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Showing posts from December, 2011

BookReview: Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament

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Today’s book review book is provided by Kregel Publishers. It’s from their Academic and Professional Line. The title is Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament and it is edited by Daniel B. Wallace. Here’s the cover and Amazon link:Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Text and Canon of the New Testament)Wallace is the editor, but the book itself is a collection of six essays regarding the textual basis of the New Testament. These are contributed by Wallace and five of his former academic interns (think something more than a student but less than a one-to-one disciple). Naturally, Wallace has a high opinion of their work and is the key to their involvement in this project. They are not quite as well-known as Wallace, so his credibility is the support of this work.What is this work about? It is, essentially, a response to the work of Bart Ehrman in Misquoting Jesus and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. The former work…

Sermon Wrap-up for Christmas

Christmas Eve Service Outline:Christmas Eve 2011 Almyra First Baptist Church Almyra, Arkansas Call to Worship Silent Night, Holy NightPerformed by the Almyra Baptist Church Choir Reading: Genesis 3:15 The LordGod said to the serpent…”I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall strike you on the head and you shall strike Him on the heel”Congregational Singing Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus                               #176 Reading: Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.Congregational Singing O Come, All Ye Faithful                                               #199 Reading: Isaiah 60:1-4 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of theLordhas risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But theLordwill rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, And kings to …

Merry Christmas

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“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11 (NASB95)Christmas in 21st Century America is about many things. The retail world counts on Christmas to balance the books. The movie world waits to release award-worthy films around Christmas. The schools count on those two weeks to restore the sanity of the teachers. Many families count on Christmas to be the time they get together. Christmas 1914 was the scene of something even greater. In the opening year of World War One, the young soldiers at the front lines of Germany, France, and England were not yet so bitter that they forgot about Christmas. Ignoring orders from superior officers, small groups of men joined together where tens of thousands had been killed, and where hundreds of thousands more will be killed, and exchanged gifts. Why? Christmas is about more than all the things we can list. Christmas …

Strange Moments

Thirteen years ago today, I woke up married. Now, I went to bed married, and was fully aware of having been married in the process, so this was not really a surprise. However, it was a change. A pretty big one, really.I was originally going to try and list the things that had changed. I had brainstormed some of the stuff that I no longer do/have/spend and then list all the positive replacements. It's just that idea seemed a little trite and a little like I'm trying to sell you my marriage: here's all the benefits! Look! Worth the time! No regrets!After all, there were folks who really thought marriage was going to be a passing fad for me. Side note: the people that said we wouldn't make three years? They know say we won't make the hard part: 20 years. Some of them moved the target at 3, 5, 7, and 10. Get over yourselves, ok? There were those that wondered if we would survive, if we could just live on love, all of that.And it's tempting to say "I told you s…

Sermon Wrap-up

We had a song-service celebration last night instead of any organized preaching, so there's no podcast of that. Related to that, I would give you a highly shortened summary of something from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together: singing together is an important part of the community of faith. Corporate singing requires dependence on and awareness of one another, and that's good training for living as believers in this world.The morning sermon was from Matthew 1:18-24:Matthew 1:18-24 (audio) (alternate audio) Immanuel: God with us We have seen:  God as Creator: Genesis 1:1 God as Judge: Genesis 3:15 God as Savior: Genesis 6 God as Deliverer: Exodus God as King: 1 Samuel God as Leader: Numbers God as Provider: Ruth God as Sovereign Conqueror: Joshua God as Holy: Leviticus God as Righteous: Deuteronomy God as Just: 2 Samuel God as All-powerful: Kings God as Wise: Proverbs God as Praiseworthy: Psalms God as Eternal: the Prophets God in Heaven Now, though, we see most clearly:  …

Does it matter: Calling it Christmas

One of the ever-recurring hot topics in American Christianity is the name of the day observed on December 25th. A few years ago the big angst was "Christmas or X-mas?" Now it's all the way to "Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or what?"I want to weigh in on this, because that's what a blog is for. Well, one thing a blog is for. Another is free stuff and shameless self-promotion, but we'll hit those on other days. Today, it's using the blog to grind an axe or two.The first thing I would say about this whole debate is that I personally believe that there are two different standards of behavior relating to Christian days of observance or holidays. That's right. This is not a purely right-or-wrong issue in front of us. There are two groups of people in this world, to present it simply, and each group has a different obligation in this case.What are those groups? Christian believers and not Christian believers. Or, to use the typical Baptist verbiage,…

Watch your inputs

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Yesterday I went out deer hunting. Those of you who know me, know I've been deer hunting more than once or twice and that I've killed precisely zero deer. I haven't even shot at any.Typically I hunt with a friend from college who is also one of the deacons in the church I serve. He and I have been all over his farm and a few other places, and we've seen deer at a distance, but have not seen anything we could shoot.Yesterday I was on a different farm, but I was out by myself. Gary, the farmer, dropped me off on the edge of a soybean field, next to a corn field and by the old railroad tracks. There's an old wood deer blind out there that, honestly, just looks like an old shack on the ground. I walked over there with gun, thermos, and license and propped up and waited.After about an hour, I saw two small deer wander into the field. They were followed about 10 minutes later by four more does. Then, out walks the biggest buck I have ever…pointed a gun at. We're not …

