Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Beast that is Anti-Semitism

This is a recent piece I wrote for the Omega Letter and my website:
Racism can be like an incurable spreading cancer. It will eventually kill the body it invades. It’s a Beast which has consumed White Supremacists, Neo Nazis and other groups. But racism doesn’t always wear white hoods and cloaks. Its tentacles reach a much broader base.
Before I go on, I should acknowledge that some people do not like the term “race.” Sometimes it has been used to classify people of certain ethnicities as a sub-species. We are all made in God’s image (Gen 1:26). That said, for the sake of simplicity I’m using the term race as meaning ethnicity.
Not all white people are racist, even though some think it is wired in. Moreover racism isn’t confined to white people. As a new “white” Australian, many years ago, I experienced a mild form of it. But it wasn’t representative of the larger community...keep reading

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Some time ago I reviewed Rosaria Butterfield's book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert:
Not long after I left my New Age past behind me, I came across an article about homosexuality and Christian evangelism. The author was a celibate Christian who left the homosexual lifestyle after he was saved. The theme of his essay advised Christians as to how best to evangelize those caught up in same-sex attraction and lifestyle. He wrote that it was best to first lovingly introduce Jesus Christ to the sinner rather than immediately confronting the person with his or her sin. At no point did he condone the practice – it was about first introducing the Sinner to the Savior.
This approach struck a chord with me. I’d been conditioned by my past to accept homosexuality as a natural (not sinful) alternative expression of sexuality. My collection of New Age books included one authored by Mystic Andrew Harvey who had dedicated it to his husband. I had learned to empathize with the struggles he’d encountered even within the New Age movement...keep reading

Friday, July 28, 2017

Every Promise Fulfilled in Christ?

Great pithy response by Eschatos Ministries to Thomas Schreiner. Read it HERE

PS: I'm seeing amil responses to Matt Waymeyer's Amillennialism and the Age to Come pop up here and there. I'd like to say more as I find time. These responses are frustrating when they appeal to assorted gotcha verses taken out of context.

One fellow wrote that he'd grown up being taught that pretrib and premil were gospel truth. But after examining every text on the Second Advent he concluded that amillennialism was what Scripture taught. Funny, I was raised in an amil environment and came to a premil conclusion after study. This included reading both premil and amil works.

It seems patently obvious that the amillennialist must consistently work hard to convince that prophetic texts are saying something entirely different to what one plainly reads. I can confidently say that I'd be more likely to come to a premil conclusion had I not read anything other than the Bible. Moreover, I'd rather defend what seems plainly presented - without the decoder ring.

90 Minutes of Evidence for the Global Flood

Very technical (for me). Also very interesting presentation by Dr. Kurt Wise:
One of the challenges of understanding flood geology is grasping what the Flood did to the surface of the earth. In the film, many of the scientists talk about the enormous sediment layers covering the globe, but we only had a few minutes to introduce this very important topic.
During the 2017 IGH Conference, Dr. Kurt Wise explored the impact of the Flood on the earth in a series of three in-depth lectures. This lecture on the “study of sediment,” the first in the series, is an excellent overview of the unique features of the sedimentary shell covering the earth.  It provides an enormous amount of evidence for the reality of the global flood.
This is an excellent semi-technical talk for understanding the results of the Flood.
Watch it HERE

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dawkins Blackballed for his Views on Islam

Richard Dawkins was scheduled to give a talk at Berkeley. It was canceled because of his criticism of "Islamism." Read the Patheos article HERE.

Dawkins:
I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?
PS I know this is a contentious issue, especially recently with the kerfuffle involving Dr James White and his critics. We often use the term "Islamism" or "Islamist" as a way to differentiate from Islam. However, I believe that these two terms are rightfully connected with the Islam which Muhammad created. Terrorism is the fruit of Islam.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Salvation in the Old Testament and Clearer Revelation

The Banner of Truth website is a great place to visit. I've benefited greatly from their materials. They just put out two articles discussing salvation in the Old Testament.

