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Showing posts from June, 2014

Sermon Wrap-Up for June 29

Well, June is ending. Half the year is gone, and it’s time to move into the next half. If you’re reading through the Bible and are on-plan, you’re halfway there!Morning Sermon: TREASON! 2 Chronicles 23June 29 AM: Treason! from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Also, we had this to start our service:We joined the Methodists for the evening service, so there is no video.Outline:1.1. Scripture intro
First, we deal with the background information:
Wicked Queen Ahtaliah holds the throne, though she ought not do so. She took the throne at the cost of the lives of the royal household.
Only Joash is delivered by the courage of Jehoshabeath.
Over time, Jehoshabeath, daughter of former King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, hands over Joash to Jehoiada to raise..
What happens to Jehoshabeath? (Jehosheba) Does she survive the purge? Is Zechariah a child from a second wife, later?
1.2. Opening Illustration
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be direct…

Wednesday Wanderings: Elijah and Elisha

This week’s readings have mainly covered the lives of Elijah and Elisha, including the various kings they lived under. These two men of God are an interesting pair in the Old Testament, and are probably the best known part of Israelite history after David and Solomon.In keeping with the spirit of the Wednesday Wanderings posts, I’m not going to elaborate greatly on Elijah and Elisha here. You can find them in 1 Kings and 2 Kings (a sermon here touches on them, as well). Here are, instead, a mix of questions and observations:Elisha managed to be safe from the Arameans by going to Alabama? 2 Kings 6:13 says he was in Dothan. In that passage of 2 Kings 6:8-23, there is the occurrence of Elisha’s servant being enabled to see the Army of God in the hills. This is one of those events that make Biblical interpretation and application interesting. Why? Is it normative or was this a one-time event? Should we expect to see the Army of God at times? 2 Kings 8:10 has God’s prophet telling Hazae…

Book: Titus for You

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The Pauline Epistle of Titus is one that I have long taken for granted. After all, it’s a Pastoral Epistle, written to Titus as he ministers on the island of Crete. Therefore, it’s mainly relevant to ministers, and especially ministers dealing with cretins, right?

Prayerful Action: Ephesians 6

In Summary: Paul is wrapping up his letter to the Church of Ephesus. Naturally, the last chapter is not just his farewells and concluding thoughts, but the continuation of his prior instructions. After all, he didn’t mark where Ephesians 6 should begin. If Paul had done the paragraphs, I think he would have separated Ephesians 6:21-24 as a section. (As in the ESV and NIV) Before that there are two major portions of this chapter. The first finishes the specific application points from Ephesians 5, detailing parenting and slave-master relationships. It is important to note that the latter were a fact of Roman life, and Paul addresses living in reality rather than prescribing a future way of life. An ideal Christian world does not have right master-slave relationships. It has no slavery, and Ephesians 6:9 should make that clearer to us all. After all, how would slavery ever work without threatening? It does not. The interaction between parents and children is also in view in the first se…

Book: What is Biblical Theology?

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One of the pitfalls of book reviewing is addressing books written by people that are obviously incredibly smarter than you are as a reviewer. While this may have never happened to you, it hits me from time to time, and today’s book is certainly one of those. What is Biblical Theology? by James M. Hamilton Jr., (Ph.D., professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), is from one of the sharper minds currently active in evangelical theology.What is Biblical Theology? addresses the title question. Now, that may seem obvious to you, but it’s not uncommon to see a book pose a question and then chase a rabbit. The other action is to pose a question, then grind an axe in your answer rather than truly express the material.Hamilton has avoided those two pitfalls here. He begins with a basic explanation of the term “biblical theology” and then works forward by expanding how he sees the grand narrative of the Bible. This is the strongest aspect of Hamilton’s work. When I was in seminary, the…

Proverbs 23 June 2014

In Proverbs 23:6-8, Solomon warns against dining with selfish individuals. Especially, concern is raise regarding desiring what the selfish man has. Why? Because the selfish man will not, in his heart, join with you.What do we do with this?1. Share openly. This is the stretch of the passage, but let’s hit it first. Do not be the selfish man. (Or woman) When you give, when you are in fellowship with others, do not spend your time counting the cost and holding against your guests. Build fellowship, and don’t invite folks to a steak dinner with a hamburger heart. Or a hamburger budget: if your heart is full but your wallet is not, then openly provide what you can, rather than trying to impress.2. Be cautious in receiving. If you are dining with those whose hearts are not with you, then do not be swept up in the delicacies. Be aware of what is really going on. If Boss Hogg invites you to a barbecue, he’s not being nice. He wants information on the Duke boys…or your keys to the car.3. Focu…

