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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 — 

    Talbot faculty members share some of their picks for the best books released in 2012. Read about their recommendedations here, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Rob Lister — 

    As we near the outset of a new academic semester, I thought this comment from John Frame was a fitting word of encouragement for Talbot faculty and students alike concerning the nature of our engagement with God’s word.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Hell. I don't think about this subject often, so you can imagine my surprise when I found such moving thoughts on hell from an author I regard: John Bunyan.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    How did this world we live in get to be such a crazy place? And will 2013 be as crazy as 2012? Will it be filled with fiscal cliffs, slaughter of innocents, and nations bombing other nations? It started in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve and Adam and they yielded.

  • Ben Shin — 

    I am very excited to announce that Talbot School of Theology will be launching a new Doctor of Ministry track in Asian-American Ministry in June of 2013. This is a 2-week residency that will run from June 3rd to the 14th, 2013. This track will be taught and guided by some of the most experienced leaders, instructors, and practitioners in Asian-American ministry. The track is geared towards anyone who pastors or leads Asian-Americans in a church or parachurch.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the top pop songs of 2012 was Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Its catchy tune worked its way into millions of ears and stayed there; it was a classic “ear worm.” Even those of us who don’t listen to pop music were vexed by how difficult it was to get this song out of our thoughts.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Disneyland's Candlelight Processional on Main Street U.S.A. was surprisingly focused on Christ. Beautifully performed musical selections were interspersed between the readings based on the biblical narrative of Jesus’ birth, life, and death. Yes, his birth, life, and death. Disappointed that Jesus’ resurrection was not explicitly mentioned (Maybe next year, Disneyland), but pleasantly surprised by any mention of Jesus’ life beyond his birth. Many moments were just plain worshipful. Part of that worship was seeing the biblical narrative heard by thousands each night.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I recently discovered something about Nehemiah that I had never noticed before. There are lots of hints in the biblical book that bears his name that Nehemiah was a person who lived with an ongoing awareness of the presence of the Lord, and who highly valued the importance of communion with God.

  • Jason McMartin — 

    Among the must-have toys of Christmas 1975 was the pet rock. Advertising executive Gary Dahl conceived the idea while listening to others complain about the hassles of animate pets, and then his marketing instincts kicked in. He gathered ordinary stones,

  • Barry Corey — 

    Oh! Little town of Newtown, how still and sad we see thee lie. Newtown. About 100 miles from the little town where I grew up. That Connecticut bedroom village where local industries long manufactured fire hoses and folding boxes. The town where the game Scrabble began. The bucolic community where pizza places are called Carminuccio’s and elementary schools are called Sandy Hook. The New England hamlet where names of streets describe its pastoral landscape, names like Head of Meadows, Boggs Hill and Deep Brook.

  • Klaus Issler — 

    The Christmas story is about Jesus being born into the family of Mary and Joseph. Have you ever considered what other options there were for which type of family Jesus could have been born into? We could explore these possibilities by asking, “What early life experiences do we think could best prepare Jesus for his later public ministry?” Let me suggest a context for this kind of musing. Imagine you were invited to observe that special planning session in eternity past when the Godhead considered creating this world and mapping out a plan for our redemption. Of course this couldn’t happen, but pretend this divine session was like one of our committee meetings. The topic on “today’s” agenda is “What is the best early life experience preparation for Jesus to be formed for his distinctive divine-human role as Messiah and Savior of the world?”

  • John Hutchison — 

    This week the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School have grabbed our attention for understandable reasons. The atrocity of killing 26 people, mostly children in their first grade classroom, is inconceivable to all who think about the event. Though I do not know any of the families affected, as a parent and grandparent, I have felt deep sorrow since that time, and have prayed for those who had such great losses. One of the classes I teach for Biola’s School of Education is predominantly elementary school teachers. An assignment was already posted on Friday for interaction in an online discussion group, but I sensed the need to “change the subject” and invite these teachers to talk about the day’s events. One of the elementary school teachers was really struggling that day, and wrote her concerns and questions in the blog. She expressed her heartache for the parents and their children, and her desire to present God as a God of love and compassion. Yet, she was stuck on the question, “How could a loving God allow something like this to happen?” Realizing none of us can fully explain the “whys” of tragedy in our world, I decided to respond with the words that follow:

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Al mundo paz nació Jesús” es el inicio de un popular villancico navideño que resume magistralmente esta temporada de fiesta por la llegada del Hijo de Dios entre nosotros. La navidad celebra el cumplimiento de la promesa de la venida del Príncipe de paz (Is. 9:6). La segunda persona de la trinidad se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros para después darnos vida a través de su sacrificio expiatorio en la cruz. Por lo tanto, la navidad es un acontecimiento digno de celebrarse.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I just came across a 230 year old letter that is loaded with wisdom, love, zeal, and grace from an experienced "pastor" to a new "pastor."

