Posts for Mar, 2007.

3/30/2007 8:13:00 AM

Goliath on His Face

Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: 3
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Someone asked me recently about Goliath falling forward. If he just got hit in the head with a slingstone (which would have been going very quickly and was the size of a grapefruit) why did he fall forward and not backward? Well, I had never thought of this before so I looked at the text a little bit. The Hebrew says that he fell on his face. Well, the first thing I thought of was that people fall on their face to worship. And then as I thought a little more, I recalled the statue of Dagon falling down before the ark of the covenant. I checked the Hebrew wording, and it is almost exactly the same: both fall on their face to the ground. What is the point? Both are showing by their body action who God chose. YHWH is more powerful than the god of the Philistines. YHWH's champion is more powerful than the champion of the Philistines. The people of YHWH can be confident as they face other countries that YHWH is more powerful than any other contender, no matter how strong they appear. And this superiority even Dagon and Goliath recognize by falling on their face before YHWH and his man (anointed one in later terminology). Read more of Goliath on His Face

3/29/2007 8:20:00 AM

1 & 2 Samuel and Psalms

Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: None
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I have joined Psalms to 1 & 2 Samuel for obvious reasons, although it does cut down considerably on how much time I can spend on Psalms. I have arranged the survey to proceed chronologically, so that is the main reason I have stuck in the poetic and prophetic books at the appropriate time slots. I see Samuel as divided into three main sections with three main points. The first main point has to do with the power of YHWH as opposed to other Gods. This is seen in such things as the Ark narrative and the breaking of Dagon and the answered fertility praryer from Hannah to YHWH and not to Baal. Then the next major section is a defense of David's kingship. He did not kill his way to the throne, but he was actually almost killed by the king. And when the king died, David was as far away as possible. The third major section has to do with David's rotten fathering and a challenge to future kings to train their boys in a godly manner rather than the style demonstrated by David. All three of these have good applications for us today, I think. Read more of 1 & 2 Samuel and Psalms

3/28/2007 8:43:00 AM

Acco (Acre)

Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Comments: None
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Our journey now takes us north to the Plain of Acco. Acco is spelled in a wide variety of ways, including Acre and Akko. In NT times it was called Ptolemais when Paul came through the town. The Plain of Acco is north of Mt. Carmel and the Jezreel Valley and provides a fairly direct link between Israel and Phoenicia. For this reason, the plain of Acco was usually not under Israelite control, except for the high points of Israelite history, such as the time under Solomon. Not much is recorded as happening here, although Judges 1:31 does note that Asher did not take the city. The rather strange story of the land of Cabul occurs here as well, where Solomon gives 20 cities to Tyre, but they do not like them. Perhaps they were not good enough? We are not sure.

Acco played a greater role in postbiblical history. It was the major port of the Crusaders and one of the last places that the Crusaders were able to hold on to. Most of the ruins today are from  Crusader times. Napolean was defeated when he tried to take Acco, sending him in flight back to Egypt. Today you can see the place where Napolean tried to attack the city. Acco is most famous today as a place where secular Jews go to hang out on the Sabbath for a beautiful day. 

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3/27/2007 8:35:00 AM

Wheaton Bound

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Comments: 3
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As some of you know, I applied last year for the PhD program at Wheaton College. It was quite the road involving two trips to Wheaton, a grueling in-person interview with the PhD professors there, and a month-long wait to find out if I had made it, but I found out late last week that I have indeed been chosen. Hurray! I was actually their third choice (they only take two for the OT portion of the progam), but their first choice ended up going to another school, so I was able to move up a place and get in. I will be studying under Daniel Block, who is most famous for his commentaries on Ezekiel and Judges/Ruth . My topic will be how Deuteronomy refers to war in contrast with Exodus/Numbers. Read more of Wheaton Bound

3/22/2007 10:31:00 PM


Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: Culture and TheologyFaith   Comments: None
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Christianity can seem like a swarm of buzzwords, catch-phrases, and euphemisms. Current buzzwords tell us what has captured the collective attention of the church. Catch phrases tell us the efforts being made to influence the church. But euphemisms have a deeper meaning. More accurately: Euphemisms prove that there is a deeper reality. While buzzwords and catch-phrases reveal wishful thinking, euphemisms reveal a “wish it weren’t so” kind of thinking. There are aspects of reality that we cannot avoid and cannot avoid talking about. So we resort to euphemism.

