Tuesday, December 25, 2018

An Open Letter to the Depressed Christian at Christmas

David Murray:

Dear Friend,

Depression is tough at the best of times. Perhaps it’s the best of times, such as holiday times, when it’s especially tough. The thought of mixing with happy people fills you with dread. The thought of remembering lost loved ones fills you with gloom. How can people be so happy when you are so sad? How can people celebrate when you are in mourning? It jars your soul and scrapes your tender wounds, doesn’t it?...keep reading

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Fourth Member of the Trinity?

Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age recently put up a post about Richard Rohr on her Facebook page. The name immediately rang a bell (not Rob Bell but close). I've seen Rohr's name favorably mentioned by proponents of, what I call, progressive Christianity (PC). He's one of its go-to people. Rohr operates on the fuzzy feel-good level. PC dumbs down Scripture and enthrones the interpreter - as long as that interpreter derives positions sanctioned by proponents of PC. Of course, it's hard to pin these people down unless one follows them on Twitter and reads their books and blogs.

Fred Sanders mentions a few (I could add to the list) in an article reviewing Rohr's book which alleges to be about the Trinity. Sanders' review is worth a read.
Father Richard Rohr believes in the flow. Sometimes it’s Flow with a capital F, sometimes it’s “the Divine Flow.” Sometimes it’s “the flow who flows through everything, without exception, and who has done so since the beginning.” But with more than 150 occurrences of the word “flow” in his new book, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House, 2016), it’s always the flow that Rohr is pushing, praising, and preaching.
The flow is a self-giving exchange of love and life. If you were to ask Rohr whether the flow is primarily something about God, the world, or the human person, he would no doubt answer with an enthusiastic “Yes!” and his twinkling Franciscan eyes would twinkle Franciscanly. The flow overflows the distinction between the Creator and the creature. It flows from God as God empties Godself; it circulates among creatures and binds them together with each other and the absolute; it flows back to God, enriching and delighting that Holy Source who loves to see finite spirits awaken to their true, divine selves. The flow sounds like a noun, but it’s really a verb. Flow verbs all nouns as they flow with its flowing. And everybody is flowing, if they would just realize it; the book is dedicated “to all the unsuspecting folks who do not know they are already within the Divine Flow.” The flow is divine and cosmic and human all at once, always together. For Rohr, that’s the point...keep reading
Excerpt:
Fourth Member of the Trinity...The Divine Dance relativizes the three persons of the Trinity. They’re not even islands in a larger stream; they’re swirling patterns in an ocean of relationality. Once you accept this premise, Rohr invites you to receive the next insight: there’s room in the ocean for more swirling patterns. The flow can accommodate a fourth. It must.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Watchfulness Requires Wakefulness

Article by Brian G Hedges:

When I was eighteen, I fell asleep at the wheel. My dad was preaching at a church two hundred miles from the farm where we lived in Tokio, Texas. We left early enough that morning to make the three-hour drive and arrive before the hymns began. I was driving while Dad went over notes for his sermon, prayed, and took a brief nap.

We both woke up at the same time, as the minivan careened right, then bounced along the wide shoulder of the straight (and mercifully empty) Texas highway. 

Both of us were startled. 

No one was hurt...keep reading

PS Prayers needed for Alan Kurschner (Eschatos Ministries)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Master's Seminary Journal Dec 2018

The latest Master's Seminary Journal can now be read HERE

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Groaning for Glory

We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, knowing that what the Lord appoints is best. Waiting implies being ready. We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved to open it and take us away to Himself. This groaning is a test. You can learn a lot about a man by what he groans after. Some men groan after wealth - they worship money; some groan continually under the troubles of life - they are merely impatient. But the man who sighs after God, who is uneasy until he is made like Christ - that is the blessed man. May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord and the resurrection that He will bring us. ~ Charles Spurgeon (Morning & Evening, Edited by Alistair Begg)

Telos Theological Ministries' Videos on the Resurrection:

01 – Resurrection in the Ancient World

02 – The Resurrection of Jesus

03 – Further Explanation of Christ’s Resurrection

04 – Jesus’ Resurrected Body

05 – Jesus’ Resurrected Body and the Renewal of Creation

Monday, December 3, 2018

On Facebook "Discussions"

I should begin my rant by pointing out that I've been an admin for several Facebook groups over the years. One of them was David Reagan's Christ in Prophecy. Since then, and most recently, I've tried very hard to reduce my Facebook footprint, with very limited success.

My stint at CiP involved sorting out arguments and trying to make peace - not always successfully. There was always someone who'd ask that apparently innocuous (yet tricky) question. Often it was an excuse to unload on people. They weren't always easy to spot and were often asked by proponents of cults like Seventh-day Adventists, or Young and Restless Amils and non-pretribbers.

The debates didn't have to be about eschatology. Someone would post something about Genesis or the "real" location of the Old Temple etc. They'd make some comment about "iron sharpening iron." Frequently you'd find they'd bought into whatever they posted and didn't want to "sharpen iron." They really wanted to enlighten the less-informed. If challenged or contradicted, they'd often spit the dummy and cry foul.

More recently I was conscripted into another Facebook group and started getting the feeds. Last week someone posted a long comment - actually it was a 900 plus word essay - inviting discussion regarding whether creation really occurred in 6 days, or longer periods. Not only was there nothing new in his epic polemic but he managed to employ the words "hogwash" and lame" of the 6 day position. I read part of it out to my wife. She forbade me to go there.

Anyone who spends time to spin out 900 word comments has to be pretty dedicated. My eyes tend to glaze over after 300. And what an inviting way to encourage a sharpening discussion - just call the other view hogwash. When the guy was ignored he churned out a long complaint - it was a pity people didn't get more involved and that no one bothered responding. But he wasn't offended, not really. Someone finally engaged him and he quickly churned out another 940 word saga.

Don't be that person everyone tries to avoid at parties. Personally I don't like parties so I'm safe to be that person. And yes, my wife thinks my articles are way too long.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Luke 24 and the Christological Hermeneutic

Matt Waymeyer:
In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus engaged in a fascinating conversation with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. During this dialogue, “beginning with Moses, and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27). Later, Jesus told the Eleven that “all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).
For many today who believe that the Old Testament must be read in light of the New Testament, these verses in Luke 24 justify a “Christological Hermeneutic” for interpreting the Hebrew Bible. For some, this means a full-blown allegorical method of interpretation that sees pictures of Jesus and His work of redemption hidden throughout the Old Testament...keep reading

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Hubris of John Chau

Who is John Chau? See this article for some details.

Once you're up to scratch, go read The Domain for Truth's article: Double Standard of the “Christian” Left Concerning John Allen Chau.

Hopefully, Jim won't mind that I link to the article he's addressing. The blog is called the Salt Collective and the lengthy title is: Chau’s Death is a Tragedy of Arrogance and Hubris. Let’s Learn from His Mistakes. The writer notes this:
Sadly, John was killed by the Sentinelese. Killing him can be justified as self defense, as his arrival on the island had the potential to bring diseases the Sentinelese people are not immune to, which could threaten their very survival.
One friend quickly noted the sheer hypocrisy [and overall article's racism] within this comment, in light of the current US Border Security issues. It's also obvious these professing progressive Christians espouse universalism, and take a dim view of the efforts to bring the gospel to the lost. The blog author states her reasons for leaving Missionary Work. After reading this article and perusing the blog, I say "Thank God for that!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Last Days of Dispensationalism – A Review

I once wrote an Amazon review of a book "the last days of dispensationalism: a scholarly critique of popular misconceptions" by Alistair W. Donaldson. It ended up being trolled by several activists who dislike Israel. The comments ran into the hundreds. All the current Amazon reviews are 5 star.

