, which can cause spontaneous bruising or bleeding. Earlier this year, my platelet count took a significant jump. Though not in the normal range, it was higher than it had been in over five years. I was very excited and immensely grateful to the Lord and to those who had been praying faithfully for me and my platelets for years. Somehow, verbally expressing my gratitude seemed inadequate and insufficient. What, I wondered, would be an appropriate response? This question prompted me to look at the sacrifice of thanksgiving as outlined in the Old Testament.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Genealogies rarely contain interesting tidbits about our ancestors, especially the more unacceptable ones. But Jesus’ genealogy does. In fact, it even seems to highlight several rather shady characters. And they are women.

  • Tom Finley — 

    Is it possible for a true story about an ancient manuscript of the Hebrew Bible to be thrilling?

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    This is the first of a series of blogs dealing with gun control from a Christian perspective. In this first installment, I sketch the general theological case for sane restriction on guns, particularly assault weapons, and apply biblical principles to common objections. In subsequent (shorter) posts, I will respond to alleged “biblical” arguments used by gun advocates, who claim that Scripture supports unrestricted access to lethal weaponry for private individuals. [I have slighly modified this post in the wake of the horrible tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.]

  • John McKinley — 

    Christians will commonly argue with each other about “secondary” issues of doctrine, while assuring themselves and the rest of us that it’s okay since they agree on the “primary” issues. Obviously, not all topics of biblical teaching are on the same level of importance. On the basis of this sort of distinction between “primary” and “secondary” we can readily join with Christians across denominational lines while continuing to warn Mormons that they have the primary material wrong. My concern is that the well-intentioned emphasis on the basics of mere Christianity and “primary issues” that we can all agree on also disparages the “secondary issues.” Less clarity in the Bible, less agreement among Christians, and less treatment by the tradition should not add up to counting these matters as unimportant. I suggest that the doctrinal topics that Christians feel free to disagree about are not adiaphora in the sense that we need not take them seriously. I propose a different analogy to help alleviate this concern.

  • Freddy Cardoza — 

    Between 1750 and 1900, the total expanse of human knowledge had doubled. At that time of pre-technology human history, it took 150 years. Today, the growth of knowledge is occurring some 100 times faster. It is said that the entire sum of all known information, i.e., human knowledge, doubles every 1.5 years. By 2020 it is estimated that it will be doubling approximately every month and a half (72 days). Think about that…

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    My mom passed from this world into the presence of the Lord less than three weeks ago. Since she faced a long journey through early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease (a journey of twenty years from the time the disease was detectable), I am so glad—beyond what you can probably imagine—that my mom is now with the Lord, in a place of rest, and with all her mental faculties restored while she awaits the resurrection and restoration of her body. My dad, sister, brother, and I each spoke at Mom’s memorial service about her genuine love for others and her faith in Christ. I’d like to share with you the last part of what I shared at that service.

  • David Horner — 

    My family’s business, in the modest Colorado town where I grew up, was a foundry. For the uninitiated, a foundry is like a steel mill. Its basic operation is to melt ore (in our case, iron, brass, and aluminum) in a furnace, pour it into molds, and thereby produce metal castings. Our family joke was that my parents were “in the iron and steel business” – my mom would iron while my dad would steal. (I’ll spare you the rest of the foundry jokes.) Foundry work is hard, hot, dirty, and notoriously dangerous. Our furnace room temperature was 140 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Allow me to introduce you to Brett McCracken. Brett is a Talbot student and Biola employee whom God is using in some very strategic ways to represent Jesus and his people at the national level. I became acquainted with Brett through my oversight of the Good Book Blog. I am thankful and proud that this humble and gifted young man is part of the Biola/Talbot community, and I think that you will be, too, after you read the following interview.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El 31 de octubre de 1517 Martín Lutero clavó en las puertas de la catedral de Wittenberg en Alemania 95 tesis en las que criticaba abiertamente las ventas de indulgencias de la iglesia católica romana. Lutero inicialmente no tenía la intención de romper con la iglesia romana sino enfatizar la supremacía del evangelio basada en su simplicidad y a la vez en su gran profundidad. El evangelio o las buenas noticias de la salvación en Cristo es el fundamento esencial de la fe cristiana y desgraciadamente se había pervertido convirtiéndose en una práctica totalmente ajena a su esencia. De manera que, las indulgencias eran una distorsión absoluta del evangelio y, por lo tanto, dignas de ser repudiadas con severidad. Como resultado de esta acción, Lutero inició el movimiento conocido como la Reforma Protestante y cada 31 de octubre se conmemora como el Día de la Reforma.