Perhaps the use of euphemisms in the presence of the true God is evidence to his weight of glory. We speak of the “hand of providence,” “dying to self,” “accepting Jesus as your personal savior,” and “besetting sins” among others. Yet we shy away from fully considering what they mean. In this way our use of euphemism reveals something of the power of our faith.

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3/21/2007 8:34:00 PM

Righteous Lot or Sarcastic Peter?

A brief look at Lot.

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 by Sam Yeiter
Categories: BibleNew Testament   Comments: 3
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Do you remember Lot?  What do you think of when you think of him?  Maybe Sodom and Gomorrah.  Maybe sodomy.  Maybe his greediness and poor judgment of choosing the fair green pastures of the big city.  Perhaps you think of his valor trying to rescue the two angels (whom he perceived at first to be only men) from the homosexual assault of the townsmen…and just as you’re thinking he really was a pretty good guy, you remember that he offered his virgin daughters up as sacrificial lambs in place of the angels.  I am guessing that most of you don’t think, “Righteous,” when you think of Lot.

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3/20/2007 1:21:00 PM

Bothering Jesus

Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 by Brian Beers
Categories: FaithChurch   Comments: 11
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I have started attending Wednesday night prayer meeting again. I promised my wife that I would. She is tired of taking our children to Wednesday night activities by herself. Over the past year, I have skipped more than I have attended. I have been avoiding prayer meeting because I couldn’t stand that we prayed as though we were afraid to bother Jesus. Nearly one year ago, Diane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers. As her cancer progressed, our church started praying for her to die comfortably and quickly. This kind of prayer is not advocated in Scripture. Instead, we find audacious prayers and requests.

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3/16/2007 8:01:00 AM

Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job

Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: 2
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Three of my favorite OT books are covered in this section - Joshua, Judges and Ruth. I love their stories, the messages they present and the way they communicate those messages. I have developed a series of three sermons on Ruth which I have enjoyed presenting several times. Each of the sermons focuses on one of the main themes of the book by going through the entire book. So essentially I preach the entire story for three weeks in a row, but emphasize different aspects each time. For example, one of the sermons is a first person sermon from the perspective of a formerly bigoted Moabite-hating worker who is employed by Boaz, and for that sermon I leave out the entire encounter between Ruth and Boaz at the threshing floor. By the way, the connections between Ruth 3 and Genesis 19 (story of Lot and his daughters) are fascinating. I have also tacked Job on here for lack of anywhere else to put it. Job was my father's favorite book, but I have not caught the Job charm yet. I still like the book, but it is not one of my favorites. Read more of Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job

3/13/2007 6:09:00 PM

Help in the Community

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Comments: 2
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For those of you in the Seattle area, you might have heard on the news about a house fire in Bremerton in which a girl died and two others of her family are now in the hospital. This house was right across the street from our church and the girl who died had been going to AWANA at our church for a little while, but we did not get to know the family as they had not been there very long. We would like to do something for the family and the community, but we are at a loss to know what exactly to do. We are thinking about sending the family flowers from the church. I was toying with the idea of maybe having a prayer service open to anyone from the community to come and pray with us. Ideally, we should have got to know this family more beforehand, but things usually do not happen ideally. Anyone have any ideas? Read more of Help in the Community

3/13/2007 3:31:00 PM

The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody

Book Review

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: None
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This book by David Bebbington is the third installment in the five-volume “A History of Evangelicalism” series from IVP (at this date only the first and third are published). The book covers the years from about 1850-1900, but does not take a chronological approach, instead topically examining various aspects of the evangelical movement during these years. The book is a great read because it explains a lot of our current practices as well as showing us how some things never change. I felt like I was reading a modern evangelical history book with the names changed: the same issues are being debated today with different characters. There is much that we can learn from our ancestors. There are lots of good stories and observations I could give from the book, but here are a few.

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3/10/2007 2:46:00 PM

Bible Geography Sermons

Posted Saturday, March 10, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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If any of you are in the area and are interested, I am going to be giving a series of five sermons on Bible Geography at a local church over the next three weeks (starting Sunday March 11) as well as the two weeks after Easter. There will be lots of pictures and maps to help us understand geography as well as some application to our lives today. They will be at 6:00 at Sunset Bible Church. Look forward to seeing you if you come! Read more of Bible Geography Sermons

3/9/2007 3:01:00 PM

Tel Aviv

Posted Friday, March 09, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
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From the ancient to the modern, from a bare hill to a bustling city, from Gath to Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is mentioned in the Bible, but it is not referring to the city that we know today. A little contest: anyone know where Tel Aviv is found in the Bible? The modern Tel Aviv was founded by a group of Jewish settlers in the early part of the 20th century. Tel Aviv, however, is right next to Yaffo (Joppa), which is a biblical town. It was one of the few ports the Israelites had on the sea, but they only controlled it for a short period of time. In the NT, Yaffo was known for being distinctly Jewish, which gives a flavor to the Peter-Cornelius story. Peter was in the distinctly Jewish city of Yaffo and was called to the totally Gentile city of Caesarea to witness to a group of Gentiles.

