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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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  • Clint Arnold — 

    Since becoming Dean, I have been repeatedly asked, “what is your vision for Talbot?” The following is a concise summary my convocation address that was delivered September 3, 2012 in which I address this question.

  • David Talley — 

    Many people are aware of the 10/40 window, but have you heard about the missional emphasis on the 4/14 window? Luis Bush and others are stirring the church to consider a stronger focus on this "window" in the days ahead.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I recently received an inquiry from a Talbot student who wants to organize a small group for youth pastors from different churches who are starving for peer fellowship.

  • Ashish Naidu — 

    I am delighted to announce the recent publication of my monograph titled, Transformed in Christ: Christology and the Christian Life in John Chrysostom, in the Princeton Theological Monograph Series, by Pickwick Publications (Imprint of Wipf and Stock).

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    The selfless, other-centered behavior of Christ, as portrayed in Philippians 2, is striking, whatever your cultural perspective. The following contrast shows just how radically counter-cultural Christ’s attitude toward his divine prerogatives was for those who ascended to the heights of secular power in the ancient world.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Here’s something that many people I talk to about Paul’s Letter to the Romans don’t seem yet to have grasped. The earliest house churches in Rome would have been primarily Jewish and would have culturally felt Jewish, but in A.D. 49 the Roman Emperor Claudius kicked the Jews out of Rome. Jewish Christians, of course, would have been expelled along with the rest of the Jews. During the five years between Claudius’s edict (A.D. 49) and his death (A.D. 54) when the edict lapsed and Jews started to return, the composition and self-understanding of the house churches in Rome would have shifted considerably. Paul’s letter to the Romans would have arrived in Rome somewhere around A.D. 57, during the period when Jews were still trickling back into Rome. If you can fix in your mind that the expulsion of Jews from Rome had a tremendous impact on the churches in that city, you will understand the message of Romans oh-so-much better!

  • David Talley — 

    Sin is a reality with which we all must live. No one can escape the struggles we have with rebelling against God’s call on our lives (cf. Romans 3:10, 23). However, it is possible to choose whether one will vigorously fight the battle that wages against the flesh or not. The battle can be overwhelming, but it does not have to result in demoralizing defeat.

  • Moyer Hubbard — 

    Which version interprets 2 Cor 2:14 more accurately, the English Standard Version or the New Living Traslation? "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere" (ESV). "But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume" (NLT).

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I turn sixty years old this October. Talbot School of Theology has kindly given me the Fall semester off to mourn this milestone in my life. But what’s to mourn? I’m just that much closer to seeing Jesus face-to-face! So, I decided, instead, to celebrate my chronological landmark.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Check this out. A quote from a kid who came to Christ at Hume Lake last week. It doesn't get any simpler, or any more profound, than this:

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I want to announce a new resource, as well as make a shameless plug, for small group Bible studies and Sunday School classes. It’s a DVD providing four 15-minute sessions about the book of Psalms. It is part of the new Deepening Life Together video series published by Baker Books, LifeTogether and Lamplighter Media.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Reading the Bible. It sounds so simple. Just read the Bible every day, or at least read it regularly for nourishment and insight and communication with God. But how do we do it? In a time when the lack of Biblical knowledge extends from the average churchgoer to students entering Biola University, reading the Bible is more necessary than ever. But it’s harder than we thought.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Do you remember the “just say no to drugs” campaign waged a number of years ago? (The slogan “just say no” continues to be used in schools across the country.) The assumption of the slogan was that kids could simply say “no” whenever faced with temptation. Is that true? Can we simply say “no” whenever we are tempted?

