Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Master's Seminary Journal Volume 26

The Master's Seminary Journal Volume 26, Number 2 Fall 2015 is now available HERE

I thought William Roach's article The Resurgence of Neo-Evangeicalism especially interesting. He cites Historic Premillennialist Craig Blomberg:
I have deliberately not taken a stand myself on any of the problems as I discussed them in this chapter. Because readers seem invariably curious, I will happily disclose where I come down at the moment, given the varying amounts of study I have devoted to each. I would support an old-earth creationism and opt for a combination of progressive creation and a literary-framework approach to Genesis 1. I lean towards Kidner’s approach to Genesis 2–3 but am open to other proposals. I suspect that Jonah really intended to recount a miracle that really did happen, but with Job I gravitate more towards Longman’s mediating approach. Despite the overwhelming consensus against it, I still find the arguments for the unity of Isaiah under a single primary author, even if lightly redacted later, more persuasive (or at least problematic) than most do. I remain pretty much baffled by Daniel 11; it is the issue I have researched by far the least. My inherent conservatism inclines me in the direction of taking it as genuine predictive prophecy, but I listen respectfully to those who argue for other interpretations and continue to mull them over. I reject Gundry’s approach to Matthew as highly unlikely. I have yet to be persuaded by Licona’s initial views of Matthew 27:51–53 but would love to see additional comparative research undertaken. I think good cases can still be mounted for the traditional ascriptions of authorship of the New Testament epistles, allowing for perhaps some posthumous editing of 2 Peter. And I refuse ever to be suckered back into the views of my young adult years, when I actually believed that the end would play out as Hal Lindsey claimed they would!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The eighth annual Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics was held on the campus of Summit University on September 16 and 17, 2015.
10 Council members prepared papers, and 25 Council members gathered to discuss the topic, "Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church.” 49 non-council members observed the discussion. Participants came from across the country, some as far as California, Texas and South Carolina. Many current BBS students and alumni were part of the interactive event.
"The highlight for me was the Pastor’s Panel on Thursday night as we connected our dispensational theology to local church life and issues," notes Dr. Mike Stallard, Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary.
Representatives from Regular Baptist Press and Lampion Press were present, and they continue to work with the Council and its members on future publications.
Read the papers HERE

Has the Church Replaced Israel?

Whitewashing Islam

David Wood gets it:

See also Europe at a Crossroads.

Friday, November 20, 2015

If I Weren't a Dispensationalist

I've had similar thoughts. Some very good points...

For instance: If I were not a dispensationalist, how would I make sense of all that is happening in our world today? The onward march of global terror, the impending dissolution of the United States and its place as the leader of the world, the trampling of nearly all that we hold to be morally right and dear, and the rampant apostasy in the contemporary church all fit together perfectly with a dispensational understanding of Scripture and the pre-tribulational view of Bible prophecy—especially in light of all that we expect to see unfold during the coming tribulation. If I were a postmillennialist—looking for the advance of worldwide progress in the spiritual, political and moral realms that would finally herald the return of Christ—I wonder what I would be thinking about all of that.
Or if I were an amillennialist, believing that God had no future plan for national Israel—neither final salvation nor a kingdom to come—how would I understand a world in which the modern iteration of such a tiny nation plays such a central role in global geopolitics?...keep reading

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Master's Seminary on Seventh-day Adventism

The Master's Seminary recently produced a pretty fair article evaluating Seventh-day Adventist teachings. You can read it HERE.

I also wrote an article on Adventism for Zeteo3:16.

The TMA article was met with some heated flak. I'm not at all surprised. I've written several pieces responding to Adventist Steve Wohlberg's polemics against dispensationalism and I've received similar criticism. These folk simply didn't appreciate my responses to Wohlberg's attacks. This phenomenon isn't exclusive to Adventists either. I'm still seeing the Left Behind or Led Astray? people getting tetchy at the pretribulational responses to their polemical video. Why so sensitive, guys?

As an aside, the SDA articles on my blog get the biggest hits by far. This suggests just how active Adventists are insofar as eschatology.