My attempt to review the book failed to make the same erudite observations as Sam Mangai. So I'm linking to his review below. The only obvious thing I disagreed with Manga was his disappointment that this would be fair scholarly book - not when Stephen Sizer wrote a glowing Foreword!
It is no secret that Laidlaw College is anything but a friend of dispensational premillennialism. The college’s liberationist, supersessionist theology, drives an underlying eschatological view that can at best be described as antagonistic towards dispensationalism. What is unfortunate – and somewhat ironic - is that the man from whom the college currently draws its name, was a premillennialist who was sympathetic to dispensationalism! The subtitle to Alistair Donaldson’s The Last Days of  Dispensationalism claims the book to be a scholarly critique of popular misconceptions’. As a Christian who seems to have appropriated some “popular misconceptions”, I had hoped that this book would offer a fair, well-reasoned, and indeed scholarly evaluation of the dispensational position. Above all, I had hoped that this book would promote, and encourage, sound, biblical theology as it relates to eschatology and ecclesiology. Unfortunately, I found it to have failed on all accounts...keep reading 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Poison Pen Ministries

I've mentioned before that I attend Alistair Begg's Parkside Church. Over the past year, Begg has made it perfectly clear - as has John MacArthur - that the gospel is not to be associated with Social Justice Issues. During one sermon he preached through Philemon and touched upon slavery. I thought he sounded a little nervous as many members are African-American. In fact the young guy in front of me was black. I recall getting sweaty palms wondering what he was thinking. I was relieved to hear many "Amens" and the guy in front of me often nodding his head in agreement. Kudos to Begg for defending the gospel's purity, when so many are mixing it in with Social Justice Agendas.

Now I see on Facebook, that a prominent individual is tarnishing Begg's name through guilt by association (TGC), as if he's bought into the "Marxist Gospel." Judging by the comments, many are blindly buying into this erroneous smear. Rather, this person's association with a particular polemical "ministry" is damaging his reputation, in my opinion. Don't people ever think for themselves? Don't they ever check the facts?

How tragic!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sin Becoming Evangelistic Technique

Never in its history has the evangelical church been more intentional and more systematic in its efforts to imitate the world than in our day. In fact, worldliness, which used to be a sin-to-be-avoided, has not only become an obsession for the church, today it has become the evangelistic technique of choice.

In the Old Testament, God told Israel, “You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you” (Lev 18:3). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul told the church, "Do not be conformed to this world" (Rom 12:2). Nonetheless, today’s self-appointed evangelical relevance experts tell us that the only way to reach the world is to be like the world: we must talk like them, dress like them, be entertained like them, sport tattoos like them, address human sexuality like them, and so on...keep reading

Note: John MacArthur addresses many of these issues in a new book Christ's Call to Reform the Church

Friday, November 16, 2018

Disproving Pretrib in 10 minutes

There's a YouTube video which claims to disprove pretrib in 10 minutes. The presenter is Nelson Walters who is a published author, presenter, and prominent exponent of the prewrath rapture position.

A little while ago I came across a surprising comment of his in a well-populated PW forum. I say surprising because I assume most PW proponents hold to a distinction between Israel and the church. Walters stated that believers are grafted into Israel; Israel doesn't join the Church, and Christians become part of Israel. At first I thought it was a monumental typo. But, at the time, no one there challenged him.

It wasn't a typo. Walters' blurring of the Israel-church distinction figures in his pretrib debunking video where the focus is on Matt 24:31. He asserts that dispensationalists are mistaken in taking OT verses relating to national Israel's gathering, and only applying them to Israel in Matt 24:31. This is because the church is also Israel.

As proof, Walters cites Gal 3:28 and gives us the only-one-people-of God argument. He follows up by saying that Christians are grafted into the root of the Olive Tree, which is Israel. These are familiar supersessionist statements, routinely debunked by Dispensationalists.

Although I disagree with his conclusions, Alan Kurschner (Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord) proposed four reasons why Matt 24:31 was the rapture of the church. None of these involved a blurring of the distinction between Israel and the church. While I have a number of PW books on my shelf - with good reason, Kurschner's book and Eschatos Ministries are the only mediums I currently recommend to anyone interested in learning about the system.

Some resources:

Discussion on the Olive Tree HERE

Paul Henebury: Replacement Theology: Is it Wrong to Use the Term?

Paul Henebury: Contra the 95 Theses Against Dispensationalism

An Analysis of Neo-Replacement Theology

Monday, November 12, 2018

Michael Reeves on The Trinity

I first encountered Michael Reeves in the book High King of Heaven. Reeves contributed the first chapter The Eternal Word: God the Son in Eternity Past. Though I didn't mention him in my review of that book, I really enjoyed his essay.

Since then I've bumped into him in various places. He recently presented at a 2018 Ligonier Conference in Belfast Ireland. Reeves is the author of  Delighting in the Trinity and several other books. You can read his brief article Delighting in the Trinity HERE. I especially loved listening to his audio presentation The Trinity: The Secret to Joyful Christianity

Friday, November 9, 2018

Banner of Truth 2018 Christmas Specials

I was hoping to see a discount on the works of John Flavel. But it wasn't to be. For those interested, here's a link to the Banner Christmas Flyer 2018.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics 2018

The presentations from the 2018 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics are now available to read HERE 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Barry Horner responds to Gary Burge on Israel

Below I'm linking to an older article from the Pre-Trib Research Center where Barry Horner responds to Gary Burge.

Horner is the director of Future Israel Ministries. Burge has written articles and at least one book challenging the legitimacy of modern Israel. In October 2018 he participated in the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference staged in Oklahoma.

One of Burge's contentions is that the state of Israel is out of covenant fellowship with God because of disobedience. Therefore it doesn't have a God-given right to its land. Interestingly, he favors the predominantly Muslim Palestinian entities who deny Christ. And ironically, in 2015, he supported former Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins who stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. The Hawkins drama is now the subject of a film titled Same God.

That said here's a link to Horner's Territorial Supercessionism: A Response to Gary Burge

Paul Washer - Life as a Vapour

Paul Washer died three times. How did that change his perspective, if at all? I printed out the following article hoping it does some good for me.
It has been a little over one year since my heart attack (March 21, 2017). Without warning, I fell to the kitchen floor unconscious. I remember nothing that happened thereafter until five days later when I found myself in a hospital room. I asked what happened, and someone said, ‘You died three times.’ My heart had stopped and had been resuscitated on three separate occasions...keep reading 
 See also HeartCry Missionary Society

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Trials Tribulations and Nicolae Carpathia

If you don't know who Nic is you can find out HERE. Or if you'd rather not, Nicolae Jetty Carpathia is the Antichrist character from the fictional Left Behind books. Yes, I read them. No, I didn't enjoy all of them for a number of reasons. But there were bits I liked - sorry about that.