Sermon Recap for June 22

Good Morning! Here is the recap from yesterday. You can click the sermon titles for direct audio downloads or use the embedded players.I. Morning Sermon: Compromised 1 Kings 20Compromised: 1 Kings 20 June 22 AM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.II. Evening Sermon: Gods and Ditches 2 Kings 3Gods and Ditches: June 22 PM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.III. Outlines:June 22 AM 1 Kings 20Background: Invasion/conquest? Nope. Just pressure from outside powersSituation:1. Compromise, but it's not enough2. Stand up3. Falter from obedienceResponse:1. Never compromise with the world out of fear: you can never compromise enough2. Never compromise with God on obedience: you can not hide that3. God remains in control and capable, no matter what the appearance of things4. God will defend His name, even if that allows sinful kings to remain for a time.June 22 PM 2 Kings 3Background: divided kingdom, going to war together against common foe1. Who are your gods?     A. In peace?     B. In crisis?2. Are you di…

Book: Worshipping with Calvin

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Today’s Book is one of those big, thick nerdy books. I like those books I think the first point to be made is that this is Worshipping with Calvin. Not “Worshipping Calvin,” or even “Worshipping like Calvin.” Too often, Reformed Protestant folks are accused of trying to sidle up more with their favorite Reformer than paying attention to the Word.With that in mind, consider what Calvin and the other Reformers set out to do: recover Biblical practice in the Church at large. Most of them had shortcomings and blind spots in diverse areas, but they attempted to work through the implications of Biblical seriousness on all portions of life.This includes the “worship” aspects of the Church gathered in community. This is the concept of worship addressed in this book—while there is adequate acknowledgement that worship is in all of life, the focus here is on the Church gathered.Terry L. Johnson’s work here is clearly intended for extended thought and perusal. This is no summer beach read.If it’…

Consequences: Deuteronomy 3

In Summary: Moses is wrapping his “How we got there” presentation for the people of Israel. Deuteronomy 3 addresses the final conquests and how some of the tribes have come to settle on the eastern half of the Jordan River. The various battles are remembered, as are the travels. The conditions of the eastern tribes are remembered, that they are to continue in battle while their non-combatants build life in the conquered territory. In Focus: Then Moses gets down to his point. You may recall from Numbers 20:9-12 that Moses was barred from entering the Promised Land because he struck the rock that God had told him to speak to. This public act of disobedience led to judgment on Moses. This is the third mention of this event in Scripture. There is the event’s record in Numbers, Moses mentions it earlier in Deuteronomy, and then he returns to it here. This is the first time, though, that Moses mentions pleading with YHWH to undo that punishment. God, however, refuses. Moses appeals to G…

Book: Strange Glory

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Let me get this out of the way, then we’ll look at Charles Marsh’s Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: for the nineteenth time, explanatory endnotes in print books are a pain in the neck to readers. Footnotes, though cluttering the page, can and should be used. Thank you, publishers, for listening…someday. Now, on to Strange Glory. I am, personally, a fan of Eric Metaxas’s work on Bonhoeffer (refer here), but I also know that biographies tend to have slants to them. That work slanted toward Bonhoeffer as a heroic figure for modern Evangelical Christianity.Marsh in his work presents a slightly different tilt on Bonhoeffer, and perhaps his tilt is a response to Metaxas in a way. Presented here is Bonhoeffer who grew up without much need for attending church, and proceeded to enter the academic and upper class worlds of Germany. Strange Glory presents Bonhoeffer who struggled with various issues, and takes a deeper look at the year spent in America (1930-1931) than other biogra…

