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Showing posts from January, 2018

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…

John 1:35-3:21 #eebc2018

Well, there’s a lot to cover in this passage. That’s what comes of using a computer program to generate a reading plan: it may stretch it farther or make it lopsided. You might need to spread out some of the Friday readings.This one moves from the public identification of Jesus by John through the calling of the first disciples and then to the first of the miracles identified by John as a “sign” of Jesus as the Messiah. Then we have the interaction of Nicodemus.Let’s work quickly:1. I find it interesting that you have public action, public action, public action, and then a private conversation with Nicodemus. This is something to watch in John: the balance between public and private actions in John. Note, for example, that the miracle is public though the actual disclosure of how it happened was not.2. There is no linguistic or grammatical reason to think that “wine” means anything other than “wine.” That does not mean that Jesus endorses general alcohol consumption and it’s plain tha…

Genesis 5 and 6 #eebc2018

Today’s reading (I’m certainly going to try and get ahead so these are up earlier in the morning!) comes from Genesis. We’ve already noted how the world has gone from good to bad to worse. Now we come to the first part of Genesis that tends to bog down. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with a story of beginnings, of origins. So you’re going to encounter a genealogy or two along the way. The story of Genesis focuses in, starting with all of creation, then narrowing down to humanity, then it narrows further—by Genesis 12, it’s the story of the family of Abraham and by the end of the book, it’s the Israelite people.So, that’s Genesis 5. Take the long lifespans as they are: it’s possible that these are meant to show extended families, but the simplest reading suggests long life. I think this is illustrative of the effects of sin: it’s like a growing crack or a spreading mold. At first, there’s just one bad spot, but then, over time, it gets worse and worse.Same thing here with the effects …

Genesis 3 and 4 #eebc2018

And now, things go badly. Genesis 1 and 2 left us with a world in good shape. In fact, God had said it was “very good.” Then people turn loose and start making poor decisions. It starts with Adam and Eve being convinced that God didn’t mean what He said about the fruit. There is where we often go wrong. It is a dangerous thing to assume that God did not mean what He said, whether by adding to it or taking away from it.Or by attempting to explain it away. While the value of deep research into the linguistics and backgrounds of Scripture is inestimable, we must be cautious when someone tells us that what the text says plainly isn’t what it means, in fact it’s the opposite. This is the lie Satan started with, and it’s a lie that recurs to this day.Then, things get worse. It does seem that this is the nature of human history—we always find a way to make it worse. Treason against God gives way to murder, murder adds cover-ups and deception, and the community is shattered by the end of Gene…

Daily Reading: Genesis 1 and 2

Today’s reading covers the opening of Scripture. To give a bit of background, the typically accepted view of Genesis in Baptist life is that it was written by Moses as part of the Pentateuch (which Jesus said came from Moses, so unless you want to dismiss what Jesus said or try to explain it away, I’d say we can trust Him). That makes Genesis part of the oldest section of the Bible.(We tend to think Job may be as old, but that’s it.)Genesis covers the beginnings, starting with Creation. The first chapter starts with nothing present but God. There is no discussion of the origin of God because God transcends creation, being the One who is always.That’s the key here: Genesis 1 and 2 are not out to explain the origin of God. The goal is to explain the origin of humanity, more specifically the origin of the Israelites.The other quick thing to note is that these 2 chapters are the only 2 chapters in the Old Testament where everything is alright. They form, with Revelation 21 and 22, the onl…

John 1:1-34

Today’s Bible reading was from John. Specifically, it was John 1:1-34, covering the Prologue of the Gospel of John and the testimony of John the Baptist.I thought I’d give you a few quick thoughts on tis passage for the day:1. John’s view of the beginning of all things is different from most of the world in which he lived. The idea that God the Father and God the Son (later you’ll seem him bring in God the Spirit, but his delay is related to teaching order, not a belief that the Spirit came later) pre-exist all of creation is not echoed in any of the mythologies of his time. Only in the Genesis account do we find a pre-existing God who was and is and is always God. Greece, Rome, Egypt, and many others had gods who had taken the place of other gods, with creation as an after-effect and not a deliberate act.It’s also worth noting when you read Genesis 1 tomorrow that putting John and Genesis together gives you God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at Creation. John has 2/3, Genes…

Sermon Recap for January 7 2018

Well, we’ve hit the first Sunday of the year.It always feels like I should say more about the change in calendar, but I don’t quite know for sure what to raise. I think I was a bit fragmented both services—there were a couple of things I meant to address but didn’t, though I hit a couple of points I felt were more important.I’ve got the video of both sermons and the audio from the morning. Unfortunately, the background hum is getting worse, despite the fact that it was actually gone for a while, so the evening audio is useless. It’s not uploaded because it really can’t be listened to.Here’s the morning video:Morning Audio:
Evening Video:

Sermon Recap for Dec 31 2017

Well, it’s January 1, 2018, but the sermon is from yesterday. It’s time to start up for next year, but first, of course, we have to wind down last year. Please consider your commitment to the cause of Christ in the new year. And I don’t mean that with any subtext, subterfuge, or ulterior motive—take it at face value: is your goal that 2018 reflect your work for the cause of Jesus?Now, sermons:Here’s the December 24 video as it posted live through Facebook. I’m not sure it turned out with great quality, but it’s tolerable. That’s a tech problem that I haven’t had time to solve:Here is the December 31 AM Sermon (audio link is here)Now, I don’t remember if I posted December 24th’s morning sermon, so here it is:December 24 Audio is here