Part One

Part Two

The following in Part Two caught my attention:
CLEARER REVELATION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Thus the Old Testament is not corrected by the New Testament but is rather more clearly explained and expanded in light of New Testament revelation. The New Testament is in the Old Testament contained, and the Old is in the New explained. (underline mine)
My church's reformed pastor recently did a sermon on Psalm 130. I was intrigued as to how he'd handle the verses which mention Israel. Most reformed commentators find ways to Christianize the Psalms. To his credit, he went to Romans 9 and 11. He said a face-value take on these verses addresses the salvation of the Jews. Sadly, he also said he didn't think this meant the nation Israel. So close yet he missed it.

"...and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." Rom 11:27

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah Jer 31:31

Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): "If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the LORD. Jer 31:35-37

Does clearer revelation and expansion involve a change of the OT meaning? Considering the folk at Banner are mostly amil-postmil, they do not necessarily see a prophetic future for national Israel. So, to borrow a line from Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Despite Banner's comment above, they do not do the Old Testament very well where it speaks of future promises to national Israel. In this case, they place their theological grid over both Testaments.

Mike Vlach: Theology III Lecture 09 "Salvation in the Old and New Testaments"

Sunday, July 2, 2017

the last days of dispensationalism

A few years ago I began to research anti-Zionism. I wanted to know what the anti-Christian Zionism folk were saying and why they believed what they believed. Why were they against the future fulfillment of national promises to Israel when so many Bible passages appeared to confirm them?

So I read a bunch of books and articles to try to understand their reasons. Fortunately none of these were overly academic; hence over my head. But they did tax my patience. It seemed to me that these folk passed the same notes around. They all worked to the same formulas as if they had attended the same class under the same teacher.

Anyway, one of the most aggravating books I came across was "the last days of dispensationalism - a scholarly critique of popular misconceptions" by New Zealand scholar Alistair W. Donaldson. I'm pretty darn sure he shared the same class notes as Stephen Sizer, who wrote the book's Foreword. I talk about it HERE

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Size and Nature of New Jerusalem

Back in April Alan Kurschner featured an article on Janet Willits' book What On Earth Is Heaven Like? A Look at God’s City: New Jerusalem. I first came across the concept in Erwin Lutzer's book The King is Coming, and mentioned it on Zeteo 3:16. I'm glad someone else has picked this idea up. One shouldn't be dogmatic, of course.

Read the article at Eschatos Ministries

Incidentally, Alan has also weighed into the Rev 12 theory promoted by Scottie Clark and others. While I'd love to believe that Christ comes for us a few days after my Birthday (September), this sort of speculation ultimately harms prophecy. Yes, they say they're not date-setting etc. But they're pushing this theory too hard without any scriptural or astronomical basis. Read the article HERE

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Christocentric Hermeneutics & OT Reinterpretation

I put together a few helpful links on topics related to interpretation etc on Zeteo 3:16. These resources come from Dr. Reluctant's blog, Michael Vlach and Abner Chou on Christocentric Hermeneutics (see video below).

Can Old Testament verses speaking of Israel be legitimately reinterpreted by the New? Can we trust what we plainly read in the Old Testament or do we need some kind of decoder ring? One frustration I continuously come across is the Covenant Theologian’s claim that the Old Testament is reinterpreted by the New. I see it in some of the otherwise great CT books I read. Whether it’s Israel in the Psalms or the prophets, somehow the prophetic blessing and meaning gets transferred to the church. In many of these cases, the Old Testament is typically reinterpreted by the New. Some CTs don’t like using the word “reinterpret” so they’ll appeal to other devices like “fulfilled by Christ or in the church.” Upon being challenged by several OT texts, Gary Burge once told Michael Rydelnik that we must think “Christianly.” In other words, forget the OT meaning...keep reading



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dispensationalism Before Darby & Other Thoughts

I've previously mentioned and reviewed Dr. William Watson's book Dispensationalism Before Darby. He was recently interviewed by Mike Spaulding of Soaring Eagle Radio.

