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Showing posts from April, 2015

Book: A.D. The Bible Continues

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A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution that Changed the World by Dr. David Jeremiah Straight out of the gate, let me say that David Jeremiah’s A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution that Changed the World (hereafter, A.D.,) surprised me. Knowing it was connected to the NBC television event that dramatizes the events of the biblical book of Acts, I expected to find that Jeremiah had written some Bible-blurbs for a ghost-written novel. This is certainly not that. In fact, what I have on my shelf for A.D. will function well for a church group study on the basics of the New Testament after the Gospels. It is clearly written, well organized, and accurate. What is A.D.? Essentially, it is an explanation of the book of Acts with background material in history and Old Testament theology placed alongside it. Further, Jeremiah gives some flash-forwards to the materials in the rest of the New Testament, like Paul’s Epistles. Overall, this work is doctrinally on-target, though clearly there …

Book: Modern Manners

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Modern Manners by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler (yes, that Liv Tyler.) In the modern text message society, it is easy to lose the traditional concepts of etiquette. After all, one is often busy trying to keep up with the newest and greatest—how much time do we have to remember the old-fashion ways? Yet decorum and etiquette should never be out of style. Additionally, the ability to conduct oneself with propriety in a given situation is a step toward having a successful interaction. Consider your own viewpoint: given the choice between two equally qualified business proposals, which would you take? The one presented by people who spoke with full sentences who looked you in the eye or the one presented with half-sentences and distracted looks? Following the general pattern of etiquette, though, is not natural for most of us. In truth, I would suggest that the reason etiquette goes so far in establishing the distinctiveness of a person is because it requires effort to present. Anyone…

Sermon Recap for April 26

Good Afternoon! Here are the sermons from yesterday.Morning Sermon: The Good Shepherd John 10:11-18 (audio) Evening Sermon: Hebrews 4:16 (audio) Concluding Notes:1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the current equipment.3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is hereD. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/E. Some videos are up on Vimeo, but budget constraints have ended my posting to Vimeo for the time being.4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hits on each blog, but in total it’s a decent reach. A social media expert might suggest changes, but this is free-to-cheap, where I have to live right now.
5. Each blog has a “Follow” button and a “Subscribe via Emai…

Baby Stone Sheep! 1 Peter 2

In Summary:

Peter, unlike Paul, does not spend as much time on the theological background issues of his epistle. Instead, as we see in 1 Peter 2:1-3, he comes rapidly to the point of action as he commands his audience to put aside evil actions and words. This is not prefaced with a long instruction about why—Peter gives the “why” after this: “if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

He then goes on to summarize the Christian life with three examples. The first is that we are to live as newborns, desiring to feast on the pure Word. The second is to be as stones that are used to build up the house of the Lord Jesus. This is likely done in parallel to Psalm 118 and the references to the rejected stone that became the cornerstone, which Peter applies to Jesus.

(I once heard this related to a story from the construction of Solomon’s Temple, where the builders found that a stone they felt was useless was actually the perfect finishing stone for the building. I can’t find that reference…

Sermon Recap for April 19

Good afternoon! Here are the sermons from yesterday:Morning Sermon Luke 24:36-48 (audio) Evening Sermon Hebrews 4:12 (audio) Concluding Notes:1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the current equipment.3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is hereD. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/E. Some videos are up on Vimeo, but budget constraints have ended my posting to Vimeo for the time being.4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hits on each blog, but in total it’s a decent reach. A social media expert might suggest changes, but this is free-to-cheap, where I have to live right now.
5. Each blog has a “Follow” button and a “Subscribe via Email” option
6. Follow o…

Excluded: Deuteronomy 23

In Summary:

Well, Deuteronomy 23 is ahead of us today. It opens with a challenging verse and does not get much easier to consider until near the end. The first section of this chapter deals with people who are to be excluded from the assembly of Israel. The mixture of prohibitions here are somewhat confusing, and all carry cause for alarm to the modern sensitivities. After all, one cannot choose to be born Edomite and not Moabite. And the troubling Deuteronomy 23:1 (which I’d prefer not to think much about) makes no loophole for accidental emasculation. No matter how it happens, one is excluded from the assembly. There is something to consider about the connection between Deuteronomy 23:1 and Galatians 5:12, but we’ll leave that to one side for the time being.

