Posts from December 2012

How to teach your new pet rock everything it needs to know (or, the problem of knowledge for naturalism)

By Jason McMartin Dec. 23, 2012 10:37 p.m. Apologetics, Culture, Philosophy

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,

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O Little Town of Newtown

Dec. 21, 2012 10:40 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Culture, New Testament

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.

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The Christmas Story that Didn’t Happen

By Klaus Issler Dec. 19, 2012 1:56 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

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?”

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A Teacher’s Response to the Newtown, Conn. Tragedy

By John Hutchison Dec. 17, 2012 9:46 a.m. Culture, Theology

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:

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La navidad: la llegada del Príncipe de paz

By Octavio Esqueda Dec. 14, 2012 1:09 p.m. Christian Education, Church Life, Culture, Ministry and Leadership, Theology


“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.

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Wisdom & Zeal: A Letter from John Newton to Charles Simeon

By Kenneth Berding Dec. 13, 2012 11:19 a.m. Church Life, Ministry and Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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."

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Three Wise Women

By Nell Sunukjian Dec. 10, 2012 11:05 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Evangelism, Missions, New Testament, Spiritual Formation

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.

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