Wednesday Wanderings: June 18

I’ve got a couple of Wednesday’s worth of Wanderings for you. That comes from getting a bit behind in the old blogging enterprise.On background, as a church we’re reading through the Bible this year, using the One Year Chronological Plan that’s published by Tyndale. The one with the NIV, not the NLT, and yes, that’s too confusing. Part of how we’re doing this emphasis has me fielding questions from the reading every week. Side note to ministers: First, you want the flock you tend on behalf of the Shepherd to be well-versed in Scripture. It’s healthy for them and you. Second, there’s nothing quite like taking whatever questions are thrown at you for a year. Third, I’m not doing this again next year…I think we’ll find a different way to encourage Bible reading.We were working through the life of Solomon and the Wisdom Literature the past few weeks, and the question raised was “When did Solomon lose his wisdom?” Looking at his life, I can see where the question came from. After all, he’s…

Book: Pleasant Places

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Today’s book was written by a friend. So, yes, I liked it. Yes, I overlooked any aspects that professionally published, hot-shot books have. Why? Because it’s written by a friend, self-published, and worth reading.Bloggers are an interesting mix when it comes to writing. Some bloggers write too long and convoluted for the Internet attention span. Others write just right for that blink. Some have nothing to say, and use so many words to say it that your head spins.Some, though, have something good to say. This is what I would say of my friend, Anthony F. Russo (not sure why he needed his middle initial in there) and his book Pleasant Places.A little background is in order. Anthony was once a more active spirituality blogger, but that pastime had to give way to various responsibilities. He then took the best of his writings for the Internet, edited them, and created this book.It is perhaps best considered as a travelogue of his spiritual journey. Life is here, warts and all, and in Russ…

June 2014: Proverbs 17

A quick look at the Proverbs today. Proverbs 17:16 to be precise:Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom,When he has no sense? (NASB)There is a footnote that points out that “when he has no sense” is a rendering for the phrase “when he has no heart.” The idea is the same: fools have no sense, no heart or head for growing in wisdom.Here, then, is the question: Are we spending gobs of money to get smarter when we have no sense in the first place?You must go back to Proverbs 1:7 and start there. Without beginning with the fear of YHWH, without surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord, then you’re not doing any good for yourself. You are simply spending and spending to add words to your head.Likewise, one might raise this issue with educational spending. Why do we spend for knowledge and provide nothing for character? Why expend and expend to get smarter when we still have no sense?That’s a problem in all levels of education. Having just completed seminary, I’d argue that it’…

Walk this Way: Ephesians 5

In Summary: We dig deeper into the implications of being seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). One of the key contrasts in Ephesians is the mixture of statements of what we are and what we should do. For example, Ephesians 5 is filled with instructive and imperative statements. Paul opens with “be imitators of God,” and there are no complete thoughts without commands in the rest of the chapter. Paul either commands “Do not participate in unfruitful deeds…” (5:11) or explains on why, for “all things become visible” (5:13). This matters. Certain parts of the Christian life are settled realities while other parts are our responsibility to carry forward. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly places because salvation is certain and held by Him. Not one of Paul’s commands and instructions should be understood to earn God’s favor, nor should their absence be seen as removing one from the grace of God. In Focus: Instead, consider the commands, such as Ephesians 5:1…

Book: Edwin, High King of Britain

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Every now and again, I read a book that causes me anger. Not anger at the book’s contents or presentation. Anger that the author wrote what I should have thought of first.Edwin, High King of Britainis one of those books. Edoardo Albert’s work here fits, technically, under the definition of “historical fiction,” though I would recommend a category of “imaginative history” for works like this one.Why? Albert presents us with seventh century Britain as a living place. This is a timeframe that we do not have many sources for—the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History being the main source for occurred in these years. If we take Bede’s historical work as accurate, then Albert’s work is accurate on historical events. He has woven in imaginative descriptions of what goes on between events. Unlike a typical “historical fiction” book that is mostly fiction in an historical setting, this is mostly history with imagined events to bring it to life. And bring it to life, he does. Throughout Edwin…

June 16 2014: Proverbs 16

And…we’re back. I’m learning that nailing down this much writing on a daily basis takes a bit more focus.






Proverbs 16 is in view today. Let’s look at a couple of verses and put them together. Take a look at Proverbs 16:16 and Proverbs 16:26, here from the NASB:




How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!

And to get understanding is be chosen above silver.




A worker’s appetite works for him,

For his hunger urges him on.




Now, let us dispense with a pair of misconception. V. 16 does not justify excessive educational indebtedness. Don’t be silly when you read this and think “Ooh, I’ll be broke the rest of my days because of student loan debt.” That’s nonsense. Use wisdom in acquiring information, it’s not about the overall number of paid-for credit hours.




