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Showing posts from November, 2015

Sermon Recap for November 29

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Two things: First, the buzz is back on the video. I thought I had it fixed, but apparently it’s coming from another place on the sound system. Second, I’m trying to work on the pacing back and forth, but I’m not getting anywhere. Take both ways. I can’t break the habit, but I also don’t get anywhere. I walk half a mile a sermon, and always end up in the same place.Morning Sermon: The King is Promised 2 Samuel 7 (audio)Evening Sermon: Prepare the Way of the Lord (audio)

Book: Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design

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Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design is the latest book on my shelf that works to harmonize the fossil evidence of dinosaurs with a Creationist view of the earth and its age. The challenge for Dr. Tim Clarey is that he approaches the issue from a perspective that is outside of the normal scientific view. Given the publisher of this book is Master Books, Dr. Cleary works with the Institute for Creation Research, these presuppositions are clearly on the table. Knowing the purpose of this book, let us evaluate it from there. Clarey (who I keep mistyping as “Clearly,” and the spell-check doesn’t catch that) aims to provide the “science of the Biblical account.” The fundamental problem with this aim is found in the definition I learned of science. There is, and will be, great difficulty in finding either replicated results from Clarey’s work or other scientists from outside his circle. The trust factor is strong here, as is the confirmation or dis-confirmation bias. On to the material: we ar…

Book: What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About

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We’re into the Christmas gift-giving shopping season. Here’s a book for the budding Biblical student in your life. One should always be wary of someone who claims to know what another person cares about…but editors Berding and Williams have a good presentation of the methodology here. The goal is to examine what each author wrote as a body of work and analyze it. Obviously, we won’t find here that the Apostle Paul really cared about pizza, but that’s not really an area of New Testament study anyway.So what is What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About? In a nutshell, it’s a survey of the New Testament like you’d find in either an undergraduate introduction course or a deeper study at church. You have the basic breakdown of authorship, date, and location of writing for each New Testament book. These follow the conservative end of the spectrum, without dealing greatly with the extreme end of the other view—you won’t find a lot of effort to correct ideas like placing authorship of…

Gratitude

If you went into aviation, one thing you would learn to use is called an altimeter. It's the instrument that tells you how high your aircraft is--usually above sea level, but some of the really fancy ones can tell you both above the ground and above sea level. It's been a long time since I even read a basic aviation textbook, considering it made no mention of GPS and computer navigation back in those days. So I may not be exactly right.

What I do know is that you need help in keeping up with where you are while in flight. "Looks like it" is just not good enough and often leads to disaster. What does that mean for us?

Simply this: if you're flying, watch your altitude.

If you're not flying, you're good. Wait, that seems like a pointless blog post, doesn't it?

How about this instead: just as altitude checks are important for flight, gratitude checks are important for life. They keep us up from crashing, even if just barely.

And like the two forms of alt…

Sermon Recap for November 23

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I know, I said these would move to Tuesday. Well, indecision is the key to flexibility. This is a different kind of week, which gives us a different kind of blog schedule.November 22 AM Sermon: Thankful for the God of the Storm: Psalm 29 (audio)Text: Psalm 29 Date & Place: Nov 22 EEBCAR Title: Thankful for the God of the Storm 1. Worship the Lord 2. The Storms come.... 3. Worship the Lord 4. The Storms rage....but God is greater November 22 PM: Psalm 30 (audio)

Book: Rediscovering Discipleship

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Today’s book is brought to you by Zondervan.What does it mean to “make disciples?” That’s one of the key questions that Robby Gallaty’s book Rediscovering Discipleship seeks to answer. Further, Gallaty works to address what it looks like to actually do the work in our churches. First, let’s look at the structure of Rediscovering Discipleship. Gallaty gives us thirteen chapters, broken in two major sections. The first section, comprising seven chapters, looks at how Jesus made disciples. The second section parlays that into how we can emulate Jesus.Second, let’s look at the rightness of the overall premise. Has the Church neglected discipleship such that it needs rediscovered? Gallaty makes the case well that this is true, at least of those parts of the church in the United States of America. He’s right—both the witness of the Church in the world around us and the experience of those within the church support the lack of depth in our discipleship.Third, let’s consider his recommended s…

Wise Men: Matthew 2

In Summary:

Matthew 2 gives an extended look at the Christmas story. Sort of, that is. Jesus is already born by Matthew 2:1. We have some guesses about how much time intervened between the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem, but we are doing just that: guessing. It is reasonable, based on the tragedy of the later verses and the slaughter of the innocents, that it has been somewhere in the range of two years.

The Magi come to Jerusalem, find their way on to Bethlehem, and then go home. In the midst of this, they present gifts to the Child Christ and worship Him. We then see Joseph take His family and flee to Egypt, knowing the wrath of Herod was coming. This is probably the first time we truly see Joseph, Mary, and Jesus travel on their own—though our picture of the “Flight to Egypt” is still heavily Americanized. The Holy Family most likely joined with a group of travelers headed to the parts of Egypt where Jews already lived.