The thing that offends a lot of folk is the "false premise" that believers get raptured before Nic comes along and struts his devilish stuff. They say this leaves the unprepared in grave danger. This apparent concern has spawned a considerable cottage industry of blogs, books and videos warning people of the dangers of not preparing for the Antichrist.

The problem with all these materials is that they're invariably only focused on changing the intended audience's position on the rapture. I once interacted with a posttribber who claimed his criticism of pretrib was motivated by concern. So I pressed him as to how he was spiritually preparing for "Antichrist's Tribulation." He finally responded that he was living in Canada and Antichrist's influence will be restricted to the Middle East and Mediterranean area. In other words he didn't have an answer.

How was he spiritually preparing for the possibility of future persecution and martyrdom which may come to the West long before the Antichrist? The books, blogs and videos don't discuss this. These efforts are generally virtue-signaling exercises which assume one's eschatology is the key to preparation.

Without going into details this has been a particularly tough three years for my family. To be honest, I've struggled. Moreover, I know people who've been in worse situations. Google Christian News to get an over-all indication of what Christians around the world are currently going through. We all need to be prepared now, and eschatology has nothing to do with it. It is our daily relationship with Christ which counts. Anyone who tells you different is sadly mistaken. I discussed this topic in a recent article on Zeteo.

Rather than buying a book emphasizing some eschatological position, go read John Murray's "O Death, Where is Thy Sting?" See especially chapter 11 "The Cost of Discipleship." Another book one ought to read is John MacArthur's "Hard to Believe - The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus." Here's an excerpt:
When Jesus told His listeners to take up their crosses, it meant only one thing to them. It meant willingly facing the possibility of death for His sake...The disciples understood that to "take up the cross" meant a willingness to die any death. It meant abandoning self to the lordship of Christ. The love of Christ has to overrule both the powerful appeal of family love and the more powerful instinct of self-preservation. (p 135)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

RESPONSE TO SAM STORMS ON DANIEL 9:24-27

This blog is a section from a paper I delivered at the Pre-Trib Study Group a couple of years ago.  I am responding to Sam Storms’ book Kingdom Come in the paper but in this particular section, I am giving a response to his claim that dispensationalists are simply forcing their preconceived view onto the text of Daniel 9:24-27. - Mike Stallard...keep reading

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Why Matt Walsh is Dangerously Wrong About Genesis

The conservative writer's train of common sense derailed in terrifying fashion during his thread undermining Genesis...I don’t know conservative firebrand author Matt Walsh. The closest I ever came to meeting him was when I was invited to emcee an event he was keynoting a couple years ago. Due to a prior commitment, I was unable to accept. Still, I have followed Walsh’s writings sporadically for several years and have appreciated his uncompromising stance on the sanctity of human life as the single greatest moral issue of our time, as well as his defense of the importance of the nuclear family...keep reading

See also Apologist Matt Walsh makes a seriously uninformed attack on biblical creationism

Rachel Held Evans – Inspired

I've finally contributed my two cents on Rachel Held Evans' book "Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again."

Originally I'd planned to do several posts on it. But, as one reviewer has noted, it would take another larger book to address all its issues. I'm under no illusions as to my limitations regarding writing reviews, let alone as an apologist. Yet because of Evans' enormous influence, I feel it's important that her book is responded to. 

Fortunately, others have done some exemplary work in addressing Inspired's problems - notably Allen Nelson VI and Jim from The Domain for Truth (see the side links). You can read my small contribution, plus all the highly recommended links over at Zeteo 3:16.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Oliver Crisp, Jonathan Edwards on Creation

I'm wandering far from eschatology here. But I thought this was very interesting - at least the bits I was able to follow!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rejecting Assimilation – Hensworth Jonas

Contra religious pluralism and its consequences etc








Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Interpreting the End Times...

Excellent material.



Monday, October 1, 2018

Vern Poythress and the Seven Seals

I've been slowly reading through Vern Poythress' book "Theophany." While he's amillennial, he makes some interesting comments regarding the nature of the Seven Seals of Revelation. I make a few observations HERE.

PS Here's a review of "Theophany."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Can you love Jesus and reject His Word?

Andy Stanley, pastor of Atlanta’s North Point Community Church which averages 36,000 people per week across 6 campuses, recently presented a 3-part series of messages. In the series, he teaches that the Old Testament and the New Testament contradict each other, and that Christians should not ask “What does the Bible say?” but “What does the New Testament say?” or “What does Jesus say?”, and that we should not look to the Old Testament or the Ten Commandments for Christian norms.

An instinctive reaction might be to simply label Stanley as a dangerous false teacher. But to be able to respond graciously and effectively, it’s helpful to try to understand his motivation, and show that a stance that honors the entirety of God’s Word answers his concerns more effectively than his proposal, which actually has been shown to empty the churches faster, rather than stem the tide of youth exiting the church...keep reading

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Matt Waymeyer "The Pastor's Mandate"

I've posted this before. But it's always relevant, and perhaps especially now.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

James White - China, Union Theological Seminary etc

White discusses some issues I've been following.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dealing With the Best Arguments

One thing I find frustrating re eschatology debates is when someone attacks another system's worst proponents and/or arguments. Along the same lines is the broad-brush questioning of motives for belief in a particular view. Obviously in this case I have the pretribulational rapture in mind.

One of my favorite pastor-writers (Sinclair Ferguson) had a woeful chapter on Christ's return in his otherwise reasonably good book "Ichthus." It was dismissive at best. Dr Ferguson ought to have dedicated more time and engaged his friend John MacArthur's eschatological arguments, rather than scooping from the bottom of the barrel. Or at best, left the matter alone.

It's tempting for all of us to take shots at other views on eschatology by attacking the worst examples of its defenses. It's far better to engage the best arguments while not being dogmatic. And let's not blithely impute motives to people who disagree with us. Some of us have studied the different views. We tentatively hold to what we believe (e.g., the rapture) because that is our best understanding of how Scripture informs us -  not because we "fear tribulation."

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics

The Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics now has a dedicated Website. Note also that it has a blog section. Many thanks to Mike Stallard for getting it set up.

Friday, August 31, 2018

How I Changed My Mind About Evolution

Great book review by CMI:
How I Changed My Mind About Evolution is a regrettable, 200-page survey of theological abdication. Editors Applegate and Stump1 are both staff scientists at the Templeton-funded organization BioLogos, whose mission is to persuade people that microbes-to-man evolution is both true and compatible with Christianity (p. 16).2 This book is intended as a means toward that end, but it does not attempt to reach its goal by setting out a purely rational case that resolves the conflicts. Instead, it presents personal stories—twenty-five short testimonies from people who claim to have reconciled evolution and faith to their own satisfaction.
While How I Changed My Mind will likely be persuasive to some, it ultimately fails to show that theistic evolution is an acceptable option for Bible believers. The book’s attempts at reconciliation are inadequate, and there are several severe problems for theistic evolution which the book’s contributors largely ignore...keep reading

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Is the Bible Enough?