TMA have released a follow-up 10 point post clarifying some matters. Read it HERE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Need for a Trusted Dispensational Resource Center

A new Dispensational Resource Center and a contribution from Dr. Paul Henebury:
The expression of theology known—for better or for worse—as dispensationalism has always had important things to say to the church and to the world.
To the church it has commended an approach to the text of the Bible which prioritizes what is properly called, despite some caveats, the “literal” method. Taking this approach to the reading of the Testaments does not mean that there is a one-sided understanding of the text to which all must acquiesce—a kind of hermeneutical flatland which we should all find ourselves in if we are fully on board with this school of thought. No, although there are always small-minded people who will expect us not to break step, a vibrant and healthy theology will entertain the considered viewpoints of various contributors who, because they are less than perfect, because they cannot see everything, employ a prima facie interpretation and bring their best efforts before their peers and move the conversation forward within its parameters.
Dispensationalism also speaks to the body of Christ about the relative importance of the two testaments. In an era when, more and more, the voice of the Old Testament is being all but muted by theological pre-understandings of the New Testament in influential circles, a robust alternative which gives no preference to either part of Scripture is pertinent now more than ever. What we need is a group of well-informed, sophisticated-yet-humble contrarians to assure us that God means what He says in both to whomever He is talking, and that faith trusts that God will fulfill His Word despite the obstacles which finite reason and historical vicissitude use to fuel their objections to the plain sense. Faith cannot but resign itself to believing the words as they are spoken. If it tries to reinterpret the words as different words it is never quite sure if it has gotten the translation right. And so it is never sure just what it is to believe. A vibrant dispensational (but I would want to say “Biblical-covenantal”) theology will always start us off with the plain sense and will always return us there...keep reading

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Tale of Two Journeys

This article compares the resolute faith and missionary drive of the Chinese Underground Church and the Back to Jerusalem team, with some of the apathy (and apostasy) we are seeing in our Western churches.

During the Sunday talk, Brother Ren mentioned a clever innovation BTJ employs to open up the gospel to Muslims. They call it the Gospel Cloud. It’s a pocket Wi-Fi unit which provides free internet browsing. But instead of connecting to the World Wide Web, it restricts the browser to surfing web pages designed to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As an example, Brother Ren talked about ambling into a Mosque somewhere in the Middle East. He noted that few Muslims were praying at the time. Many young men were sitting down playing with their cell phones. So he switched the Gospel Cloud on. BTJ claims this technology has enabled the gospel to spread rapidly “in some of the most closed and restricted areas of the world – like Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
You can read A Tale of Two Journeys HERE

Why We Should Evangelize

On our Zeteo316 website: Why We Should Evangelize.

Courtesy of Rico Tice's book Honest Evangelism.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Led Astray and Left Behind

See also Looking for Christ’s Coming and The Pretribulational Rapture Bullies

Yes, I rearranged the wording of Joe Schimmel's epic four-and-half-hour DVD "Left Behind or Led Astray?" I believe the movie has left the truth behind and led people astray.

I've read a lot of propaganda surrounding Darby and the origins of pretrib over the years. Judging by what I saw in the trailer and what I've read from the movie's fan base blogs, it's pretty much the same conspiratorial stuff regurgitated by people driven by a Quixotic vision of saving the world from pretribulationism and dispensationalism. One of the incisive points was that pretibulationism may have originated from the Jesuits. And here I thought only Seventh-day Adventists pushed that cart along these days.

Following Dr Wilkinson's initial brief comments expressing dismay at the movie, two of the participants felt compelled to convene a one hour and forty-five minute rebuttal. See a previous post HERE.

 Dr Paul Wilkinson has finally responded at length. It's well worth a look.

A new DVD documentary has just been released by Good Fight Ministries entitled, “Left Behind or Led Astray? Examining the Origins of the Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture.” Good Fight Ministries is run by post-tribulationist Joe Schimmel, the senior pastor at Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California. Schimmel’s documentary is endorsed by evangelist Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, star of the original “Left Behind” movies. The following write-up appears on the back cover: “Take a fascinating journey with us as we examine the shocking origins of the secret, pre-tribulation rapture doctrine…. Featuring expert commentary from David M. Bennett, Dr. Mark Patterson, Jacob Prasch, Joel Richardson, and Dave MacPherson.” The truth of the matter is that the 4½ hour film seriously distorts the historical evidence and is full of false accusations, unsubstantiated myths, and lies...keep reading
Here's another response from Once Lost

Friday, October 2, 2015

On the Oregon Shooting Tragedy

Thought this was very good....
Yesterday, we were all shocked by the tragic news about the deadly shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. According to recent reports, the gunman fatally shot nine victims and wounded seven others before he was also killed. Today, investigators are still piecing together a motive for the shooting, as legislators begin to debate whether or not certain laws should be enacted to help prevent such violence in the future.
As the American public wrestles with how to process what happened, it is important for believers to think biblically about these tragic events. With that in mind, how can we as Christians respond in a way that demonstrates the compassion of our Lord while also exemplifying the hope we have in Him?
Here are five thoughts in answer to that question...keep reading

