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Sermon Recap for July 8

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!Audio Player:Morning Sermon: 1 Peter 4:7-11 (download)Evening Sermon: 1 Peter 4:1-6 (download)

For the Fourth of July

As someone trying to grow into a historian, I’m increasingly concerned about how little we know about what has happened, and how much we “know” that isn’t true…a good starting point is to come back to original documents. So, here we are:  The Declaration of Independence —A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—…

Thorns, Visions, Leaders, and Fellowship: 2 Corinthians 12

In Summary:
Well, we’ve reached one of the great “weird” chapters of the New Testament. 2 Corinthians 12 sees Paul speak of “a man” who was caught up to the third heaven and saw Paradise and heard “inexpressible words.” And then, Paul speaks of his thorn in the flesh, some unclear “messenger from Satan” that is there to keep him humble. It’s a perfectly clear chapter apart from that. Well, except for the identity of “the brother” that Paul sent with Titus. 2 Corinthians 12 provides fertile ground for speculation and imagination.

Which we will indulge in up to a point, but there comes a time to move from that to the more profitable exercise of exegesis: striving to understand the contents of the text. It is entirely possible to not understand a portion of a chapter and still grasp the overall meaning that God has put in the text. After all, while God requires us to have the Holy Spirit illuminate the text for us to fully understand the text, He didn’t give it to us to ponder, be confus…

Sermon Recap for July 1

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!Sunday night is not here since it was a bit overly short. I’ll get it uploaded up some point and it will be in the Youtube Channel and Audio player feeds.

Book: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

Still trying to clean up book reviews. Unfortunately, I let this one slip past me, as it was a great read. Robert J. Morgan spoke to a small pastor's group I was once in, and I was impressed by his compassion and desire to help people grow. He struck me as someone who wanted to help each person he knew grow in Christ, and that he never saw a large audience, rather every individual person in that audience. I got this book free for the review.

"Mediation" is a word that stirs up some trouble in Christian churches. Rightly so, as some forms of meditation are antithetical to Christian practice--one does not "empty the mind" so much as focus the mind on Jesus and His Word, for example. But the proverbial baby has gone out with the bathwater in this discussion. There are Biblical imperatives to meditate, but what does that mean?

Answering that question is Robert J. Morgan's Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation. In this work, Morgan takes us through the …

Lights and Deception: 2 Corinthians 11

In Summary:
Paul continues to work through the challenges to his leadership in Corinth and the wider Christian world of the time. While the focus of 2 Corinthians 11 is his relationship with the church at Corinth, an Apostle would have been respected, should have been respected, by all of the churches of the time. As such, he is defending not only his work in the one local church, but also his work throughout the body of Christ.

Reading through this chapter, it is important to recognize that Paul is going to use several contextually-normal rhetorical devices to make his point. He’ll refer to his ‘foolishness’ and to his skills and his effectiveness. He will also point out that he is personally committed to the Corinthians and contrast that with the manner in which others have, apparently, treated them. Verse 20, for example, makes it clear that some bad things have happened to the church at Corinth, yet the Corinthians seem unwilling to reject the people responsible for those occurre…

Sermon Recap for June 24

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!

Book: Best Bible Books New Testament Resources

Today’s book could be subtitled “My Christmas List,” as it’s a list of useful New Testament resources. When the Old Testament Resources and the Church History Resources volumes come out (if they exist), their subtitles will be “My Father’s Day List” and “My Birthday and any other day that ends in ‘y’ List.”There are a myriad of resources on the market for the study of the New Testament. If you’re like me, you have some that you really like, some that you are used to, and much of your purchase-planning is based on authors you already know. What, though, do you do once you own all the resources from the Ouachita faculty? Where do you go for the next list?For years, John Glynn’s Commentary and Reference Study was the go-to source for that information. It gave the reader a look at many of the books for Biblical Studies and guided one to the best bang for the buck on the market. Today’s book, Best Bible Books: New Testament Resources is, effectively, the 11th edition of that time-honored h…

Sermon Recap for June 10 and 17

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!June 17 Video:June 10 AM Video:June 10 PM Video:
Three Circles Video:3-Circles Life Conversation Guide Demonstration from North American Mission Board on Vimeo.