Thought this was good...
Sure, the Bible Is True, but Is it Enough?
Over the last fifty years American evangelicals have been forced to address the question of biblical authority. In the early 1970s North American evangelicalism came dangerously close to theological apostasy. Many leaders had begun to drift away from their historic commitment to the authority of Scripture. Professors in prominent colleges and seminaries were becoming bold in teaching that the Bible contained many historical and scientific errors, but that this did not matter to the Christian faith. It looked like evangelical churches were going to follow the steps of mainline protestant denominations and drift into the sea of liberalism...keep reading

Accidental Saints

Challies reviews Nadia Bolz-Weber's book "Accidental Saints." I've read "Pastrix" and came to the same conclusions.
I read it because it was on the New York Times list of bestsellers. That is not only a significant accomplishment for an author but an indication that her work resonates with a wide audience. So I read the book. And, oh my.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is founding pastor of a Lutheran congregation in Denver called House for All Sinners and Saints. Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People is the follow-up to her memoir, Pastrix, also a bestseller. A tremendously gifted writer, Bolz-Weber is known for her storytelling, transparency, irreverence, and excessive profanity. In this new book she describes some of her encounters with grace and she does so largely by sharing anecdotes related to her pastoral and speaking ministries...keep reading

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Church Curmudgeon on Eschatology

Pro tip: Don't let the guy who really, really wants to teach eschatology teach eschatology.

Yup!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Church and the Olivet

Pretribbers are often chided for insisting that the church has nothing to do with the Olivet Discourse. There are some dissenters - e.g., Arnold Fruchtenbaum. I happen to be a possible dissenter. But some who "chide" want to make the whole discussion about the church. I came across the following statement by a popular prophecy writer of late last century:
...it is my firm conviction that the Olivet Discourse is written for the church, and that its application is to believers and not to unsaved Israel which, by definition, has no interest whatsoever in the New Testament or its warnings concerning the unbelieving nation of Israel.... [and so on] 
Wow - that's pretty emphatic! I guess that's the reason the disciples rushed to Jesus' side just before His ascension and asked Him when the rapture (Matt 24:31) would occur (Acts 1:3, 6-7). Of course, that's what you and I would do - no? But perhaps they got it slightly wrong because they were confused (Luke 24:45).

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Life as a Vapour

Paul Washer scares me. Somewhere in my recollection, I'm sure even Phil Johnson has said something similar. Washer may come across as extreme to some people, but I wish I was more like him. I post this here mainly for myself. It relates to certain personal matters and prayers this morning, and it is providential that I should come across this article almost immediately afterwards.
It has been a little over one year since my heart attack (March 21, 2017). Without warning, I fell to the kitchen floor unconscious. I remember nothing that happened thereafter until five days later when I found myself in a hospital room. I asked what happened, and someone said, ‘You died three times.’ My heart had stopped and had been resuscitated on three separate occasions...keep reading

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rachel Held Evans Inspired - Reviews

Blogger, author and progressive Christian has come out with a new book titled "Inspired - Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, And Loving the Bible Again." The book isn't about loving the Bible as the inerrant Word of God - RHE has something else in mind. Her position is that readers can still derive benefit from the Bible despite its many flaws and "fishy stories."

To get an idea of where Evans is coming from see this article. See also this tweet.

I'm reading "Inspired" at the moment and intend to review it. For various reasons this likely won't happen for some time yet. I tend to dwell on a book - especially one where I find strong disagreement - before I review it.

In the interim, Jim from The Domain of Truth is reading RHE's book and has kick started the review process with an astute first installment. Read it HERE. Jim has also written on Peter Enns who RHE refers to as her mentor.

Allen Nelson IV has also begun to review "Inspired" HERE.

Both men are critical thinkers who avoid attacking the person. I appreciate their efforts. People like Evans need prayer as much as their views need to be addressed. I was once there but for God's grace.

Finally, keep track of Paul Henebury's series The Primacy of Revelation. The following is germane and responds to RHEs position on the Bible:
The doctrine of revelation does not promote autonomy but dependence on God; dependence on God not just for our everyday needs, but also for our everyday thinking.  This outlook is inextricably bound to the Bible and our faith in it. ~ The Primacy of Revelation (1)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Whatever happened to Evangelism?

From The Master's Seminary Blog:
The other day I was speaking with a friend who lives on the other side of the country. We were talking about his experience witnessing to co-workers. He was excited—still coming off the high of participating in the privilege of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and wondering aloud why we Christians don’t do this all the time. Suddenly his jubilation ceased, and his voice took on a serious tone. He asked me, “What ever happened to evangelism?” Without him needing to explain, I knew exactly what he meant. Churches do not emphasize evangelism like they once did.
Together we reminisced about how in our youth our churches frequently called us to “share our faith,” witness to our neighbors, and be about the work of the Great Commission. But today that kind of talk has fallen out of favor in many churches. The single-pointed, Great Commission focus of evangelicalism, in most quarters of the movement, seems to have surreptitiously forked into a grab-bag of various causes...keep reading
PS This ought to be read too. Don Green on Biblical Justice vs. "Social Justice" 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Could God have been any clearer on Israel?

Thought this was good. Have wondered the same thing. Personally, I believe these Palestinian Activists are well aware of what the Bible clearly teaches. They simply reject it!

From Eschatos Ministries:

‘How could God have explained [the land promises] any more clearly?’

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book review: Israel the Church and the Middle East

Paul Henebury's book review HERE

BTW, he's doing a series on The Primacy of Revelation. The following is a quote from the first installment:
The doctrine of revelation does not promote autonomy but dependence on God; dependence on God not just for our everyday needs, but also for our everyday thinking. This outlook is inextricably bound to the Bible and our faith in it. ~ Paul Henebury.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Inerrancy was Really the Issue

The weeks prior to the recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention saw a strange phenomenon that surrounded the controversy over Paige Patterson. Everyone seemed willing to pitch in and pile on. Molly Marshall smelled blood in the water and made her comments about the Conservative Resurgence as a guise for maintaining male domination of the theological world. Brian McClaren entered the picture with a renewed criticism of the unhealthy authoritarianism and narrowness that undergirds the spirit that seems to need an infallible authority. Others have revisited the CR with suspicions that misogyny always lay behind the quest, while the prized Elysium of political control always overshadowed the effort. Certainly personal power and prestige must be the true driving motivation for such a disruptive and challenging movement. Now, so they say, all of these motives have been revealed and have turned on their original propagators with ironical justice...keep reading

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Futurist Pre-Wrath Post-Tribulationist?

What is a Futurist Pre-Wrath Post-Tribulationist? The question stems from a brief discussion I followed on a prewrath forum. Some of the folks there seemed confused about this alleged self-description by Joel Richardson.

One lady suggested that Richardson was referring to prewrath/posttrib without committing to either camp. This lady has a YouTube ministry followed by the prewrath/posttrib folk. I once asked her a question which - I think - exposed her posttrib position. Either that or she's confused. Yet she wouldn't commit to a position when asked directly. Her response was that they were similar and that her goal was to confront pretribulationism.

I get that. The similarity lies in the fact that both views see the church going through the great tribulation, contra pretribulationism (and midtrib). However, the views are quite different.

Back to Joel Richardson: I may stand to be corrected but I believe he's now a proponent of the prewrath view. If that's the case his self-description is appropriate.