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Non-Pretrib Club Cult

I just got an e-mail from a fellow who thanked me for subscribing to his website. In fact I didn't subscribe and I don't know how he got my email - though I have some ideas. Whatever the case, the guy is a busy man with a mission. Here's his blurb:
Thanks For Subscribing To NoPreTrib!
NoPreTrib is a ministry that I started because pre-tribulationism is one of the most dominant false teachings to be found amongst professing evangelical, Bible believing Christians. Jesus and the Apostles warned the early believers about what to expect in the last days before Christ returns. They warned of spiritual deception regarding His return, apostasy, Antichrist, tribulation and more. Pre-tribulationism conditions believers to think they will not have to face these things and sets them up to fall away.
NoPreTrib consists of a blog, Facebook page, and a Twitter feed. I'm currently co-authoring a book on the subject with Pastor Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries, and helped to contribute to the recently released video: Left Behind or Led Astray.
You Can Help!
If you believe in pre-tribulationism, I'm just glad that you're reading this. It is my prayer that you would approach this subject with an open mind and heart, recognizing that it is important to consider, especially in light of the times in which we live.
If you are in agreement with me that the Church in America is being set up for a last days apostasy; then pray. Pray for those that have been lulled into a false sense of security. Pray that the false teachers would be exposed. Pray for your friends and family members that are caught up in this false unbiblical teaching. Pray that they would have their eyes opened and be prepared for what is coming. Pray for me, for strength and encouragement in the face of opposition.
Speak out. Don't allow yourself to be bullied, or shamed for standing up for the truth. In bringing this issue to light, I have been told numerous times that I should stop writing these articles. I've been told it is unimportant, divisive, peripheral, Satanic, you name it. Yet the same people that tell me to stop, do not cease to promote pre-tribulationism. God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but power and love and a sound mind. We should not be ashamed to speak the truth in love. Ezekiel 33:6
Lastly you can consider helping financially. Most if not all that has been done with the NoPreTrib Ministry has been done with my own limited resources, while I work a regular job supporting a family. If you believe God is calling you to support what I'm doing, please click on the link below. 100% of what you contribute will go to pay for the expenses related to maintaining the website and advertising to enable the ministry to reach a broader audience. Thank you!
Quote: "Speak out. Don't allow yourself to be bullied, or shamed for standing up for the truth."

Ah yes, pretribulationists bullying posttribulationists. We must stamp it out!

Incidentally, Joe Schimmel's DVD is four-and-half-hours. He's another busy man. I've seen the trailer. Darby gets called a cultist and there's some old footage of Walter Martin linking Darby with MacDonald. Riveting stuff. Participants include Jacob Prasch and Joel Richardson. Prasch seems to have forged a reputation for verbally bashing pretribulationism and just about anyone else he disagrees with. It's hard to take them seriously and hard to totally ignore them. Some of these critics seem to be obsessed with eschatological polemics, as a perusal of their websites often shows.

But, seriously, when you start asking for money to finance an attack on the pretrib rapture because you think it's dangerous - you've lost the plot! This is fanaticism.

Remember the gospel? Spend your money on that. The cheque (Aussie version) is in the mail.

Note: Dr. Paul Wilkinson is working on a rebuttal to the Schimmel DVD.


I don't like harping on this because it is divisive. But I will. There's a follow up response to Paul Wilkinson's comments about the Left Behind Led Astray video. It appears on the site of the person who sent me the letter I mentioned above. The 1 hour and 45 minute talk involves Jacob Prasch and Joe Schimmel, with John Haller as mediator. It seems that these two gentlemen are out of sorts because of Wilkinson's comments.

Interestingly, one of the persons who left comments was Joe Ortiz who I've blogged about before.

Sadly, there are a string of individuals who have a reputation for consistently taking potshots at pretribulationism and pretribulationists, and being divisive. For some almost a full time occupation. In contrast, they circle the wagons and cry foul when someone reciprocates.

As mentioned in my response on our Zeteo 3:16 website, I didn't watch the lengthy video. Hence I cannot judge it on that basis. However, the trailer was a catastrophe of propaganda. Could the video have been better after such an abysmal introduction? It seems rather unrealistic of them to not expect some sort of blow back to this kind of material.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pre-Trib Conference December 7-9, 2015

Thought I'd post this here so that people can get an idea of the subject material. Not usually a fan of these events but these are great topics!

Wish I could attend. Click Here

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We Will Not Bow

John MacArthur pulls no punches on the SCOTUS decision.