As expected, several pretrib skeptics - and one UK blogger (see addendum below) - have tried to diminish his work. From their objections and comments, it's obvious they haven't read the book. It's important to note that Watson's work was never intended to prove pre-Darby pretribulationism as we know it today. However, he clearly shows how others before Darby began thinking along similar lines re "dispensations", Israel and various rapture models. Those who use the "recent origin" or "Darby invented it" criticisms of pretribulationism ought to consider that their understanding of the 70th week is also fairly modern.

As a side note, Dr. Watson makes some interesting brief comments regarding the mid-trib rapture. Though I disagree with it, I often wonder why this view hasn't got more supporters.

He tells us that there's more historical data mining being done. Expect more material from earlier centuries emerging in a new book by Dr. Watson, and at least one other scholar. Listen to the interview HERE

Along the same lines, I recently did some more ax grinding. It's almost inevitable that eschatology draws heated passion and debate. Why?

Even one of my favorite writers (Sinclair Ferguson) has indulged in a little dig at pretrib. That said, amillennialists like Ferguson generally avoid division. They regularly join hands with the likes of premil John MacArthur in their mutual love for Christ and the gospel. I appreciate that. On the other hand, some have dedicated their lives (or a good portion) to eradicating the "false teaching of pretribulationism." I really don't get it.

Finally, Thomas Ice and Paul Wilkinson spent some time responding to Joe Schimmel, Joel Richardson and Jacob Prasch's Left Behind or Led Astray? documentary. Some people will consider the rebuttal far too long and won't watch it. Others may harbor ill-conceived notions about John Darby which they'll want to hang onto. That would be a pity. As for length, LBLA went for over four hours. Now that's dedication for ya!

Fair minded people should watch this rebuttal to LBLA. Many of the ubiquitous accusations leveled at Darby are plain wrong. No, he didn't teach two ways of salvation. Yet this comes up time and time again. There is also some interesting material regarding the relationship between Darby, Newton and Tregelles. Some of this I was already aware of.

LBLA was a contradictory, error laden, and non-objective hit piece against Darby and pretribulationism. Watch the rebuttal HERE

See also Did Edward Irving Invent the Pre-Trib Rapture View?

Addendum:

My ax grinding article was also featured as an Omega Letter column. It resulted in a website contact form asking my opinion: "GFM's DVD Survives Paul Wilkinson's Attack" which I saw on Treena Gisborn's UK blog "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing."

Of course, Gisborn's blog is the one which I was referring to above. Unless people have a specific error in the rebuttal videos that Gisborn highlights, don't bother pointing to her blog here.

Monergism Response to Rachel Held Evans

Evans' name came up in a Facebook interaction recently. A young professing Christian woman posted something to the effect: "How can I make Christ the center of my World when I don't even like Him or the people in His club?"

I interacted with the lady when a few of us did a brief study of Romans together. At the time she seemed zealous and fired up to learn Scripture. What happened to her over the course of six years? I have no idea what her circumstances are or what she's been through, as we're not friends. I can only hazard some educated guesses.

This is a person who seriously needs the Lord, prayer and some good pastoral counselling. What makes this even sadder is that no Christian in the subsequent comments defended Christ. All that girl got was a recommendation to read Rachel Held Evans' materials. What a tragedy!