Richardson is a Futurist because he takes a futurist view of prophecy (Revelation etc). He's Pre-Wrath given the name is a distinction of the Van Kampen-Rosenthal view (rapture before wrath of God), and he's posttrib because he sees the rapture occurring after the church has gone through the great tribulation (wrath of God after tribulation & rapture).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Gnostic World of John Walton

Walton has become accessible to a broader range of "prophecy enthusiasts" via the writings of Michael Heiser. In fact Heiser has been complementary to theistic evolutionist Peter Enns. But that's best left for a possible future blog. For the moment, the following article discussing John Walton is very interesting and important:
The history of the church includes well-meaning scholars who introduce ideas that undermine Biblical authority. This is the case with the gifted Old Testament professor Dr. John Walton.
Dr. Walton teaches at Wheaton College. Last November, in preparation for a campus showing of our film Is Genesis History?, he provided a paper for professors to pass out to students. Entitled “Is Genesis Real History?,” it outlined his unique perspective on how to interpret the book of Genesis. (You can read it here.)
A number of students were troubled by what they read. Dr. Walton seemed to be questioning whether the Bible could be used to know what actually happened in the past. His ideas were complex, however, and some students were not sure what to make of them.
One student asked if I would respond. Although there are a number of observations I can make, his paper should first be placed in context of his prior work and affiliations...keep reading

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Can we know about prophecy?

Eschatos Ministry recently spent some time addressing the question about whether we can know about prophecy HERE.

Obviously there are some things where I am in disagreement with Alan. He's more confident of his rapture timing position than I am in mine. There may be some curve balls coming but the Bible is clear regarding future Israel and a future millennium. Moreover, as Alan Kurschner notes, Jesus expected the disciples to know about Him through reading Moses and the prophets.

People like William Lane Craig and even Michael Heiser are prophecy agnostics. I find it ironic especially with Dr Heiser given that he's quite sure of some things in the Bible concerning his particular realm of interest. Perhaps in the future I might blog some more on this.

The Unseen Realm

Can We Trust Prophecy?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jeff Durbin Responds To Andy Stanley

A long one but worth watching.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Only True God

I first came across Brad Klassen through a recent book High King of Heaven which I reviewed HERE. His chapter contribution was titled Christ and the Completion of the Canon (p 193).

Grace Church has made available a series of Klassen's lectures on the attributes of God under the title The Only True God. Each sermon can be downloaded as an MP3 file.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Palestinian Activists Manipulating Western Christians

An informative article by Daniel Swindell:
Since the recreation of the modern state of Israel in 1948, there has been a Christian doctrinal anti-semitic revolution. After Rome adopted Christianity as the state religion, the early forms of Christian anti-semitism were created and fixed, and remain embedded in Catholic policy. The most common forms of Christian anti-semitism were built on the accusation of deicide, the depiction of Jews as Satanic, and replacement theology. There was very little variation in these forms until after the recreation of Israel in 1948: the rebirth of Israel presented a serious theological challenge to replacement theology. For those who wished to deny the Jewish people the right to freedom from Christian and Islamic overlords, new theological reasons had to be formulated to argue that the Jewish people should be denied a nation...keep reading
Excerpt:
These Christian Palestinian activists are fully aware that many western Christians support Israel, based on the biblical promises made to the Jewish people. If they are going to cut off this support, they must find a way to get around the Bible verses which promise the land to the Jewish people for eternity: the Bible itself is the greatest barrier standing in their way. Thus, the Scriptures themselves have to be circumvented. How to do this? By waging an attack against the major foundational pillars of the Bible...First attack: The Jewish Bible is not a reliable source of history.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Church & Israel in the 70th week

Is there a Church-Israel overlap in the 70th week? Can God work with both Israel and the Church during this period? I briefly discussed this years ago. I wasn't born into a pretrib dispensational system so hopefully I haven't brought too many presumptions into the conversation.  At the time I wrote:
It’s true that God is currently working with Israel. He has brought a certain number of Israelites back into the land and has set up His “chess pieces” for the Final Week. 
I'm sympathetic to the notion that if God can (currently) focus on the church, while keeping Israel in play, then the same might apply to the 70th week of Daniel. Back then I also observed:
...if there are seventy weeks allotted to Israel and there is an overlap where God works simultaneously with the Church and Israel then what makes the 70th week what it is? ....if God is now working with the Church but also with Israel then what defines the 70th week and how is it different to the status quo?
I suspect that it’s not a matter of whether God can deal with Israel and the Church simultaneously during Daniel’s 70th week. It’s more a case of the purpose for the Tribulation. One of those purposes is to put Israel through a process where the nation will be redeemed.

In an earlier post I mentioned following rabbit trails regarding Jacob Prasch's Pre-Wrath Intra Seal system. Incidentally, he was one of the contributors to the polemical "Left Behind or Led Astray?" doc. What prompted my rabbit trail was a video someone shared in which he discussed the Antichrist.

At one point he makes several interesting comments.

He contends that post-rapture believers will not be in the same situation as the faithful church, and will experience terrible times. So there will be believers after the church is raptured. He cautions against people who talk about "tribulation saints." Is this because he thinks the "tribulation" is shortened, or another reason? He also adds that "mostly God turns His grace back to the Jews and it's not really grace as we would understand it."

One could write up another blog post speculating what we ought to call post-rapture believers and the length of the tribulation - likewise his cryptic remark about grace. Note that these post-rapture believers live under conditions of God's wrath, like the 5th seal martyrs in the pretrib model. That the 5th seal martyrs ask to be avenged doesn't indicate that God's wrath isn't already present. We see a similar situation when God used Assyria as the rod of His wrath against Israel, and later punished it.

Of particular interest is this statement:
"...once the faithful church is removed God turns His prophetic purposes back to Israel and the Jews - the age of the church is over." 
What happened to the juggling act?

How closely does the Intra Seal rapture align with Robert Van Kampen's model? The latter takes Matt 24:21-22 and applies it to v 31 to conclude that God cuts the tribulation short via the rapture of the church (contra Israel's final gathering). I've noted before that v 31 occurs after the tribulation, after the cosmic signs, after the sign of the Son of Man and the mourning of the tribes. The premise of Van Kampen's book "The Sign" is that signs precede Christ's coming. It's difficult to see how v 31 cuts the tribulation short.

This view asserts God intervenes (v 22) otherwise no Christians are saved alive to be raptured. A better fit is an intervention to keep people alive in order to enter and populate the millennial kingdom. At the rapture, dead saints are resurrected.

Does God intervene at this point so some believers are raptured alive (as some state), or in order to refocus on Israel? Or is it both? If the church is removed so that not all believers die, in what way is the Antichrist "hamstrung" so that post-rapture believers aren't completely wiped out?

Van Kampen asserts only Christians and Jews suffer "Antichrist's Tribulation" - for testing purposes; that the church and Israel are the targets of the 4th seal. This is because his view requires God's wrath to occur later. But how do we get this from 2 Thess 2:8-12 and Rev 6:8?

He draws parallels between the authority given to the beasts in the 4th seal and that of the beast in Rev 13 (The Rapture Question Answered pp 143-147). The fact that the Beast is given authority for 42 months (Rev 13:5) would seem to undermine his shortened great tribulation theory. See also Dan 12:7; Rev 12:14.

Note: My copy of Marvin Rosenthal's book has the 4th seal occurring prior to the Abomination of Desolation. Because of his view of the 4th seal, Van Kampen places it immediately after the AoD. This may be a source of confusion to those unfamiliar with the PW system, and even those who subscribe to it.

All this is to suggest that rapture themes aren't always "face value." Sometimes they're deductions built upon assumptions which can appear contradictory.

