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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  • Mark R. 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.

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have been enjoying your videos and podcasts about your study of the atonement. I have to admit though, that as of right now I don't accept penal substitution. Though I grew up with this view, I now hold a combination of the recapitulation and satisfaction theories. To briefly summarize for the readers, the recapitulation theory teaches that Jesus became like us and did what we should have done, so that in him, we might become like him and do what he did. This is perhaps the oldest theory of the atonement and is the basis for many later theories. The satisfaction theory of St. Anselm adds that Jesus's self sacrificial obedience served as restitution for our sins, or as Anselm calls it, satisfaction. In my opinion, these theories together are more Biblical and intellectually satisfying than penal substitution ...

  • Octavio Javier Esqueda — 

    En este año se celebra alrededor del mundo los 500 años del inicio de lo que se conoce como La Reforma protestante. El 31 de octubre de 1517 el monje agustino Martín Lutero clavó en la puerta de la Iglesia del Castillo en Wittenberg en Alemania 95 tesis en las que criticaba abiertamente las ventas de indulgencias de la iglesia católica romana. Lutero escogió ese día deliberadamente ya que era la víspera del Día de Todos los Santos y tanto la facultad de la universidad como muchos fieles asistían a la iglesia. Lutero inicialmente no tenía la intención de romper con la iglesia romana sino enfatizar la supremacía del evangelio de Cristo basada en su simplicidad y a la vez en su gran profundidad ...

  • James M. Petitfils — 

    This summer, as part of my participation in Talbot’s Kern Foundation reading group, I had the opportunity to travel to Grand Rapids and attend a 4-day think tank called Acton University. This was my first time participating in a think tank (unless you count my years watching MacGyver problem-solve for the Phoenix Foundation), and it was an experience! The annual event brings together around 1000 scholars, students, businesspeople, and leaders from over 75 countries and seeks to provide “an opportunity to deepen one’s knowledge and integrate philosophy, theology, business, development – with sound, market based, economics” (http://university.acton.org/). The daily program consisted of several parallel presentations (in fact, Talbot’s own Dr. Scott Rae was a presenter), a fabulous dinner designed to foster new relationships and stimulate conversations, and it closed each night with a plenary talk ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Recently I had the chance to partner with Awana to create a yearlong, systematic, top-quality apologetics curriculum for students. It is the product of my work with students for the past two decades. My friend Tim Fox (Orthodox Fox) at Free Thinking Ministries was kind enough to briefly interview me about the project. And he gave me permission to post the original interview here too. Enjoy!

  • Sean McDowell — 

    For the past few months I have been reading every study I can find on Generation Z, (those born between 1995-2010). With the help of a graduate student who did some research for me, I found over 350 pages of research on Gen Z, which took me dozens of hours to carefully digest. But then last week I came across Meet Generation Z, by James Emery White. Had I found this book earlier, it would have saved me a ton of time! It is an easy-to-read, documented, and insightful look at how to understand and reach the newest generation of students ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I have noticed something that troubles me while surveying common devotional books and guides that many Christians rely on in their daily lives. I have noticed that a common template for your average devotional tends to quote a Bible passage but then follows it with a well-meaning anecdote, or inspirational messages that are vaguely relevant to the quoted passage, or sometimes even trite aphorisms re-packaged with Christian overtones ...

  • James M. Petitfils — 

    I saw something amazing this June. Something rare. Something inspiring. It happened behind-the-scenes at Hume Lake Christian Camps and I simply had to move it from backstage and into to the spotlight. Before I showcase this beautiful sight, let me provide a couple paragraphs of context: As part of Talbot’s Kern Reading group this year, I’ve had the joy of reading (and re-reading) several thought-provoking texts on work, leadership, economics, poverty relief, and the relationship of theology and the church to such matters. On this journey, I happily re-read a chapter from one of my favorite books on organizational leadership, Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges’, Lead Like Jesus: Lessons for Everyone from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005) ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A few years ago I received an email from a former student (now a young pastor) asking some questions about speaking in tongues during corporate worship. Let me excerpt his e-mail and then include my reply (with his permission): Dr. Berding, I am emailing you because I have a question about ‘service of worship’ for the church. Recently I have taken upon myself to work out some position papers on where I stand on a few ecclesiology topics. I have spent time reading from Horton, Grudem, Bloesch, and some of Clowney's works on ecclesiology. However, recently at our corporate worship one of the elders prayed in tongues and this was followed by what appeared to be an interpretation. As I have been reading through these books and wrestling with scripture, I have come to wonder if tongues plays a role in corporate worship or not ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    I first heard of David Marshall when I encountered his book responding to the claims of the New Atheists (which is excellent, by the way). Then I heard him do an excellent job defending the existence of Jesus in a radio debate with Richard Carrier on "Unbelievable." After that, I thought, “I really need to meet this guy. He’s sharp and making some unique arguments!” We touched base shortly after that and he agreed to answer a few of my questions about his work on the historical Jesus. His book is easy to read, and yet it is packed with some fresh insights. Enjoy the interview and think about getting a copy of his outstanding book: Jesus is no Myth ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Very rarely do I engage in online conversations with someone, but when a Facebook follower named Bob voiced an objection to the kalām cosmological argument (KCA), my curiosity was piqued by his cryptic remark. So I asked him to explain himself, and thus began a dialogue on the merits of his objection. I sincerely wanted to help Bob see his missteps and state his objection more carefully. To no avail, it seems! I think Bob’s objection is a mare’s nest of confusions; he thinks I need some lessons in logic! With his permission, I’m posting our dialogue so that you can decide for yourselves ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Tim Muehlhoff and Richard Langer are two of my colleagues at Biola University. Dr. Muehlhoff teaches Communications and Dr. Langer teaches Biblical Studies and Theology. They recently partnered up to tackle a vital issue for today—how do Christians communicate with winsome persuasion in a culture that seems to be increasingly at odds with Christian beliefs? I had the chance to endorse their book Winsome Persuasion and highly recommend it for both its content and style. In particular, Dr. Muehlhoff has really challenged me to personally consider how to speak truth today with both kindness and graciousness. I love his last book I Beg to Differ, and even used it in a small group with high school students. If you want to be an effective communicator today, check out this brief interview, and then think about getting their excellent new book ...