Who is Evans? Why is she such a danger to the church? Monergism responds HERE

Germane: This is what we’re up against

Saturday, June 10, 2017

James Montgomery Boice & the Rapture

Rapture article by Boice. I disagree with a number of things he states; nevertheless, he makes some interesting observations. Boice is pretribulational. For example:
Paul’s main points clearly were that the present suffering of the Christians at Thessalonica was not the tribulation prophesied  in the Old Testament and taught by himself, that the final tribulation would not come until after the Christians were caught up to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the air, therefore, that the coming of Christ rather than the final judgment should be uppermost in the minds of believers.
And this:
(1) First of all, the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ should be an incentive to godly living. That is the point Jesus Himself made when talking about His return in Matthew 24. The chapter is filled with imperatives: “See that no one leads you astray” (v. 4); “See that you are not alarmed” (v. 6), “flee to the mountains” (v. 16); “pray” (v. 20); “do not believe it” (vv. 23, 26); “learn” (v. 32); “know” (v. 33). Jesus concluded with the warning, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44). The apostle John, who undoubtedly heard the Lord on this occasion, later made the identical point in one of his letters, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who this hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3)
This thought should affect every aspect of your personal life — your prayer life, your choices in the area of ethics and morals, even your social concerns. Lord Shaftesbury, the great English social reformer and a mature Christian, said near the end of his life, “I do not think that in the last forty years I have ever lived one conscious hour that was not influenced by the thought of our Lord’s return.” In his case, the expectation of meeting Jesus was undoubtedly one of the strongest motives behind his social programs.
Are you looking for Christ’s return? In an earlier study of this same subject I once wrote:
If you are motivated by prejudice against other Christians or others in general, whether they are black or white, rich or poor, cultured or culturally naive, or whatever they may be–then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If you are contemplating some sin, perhaps a dishonest act in business, perhaps trifling with sex outside marriage, perhaps cheating on your income tax return–then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If your life is marked by a contentious, divisive spirit in which you seek to tear down the work of another person instead of building it up–then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If you first protect your own interests and neglect to give food, water, or nothing to the needy as we are instructed to do in Christ’s name–then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you (James Montgomery Boice, Philippians: An Expositional Commentary [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971], p. 249).
Read the article HERE

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dispensational Discourse with Dr. Paul Martin Henebury

From Dispensational Publishing House. Great interview:
Editor’s Note: Dr. Paul Martin Henebury describes himself as “both an adherent and dismayed critic” of dispensationalism. If you do not know what he means by that, you should take the time to learn. There is much more to his understanding of these issues than we will be able to present in this article, but we hope to provide additional avenues for Paul to explain his views in the future—so stay tuned. Paul is an incredibly intelligent and gifted writer and teacher. He reads widely and thinks deeply, and we are blessed to work with him and to bring his thoughts to you in this edition of our monthly interview called “A Dispensational Discourse.” We are focusing here on the development of dispensational theology, and we mean that in more than one sense. I hope that you will be intrigued by what follows—and leave searching for more material from this good friend and great theological scholar...keep reading
As a side note, watch Dr. Henebury's video The Covenant Program - Pre-Noahic Covenant 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Nation with No Land?

From Dan Starcevich's new blog (hope he writes more):
The relationship between God, Israel, and the land has been a topic of theological and geo-political significance since the establishment of the Abrahamic Covenant in approximately 1900 B.C.  With the birth of the modern state of Israel on 14 May 1948 questions about God, Israel, and the land have taken on new urgency for both politics, academia, and the popular press. Politically, Israel’s right to occupy their biblical homeland is under diplomatic and military assault.  In the academy, recent studies deny that God has made an eternal promise to provide and preserve a homeland for Israel.  In addition, books aimed at a popular audience, blogs, and ministry leaders are also denying that God has committed Himself to the preservation of a land for Israel...keep reading
Dan mentions Munther Isaac. I've also written about him. See HERE

Monday, June 5, 2017

God Took Me by the Hand

Thought this was a great article to read and re-read. Note the mention of George Smeaton. See also HERE.
Jerry Bridges died in his 86th year earlier this year. I once or twice shared the speaking duties with him at a couple of conferences and enjoyed getting to know him. He wrote a little autobiography ‘God Took Me By the Hand’ which threw light on his humble origins in the depression years of the 1920s in the USA...He was born with four physical defects; he was cross-eyed, deaf in his right ear, and he had deformities in his breastbone and spine. His parents were financially poor, education dropouts, and religiously and socially isolated...keep reading 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Remembering MacGyver

Some old personal stuff....

