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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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  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    A family outing goes horribly wrong when a bomb goes off nearby leaving the son dead, the mother with a brain injury, the daughter with a missing limb, and the father to cope with this devastation to his family. A woman who has faithfully paid her health insurance premiums for years is faced with a serious illness, but the insurance company refuses to pay her medical costs due to a purported preexisting condition claimed to have been discovered in a brief notation by a doctor on her medical records years ago. A young college student, peacefully sleeping just moments ago, finds himself in the midst of a home invasion robbery during which he is shot and killed by the robber who was recently released from prison due to overcrowding. Why, God? How can you sit by and let these things happen? It isn’t right . . . it isn’t fair . . . it isn’t just.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    My wife Trudi and I spoke for a parenting seminar this past weekend. We offered 14 “tips” for nurturing the spiritual lives of one’s children. I’ve included the 14 teaching points here for your own consideration. Our prayer is that many parents will take on the call to intentionally train their children in the ways of the Lord. If you want your children to grow up to be passionate followers of Christ…

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, will present “Origins Today: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes” at Biola University. John Walton’s work on Genesis 1-3 offers a fresh perspective on the complex issue of faith and science by seeking to understand the message of Scripture within its ancient context.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    There is a pressure that is constantly battling around us to give people whatever they want. When you are younger it was labeled peer pressure. However, as we grow older the peer pressures continues throughout life, we just call them “Expectations”…

  • Doug Huffman — 

    A search of the Internet will reveal several different kite parables, including one in support of the (un-Christian) idea that by holding tight to the string of God’s commandments people can fly themselves up into the heavens. I’d like to suggest a different kite parable, one that is more in keeping with Christian orthodoxy. My parable focuses on the kite itself (not the string) as the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone, but not a faith that is alone.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    Often times it seems that harder the church tries to be relevant, the more irrelevant we become. The Bible is full of this kind of upside down logic. The self-clingers lose themselves, the prideful end up humbled, those jostling to be first end last, and, now it seems, those trying the hardest to be relevant end up most irrelevant. Thaddeus Williams explores what happens when the church puts relevance to culture ahead of reverence to Christ.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Something to ponder about an ancient Chinese word...

  • Ben Shin — 

    Looking over a resume in order to hire a person for ministry can be trickier than one realizes at first. This is especially true because they typically want to give the benefit of the doubt to one’s accomplishments and experiences as listed on a resume. However, it has been the experience of this writer that what is often listed on a resume may not actually be the truth. There are those who like to “stretch” the information or possibly “embellish” the facts to point in favor of the applicant. Then there are those who just flat out lie about who they really are and what they’ve done. This blog will highlight some clues or signs of “red flags” that may show up in ministry resumes.

  • Steve Porter — 

    While Christians decry the secularization of Christmas, the spirit of that season (gift-giving, twinkling lights, warm cocoa) coalesces rather well with the celebration of God coming to earth in the birth of Jesus. Easter is more difficult. For the Christian, the meaning of Easter is directly connected to the brutal and unjust execution of the one born in Bethlehem. Easter is the exuberance of the empty tomb, and yet it stands in solidarity with the alienation of a blood stained cross.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Esta semana se conmemoran los días más importantes para el cristianismo y, por consiguiente, para todo el mundo. La muerte y resurrección de Jesucristo marcan el eje central de nuestra fe. Durante la semana santa recordamos la muerte de Jesús en la cruz por nuestros pecados y su victoria sobre la muerte a través de su gloriosa resurrección.

  • John McKinley — 

    Dyothelitism means that Jesus possesses two wills, one divine and one human. God the Father and God the Son are distinct persons, but they share the same divine will. The difference of Jesus’ will from his Father’s will in Gethsemane is his human will. By incarnation, God the Son took up a second way of living as a man. He now possesses two natures. Each nature is complete, including a will for each. I define will as the spiritual capacity for desires and choice in the exercise of personal agency. A caution to remember is that these are mysterious operations (desiring, choosing) of mysterious realities (persons, wills, Trinity) that may leave us continuing to wonder even after thinking it all through as best we can. We will consider briefly Jesus’ divine will, his human will, the situation of Gethsemane, and how this affects our thinking about the Trinity.

  • David Talley — 

    Can anything good come out of Kansas City? Absolutely! A global event is taking place there now at the International House of Prayer. You are invited to participate in what God is doing.

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    A few weeks ago I had an early morning meeting that required me to get up and leave home way before it was light. As I walked out my front door, I noticed for the first time that, not only was the world still shrouded in darkness, but it was also shrouded in fog. This immediately brought back strong memories of the years I lived in California’s Central Valley where heavy fog at certain times of the year was commonplace. And most of those memories were not pleasant.A few weeks ago I had an early morning meeting that required me to get up and leave home way before it was light. As I walked out my front door, I noticed for the first time that, not only was the world still shrouded in darkness, but it was also shrouded in fog. This immediately brought back strong memories of the years I lived in California’s Central Valley where heavy fog at certain times of the year was commonplace. And most of those memories were not pleasant.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Breaking up may be hard to do, but starting over in ministry can be scary. No one enjoys change and often our worst mistakes happen in the stress of transitions.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Which is the best Greek text to use when translating the New Testament? Some people argue for a “majority text” (a text like the one that lies behind the KVJ or the NKJV but none of the other major translations). What are the arguments that have been put forth in favor of the superiority of the Byzantine (majority) text of the Greek New Testament? How would you respond to someone who insisted that the majority text approach is correct?