Recommended listening.
At the seminary, we put an article up on the seminary website about homosexuality. Within a matter of hours, we received a letter ordering us to cease and desist immediately or face a very severe lawsuit. Could we be sued for taking this position? Absolutely. Insurance companies that provide liability insurances for churches so that we’re protected against lawsuits are beginning to say, “We will not accept responsibility for lawsuits on homosexual or same-sex marriage issues.” The church is out there all on its own. ~ John MacArthur
Click Here

and HERE

Just thought I'd add an update. MacArthur mentions "Rev." Barry Lynn in his talk. Here's what he says:
Barry Lynn, who heads up an organization—a hostile, satanic organization against the gospel and against the Word of God—is making all the moves he can to make sure churches lose their tax-exempt status. And the way they’ll do that is they’ll begin to sue and drag the churches into court on that issue. The government provides student loans for students at Christian colleges. But if that school or that college doesn’t affirm same-sex marriage, and have open enrollment to homosexuals, they can cut off all that funding—Cal grants, Pell grants—which enable students to go to college. This is going to come. We enjoy, as a church, a beautiful campus, large piece of property. We don’t pay property tax, because we’re granted freedom from that tax. How long will that remain if we don’t comply?
Fred Butler did a piece on Lynn back in 2007. Worth a read HERE

Monday, July 20, 2015

Seventy Weeks of Daniel Chart

Thought this was pretty good. Put together by Leonardo Costa:

Click HERE

Friday, July 17, 2015

Does the NT re-interpret the OT?

Does the NT really re-interpret the OT?

This topic came up in a conversation today with an amillennialist. The progression of the argument is fairly standard. An amil guy will wander into a forum and defend someone like Sizer. He'll inform the others that Israel is all done for a numbers of reasons (political and doctrinal) which is all really motivated by the belief that the church is the "New Israel." When the OT heavy artillery texts are introduced, the amil will reach into the bag of tricks for the "NT re-interprets of the OT" defense.

Here are some great links which challenge that notion. Fred Butler has conveniently put Paul Henebury's work into a PDF file HERE.

You can access Dr. Henebury's work directly on his site Part One & Part Two

Dr. Michael Vlach's work on the topic may also be accessed HERE.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fallacies Against Presuppositional Apologetics

Thought this article from Hip and Thigh was pretty good. Basically because it was written in such a way that even I could understand it - even though it was supposed to be "geeky."

The Fallacies with “The Circular Argument” Against Presuppositionalism:
This will be a geeky post, sorry...Occasionally, I like to write on topics pertaining to apologetic methodology. My primary purpose is to sharpen my personal thinking in the matters of how my exegesis and theology shape my overall approach in apologetics and evangelism. My objective has always been two-fold: I want to make sure I am defending the faith accurately as well as engaging unbelief effectively...keep reading

Friday, July 3, 2015

The New Christian Zionists?

Back in April I noted that Mark Tooley had convened a conference to discuss how the current tide of anti-Israel sentiment among young evangelicals could be countered. You can read my initial thoughts HERE

Tooley is aware that activism by certain professional agitators has been a problem. But he went on to say:
Compounding this activism is the fading of the old Religious Right, whose leaders, like the late Jerry Falwell, were outspokenly pro-Israel and claimed to speak for millions. A new generation of Evangelical leaders is more reluctant to wade into controversy. Some old Religious Right figures were believers in Dispensationalism, a 19th century movement asserting and stressing various End Times events, including the restoration of Israel, before Christ’s return.
Can Christian Zionism be defended in the 21st century? Theologically? Historically? Can it be defended in ways that are consistent with Jewish and Christian scriptures? Are its legal, moral and political out-workings compatible with the ideals of the biblical covenant?
Neither Providence nor the Bible are neutral between a people striving to survive against many others who hope for their elimination. Effectively explaining why requires both good political and theological judgment.
I suspected then that Tooley was giving the impression that dispensationalism had fumbled the job and that a more biblical approach had to be exercised. Enter the "New Christian Zionists." Following that conference, which included Darrel Bock and Craig Blaising, I made some further observations HERE

Despite incessant allusions to Hagee and the so-called popular "Left Behind" theology of LaHaye and Lindsey supposedly fumbling the cause of biblical Zionism - the issue does not lie there. Tooley, Bock, Blaising and anyone else who cares to wade into the murky waters of anti-Israel activism among some leading evangelicals will confront a wall of resistance against the more biblical approach.

I've been writing and researching columns on this topic for the Omega Letter for a number of years now. The likes of Dexter Van Zile, Jim Fletcher and Brian Shrauger (and others) have been writing about this long before I came along. They'll confirm this has little to do with dispensationalism or the pop-apocalyptic pretribulational rapture, as one opportunistic activist recently suggested. He may want to take a look at what some of the proponents of his rapture view have been doing over the years. Get a clue.