Remembering MacGyver…No, this isn’t about remembering MacGyver – the popular TV series which starred Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver was my German Shepherd Dog.

The decision to call him MacGyver came well before I met him. I suppose it was because I’ve always liked the name Mac. The problem was that “Mac” was a popular name for dogs. So I wanted my future pet’s name to be a little different. He was going to be called MacGyver. Well, that was the plan. Of course he ended up being called Mac….just like all the other Macs...keep reading

lies we believe about God

Dr. Paul Henebury reviews William Paul Young's book HERE

Part Two.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Modern Israel as Proof of God’s Existence?

Is it possible to use modern Israel as proof of God’s existence? Recently a friend posed me that interesting question. As he noted, most Christian apologists currently debating atheists tend to be amillennial (and postmillennial). Therefore it wouldn’t be natural for them to use events such as Israel’s restoration in 1948 as an apologetic proof. But he wanted to know if I was aware of any examples of dispensationalists using fulfilled prophecies about Israel as an apologetics tool against atheists. Aside from the odd mention of prophetic proofs in various prophecy books, I couldn’t think of a formal example where anyone pointed to prophecy in a debate with an atheist...keep reading

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rapture: it’s no secret

Another one from Cripplegate sure to attract interesting comments...click here

Addendum:

Note also the more recent article 3 reasons Revelation 12:5 describes the pre-triublational rapture. This is Michael Svigel's view. I first came across it several years ago when I was researching. I found it unconvincing, and even contra-dispensational hermeneutics. It has had prominence of late because of some speculation about celestial events in September this year. Could this be the rapture? Pass the popcorn around.

Most pretribbers I know don't buy into this. Unfortunately some have. So you can bet your bottom dollar it will be used to criticize the system. Rev 12 is about Israel, not the rapture. Why read something into a passage which isn't there? See Tony Garland's Commentary on Revelation.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Charles Spurgeon's Eschatology

On page 54 of Marvin Rosenthal's book The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, he cites a list of past "godly believers" who didn't hold to pretribulationism. Among those he mentions are John Knox, the Wesleys, Matthew Henry, John Calvin, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon and a bunch of others.

Of course most of these godly believers weren't even premillennial, as Rosenthal is. None of them were prewrath rapturists either. Despite this, apparently Robert Van Kampen tried to enlist Spurgeon's thinking as somewhat in line with his view. Spurgeon was premillennial and posttribulational. However, he was also a Covenant Theologian and held to some Historicist thinking.

Dennis Swanson comments on Spurgeon's eschatology in the following article. I agree with some of Swanson's criticisms of Van Kampen here:
In the discussion of the various aspects of systematic theology, perhaps none has seen more ink spilt in the last 100 years than eschatology. Those who have "specialized" in this field are well-known and equally well- published; however, when the discussion of eschatology comes up, the name of one of the most published Christians in the history of the church1, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), is seldom mentioned. There are, of course, many reasons for this, not the least of which was Spurgeon's own lack of emphasis on the subject in his own ministry, as was common in his day...keep reading

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Political Pope

I haven't got time to comment on this but the article linked to below is by George Neumayr, the author of The Political Pope. TPP is on my future reading list. You can read an excerpt HERE

Excerpts from Neuamyr's article on the pope's new Jesuit Head:
But Sosa’s ambitions, like Pope Francis’s, go well beyond meddling in economies. He is also pushing a moral revolution in the Church, evident in his astonishing claim that, since none of the Apostles tape-recorded Jesus Christ, his words on adultery can be elastically re-interpreted.
 “You need to start by reflecting on what exactly Jesus said,” Sosa told an Italian interviewer in February. “At that time, no one had a tape recorder to capture the words. What we know is that the words of Jesus have to be contextualized, they’re expressed in a certain language, in a precise environment, and they’re addressed to someone specific.”
In other words, Sosa is confident that he understands Jesus’s meaning better than the Gospel writers. Like Francis, Sosa can’t resist the mumbo-jumbo of Modernist biblical scholarship, which always manages to dovetail conveniently with liberal views.
According to Arturo Sosa Abascal:
The Church has developed over the centuries, it is not a piece of reinforced concrete. It was born, it has learned, it has changed. This is why the ecumenical councils are held, to try to bring developments of doctrine into focus. Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development...keep reading
What makes Neumayr's book and articles interesting is that he is an informed Roman Catholic who sees Bergoglio as a game changer and political activist.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Rapture & The End Times

