Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things that make me go hmmm

I received another comment from a spammer suggesting readers go Google a site containing MacPherson’s anti-Darby propaganda. The comment began with “Just ran across your interesting blog…” That person had already posted the same diatribe here before but they must have lost track of blogs they’d spammed. They also suggested that I owed Dave MacPherson and Joe Ortiz an apology regarding one of my posts.

Ortiz has an activist blog that’s dedicated to promoting MacPherson’s agenda. Not that long ago he posted a segment of a sentence from Margaret MacDonald’s vision that he claimed was new data from MacPherson proving she had a pre-trib vision. I was alerted to this by another spammer who was promoting Ortiz’s blog.

One tiny problem - there wasn’t any new data.

That portion of sentence was lifted from MacDonald’s vision which has been available for years. Taken in a section it’s ambiguous but taken in context it isn’t pretribulational. Furthermore, statements in the rest of the vision clearly show that MacDonald believed the Church would be tested by the Antichrist. Ortiz must have known that and yet he still deceitfully contrived to only show that portion of the vision while disregarding the statements that unmistakably contradicted his allegations.

I was reading at a forum where one of the contributors called pre-trib a satanic doctrine from Hell. This person owns a blog that’s peppered with this same sort of vitriol against pretribbers. A more recent post contains the following insightful remarks:

“Here's some more bad news for the pre-tribulation rapture cult that is losing its popularity as more people are having their eyes opened that I ran across by accident that will make satan's (sic) little helpers shake in their boots. These deluded people, refuse to believe the truth of God's Word, and think they are the elites of all of Christianity, believing they will be secretly removed from the earth before the great tribulation to escape the persecution promised the saints of God all through the Bible, except, of course, for "them”…God doesn't keep His children in darkness; that is satan's (sic) plan. Actually, nothing happens by accident for a Bible believing Christian and the Lord must have wanted this little gem to get more exposure. ”

Pardon me while I quake in my “pre-tribulation rapture cult” boots.

The article she references is from a pre-wrath blog and is a gibe at KJB only pretribulationists. The inference is that if the author of that Bible’s margin note on Matt 24:31 (linking it to rapture passages) was a translator and the KJB only translators and translation are divinely inspired, then the rapture occurs at that verse.

Of course, the KJB only guys would probably argue that the inspiration was limited to translation and not doctrine if that doctrine disagreed with their view. Also, Matt 24:31 occurs at the end of Daniel’s 70th week, not three quarters of the way through it.

About four years ago I was given a link to a non pre-trib website and encouraged to study that rapture view. The web mistress has a section addressing some pre-trib “problems”. At the end she welcomes comments and questions from pretribbers.

Later on I learned that Jason Hommel of Silver Stock Report sent a detailed response which can be read online. I contacted him to ask whether she got back to him. She hadn’t. He suggested I try as well.

I answered her questions and then I pointed out what I deemed to be problem areas in her system which I felt needed clarifying. There was no reply. That website still invites comments and one might conclude that pretribbers have no adequate answers to her probing issues. One might be wrong.

On one prophecy forum someone once asked why pretribbers were so adamant that they were right. Judging by his insistence regarding his own view, one might have asked the same question of himself, but it seems the irony was lost on him.

Like I said; things that make me go hmmm.

Note: I should point out that most disp. pretribulationists do not believe that the rapture is only for "them".

The Rapture Plot

Manuel Lacunza Conspiracy?

The King James Only Debate

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Hermeneutic of Reinterpretation

It’s no wonder we have so many differences in understanding Scripture. Take these quotes for example:

The Old Testament must be interpreted by the New Testament. In principle it is quite possible that the prophecies addressed originally to literal Israel describing physical blessings have their fulfillment exclusively in the spiritual blessings enjoyed by the church. It is also possible that the Old Testament expectation of a kingdom on earth could be reinterpreted by the New Testament altogether of blessings in the spiritual realm. (Historic premillennialist George Ladd)

But eschatological themes are reinterpreted in the New Testament, where we are told these Old Testament images are types and shadows of the glorious realities that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ…This [literal interpretation of the Bible] leaves dispensationalists frequently stuck in the awkward position of insisting on an Old Testament interpretation of a prophetic theme that has been reinterpreted in the New Testament in the light of the messianic age which dawned in Jesus Christ. (Amillennialist Kim Riddlebarger)

Jesus and the apostles reinterpreted the Old Testament…Their selective and dualistic hermeneutic leads Christian Zionists to ignore how Jesus and the apostles reinterpreted the Old Testament. (Anti-Zionist Stephen Sizer)

Jesus spent His whole ministry redefining what the kingdom meant. He refused to give up the symbolic language of the kingdom, but filled it with such a new content that, as we have seen, he powerfully subverted Jewish expectations. (Theologian N. T. Wright)

Redefining? Re-interpreting? These “theologians” are dead serious! I’ve been reading self-proclaimed ex-dispie Kim Riddlebarger’s “A Case for Amillennialism” and have a potential bald spot from where I’ve been scratching my head re his methodology.

The OT has some specific and detailed statements that address the future of Israel. If the NT redefines or re-interprets these then it is nothing more than abrogation.

If Ladd is correct that the NT reinterprets the OT, his hermeneutic does raise some serious questions. How can the integrity of the OT text be maintained? In what sense can the OT really be called a revelation in its original meaning? (Paul Feinberg)

If NT reinterpretation reverses, cancels, or seriously modifies OT promises to Israel, one wonders how to define the word "progressive.‟ God‟s faithfulness to His promises to Israel must also be explained… It appears exceedingly doubtful that the NT reinterprets the OT. . . . This comes perilously close to conflicting with such NT passages as Matt 5:18 and John 10:35b. (David L Turner)

The quotes above have been taken from an article at Mike Vlach’s website. You can read it HERE.

Dr Paul Henebury makes some observations of his own. Here’s one of them:

By assuming, without sufficient warrant, that the New Testament must be used to [re]interpret the Old Testament, CT in practice denies to the OT its own perspicuity, its own integrity as inspired revelation, and creates a “canon within a canon.”

Read the rest of Dr Henebury's post HERE.