As an aside, I find it ironic that I discovered this individual's rapture view via an email exchange which mentioned Herb Peters. Peters thought he'd located the Antichrist and the timing of Daniel's 70th week (ENPI theory). Time proved him wrong. But among his avid supporters were leading prewrath proponents who were so attached to that theory that they were willing to re-interpret Scripture in an attempt to keep it alive after it failed.  

No, it has nothing to do with pop-apocalypticism. Israel hatred flows deep in the veins of some leading Christians who will use any excuse to run down Israel. This bizarre attitude includes ignoring the suffering of Christians in the Middle East and the suffering of Palestinians under Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. See also HERE

They hate Israel. It's that simple.

Further reading:

Declining United Church of Christ’s Israel divestment may not pack any punch

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Rapture Trap?

The Rapture Trap? is an article I originally wrote for the Omega Letter. It has since appeared on Jan Markell's website and generated some interest. I finally posted it on Zeteo 3:16.

I don't really need to go into explanations. Rapture = controversy = pretrib is bad. You know the drill.


Is the belief in a pretribulational rapture a trap? Is it really the rapture trap that some people claim? Every once in a while a magic lever gets pulled releasing a wave of criticism against the pretrib rapture belief and pretribbers. Lately, Facebook and YouTube have been full of anti-pretrib proclamations. One critic recently claimed it was the belief in an imminent rapture which is why Christians don’t care what happens to the world. He added that this belief is what keeps us from the being the salt and light we were intended to be...keep reading

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dr. Ravi Zacharias - Buddhism Contradicts Its Own Philosophy

This is an area which I have been recently looking into. I thought the video was quite good:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Introducing Zeteo3:16

For some time my wife and I have been discussing doing something which contributes to the gospel message. Both of us have independently thought about starting up a website at one time or another. A few weeks ago we decided to go ahead and do it. This came after a lot of prayer and consideration. Our website is still under construction. It was designed and is being maintained by my beautiful and talented wife.

To summarize our purposes: We seek to Serve God; to Inform other Christians and those seeking the truth, and to Support Faithful Ministries.

Who needs another website?

We acknowledge that there are many great Christian sites around and we don't pretend to know more or to do it better. Nor do we pretend to be teachers. God has drawn my wife away from atheism and me out of the New Age. Along the way He has providentially directed our attention to some valuable ministries who are faithfully teaching God's word and doing His work. However, in our experience these ministries aren't always reaching the people who would profit from them. These people include family, friends, acquaintances and others.

Furthermore, there is a lot of bad information out there.

As such, we see ourselves as a bridge for people to access good materials and information which they mightn't be otherwise aware of. The website links to social media such as Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.  For example, the articles have reached thousands of people in Google+. This has already provided an opportunity for my wife to lovingly witness to one atheist.

I personally believe that Christ could return any time for His church. Yet whether the rapture is pretribulational, intra-tribulational or posttribulational, I think this world is quickly heading to destruction. Churches are apostatizing and Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered around the world. Even in the west, the demands of diversity (same-sex marriage etc) will tempt Christians to compromise, or worse.

I may be wrong, but events in the Middle East and Israel also suggest to me that the End of this Age is around the corner. But even if the Lord should delay His coming; each one of us - saved or not - may be gone in an instant, to our destiny of choice. This possibility gives us a sense of urgency.

We realize we're not perfect and bound to make mistakes - likely already have. But through prayer and God's loving correction we hope we can faithfully serve Him. Prayers are always appreciated.


Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 TMS Summit on Inerrancy Recap

You can now view the presentations from the recent Shepherd's Conference on Inerrancy HERE


SlimJim's thoughts on R. C. Sproul's presentation in which he objects to Presuppositional Apologetics can be read HERE

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Latest Edition of The Master's Seminary Journal

You can read the Spring 2015 edition of The Master's Seminary Journal HERE. Click on the individual essays to read them.

Topics include:

Keith Essex — Interpreting and Applying Old Testament Historical Narrative: A Survey of the Evangelical Landscape

Matt Waymeyer — The Binding of Satan in Revelation 20

Dennis M. Swanson — Inerrancy and the Local Church: What Does the Debate Mean to the People in the Pews?

Michael J. Vlach — The Kingdom of God in Paul’s Epistles

Peter Goeman — Implications of the Kingdom in Acts 3:19–21

Nelson S. Hsieh — Abraham as “Heir of the World”: Does Romans 4:13 Expand the Old Testament Abrahamic Land Promises?