But regardless of Jacob Prasch's views on all the above, he does believe God removes the church in order to return His "prophetic purposes back to Israel." At that point he says the church age is over.

So for what it's worth here's what I think...

Everyone brings assumptions to the table. I believe God's wrath is evident prior to the 6th seal, and even in the ministry of the Two Witnesses. Why, exactly, is God's wrath only in effect during a narrowly defined Day of the Lord period? Why can't God's wrath be present when Satan descends in wrath? These assumptions affect our view of passages such as Rev 3:10.

With all this in mind, Daniel was told that 70 weeks were decreed for his people (Dan 9:24). It's obvious that this is speaking of Israel. Therefore it's reasonable to propose that God's purpose and focus for Israel begins at the start of the 70th Week. Not at some arbitrary point after its beginning. Hence it isn't unreasonable to see the church removed by that time. But that's my assumption.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft

I borrowed heavily from Barry Horner for this article. Horner needs to be read by all Christians. After writing the article I received negative feedback from some professing Christians. Some claim that the "Jews" we see in the land today aren't Israelites and that the Jews haven't been Israelites since "killing the Lord." Or something like that!

Read On Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sam Smith on his "imminent pre-wrath" view

Years ago I came across Sam Smith's prophecy website. He's now updated it.

Like Smith, I don't hold that the rapture was always imminent. But I do think it is now. Of course if one believes-knows that the church is on the earth during the tribulation then the rapture cannot be imminent. You'll inevitably debate certain "imminent" texts based on this presupposition. 

The rapture can only be imminent if one isn't aware that an event has to occur prior. Furthermore, it doesn't follow that the rapture is the next "prophetic" event (e.g., Gog-Magog etc) just because one holds to imminence. Pretribulationists also bring their presuppositions to various "imminent" passages.

I found Smith's article (linked below) interesting. One objection I have is with this statement:
....while pretribulationists regard the entire tribulation as divine wrath, I think that is an assumption rather than a biblically or theologically demonstrable fact.
I'm aware that some have come up with allegedly irrefutable arguments against God's wrath being present prior to the 6th seal. I don't buy into them. In my opinion pretribulationists like Renald Showers have made biblically compelling arguments for their view.

Either way you can read Smith's article HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Wretched Art of Loveless Discernment

Thought this was timely. I'm reliably informed that I need to take some of the points raised here to heart.
Christians are called to speak the truth (Eph 4:15). It is no surprise, therefore, that our enemy’s preferred tactic is deception (Rev 12:9). Consequently, because of this war between truth and deception, believers are called to exercise discernment—to be vigilant in dividing truth from error (Acts 17:11; Jude 3).
Tragically, the modern church often neglects this essential duty to contend for the truth. Even worse, professing Christians often scorn attempts at discernment as uncharitable and judgmental, subsequently dismissing it all together. This is one reason why those of us who practice discernment must be vigilant to not embody what the scoffers accuse us of. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior (Titus 2:10)...keep reading

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What Does Paul Mean by "That Day" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

From Tony Garland of Spirit and Truth:
There is considerable [y] confusion among Christians concerning passages which refer to a future "day" associated with the arrival of Christ. This confusion is mainly caused by assuming that all references to a future "day" involving Christ must either refer to His return for the Church at the Rapture or His final return in judgment at the Second Coming. However, Scripture reveals a third situation in which Christ is said to “come” which, unfortunately, many erroneously conflate with the Rapture...keep reading

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tribulation is Coming

Tribulation is coming. As far as the church is concerned it has always been present to varying degrees throughout history. God has never exempted Christians from tribulation, persecution or martyrdom. In fact we Christians ought to expect it...If any pastor tells you that you should or can be living your best life now in terms of worldly success, he is lying to you...keep reading

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

High King of Heaven

Recently reviewed the book "High King of Heaven" HERE

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Master's Seminary Journal Spring 2018

This edition is in honor of Dr. Robert L. Thomas.

Single PDF format file HERE

Or go HERE

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Who was Horatius Bonar?

Thanks to Barry Horner for making this available:
Better known as a nineteenth-century hymn writer, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
fulfilled a ministry of far greater dimensions, both practically and scholarly. He
participated in a remarkable spiritual awakening in Scotland, and in 1839 joined
a tour of the Holy Land, a Mission of Enquiry to the Jews on behalf of the
Church of Scotland.
His prophetic writings were considerable.  In 1847 he published Prophetical
Landmarks, Containing Date for Helping to Determine the Question of Christ's
Premillennial Return. He was also editor of The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy
from 1849 to 1873. In 1849 he also published The Coming and Kingdom of the
Lord Jesus Christ, being a refutation of the postmillennialism of the Rev. David
Brown...keep reading
See also J. C. Ryle 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Jacob Prasch on the Rapture

Back to eschatology.

I went down some rabbit trails-holes this morning. I have friends who hold to Prasch's position on the rapture. The view is sometimes referred to as "Pre Wrath", "Inter Seal" and "Intra Seal."

In one article he appeals to Lovett (he calls Lovett the father of the system), Treggalis (he means Samuel P. Tregelles) and Gundry. I suspect, however, that his position varies from Van Kampen's etc. One notable difference is his view that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, contra the Michael position. Gundry also holds to the Holy Spirit view.

I include the following links largely for my own reference. You can read more HERE and HERE

Excerpt:
Our view pre dates Pre Wrath in that Jacob Prasch, like various others, believed the rapture is between 6th & 7th seals etc. prior to the Pre Wrath position  being crystallized by the books of Marvin Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen.  Our position is documented and explained at length in the Book "Harpazo" (available on Amazon, Kendal [sic], from Moriel etc.). It is nothing more than what was later called Pre Wrath that in common with Pre Trib holds that The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and certain other more minor differences to do with the timing of the ministry on the Two Witnesses in Revelation  chapter 11. Intra Seal is a version of Pre Wrath and Pre Wrath has the same primary elements as Intra Seal. The two positions are  in essence not only very  similar or more accurately two variations of the same fundamental position although the Pneumatological differences are marked.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Barry Horner - Eternal Israel

Barry Horner's "Future Israel" addressing Replacement Theology was one of the first I read on the subject some eight years ago. He has since written a new book "Eternal Israel." Find out more HERE

PS Thanks to Alan Kurschner (Eschatos Ministries) for alerting us to this new book and thanks to Barry Horner for his dedication. "Eternal Israel" is an important follow-up to "Future Israel."  Highly recommended reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Steven Lawson: War on the Word

A passionate sermon from the President and founder of One Passion Ministries:


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

J.B. Hixson - One Minute After the Rapture

Hixson (with Mark Fontecchio) is the author of "What Lies Ahead."



A Peculiar Glory - John Piper

In the video of my previous post John MacArthur mentions John Piper's book "A Peculiar Glory."