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    The custom of giving gifts at Christmas probably began when wise men arrived from the east with lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King. These important, wealthy and educated men had traveled far with camels and servants to find and worship the newborn King of the Jews. But there were not three of them.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Here’s a great electronic resource that you can use to introduce people to Jesus during this Christmas season.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Con Campbell’s new book, Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012, 479 pages, $34.99 softcover) is one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time. I predict that scholars and serious students of the Bible will be referring to this book for years to come. The reason is simple: Campbell has meticulously and even-handedly taken one of the Apostle Paul’s central themes, union with Christ, and has painstakingly examined it both through an exegetical and a theological lens.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    What was the sin of Nadab and Abihu? The text of Leviticus 10:1-7 is ultimately unclear about this. One Pentateuch scholar aptly calls this an instance of “intentional ambiguity” on the part of the storyteller/author (see Schnittjer, 99, 324, 413-414). So perhaps we will never know the answer for sure. Nevertheless, many people have contemplated this question, and there are many suggestions out there. How do we evaluate the relative merits of these suggestions? Is there a way to distinguish the plausible theories from the implausible ones? I think so.

  • Rob Lister — 

    Crossway has just released a book I wrote on the doctrine of divine impassibility. The title is God is Impassible and Impassioned: Toward a Theology of Divine Emotion.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I just returned from the Evangelical Theological Society annual meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I picked up a copy of D. A. Carson’s new little book, Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed (Crossway). On the taxi ride from the airport to the conference, I briefly tried to share the Lord with a taxi driver named Hassan. We were about a minute into the conversation when Hassan commented rather ardently, “We Muslims believe that Jesus is a prophet, and not the son of God.” I explained to him that Christians don’t believe that God had physical relations with Mary that led to her pregnancy, as many Muslims assume and consider blasphemous. The problem for dialogue with Muslims like Hassan is that many Muslims think that is precisely what we Christians mean when we use the expression “Son of God” in reference to Jesus—which, of course, we don’t. So what if you were a Bible translator in a Muslim country and knew that many of your readers would make the same assumption that Hassan did about the expression “Son of God”? Perhaps you should change the words “Son of God” to something else that is proximate in meaning but less offensive. Or maybe you shouldn’t…

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    The colors and smells of fall have arrived, even here in southern California. Red, yellow, gold and peach-colored roses, fresh from my garden, are tucked into a round pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin bread, smelling of cinnamon and ginger is fresh from the oven and ready to be tucked into our mouths. Thanksgiving is almost here.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Bueno, pero Dios sigue estando en su trono” es una frase que he escuchado bastante veces en los últimos días. Los que la pronuncian generalmente lo hacen con un tono de resignación al ver que las cosas no se han dado como inicialmente esperaban. Me da la impresión que recuerdan que Dios está en control de las circunstancias solamente como un premio de consolación al ver que su candidato perdió las elecciones o enfrentan otras decepciones en la vida. Tristemente en estos casos, estas personas se olvidan que nuestro Dios siempre es victorioso, siempre está en control y que nada ni nadie obstruye su soberanía sobre todo. Dios no debería ser el premio de consolación de los perdedores sino el premio mayor de todos los días sin importar lo que esté sucediendo a nuestro alrededor.

  • Ben Shin — 

    Life can be busy. This just seems to be a reality of life. And especially within the Christian world, busyness sometimes seems to translate into godliness. I have known this to be true in my own life. I have the privilege to teach each week at the seminary and interact with students and colleagues regarding very important eternal matters. I also served as the lead pastor of a church on a “part-time” basis. I’m married with two little boys who were always wanting daddy’s time. And I was finishing my dissertation for my doctorate. Just a little busy!

  • David Talley — 

    Every now and then It is good to be surrounded by people who cause us to consider the stewardship of our life. Being at the global summit, Transform World 2012, has caused me to do just that. Perhaps this can be of encouragement to you.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    Are you studying Greek and need to be reminded that it is worth all the work? Or have you spent the time learning the basics of the Greek language and want to being to learn how to apply it to Scripture? There is a new book that nicely combines the study of New Testament Greek and a devotional reading of the Bible.