Craig Blaising — A Critique of Gentry and Wellum’s, Kingdom through Covenant: A Hermeneutical-Theological Response

Michael Grisanti — A Critique of Gentry and Wellum’s, Kingdom through Covenant: An Old Testament Perspective

Darrell L. Bock — A Critique of Gentry and Wellum’s, Kingdom through Covenant: A New Testament Perspective

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Terminus Ad Quem of Daniel's 69th Week

I recently came across this article in a 2013 Summer/Fall edition of the Journal of Dispensational Theology. Christopher Hughes makes his own case for a revision of Anderson's and Hoehner's calculations. Hughes' article won't end the speculation, but it is interesting material. The article begins on page 20 and you can view it HERE.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Upcoming Conference on Inerrancy

Introductory article from The Cripplegate:

It’s hard to believe that Shepherds’ Conference is next week. For those of us who have the privilege of being around Grace Community Church all year round, it’s difficult to capture the sense of anticipation that’s been brewing over the last 15 months or so. It really is like Christmastime over here, and it’s such a privilege to witness that enthusiasm—from the leadership to the nearly 1200 volunteers (!) that will be serving the men who attend this historic event...keep reading

P.S. Thought I'd slot this in here. Jason Lisle responds to Norman Geisler's position which asserts that inerrancy does not require a Young Earth Creation view. Note also the comments section where Dr. Lisle announces an upcoming book. The book will also address Gospel Coalition Justin Taylor's assertion that the days in Genesis are not 24 hour days.

Read it HERE

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On Exposing Pretribulationism

Every once in a while when the mood takes me I get to grind my axe. Here I go again.

There's an essay on pretribulationism that I've come across several times on Facebook. Its author provides a bunch of excuses for his anti-pretrib crusade. Similar pretexts commonly appear on blog and Facebook hit and runs by different individuals. I want to address a sampling here, in no particular order.

The motives are always altruistic, of course. They do it out of "love" and to correct "false doctrine." I'm reminded of my busy posttribulational friend who once told me he went after pretribbers because he feared their escapist mentality would endanger them once the tribulation arrived. Sound familiar?

That same individual also happened to like going after prewrathers even though they believe the church will experience the tribulation. Truth be known, he just loves to argue. What's love got to do with it? Pardon the Tina Turner pun but when you use terms such as "laughable" or when you call to question a pretribber's integrity (as opposed to yours) - what you are indulging in is arrogance and pride. Not love.

As a side note, if you're a Five Point Calvinist you might consider dropping the "dangerous escapism" routine. It won't wash. On the other hand if you believe one can lose their salvation, perhaps you'd better humbly look at yourself first. Do you know you'll survive the tribulation, faith intact? Where are you placing your confidence?

Here's a suggestion: if you people want to go on a Worthy Crusade, go after the Lost. They really need the gospel. And, if you're really "Brave and Courageous" or an "Overcomer" (in contrast to spineless pretribbers), I know a few volatile countries where you could preach the gospel and get some practice in for the Great Tribulation purification. Practice makes perfect - right?

Next, I don't care whether someone had an overbearing pretrib pastor who ridiculed non-pretribbers. That's plainly wrong. Get over it. Don't do the same thing.

Neither am I impressed that you too were once a "clueless" pretribulationist who was "indoctrinated" by that "recent tradition" - especially if you've now embraced the newest constantly evolving position. It doesn't automatically follow that you're a "Berean" because you changed your view. I was "indoctrinated" by Catholicism and a bunch of other doctrines. I now embrace dispensationalism and pretribulationism as better viewpoints, but that alone doesn't mean I'm suddenly right.

Strange as it may seem non-pretribbers sometimes do migrate to pretrib. It's not because the Holy Spirit "told them so" or because of some "special revelation" as people sometimes declare. It's a case of weighing arguments against Scripture. Yes, we occasionally think for ourselves. Life is full of ironies and surprises.

I'm not impressed with assertions that John Darby purloined Margaret MacDonald's vision and indoctrinated "Schofield." Provide a pretrib quote from MacDonald, not an excerpt from one of MacPherson's "plots." That the Scofield Study Bible then indoctrinated most of the American Church reminds me of the Israeli 9/11 conspiracy theory (sorry, Stephen Sizer).

I also don't want to hear about Scofield's or Lindsey's or LaHaye's sins, or any other pretribbers' or non-pretribbers' for that matter. Consider your own.

Speaking of indoctrination and Scofield's Study Bible (I don't own one); I see plenty of non-dispensational Study Bibles around. You can get Reformed, Puritan, Creationist, Catholic and Adventist versions, and likely many other varieties. In fact there's a project for a Pre-Wrath Study Bible. And good for them!