Today Yaffo is inhabited by Arabs while Tel Aviv is very Jewish. It is not the capital, but most of the foreign countries have their embassies there because they do not recognize Jerusalem as a Jewish city. Israelis say that you go to Jersualem to pray, Haifa to work, and Tel Aviv to play, and this certainly describes the city well. It is very secular and is in many ways the center of Israeli life.  Tel Aviv used to be known as a beautiful "city of white," but today it is run down. The first block or two in from the beach are beautiful, but once you get into the heart of the city the lack of maintanence so typical of Israelis becomes very evident, as you will be able to see in some of the pictures. The weather is obnoxiously humid. One time when I flew out I left Jerusalem very early in the morning when it was quite pleasent and somewhat chilly. I arrived in Tel Aviv about forty five mintues later and just about died when I got out of the car and got slammed by the humidity, and it was only five in the morning. Tel Aviv is not a nice place to be in the summer, in my opinion. But then, I did grow up in the Northwest!

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3/9/2007 1:13:00 PM

JP Moreland, the IFCA and Philosophy

Posted Friday, March 09, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: 19
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This week was the NW regional meeting of the IFCA. Since I grew up in an IFCA church and am now serving there, I have been going to them whenever I am able, and this one was an opportunity I did not want to miss since the main speaker was JP Moreland. From the moment I heard that he was going to speak, I thought it rather a strange choice and wondered how he would be received. For those of you who do not remember, John MacArthur was almost kicked out of the IFCA a few years ago for his views on the sonship of Christ and the blood of Christ (Further details hereand here ). Then the seminary associated with MacArthur, Master's Seminary, was begun partly because Talbot Seminary (at Biola) was going too liberal, so some of the professors left there for Master's. Now the link in all this is that JP Moreland is a professor at Talbot. So someone too liberal for Masters who is too liberal for the IFCA is coming to speak! I guessed it would be an interesting time, and it certainly proved to be. Here are some of the interesting things that he said. Read more of JP Moreland, the IFCA and Philosophy

3/2/2007 9:13:00 AM

Exodus 19-Deuteronomy

Posted Friday, March 02, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old Testament   Comments: None
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The survey speeds up considerably with this section, where cover everything Mt. Sinai through Mt. Nebo and all points in between. In the future I think I might break up this section into two different units,  but I am not sure where I would split it. But there are so many key ideas here for futher biblical thinking and living that it seems important to spend more time on them. Read more of Exodus 19-Deuteronomy

3/1/2007 7:47:00 AM

Styles of Preaching

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Culture and Theology   Comments: None
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I have decided to start a new series. This new series is entitled: Stupid things evangelicals say. The general spirit of the series is to show how our conservatism blinds us to reality. If any of you fellow theoblogians have any contributions, please add to the series. The first entry is from a review of an excellent book: The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative by Steven Mathewson. Mathewson notes that often an inductive style is good for preaching, where the main point of the sermon is developed over the course of the sermon and stated explicitly only at the end. In contrast to this, the classic evangelical sermon is deductive, where the main point is stated clearly at the beginning and the end. But the reviewer says the following about this:

    It is at this point that some readers, including the present reviewer, have their greatest tension with Mathewson's suggestions. Although induction is the best approach to the study of OT narratives, is it the best means of exposition? The biblical text is an objective revelation from God whose meaning needs to be explained to a contemporary audience. For example, Ezra and the Levites "read from the book, from the law of God [which included narrative], explaining to give the sense so that they understood the reading" (Neh 8:8). The inductive, "moves" approach implies that the hearer will discover the sense from a sermon, whereas a deductive, "point" approach implies that the expositor gives the sense to the hearer. It seems that the latter approach is more consistent with the biblical mandate.

Well, I guess the author of Chronicles really missed this biblical principle. What was he thinking? That his audience would understand what his points were even if he didn't state them anywhere? I sure am glad we have only good deductive sermons today!

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