Sunday, September 28, 2014

Amillennialism & Revelation

Matt Waymeyer has done some good work responding to the amillennial view of Revelation. His little book Revelation 20 and the Millennial Debate is a must read. At only 129 pages it is packed with pointed information and arguments. The notes themselves are worth getting the book.

You can download and listen to his talk given at the 2010 Shepherd's Conference HERE. Lynda O has blogged on Waymeyer's presentation HERE.

Waymeyer has also written a couple of articles addressing Waldron and Storms HERE and HERE. The comments section is an interesting read. Note Fred Butler's comments on Ezekiel's Temple in the Waldron article.

Hat tip to Joel H for the following link: A Christian woman writes about her honest misgivings about the amillennial teaching in her church HERE

Dr Reluctant on Storm's Kingdom Come HERE. Further thoughts HERE

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Useful to the Master

Love Alistair Begg:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fred Butler on Internet Atheists

I thought the following was a decent article by Fred Butler of Hip & Thigh:

I wrote the following response a number of years ago on an Internet message board where I regularly frequented. Three atheists began posting disparaging comments against religion in general and Christianity specifically. The main atheistic poster who became my antagonist, was named Rob, but two other nameless friends joined him in befuddling and aggravating the Christians who also participated on this message board.

It is sad to say that none of the believers effectively answered their religious objections, nor offered any answer to their questions, even though the atheists were asking the same, re-treaded questions that all unbelieving, God rejecters have always asked. I was troubled by the inability of the Christians to offer any meaningful apologetic for their faith, as well as challenge the foolish unbelief of the atheists. In order to offer up a needed response to these anti-theists, as well as help the Christians learn to argue persuasively for Christianity, I wrote the following post...keep reading

This excerpt resonates with me:

First, is the typical “swarm your opponent” tactic. I have seen this done by Muslim apologists on other lists. The tactic is simple: The agitating unbeliever runs across a Christian posting board and posts a few smart aleck comments to stir the dander of the Christians. They respond with their comments to the unbeliever’s original post. The next time the Christians check back onto the board, however, they discover that the unbeliever must have gone down to his coffee shop/bookstore hangout and told 2 or 3 of his atheist buddies about this Christian message board and convinced them to post as well. It is assumed that swarming the Christians with several posts rehashing the same, lame questions unbelievers have asked over the centuries will somehow make Christianity appear foolish and establish the unbeliever’s position.

Another "swarming" tactic is to generate a large list of objections so that the subject of the attack needs to spend a considerable amount of time in refuting each point. If the objections aren't refuted then the "swarmer" claims victory.

Christians also use this tactic. A classic example is the 95 Theses Against Dispensationalism. Responding to these sorts of lists takes time and energy. Thankfully, Paul Henebury actually took the time to respond to that one HERE. Note his apologetics articles as well.

I've come across similar lists compiled by preterists and posttribulationists. These lists are invariably copied and pasted from some other source and pop up all over the place. People who generate these lists aren't really interested in a two-way dialogue unless it leads to scoring points at the expense of their victims.

P.S. Thought this was pretty good too:

A Sample List of Self-refuting Statements

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Analysis of Gentry & Wellum's Kingdom Through Covenant

This is a TMS article by Dr Michael Vlach:

In their book, Kingdom through Covenant, authors Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum offer what they consider to be a better approach for understanding God’s purposes than either dispensationalism or covenant theology. The purpose of this article is to give a critical review of their book, pointing out various strengths and weaknesses. While there is good information in the book about the biblical covenants, misunderstandings about typology and the role of Israel in God’s plans hinder the book from offering a better alternative than dispensationalism...keep reading

See also Paul Henebury's review:

Part One

Part Two

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Book on Israel & the Jews

We are living in a world that is increasingly hostile to both the modern state of Israel and the Jews. This hostility generally comes from Islamists and secular sources, but also from some Christians. There is a steady shift away from support for Israel within the churches. I am regularly seeing premillennialists in this shift.

In a previous post I mentioned a newly published book on Israel, the Land and the Jews. It is edited by Mitch Glaser of Chosen People Ministries and Darrell Bock.

