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Showing posts from October, 2014

In Debt: Luke 7

In Summary: Luke 7 shows us a combination of teaching and preaching in the life of Jesus. We get the healing of the centurion’s servant, the raising of the widow’s son in Nain, and John’s disciples asking for some clarity about who Jesus is. These came on behalf of John.

The raising of the widow’s son raises some chronological questions, because none of the Gospel writers were intent on satisfying our timeline-oriented society. It appears to be the first recorded time that Jesus demonstrates His power over death, though there are statements about Him doing so elsewhere. Further, in the answer to John the Baptist, we see Jesus refer to “the dead are raised” (7:22) as if this has happened more than once. Notice that this healing is met with both fear and worship (7:16), and we never see Jesus preach a funeral—He just raises the dead.

John’s disciples come to ask a question from their imprisoned leader. Apparently, though John had been certain about Jesus, he was starting to have doubts. J…

Sermon Recap for October 19

The past few weeks, I have tried preaching without notes. I think I'm going to stop not using notes and start using notes. Yes, stop stopping the notes and start starting them back.

Morning Sermon: KING!! John 6/Matthew 14

John 6: KING! from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.

Evening Sermon: Battle-hardened Hearts: Luke 9:51-56

Battle Hardened Hearts: Luke 9 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.

Concluding 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 current equipment. 3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list: A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.
B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.
C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is here
D. For Vimeo Video, subscribe to this channel:
E. For Youtube Video, subscribe here:
4. Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hi…

Book: Lost in Translation

^-A really cool book!Explaining Lost in Translation from Ella Frances Sanders results in, well, losing things in translation. This little hardcover book—and you want it in book, as there is no way that the Kindle version does the illustrations justice—is only 112 pages. The binding feels good, and the colors are simple and vibrant.Sanders presents the reader with words that do not come well into English, alongside an extended definition. These words come from current languages and fading languages. Japanese, Gaelic, Urdu, German, Wagiman, and Yaghan all have a mention, as do Dutch, Yiddish, and Arabic.The only complaint that I can make about this book is that there are places where the word or definition attempt blends too easily into the illustration. For example, “Jayus” blends well into the artwork behind the word, and the definition of “Szimpatikus” was a little hard to pull out from the artwork. Again, they can be seen—I think it’s more a matter of how well my eyes are working, o…

Politics and Preaching Briefly Summarized

If we take these things:

1. Politics is the art and science of citizens handling their collective business; AND

2. Preaching is part of how God works to transform His people into the image and likeness of His Son, affecting their behavior in private and in public; THEREFORE

3. Any preaching which is not political is useless frippery because all preaching seeks to affect the behavior of listeners; affected listeners will behave in a certain manner in the collective business of the city; this is politics.

Love your neighbor as yourself is political preaching. So is render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

So also the Bible-driven ethics of marriage and family; equal value of all people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity; importance of life; value of education.

There is nothing worth preaching that does not, in some way, affect political behavior.

I preach politics, then, because if I preach Jesus is Lord, the behavior of citizens in community should be changed.

Book: The People, the Land, and the Future of Israel

<-Is it a book? Or is it an analogous stand-in for a book, representing the book to come and replaced by it?The People, the Land, and the Future of Israel is not a single-author book. This is a collection of essays from contributors based out of a conference held in October, 2013. Darrel I. Bock and Mitch Glaser edited the 344 page volume. Mine is paperback, and a Kindle version is available. I assume that they are the same.The format runs like this: each chapter is the introduced by the editors. Then, the author presents a self-contained essay on the given topic. These are interdependent, but not interwoven—you can read Craig Evans’ chapter on “Israel according to the Book of Hebrews and the General Epistles” without tackling anything in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures, as labeled here). Not that you should, but you can.Each chapter is followed with a link to the author’s presentation at the conference and a link to an interview with the author. These are also QR codes to …

More than a Check: Deuteronomy 14

In Summary: Moses carries forward to the list of clean and unclean animals in Deuteronomy 14. This list matters for two purposes. First, the people were not to eat the unclean. Second, they were not to sacrifice the unclean. Studies abound about why certain animals were listed by God as unclean. These range from serious, like the view that pig was forbidden for disease fears, to a little silly, like the view that pork is so delicious it was a risk for idolatry. (Somebody call the Bacon Coalition!)

I find two things worth noting on this list. First is that God provided a specific list, then a qualification list. That allowed the people to deal with any animal that didn't fit the list. Second is that acceptable animals required either attentive care (cattle-types) or hunting effort.

