Thursday, November 17, 2016

25th Aunnual Pre-Trib Conference

I've never attended a pretrib or prophecy conference. These conferences sometimes come under attack by non-pretribbers for fringe elements - and rightly so in many cases! Having said that the Pre-Trib Research Center Conferences have generally been pretty good in latter years.

Take a look at this year's line up of topics and speakers. This is one I'd love to attend:

They will have Abner Chou from TMS speaking about hermeneutics. Chou is a very smart young man. Do a search on my blog for more about him.

Michael Rydelnik will talk on the Messianic Hope and Messianic verses in the OT.

David Farnell will talk about Evangelical challenges to Orthodox Inerrancy and the challenges within.

Soeren Kern will talk about Islam and the European Union.

Thomas Ice and Paul Wilkinson will analyse the historical issues in the "Left Behind or Led Astray" hit-piece documentary.

And more...

Brochure available HERE

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Getting the Rapture Right

Some time ago Dr. Paul Henebury posted a series of studies on the rapture at his blog. I liked his fair and irenic approach to a frequently divisive topic. While I didn't agree with everything, I liked how he humbly arrived at a pretribulational conclusion.

You can begin to read the series of 12 posts HERE

Dr. Henebury rightly (I think) classifies rapture timing as a C3 (Category 3) doctrine.  My own hierarchy of eschatological importance begins with the biblical covenants, the future Kingdom, and whether Israel is replaced by the church. How do we treat prophetic passages relating to Israel? Logically flowing next is premillennialism and, lastly, rapture timing.

Some of the comments were interesting. I'm impressed with Paul's patience in a few instances. One confident fellow from San Diego (Part 6) wasn't backward about preaching his prewrath position. It was familiar territory for me. Paul was polite. But in other forums Greg A might have run into some difficulty defending his militant assertions.

I was first drawn into the timing debate when I was directed to the late Herb Peters' Fulfilled Prophecy website. Peters - an adamant prewrath rapturist - was confident he'd discovered the identity of the Antichrist and that the 70th week of Daniel was almost upon us. He even contacted John Walvoord to announce that he'd found the Antichrist. Needless to say Walvoord wasn't convinced. At the time I was leaning posttrib and found his theories intriguing.

Peters contacted Jack Kinsella and Hal Lindsey to see if they'd give their authorship to his book, given that they were better known in prophecy circles. They declined because 1) it wasn't their material and 2) they didn't agree with his conclusions. Some of his irate followers then flooded Jack's Omega Letter Forum to wreak havoc.

Ironically, what swayed me to seriously consider pretribulationism were the claims of these zealous prewrathers. Most of them were sincere converted pretribbers who were introduced to Marvin Rosenthal's book. The three books most touted were: "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church" (Rosenthal); "The Sign" and "The Rapture Question Answered" (Van Kampen).

We read books with a bias in place. I'm no exception. That said; my take on Rosenthal and Van Kampen was that they were more provocative than eschatologically challenging. Rosenthal came across as bitter and Van Kampen overly self-assured. The latter also misrepresented, Walvoord, Mayhue and Barnhouse. It was after reading Van Kampen that I realized why so many prewrathers constantly used phrases such as: "compare Scripture with Scripture," "face-value" (see Greg A's comments in the link above), "plain and simple," etc. These expressions filled the pages of his book and his readers adopted them.

Under close examination the system's arguments aren't always "face-value." One self-published prewrath defender (Dave Bussard) once called prewrath "meat and potatoes." I disagree. One only has to look at the charts. It has also undergone schism and some revisions. And it has been my experience that many adherents are confused over some points.

I give credit to prewrath friends for faithfully articulating the framework of their system as set out by Rosenthal's and Van Kampen's formulas. However, articulating and defending its points isn't the same. Most prewrath blogs and websites spend more time attacking popular pretribulationism than defending their assumptions. This is true of the two leading prewrath websites. Here's another example.

I've responded to some of these issues on this blog.

My disagreements with the system doesn't make pretribulationism correct. There are other views. I'm surprised the midtrib view doesn't generate greater interest as I think it is more viable than prewrath. Then there's the posttrib view. I may take a look at one certain posttribber's criticisms at some future point.

May the Lord come soon!

Further reading for the bored:

God’s Wrath in the Sixth Seal

Who are the 144,000?

We’re Hunting Pretribbers

Monday, November 7, 2016

John MacArthur on Imminency

While I believe that some Scriptures often used to prove imminence actually point to the Second Advent, I think the following article by John MacArthur makes sound points:
The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions. The first question pertains to whether the Tribulation will precede Christ’s coming for the church. The answer to that question is that it will not because the church is never asked to look forward to the tribulation, but they are asked to look forward to Christ’s coming. The second question revolves around how the return of Christ could have been imminent in the early church. The answer here is that no one but the Father knows when the coming will occur, so that Christians including the early church must always be ready. The third question asks why Christ’s imminent return is so important. This answer relates to the motivation it supplies for believers to purify their lives and thereby progress toward the goal of sanctification and Christlikeness. The threefold call of the imminence doctrine is to wake up and obey right now, to throw off the works of darkness, and to put on the garments of holy living...keep reading

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Psalms By The Day - Review

I reviewed Psalms by the Day: A New Devotional Translation by Alec Motyer. It is published by Christian Focus Publications (hardcover 422 pages). Included in the review are links to William Barrick's and Mark Dever's more erudite reviews. Read it HERE

Alec Motyer recently went to be with the Lord. His love and passion for the Lord is evident in his devotional and in the following video:

Alec Motyer - The Bible's Best Text

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

TELOS Ministries Class - Old and New Testament Relationship

A thank you to Paul Henebury for making this available. Well worth the watch!