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This is my last post (at least in this series) on the Apostolic Fathers. But together with my class, we have come up with a list of thumbnail descriptions to help us remember the various writings of the Apostolic Fathers. Here is our list (in the order we read these writings):

  • Mick Boersma — 

    It started as I was picking up toys from a visit by our precious grandchildren. Strewn about the living room, into the kitchen and out the back door was a dizzying array of colorful plastic pieces of everything from ‘Cootie’ to ‘Madeline’s Christmas Book and Doll Set’. This scene had played out before – every time those five bundles of energy had ‘left the building’.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Here’s a chapter written by an unknown early Christian to an unbeliever named Diognetus that is well-worth the three minutes it will take you to read it. This evangelist and apologist refers to Christians as “a new race or way of life” (Diogn. ch. 1). In chapter 5 he unpacks the distinctiveness of Christians.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    My article, "Building a Better Small Group," was just posted by The Gospel Coalition.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    We had quite a lively conversation in my Apostolic Fathers class the other evening after reading The Epistle of Barnabas. (BTW, it was not written by the biblical Barnabas; and the attribution to Barnabas may not even be original, so you don’t need to assume that this author is “pretending” to be Barnabas). “Barnabas” was committed to the interpretive procedure known as allegorical interpretation.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I recently returned from an excavation at Tel Dan in Israel. The season was for four weeks (June 25-July 20, 2012), but I only stayed for the first two. I was accompanied by Ivan Haq, an MA-OT student at Talbot/Biola. Neither of us is a professional “field” archaeologist, but we paid for our room & board and flights and we offered our labor as volunteers.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I’m still teaching my summer class on the Apostolic Fathers. We just had a discussion in class about the Shepherd of Hermas. Hermas claims to have had lots of visions and appearances of angels (one in the form of a shepherd—thus the name of the work) who tell him what to do and what messages he should deliver to others.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    My previous post garnered some lively response, to say the least. Murray Vasser offered the most thoughtful and pointed critique. Since my response would not fit in a comment slot, I’ve posted it separately to contribute to the ongoing dialogue.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A lot of critical-leaning biblical scholars dispute Paul’s authorship of the Pastoral Letters: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Recently there has been a bit of movement toward greater acceptance of the possibility of Paul’s authorship among those more critically inclined, though there is still a long way to go. One argument supporting the Pauline authorship of these letters is a discovery I made a number of years ago while studying Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians. Polycarp inadvertently tells us in his little letter that he believes that the Apostle Paul is the author of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy (and if that is true, probably also of Titus). Why does this matter? Because Polycarp wrote around A.D. 120 (some recent scholars say around 110), and was in a position to know a lot about the apostolic age that we don’t know. Up until this discovery, the earliest known author to both quote from the Pastoral Letters and to connect them to Paul as author was Irenaeus writing around A.D. 180. This discovery moves down the external attestation for the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Letters by 60 years.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I am receiving an increasing number of e-mails from persons in my church championing this or that conservative political cause. I recently responded in some detail to a dear brother who sent me a note encouraging his church leaders to become aware of a particular political agenda.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I have recently been convicted about the content of my praying. This has come about especially through meditating on the prayers of the Apostle Paul. What were the subjects that he thought worthwhile to focus on when he prayed? How do his prayer burdens compare to my own (sometimes insipid and paltry) prayers? I just got another challenge in this area today reading once again through 1 Clement in preparation for the Apostolic Fathers class I’m teaching right now. 1 Clement is a lengthy letter written by the church in Rome to the church in Corinth (probably by the hand of either a secretary or a church leader named “Clement”) at the end of the first century. Included at the tail end of this letter is a deep, passionate, and wide-ranging prayer (including prayer for governmental leaders during a period of persecution). If you have ever benefitted from praying in concert with devout Christians of earlier centuries (and you won’t find any document earlier than 1 Clement outside of the Bible), you may find some real spiritual benefit in praying this prayer.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Ignatius of Antioch was the passionate leader of the church in Antioch just after the apostolic period. He wrote five letters to churches in Asia Minor, one to the church in Rome, and one to Polycarp of Smyrna during a forced marched by ten soldiers (“leopards” he calls them) in the direction of Rome to be thrown to wild beasts because of his faith in Jesus Christ.