The clean/unclean list follows an instruction to avoid cutting oneself or shaving one’s forehead for the sake of the dead. Guess what? We don’t know exactly what that meant. I would assure you that any ido…


A major concern rises from Houston, Texas, right now. As part of a fight that began with expanding civil rights laws to address gender/sexual identity issues, the Mayor of Houston, with the City Attorney, have subpoenaed not only the sermons of five area pastors but all of their communications about the Equal Rights Ordinance.Now, first off, let me say that I’m not trying to dig into the yay/nay on that ordinance. Understanding what is happening around this law is what matters. First, the City Council passed a law. The City Charter allows petitioners to force any law (ordinance) passed by the Council on to the ballot to be decided by the voters. Because there were opinions that this law exceeded social norms that were acceptable, and seeing a threat in it, there was an area group that petitioned to drive that law onto the ballot. They submitted their petition. The Mayor rejected it. If the activist group is right, the Mayor exceeded her authority in doing so. They therefore sued. In r…

Book: The Sacred Year

I am doing some desk-clearing, and have a couple of books to review this week. Thanks for your patience.<-See? It’s a book.I must admit, I don’t quite know what to do with Michael Yankoski’s The Sacred Year. It was not quite what I expected—I think I misread the description to indicate more of a look at the cyclical calendar of Christian observances, rather than one person’s journey through a year of digging deeper. From that point forward, I was less enthusiastic. I’ve never heard of Michael Yankoski, and one reason I seek out books to review is to learn from voices I would normally not hear.Yankoski has given the reader a good look at a year in which he walked away from high pressure life and pursued clearer spiritual devotions. During the course of this year, he followed many of the ancient practices of Christianity, including taking time to bake his own bread to consider “daily bread” more deeply. I know that some of my more serious brethren will have great difficulties with th…

Book: Jonathan Edwards

Today’s Book is brought to you by Reformation Heritage Books through Cross-Focused Reviews.It’s a book! With a kid, looking at a spider…creepy.Simonetta Carr’s books take up six spaces on the shelves here at our house. We’re slowly acquiring all of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series, so when I was offered a review copy of Jonathan Edwards, I snagged it. Yes, I come with a bias toward this series. I have liked all the volumes, and would be surprised to not like this one.I was not surprised. Jonathan Edwards presents a rounded picture of Edwards, giving him a human face instead of just an angry preacher face. If anything, this work comes out just shy of making Edwards out as too nice. Brevity is part of the series, though, so one cannot expect all of the details of Edwards’ life to be presented. Further, the goal is to present people that can be looked up to, and Edwards certainly fits that category.The writing style is smooth. Carr does not use excessively long sentence…

In the Grainfields: Luke 6

In Summary:This chapter deals with the disciples and their snacking on the Sabbath; the calling of the Twelve; and the “Sermon on the Plain.” This latter section is generally seen as a parallel with the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7, and there are advocates that the record is of the same message. That is unnecessary. If Jesus is traveling and preaching, He likely preaches to different crowds at different times and so presents the same general teaching in diverse places.

The Twelve are called from among the disciples that are already following Jesus. We see Jesus call out twelve specific individuals after a night of prayer, and label these as “apostles.” Typically, these are now “The Twelve” or “The Apostles,” with capital letters signifying the group. The list ends, as each Gospel’s list does, with the name of Judas and his label as a traitor. This is an evidence of writing in retrospect. It also serves to clue the reader in to the various actions of Judas and his motivations.


Sermon Recap for October 12

Good Morning! Here is the Sermon Recap from October 12.Both sermons looked at Matthew 6, examining forgiveness and the Lord’s Prayer.Morning Sermon: Matthew 6 (audio here)October 12 AM: Matthew 6 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Evening Sermon: Matthew 6 Extended (audio here)October 12 PM: Matthew 6 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.Concluding 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 current equipment.3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list:A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the link is hereD. For Vimeo Video, subscribe to this channel: For Youtube Video, subscribe here: Yes, I think I’m not getting a lot of plays on each service or hits on each blog, but in total it’s a decent reach. A soci…

Communion: A bit of a rant

As pastor of a church, I get all kinds of advertising targeted my way. Apparently, we have made such consumers of our churches that there is plenty of money to be made from us, but that’s for another day.Specifically today I want to fume a bit about the subject line of an email that came through the SPAM filter. While I know, overall, what they were actually selling, the subject line was irritating. What was it?“There is still time to save on Communion!”Yep. After earlier emails about “Saving on Communion” and “Discount on Communion,” this one has pushed me to the rant level. Addressing the practical idea, first, though: there are no pre-packaged wafer/juice combos that are more financially beneficial than a large bottle of 100% juice (for us Baptists) and some homemade bread. Given that I haven’t seen any pre-packs that include wine (I haven’t looked, though), I don’t think the Presbyterians are looking to save a buck anyway.This has me concerned about something else, though. I comme…

Headed for Columbus Day

This weekend is Columbus Day weekend. Also known as “No, you can’t have any mail, or go to the bank because, well, something” weekend. It’s an interesting day.