Sermon Recap for June 3

Hello! Here is week’s sermon on 1 Peter 2:1-9

Book: The Hermeneutics of the Biblical Writers

I greatly enjoy getting to read extra books for the blog. One of my favorite publishers is Kregel Academic and Ministry, because they seem to have a standard of taking the text seriously in all their publications. The authors may not always be in line with my opinions, but they are serious about the work. That is what keeps me striving to keep up with the free ones Kregel Academic sends, so they can send more. Today’s book was provided by them, and features a scholar I’ve been reading bits of for some time now.Abner Chou’s The Hermeneutics of the Biblical Writers attempts to understand how the writers of Scripture, specifically the Prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New, understood the parts of Scripture which they read. For example, how does Isaiah interpret the Pentateuch? How does Peter interpret the Psalms of David, or the author of Hebrews (Luke, per David Allen, see Lukan Authorship of Hebrews) involve the narratives of the Books of the Kings?It is important, …

The Image of a Warrior: 2 Corinthians 10

In Summary:

2 Corinthians 10 continues Paul’s defense of his work and his role as an apostle of Christ. He is dealing with a spectrum of accusations and here actually presents some of them. For example, v. 10 lets us know that Paul was accused of being “unimpressive” in person, that he was hard to listen to (or, perhaps, too easy to listen to and not lofty and elevated). He talks about his work, and does so to contrast what were apparently self-promoters in the church.

That’s a challenge to deal with, because the simplest way for Paul to shut them down is to point out how awesome he is, rattle off the fullness of his credibility. He could have demolished a bad argument or two, but in the end, he would have looked a bit more like a jerk and less like an apostle. That’s self-defeating: let me prove I’m a better Christian by shouting you down and shutting you up. It may seem reductionist, but that’s worth considering: is that the argument you are making?

This is not Paul’s point. Now, I thi…

Sermon Recaps for May 20 and 27

Well, good evening!Here are the past 2 Sundays worth of sermons. I’m still working on getting Thursday night sermons integrated into the publishing loop. I think they’re on Faithlife somewhere. Oh, and I decided to experiment with the recording quality on the evening May 20 service, so the whole thing is there. Hopefully we’re not pushing too many copyright buttons.The audio player has all of the sermon audios, so I’ll just paste it here and then do the videos.

Sermon Recap from April 29

Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!

Sermon Recap for April 22 2018

Well, first it was a disastrous day for me at the mic. Several moments of stumbling over words, but that’s the way it goes. Then, we had one too many hands on the video camera in the morning, but you can listen and imagine what I look like!Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!Morning Sermon:Evening Sermon

Matthew 12:30-50 #eebc2018

This section starts with a bang. Our modern society does not care much for absolutes and hard choices--after all, "only a Sith deals in absolutes" was a well-applauded line (despite the irony of that statement being an absolute)--and casting things in shades of gray has been a long-running habit.But Jesus makes it very, very plain, that anyone who is not with Him is against Him. That is not the world's way. We want to join in for some of the effort, pull out for others.The Christian life is not so--we are either fully committed to the Lord or we are involved on the other side. This is one of the errors of our modern society. We want to take a little Jesus here, try a little Christianity over there, when all the while God's Word tells us that we have to choose.This is the challenge of Christian discipleship: to understand that we live by grace. Full stop. Without grace, we have nothing. We can do nothing. Without Christ, we have no grace.The next step, though, is to r…

Sermon Recap for April 15

Well, Tax Day is upon us….here are the sermons from April 15. We observed the Lord’s Supper in the evening service, so the audio and video may seem a bit odd.Here is what you'll find: after each sermon title, there's an "audio" link that allows you to play or download that sermon's audio file. Then there should be an embedded Youtube Link to the sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!Morning Sermon:Evening Sermon:

Matthew 11:25-12:29 #eebc2018

One of the challenges we have in reading the Bible comes from something added to the text as a helpful tool: the chapter and verse markings. Apart from the Psalms, there are no divisions like this within the original text. The Psalms are all individual, and the strange case of the titles is for a post on the Psalms.The chapter divisions, if we are not careful, can lead us to make a separation that does not belong. For example, in this section of text, the well-known phrase "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30) is in a different chapter from the events of chapter 12 where Jesus both reasserts the importance of the Sabbath and clears out the additions that the Pharisees had added to it.If we do not read carefully, we will make an artificial and unhelpful division between those two sections and miss an important point. Take a look at how these go together: Jesus promises a burden but one that is restful. The Sabbath, under the structures of the cultural situa…

Book: Biblical Leadership

Attempting to catch up on life…and not doing too well with that. Here’s one that’s up against a hard deadline, though, so making progress.As we get to today’s book, Biblical Leadership, it’s important to start with an understanding of what the discipline of “Biblical Theology” is. While the source of all the theology we do as Christians should be the Bible, “Biblical Theology” is the specific study of what the Bible has to say in certain sections about a theological topic. To that end, Biblical Leadership, edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden, is a Biblical Theology text regarding leadership. This is a compiled work from Kregel Academic, with various contributors focusing on different portions of the Biblical text. For example, Joseph Hellerman, author of Embracing Shared Ministry and the EGGNT volume on Philippians, handles the chapter on Pauline theology. As with any multi-author work, some of the authors are more ‘favorites’ than others. Other authors include Andreas Kosten…

Exodus 3 #eebc2018

Get to work.Seriously, get to it.You think that the flocks you pasture, the wealth you acquire, the security you have, is what God has for you to do all the time.It is not.It is not your greatest good to enlarge the financial well-being of yourself. It is not your greatest calling to comfortably relax at home at the end of the day.Your calling, based on on Matthew 28:18-20, is to go forth and make disciples of all nations. Just as God called Moses, here, and sent him out from comfort and ease, so He has commissioned every one of us to make the priority of our lives sharing the Gospel with the nations.So get to work. You are not going to get a burning bush, an engraved invitation, or a vision in the Temple, because God has already given His word.And the sooner we will be about it, the better we will find our lives to be.You may wonder, "But what about...."Realize that God is keenly aware of your needs. Who is the better provider, you or Him? Is He not able to handle the needs…

Exodus 2 #eebc2018

One might argue that the story of Moses begins here, in Exodus 2. For narrative purposes, that would be a good statement. But really, Moses' story begins way back in Genesis. The word that we translate as "basket" in Exodus 2 is the same word that is translated as "ark" in Genesis 7. In the variety that is the English language, the "Ark of the Covenant" that we will get to later in Exodus is not the same word for "Ark." So, if you want to make a connection from Genesis to Exodus, you should make it between the boat and the basket, not the boat and the box.Which is a valuable lesson on two fronts. First, the overall Biblical languages front: we must remember that the Bible was not originally in English. English is one of hundreds of receptor languages for translations of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that the Bible was written in. Therefore, if you want to fully engage with the text you need to access those languages. I recommend a …

Genesis 50:22-26, Exodus 1 #eebc2018

Genesis ends with the death of Joseph, but not before he saw his great-grandchildren and had his descendants swear to take his bones from Egypt and bury them in the Promised Land. Worth considering here is that, apparently, some change had occurred in Egypt and the surrounding areas that prohibited Joseph from being buried like Jacob was--directly transported to the land of Canaan (remember, it's not Israel yet) and buried. Exactly what the problem may have been is not certain, but there's something going on here.That's how Genesis wraps up--from "In the Beginning, God..." to a temporary burial in Egypt. It's a narrowing scope.Exodus then begins with a reminder of who came down to Egypt. Then the news turns bad. The new Pharaoh does not "know" Joseph. There are a couple of meaning points here. First is the obvious one: Joseph is dead, so the Pharaoh does not know Joseph--he's never met him, like you've never met George Washington or Thomas J…