Two hours of discussion from Moody Radio, with Michael Rydelnik, John Hart and Kevin Zuber.

Click HERE

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Life, Death, Resurrection: The Minister’s Priorities

From Cripplegate:
“For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.”  2 Corinthians 5:2–4
In these verses, we get a view of the faithful Christian minister’s perspective on life and death, as encapsulated by Paul’s experience. And the first thing you notice is that he prefers the next life over this one. He has a holy dissatisfaction with this life, and a holy longing and yearning for the next. He speaks twice of groaning—a present tense verb indicating continuous action. “We go on groaning, continuously being burdened with the longing to be rid of this body, and to be clothed with the resurrection body.” The faithful servant of Christ has not formed an adulterous attachment to the present life and the present world. He is not at home in this body, such that his life is marked by comfort and ease. She is a stranger, a sojourner in a foreign land, and so life in this present body is marked by groaning...keep reading

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Master's Seminary Spring 2017 Journal

The Spring 2017 TMS Journal can be read HERE

Or individual articles HERE

Topics discussed:

The Reformers and the Original Languages: Calvin and Luther on the Importance of Greek and Hebrew in Theology and Ministry

Is Christ the Fulfillment of National Israel’s Prophecies? Yes and No!

Matthew 5:5 and the Old Testament Land Promises: An Inheritance of the Earth or the Land of Israel?

The Vernacular Consciousness: Modernism’s Influence on Postcolonial Contextualization

Book Reviews

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Parkside Church Basics Conference

The Parkside Church Basics Conference was geared to pastors, but there's something there for us all.

Click Here

Thursday, May 11, 2017

James White on Hanegraaff & Hatmaker

James White catches up on the Hanegraaff conversion to Orthodoxy and the recent Jen Hatmaker controversy.

Note: Dr. White announces that Hank has a serious cancer and needs prayer. In the Hatmaker portion of the video, White mentions his daughter's response to Hatmaker and Merritt. You can read it HERE


Apologize for Israel and Balfour?

There has always been the sentiment among some groups that the Balfour Declaration has led to victimization of the Palestinian people. They say it was a mistake, and that we should attempt to make amends.

Christian scholars such as Stephen Sizer, Colin Chapman, Gary Burge and others have been spinning this yarn for years in conferences and books. Recently, some of the chatter got louder. This may be due to the pro-Israel Trump administration’s interest in making the ultimate deal – Peace in the Middle East...keep reading

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who are the 144,000?

Who are the 144,000 of Revelation chapter seven? Well, when all else fails, what does the text say about them?

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. Rev 7:4-8

These verses indicate that these individuals are from the tribes of Israel. However, many conflate the 144, 000 with the church. An article on B & H Academic presents some arguments used against identifying the 144,000 as literal members of Israel...keep reading

Also from The Cripplegate: Why 144,000 means 144,000

The comments, as always, are interesting. One person said:
"Christ used a literal-grammtical-historical hermeneutic." He did?
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"? Or "I am the bread of life. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life"? Or, "My flesh is true food, and my blood true drink."
This point is inevitably evoked in discussions like this. It's almost as if they've never been responded to. Of course dispensationalists (and Biblical Covenantalists) acknowledge symbolism etc. The issue here is context and I believe the point was indirectly answered in the article. If the 144,000 and the great multitude are one and the same then why mention two different categories? It is notable that our amil-postmil friends are busily telling us that particular texts aren't saying what they seem to be saying!