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    God’s role as a divine warrior is most likely one of his more neglected characteristics. Some today have gone so far as to reject any talk today about God being a divine warrior, viewing it as tired metaphor that should be retired. But most Christians have simply stopped thinking of God as one who fights. Not only does it not seem to mesh well with the picture of the peaceful Jesus but it is also out of step with most of contemporary culture. In spite of these concerns, looking at the martial actions of YHWH in the Old Testament (YHWH is a transliteration of God’s name in Hebrew) can help us understand better the God that we serve.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I recently completed a manuscript on the book of Judges for Baker’s Teach the Text Commentary Series. It took me about three and a half years to write the short text, and I want to share just a few highlights from what I learned during my study.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Literally. This morning I was jogging on the beach and came across four people: (1) a minister, (2) photographer, (3) a young man in a tux, and (4) a young lady in a wedding dress. I think the ceremony had just ended, because they were signing the marriage license as I ran by. What was sad was that there was not another person in sight.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Ed Curtis, professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbot, just released the new book, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs (Teach the Text Commentary Series). He kindly took some time to answer a few questions about the book.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    I recently watched a disturbing video. A camera caught the head of a certain political organization; we’ll call him Lucius, attempting to convince a packed auditorium about the reality of moral law. Specifically, Lucius appealed to a real moral law above and beyond culture to argue against a right to homosexual marriage. What struck me most was less of what he said and more how he said it. Lucius taunted the crowd relentlessly, hurling insults like hand grenades. People often argue against moral reality by appealing to moral reality (e.g., there can’t be absolutes because look at out how absolutely wrong the crusades and inquisitions were!). But there is an equal and opposite inconsistency, namely, arguing for moral reality while breaking the very morality we are defending (e.g., real morals like ‘love your neighbor’ exist, you ignoramus!). In other words, Lucius’ problem was that he did not argue his worldview as if his worldview were actually true. No matter what he said, the way in which he said it made it seem like morals like love and respect were not to be taken seriously after all. The medium refuted the message.

  • Darian Lockett — 

    After thirty-five years of service, James Adamson’s NICNT commentary on the Epistle of James has received a much-needed update by Scot McKnight. McKnight’s contribution to the series significantly expands on its predecessor volume—being more than twice its size—which is due, in part, to the mounting scholarship on James appearing since its 1976 publication date.

  • Ben Shin — 

    Being a retreat speaker can be an enjoyable time but can also be a challenging time. The difference maker for which outcome occurs is largely dependent on the host for the speaker. Over the years, as both a speaker and also as a host, I’ve seen some excellent treatment of speakers and also some situations that could use a lot of improvement. This will be a 2 part series of blogs in which I hope to highlight some ways to invite and host a guest speaker in which he would feel very well taken care of throughout the whole process. In this first part of the series, I will focus on how to invite a guest speaker to a retreat.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    A few years ago women students at Talbot were invited to a luncheon to listen to a couple of faculty women talk about Wisdom Calls. A student coordinator, Angela Song, sent me these questions in advance and here are the answers I jotted down.

  • David Talley — 

    This is a review of book that you might find helpful: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Robert Saucy, distinguished professor of systematic theology at Talbot, just released the new book, Minding the Heart: The Way of Spiritual Transformation. He kindly took some time to answer a few questions about the book.

  • John McKinley — 

    “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18 NASB). Why is sexual sin singled out as uniquely damaging to the body in a way that other physical actions are not? Substance abuse, gluttony, cutting—these are all harmful acts to the body, but they do not do what sexual misconduct does, according to Paul. Typical responses from students to explain this exception are that sex involves the whole person, or maybe because it involves someone else. The same could be said for illegal drug use, so there must be something more.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El gran educador Antonio del Corro (Sevilla, 1527-Londres, 1591) es quizá una de las figuras más importantes y a la vez menos conocidas de la reforma española. Es también un ejemplo a imitar para todos los que seguimos a Cristo y sobre todo para los que nos dedicamos a servirle a través de la enseñanza. El historiador Emilio Monjo se refiere a Antonio de Corro como “un personaje que refleja el talante de la Reforma española en cuanto a su libertad de pensamiento y palabra: una iglesia que había nacido libre por la acción de la Escritura, y que se mantuvo libre con la Escritura también en su exilio europeo".

  • Clint Arnold — 

    I am so very grateful for the life and legacy of Pastor Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement. He entered the presence of the Lord early this morning after a bout with lung cancer.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Three years ago, Trudi and I adopted two precious girls out of the Los Angeles County foster system. They are now 14 and 12 years old. We are deeply grateful for these precious young ladies God has brought into our family. But we encountered a few things that we wish someone had told us about foster-adoptions before we started the process. Here is a short list of issues that might be helpful for you to know if you’re considering embarking on such an adventure.