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Showing posts from April, 2018

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…