  • Darian Lockett — 

    Over the past three years I have had the privilege of serving as a part-time pastor in a local church here in Southern California. Though I’ve been in ministry for several years and have even spent significant time in ministry overseas, these past few years have constituted a re-education in the gospel. Here is what I mean: “The gospel” is a phrase that Christians often use without fully understanding its significance. We speak the language of the gospel, but we rarely apply the gospel to every aspect of our lives. Yet this is exactly what God wants for us. The gospel is nothing less than “the power of God” (Rom. 1:16). In Colossians 1:6, the apostle Paul commends the Colossian church because the gospel has been “bearing fruit and growing...among [them] since the day [they] heard it.” The apostle Peter teaches that a lack of ongoing transformation in our lives comes from forgetting what God has done for us in the gospel (2 Peter 1:3–9). If we are to grow into maturity in Christ, we must deepen and enlarge our understanding of the gospel as the way God transforms us.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    People often get up-tight when they first learn of the existence of variations in the text of the Greek New Testament, but their concerns are baseless. The text of the New Testament is far-and-away the most attested and stable text of any ancient document. In fact, if you question the stability of the text of the New Testament, you probably ought to disregard just about everything you think you know about ancient history since almost all the important historical manuscripts from which such history is derived are from copies that are far later and of far poorer quality than are our New Testament manuscripts. I recently discovered a convenient way to demonstrate this!

  • Ben Shin — 

    Forming the right kind of pastoral staff or leadership team can be a very challenging endeavor. Getting the right people to work together for the long run is much more difficult than people imagine. Sometimes great individual leaders do not necessarily mean they will work well together in a team. So, how can this be remedied? But before this question can be asked, there is another important preliminary question that needs to be raised. What elements need to be in place or need to match in order to build a strong and cohesive staff? This blog will examine three aspects that need to match well in order to build a good, strong, and cohesive staff.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Recuerdo que el pastor de la iglesia donde crecí repetía constantemente esta frase “el amor es un producto de la voluntad”. Estas palabras se convirtieron en una expresión común en la iglesia y se mencionaban constantemente en diferentes contextos. Me parece que lo que el pastor quería comunicar era que la acción de amar está basada principalmente en una decisión y no solamente en emociones. Nuestras emociones cambian, pero cuando decidimos amar a Dios y a nuestro prójimo independientemente de nuestro estado de ánimo entonces estamos así cumpliendo la ley de Cristo. Estoy de acuerdo con la idea general, pero creo que el amor va mucho más allá de nuestra voluntad. El amor se centra en la persona de Dios y nosotros tenemos el gran privilegio de participar y demostrar el amor divino.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Social Justice or The Proclamation of the Gospel? In Amos Part One (2/18) we encountered the Northern Kingdom experiencing great prosperity during the reign of Jeroboam II. Suddenly, the prophet Amos appeared on the scene predicting Israel’s destruction and exile. I ended the previous post with this challenging question: “Why has God become so angry with a people that He has so richly blessed?”

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    We are presently teaching through the Minor Prophets at church. I had the joy of tackling the book of Amos over a couple Sundays in February—not exactly a seeker-sensitive text.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This post is for people who are praying seriously about the possibility of serving overseas in long-term cross-cultural missions. It may help you assess where you presently stand in terms of “readiness” for such a ministry assignment.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    Jesus prayed for His church to form a kind of angled mirror, bonded together with the kind of love that directs the world’s gaze upward to behold the Triune God of love (Jn. 17:11-24). Are we reflecting the Triune God clearly, or do our churches often form more of a cracked mirror, fragmented shards with animosities and apathies caked like mud, refracting little light from above? Dr. Williams explores one reason we may often fail to reflect the Trinity, namely, the lack of a robust doctrine of "the anti-Trinity."

  • Dave Keehn — 

    There is poignant scene in the movie “Amazing Grace” that pans onto a country field in which William Wilberforce is lying on the wet grass contemplating the magnificence of God. He is mesmerized by the dew on a spider web as evidence of God’s handiwork. In this instant he feels the inner tension between staying in the moment, meditating on God and returning to ongoing struggle in politics. He cannot discern which is better: to sit in solitude with God or enter the realm of politics where he is seeking to bring God’s justice? It is only later that some abolitionist ministers suggest that he could do both: seek to be with God and serve God – at the same time. It is this special combination that I believe is the key to living for God’s Kingdom - not at a glorious future in heaven above, but now in this broken world in need of God’s redeeming justice and hope!

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    What are spiritual gifts, really? Andrew Faris posted an interview with me on this question at the "Christians in Context" blog.