Matthew 10:40-11:24 #eebc2018

This segment of Scripture goes from good to bad, in just about 30 verses. We start with the positive, cheerful idea that those who support and encourage a ministry or a follower of Jesus are rewarded just as those who are encouraged and keep on in their good works. Then we finish with the idea that judgment day will be better for Sodom and Sidon than for the cities that rejected Jesus...That's a mood shift in your daily Bible reading for you. Let's take the pieces and put it together:First, there is a unifying theme in these segments: the work of spreading the message of the Gospel. The first section deals with those who encourage the messengers, the second with the discouraged messenger, and the last with those who ignore the proclaimed message. The thread of messages and messengers tracks across this set of passages.So, what about it? First, to recognize that some people are charged with spreading the message--the opening section deals with prophets, righteous people, and li…

Genesis 47:20-49:33 #eebc2018

Jacob and family are now settled in the land of Goshen. For the time being, it is their salvation from the famine and the place where their family will build its identity. Eventually, it will become something far worse. That's a truth worth considering: sometimes a place is good at one time and bad at another. It may go from bad to good, or do what occurs here and go from good to bad. But remember that one's life should not be welded to a geographic location. Instead, the relationships you have with God and with others are what should define you.During the famine, Pharaoh acquires all the land of Egypt, turning the economy to more of a serfdom-based system than it was before. After this time, the people of Egypt are not free to do as they wish, but instead must work land belonging to Pharaoh. The exceptions? The priestly groups of Egypt and...that small Hebrew family that just moved into Goshen. Their land was on loan from Pharaoh, but the flocks were their own. And their food…

Genesis 46:8-47:19 #eebc2018

This passage opens with the lineage of Jacob, showing his sons and their sons. One of the purposes here is to establish a total number: seventy people. This includes Joseph, Asenath, and their two sons. It's not a huge number of people, which is the point. This is not an invasion force, it's just a family.Next we see Joseph guide his family to settle in the land of Goshen, which is in the Nile Delta area. It is less reliable for farming, but still excellent as a grazing land. A fringe benefit? The family does not have to get all the way into Egypt, down amidst the temples and government. (There is no archaeological evidence that Joseph wanted to be far  from On, where his mother-in-law lived.)Where does this fit in Egyptian history? That's a great question. One major theory puts it during the Second Intermediate Period, during the ascendancy of the Hyksos. I prefer a date in the Twelfth Dynasty, placing these events in the Middle Bronze Age of Egypt.Joseph settles his fami…

Matthew 8:28-9:17 #eebc2018

The Pharisees were convinced they knew Scripture well. And they did, many of them having dedicated their whole lives to the study and practice of the Word of God. Yet they did not fully understand the facts that they knew, they did not grasp the implications of the words.This is why Matthew 9:13 records Jesus pointing them back to Hosea 6:6. The Pharisees had facts, but those facts were empty. They did not understand how the Word of God was given to them so that they could treat others differently, treat others with the mercy which God had for both the Pharisees and everyone else.The problem echoes in the question of John's disciples about fasting. The disciples of Jesus did not fast enough, did not mourn, did not weep, but instead were generally joyous and celebratory. Why the difference?It is the difference in those who know about God and those who know God. It is the difference of a life in a relationship compared to a life lived at a distance. Consider the difference in readin…

Sermon Recap for Easter Sunday

We didn’t record the Sunrise Service because, well, that was one more complication that I wasn’t up for. Here is the sermon from this morning:

