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Showing posts from January, 2012

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 12

Through the Whole Bible for Jan 31Genesis 12 (Link) is today's look as we walk through the whole Bible today. I had an Old Testament professor once say that the bible is divided between Old and New Testaments in the wrong place: rather than splitting Malachi and Matthew, the Bible ought to be divided between Genesis 11 and Genesis 12. He was, certainly, prone to exaggerate and would not have cut and pasted in his Bible, but his point is well made.This chapter marks a major shift in the narrative. Genesis 11 with the Tower of Babel is the last of the “anonymous” stories: you really have no names to attach to the mass migration or the tower of Babel. You cannot name the people that Cain is afraid of in Genesis 4 or even who married Noah, Ham, Shem, or Japheth.Starting here, Scripture is a continual story of people. The Old Testament is the fullness of the story of one man and his descendants. The man we are introduced to in this passage: Abram. Here’s what we know: his father’s name…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 11

Have you ever listened to someone talking and thought "I have no idea what language that is?" Perhaps you've commented, alongside Casca, that "it was Greek to me" when someone spoke. Maybe whilst doing your New Testament homework :) that thought arose.Does that make you wonder why we all speak different languages? Even those of us that speak the same language speak different languages, don't we? (My Canadian, Australian, and English friends who speak derivatives of Southern American…oh, wait, that's not right.) It's nowhere near ideal. In fact, one of the great ideals of science fiction literature is either a universal language (Galactic Basic in Star Wars) or universal translation ability (the TARDIS in Doctor Who or the aptly named Universal Translator in Star Trek). It's not logical that sheer geographic dispersion would cause so much difference: there's not enough similarity to link the main language groups back to one mother-tongue.The …

Sermon Wrap-up: January 29

If you'd like to subscribe to the blog, click here.If you'd like to subscribe to just the sermon podcast, click here.If you just want to read todays and then go on with life, here you go:Morning Sermon: Audio LinkNehemiah 1: Somebody, do something!I. Historical Situation: Jerusalem lies in ruins, many of the exiles have been returned.     A. Into exile why? National sinfulness: 2 Chronicles 36:15-17     B. Out of exile why? God's grace 2 Chronicles 36:22-23II. Nehemiah, though, remains in Susa, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire (Currently "Shush" in Iran)     A. Personally separate from the suffering     B. Yet he cannot accept thatIII. Something must be done     A. Nehemiah, though, has a good job, responsibilitiesIV. Nehemiah goes first to God in prayerV. Suffering continuesVI. We are not not unlike Nehemiah     A. Just because we're not personally affected does not mean we should not do something     B. We must be willing to put ourselves at risk f…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 10

Here's another chapter that derails people on their "Read through the Bible plan." It's another long list of names, but this time it's not just a genealogy. Rather, what Genesis 10 (Link) contains is the words to put on a map. The descriptions, while containing some lists of ancestors and successors, contains where the different families of the descendants of Noah moved off to after the Flood.If this were an interactive class, I would photocopy maps and hand them out to you, and we'd label locations. I'd advise you to grab a good study Bible and look up the area. The names here do not have many that need highlighting. Nimrod shows up, and his legend outside of the Bible is bigger than this text supports. He is counted as "A Mighty Hunter"  but that's not really a positive. The idea is that he went overboard with his hunting: he possibly is the father of bag limits. He's the guy with the chariot with the big buck strapped to the hood, tha…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 9

I know, I’m rapidly becoming the “evening edition” around here. Sorry.Genesis 9: (LINK) Rainbows and Ruins. At least that ought to be the subheading here. The Flood ends. Noah and family come out of the Ark, animals come out of the Ark, and life starts afresh in a very different environment.Oh, and God sees that man will be so violent that instituting the death penalty for murder is necessary and Noah gets drunk and passes out unclothed in his tent. There’s that, too.What do we do with this?Let’s work the opposite question first: what do we not do with this?1: We do NOT take Genesis 9:25-27 as justifying slavery, racism, or any other ethnocentric nonsense. Seriously, I have respect for many of Baptist forbears and men and women of other branches of Christianity that went before me, but that part was dumb. I do wonder what part of mine will be counted just plain dumb by my great grandchildren, but I digress. That Canaan was cursed by Noah does not mean you get to curse someone you thin…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 8

Note: I apologize for the delay with today’s posting. Hopefully I’ll get a few days ahead soon and be on the mornings consistently.Moving ahead: Genesis 8. (LINK) We’re still in the Flood. Actually, we start the chapter while the water is still upon the Earth. There’s lots of water at this particular point—over the tops of the mountains. There are additional sources to discuss the physical possibilities on this one. The application angle I want to look is this: take a look Genesis 8:13 and compare to Genesis 7:11. The flood has taken a year. Now, consider this: the purpose of the flood was to bring judgment on sinful humanity by destroying most of the human race. This is in response to the sinfulness of humanity: it is not an arbitrary judgment or undeserved one. How long do you think that really needed? Channeling my best Bill Cosby as he does his old Noah routine: “How long can you tread water?” It didn’t need a year to accomplish that. There are reasons one can guess for why the fl…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 7

