One of the reasons — perhaps the reason — I love Biola is its commitment to infallible, perfect, written Word of God. Christ is our lodestar. And Christ is revealed most clearly and powerfully to the people of God in the Bible.
Talbot School of Theology, therefore, plays a vital part in Biola’s mission. Talbot is central to Biola’s mission because the Scriptures are central to Biola’s mission. And Talbot, as Biola’s school of theology, is specially tasked with teaching the Bible, the Christian doctrines that we derive from it, and how to communicate and explain that Bible and those doctrines to everyone, whether Christian or not. In this way, we play our part in edifying Christ’s church and expanding Christ’s kingdom.
I am, therefore, honored to occupy the dean’s office at Talbot. When I arrived as a faculty member a little over 14 years ago, becoming dean was nowhere near my to-do list. I’m not sure how a Texan, Presbyterian math nerd with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a doctorate in philosophy wound up writing a dean’s update for a school of theology in Southern California. Yet here we are! I suppose God doesn’t always move us in straight lines.
Anyway: I love Biola in no small part because I love Talbot. I love Talbot’s faculty, its staff, its students, and its mission.
Folks like Ben Shin and Uche Anizor make Talbot tick. In his feature on Talbot’s fidelity to its mission, Dr. Shin reveals Talbot’s commitment not just to teaching the Bible but to seeing that teaching impact our students’ devotion to Christ and their formation into Christlikeness. Every aspect of Scripture matters, and Dr. Shin reminds us of many ways that Talbot works to hear — truly hear — God speak in his Word.
Dr. Anizor’s feature makes that movement from Word to life concrete and specific in a conversation about apathy born of the way our noisy modern age trivializes, and therefore makes meaningless, our daily lives. I am struck by the simplicity of Dr. Anizor’s recommendations. To overcome the noise, practice silence. To overcome meaninglessness, practice gratitude. So often, following Jesus is simple even if it is not easy.
I pray God encourages you, dear friends of Talbot, as you peruse these pages. Please pray for us as we work to fulfill our calling here. Thanks be to God who hears our prayers. May God bless and keep and make his face shine upon us all.