Another theme of this chapter is the presence of God among the Israelites, though that is common refrain among the writing in Deuteronomy. The idea that one needs to use proper latrine techniques strikes me as humorous, and yet Mo…

A personal update

For those of you who are interested in tracking my personal life, I thought I’d give you an update. Last summer, I expressed a plan to pursue a Ph.D. Then I backed out of that, needing some time away from distance learning.My next stop on the planning train was a Doctor of Ministry. It’s a more practical degree, which is good, but therefore less applicable to academic work. Which is bad.This brings me back to where I am right now: I think I’d return to the Ph.D. model and pursue something in the academic theology field. But I just cannot bring myself to do the preparatory research languages (German, Latin, French) through the online class model. It was just not working for me. Grades were fine, but I felt that I wasn’t gathering the understanding I wanted out of it.So, right now I’m leaning in this direction: I’m going to look for ways to fill in the language learning while I weigh out the pros and cons on either one. That, and I’m back to reconsidering whether or not I would be bette…

Aliens? 1 Peter 1

In Summary:

We finished Luke a few weeks back, and I’ve been wrestling over how to get into the next book installment of Through the Whole Bible here on the blog. I’ve covered three of the Gospels, Acts, and a few Pauline Epistles. I’m almost done with the Pentateuch (finally!) on the Old Testament side. I’m not ready to tackle Revelation here…I may even pull a Calvin and not ever do Revelation! (Seriously, there are 46 Logos volumes, or 23 print volumes, of Calvin’s Commentaries. He stops at Jude.)

I thought we’d take a trip together into 1 and 2 Peter for the next few months. I’ve written a bit before, in fragments, on Peter’s Epistles (see here), but not as part of this series. As with any of the New Testament Epistles, it’s hard to get past the first verse without camping out. We’ll throw 1 Peter 1:1 under the In Focus section, then, and try to summarize the rest of chapter 1.

Which will not be simple. Peter writes to the church-at-large, rather than to a specific local church. He hi…

Book: The Happy Christian

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Today’s book, The Happy Christian,  comes from pastor/author David Murray. He’s the author of Christians Get Depressed, Too, and Jesus on Every Page. I found value in both of these books, so I was glad to snag The Happy Christian for free for review from Booklook.There are many Christian-themed books about happiness. Some of them are remarkably too shallow. Others are too egg-headed and theological. Generally speaking, the pattern of these books falls like this: if you’re unhappy, it’s your fault so get over it. While there may be truth (MAY BE) to that concept underneath, is patently unhelpful when in trials.Murray’s The Happy Christian aims a bit higher than basing happiness in either ignorance or guilting the reader out of sadness. His work is based in an evaluation of what Christian Scripture says of why we Christians should be happy.Of particular value to me was the chapter on work and play. The point raised is counter to typical culture: we should find happiness in the work we d…

Sermon Recap April 12

Good morning! Here are the sermons from yesterday:Morning Sermon: John 20:19-31 (audio)Video: Sermon: John 20:19-31 "Doubts" 1. Doubts are ______ (normal) 2. Doubts can come from _____________ (isolation) 3. Doubts are willing to be _____ (answered) 4. Doubts are one reason why God _____________ (preserved Scripture) Evening Sermon: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (audio)Video: Concluding Notes:1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the current equipment.3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is hereD. For Youtube Video, subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/user/dheagle93/E. Some videos are up on Vimeo, but budget constraints have ended my posting to Vimeo for the time being.4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of pla…

Sermon Recap for April 5

This Sunday was Easter Sunday, the point on the calendar where we especially mark the Resurrection of Jesus. We did the traditional Sunrise Service as a community, and then had our normal Sunday morning activities at Almyra Baptist.Here are the links:Sunrise Service: Mark 16:1-8 (audio)April 5, 2015 EAM Mark 16:1-8 Mark 16:1-8 1. Obstacles--when we are overwhelmed, we tend to fixate on obstacles that we know we can't handle...and that aren't the real problem It's not the stone that is the problem. It is our own unbelief. 2. Astonishment and fear--do not spend too much time in either of these Don't be so astonished that you can't get anything done. Don't be so fearful that you never get started! 3. Action! Celebrate the Resurrection. Let it transform your life---stop fearing that dying to this world will be the end of your life.  It is just the beginning. Morning Service: John 20:1-20  (audio) April 5, 2015  John 20:1-18John 20:19-20--focus It is not truly Jesus …

Go celebrate the Resurrection!

I’m laying off the rest of the week in blogging to celebrate Easter and to be ready for the weekend. You may look at March’s archive and think I took March off, too, and I kind of did…But this is for a purpose. I’ll be back with sermon recaps on Monday from this Sunday! Have a blessed time and remember that HE IS RISEN!!

Book: Too Many to Jail

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This week’s book is Too Many to Jail by Mark Bradley. Bradley has written other works on Iran and the Christian faith, one of which is very much an academic study (isbn: 978-1441111678). I am not overly familiar with Bradley’s overall work, and so I will proceed on the assumption that he is competent with his work. If that assumption is shown false, that would invalidate my opinions in this review.One thing we constantly hear in Western Christianity is how the church is “declining” and that Christians are disappearing from the world. Too Many to Jail provides the case for one nation, Iran, where this is apparently untrue. While much of the press coverage of Iran focuses on the Christians jailed in Iran for their belief, the title concept is that the Church is growing too rapidly in Iran for the oppressors to jail them all.I found this an encouraging read because it reaffirms that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not stopped by wicked people who fight it. As we see Christianity lose its p…