Dr. Piper has graciously made it available as a PDF download HERE

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Emergent Eschatology

An important article by Bob DeWaay.
After publishing my book about the Emergent Church, I attended an Emergent conference in Chicago, where Dr. Moltmann spoke to his dedicated following—250 Emergent leaders. One such follower, Danielle Shroyer, had published a book about his theology, describing it as "neo-Hegelian, panentheistic, universalism." The front cover of the book contains an endorsement by Moltmann. Interacting with various Emergent leaders confirmed how foundational Moltmann's theology and its unique eschatology is to their movement...keep reading 
 Excerpt:
The Emergent Church movement is an association of individuals linked by one very important, key idea: that God is bringing history toward a glorious kingdom of God on earth without future judgment. They loathe dispensationalism more than any other theology because it claims just the opposite: that the world is getting ever more sinful and is sliding toward cataclysmic judgment. Both of these ideas cannot be true. Either there is a literal future judgment or there is not. This is not a matter left to one's own preference.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Shepherds' Conference 2018

The Shepherds' Conference 2018 videos are now up. You can watch them HERE or HERE

Friday, March 23, 2018

He Will Reign Forever - Book Review

No, this isn't my review of Michael Vlach's He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God. Paul Henebury has just completed a four part structural analysis of Vlach's book. Is the book worth reading?

We read in Part Four:
In summary, He Will Reign Forever is the kind of book dispensationalists have been waiting for for a long time. It keeps to its thesis – meaning that it doesn’t concern itself with such things as the pre-trib rapture – but it conveys the grand narrative in a way that is faithful to what the Bible itself says; and it shows that the Old and New Testaments can be understood as a unit, without changing the meaning of God’s words to accommodate the Church.
This is high praise from someone like Henebury. I liken him to two particular teachers I respected at school. I'd always get nervous when they corrected my exams because I knew the high standards they placed on their students. Incidentally, Dr Henebury has been working on his own book. Perhaps one day Mike Vlach can review it.

Here are the links to the review:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Biblical Covenantalism Contrasted with Other Systems

The more I dialogue with and the more I watch discussions among dispensationalists, the more I'm convinced that Dr Reluctant is correct in his observations. I post this here for my own easy reference. While I've listened to many of these before, I find that I need to revise the issues for them to sink in. In this series, he contrasts Biblical Covenantalism with Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism.

See Synopsis of Biblical Covenantalism

Listen to the "contrasts" HERE (A lot work went into this)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time for the Pre-Wrath Folk to Grow Up

Honestly, I don't want to keep bringing this up. This prophecy group needs to take an objective look at itself. Especially if it wants to be taken seriously.

Some time ago I wrote that Jan Markell was accused of calling the system satanic. The PW folk flocked to the offending video expressing their discontent. The prevailing opinion was that the pretrib biggies felt threatened by the growth of the PW system and that this was their knee-jerk reaction.

Actually, Jan was referring to the attacks, not the system. She never called prewrath satanic. Jan is tired of the constant e-mail diatribes (as are others). My friend Jack Kinsella - now gone to be with the Lord - constantly received mail from proponents of this group labeling him a false prophet because of his pretribulationism. I could say much more here.

But these easily offended folk resisted checking, even when prompted to. At least one PW website owner reached out to Jan and subsequently corrected his position on the fiasco. Kudos to him!

Now I find that my Zeteo3:16 article has also been accused of labeling this system satanic, or that its proponents aren't Christian. It was lumped in with Bill Perkins' graceless attack on the PW system. But did the person who referenced my article actually read it? Did anyone bother? Apparently no one went past reading the title.

Here's what I stated:

So, is the Pre-Wrath rapture satanic? Nope! Neither is the midtrib, posttrib or pretrib rapture. No one should go down that route. All rapture timing views are deductions. I defend the pretribulational view because I think it has far better arguments than the others. But I don’t consider rapture timing a doctrine to divide over.

It's time to grow up, People.

Addendum (and for the record):

Manfred Kober refers to Marv Rosenthal's comments in "The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church":
The pretrib position is beset with “impossible-to-resolve problems” (p.197) and “insurmountable exegetical” difficulties (p.147). Even worse, the pretribulational teaching leads to “calamitous” consequences and “a spiritual catastrophe” which is in reality “a satanically planned sneak attack” (p. 281-282).

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Bible Tells Me So

Peter Enns has written a book called The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read It. See his bio HERE He has become somewhat of a mentor for (what I call) progressive popular Christians such as Rachel Held Evans, Jen Hatmaker and others.
In a previous post, I linked to Michael Kruger's The Power of De-Conversion Stories. Kruger has also responded to Enns. The article was written in 2014 but still very relevant... 
I confess that I do judge books by their covers. Or at least by the back cover. I read (and review) a lot of books and am always careful to read the endorsements on the back and the description on the inside flap. Although endorsements aren’t everything (and are sometimes even misleading), they can reveal quite a bit about where a book is headed. That’s their purpose anyway. In this case of Peter Enns’s new volume, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, the endorsements (and endorsers) reveal quite a bit. One will find blurbs by Rob Bell, Rachel Held Evans, and Brian McLaren, among others. Interestingly, Tony Campolo also offers one but with the caveat that, “As an old-fashioned evangelical, I have some problems with what he has written.” Given that Campolo is by no means a conservative fundamentalist, his statement does an admirable job preparing the reader for what’s coming.
But perhaps most illuminating was the inside flap, where the publisher describes the book’s purpose: “In The Bible Tells Me So, Enns wants to do for the Bible what Rob Bell did for hell in Love Wins.”...keep reading 
P.S. Speaking of Rob Bell, this is a good read: The Fundamentalist: Rob Bell Walks Through Airports.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Telos Theological Ministries Apologetics

Dr. Reluctant:
Here are the 12 video presentations on Apologetics & Worldview: An Introduction I recorded last year before a group of lay Christians who ranged from ages 15 to 70+.  I cite quite a few authorities, and I hope to place these in readable form in the future.  The average running time for each video is around one hour and thirty minutes...click here 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Rosaria Butterfield at RTS Charlotte

This is a recent lecture (HOJB Lecture Series 2018) by former lesbian professor Rosaria Butterfield. I've listened to a few of her presentations and read her book. The story of her struggles, conversion and final submission to Christ never gets old for me.

Watch it HERE (begins around the 12 min mark)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Revelation: A Testimony of Jesus Christ

I'm regularly alerted to all kinds of eschatological (and other) teachings on YouTube. Some of it isn't bad and some highly commendable. Other material ought to be avoided. Bad examples can be found in all groups. On the pretribulational side I can cite the Sep 23, 2017 fiasco, and more.

I was made aware of a popular posttrib ministry which seeks to correct myths regarding Revelation and end times through its teaching series and books. It infers that people believe what they believe because they've not bothered checking their Bibles. And perhaps their pastors haven't either. On the other hand, this ministry purports to have diligently studied Scripture. After some samplings, I'm not impressed.

Two pretrib "myths" highlighted were: only the first four chapters of Revelation are intended "for the church"; and the church isn't present for most of the time span of the book.

Whether the church is present or not during the bad stuff is a hotly debated issue. A well-argued differing point of view should be engaged rather than relegated to the myth pile. Revelation was written for everyone, regardless of their eschatological position. It is Jesus' testimony and warning to the world. Jesus is its focus. Believers throughout the centuries have gone to be with the Lord. While many weren't premillennial, most would have still drawn comfort from God's revealed plan for the redeemed.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:3-4

While I have several commentaries on Revelation, the one I most often go to is Tony Garland's A Testimony of Jesus Christ. It is from a pretribulational standpoint. The fact that it can be read online for free, isn't a testimony to its value (no pun intended). I may not necessarily agree with everything, but he frames his arguments very well. The work is a goldmine of notes and resources. It stands shoulder to shoulder against Robert L. Thomas' Two Volume Commentary.