I highly recommend Matt Waymeyer's  Amillennialism and the Age to Come

BTW, Sam Waldron has started a series of critiques of Waymeyer's book. He'll have to selectively touch on salient points because the book is information-dense. Readers can make up their own minds whether Waldron's responses justify amil.

As for me, I'll repeat what I said above: the natural reading supports premillennialism throughout the Bible. Only the premil view does justice to what Scripture states re Israel and the covenants and God's Future Kingdom. A covenant keeping God must bring in a period of time where Israel's kingdom is restored (Acts 1:6-7). National Israel  was promised to be a nation forever (Jer 31). The amil view must consistently render a different meaning to the natural in order to support its view.

See also Paul Henebury's series on Replacement Theology.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Evangelicalism vs Eastern Orthodoxy

What are some of the differences between Evangelicalism and Eastern Orthodoxy? And in what way are they important to Christians?

Some time ago the evangelical world went abuzz with the news that Hank Hanegraaff had converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It’s not that unusual for an evangelical to leave the “Protestant” faith and convert to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. Of course, there are examples of Catholics who have become Protestants. Naturally, whenever this happens, the side who receives the convert into its fold celebrates a victory...keep reading

Friday, April 14, 2017

Facing Death With Faith

Recent Zeteo 3:16 post:
What if you discovered that you only had a short time to live? How would you react? Would you face the prospect of death with dread and horror? Would your faith in the Lord give you comfort?
I’d like to think that I would follow my mother’s example. She was hospitalized when her lungs began to fail. Her body had shriveled down to skin and bones, and she died in that hospital soon after her 90th birthday. My mother knew she was facing death, yet she faced it with courage and faith. She looked forward to being with her Lord in heaven...keep reading

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hank Hanegraaff Converts to Greek Orthodox?

There are numerous reports circulating around that Hank Hanegraaff has converted to the Greek Orthodox tradition.

See HERE and HERE.

If these reports end up being incorrect, I'll include an update.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mike Vlach: Does Revelation 20:4 Teach an Intermediate State R...

Mike Vlach: Does Revelation 20:4 Teach an Intermediate State R...: by Michael J. Vlach Some who hold to amillennialism believe Revelation 20:4 is describing an intermediate state reign of the saints in he...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mike Vlach: Update on New Book on Dispensationalism

Mike Vlach: Update on New Book on Dispensationalism: by Michael J. Vlach I have finished a revision and update of my 2008 book, Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths . ...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shepherds' Conference 2017

Media from the 2017 Shepherds' Conference, February 28–March 3, 2017. The mission of the Shepherds' Conference is to provide the opportunity for men in church leadership to be challenged in their commitment to biblical ministry and to find encouragement as together we seek to become more effective servants of our chief Shepherd...click here

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thy Kingdom Come Michael Vlach

From the 2017 Shepherd's Conference. Click Here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mike Vlach on Luke 21:5-28

Interesting thoughts here. I've always appreciated Dr Vlach's humble approach:
Jesus’ Olivet Discourse discusses future events from the standpoint of Jesus and the apostles shortly before Jesus’ death. The contents of Jesus’ discourse are found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Jesus addresses the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, the sign of His coming, and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:5-7).
With this article I focus specifically on the Olivet Discourse as recorded in Luke 21:5-28. I present what I believe is the chronology of events that Jesus lays out ranging from the first century A.D. through the second coming of Jesus.
In doing this I understand that there is much debate on the chronology of the Olivet Discourse and it is rare for any two people to agree on all the details. This includes people who often agree on matters of eschatology, let alone those who disagree. So I suspect that many who read my understanding will differ with me, and that is fine. Below is not so much a full-blown defense of my understanding or a detailed interaction with other views, but a stating of how I view Luke 21 after studying this passage for years. In a nutshell, you can know how I interpret the events of Luke 21...keep reading