Book: Readings in Historical Theology

While this is a somewhat older book (for Internet reviews), the content is fairly stable. It was a gift from Kregel Academic back in January. I’m running behind on book reviews.Before you dig into Robert F. Lay’s Readings in Historical Theology, it’s worth understanding what “Historical Theology” is. Historical Theology is the study (basically) of what the church has believed about certain things during various times. For example, tracing the understanding of what has been believed about the return of Christ in different eras is a function of “Historical Theology.” This is compared to “Biblical Theology” which examines what specific sections of Biblical texts (individual books, Old Testament, New Testament, Paul, John) teach about an issue or “Systematic Theology” which takes the whole of Scripture and sees what it teaches about specific subjects. Usually, one uses the categories from Systematic Theology to organize the other disciplines, but also uses the Bible to define the categori…

Matthew 7:15-8:27 #eebc2018

This passage wraps up the Sermon on the Mount and includes verses that belong with Matthew 7:1. 7:1 is the well-known "Judge not, lest ye be judged" passage, but didn't say that in a vacuum. He also didn't just drop it as a one-liner. Instead, He preached that as part of a sermon that also includes Matthew 7:19-20 which tells us that we will know people by their fruit.The difference? Fruit is clear and evident, it's not a judgment based on fleck of dust but on repetitive evidence seen in actions. If you are 'evaluating' someone based on what you think it means that they wore that kind of clothing, you're in the wrong. If you are judging someone as sinful because they are an abusive spouse, then you're probably judging the fruit rightly: it's bad fruit. They are in need of repentance.Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount by highlighting the importance of putting what He has said into practice. If we do not follow-through and actually do somet…

Genesis 45:1-46:7 #eebc2018

Joseph reveals himself to his brothers in this passage, and then sends for his father to come to Egypt. He provides for the practical needs of the elderly and smaller children to travel and works to reunite his family.Jacob is, naturally, a bit unsettled by all of this. After all, he has believed Joseph is dead for two decades. He determines that he will go down and see Joseph before his death.But on the way, he makes an important stop. At Beer-sheba, he makes sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. This is the first time in a while we have seen Jacob offer sacrifices. One might think Joseph's apparent death had put a hold on Jacob's relationship with God. (It is impossible to be certain, as we don't have all the details of the last 20 years.)Here, though, he takes the step back. In this incident, it is Jacob's actions that bring him back into a relationship with God. He offers sacrifices and then God speaks to him. God gives him permission to go on down to Egypt an…

Genesis 43:16-44:34 #eebc2018

Joseph now has his brothers in his power. Consider the opportunity for revenge. Consider the opportunity to take everything they have ever done wrong and jam it right back down their throats.Is that not a temptation for us sometimes as well? When we're right and we know we are right? It may have been years--after all, for Joseph it has been at least 2 years, and likely many more. Genesis 37:2 has Joseph at 17 years old and he enters Pharaoh's service at 30 (Genesis 41:46). Given that specific ages are usually mentioned to highlight when the events around them happen, that would suggest a gap of 20 years or more for Joseph, since the famine comes along seven years after he starts working for the Egyptian government.Twenty years have passed, and now Joseph has all the power. It's like the dream of every kid who was an outcast of some kind in high school: at the reunion, nobody will pick on me anymore! They'll see I was right and they were wrong! Joseph could have slapped…

Genesis 42:29-43:15 #eebc2018

We pick up the Joseph narrative with his brothers on their way out of Egypt. Well, all of them but Simeon are on the way out of Egypt. Simeon is imprisoned in Egypt as a hostage to ensure the rest of the family are not spies. On the way home, the brothers have discovered that the money they paid for grain has been returned to their sacks. In other words, they really only end up trading a brother for food.Which may have been a good trade...However, they get home and Jacob is not pleased with the results. He questions his sons about why they gave Joseph so much information, why they have brought him so much trouble. Part of this is because none of them recognized Joseph. Had the famine been shorter, they would have had a different problem. At some point, Simeon needs to get out of prison. That might have been simpler for them, but it still would have required a return to Egypt. Joseph successfully put his brothers in a bind where they will have to revisit him, where he will have another…