Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christopher Cone on Biblically Derived Premillennialism

Dispensationalists have been accused of, among other things,[1] being pessimistic (as by Marsden and Bube)[2] and anti-semitic (as by Wilson),[3] in large part due to our premillennial understanding of Biblical eschatology. However, upon exegetical consideration of several foundational prerequisites of Biblical socio-political thought, it is evident that Biblical socio-political undergirding in fact requires the premillennial understanding, and that such an understanding affords dispensationalists an appropriate (i.e., Biblical) degree of care, realism, and constructiveness for the world around us. In short, owing much to our premillennial understanding, dispensational thinking – far from being a hindrance to the progress of society, is a great benefit to society. This has profound and far-reaching practical implications not only for dispensational thought, but also for practical ministry in the church and for interaction with those outside the church...keep reading

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SEBTS - Day of Prophecy

Ed Hindson, Craig Blaising, Michael Rydelnik, William Watson and Daniel Akin recently participated in some discussions on the topic of prophecy HERE I especially enjoyed the Panel Discussion HERE

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seventh-day Adventism - A Cult?

Can the Seventh-day Adventist Church be classified as a cult? Phil Johnson explores the question HERE

(Hat tip to Bryan C)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just One Clear Verse

How often have I heard that! Just give me one verse to prove _____ (insert whatever you like). Most often prophecy buffs or opponents of dispensationalism will insert "the pretrib rapture."

As a friend pointed out to me, that's what Doug Hamp did recently. He visited a few Facebook groups, posed the question and reported his findings. He didn't say what the question was but there are no prizes for guessing, and his "astute" readers picked up on it. According to Hamp:

I...have asked people what they believe is the best verse/passage about a certain doctrine which is extremely popular in American churches. I was told point blank, “there is no verse,” and “it is a mystery” or “I just know.” Those kind of responses I would expect from Mormon missionaries, not Bible carrying born-again evangelicals. At one point several people asked me what I was getting at since there was no verse and they couldn’t give me a biblical reason why they believed it. I asked if there is no verse then how do we know that it is true.

However, there were two people who asserted that it is the “it is the most logical,” and proceeded to build a logical case why the doctrine had to be true but in the end could still not provide even one clear verse in support of the doctrine. The problem with a logical syllogism (a syllogism has two premises and a conclusion) is two premises, even if true, may lead to a faulty conclusion will necessarily be faulty. (Emphases mine)

Did you get all that?

I confess to having little patience with the Mormon remark. Van Kampen pulled that stunt in The Rapture Question Answered (p 193) by associating the arrival of the pretrib rapture theory with the the arrival of "new cults such as Mormonism, Christian Science, Unitarianism, and Jehovah's Witnesses." He suggested that these "cults" appeared because of the "disillusionment with Orthodox Christianity." He also touched on the possibility that Irving - "later accused as a heretic" - originated the doctrine. Irving was a historicist, not a pretribulationist. Van Kampen's book spawned a generation of zealous proselytizers telling people to "compare Scripture with Scripture"; to take a "face-value" approach, and that it is all ultimately "plain and simple." If the rapture question was really so "plain and simple" one wouldn't need to write two books to prove one's point.

Getting back to Hamp; he once held to the pretrib position. Note this:

I believe that the Bible in its totality teaches a pretribulation rapture followed by Jesus returning before the beginning of the millennium.  The millennium is a literal 1000 year period in which Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem.  We will be there assisting as judges in some capacity. (Emphasis mine)

And note his article HERE. But now he says:

...I was sad too! I liked the doctrine. You are right there are a lot of positions that we teach that are not taught in Scripture...and my point is that we ought to stop. If we do speculate, then we ought to be quick to mention that and not teach it as "doctrine."

One can't argue with that attitude. Non-pretribbers will kick up their heels in joy and celebrate. But here's what I think (not that it matters much):

Hamp instigated. One of his responders is also notorious for doing that. As an admin of more than one group I'm all too familiar with the phenomenon. You don't visit other groups after some personal epiphany, start trouble and then complain when you get evicted. There are plenty of non-pretrib groups which will oust you for similar behavior. You should have explained your reasons (logic) for changing your mind in your blog and then indicated where the errata lay in your previous thinking.

Hamp knows the rapture timing isn't explicit in Scripture. Walvoord said as much about pretribulationism and posttribulationism. That Hamp used the word totality in context to pretribulationism (see above) implies he understands the timing is inferred in a number of passages. Paul Henebury rightly assigns it a Category 3 teaching, which is "an inference to the best explanation." Richard Mayhue wrote:

Problems remain to be solved by pretribulationists. Yet at this state of the art, pretribulationism most consistently fits the Biblical data and is championed by this writer as the view which best explains the coming of our Lord for His own.

