Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reading Revelation Responsibly?

A friend inadvertently alerted me to Michael J. Gorman's Reading Revelation Responsibly. Here is one review of the book  And here's another.

Excerpt from the 2nd review:
This book is a very good hermeneutical guide to managing a difficult text well. Gorman capably debunks problematic readings like those of Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and the very popular fiction series Left Behind with their sensationalized Armageddon and rapture focused readings. Gorman dismisses all the rapture readings, and develops a much more contextually sensitive reading. Historical situation and literary genre considerations (properly understood meanings of “apocalyptic”, theopoetic, and pastoral writings)  are explored to demonstrate the shortcomings of dispensational and the various other improper readings of Revelation.
Pardon my cynicism - all this from a book under (?) 200 pages?

I can hear (and somewhat empathize with) the frustration of the non-pretrib premils. I'd like to point out that the futurist-premil interpretation was out of favor long before Hal and Tim came along. I'm almost tempted to get the book as a reference, but I'm still trying to get my head around Osborne's "Hermeneutical Spiral."

As an unschooled layman, I can only express these frustrated observations: The Bible shouldn't be that hard to understand. It only becomes so when someone resorts to elaborate innovations to modify the plainer sense of the meaning of a text to conform to a presupposed theology.

Revelation can be difficult in areas, but its overall theme shouldn't be. It is prophetic and it reveals, not obfuscates. Its many allusions are drawn from the prophets and the Olivet Discourse.

I highly recommend Tony Garland's A Testimony of Jesus Christ (expanded Contents), and also Robert L Thomas' Two Volume Exegetical Commentary on Revelation. Each of these sources discuss the alternative views of Revelation.

Current Hermeneutical Trends: Toward Explanation or Obfuscation?


Here's another review of the book. Gorman typically attacks the "Left Behind" series. One isn't really engaging dispensationalism through "Left Behind" novels. In one preview I note that he also mentions Harold Camping's failed predictions. Camping was an amillennialist.

Monday, December 26, 2016

More on Preterism

Eschatos Ministries have a couple of interesting articles up addressing preterism. Alan Kurschner rightly notes that preterism doesn't allow for the fulfillment of Matt 24:5. He also takes Gary DeMar to task for his 'fake news-fake exegesis" article. Worth a read!

I have DeMar's "End Time Fiction." Reading him is frustrating. One issue is his tone and the other his willingness to stretch an isolated text into fitting his assumptions without addressing whole chapters. I provide some links which address preterism HERE.

I've often come across Seventh-day Adventists, Preterists and Amils on pretrib-dispensational prophecy forums. It usually goes like this: they'll make some passing remark against a particular teaching (usually the rapture). When you respond, they simply move to another issue.

Sometimes they'll have a long list of grievances which they've copied from some "mother website." Who has the time to respond to fifty preterist proof texts? I met a posttribulationist and a Hebrew Roots promoter who used this same tactic.

My strategy is to find out what they believe in and get them to justify it. One academic-type preterist recently trolled a group of which I'm a member. When I worked out what he was I asked him who noticed Christ's coming in 70 AD, because no one recorded it at the time. One typical response is that it was a "spiritual" (or secret) coming. So texts such as Matt 24:30 and Mark 13:26 have to be spiritualized. It's difficult to debate someone who resorts to spiritualization in order to defend a theology.

But in this person's case he responded that he supposed it was the Jews who were slaughtered. That's pretty convenient because they wouldn't be able to report it. I pointed out that Matt 23:39 could not have occurred in 70 AD, but didn't receive a response. Soon after, the thread was taken down.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

25th Aunnual Pre-Trib Conference Papers

Some of the papers from the 2016 Pre-Trib Conference are available HERE.

I've mentioned Abner Chou before. He presented 2 papers which are currently available as a Word doc download. They are highly recommended reading.

The subjects are:
1) The Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic: Its Defense and the Demand for Premillennialism 
2) A Hermeneutical Evaluation of the Christocentric Hermeneutic

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

John Niemela - 24 Elders and the Rapture, Revelation

I'm sure this will get some noses out of joint. Niemala's presentation is fairly technical. It doesn't prove pretribulationism (IMO) but it is thought provoking:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Waymeyer - Amillennialism and the Age to Come

A new book by Matt Waymeyer, reviewed by Cripplegate's Mike Riccardi:
Today I want to make our readers aware of a new book that is sure to serve the church well. It’s written by our friend, Dr. Matt Waymeyer, who serves on the pastoral staff of Grace Immanuel Bible Church and the faculty of The Expositors Seminary in Jupiter, Florida, and who has made excellent contributions to The Cripplegate over the years. His book is called Amillennialism and the Age to Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age Model (Kress Biblical Resources, 2016). (Available from Amazon and Kress.) If you’re interested in eschatology or studies of the Kingdom of God, you’ll benefit greatly from Matt’s work. He’s given me permission to reproduce the preface of the book, and I hope it entices you to read the whole thing...keep reading
See also my article Esoteric Theology or Biblical Hermeneutics?