The same cannot be said for most of these YouTube commentaries. I can hear some complain that this is just another pretrib commentary. Well, Tony has put a lot of work into it and it deserves attention. My suggestion to those who gripe that their points of views aren't presented is to to roll up their sleeves and produce something worthy of consideration. YouTube just doesn't cut it. Moreover the one or two online written commentaries I've seen don't have the depth (IMO) of Tony Garland's work. Depth alone doesn't guarantee correctness. But it does demonstrate the effort expended.

Read A Testimony of Jesus Christ (Tony is also working on a commentary on Daniel)

P.S. Rev 4 is sometimes offered as a proof text for pretribulationism. I disagree. Even so, I thought this Triablogue article was uplifting - especially coming from a CT person.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Destructive Feminist Legacy of Kate Millett

The following article is an interview with Kate Millett's sister. Worth reading.
Feminist icon Kate Millett passed away recently in Paris at the age of 82. Her 1970 book Sexual Politics, called “the Bible of Women’s Liberation” by the New York Times, had a seismic effect on feminist thought and launched Millett as what the Times called “a defining architect of second-wave feminism.” In a cover story that same year, TIME magazine crowned her “the Mao Tse-tung of Women’s Liberation.” Fellow feminist Andrea Dworkin said that Millett woke up a sleeping world.
 Kate’s sister Mallory, a CFO for several corporations, resides in New York City with her husband of over twenty years. In a riveting article from a few years back bluntly titled, “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives,” Mallory revealed what she saw of the subversive undercurrent of her sister’s passionate radicalism.
Asked for her thoughts on Kate’s legacy, Mallory shared her very personal responses, which follow...keep reading
Excerpt:
One of their most desired results was the smashing of every taboo in Western culture. Imagine that! Think of that alone! The normalizing of every taboo: polygamy, bestiality, Satanism, pornography, promiscuity, witchcraft, pedophilia – all activities which rot the human soul and city. Nothing burns down a society with such dispatch and totality as the unleashing of taboos.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Power of De-Conversion Stories

Excellent and important article (I think).
When it comes to reaching the “lost,” one of the most tried-and-true methods is the personal conversion story. Whether done privately or publicly, it’s compelling to hear a person’s testimony about how they came to believe in the truth of the Gospel, the truth of the Bible, and embraced the Christian faith. Such testimonies can personalize and soften the message so it is more easily understood and received.
But when it comes to reaching the “found,” there’s an equally effective method—and this is a method to which the evangelical church has paid very little attention. It’s what we might call the de-conversion story.
De-conversion stories are designed not to reach non-Christians but to reach Christians.  And their purpose is to convince them that their crusty, backwards, outdated, na├»ve beliefs are no longer worthy of their assent. Whether done privately or publicly, this is when a person simply gives their testimony of how they once thought like you did and have now seen the light...keep reading

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Less Popular Approach To Discernment Ministry

We need discernment. But I sometimes wonder if ministries exclusively dedicated to it is the right answer. I've seen a lot of "discernment" stuff turn into mud fights which never seem to abate. I thought Debbie Lynne's article made some very good points. Read it HERE 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sola Fide and Dispensationalism

In a past article "The Lost Honor of John Nelson Darby" I mentioned the book "Forged From Reformation." Chapter 14 is by Glenn R. Kreider. It is titled:

Sola Fide - Salvation is by Grace Through Faith Alone in Every Dispensation

This process includes the future period commonly referred to as the tribulation, or better still, Daniel's 70th week. Whatever we may call saints within that period - Christians or tribulation saints - the process of salvation remains the same. It is always by grace through faith, and this includes Israel. Kreider cites Eph 2:8-10 among others to emphasize this.

Too often I see the dispensational (and pretrib) position erroneously called into question. A non-pretrib friend did this recently. He sounded the alarm about the dangers of dispensationalism and its views of salvation in the 70th week. When pressed he couldn't cite representative dispensational sources. John Hagee doesn't count.

Again: Salvation is by Grace Through Faith Alone in Every Dispensation

While it's true that Scofield made some careless remarks (Kreider covers this) it's also true that he and Darby held to salvation by faith alone through grace alone. Often people make broad generalizations about systems they disagree with without citing representative or primary sources.

Dispensationalism isn't perfect, but it ought to be fairly presented. If you want to understand the system, though you disagree with it, make an effort to read their best proponents. That way you can present a better case and people will take you more seriously.

Further reading:

Contra the 95 Theses Against Dispensationalism

Stupid Reasons for Dissing Dispensationalism

God’s Wrath and the Bride of Christ

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Theologian Gary Burge's Comeback

I've often mentioned Stephen Sizer and Gary Burge on this blog and elsewhere. Here's an update from Dexter Van Zile:
For a while, it looked like Gary Burge’s career as a prominent anti-Zionist in the United States had come to an end and that he was going to suffer a fate similar to his theological twin across the pond in England, Anglican Priest Stephen Sizer.
This past Easter, Sizer retired. His long career in the pulpit was marred by a number of unforced errors, such as promoting the notion that Israel was responsible for 9/11 and participating in a Holocaust-denial conference organized by, of all countries, Iran. After these debacles, his superiors in the Anglican Church finally told him to stop talking about the Arab-Israeli conflict altogether. They had had enough.
To add insult to injury, the folks at InterVarsity Press in both the United Kingdom and the United States decided that they too had enough and stopped printing his books which promoted the notion that God had abandoned the Jewish people and therefore no longer had any right to live in the Holy Land. For his Anglican superiors, Sizer’s retirement must have been a relief...keep reading

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Defense of The Rapture by Dr. John MacArthur

John MacArthur:
The study of the end times is the consuming passion of many in the church today. Sensational best-selling authors argue that current events fulfill their often dubious interpretations of biblical prophecy. Some claim to have figured out the secret that even Jesus in His Incarnation did not know - the time of the Second Coming (cf. Matt. 24:36). Tragically, some people get so caught up in the study of eschatology that they neglect the basic principles of spiritual growth and evangelism that the Second Coming is designed to motivate...keep reading
MacArthur refers to Robert L Thomas' Commentary on Thessalonians (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). I highly recommend it. The article mentions an essay addressing Robert Gundry and Rev 3:10. It can be read HERE See also Dr Reluctant's post re Commentaries on Thessalonians.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Power of Preaching

Pray for our preachers...


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fred Sanders: Christ Alone


Reasons Your Church Should Take Eschatology Seriously

Over all good one from Michael Vlach:
It is concerning that some churches today don’t take eschatology seriously. The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important. At the center of biblical eschatology is the blessed hope of the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Not only should we be interested in prophetic events to come, we are also looking for our Savior, with whom we will spend eternity...keep reading

Monday, January 1, 2018

Only One Life

It's been a particularly tough year in our household for a number of reasons which I won't go into. But this is something I need to keep in mind always...
To live well is to live for Christ, and to die well is to die for His glory. A brief article in the 1857 edition of The Scottish Christian Journal, entitled “Dying Well,” summarized that truth with these words, “Would ye die well? then, through Christ, live well. The right way to die well is to live well.”...keep reading
We also posted this on our website. Steven Lawson tweeted:
“As we start a new year, may this be the year we hear the shout, the trumpet of God, and the voice of the archangel. Come, Lord Jesus! Come!”
To which we respond, "Amen!"