The chapter passes through the wicked…

Sermon Recap for November 15

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Good morning! Here are yesterday’s sermons.Morning Sermon: Ruth 4 (audio)November 15 AM Ruth 4 Redemption 1. The irredeemable in us 2. The irredeemable in others Ruth is redeemed by Boaz--what does this mean? Protection, provision...but more than that, home and relationship. Survival. Deliverance from the fate of Moabites: exclusion Points: 1. You are redeemable by the power of God. No one has a higher right to redeem you than Jesus 2. Redemption is not without price---but it is without price to the redeemed! 3. Redemption results in responsibility 4. Redemption establishes one in relationship Evening Sermon: Introduction to Deuteronomy (audio)•Deuteronomy 1 opens with a reminder of Moses spreading the burden of leading the people •Recapitulation of the History of Israel thus far. •Moses’ death •Burial of Moses….somewhere on Mount Nebo •Editorial finishing of the book—not necessary for Moses to have written his own death

Limited Options: Matthew 1

In Summary:
Matthew opens his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus. It is likely a representative genealogy, meaning that the facts are accurate but some generations may be left out or compressed. How does that happen? There is precious little difference in the words for son/descendant and father/ancestor, because culturally there is some compression on the issue. One is not just a "father's son" but also a "grandfather's grandson" but all fall under an "ancestor's descendant." The rest of this debate is better suited to the "nerd note" section.
The opening genealogy traces Abraham down to Jesus, passing through David and the deportation to Babylon. Matthew moves on to the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, though the nativity itself gets only a passing mention in Matthew 1:25. Which, by the way, is an interesting side note about Christmas chaos: there's hardly any clear Scripture about what happened that day/night. To what end d…

Book: Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament

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Full disclaimer: I received this book free from Kregel Academic in exchange for writing this review.I’ve read several other books by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., over the years. He is a go-to scholar for evangelical America on Old Testament issues. So, I was interested in his latest from Kregel Academic/Ministry, Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament. I was hopeful that this book would become a great resource in pastoral ministry.The questions are certainly present-day questions, such as “The God of Mercy or of Ethnic Cleansing?” or “The God who Elevates Women or who Devalues Women?” These questions form the chapters, providing the framework for the book. One question/chapter was unnecessary, and that was the last on dietary laws. This question fits into the wider framework of the chapter on Grace/Law, and the space could have been used for another question or issue. One that I would have liked relates to truth, accuracy, and historical records for the Old Testament…

50 Years On…The NIV

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I’ve reviewed the Zondervan NIV Study Bible in the past, and was asked to share some information on the 50th Anniversary of the NIV as a Bible Translation. For those of you who wonder, the reason it’s 50 years is that 1965 was when the plan to make the NIV was first started. It’s 2015. That makes 50.Growing up, the main Bible translation used in church was the King James Version. It flowed, it was poetic, and everybody knew it. As a young person, though, I found it hard to read. And hard, sometimes, to spell the words from it. “Divers” was “diverse” at school…so who was right? The Bible or the textbook? As a youth, I got the first Bible I remember picking out. It was an NIV Student Bible, and it had all sorts of cool notes in it. Later on, college life required the first NIV Study Bible. This was a marked improvement in depth and academic study for study notes. In the time since then, I’ve tended more toward using the NASB instead of the NIV, but the NIV is still a Bible that gets use…

Sermon Recap for November 8

Good evening!

Sunday night we did a bit of a recap of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Annual Meeting, so I'm not going to post that. Here is the morning sermon. There's no video because the SD Card literally broke in my hand when I tried to put it in the computer to upload the video.

Ruth 1 (Audio link)

Please note that if you want a built-in player, you can find one here: http://www.eebcar.com/sermons-2/

November 8 AM Ruth 1
A. Setting: Judges. Chaos. Debauchery. (300 years of up and down, back and forth)
B. Setting: Bethlehem; Moab; 
C. Famine...not known exactly when
D. Naomi--pleasant; Elimelech "My God is King;" Mahlon could be "sick...." and Chilion could be "finished; frailty"


1. Relationships more important than regulations
2. Who are your kinfolk? The Blood of Christ is the unifying factor. Not ANYTHING else.

3. A definite Scriptural narrative that attacks racism at its core
Thanks!

Sermon Recap for November 1

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Morning Sermon: Romans 1:16-17 (audio)Text:  16 Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον⸆, δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν ⸋εἰς σωτηρίαν⸌ παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε °πρῶτον καὶ Ἕλληνι*. 17 δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται·* ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ⸆ ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται*.1------------------------- 1 Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece (ed. Barbara Aland et al.; 28. revidierte Auflage.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012), Ro 1:16–17. Date & Place: EEBCAR AM November 1 Title: Not Ashamed Primary Theological Point: What should we learn?The grace of God is sufficient; surpassing works of righteousness or human grandeur; salvation is from grace alone.Primary Practical Point: What should we do?Receive God's grace; show it by living by faith and not attempting to make life work by works.Take Home Action: Write down this verse, nail it to your door... (ok, figuratively) and memorize it. Textual Points: Setting: let…