The flood story continues here in Genesis 7 (LINK). This chapter addresses the story of the actual coming of the flood, including more details of the directions God gave to Noah regarding animals. We tend to remember the instruction to bring two of every kind of animal, but this chapter actually gives an expansion. It was two of every kind, and seven of the clean kinds. There are some questions that the chapter leaves unanswered, such as exactly which animals are to be considered clean and unclean. The Mosaic law that will dictate that for the Israelites is still several centuries away, but there is apparently a known distinction even then. It is also a logical thing: if these are the animals that can be eaten and considered "acceptable" then you're going to need more of them. You're going to need them quicker, too.The focus, though, for this chapter falls in verse 1. The Lord tells Noah to go into the Ark. This is important.Why?Consider this: for a hundred years, No…

BookTuesday: Tyndale

Today in BookTuesday, we consider Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice. It's written by David Teems and published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Cover and Amazon link are found below: Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English VoiceTyndale is a man that deserves more credit than he has received in many parts of the English-speaking church. He was the first to set in motion a translation from the original languages of the Bible into English. His work underscores the King James Version of the Bible, the latter being somewhere between 70 and 85% similar to Tyndale's own translation.Except Tyndale did not undertake this work in a time favorable to translating the Bible into English. Instead, he was convicted of heresy and handed over to the King of England for execution. In all, he gave his life to place the Bible into England in the language of the people.That much should be known by English-speaking Christians. If not, now you know it. It's also available in many b…

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 6

Genesis 6 (Link) moves us past the genealogy and back towards the narrative. The narrative is the story, really the flow of the story, in Scripture. Now, for us Southern folks, the word "story" needs some back up. Why? Because a portion of Southern English uses the word "story" to refer to an untruth. "Telling a lie" is also called "telling a story" around many of these parts, and we all are aware of the danger of believing "hunting stories" and "fishing stories."The Biblical story, though, is not an untrue story. It's just that the word "story" describes what's the Bible contains: a series of events, told in a mostly logical and chronological order, that contains action and other elements. The other term that gets applied is "narrative" and the two are often interchangeable and are definitely used that way around this blog.Genesis 5 wasn't much in the way of narrative. It's a list of death…

Sermon Wrap-up January 22

I feel like I've been through these parts of Matthew before, but apparently I need to keep better records, because I'm not finding it. So, I hit these passages in Matthew. Next week, Nehemiah, I believe. Subscribe to the podcast: in iTunes or in other sources.Morning Sermon: Matthew 8:18-27Audio Link (or alternate link)Challenges before seeing the greatnessI. Abandonment of all that you haveWhat will you not surrender?II. Abandonment by all that you have counted onWhat do you rely on?Where does your strength come from?III. Abandonment of any hopeAre you perishing yet?Are you really just struggling?IV. Astonishment at the work of GodConsider what price you are willing to pay?Evening sermon: Matthew 8:14-17Not much by way of outline here, just this question: What are you doing with the healing from sin you received? Been healed? Then get busy!Evening audio link (or alternate)

Through the whole Bible: Genesis 5

You know where you came from, right? At least, you can name a few of your ancestors. Maybe just your parents, but probably your grandparents and a few more. You might, though, wish you knew more going back. Some folks even make a living doing that type of research or running Ancestry.com to help you do it yourself.Imagine, though, if you could run your family history back more than just hundreds of years. Consider what you would do with knowing thousands of years of history.Many of us don't have that and so don't think it's all that important. Yet even filling in some of those gaps can provide a sense of stability. Perhaps a sense of destiny (or density, too) about your life and future fills in when you know the past.For example, in the early years of America, there was a man named John Hibbard. he was a Major in the Kentucky Militia during the War of 1812. He was also a tavern-keeper, sheriff, commissioner, and…a preacher.I am not named after my Great-to-the-fourth-power …

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 4

Today in Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 4. Grab your Bibles or click through to here (or hear, if you click that speaker button) for the passage.Genesis 4 is one of those places in Scripture where things just go from bad….to worse. In a hurry. It starts out alright: Adam and Eve come together and produce offspring. Eve recognizes that God has helped her, even calling God by His covenant name, YHWH. Let’s take that detour and then come back:In ancient times, it was normal practice that an individual’s name was of much greater importance than it is today. I have very little fear of telling you my name is Doug Hibbard, and knowing my name does not really give you any authority in my life. Neither does it give you much insight into my character.Not so, the ancient names. Frequently names were given to reflect character expectations. Also, names were safeguarded to a certain degree: one might have a publicly known name for general business, but then a specific name for your most importan…

