Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rapture: it’s no secret

Another one from Cripplegate sure to attract interesting comments...click here


Note also the more recent article 3 reasons Revelation 12:5 describes the pre-triublational rapture. This is Michael Svigel's view. I first came across it several years ago when I was researching. I found it unconvincing, and even contra-dispensational hermeneutics. It has had prominence of late because of some speculation about celestial events in September this year. Could this be the rapture? Pass the popcorn around.

Most pretribbers I know don't buy into this. Unfortunately some have. So you can bet your bottom dollar it will be used to criticize the system. Rev 12 is about Israel, not the rapture. Why read something into a passage which isn't there? See Tony Garland's Commentary on Revelation.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Charles Spurgeon's Eschatology

On page 54 of Marvin Rosenthal's book The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, he cites a list of past "godly believers" who didn't hold to pretribulationism. Among those he mentions are John Knox, the Wesleys, Matthew Henry, John Calvin, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon and a bunch of others.

Of course most of these godly believers weren't even premillennial, as Rosenthal is. None of them were prewrath rapturists either. Despite this, apparently Robert Van Kampen tried to enlist Spurgeon's thinking as somewhat in line with his view. Spurgeon was premillennial and posttribulational. However, he was also a Covenant Theologian and held to some Historicist thinking.

Dennis Swanson comments on Spurgeon's eschatology in the following article. I agree with some of Swanson's criticisms of Van Kampen here:
In the discussion of the various aspects of systematic theology, perhaps none has seen more ink spilt in the last 100 years than eschatology. Those who have "specialized" in this field are well-known and equally well- published; however, when the discussion of eschatology comes up, the name of one of the most published Christians in the history of the church1, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), is seldom mentioned. There are, of course, many reasons for this, not the least of which was Spurgeon's own lack of emphasis on the subject in his own ministry, as was common in his day...keep reading

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Political Pope

I haven't got time to comment on this but the article linked to below is by George Neumayr, the author of The Political Pope. TPP is on my future reading list. You can read an excerpt HERE

Excerpts from Neuamyr's article on the pope's new Jesuit Head:
But Sosa’s ambitions, like Pope Francis’s, go well beyond meddling in economies. He is also pushing a moral revolution in the Church, evident in his astonishing claim that, since none of the Apostles tape-recorded Jesus Christ, his words on adultery can be elastically re-interpreted.
 “You need to start by reflecting on what exactly Jesus said,” Sosa told an Italian interviewer in February. “At that time, no one had a tape recorder to capture the words. What we know is that the words of Jesus have to be contextualized, they’re expressed in a certain language, in a precise environment, and they’re addressed to someone specific.”
In other words, Sosa is confident that he understands Jesus’s meaning better than the Gospel writers. Like Francis, Sosa can’t resist the mumbo-jumbo of Modernist biblical scholarship, which always manages to dovetail conveniently with liberal views.
According to Arturo Sosa Abascal:
The Church has developed over the centuries, it is not a piece of reinforced concrete. It was born, it has learned, it has changed. This is why the ecumenical councils are held, to try to bring developments of doctrine into focus. Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development...keep reading
What makes Neumayr's book and articles interesting is that he is an informed Roman Catholic who sees Bergoglio as a game changer and political activist.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Rapture & The End Times

Two hours of discussion from Moody Radio, with Michael Rydelnik, John Hart and Kevin Zuber.

Click HERE

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Life, Death, Resurrection: The Minister’s Priorities

From Cripplegate:
“For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.”  2 Corinthians 5:2–4
In these verses, we get a view of the faithful Christian minister’s perspective on life and death, as encapsulated by Paul’s experience. And the first thing you notice is that he prefers the next life over this one. He has a holy dissatisfaction with this life, and a holy longing and yearning for the next. He speaks twice of groaning—a present tense verb indicating continuous action. “We go on groaning, continuously being burdened with the longing to be rid of this body, and to be clothed with the resurrection body.” The faithful servant of Christ has not formed an adulterous attachment to the present life and the present world. He is not at home in this body, such that his life is marked by comfort and ease. She is a stranger, a sojourner in a foreign land, and so life in this present body is marked by groaning...keep reading

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Master's Seminary Spring 2017 Journal

The Spring 2017 TMS Journal can be read HERE

Or individual articles HERE

Topics discussed:

The Reformers and the Original Languages: Calvin and Luther on the Importance of Greek and Hebrew in Theology and Ministry

Is Christ the Fulfillment of National Israel’s Prophecies? Yes and No!

