Skip to main content

Posts

John 4:46-5:32 #eebc2018

John continues his Gospel with a look at the next two “signs” of Jesus as the Messiah. The first “sign” was in John 2 (see John 2:11) where the water was turned into wine. Now we come to the next two of the “signs.”Remember that John labels the miracles of Jesus that he reports as “signs,” showing us that he is reporting only those miracles that are needed to make the point. Further, it shows that John knew he had to leave out some events (John 21:25) so his choices were guided by purpose. In modern times, we’d assume that meant he left out parts of the story that didn’t help, but that is far from being certain. Further, what would undo these miracles?The second sign in John is the healing of an official’s son. Jesus has returned to Cana and the first response is a lament over the people’s demand for more signs. Jesus had already done a sign there, but it wasn’t enough.A word of caution: let what Jesus has done be enough, rather than demanding more from Him. His grace is sufficient to…
Recent posts

Genesis 11 #eebc2018

Well, the Tower of Babel is here. And, if you read Genesis 11 in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), then you saw it labeled the Tower of Babylon. Well, actually, it’s never referred to in the text as the “Tower of” anything. They went to build a tower, and then city came to be called Babel, which can also be translated as Babylon. It’s on the plain called Shinar, which is Babylon. It’s also where the modern nation of Iraq is.The story is fairly well-known, and worth revisiting briefly. What made the tower sinful? Was it the unity of mankind? Or their obstinate desire to stay together instead of fill the earth? Now, I’m of the opinion that Genesis 11:1-9 tells us what happened that led to the division and dispersion described in Genesis 10. We almost always (unless you’re in a Christopher Nolan movie) tell stories linearly—we would not start the Civil War with the Battle of Atlanta, then tell Vicksburg, the Antietam, then Gettysburg. Ancient narratives are not bound by this linear hab…

Genesis 9 and 10 #eebc2018

Good morning! Moving forward, we go past the Flood. The world as we know it was formed partly through this cataclysm. One of the side effects of the Flood is the elimination of the physical location of the Garden of Eden and any other locations (like Nod) from the first chapters of Genesis. So, no, that social media post that claims someone found the Garden of Eden is most likely not right—the destruction of a year under water most likely eliminated any measurable trace.What do we have in Genesis 9?First, we have the establishment of God’s covenant with humanity not to destroy it all by a Flood again. It seems that people have misunderstood this covenant to say that there would never be any judgment, but God is not going to simply ignore sin. He is a righteous God and must deal with sin.That His judgment could come some other way seems to slip our grasp. It might be worth reading 2 Peter 3:1-7Another intriguing point of these chapters is that they raise the first prohibition on murder…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…

Genesis 7 and 8 #eebc2018

Tuesday morning! Time to move back over to the Pentateuch. In church Sunday morning, we ran down the basic outline of Old Testament history. Your first four points on the outline are: Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. We’re at the point of reading through Noah’s story.An important aside is about that word, “story,” which we sometimes hesitate to apply to Biblical texts. After all, Cinderella is a “story,” and it’s not entirely true, is it? So we want to be clear that Bible “stories” are not like other “stories” where there’s a nugget of truth buried in there somewhere. In many books, we’ll see the term “narrative” applied, because that’s a grammatical term that doesn’t carry any baggage. The catch?It basically means “story.” So, if you can learn “narrative,” you can learn that “story” does not mean true or false, but simply means the retelling of events from a perspective. Now, onto the perspective: Genesis 6, 7, and 8, give us the Flood. This is God’s judgment on the world for an exces…

Sermon Recap for January 14

Good evening! Here are the sermons from yesterday:First, this audio player will work through the entire sermon archive, starting with January 14 PM and then you can listen off the list.Sunday Morning (Audio download here, click and save)
Sunday Evening (Audio download here, click and save)

John 3:22-4:45 #eebc2018

It’s Monday! So, we’re back on a Gospel reading. If you’re wondering why we started in John, it’s because I really like John. It’s also because Mathew, Mark, and Luke are usually the first ones read since they come first, but I wanted to mix it up in our reading. There’s a value in making sure we’re not a in a rut as we read.Before we get to the text, it’s worth a stop to think about why the banks are closed today and the mail’s not running. Not too long ago, we as a nation needed a reminder to live up to our ideals, that All men are created equal. That reminder was driven by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the community he was able to rally on point, and unfortunately it took too many churches a long time to catch up. Remember this truth: God made all of humanity in His image—so let’s take a step back from our “I’m awesome, and if the more like me you are, the more awesome you might be…” approach and see people and their heritage, all the way around, as gifts from God.Now, on to the…