Through the whole Bible: Genesis 3

Continuing Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 3. If you’d like the page link, here it is: NIV/NASB Parallel at BibleGateway.com.Here’s where the trouble begins: Genesis 3. If the Bible were just Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22, everything would be great. Except we don’t get to shortcut the narrative. Genesis 3 happens. A few quick suggestions:1. Freedom to choose good requires the availability of freedom to choose evil. That’s why there’s two trees there. If Adam and Eve only choose to obey because disobedience is not an option, what does it mean? Next to nothing. For example, I got through high school without trying cocaine. That’s not a brag: I was never offered the opportunity. I have no idea if I would have heeded “Just Say No!” or not. Given some of the areas where I lacked self-control, I can’t be certain—so, while I will teach my children to say no to such things as well, it’s not really a point of pride that I never did. It’s a point of gratitude, for certain…2. It’s the only t…

Through The Whole Bible: Genesis 2

Continuing through the whole Bible: Genesis 2. If you need a link for the passage, here it is with both NIV and NASB from BibleGateway. Or, if you’ve got a Bible, you can look it up. It’s on page 2 in mine :)This is the conclusion of the Creation account. A quick note, though, about the Bible in general is due: the original texts were not divided into chapters and verses. Those are later additions. It is a portion of Biblical Studies to try and understand the original divisions that might have been there, but just file this in your mind: the train of thought can run past chapter/verse markings. Originally, you had the “Book” divisions: Genesis ends the same place, Exodus starts, but the chapters are not original to the text.And don’t get me started on the “headers” added by many English translations: those little summaries cause people to miss the point as often as they help to find it. Now, back to the text: first off, 2:1 addresses that Creation was completed. A few things that mean…

Through the whole Bible: Genesis 1

Today, let's take a look at Genesis 1. If you click the link there, it will draw up the whole text (or it should, if the old RefTagger code still works). Otherwise, grab your Bible or click here for the text in both the NIV and NASB.Genesis 1:1 is likely among the five most famous Bible verses, It's also among the five most strife-causing verses in the Bible. Why?It's the foundation for everything else to come. Really. Whether you're a day-ager, frameworker, literalist, or atheistic evolutionist, guess what? You have formed an opinion on Genesis 1:1. For the atheist, it's a complete falsehood. For the theist, it's critical in terms of timing and causation.It's actually the one thing that is agreed among many differing views on the rest of Genesis 1: God did it. If it's true that God created the heavens and the earth, then there are certain implications for that creation. The Creator will have done so for a reason. He will have done so with certain purpo…

Sermon Wrap-up

Last night, we heard Jonathan Hillman talk about his trip to Irbit, Russia, with FBC Stuttgart. He showed some pictures and shared how the trip went. I think we gained a great deal from hearing from him.Yesterday morning, the sermon was from Matthew 8:5-13. Here’s the audio link: Primary and Backup. Here’s the basic outline:Matthew 8:5-13 The Faith of the Centurion Story itself: v. 7 could also be a question "Shall I come and heal him?" or simply a statement that "I will come and heal him" I. Non-Jewish--no Kingdom restrictions on ethnicity I. Non-Jewish--this guy's not looking for a Messiah. In fact, the Messianic Expectations are counter to his job (and potentially his life) I. Non-Jewish--no background of the Old Testament II. Roman--yet uses "Lord" III. Discuss use of "Lord" and the relationship to later persecution IV. Worthiness--how do we behave? V. Authority--being "under authority"--Some give me orders, I give oth…

Marriage and a Note

Actually, a note first: A good number of you who read this blog downloaded and read the devotional book I put together for Advent. Some of you even bought the Kindle version from Amazon.com, putting your hard-earned dollar out there for my work. To all of you I want to say a big "thank-you!" It's a far cry from being a featured, contracted writer, but it is a good feeling to have my own Author Page on Amazon.com. So, thank you again.Now, on to the post!I follow somewhere above 500 accounts on Twitter. Now, for what it's worth, I don't know most of those people and they don't read mine much more than I read theirs: it's a speed-scroll to see what links and headlines are there. Sometimes there is a relationship-building exercise involved, but Twitter, as a whole, is like a big class reunion in a gymnasium: lots of people talking and random people listening.One headline caught my attention, but I didn't click through. It was a link to an article of "…