Second is interpreting v. 26 as encouraging starving workers and employees. That’s far from the concept here. Instead, this should be seen in light of motivation that comes internally. Be motivated, let your hunger urge you on. Having looked…

Sermon Wrap-Up for June 15

Being Father’s Day, we held only the morning service in an effort to provide some additional family time. It’s busy season for farm folks, and I think that’s beneficial for us to do. Also, I think there’s a glitch in the media players. Working on it.Morning Sermon: 2 Chronicles 10:1-19 (direct download here)June 15 AM: 2 Chronicles 10:1-19 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Outline:2 Chronicles 10:1-19 June 15 AM Almyra Baptist I. Background II. Father wasn't right: v. 4 III. Son was foolish: v. 14 Note: Consider the wisdom of the previous generation Be wary of the mistakes of the previous generation Look to God and His wisdom for your own life Do not eschew wisdom for young hotheadedness Ultimately, look to the Father and the Son for our example--they are the only ones to get this perfectly rightConcluding Notes:1. I do have the rough audio of Sunday Night’s Q&A session, but I’m not sure yet that it’s useful for posting.2. I am not sure how to improve video quality with the …

Sermon Wrap-Up: June 8

Good Morning! Here are yesterday’s sermons. There appears to be a glitch with the audio player, so you can click on “Direct Audio Link” to listen.Morning Sermon: Marriage Matters 1 Kings 11Audio player:Direct audio linkMarriage Matters: June 8 AM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Sermon: PointlessAudio Player:Direct Audio LinkJune 8: Pointless! Ecclesiastes from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Outlines:MorningJune 8: AM: 1 Kings 11 1.1. Scripture intro 1  Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2  from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love. 3  He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 4  For when Solomon was old, his wives tur…

Book: Rebuilding the Family Altar

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Preachers writing books. Oh my! Actually, Clint Ritchie’s book Rebuilding the Family Altar is not the sermon rehash that many pastor-written/pastor-published books are. Instead, Ritchie presents a theoretical framework for family devotionals, and then presents 52 sample ideas.This does result in a book with a split personality. On the one hand, the first 60 pages are a friendly reminder of why we need to use home as the base for discipling our children. On the other hand, the last 60 are simple devotionals for family discussion. I’m not sure listing these as an appendix is the right label, but it’s not my book.In the first 60 pages, Ritchie presents a Biblical case for family discipleship rather than leaving it up to the church. This section is primarily his own opinion, as evidence by the few footnotes scattered throughout. I do commend him for using footnotes, though, that’s a definite plus. It’s also worth noting that the few footnotes are mainly for non-Bible sources—he cites Bibl…

D-Day 2014

Seventy years ago, tens of thousands of men stood in ships and crashed ashore on the Normandy Peninsula in France. At the time it wasn’t really France. It was part of the conquered territory of Nazi Germany. The plan was simple: boat over from England and take Europe back from the Nazis. Do so well enough that the Russians would not take all of Germany and most of France and turn it Communist. Simple, right? Except that the English Channel had been an effective barrier against invasion in either direction for nearly 1,000 years. Even English invasions of France had gone into neutral or friendly ports, rather than being opposed landings. The last time, that I can find, any large force crossed the Channel successfully was when William the Conqueror did so in 1066. And keep in mind that he faced an England that had just exhaustingly repelled the Vikings for the last time, so they were worn out, and far out of position. (Just—as in the same year!)Tackling the invasion of Hitler’s Europe w…

Book: Elders in the Life of the Church

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Elders in the Life of the Church is a book that scares me with its subtitle of “Rediscovering the Biblical Model of Church Leadership.” I know that, in the past two millennia, we have had times of drift from Biblical truth. However, when someone claims in 2014 that we finally have something right that’s been wrong for a long, long time, that sets me on edge. Our predecessors were not always right (see: slavery, segregation, religious warfare), but to claim that you are “Biblical” where no one else is, that’s no small claim.
Because of this, I come to Phil A. Newton and Matt Schmucker’s work with some bias against it. I’m not reading this as a big fan, nor as someone who wants to muck about with the outline of church governance handed down by many years of Baptist congregational practice. I do not want to keep the traditions if they are unbiblical, but you’ve got to show me how they are wrong.
Elders in the Life of the Church, though, does a good job demonstrating Newton and Schmucker’s …