BookTuesday: Late but short

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I had a planned book review for today, but I received an email last week that there was a shipping delay, so the Big Book of American Trivia review will be a little late. Hopefully, I'll have it up next week.Upcoming, I'll be looking at Tyndale: The Man who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems. Tyndale translated the Bible (well, headed up translating the Bible) into English before it was legal and before King James paid for a new translation. The KJV uses somewhere between 85-95% similar wording to Tyndale. He was burned at the stake for his work. Looking forward to reading more about him.Also, I have a few reviews coming up for Kregel: Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, The Post-Racial Church, and Reading Revelation. These all look good, and I already have them to read. Kregel uses a different system than Tyndale House and Thomas Nelson: the former schedules when they want reviews, the latter lets you review whenever you get to it.So, no major review this we…

Sermons from December 11

To subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast, click here for iTunes and here for any other feed reader.Morning Sermon: Luke 1:26-38Audio Link HereAlternate Audio HereOutline: Luke 1:26-38I. Christmas is coming...for the first time
1. This is a surprise.
2. An expected surprise, but a surprise nonetheless
3. Often, great things come when it seems just too late.
4. Yet notice the wonder in the situation: marvel, fear, questions II. Christmas is coming...again.
1. It's no surprise, is it?
2. We actually get kind of bored with it
3. Does that sound right? III. Christmas is always wonderful
1. ISAIAH 9:6 2. Do not let the repetition lead to dullness 3. Celebrate 4. You do not have to light lights and prop up trees 5. Clear the gunk from your hearts and heads Evening Sermon: Luke 1:5-24 Audio Link HereAlternate Audio Link HereLuke 1:5-24 How to be ready for Christmas: 1. Serve God as you have been commanded 2. Prayerfully ask God to work 3. Have faith that God …

Je ne suis pas un espion

Don't worry, the rest of the post is in English!Last night, I took a look at my Google Reader subscriptions. They were quite numerous. Google Reader is a program that allows the user to gather RSS feeds in one place to read them. Blogs, news services, and other websites that generate different content on a regular basis often use RSS feeds to distribute the content. It's also convenient for readers. You click 'subscribe' and you get a reader inbox full of new stuff. It beats checking all those websites every day.Except I had nearly 100 subscriptions. Never mind how many actual posts were there, I had nearly 100 subscriptions. Add to this checking a couple of news sites every day for local and non-local news and there was just a huge flow of information. Then there's checking links that get posted on Facebook, Twitter, or emailed to me, and I have been living in the full-out information age.This morning, though, it hit me. And it hit me in French, which is pretty ra…

King of Kings, King of Me

With many apologies, I haven't been able to get a new post together. So, reprinted from Advent Reflections—The Gift CycleI present this thought about recognizing the Christ Child as King of Me.“For unto us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NRSV)The work of God through Jesus Christ was not merely for Him to come and remind us that He is the rightful King of Creation because He did the creating. He did not come just to check up on the spiritual portion of His kingdom, nor to merely reclaim the throne in Jerusalem. His time on earth was not spent to establish supremacy over other earthly kings. In fact, the only encounters with earthly kings and governors were disastrous: Herod the Great initiated the slaughter at Bethlehem, Herod Antipas does nothing, and Pontius Pilate orders Him crucified.His work here was not simply to reclai…

BookTuesday: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

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In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark BattersonIn a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day Publisher: Multnomah BooksI wanted to like this book. And, to be honest, I do like this book. On the whole, it is a book written to challenge you to overcome your fears and live a bold life. As a self-help, motivational book, Mark Batterson has produced a good one.Except that he does not claim to have just generated a self-help book. In fact, he puts forth his book as based in Scripture. He takes the title from the story of Benaiah in 2 Samuel 23:20-23. Benaiah was the captain of the bodyguard of King David of Israel. This passage is the introduction to Benaiah, who is also instrumental in establishing King Solomon's reign and whose father was Jehoiada the chief priest (1 Chronicles 27:5).In the 2 Samuel passage, Benaiah's feat of killing a lion in a pit on a snowy day is recorded. Batterson cites the New Living Translation that renders Benaiah's action as “chasing” the lion into the p…

Sermon Wrap-up December 4

Morning Audio Link HereEvening Audio Link HereSubscribe Link HereMorning Outline:1 John 4:12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12Illustrate: knowing something is real, waiting for it, expecting it. Seeing evidences but no definite things---This is life in many ways.From the time of Creation forward, no one saw God and knew it---Even Moses is told in Exodus 33:20 that he cannot see God, for no man can see God and liveThis is the fear of Isaiah as he stands in the Temple---My eyes have seen the King, The Lord Almighty.Yet this is the Grace of God, the story of Christmas:There is more than just a picture of GodThere is....Jesus. The Manifest Presence of God.Clearly shown.#1: Man could not go to God---his holiness, his righteousness, his greatness---but we lose Him in the cosmos, it's too hard to narrow the focus.#2: Man desperately needs God---authority, guidance, example, grace#3: God came to man---to …

Christmas Gift Giving Guide 2011

Every year, I try to put out a list of suggested places to consider if you would like to do some of your Christmas gift giving by donating to causes that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ this year. So, here they are in no particular order:1. Southern Baptist Missions: for those of you who are part of a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church, you should consider the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Your church should have more information if you want it.2. Wycliffe Bible Translators: these folks are dedicated to spreading the Gospel by translating the Bible into languages that do not have it. There are several times where Wycliffe has been the group responsible for transmitting an oral language into a written one, opening up educational opportunities and development in the area. That’s almost always been a good thing.3. Connected to Wycliffe Bible Translators: my friends Aaron and Joanna Choate are missionaries for them. Wycliffe does not operate like the SBC’s International Mis…