In fact when Mayhue first read Gundry's books he was impressed. It was only after he read them several times over that he began seeing flaws in Gundry's arguments. He goes so far as to encourage The Master's Seminary students to study and develop an opinion on the rapture, even if they disagree with him.

I've said this before; it's one thing to attack someone else's eschatology, and quite another to defend against criticism. Yet the sad reality is that some of us (me included) probably do better at defending our eschatological positions than we do some of the fundamentals of our faith. Try debating the Trinity and the divinity of Christ to a clued up Jehovah's Witness next time one knocks on your door. I've had the unfortunate experience and now have my paperwork prepared.

Ironically, Hamp holds to what I'd call a range of fringe prophecy beliefs. I'd suggest that he'd be hard pressed to biblically or "logically" prove some of them with just a few passages, let alone the one where demons are conspiring to alter human DNA. Perhaps he should listen to his own advice. You can find much of his stuff on his website and on YouTube.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jason Lisle - The Ultimate Proof of creation

This is a talk by Jason Lisle delivered to the The Master's Seminary. Listen to it HERE

You can read his blog HERE

Hurting "free-thinking" atheists?

“I’ve been doing science for 30 years; don’t you think it offends me when you say you don’t believe in evolution?”

I nearly fell out of my chair! I had been asked by an atheist group (the Center for Inquiry) to come down and speak at a meeting they were holding to discuss their recent promotion of a bus advertising campaign on the Toronto Transit line declaring “There is probably no God, so relax and enjoy your life.” They apparently wanted a “religious” view represented so had invited me.

After the initial pre-determined questions to the panel members were asked, the audience (all atheists except for one to my knowledge) were invited to ask questions. The (biologist) gentlemen’s question (above) was issued to me after I had declared I was a creationist...keep reading

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Problem with Jews...

I don't like Jews because....Jews are very annoying - they really are. They are the cause of all the world’s problems...keep reading

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Will Christian Leaders in Bethlehem Say?

Article by CAMERA's Dexter Van Zile:

It’s crunch time for Palestinian Christian leaders, especially those living in the city of Bethlehem.

Palestinian terrorists are murdering and crippling Israelis in the streets of Jerusalem by running them over in cars. They are stabbing unsuspecting Israelis to death.

Leaders in the allegedly “moderate” Palestinian Authority are accusing Israel of contaminating Muslim holy sites and calling for more violence against Israelis.

They are starting to talk like Hamas about the impossibility of allowing Jewish sovereignty on land previously governed by Muslim rulers...keep reading

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pope Francis & God's Magic Wand

The pope recently made statements about evolution that raised eyebrows in the media. Yet the RCC has held these views for some fifty years. I remember grappling with the evolutionary implications to the Gospel as a teenager, and being dissatisfied with the answers I received from my priest.

When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magus, with a magic wand able to make everything. But that is not so. He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that He gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and arrive at their fullness of being. … And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or conjurer, but the Creator who gives being to all things. The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Origin that creates out of love. The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve. ~ Pope Francis (Emphasis mine)

One wonders what the pope means by "magus" and "magic wand." Is he really placing limitations on a God who created the universe ex nihilo? What does that say about the other dogmas supported by the R.C.C.?

One serious problem I've had with the R.C.C. - and especially this pope - is in comprehending its expansive and ambiguous language. At least one cardinal has recently admitted that:

"I'm sure he's [Pope Francis] not confused, himself. It's confusing for a lot of people, including myself at times. For someone who appreciates clarity I would like to get a few things clear so I can cooperate."

Creation Ministries International has responded to the pope HERE

In light of all this I found the following C.M.I. review of Fr. Victor P. Warkulwiz's book on creation fascinating. Here is an excerpt:

Blending this diversity of fields, Fr Warkulwiz has written a 519 page book not only on the scientific arguments for young-earth creationism, but also he has added a lot of history, philosophy, and theology. The book consists of 16 doctrines derived from Genesis 1–11, such as God created the world from nothing, God created each thing in the world immediately, God created each living creature according to its kind, God created the world in six natural days, God created the world several thousand years ago, the whole human species descended form the first man and woman and God destroyed the world that was with a worldwide Flood. He quotes extensively from the early and medieval fathers of the church, especially Augustine, Aquinas and Bonaventure. He drives home the main point that traditional Catholic teaching has always been young-earth creationism. It is only under the influence of the so-called Enlightenment that Catholic theologians and scholars have strayed. The influence of evolution culminated in the teachings of Jesuit priest, Pièrre Teilhard de Chardin, who mesmerized numerous Catholics to believe in evolution with his ‘theological fiction’.

Read it HERE

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Christians Discussing Same-Sex Attraction

I thought this video was both interesting and enlightening.