BookTuesday: Reading Revelation

Who's ready for the end of the world? You? Your next door neighbor? Anyone out there really ready for the end…for the Apocalypse? If you're not sure if you're ready for the end of all things and are Biblically-minded, you might be spending some time reading Revelation to think about it. If so, you'll be looking at a book with a variety of interpretations and might want some help. When you look for help, you may find today's book: Reading Revelation by C. Marvin Pate and published by Kregel Publishing's Academic & Professional arm. (Can you tell which division gave me free books for this month? Last week, this week, and the week before?)Reading Revelation: A Comparison of Four Interpretive Translations of the ApocalypseA quick disclosure: the author, Dr. C. Marvin Pate, is now a professor at the university I attended. He came to the school about a year after I graduated, but the esteem I hold the school and professors that he works with now might cloud my ju…

Sermon Wrap-Up January 8

Good Monday to you all! Here are the sermons from yesterday.Morning Audio Link is Here (alternate)Evening Audio Link is Here (alternate)If you'd like to subscribe in iTunes, click here. And if you use something other than iTunes, click here.Morning Outline/TextGenesis 3Lord's Supper---Genesis 3 Sermon here: Genesis 3 and sin's destruction of human relationships. First, with the earth. Second, with each other. Finally, with God. Our time comes to this: taking the bread and the cup recognizes our inability to do anything about that destruction. The earth waits for Revelation 22 and the New Earth--the work is only going to increase. Our relationships with each other remain filled with fault-finding and criticism because our relationship with God remains fractured. When we take the bread and the cup, we see the price God paid for our destruction. We acknowledge that we, each of us individually, caused that need. Not that your neighbor is a sinner but that you are. Not that I p…

BookTuesday: The Post-Racial Church

Race still matters in America, despite many people's protests to the contrary. That we have a non-white President shows the array of possibility for all people in this country, but closer to home for many of us is the reality that we live in racial bubbles that do not readily pop. Instead, we take our bubbles out and push through the aisles of the grocery store hoping our bubbles don't get squished too hard against other bubbles.Then, for many of us, we retreat into a bubble-safe zone on Sunday. It's called "church." While we can hang whatever explanations on that fact we'd like to, most Christians live in that reality. Most of us also recognize that something's not quite right there—racially isolated sinners worshiping God apart from each other when we know eternity will look very, very different from that.How do we adjust for that? How do we change the reality that is into what it ought to be?The first tendency may be to simply accept the way things are…

BookTuesday: The Post-Racial Church

Race still matters in America, despite many people's protests to the contrary. That we have a non-white President shows the array of possibility for all people in this country, but closer to home for many of us is the reality that we live in racial bubbles that do not readily pop. Instead, we take our bubbles out and push through the aisles of the grocery store hoping our bubbles don't get squished too hard against other bubbles.Then, for many of us, we retreat into a bubble-safe zone on Sunday. It's called "church." While we can hang whatever explanations on that fact we'd like to, most Christians live in that reality. Most of us also recognize that something's not quite right there—racially isolated sinners worshiping God apart from each other when we know eternity will look very, very different from that.How do we adjust for that? How do we change the reality that is into what it ought to be?The first tendency may be to simply accept the way things are…

Sermons from January 1

First, a note:If you'd like to print the whole year of the Bible reading plan that we're putting in the bulletin, it's here: http://bit.ly/rv38G6 or http://bit.ly/dhbrpdf It's called the M'Cheyne plan, named after the Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M'Cheyne who wrote it out in the 19th Century. More on him another day.Evening sermon: Genesis 25. Audio Here or Here. Morning sermon: Revelation 22. Audio Here or Here.As always, subscribing in iTunes gets you the messages every week, and that's found here. If you need a different audio feed source you can get it at this link.Evening Outline: Genesis 25 I'm putting the evening outline first because the outline was much shorter. Do not trade it in...The birthright of the grace of GodThe value of God's grace The greatness of God's provisionWhat are we trading our birthright for? Whether it is for our nation, our family, or ourselves?What about our spiritual birthright? The one bequeathed by ages of mar…

Happy New Year!

I thought about listing some New Year’s Resolutions that I could keep, like committing to eat more donuts, exercise less, and miss a few more deadlines, but that seemed a little bit too pessimistic for the bright sunshine of today.Instead, I want to post the following two thoughts to you:1. What is your real goal for this year? Not some fluff that you ripped off the internet or some recycled old hash that you’ve never done and don’t really intend to do, but your real goal. It can be something you’ve never gotten around to doing and really intend to do. It can be some hidden dream to chase. It can just be to survive. Last year, survival was a big part of my goal. Consider that goal. You’ve got 366 days this year and answer this question: if this goal is the only thing you accomplish in those 366 days, will that be time well spent or time wasted? 2. Look back over last year. All the good, all the bad, all the mundane things that happened. Guess what? They happened. And they are complete…