The book features a large number of notable authors, each tackling diverse subjects concerning Israel. Each chapter is accessibly concise, yet packed with loads of information. Much of this information was new to me.

Given the times, this book is a very important contribution. You can buy it from Amazon, and can watch some of the videos of the 2013 Conference which resulted in the book HERE

The People, The land, and The Future of Israel

Foreword by Joel Rosenberg & Introduction by Mitch Glaser

Hebrew Scriptures

1) Israel according to the Torah - Eugene H Merrill
2) Israel according to the Writings - Walter C Kaiser
3) Israel according to the Prophets - Robert B Chisholm Jr.
4) The People and Land of Israel in Jewish Tradition - Michael L Brown

New Testament

5) Israel according to the Gospels - Michael J Wilkins
6) Israel in Luke-Acts - Darrel L Bock
7) The Jewish People according to the Book of Romans - Michael Vanlangingham
8) Israel according to the Book of Hebrews and the General Epistles - Craig A Evans

Hermeneutics, Theology, and Church History

9) Israel and Hermeneutics - Craig A Blaising
10) Israel as a Necessary Theme in Biblical Theology - Mark R Saucy
11) Israel in the Land as an Eschatological Necessity? - John S Feinberg
12) Israel in Church History - Michael J Vlach
13) Israel in Light of the Holocaust - Barry R Leventhal

Practical Theology

14) The Jewish People: Evidence for the Truth of Scripture - Michael Rydelnik
15) Israel and Jewish Evangelism Today - Mitch Glaser
16) Israel and the Local Pastor - David Epstein
17) A Survey of Positions on Israel Currently Taught At Theological Schools - Gregory Hagg

Conclusion by Darrell Bock followed by Chapter Notes (352 pages)

Friday, September 5, 2014

On Populating the Millennium

Regardless of when the rapture occurs in relationship to the 70th week, people must be saved post-rapture and thus without the benefit of the church's "great commission." It also occurs in an environment under the wrath of God. The closer the rapture event to the beginning of the millennium, the more problematic and redundant the Sheep-Goats Judgment event becomes.

Gavin Finley (End-Time Pilgrim) claims a solution to the problem:

They (pretribulationists) do not discuss the Millennial entry issue in any detail at all. Curiously the subject is kept rather vague. They certainly do not discuss the entry of mortals into Millennium in terms of the Sheep-Goat Judgment. Post-Tribbers are beginning to look into this. And why are they interested? It is because they, (unlike the Pre-Tribbers), have a personal interest in the blood covenant issues inside the 70th Week of Daniel. Post-Tribbers know that they will be going up on stage to bring in the final witness during the final seven years of this age. (Emphases mine)

One popular posttrib response has been to simply refer to Zechariah 14 to show that people make it into the millennium. But Finley raises the issue because it has been a problem, not because there's some biblical "blood-covenant" that needs to be addressed. That's a whole other issue.

His solution involves coming up with a third category of people who aren't saved, yet merit a pass at the Sheep-Goats Judgment. We should note that Revelation speaks of only two kinds of people - the saints and the earth dwellers (Rev 13:7-8).

In Finley's scenario, the Sheep and Goats are unsaved. The Sheep avoid the Mark of the Beast and escape the "Wicked Tares Judgment." Conveniently, they resist the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6-7) which is preached to all to those who dwell on the earth (every nation, tribe, tongue, and people). Hence they also evade the rapture in order to progress to the Sheep-Goats Judgment.

The Sheep merit a last-minute reprieve because of a works/heart based judgment (Matt 25:34-40). They are not judged "for entry into heaven or eternity." They are attributed this "blood-covenant" righteousness as a passport into the millennium. He claims that Matthew 25 clearly shows that "a human person to human person blood covenant loving-kindness is the central issue."