Matthew 5:5 and the Old Testament Land Promises: An Inheritance of the Earth or the Land of Israel?

The Vernacular Consciousness: Modernism’s Influence on Postcolonial Contextualization

Book Reviews

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Parkside Church Basics Conference

The Parkside Church Basics Conference was geared to pastors, but there's something there for us all.

Click Here

Thursday, May 11, 2017

James White on Hanegraaff & Hatmaker

James White catches up on the Hanegraaff conversion to Orthodoxy and the recent Jen Hatmaker controversy.

Note: Dr. White announces that Hank has a serious cancer and needs prayer. In the Hatmaker portion of the video, White mentions his daughter's response to Hatmaker and Merritt. You can read it HERE

Apologize for Israel and Balfour?

There has always been the sentiment among some groups that the Balfour Declaration has led to victimization of the Palestinian people. They say it was a mistake, and that we should attempt to make amends.

Christian scholars such as Stephen Sizer, Colin Chapman, Gary Burge and others have been spinning this yarn for years in conferences and books. Recently, some of the chatter got louder. This may be due to the pro-Israel Trump administration’s interest in making the ultimate deal – Peace in the Middle East...keep reading

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who are the 144,000?

Who are the 144,000 of Revelation chapter seven? Well, when all else fails, what does the text say about them?

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. Rev 7:4-8

These verses indicate that these individuals are from the tribes of Israel. However, many conflate the 144, 000 with the church. An article on B & H Academic presents some arguments used against identifying the 144,000 as literal members of Israel...keep reading

Also from The Cripplegate: Why 144,000 means 144,000

The comments, as always, are interesting. One person said:
"Christ used a literal-grammtical-historical hermeneutic." He did?
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"? Or "I am the bread of life. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life"? Or, "My flesh is true food, and my blood true drink."
This point is inevitably evoked in discussions like this. It's almost as if they've never been responded to. Of course dispensationalists (and Biblical Covenantalists) acknowledge symbolism etc. The issue here is context and I believe the point was indirectly answered in the article. If the 144,000 and the great multitude are one and the same then why mention two different categories? It is notable that our amil-postmil friends are busily telling us that particular texts aren't saying what they seem to be saying!

I highly recommend Matt Waymeyer's  Amillennialism and the Age to Come

BTW, Sam Waldron has started a series of critiques of Waymeyer's book. He'll have to selectively touch on salient points because the book is information-dense. Readers can make up their own minds whether Waldron's responses justify amil.

As for me, I'll repeat what I said above: the natural reading supports premillennialism throughout the Bible. Only the premil view does justice to what Scripture states re Israel and the covenants and God's Future Kingdom. A covenant keeping God must bring in a period of time where Israel's kingdom is restored (Acts 1:6-7). National Israel  was promised to be a nation forever (Jer 31). The amil view must consistently render a different meaning to the natural in order to support its view.

See also Paul Henebury's series on Replacement Theology.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Evangelicalism vs Eastern Orthodoxy

What are some of the differences between Evangelicalism and Eastern Orthodoxy? And in what way are they important to Christians?

Some time ago the evangelical world went abuzz with the news that Hank Hanegraaff had converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It’s not that unusual for an evangelical to leave the “Protestant” faith and convert to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. Of course, there are examples of Catholics who have become Protestants. Naturally, whenever this happens, the side who receives the convert into its fold celebrates a victory...keep reading