First, you have various municipalities (Seattle made the news on it this year) declaring it “Indigenous People’s Day” because they feel Columbus was bad for the Indigenous People of the North American Continent. No word yet on when they plan on returning their municipalities completely to the aforementioned Indigenous People groups. Or why, given that anything in the US north of Florida was explored and occupied by the English and French who followed different routes than Columbus, they hold Columbus responsible.

For that matter, second, Columbus was not the first European in North America. In fact, he hit Caribbean islands. There were Norse in America 400 years before Columbus, and possibly Celts before them! Nobody seems to hate on Leif Erickson. Or think about the fact that history is, generally, the story of various tribes …

Signs and Wonders: Deuteronomy 13

In Summary: Signs and wonders, wonders and signs. What shall we do with them all? This question raises its head in the modern day, but it goes all the way back into Deuteronomy 13.

Actually, it goes back further, but there’s an important context to grasp here. God has shown His approval of Moses through signs and wonders. Further, these accompanied Aaron as High Priest and Joshua as successor to Moses.

But we also saw in the Exodus narrative that the magicians of Egypt were able to do some miraculous acts as well. What is the difference? After all, if God is all-powerful, then are not any signs and wonders an attestation to His approval?

In Focus: The people of Israel at this point in the story have seen a lot, but they are about to cross over into the Promised Land. The Word of God that Moses will give them holds the guidance for their society.

But what if someone comes along and pushes them to consider other gods? It is one thing, of course, for someone to spout obvious nonsense and ha…

Book: Songs of a Suffering King

<---It’s a book. Well, a picture of a book.Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1-8 by J.V. Fesko takes those Psalms and examines their Christological concepts and unity. This is a small book, 124 pages in a 5x7 paperback. There are the expected intro/conclusion chapters and then one chapter for each Psalm.Fesko first makes the case for the Psalms as an intentionally organized unit. His view is that the arrangement, including the order, of the Psalms is meant to tell a holistic story. This story foresees the Messiah, starting with Psalm 1.From that point, Fesko examines the first 8 Psalms. He points out how they speak of Jesus, and each chapter is followed with discussion questions. These serve the reader well, reviewing material and driving application ideas.It is important to note that Fesko’s work here is intended as devotional and not academic. To that end, some of his conclusions are not fully developed in the text. For example, his conclusion that the te…

In a Hole in a Roof: Luke 5

In Summary: Luke 5 gives us a few quick hits:

1. We see the calling of the first disciples. This shows us Jesus as master of the fish of the sea…and Peter as cognizant of his own sinfulness.

2. We see the compassion of Jesus on the leper. 5:12 shows the leper express “if you are willing,” recognizing that Jesus has power. The leper simply wants to know His character.

3. We see the calling of a tax collector named Levi. Matthew gives us his other name as “Matthew,” and we see the connection. Why is it relevant? Tax collectors are societal outcasts, just as they were then. This shows us that Jesus accepted those who were outcast by convention as much as He did those outcast by their sin. He drew in those alienated from humanity and those alienated from God.

4. We see the disciples and Jesus feasting, rather than fasting. There is a time for both. Weep that Christ had to die for you, but celebrate that He is risen! He is risen indeed!

5. We see Jesus pointing out that times change, and once o…

Sermon Recap for October 5

Good morning! Here are the sermons from Sunday, October 5, at Almyra Baptist Church. Next week, I should return to the more expanded outlines.

Morning Sermon: Temptation Luke 4:1-13 Luke4:1-13 -Temptation
I. The First Temptation: Self-pity
II. The Second Temptation: Self-determination
III. The Third Temptation: Self-centering Scripture
Temptation: Luke 4:1-13 from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.

Evening Sermon: The Sabbath Mark 2:23-28 Mark 2:23-28 -RestAND worship, the purpose of the Sabbath
1. Acknowledge shift from Sabbath to Lord's Day

2. Purposes--serving the Lord, worship, renewal

October 5 PM from Doug Hibbard on Vimeo.

Concluding 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 current equipment. 3. If you want to subscribe, here’s a list: A. iTunes for audio subscription link is here.
B. General Audio RSS feed for other programs is here.
C. If you’re a Stitcher User, the…

Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2014

In the last five years, a trend has risen of pastors deliberately poking the IRS bear. This trend began with Alliance Defending Freedom offering free legal aid to any church threatened by the IRS over their action, so more and more are taking ADF up on the offer. First, perhaps some background.Going back to the 1950s, the law in the United States establishing income tax regulations and exemptions for non-profits has had a section, called the Johnson Amendment, that requires non-profits to avoid direct political participation. This was intended to prevent religious groups from using their tax-exempt status to politically fundraise without having to deal with election law. It was also authored by a Senator who had just barely won re-election and had been consistently called out for sinful and unethical behavior by churches and pastors in his home state. Lyndon Johnson, upon his return to the Senate, then made sure the tax laws prohibited churches and pastors from directly attacking him …