Pretribulationism is sometimes called a divisive doctrine. There's a whole essay's worth in that concept. Yet I'm now seeing non-pretrib individuals desperately looking for churches which teach their particular rapture view. I often see the comment, "I won't attend a pretrib church."

My wife and I are privileged to attend a non-dispensational church. We do have a pretribulational option. What we love about our church is the pastor's passion for the gospel in the tradition of people like Spurgeon and M'Cheyne. He's often invited to speak at pretrib churches because of that commitment to the gospel.

I don't care for gossip related to an encounter with a leading pretrib teacher who allegedly lost his cool because he wasn't familiar with the new-kid-on-the-block view. The teacher has gone to be with the Lord and cannot defend himself. We can all dish up anecdotes about our personal experiences.

I'm not a fan of prophecy conferences at the best of times. But don't lump all pretrib conferences into one bucket and compare them unfavorably to your own - especially when you originally wanted to participate in them. Some of us remember.

Yes, there are some sensational pretrib "prophecy" teachers out there in the market place. Don't jump the gun too quickly, though. Pretribulationists don't have a monopoly on weirdness. Trust me!

When anyone claims a well-known (usually solid) dispensational teacher said salvation in the Old Testament was attained by works, a citation and link ought to be provided. They may also want to demonstrate how salvation was achieved. Don't just tell me it was by faith. We all know that. What was the content of one's faith then?

Now, once again, repeat after me: "Dispies do not teach salvation by works in the OT."

Please don't gripe to me when your view has just been attacked....especially when a significant portion of your program involves criticism of another system. I've lost count as to how many times Adventists chided me for "attacking" Steve Wohlberg (not related to the actor) after I responded to his End time Delusions.

No, pretribulationism isn't the "monolithic" teaching in the mainstream church that it's frequently made out to be. It may have been once, and might still be the dominant view among older premil prophecy buffs. However, that's quickly changing within the younger generation. Many of us have seen an upsurge of attacks on pretribulationism and dispensationalism. Pretribulationism and premillennialism are losing whatever ground they held within evangelical churches for a number of reasons. Feel better now?

Mainstream churches are starting to abandon fundamental teachings in favor of diversity issues and liberation theology. Think about the Social Gospel, Same-sex Marriage, inerrancy, anti-Israelism, spiritualizing the Resurrection, denial of sin and the Trinity, Universalism, Ecumenism, Inter-Faith Dialogue etc. Get the picture?

I always feel better after a good gripe.

Switching my grinder off for now...(stay tuned).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Christ, The Center of Scripture

Note: These videos can now be accessed directly from Telos Theological Ministries HERE.

Dr. Paul Henebury (Dr. Reluctant) of Telos Ministries delivered a series of six lectures to Calvary Chapel Ukiah titled Christ as the Center of Scripture. It was happy coincidence that I stumbled onto them and I'm indebted to Michael Miller for hosting them on his YouTube account.

Well worth watching!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Christian Anarchy?

The author of the following article makes some pretty good points regarding the Christian attitude in the face of today's political climate. How should Christians respond? What about the Reconstructionists and the Kingdom-Now Dominionists?

My heart is grieved by the growing discontentment, hostility, and anarchist attitudes by those who profess the name of Jesus Christ in America. As our nation grows more hostile, American Christians must grow more patient, longsuffering, merciful, and compassionate.
As American culture grows more belligerent, we must grow more eager to speak the truth in love and more boldly to proclaim righteousness and the Gospel of Peace.

As civil magistrates grow more intolerant of Christianity, more pluralistic in their views of religion, and more subjective in their rule of law, Christians must grow more in our prayer life petitioning God on behalf of our leaders, that they would be saved by Christ and enable us to live quiet lives.

Instead, professing Christians seem to be growing more belligerent, more disrespectful, more angry toward pagan society and less tolerant and less submissive to governing authorities. And, it seems, we are praying less as demonstrated by the growing hostility and lack of respect for our leaders in government....keep reading

(Hat tip to Carmela C.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Response to Social Action Trends in Evangelical Missions

I've been meaning to link this article from The Master's Seminary for some time now. I feel it's a logical follow-up to the last post.

Today churches and missionaries are being told that to imitate the ministry of Jesus they must add social justice to their understanding of the church’s mission. As pastors and missions committees embrace the idea that social action and gospel proclamation are “two wings of the same bird,” the kind of work that they send their missionaries to do changes, and this has a negative effect on world missions. This article highlights those negative effects in an African context, offers historical, practical, and biblical critiques of the trend, and redirects the church’s attention to understanding and fulfilling the Great Commission in the way the apostles did in Acts and the Epistles...keep reading

Monday, January 19, 2015

A new form of Christianity

I saw this on a Facebook page (Glenn Christopherson)....