He writes:

As we [posttribulationists] see it, the Sheep-Goat Judgment appears to be based on matters of heart attitude and character. These heart issues may in turn evidence themselves in works to be sure. But the heart issue revolves around blood covenant commitment to someone in trouble who happens to belong to Messiah. This is the lovingkindness (sic) Messiah is looking for and finds in the sheep. The Sheep-Goat Judgment is not a judgment of works as we have been told. (Emphases mine)

Finley works hard to avoid a faith-by-works salvation, or a different dispensation application to the Sheep-Goats Judgment. He simply needs a vehicle for the unsaved to access the millennium.

The Goats (a fourth category) also escape the Tares Judgment because they haven't taken the Mark of the Beast. However, this category does not make it into the millennium because of its lack of "heart attitude and character" towards the persecuted (Matt 25:41-46). How they could posses the character to resist the Beast yet not possess the heart/attitude to be Sheep is not explained.

The scheme fails to explain the conditions outlined in Hosea 5:15; Matt 23:39 and Matt 24:22. How do any saved individuals (including Israel) enter the millennium in their physical bodies? It also ignores what Revelation consistently says of the Earth Dwellers. See Thomas Ice's article HERE and Tony Garland's article HERE.

Only the righteous inherit the kingdom. Finley has created a quasi-righteous millennial passport in order to solve his posttribulational dilemma. Pretribulationists might respond that if these Sheep were not "saved" then they rejected the gospel (2 Thess 2:8-12; Rev 13:7-8; Rev 14:6-7).

Interestingly, posttribulationist Robert Gundry avoids these convoluted explanations and simply relocates the Sheep-Goats Judgment to the end of the millennium. Ron Rhodes responds to him HERE

This Blood Covenant theory appears to owe some debt to Word of Faith pioneer E. W. Kenyon. Whatever the case, Finley holds the view that the church must do its part by participating in the events of the tribulation. Sadly, he ignores the purposes for the tribulation, and poisons the well by asking leading questions:

Is the Bride of Christ passive and out of the loop, as we see in the pre-tribulation rapture scenario? 

But how about this pre-tribulation Rapture of an unsuspecting uninvolved 'bride' leaving early without Israel? 

Is the Church to be unaware and passive in the Rapture, as our present day Bible prophecy teachings have suggested? Will God’s faithful witnesses be engaged in cheap, Hollywood style melodrama? Is the end time merely a boring, ho-hum story of survivalist Christians scurrying around like rats after being 'Left Behind' (sic).

Do we just work and play, watch the ballgame and the soaps on TV, talk with our stockbroker, attend church, and wait around for the rapture? Is the bride of Christ, passive in the covenant?

Gavin Finley has turned the rapture debate into an emotional one where the non-pretribulationalist adopts the higher moral ground. Given the website's popularity, it's no wonder many parrot this sort of bias.


I came across an attack on pretribulationism from a prewrath proponent who claimed pretribbers overstate the millennium population problem. He writes:

They are essentially two groups:

1. Those who have been “Jesus’ own” (i.e. were saved) prior to His second coming. This group includes all Old Testament saints as well. This is the group who will “reign” with Jesus during the Millennium.

2. Israel and the remnants of other nations who did not literally participate in the war against Jesus in the last days (and also did not receive the “mark of the beast”). This is the group who will be “reigned” over by Jesus and the saints.

It is a (sic) simple as that. This view is supported by the following passage from Zechariah...

Sound familiar?

But, no, for the reasons stated above it's not that simple at all. This individual also seems to limit the Antichrist's reign. It doesn't help him. In another attack on pretribulationists he ironically quotes Matt 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

However one might want to interpret the parable of the Ten Virgins, it is quite clear that only the righteous will inherit the kingdom (Matt 25:1-13). There is no sitting on the fence in the 70th week waiting for the last minute so that non-glorified people can populate the millennium. If they haven't become saved by the time of the prewrath rapture (whenever that might be) they are likely to have taken the Mark of the Beast.

It's that simple.

Eric Douma on the 70th week (Part One)

Why didn't the Dispensationalist Cross the Road?

Read the top ten reasons why the dispensationalist did not cross the road HERE

I like Dan Phillips' response HERE

....and another plug for his Twenty-five stupid reasons for dissing dispensationalism