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Lord of the Rings, or Christ and the resurrection?

“Oh, my goodness, is it possible that everything that is sad is going to become untrue?”

Bob Hiller
Bob Hiller
  • Community Lutheran Church
  • Contact: 3575 East Valley Parkway, Escondido/ 340 Rancheros Drive Suite 160
  • San Marcos 760-739-1650 www.clcfamily.org
  • Membership: 500 (Escondido and San Marcos campuses)
  • Pastor: Bob Hiller 
  • Age: 39
  • Born: Aurora, CO
  • Formation: Concordia University, Irvine, CA; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Years Ordained: 13

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Bob Hiller: Forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life and hope. Jesus gives us all of those things. I am becoming more and more convinced that there is nowhere else in the culture where we can find something as free as the forgiveness of sins – where someone else has done all the work to give us love and mercy. God alone has done this for us in Jesus Christ. We sinned against God, and he’s forgiven us everything by paying the penalty from the cross; and he rises from the dead to promise that all death and evil is conquered — all that is evil is going to be undone, and there is hope beyond our imagining. Everything is so divided and sour these days that to have some real legitimate hope – I think it’s a joy to preach.

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PH: Community Lutheran is where you hear God’s word in worship, learn God’s word in Bible study, and care for everyone God gives you. In hearing God’s word, we focus on worship on Sunday mornings and believe God is doing stuff to us in the preaching of his word and the administration of the sacraments; so to be a disciple of Jesus is to hear what he has to say and be formed by it.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PH: The strangest place we find God is in water – in baptism — and in bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper, and in words on the pages of scripture. Not that God is forced into a box, but it’s the place where he promised to meet us. …It’s very strange. It’s not peyote in the desert, which would be kind of fun, I’m sure; in fact, it’s pretty mundane – the wine doesn’t taste very good and the wafers are kind of stale. But Christ made a promise – so we trust the promise.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PH: We had a professor in seminary who would say that heaven is great but it’s not the end of the world…. Those who have faith in Christ, who have trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, will be brought into the new heavens and new earth to live with Christ for all eternity, and for those who have not have had faith in Christ and rejected Christ or persisted in their sins, they will be cast into hell, whatever that is. There’s a great line in the Lord of the Rings when Samwise Gamgee wakes up after he and Frodo got rid of the ring and everything is saved, and he looks around him and sees all these people around him that he thought were dead and gone, and only he and Frodo left. He says something like, “Oh, my goodness, is it possible that everything that is sad is going to become untrue?” That’s our view of the resurrection. God is going to take this world that is so wrecked and torn apart with sin, and he’ll make it all right again – everything that is sad will become untrue.

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Bob Hiller
Bob Hiller
  • Community Lutheran Church
  • Contact: 3575 East Valley Parkway, Escondido/ 340 Rancheros Drive Suite 160
  • San Marcos 760-739-1650 www.clcfamily.org
  • Membership: 500 (Escondido and San Marcos campuses)
  • Pastor: Bob Hiller 
  • Age: 39
  • Born: Aurora, CO
  • Formation: Concordia University, Irvine, CA; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Years Ordained: 13

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Bob Hiller: Forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life and hope. Jesus gives us all of those things. I am becoming more and more convinced that there is nowhere else in the culture where we can find something as free as the forgiveness of sins – where someone else has done all the work to give us love and mercy. God alone has done this for us in Jesus Christ. We sinned against God, and he’s forgiven us everything by paying the penalty from the cross; and he rises from the dead to promise that all death and evil is conquered — all that is evil is going to be undone, and there is hope beyond our imagining. Everything is so divided and sour these days that to have some real legitimate hope – I think it’s a joy to preach.

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PH: Community Lutheran is where you hear God’s word in worship, learn God’s word in Bible study, and care for everyone God gives you. In hearing God’s word, we focus on worship on Sunday mornings and believe God is doing stuff to us in the preaching of his word and the administration of the sacraments; so to be a disciple of Jesus is to hear what he has to say and be formed by it.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PH: The strangest place we find God is in water – in baptism — and in bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper, and in words on the pages of scripture. Not that God is forced into a box, but it’s the place where he promised to meet us. …It’s very strange. It’s not peyote in the desert, which would be kind of fun, I’m sure; in fact, it’s pretty mundane – the wine doesn’t taste very good and the wafers are kind of stale. But Christ made a promise – so we trust the promise.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PH: We had a professor in seminary who would say that heaven is great but it’s not the end of the world…. Those who have faith in Christ, who have trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, will be brought into the new heavens and new earth to live with Christ for all eternity, and for those who have not have had faith in Christ and rejected Christ or persisted in their sins, they will be cast into hell, whatever that is. There’s a great line in the Lord of the Rings when Samwise Gamgee wakes up after he and Frodo got rid of the ring and everything is saved, and he looks around him and sees all these people around him that he thought were dead and gone, and only he and Frodo left. He says something like, “Oh, my goodness, is it possible that everything that is sad is going to become untrue?” That’s our view of the resurrection. God is going to take this world that is so wrecked and torn apart with sin, and he’ll make it all right again – everything that is sad will become untrue.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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