A new form of Christianity is rapidly taking shape in our world.

It's a "Christianity" which speaks long and loud about social justice and veers from mentioning God's justice.

It has turned it's back on the clear waters of God's Holy words to drink at the muddied wells of human philosophies, pseudo science and religious counterfeits.

It is proud of it's boasted achievements and seemingly ignorant of God's marvellous, perfect and eternal accomplishments.

This new form of "Christianity" is virulent and contagious infecting multitudes with it's new forms of worship. Worship that is rejected by the Living God.

It is strong on the supposed value of "faith traditions", but weak on the absolute need for faith in Christ.

It promotes the brotherhood of man, and neglects the sinfulness of man.

It falsely promises temporal pleasures while studiously ignoring the sure and certain promise of eternal bliss...for Christ's blood purchased brethren.

This false Church is impressed with the pomp of men and their religious systems and sneers at the simplicity of the ancient and true gospel.

It whimpers regularly in bored oratory about the love of God but never in awed reverence lifts up the majestic holiness of our Sovereign and Creator.

This new form of Christianity doesn't disturb men, it lulls them into a deadly sleep.

It doesn't convict men of eternal danger, it convinces them to carry on untroubled.

It doesn't open up eternal vistas it simply refocusses men's myopic gaze on the temporal.

This new form of Christianity has a new "Christ". An invented Christ; who is weak and ruled by tolerance rather than holiness. A messiah who accepts and even rejoices in our sin. An unnecessary Saviour dying on an unnecessary cross.

This new form of Christianity, insidiously spreading as yeast through the church world, doesn't worry the fact it is his creation...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Paris & the BDS Movement

I'm not surprised. Any excuse for anti-Semitism will do.

Showing no empathy and spinning crazy theories, Israel’s fiercest critics show that it’s Jews, not the Jewish state, they despise...keep reading

This sums it up well:

"To those among us unfortunate enough to follow the BDS movement closely, such vitriol is no news. But cataclysmic events have a way of rattling people into sudden awakenings. And so here’s a simple suggestion: before you engage in conversation with critics of Israel, take a moment and check their digital footprint from the past week. If they’ve taken the time and the trouble to condemn these horrific murders without equivocation, if they sound genuinely remorseful, proceed. But if all they can muster are musty cliches or steely dogmas, if they can’t take a moment away from their politics to be ordinary, feeling humans, and if they can’t miss an opportunity to see even this tragedy as yet another proof of the exceptional nefariousness of the Israeli regime, then they’ve proven that the true object of their vitriol is not the Jewish state but the Jewish people."

Series on the Rapture

Note that Dr. Reluctant is doing a series on the rapture. Everything he writes is full of meat and well thought out. Here is an excerpt from the first installment which I appreciated:

In a sense, I don’t blame them [critics].  Books about prophecy from a pretrib perspective commonly come with covers sporting an eclipse (lunar or solar, either will do); sometimes a dragon or two.  Whole ministries exist to promulgate sometimes simplistic versions of Dispensational premillennialism, occasionally tainted with American exceptionalism.  When John Hagee writes about the “Four Blood Moons” we are not really surprised.  There is always a ready market for ‘signs of the times’ books and newspaper exegesis.  I distance myself from such things.  I distance myself a little even from those good men who can scarcely write an article about anything unless pretribulationism or pre-wrath or what-have-you has some space allotted to it.

2nd Installment HERE


On a personal note, I was raised Roman Catholic (amil-posttrib). As I got older I briefly attended a premil-posttrib church until I apostatized into the New Age. When God set me straight I defaulted to posttrib. Frankly, I was more interested in the premil-amil-preterist debates and the future of Israel than rapture timing. It was when a bunch of zealous "Fulfilled Prophecy" website buffs flocked over to the Omega Letter website to set the pretribbers right that I became hooked.

It's a little bit like Chess - I didn't like the game and was never interested until I actually started playing it. I did learn something from the process, though - pretribulationism is actually better than the criticism leveled against it. I discovered that its critics often struggle to answer hard questions aimed at their own systems. I also discovered that in many cases the underlying motivation for people like Barbara Rossing (The Rapture Exposed) isn't to expose the rapture. At the heart of much of the criticism aimed at dispensationalism and pretribulationism is the critics' animosity for Israel and "fundamentalism."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Historical Critique of Islam's Beginnings

Thought this was good.