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bible Passages on the A.D. 70 Destruction of Jerusalem

From Michael Vlach's blog:
A.D. 70 witnessed the catastrophic destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple by the Romans. This is a historical fact and one that the Bible predicted. But the issue of which Bible passages predicted the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem is heavily debated. Put simply, there are many differing views and combinations concerning which Bible passages refer to the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem.
Even people who are closely aligned on most eschatological issues can have differing opinions on this. But below are the Bible passages I believe predicted the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Note that this is not a full discussion of the Olivet Discourse, nor do I explain why I do not include passages that others would use (such as Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation). Thus, what follows is more of a statement of how I view this matter more than a full blown defense of why I include these passages and do not include others...keep reading

The Grim Reality of the Last Days - John MacArthur


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

So You Want To Be Left Behind

Some ax grinding. I find it cathartic at times...
So you want to be Left Behind? You see no value in the escapist rapture? Warning: there may be the occasional sarcasm and ax grinding ahead.
The Left Behind books created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins drew no small criticism from bloggers when they first came out. While there was criticism of Jenkins’ popular style of writing, the real offense was the pretribulational rapture.
LaHaye quickly became the whipping boy of non-pretrib premil bloggers. Previously it was Hal Lindsey. One popular blogger emailed LaHaye with a bunch of “gotcha” questions – and followed up with his own book. If I had a dollar for every protest email sent to a pretrib teacher I’d be a wealthy man....keep reading

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Series on "Replacement Theology"

Paul Henebury is doing a series on whether it is correct to use the term "Replacement Theology." He's off to a good start. Read Part One HERE.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

He Will Reign Forever - A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God

An exciting new book by Dr. Michael Vlach.

See here.

“Without a doubt Michael Vlach’s new book He Will Reign: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God presents one of the best statements on the Kingdom of God.”

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Ph.D.
President Emeritus Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Hardback – 640 pages

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dispensational Discourse with Dr. Michael Vlach

Interview with Dr Michael Vlach re his views on dispensationalism.

Excerpts:
“I attended Roman Catholic schools from first grade through high school,” said Dr. Michael Vlach. “When I became a believer in Jesus Christ around age 15 in 1981, I attended a Pentecostal church that was dispensational in its theology. There was not much eschatology taught from the pulpit, but that church believed in a coming seven-year tribulation and a pretribulational rapture of the church.”...
“During the early 1990s, I was a dispensationalist but also was becoming more Reformed in my views of salvation. Since many Reformed theologians were anti-dispensational, I was curious why they rejected and even despised dispensationalism so much, and I was open to a certain degree to investigate and see if they had legitimate arguments against dispensationalism...keep reading

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Schuyler Canterbury Bible Review

I'm more of an NASB fan but this Bible looks so good...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Genesis 1:1 is the Most Offensive Verse in the Bible

Dan Phillips' debut at PJ Media:
Hello, PJ Media readers. Good to meet you!
This being my maiden voyage here, it would make sense to tell you a bit about myself and where I’ll be coming from. Or here’s an idea: show, don’t say! Instead, let’s talk about why Genesis 1:1 is the most offensive, infuriating verse in the Bible.
That’s right, the familiar “In the beginning” verse. Forget the ones about homosexuality, Hell, wifely submission, all the rest. Relatively small potatoes, every one of them. If you understand it correctly, Genesis 1:1 is the single verse that should send the modern mind into apoplectic fits of rage...keep reading

Monday, January 9, 2017

Professor John Sailhamer (1946-2017)

Dan Phillips:
Though I can't find any article or source beyond a tweet from Justin Taylor, I read there the sad news that towering OT scholar John Sailhamer has gone to be with the Lord, sometime this year.
I had the great privilege of taking a Hebrew class from John in the late 1970s, and even then he was amazing. Articulate, funny, low-key, utterly unpretentious, easy to talk to, encouraging. I can actually still hear his voice and casual rhythm of speech with memory's ear...keep reading