  • David L. Talley — 

    Overall point: The major battle we face in this life is not what is seen, but what is not seen—Satan is intensely and intentionally opposed to what God is doing. AND the greatest defense we have is not our offense, but rather our dependence. Jesus is prayerful and successful; the disciples are prayerless and careless ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    David Limbaugh is well known for his political commentary. Yet recently he has utilized his legal training to defend historic Christianity with his New York Times best-selling books The Emmaus Code and Jesus on Trial. His most recent book is The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels. David gave me the opportunity to endorse the book and I was pleasantly surprised at how readable it is, but also his depth of research. You can see David discuss the book on Hannity. David was kind enough to briefly answer a few of my questions about his newest book. Enjoy! ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Hi Dr. Craig, For about the last decade I've studied the question of the existence of God. I was raised in a Christian family and became interested philosophically in the existence of God in my mid-teens. I have read several of you books and many articles, as well as watching numerous lectures and debates. I have considerable respect for you work, mainly because it is meticulous - in contrast to most discussion of the subject that is readily available on the internet. I regard your defence of the kalam argument to be one of the best defences of God's existence I have read. I would describe myself as a 'philosophical theist' ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    I have had the privilege of being part of many writing and curriculum projects. But there are a few that stand out in terms of how fun and impactful those projects have been. The Apologetics Study Bible for Students is at the top of my list. There are a few reasons why ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    In Part 1, I observed that Christian forgiveness includes several conditions leading to reconciliation of a relationship that was violated by one person sinning against another. Jesus’ commands that the person wronged must “show him his fault” (Matt 18:15) as the first condition, to be followed by his repentance, and then we may respond by forgiving him. Common Christian talk about forgiveness tends not to include the necessity of repentance; consequently, many Christians attempt forgiveness and yet fail to live in it. Along with this claim that repentance is necessary to forgiveness, I am aware of the need for at least four caveats ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Some time ago I was speaking on the evidence for intelligent design at a family camp in Michigan. Immediately after my talk—in which I discussed the evidence for design from DNA, fine-tuning, and more—a woman approached me and asked, “The evidence is really powerful. Do you think we will ever get to a point when people will have to concede there’s a God?” ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I'm originally from China and have lived in the U.S. for 17 years. Through a Christian friend, I've been introduced to your books and debates online. I've been going to church for two years now, getting very close to becoming a Christian. Your work has been instrumental in helping my "engineeringly" wired brain making sense of god, slowly but steadily building up my faith. For that, I'm very grateful and want to give my immense gratitude and appreciation ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    The problem I notice is that many times Christians have ongoing difficulty in forgiving those who have wronged them. The strain may go on for many years even as they keep trying to forgive. They frequently assume that there is something wrong with them as being hardhearted and otherwise unloving. They fault themselves for not being able to forgive others. Perhaps these unforgiving Christians are trying to do something that God has not called them to do. Perhaps one-sided forgiveness is actually impossible in the absence of a necessary condition for forgiveness ...

  • Jeffrey Volkmer — 

    In a post on his blog, "Jesus Creed," eminent New Testament scholar Scot McKnight seems to agree with some of the findings of Claude Mariottini's book Rereading the Biblical Text: Searching for Meaning and Understanding which argues that Gen. 3:15 is not in fact messianic. McKnight further points out that such a conclusion agrees with Old Testament luminaries Gordon Wenham and Gerhard von Rad as well as some translations. These, says McKnight, conclude that the “seed” mentioned in Gen. 3:15 refers to not an individual, but rather the sum total of the descendants of both the woman and the serpent ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    One difficult lesson I have learned in apologetics and evangelism is to identify the question beneath the question. To be honest, I have spent considerable time answering questions I thought people were asking, but because I was operating under false assumptions, I missed the heart of their query. Have you ever made this same mistake? Here are three examples from my own life and ministry, and the brief lesson I learned from each of them ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, Thank you for your work in theology. I am grateful for your broad contributions to discussions about theology and religion in public life. Your philosophical and theological ventures are welcoming, thoughtful and substantive. My question concerns a remark you made in a recent podcast. You mentioned that God commands us to believe in Him. God commanding us believe in Him seems problematic. It is notably articulated by Hasdai Crescas ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    For many years I have been curious about a Roman governor known to us from history as Pliny the Younger. My interest initially arose because I resided for four years in one of the principal cities he governed—not to mention that one of my four daughters was born in that city. Moreover, since I have expended significant effort studying the writings of the earliest Christian authors after the period of the apostles (those authors known as the “Apostolic Fathers”), I continue to be intensely interested in learning anything I possibly can about the lives of Christians who lived during the first half of the second century ...